July 2008 Archives


There's still at least a few dozen people out there who haven't yet viewed the McCain ad reminding folks that celebrity doesn't equal qualification for leadership.

Massachusetts' own Dean Barnett of The Weekly Standard explains why the ad is so effective (if it's slow to load it's because so many people are still watching it):

Someone tell me precisely why Barack Obama “has become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.” Was it because of His spectacular achievements as a community organizer? Or His stellar work as a part-time lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School? Or maybe it all boils down to those good grades He got in law school.

The point is, like Britney and Paris, Barack Obama hasn’t earned the status that He (like they) so enjoys. And then there’s the further and still more relevant issue that He’s unworthy of that status. Obama’s ranking as a Savior would be easier to handle if it turned out He had all the right stuff to handle the presidency. But repeatedly, Obama has shown Himself to be ill-informed, historically illiterate and more impressed with His own superficial analyses than actual facts.

The ad is right on the mark. Some people are famous for being famous. To some extent we have become worshippers of celebrities and there is no question that the media has made Barack Obama a major celebrity. Even John McCain thinks that Barack right now is the world's biggest celebrity. "So what?" you ask. Exactly.


Some expressed astonishment when Obama intoned that "we are the ones we've been waiting for," which of course meant "I am the one you've been waiting for." Twice before we had noted the swelling arrogance of Obama.

In Germany it was "generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment," you know, "when the rise of the oceans began to slow" because those cars in Boston which were melting the Arctic ice cap were impounded by his enviropolice.

Then there was the Obama quasi-presidential seal -- he couldn't wait.


At an intimate gathering of House members last night reporting on his triumphal tour of Europe (during which he bugged out of a scheduled visit to wounded servicemen) he announced to his open-mouthed listeners, "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

Well, all this deserves a whole new book, don't you think?


Even the Bush-trashing Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank is choking on this:

"Barack Obama has long been his party's presumptive nominee. Now he's becoming its presumptuous nominee."

The Republican National Committee is getting into the swing of things and has launched its Obama Audacity Watch.

Watch this space.

It's seldom one hears anything positive about America or patriotic coming out of Hollywood. It's nothing like it was during World War II, when Hollywood felt it was its job to keep America's spirits and pride up even at the toughest of times.

So when a sensible, direct statement comes from a Hollywood figure it is a reason to cheer. However, one can be sure that most of the media will ignore it because it doesn't fit with their Obama-the-next-president narrative.

Jon Voight knows what he's talking about. An excerpt:

Our soldiers are lifting us to an example of patriotism at a time when we've almost forgotten who we are and what is at stake. If Mr. Obama had his way, he would have pulled our troops from Iraq years ago and initiated an unprecedented bloodbath, turning over that country to the barbarianism of our enemies.

With what he has openly stated about his plans for our military, and his lack of understanding about the true nature of our enemies, there's not a cell in my body that can accept the idea that Mr. Obama can keep us safe from the terrorists around the world, and from Iran, which is making great strides toward getting the atomic bomb.

Read it all.

Barack Obama is at it again, playing the race card, which we called him on awhile back.

Jake Tapper of ABC News reports on Obama's remarks during a stop in Rolla, Missouri on July 30th:

"And so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me. So what they’re saying is, ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he’s... doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, you know, he’s got a, he’s got a funny name."
Tapper asked the campaign:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but does it not seem as if Obama just said McCain and his campaign -- presumably the "they" in this construct -- are saying that Obama shouldn't be elected because he's a risk because he's black and has a foreign-sounding name?
The campaign said, oh, no, we didn't mean that.

Tapper continued:

Then in Union, Mo., this evening [still July 30th] in Union, Missouri, Obama seemed to specifically accuse McCain and the GOP of peddling racism and xenophobia.

Tapper quoted Obama:

"But, since they don’t have any new ideas the only strategy they’ve got in this election is to try to scare you about me. They’re going to try to say that I’m a risky guy, they’re going to try to say, 'Well, you know, he’s got a funny name and he doesn’t look like all the presidents on the dollar bills and the five dollar bills and, and they’re going to send out nasty emails.

Tapper did not hide his disgust:

There's a lot of racist xenophobic crap out there. But not only has McCain not peddled any of it, he's condemned it.

It's heartening that at least one national reporter picked up on what Barack Obama is doing. But this racism ploy is not new. Obama used it against Mrs. Clinton very effectively and then switched his target to McCain as soon as Clinton was out. On July 7th we pointed this out:

What Obama says about the opposition is now about John McCain. So there he was once again, at a Democratic fundraiser in Jacksonville on June 20th, suggesting -- with no history to justify such a remark -- that his opponent will inject the issue of race into the campaign: "And did I mention that he's black?"

Such a slander against McCain is unpardonable, but it's, sadly, every day fare for Obama. Obama knows many Americans would welcome a qualified black president and fanning the flames of racism works to his advantage. It did against the Clintons.

Will others in the media report on the slimy racism game Barack is playing?

Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, who is leading the Republicans in the House of Representatives fighting to get the Democratic ban on domestic drilling lifted, charged that the Democrats were "beholden to environmental extremists."

Investor's Business Daily has detailed how true that charge is.

Let's face it. The average individual American has little or no clout with Congress and can be safely ignored. But it's a different story with groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy.

When they speak, Congress listens. Unlike the average American, they are well organized, loaded with cash and well positioned to be a disobedient congressman's worse nightmare. Their political and economic success has been a near disaster for our nation.

For several decades, environmentalists have managed to get Congress to keep most of our oil resources off-limits to exploration and drilling.

They've managed to have the Congress enact onerous regulations that have made refinery construction impossible.

Similarly, they've used the courts and Congress to completely stymie the construction of nuclear power plants. As a result, energy prices are at historical highs and threaten our economy and national security.

The massive damage these organizations have done is only a prelude to what they're planning as they use the global warming scare to ram dangerous new laws through Congress to allow this or prohibit that.

The possibilities for control over our lives would be endless and could include nuisance-type edicts such a requiring us to buy a permit to barbecue in our backyard.

The thirst to wield massive control over our economy helps explain the near religious belief in man-made global warming and the attacks on scientists and others who offer contradictory evidence.

Defeating Pelois-Obama-Reid and their environmental extremists on drilling is a necessary first step to turning back those who would control our lives to "save the planet (Pelosi's very words)."

UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer takes on Democrat Speaker Pelosi's desire to "save the planet."


Barack Obama's campaign has put out at least three different stories on why Obama stiffed visiting the wounded at the hospital in Germany. Obama himself said he decided not to go because he couldn't bring his campaign aide(s) along. That condition had been made clear by the military for weeks. So just leave the campaign aide behind and go. But, no, it was off to the gym, leaving the soldiers wondering what happened, since no explanation was given at the time why the visit was canceled.


Michael Ramirez Investor's Business Daily


The Republicans in both the House and Senate have been pressing for votes to open up new drilling in the U.S. to bring oil and gas prices down. But the Democrats led by their unholy trinity of Pelosi-Obama-Reid are doing all they can to block votes.

Eric Cantor, the Republican chief deputy whip in the House, is one of those leading the fight to get relief at the pump for Americans. Cantor is a rising star and is on the short list of those being mentioned as a running mate for John McCain.

In a detailed account provided to Power Line, Cantor describes the mess Democrats have created with their opposition to drilling:

While American families are enraged over pain at the pumps, Democrat leaders, beholden to environmental extremists, remain mired in an anti-drilling posture that pits them against a clear majority of the American people. And they know they are vulnerable too.

So what exactly are the "Don't Drill" Democrat leaders Pelosi-Obama-Reid doing?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have ducked and dodged a debate over drilling at every turn. Reid has bogged down bills by stonewalling Republican amendments aimed to bolster American energy exploration. Pelosi has foisted bills onto the suspension calendar to thwart the addition of Republican pro-drilling amendments. Meanwhile, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey went so far as to shut down the FY ’09 appropriations process because his party couldn’t stomach a debate on offshore drilling.

So what is their strategy then? The Democrats’ goal is to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people. Look like you are doing something substantial, rail against “Big Oil” and other convenient scapegoats you can find, and pray the public doesn’t catch on.


The Middle East’s leading political and military analyst Caroline Glick is asked her reaction to Obama’s visit to Israel. Some excerpts from the interview:

There is trepidation in Israel about the statements he has made about Iran and the division of Jerusalem and his associations with anti-Semites like Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

His repeated assertions of his commitment to Israel's security were repeatedly contradicted by the policies he wishes to adopt if elected.

John Bolton was a tough U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and fought ably to expose corruption at the very top of the U.N. (Saddam Hussein's food-for-oil ripoff being number one) and to defend America's interests against the nations that would tie us down. His brilliant service ended because the Democrats in Congress refused to extend it.

Few writing today have the perspective John Bolton has of the place of America on the world stage and how the enemies of freedom are constantly plotting against us. Therefore, it is not surprising that he reacted to Obama's Berlin speech to his "fellow citizens of the world" with shock, dismay and sad disbelief. Obama exhibited no sense of history, no sense of the real world. Platitudes about "one world" and "the world stood as one" are just false, particularly in the Cold War context Obama was evoking in his speech.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Bolton calls the speech "radical" and "naive." Obama seems not to comprehend the historic role the U.S. has played and still plays in defending freedom. It's a hard business and suggestng that if we all join hands and take down all the walls that divide us the world will be at peace is juvenile nonsense. Something the Beatles might sing.

Obama used the Berlin Wall metaphor to describe his foreign policy priorities as president: "The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down."

This is a confused, nearly incoherent compilation, to say the least, amalgamating tensions in the Atlantic Alliance with ancient historical conflicts. One hopes even Obama, inexperienced as he is, doesn't see all these "walls" as essentially the same in size and scope. But beyond the incoherence, there is a deeper problem, namely that "walls" exist not simply because of a lack of understanding about who is on the other side but because there are true differences in values and interests that lead to human conflict. The Berlin Wall itself was not built because of a failure of communication but because of the implacable hostility of communism toward freedom. The wall was a reflection of that reality, not an unfortunate mistake.

Tearing down the Berlin Wall was possible because one side -- our side -- defeated the other. Differences in levels of economic development, or the treatment of racial, immigration or religious questions, are not susceptible to the same analysis or solution. Even more basically, challenges to our very civilization, as the Cold War surely was, are not overcome by naively "tearing down walls" with our adversaries.

Read it all.

After word:

Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe also notes that, out of blindness, historical illiteracy or just a refusal to acknowledge America's vital role, Obama praised the world's coming together (which it did not) rather than Truman's leadership and fortitude and America's military might for savng Berlin and Europe.

"People of the world," Obama declaimed, "look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one." But the world didn't stand as one during the Cold War; it was riven by an Iron Curtain. For more than four decades, America and the West confronted an implacable enemy on the other side of that divide. What finally defeated that enemy and ended the Cold War was not harmony and goodwill, but American strength and resolve.

Obama's speech was a paean to international cooperation. "Now is the time to join together," he said. "It was this spirit that led airlift planes to appear in the sky above our heads." No - it was a Democratic president named Truman, who had the audacity to order an airlift when others counseled retreat, and the grit to see it through when others were ready to withdraw.

Sixty years later, it is a very different kind of Democrat who is running for president. Obama may have wowed 'em in Berlin, but he's no Harry Truman.

Obama after his big speech to his fellow citizens of the world in Berlin was supposed to visit with American troops at Rammstein, Germany. Instead, he left American troops wating for him high and dry. The Obama campaign had planned the event, it was on the itinerary, but they bugged out. How come?

A military spokesman told them this:

[B]ecause political candidates are prohibited from using military installations as campaign backdrops, Obama's representatives were told, ‘he could only bring two or three of his Senate staff member (sic), no campaign officials or workers.’ In addition, ‘Obama could not bring any media. Only military photographers would be permitted to record Obama's visit.’

What, no media? Apparently, forgetaboutit.

Instead, Obama went to the gym and sightseeing in Berlin.

Update: John McCain also noticed what Obama didn't do.

McCain is the Man for America.

Now we all know that transportation these days runs on oil. Someday there will other reliable means to power us out of our dependence on foreign oil. But in the meantime those who are realistic know we need to drill for oil in our own country.

That's why we have to break the Democratic obstructionism in Congress. Democrats control Congress, so everyone should call his or her Democratic congressional representative to say you're for bringing down the price of gas at the pump and you want drilling now.

Don't bother calling the Republicans. They've been fighting the Democrats to get drilling going, but the Democrats JUST SAY NO to bringing gas prices down. Your call might make the difference. .

Transportation needs reliable energy now.


Thanks to Michael Ramirez of the editorial team at Investor's Business Daily for his marvelous insights.


The highly respected political analyst Michael Barone feels the ground shifting. "Enviro Lunacy" may at last be fading. $4 a gallon for gas puts things in perspective, at least for ordinary Americans.

While the Republicans are demanding an end to the various Democratic moratoriums on drilling, the Democrats, who control Congress, led by their unhold trinity of Pelosi-Obama-Reid, JUST SAY NO to the American people. They clearly have superior insights and know better than you.

Democratic leaders are preventing Congress from voting on continental shelf and ANWR drilling or oil shale development because they fear their side would lose and are making the transparently absurd claim that drilling won't lower the price of oil. They're scampering to say that they would allow drilling somewhere -- mostly in places where the oil companies haven't found any oil.

There is hope.

The time may be coming when our lunatic environmental policies are swept away by a rising tide of common sense.

Can the Democratic Congress' 9% approval rating drop even farther?

"Yes, it can."



The London Times' American correspondent Gerard Baker postively glows as he expounds on the gospel of Obama as he "ventured forth to bring light to the world."


The deservedly popular blog Power Line written by three lawyers (friends since their days at Dartmouth) today carried excerpts from a speech Senator McCain gave in Denver before a military audience.

Power Line called it "his strongest attack yet against Barack Obama. The attack was devastating because it was true." In the last analysis we are left with this:

Senator Obama said this week that even knowing what he knows today that he still would have opposed the surge. In retrospect, given the opportunity to choose between failure and success, he chooses failure. I cannot conceive of a Commander in Chief making that choice.

The consequences if Obama's view had carried the day?

If Senator Obama had prevailed, American forces would have had to retreat under fire. The Iraqi Army would have collapsed. Civilian casualties would have increased dramatically. Al Qaeda would have killed the Sunni sheikhs who had begun to cooperate with us, and the "Sunni Awakening" would have been strangled at birth. Al Qaeda fighters would have safe havens, from where they could train Iraqis and foreigners, and turn Iraq into a base for launching attacks on Americans elsewhere. Civil war, genocide and wider conflict would have been likely.

Above all, America would have been humiliated and weakened. Our military, strained by years of sacrifice, would have suffered a demoralizing defeat. Our enemies around the globe would have been emboldened. ...

Senator Obama told the American people what he thought you wanted to hear. I told you the truth.


Melanie Phillips is a veteran columnist in Britain. Her major recent work is Londonistan, a horrifying account of how the blind officialdom of Britain allowed wishful thinking to convince them that millions of Muslim immigrants could insist on contining to live and follow their Islamic ways and become loyal sons and daughters of Britain. That illusion is giving way to reality.

Today, as Obamamania sweeps through Europe and Britain she is also reminded of the wishful thinking, the infatuation of Brits with Princess Diana, who invested in her all their fantasies, unaware of her “unstable and manipulative nature.” It was all emotion, no reason.

So it is with Obama. Americans’ natural optimism makes them want to believe that, as a black man with a Muslim background (another thing he has cleverly obfuscated), he can heal all wounds, including the U.S.’s history of racism, and bring peace to the world just by being who he is.

They see in his attractiveness a flattering reflection of themselves. He doesn’t embarrass them; he makes them feel proud. . . ..

]W]here the Democrat candidate is concerned, the normal faculties of judgment appear to have been suspended.

Important questions about Obama’s judgment, consistency and honesty are not being asked, let alone answered.

He has got away with the fact that for 20 years he belonged to a church which preaches black power racism against white people.

He disavowed his long-time mentor, pastor Jeremiah Wright, only when his extreme views could no longer be ignored — despite the fact that Wright is a supporter of Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the black power Nation of Islam.

How will it end for America?


Another day in Congress and Democrat leaders are desperately fighting to block votes that would provide relief at the gas pump for average Americans.

Democrat Majority Leader Reid and Democrat Speaker of the House Pelosi know they would lose to the Republican-led drive to bring relief to consumers and are trying to run out the clock until Congress departs for its summer vacation.

These shameful tactis are being used to prevent a defeat for Obama, who has said he wants to keep these prohibitions in place for their special interest groups. That Americans are sending hundreds of billions of dollars to hostile and unstable regimes and are paying $4 a gallon for gas doesn't seem to bother these three.

President Bush and John McCain are both demanding action from the Democratic Congress, but to no avail because of the Pelosi-Obama-Reid tactics and their control of Congress.

The upward pressure on oil prices is caused by rising world-wide consumption and limited growth in supplies. Yet at least 65% of America's undiscovered, recoverable oil, and 40% of its natural gas, is hostage to the Congressional drilling moratorium.

The Democratic leadership is trying to smother any awareness of their responsibility for high prices.

Read Democrats Against Drilling

A lot has been made of T. Boone Pickens building hundreds of windmills in the wind corrider running from Texas up to Oklahoma as if that were the sole answer to the enegy crisis. Pickens has said we can't drill our way out the crisis and that was construed by some meaning "Don't bother with new drilling." Not so.

Pickens told CNN that neither Presidential candidate has gone far enough in advocating the exploitation of our domestic oil resources (HT: Power Line):

BLITZER: What about drilling offshore? There's a debate. As you know, McCain says, yes, go ahead and drill off the coasts of Florida and California. Obama says, no. You're an oilman. What do you say?

PICKENS: OK. McCain says, OK off the East and West Coasts. I say East, West Coast and ANWR. Get it all. I mean, to get off of foreign oil, that is the enemy. Get everything you can get. You cannot drill your way out of it. But you're drilling, and whatever you are able to find and put into the domestic system will help us. But you -- you aren't going to be able to find enough to take care of all the imports that we have.

BLITZER: What about nuclear?

PICKENS: Nuclear, fine, do it. Anything in America, do it, and get off of foreign oil.

McCain is for drilling offshore and for nuclear power. Obama opposes both. ANWR should be added to the drilling program. Pickens is right: Use them all, drilling, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, coal. And if the Rocky Mountains shale oil yields the estimated 500 to 800 billion barrels, domestic oil can replace all foreign overseas oil. (Our friends Canada and Mexico are solid suppliers, though Mexico's fields appear to be in decline.)

A close ally of John McCain Medal of Honor holder Bud Day said that he would fight Islamic supremacism in America. He said "Muslim have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us." He wasn't about to do that or advise anybody to do that and he was sure John McCain wasn't going to, either.

There was a big uproar from the Islamic supremacist organizations in the U.S., the Saudi-linked CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) prominent among them.

Trouble is, the statement was accurate.

The Muslim Brotherhood in the United States is, according to a Brotherhood operative, engaged in a “grand jihad” aimed at “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

And who are those objecting?

CAIR, of course, was in 2007 named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas terror funding case, and has had several of its officials arrested and convicted on terrorism-related charges.

If those organizations are supportive of the U.S. Constitution and are not intent on having it replaced by Islamic law one day, they should not have taken offense but affirmed thier desire to defeat Islamic imperialsm.

In a sane world, instead of taking offense, Islamic spokesmen in the U.S. would have been assuring reporters that they were working energetically within Muslim communities against those who wished to make non-Muslims kneel. But sanity is at a premium in the public debate on Islamic jihad today.

McCain's supporter Medal of Honor recipient Bud Day was dead on.

Obama, trying to explain his way out of statement that he would be willing to sit down with Iran, said he was now supporting new sanctions against Iran. He then said this (HT: Power Line):

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon.

But Obama is not a member of the Senate Banking Committee. Obama just made that up so he could count the committee's action as one of "my deeds."

The so intelligent Obama doesn't know what Senate committees he's on? This statement indicates how effortlessly he can lie about what he said (Before a Jewish group he said Jerusalem must remain undivided -- until the Palestinians objected.) and even what Senate commmittees he serves on. He clearly expects his adoring press not to pick him up on his lie. So far, none have.

One astonished observer called Obama's casual falsehood "scary."


Can you believe this? (HT: Hugh Hewitt):

In an interview yesterday with Senator Obama, ABC’s Terry Moran listed just a few of the by now seemingly endless data points demonstrating that the so-called surge, which Obama opposed at the time it was announced, is a success. Moran then asked this (excellent) question: Knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?”

Obama’s answer was, “No.”

This must surely rank as among the most misinformed, ideological, and reckless statements by a presidential candidate in modern times. The McCain campaign should do everything they can to make Obama pay a high price for it. That one word answer, “No,” should be advertised in bright neon lights. It should become Exhibit A that Obama not only doesn’t have the “judgment to lead;” he has now supplied us with evidence that few people possess judgment as flawed as his.

Knowing what Obama now knows he would have still opposed the surge, because at that time he needed a campaign issue against the Bush Administration and victory or defeat in Iraq by the United States armed forces was of no concern to him.



The Obama cheerleadering Washington Post is getting a bit anxious about his detachment from reality. On his foreign summer vacation, Obama orated on where the nation's priorities should be. The editors were shocked and dismayed and said this:

Mr. Obama's account of his strategic vision remains eccentric. He insists that Afghanistan is "the central front" for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered. While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country's strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world's largest oil reserves. If Mr. Obama's antiwar stance has blinded him to those realities, that could prove far more debilitating to him as president than any particular timetable.

Israel's UN Ambasador's final speech before the UN Security Council has urgent meaning for Americans.

Ambassador Gillerman said the world is not dealing with a clash of civilizations, but rather with a "clash of civilization, in the singular" - within Islam.

Most of the horror, most of the bloodshed, most of the killings, and most of the violence… is sadly and tragically within Islam. Not only are the majority of terrorists Muslim, but also the majority of terror victims around the world.

The Ambassador deplored the "eerie silence of the Muslim world" in the face of terrorism, and expressed his hope to see a Muslim leader emerge who would say "enough is enough, what are we doing?"

The Islam that seems to breed violence, hatred and death is increasingly a threat in Europe and the United States. What Israel has experienced can happen in America unless the nation takes effective steps to prevent it. As Gillerman said,

Imagine a bulldozer cruising down Fifth Avenue or the Champs Elysees and crushing cars.
Sitting in a coffee house in Paris, Moscow and New York, costs a few dollars. Sitting in a coffee house in Jerusalem could cost many lives.

McCain recognizes the threat. Strong leadership is needed to thwart Islamic supremacism's threat to our way of life, wherever it appears, be it in Jerusalem, Baghdad, Kabul, London or New York.

For a report on Gillerman's speech, click here.


Democrat leaders Obama, Reid and Pelosi, John Kerry and the entire Democrat Massachusetts congressional delegation do not feel your pain.


To achieve energy self-sufficiency for the sake of national security and reasonable prices, the U.S. will be looking at many different sources. There are many promising technologies in development which will be economically practical with oil prices higher than $60 or so a barrel.

No one can be sure how long it will be before alternatives are developed to a commercial level and the necessary infrastructure is in place to make utilization possible. For example, shifting motor vehicle propulsion from liquids to electricity will require an enormous build-up in generating facilities. New power plants take years to permit and build, nuclear power plants longest of all.

There will be a demand for oil and oil derivates and substitutes for years to come, no matter what alternative energy sources are developed. Airplanes will require jet fuel of some sort, for example.

The more fuel the U.S. can develop on its own – or obtain from friendly sources in our hemisphere such as Canada, Mexico and Brazil, the safer the U.S. will be. There are tremendous oil resources available off the coasts of the U.S. and in Alaska that can and should be opened up to environmentally responsible oil development.

Because of recent technological advances, oil shale in the Rocky Mountains may be the biggest prize of all -- triple the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia. It is estimated that 1.5 trillion barrels of oil can be recovered from shale in the U.S. Here, too, as with offshore and Alaska, there is a Democrat moratorium in place that needs to be ended.


Republicans led by John McCain have concluded for reasons of national energy security and to bring relief to American consumers of oil and its derivatives, including gasoline, home heating oil and jet fuel, there are areas in the U. S. in which new oil development, which is blocked by congressional moratoriums, should be allowed.

These forbidden areas include the continental shelves off the west and east coasts of the U.S., parts of the Gulf of Mexico and oil shale lands in the Rocky Mountains. Democrats oppose all such efforts to open up new oil development in these areas and are blocking votes in the House and Senate to allow it.

Also at issue is a particular tract of land in but not part of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) -- 2000 acres out of 19 million acres – known as 10-02. 10-02 was excluded from the Refuge in the original law setting up the refuge in 1980 and designated for oil development; it is not classified legally as wilderness or refuge. Exploration and oil development have been barred in ANWR since the 1980s.

Investors Business Daily - Ramirez


Obama's all-consuming ego is becoming more and more obvious. When he finally disowned his 20-year spiritual mentor, white-America hating Jeremiah Wright, he so not because of Wright's accusation about the government spreading AIDS among blacks or for "God Damn America," but because Wright, by saying Obama was just another politician, had "disrespected" him. What struck us then about Obama, as we observed in a post on June 9th, "It's all about me."

Obama's latest pretention, seeking the backdrop of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, for a political speech was too much for the Germans and for Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, who today writes about "The Audacity of Vanity."

Barack Obama wants to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. He figures it would be a nice backdrop. The supporting cast -- a cheering audience and a few fainting frauleins -- would be a picturesque way to bolster his foreign policy credentials. What Obama does not seem to understand is that the Brandenburg Gate is something you earn.

President Ronald Reagan earned the right to speak there because his relentless pressure had brought the Soviet empire to its knees and he was demanding its final "tear down this wall" liquidation.

When President John F. Kennedy visited the Brandenburg Gate on the day of his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, he was representing a country that was prepared to go to the brink of nuclear war to defend West Berlin.

Who is Obama representing? And what exactly has he done in his lifetime to merit appropriating the Brandenburg Gate as a campaign prop? What was his role in the fight against communism, the liberation of Eastern Europe, the creation of what George Bush the elder -- who presided over the fall of the Berlin Wall but modestly declined to go there for a victory lap -- called "a Europe whole and free"?

Indeed, Obama's campaign is all Obama all the time, not the future safety and prosperity of the United States.

Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself. There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?

Obama is a three-year senator without a single important legislative achievement to his name, a former Illinois state senator who voted "present" nearly 130 times. As president of the Harvard Law Review, as law professor and as legislator, has he ever produced a single notable piece of scholarship? Written a single memorable article? His most memorable work is a biography of his favorite subject: himself.

It is a subject upon which he can dilate effortlessly. In his victory speech upon winning the nomination, Obama declared it a great turning point in history -- "generations from now we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment" -- when, among other wonders, "the rise of the oceans began to slow." As Hudson Institute economist Irwin Stelzer noted in his London Daily Telegraph column, "Moses made the waters recede, but he had help." Obama apparently works alone.

All of which leads inexorably to another question about Obama.

For the first few months of the campaign, the question about Obama was: Who is he? The question now is: Who does he think he is?
We are getting to know. Redeemer of our uninvolved, uninformed lives. Lord of the seas. And more. As he said on victory night, his rise marks the moment when "our planet began to heal." As I recall -- I'm no expert on this -- Jesus practiced his healing just on the sick. Obama operates on a larger canvas.

To read this devastatingly accurate critique in full, click here.


It has been suggested that in his imperial "Do you know who I am?" ascendency to the Democratic nomination for president Obama actually bears an eerie resemblance to the last Democratic nominee for president, Massachusetts' own John Kerry.

The iconoclastic Boston Herald reporter Howie Carr mused on his years covering Kerry back in 2004. Some things never change, so it's worth a trip down memory lane.


February 5, 2004

One off the surest ways to get the phones ringing on any Massachusetts talk-radio show is to ask people to call in and tell their John Kerry stories. The phone lines are soon filled, and most of the stories have a common theme: our junior senator pulling rank on one of his constituents, breaking in line, demanding to pay less (or nothing) or ducking out before the bill arrives.

The tales often have one other common thread. Most end with Sen. Kerry inquiring of the lesser mortal: "Do you know who I am?"

High gasoline prices along with the arguments being made by John McCain and the White House are beginning to change minds in California about drilling offshore.

A new poll shows just 51% of Californians in favor of the 20-year ban, a new low.

California gas prices are among the highest in the nation because of special environmentally-driven formulations. While yesterday the price of regular at one Cape Cod service station was $4.25, an attorney in San Francisco was paying $4.89.


Our elitist Democratic presidential candidate Obama believes he can prove Republican Abraham Lincoln wrong.

Honest Abe:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

Obama clearly disagrees.

Political strategist and commentator Dick Morris summarizes the breathtakingly sudden reversals of positions Obama has made in the past few weeks. None of the changes occurred because of new facts and circumstances (as happened with McCain's switch to support of drilling for oil), but only because of the looming politics of the general election. Obama is confident his buddies in the left-wing main stream media won't call him on it and the great unwashed won't notice.


• After vowing to eschew private fundraising and take public financing, he has now refused public money.

• Once he threatened to filibuster a bill to protect telephone companies from liability for their cooperation with national security wiretaps; now he has voted for the legislation.

• Turning his back on a lifetime of support for gun control, he now recognizes a Second Amendment right to bear arms in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.

• Formerly, he told the Israeli lobby that he favored an undivided Jerusalem. Now he says he didn’t mean it.

• From a 100 percent pro-choice position, he now has migrated to expressing doubts about allowing partial-birth abortions. [Note: Obama even supported infanticide in some circumstances when in the Illinois legislature.]

• For the first time, he now speaks highly of using church-based institutions to deliver public services to the poor.

• Having based his entire campaign on withdrawal from Iraq, he now pledges to consult with the military first.

• During the primary, he backed merit pay for teachers -- " but before the union a few weeks ago, he opposed it.

• After specifically saying in the primaries that he disagreed with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) proposal to impose Social Security taxes on income over $200,000 and wanted to tax all income, he has now adopted the Clinton position.

So, once again, what does Obama really stand for? Who does he care about -- besides himself?

As for the crisis in fuel prices that caused McCain to come out in favor of drilling to help the little guy, the average American, Obama and his Democrats in Congress are unmoved.

[T]he Democrats oppose drilling virtually anywhere that there might be recoverable oil. Not in Alaska. Not offshore. Not in shale deposits in the West. The Democratic claim that we “cannot drill our way out of the crisis in gas prices” begs the question of whether, had we drilled five years ago, we would be a lot less dependent on foreign market fluctuations.

The most Obama would say is he wished the price rise had been more gradual, but he showed indifference to the impact of $4 or $5 gasoline on the average American.

Why are Obama and his Democrats in Congress giving the back of the hand to Americans strapped by escalating fuel and home heating oil costs?

The truth is that the Democrats put the need to mitigate climate change ahead of the imperative of holding down gasoline prices at the pump. If there was ever a fault line between elitist and populist approaches to a problem, this is it. In fact, liberals basically don’t see much wrong with $5 gas. Many have been urging a tax to achieve precisely this level, just like Europe has done for decades.

Obama's elitist streak, most dramatically evidenced by his sneering reference to the rural rubes who "cling" to their guns and their God, shows how out of touch he is with the men and women who have to drive to work every day and the seniors faced with doubled costs of heating oil. From his Olympian height he apparently believes he can shift his positions at will and none of his adoring throngs -- or those rubes -- will notice or care.

McCain is with the little guy, demanding that Congress lift the bans on drilling. Polls show that a big majority of Americans agree with McCain.

If Obama once again shifts in the political wind, this time on drilling, it won't be for "the little guy," it will be, once again, for Obama.

This firestorm McCain has ignited may blow Obama over. Honest Abe Lincoln will be proved right after all.

For the entire Dick Morris article, click here.

The Washington Post expressed dismay about Obama's tone-deaf speech about Iraq:

The message that the Democrat sends is that he is ultimately indifferent to the war's outcome -- that Iraq "distracts us from every threat we face" and thus must be speedily evacuated regardless of the consequences. That's an irrational and ahistorical way to view a country at the strategic center of the Middle East, with some of the world's largest oil reserves. Whether or not the war was a mistake, Iraq's future is a vital U.S. security interest.


Hundreds of thousands of Americans are demanding that the Democratic-controlled Congress end its prohibitions on drilling for oil in America. These congressional bans are what's responsible for the high price of gasoline and heating oil. John McCain supports drilling; Obama and his Democrats do not.

Only public pressure will force the Democrats to switch. Polls show a large majority agree with John McCain that we should develop our own resources and end the stranglehold hostile foreign oil producers have on us.

Make your voice heard! Go online to Freedom's Watch right now and sign the message to Congress that you want them to stop their obstruction: We want drilling to start now!





John Hinderaker, a highly respected, nationally known litigator from Minneapolis, is one of the three superb lawyers, all graduates of Dartmouth College, writing at one of the internet's premier blogs Power Line. Hinderaker read and then tore to shreds the op-ed on Iraq his fellow Harvard Law School graduate Barack Obama published in the New York Times today (July 14, 2008). Bottom line conclusion:

It is possible that at some point in American history there may have been a major politician as dishonest as Barack Obama, but I can't offhand think of such a miscreant.

As you read, you can sense the controlled anger in HInderaker as he points out that Obama seeks defeat not only in Iraq but in Afghanistan, too. Obama's op-ed twisting his past record so he can "catch up" with the success in Iraq he said could never happen exposes him, in Hinderaker's words, as a "complete fraud."

Rather than pick out a paragraph here or there, we believe it best to present Hinderaker's entire analysis, the cumulative effect of which is devastating evidence of the shallowness and poor judgment of Obama, to say nothing of his duplicity.




The New Yorker chuckles with glee that its Manchurian candidate will make it to the Oval Office despite who he is.

Though this is presumably satire by the left-wing magazine, many will see the cover as making it legitimate to raise questions about such things as Obama's sympathy for the Palestinian cause, why he downplays the seriousness of the War on Terror and his friendship with terrorists who blew up buildings in Washington and New York and with his Muslim cousin Raila Odinga who ran for president of Kenya reportedly promising to Muslim groups that, if elected, he would impose Sharia, Islamic law, and stamp out all Christian missionary activity.

If The New Yorker can raise such issues, why can't others?

Obama has been working diligently to shut down all questioning about his lack of experience, his unsavory associations and his extremism by equating criticism of him with racism. The New Yorker has blown that strategy with its cover. Freedom of speech wins.

For other views on what looks like a bungled effort to show support for Obama, see PowerLine and Michelle Malkin.



Character counts.

Don't hope for a better life. Vote for it. McCain."


Despite gasoline prices going higher and higher congressional Democrats continue to block development of resources that could help bring those prices down. Republicans have repeatedly sought to end the development paralysis, but have been stymied by the Democratic majority in Congress. Every day development is delayed is another day the U.S. is reliant upon hostile overseas oil producers.

The most exciting prospect for achieving energy independence is in the Rocky Mountains. Only recently has technology been developed to extract oil from shale deposits. But congressional Democrats slapped a moratorium on shale development to add to the moratoriums they voted for on drilling in Alaska and the outer continental shelves.

The potential for oil from Rocky Mountains shale is enormous. The estimable blog Power Line published a chart showing how huge the deposits are. Saudi Arabia has the most oil reserves, but, taking shale into account, the U.S. has about ten times what the Saudis have.

While the oil crisis has accelerated efforts to develop alternative sources of energy, be it solar, wind, biofuels, nuclear or whatever, it will be years, perhaps many years, before transportation will not need oil. We need to use all our resources to set America free.

John McCain is leading the way for lower gas prices by demanding that oil development begin offshore and in the Rockies.

This morning's Wall Street Journal announced the failure of a large bank specializing in mortgages. The FDIC will take the bank over and depositors will get their $100,000 of insurance coverage.

But what triggered the bank's collapse? It turns out that in late June Democrat New York Senator Charles Schumer wrote a letter (and made it public) expressing concern about the solvency of the bank. That immediately created panic among its depositors who stormed the bank and took out $1.3 billion.

Our banking system and each bank operates because of public confidence. When something happens to damage or destroy that confidence, as Schumer's letter clearly did, confidence and dollars go flying out the bank door.

Why would Schumer do such a thing? He could always pick up the phone and talk to the regulator privately to make sure he was doing his job. But, no, a highly-publicized letter went out and catastrophe followed. The estimated bail-out cost could be $8 billion.

The regulator aptly said that Schumer's letter caused the bank to have a "heart attack." It will probably cause the nation, the economy and the markets more heartache and headaches.

UPDATE: Monday's WSJ quoted the federal regulator saying this about Schumer:

OTS Director John Reich said Friday that Mr. Schumer sparked a deposit run that "pushed IndyMac over the edge." Publicizing the June 26 letters was "an unprecedented act," Mr. Reich told reporters Friday. He said Sen. Schumer should have privately addressed his concerns with regulators.


Q. Who's responsible for high gas prices?
A. That's easy. The Democrats in Congress.

That includes Democrat Obama, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democrat Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the entire Massachusetts House delegation (all Democrats), with special mention to Cape Cod's Democrat Congressman William Delahunt, the "excellent friend" of Venezuela's America-hating Hugo Chavez.

Just yesterday Democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives Pelosi told her fellow Democrats they aren't going to budge on energy. She will not allow any bills to come to a vote that would permit American companies to drill for oil in America on the outer continental shelf and other places from which Democrat votes have banned them for years. As the New York Times reported, Democrat Pelosi said no way on drilling because if the Democrats changed their position (thus showing they were wrong all these years) they "might as well pack up and go home." Polls show a big majority of Americans want drilling now.

Not only is this outrageous for the average American paying upwards of $4 for gasoline, remember who we're handing our money over to.

So the American public is getting stiffed by the Democratic Congress and the oil boys are laughing all the way to their banks in the Middle East.. " How stupid can those Democrats be," they must be saying. "No wonder their approval rating has dropped to an all-time low of 9%. And with Obama as president, nothing will change. There'll be a lot of wind and sunshine, but no new oil."


John McCain has taken the lead in developing a national security policy embracing energy security. Recognizing the stranglehold that foreign oil producers have over the U.S. and the rest of the world McCain has called for lifting moratoria on drilling in U.S. territories except for the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge and for building 45 nuclear power plants before 2030 and accelerating work on clean coal technology. Obama and the Democratic Party are opposed, continuing to bury their heads in Middle Eastern sands. Skyrocketing gasoline prices for the average American seem not to bother Obama or the Democratic majority in Congress.

Veteran oilman T. Boone Pickens agrees with John McCain that this oil dependency is dangerous. He, too, believes a comprehensive energy program is needed to set America free. Drilling, conservation and alternative energy sources such as biofuels, wind and solar along with natural gas (which the U.S. has in abundance) are all part of the solution.

It cannot be emphasized often enough that the West, including the United States, is funding both sides of the War on Terror. Commendably, Pickens is spending his own money to alert the American public to the magnitude of the dependency and its cost to America. Watch this clip from the first of a series of announcements he will be running on national TV.


It’s clear the Democratic Congress is the villain in high gas prices.

There is plenty of oil to be found off the coasts of the U.S. and in Rocky Mountains shale. Moratoriums, some for 30 years, have blocked development, leaving
Americans at the mercy of the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela.

This year alone American consumers of oil and its derivatives will be sending almost $700 billion to the Middle East, $400 billion of it to Saudi Arabia. That’s about 130% of the American defense budget.

John McCain has said it is foolish not to develop our own resources to end our dependency on foreign oil. He favors drilling offshore and in the Rocky Mountains (Obama is against). McCain believes we should develop nuclear power as well; Obama is opposed. Transportation runs on oil and our national security is endangered by continued reliance on unstable, unfriendly and enemy oil producers.

Republicans have made repeated efforts in Congress to lift the drilling moratoriums, but they have been blocked at every turn by the Democratic leadership.

As an example, just recently Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed to end the moratorium blocking extraction of oil from shale on federal lands in the Rocky Mountains. On a 15-14 party line vote, the Democrats beat back the effort to help bring the price of gasoline down.

Yes, it will take several years to get the oil flowing. Congressional Democrats have made that point for years in defeating Republican proposals to drill. If we'd started drilling years ago, the oil would be flowing now.

Republican senators Hatch of Utah and Allard of Colorado were asked by Fortune Magazine about the damage Senate Democrats were doing by blocking the drilling. After all, it’s estimated that there are “800 billion barrels of recoverable oil shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone,” rivaling the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.

Fortune: Why do you consider developing oil shale such a high priority?

Sen. Hatch: We have as much oil in oil shale in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado as the rest of the world's oil combined. Liberals and environmentalists can talk all they want about wind, solar and geothermal - all of which I'm for - but last time I checked, planes, trains, trucks, ships and cars don't run on electricity. 98% of transportation fuel right now is oil. Ethanol is the only real alternative, and we're seeing that ethanol has major limitations….

People are going to go berserk when they find out that all along we had the capacity, within our own borders, to alleviate our dependency in an environmentally friendly way. (emphasis added)

That’s it, in a nutshell. The Democratic Congress refuses to take steps to make more of our own gasoline available to American motorists. Will they be as stubborn (stupid?) when gas prices go to $5, $6 a gallon?

Colombia has been battling drug dealers for decades. Under President Uribe, Colombia, a close ally of the United States, has made tremendous progress against FARC, the principal enemy of a safe Colombia. With the help of the United States, a spectacular undercover operation by the Colombian army succeeded in rescuing hostages held by FARC for years. Among them was Chatham native Thomas Howes, who was serving as a contractor in the fight against the drug traffickers.

Despite the close cooperation of the U.S.and Colombia in seeking to end the flow of drugs from Colombia into the United States, Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has blocked a vote on the Free Trade Agreement negotiated by the Administration with Colombia, an agreement that will create jobs for the United States and make permanent favorable trade terms for our ally Colombia.

John McCain has called on the House to end its obstruction and to vote to approve the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Political analyst Michael Barone has called Pelosi's twisting of House rules to keep the Agreement from getting a vote on the floor the "one truly shameful act" of this Congress. Obama supports Pelosi.

No wonder this Democratic Congress has an approval rating of only 9%. People are disgusted.

The ultra-left foreign affairs columnist of the Boston Globe H.D.S. Greenway today admitted (Boston Globe, July 8, 2008) that Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations " theories [first published in 1993] are looking ever more prescient."

To stress his point, Greenway quotes Professor Fouad Ajami (Director of Middle Eastern Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies) who, echoing Huntington, observed that the "youth bulge," the "young Arabs and Muslims" -- as represented by "the 19 young Arabs who struck America on 9/11" --."were the shock troops of a new radicalism. . . . Islam has grown assertive and belligerent."

John S. McCain says this is the "transcendent challenge" of our times. With hundreds of billions of dollars in oil money pouring into enemy, unfriendly and not-too-friendly Middle East regimes in which millions of young men have been taught to hate the West, they are more of a threat than they were in 1993 or even on 9/11/2001.

Barack H. Obama dismisses the Islamist threat as "the politics of fear."

Who, then, has the experience and the understanding to defend the country as Commander-in-Chief in these perilous times?

Professor Sowell, the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at Stanford's Hoover Institution, is a widely read columnist writing for the Creators Syndicate.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 070405sowellthomas.jpg

Dr. Thomas Sowell examines the phenomenon of the media, teenagers and other usually sensible people swooning over Obama and gives us this warning:

Voting is a right but it is also a duty-- a duty not just to show up on election day, but a duty to give serious thought to the alternatives on the table and what those alternatives mean for the future of the nation.

What Professor Sowell sees is people not paying attention to facts and "the future of the nation," but only to campaign rhetoric and skin color. They aren't being serious.

What is becoming ever more painfully apparent is that too many people this year-- whether conservative, liberals or whatever-- are all too willing to judge Barack Obama on the basis of his election-year rhetoric, rather than on the record of what he has advocated and done during the past two decades. Many are for him for no more serious reasons than his mouth and his complexion. The man has become a Rorschach test for the feelings and hopes, not only of those on the left, but also for some on the right as well. Here is a man who has consistently aided and abetted people who have openly expressed their contempt for this country, both in words and in such deeds as planting bombs to advance their left-wing agenda.

Despite the spin that judging Obama by what was said or done by such people would be "guilt by association," he has not just associated with such people. He has in some cases donated some serious money of his own and even more of the taxpayers' money, as both a state senator in Illinois and a member of the Senate of the United States.

Barack Obama is on record as favoring the kinds of justices who make policy, not just carry out laws. No matter how he may “refine” his position on this issue, he voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, who was easily confirmed by more than three-quarters of the Senators.

Like people on the far left for literally centuries, Barack Obama plays down the dangers to the nation, and calls talk about such dangers "the politics of fear."

Back in the 18th century, Helvetius said, "When I speak I put on a mask. When I act, I am forced to take it off." Too many voters still have not learned that lesson. They need to look at the track record of Obama's actions.

Back in the days of "The Lone Ranger" program, someone would ask, "Who is that masked man?" People need to start asking that question about Barack Obama.



For all the talk during the Democratic primary contest about how the Clintons were injecting the issue of race into the campaign, it was really Obama who was most energetically slapping down the race card.

It was little noticed in the uproar over his elitist remarks about the rural rubes who "cling" to their guns and their God that he also implied they were racists, too. At the chardonnay and brie fundraising reception for the Democratic high rollers in the hilltop mansion in San Francisco's Pacific Heights, he intoned what "they" would be saying, "And did I mention he's black?"

Now that the general campaign has for all practical purposes begun, Obama is once again throwing down the race card, this time at John McCain.

What Obama says about the opposition is now about John McCain. So there he was once again, at a Democratic fundraiser in Jacksonville on June 20th, suggesting -- with no history to justify such a remark -- that his opponent will inject the issue of race into the campaign: "And did I mention that he's black?"

Such a slander against McCain is unpardonable, but it's, sadly, every day fare for Obama. Obama knows many Americans would welcome a qualified black president and fanning the flames of racism works to his advantage. It did against the Clintons.

Michael Barone agrees with Obama that the issue of race is an Obama plus.

By raising the specter of racial attacks from John McCain (without any justification for doing so) Obama seeks to divert attention from -- and to choke off all criticism of -- his inexperience, extremism, embrace of black power and his many troubling personal associations, hoping he can brand all such criticism of him as "racism."

Michael Barone has done some historical analysis and concludes that Americans have already passed the "race" test and have nothing to prove with Obama.

Citing polls when Colin Powell was a possible candidate for president, Barone says this:

I would submit that the vast majority of American voters have already passed the test. They've shown they're willing to vote for a black candidate, provided he has acceptable views on issues and appropriate experience for the job.

Barone concludes:

On balance I think Obama's race has been a political asset. I believe that most Americans think it would be a good thing, all other things being reasonably equal, for our country to elect a black president. I know I feel that way myself. I think that impulse has inspired many voters, ever since his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, to give Obama a sympathetic look-over, to be readier perhaps to appreciate his strengths and to overlook his weaknesses than they might be with an otherwise similar non-black candidate. The refusal of a very small number of voters to support a black candidate does not, I think, offset this significant advantage. The Obama candidacy is indeed a test -- a test not of American voters, but of Barack Obama. (emphasis added)

As Michael Barone suggests, Amercians should look beyond the color of skin and the soaring rhetoric to evaluate Obama's experience, his extremism, his embrace of black power and those many troubling personal associations he chose for himself.

Is this the person to be commander-in-chief of the United States in a time of peril?

What American is kicking our closest ally in the Americas in the teeth?

Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The world celebrates the astonishing rescue by the Columbian army of 15 FARC hostages, some of whom had been held for six years. Three Americans were among them. Columbia is the closest ally of the U.S. in the Western Hemisphere and the rescue was aided by close cooperation with the United States under a program adopted in 1998 by a Republican Congress and President Clinton. President Uribe's popularity, which hovers around 70%, soared to over 90% following the rescue.

Yet Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to allow the Columbia-U.S.Free Trade Agreement to go to a vote on the House floor. Political analyst Michael Barone had this to say about that:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's rejection of the Colombia free-trade agreement, by changing House rules in a way that may have destroyed the fast track procedure by which the United States has secured free-trade agreements for more than four decades, seems to me to be the one truly shameful act of this Congress. This rejection of an ally, the third largest country in Latin America, a nation that is threatened by authoritarian and terrorist opponents, and has nonetheless succeeded in strengthening human rights and stimulating economic growth, is as disgusting as anything I've seen Congress do. John McCain hailed Colombia's action; Barack Obama, an opponent of the Colombia trade agreement, unblushingly chimed in a bit later. I wonder how he reconciles this with his message on the Colombia trade pact, summed up aptly in the title of a Washington Post editorial, "Drop Dead, Colombia." (emphasis added)

The Free-Trade Agreement will create jobs for Americans by opening up Columbia's markets while it only makes permanent market access to American markets Columbia has enjoyed on a temporary basis for years.

This would also be a good time -- he's changing his position on everything else -- for Senator Obama to reverse his position and finally speak in favor of the Columbia free trade agreement.

Senator McCain has strongly supported the free trade agreement. He was visiting with President Uribe the day before the rescue attempt. The president briefed McCain on it beforehand. Senator Joe Lieberman, traveling with Senator McCain along with Senator Lindsey Graham, said this:

"I think it was a sign of confidence of President Uribe and the defense minister in Sen. McCain and maybe the two of us that they were prepared to share this information...which was highly classified."


Before the glow from Independence Day fades, one should consider what Professor Thomas Sowell asks.

How did "God Bless America" become "God Damn America"?

Does Patriotism Matter?
Thomas Sowell
Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday but patriotism has long been viewed with suspicion or disdain by many of the intelligentsia. As far back as 1793, prominent British writer William Godwin called patriotism "high-sounding nonsense."

Internationalism has long been a competitor with patriotism, especially among the intelligentsia. H.G. Wells advocated replacing the idea of duty to one's country with "the idea of cosmopolitan duty."

Perhaps nowhere was patriotism so downplayed or deplored than among intellectuals in the Western democracies in the two decades after the horrors of the First World War, fought under various nations' banners of patriotism.

In France, after the First World War, the teachers' unions launched a systematic purge of textbooks, in order to promote internationalism and pacifism.

Books that depicted the courage and self-sacrifice of soldiers who had defended France against the German invaders were called "bellicose" books to be banished from the schools.

Textbook publishers caved in to the power of the teachers' unions, rather than lose a large market for their books. History books were sharply revised to conform to internationalism and pacifism.

The once epic story of the French soldiers' heroic defense against the German invaders at Verdun, despite the massive casualties suffered by the French, was now transformed into a story of horrible suffering by all soldiers at Verdun-- French and German alike.

In short, soldiers once depicted as national heroes were now depicted as victims-- and just like victims in other nations' armies.

Children were bombarded with stories on the horrors of war. In some schools, children whose fathers had been killed during the war were asked to speak to the class and many of these children-- as well as some of their classmates and teachers-- broke down in tears.

In Britain, Winston Churchill warned that a country "cannot avoid war by dilating upon its horrors." In France, Marshal Philippe Petain, the victor at Verdun, warned in 1934 that teachers were trying to "raise our sons in ignorance of or in contempt of the fatherland."

But they were voices drowned out by the pacifist and internationalist rhetoric of the 1920s and 1930s.

Did it matter? Does patriotism matter?

France, where pacifism and internationalism were strongest, became a classic example of how much it can matter.

During the First World War, France fought on against the German invaders for four long years, despite having more of its soldiers killed than all the American soldiers killed in all the wars in the history of the United States, put together.

But during the Second World War, France collapsed after just six weeks of fighting and surrendered to Nazi Germany. At the bitter moment of defeat the head of the French teachers' union was told, "You are partially responsible for the defeat."

Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mauriac, and other Frenchmen blamed a lack of national will or general moral decay, for the sudden and humiliating collapse of France in 1940.

At the outset of the invasion, both German and French generals assessed French military forces as more likely to gain victory, and virtually no one expected France to collapse like a house of cards -- except Adolf Hitler, who had studied French society instead of French military forces.

Did patriotism matter? It mattered more than superior French tanks and planes.

Most Americans today are unaware of how much our schools have followed in the footsteps of the French schools of the 1920s and 1930s, or how much our intellectuals have become citizens of the world instead of American patriots.

Our media are busy verbally transforming American combat troops from heroes into victims, just as the French intelligentsia did-- with the added twist of calling this "supporting the troops."

Will that matter? Time will tell.

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