Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Analysis: GOP, Dems using wars to define Obama

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Democrat Barack Obama wants to prove he's ready
to be a wartime commander in chief. Republican John McCain hopes to
sell the idea that his rival is not.
The return of Iraq and Afghanistan to the forefront of the
presidential campaign illustrates how both sides increasingly seem
to view the race as largely a referendum on Obama, a first-term
Illinois senator trying to become the first black president.
"I will end this war as president," Obama said of Iraq and
promised anew that he would redirect U.S. efforts to Afghanistan.
The likely Democratic nominee struck a stately pose Tuesday as he
delivered a lengthy foreign policy address ahead of an upcoming
overseas trip. He spoke from a podium that said "Judgment to
Lead" set up before an array of American flags.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Was Jimmy Carter an energy prophet?

As I listen to President Bush suggesting that Americans turn down their thermostat and use less gasoline I have to ask myself, Was Jimmy Carter a prophet??

Most people don't know it but Jimmy Carter wanted to set a goal of obtaining 20 percent of our energy from solar power by the year 2000.
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Can we now acknowledge that Jimmy Carter was right all those years ago?

Americans, who hate to be told they must change, roundly condemned Carter's memorable "Crisis of Confidence" speech of July 15, 1979. In it, Carter outlined a program for achieving energy independence: "On the battlefield of energy we can win for our nation a new confidence, and we can seize control again of our common destiny."

He was right in seeking to raise the fleet auto mileage standard to 48 miles per gallon by 1995. (Even U.S. automakers admitted at the time that they could easily achieve 30 mpg by 1985.)

Carter was right in exhorting Americans to turn down their thermostats, even if he did look nerdy in a cardigan while urging us to do so.

In his July 1979 speech, he was right when he said, "I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States. Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 —- never." That worthy goal quickly went by the board.

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Obama Wants Tax Credit for Small Firms Offering Coverage

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Barack Obama shed some new light on his health-care proposals this weekend, suggesting a $6 billion-a-year plan to offer tax credits to small businesses offering health insurance to employees.

Our Washington Wire blog notes that Hillary Clinton had made a similar proposal for small businesses, whose problems providing health insurance are among the biggest hurdles to universal coverage. The big annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey on employee health benefits found that 59% of firms with 3-199 workers offered health benefits in 2007, compared with 99% of firms with 200 or more workers. The issue was more dire for firms with 3-9 employees, where 45% offered coverage.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Obama on Clark: This is more like it.

A good concise post from the Daily Kos.
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Via Ben Smith at Politico:

"I guess my question is why, given all the vast numbers of things that we’ve got to work on, that that would be a top priority of mine?" Obama said, responding to a reporter who asked the candidate why he hadn’t called on Wesley Clark to apologize for his remarks yesterday. "I’m happy to have all sorts of conversations about how we deal with Iraq and what happens with Iran, but the fact that somebody on a cable show or on a news show like Gen. Clark said something that was inartful about Sen. McCain I don’t think is probably the thing that is keeping Ohioans up at night."

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Deal lets U.S. drones strike bin Laden

The United States has a standing agreement with Pakistan that CIA-operated Predator drones may strike Osama bin Laden's hide-out without prior permission from Islamabad, according to people familiar with the arrangement.

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Measuring McCain And Obama's Bipartisan Efforts

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If there's one thing the two presidential candidates have in common, it's that they claim to be leaders in creating a new kind of politics.
Sen. Kennedy and Sen. McCain
Sen. Obama with Sen. Coburn (left), Sen. Brownback

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