Current Political Scene

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Yannis, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Yannis


    War and Obama
    by Bill O'Reilly

    "Cutting through all the fog, there are two primary reasons behind Barack Obama's stunning victory over the Clinton machine: authenticity and the war in Iraq.

    As amply demonstrated, there is simply no comparison between Obama and Hillary Clinton as far as public speaking is concerned. He is eloquent and natural, talking directly to the folks. She is more stilted and rehearsed, talking at the listener. Sen. Clinton comes across as the typical politician, while Sen. Obama seems like a genuine human being.

    He also outflanked her on the Iraq war. In the beginning of the campaign, Obama bolted from the starting gate flashing his anti-war cred. From the jump, he had been against the action. And now he was the guy who would pull the USA out of the Iraq swamp.

    Clinton was immediately put on the defensive, as she initially supported the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein. Also, her entire outlook on confronting Islamic fascism was far too bullish for far-left America. So the Net roots, as they call themselves, flocked to Obama and provided him with vast amounts of money via the Internet. By the time Hillary rallied Democratic moderates, it was too late.

    Now Obama has achieved the nomination, but his winning primary strategy on Iraq could come back to haunt him in the general election, when the far left becomes rather insignificant. Already John McCain is painting Obama as a terror appeaser who would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq.

    And McCain has some heavy ammunition to back up his attack. In May, American casualties were the lowest since the Iraq war began in 2003. In addition, Iraqi oil production is now at its highest level since Saddam fell. Even the liberal Reuters news agency calls the current situation in Iraq a "dramatic turnabout."

    Of course, you won't hear much about that in the American press, as the liberal media have much invested in a U.S. defeat in Iraq. But there is no question that the war there can now be won. It's not a lock, but it's certainly a possibility.

    McCain must make the case that a victory in Iraq, which means the country stabilizes and becomes an ally against Islamic terror and Iran, means a much more secure United States. For the past few weeks, McCain has been spotlighting Iran's villainy; pointing out its support of terror groups like Hezbollah and its outright killing of our forces in Iraq.

    Quietly, McCain is setting Obama up for a hard right to the jaw. If the U.S. pulls out of Iraq too quickly, the pressure on Iran immediately lightens and the potential for aggression by the bitterly anti-Jewish and anti-American Mullahs rises dramatically. Does Obama understand that? Does it matter to him? McCain will confront his young challenger with those questions.

    Obama's advisers know the Iraq scenario is changing fast. They also understand that the media will ignore the good news for as long as it can. But word will get out and, after years of frustration, Americans could be staring at a success story after all.
    Not good news for Obama."
  2. Yannis


    As the Oceans Rise
    George F. Will

    Obama's words mesmerize a nation accustomed to leaders who use words with antic indifference to their accuracy.

    "Journalists consider themselves crusty, unsentimental creatures who, their battered fedoras shoved back on their heads, have slouched out of Ben Hecht's 1928 play "The Front Page," oozing skepticism from every pore. Actually, they are round-heeled romantics, such pushovers for a new swain that they did not laugh until their ribs squeaked when Barack Obama concluded his triumphal St. Paul, Minn., speech by proclaiming: "I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick …"

    It is absolutely certain that generations from now someone will remember that even before that night in St. Paul, care was provided to the sick in America. Obama also asserted that future generations would say that "this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal …" The man and the moment have met.

    Obama's words mesmerize a nation accustomed to leaders who routinely use words with antic indifference to their accuracy. The No Child Left Behind law promises, indeed requires, that by 2014 all children will be "proficient" in reading and math. That will not happen. Obama vows to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. John McCain says 60 percent. Whether either goal should be reached, neither will be. Commentators, too, use words in peculiar ways, as when they speak of Obama and Hillary Clinton needing to bring together "the two wings of the party." There is the left wing, and the other left wing. As one precise commentator has said, Clinton and Obama differ about as much as the Everly Brothers.

    As the primary season folds seamlessly into the general election campaign, there are few certainties, but this will be the first presidential election contested by two sitting senators, so this will be just the third time the country has elected a sitting senator (Harding in 1920, Kennedy in 1960). And there is an asymmetry between the senators' possible trajectories: McCain, although a very familiar figure, has a downside risk from becoming better-known concerning one issue; Obama has an upside potential from becoming better-known regarding an elemental fact.

    McCain is fortunate. The eerie narcissism of Clinton's speech the night that Obama clinched the nomination distracted attention from McCain's badly delivered speech the same night, in New Orleans. If he really opposes torture, he will take pity on the public and master the use of a teleprompter.

    He said, "The American people didn't get to know me yesterday, as they are just getting to know Senator Obama." McCain, who has been running for president for 10 years, has never entertained the thought that the country might sometimes have a surfeit of him. Does some statute require that he appear on at least one of the five Sunday morning talk shows every week (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News)? He has appeared on them 67 times since 2004. He has been such a ubiquitous figure, it will be difficult for him to seize the attention of a public that thinks it knows everything about him."
  3. Yannis


    Face it, Democrats: Barack Obama's got a growing problem with whites


    "Hillary Clinton, down to her last straw, is making the case that she is the better candidate to run against the Republicans because, unlike Barack Obama, she can win white Democrats.

    She is right. But because she is daring to touch the hot button of racial politics, she is being told to shut up or risk being charged with exploiting racial tensions for political advantage.

    The facts are stubborn, however. Since his phenomenal win with 33% of the white vote in nearly all-white Iowa, Obama has been unable to get a firm grip on white Democrats. He has won a majority of these voters in only six states, the biggest of which is his home state of Illinois. Clinton has defeated Obama among white voters in key states such as California, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Exit polls show Clinton winning an overwhelming average of 57% of white Democrats since the February Super Tuesday elections.

    If you think none of this is a real issue for Democrats as they try to win the White House, then listen to Republican guru Karl Rove. Citing Obama's inability to get more than 30% of Catholics or working-class white voters in a big state such as Pennsylvania, Rove recently wrote: "Defections like this elect Republicans."

    And now we are heading into a general election with an even larger group of white voters in play, key independents and suburbanites in "toss-up" districts that swing between Republicans and Democrats.

    So it is critical for the Democrats to focus on what it means to nominate this particular black candidate. It is critical for them to honestly assess his strengths and weaknesses, even when those are uncomfortably intertwined with his race.

    In particular, being silent on race is not going to erase Obama's ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the preacher's fireballs of inflammatory rhetoric.

    Nearly half of the voters in North Carolina and Indiana said Wright was an important issue for them. Then there is an April poll by The Associated Press that found "about 8% of whites would be uncomfortable voting for a black for President." According to a May Newsweek poll, 12% of voters said they thought most Americans would "have reservations about voting for a black candidate that they are not willing to express"; 41% said they thought some Americans would have such reservations.

    To some, any reference to such numbers is desperate at best - and race-baiting at worst.

    "I have much broader base to build a winning coalition on," Clinton told USA Today this week, making clear that she consistently does better among white, working-class voters. "There is a pattern emerging here."

    That prompted The New York Times editorial page to write: "Yes, there is a pattern - a familiar and unpleasant one," making reference to charges that during the primary campaign the Clinton camp has used veiled racial attacks against Obama.

    Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is living in similar denial. If the GOP brings up Wright during the fall campaign, Dean said recently, it will amount to "race-baiting...just like Willie Horton was race-baiting so many years ago."

    Obama has run a brilliant campaign. He has won over many white voters by making them proud to vote for a supremely educated and capable man who, at his best, makes race a secondary concern. It is not inconsistent, unfair or unsavory to point out, at the same time, that Obama has been growing weaker over the months in his ability to win all but black voters. Nor am I necessarily suggesting that white voters are drifting from him because of his race - as opposed to judgments about the content of his character or candidacy.

    This is about facing facts. And history will reflect poorly on Democrats if they believe it is virtuous to ignore race in the name of nominating the first black candidate for the White House - even if it means giving the Republicans a better chance to once again walk away with the big prize of the presidency."
  4. Yannis


    Former German Diplomat: Israel Readying Strike on Iran
    From NewsMax

    "A prominent political observer is predicting that Israel is likely to attack Iran's nuclear facilities before President Bush leaves office.

    "The threat of another military confrontation hangs like a dark cloud over the Middle East," declared Joschka Fischer, who was Germany's foreign minister and vice chancellor from 1998 to 2005.

    Writing in the Beirut-based English-language newspaper The Daily Star, Fischer notes that a nuclear-armed Iran would be "Israel's worst security nightmare," and the Jewish state takes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threat to annihilate Israel very seriously.

    He points to several factors that indicate Israel could be readying a strike on Iran:

    When President Bush recently visited Israel as the country celebrated its 60th birthday, it was expected that Palestinian-Israeli relations would be the chief topic discussed. Instead, it was Iran.
    It has been speculated that during his visit, Bush gave Israelthe green light for an attack on Iran.

    Political pressure is mounting in Israel for action to halt the Iranian threat.

    The outgoing commander of the Israeli Air Force has said that the air force is capable of any mission, no matter how difficult, to protect Israel's security.

    With the Bush presidency approaching its end and uncertainty about his successor's policy toward Israel and Iran, the "window of opportunity" for an Israeli attack is potentially closing, and that window "is now, during the last months of Bush's presidency."

    Fischer observes: "Although it is acknowledged in Israel that an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would involve grave and hard-to-assess risks, the choice between acceptance of an Iranian bomb and an attempt at its military destruction, with all the attendant consequences, is clear. Israel won't stand by and wait for matters to take their course."

    As Newsmax reported in December, Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and senior adviser to three presidents, said after talks with Israeli officials that the Jewish state would launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities on its own if the rest of the world does not take action.

    Fischer concluded: "Iran must understand that without a diplomatic solution in the coming months, a dangerous military conflict is very likely to erupt. It is high time for serious negotiations to begin.""
  5. Yannis


    Obama Presidency Would Weaken U.S. Military
    From NewsMax

    "A non-partisan organization has posted a video showing Barack Obama vowing to adopt military policies that the group asserts would "jeopardize our battlefield superiority."

    The Center for Individual Freedom said the video was first posted online in late 2007. It depicts the Democratic presidential candidate delivering a message to a group called Caucus4Priorities and promising to cut "tens of billions of dollars" in military spending.

    The cuts would come at a time "when our armed forces are already stretched and in need of new weapon technologies and armor," CFIF said.

    In the video, Obama declares:

    "As president, I will end misguided defense policies and stand with Caucus4Priorities in fighting special interests in Washington.

    "First, I'll stop spending $9 billion a month in Iraq. I'm the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning. And as president I will end it.

    "Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space.

    "I will slow our development of future combat systems."

    About that last statement, CFIF says: "Think about the frightening implications of this pledge for a moment.

    "Future combat systems are the cornerstone of American military modernization and superiority. As America fights the war on terror and deters potential military aggression by rogue nations, advanced combat systems provide us with better equipment, unmatched situational awareness, and communication systems that result in American battlefield domination...

    "Despite this, Sen. Obama bizarrely pledges to jeopardize our battlefield superiority."

    In the video, Obama also states: "I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons, I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material, and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals."

    CFIC concludes: "In what realm does Sen. Obama's ideology dwell, that he would expect his promises to somehow endear him to American swing voters?

    "What makes Sen. Obama's statement most perplexing is the fact that he already faces an uphill battle to convince American voters that he won't be the second coming of Jimmy Carter in undermining our military forces.""
  6. Yannis


    Critics Charge Pelosi 'Slandered,' 'Defamed' U.S. Troops
    From NewsMax

    "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demeaned the recent success of American forces in Iraq and instead gave credit to the Iranians for halting the fighting in the city of Basra.

    The California Democrat recently sat down with reporters and members of the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle and gave them an 80-minute interview.

    "At the 62-minute mark, Pelosi slandered and demeaned the hard-won successes of our armed forces in Iraq," according to a press release from the Media Research Center (MRC), a conservative media watchdog group.

    Pelosi said: "Whatever the military success and any progress that may have been made, the surge didn't accomplish its goal ... And some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians — they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, they negotiated that cessation of hostilities — the Iranians." observed: "This is, from Pelosi, a clear and willful defamation of our soldiers in Iraq, and a diminution of the great and growing success we have seen there, paid for with their blood, toil, and tremendous sacrifice...

    "We now have an elected official, indeed the Speaker of the House of Representatives, impugning the blood honor and accomplishments of our troops, and ascribing their success to our Iranian enemy, whom she also thanks for their 'goodwill' in lessening the pace at which they are murdering our brave men and women."

    Interestingly, none of the Chronicle articles written about the interview made reference to the Pelosi quote cited by the MRC, which noted: "No one at the Chronicle reported the Speaker's vicious slander.""
  7. Yannis


  8. Yannis


  9. Most of the anti mac crowd don't realize that Mac voted against his party to remove troops from Lebanon before they bombed the barracks, and that he was against sending troops to Somalia.

    They think cause he talks tough, he automatically wants to go to war. Couldn't be further from the truth if you look at his record.

    That said, I still don't like him. I just don't think its fair to call him a war monger.
  10. Yannis


    When I was young and innocent I used to say "I don't like this or that, it should be this way, not that way... "

    Now I'm older and more experienced and I hear myself say things like "Under the circumstances, given that lots of things out there stink to high heaven, what's the best I can realistically get?"

    As my wise ancestors philosophized 2500 years ago: "to mi choiron, veltiston" meaning, "what's not the worst, is the best." I'm sure they were winking, tightening their lips, and shaking their heads up and down or left and right as they were saying it...

    :) :) :)
    #10     Jun 9, 2008