Saturday, November 15, 2008

Have we won in Iraq?

This is a picture of Children playing at an Al-Anbar school. One of the many the United States military as built. This project was completed on Oct 15th 2008.

Hat tip: Common Cents

"THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON:" Michael Yon just phoned from Baghdad, and reports that things are much better than he had expected, and he had expected things to be good. "There's nothing going on. I'm with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I'm with haven't fired their weapons on this tour and they've been here eight months. And the place we're at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there's nothing going on. I've been walking my feet off and haven't seen anything. I've been asking Iraqis, 'do you think the violence will kick up again,' but even the Iraqi journalists are sounding optimistic now and they're usually dour." There's a little bit of violence here and there, but nothing that's a threat to the general situation. Plus, not only the Iraqi Army, but even the National Police are well thought of by the populace. Training from U.S. troops has paid off, he says, in building a rapport.

He says the big problem everybody is talking about now is corruption. But hey, we have that here, too. He'll be heading to Afghanistan next week. "Afghanistan is a bad situation, but on Iraq I can't believe things have turned out so well."

He thinks that Obama will be able to pull troops out, and send some to Afghanistan, without creating problems in Iraq. Michael will be reporting from Afghanistan soon, and sending back video, so stay tuned. Things aren't going swimmingly there.

It's ironic that we will be able to pull out some troops out of Iraq precisely due to the fact that we did not follow the democrats advice and retreat in the face of adversity. American forces have already started to pull out of many Iraqi cities and let the Iraqi millitary and police handle most of the problems. None of this is possible without the surge that Senator McCain began calling for long before anyone else even knew it was necessary. I suspect we will leave Iraq by the end of Obama's first term. Not because it is his policy but because the Iraqi's will be trained and ready to defend their country from all enemies foreign and domestic. It might not go down that way in the history books, but I will tell the next generation this is the way it was.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things You Can't Do!

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative
and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could
and should do for themselves.

William Boetcker, 1873 - 1962

It's all so simple and obvious that you would think that there would be a thriving movement centered around these ideas. Oh wait. There was. Unfortunately it appears a whole new generation will have to learn these truths the hard way.

Schummer compares talk radio to pornography

Hat Tip: My aisling

Schummer on Fox News here is being asked about the Fairness doctrine. He calls Conservative Talk Radio Pornography. I thought maybe I was overstating it so I listened again just to be sure. In Schummer's eyes Rush Limbaugh and Jenna Jameson are one and the same.

Democrats want government to own Auto companies.

Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation to send $25 billion in emergency loans to the beleaguered auto industry in exchange for a government ownership stake in the Big Three car companies.

There's a word for this, soviet, no that's not it. Socialism! That's the word I was trying to think of.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., hope for quick passage of the auto bailout during a postelection session that begins Monday.

Looks like Bush will have to pull that veto pen out one more time before he leaves office.

Legislation being drafted by Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Sen. Carl M. Levin, D-Mich., would dip into the $700 billion Wall Street rescue money, approved by Congress last month, for the auto aid.

Why use it for what it was meant for when we can use it to buy votes um I mean help the auto industry in Michigan?

Any effort to throw the companies a lifeline could run into GOP roadblocks that could derail it in the Senate. In that chamber, Republicans, including some who believe their votes for the Wall Street bailout hurt, and in some cases doomed, their re-election bids, are loath to agree to any new money.

Glad to see these guys finally got the message. Too bad it didn't happen until after they had their tails handed to them in two consecutive elections for the first time since the Great Depression.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Wednesday the auto sector was "critical," but that the financial industry rescue was not designed for car companies.

"Any solution has got to be leading to long-term viability" for auto companies, Paulson said.

He also suggested Congress could try to use the loan program already in place to help the companies.

Wait their is a program already in place to help and the dems want to start another loan programs why?

Democrats say those loans were designed to help automakers adapt to new fuel standards, not to stave off the financial disaster the companies now say is imminent.

You know I'm all for higher fuel efficiency vehicles, but if it's between that and saving the company I say we delay the focus on fuel efficiency until we get the industry back on it's feet.

Not to mention it's not like this happened overnight has White House Spokesperson Dana Perino pointed out. "Look at the history of these companies, decisions they've made over time that got them to where we are today."

I got it the industry should ask the UAW for some concessions so that they can stay in business. You know if the companies go out of business no one has a job right UAW? However Why would the UAW accept those terms if the government is just going to give the industry money anytime it's in trouble?

Auto executives, labor leaders and other industry proponents are mounting an intense lobbying effort for a bailout. They want an immediate $25 billion loan to keep the companies operating and a separate $25 billion to help cover future health care obligations for retirees and their dependents.

I'm all for taking care of your employees, but if the companies hadn't agreed to ridiculous contacts with the unions that they couldn't possibly afford we may not be in this situation.

Pelosi on Tuesday urged "immediate action" for the industry. Her request came less than a week after GM and Ford posted bleak third-quarter earnings reports. GM, the nation's largest automaker, posted a $2.5 billion quarterly loss Friday and warned that it may run out of money by the end of the year without government aid.

Democratic leaders will need to win over some skeptical lawmakers who question whether a bailout would cause changes in the auto industry or simply lead to more handout requests from other industries.

Hey I stupidly supported the first bailout thinking that it had to be done. Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. I say the Republicans left in congress should do everything they can to stop this bailout. Or who knows who will come knocking next?

Karl Rove says Conservatism can strike back in 2010.

I'd say Mr. Rove must have been reading my blog.

Political races are about candidates and issues. But election results, in the end, are about numbers. So now that the dust is settling on the 2008 presidential race, what do the numbers tell us?

First, the predicted huge turnout surge didn't happen. The final tally is likely to show that fewer than 128.5 million people voted. That's up marginally from 122 million in 2004. But 17 million more people voted in 2004 than in 2000 (three times the change from 2004 to 2008).

I bet the press continues the myth about the turnout in this elections even now that the facts are here for them to read.

Second, a substantial victory was won by modest improvement in the Democratic share of the vote. Barack Obama received 2.1 points more in the popular vote than President Bush received in 2004, 3.1 points more than Vice President Al Gore in 2000and 4.6 points more than John Kerry in 2004. In raw numbers, the latest tally shows that Mr. Obama received 66.1 million votes, about 7.1 million more than Mr. Kerry.
Four out of five of these additional votes came from minorities. Mr. Obama got nearly 3.3 million more votes from African-Americans than did Mr. Kerry; 2.9 million of them were from younger blacks aged 18-29. A quarter of Mr. Obama's improvement among blacks -- 811,000 votes -- came from African-Americans who voted Republican in 2004. Mr. Obama also received 2.5 million more Hispanic votes than Mr. Kerry. Over a third of these votes -- 719,000 -- cast ballots for Republicans in 2004.

One of the most important shifts was Hispanic support for Democrats. John McCain got the votes of 32% of Hispanic voters. That's down from the 44% Mr. Bush won four years ago. If this trend continues, the GOP will find it difficult to regain the majority.

Hispanics are the swing vote in 2010 and 2012 for the Republican Party. Republicans need to carry 40% of the Hispanic vote to become the majority party once again.

Mr. Obama won 4.6 million more votes in the West and 1.4 million more in the Midwest than Mr. Kerry. Mr. McCain, on the other hand, got more than 2.6 million fewer votes in the Midwest than Mr. Bush. In Ohio, for example, Mr. Obama received 32,000 fewer votes than Mr. Kerry in 2004 -- but Mr. McCain got 360,000 fewer votes than Mr. Bush. That turned a 119,000 vote GOP victory in 2004 into a 206,000 vote Democratic win this year.

Then there were those who didn't show up. There were 4.1 million fewer Republicans voting this year than in 2004. Some missing Republicans had turned independent or Democratic for this election. But most simply stayed home. Ironically for a campaign that featured probably the last Vietnam veteran to run for president, 2.7 million fewer veterans voted. There were also 4.1 million fewer voters who attend religious services more than once a week. Americans aren't suddenly going to church less; something was missing from the campaign to draw out the more religiously observant.

I don't know why Veterans would not get out and vote for McCain. I'm thinking they had been convinced by the polls the election had already been decided. As far as those Republicans that just didn't think McCain was conservative enough shame on you. I admit the man wasn't the perfect candidate, but candidates like Reagan are once in a generation. Now we will suffer through four years of higher taxes and increased spending under an Obama administration. Even looking ahead to 2012 I'm not sure I see the "perfect" candidate for our party out there. If there is really such a thing.

In a sign Mr. Obama's victory may have been more personal than partisan or philosophical, Democrats picked up just 10 state senate seats (out of 1,971) and 94 state house seats (out of 5,411). By comparison, when Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter in 1980, Republicans picked up 112 state senate seats (out of 1,981) and 190 state house seats (out of 5,501).

I was greatly relieved to see Obama had no trickle down effect. Especially since I was a campaign manager on one of those State House races. It looks like alot of people that voted for Obama just wanted to vote for the star and forgot he might need a cast. I'm guessing alot of the youth and first time vote that went to Obama made that mistake.

In the states this year, five chambers shifted from Republican to Democrats, while four shifted from either tied or Democratic control to Republican control. In the South, Mr. Obama had "reverse coattails." Republicans gained legislative seats across the region. In Tennessee both the house and senate now have GOP majorities for the first time since the Civil War.

This matters because the 2010 Census could allocate as many as four additional congressional districts to Texas, two each to Arizona and Florida, and one district to each of a number of (mostly) red-leaning states, while subtracting seats from (mostly) blue-leaning states like Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania and, for the first time, California. Redistricting and reapportionment could help tilt the playing field back to the GOP in Congress and the race for the White House by moving seven House seats (and electoral votes) from mostly blue to mostly red states.

History will favor Republicans in 2010. Since World War II, the out-party has gained an average of 23 seats in the U.S. House and two in the U.S. Senate in a new president's first midterm election. Other than FDR and George W. Bush, no president has gained seats in his first midterm election in both chambers.

FDR and George W. Bush were both Presidents during a major crisis. If there's a major crisis on Obama's watch it won't help him because he will have caused it.

Since 1966, the incumbent party has lost an average of 63 state senate and 262 state house seats, and six governorships, in a president's first midterm election. That 2010 is likely to see Republicans begin rebounding just before redistricting is one silver lining in an otherwise dismal year for the GOP.

In politics, good years follow bad years. Republicans and Democrats have experienced both during the past 15 years. A GOP comeback, while certainly possible, won't be self-executing and automatic. It will require Republicans to be skillful at both defense (opposing Mr. Obama on some issues) and offense (creating a compelling agenda that resonates with voters). And it will require leaders to emerge who give the right public face to the GOP. None of this will be easy. All of this will be necessary.

2010 conservatism strikes back!

Mr. Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Newt says he'll take the job if the RNC wants him.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Newt Gingrich has let it be known that, if Republicans want him, the former U.S House speaker is willing to serve as chairman of the national party and lead it out of the wilderness it’s blundered into.

Can you think of anyone better?

The question is whether the 168-member Republican National Committee is open to the match.

If they aren't they'll be committing suicide.

“If a majority of the RNC thought he was needed, he would accept that appointment,” said Randy Evans’ Gingrich’s close friend and legal counsel. “He fully appreciates the urgency of the moment.”

What might strike some as coyness is in fact caution. The odds are stacked against the former Georgia congressman, for several reasons.

For one thing, six days after the election of Barack Obama and substantial gains by Democrats in the House and Senate, Republicans have yet to decide whether a serious overhaul of the party is required.

Really? We've lost 20 house seats in two consecutive elections for the first time since the great depression and you don't know a serious overhaul is required.

If a revolution is in order, then there’s the small matter of which side is issued the pitchforks, and whose castle is to be stormed. Is this a fight to purge moderates, or a battle to expand the tent?

Look moderates should be in the party, but they should never control the party. We just ran a moderate for President and we got killed. We have to reach out with conservative ideas for the country.

“The RNC has to do some soul-searching and decide what level of change is necessary,” Evans said. “If that answer is bold, energetic change led by someone who has done it before, then Newt would be a good choice.”

If the party is eying a shift toward the middle, Evans added, “that isn’t Newt.”

If the Republican party moves toward the middle it will cause a third party to be born and the two parties will steal votes from each other for years to come.

Though he retains his reputation as a polarizing figure, Gingrich served as a sideline strategist for the GOP during the presidential season. He pointed McCain to the issue of offshore drilling. But Gingrich also helped generate skepticism over the Wall Street bailout — which McCain and other Senate Republicans supported.

We need a polarizing figure has head of our party. The Dems had Howard Dean and he kicked our butts. Newt has clear ideas for where he wants this country to go. You can't try to please everyone because then you end up pleasing no one.

A Gingrich chairmanship might get loud support from the GOP’s talk-radio contingent. The former House speaker has close ties to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Neal Boortz.

But the RNC is a different, often parochial animal, made up of the top three members of the GOP establishment in every state and U.S. territory, plus the District of Columbia.

The RNC is scheduled to make its decision in January, shortly after Obama’s historic inauguration. Had John McCain made it to the White House, committee members would have deferred to his choice.

But without White House clout, past elections have shown that the RNC prefers — though is not required — to choose from within its ranks. And the 65-year-old Gingrich is not an RNC member.

Whoever the RNC chooses it must be someone already nationally known. We don't have time to let people get to know the new Chairman we have to start attacking the day our new chairman is selected.

Moreover, while President Bush still searches out new lows in popularity, the RNC is peopled with those who helped him win two elections — and many remain loyal. Yet Gingrich, seeing Bush squander the fruits of his ’94 revolution, has been ruthless in his criticism of the out-going president.

A sifting of the ashes will begin in Miami with a Wednesday meeting of the Republican Governors Association. Gingrich and other candidates will be there to buttonhole party leaders in small, private conversations.

Those interested in the job include Saul Anuzis, chairman of the Michigan GOP, and Katon Dawson, the South Carolina chairman. The current RNC chairman, Mike Duncan, also seeks another term.

Duncan seeks another term. You just presided over the worst four years for the GOP since the great depression. How dare you run for another term. Don't you care about this party at all?

“There were too many deals cut with the Democrats. We have no rudder,” Herren said. On the other hand, she said, if Gingrich really wants the GOP chairmanship, a front-porch strategy won’t cut it. She’s already been lobbied by a half-dozen candidates.

“Newt - if he wants to do it, he’ll have to start pedaling now,” Herren said.

Newt Gingrich is the Leader the RNC Needs to Take Back Congress

Scott Martin
Conservatism Today

The talk of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich heading up the Republican National Committee is the best potential news I've heard in ages. He has said he would take the post if asked. I can just see the Clinton supporters now. The Democrat Party may look pretty flush right now, but I'll take Newt's leadership in a heartbeat over Howard Dean's at the DNC.

Newt Gingrich has let it be known that, if Republicans want him, the former U.S House speaker is willing to serve as chairman of the national party and lead it out of the wilderness it’s blundered into.

The question is whether the 168-member Republican National Committee is open to the match.

“If a majority of the RNC thought he was needed, he would accept that appointment,” said Randy Evans’ Gingrich’s close friend and legal counsel. “He fully appreciates the urgency of the moment.”

Although, if we're being totally honest, I'd take Newt as head of the RNC over any living, breathing American politician. For those who don't recall, Newt Gingrich single-handedly took back Congress for the Republican Party in 1994 with his highly successful Contract With America. He then proceeded to run into problems with his abrasive attitude toward those who disagreed with him and his condescending attitude toward those who weren't as smart as him (ie, everyone). So he lost his power and left Congress. He was the most hated enemy of the left.

Since then, the smartest man in the world has rehabilitated his image. Clinton supporters will remember a man who worked together with Bill Clinton to achieve numerous reforms that improved the role of government in the country, that balanced the budget and eliminated our nation's debt. His work with American Solutions, where he reached across the aisle to anyone who had a decent idea for limiting government bureacracy and improving the way government works, has been impressive. He is the most forward-thinking conservative I know of. And he is always working on new proposals like his Contract With America, agendas composed of center-right issues that have overwhelming public approval. Ed Morrissey notes:

Some wanted Gingrich to run for President in 2008, but this role would suit him much better. Gingrich has operated best as a philosopher for the conservative movement, someone who can both capture the essence of conservatism and put it into action. Gingrich has the skill to communicate to a national audience and an emeritus status that will have people paying attention when he speaks. As RNC chair, his political baggage becomes irrelevant, allowing him to focus on party- and agenda-building instead of running for office.

Most importantly, Gingrich understands the technological tools that escaped the GOP in 2008. American Solutions has established a very impressive grassroots structure for policy, which could easily be adopted and adapted to the RNC. As Patrick Ruffini has been arguing at Rebuild the Party, the RNC needs to close the technology gap with the DNC in a hurry. Gingrich could get the GOP to a terrific start in doing just that.

Please let this happen. If so, we will be repopulating Congress with boatloads of true conservatives by 2010.