The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Please, NOT Another Surge,,,

Cartoon by Eric Allie (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/31/2008 10:44:00 PM | Permalink | |

Democrats: $10 Gas Still Would Not be High Enough to start Drilling

This is un-freaking-believable.

Ed Morrissey comments:

Let a thousand television ads bloom. Even Floridians and Californians now support drilling in the OCS:

With gas prices hovering at $4 a gallon, a majority of Floridians now support drilling for oil in protected areas offshore, according to a new poll.

The survey finds support for drilling at 60 percent, with 10 percent of respondents telling pollsters that they’d opposed offshore drilling in the past. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they remain opposed to offshore drilling.

And ….

A majority of Californians favor more oil drilling off the coast, according to a statewide survey released Wednesday, for the first time since oil prices spiked nearly three decades ago.

The support by 51 percent of residents polled this month by the Public Policy Institute of California represents a shift caused by renewed Republican advocacy for drilling as well as motorists’ reaction to soaring pump prices, according to the pollster.

Republicans should use a very simple message. We have enough oil to satisfy American needs for at least the next 100 years, but Democrats won’t let you have it. They’d rather you pay $10 per gallon at the pump and watch food prices increase 250% rather than agree to drilling. If you don’t want $10 per gallon gas, vote Republican.

DiscerningTexan, 7/31/2008 10:33:00 PM | Permalink | |
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nancy's "Solution"

Cartoon by Lisa Benson (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2008 10:20:00 PM | Permalink | |

What is McCain DOING??

If anyone is capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, it may be John McCain (via Dan Henninger):
It's not just taxes. Recently the subject came up of Al Gore's assertion that the U.S. could get its energy solely from renewables in 10 years. Sen. McCain said: "If the vice president says it's doable, I believe it's doable." What!!?? In a later interview, Mr. McCain said he hadn't read "all the specifics" of the Gore plan and now, "I don't think it's doable without nuclear power." It just sounds loopy.

Then this week in San Francisco, in an interview with the Chronicle, Sen. McCain called Nancy Pelosi an "inspiration to millions of Americans." Notwithstanding his promises to "work with the other side," this is a politically obtuse thing to say in the middle of a campaign. Would Bill Clinton, running for president in 1996 after losing control of the House, have called Newt Gingrich an "inspiration"? House Minority Leader John Boehner, facing a 10-to-20 seat loss in November, must be gagging.

The one thing -- arguably the only thing -- the McCain candidacy has going for it is a sense among voters that they don't know what Barack Obama stands for or believes. Why then would Mr. McCain give voters reason to wonder the same thing about himself? You're supposed to sow doubt about the other guy, not do it to yourself.

Yes, Sen. McCain must somehow appeal to independents and blue-collar Hillary Democrats. A degree of pandering to the center is inevitable. But this stuff isn't pandering; it's simply stupid. Al Gore's own climate allies separated themselves from his preposterous free-of-oil-in-10-years whopper. Sen. McCain saying off-handedly that it's "doable" is, in a word, thoughtless.

Speaker Pelosi heads a House with a 9% approval. To let her off the hook before the election reflects similar loss of thought. ...
Good grief... Read the whole thing.
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2008 09:27:00 PM | Permalink | |

Perspective in a World of Insanity

Finally, someone who gets it (read the whole thing):
I hate to burst the dystopian bubble the Leftists have persistently inflated during the nightmare known as The Bush Administration, but people have never had better food, medicine and housing than they do at this very moment. A typical home in America today has central heat and air, the cheapest car is a paragon of safety and efficiency compared with its ancestors, and people are routinely treated for, and survive, conditions which were fatal less than half a century ago.

Yes I'm aware that there's a mortgage crisis -- if by crisis you mean a lot of people buying houses way beyond their means while a sub-set of financially myopic lenders goaded them on. But looked at another way, for those of us who didn't drink the Kool-Aid and purchase radically overpriced real estate so we could use the equity to finance trips to Vegas, what's so horrible about falling home prices? For many, when speaking of housing, couldn't we reasonably substitute the word "consequences" for "crisis"?

Yes I'm aware there's an insurance coverage crisis -- not medical access, (which is available to anyone who presents themselves in a emergency room), or quality, (which no one really debates is still the benchmark for the world) But I do find it puzzling that the majority of the people you see in public emergency rooms can somehow afford cell phones and top of the line running shoes.

As a matter of fact, the U.S. Census bureau estimates that 20% of the uninsured can actually afford insurance, and another 25% are eligible for government coverage, bringing the estimated total of 47 million uninsured down to 26 million. An issue to be worked on, most definitely. But a county that current does, or can, provide access to the best health care in the world for 91% of its population, (including a large percentage of non-citizens who significantly skew the statistics), is, by definition, not a country with a health care crisis.

As to the issue of food, do you know what the food crisis looked like in the early twentieth century? It looked like a lot of very thin, hungry people. No talk of banning trans-fats I can assure you. As Greg Easterbrook points out in "The Progress Paradox", if you traveled back in time and spoke to your not so distant relatives about the crisis of obesity in poor people, they would be completely confused because in their day being poor meant going hungry. If there is any crisis surrounding food in the United States it is the result of incredible prosperity and abundance; all in all, not a bad problem to have.

When you look at these "big picture" issues you can generally divide society into two opposing worldviews; the romantic and the tragic.

The romantic looks at the United States, compares it to perfection, finds it wanting, and demands that we start over from scratch. Arguments for moderation and caution are dismissed as greed or indifference. "Obviously anyone who can accept the wretched state of healthcare in this country is an idiot or a monster".

Romantics are generally the ones you see with the communist-inspired art advocating one word solutions like Hope or Change. It doesn't get much more transparent, (or vacuous), than that.

The tragic perspective takes exactly the opposite approach. Instead of saying, "What a mess, how can I make this better?", the response is something like, "Thank God this works so well, lets be careful not to screw it up!"

And when you think about it, there's a hell of a lot we can all be thankful for.

Thank God I was born here and not in North Korea. Thank God I've never seen a tank come rolling into my town. Thank God there's so much to eat, and so many jobs, such access to information, and on and on.

There are many things, even in our "crisis" areas that work very well in the United States of America. This is not pre-ordained. ...
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2008 09:01:00 PM | Permalink | |

Obama: "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions..."

Webster's should just go ahead and add a new definition for "arrogance". This guy takes the take.
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2008 08:39:00 PM | Permalink | |

How Obama would fix our Dependency on Foreign Oil

It almost has to be seen to be believed (via Hot Air):

They will do ANYTHING to avoid exploring our own resources. A smart person would clue in that the Republicans have the Dems over a barrel here. But it is really up to the President to make it stick (and McCain needs to take a united stand along with the REST of his party... or they are all going to be watching the Socialists destroy our economy next year).

Call your Senators, Congressperson, and The White House. Tell Congress they can have their summer vacation once a bill for offshore, ANWR, and Western Shale exploration is signed--and not before. And yes, if the Dems continue to block a vote on drilling, not only should the President veto the Government budget for the remainder of the year; he should also call a special session of Congress to address the problem--next week.
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2008 04:50:00 PM | Permalink | |

Are You Being "Watched"?

Glenn Reyolds has a post up today about oDesk and similar "productivity tools". It has an upside if you are like me a self-employed Small Business trying to find cheap labor that you do not know or trust (see their site here)--but its downside looks more like Orwell's "Big Brother" than anything I have ever heard about. This is from an article by Adam Stern:

... let's start with the positive. Hiring workers (mostly offshore) is hard. oDesk, on the surface, does a good job of handling the finding of a professional to handle a need. They do testing and verification which is a good thing.

So I started to look deeper. And this is where the slavery aspect begins. When we think of slaves of the last 1000 years, there are several things in common. The most common is the fact that the "masters" would watch them to make sure they worked. And if they didn't they got whipped or beaten or worse. Now while oDesk does not go that far, they certainly allow you to watch and monitor. So how do you watch?

The first way you can watch your worker is by monitoring his/her productivity on the keyboard and mouse. Don't check your Yahoo! mail or check the latest Paris Hilton pic or you will be penalized. So those who type faster or click faster, are more productive and thereby get a better rating. Same thing masters did to their slaves.

The next way you can watch is by actually making the worker post images every 10 minutes of themselves in front of their pc. I mean ARE YOU KIDDING ME. So if you happen to have a stomach ache suddenly hit you within 3 minutes of photo time, you best get a bed pan. And make sure you get your lipstick and blush on first. Same thing masters did to their slaves.

Odesk Image showing employee movements

From the oDesk site about watching:

Monitor Activity -- oDesk Team creates filmstrips of the provider’s online activity (screenshots and webcam shots). You can literally see what your team members are working on. Buyers use this visibility to spot check code, see when the provider is working, and see if the provider is getting stuck on any tasks.

Could you imagine any web shop in the U.S. recording the activities of their employees so closely? I would love to see (insert web shop) setting up this type of system. What about a large corporation. Let's see that happen. C'mon. I am quite sure that within a short period the employees would be gone. I have used several contractors over the years and about 15% of the time, it does not work out. But I have never even considered putting a web cam on them. One of my best friends does my design work. I could only imagine what it would be like if I (seriously) asked him to put a web cam and a click tracker on when he works on projects for me. I am sure I would no longer have a great designer or a friend.

In fact, oDesk has a video showing their office from behind the scenes. I don't see any web cams taking pictures of the employees. Carol and Maureen? Ron and Josh from operations? Does anyone monitor their activities? When those employees look at the camera and talk, is their keyboard/mouse productivity going down? Does the CEO, Gary Swart, send his web cam shots to the investors every 10 minutes? What about mouseclicks? I can just imagine the fun the oDesk team has looking at all these bits of info and images.

So why do I believe we allow this? It's simple... from the research I have done, the majority of workers on oDesk are from outside the U.S. and the majority of buyers are inside. So I assume the buyers feel it is ok. It is "ok" to take advantage of the Russians, the Indians, the others. All of the documentation is in English and Russian which makes me believe that there is a large percentage of Russian people on the site. Actually if you look in most categories, a Russian person shows up first for hours worked. Why are the Russians ok with this monitoring? Because my guess is that the money outweighs the monitoring. Furthermore, if you are paying someone $15/hr and assume they work 40-ish hours in a week, the maximum you would be out is $600. So for $600 you force someone to monitor their activities like a rat in a cage.

Imagine this tool in the hands of a bureaucracy like the STASI, especially one corrupted by political cronyism and hunger for power; for example consider the "internal security" department that Obama has lately advocated. Can you say "KGB"?

Orwell's "nightmare" may not be as far away as you think...
DiscerningTexan, 7/30/2008 02:10:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, July 28, 2008

Goebbels Lives

Day by Day by Chris Muir (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/28/2008 11:12:00 PM | Permalink | |

Wiki channels Kafka

How far we have come:
POLITICAL CLEANSING at Wkipedia. "This is disgraceful behavior on the part of Wikipedia, which is demonstrating bias that errs on the side of laughable. But we should be grateful. This censorship reminds us never to trust anyone."
DiscerningTexan, 7/28/2008 10:20:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, July 27, 2008

The REAL "Trip"

Cartoon by Eric Allie (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/27/2008 12:09:00 AM | Permalink | |
Saturday, July 26, 2008

AP "Decides" America is Winning In Iraq; Obama follows suit; Afghanistan GI's NOT Impressed

From the dim bulbs in the AP--the US is "winning" the Iraq war. (Stop the presses!):


The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost.

Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago. . . .

Read Glenn's links to Tom McGuire and Michael Totten too...

Meanwhile, Deebow over at Blackfive reacts to the highlighted portion of the text above with the following demand for reportage compensation:

Yeah, unthinkable if you were not walking the streets of Ramadi or in Anbar Province actually attending meetings with Sunni leaders in your AO. Unthinkable if you looked at your watch every Wednesday night to ensure you weren't going to be late for your Code Pink chapter meeting. Unthinkable if you were some disgruntled employee thinking up the latest whopper in the chow hall at Camp Arifjan to tell the IVAW so they would invite you to Winter Soldier II.

This is the part that get me though:

EDITOR'S NOTE — Robert Burns is AP's chief military reporter, and Robert Reid is AP's chief of bureau in Baghdad. Reid has covered the war from his post in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003. Burns, based in Washington, has made 21 reporting trips to Iraq; on his latest during July, Burns spent nearly three weeks in central and northern Iraq, observing military operations and interviewing both U.S. and Iraqi officers.

So between these two tool bags, and their daily contacts with every military PAO cell in every TOC all over the country, they could not see this coming? I mean, one of these guys has been there more times than the US Marines and the other guy actually lives there and they didn't notice all the good things taking place, like less VBIEDs in the Green Zone, the capturing and killing of Zarqawi and company, and the plummeting casualty rate until just today?

Talk about galactically stupid..... I think it borders on criminal....

And for you bean-counters in the AP Accounts department who will undoubtedly try to bill me, Matty, Uncle J and company for excerpting your material, here is my prepared response:

I know that this may come as shock to all of you over there at the AP; working diligently night and day to try to convince the world that we are losing in Iraq, but we here at B5 and elsewhere have been writing this narrative of working toward victory and noticing (and publishing) the small steps, the sacrifices, the victories, the missteps and the turnaround that was blatantly obvious to anyone who knew someone fighting over there or anyone in the free world with an Internet connection capable of finding any of 1,000 blogs and websites that tell the stories everyday of the who, what, where, how, and why of our victory. This was made possible by the blood, sweat and sacrifice of individual US Soldiers, who through this work are making it possible for a great victory to be achieved.

By acknowledging the impending victory in Iraq, you are now excerpting us and all the victory narrative we have been shouting about all over the blogosphere for some time now...

And we want our money.....

Near as I can figure, the AP and their partners owes B5 about a gazillion dollars for using our narrative of what we, the Victory crowd, have been saying all along; based upon their own interpretation of their policy about the fair use of material.

Take a couple days to collect up the cash AP; but don't make me, Uncle J, Matty, Froggy and Mr. Wolf have to come down there to get it.

Small, non-sequential bills in black, non-descript gym bags will be just fine....

Meanwhile "The Enlightened One" Barack Obama is now parroting the Bush/McCain line on the War:

I wrote about this a few days ago when he ducked Katie Couric’s question by torturing the distinction between tactics and strategy. According to The One, the president sets the strategy: Most troops out in 16 months but some left behind for various missions. The generals supply the tactics: To carry out those missions responsibly, we need X number of troops. What does X equal? Why, it’s … “entirely conditions-based”:

In Iraq, it’s not new that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has wanted to take control of his own country. But there’s always been this gap between his assessment of his abilities and American commanders’ saying he’s not up to it. As president, faced with that difference between what he says he can do and what the commanders say he can do, how would you choose between them?

Iraq is a sovereign country. Not just according to me, but according to George Bush and John McCain. So ultimately our presence there is at their invitation, and their policy decisions have to be taken into account. I also think that Maliki recognizes that they’re going to need our help for some time to come, as our commanders insist, but that the help is of the sort that is consistent with the kind of phased withdrawal that I have promoted. We’re going to have to provide them with logistical support, intelligence support. We’re going to have to have a very capable counterterrorism strike force. We’re going to have to continue to train their Army and police to make them more effective.

You’ve been talking about those limited missions for a long time. Having gone there and talked to both diplomatic and military folks, do you have a clearer idea of how big a force you’d need to leave behind to fulfill all those functions?

I do think that’s entirely conditions-based. It’s hard to anticipate where we may be six months from now, or a year from now, or a year and a half from now.

Team McCain points to Bob Novak’s column this week citing unnamed Obama advisors as saying this could mean leaving as many as 50,000 troops in place. According to a recent essay by Colin Kahl, who runs Obama’s working group on Iraq, in the “near term” they might keep as many as 12 brigades there for “overwatch,” i.e. support, duties.

So that's what Obama means by "immediate withdrawal". Now I get it...

Finally, I have not been able to do much blogging because I am buried in work; but I did not want to leave out Bob Owens, who reported the other day (also via Blackfive) that the soldiers in Afghanistan were anything but impressed with Obama's Incredible Lightness of (Intelligent) Being:

Blackfive posted this email yesterday and has another supporting account (added below in an update) from another member of the military who was also present during Obama's carefully scripted P.R. World Tour.

I think you should read it.

Hello everyone,

As you know I am not a very political person. I just wanted to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan for about an hour on his visit to "The War Zone". I wanted to share with you what happened. He got off the plan[sic] and got into a bullet proof vehicle, got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who is the commander here at Bagram. As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew them off and didn't say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top tent that military personnel can play basketball or work out in with weights) so he could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their service. So really he was just here to make a showing for the American's back home that he is their candidate for President. I think that if you are going to make an effort to come all the way over here you would thank those that are providing the freedom that they are providing for you. I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders than from one of the Senators, who wants to be the President of the United States. I just don't understand how anyone would want him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for him and our great country.

If this is blunt and to the point I am sorry but I wanted you all to know what kind of caliber of person he really is. What you see in the news is all fake.

I guess it should come as little surprise, then, that Obama has dropped meetings with U.S. soldiers stationed in Germany—including wounded soldiers from the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan— in favor of meeting with French and German civilians.

Priorities, you know.


The second email from a member of the military in Iraq , forwarded to me from Blackfive:

I had a first hand view of Barrack Obama's "fact finding" mission, when he passed through this base.

While I can't name it, it's one of the largest air bases in the region, with up to 8000 troops (depending on influxes and transients in mobilization/demobilization status), mostly Airmen and Soldiers, but some Marines, Sailors, Koreans, Japanese, Aussies, Brits, US Civil Service, contractors including KBR, Blackwater and Halliburton, among others in the news. The overwhelming majority of all of these are professional, courteous and disciplined.

Problems are rare.

Casualties are also rare. This base has a large hospital for evacuation—twenty plus beds. I have yet to see a casualty in one, though I am told there are about three evacuations a week through this region, of which two on average are things like sports injuries, vehicle accidents or duty related falls and such. You can tell from the news that the war is going well. The ghouls are now focusing on Afghanistan, since there is no blood to type with here.

This oped is of course subjective and limited, but I will try to present the facts as I saw them. I wasn't able to see much, which makes a point all by itself.

When his plane arrived (also containing Senators Reed and Hagel, but the news has hardly mentioned them), there was a "ramp freeze." This means if you are on the flight line, and not directly involved with the event in question, you stay where you are and don't move. For a combat flight arriving or departing, this takes about ten minutes, and involves the active runway and crossing taxiways only. For Obama's flight, this took 90 minutes, during which time a variety of military missions came grinding to a halt. Obviously, this visit was important, right?

95% of base wanted nothing to do with him. I have met three troops who support him, and literally hundreds who regard him as a buffoon, a charlatan, a hindrance to their mission or a flat out enemy of progress. Even when the rumors were publicly admitted, almost no one left their duty sections to try to see him, unless they were officers whose presence was officially required.

Mister Obama's motorcade drove up from the flight line and entered the dining hall toward the end of lunch time. Diners were chased out and told to make other arrangements for food, in the middle of the duty day.

Now, there are close to 8000 troops on the base and its nearby satellites. No one came up from the Army side (except perhaps a few ranking officers). The airbase resumed operation, once he cleared the flightline, as if nothing had happened. The dining hall holds about 300 people and was not full. The troops did not want to meet him and the feeling was apparently mutual. In attendance, besides the Official Entourage, were the base's senior officers, some support personnel, and a very few carefully vetted supporters who'd made special arrangements. No photos were allowed. No question and answer with the troops. No real acknowledgment that the troops existed.

Obama left around 1530, during the Muslim Call to Prayer, so he's not a practicing Muslim. He was in a convoy guarded by (so I'm told) both State Department and Secret Service Personnel.

Less than three hours…

Within 48 hours he was in Afghanistan. It takes most troops longer than that to in-process and get cleared on safety, threats, policies and such. Yet he somehow made a strategic summary by not talking to anyone and not seeing anything.

Twenty-four hours after that, he was in Kuwait, back here, and then home, so fast we didn't even know he arrived the second time at this base.

I can't imagine any officer of the few he met told him anything other than what they tell the troops, and what their own leadership at the Pentagon tell them—we're winning. Our troops are stomping the guts out of the insurgency. The surge worked and is working. If the insurgents have to divert to Afghanistan, it means they can't fight in Iraq anymore. We should not change the rules and retreat with the enemy on the ropes as we did in Vietnam. We should finish kicking their teeth in. The Iraqi government now controls 10 of 18 provinces, with US assistance in the rest. Let us win the war. 90% of the troops I know, even those opposed to the war, say that is the way to win. Victory comes from winning, not from "change." In fact, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is on record as opposing Obama's strategic theory.

Since he obviously knew in advance that's what they'd tell him, and since he didn't care to talk to the troops (we're told by the Left that the troops are horrified, shocked, forced to commit atrocities with tears in their eyes, distraught, burned out, fed up with losing, etc) and find out how they feel, and was barely in country long enough to need a shower and a change of clothes, we can only call this for what it is.

A disgraceful PR stunt, using the troops as a platform for his ego and campaign.

In comparison, I've seen four star generals and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this base. They each held an all ranks call, met with and briefed the personnel, and took questions on every subject from tour length to uniform design to rules of engagement to weapon choice to long term policy, from the newest airmen to the senior NCO with TEN 120-180 day tours since Sep 11. It's very clear they want to know what the troops think, and to keep them informed of events. It's equally clear mister Obama does not.

From here we must move to my op part of the oped.

Obama clearly doesn't care about the troops, doesn't care about America, doesn't care about anything except hearing his own voice and the chance to sit at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…From where he'll bring us the proven Democratic wartime leadership of Bosnia and the Balkans (US forces still there), Somalia (US forces prevailed despite being ill equipped by executive order, and taking heavy casualties), Haiti (what were we doing there again?), Desert One (oops?), Vietnam (where we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory), Korea (still there), WWI, and the fluke success of WWII won by such wonderful liberal notions as concentration camps for Japanese Americans, nukes, FBI investigations of waitresses who dated soldiers in case they were "morally corrupt" and the (valid) occupation of and continued presence in Italy, Japan and Germany for 60 years, which they are conveniently pretending won't happen with Iraq.

That's not "change." That's "failure we can do without."

Update: Second-day coverage continues here.

Perhaps Obama now has a bit more insight as why the troops choose to watch FOX...

DiscerningTexan, 7/26/2008 11:35:00 PM | Permalink | |
Friday, July 25, 2008

Likely that US Sitting on ENORMOUS, STAGGERING Oil Supply

WHY--under the leadership of the Democrat Socialists in Congress--are we choosing to give so much of our wealth to our enemies to fuel our economy when we have more oil than they do??? Why are we impoverishing ourselves and our citizens when we could be getting all that capital for our own people?

I'm waiting for any reasonable person to answer that question. (Global Warmist Alarmists will be slapped in their ostrich-like faces to wake them up...)

Consider what should (in a reason-based society) be good news, all courtesy of Glenn Reynolds:

Item one:

THIS SEEMS PROMISING: "The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management today published proposed regulations to establish a commercial oil shale program that could result in the addition of up to 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from lands in the western United States. "

Item two:

THE WORLD POWERS UP, while America powers down.

Item three:


The Arctic may contain as much as a fifth of the world’s yet to-be-discovered oil and natural gas reserves, the United States Geological Survey said Wednesday as it unveiled the largest-ever survey of petroleum resources north of the Arctic Circle.

Oil companies have long suspected that the Arctic contained substantial energy resources, and have been spending billions recently to get their hands on tracts for exploration. As melting ice caps have opened up prospects that were once considered too harsh to explore, a race has begun among Arctic nations, including the United States, Russia, and Canada, for control of these resources.

The geological agency’s survey largely vindicates the rising interest. It suggests that most of the yet-to-be found resources are not under the North Pole but much closer to shore, in regions that are not subject to territorial dispute.

Well, thank Gore that the ice is melting just as we need the oil. It's like divine Providence at work.

In case you missed it, that was the New York Times quoting a USGS report that as much as 90 billion barrels of oil likes north of the Arctic Circle.


UNREAL! So let's do some math:

800 billion barrels from just the shale-recoverable lands in the West, plus
Our (existing) 22 billion barrels of reserves, plus
An estimated 19.1 billion barrels offshore on our Continental Shelf, plus
And estimated 10.4 billion barrels in ANWR, plus
As much as 90 billion north of the Arctic Circle...

Ladies and gentlemen, that adds up to what could be as much as 941.5 billion barrels of oil.

So let's just treat these as best case scenario. Even if you cut the shale-recoverable amount by 50% (which is probably too much...), down to 400 billion--then, assuming the Democrats and America-hating socialists and Global Warming Kool-Aid drinkers were not BLOCKING our ability to explore this oil, that would still give us (after adding the other sources above): some 441.5 billion barrels. As Reliapundit points out, (and according to Wikipedia) Saudi Arabia's current reserves are 264 billion barrels, which comprises 21% of the world's reserves.

Thus, if the Democrats would quit blocking our exploration and quit trying to blame our energy-starved economy on Oil Companies, it would make the US the largest oil producing nation on Planet Earth. This is oil which we not only would sell to our own people at a price resembling what the Saudis pay today (.65 cents per gallon!), but could also sell to other oil thirsty nations--at a profit; this of course, would pump billions of dollars into our economy, probably hundreds of billions.

Think we could use that energy and money??? You think the hungry people of the world could afford to have more because we have more?

Instead we all continue to enslave ourselves to an arcane, non-scientific, ridiculous, man-made Global Warming "Catastrophe" Hoax, all evidence to the contrary. So you think you can prove man made global warming? Go for it: these folks will give you $500,000. Put up or shut up.

Finally, as testement to just how bad it has gotten with our "representatives" Glenn posts this one:

"OIL THIRST: Will it transform the election?" Only if oil prices stay high, which is looking iffy.

UPDATE: Obviously some people think it matters:

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and other liberal leaders on Capitol Hill are gripped by cold-sweat terror. If they permit a vote on offshore drilling, they know they will lose when Blue Dogs and oil-patch Democrats defect to the GOP position of increasing domestic energy production. So the last failsafe is to shut down Congress.

Majority Leader Reid has decided that deliberation is too taxing for "the world's greatest deliberative body." This week he cut off serious energy amendments to his antispeculation bill. Then Senate Appropriations baron Robert Byrd abruptly canceled a bill markup planned for today where Republicans intended to press the issue. Mr. Byrd's counterpart in the House, David Obey, is enforcing a similar lockdown. Speaker Pelosi says she won't allow even a debate before Congress's August recess begins in eight days.

She and Mr. Reid are cornered by substance. 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.

Is this issue a winner for the Republicans? I don't know, but the Democrats are sure acting like they think it is.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Truman, 1948. What more can I say? (With apologies to Jan Deutsch.)

I especially like the ideas posed at that last link:

Operation Chaos: The Rebound [Rick Brookhiser]

A friend writes:

While I consider myself a Democrat, I am disgusted by my party this year and the thought of Obama winning the presidency terrifies me....Long story short, barring some miracle in Denver where Clinton wins the nomination, I am planning on voting for McCain. And I would prefer he win.

Here's the idea:

Bush needs to do what Truman did in 1948. He needs to call a special 11-day session of Congress over the summer recess and force the Congress to come back to Washington (the recess is Aug.11-Sept.5th).
Bush could then deliver a message where he asks Congress to do their jobs - legislate (!!), for example:

(1) address the energy/gas crisis (i.e, offshore drilling and/or nuclear); and/or

(2) pass a budget — they have yet to pass one appropriations bill this year because as Pelosi and Reid admitted — they are waiting for Obama to become president to do a budget, which btw — is simply irresponsible and wrong.

I believe that the Democrats would whine and not pass a thing. Then Bush and McCain could hammer them for being a "do-nothing Congress." Moreover, McCain has the experience legislating to show up Obama in the Senate during a special session — it's his turf and I think he could make Obama look foolish.

I believe it would work because (a) congressional approval is lower than the president's approval (by about 20 points); (b) Rasmussen's tracking poll shows that the Democratic advantage on the "generic ballot" has decreased in each of the last 5 weeks (people are tired of blaming Bush); and (c) Pelosi is not liked at all (people will readily transfer their angst about the government to her).
Personally, I like our high standard of living. I think it can go higher, that is if we are not so stupid that we continue to listen "group identity politics" of the Marxists and Socialist utopians.

I sometimes feel like the entire planet is sleepwalking. Well we had better wake up, and this year would be a good year to start.

Call Congress and the Senate. Sign the petition.

Don't beat around the bush: do it now! Tell them there is no excuse for any more delays; no excuse not to begin exporing our own resources NOW.
DiscerningTexan, 7/25/2008 02:33:00 PM | Permalink | |

They've seen this in Berlin before....

From Michael Zak, money quotes from Hayek:
The Obama speech at the Hitler Monument

Obama salute

One People !!

One World !!

One Leader !!

"At the core of the socialist outlook on life is what Friedrich Hayek described as 'the fatal conceit.' Far from any conscious or conspiratorial intent, a socialist's fatal conceit stems from his egotistical assumption that any problem would disappear if his will could triumph over it. Government employees, whom he projects would somehow act on his behalf, serve as the proxy for imposing his will on society.

A faceless bureaucracy is too impersonal, however, for some socialists, who prefer a proxy with a face. These people prefer to focus their aspirations on some charismatic leader, whose cult of personality attracts people from across the political spectrum who otherwise might not agree on anything else. What does matter to these socialists is that they can all dream about how The Leader would impose their own will on society if only he were in charge of everything!

Relieved of the burden of having to think for themselves, these fascists -- yes, that's who they are -- can easily find their political passions unrestrained by reason. For both mainstream socialism and the fascist variant, reality is an enemy. Attempting to stay one step ahead of reality is the mechanism by which the expansion of socialist policies knows no bounds."

See also: Jonah Goldberg...

DiscerningTexan, 7/25/2008 02:11:00 PM | Permalink | |

Obama on the Surge: Now...and Then

This is too good, via John Hinderaker's post He Could Be a Serial Liar.

You know, I think John is onto something here...
DiscerningTexan, 7/25/2008 01:16:00 PM | Permalink | |

Did I say "200,000"??? Or: "Honey, I Shrunk the Berlin Turnout"

Remember the so-called "Million man march"? Well, suddenly the size of the Obama crowd in Berlin being reported by the "news" outlets has shrunk tenfold:
"Obama Addresses 200,000 in Berlin" -- thus ran the AP headline the day after Barack Obama's much-hyped speech in front of Berlin's Siegessäule or "Victory Column." This 200,000 figure has quickly become the standard estimate of the crowd for Obama's speech in both the American and the German media: so standard indeed that it is for the most part not even treated as an estimate.

The estimates given by German public television ZDF actually during the event, however, were as little as one-tenth of that number. ZDF began its special "Obama in Berlin" coverage [German video] at 6:45 p.m. Central European Time: only 15 minutes before the candidate's speech was scheduled to start. At the time, ZDF reporter Susanne Gelhard was out and about on the so-called "Fan Mile" between the Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate. "The expectations were highly varied," she said in her live report, "from a few thousand up to a million. Those were the estimates. But, now, several tens of thousands have turned out." Barely five minutes before the speech was supposed to start, ZDF Berlin studio chief Peter Frey added, "We do estimate that 20,000 [literally, "a couple of ten thousand"] people have turned out." Frey's tone, like that of Gelhard, reflected the gap between the relatively modest number cited and the lofty predications that had preceded the event. Moreover, while the ZDF live images showed that the "Fan Mile" was indeed populated from one end to the other, they also appeared to reveal patches of thinness and pedestrian traffic flowing easily on the half of the boulevard closer to the Brandenburg Gate (i.e. furthest from the "Victory Column").
DiscerningTexan, 7/25/2008 01:10:00 PM | Permalink | |
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Biggest Build-Up for the Lamest Moment... Ever??

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/24/2008 11:14:00 PM | Permalink | |


This is right up there with Kerry's if you don't study hard you could get "stuck in Iraq" remark:

WELL, THIS HEADLINE WON'T HELP: Obama Scraps Visit to Wounded Troops.

UPDATE: McCain Campaign pounces.

Here is the key info:

The German magazine Der Spiegel is reporting online that Obama has “cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl U.S. military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday.”

“Barack Obama will not be coming to us,” a spokesperson for the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl told Der Spiegel. “I don't know why.”

Obama senior adviser Robert Gibbs told ABC News in a statement, “During his trip as part of the CODEL to Afghanistan and Iraq, Sen. Obama visited the combat support hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad and had a number of other visits with the troops. For the second part of his trip, the senator wanted to visit the men and women at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to express his gratitude for their service and sacrifice. The senator decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign.”

But the campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., issued the following comment on Obama’s decision.

"Barack Obama is wrong," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers. “It is never ‘inappropriate’ to visit our men and women in the military."

Got that B.???

Lame. Inexperienced. Marxist. Con-artist. If this guy had less of a clue it would be criminal.

And then you have Pelosi, pulling out all the stops this week: doing pretty much anything and everything to prevent Congress from voting on whether or not to drill for our own oil (because, after all, wouldn't you rather pay exorbitant prices to the regimes supporting the guys who brought down our twin towers?)--and then she blames Republicans for our horrendous energy situation. Stunning.

Welcome to the "Party of Jefferson", 2008 version; right about now, ol' Thomas is rolling over in his grave.

DiscerningTexan, 7/24/2008 10:42:00 PM | Permalink | |

UPDATED Obama lies--repeatedly--to about 200,000 very tepid Germans

Did someone say "Sieg"?

OK, so first you insult the devout Jewish by turning the Wailing Wall into a campaign poster, then you head straight for... Germany? Who's writing this guy's material? Hell, Letterman could use this guy.

So, next day, a whole slew of Leftist Germans showed up for Obama's Earth-shattering speech in Berlin. Judging from what I saw of the whole thing, I think there was a bigger swell in my glass of water when a bug landed in it.

So... let's sum it all up: first he backs down from his audacious attempt to speak at the Brandenburg Gate. Then he insults the Germans and other Europeans by the site he chose instead. Then he mumbles empty platitudes and starts talking heroically about halting the march of Communism (??)--something Barack's had a big problem doing in his own life (p.s. wasn't it Reagan who said "Mr Gorbachev, Tear down this Wall... ).

But...think about it: what else can you say when you are at the site of where the ruined East German Socialist economy rubbed up against booming Western Capitalism? What else do you say to people whose families were walled-in and or shot because otherwise there would have been no German left in the East save the godawful STASI?

Well, there is always the old adage that statesmen do not criticize their own country when they are overseas, right?
As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.
Well, maybe not...

But at least he opened up to all those misguided Germans. In the footsteps of Kennedy and Reagan, Obama stepped up to a crowd that would have made the Fuhrer proud and... lied his ass off. Don Surber does the fact-checking honors:

Beginning with getting wrong the bio of his father, Barack Obama Sr.

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama Jr. gave a speech in Berlin tonight and let me count the factual errors.

The first factual error to leap out was this:

At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning - his dream - required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a better life.

Um no.

Not hardly.

His father’s education had nothing to do with the Cold War, but everything to do with post-colonial African politics.

Wikipedia said:

Due to a program offering Western educational opportunities to outstanding Kenyan students that was organized by nationalist leader Tom Mboya, Obama Sr. was awarded a scholarship in economics, and at the age of 23 he enrolled at the University of Hawaii. He left behind a pregnant Kezia and their infant son.

I know what it is like to grow up without a father. I was 2 when my parents divorced and 47 before I met my father, Don Surber Sr.

So it is understandable that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama Jr. might not know much about his father.

But certainly the senator has heard of Wikipedia.

Next up was the very next paragraph:

That is why I’m here. And you are here because you too know that yearning. This city, of all cities, knows the dream of freedom. And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life.

No, America and Germany hooked up not because of freedom, but rather a little thing called World War II. Germany tried to take over Europe. We helped stop the Germans and conquered Germany.

Berlin was pretty much rubble.

I do give him credit for getting the airlift right. An unpopular president defied his critics and stood tall against evil.

Next up:

The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.

While there were a few foreigners among the 3,000 people who were murdered on 9/11, most of the victims were Americans. He left out the part where the hijackers were, like his father, foreign students in the USA. They trained in Florida as well.

Next up:

The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow.

15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. None were poor kids from Somalia. Osama bin Laden is the son of a wealthy Saudi contractor.

Next up:

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.

What walls? France has replaced the aider and abetter of Hussein, Jacques Chirac, with L’Americain, Nikolas Sarkozy. For the first time, NATO is engaged in a mission outside of Europe as NATO fights in Afganistan. Obama’s worldview is stuck in 2002.


Read the whole thing... (there is more)

Just think about it: all that money, expense, wall to wall press coverage... and the O-minghty loses 4 points to McCain?? What a trip!

UPDATE: Allah finds more trouble lurking in O-land, even over at The New Republic (emphasis mine):
The quote’s buried near the end of an otherwise silly TNR piece speculating that the media might be about to, ahem, turn on Barack Obama. After reading it, I can’t decide if the takeaway is (1) that the press is a bunch of whiny, self-entitled five-year-olds, per the comically overwrought reactions from Adam Nagourney and the reporters Obama ditched to meet with Hillary, (2) that TNR, which published a similar piece about Hillary last year, has an odd fondness for stories about journalists loathing the politicians they have to cover (“The difference is the Clinton people were hostile for no reason”), or (3) that Obama and his team really are arrogant, secretive jackasses paranoid to a provocative degree about St. Barack’s personal life.

In the interests of partisan advantage, I duly declare number three to be our winner. Money:

Much of this is certainly the run-of-the-mill complaining of campaign reporters who can’t get enough access. Still, the campaign hasn’t helped itself, approaching reporters with a sense of entitlement. “They’re an arrogant operation. Young and arrogant,” one reporter covering the campaign says. “They don’t believe in transparency with their own campaign,” another says.

Reporters who have covered Obama’s biography or his problems with certain voter blocs have been challenged the most aggressively. “They’re terrified of people poking around Obama’s life,” one reporter says. “The whole Obama narrative is built around this narrative that Obama and David Axelrod built, and, like all stories, it’s not entirely true. So they have to be protective of the crown jewels.” Another reporter notes that, during the last year, Obama’s old friends and Harvard classmates were requested not to talk to the press without permission.

As tensions escalate, the risk to Obama, of course, is that reporters will be emboldened to challenge his campaign ever more aggressively.

So absurd is that last line, three months out from the election with Obama clinging to a small lead despite the media’s best efforts, that I’m inclined to dismiss the whole piece as counterprogramming for McCain’s “Love” ad. As it is, given the way innocuous details about him have metastasized, I don’t much blame them for not cooperating on biographical pieces. The irony is, if they have nothing to hide then the secrecy’s probably hurting them by fostering suspicions that could otherwise easily be debunked. Read this NBC “Deep Background” piece about Obama’s “senior thesis” at Columbia on Soviet nuclear disarmament. Sounds innocent enough — until you learn that his spokesman won’t even discuss what happened to Obama’s copy of it. Smart thinkin’. Let the investigation begin!

Love that word. "Terrified". Andrea Mitchell just might have been onto something.

UPDATE: And finally, the Editors of the Wall Street Journal put the whole Berlin speech into its proper and perfect perspective:

It is hard not to be moved by the sight during the speech of hundreds of American flags being waved, rather than burned. Then again, the last time a major American political figure delivered an open-air speech in Berlin, 10,000 riot police had to use tear gas and water cannons to repel violent demonstrators. It was June 1987, the speaker was Ronald Reagan, his message was: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Press accounts characterized the line as "provocative"; the Soviets called it "war-mongering"; 100,000 protesters marched against Reagan in the old German capital of Bonn. Two years later, the Berlin Wall fell.

Reagan's speech is a lesson in the difference between popularity and statesmanship. Watching Mr. Obama yesterday in Berlin, and throughout his foreign tour, was a reminder of how far the presumptive Democratic nominee has to go to reassure people he is capable of the latter -- "people," that is, who will actually get to cast a ballot in November.

Read the whole thing.

Just another 24 hours in the life of a con man.

DiscerningTexan, 7/24/2008 09:01:00 PM | Permalink | |

Obama's Biggest Complaint: Troops want to watch FOX News!

This is highly illustrative, compliments of the "always-on" Pam Geller:

This thumbsucker is unbelievable. Click below to watch the video of Obama complaining that the troops only watch FOX." Why is FOX always on? " Obambi whined. Major Garrett said, "they make the choice" " Obama replied "Is that the commander in chief's choice?" huh? What a frickin crybaby.

He implies its a Bush conspiracy. Just for knowing, American Forces Radio and Television Service offers all cable channels and mainstream media channels, the troops choose FOX.

It aint a conspiracy its called "remote control"! The troops can change the channel.

Expect the Pelosi to introduce a "military fairness doctrine"

He complained that everywhere he went FOX was on. What a putz!! And if there is ever a mandate that a news channel be on -- its CNN. Have you ever been to an airport where FOX was on?
One viewer wrote in that at his last visit to Walter Reade Medical Center l CNN was on all the TVs at the hospital, when he requested they change the channel to FOX, he was told that it was hospital policy that the TV could not be changed from CNN" (!) And that's Walter Reed.

The video she's talking about is here:

DiscerningTexan, 7/24/2008 08:36:00 PM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just Plain "Mania": The MSM as Hero-Worshiping Adolescents

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/22/2008 04:53:00 PM | Permalink | |

UPDATED: DEVASTATING--Instant Replay of Obama on the Surge: THEN and NOW

with a BIG h/t to Sweetness and Light, these are highly illustrative of a man willing to abandon his so-called "new politics" and "principle" at the drop of at hat. (WARNING--watch them fast; before the Obama "Thought Police" move to get them removed--like virtually every other Obama contradiction has been documented has been targeted by the Stalinists in his campaign recently...) So if you see the message "Message No Longer Available" on any of the videos below you will know why:

Obama on the Surge in South Dakoka:

Obama on the Surge on Face the Nation:

Obama on the Surge on MSNBC:

Obama on the Surge on Meet the Press:

Obama on the Surge on Today Show:

And FINALLY: Obama on the Surge--Today in Jordan:

Note how he gives credit to EVERYONE but our men and women who have risked--and in some cases sacrificed--their lives. This is an ABOMINATION.

UPDATED: I think Dan Riehl was absolutely spot-on with this:

Obama's reprehensible, ill-informed and misleading comments regarding Iraq - and specifically the surge - may qualify him as the first genuinely un-American presidential nominee in history. It's impossible to define a man who would attempt to gain the office of Commander-In-Chief by losing an American war an American. Evidently Obama's upbringing instilled in him nothing of the best of American tradition. He's, purely and simply, a total sell-out - all ego and ambition, with no realistic positive vision for America at all.

What the hell is this below supposed to mean? I was clueless and got it dead wrong, but, if not for that, my judgment would have been right ...?? because I am the messiah come to deliver you from Satan Bush. Now don't ask me anymore tough questions, or I'll write a whiny op-ed in the New York Times that everyone's always picking on me, just as they were my wife before I cried about that. What a pathetic excuse for a man, let alone a would be world leader this clown is.

"Here is what I will say," Obama said, "I think that, I did not anticipate, and I think that this is a fair characterization, the convergence of not only the surge but the Sunni awakening in which a whole host of Sunni tribal leaders decided that they had had enough with Al Qaeda, in the Shii’a community the militias standing down to some degrees. So what you had is a combination of political factors inside of Iraq that then came right at the same time as terrific work by our troops. Had those political factors not occurred, I think that my assessment would have been correct."

Yeah, without an increased troop presence bringing more security due to the surge, the Sunnis would have just up and kicked al-qaeda out on their own. What a scumbag this guy is. He just sold out the entire military in that one statement - and all to try and save his ass for being so absolutely wrong on Iraq. Disgusting.

It's fair to conclude this dilettante would sell-out anyone, or anything to gain a political advantage. Not only does America not need a president like that, frankly, we can't afford one. The all-Obama all the time press coverage of his current travels has to qualify as one of the low points in our media's history. And that is saying something, indeed.
DiscerningTexan, 7/22/2008 03:32:00 PM | Permalink | |

The Love Affair: A MUST SEE

Somewhere, Sonny Bono is smiling today:

DiscerningTexan, 7/22/2008 02:20:00 PM | Permalink | |

NY Post prints what NYT won't: McCain's OpEd Response to Obama

Before the NYT gets a second chance at it, the NY Post scoops them:

EDITORS' NOTE: The New York Times wouldn't print this oped from the GOP candidate.

AS he took command in Iraq in January 2007, Gen. David Petraeus called the situation "hard" but not "hopeless." Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation is full of hope - but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due mainly to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Sen. Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent.

"I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there," he said on Jan. 10, 2007. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Now Sen. Obama has been forced to acknowledge that "our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence." But he still denies that any political progress has resulted. Perhaps he's unaware that the US embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, "Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress."

Even more heartening has been progress that's not measured by the benchmarks:

* More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists.

* Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has found the will to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City - dispelling suspicions that he's merely a sectarian leader.

The surge's success hasn't changed Sen. Obama's determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale.

In a New York Times op-ed and a speech last week he offered his "plan for Iraq" (in advance of his first "fact-finding" trip to Iraq in more than three years): It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months.

In 2007, he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we'd taken his advice, the war would have been lost. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Maliki has endorsed his timetable - when the Iraqi prime minister has merely said that he'd like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of US troops at some unspecified future point.

Sen. Obama is also misleading on the readiness of the Iraqi military. Iraq's army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year - but that doesn't mean, as Sen. Obama suggests, that it'll then be ready to secure the country without a good deal of help.

The Iraqi air force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications and other complex functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent US presence, as Sen. Obama charges. We've already seen a partial withdrawal with the departure of five "surge" brigades, and more can take place as the security situation improves.

As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields (such as Afghanistan) without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I've said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I've also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground - not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Sen. Obama.

Sen. Obama has said that he'd consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his "plan for Iraq." Perhaps that's because he doesn't want to hear what they have to say.

During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I've heard many times from our troops what Major Gen. Jeffrey Hammond (commander of Coalition forces in Baghdad) recently said: Leaving based on a timetable would be "very dangerous."

The danger is that extremists supported by al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we've had too few troops in Iraq.

Sen. Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. Indeed, he's emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the "Mission Accomplished" banner prematurely.

I'm dismayed that he never talks about winning the war - only of ending it. But if we don't win the war, our enemies will - and a triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us.

As president, I won't let that happen. Instead, I'll continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

DiscerningTexan, 7/22/2008 02:00:00 PM | Permalink | |

McCain to name Romney This Week??

Just a rumor at the moment, but I am guessing it will happen.

It would dramatically upstage Obama on his trip, while scooping all of the news anchors--who the public now know are in the tank for the Messiah. It would help to galvanize the base. And it arguably would raise a lot of money and get a lot more "ground troops" involved for the Republicans.

Make it so.

UPDATE: Or, maybe not. It does seem to be a bit bold for McCain...
DiscerningTexan, 7/22/2008 11:21:00 AM | Permalink | |

UPDATED: Tour de Farce: More Evidence of Media Manipulation

More farce from the Obama Magical Mystery Tour:

"FAKE INTERVIEWS?" The presence of interviewer Greg Packer was a tipoff!

Much more here:

Barack Obama’s campaign trip abroad was thought to be an effort to show him operating freely on the world stage. Instead, it has been a carefully managed exercise, designed to expose Obama to no contrary or potentially embarrassing viewpoints, and most of all, to shield him against the possibility that the media might capture a gaffe. . . . For all intents and purposes Obama was play-acting the role of a traveling statesman, eating meals and smiling but doing and saying nothing of consequence with what veteran network correspondent Mitchell described on “Hardball” as an unprecedented level of press restriction and manipulation.

In other words, another training-wheels exercise in what has been a training-wheels campaign. But the media folks are beginning to grouse. They're still covering for him, though:

For pete's sake, the gaffe was in response to a question about whether Obama is too inexperienced in foreign affairs — which would include being too gaffe-prone when speaking without a teleprompter — to "lead the country at war as commander in chief from day one." Can't he reasonably be expected to answer that question without screwing up? And if he can't, isn't that in itself newsworthy?

You'd think.

Michelle has a roundup of the big Obama Presser in Jordan, plus a catchy t-shirt!

1. “Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.”

2. As commander-in-chief, er, rather, when I’m commander-in-chief…

3. The surge I opposed is working.

4. The architect of the surge, Gen. David Petraeus, is going to waste money on electricity projects, so I must be there to stop him.

5. “Ummmmmm.”

6. Now, stop asking me questions and take pictures.

And 7. “Israel is a strong friend of Israel.” (I missed this one, but commenter Jim M. and other readers report that Obama actually said this. Gaffe-tastic!)

Also, my personal favorite, via David Lunde's most excellent site:

UPDATE: Even CNN conceeds the arrogance... :

DiscerningTexan, 7/22/2008 10:52:00 AM | Permalink | |
Monday, July 21, 2008

NYT Rejects McCain Op-Ed Response (to NYT Obama Op-Ed)

Remember when the NYT "endorsed" McCain in January? Well, this is called "paying the piper":

Which god did he please to get the Times to do him this favor, I wonder. Remember when they endorsed him in January and he very stupidly touted it on his website, only to quietly drop it when he realized the Republican base doesn’t consider the NYT’s imprimatur a badge of honor? This is the antithesis. You’re a real conservative at last, Maverick!

An editorial written by Republican presidential hopeful McCain has been rejected by the NEW YORK TIMES — less than a week after the paper published an essay written by Obama, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The paper’s decision to refuse McCain’s direct rebuttal to Obama’s ‘My Plan for Iraq’ has ignited explosive charges of media bias in top Republican circles…

[Former Clinton aide and current NYT op-ed editor David] Shipley, who is on vacation this week, explained his decision not to run the editorial [in an e-mail to McCain’s staff on Friday].

‘The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans.’

Shipley continues: ‘It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq.’

Drudge has the text of the rejected draft. The punchline? It’s true, the piece is short on specifics (and long on rubbing the left’s face in their misjudgment of the surge) — but then so was Obama’s op-ed, never delving beyond the Iraq/Afghanistan boilerplate he’s been pushing for the last year except insofar as he revealed the number of brigades to be redeployed.
Read the rest here.

Ah, the New York Times... is there a better example of "in the tank" in all of print media?
DiscerningTexan, 7/21/2008 01:02:00 PM | Permalink | |

Dems Hold Freddie/Fannie for Ransom

Pass the pork, please:

You'll love this one. In the strange accountability of Washington, the same folks who put taxpayers on the hook for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now demanding ransom to let taxpayers bail them out. It's as if Andy Fastow insisted that Enron shareholders pay his fines after his fraud cost them their life savings.

"I don't know how in good conscience you come up here and ask me to give unlimited lines of credit" to Treasury for Fannie and Freddie without giving Democrats something in return, Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) told the Journal last week. Come again? This is the same Chris Dodd who long resisted tougher regulation while more recently handing Fan and Fred even more room to expand their risk-taking.


In any other business, Mr. Dodd would be begging forgiveness. But in Washington he now wants the Bush Administration to bow to his political wishes in return for protecting the financial system from the risks that Mr. Dodd long claimed Fan and Fred didn't pose. His demands include nearly $4 billion in Community Development Block Grants that are a payoff to liberal interest groups. He also wants an "affordable housing trust fund" for more such largesse that could take as much as a $1 billion a year out of Fan and Fred even as they struggle to stay solvent.

Meanwhile, another leading cause of this fiasco, House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, has his own demands. He wants to increase the size of the loans Fannie and Freddie can purchase and package as mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), which would allow them to grow market share. Earlier this year he pushed for, and got, a temporary increase in the so-called conforming loan limit to $729,250, allowing Fan and Fred to buy and securitize jumbo loans. Now he wants to make that increase permanent.

Read the whole thing.
DiscerningTexan, 7/21/2008 10:37:00 AM | Permalink | |

What McCain Has to do to Win--Attack

Hillary made her big gains at the end by attacking Obama; McCain had better learn from her, and fast:
Even her failure offers an instructive lesson for McCain. She went too long without frontally attacking Obama. When she did get more aggressive, he was already galloping toward the nomination on the strength of his narrow but insurmountable pledged-delegate lead. McCain has repeated this mistake, whether because of his sense of honor, his campaign’s disorganization, or, less likely, some master plan that escapes most observers. McCain and the Republican National Committee should have hit Obama right after he won the Democratic nomination. An Associated Press poll shows that the two words people tie most to Obama are “outsider” and “change,” associations McCain should have been contesting from Day One.

Once Clinton went after Obama in earnest, she came back. She surged on the strength of her “3 a.m. phone call” ad, which ran prior to the Ohio and Texas primaries and argued that she was better suited than the neophyte Obama to handle a crisis. And she rolled up her post-February wins on the basis of lunch-bucket appeals to working-class white and Hispanic voters. For a contemporary Democrat, Hillary ran a center-Right campaign; she talked of blowing Iran to smithereens, downed shots of Crown Royal, and appealed frankly to blue-collar whites. Many of these tactics had little substance, but they conveyed a sense of toughness that endeared Hillary to her voters and highlighted a vulnerability of the polished but aloof and fragile-seeming Obama.

McCain is in a better position to use this strategy against Obama than Clinton was. She was never wholly convincing in her adopted role as a working-class warrior. McCain, on the other hand, has the warrior part of the persona in his genes. Nor does McCain face the constraints Clinton did. Going negative in a primary makes party loyalists deeply nervous, and explicitly attacking cultural liberalism in a Democratic primary is unthinkable. Obama has more evident weaknesses than he did when the Democratic primaries started and he was freshly on the scene. His core audience, finally, is a smaller proportion of the general than of the Democratic-primary electorate.

Oddly enough, the most disgruntled of Clinton’s supporters are not the voters that McCain should try hardest to reach. It should go without saying that feminists will not deliver McCain the presidency. Her hard-core early supporters, middle-aged white feminists, may be complaining about Obama but are totally committed to abortion and will vote accordingly. It is her soft-core and later supporters who can be reached. Clinton got them so easily as to suggest that they were as much an anti-Obama vote as a pro-Clinton one.

McCain’s greatest opportunity will be among whites (and, to a lesser extent, Hispanics) without college degrees. Democrats who fell into these categories proved unreceptive to Obama in the primaries. McCain should have an even bigger opening among the independents and soft Democrats in these groups. Working-class whites have been swing voters in presidential elections, with most of their votes going to Republicans but the margin making the difference between victory and defeat. Many of them are at least moderately conservative on social issues, but they are receptive to Democratic proposals on health care, the minimum wage, and other economic issues. A lot of them are union members, or married to union members. If McCain makes inroads among these voters, his numbers will rise disproportionately in such swing states as Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Nevada.

The first step toward getting them is to make the anti-Obama case. The cliché among political operatives and pundits is that this election is “about Obama.” The truth in the claim is that since the public would rather have a Democratic president, the race will turn largely on whether Obama is an acceptable one. It follows that McCain’s main task is to make him unacceptable to voters — and particularly to non-black working-class voters. He has to first raise concerns about Obama and then show how his candidacy addresses those concerns.

The case against Obama need not (and probably should not) be subtle. In a nutshell: He’s too inexperienced, too liberal, and as a result too risky. McCain has to argue that a man who has been in the Senate a mere four years, and whose most significant résumé items prior to that are a stint in the Illinois legislature and time as a community organizer, is not ready to be commander-in-chief in dangerous times. The flip-flop charges against Obama will achieve nothing for McCain unless they are deployed to make him look risky: immature (he doesn’t know what he thinks), weak (he caves to pressure), and dishonest (he tries to fool people).

On top of this, McCain has to go after Obama’s liberalism, which verges on radicalism. The congealing conventional wisdom is that attacks on liberalism are “tired.” But there is no evidence that the “change” the public wants is left-wing. McCain is deeply averse (for no good reason) to hitting Obama over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. But Obama’s record, from Illinois to the Senate to the campaign trail, provides many other openings. The bottom line is that Obama is a liberal you can’t trust and can’t, in every sense, afford.
There is much more; read the whole thing.
DiscerningTexan, 7/21/2008 10:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Sunday, July 20, 2008

Barack's Excellent Adventure

Day by Day by Chris Muir (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 7/20/2008 09:58:00 PM | Permalink | |

Manchurian Candidate? Is the Obama Birth Certificate (released via the Daily Kos) a forgery?

For several months now, many Republicans have been questioning why Barack Obama has not released his birth certificate. Well, this week the Daily Kos finally did release a jpg of a purported "Hawaii Certificate of Live Birth" (basically a certification that the Original is legit) that it claims was provided by the Obama campaign.

Jim Geraghty at NRO was among those calling attention to this back in June, as FullosseousFlap pointed out:

Was Barack Obama born in Hawaii or somewhere else, or did he just change a name? Jim Geraghty looks at rumors running around about Obama’s supposed secrecy on his birth, and runs down three scenarios of what the campaign may want to hide. Their refusal to produce a birth certificate has stoked some of the speculation:

Having done some Obama-rumor debunking that got praise from Daily Kos (a sign of the apocalypse, no doubt), perhaps the Obama campaign could return the favor and help debunk a bunch of others with a simple step: Could they release a copy of his birth certificate?

Reporters have asked for it and been denied, and the state of Hawaii does not make such records public.

The campaign cited the birth certificate in their “Fact Check” on William Ayers, so presumably, someone in the campaign has access to it.

Jim runs down three possible issues, finding them “unlikely” but still compelling:

  1. Obama was not born in the US, but in Kenya.
  2. Obama’s middle name was Mohammed, not Hussein (but then why change it to another Arabic name?)
  3. His real first name is “Barry”.

I guess having seen McCain run through the MSM wringer over his birth at a naval base in Panama, these questions should be more compelling to me than they are. Having debated the nature of McCain’s citizenship, Obama should produce his birth certificate to make it all even, redacting any information that could be useful for identity theft (although it won’t have a Social Security number on it as those were not automatically assigned in 1961). The campaign references his birth certificate as a strange defense of his association with William Ayers, so it should make the record public.

However, does anyone really believe any of these potential scenarios? As Jim points out himself, the first two almost instantly get tossed out due to statements by friends and family going back years. Presumably, the schools that Obama attended in Hawaii and later in the US would have seen his birth certificate during the enrollment process, and no one has ever implied that Obama was anything less than a natural-born citizen. If someone wanted to change their middle name from Mohammed to keep political options open, Hussein would not be the name that replaces it.

That applies to the third scenario as well, and changing a first name from Barry to Barack in order to match one’s father would mean nothing in terms of the political standing of the candidate. I’m reminded that Gary Hart changed his last name from Hartpence to Hart, and that turned into nothing more than a nine-day wonder when it came out in the 1984 campaign. Barry to Barack seems even less noteworthy.

I’d say this sounds like a distraction, but then again, I thought the entire McCain-Panama was a distraction as well, and the Senate wound up having to vote on his status as a citizen to quiet the media. Only the first scenario has any relation to Obama’s status as a candidate, and the release of his birth certificate will put an end to the distractions.

Flap added at the time:

Since Team Obama hounded Cindy McCain to release her tax returns at the very least Team Obama should be willing to release Barack’s Hawaii birth certificate. They are not public in Hawaii.


In all honesty, releasing and publicly disclosing a certified copy of your birth certificate should be routine when running for the Presidency.

Why the delay?

There REALLY is no excuse.

Doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

Was all this much ado about nothing? Well, maybe... but you really do wonder why Obama "refused" initially to provide a birth certificate in the first place. Seems like it ought to be a mere formality, right?

Well today this thing just got a lot more interesting, because it appears that when the Daily Kos published the so-called Certificate of Live Birth from the State of Hawaii on its site (again, reportedly provided to the DK by the Obama campaign), naturally the Pajamas Warriors were on it like white on rice. Especially Pam Geller and forensics expert "Techdude"--whose car was vandalized and a dead rabbit hung from his front door during the whole process.

Now there are lots of jpgs and forensic technical details here, but the gist of the story now appears to be that the posted COLB image at the Daily Kos site appears to be a forgery. Now why would that be? (See also Pam's previous posts on the subject...)

This started out as just partisan "static" but now you begin to wonder if there just might be a bit more to it than that. Does the word "Rathergate" ring a bell?

So...maybe we should get a look at that original Birth Certificate after all?? Seems to me that would allow everyone involved to get on to more important matters--provided that is that Barack Obama has nothing to hide... How 'bout it B.?
DiscerningTexan, 7/20/2008 08:24:00 PM | Permalink | |