Tuesday, January 29, 2008

McCain Presidency Would Be A Disaster

by Ronald Kessler - January 27th, 2008 - Newmasx.com

While McCain clearly has formidable supporters, and his stand on the Iraq war was admirable, those who have dealt with him over the years have been appalled by his outbursts of temper, a character trait the media have largely ignored.

In endorsing Romney, Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known McCain for more than three decades, said his choice was prompted partly by his fear of how McCain might behave in the Oval Office.

“The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine,” Cochran said about McCain. “He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper, and he worries me.”

“He [McCain] would disagree about something and then explode,” said former Sen. Bob Smith, a fellow Republican who served with McCain on various committees. “[There were] incidents of irrational behavior. We’ve all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I’ve never seen anyone act like that.”

Defending his bill to give amnesty to illegal aliens, McCain unleashed a tirade on Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who had voiced concerns about the number of judicial appeals illegal immigrants could file under the proposed legislation.

“F*** you!” McCain said to his fellow senator. “I know more about this than anybody else in the room!” McCain shouted.

Another quote from the article is critical to me, "Before I let this guy put his finger on the button, I would have to give considerable pause."

Seems reasonable considering what nuclear weapons can do.

Republican To Challenge Butterfield

by Staff - January 17th, 2008 - The Daily Southerner (Tarboro)

Republican Dean Stephens is looking to gain his first political office.

Stephens, 62, a computer consultant from Colerain, is seeking a seat in the U.S. Congress representing the 1st Congressional District of North Carolina. The post currently held by Democrat G.K. Butterfield.

Stephens will officially announce his campaign in Edgecombe County at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 outside the Fleming Building on the campus of Edgecombe Community College. Other stops that day include one in Greenville and Elizabeth City.

This article was the top article of the day for The Daily Southerner in Tarboro. I think the newspaper idiom is called "above the fold". Hard to do better for the first coverage of the campaign.

Tarboro is a beautiful town right in the Center of the district in which I will be running. Getting our message out will be a challenge. At least we have a good start.

Though she did not get a byline on this article, Larua Lamm was the very polite young woman who interviewed me, and I thank her for her time and courtesy. She was also responsible for the followup article here, done after our announcement yesterday.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Primary Choices: John McCain

Editorial - January 25th, 2008 - The New York Times

We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president. The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. They are too wedded to discredited economic theories and unwilling even now to break with the legacy of President Bush. We disagree with them strongly on what makes a good Supreme Court justice.

Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.

We have shuddered at Mr. McCain’s occasional, tactical pander to the right because he has demonstrated that he has the character to stand on principle. He was an early advocate for battling global warming and risked his presidential bid to uphold fundamental American values in the immigration debate.

This is The New York Times and they are trying to speak to the Republican Party, a party they revile and denounce with every other breath? Let's take a quick look at some of their views in the article, just in these few short paragraphs and the rational response to them.

no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq
Response - Winning is a strategy

wedded to discredited economic theories
Response - Socialism is the discedited economic theory. Free enterprise is the proven winner, to everyone but The New York Times.

working across the aisle
Response - Sabotaging the Republican goal of removing politics from court decisions with McCain's Gang of 14 is typical of his "working across the aisle". McCain has always been a "maverick", meaning he has contempt for conservatives and works across the aisle to get the praise of The New York Times.

advocate for battling global warming
Response - I think this explains why McCain finished at the bottom of the class at Annapolis. He is unable to explain how man is causing "global warming" on Mars. That doesn't dissuade him from leaping to the conclusion "man is causing global warming" is true despite major disagreements among scientists. Would his friends on the left lie?

uphold fundamental American values in the immigration debate
Response - AMNESTY is not a fundamental American value.

A great comment on this article was posted by blogger Photoonist on the lucianne.com/ blog site.

If you have been waiting for the endorsement of the NYT to decide which Republican presidential candidate to back then I know your mind won't truly be made up until you hear whom the triumvirate of Chavez, Castro and Ahmadinejad is backing, with perhaps a commentary by Lil Kim of N Korea. [end sarcasm]

I agree!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

McCain Misstep: Putin Not German Prez

McCain says Putin is Gernman President. Click on the title above to play the video of his mistake.

McCain makes a minor mistatement . . . however you have to admit that we make more of these kinds of mistatements as we get older. With the love affair that the press has with McCain, he will get away with it. Who is surprised that this was only covered by the evil right wing "talk radio".

For anyone else, the MSM would have portrayed him as stupid or suffering dementia. Only McCain, among Republicans, gets a pass.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Radical As Conservative

by Paul Greenberg - January 20th, 2008 - Washington Times

History is up to its old tricks again. The radical agitator of one generation becomes the conservative icon of another. Martin Luther King Jr. meets the very definition of an American conservative — someone dedicated to preserving the gains of a liberal revolution. Even when he was leading the civil rights movement, what appeal could have been more conservative or more American than his now classic speech before the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963?

"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Very interesting premise, Martin Luther King, Jr. as a conservative. And not far wrong. It comes down to who quotes him. I think it is arguable that more conservatives quote Martin Luther King, Jr. today than liberals. The liberals invoke him as an icon, but really don't agree with what he believed. It is typical of the fact that liberals love Franklin Delano Roosevelt, unless you make them read what he said and ask them to live up to his ideals rather then their newly invented interpretations of what he should have meant. His view of social security is a perfect example.

Both King and Roosevelt are bigger than life, and in the process their followers impute to them whatever they want to impute. They don't care what they actually believed.

To some extent we are getting the same problem in the Republican Party. Very few remember that Ronald Reagan opposed capital gains taxes being lower than regular taxes. How can you claim to believe in free enterprise and argue the taxes should be different. If a plumber works hard and makes $100,000 and the son of a rich father makes $100,000 from his inherited investments, why should the plumber pay more than the "investor"? Do you not believe that the free enterprise system has determined their contribution to society? If you don't, how can you say free enterprise is a fair system?

Reagan also pulled our troops out of Lebanon, projecting weakness that lead to 9/11, and granted amnesty to illegal aliens, creating a tsunami of more immigrants. Neither were what he expected, but what would he really believe today? Is there any proof he would not still believe those were the right actions for the times? Would he feel any differently today, just because the democrat party is arguing in favor of the same actions he took?

King as a conservative and Reagan as a liberal. Sure gives a different view to history doesn't it?

I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion of this article. "You can tell a lot about an age by the heroes it chooses. While the Malcolms and Farrakhans come and go in favor, Martin Luther King Jr. remains the standard by which all other leaders are measured, and not just black leaders. That's a hopeful sign."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

America’s Foreign Policy: Time To Stop Babysitting The World

by John Hawkins - January 18th, 2008 - Townhall.com

If you rant about neocons maliciously tricking America into war and an American empire, excuse the terrorists for attacking us on 9/11, falsely accuse the President of lying to get us into war, and suggest impeaching Bush over a war that was initially even supported by the likes of Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Chuck Hagel, you can't expect to be embraced by conservatives who agreed with Bush then, agree with him now, and think your arguments are insulting. Put another way, you can argue for a more "humble and skeptical" foreign policy without being a jerk about it -- and we definitely do need people to do just that.

I support the war against the Islamo-fascists. They attacked us for a couple of generations before they hurt us enough to get our attention. However it is insane to pretend that with the growing probability they will get nuclear weapons unless we stop them, we can just end the war.

Iraq is not a separate war. It is a part of the war against the Islamo-fascists, or the war against "terror" as Bush calls it. Different labels but same premise.

Things have not gone perfectly in this war, but we are winning. The costs of some "mistakes" has been loss of support for the war by many in America who should know better. Mistakes is in quotes in the previous sentence because some of the previous "mistakes" are now making our current actions work better. Like the so-called mistake to shut down the corrupt army left over after we invaded. Their new army is working with us because the corrupt elements were purged. The surge is working with their help. That does not mean we keep up our current strategy forever though. It is a strategy for a specific situation. As that situation changes we need to adjust again. That is what this article is pointing out.

As we come to a time for that adjustment to start, this article is pointing out that our overall Foreign Policy needs to see some adjustment too. We need to pull out of many of our commitments made at earlier times when things were different.

World War II is over. The cold war is over. There are many commitments made at these earlier times which any sane country would review and change. Don't forget, thanks to Jimmy Carter we still are sending several billion dollars every year to Egypt. Is there anyone who thinks we are getting anything for this huge bribe on behalf of Israel?

It is time to stop babysitting the world.

Primary Dilemmas

by Thomas Sowell - January 17th, 2008 - Townhall.com

While Barack Obama and John Edwards have been irresponsible demagogues, the Clintons have a record of lawless and ruthless corruption that goes back not only to their White House days in the 1990s but even back to their time in the governors' mansion in Arkansas.

Nor is this simply a matter of domestic politics. It was Bill Clinton who ignored the advice of military and intelligence officials when he gave China the technology that can be used to enable their nuclear missiles to hit American cities.

It was Bill Clinton who gave the North Koreans help on their nuclear program in exchange for promises that have -- predictably -- proved worthless. This was just one of the dangerous problems that he swept under the rug and left for his successor.

People like this are not to be trusted with the highest office in the land in an era when Iran is moving toward nuclear weapons that can easily be turned over to international terrorists.

Conservatives should be the last ones to let the Clintons take control of the White House again, just because they cannot find an alternative candidate who meets all their desires.

I have rarely seen Thomas Sowell this political. In fact, I can't ever remember him being so involved in politics. He is usually involved in political issues, but who wins is usually something he leaves to others. As usual though he is a master of history and reminds us of important issues that apply to our current situation. That skill is part of what makes him such a powerful writer.

This year's campaign is truly bizarre, primarily because there are so many more candidates than usual. No one has become the dominate candidate in either party. That has a lot to do with the unique situation we find ourselves in.

We are at war, but unlike previous wars it is not dominating the national concern. The legacy of the cold war is the large number of people who simply ingore the war, or as in the case of the democrat party, oppose war for America. This position is not an opposition to war, it is just opposition to what they see as war for our nation.

Those of us who love American see our hegemony as due to the fact we are the greatest nation on earth. Those who love socialism, the heart and soul of the anti-American democrats, merely see our power and hegemony as wrong. Since they want to change our system to socialism, they consider our power as evil and unjustified. They do not want other nations to emulate our free enterprise as that will end the chance that socialism can become the dominate system in the world.

That brings us back to Thomas' article. It is an excellent explanation about the need to not get distracted by small issues when there are large issues at stake. As Thomas says in his conclusion, "The stakes are too high to do anything other than select the best person available, even if none of the candidates seems ideal."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bush Begging For Oil?
Thank Enviro Terrorists

by Michael Reagan - Januray 18th, 2008 - Newsmax.com

Here we have the humiliating spectacle of a president of the United States begging an Arab potentate to increase our supply of oil while Democrats, who bear the major responsibility for the problem, scoff at him as a mendicant groveling at the feet of a foreign monarch.

As humiliating as it is for the United States to be put in a position where our economy is held hostage to foreign oil producers who can make or break our nation simply by limiting their petroleum production, thus causing the price of oil to skyrocket, it is even more shameful that we have allowed the so-called environmental movement to escape the blame for our predicament.

Make no mistake about it, you are paying exorbitant prices at the gas pump solely because the environmental terrorists and their Democrat allies in Congress have all but shut down our domestic oil production while refusing to allow the exploration and creation of new sources of this resource so vital to our economic health.

I agree. How many people in the democrat party hate Bush so much they are willing to humiliate America just to see Bush grovel Middle East Dictators?

It looks to me like everyone in the democrat party!

I am not fond of Bush, but I cannot understand how we can continue to sit here subservient to the oil powers of the middle east. We seem unwilling to do anything about it but chase a pipe dream of increasing the costs of energy by trying to subsidize high cost energy with tax subsidies. Hello people. Who do you think pays those taxes? Have we really become so stupid that we cannot add two and two and get four? We will pay for this higher cost energy out of our own pockets.

The cost of energy drives our economy. Other countries using cheap energy while we use expensive energy will destroy our economy. The enviro terrorists (as Reagan calls them - enviro-cultists is my favorite expression) do not care. They are socialists who hate America and they are perfectly willing to lie about global warming. They are perfectly willing to see America second rate and poor if they are in charge.

Mars warming at the same rate as earth proves man is not causing global warming.

The success of man during the Renaissance at temperatures much warmer than today proves that global warming is not bad until much higher temperatures than we will see anytime soon. It may never be bad.

If man is not causing global warming and the immediate future of global warming is good, why is America following a prescription to destroy our economy based on the two premises that: Man is causing global warming and higher temperatures are bad. This is idiocy.

Standardize fuel mixtures nation wide so we do not have spot shortages.

Drill for oil now.

Build more refineries.

Build more pipelines to move oil cheaply.

Build nuclear power plants using standardized previously successful plans and expedited approvals based on the known success to get them online fast.

We do not need to be paying the high costs of energy we are currently paying. The socialist enviro terrorists in the democrat party are ripping you off. Why are you tolerating this?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

State Has Made A Religion Out Of Recycling

by Max Borders - January 13th, 2008 - Civitas Institute

Cue music. Julia stared blankly from her jail cell. She thought about the bottle that landed her there… not what was in the bottle, the bottle itself. Julia didn’t get a DUI. She failed to recycle. Now she’s paying in hard time. Thanks to a new statewide law, these are the kinds of stories we may be hearing soon. Any ABC license-holder (e.g. a restaurant or bar owner) who fails to implement a glass and aluminum recycling program will be charged with a class-one misdemeanor alongside those accused of assaulting a handicapped person or burning a cross on someone’s property.

. . . or even larceny, which the famous crime of stealing a horse currently falls under here in North Carolina. In old days crimes such as stealing a horse would get you hung. How long do you think it will be before the liberal-progressive extremists who have decided to criminalize the failure to recycle an aluminum can will decide it is time to return to hanging people guilty of acts such as stealing a horse . . . or failing to recycle? Both are misdemeanors today. Who knows what these extremists will decide tomorrow.

Max has written an excellent article about the growing extremism of Democrat laws in our socialist state of North Carolina.

Death Blow To Defeatists

by Pete Hegseth - January 14th, 2008 - National Review Online

. . . for the past six months — because of General Petraeus’s new counter-insurgency strategy and the courage of 165,000 Americans — Iraqis have seen hope (one might even say “audacious hope”), and they have responded. Bolstered by American commitment, and weary of al-Qaeda brutality, the Iraqi people — Sunni and Shia together in many areas — have started cooperating at the local level.

As a result, violence continues to plummet, with attacks throughout Iraq down 60 percent since June and civilian deaths down 75 percent from a year ago. Iraqis are returning home by the tens of thousands. The incoming flow of foreign fighters have been cut in half. And despite a “surge” of troops, American combat deaths are near all-time monthly lows in Iraq. This is all wonderful news.

All the while, the Defeat-o-cratic leadership in Congress (Reid, Pelosi, & co.) and the Defeat-o-cratic presidential candidates have done everything they can to deny — obvious — progress. I cite two very recent examples from the “clinging to defeat” caucus: First, four days ago Majority Leader Reid said in a statement, “As President Bush continues to cling stubbornly to his flawed strategy, al-Qaeda only grows stronger.” Tell that to al-Qaeda in Iraq, Mr. Majority Leader…those you can still find alive. And while a few defeated fighters may flee elsewhere, they have lost in Iraq. And losing is not an effective recruiting tool for jihadists.

The young generation of America is doing a great job of defending our freedom and assuring that the battle against the Islamo-fascists is waged on their own soil. Our young people recognize that if we do not defeat them there, we will have to fight them here. They have responded magnificently. The incredible all volunteer military is proving that this nation still has patriots who will fight for our freedom. God bless the American soldier. God bless this young generation. They have proven we are still the greatest nation on earth. They can stand proudly with the great freedom fighters of any generation America has produced.

EU Considers Banning The Import
Of Certain Fuel Crops

by James Kanter - January 14th, 2008 - International Herald Tribune

In a sign of shifting attitudes toward biofuels, European Union officials are proposing to ban imports of certain fuel crops whose production could do more harm than good in fighting climate change, according to a draft law seen Monday.

The proposals, to be unveiled next week, are aimed at enhancing the environmental credentials of biofuels like biodiesel or ethanol to counter concerns that European drivers are playing a role in destroying wetlands, forests and grasslands in areas like Southeast Asia or Latin America each time they fill up their tanks.

Unintended consequences. As always, the problem with the simplistic solutions of the global socialists is the unintended consequences. The enviro-cultist wing of global socialism has just started to run into the problem of unintended consequences with their alternative fuel campaign. It turns out they are not reducing so-called "greenhouse gases" after all. Instead they are driving up the destruction of natural habitat.

For just a moment let's return to the reason for the enviro-cultists goal. The only reason to damage the economy with their "greenhouse gas reduction" campaign is the premise that man is causing global warming. Until they stop rejecting the fact that the planet Mars is experiencing the same global warming they can only be called liars. No other word sums up their duplicity. Man cannot be causing global warming on Mars. Greenhouse gases cannot be causing global warming on Mars. If man is not causing the global warming on Mars, how can man be causing global warming on Earth? Are the two planets not right next to each other in our solar system?

When you combine that knowledge about Mars with the proven scientific fact that greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, have a trailing relationship with temperature, and the lie of the enviro-cultists is obvious. Temperatures have been going up for centuries, ever since the end of the "little ice age". As it always has for millions of years on our planet, carbon dioxide is going up in a trailing relationship with temperature. Increased temperatures increases greenhouse gases, not the other way around. Everything about the environmental movement, what I call the enviro-cultists, is based on lies. Man is not causing global warming.

The truth is global socialists want to control everything and do not care what is the cause of global warming. Using the enviro-cultist's lies about global warming as an excuse to take over the control of how business operates is a scam for political power.

Now it turns out, they can't even do that right. The enviro-cultists are not just liars, they are incompetent as well. They are damaging the environment with their laws much more than global warming ever would. Two quotes from the article are classic.

In Indonesia, where more than 18 million hectares, or 44 million acres, of forest have already been cleared for palm oil developments, wildlife like the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger are under threat, and indigenous people mainly dependant on forests and natural resource goods and services have been expropriated . . .

Last week scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute warned that biofuels production could result in environmental destruction, pollution and damage to human health. The Smithsonian cited a Swiss study showing that fuels made from U.S. corn, Brazilian soy and Malaysian palm oil may even be worse overall than fossil fuels

So we have a goal that is based on a lie and an implementation of that same goal that is a disaster. And what is the conclusion of the enviro-cultists about what to do next?

"Different biofuels vary enormously in how eco-friendly they are," said William Laurance, a staff scientist at the [Smithsonian] [I]nstitute. "We need to be smart and promote the right biofuels."

Yeah that is it. Let's consume our resources trying to reduce the incompetence with which we chase an incompetently defined goal. Can't we stop the greenhouse reduction idiocy instead?

There is a need to produce more energy within America. We need to do that in an environmentally responsible way. Very few of the methods the enviro-cultists have proposed make sense.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Capitalism Is The Real 'Agent Of Change'

by Mark Steyn - January 13th, 2008 Orange County Register

"In 2006 EMI, the world's fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits. At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free."

"That was the moment we realized the game was completely up," an EMI exec told the magazine. In the United States, album sales in 2007 were down 19 percent from 2006.

The driving factor in the death of CDs and their replacement with MP3s is the convenience of downloading the songs that you care about rather than buying a CD with some songs you don't. It is interesting that MP3 music is even worse than CD music at playing high end tones, so the best music to play on MP3 is loud blasting music. That is compatible with listening to music while walking, jogging, shopping, etc, the exact place where drowning out background sounds is a part of the goal of listening. In those environments you don't want to have to fiddle with the player to get rid of a song you don't like. That simply becomes a distraction.

The new attitude about not buying CDs is a problem since music industry economics have been based on the concept of megahits with huge CD sales. Though a lot of profits have been driven off of the catalog of music for enduring artists, the big profits were off pop and rap megahits from new artists or big tours from rock stars. In this environment 1 or 2 good songs were used to sell an entire CD, filled mostly with average music. When the big sales end, the economic system on which it is based cannot be sustained. That is why the music industry is suffering such huge losses.

Steyn uses the music analogy to talk about new technology driving upheaval in the constantly moving world of free enterprise. He then compares this real change with the world of politics. It is an interesting idea that helps explain some of what is happening in politics.

His analogy is nearly perfect since much of the problem in politics is the same as the problem in the music industry. Politicians don't want to change the system to respond to the real world changes that are happening. They want to talk about change rather than accept the change to their world. However Steyn is correct when he says that we have started some government entitlement programs that cannot survive with what is happening in the real world. They are economically unsustainable. Politicians don't want to hear that.

Add to that a refusal by liberals to accept that our world is still dependent on cheap energy which liberals have chosen to not produce. This makes us dependent on those parts of the world which have decided to produce the cheap fuels, primarily oil and nuclear. That choice is damaging our country. The solution of the socialist party is to try and pretend that we can pass laws to make the problem go away. We can even justify our previous stupidity by passing new laws to ban using the cheap fuels and rely on . . . What? The illusion is that we can warm our houses with global warming.

Much of what made Ronald Reagan so successful was he asked people to accept reality and deal with it, rather than wish it to go away. He predicted that dealing with it would return us to greatness. It turned out Reagan was right. That is not what liberals believe or they would not have so sabotaged our economy with their ridiculous opposition to producing energy here in America.

Conservatism's Identity Crisis

by David Limbaugh - January 11th, 2008 - Townhall.com

This debate wouldn't be as significant if it were limited to the candidates alone, but a growing number of conservative intellectuals have also surrendered to the oxymoronic notion that conservatism must adapt to survive as a powerful political force in this nation.

Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum is an example. In his new book, "Comeback, Conservatism That Can Win Again," he argues that Republicans need a new approach because they can no longer win elections on the conservative ideas that catapulted them to power in the 1980s.

This is a great article. It is a quick primer on the various intellectual thoughts that are competing for the soul of the Republican Party. Understanding these ideas is critical in the aftermath of the Hastert-Rove abandonment of our principals to their contagious love of power. That is how they justified their corruption of our party, the need to maintain power. In the process though they have left our party reeling.

Limbaugh is right. Many have equated the governing philosophy of the Republican Party to the "Identity" of conservatism. The problem is that different factions of the party, and the enemy party (democrats) too, have muddled the use of the many labels and intentionally mis-stated what many of them mean. It is ironic that a party that has long been the party of ideas, has slipped into the being the party of insults. That is a major contributing factor to the current identity crisis. Too many who thought of themselves as Republicans have been willing to defend their own ideas, not by logical analysis, but by calling their opponent RINOs (Republican in name only) to win the discussion. This laziness has cost us. It is our version of PC, political correctness.

We have Republicans today who do not understand the incredible willingness of a nation of 150 years ago to go to war over the issue of whether a representative republic form of government was important for mankind. The co-mingling of two values, the abolitionists desire to end slavery, and the republican desire to maintain freedom, means there is no agreement over why the American Civil War was fought. That confusion is based on devaluing the concept of a representative republic. Many today do not even understand what that means.

Today there is the same confusion over why we are fighting the Islamo-fascists. That multiple reasons can be in play is rejected by those who oppose the war. That multiple reasons are driving different parts of conservatism is a major part of the identity crisis Limbaugh is discussing. At least one component that I find ironic is the failure of many conservatives to appreciate the concatenation of freedom with republicanism, the love of the form of government that has made our nation great. Democrats have so sold the idea that we are a democracy, the party formed in opposition to democracy has abandoned its reason for existence.

In its simplest form the reason a Republican party exists is because freedom is more important than health insurance. Hillary does not believe that. Amazingly, most of our Republican candidates don't believe it either.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Can Hillary Cry Her Way Back To The White House?

by Maureen Dowd - January 9th, 2008 - New York Times

There was a poignancy about the moment, seeing Hillary crack with exhaustion from decades of yearning to be the principal rather than the plus-one. But there was a whiff of Nixonian self-pity about her choking up. What was moving her so deeply was her recognition that the country was failing to grasp how much it needs her. In a weirdly narcissistic way, she was crying for us. But it was grimly typical of her that what finally made her break down was the prospect of losing.

Wow! Is this the left wing Maureen Dowd ripping Hillary Clinton? I never ever would have thought you would see this in the New York Times. Do you think they have thought through the consequences of saying this about her here if she wins the Democrat nomination? How will Maureen explain this article at that time?


Definitely worth reading.

A Lucky Nickel

by Holly Bailey - January 9th, 2008 - Newsweek

John McCain is a man who looks for good omens. A few days ago, the Arizona senator was on his way to a town hall in New Hampshire when he spotted something shiny in the street outside his bus. Bending over to take a closer look, he noticed it was a nickel--but not just any nickel. It was a nickel with its head up. Notoriously superstitious since his days as a Navy pilot, McCain quickly picked it up and stuffed it in his pocket. "I need any luck I can get," McCain said, showing off the coin to a group of reporters earlier this week.

John McCain graduated at the BOTTOM in his class at Annapolis. If he had not come from a family of Admirals he would have been drummed out of the Navy. McCain has never held any significant position of leadership. Being a squadron commander based on his father's coat-tails simply does not count. He has a reputation for throwing temper tantrums if anyone questions his decisions. He is loved by the MSM because he is condescending and contemptuous of the Republican base, conservatives. He led passage, in McCain-Feingold, of the most damaging subversion to the right of free speech ever passed here in America, especially damaging to the political speech that was at the heart of first amendment rights. As usual McCain had nothing but disdain and contempt for anyone who expressed concern. His support for McCain-Kennedy proves he is totally out of touch with conservatives on the issue of amnesty for illegals. He has contempt for anyone who wants our borders protected. Many will never forgive him for undermining the appointment of conservative justices with his “Gang of 14”, a blatantly arrogant move to subvert a President he still hates.

And now of course we find out he is superstitious. For John McCain this is (according to the MSM that is so actively touting his candidacy) an endearing quality. When it was discovered that Nancy Reagan displayed similar superstitious tendencies she was castigated, mocked and insulted by the MSM. Of course Nancy was married to a man the MSM hated and reviled. Reagan did not mock and ridicule the conservative base of the Republican Party like McCain mocks them. So McCain gets a pass.

The victory for McCain in New Hampshire was due to the fact that "moderates", people who refuse to be a part of a governing majority, temporarily voted Republican in response to their Pavlovian love for the MSM. It is interesting that though they flirted with the idea of supporting Obama, when they went into the booth, they pulled the lever for McCain.

Huckabee won Iowa. Romney won Wyoming. McCain won New Hampshire. However Wyoming was ignored because the MSM is doing everything that it can to sabotage Romney and promote McCain. Reminds me of how they used to try everything they could to sabotage Reagan. What is different this time is that Romney is a Mormon and the evangelical component of the party hates Mormons, so they accept the MSM position. Therefore Romney has enemies both inside and outside the party. Let's summarize our choices from my perspective.

Huckabee is a socialist pro life democrat.
McCain is a patriotic pro amnesty socialist but frugal democrat.
Romney is a domestically moderate sort of pro life Republican.
Giuliani is a domestically moderate tough as nails pro abortion Republican.
Thompson is an actor, but unlike Reagan he has never managed anything. He is at least a Republican and fairly conservative, but the Presidency is not an entry level management position.

This is what we get to choose from in the REPUBLICAN primary? Where are the libertarian-conservative Republicans? That is what Reagan called himself, but today everyone wants to claim that (if they supported him) Reagan agreed with them on everything. They are usually wrong. Most of them don't truly believe and embrace Reagan's love for liberty and freedom.

I will not concede that the racist, pro secession, anti war, self proclaimed libertarian Ron Paul is really the closest thing we have to a libertarian-conservative.

It is time that the Republican Party got back to caring about freedom and liberty for both domestic and foreign affairs.

If I have to vote for either McCain or Huckabee, it will truly be a sad day. Both have proved they are comfortable with domestic socialism. That is neither liberty or freedom. They are only barely better than Clinton. That nickel sure wasn't lucky for America.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Clinton and Obama, Johnson and King

by Ben Smith - January 8th, 2008 - Politico.com

Clinton rejoined the running argument over hope and "false hope" in an interview in Dover this afternoon, reminding Fox's Major Garrett that while Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on behalf of civil rights, President Lyndon Johnson was the one who got the legislation passed.

Excuse me, but this is garbage and continues the Democrat lies in trying to take credit for a bill they only supported at the end. Johnson did not get this legislation passed, other than to swing a couple of Democrat votes in favor. The 1964 Civil Rights bill was written by Everett Dirksen, a REPUBLICAN who had worked for the bill for years, the majority of REPUBLICANS voted for the bill as they always had, and the majority of democrats voted AGAINST the bill as they always had. Johnson supported it only because John Kennedy had been in favor of it and Johnson felt his greatest legacy would be to honor Kennedy. However the REPUBLICAN efforts on behalf of civil rights were stolen by lies suppressing credit for their long term fight on behalf of civil rights. To this day, the lies continue.

In a recent discussion here in Bertie County one black leader denied that any Republican had voted for the 1964 Civil Rights bill. How can you have a rational discussion with someone willing to accept as true such ridiculous lies.

However I have to ask whether anyone can look at the track record of Barack Obama and not wonder how he gets away with it. That may be part of the reason Hillary made her comments. I suspect that the MSM will have to go after Hillary over this open dissing of Martin Luther King. Comparing Johnson favorably to King is simply not logical. That does not mean Obama has accomplished anything except mastering rhetoric.

Ahoskie Bypass Opposition Exaggerates

From the start there has been a campaign of misinformation about the two road projects that impact our area. That continued yesterday

Though not on the agenda for the Bertie County Commisioner's Meeting, some representatives of the group in opposition to upgrading U.S. 13 as a part of the long term plan for a North South corridor serving Eastern North Carolina spoke during "Public Comments" against the Bertie County position. There are two projects, the U.S. 13 Ahoskie bypass and the widening of NC 11. Bertie County Commissioners believe both projects should be built. The NC 11 project serves the North end of Bertie County, and the U.S. 13 project serves the entire county.

Gary Terry (shown below) started the opposition group's comments with "An injustice is being done to families and citizens, the bypass to Windsor is unnecessary." He then focused his comments on the idea that Windsor did not deserve to retain U.S. 13 traffic, but that U.S. 13 should be moved to the NC 11 route and NC 11 widened down to Bethel because it would better serve Ahoskie.

There is a strong argument they are wrong, that a Freeway Bypass of Ahoskie, the road they are opposing, would better serve Ahoskie's interests. The idea that NC 11 better serves Ahoskie is based on the premise that allowing people along NC 11 to get to Greenville easier does not hurt local businesses. This is simply not credible. How is helping people take their local business to Greenville a help to Ahoskie?

Some background to this issue is needed. The Bertie County Commission has supported both widening NC 11 and upgrading U.S. 13 to a Freeway, with the first stage being the Ahoskie "bypass". The Group Terry represents is not happy with doing both projects and wants to kill the plans to ultimately create a Freeway from I-64 in Norfolk to I-40 near Wilmington. This would connect the Inner Banks more effectively to the Tidewater area and its large city services, as well as tie our area to the rest of the Inner Banks and cities like Washington, New Bern, Jacksonville and Wilmington.

The next step in this long term plan requires that the Ahoskie Bypass be built. If it is not built as a Freeway, there will never be a North South high speed corridor tying us to to the rest of the coastal region. Terry claims only Windsor would be served by the new Freeway. This is not true and ignores the fact that many people in the Inner Banks believe we need the North South Freeway corridor to both help us get to other places quickly as well as bring people from long distances to enjoy the hunting and enviro tourism that our area has the potential to provide.

The next person to speak, Kent Williams (shown below) is quite angry about the fact that every one of the alternatives for the U.S. 13 upgrade will affect him personally, since he lives on U.S. 13 and the end of this first upgrade project will be right at his farm. He started his comments by blasting the DOT for not notifying "a single person in Bertie County" about the upgrade. Though he gave some anecdotal evidence he claims proves his case, the next speaker in public comments was from the DOT.

Kim Gillespie (shown below), Project Planning Engineer for the Ahoskie U.S. 13 "Bypass" gave specifics of the public notification process, including explaining specifically how the G.I.S. system was used to get addresses for the more than 1,000 people who were notified. In checking with some local Realtors they assured me that the G.I.S. system is extremely accurate except for very recent changes of ownership, and after talking with 2 different people who own land affected by at least one alternative of the project, both confirmed that they had received notice.

I would probably be more interested in continuing to determine the accuracy of Kent's statement if the "No U.S. 13 Bypass" group had not already been caught in a number of mis-statements, exaggerations and falsehoods. One of the people they have contacted told me of their completely false allegation that the DOT would be buying 1000 feet of right of way from the center line on both sides of the road. The truth is the right of way acquisition will be 250 to 300 feet total, and if built as a freeway will be away from the existing roads minimizing impact on homes and farms. The group earlier mis-stated state ownership of right-of-way along NC 11. This groups seems perfectly willing to exaggerate anything, to the point some of their statements are simply false. A perfect example is their claim that the NC 11 project will not impact any homes or farms. This is simply not true considering the towns it will go through and the great distance below the river where no right of way has been purchased at all. With this track record how can we give credibility to anything they say?

Another questionable tactic is the placement of signs by this group. When I ran for public office I was informed that it was illegal to place signs on public right of way. Almost every sign I see for this group is on public right of way. Most groups that are advocating a public position are not so indifferent to the laws of our country.

There is a meeting tonight at the Hertford County High School to drum up support to oppose the U.S. 13 Ahoskie Bypass.

Some earlier articles on this subject can be found here, here and here

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lt. Col. Allen West
. . . relieved of duty, runs for Congress

by Gina Cavallaro - Jan 5th, 2008 - Navy Times

Retired Lt. Col. Allen West thinks the good people of Florida respect a leader who takes bold action to get results. He’s confident they’ll vote for him in November because of — and in spite of — an incident in which he took the law into his own hands in Iraq to protect his troops.

“It’s about individual accountability and responsibility, and that’s what people want,” said West, 46, who is running on the Republican ticket . . . .


Still, West made it clear he is ready to take some hits on the political trail for what he did.

“I am comfortable enough in who I am not to be worried about name-calling,” he said. “when all things are said and done, if a person is getting mugged in an alleyway, they wouldn’t mind if I walked by . . . "

I certainly would not. God bless men like Lt. Col. Allen West. I wish I could vote for him.

The GOP's Time For Choosing

Mike Huckabee would make the party more like Europe's Christian Democrats

by Henry Olsen - January 6th, 2008 - Opinion Journal (Wall Street Journal)

Mike Huckabee's stunning victory in Thursday's Iowa caucuses does more than change the GOP nomination race. With a platform explicitly grounded in his Christian faith and a populist economic message, Mr. Huckabee offers the Republican Party a new political narrative, light years removed from the limited government principles governing the GOP in the Reagan and post-Reagan era.

People who are like Mike Huckabee, at least the intellectual leaders of his movement such as Rick Santorum and Michael Gerson, call Reagan Republicans "immoral losers".

To me they have missed a major part of the bible's teaching. Jesus chose NOT to become one with government and take on the mantle of King of the Jews. Repeatedly the bible emphasizes that God has granted man free will. To merge the church and state more closely, to empower the state to dictate morality, rejects the concept of God granted free will. God may allow you free will but the goons of the Christian Democrat state will fix that oversight and assure that the power of the state will be used to make you behave as they see fit.

That is the problem with Huckabee and his followers, they think God granting us free will is a mistake. They are going to fix that whether God approves or not.

Is this what Christianity has become?

How does this differ from the intolerance of Islam's demand that you convert or be beheaded? Ann Coulter made a joke about forcing Muslims to convert and there were two reactions in the world. Traditional American Christians laughed as they saw it as a sarcastic riposte to the Muslim's serious intent to force conversion. It was not considered to be something any true Christian would consider. Muslims and some on the Christian left were outraged. In truth, they thought Ann was serious because they did not consider it to be unacceptable to actually do it. Amazing. Ann is condemned because these people took seriously something she mocked.

Freedom and liberty are heart and soul of the American Dream. This article goes in to great detail about the inferior economy of nations that have adopted this new "Christian Democrat" model that Huckabee and some evangelicals are touting. It is not the inferior economic results that I find intolerable. It is the inferior freedom and liberty.

There used to be a famous quote, "I do not agree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it." Today, fewer and fewer Americans care about the freedom of others, and in the process they are assuring their own freedom will come to an end.

Huckabee's political view is antithetical to everything the Republican Party has stood for during its 150 year history. As for me, I would preferr Huckabee and the social conservatives who embrace his government based Christian Socialism leave our party and form their own.

I choose freedom.

Br-r-r! Where Did Global Warming Go?

by Jeff Jacoby - January 6th, 2008 - Boston Globe

THE STARK headline appeared just over a year ago. "2007 to be 'warmest on record,' " BBC News reported on Jan. 4, 2007. Citing experts in the British government's Meteorological Office, the story announced that "the world is likely to experience the warmest year on record in 2007," surpassing the all-time high reached in 1998.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the planetary hot flash: Much of the planet grew bitterly cold.

Since the basic premise that carbon dioxide and temparature are related is true, but in an inverse pattern to that which would support the global warming is caused by man school of thought, you would expect that at some point the proponents woud desist. Instead, they have ignored the science and created a "global warming theology" that insists they are right.

None of the compelling evidence they are wrong is accepted. They simply demean the character and intelligence of anyone who disagrees with them.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's The Secular Left Versus
The Christian Left

by Mark Steyn - January 5th, 2008 - Orange County Register

In The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan observed of Huck that "his great power, the thing really pushing his supporters, is that they believe that what ails America and threatens its continued existence is not economic collapse or jihad, it is our culture."

She's right. It's not the economy, stupid. The economy's fine. It's gangbusters. Indeed, despite John Edwards' dinner-theater Dickens routine about coatless girls shivering through the night because daddy's been laid off at the mill, the subtext of both Democrat and Republican messages is essentially that this country is so rich it can afford to be stupid – it can afford to pork up the federal budget; it can afford to put middle-class families on government health care; it can afford to surrender its borders.


In the long run, the relativist mush peddled in our grade schools is a national security threat. But, even in the short term, it's a form of child abuse that cuts off America's next generation from the glories of their inheritance.

Where I part company with Huck's supporters is in believing he's any kind of solution. He's friendlier to the teachers' unions than any other so-called "cultural conservative" – which is why in New Hampshire he's the first Republican to be endorsed by the NEA. His health care pitch is Attack Of The Fifty Foot Nanny, beginning with his nationwide smoking ban. This is, as Jonah Goldberg put it, compassionate conservatism on steroids – big paternalistic government that can only enervate even further "our culture."

This is one of the great articles that Steyn constantly writes. He explains in simple words why Huckabee is not a conservative, and where he is leading his conservative supporters wrong. Compassionate conservatism is not conservatism. It is socialism. I have said this before but I think it important for Christians to remember, "Jesus rejected the idea that we could use government to collect and distribute tithes. Sending government bureacrats . . . and ultimately government goons . . . to take the money they are supposedly going to use to do good works, is incompatitble with the idea that God granted us free will."

Huckabee is a socialist, populist and a leftist. His embracing some parts of our morality does not mean he is conservative.

Friday, January 04, 2008

McCain Surge

by Rich Lowry - January 4th, 2008 - National Reivew Online

[John] McCain was a standard Reaganite Republican, who then ran as a raging populist in the 2000 primaries, then lurched so far left in reaction to Bush’s victory over him that John Kerry seriously wooed him to join the Democratic ticket in 2004.

McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts and worked with Democrats on nearly everything. “It is no exaggeration to say that [John McCain] has co-sponsored virtually the entire domestic agenda of the Democratic Party,” Jonathan Chait wrote for the liberal New Republic in 2002.

Exactly what McCain is today is going to be the next debate in the Republican Party. Bob Steinburg, writer of a Conservatives Viewpoint, recently predicted McCain's victory. You can read his logic here, along with my reaction.

My opposition to McCain remains. He is not a conservative. He is not even a populist. He is an opportunist who has contempt for the Republican base. The lazy self indulgence that led him to finish at the bottom of his class at Annapolis has not ended. The personal courage he showed when a POW in Vietnam has forever earned him my admiration as a patriot. His arrogant disdain for understanding the basis of our freedoms has forever assured he will have to be opposed by a pretty contemptible opponent before I can hold my nose and vote for him. The one thing assured is that amnesty for illegals will be high on his agenda. He will have to be the lesser of two evils, and for John McCain, that will take some real evil. He frightens me.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Huckabee Takes Iowa

by David Schoetz - January 3rd, 2008 - ABC News

Ed Rollins, Huckabee's campaign chair and a former Reagan advisor who as recently as yesterday was quoted as saying h[e] wanted to kick Romney's teeth out, made a direct comparison between the Obama and Huckabee victories.

"Oh, absolutely," Rollins told ABC News when asked about the two victories. "People in this part of the country want change. They want change."

The stock market is near record highs, we have the greatest number of people working in history, inflation is low, we are winning the war in the major fronts . . . . and the people of Iowa want change? What change do they want, recession, no jobs, high inflation and American defeat?

Huckabee is a socialist who espouses populist rhetoric, much like the former evangelist Pat Robertson, who by the way finished in second in Iowa when he ran, also a stunning surprise at the time. However Robertson got little notice thereafter.

Huckabee is an argument that the evangelicals in the Republican Party are not social conservatives at all. There is nothing conservative about Huckabee's socialist message. Except for the lack of morality of the democrat party, Huckabee could clearly belong there. For sure he does not belong in the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan. He is advocating an economic system that is tyrannical. What part of his message equates to "conservative"?

In fact what part of his message really equates to evangelical. The evangelicals have suffered huge discrimination by our public schools and their unions, and yet Huckabee is so popular with the unions that the NEA has endorsed him.

Huckabee has displayed an ignorance about the war against the Islamo-fascists that borders on incompetence. Evangelicals might want to consider that if we lose this war they will have to convert to Islam or be beheaded. Certainly that might put a small crimp in their religious plans.

It is possible that there will still have to be a major realignment in parties because the Republican Party does not appear to have finished imploding. Huckabee's showing in Iowa is not a good sign. My optimism of earlier in the day did not prepare me for this big a victory for a socialist running as a Republican.

Give Me Back My Party

by Matt Towery - January 3rd, 2008 - Townhall.com

When I started both this column and our now nine-year-old polling and political electronic news firm, I swore off partisan politics. I don't campaign for candidates and don't really care who wins any particular race. I have to treat politicians like a proctologist treats, well, nevermind . . .

But my non-partisanship doesn't keep me from looking at the Republican Party -- the one that gave us Ronald Reagan and took over the U.S. House in the 1994 elections -- and ask, "Who stole my party?"

I have an answer for you. At one time, the GOP was the party that fought for open government, term limits, reductions in spending and less government intrusion. When I was involved in the Republican Party, we wanted the IRS disbanded and the Department of Education either reduced, made useful, or abolished. We believed in the goodness of an individual and the greatness of individualism.

It bothers me when people I agree with, like this writer, sound bitter and disillusioned. It makes me worry that others might see me the same way. I agree with Towery that the Republican Party has stumbled. Dennis Hastert and Karl Rove combined to turn the way we governed into a mockery of our beliefs. Unlike many others I do not appreciate them for the good they did. I despise them for the bad they did. These two are the cause of current Republican problems.

Most Republicans did not notice that Rove's "compassionate conservatism" really translated to embracing socialism. The long term consequence will be the growth of bureaucratic governance that strangles individual initiative. We have to change that but many Republican candidates have not yet understood what it means.

Dennis Hastert's goal to help Republicans get re-elected evolved into constant pork barrel spending and the worst corruption of any political party in our history. There has never been a more corrupt Speaker of the House, no matter how much his corruption was based on blindness to the consequences and he "really did not mean it to happen". We were kicked out of office by our own supporters so that corruption has at least ended. I am not sure some Republicans yet realize how evil the practice was.

Republicans need to talk about these problems openly, but without despair. We are not that far off track. The differences between conservatives and neo-conservatives, libertarians and evangelicals, patriots and center right moderates, do need to be resolved. However the issue is in how to go about these things in a way that our common ground is understood first so we find ways to resolve our differences. We agree on a lot more than we disagree. Turning government over to socialists who want to see America subservient to the world just because we cannot work out disagreements over minor squabbles is simply not the way to go. If we keep squabbling we can lose our freedom in the process.

Angry Old Man

by Quin Hillyer - January 3rd, 2008 - The American Spectator

As truly horrific as it would be for the liberal and unethical Mike Huckabee to win the Republican presidential nomination, many Republicans still believe it would be almost as difficult to stomach the nomination of John McCain.

Huckabee, of course, would utterly destroy the old Reagan
coalition, as even his campaign chief Ed Rollins has acknowledged. Huckabee's bizarre propensity for letting criminals return early to freedom, combined with his utter cluelessness about foreign policy, also means that he would get absolutely crushed by the Democrats in a general election contest.


. . . . McCain seems almost constitutionally unable to disagree without being disagreeable. When he disagrees with somebody on just about any issue, he gives the sense of being so angry that he is having trouble not jumping out of his own skin to wring the other person's neck.

John McCain is not just angry. He is not very intelligent. There is a reason he finished at the bottom of his class in the Naval Academy. He does not understand the Constitution, and with McCain-Feingold, he aligned himself with one of the more openly socialist members of the Senate to destroy freedom of speech in defense of incumbency! Sensing his inferior intelligence may be one reason he gets so angry.

The article about the Reagan coalition
here is important to our current situation in politics. It may have appeared in the New York Times; it may even appear to be encouraging the Republicans to disintegrate; but it is important that Republicans start talking with each other if we are going to remember how much we agree on rather than how much we disagree on. Disagreement is what both McCain and Huckabee seem so intent on fostering.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

As Huckabee Pulls Ad, Rollins, For Once, Must Pull a Punch

by Sridhar Pappu - January 2nd, 2008 - Washington Post

It is New Year's Eve and Rollins is sitting in a bar area in the Wakonda Club, slightly slouched in his chair, wearing a gray suit. Just hours earlier, Huckabee had stunned reporters expecting the launch of a hard-hitting TV ad attacking Mitt Romney; instead, he pulled the spot crafted by Rollins.

Surrounded by placards declaring "Enough Is Enough," Huckabee showed the ad he said he wasn't going to run, leaving reporters scrambling to determine whether this was a planned maneuver, an act of bad timing or something lifted from a Capra movie. "I just realized that this is not how we run our campaign in this state," the candidate said.

Huckabee is the candidate that has hired both Dick Morris, the former Clinton dirty tricks guru who now hates his former boss (and his wife) as well as Ed Rollins, the former Reagan staffer who most of his fellow Reagan officials shun like the plague for his propensity to go negative even when it is not needed. Both are masters of hate and the attack ad.

You have to ask yourself, why did Huckabee hire these two if he doesn't plan to fight dirty? In fact, why are both of these men still on Huckabees staff if it is not just a matter of time?

There is a good question about the maturity of Huckabee if he can't make up his mind. This whole episode looks like the actions of an amateur.

At the same time Huckabee supporters claim evangelicals (social conservatives) are disrespected in the party and they are attacking fiscal conservatives and libertarians with venom. The complainers cannot explain though how both libertarians and fiscal conservatives supported George W. Bush if social conservatives are so disrespected. If it is Huckabee's goal to tear the Republican Party apart, he could not use a more effective strategy than the actions he is taking.

Huckabee reminds me of Pat Robertson, another evangelical who got into politics and could not make up his mind what he wanted to be, pastor or politician. He too wound up being neither.

Seeking Psychological Victory In
The War On Terror [Islamo-fascism]

by Tony Blankley - January 2nd, 2008 - Real Clear Politics

In Iraq, as military and security conditions continue to improve, American war politics enters one of its stranger moments in our history. Certainly it is historically odd for war reporting to diminish almost to the point of public invisibility -- just as our troops are starting to gain the upper hand. But we are fighting this war with the journalists we have, not the ones we want.

However, although the media maintained a virtual radio silence once things started going our way, the public has come to recognize the military success. Typical of recent polling is the Pew Research Center poll from Nov. 27, which shows that about half the country thinks the military effort is going very or fairly well (up from 30 percent). The public is also substantially more optimistic than it was in recent years that we are reducing civilian casualties, preventing civil war, defeating insurgents, preventing terrorist bases and rebuilding infrastructure.

Despite such optimism, by 54 percent to 41 percent (virtually unchanged from February's 53 percent to 42 percent), the public wants our troops to come home rather than stay.

There are reasons for this. George W. Bush is the most incompetent communicator we have had as President for most of our history. Off hand I cannot think of anyone in his class.

He is also a poor strategic planner, as evidenced by his attempts to "fix" social security during a time of war. This accomplished nothing but convincing the American people that the war was not important and reducing support for the war.

His successes have all been about his mastery of tactical planning, working as the MBA President to get smart people to share their ideas and allowing George to judge which ones are the best ideas.

Unfortunately that is not what we need a President to do.

The war against the Islamo-fascists is the most important issue we currently face. We cannot leave the Middle East until that war is won, or we are certain to see nuclear bombs going off in our cities. Avoiding nuclear war will be almost impossible. In addition, it is likely that the internal rage over nuclear bombs going off in our cities will risk civil war here at home. It may happen anyway if we cannot muster the will to stop Islamo-fascism in Iran and Pakistan.

The dichotomy of Americans thinking that we are winning, but being willing to accept defeat against this enemy (that desires our destruction), is a problem that can be blamed on no one else but George W. Bush.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Hater

by Rich Lowry - January !st, 2008 - National Review Online

John Edwards is angry, and he wants people to know it. Republicans complain of Democratic class warfare all the time. It’s usually an overwrought charge. But Edwards is the real thing. His message is resentful, confrontational and paranoid, verging on the openly hateful. And Iowa [democrat] audiences are loving it.

Edwards is like a stand-up comedian who has honed his act down to the most effective material. In the case of the comedian, all that’s left is laughs; in the case of Edwards, almost all that is left is unbridled hostility.

For North Carolina, a state already dominated by the corruption of politicians who cynically use politics to extort money from business by any means necessary, John Edwards winning the Democrat nomination will be a disaster. Polls indicate that a huge number of North Carolinians will vote for anyone from our state, no matter what his policies. The Edwards message of hate is bad for America. For our state, where his coattails will keep corrupt democrats in power even if he loses the Presidency, it will postpone any chance to clean up corruption for another election cycle.