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From The New York Times:
Bill Clinton Flatly Asserts He Opposed War at Start
By PATRICK HEALY
Published: November 28, 2007
"During a campaign swing for his wife, former President Bill Clinton said flatly yesterday that he opposed the war in Iraq “from the beginning.”
From a 2004 Time Magazine Inteview:
"That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for. So I thought the President had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, "Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process." You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks. I never really thought he'd [use them]. What I was far more worried about was that he'd sell this stuff or give it away. Same thing I've always been worried about North Korea's nuclear and missile capacity. I don't expect North Korea to bomb South Korea, because they know it would be the end of their country. But if you can't feed yourself, the temptation to sell this stuff is overwhelming. So that's why I thought Bush did the right thing to go back. When you're the President, and your country has just been through what we had, you want everything to be accounted for."
Like husband, like wife.
Are we seriously talking about letting this guy back in the White House? Seriously?
One can only hope that this continued pattern of deception and evasivness will be recocnized by the American people, and remind them of the scandal ridden Clinton years, when bold faced lies became a standard part of the Democratic playbook.
The Clintons are attempting to build a political dynasty on their ability to take both sides of every issue. For the sake of the nation, let's hope we see through it this time.
Also, one of the talking heads who I like to listen to made a great point the other day.
While Bush was wrong in his assertion that Saddam had WMD's, Hillary has been wrong twice on Iraq. The first time with Bush regarding the weapons and again when she opposed the Surge strategy. And , she's not even the president yet.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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Posted by Falling Panda at 1:46 PM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
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The last two years have been difficult ones for the GOP. An unpopular president, presiding over an unpopular war lead to Republicans losing congress, and conventional wisdom, until recently, suggested that the same was likely to happen in their quest to maintain control over the executive branch.
However, without the mainstream media noticing, sometime around mid-September the GOP bottomed out and since then, the party has begun a slow recovery, which although not evident in measurements of public approval, has GOP regulars hopeful that the return of the Democrats to the White House may not be such a sure thing.
Iraq appears to have turned around and if success in that nation continues it will leave the Democrats without the one issue that has provided them with any electoral success over the last eight years.
The Democratic congress has politicized every issue that they could get their hands on from the funding of our troops to an unnecessary expansion of the SCHIP program. While you would think that these would be easy issues to bludgeon the administration with, President Bush has outwitted the hapless Democrats at every turn.
In the Democratic presidential contest, aka. the Tattle of The One Term Senators, frontrunner Hillary Clinton was finally called out last week for her pattern of evasive answers and doublespeak. Unless these habits can be reversed it should be easy for the GOP to rightfully paint the Senator as waffling and unable to answer simple questions in a straightforward manner. As we saw with John Kerry, this can mean death for a presidential candidate.
So with things finally looking up for the GOP, party regulars face the decision as to who will be the standard bearer. While early grumblings among the party faithfu, that none of the major candidates were Reagan-esque enough to lead the party, the near certainty of a Hillary candidacy seems to have focused the candidates and has forced primary voters to weigh the candidate's negatives against the possibility of a second Clinton presidency.
Two questions must be answered.
First, who has the best chance of beating Hillary? All Republicans can agree that any of the GOP candidates and perhaps half of the Democratic hopefuls would be preferable to Clinton as an occupant of the Oval Office.
In addition to this we must be sure that whoever is nominated will espouse the basic principles of the party, and not waver on the core issues such as tax cuts and an aggressive foreign policy and will work to reestablish the GOP’s small government credentials.
Rudy Giuliani is the one who can meet both of these criteria He is also the most qualified of all of the candidates in either party despite Joe Biden’s silly comments at the last Dem debate. Comments such as Bidens are made out of fear of a Giuliani candidacy, rather than as serious commentary on Rudy’s accomplishments. One needs only look at what Rudy would bring to the table as a candidate in order to understand the fear that the Democrats understandably have of him being the Republican nominee.
Rudy will be able to attract moderate Democrats and independents into the party, especially those who have been turned off by 16 years of Bill and Hillary in the news every day.
The issue of abortion will be less salient since both he and Hillary are pro-choice, and yet Christian Conservatives would certainly much rather have new Supreme Court justices placed by Giuliani than by Hillary.
He comes across as straightforward, unscripted and imperfect, as opposed to Mitt Romney, whom for all of his positives, is still far too polished and untested to stand up to the coming Clinton onslaught without loosing his cool and losing his focus.
Rudy is a proven leader. He took a city, which had been crippled by years of Democratic bureaucracy, corruption and a lack of new ideas and used basic conservative principles such as tax cuts, lower spending and law and order to restore the city’s economy, reduce crime, make the city tourist friendly and restore the worldly reputation which New York had lost throughout the 70’s and 80’s. He was the chief executive in a city equal in size to many states. This is tantamount to being a governor, only with a much higher profile.
On 9/11, Rudy provided hope and unwavering leadership to America’s largest city during its darkest hours. We all witnessed it first hand, and while some have chosen to second guess some of his actions in the days following the attacks, these criticisms are mostly partisan in nature and nit-picky in substance.
On that day, Rudy guided a terrified city out of chaos. These actions alone, make him far more qualified than anyone else in terms of dealing with the type of threat we face from Islamo-facism in the 21st century.
Rudy, has never wavered in his support for the war in Iraq. Even though he has no vote directly connecting him to the war as Hillary Clinton does, unlike Hillary he never stuck his finger in the wind and altered his position and rhetoric on the war in order to maximize his political gains. Rudy has a history of doing the things he does because he believes in them, not because they will lead him to electoral success.
He is strong on tax cuts and we have no reason to believe that he would be any less hawkish than George W. Bush when it comes to Middle–East policy.
If one needs proof that Rudy is electable, they only need look at the current polls measuring head-to-head match-ups between Rudy and Hillary. Despite the anti-GOP mood in the country and Rudy’s relatively low profile as of late, especially when compared to Hillary, he still polls even with the Senator. If things start going the GOP’s way, Rudy could potentially run the table in the Electoral College with the ironic exception of his home state, where a large portion of the folks wouldn’t vote for Jesus Christ if he ran as a Republican against Satan himself.
The other GOP candidates in the race all have good qualities, but Rudy is the one who is the most like Reagan and the most likely to win in a general election.
Mitt Romney has brains, cash and charisma but is lacking in the substance department. While Rudy is guilty of finessing some of his policy positions in order to make them more palatable to the GOP base, Romney has completely flip-flopped in order to make himself appear to be a conservative. He needs another four years to shore up his conservative credentials before he can be considered seriously for the job. In addition, this election is far too important to risk a negative reaction from the public over the Mormon issue.
Fred Thompson is an all around great guy, but he is yet to present GOP voters with any real reason to support him other than his down home charm and what thus far appears to be a purist ideology.
Mike Huckabee is perfect for the Vice-Presidency and should be at the top of the list if Rudy captures the nomination.
John McCain seems to have lost his energy after losing momentum due to his compromises on issues like tax-cuts, immigration and water-boarding.
Rudy has a lot going for him in this race. He is a proven leader, a Washington outsider, he’s not a Bush or a Clinton, he’s not a phony and he knows how to work across the aisle.
For years now, political pundits have told us how it would be impossible for Rudy to win the nomination, and yet here we are 53 days out of Iowa and Rudy still holds a wide lead in national polls. In addition to this, he has hardly advertised in early primary states and remains either ahead or within striking distance of Mitt Romney who has spent millions on commercials.
In past elections, there has been a sense that none of the candidates running were really the best possible person to assume the mantel of Leader of the Free World. Yet, they were the only choices that we had and we accepted or rejected them based on a whole host of issues, some related directly to their abilities and some not.
With Rudy Giuliani, it’s hard to imagine anyone who is better suited to lead the nation during these dangerous times. Even Reagan wasn’t perfect when he came on the presidential scene. He had previously been pro-choice, he had been divorced and had a tumultuous relationship with his kids. Despite all of this, today Reagan is the individual against whom all other Republicans are judged.
Rudy passes the Reagan test and is exactly the type of leader that America needs at this moment in history.
That is why Falling Panda is endorsing Rudy Giuliani for the Presidency of the United States.
- Dan Joseph
Posted by Falling Panda at 3:20 PM
Thursday, November 01, 2007
November 01, 2007
Despite the Gloom, More Bush Boom
By Lawrence Kudlow
If things are so bad, why are they so good?
With all the gloom coming out of Wall Street, the Democrats on the campaign trail and the mainstream media, a remarkable thing just happened: Real gross domestic product, the best summary report of the American economy, came in at a breathtaking 3.9 percent annual rate for the third quarter. In fact, following the 3.8 percent growth rate for the second quarter, the U.S. economy has posted its strongest quarterly growth in four years. The economy actually appears to be speeding up, following the relatively sluggish performance of the prior 18 months.
On top of this, the inflation rate is actually slowing down. The consumer spending deflator is reading 2.1 percent for the past year, compared to over 3 percent six quarters ago. The core inflation rate is down to 1.9 percent, below the Fed's 2 percent target.
Even employment is holding its own. According to Automatic Data Processing's private employment survey, which showed its strongest gain in four months, October looks like it will produce about 125,000 new jobs.
Meanwhile, rising exports of American goods and services are booming to such an extent that the deep housing recession is being cancelled out. And while many continue to predict a consumer collapse because of falling home prices and tighter credit, after-tax inflation-adjusted income is 4.1 percent ahead of last year, for a $344 billion gain, while the purchase cost of energy prices are flat. The little noticed factoid is that consumer energy use per unit of GDP has actually fallen by more than 50 percent in recent decades.
Again: If things are so bad, why are they so good?
The stock market roared after the Federal Reserve cut its target rate on Wednesday by 25 basis points to 4.5 percent. The rate cut was a small insurance policy, just in case the subprime credit crunch and the housing downturn take a larger toll on the economy.
But listening to the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, you'd think it was 1929 all over again. The litany of scare-talk complaints includes China trade unfairness, globalization, immigration, income inequality, stagnant wages, a shrinking middle class, the sinking dollar and high oil prices.
Yes, there is home deflation on Main Street and loan deflation on Wall Street. It will continue. But what about the rest of the story? When you listen to the hedge-fund short-sellers and the liberal politicians as they attempt to discredit the Bush economic boom, you could almost fall for their bear-market seduction. But the seductress turns out to be an economic harlot -- not a beautiful woman.
The true message of the strong economy is that we're virtually guaranteed of a Goldilocks soft landing or better -- and certainly not a recession.
It's interesting that while the Bush tax cuts of 2003 continue to encourage investment and entrepreneurship, expanding national income and higher tax collections have brought the big bad budget deficit down to $160 billion, or roughly 1 percent of GDP. Using something called the primary deficit -- which extracts net interest on the debt and can be used to measure fiscal stimulus on the economy -- we actually have a 70 billion surplus.
These are all reasons why it would be foolhardy to embrace large-scale tax-hikes to allegedly fight the budget gap.
House tax chief Charlie Rangel's great idea to reduce the corporate income tax is the first pro-growth tax-cut measure from a Democrat in many years, and hopefully his effort will spur a discussion of full-scale tax reform by the Republican and Democratic candidates. But looking to the rest of Rangel's plan, there are ways to eliminate the alternative minimum tax that do not require big tax hikes on the most successful earners and investors.
For example, the Bush administration's tax-reform panel, chaired by former Sens. Connie Mack and John Breaux, proposed a growth-and-investment plan with only three income-tax brackets of 15, 25 and 30 percent. They would repeal the AMT and reduce the corporate tax to 30 percent. Capital gains and dividends would remain at 15 percent.
Or there's the new plan from Wisconsin House member Paul Ryan, which would move to a 10 percent and 25 percent tax system while also eliminating the dreaded AMT.
In other words, there are a lot of ways to gently nudge tax rates lower while broadening the tax base that would keep the Bush boom going well into the future.
The print and broadcast media do not give President Bush much credit for his economic policies. But somehow I have to wonder whether low unemployment, strong growth, negligible inflation and record stock markets do not deserve just a bit of praise.
It is still the greatest story never told.
What Liberal Media?
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:09 PM