Sphere: Related Content
At least the Obama campaign has turned Americans on to the hatred and racism which thrives in the nation's black churches.
I think it's opened the eyes of many, to one of the root causes of the perpetual victimhood and bigotry present in many of this country's black communities.
Seriously. How are Rev. Wright and this nut bar any different from stand-up comedians? I mean, besides all of the political and spiritual influence they wield in their communities? Oops, I think I just answered my own question.
Why don't we just make Chris Rock the Mayor of Chicago?
Friday, May 30, 2008
Sphere: Related Content
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:28 PM
Monday, May 26, 2008
How wrong can a party be and still win an election?
Change That Matters
Iraq has changed. Why can't the Democrats?
by Matthew Continetti
06/02/2008, Volume 013, Issue 36
General David Petraeus was back in Washington last week. President Bush has promoted him to chief of Central Command (CENTCOM), which requires Senate confirmation. Under Petraeus's leadership, Iraq has changed dramatically. Why can't the Democrats change with it?
Bush announced the surge in January 2007. Iraq was a violent place. Al Qaeda in Iraq held large swaths of territory. Shiite death squads roamed much of Baghdad. The Iraqi political class seemed feckless. Hence Bush's decision to send more troops, replace General George Casey with Petraeus, and change the mission from force protection and search-and-destroy to population security. The new strategy's strongest proponent and supporter was Senator John McCain.
Democrats opposed the surge almost without exception. Barack Obama said that the new policy would neither "make a dent" in the violence plaguing Iraq nor "change the dynamics" there. A month after the president's announcement, Obama declared it was time to remove American combat troops from Iraq. In April, as the surge brigades were on their way to the combat zone, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid proclaimed "this war is lost" and that U.S. troops should pack up and come home. In July, as surge operations were underway, the New York Times editorialized that "it is time for the United States to leave Iraq." The Times's editorial writers recognized Iraq "could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave." But that didn't matter. "Keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse."
Wrong. When Petraeus returned to Washington in September 2007, he reported that the
numbers of violent incidents, civilian deaths, ethnosectarian killings, and car and suicide bombings had declined dramatically from the previous December. Why? The surge--and the broadening "Awakening" movement, which began when the sheikhs in Anbar province rebelled against al Qaeda in late 2006 and accelerated when the tribal leaders understood America would not abandon them in 2007.
How did Democrats respond? MoveOn.org bought a full-page in the Times suggesting Petraeus had betrayed the American people. Senator Hillary Clinton said that to accept Petraeus's report required the "willing suspension of disbelief." Those Democrats who did not question the facts moved the goal posts instead. They said the surge may have reduced violence, but had not led to the real goal: political reconciliation.
Petraeus returned again to Washington in April of this year. Violence had been reduced further. American casualties had declined significantly. Al Qaeda was virtually limited to the northern city of Mosul. There were more Iraqi Security Forces, and those forces were increasingly capable. The Iraqi government had passed a variety of laws promoting sectarian reconciliation. And the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, was demonstrating that he was a national leader by meeting with Sunnis and launching military operations against Shiite gangs and Iranian-backed "special groups" in the southern port city of Basra.
Democrats responded this time by saying the Basra operation was a failure and that any reduction in violence only meant Americans could come home sooner rather than later. Wrong again, because (a) despite early missteps the Iraqi army had control of Basra within a couple of weeks, and (b) any precipitous, politically calculated American withdrawal would clearly lead to more violence, not less. What is new is that Petraeus's strategy and tactics, his patience and expertise, have succeeded and now allow some of the surge brigades to return home without replacement--and without a spike in killing. There's every reason to continue his strategy, not abandon it and force a withdrawal.
On May 22, Petraeus was able to tell the Senate that "the number of security incidents in Iraq last week was the lowest in over four years, and it appears that the week that ends tomorrow will see an even lower number of incidents." On May 10, Maliki traveled to Mosul to oversee the launch of a campaign against al Qaeda. The number of attacks in Mosul has already been reduced by 85 percent. Acting CENTCOM commander Martin Dempsey says that Al Qaeda in Iraq is at its weakest state since 2003. Also last week, Iraqi soldiers entered radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr's Sadr City stronghold in Baghdad. They met no resistance.
The Iraqi army and government have done exactly what Democrats have asked of it, and the Democrats remain hostile. Their disdain and animosity has not diminished one iota. Nor has their desire to abandon Iraq to a grim fate.
We keep hearing that this year's presidential election will be about judgment. If so: advantage McCain. For when it comes to the surge, not only have Obama and his party been in error; they have been inflexible in error. They have been so committed to a false narrative of American defeat that they cannot acknowledge the progress that has been made on the ground. That isn't judgment. It's inanity.
--Matthew Continetti, for the Editors
Posted by Falling Panda at 4:41 PM
Monday, May 19, 2008
"If Barack Obama had given a speech on bowling, it might well have been brilliant and inspiring. But instead he actually tried bowling and threw a gutter ball. The contrast between talking and doing could not have been better illustrated."
From the article "Random Thoughts On The Passing Scene"
May 20, 2008
Posted by Falling Panda at 11:19 PM
Remember when the MSM used to hide their bias against Republicans? I don't, because it never has in my lifetime.
White House takes swipe at NBC News
By Klaus Marre
Posted: 05/19/08 03:40 PM [ET]
The White House on Monday sent a scathing letter to NBC News, accusing the news network of “deceptively” editing an interview with President Bush on the issue of appeasement and Iran.
At issue were remarks Bush made in front of Israel's parliament earlier this week.
Specifically, White House counselor Ed Gillespie laments that the network edited the interview in a way that “is clearly intended to give viewers the impression that [Bush] agreed with [correspondent Richard Engel's] characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it.
“This deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured storyline is utterly misleading and irresponsible and I hereby request in the interest of fairness and accuracy that the network air the President’s responses to both initial questions in full on the two programs that used the excerpts,” said Gillespie in the letter to NBC News President Steve Capus.
Gillespie used the opportunity to also inquire whether NBC News still believes that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. In November 2006, the network decided to label the infighting in the country a “civil war.”
“I noticed that around September of 2007, your network quietly stopped referring to conditions in Iraq as a ‘civil war,’ ” Gillespie wrote. “Is it still NBC News’s carefully deliberated opinion that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war? If not, will the network publicly declare that the civil war has ended, or that it was wrong to declare it in the first place?”
Gillespie also hit NBC News on its reporting on the state of the economy.
“I’m sure you don’t want people to conclude that there is really no distinction between the ‘news’ as reported on NBC and the ‘opinion’ as reported on MSNBC, despite the increasing blurring of those lines,” Gillespie concluded. “I welcome your response to this letter, and hope it is one that reassures your broadcast network’s viewers that blatantly partisan talk show hosts like Christopher Matthews and Keith Olbermann at MSNBC don’t hold editorial sway over the NBC network news division.”
Posted by Falling Panda at 8:09 PM
Friday, May 16, 2008
Sphere: Related Content
First of all, this debate is a good one for the American people to have and it’s one that John McCain will win.
There is no legitimate reason or benefit to be garnered from talking with Iran, other than to legitimize their tactics and rhetoric, which are exactly the same tactics and rhetoric we have been fighting since 9/11.
What Barack Obama is doing is using the mistakes made on the ground in Iraq and the unpopularity of our failings there to criticize the entire Bush policy and take us back to the foreign policy days of Jimmy Carter.
When Bush made his statement to the Knesset, which led to the current Democratic uproar, I believe that he was specifically referring to Carter, not Obama.
Carter has met with terrorist groups. He loves doing it and there is no evidence that it has had any positive effect, other than to give credibility to the terrorist groups themselves.
It is interesting that Obama immediately took the President’s statements to be a reference to him.
It was Carter who met with Hamas.
It was Carter who met with North Korea and set up the crummy deal which lead to that rogue nation acquiring nuclear technology.
Obama has countered the criticism from the GOP by pointing to the Bush Administration’s willingness to talk to North Korea. This is a bogus comparison.
It was John Kerry not Bush who ran on a platform of two party talks with North Korea. President Bush rightly opposed those talks and instead promoted six-party talks which have been effective in slowing down North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
Obama and his surrogates also compare the candidate’s willingness to meet with Iran to President Reagan’s willingness to meet with Michael Gorbachev. This comparison completely ignores the complexities and differences of the two situations and simply lumps all of our enemies throughout history together as equal in both the threat they pose and the political power which they wield.
The Soviet Union was a superpower with deadly weapons that had been aimed at us for 30 years. We had no choice but to go to the bargaining table with them because they were already big enough and powerful enough to demand respect on the world stage.
Ironically, it was years of Obama-like coddling and appeasement which allowed them to accumulate much of this power, particularly in the late 1970’s under President Carter.
By contrast, Iran does not posses the same gravitas on the world stage as did the USSR. They are engaged in a proxy war with us in Iraq and are killing our troops. We should focus on defeating them because we are capable of victory. We should not seek an easy way out by making a deal with them.
They do not have nuclear weapons but are intent on acquiring them. The entire world has said that this is unacceptable and that they should not be given the gift of credibility that a meeting with an American president bestows until they follow the rules set out by the governing authorities on this matter.
That’s the way you deal with nations like Iran. You rob them of the incentives to kill our soldiers by defeating them militarily; you isolate them by refusing to allow them a place at the table until they follow the rules.
You do not “trust but verify” you make them earn your trust through a process of verification.
The whole point of this struggle is to ensure that the Iranian theocracy does not grow into a world power in the way that the Soviet Union did. If that happens, we will have no choice but to negotiate with them, and no good can come out of that in terms of our overarching goal which is to defeat religious extremism in the region and ensure the survival of Israel.
Get it Barack?
The other thing that strikes me as odd, besides Obama’s apparent willingness to take us back to the days of Carter-style foreign policy, is that he and his aides are all over the news claiming that when they say they will hold negotiations with Iran, they are not necessarily implying that they will meet with Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
This can only mean one of two things. That they plan on meeting with the Ayatollahs who control Iran from behind the scenes or with a low-level Ahmadinejad underling.
Could you imagine a sitting U.S. president who is engaged in a war with religious extremists having a friendly sit down with the world’s leading proponent of Islamic theocracy? Why don’t we just skip the middleman a have a friendly chat with Bin Laden, while we're at it?
The other option doesn’t make sense either as it would signal to the world that the Iranian higher–ups are too busy to meet with President Obama, so we have to talk things over with Iran’s Secretary of Transportation, equipped with a fruit basket and a greeting card from Sistani instead.
The trick for McCain is going to be to defend the Bush foreign policy, which should continue, while not sounding like he’s defending Bush.
Obama is defending the Carter foreign policy, but unfortunately most of his supporters weren’t even alive when Carter was president, so linking the two of them is probably not a tactic that will be very effective come November.
Despite this, I encourage Mr. Obama to keep playing on John McCain’s turf.
Posted by Falling Panda at 3:03 PM
Thursday, May 15, 2008
"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with 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 only I could have talked to Hitler, all of 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."
What's so striking is that the Democrats immediately took Bush's comments to be an attack on Obama. Me thinks they protest too much.
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:27 PM
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Sphere: Related Content
Hanson doesn't even bother to ask the most important question when it comes to examining the Bush legacy. If Iraq and Afghanistan are both stable democracies five or ten years from now, is there any way that these military campaigns can be viewed negatively through the scope of history?
May 08, 2008
By Victor Davis Hanson
We are in one of the longest presidential campaigns in modern memory -- and haven't even started focusing on the general election.
It's been enough to drive most of us mad, but if there's one person in particular suffering the most, it may be President Bush.
It's been noted here before that we have not had an election since 1952 in which an incumbent president or vice president was not running in at least partial defense of an existing administration's record.
That means Bush is not just a lame duck but an easy target for all three current candidates -- none of whom have any investment in the president's legacy.
Consider that the last president in a similar position was Harry Truman. He left office with an approval rating in the 20s, and it took years before historians revised the standard negative and mostly unfair view of him.
When there is no incumbent in a long race, almost everything of the last four years becomes fair and uncontested game. In 2004, Bush defended his record for months on the stump; now it has become almost second nature for all three candidates to denounce it daily.
John McCain has distanced himself from Bush as much as he can, even as his Democratic opponents dub him John McBush -- when they are not outdoing each other in their denunciation of the president.
Last week, I asked a fierce Bush critic what he thought were the current unemployment rate, the mortgage default rate, the latest economic growth figures, interest rates and the status of the stock market.
He blurted out the common campaign pessimism: "Recession! Worst since the Depression!"
Then he scoffed when I suggested that the answer was really a 5 percent joblessness rate in April that was lower than the March figure; 95 to 96 percent of mortgages not entering foreclosure in this year's first quarter; .6 percent growth during the quarter (weak, but not recession level); historically low interest rates; and sky-high stock market prices.
There are serious problems -- high fuel costs, rising food prices, staggering foreign debt, unfunded entitlements and annual deficits. Yet a president or vice president running for office (and covered incessantly by the media) would at least make the argument that there is a lot of good news, and that the bad that offsets it could be shared by a lot of culpable parties, from the Congress to the way we, the public, have been doing business for the last 20 years.
Bush, like Truman, will have to leave his final assessment for posterity. But for a variety of historic reasons as well as his own self-interest, Bush should at least take his now-unpopular case to the people, with more press conferences, public addresses, stump speeches and one-on-one interviews.
Bush's own legacy will be affected by who succeeds him. Ronald Reagan received great press after leaving office in part because a Republican followed him for four years -- quite the opposite from the senior George Bush who was thrown out of office in 1992 and blamed for assorted sins the next eight years. Likewise, compare the image of Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton when a president from the opposite party followed each into office.
Second, public perceptions, such as ongoing consumer confidence or support for the war, can dramatically affect policy success or failure. Defending past decisions can sometimes improve their outcomes.
Third, it would elevate the arguments of all three candidates if someone could remind them that energy and food problems, foreign policy crises and economic woes usually involve bad and worse choices.
The American people are more interested in exactly how they are going to improve things, rather than hearing each hour how our collective problems are simply the fault of one man. Searing "Bush did it" into the public conscious won't resolve our energy, economic or foreign policy challenges.
The truth is that America is providing unprecedented amounts of money to address the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Tax cuts brought in greater, not less total revenue. International trade agreements created more, not fewer, jobs. Security measures at home, and losses suffered by terrorists abroad, in part explain the absence of a second 9/11.
And drilling in ANWR and off the coasts and building more nuclear power plants, refineries, and clean coal plants -- if the Congress would only approve -- could provide a short-term mitigation of energy prices until we reach a new generation of clean-burning and renewable fuels.
George Bush could learn from "Give 'em Hell, Harry." A disliked Truman never went silent into the night, but defended his record until the very end -- and was ultimately rewarded for it.
Posted by Falling Panda at 11:39 PM