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“Not Just irresponsible… It’s OUTRAGEOUS !”

Barack speaking about McCain’s economic policy. Great 2 minute clip….

GOBAMA!

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June 10, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Barack talks to all of us who made it happen…

A thirteen minute vid really worth seeing. This is an “inside” speech. Gentle and thoughtful.

Thank you Barack. That’s why I started this blog.

GOBAMA 08

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

$45 trillion needed to combat warming

$45 trillion needed to combat warming

By JOSEPH COLEMAN, Associated Press Writer Fri Jun 6, 7:06 AM ET

TOKYO – The world needs to invest $45 trillion in energy in coming decades, build some 1,400 nuclear power plants and vastly expand wind power in order to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to an energy study released Friday.

The report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency envisions a “energy revolution” that would greatly reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining steady economic growth.

“Meeting this target of 50 percent cut in emissions represents a formidable challenge, and we would require immediate policy action and technological transition on an unprecedented scale,” IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said.

A U.N.-network of scientists concluded last year that emissions have to be cut by at least half by 2050 to avoid an increase in world temperatures of between 3.6 and 4.2 degrees above pre-18th century levels.

Scientists say temperature increases beyond that could trigger devastating effects, such as widespread loss of species, famines and droughts, and swamping of heavily populated coastal areas by rising oceans.

Environment ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized countries and Russia backed the 50 percent target in a meeting in Japan last month and called for it to be officially endorsed at the G-8 summit in July.

The IEA report mapped out two main scenarios: one in which emissions are reduced to 2005 levels by 2050, and a second that would bring them to half of 2005 levels by mid-century.

The scenario for deeper cuts would require massive investment in energy technology development and deployment, a wide-ranging campaign to dramatically increase energy efficiency, and a wholesale shift to renewable sources of energy.

Assuming an average 3.3 percent global economic growth over the 2010-2050 period, governments and the private sector would have to make additional investments of $45 trillion in energy, or 1.1 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, the report said.

That would be an investment more than three times the current size of the entire U.S. economy.

The second scenario also calls for an accelerated ramping up of development of so-called “carbon capture and storage” technology allowing coal-powered power plants to catch emissions and inject them underground.

The study said that an average of 35 coal-powered plants and 20 gas-powered power plants would have to be fitted with carbon capture and storage equipment each year between 2010 and 2050.

In addition, the world would have to construct 32 new nuclear power plants each year, and wind-power turbines would have to be increased by 17,000 units annually. Nations would have to achieve an eight-fold reduction in carbon intensity — the amount of carbon needed to produce a unit of energy — in the transport sector.

Such action would drastically reduce oil demand to 27 percent of 2005 demand. Failure to act would lead to a doubling of energy demand and a 130 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, IEA officials said.

“This development is clearly not sustainable,” said Dolf Gielen, an IEA energy analyst and leader for the project.

Gielen said most of the $45 trillion forecast investment — about $27 trillion — would be borne by developing countries, which will be responsible for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Most of the money would be in the commercialization of energy technologies developed by governments and the private sector.

“If industry is convinced there will be policy for serious, deep CO2 emission cuts, then these investments will be made by the private sector,” Gielen said.

June 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mofaz: Israel attack on Iran ‘unavoidable’ if nuclear program continued

Mofaz: Israel attack on Iran ‘unavoidable’ if nuclear program continued

By Reuters
Tags: Shaul Mofaz
An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites looks “unavoidable” given the apparent failure of Western sanctions to deny Tehran technology with bomb-making potential, Transportation Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz said Friday.

“If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective,” Mofaz told the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

“Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable,” said the former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff who later served as defense minister.

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It was the most explicit threat yet against Iran from a member of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government, which, like the Bush administration, has preferred to hint at force as a last resort should United Nations Security Council sanctions fail to achieve the desired abandonment of nuclear development by Tehran.

Iran, which denies seeking nuclear weapons, has defied Western pressure to abandon its uranium enrichment projects. The leadership in Tehran has also threatened to retaliate against Israel – believed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal – and U.S. targets in the Gulf for any attack on Iranian turf.

Mofaz also said in the interview that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, “would disappear before Israel does.”

Mofaz’s remarks came as he and several other senior members of Olmert’s Kadima Party prepare for a possible run for top office should a corruption scandal force the Israeli prime minister to step down.

Iranian-born Mofaz has been a main party rival of the Israeli prime minister, particularly following the 2006 elections when Olmert was forced to hand the defence portfolio to Labor, his main coalition partner, at Mofaz’s expense.

Mofaz, who is also designated as a deputy prime minister, has remained privy to Israel’s defense planning. He is a member of Olmert’s security cabinet and leads regular strategic coordination talks with the U.S. State Department.

Israel sent warplanes to destroy Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981.

A similar Israeli sortie over Syria last September razed what the U.S. administration said was a nascent nuclear reactor built with North Korean help. Syria denied having any such facility.

Independent analysts have questioned, however, whether Israel’s armed forces can take on Iran alone, as its nuclear sites are numerous, distant and well-fortified

June 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Limited US attack on Iranian Revolutionary Guards bases in sight

June 2, 2008, 11:31 AM (GMT+02:00)

US

Our Washington sources report that president George W. Bush is closer than ever before to ordering a limited missile-air bombardment of the IRGC-al Qods Brigade’s installations in Iran. It is planned to target training camps and the munitions factories pumping fighters, missiles and roadside bombs to the Iraqi insurgency, Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza.

Iran is geared up for counteraction.

US intelligence estimates that Tehran’s counteraction will likewise be on a limited scale and therefore any US-Iranian military encounter will not be allowed to explode into a major confrontation. Because this US assault is not planned to extend to Iran’s nuclear installations, Tehran is not expected to hit back at distant American targets in the Persian Gulf or at Israel.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report, however, that Iran’s military preparations for countering an American attack are far broader than envisaged in Washington. Tehran would view a US attack on the IRGC bases as a casus belli and might react in ways and on a scale unanticipated in Washington.

Two days ago, Iran’s defense minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar warned: “Iran’s Armed Forces are fully prepared to counter any military attack with any intensity and to make the enemy regret initiating any such incursions.”

According to DEBKAfile’s Iranian and military sources, the IRGC had by mid-May completed their preparations for a US missile, air or commando assault on their command centers and bases in reprisal for Iranian intervention in Iraq.

These preparations encompass al Qods’ arms, most of them undercover, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sudan. At home, the Revolutionary Guards have evacuated their key bases together with manpower and equipment to regular army sites or temporary quarters in villages located in remote corners of eastern and northern Iran. Their main headquarters and central training center at the Imam Ali University in northern Tehran are deserted except for sentries on the gates.

Indoctrination seminaries and dormitories hosting fighting strength in the holy town of Qom are empty, as is the Manzariyah training center east of the capital.

Deserted too is the main training camp near Isfahan for insurgents and terrorists from Iraq, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. It is here that they take courses from friendly al Qods training staff on how to sabotage strategic targets such as routes, bridges and military installations, and the activation of the extra-powerful roadside bombs (EFPs) which have had such a deadly effect on American troops in Iraq.

Debka

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Army Sgt. Matthis Chiroux Refuses His Deployment to Iraq

Iraq Veteran Publicly Refuses to Deploy to Iraq in the halls of Congress

By Erin Thompson

Sgt. Matthis Chiroux, a 24-year-old who spent nearly five years serving in the U.S. Army, publicly refused his orders to deploy to Iraq today. Chiroux made the statement in the rotunda of the Cannon Building of the House of Representatives, just minutes after 8 members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War testified about the realities of the U.S. occupation of Iraq to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Keywords: Analysis, Bronx, War & Peace, Resource Wars,

Chiroux, a student of political science in his first semester at Brooklyn College, received an honorable discharge last July after working as a photojournalist for the U.S. military in Japan, Europe, the Philippines and Afghanistan. In February Chiroux received notice that he must report to the U.S. Army in June to be deployed to Iraq.

Chiroux made the statement flanked by a dozen members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. “I would like to let Matthis and everyone here know that IVAW stands in support and solidarity with your decision, which I know is very difficult and very personal,” said IVAW Executive Director Kelly Dougherty. “IVAW’s strategy to end the occupation in Iraq is to encourage and organize resistance and opposition to this occupation from within the ranks and from the recent veterans.”

Statement:

“Good afternoon, my name is Sergeant Matthis Chiroux and I served as an army photo journalist until being honorably discharged last summer after over four years of service in Afghanistan and Europe and the Phillipines.

As an army journalist whose job it was to college and filter service members’ stories, I heard many a stomach-churning testimony of the horrors and crimes taking place in Iraq. For fear of retaliation from the military, I failed to report these crimes. Never again will I allow fear to silence me. Never again will I fail to stand. In February, I received a letter from the Army, ordering my return to active duty, with the purpose of mobilization in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Thanks in great part to the truths of war being fearlessly spoken by my fellow IVAW members, I stand before you today with the strength and clarity and resolve to declare the military and my government and the world that this soldier will not be deploying to Iraq.

This occupation is unconstitutional and illegal, and I hereby lawfully refuse to participate as I will surely be a party to war crimes. Furthermore, deployment and support of illegal war violates all of my core values as a human being. But in keeping with those values, I choose to remain in the United States to defend myself from charges brought by the Army, if they so wish to pursue them.

I refuse to participate in the Iraq occupation.”

Erin Thompson

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thoughtful, if gloomy Arab Israeli analysis

Israel won the wars, lost the peace

By Mark LeVine

Soldiers pay homage to Jews killed in the battle for Jerusalem during Israel’s
1948 war at a military cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem [GALLO/GETTY]


On a flight home from a lecture at the University of Arizona on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, I happened to sit next to an elderly woman whose accent, along with the Hebrew prayer card in her hand, suggested she was Israeli.

Our conversation during the flight epitomised the obstacles that continue to block a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The woman was born in Poland and had lived through the Holocaust.

“Even 60 years later it’s like a dream you can’t believe,” she explained when I asked her if she had still been in Poland when the war began.

“You arrive and they send you immediately to the showers; you never knew which shower it was – to clean you up or gas you.”

After surviving Auschwitz, she was imprisoned in two more concentration camps, and then sent to a munitions factory in Germany later bombed by the Soviets.

“We were running through the streets alongside animals who escaped from the zoo next door when it was bombed. We were pulling the flesh off the burned animals because we were so hungry. It was like a barbecue.”

Somehow, she managed to survive these horrors, as well as one of the infamous “death marches” that preceded the war’s end, only to face a pogrom when she returned to her village in Poland in 1946. After these attacks, her remaining family fled Poland.

“Those who could, went to the United States, the rest went to Palestine.”

Israel’s collective identity

The woman’s story is almost surreal in its horror. But such stories have been seared into Israel’s collective identity. These memories are so powerful that even though few Israelis today lived through the Holocaust, they are a crucial reason why the possibility of peace with Palestinians remains so elusive.

It does not matter to the collective Israeli psyche that there has been a generation of peace with Egypt, a decade-and-a half with Jordan, and strong relations with Turkey and Morocco.

Nor does it matter that there is declared acceptance of Israel’s existence by most Arab states. When the subject of the peace process inevitably came up in our conversation, my companion asked me incredulously: “Do you think they [Arabs] will just let us live?”

This psychology has not just made peace hard for Israelis to believe in, but by reinforcing the Israeli/Jewish sense of besiegement it has helped ensure the futility of Palestinian resistance – especially violent opposition – against the occupation.

It has also enabled the use of “security” considerations to justify an occupation which has had little to do with security, and everything to do with cementing Jewish control over as much of Israel’s biblical heartland as possible.

Historical schizophrenia

Israeli border police visit the Yad Vashem
holocaust memorial in Jerusalem

But it is not only the collective memory of the Holocaust, along with the nature of Palestinian resistance to the occupation, that has helped produce a high level of fear and distrust in the Israeli psyche.

As important is the moral and historical schizophrenia which stem from the reality that Israel was born out of the displacement of 750,000 Palestinian Arabs.

It matters little that the overwhelming body of scholarship on the Palestinian refugee problem, much of it produced by Israeli scholars, accepts that Palestinians were made refugees by the deliberate actions of a Zionist/Israeli leadership.

Whether it was newly emptied Palestinian homes in Jaffa filled with Jewish refugees or national parks being established on the rubble of entire Galilee villages, the spectre of Palestine Lost so haunts Israel’s national psyche that it takes an unceasing process of willful forgetting to ensure the continued erasure of Palestinians from the Israeli landscape.

Despite all its accomplishments, its military and economic might, superpower patronage, and acceptance across most of the region, Israel’s sense of rootedness remains fragile.

So fragile, in fact, that to entertain the idea of culpability in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem – the “original sin” that made Israel’s establishment as an overwhelmingly Jewish majority state possible – would open a Pandora’s box of self-doubt and recrimination that would threaten its viability as a “democratic Jewish state” today.

Israel’s dilemma

Israel’s separation wall cuts a path through
Palestinian olive groves [GALLO/GETTY]

Other settler colonial societies have faced similar dilemmas. But while the successful “extermination” of the native populations of the United States (to use historian Benny Morris’s terminology) made possible an open and confident American nationalism, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine’s non-Jewish population was never completed.

The continued presence of millions of Palestinians within and next to Israel has made it very hard for Israelis to feel confident in their control of the land.

Today, the non-Jewish population of mandate Palestine has achieved a rough parity with the Jewish population. Potentially more threatening to the Jewish identity of the state, according to some Israeli scholars, is that within a generation Palestinian citizens of Israel will come perilously close to outnumbering their Jewish compatriots.

If and when that moment arrives, Israel’s existence as both a Jewish and democratic state will end.

Yet in a certain sense, the Jewish-but-democratic equation has always been a paradox imperfectly resolved. Even during the best of times, Israel has never been a fully democratic state, except for Jews of European descent.

Jews from Middle Eastern countries were excluded from the reins of political and economic power until relatively recently and have yet to achieve parity with Ashkenazis. Palestinian citizens lived under military rule until 1966; and though they have guaranteed equal political rights and can serve in the armed forces (which most Bedouin and Druze, but few Palestinians do), they remain legally and institutionally discriminated against.

Problematic democracy

IN VIDEO

Israel’s immigration issue

This is no more evident than the crucial issues of access to land and public resources, while suffering regular surveillance and harassment by Israel’s security services.

If Palestinian citizens do not live equally under the law, then Israel cannot accurately be referred to as the “Middle East’s only Western-style democracy”.

A more accurate description of Israel would be that it is an “ethnocracy,” a formally democratic state where ethnicity and religion legally determine the degree of access to the full benefits of citizenship.

The “democracy” description becomes more problematic when the reality of Israel’s de facto sovereignty over the Occupied Territories during the last 40 years is taken into account.

Since 1967, and even during the Oslo years (1993-2000), the Israeli government has controlled every major aspect of Palestinian life without granting the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza any political, civil, economic or cultural rights, effectively disenfranchising them for two generations.

One of the reasons for the failure of Oslo was that Israel retained almost full control over the Palestinian economy, borders, resources and security despite the establishment of a veneer of democracy with the Palestinian Authority and the Legislative Council.

The sheer inertia of the occupation’s massive institutional and geographical infrastructure, coupled with the gnawing fear that even if peace were possible today Israel would remain vulnerable to the demographic time bomb tomorrow, helps explain why Israel intensified rather than dismantled the infrastructure of the occupation.

It doubled the settler population, widely expanding the area of Palestinian land under its control while continuing to destroy the foundations of Palestinian agriculture by seizing land, uprooting countless trees, and destroying thousands of homes.

In the minds of many Israeli leaders, peace was ultimately a mirage that would vanish into renewed existential conflict the moment it was reached.

Inseparable

In depth

None of this should come as a surprise to Israelis or analysts of the conflict. A generation ago, Israeli geographer Meron Benvenisti warned Israelis (in his widely publicised 1987 West Bank Data Base Project report) that Israel and the Occupied Territories were already too intertwined geographically, economically and economically to ever separate them again.

As important as Benvenisti’s recognition of the depth of the Israeli occupation by the 1980s was his realisation that the goals of successive Israeli governments never included annexing the whole of the West Bank.

Rather, “the Israeli body-politic is precisely where it wants to stay. The present, fluid, amorphic situation is preferable and suits everybody. A better method than ‘annexation’ has been found to integrate and segregate at the same time: to integrate the territories for Israeli interests … and segregate the Palestinian population to avoid any burdens (citizenship, extension of Israeli welfare system, free political expression).”

These are among the most prescient words ever written about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and they reveal that half a decade before Oslo, Israel had already achieved its primary objectives in the settlement process. Israeli leaders had found a formula to maintain permanent control over the desired areas of the West Bank without fomenting overwhelming Palestinian opposition.

But if Israel’s negotiating strategy during Oslo mirrored the older strategy of drawing out negotiations until facts on the ground made Palestinian independence on any terms but Israel’s impossible, the reality is that in winning the war, Israel lost its chance for peace.

Viable Palestinian state?

The minimum requirements for establishing a viable Palestinian state – dismantling most of the settlement infrastructure to allow territorial contiguity in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), full Palestinian control over their economy, and (at the very least) an honest accounting of Israel’s role in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem – can no longer be met.

Quite simply, doing so would entail a far higher political, social and economic cost than would the continuation of the occupation, with its manageable level of violence.

This reality has cast a pall over the community of Israeli and Palestinian scholars who have devoted much of the last two decades trying to envision scenarios for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

A little over five years ago, at the height of the al-Aqsa intifada, most of my colleagues on both sides of the Green Line remained convinced that a two-state solution was the only viable solution to the conflict, even as many supported the principle of a bi-national state.

Today, the consensus is clearly that conditions for a two-state solution no longer exist. But at the same time a workable binational option seems equally implausible to envision in the near future.

“Maybe in 50-60 years,” one Palestinian colleague mused when I spoke to him recently; precisely when the demographic balance is tipped far in the Palestinians’ favour.

Imagining new scenarios

Question of the week

Now the conflict is entering its seventh decade, can it ever be resolved?

Send us your feedback…

For sure, the fraying of the multi-ethnic and religious fabrics of Lebanon and Iraq do not offer much hope for a shared Israel/Palestine.

Yet despite the odds, Palestinian and Israeli activists and scholars continue to imagine new scenarios for achieving peace, justice and democracy for both peoples.

Fifteen years after Shimon Peres announced the birth of a “New Middle East,” in which national borders and identities would matter less than cultural capital and economic ingenuity, perhaps the best anyone can hope for is what Israeli geographer Oren Yiftachel describes as a “gradual binationalism”.

This would then open up the space between the two and one-state solutions through a “reintegration of Israel-Palestine” – psychologically, as much as politically.

“Of course, this is an (almost) illusionary vision,” Yiftachel is the first to admit. “I am not optimistic, but I feel it is important to continue and air options that people can imagine, and not succumb to the gloom and doom path of ‘creeping apartheid’ in which we are walking.”

If the emerging generation of Israelis and Palestinians can begin to think outside the nationalist and religious framework that has doomed older generations to perpetual conflict, the vision of Yiftachel and his Israeli and Palestinian comrades could take root before the sheer weight of the occupation erodes whatever glimmer of hope for peaceful coexistence remains.

It is undoubtedly a long shot, but the alternative is violence on a scale that can no longer be managed by either side, with catastrophic results for Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East as a whole.

Mark LeVine is professor of history at the University of California Irvine and author or editor of half a dozen books dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and globalisation in the Middle East. He is also a contributing editor for Tikkun magazine.

Al Jazera

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

One Voice can change the US and the WORLD!!!

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Repugs “busy dying”… Peggy Noonan WSJ

The Democrats aren’t the ones falling apart, the Republicans are. The Democrats can see daylight ahead. For all their fractious fighting, they’re finally resolving their central drama. Hillary Clinton will leave, and Barack Obama will deliver a stirring acceptance speech. Then hand-to-hand in the general, where they see their guy triumphing. You see it when you talk to them: They’re busy being born.

[Pity Party]
Terry Shoffner
Clarke Reed

The Republicans? Busy dying. The brightest of them see no immediate light. They’re frozen, not like a deer in the headlights but a deer in the darkness, his ears stiff at the sound. Crunch. Twig. Hunting party.

The headline Wednesday on Drudge, from Politico, said, “Republicans Stunned by Loss in Mississippi.” It was about the eight-point drubbing the Democrat gave the Republican in the special House election. My first thought was: You have to be stupid to be stunned by that. Second thought: Most party leaders in Washington are stupid – detached, played out, stuck in the wisdom they learned when they were coming up, in ’78 or ’82 or ’94. Whatever they learned then, they think pertains now. In politics especially, the first lesson sticks. For Richard Nixon, everything came back to Alger Hiss.

They are also – Hill leaders, lobbyists, party speakers – successful, well-connected, busy and rich. They never guessed, back in ’86, how government would pay off! They didn’t know they’d stay! They came to make a difference and wound up with their butts in the butter. But affluence detaches, and in time skews thinking. It gives you the illusion you’re safe, and that everyone else is. A party can lose its gut this way.

Many are ambivalent, deep inside, about the decisions made the past seven years in the White House. But they’ve publicly supported it so long they think they . . . support it. They get confused. Late at night they toss and turn in the antique mahogany sleigh bed in the carpeted house in McLean and try to remember what it is they really do think, and what those thoughts imply.

And those are the bright ones. The rest are in Perpetual 1980: We have the country, the troops will rally in the fall.

“This was a real wakeup call for us,” someone named Robert M. Duncan, who is chairman of the Republican National Committee, told the New York Times. This was after Mississippi. “We can’t let the Democrats take our issues.” And those issues would be? “We can’t let them pretend to be conservatives,” he continued. Why not? Republicans pretend to be conservative every day.

The Bush White House, faced with the series of losses from 2005 through ’08, has long claimed the problem is Republicans on the Hill and running for office. They have scandals, bad personalities, don’t stand for anything. That’s why Republicans are losing: because they’re losers.

All true enough!

But this week a House Republican said publicly what many say privately, that there is another truth. “Members and pundits . . . fail to understand the deep seated antipathy toward the president, the war, gas prices, the economy, foreclosures,” said Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia in a 20-page memo to House GOP leaders.

The party, Mr. Davis told me, is “an airplane flying right into a mountain.” Analyses of its predicament reflect an “investment in the Bush presidency,” but “the public has just moved so far past that.” “Our leaders go up to the second floor of the White House and they get a case of White House-itis.” Mr. Bush has left the party at a disadvantage in terms of communications: “He can’t articulate. The only asset we have now is the big microphone, and he swallowed it.” The party, said Mr. Davis, must admit its predicament, act independently of the White House, and force Democrats to define themselves. “They should have some ownership for what’s going on. They control the budget. They pay no price. . . . Obama has all happy talk, but it’s from 30,000 feet. Energy, immigration, what is he gonna do?”

* * *

Could the party pivot from the president? I spoke this week to Clarke Reed of Mississippi, one of the great architects of resurgent Republicanism in the South. When he started out, in the 1950s, there were no Republicans in his state. The solid south was solidly Democratic, and Sen. James O. Eastland was thumping the breast pocket of his suit, vowing that civil rights legislation would never leave it. “We’re going to build a two-party system in the south,” Mr. Reed said. He helped create “the illusion of Southern power” as a friend put it, with the creation of the Southern Republican Chairman’s Association. “If you build it they will come.” They did.

There are always “lots of excuses,” Mr. Reed said of the special-election loss. Poor candidate, local factors. “Having said all that,” he continued, “let’s just face it: It’s not a good time.” He meant to be a Republican. “They brought Cheney in, and that was a mistake.” He cited “a disenchantment with the generic Republican label, which we always thought was the Good Housekeeping seal.”

What’s behind it? “American people just won’t take a long war. Just – name me a war, even in a pro-military state like this. It’s overall disappointment. It’s national. No leadership, adrift. Things haven’t worked.” The future lies in rebuilding locally, not being “distracted” by Washington.

Is the Republican solid South over?

“Yeah. Oh yeah.” He said, “I eat lunch every day at Buck’s Cafe. Obama’s picture is all over the wall.”

How to come back? “The basic old conservative principles haven’t changed. We got distracted by Washington, we got distracted from having good county organizations.”

Should the party attempt to break with Mr. Bush? Mr. Reed said he supports the president. And then he said, simply, “We’re past that.”

We’re past that time.

Mr. Reed said he was “short-term pessimistic, long-term optimistic.” He has seen a lot of history. “After Goldwater in ’64 we said, ‘Let’s get practical.’ So we got ol’ Dick. We got through Watergate. Been through a lot. We’ve had success a long time.”

Throughout the interview this was a Reed refrain: “We got through that.” We got through Watergate and Vietnam and changes large and small.

He was holding high the flag, but his refrain implicitly compared the current moment to disaster.

What happens to the Republicans in 2008 will likely be dictated by what didn’t happen in 2005, and ’06, and ’07. The moment when the party could have broken, on principle, with the administration – over the thinking behind and the carrying out of the war, over immigration, spending and the size of government – has passed. What two years ago would have been honorable and wise will now look craven. They’re stuck.

Mr. Bush has squandered the hard-built paternity of 40 years. But so has the party, and so have its leaders. If they had pushed away for serious reasons, they could have separated the party’s fortunes from the president’s. This would have left a painfully broken party, but they wouldn’t be left with a ruined “brand,” as they all say, speaking the language of marketing. And they speak that language because they are marketers, not thinkers. Not serious about policy. Not serious about ideas. And not serious about leadership, only followership.

This is and will be the great challenge for John McCain: The Democratic argument, now being market tested by Obama Inc., that a McCain victory will yield nothing more or less than George Bush’s third term.

That is going to be powerful, and it is going to get out the vote. And not for Republicans.

PEGGY NOONAN

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Too Funny to Resist….

This is for all you O’reily fans out there….

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment