Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Judgment You Can Count On -- To Be Skewed

"Obama has credibility issues with Wright as well as his other problem associates Ayers and indicted Chicago political fixer Tony Rezko. In each and every case, Obama has first downplayed his connections to these political hot potatoes. Wright was a 'crazy uncle.' Ayers, a 'neighbor.' Rezko, just 'one of thousands of contributors' to his campaign. Only when these associations have reached a critical political mass has Obama tried to put out the fire."
Rick Moran

Ganja or Weird Coffee? Na, Effective Policy

THE US war in Iraq has strengthened its strategic position, especially in terms of key alliances, and the only way this could be reversed would be if it lost the will to continue the struggle and abandoned Iraq in defeat and disarray.

Surely the author of this sentence is on the ganja, you might say. Something a little weird in the coffee? It goes against every aspect of conventional wisdom.

But the author of this thesis, stated only marginally less boldly, is one of the US's most brilliant strategic analysts. Mike Green holds the Japan chair at Washington's Centre for Strategic and International Studies and was for several years the Asia director at the National Security Council. He is also one of America's foremost experts on Japan and northeast Asia generally.


The US's three most important Asian alliances - with Australia, Japan and South Korea - have in his view been strengthened by the Iraq campaign. Each of these nations sent substantial numbers of troops to help the US in Iraq. They did this because they believed in what the US was doing in Iraq, and also because they wanted to use the Iraq campaign as an opportunity to strengthen their alliances with the US.

More generally, in a world supposedly awash in anti-US sentiment, pro-American leaders keep winning elections. Germany's Angela Merkel is certainly more pro-American than Gerhard Schroeder, whom she replaced. The same is true of France's Nicolas Sarkozy.

More importantly in terms of Green's analysis, the same is also true of South Korea's new President. Lee Myung-bak, elected in a landslide in December, is vastly more pro-American than his predecessor, Roh Moo-hyun.

Even in majority Islamic societies, their populations allegedly radicalised and polarised by Bush's campaign in Iraq and the global war on terror more generally, election results don't show any evidence of these trends. In the most recent local elections in Indonesia, and in national elections in Pakistan, the Islamist parties with anti-American rhetoric fared very poorly. Similarly Kevin Rudd was elected as a very pro-American Labor leader, unlike Mark Latham, with his traces of anti-Americanism, who was heavily defeated.

Suprised? I'm not, but then again I don't listen to the spin and the MSM and the cries of the fever swamped left wing blogs that we unilaterally destroyed America's standing in the world.


The Australian -- Esteem for US rises in Asia

Honk honk, Get out of the way!

Only Democrats could conclude that putting Americans to work finding more oil won’t help our energy needs or the economy. Apparently they believe the only way to fix the “same failed ideas” is to give up oil and write new laws.

For various reasons OPEC nations can drill oil for dramatically lower prices then we can. It is not economically feasible for us to explore for oil when oil prices drop below a certain level. As a result when OPEC realized we were serious about exploration and alternatives in the 80's they flooded the market with cheap oil thus undercutting these enterprises. Even if we can't become energy independent (which we can't) we can at least have a greater control on our own economy and policies.

That is if the Government would get out of the way.

Powerline -- The Politics Of Oil

el Nino, la Nina, Cousins, Aunts and Uncles

la-nina-and-pacific-decadal-oscillation-cool-the-pacific (PDF)

The announcement by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) had shifted to its cool phase (Fig. 1) is right on schedule as predicted by past climate and PDO changes.

Global temperatures peaked in 1998 and have not been exceeded since then. Pacific Ocean temperatures began a cooling phase in 1999 that was briefly interrupted by El Nino and dramatic cooling in 2007-2008 appears to be a continuation of a global cooling trend set up by the PDO cool phase (Fig. 1) as predicted [shown in the figure below].

Thus, we seem to be headed toward several decades of global cooling, rather than the catastrophic global warming predicted by IPCC.

If we are lucky, this PDO will be a short event. 2-4 years. If we are unlucky, and it is the “full Monty” phase switch at 20-30 years as Easterling suggests, we may be in for extended cooler times. This may result in some significant extended worldwide effects, notably on agriculture.

We Really have no idea and what we do know isn't enough to make society altering policy.
Watts Up With That -- More on the PDO shift

Gas Taxes by State

A follow up to the post on gas taxes, ever wonder how much gas tax do you pay?

19 cents for on gas and 21.5 on diesel.

Plus 6.25% sales tax and .3 % tax for underground storage tank fund, and other local sales and gasoline taxes. Diesel fuel taxes are 27.5 cpg for commercial highway users.

Here is a summary for every state in the Union.

Ally Watch -- Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan blocks Russian nuke shipment to Iran

NICOSIA — Iran has reported that a shipment of Russian nuclear equipment was being held in neighboring Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan, an ally of the United States, has acknowledged the delay. The Azeri government said it has sought to determine whether the nuclear shipment violated United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iran.

But I thought President Bush had ruined our relations with our allies?


World Tribune

Devil or Savior?

If I understand the point of some statements of Reverend Wright, and many on the left, the US government has done many reprehensible things in the past making it evil.

If that were the case then why do they want more government involvement in their life? If it were me I would want the government to stay as far away from me as possible.

Yet you have examples like Katrina where it seems, based on the media and comments by black leaders, that the government was expected to do more to save people then they were expected to do themselves. This evil government, that should really be shuttered, reorganization, and reopened under another name, was honestly expected to be the savior. (Forget for a moment the Democrats own culpability in mocking DHS warnings to save at least three days worth of food and water because the same memo also mentioned duct tape).

As a matter of fact, Wright's own example of the Tuskegee experiment started with the government offering free health care! Wouldn't you think black America would run, and rightfully so, at the thought of hearing those words again?

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" -- Ronald Reagan

An Awakening

Barack Obama’s repudiation of Jeremiah Wright didn’t go over well with many of the Kos Kids.

To say the least. Daily Kos: “Uncle Tom” Obama.

I have been a huge supporter of Barack. He is the guy I’ve been behind for quite awhile now. Check my older diaries if you wonder about that. And while I’ve been steeling myself for a Barack loss in November, because I think the Repug machine is too good for him to beat, I had resigned myself to still working hard for him and for the Progressive cause!

But today something changed for me...

Today, the scales fell from my eyes and I saw Barack Obama for what he truly is: a weak man and a standard politician. I really never thought I would say this...

But I am disgusted with him!

All he needs to do is add the word Chicago to his description and he would be just about right on.
LGF -- 'Uncle Tom' Obama

Healthcare Preview

Speedy health care: 42% of Canadians in Ontario can now get an MRI in only 3 ½ months.

And for 72%, a CT scan can be taken within 2 months.

Knee replacements used to take 63 weeks.

Now, thanks to fast action by Ontario’s government, the wait is down to 44 weeks (10 months).

Well, for 73% of the people.

Don Surber -- Obamacare Preview.


Sizing Up Obama

The idea that he's going to go and have a face to face interview with Kim Jong Il when he's been in this guy's (Wright) church for 20 years and can't size him up, I mean, I think that is naive.
Mort Kondracke on Special Report regarding Obama being -- Shocked that there is gambling going on in the casino -- upset about Reverend Wright's statements.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License