Friday, June 27, 2008

The Ever-Malleable Mr. Obama

Once agian "The Hammer" nails it. I've said before, I don't believe that "flip-flopping" is going to be a salient attack this fall, due to the terms over use as of late. However it is stunning that a guy with hardly any record at all could get awy with this much waffling, in such a short time.

The Ever-Malleable Mr. Obama
By Charles Krauthammer

"To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies."

-- Obama spokesman Bill Burton, Oct. 24, 2007

That was then: Democratic primaries to be won, netroot lefties to be seduced. With all that (and Hillary Clinton) out of the way, Obama now says he'll vote in favor of the new FISA bill that gives the telecom companies blanket immunity for post-Sept. 11 eavesdropping.

Back then, in the yesteryear of primary season, he thoroughly trashed the North American Free Trade Agreement, pledging to force a renegotiation, take "the hammer" to Canada and Mexico and threaten unilateral abrogation.

Today the hammer is holstered. Obama calls his previous NAFTA rhetoric "overheated" and essentially endorses what one of his senior economic advisers privately told the Canadians: The anti-trade stuff was nothing more than populist posturing.

Nor is there much left of his primary season pledge to meet "without preconditions" with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There will be "preparations," you see, which are being spun by his aides into the functional equivalent of preconditions.

Obama's long march to the center has begun.

And why not? What's the downside? He won't lose the left, or even mainstream Democrats. They won't stay home on Nov. 4. The anti-Bush, anti-Republican sentiment is simply too strong. Election Day is their day of revenge -- for the Florida recount, for Swift-boating, for all the injuries, real and imagined, dealt out by Republicans over the past eight years.

Normally, flip-flopping presidential candidates have to worry about the press. Not Obama. After all, this is a press corps that heard his grandiloquent Philadelphia speech -- designed to rationalize why "I can no more disown [Jeremiah Wright] than I can disown my white grandmother" -- then wiped away a tear and hailed him as the second coming of Abraham Lincoln. Three months later, with Wright disowned, grandma embraced and the great "race speech" now inoperative, not a word of reconsideration is heard from his media acolytes.

Worry about the press? His FISA flip-flop elicited a few grumbles from lefty bloggers, but hardly a murmur from the mainstream press. Remember his pledge to stick to public financing? Now flush with cash, he is the first general-election candidate since Watergate to opt out. Some goo-goo clean-government types chided him, but the mainstream editorialists who for years had been railing against private financing as hopelessly corrupt and corrupting evinced only the mildest of disappointment.

Indeed, the New York Times expressed a sympathetic understanding of Obama's about-face by buying his preposterous claim that it was a preemptive attack on McCain's 527 independent expenditure groups -- notwithstanding the fact that (a) as Politico's Jonathan Martin notes, "there are no serious anti-Obama 527s in existence nor are there any immediate plans to create such a group" and (b) the only independent ad of any consequence now running in the entire country is an co-production savaging McCain.

True, Obama's U-turn on public financing was not done for ideological reasons, it was done for Willie Sutton reasons: That's where the money is. It nonetheless betrayed a principle that so many in the press claimed to hold dear.

As public financing is not a principle dear to me, I am hardly dismayed by Obama's abandonment of it. Nor am I disappointed in the least by his other calculated and cynical repositionings. I have never had any illusions about Obama. I merely note with amazement that his media swooners seem to accept his every policy reversal with an equanimity unseen since the Daily Worker would change the party line overnight -- switching sides in World War II, for example -- whenever the wind from Moscow changed direction.

The truth about Obama is uncomplicated. He is just a politician (though of unusual skill and ambition). The man who dared say it plainly is the man who knows Obama all too well. "He does what politicians do," explained Jeremiah Wright.

When it's time to throw campaign finance reform, telecom accountability, NAFTA renegotiation or Jeremiah Wright overboard, Obama is not sentimental. He does not hesitate. He tosses lustily.

Why, the man even tossed his own grandmother overboard back in Philadelphia -- only to haul her back on deck now that her services are needed. Yesterday, granny was the moral equivalent of the raving Reverend Wright. Today, she is a featured prop in Obama's fuzzy-wuzzy get-to-know-me national TV ad.

Not a flinch. Not a flicker. Not a hint of shame. By the time he's finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Obama Would Do.

Here's a short list provided by former Clinton Aide Dick Morris.

• In effect, he would legislate a 60 percent tax bracket for upper-income Americans, killing all initiative and innovation. He'd raise the top bracket to 40 percent. He'd apply FICA taxes to all income, not just that under $100,000 as at present. So add 40 percent plus FICA's 12.5 percent plus Medicare's 2 percent plus state and local taxes averaging, after deduction, at 5-6 percent, and you have a 60 percent bracket.

• He would double the capital gains tax, saddling the 50 percent of Americans who own stock with dramatically higher taxes.

• He'd double the dividend tax, hitting elderly coupon-clippers now retired and depending on fixed incomes.

• He wants to cover 12 million illegal immigrants with federally subsidized health insurance, dramatically driving up costs and forcing federal rationing of healthcare. As in the U.K. and Canada, you will not be permitted certain medical procedures if the bureaucrats decide you are not worth it.

• He proposes requiring Homeland Security operatives to notify terror suspects that they are under investigation within seven days of starting the investigation.

• He says that unless they can establish that there is "probable cause to believe that a certain individual is linked to a specific terrorist group," Homeland Security cannot seize his documents and search his business. The current standard is only that the search be "relevant" to a terror investigation.

He does not oppose $5-per-gallon gasoline but only says that he wishes there had been a more "gradual adjustment" to the higher prices

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Monday, June 23, 2008

A Great Article

You need to go to this site and read this article. Check out the comments as well and notice the difference in the rational responses from those who support the authors arguments and the emotionally charged and poorly thought out responses from those who do not. Let me know what you think.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

McCain Should "Flip-Flop" On ANWR

The term “flip-flop” became part of the American political lexicon, when it was used to define Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in the 2004 election.

The label was so effective that since then candidates from both parties, showing the lack of creativity that we’ve come to expect from our politicians, have attempted to use the term repeatedly to hammer anyone who has ever changed their stance on an issue.

While this strategy beat John Kerry, it hasn’t stuck to anyone else since then, which leads one to believe that the term has been overused and has lost most of its punch among the American electorate.

Due to recent events and the state of the American economy, John McCain is now faced with a unique opportunity, where a “flip-flop” may very well help him overtake Senator Obama in the polls. This is in regard to the newly resurrected debate over drilling in The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or ANWR.

Eight years ago John McCain opposed drilling on the airport sized piece of land in Alaska, which sits on top of what some estimate to be enough oil to produce a million barrels a day for 30 years. He reasoned that the land was a pristine, environmental treasure, that shouldn’t be disturbed. Of course this was when gas prices were around $1.70 a gallon.

Excruciating pain at the pump has taken its toll and polls now show that a sizable majority of the American people favor increased energy exploration in the United States. Porcupine Caribou be damned.

Barack Obama and the Democrats oppose any new oil exploration for two reasons. First, Democrats essentially favor high gas prices, seeing them as a way to wean people off of fossil fuels, and to boost the use of public transportation. They also have strong ties to the environmental lobby, and we all know how much trouble hippies can cause at national conventions.

John McCain would be forgiven for changing his mind. All he would have to do when the Democrats inevitably try to label him as a “flip-flopper” is to explain that his opposition to drilling in ANWR came at a time when gas prices were not an issue. We are now faced with a crisis that shows no signs of receding and action needs to be taken.

The American people would understand McCain’s change of heart, especially given their anger over gas prices. He would simply have to tout the benefits of drilling in ANWR to both our economy and our national security, which is an easy case to make. McCain’s switch would also force ANWR to become a prominent issue in the ongoing debate with Senator Obama. He would have to counter McCain on the issue in order to satisfy his liberal base. This gives the GOP a key economic issue on which they poll far better than the Democrats.

If McCain is to take advantage of this however he must do it now. He was presented with a window of opportunity to blunt any “flip-flop’ criticism put forward by Obama and the Democrats on Thursday, when Sen. Obama went back on his promise to run his campaign using public funds. This instance of Obama going back on his word would be a far more egregious example of hypocrisy than that of Senator McCain changing his mind after eight years of rising oil prices. All McCain would have to do is point it out every time Sen. Obama plays the “flip-flop” card on ANWR.

Drilling in ANWR is also an issue that is extremely popular among conservative Republicans, many of whom have not yet warmed up to McCain. Coming over to their side on this issue would solidify the GOP base for the senator more effectively than any other issue currently on the table.

The American people rejected John Kerry’s inability to take a firm position on a foreign policy issue during a time of war. Kerry was unable to balance his political needs with his need to exhibit leadership abilities during dangerous times and it cost him the election. “I voted for the $87 Billion, before I voted against it” became the equivalent of a political blooper reel at a time when people really didn’t know the candidate.

Americans know Senator McCain. He has taken unpopular stances his whole career and has been unapologetic about it. He supported the war in Iraq and fought for the surge strategy despite the fact that it almost cost him his bid for the presidency. Because of his history of independence and his tendency to do what he believes is right rather than what is politically expedient, the American people will most likely give him a pass on ANWR.

- Dan Joseph

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Criminals For Obama

As a proud Virginia resident, I find the following, as reported in today's Washington Post, very troubling:

"Civic and social organizations are teaming with Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to try to add thousands of nonviolent offenders to the voting rolls in time for the November election, a move that has angered Republicans who say the effort is designed to help Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign."

Now if I thought that some of these ex-cons might vote Republican, I may have a different view on this subject, but let's face it, criminals are not one of our constituencies.

The ACLU and the NAACP are helping Kaine in this effort. There's a shocker.

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Stunningly Naive

Earlier this week, Barack Obama made this stunning remark when asked about the United States policy towards fighting terrorism:

"....the example of Guantanamo. What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks -- for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center -- we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated."

If ever the term "pre-9/11 mentality" applied, it's right here.

The proof that the anti-terror tactics which we used in the Clinton era, were a complete failure, should have been obvious to all, Democrats and Republicans ,on the morning of 9/11, when Islamic terrorists, successfully knocked down both WTC towers.

This was in stark contrast to the Jihadists first attempt in 1993 when they were only able to take a chunk out of one of the buildings.

Seriously Senator? I mean come on!!

And as if Obama wanted Americans to question his judgment even further, who does he put on the conference call as a point man in regard to the War On Terror? The hapless John Kerry.

John Kerry. Change We Can Believe In.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

5-4 = Dead Americans

For the benefit of Actor John Cusack who appears to be the most recent Hollywood celebrity/College Dropout to fall off the far-left, BDS , turnip truck, here's an article that sums up last weeks terrible Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush.

Read it, get outraged and under no circumstances should you go see War Inc. If you do that, then the terrorists win.

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Last Gasps Of Vietnam II?

Here's the latest in the effort by the MSM to help Barack Obama and the Democrats lose the war in Iraq from

NBC anchor Brian Williams on Monday evening rued that Afghanistan “is too often called the other war or perhaps even the forgotten war” when “in the month of May, for the first time ever, American and allied combat deaths were higher in Afghanistan than the monthly loss in Iraq.” But that's as much because of good news from Iraq, which Williams ignored, as bad news from Afghanistan. The number of U.S. service personnel killed in Iraq in May was the fewest in any month since the war began in 2003 -- a positive trend Williams, unlike his colleagues at ABC and CBS, failed to share with his viewers two weeks ago.
Back on Monday, June 2, the other networks noted how 19 died in May as a result of combat in Iraq. In the same month, total U.S. (15) and allied troop deaths in Afghanistan rose to 23, according to the Washington Post.

Now fortunately, despite the efforts of practically everyone on the left, those in the know are increasingly confident that Iraq is well on its way to becoming completely pacified and we will achieve victory in that conflict, despite the defeatist rhetoric of many Congressional leaders and presidential candidates over the past five plus years.

The stunning turnaround in that nation, due in large part to the "troop surge" is mostly ignored by the media, but especially by NBC and MSNBC who have made no real effort to hide their preference towards Senator Obama, in their news coverage.

Think about that for a second. If they aren't going to get their first preference which would be an embarrassing Saigon style withdrawal from Iraq, followed by history's judgement of the conflict as a defeat for the United States, the next best scenario for them is if no one notices the victory, at least until after Nov. 4th.

Fortunately, like Sen. McCain says, it is far better to lose an election than lose a war and if Sen. Obama wins in November, one can only hope that his rhetoric promising a speedy and full withdrawal from that nation is more lip-service to his far-left base than future U.S. policy.

History remembers The Lincoln Admin for winning the Civil War, not for the years in which Union armies were being devastated by the Confederacy. The tide turned in that conflict once President Lincoln fired general McClellan (no relation to Scott)and hired U.S. Grant.

It's the result that get the spotlight in the history books, and while the struggle is always important, it is often a footnote.

One wonders if the folks at NBC and the rest of our nations anti-war forces will ever understand that and accept defeat in their misguided cause, or if they will go to their graves insisting that we never won the Iraq war.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jeanne Sahadi Shows CNN Bias

Today senior writer Jeanne Sahadi gave what on the surface appears to be a fair and balanced analysis of the competing tax plans being floated by Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain. You can view it here:

However, whether she knows it or not, Sahadi gives the reader a slanted view of the two proposals and of economic theory in general, by citing quotes and findings from The Tax Policy Center as pad for her article.

Two minutes of research is all that is required to discover that The Tax Policy Institute is little more than an arm of the Brookings Institution, a left of center think tank in Washington DC.

Now I'm not sure if Ms. Sahadi has the number of The Heritage Foundation in her Rolodex, but I'm guessing that someone from that think tank would have made a decent counterweight to what comes across as a fairly one-sided view of the effects of taxation and tax cuts, including quotes from Tax Policy Center director, Clinton appointee and tax increase advocate Len Burman.

As a young journalist, struggling to find work it's upsetting to me that someone who is employed by such a high profile news organization can get away with this kind of biased reporting.

This stuff isn't obvious upon reading the article, but it's exactly this type of sneaky journalism that has given much of the media its liberal reputation over the last 30 years.

Sahadi needs to learn that just because an organization is billed as "non-partisan" doesn't mean that it's not pushing a political agenda.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Arthur Herman Serves Up Some Crow

Herman has always been excellent at exposing liberal myth. Check out his book on Joe McCarthy for another example.

Here he offers up a reality check for those who are still under the impression that the Iraq war is unwinable and was a pointless endeavor in the first place.

Petraeus: Dealt lethal blow to Iraqi jihadists.
June 9, 2008 -- AMERICA has won, or is about to win, the Iraq war.

The latest proof came last month, as the Iraqi army - just a few months ago the target of scorn and abuse from Democratic politicians and journalists - forcefully reoccupied three cities that had served as key insurgency bases (Basra, Sadr City and Mosul).

Sunnis and Shias alike applauded as their nation's army compelled insurgent militias to lay down their arms. The country's leading opposition newspaper, Azzaman, led the applause for the move into Mosul - a sign that national reconciliation in Iraq is under way and probably irreversible.

US combat deaths in May also were down to 20, the lowest monthly total since February 2004. The toll for May 2007 was 121.

In a Washington Post interview, CIA Director Michael Hayden said we're witnessing the "near strategic defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq."

The Bush administration has taken heaps of abuse for its Iraq policy, including its decision to launch the "surge" last December. Now the strategy, which our nation's "best and brightest" regularly dismissed as a failure, has cleared the way for the establishment of a secure democracy in Iraq and a lasting peace.

It would be foolish to pop open the victory champagne yet. The truce between the Shia and Sunni in Iraq remains fragile; al Qaeda may well launch one more last-ditch offensive there (a la Tet 1968), in order to discourage the US and/or Iraq publics on the eve of the elections.

Meanwhile, we're still fighting a vicious insurgency in Afghanistan, and have yet to root out the al Qaeda remnants of along the Afghan-Pakistan border. And the continued threat of home-grown terror cells keeps European governments nervous.

In wars, however, trends have their own momentum. And the trend is running away from al Qaeda and its jihadist allies - not only in Iraq but also across the Middle East.

According to Hayden, al Qaeda faces a similar strategic debacle in Saudi Arabia.

And al Qaeda's fugitive leadership is learning that its former safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border is no longer so safe. Thanks to cooperation with Pakistan's new government, unmanned US Predator drones recently killed two top al Qaeda leaders there.

Once Gen. David Petraeus is confirmed as commander of US forces in the Middle East in July, he'll be able to apply the same strategy for victory learned in the Iraq surge to the war in Afghanistan.

In short, the larger War on Terror may be reaching a tipping point similar to that of the Iraq war.

The US public and policymakers need to recognize how this happened - and draw lessons from this success.

1) We need to acknowledge that the Iraq war wasn't a "distraction" from the War on Terror, as critics still complain, but its centerpiece.

It's not mere coincidence that our success against al Qaeda globally comes along with success in Iraq. For all its setbacks and frustrations, the Iraq war drew jihadists into a battle they thought they could win, because it would be fought on their home turf - but which they're now losing disastrously.

2) The US decision to "stay the course" in the Iraq war, which was also widely mocked and criticized, served to thoroughly demoralize the jihadist movement.

From its start in spring 2003, the Iraqi insurgency has been entirely built on the premise that it could use suicide and roadside bombings, sectarian slaughter and the torture and murder of hostages to force America out of the Middle East.

If Democrats had won the White House in 2004, the jihadists might have succeeded.

Instead, America doggedly refused to give in to terror, despite 4,000 combat deaths and massive antiwar sentiment, and unwaveringly supported an Iraqi government that was at times feeble and confused - and proceeded to break the jihadist movement's back.

In that interview, the CIA's Hayden also that al Qaeda is no longer able to use the Iraq war as a way to draw in new recruits. The reason is clear: If you go to Iraq to fight the American infidel you will die, and die for nothing.

3) Finally, the Bush administration's success in Iraq, and growing success in the War on Terror, offers a powerful object lesson in how to deal with the continuing threat from Iran.

Iran remains the most lethal state sponsor of terrorism, fomenting proxy wars in Lebanon and Gaza, and in Iraq itself. Its nuclear-weapons program proceeds despite minor sanctions and endless international efforts at engagement.

Now the Bush administration has shown the way for the next president. Instead of trying to "understand" the enemy, disrupt and defeat his plans. Instead of listening to domestic critics, act in the nation's best interests. Instead of relying on multilateral support to decide what to do, go it alone if necessary.

Instead of worrying about an exit strategy, realize that there's no substitute for winning.

Arthur Herman is the author of "Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age," just published by Bantam.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How to Become A Major Party Nominee Without Ever Saying Anything Of Substance

I'm listening to Barack Obama give the same speech that he has given after every primary since January and wondering when he's going to start saying something.
Tonight John McCain laid out a platform for reform and change. He gave specifics, yet his speech was without the rhetorical flourish which has carried his opponent to the Democratic nomination.

His opponent gave a speech in which he used words like, "change" and "reform" yet was completely empty when it came to details. If anyone out there would like to dispute that, I'm listening. Good luck.

While the general election is just heating up, Americans should give a collective sigh of relief, when they realize what a bullet they dodged by denying Senator Clinton the Oval Office.

Her speech this evening represents at least a temporary end to the possibility that one of the most dishonest individuals whom I've ever seen perform on the American political stage, will ascend to our nation's highest office.

One down. One to go.

William Bennett sums it up well .

My Old Party [William J. Bennett]
First the Good News:

"This is an astounding moment in American politics. You cannot credibly say the Clintons are a political dynasty the way, say, the Kennedys or Bushs are. But I think one has to say the Clinton rule of the Democratic party has been dynastic. Bill Clinton is the only Democrat to have served two terms as president in two generations, the only Democrat to twice beat Republican nominees for president and his wife is a two term U.S. senator who will likely be in the Senate for years to come. Bill Clinton has been rated one of — if not THE — most popular person in the world, and yet Clinton rule in American politics ends tonight. Whatever it was the Republicans and so many independents did not like about the Clintons, we’ve learned the Democrats have had enough as well."

"And thus the Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of George McGovern, albeit without McGovern’s military and political record. The Democratic party is about to nominate a far-left candidate in the tradition of Michael Dukakis, albeit without Dukakis’s executive experience as governor. The Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of John Kerry, albeit without Kerry’s record of years of service in the Senate. The Democratic party is about to nominate an unvetted candidate in the tradition of Jimmy Carter, albeit without Jimmy Carter’s religious integrity as he spoke about it in 1976. Questions about all these attributes (from foreign policy expertise to executive experience to senatorial experience to judgment about foreign leaders to the instructors he has had in his cultural values) surround Barack Obama. And the Democratic party has chosen him."

I guess that's good news too.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Yeah Barack. Let's Sit Down and Talk With This Guy!

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted on Monday that Muslims would uproot "satanic powers" and repeated his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear, the Mehr news agency reported.

"I must announce that the Zionist regime (Israel), with a 60-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene," he said.

"Today, the time for the fall of the satanic power of the United States has come and the countdown to the annihilation of the emperor of power and wealth has started."

Since taking the presidency in August 2005, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly provoked international outrage by predicting Israel is doomed to disappear.

"I tell you that with the unity and awareness of all the Islamic countries all the satanic powers will soon be destroyed," he said to a group of foreign visitors ahead of the 19th anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Ahmadinejad also again expressed his apocalyptic vision that tyranny in the world be abolished by the return to earth of the Mahdi, the 12th imam of Shiite Islam, alongside great religious figures including Jesus Christ.

"With the appearance of the promised saviour... and his companions such as Jesus Christ, tyranny will be soon be eradicated in the world."

Ahmadinejad has always been a devotee of the Mahdi, who Shiites believe disappeared more than a thousand years ago and who will return one day to usher in a new era of peace and harmony.

His emphasis on the Mahdi has been a cause of controversy inside Iran with critics saying he would be better solving bread-and-butter domestic problems rather than talking about Iran's divine responsibility.

The truth is that the only safe strategy with Iran is some sort of targeted military strike. It needs to be done soon, because if Obama is elected he is too weak and is far too indebted to the anti-war/anti-military wing of his party . He will not have 20 years to come to a decision on the right course of action to take with Iran as he did with Trinity United.

This guy is in way over his head.

I'm referring not only to Obama, but also to Ahmadinejad.

Dick Morris had a very interesting point tonight on FNC. Obama is a candidate who is tied with John McCain in a year when Democrats are likely to make huge gains in the House and Senate and are far ahead on the generic ballot. He should be up by 20-points right now.

This can only lead one to believe that either he is a seriously flawed candidate whom the Democrats prematurely put their faith in, due large part to his oratory skills, or that when they are forced to have a substantive debate on the issues, the Democrats lose.

Think about that.

John McCain is bashing Obama over his weaknesses in regards to the Iraq issue. This issue is the reason that the GOP is so unpopular in the first place and McCain is using to keep Obama on the defensive and has been doing so for two weeks.

Here's another interesting tid-bit.

Three different polls released this week put John McCain ahead in the State of Michigan. The Democrats cannot win the White House without that state.

Those white collar voters don't seem to be coming home to the Democrats just yet.

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