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May 2008 Archives
Two versions of a new GI bill are being debated in the Senate. Democrat Jim Webb's bill woud give all veterans full benefits after serving one term. The version backed by John McCain encourages re-enlistment by having a sliding scale of college benefits depending upon length of service. The President and military leaders support this version.
Barack Obama, in supporting the Webb bill, accused McCain of "political posturing."
McCain wasted no time in responding:
It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Senator Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim.
...I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.
Read all of McCain's statement by clicking here.
The leading analyst of the Middle East Caroline Glick called Barack Obama' rise to prominence and his foreign policy "frightening." (And see our earlier post "Obama: Frightening" below.)
Today, Pulitizer Prize winner columnist Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post said this of the Democratic oratorical wonder and his intention to meet with all of the world's leading thugs in his first year as president:
Before the Democratic debate of July 23, Barack Obama had never expounded upon the wisdom of meeting, without precondition, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il or the Castro brothers. But in that debate, he was asked about doing exactly that. Unprepared, he said sure -- then got fancy, declaring the Bush administration's refusal to do so not just "ridiculous" but "a disgrace."
What started as a gaffe became policy. By now, it has become doctrine. Yet it remains today what it was on the day he blurted it out: an absurdity.
Having lashed himself to the ridiculous, unprecedented promise of unconditional presidential negotiations -- and then having compounded the problem by elevating it to a principle -- Obama keeps trying to explain. On Sunday, he declared in Pendleton, Ore., that by Soviet standards Iran and others "don't pose a serious threat to us." (On the contrary. Islamic Iran is dangerously apocalyptic. Soviet Russia was not.) The next day in Billings, Mont.: "I've made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave."
That's the very next day, mind you. Such rhetorical flailing has done more than create an intellectual mess. It has given rise to a new political phenomenon: the metastatic gaffe. The one begets another, begets another, begets ...
This all would be just too hilariious if it weren't so deadly dangerous. To think that such absurdites are being uttered by the leading contender for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States is, yes, "frightening."
McCain is meeting this weekend with Mitt Romney, Governor Charlie Crist, the popular governor of Florida (but not as popular as former governor Jeb Bush), and Governor Bobby Jindal, the new governor of Louisiana, who is only 36. Romney clearly has the best credentials for the job, but the nagging problem of anti-Mormonism may doom him. Depressing thought. Christ can help, but Jeb Bush will help just as much in Florida without being on the ticket. Bobby Jindal: Take a deep breath, he would be exciting. Educated next door at Rhode Island's Brown University before getting a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. Born in Baton Rouge of a Hindu family, he converted to Catholicism as a teenager. In his 36 years he has had twice, nay, five times, the experience of Obama in everything, health care, Medicare and running government operations. The NY Times broke the news (without the analysis).
This may be just the first round of interviews, but McCain is starting with some real stars. And Jindal should not be considered a sleeper. He's real.
Romney, from this viewpoint, would be the best choice, but if sordid political calculations rule him out, Jindal would be a knockout.
The speculation is growing. Mitt Romney is still prominently on the list, according to some, despite what appeared to be dismayingly strong anti-Mormon sentiment in parts of the conservative base. Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota is young, vigorous and popular and would be a very attractive running mate; his downside is he is unknown and with all the nation has been learning about the "unknown" Barack Obama, an "unknown" might have trouble getting picked.
The New York Sun has a candidate it thinks is perfect: Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Yes, he's on the wrong side of some very important core issues, but on the "transcendent challenge" of our times, dealing with Islamic imperialism, he couldn't be more solid. At a dinner the other night, Lieberman had this to say, as reported by the Sun:
Let us just say that after Sunday night's speech by Mr. Lieberman at the annual Commentary dinner, there is little doubt in our minds that the senator expelled by the Democrats two years ago in Connecticut would be a fabulous running mate for Mr. McCain. Concerns that he wouldn't appeal to the conservative base? Mr. Lieberman pointedly referred to the New York Times as "a once-great newspaper" and said that the editor of National Review, William F. Buckley Jr., had been like an "older brother" to him. He noted that Buckley had endorsed him in the campaign when he first won election to the Senate, against a left-wing Republican,Lowell Weicker.
Mr. Lieberman spoke of how the Democratic Party had lost its way, from a party that was once "unhesitatingly and proudly pro-American," to one that came under the sway of a philosophy that saw America as the aggressor. "There is now more isolationist sentiment in Democratic than in Republican ranks," Mr. Lieberman said, deriding what he called the "McGovern-Carter blame-America worldview." He attacked Senator Obama, saying that the "presumptive presidential nominee," "has really not been willing to stand up to his party's left on a single significant issue this far in his campaign."
Mr. Lieberman criticized Mr. Obama's promise to meet with President Ahmadinejad and with the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Il, saying that Kennedy never met with Castro and Reagan never met with Ayatollah Khomenei. He pointed out that while Mr. Obama is courting the Iranians and the North Koreans, he is spurning our allies, opposing free trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia, and "pledging to abandon the democratically elected government inBaghdad." He called President Bush's speech in Jerusalem that Mr. Obama so heatedly objected to "magnificent."
Something to think about.
The West's premier analyst of the Middle East Caroline Glick, who writes for the Jerusalem Post, was in the audience when President Bush gave his address to Israel's Knesset pledging American support for Israel in the face of Iran's threat to wipe it off the map.
In particular, the President said this:
'Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided. We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."
Glick had this to say:
‘To Israeli ears, Bush's words were uncontroversial. Israel is beset by enemies who daily call for its physical annihilation and while doing so, build and support terror forces who attack Israel. For most Israelis, the notion that these enemies can be appeased is absurd and deeply offensive.’
‘From an Israeli vantage point then, it was shocking to see that immediately after Bush stepped down from the rostrum, Obama and his Democratic supporters began pillorying him for his remarks. Most distressing is what Obama's reaction said about the Democratic presidential hopeful.’
‘OBAMA'S RESPONSE to Bush's speech was an effective acknowledgement that appeasing Iran and other terror sponsors is a defining feature of his campaign and of his political persona. As far as he is concerned, an attack against appeasement is an attack against Obama.
She went on to observe:
‘LIKE HIS life story, Obama's policies are not based on facts, but on his attitude. And his attitude, like Mencken's in the 1930s, is based on a naïve and arrogant belief that the worst thing that can happen is to have someone who talks about evil in the White House.
Peter Osnos, Obama's former publisher told the Times that Obama's meteoric rise to the pinnacle of politics is due in large part to his gift as a storyteller. In his words, "It's almost all based on these two books, two books not based on a job of prodigious research or risking one's life as a reporter in Iraq. He has written about himself. Being able to take your own life story and turn it into this incredibly lucrative franchise, it's a stunning fact."
Indeed, it is stunning. And frightening. It says that in a world in which evil men are combining and preparing for war and genocide, good men are preparing for pleasant chitchat with their foes because they have come to prefer attitude to substance. It is a world in which indignation can be summoned as readily (and perhaps more easily) for partisan political attacks as for delusional dictators’ open preparation for genocide. And it is a world in which it is more important to discuss "healing" emotional wounds than devising policies capable of coping with an ever-more-dangerous international coalition of murderers.
That Glick was shocked and dismayed at Obama's naivete, self-absorption and indifference to reality is to state the obvious. Indeed, "frightening." To read her entire article, click here.
Three lawyers who went to Dartmouth together write for their excellent blog Powerline. Today John Hinderaker expressed his exasperation with the media infatuation with the melliflous tones of Obama who day after day spouts nonsense and contradicts himself without a murmur from the press.
Barack Obama is at it again. Today he warned us:
"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."
So, as one anxious American asks, "So at what temperature would other countries like me to keep my home, then, and how much should I eat?"
No doubt China will let us know in due course.
In another chapter in the long-running saga (and its variations) of “The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” Democratic presidential candidate Barack H. Obama leaped to respond to a speech President George W. Bush gave before the Israeli parliament on Thursday, May 15, 2008 during the observance of the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
During the course of his address, President George W. Bush made the following point:
“The fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of our time. It is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a great ideological struggle. On the one side are those who defend the ideals of justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the other side are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing murder, inciting fear, and spreading lies.
“This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.
“And that is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the "elimination" of Israel. And that is why the followers of Hezbollah chant "Death to Israel, Death to America!" That is why Osama bin Laden teaches that "the killing of Jews and Americans is one of the biggest duties." And that is why the president of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.
“There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It's natural, but it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.
“Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,'' Bush said in an address to the Knesset today which drew repeated standing ovations for his commitment to stand by Israel against all enemies.
“We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.''
Almost immediately, in what seemed to at least some as a guilty reaction, Democratic presidential candidate Barack H. Obama complained:
Obama …called Bush's remarks "a false political attack."
"It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel," Obama said in a written statement. "Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power - including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy - to pressure countries like Iran and Syria.
"George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists," Obama said, "and the president's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel."
In response to reporters’ calls for a statement, the White House press office issued a comment:
Dana Perino, White House press secretary, said the president's remark was not directed at Obama. "It is not. And I would think that all of you who cover these issues and have for a long time have known that there are many who have suggested these types of negotiations with people that President Bush thinks we should not talk to. I understand when you're running for office you sometimes think the world revolves around you -- that is not always true, and it is not true in this case.''.
It’s a mystery why Obama would want to remind voters of his willingness to sit down with tyrants and terrorists and associate himself with appeasement. Obama did say he would as president meet without preconditions with, among others, the president of Iran Mahmoud Amadinejad, who wants to wipe Israel off the map.
Note: The senatorial statement from 1939 which the president quoted was made by Senator William E. Borah, Republican of Idaho.
The full text of the President’s address can be read here.
Who's smarter and more sophisticated than we are?
Who "understands" the comfort the little people get by clinging to their God and guns and hating immigrants and free trade?
Who knows he is better than us?
On the Sunday talk shows a parade of Dem biggies agreed that Obama was wrong to say he as president would personally meet with the thugs running North Korea, Syria and Iran "without preconditions." What wonderful words of persuasion does he have for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who calls Israel "a stinking corpse" and vows to wipe it off the map? What is Obama going to say to Ahmadinejad that will make him stop his secret forces from pushing IEDs into Iraq to kill Americans and civilan women and children?
Watch Obama Say "I Would" Meet Unconditionally With Leaders Of Iran, North Korea, Syria, And Other Nations.
That a person of such naivete and such an astonishing lack of experience and good judgment is the Democratic frontrunner for the nomination for president is astonishing.
John McCain has called Islamic imperialism the "transcendent challenge" of the 21st century. In whose hands should the American people place the sacred duty for defending the nation and its people in these dangerous times? A hard-headed, been-through-the-mill realist such as John McCain or a grand orator such as Barack Obama?