Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
In Case You Missed It: Clinton Rolls A Sizable Pork Barrel
From Los Angeles Times
By Tom Hamburger and Dan Morain
December 10, 2007
[T]o fuel her rise, Clinton has relied on the controversial funding device known as "earmarking." The earmarks enabled her to win favor with important constituents, many of whom provided financial support for her campaigns. ...
[S]he collected tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the developer and others associated with the project. ...
Since taking office in 2001, Clinton has delivered $500 million worth of earmarks that have specifically benefited 59 corporations. About 64% of those corporations provided funds to her campaigns through donations made by employees, executives, board members or lobbyists, a review by the Los Angeles Times shows.
All told, Clinton has earmarked more than $2.3 billion in federal appropriations for projects in her state since her election to the Senate ...
[C]linton does significantly more earmarking than most others with her relatively low level of seniority. ...
For example, in the appropriations bills that have passed the Senate so far this year, Clinton earmarked 216 separate projects for a total of $236.6 million. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) secured $112.8 million; Obama earmarked $90.4 million, and Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) earmarked projects totaling $70.8 million.
Since Clinton arrived in the Senate, she has collected in excess of $1 million from earmark beneficiaries and their associates.
"This pattern shows that Clinton has made aggressive use of the pay-to-play earmark game," said Keith Ashdown, research director for the Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington. ...
Critics of earmarking object that it remains a relatively closed process that adds billions in spending directives, often over the objection of the president and Cabinet departments. ...
Clinton supported those basic reforms, but she and other Democratic senators running for president balked at a proposal by Obama that would have required members to disclose their proposed earmark requests, not just those that were enacted into law. ...
Because of her perch on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Clinton has been able to earmark $1.4 billion for defense contractors in New York state since she arrived in the Senate, including $140 million this year, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. Her record of home-state defense earmarking on that panel is second only to that of Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who is chairman of the committee and has served in the Senate since 1979.
Clinton has raised more than $270,000 for her campaigns from defense companies with New York operations that have received federal money with her help. ...
Clinton has delivered multimillion-dollar defense earmarks to a company making improvements to bomb racks for B1 fighter jets; to a small Buffalo-area firm that provides anticorrosive coating to military vehicles; and to the Manhattan-based New School University for a defense mapping project. Individuals associated with these entities have donated to her campaign.
New School, which received $1.6 million in this year's defense budget and $6 million previously, is particularly well-connected. Its president, former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), is campaigning for Clinton in Iowa. Three school trustees are among Clinton's most prominent backers, having each raised at least $100,000 for her campaign. A former trustee is Norman Hsu, who was indicted on fraud charges last week. After Hsu's criminal past was revealed last summer, Clinton returned $850,000 he raised for her. ...
With the exception of McCain, the presidential candidates who are members of the Senate all raised campaign funds from earmark beneficiaries, though none came close to Clinton. Obama, for example, received $10,000 from trustees of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, for which he secured a federal grant. ...
Among other Democratic presidential candidates who serve in the Senate, there is a correlation between donations and earmarks for private entities, though none of the contenders have been as consistent as Clinton. ...
Clinton's notable earmark activity is not explained solely by the fact that she represents a populous state. The extent of her earmarking far outstrips that of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), for example, who represents a larger state. Boxer secured $79 million in earmarks this year, according to the taxpayers group.
Like all presidential candidates, Clinton places a premium on bundlers, people who use their networks of friends and associates to raise large sums of money. Clinton singles out people who raise $100,000 or more as "Hillraisers."
At least eight Hillraisers are affiliated with recipients of her earmarks. One is James Flaws, chief financial officer of one of New York's major employers, Corning Inc. ... [C]orning employees have given Clinton $236,000 since 1999, including $106,000 for her presidential campaign. ...
To View The Entire Article, Please Visit: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-earmarks10dec10,1,6720618.story?coll=la-headlines-nation
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
CNN / YouTube Republican Debate Question #5
This is a disgrace to our great nation! Illegal immigrants get cheaper college rates than the children of our military me and woman. What was he thinking when he endorsed a bill like that. Please comment!
On Wednesday Nov. 28 we saw 8 republican presidential candidates in the CNN / YouTube Republican Debate, each candidate show cased their strengths. Can you really call this a debate? I think not, really it was an interview with Anderson Cooper. But the questions were asked by YouTube viewers! Yes, but the CNN political team chose which questions they would air. Please share you comments about this debate with the other readers of this blog.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
The following I found on a piece of paper and I do not know who originally wrote it, if you do please leave a comment.
It is the VETERAN not the preacher,
who has given us the freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN not the poet,
who has given us the freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN not the politician,
who has given us the right to vote.
The Veteran has given us everything we have. Countries that are not as fortunate to have such a wonderful military are forced to practice a religion of the government's choice, have a certain number of children, only show a tiny bit of skin, or even ware a vale. Those people might also have to suffer unfair trials, sexism and racism, all at the hands of the government.
Please support our troops, and not the democrats.
AND DO NOT BE CONTROLLED BY THE MEDIA!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Watch the above video and then please comment.
Hillary Clinton has only raised $.50 legally, and i bet Bill Clinton does like the her "postions" better.
NewsBuster.org is a great website for people who want to know what news the "media" has doctored to fit its political agenda. If you find a video that you would like to share with everyone please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
[I] served in Iraq in 2005-2006 as part of Georgia's 48th Brigade Combat Team. Soon after we arrived, my Cavalry Troop was ordered from Baghdad to reinforce a task force that didn't have enough troops to accomplish its mission. We moved into two points of the infamous Triangle of Death, where my platoons operated outside the wire every day for the first 80 days and almost as often for the remainder of our time there. ...
After about a month of this, local civilian leaders came to me ready to re-establish their government. They had stopped meeting because it was too dangerous, but our efforts had made it safe enough to reconvene. ... Soon we formed a Security Council composed of leaders from the city council, Iraqi army, Iraqi police, Ministry of the Interior, local sheikhs and my own unit. ...
Here's how it worked: Offensive operations made life safer; the civilian government and the Iraqi Army had time to get established; and only then were old grievances reconciled so cooperation became the norm. I personally saw this work and am proud to have helped it happen. ...
The current "surge" strategy is new, and it is working. ...
Understand this about insurgencies: They are meant to force political change. Any military actions are secondary and a means to that end. ... The attacks are meant to erode your political will, so you will force our leaders to order soldiers home before they can complete their mission. You must consider that you, personally, have a part in this war whether you like it or not.
I am reminded of President Ronald Reagan's admonition at the Vietnam War Memorial in 1988: "Young Americans must never again be sent to fight and die unless we are prepared to let them win." Our adversaries do not expect our collective will to endure through the tough times. And, under other circumstances they might be right. Indeed, the price could simply be too high. But this is not one of those instances. We are finally getting it right in Iraq. Our efforts are working.
So, let us win.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
“The entrepreneurial spirit of America is robust and strong, and small businesses are thriving throughout our great Nation. The opportunity to own a business is an important part of the American dream. During Small Business Week, we celebrate small business owners and employees who are willing to take risks and work hard in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families.”
- President George W. Bush, Proclamation of Small Business Week 2006
11:46 A.M. EDT
PRESIDENT BUSH: Welcome, thank you. It's good to have you here. So everybody is wondering whether or not the Prime Minister and I were able to find common ground, to get along, to have a meaningful discussion. And the answer is, absolutely. You know, he probably wasn't sure what to expect from me -- and I kind of had a sense of the kind of person I'd be dealing with. I would describe Gordon Brown as a principled man who really wants to get something done. In other words, in my discussions with him last night we spent about two hours over dinner, just alone. We dismissed the rest of the delegations to the bowling alley, I think. (Laughter.) As Josh Bolten said, it's the Ryder Cup of bowling. I think the trophy was left for Great Britain, if I'm not mistaken.
But we had a really casual and good discussion and we'd be glad -- I'll be glad to share some of the insights here. But the notion of America and Britain sharing values is very important; and that we have an obligation, it seems to me, to work for freedom and justice around the world. And I found a person who shares that vision and who understands the call. After all, we're writing the initial chapters of what I believe is a great ideological struggle between those of us who do believe in freedom and justice and human rights and human dignity, and cold-blooded killers who will kill innocent people to achieve their objectives.
One of the great calling that we have here in the beginning of the 21st century is to protect our own people. And so we spent a fair amount of time making sure that our systems are properly aligned so as we can share information to protect our citizens from this kind of brutal group of people who really would like to see us driven from parts of the world so they can impose their ideology. And I do congratulate the Prime Minister for his steady and quick response in the face of a significant threat to the homeland. You've proved your worthiness as a leader, and I thank you for that.
We also recognize that if you're involved with an ideological struggle, then you defeat that one ideology with a more hopeful ideology, and that's why it's very important for us to defend and stand with these young democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq. I appreciate very much the British commitment in Afghanistan and Iraq. I appreciate the bravery of the soldiers. Obviously I mourn the loss of any life. I think it's very important for us to make it clear to those who are in harm's way that these missions will be driven not by local politics but by conditions on the ground, because success in Afghanistan and Iraq will be an integral part of defeating an enemy and helping people realize the great blessings of liberty as the alternative to an ideology of darkness that spreads its murder to achieve its objectives.
We talked about the tyranny of poverty, the tyranny of lack of education. And I appreciate the Prime Minister's strong commitment to press forward on working together dealing with disease, whether it be HIV/AIDS or malaria. He's got a strong commitment to helping people realize the blessings of education. I thank you very much for that vision.
He also understands what I know, that if we're really interested in eradicating poverty, it's important for us to be successful in the Doha round. Gordon Brown brought some interesting suggestions on the way forward. He is optimistic that we can conclude the Doha round, as am I. And I want to thank you for strategizing as to how to get that done in a way that is beneficial for all of us.
We talked about the Holy Land. We talked about Darfur. We had a good discussion as to how to keep this world engaged in the atrocities -- I've called it a genocide -- taking place in Darfur, and I want to thank you for your leadership on that issue.
And so we had a good, relaxed, meaningful discussion over dinner, and then picked it up at breakfast. I'm pleased you're here, and I'm pleased to report that this relationship will be a constructive and strategic relationship for the good of our peoples.
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Thank you very much. Can I say, Mr. President, it's a great honor for me to come within a few weeks of becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom here to Camp David, to have been invited by you to have the discussions that we've just concluded, and to be able to affirm and to celebrate the historic partnership of shared purpose between our two countries. And I believe it's a partnership that's founded on more than common interests and more than just a common history; it's a partnership founded and driven forward by our shared values -- what Winston Churchill, who was the first British Prime Minister to visit Camp David, called the joint inheritance of liberty, a belief in opportunity for all, a belief in the dignity of every human being.
And I've told President Bush that it's in Britain's national interest that with all our energies we work together to address all the great challenges that we face also together: nuclear proliferation, climate change, global poverty and prosperity, the Middle East peace process, which we've discussed; and most immediately, international terrorism. Terrorism is not a cause, it is a crime, and it is a crime against humanity. And there should be no safe haven and no hiding place for those who practice terrorist violence or preach terrorist extremism.
Ladies and gentlemen, in Iraq we have duties to discharge and responsibilities to keep, in support of the democratically elected government, and in support of the explicit will of the international community, expressed most recently through U.N. Resolution 1723.
Our aim, like the United States, is step by step to move control to the Iraqi authorities, to the Iraqi government, and to its security forces, as progress is made. And we've moved from combat to overwatch in three of the four provinces for which we, the British, have security responsibility. We intend to move to overwatch in the fourth province, and that decision will be made on the military advice of our commanders on the ground. Whatever happens, we will make a full statement to parliament when it returns.
Our aim, as is the aim of the United States government, is threefold: security for the Iraqi people, political reconciliation, and that the Iraqis have a stake in the future. And I can say also that I have proposed to the Iraqi government the offer of new finance for Basra and the surrounding areas where we have responsibility, that we invite the Iraqis to set up with our support a Basra economic development agency, so that there are jobs, businesses, the chance of prosperity, and economic hope.
I strongly support President Bush's initiative, a bold initiative to make early progress in the Middle East peace process. Afghanistan is the front line against terrorism, and as we have done twice in the last year, where there are more forces needed to back up the coalition and NATO effort, they have been provided by the United Kingdom.
On Iran, we are in agreement that sanctions are working and the next stage we are ready to move towards is to toughen the sanctions with a further U.N. resolution.
Darfur is the greatest humanitarian disaster the world faces today, and I've agreed with the President that we step up our pressure to end the violence that has displaced 2 million people, made 4 million hungry and reliant on food aid, and murdered 200,000 people. We have agreed on expediting the U.N. resolution for a joint U.N.-African Union peace force. We're agreed on encouragement for early peace talks, a call to cease violence on the ground, an end to aerial bombing of civilians, and support for economic development if this happens, and further sanctions if this does not happen.
Across developing countries, 30,000 children die needlessly every day, and we support the President's path-breaking initiatives on HIV/AIDS and on malaria. And we are agreed to support a new partnership that brings together public and private sectors, faith groups and civil society to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
In a world trade agreement lies the difference between progress to a more open, global trading economy and a retreat into protectionism.
In recent days I've been able to talk to Chancellor Merkel, President Barroso, Prime Minister S crates, President Lula, President Mbeki, and Prime Minister Singh, as well as the Trade Negotiator Pascal Lamy. And the President and I are one in seeking an early conclusion to a trade agreement. We agreed that contact between leaders will be stepped up so that we are ready to quickly finalize an agreement in the near future.
We also agreed on the importance of the issue of climate change, which needs to be tackled in the context of sustainable development, and in the context of energy security. We support the framework of meetings over the coming months to address this issue and move forward the agenda agreed at this year's G8 in Germany.
Mr. President, we have had full and frank discussions. We've had the capacity and the ability to meet yesterday evening for two hours to discuss person to person some of the great issues of our time. You were kind enough also to arrange talks this morning where we continued the discussion on the issues that I've just talked about, and I'm very grateful to you for your hospitality and for the chance for our two countries, with our great shared histories, to continue to work together on these great issues.
I think we're agreed that all challenges can best be met when together the United Kingdom and the United States work in a partnership that I believe will strengthen in the years to come, and I thank you for both your invitation and for the chance to talk about these great issues.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir. Two questions a side. Ben.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Your own military commander suggests that, in Iraq, the Iraqi forces are not nearly ready to take over security for their own country, and that U.S. troops will need to stay in the region for many months, if not years. Are you prepared to pass on the fate of the war to the next President?
And Mr. Prime Minister, if I may, what do you see as the biggest mistakes in the management of the war, and what do you propose to do to correct them?
PRESIDENT BUSH: David Petraeus, the general on the ground, will be bringing his recommendations back to the Congress on or about September the 15th. And I think it's going to be very important for all of us to wait for him to report. And the reason it's important is, is that I believe that the decisions on the way forward in Iraq must be made with a military recommendation as an integral part of it. And therefore I don't want to prejudge what David is going to say.
I have said this is going to take a long time in Iraq, just like the ideological struggle is going to take a long time. And so I look forward to David's report, and then we'll respond accordingly. There has been some notable progress -- Anbar province being such a place -- where there's bottom up reconciliation, where people are rejecting this al Qaeda vision of the world, and saying there's a better way forward.
There are still setbacks, obviously. We've got these suiciders that are trying to foment sectarian violence. But, Ben, I would ask you and the Congress to wait -- to do what I'm doing, which is wait until David to come back and make his report. And I think you'll find it will be considered and based upon the evidence there on the ground.
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: You asked about the difficulties we've faced, and a lot has happened over the last period of time. I think the difficulties include the -- getting political reconciliation within Iraq itself; moving forward the reconstruction and the time it has taken to do so.
But I think the one thing that I'm pleased about is that Iraq is now building up its own security forces, it's now building up its own military, and it's now building up is own police. So we've got to a situation where there are perhaps 300,000 people who are in the Iraqi security and policing forces.
In Basra, and in the four provinces that we're dealing with, security forces have built up over the last few years now to around 30,000 people. It's in that context where we can then achieve what we want to do, which is to pass security over to the Iraqi people themselves, to pass it over to the elected Iraqi government, and of course to local provincial control.
And one of the encouraging things that's happened over the last few months, indeed the last year and more is that we've been able to pass the control of the three of the four provinces for which we've got responsibility back to Iraqi hands. And of course the issue in Basra, which is the largest province, is the point at which we can do what we want to do, which is to have local people and local army and local police in charge of the security there.
So that is the challenge that we face over this next period of time: that Iraq itself becomes more responsible for its own security; that we are able to pass control of the province both to elected politicians and to the security services; and we're able to combine that with the people of Iraq themselves having a stake in the future.
So, yes, there have been problems, but, yes, also, when you look at the four provinces for which we've got responsibility, we can see that we're able to move control back to the Iraqi people in three, and there's a chance of being able to do that in the fourth as a result of the buildup of the security forces.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Still hanging around.
Q Good afternoon, Mr. President. (Laughter.) It's very nice to be back.
PRESIDENT BUSH: It is.
Q Mr. President, you trusted Tony Blair not, in your phrase, to cut and run from Iraq. After your talks, do you believe you can trust Gordon Brown in the same way?
And Prime Minister, you talked of Afghanistan being the front line in the struggle against terror, not Iraq. Do you believe that British troops in Iraq are part of the struggle against terrorism, or as many people now believe, making that harder, not easier, to win?
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Well, perhaps I should deal with it first and then pass on to you, President.
In Iraq, you're dealing with Sunni-Shia violence, you're dealing with the involvement of Iran, but you're certainly dealing with a large number of al Qaeda terrorists. And I think I described Afghanistan as the first line in the battle against the Taliban, and of course the Taliban in Afghanistan is what we are dealing with in the provinces for which we've got responsibility, and doing so with some success.
There is no doubt, therefore, that al Qaeda is operating in Iraq. There is no doubt that we've had to take very strong measures against them, and there is no doubt that the Iraqi security forces have got to be strong enough to be able to withstand not just the violence that has been between the Sunni and the Shia population and the Sunni insurgency, but also al Qaeda itself.
So one of the tests that the military commanders will have on the ground, in the province for which we've got direct responsibility now and before we move from combat to overwatch, is whether we are strong enough and they are strong enough to enable them to stand up against that threat.
PRESIDENT BUSH: There's no doubt in my mind that Gordon Brown understands that failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the security of our own countries; that failure in Iraq would embolden extremist movements throughout the Middle East; that failure in Iraq would basically say to people sitting on the fence around the region that al Qaeda is powerful enough to drive great countries like Great Britain and America out of Iraq before the mission is done. He understands that violence could spill out across the region, that a country like Iran would become emboldened.
So there's no doubt in my mind he understands the stakes of the struggle, and there's no doubt in my mind that he will keep me abreast of his military commanders' recommendations based upon conditions on the ground. As he accurately noted, the Brits have been involved in four of the provinces; transfer has taken place in three of the four. Why? Because progress was made. This is a results-oriented world, and the results were such that Great Britain was able to transfer responsibility. That's what we want to do. We want to be able to be in a position where we can achieve results on the ground so that we can be in a different posture.
The problem was, last fall, we weren't going to be able to transfer, because conditions on the ground were getting out of control. And so I made the decision to send more troops in, understanding the consequences of failure if we did not do so. In other words, I said I think if we don't send troops, it's more likely we'll fail, and the consequences of failure would be disaster for Great Britain and the United States, something this Prime Minister understands.
The idea of somehow achieving results and therefore this is a change of attitude just simply doesn't -- I just don't agree with that. I find him to be resolved and firm and understanding about the stakes in this series of initial struggles in this war against extremists and radicals. And the challenge for Gordon and me is to write a chapter, the first chapter in this struggle that will lead to success, and that's exactly what we're determined to do.
Rutenberg, today's your birthday? How old are you?
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: My goodness.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Here you are -- amazing country, Gordon, guy is under 40 years old, asking me and you questions. It's a beautiful sight. (Laughter.)
Q Forty is the new 30, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT BUSH: It's a beautiful sight. (Laughter.)
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Six in my cabinet are under 40.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Are they? (Laughter.)
Q Forty is the new 20.
PRESIDENT BUSH: You must be feeling damn old, then?
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Absolutely. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, Jim.
Q Mr. President, the Prime Minister has referred to terrorism as "a crime," and he's referred to it in part as a law enforcement issue. So for you, I'm wondering, does that underscore any sort of philosophical difference when your 2004 campaign took issue with somewhat similar descriptions from John Kerry?
And Mr. Prime Minister, I've heard a lot about how your approach to the United States will be the same as that of your predecessor, but how will it differ?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Look, people who kill innocent men, women and children to achieve political objectives are evil, that's what I think. I don't think there's any need to negotiate with them. I don't think there's any need to hope that they'll change. They are cold-blooded killers, and we better be clear-eyed when we're dealing with them.
And this Prime Minister, right in the beginning of his office, got a taste of what it means to be in a world with these people that would come and attempt to kill innocent civilians of his country, and he handled it well.
But we're dealing with a variety of methodologies to deal with them: one is intelligence, one is law enforcement, and one is military. We got to use all assets at disposal to find them and bring them to justice before they hurt our people again.
In the long run, the way to defeat these people is through a competing ideology, see. And what's interesting about this struggle -- and this is what I was paying very careful attention to when Gordon was speaking -- is, does he understand it's an ideological struggle? And he does.
As he said to me, it's akin to the Cold War, and it is, except the difference this time is we have an enemy using asymmetrical warfare to try to affect our vision, to try to shake our will. They'll kill innocent women and children so it gets on the TV screens, so that we say it's not worth it -- let's just back off. The death they cause makes it -- maybe we just ought to let them have their way. And that's the great danger facing the world in which we live, and he gets it.
He can answer his own -- your question. What's the second half? I talked too long for --
Q It's how would your approach differ from that of your predecessor? And while we're on the subject, also --
PRESIDENT BUSH: Wait a minute, it doesn't work that way. (Laughter.)
Q It's his birthday.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, Mr. Birthday Boy is taking latitude here. (Laughter.)
Q Do you have the same philosophy as the President, in terms of terrorism? So it's two-pronged.
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Absolutely.
PRESIDENT BUSH: What do you expect the answer to be, Rutenberg? Come on, man.
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Absolutely. And let me just stress that we're in a generation-long battle against terrorism, against al Qaeda-inspired terrorism, and this is a battle for which we can give no quarter; it's a battle that's got to be fought in military, diplomatic, intelligence, security, policing, and ideological terms. And we have to face groups of terrorists operating in Britain. And other countries around the world have seen -- perhaps, in 17 countries -- terrorist attacks over the last few years. And we in Britain have faced 15 of our own since September of 2001. And of course when America itself faced in September 2001 and showed such bravery, resilience, and courage in standing up against terrorism then. We know we are in a common struggle, and we know we have to work together, and we know we've got to use all means to deal with it.
So we are at one in fighting the battle against terrorism, and that struggle is one that we will fight with determination and with resilience, and right across the world.
You asked about the new government in the United Kingdom. What I would say is this: Every generation faces new challenges, and the challenges that we face in 2007 are not the same as the challenges that we faced as a government when Tony Blair started in 1997. Then the challenges in Britain were about stability, about employment, about public services. Then the challenges around the world were not seen at that point as the challenges against international terrorism.
Today, in 2007, we see the challenges are radically different from what they were 10 years ago. We have the climate change challenge we've just been discussing, which wasn't one that was seen in exactly the same way a few years ago. And that will lead to the work that we've got to do together, and involving China and India in particular to deal with the energy issues, and including issues of energy security that we face.
We have the challenge of security and terrorism. We have the challenge that we now know in Africa, Darfur, a challenge that we've got to meet immediately to make sure that famine does not afflict millions of people in that part of Africa. And of course we have the challenge that we can see now, where there are opportunities, as well as difficulties, in the Middle East peace process. And that, of course, is a challenge that Secretary of State Rice is -- I'm glad she is here today and has joined our discussions -- is going on only today to the Middle East to take up.
So the challenges are different. We will deal with them by being a government of opportunity and security for all. But the challenges, of course, are new as we face the next decade, and these are challenges that we will face, and I believe America will face, with exactly the same resilience, courage and professionalism.
Q Thank you. Mr. Brown's new formulation for what we used to call the special relationship is Britain's single-most important bilateral relationship. I wonder if I could ask him what precisely that means, whether it works the other way for the United States, in terms of their bilateral relationship. And also, Mr. President, what you think has actually changed with the arrival of Gordon Brown instead of Tony Blair?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Besides toothpaste? (Laughter.) You want to -- I'll start. Look, any time you share values the way we share values, it makes it easy to have strategic conversations; it makes it easy to be able to have common ground on which to deal with these problems. You just listed off a lot of problems. I happen to view them as great opportunities to begin to put conditions in place so that the world looks fundamentally different 50 years from now.
But I would say that the relationship between Great Britain and America is our most important bilateral relationship, for a lot of reasons -- trade. Great Britain has been attacked, we've been attacked, which caused us to lash up our intelligence services like never before. We have common interests throughout the world.
But it's an important relationship primarily because we think the same. We believe in freedom and justice as fundamentals of life. There's no doubt in my mind that freedom is universal; that freedom is a gift to each man, woman and child on the face of the earth, and that with freedom comes peace. And there's no doubt in my mind those of us who live under free societies have an obligation to work together to promote it.
And the man I listened to shares that same sense of morality, and that same sense of obligation -- not to free others, but to create the conditions so others can realize the blessings of freedom. We can't impose freedom, but we can eliminate roadblocks to freedom, and to allow free societies to develop. And it's really hard work, you know? There's a lot of cynics saying, how dare they; how dare they impose U.S. or Great British values. And what I found was a man who understands that these aren't Great British and U.S. values, these are universal values.
And so what was your question? (Laughter.)
Q What's changed?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Oh, what's changed? He's a Scotsman, kind of a -- he's not the dour Scotsman that you described him, or the awkward Scotsman; he's actually the humorous Scotsman, the guy that -- we actually were able to relax and to share some thoughts. I was very interested in his family life. He's a man who has suffered unspeakable tragedy, and instead of that weakening his soul, strengthened his soul.
I was impressed, and I am confident that we'll be able to keep our relationship strong, healthy, vibrant, and that there will be constant communications as we deal with these problems. As I said, he's a problem-solver. And that's what we need as partners. We've got a lot of problems we're dealing with, and we can reach solutions. He's a glass-half-full man, not a glass-half-empty guy, you know? Some of these world leaders say, oh, the problems are so significant, let us retreat; let us not take them on, they're too tough. That's not Gordon Brown. His attitude is, I see a problem, let's work together to solve it. And for that, I'm grateful.
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: What President Bush has said is both very compassionate and reflects the conversation we had about a whole series of issues that we can deal with together.
I think your understanding, if I may say so, of Scotland was enhanced by the fact that you went to Scotland, you told me, at the age of 14, and had to sit through very long Presbyterian Church services in which you didn't understand a word of what the minister was actually saying. (Laughter.) So I think you came to a better understanding of the Scottish contribution to the United Kingdom from that.
Adam, you asked about the single-most important bilateral relationship for Britain, and I think President Bush has answered that, that that is the view of the United States, as well. Call it the special relationship; call it, as Churchill did, the joint inheritance; call it when we meet as a form of homecoming, as President Reagan did -- then you see the strength of this relationship, as I've said, is not just built on the shared problems that we have to deal with together, or on the shared history that is built, as President Bush has just said, on shared values. And these are values that he rightly says are universal. They're the belief in the dignity of the individual, the freedom and liberty that we can bring to the world, and a belief that everyone -- everyone -- should have the chance of opportunity.
And I do see this relationship strengthening in the years to come, because it is the values that we believe in that I think will have the most impact as we try to solve the problems that we face right across the world. And in a sense, the battle that we are facing with international terrorism is a battle between our values, which stress the dignity of every individual, and those who would maim and murder, irrespective of faith, indifferent to human life, often simply for propaganda effect, and of course with devastating effects, both on the communities that they claim to represent and the whole world.
So I want to stress the values that we hold in common, not in an abstract way, but in a very positive and concrete way, because I think the more we debate these issues about how the world would be organized to face international terrorism, the more we come back to the values that unite decent, hardworking people right across the world, whatever their faith, whatever their country, whatever their continent.
And it's been a privilege to be able to have these discussions with the President about how we can deal with all these challenges by applying not just our values, but applying the strength that comes from the strong relationship that exists between our two countries.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Good job, thank you.
PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Thank you very much.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Glad you all are here.
I am VERY glad to see that a "main stream media" news paper has realized what is going on in Washington DC. Some of the politicians in Washington would rather we lost in Iraq than be wrong about our abilities to win. This is disgraceful, the very people that we trusted to lead this wonderful country are now betraying us! Some thing needs to be done about it, and what needs to happen is that we don't elect any of the democratic presidential candidates to the Commander in chief of the most powerful nation, and most powerful military on this planet.
"July 26, 2007 -- TO a military professional, the tactical progress made in Iraq over the last few months is impressive. To a member of Congress, it's an annoyance.
The herd animals on Capitol Hill - from both parties - just can't wait to go over the cliff on Iraq. And even when the media mention one or two of the successes achieved by our troops, the reports are grudging.
Yet what's happening on the ground, right now, in Baghdad and in Iraq's most-troubled provinces, contributes directly to your security. In the words of a senior officer known for his careful assessments, al Qaeda's terrorists in Iraq are "on their back foot and we're trying to knock them to their knees."
Do our politicians really want to help al Qaeda regain its balance?
Gen. David Petraeus and his deputies sharply prioritized the threats we face in Iraq: Al Qaeda is No. 1, and Iran's Shia proxies are No. 2. Our troops hunt them relentlessly. And we don't face our enemies alone: Iraq's security forces have begun to pick up their share of the fight.
A trusted source in Baghdad confirmed several key developments that've gone largely unreported. Here's what's been happening while "journalists" focused on John Edwards' haircuts:
* Al Qaeda lost the support of Iraq's Sunni Arabs. The fanatics over-reached: They murdered popular sheiks, kidnapped tribal women for forced marriages, tried to outlaw any form of joy and (perhaps most fatally, given Iraqi habits) banned smoking. In response, the Arab version of the Marlboro Man rose up and started cutting terrorist throats.
* Since the tribes who once were fighting against us turned on al Qaeda, our troops not only captured the senior Iraqi in the organization - which made brief headlines - but also killed the three al Turki brothers, major-league pinch-hitters al Qaeda sent into Iraq to save the game.
Oh, and it emerged that the Iraqi "head" of the terrorists was just a front - in the words of one Army officer, Omar al Baghdadi was "a Wizard of Oz-like creation designed to give an impression that al Qaeda has Iraqis in its senior ranks."
* Al Qaeda has been pushed right across Anbar, from the once Wild West to the province's eastern fringes. The terrorists are still dug in elsewhere, from the Diyala River Valley to a few Baghdad neighborhoods - but, to quote that senior officer again, "our forces have been taking out their leaders faster than they can find qualified replacements."
Even the Democrats yearning to become president admit, when pressed, that al Qaeda's a threat to America. So why didn't even one of them praise the success of our troops during their last debate?
But let's be fair: Congressional Republicans, terrified of losing their power and glory and precious perks, haven't rushed to applaud our progress, either. They'll give up Iraq, as long as they don't have to give up earmarks.
* It isn't only al Qaeda taking serious hits. After briefly showing the flag, Muqtada al-Sadr fled back to Iran again, trailed by his senior deputies. Mookie's No. 2 even moved his family to Iran. Why? Though he's been weak in the past, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is now green-lighting Iraqi operations against the Jaish al Mahdi, the Mookster's "Mahdi Army."
With its descent into criminality and terror, the Mahdi Army, too, has been losing support among Iraqis - in this case, among Shias.
And Iraq's security forces increasingly carry the fight to the militia:
* The Iraqi Police Tactical Support Unit in Nasiriyah came under attack by Mahdi Army elements accustomed to intimidating their enemies. Supported by a brave (and tiny) U.S. advisory team, the police commandos fought them off. Instead of a walkover, the militia thugs hit a wall - and got hammered by airstrikes, for good measure. Then the Iraqi police counter-attacked. The Mahdi Army force begged for negotiations.
* In Mosul, Iraqi army and police units stuck to their guns through a series of tough combat engagements, with the result that massive arms caches were seized from the terrorists and insurgents. In Kirkuk, Iraqi police reacted promptly to last week's gruesome car-bombing - in time to stop two other car bombs from reaching their intended targets.
* In Baghdad, the surge isn't only about American successes - Iraqi security and intelligence forces conducted a series of hard-hitting operations against both al Qaeda and Iran-backed Special Group terrorists.
What were you, the American people, told about all this? Well, The New Republic published a pack of out-of-the-ballpark lies concocted by a scammer claiming to be a grunt in Baghdad. Our soldiers, he wrote, spent their time playing games with babies' skulls, running over dogs for fun and mocking disfigured women in their mess hall.
Anyone who knows our troops or has visited Iraq could instantly spot the absurdities in this smear and the soldiers in the unit denied that any of it happened - but The New Republic (which refuses to produce its source) isn't exactly staffed by military veterans.
The editors wanted to believe evil about our men and women in uniform, and ended up doing evil to our troops. (Those editors ought to be sentenced to spend August in Baghdad with the infantrymen they defamed, cleaning out military port-a-johns in the 130-degree heat.)
Is success suddenly guaranteed in Iraq? Of course not. The situation's still a bloody mess. But it's also more encouraging than it's been since the summer of 2003, when the downward slide began.
Gen. Dave Petraeus and his subordinate commanders are by far the best team we've ever had in place in that wretched country. They're doing damned near everything right - with austere resources, despite the surge. And they're being abandoned by your elected leaders.
Maybe the next presidential primary debate should be held in Baghdad. "
Ralph Peters' book, "Wars Of Blood And Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the Twenty-First Century," is in stores now.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Lady Asks Forgiveness For Moments Of Anger,” The Associated Press, 2/7/97)
Is that disgusting or what?
"She's [Clinton] One Of The Best-Known Women In The World ... She's Been In The White House For Eight Years. She's A Senator From One Of The Largest States. And 60-Plus Percent Of The Democratic Party Wants Somebody Else." (David Paul Kuhn, "Obama Models Campaign On Reagan Revolt," The Politico, 7/24/07)
Well, I am veryy happy to see that the Democrats are just as unhappy with Clinton as I am. Why on earth Hart said this wonderful little comment I dont know, I am sure that he will be getting calls from Mrs. Clinton.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
People like this person are the only reason for gun control! The promised effect of gun control is to have less shootings. If someone is going to shoot another human being do you really think that they will care whether or not they are allowed to have the gun that the shot him/her with? Seriously, gun control is not going to help anybody, all it will do is harm those Americans who eat what they hunt for. I also agree with Biden, if thats his baby he needs help!
Here is what TIME had to say on the subject.
When he was good, he was very, very good. When he wasn't, he was dangerously close to ordinary. Spoke movingly — even/almost presidentially — about America's troubled history with race, his favorite teacher and how hard he would fight for universal health care. (Obama even drew an approving nod from Elizabeth Edwards in the audience on that last one). Took occasional soft shots at Clinton on Iraq and her questionable ability to fight for change (his main theme), but never made a decisive impact. He began many more sentences with, "When I am president" (without the conditional) than he has in past debates, but his own video (all the candidates made them, and they were sprinkled throughout the telecast) hit more Kennedy chords than the live Obama did. Still, his best performance to date, positioning him to return in later forums to the change-change-change contrast he wants (and needs) to define his candidacy.
—by Mark Halperin "
( Time )
"There is no greater responsibility our government has to the American people than national security. Republicans are committed to fighting and winning the global war on terror. "
- (gop.gov )
"In November 2006, six Islamic leaders were removed from a U.S. Airways flight in Minneapolis after they were observed acting suspiciously-including not sitting in their assigned seats, asking for seatbelt extenders although not needing them, and making anti-American statements. The men were questioned by authorities and then cleared. However, in March 2007, with the help of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the imams filed suit — not only against the airline but against the heroic "John Doe" passengers who reported their suspicious behavior.
Congressman Pete King (R., NY), the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, sprang quickly into action, concluding that the lawsuits were cheap attempts to intimidate everyday Americans from taking action to help protect our country. Congressman King introduced an amendment to protect passengers and commuters against frivolous lawsuits such as those filed by the imams. The language was overwhelmingly adopted by the House in March, 304-121, as an amendment to H.R. 1401, the Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2007." ( gop.gov )
Well, well, well, it is about time that a "common sense law" went through Congress that quickly. I also think that it was a great move on Congressman King's part to introduce an amendment that could have caused a political uproar in Washington. Congressman King put his own popularity aside for the good of the American people, that is the type of politicians we need in Washington!
"OUR PRINCIPLE: It has taken over 200 days for the Democrat majority to see a plank of their ill-fated “Six for ‘06” take effect. While Democrats rammed through the House a federally mandated minimum wage hike that will affect relatively few Americans, Republicans insisted on and secured nearly $5 billion in meaningful tax relief for small business owners. Republicans believe government should help both the workers who make the minimum wage and the entrepreneurs who pay it.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY): “I agree by the time we got it raised after 10 years, it was already out of date.” (CNN/YouTube Presidential Debate, 7/23/07) " ( taken from gop.gov)
Deborah Haynes in Doura
"Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a person’s face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood.
The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.
“They are turning. We are talking to people who we believe have worked for al-Qaeda in Iraq and want to reconcile and have peace,” said Colonel Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which oversees the area.
The sewage-filled streets of Doura, a Sunni Arab enclave in south Baghdad, provide an ugly setting for what US commanders say is al-Qaeda’s last stronghold in the city. The secretive group, however, appears to be losing its grip as a “surge” of US troops in the neighbourhood – part of the latest effort by President Bush to end the chaos in Iraq – has resulted in scores of fighters being killed, captured or forced to flee.
“Al-Qaeda’s days are numbered and right now he is scrambling,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen Michael, who commands a battalion of 700 troops in Doura.
A key factor is that local people and members of al-Qaeda itself have become sickened by the violence and are starting to rebel, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael said. “The people have got to deny them sanctuary and that is exactly what is happening.”
Al-Qaeda informants comprise largely members of the Doura network who found themselves either working with the group after the US-led invasion in March 2003, or signed up to earn extra cash because there were no other jobs going. Disgusted at the attacks and intimidation techniques used on friends, neighbours and even relatives, they are now increasingly looking for a way out, US officers say.
“It is only after al-Qaeda has become truly barbaric and done things like, to teach lessons to people, cut their face off with piano wire in front of their family and then murdered everybody except one child who told the tale afterwards . . . that people realise how much of a mess they are in,” Lieutenant James Danly, 31, who works on military intelligence in Doura, said.
It is impossible to corroborate the claims, but he said that scores of junior al-Qaeda in Iraq members there had become informants since May, including one low-level cell leader who gave vital information after his arrest.
“He gave us dates, places and names and who did what,” Lieutenant Danly said. When asked why he was being so forthcoming, the man said: “Because I am sick of it and I hate them, and I am done.”
Working with insurgents – even those who claim to have switched sides – is a leap of faith for both sides. Every informant who visits Forward Operating Base Falcon, a vast military camp on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, is blindfolded when brought in and out to avoid gleaning any information about his surroundings.
The risk sometimes pays off. A recent tip-off led to the fatal shooting of Abu Kaldoun, one of three senior al-Qaeda leaders in Doura, during a US raid last week. “He was turned in by one of his own,” Colonel Michael said.
Progress with making contacts and gathering actionable information is slow because al-Qaeda has persuasive methods of keeping people quiet. This month it beheaded two men in the street and pinned a note on to their corpses giving warning that anyone who cooperated with US troops would meet the same fate.
The increased presence of US forces in Doura, however, is encouraging insiders to overcome their fear and divulge what they know. Convoys of US soldiers are working the rubble-strewn streets day and night, knocking on doors, speaking to locals and following up leads on possible insurgent hideouts.
“People in al-Qaeda come to us and give us information,” said Lieutenant Scott Flanigan, as he drove past a line of fruit and vegetable stalls near a shabby shopping street in Doura, where people were buying bread and other groceries.
The informants were not seeking an amnesty for crimes that they had committed. “They just do not want to be killed,” Lieutenant Flanigan said.
Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – who was killed in a US raid last year – established the Iraqi al-Qaeda network in 2004, but opinions differ on its compilation, size and capabilities. Some military experts believe that the group is a cell-based network of chapters who are loosely linked to an overall leader by go-between operatives.
Others, however, describe al-Qaeda in Iraq as a sort of franchise, with separate cells around the country that use the brand – made infamous by Osama bin Laden – and cultural ideology but do not work closely with each other or for one overriding leader.
Despite the uncertainties one thing seems guaranteed. A hardcore of people calling themselves al-Qaeda in Iraq remains devoted to the extremist cause and is determined to fight on whatever the cost."
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
This is one of the few times I will agree with John Edwards, you should NOT vote for someone based on their race, or gender! Those people who will vote for Hillary because she is a woman really need to rethink their voting criteria, same for those who will, or will not vote for Obama because of his skin color.
I would define it as someone who takes money from the rich and gives it to the poor, thus mentally disabling the poor from getting a good job. Why should I bother to get a good job when the government will pay me?
My answer would be YES. Even if you don't support the draft you should support woman being asked to serve just like their male counterparts! Our country is working very hard to end racial and sexual discrimination, having the government ask the same of woman that they do of men is a step in the right direction.
Would a woman president be taken seriously by an Arab state? (16)
I am really not sure, unfortunately i think that a woman president would not be taken as seriously. However, that said, just the thought of a female opposing them might make them both respect her and her power, and take her seriously.
To view the questions asked, and the candidates responces click here.