Archive for the ‘Anti-War Activists’ Category

When I read this Politico article, the first thing I thought was that I wish her husband had said this during his debate. Here’s what I’m referring to:

“The day that Sen. Obama cast a vote to not to fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body let me tell you,” Cindy McCain said in introducing the GOP ticket. “I would suggest Sen. Obama change shoes with me for just one day. I suggest he take a day and go watch our men and women deploying.”

John McCain would’ve been justified in saying this. Though FactCheck.org says that this is misleading, which is itself misleading. Here’s the time that Sen. Obama voted against funding the troops:

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress – 1st Session

as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Vote Summary

Question: On the Motion (Motion to Concur in House Amdt. to Senate Amdt to H.R.2206 )
Vote Number: 181 Vote Date: May 24, 2007, 08:26 PM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Motion Agreed to
Measure Number: H.R. 2206 (U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 )
Measure Title: Making emergency supplemental appropriations and additional supplemental appropriations for agricultural and other emergency assistance for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes.
Vote Counts:
YEAs 80
NAYs 14
Not Voting 6
NAYs —14
Boxer (D-CA), Burr (R-NC), Clinton (D-NY), Coburn (R-OK), Dodd (D-CT), Enzi (R-WY), Feingold (D-WI), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Leahy (D-VT), Obama (D-IL), Sanders (I-VT), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR)

This U.S. News & World Report article puts that vote in perfect historical context:

Led by Rep. John P. Murtha and “supported by several well-funded anti-war groups, the coalition’s goal is to limit or sharply reduce the number of US troops available for the Iraq conflict, rather than to openly cut off funding for the war itself.” The legislative strategy “will be supplemented by a multimillion-dollar TV ad campaign designed to pressure vulnerable GOP incumbents into breaking with…Bush.” The one unknown factor on the planners’ mind as they get ready to implement their strategy: “Why many Democrats have remained timid in challenging Bush, even as public support for the president and his Iraq policies have plunged.” Perhaps, as the AP reports, “many rank-and-file” Democrats, “particularly moderate newcomers who rode to Congress on a wave of public discontent about Iraq, are wary of casting any vote that could be construed as ending funding for the mission.”

This article was written for the Feb. 14, 2007 online edition of U.S. News & World Report. Ninety-nine days later, Barack Obama voted to not fund the troops. Not surprisingly, Hillary voted against it, too. This came at a time when the anti-war fringe organizations were exerting alot of pressure on Democratic politicians to end the war.

As extensive as the pressure was on run of the mill Democratic politicians, it was 100 times more intense on presidential candidates. Sen. Obama felt that pressure. He knew that he didn’t stand a chance of getting the nomination against Hillary if he played the same triangulation game that Hillary played.

Put in this context, it’s difficult for me to agree with FactCheck’s rating Sen. McCain’s statement as misleading. It’s certainly factual that Sen. Obama voted against funding “just once.” It isn’t a stretch to think that Sen. Obama didn’t cast that vote because it was great policy. It isn’t a stretch to think that Sen. Obama cast that vote because it was imperative if he wanted to take a serious run at the Democrats’ presidential nomination.

Democratic politicians can’t argue that voting for John Murtha’s slow bleed bill was anything but a vote for American defeat in Iraq. Let’s remember that winning wasn’t Rep. Murtha’s priority. Rep. Murtha’s highest priority was for Democrats to stay on the right side of the anti-war wing of their party.

One last thing must be pointed out, too. Joe Biden said during the vice presidential debate that the vote that John McCain took was essentially the same as the vote Barack Obama took. That’s pure nonsense. John McCain voted for the only plan that could’ve stabilized Iraq. Sen. Obama voted for a bill that would’ve guaranteed instability in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.

That isn’t taking the same vote. Sen. McCain’s vote was the total opposite of Sen. Obama’s vote.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Tom Bevan has a great post over on the Time-RCP blog about the misguided attacks against Sarah Palin. He prominently cites Juan Cole’s delirious article. Here’s the title and subtitle of Cole’s article:

What’s the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick
A theocrat is a theocrat, whether Muslim or Christian.

Here’s the central thesis of Cole’s article:

But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts.

This is just another bit of proof that Democrats are unhinged. Unlike 2006, though, their unhingedness will get highlighted to the fullest extent possible.

It’s wrong to think, though, that the Democrats’ foolishness is only directed at the GOP presidential ticket. That’s only their latest round of foolishness. The Democratic majorities in Congress have been botching things since they retook the majorities in the House and Senate. Speaker Pelosi’s gavelling shut the House without letting a vote on a real drilling package went over like a lead balloon.

My point is this: While it’s true that ‘journalists’ like Juan Cole have hastened and deepened the Democrats’ slide, voters haven’t been inspired to have confidence in the Democrats’ leadership. Quite the contrary. They’ve registered their disgust with job approval ratings that rival Vladimir Putin’s popularity with Georgians.

The cancer that the Democratic Party must eliminate is the Nutroots/anti-war crowd. They’re badly out of touch with America. To be sure, there are people who oppose this war. They’re the shrill minority. They aren’t close to being the majority. In 2006, people voted Democrat because we weren’t winning in Iraq. It’s different in 2008 because people see that we’ve made great progress.

The other point that can’t be ignored is that the Huffington Post and Daily Kos have rallied the activists. They aren’t appealing to independents in an attempt to expand the party. Their scope is limited because of their dogmatism. When they ran Joe Lieberman out of their party, they ran lots of like-minded people out, too. They’re just one of the key targets of the McCain-Palin ticket this fall.

Lieberman Democrats and disenchanted suburban women who supported Hillary will remember that Gov. Palin praised Hillary and Geraldine Ferraro in her introduction speech. They’ll remember Joe Lieberman being given a prominent speaking role at the Republicans’ convention. Those voters will appreciate the fact that the GOP, while being a principled party, isn’t the dogmatic party.

Don’t think that won’t play well in Scranton, PA, Columbus, OH, Richmond, VA and the UP in Michigan.

That’s why the Democrats’ bus is in worse shape than it appears.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Claire ‘There’s Nothing Inconsistent’ McCaskill appeared on Meet the Press Sunday. In a short period of time, she tried telling Tom Brokaw that Barack Obama hasn’t changed his policy towards hightailing it out of Iraq. Here’s the video and decide for yourself:

Better yet, study this transcript featuring Claire McCaskill doing her best to spin her way out of a difficult situation:

MR. BROKAW: Senator McCaskill, your own candidate has had his own difficulties this past week in explaining his positions, sometimes in the same day. Let’s begin with a well-known, now, sound bite about what he would do in Iraq. He’s planning a trip there. This is what he had to say two weeks ago in Fargo, North Dakota, something that you supported in the same day in Kansas City. Here’s Senator Obama talking about his plans for Iraq.

(Videotape, July 3, 2008)

SEN. OBAMA: I’ve always said that I would listen to commanders on the ground. I’ve always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed, and when I go to Iraq and I have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.

(End videotape)

MR. BROKAW: And later that same day, as you know, Senator Obama called the press together again because he wanted to clarify, as he put it, his earlier remarks. Here’s what he had to say at that time.

(Videotape)

SEN. OBAMA: I intend to end this war my first day in office. I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war responsibly, deliberately, but decisively. And I have seen no information that contradicts the notion that we can bring our troops out safely at a pace of one to two brigades per month, and again, that pace translates into having our, our combat troops out in 16 months’ time.

(End videotape)

MR. BROKAW: That confused even some of his most ardent supporters. If he goes to Iraq, and commanders on the ground, to whom he says he will listen, say, “Look, we could use 20 months, or maybe even 24 months,” will he stick to his 16-month timetable in calling the Joint Chiefs in the day after he’s inaugurated?

SEN. CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO): Listen, there is nothing inconsistent about Barack Obama’s position on Iraq. From the very beginning of this campaign, he has said very clearly his mindset is we must get out as carefully and as quickly as possible. There is nothing that he has said that contradicts that. Part of getting out carefully and quickly is listening to commanders on the ground. No commander in chief would ever say, “I’m not going to listen to the guys on the ground.” And that’s all he said is he’s going to listen in terms of how we get out. But the mindsets are very different here. You have Barack Obama saying we simply cannot afford, either from a position of national security or our economy, to keep borrowing $10 billion dollars a month from China to be mired in this civil conflict in Iraq, whereas John McCain’s position, his mindset is very clear, “We’re going to stay, and we’re not going to change in terms of our position in Iraq.” So we have two different mindsets, and I think most Americans understand that.

Here’s where Brokaw nails Sen. McCaskill:

MR. BROKAW: But, let me be clear about this, he says he’ll listen to commanders on the ground. He’s going there. But before he goes there, he says, “The day after I’m inaugurated, I’ll have Joint Chiefs in the office with instructions to get them out in 16 months.”

SEN. McCASKILL: But…

MR. BROKAW: So the real question is why even go if you know that you want to do that in advance?

Game. Set. Match.

What’s just happened is that Tom Brokaw just exposed the fact that Sen. Obama’s trip is purely show, that it isn’t a fact-finding mission. Frankly, it’s about CYA, political cover. His mind’s made up. The generals are just photo op window dressing.

The question that keeps lingering for me is this: Does Sen. Obama have such a strident attitude about Iraq that his only interest in visiting is for the photo op, the CYA session?

Another lingering question is this: Why should the New Media let him go through with the show as though it was a legitimate trip? This isn’t a substantive visit.

One thing that’s undeniable now is that Sen. Obama isn’t about substance. Sen. Obama is the photo op guy, the unserious candidate.

Here’s a question I’d love to ask Sen. Obama:

If what’s happening in Iraq is irrelevant, how can you say that your policy is based on information, not ideology or on pandering to your anti-war activist base? Unserious candidates make decisions based almost entirely on the wishes of a power special interest group. Serious candidates set policy by listening to the experts.

Now we know which category Sen. Obama fits in.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

This Washington Post article reports that Jesse Ventura is thinking about jumping into the Minnesota Senate race. Here’s what they’re reporting:

ORIGINAL POST: Minnesota’s Senate race was already one of the most entertaining contests of the cycle, as Sen. Norm Coleman (R) attempted to win reelection against controversy-prone humorist Al Franken (D) in a state that is trending blue even as it prepares to host the GOP convention in September. Now the race has a new injection of star power, as former governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura plans to jump into the ring as an Independent.

Ventura, who had resisted past entreaties from the media to reveal his plans, said in an interview aired on National Public Radio this morning that he would run not as a publicity stunt but because of Coleman’s votes in favor of going to war in Iraq.

“That’s the reason I run, not to sell books,” Ventura said. “I run because it angers me.”

The former World Wrestling Federation star sounds ready for a fight. Literally. “All you Minnesotans take a good hard look at all three of us. If you were in a dark alley, which one of the three of us would you want with you?” Ventura said.

What a numbskull. Jesse’s into playing to his image, which is that of a loudmouthed bully.

How that bravado would benefit Minnesotans in Washington is questionable. From the people that I’ve talked with, it sounds like Ventura’s leaning towards jumping into this race. I don’t know if I’ll buy that. The other thing I’m hearing alot is that it’ll all depend on Ventura’s mood the morning of the filing deadline day. One thing I’m certain of is that, if he jumps in, he’ll take alot of votes from Franken. Jesse’s base is with anti-war voters, which is Franken’s base, too.

If Ventura gets in, it’ll be because he’s thinking “I defeated Coleman once, I’ll beat him again.” Alot has changed since his election victory.

One thing that we didn’t know then that we know now is that Jesse presided over a time of unseriousness at MnDOT. HNTB recommended the replacement of the gusset plates on the I-35W bridge. Jesse’s Transportation Commissioner either didn’t get their recommendation or he ignored their recommendation.

It isn’t a stretch to think that Jesse and Mr. Tinklenberg were more interested in a legacy-building transit project that cost almost $1 billion than they were interested in maintaining important bridges.

Not surprisingly, Captain Ed has the most biting observation on Jesse’s governorship:

Ventura did manage one signal accomplishment: bipartisanship. By the end of his term, Republicans and Democrats both hated him so much that they began overriding a slew of his vetoes, rendering The Body impotent. By the time he slunk out of office, he couldn’t have been elected dog-catcher in a one-man race.

I wholeheartedly agree with Captain Ed.

Another thing that’s changed since he last held public office is the Right Blogosphere. Back then, only the Strib and Pi-Press were there to remind people of the things he said and did in office. Now that’s amplified 100 times. Don’t think that the left blogosphere will give Jesse a free ride either. They’ll do everything they can to get Mr. Franken elected.

Frankly, I think Jesse’s maximum vote percentage is about 35 percent and that’s iffy. He won’t pull pro life voters, establishment voters or pro victory voters from Sen. Coleman. That’s a pretty significant block of voters. I still think that Sen. Coleman will get alot of votes from independents, too.

Let’s not forget Sen. Coleman’s accomplishments in the Senate. I’m certain that the Coleman campaign will highlight Sen. Coleman’s accomplishments as much as they’ll highlight Jesse’s botched policies. Cutting the license tab fees won’t win Mr. Ventura many votes from transportation voters, which is a pretty significant bloc of voters.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Jesse ran. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Jesse beat Franken. That said, Jesse doesn’t have the electoral strength to defeat Sen. Coleman this time.

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There’s substantial proof that Barack Obama surrounded himself with radicals. That’s why it isn’t surprising that one of CODE PINK’s co-founders is an Obama fundraising bundler:

A co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, which has made a name for itself by interrupting hearings on Capitol Hill, is a fundraising bundler for Barack Obama.

Jodie Evans has pledged to raise at least $50,000 for Obama, according the Democrat’s campaign site.

According to research being circulated by GOP sources, Evans has a record of inflammatory statements such as saying that women were better off in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, “Men are dying in their Hummers in Iraq so you can drive around in yours” and, my favorite, that the invasion of Iraq amounted to “global testosterone poisoning.”

Sen. Obama has surrounded himself with extremists, whether we’re talking about William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Otis Moss III, Michael Pfleger or Jodie Evans. I didn’t know that Jodie Evans was a co-founder of CODE PINK but I’ve known forever that they’re a radical, hatemongering organization. Ms. Evans is a radical in her own right, though. Here’s what Sarah Rode wrote about Ms. Evans in Human Events:

While Code Pink activists condemn President Bush for his “fear-based politics that justify violence,” they applaud brutal dictators like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. Three of their top leaders, Cindy Sheehan, Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, took a trip to Venezuela last year to meet and socialize with Dictator Chavez. He endorsed their efforts to subvert American authority and denounce the President of the United States as imperialistic. Jodie Evans reported after the meeting, “He called Cindy (Sheehan) ‘Mrs. Hope.’”

Miss Evans’ approval of Mr. Chavez was gushing: “He was a doll. Generous, open, passionate, excited, stimulated by the requests and happy to be planning with us. He was realistic but willing to stretch.”

Ms. Evans isn’t just another anonymous contributor. She’s a fundraiser who pledged to raise $50,000 for the Obama campaign. The question demanding answering is whether there’s proof that Sen. Obama is a postracial, postpartisan politician. Wherever we turn, we’ve seen radicals at Sen. Obama’s side. What I haven’t seen is proof that he’s anything but a radical partisan.

For once in my life, I agree with Michael Dukakis. His most famous line during the 1988 campaign was “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.” You’re known by the fruit you bear and the company you keep.

BTW, am I the only one who’s getting sick of hearing shit-for-brains pundits like Dick Morris saying things like “Of course nobody thinks that Obama is a radical” right after talking about Obama’s radical connections? Note to idiot pundits: If the guy surrounds himself with radicals, then refuses to distance himself from radicals until it’s politically expedient, shouldn’t we at minimum entertain the possibility that he’s a radical?

This latest episode of having a radical anti-war activist being a prominent fundraiser just raises more questions about whether Sen. Obama is a radical. Here’s a final question: Just because the Adoring Media won’t talk about Obama’s radicalism, does it mean that he isn’t a radical?

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Earlier today, I said that it was ironic that Democrats had gone from the mantra of “Count every vote” in 2000 to making votes count little in 2008. Now it’s official: the DNC voted to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations before ruling that each delegate’s vote would count as 1/2 a vote. Here’s what the AP is reporting:

Democratic party officials said a committee agreed Saturday on a compromise to seat Michigan and Florida delegates with half-votes after Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to get enough support to force their positions through.

Clinton’s chief delegate hunter Harold Ickes angrily informed the committee that Clinton had instructed him to reserve her right to appeal the matter to the Democrats’ credentials committee, which could potentially drag the matter to the party’s convention in August.

“There’s been a lot of talk about party unity, let’s all come together, and put our arms around each other,” said Ickes, who is also a member of the Rules Committee that approved the deal. “I submit to you ladies and gentlemen, hijacking four delegates…is not a good way to start down the path of party unity.”

It’s predictable that Hillary wouldn’t accept such a deal because it essentially cedes victory to Sen. Obama. That said, there’s definitely merit to her argument. Here’s what TNR is reporting on the unity front:

Howard Dean may hope that the “healing will begin today,” but two blocks away from the northwest Washington Marriott where the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is meeting right now to try to figure out Florida and Michigan, the Hillary protesters are occupying an utterly alternate (and healing-free) universe: a universe in which one of the big lawn rally’s speakers yells that the Democratic Party no longer is in the business of “promoting equality and fairness for all”; in which a Hillary supporter with two poodles shouts, “Howard Dean is a leftist freak!”; in which a man exhibits a sign that reads “At least slaves were counted as 3/5ths a Citizen” and shows Dean whipping handcuffed people; and in which Larry Sinclair, the Minnesota man who took to YouTube to allege that Barack Obama had oral sex with him in the back of a limousine in 1999, is one of the belles of the ball.

Based on that report, I think it’s a stretch to believe that healing is a priority with Hillary’s supporters. Rather, I’d say that their mission is simple: winning isn’t the biggest thing; it’s the only thing.

I referenced the troubles within the Democratic Party in my earlier post. This is a perfect illustration of that divide. When they were deciding who would succeed Terry McAuliffe as DNC chairman, Eli Pariser made it known what the MoveOn.org wing wanted:

“For years, the party has been led by elite Washington insiders who are closer to corporate lobbyists than they are to the Democratic base[.] But we can’t afford four more years of leadership by a consulting class of professional election losers…In the last year, grass-roots contributors like us gave more than $300 million to the Kerry campaign and the DNC, and proved that the party doesn’t need corporate cash to be competitive. Now it’s our party: we bought it, we own it, and we’re going to take it back.”

It’s an established fact that MoveOn.org hates the DLC wing. It isn’t just that they see things a bit differently; it’s that MoveOn.org sees things through a completely different lens. To people like Eli Pariser, the DLC is nothing more than GOP Lite.

Another troublespot for the DNC to deal with is the rift between the limosine liberal elitists and the blue collar Reagan Democrats. Remember all the exit polls showing Hillary supporters as unwilling to vote for Obama? Check this out:

Of the eight Hillary supporters I quiz at the protest (six of them women), only one says she’d even consider voting for Obama in the fall. “It’s sad. I’m a lifelong Democrat and the party’s been taken over by these Obama people who say they want ‘change,'” gripes Linda of Horseheads, New York, outside the Marriott as a honking car decorated with a painting of Hillary, a glued-on bust of Cleopatra, and a tampon drives by. Linda, she says, has already gone to the state Board of Elections to learn how to write Hillary’s name in in November. “So much has been stolen from her.”

That’s got to worry the Obama campaign. If that’s how Hillary’s supporters see him, then he’s toast. I’d be surprised if that is representative but even if it’s halfways accurate, it’s still awful news for Team Obama. If Hillary’s Democrats stay home or Reagan Democrats vote for John McCain, then that makes Obama’s job awfully difficult in states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

I’ve never hidden the fact that I don’t think highly of Rep. Jim McDermott, especially after his trip to Baghdad right before the war started. Let’s recall that Rep. McDermott said that he’d trust Saddam Hussein more than he’d trust President Bush:

The controversy ignited on September 29 when Bonior and McDermott appeared from Baghdad on ABC’s “This Week.” Host George Stephanopoulos asked McDermott about his recent comment that “the president of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war.”

McDermott didn’t backpedal at all: “I believe that sometimes they give out misinformation…It would not surprise me if they came out with some information that is not provable, and they, they shift it. First they said it was al Qaeda, then they said it was weapons of mass destruction. Now they’re going back to and saying it’s al Qaeda again.” When Stephanopoulos pressed McDermott about whether he had any evidence that Bush had lied, the congressman replied, “I think the president would mislead the American people.”

An American official floating unsubstantiated allegations against an American president during a visit to Baghdad would be troubling enough. But McDermott compounded his problem by insisting, despite its twelve years of verifiable prevarication, that the Iraqi regime should be given the benefit of the doubt on inspections and disarmament. Said McDermott on “This Week”: “I think you have to take the Iraqis on their face value.”

In Rep. McDermott’s mind, Saddam deserved “the benefit of the doubt” but it wouldn’t surprise Rep. McDermott if President Bush misled “the American people” to take us to war.

That’s awful on its own but it isn’t the only stain on Rep. McDermott’s thin record. Other than consistently seeing the United State through a hostile lens, what has Seattle’s Congressman-for-Life done?

Steve Beren’s campaign has a summary of what he’s been about this session:

Jim McDermott and his fellow Democrats took control of congress in 2006 with claims to a mandate and big promises, but the latest (May 20) Rasmussen survey found that voters have a very, very low opinion of congress. Excerpts from the report follow:

“Just 13% give the national legislature good or excellent ratings, while 47% say it is doing a poor job…Over half of Republicans (58%) say congress is doing a poor job. That number has dropped slightly over the past month. Just 31% of Democrats give cngress poor ratings. That number has increased slightly over the past month… Just 12% of voters think congress has passed legislation to improve life in America within the past year. Most (61%) disagree and say congress has done nothing to improve life throughout the nation. Voters have little hope for the near future. Just 37% think it is even somewhat likely that congress will seriously address important problems in the next six months. Most (56%) say that congress is unlikely to face up to the issues of the day. Seventy-one percent (71%) think Members of congress are more interested in furthering their own political careers than helping people. Just 14% disagree.”

That’s congress for you. That’s the Democrats. That’s McDermott’s congress: failure, disappointment, nothing to improve the nation, not facing up to the issues of the day, more interested in his own political career than helping people. That’s McDermott, and that’s McDermott’s congress.

There’s a reason why Congress’s approval rating is lower than President Bush’s approval rating. The Democratic leadership has worked hard to ‘earn’ the reputation of being a do almost nothing congress. Their first year, their list of accomplishments was that they got a minimum wage bill passed. I noted at the time that that’s only because they attached it to the Iraq War supplemental bill and while they included tax cut for small businesses. It’s also worth noting that the Iraq War supplemental passed moths after President Bush proposed it.

Another ‘accomplishment’ of this ‘Do Almost Nothing Congress’ is their letting the Patriot Act lapse, thereby blinding our intelligence agencies to huge amounts of intelligence. If terrorists hit us in the United States, the blood will be directly on the Democrats’ hands.

Rep. McDermott has advocated single-payer universal health care, something that even its advocates say has its faults. Here’s what an AMSA study said about single-payer:

Although there are some advantages and some disadvantages to each system, universal health care confers the greatest number of advantages. They include:

  • Every individual would receive necessary medical coverage, regardless of age, health, employment, or socio-economic status.
  • Health care spending would decline because centralized billing procedures would reduce administrative overhead. Consequently, a larger percentage of the cost of health care would actually be spent on patient treatment.
  • Increased access to preventive care and the ability of government to purchase prescription medications in bulk would also help drive down health care costs. However, the corresponding drop in revenue for pharmaceutical companies could lead to a reduction in overall research and development, slowing down technological advancement.
  • Patients can choose their physician and physicians can choose the most appropriate treatment for their patients.
  • There would be a removal of profit-motive in health care. The driving force behind the health industry would be patient care and not profit maximization.

Removing the profit motive for health care, or anything else for that matter, and that product will stop getting produced in a heartbeat. I’ll bet the ranch on that. AMSA says that “the ability of government to purchase prescription medications in bulk would also help drive down health care costs” is a positive, then notes that “the corresponding drop in revenue for pharmaceutical companies could lead to a reduction in overall research and development.” COULD lead to a “reduction in overall research and development”???

This is what Rep. McDermott’s been pushing as long as I’ve seen him in the House or Representatives. It’s a system with serious flaws. It hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried.

Jim McDermott’s list of accomplishments is almost as thin as Barack Obama’s, which is saying something considering Sen. Obama has been in the Senate 17 less years than has Rep. McDermott. It’s time for Seattle voters to ask the question whether they want someone who’s done next to nothing to continue representing them or if they’d rather have someone with a positive agenda representing them. If they want someone who’ll actually get positive things done, then that eliminates Rep. McDermott from consideration.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Last week, when Gen. David Petraeus testified on Capitol Hill, Gen. Petraeus could report alot of positives. As a result, Sen. Carl Levin had to make a stunning admission. Here’s what Sen. Levin said:

“Regardless of one’s view of the wisdom of the policy that took us to Iraq in the first place and has kept us there over five years, we owe Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Odierno a debt of gratitude,” said Sen. Carl Levin. “And regardless how long the administration may choose to remain engaged in the strife in that country, our troops are better off with the leadership these two distinguished soldiers provide.”

John Murtha must’ve been upset when he read that quote last week. Murtha spent almost 2 years telling anyone who’d listen that there wasn’t a military solution to Iraq. Now that the Surge has worked, it’s impossible to argue that we didn’t need a military component to solving the troubles in Iraq.

Because of his arrogant predictions, Murtha should be subjected to healthy helpings of ridicule. In fact, if you couple Gen. Petraeus’ testimony with Amb. Crocker’s statement, you’d have to conclude that the Surge is succeeding on all fronts:

U.S Ambassador Crocker spoke as he visited reconstruction projects in the southern city of Najaf. “There is important progress for the Iraqi forces in confronting the Sunni and Shiite militias,” he said, speaking Arabic to reporters. “The government, the prime minister are showing a clear determination to take on extremist armed elements that challenge the government’s authority…no matter who these elements are.”

“You are not going to hear me say that Al Qaeda is defeated, but they’ve never been closer to defeat than they are now,” Crocker said.

What this means on the political front is that (a) people can’t deny that Sen. McCain was the first politician to call for this strategy and (b) McCain’s policy worked. This is important because he’ll be rightly hailed as the man who got things right in Iraq when everyone was getting it wrong.

President Bush gets low grades on Iraq because he didn’t win the insurgency, not because the American people are anti-war. I’ve said it before that they’re just opposed to losing wars.

Another politician that deserves ridicule is Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Here’s what she recently said:

“America needs a change of course in Iraq,” Klobuchar said. The measure “continued an open-ended commitment with no clear transition to Iraqi authority,” she said. “My priority is to transition to Iraq authority by beginning to bring our troops home in a responsible way.”

Why does Sen. Klobuchar think that we need to change course away from a winning strategy? That’s just plain stupid. Frankly, at this point, I’m not convinced that she’s knowledgeable enough to talk beyond that day’s talking points. It isn’t that I think she’s stupid. It’s that I think she’s that ignorant at this point.

She certainly doesn’t have a command of national security issues that Norm Coleman has.

Last summer, I was optimistic that the Iraq War could be turned into a positive for the GOP presidential nominee. It appears as though that’s certain to happen. That’s why Rep. Murtha and his MoveOn.org friends must be steaming.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Earlier this week, Drew posted his thoughts about Ron Paul allegedly not being allowed to speak at the Minnesota Republican Convention. After reading his post, I’ve got a couple things that I’ve got to respond to:

Rumor has it that the powers that be in our beloved party will not allow Congressman Paul to speak at the convention. Is it just me? Or is this cause for pause? Is it possible that leaders of the party of Abraham Lincoln (a rather odd duck in his own right) feel it is their province to deny the delegation a chance to hear for themselves what this grassroots phenom is all about? Who do they think Ron Paul is, Sue Jeffers?

Frankly, Ron Paul shouldn’t be allowed within the walls of the convention. He’s far outside the mainstream of the conservative movement on foreign policy. State and national conventions are times when political parties try painting the most positive image possible. That isn’t possible if Ron Paul speaks at the Convention because he’d be the only story that the media would cover.

As a delegate to that convention I would like to hear Congressman Paul speak. I would also like to see the rest of those courageous folks speak, who threw their hats in the ring, and have since either dropped out or suspended their campaigns. That includes Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, Alan Keyes and, of course, the presumptive GOP nominee John McCain. We should at least invite them all.

Having Alan Keyes speak at this year’s convention would be a bigger disaster than having Paul speak. Both men are utterly incoherent and angry sounding. They’d turn more voters off than they’d pull in. In other words, they’d defeat the purpose of the convention. Having them speak would be a bigger disaster than having Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson speak at the 1992 Republican National Convention.

It’s one thing to welcome Paul supporters to join in the fight against big government. It’s another to let certifiable lunatics like Alan Keyes and Ron Paul speak at the state convention.

I will continue to welcome new faces and fresh blood to our embattled party. I have neither supported nor resisted the incredible Ron Paul movement that has threatened to revitalize the republican party this year. But the more those in high places resist the mere thought of Ron Paul, the more I want to hear him out.

I’ve heard Ron Paul in the debates. His ideas are incoherent. During a New Hampshire debate, he said that we could afford health care for everyone if we weren’t paying for the Iraq War. Fred Thompson jumped all over that. Here’s what he said to Paul:

“So you’re saying if we stopped printing more money, we could get out of Iraq and give everybody health care”?

Ron Paul talks about fiscal conservatism and federalism but then he whines about us not having national health care because we’re “fighting a trillion dollar war”. How can I take him seriously after that? If you want to “hear him out”, go watch his YouTube videos.

Personally, I’ve heard three lifetimes full of Ron Paul. That’s about three lifetimes too many.

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Joe Lieberman’s op-ed in this morning’s WSJ is a study in contrasts. Sen. Lieberman’s op-ed starts with him alluding to the muscular foreign policy of FDR, Truman and JFK. Here’s what Sen. Lieberman said about those men’s foreign policy credentials:

This was the Democratic Party that I grew up in – a party that was unhesitatingly and proudly pro-American, a party that was unafraid to make moral judgments about the world beyond our borders. It was a party that understood that either the American people stood united with free nations and freedom fighters against the forces of totalitarianism, or that we would fall divided.

This was the Democratic Party of Harry Truman, who pledged that “it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”

And this was the Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy, who promised in his inaugural address that the United States would “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of freedom.”

It’s unfortunate that the Democratic Party doesn’t stand for those principles anymore. JFK’s “we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of freedom” has been replaced by ‘The war is lost’, “there is no military solution” and let’s talk with Chavez, Castro and Ahmadinejad‘. Sen. Lieberman pinpoints when things started going downhill for the Democratic Party:

This worldview began to come apart in the late 1960s, around the war in Vietnam. In its place, a very different view of the world took root in the Democratic Party. Rather than seeing the Cold War as an ideological contest between the free nations of the West and the repressive regimes of the communist world, this rival political philosophy saw America as the aggressor – a morally bankrupt, imperialist power whose militarism and “inordinate fear of communism” represented the real threat to world peace.

It argued that the Soviets and their allies were our enemies not because they were inspired by a totalitarian ideology fundamentally hostile to our way of life, or because they nursed ambitions of global conquest. Rather, the Soviets were our enemy because we had provoked them, because we threatened them, and because we failed to sit down and accord them the respect they deserved. In other words, the Cold War was mostly America’s fault.

Starting in the late Sixties, the Democratic Party was dominated by pacifists like McGovern and Carter, Clinton and Kerry. In essence, they became the party ‘every burden is too heavy, every challenge too difficult, every enemy too time-consuming.’

The saddest thing is that they’re on the verge of nominating someone who is both utterly clueless about foreign policy and a pacifist. Sen. Obama has said that he isn’t against all wars, that he’s just against this war. Why should we believe him? What proof do we have of that? Nothing in his actions says that he’s prepared to take the fight to our enemies.

God help us if we elect a pacifist during wartime, especially this pacifist.

It’s worth noting that Obama won’t give our intelligence agencies the tools they need to prevent future terrorist attacks:

I am proud to stand with Senator Dodd, Senator Feingold and a grassroots movement of Americans who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty. There is no reason why telephone companies should be given blanket immunity to cover violations of the rights of the American people – we must reaffirm that no one in this country is above the law.

“We can give our intelligence and law enforcement community the powers they need to track down and take out terrorists without undermining our commitment to the rule of law, or our basic rights and liberties. That is why I am proud to cosponsor several amendments that protect our privacy while making sure we have the power to track down and take out terrorists.

“This Administration continues to use a politics of fear to advance a political agenda. It is time for this politics of fear to end. We are trying to protect the American people, not special interests like the telecommunications industry. We are trying to ensure that we don’t sacrifice our liberty in pursuit of security, and it is past time for the Administration to join us in that effort.”

In other words, he won’t give immunity to the telecommunications companies that help gather surveillance. If these telecommunications companies don’t get some sort of protection, then they’ll refuse to help us.

Instead a debate soon began within the Democratic Party about how to respond to Mr. Bush. I felt strongly that Democrats should embrace the basic framework the president had advanced for the war on terror as our own, because it was our own. But that was not the choice most Democratic leaders made. When total victory did not come quickly in Iraq, the old voices of partisanship and peace at any price saw an opportunity to reassert themselves. By considering centrism to be collaboration with the enemy – not bin Laden, but Mr. Bush – activists have successfully pulled the Democratic Party further to the left than it has been at any point in the last 20 years.

Far too many Democratic leaders have kowtowed to these opinions rather than challenging them. That unfortunately includes Barack Obama, who, contrary to his rhetorical invocations of bipartisan change, has not been willing to stand up to his party’s left wing on a single significant national security or international economic issue in this campaign.

In this, Sen. Obama stands in stark contrast to John McCain, who has shown the political courage throughout his career to do what he thinks is right – regardless of its popularity in his party or outside it.

As the saying goes, anyone who isn’t willing to stand up to MoveOn.org crazies won’t stand up to militant crazies like Chavez and Ahmadinejad.

It’s sad to see Democrats cave into the wishes of the MoveOn crazies. They used to have a spine. They’ve traded in that spine for a cash cow. True to recent history, Democrats never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative