Saturday, May 31, 2008

Scott McClellan and the Bush Legacy

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McClellan: I Never Said the War Was a Mistake...

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Scott McClellan owes us more

Scott McClellan on Countdown with Keith Olberman, Part 1

I urge you to watch this clip of Scott McClellan being interviewed by Keith Olberman to discuss his new book, What Happened Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception.

Here are some quotes from the interview:

“I got caught up in the Washington game in terms of spinning and obfuscation, secrecy, and stonewalling and things like that”.

The intelligence was packaged together in such a way as to make it sound more ominous and grave and urgent than it really was.”

“What I get to in this book is so important to understand, so we can learn from this and not make these mistakes again where we are rushing into a war that now is very clearly one that was unnecessary.”

I appreciate Scott McClellan for writing this book. It is important that the truth be told. However, for McClellan to bear his soul and feel cleansed and make a handsome profit off of the book in the process is not very satisfying. Over 4000 American service men have been killed, approximately 85,000 Iraqi are dead, the war has cost of over $2 trillion, and it has left the mid-east destabilized and the world less safe. McClellan should not only tell the truth, he should apologize for his role in this unnecessary war, donate all profits from the book to a worthy cause and commit the rest of his life to the cause of good government. He should atone for his sins.

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New Dunkin' Donut Campaign

Since Dunkin' Donut caved to the right wing xenophobic fringe over a little neck scarf with some fringe, I thought they may need a new ad campaign to replace the Rachel Ray campaign they pulled, so I thought I would try to help them out. Below are my suggestions for some ad campaign slogans around which to build an ad campaign. Now, I am not an advertising professional, so I don't know how good these are, but they are my contribution.

Dunkin’ Donuts: Glazed and confused
Dunkin’ Donuts: We have holes in our head
Dunkin’ Donuts: Too sweet for terrorist
Dunkin’ Donuts: We will blow you away but won’t blow you up.
Dunkin’ Donuts: We cater your party and your prejudices.

Dunkin' Donuts: The choice of baseball-cap-wearing Americans; not Arabic-headscarf-wearing Jihadist.

Ok, if I need to leave this to the professionals just tell me. If you have a better campaign ideal for Dunkin' Donuts, lets hear it.

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Hillary: We all remember Bobby Kennedy ....

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I Love Country Music

Yes, this is in poor taste. I wouldn't wear it myself but it does bring a smile to my face.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is Rachel Ray a Muslim Terrorist?

Are These People Nuts!

It seems that the cute little Rachel Ray of daytime TV and the Food Channel has caused an uproar by appearing in a Dunkin' Donut commercial wearing a scarf around her neck that resembles an Arabic headscarf.

Michelle Malkin, a commentator for Fox News, apparently started the uproar when she pointed out in her syndicated column that the paisley scarf worn by Ray in the ad resembles a traditional keffiyeh headscarf . “The keffiyeh, for the clueless”, said Malkin, “is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.” (link)

Following that, if that was where it started, the news spread throughout the blogesphere and apparently complaints poured into Dunkin Donut and bowing to pressure, Dunkin' Donut immediately pulled the commercial.

WHAT? This is Nuts! Remember when fanatical Asian Communist regimes considered people who wore glasses or owned western classical music to be “enemies of the people” and they were killed or sent to reeducation camps? Remember the Salem Witch trials?

We on the right mock the conformity imposed by the left and call it “political correctness.” This is worse than the political correctness of the left. If your loyalty is suspect because you wear a paisley black and white scarf we are in big trouble. What next? Do I need to hide my oriental Rugs? I think I have a copy of a book by Khalil Gibran in my house; maybe I ought to burn it. I have some ceramic tiles I brought back from a vacation to Turkey and they have Arabic calligraphy on them. Is it time to bury them in the basement? What about Turkish tobacco? What about building build in the Moorish style; are they going to be torched? These people are crazy!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

EX-Bush Aide McClellan Says Public was Misled on Iraq

By Edwin Chen and Holly Rosenkrantz

May 28 (Bloomberg) -- Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan says in a memoir that President George W. Bush manipulated public opinion through a ``political propaganda campaign'' to justify going to war in Iraq.

McClellan, a longtime Bush loyalist from his Texas days, also writes that the news media largely failed to critically examine the administration's justifications for invading Iraq, according to a copy of the book obtained by Bloomberg News. The book is scheduled to be sold in bookstores next week.

The memoir, ``What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception,'' adds to the record of critical examinations of Bush and his administration as the president nears the end of his term. It also will bolster Democratic and Republican opponents of the war. ( link)

Comment: If anyone still doubts that we were lied to and manipulated into an unnecessary war with Iraq, here is more evidence. This is not from some leftist wacko or partisan Democrat but from a former Bush loyalist. By pointing out the mistakes and lies that led us into Iraq, I am not now suggesting we should cut and run. To prematurely get out would be as foolish and dangerous as the initial invation, but the turth is important.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dear Senator Alexander, Hang tough.

Dear Senator Alexander,

I read in today’s Tennessean that TV ads would start airing today to pressure you to vote to scuttle the Lieberman-Warner Cap and Trade bill (Climate bill foes press senator). According to the article you, along with Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Democratic Senators Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Max Baucas and Jon Tester of Montana were being targeted. The Club for Growth is spending a quarter of a million dollars for this ad campaign.

I admit, I myself have strong reservations about Cap and Trade legislation. In theory it should work but it is costly and hard to get right. The European Union did not get it right, and emission actually increased under the European Cap and Trade. Nevertheless, we should work on it and try to get it right. We should not give up until we see the final product.

I would much prefer we had a carbon tax but I guess we have no leader willing to advocate any “tax.” I think a carbon tax bill could be sold to the American people, if it was revenue neutral. The pitch could be that we are going to tax carbon emissions which we want less of, and that for every dollar generated by the carbon tax we will reduce the tax on income, which we want more of. Unfortunately, a Carbon Tax is not on the table and a Cap and Trade is.

In the Club for Growth ads they are going to allege that a Cap and Trade bill will impose massive new taxes, regulations, and wealth redistribution. Unfortunately, this is hard to deny. While it is not a tax per se, it mandates new cost to greenhouse-emitting industries and the cost will be passed on to consumers. The effect is the same as a tax. A new regulatory mechanism will have to be created to allocate and sell carbon credits and monitor compliance. The bill will drive up energy cost, just as would a carbon tax, so to help the poor deal with this higher cost, the bill contains a provision to lower taxes for the lower income. They also allege that it will harm the economy. As a conservative myself, I don’t like any of that.

Unfortunately, the things they say about a Cap and Trade bill are all true. Whether it is a Cap and Trade approach, a Carbon Tax, or a hodgepodge of Command and Control and Subsidize, solving the problem of global warming is going to be costly and painful. But, we must ask ourselves what is the alternative. If the science is to be believed, we are talking about more than some drowned Polar Bears. We are talking about the submersion of all low-lying coastal areas, increased refugees from low-lying areas and arid regions of the world, famine, wars, and massive mortality and economic losses. By the time the worst effects occur, it will be too late to reverse them. We cannot afford to do nothing. The real inconvenient truth is that we cannot solve the problem of global warming without considerable pain and cost.

Senator, it is going to take courage to stand firm and seek a solution to this most serious problem. I do not expect you to pledge to support the current bill. It needs a lot of work. Please, however, do not take it off the table. We must find a solution to this problem. Global warming may be as important of a challenge as World War II or the Cold War.

When the alternative is horrible to contemplate, we must do what needs to be done. To counter the Club of Growth and others who will come after you, you must be bold in addressing the seriousness of the problem we are facing and convince the public that there is no easy solution. There are no “ten easy things you can do to stop global warming”. To solve this problem is going to require real statesmen who are willing to risk their own political future in order to avert a worldwide crisis of terrible proportions.

Please be strong. Do the right thing. Don’t buckle. May God bless you and give you strength.

Rod Williams

CC: A Disgruntled Republican

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Corker: Cap-and-Trade Substitute Amendment is Far From Ready For Prime Time

Press Release from Tennessee Senator Bob Corker , May 22, 2008 , WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said today that the latest version of the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill (Climate Security Act, S.2191) introduced this week is not ready for prime time.

“If a cap-and-trade bill becomes law, every single American will pay more for gasoline, more for electricity, more for food, more for everything they buy as a result,” said Corker. We believe that any money generated from a cap-and-trade system should be returned to the American citizens burdened with these additional costs, and while we appreciate the step the bill sponsors have taken in this latest version–the bill is far from ready for prime time.

“This is a massive spending bill that uses non-discretionary spending—funded in essence by a tax on the American people—to spend trillions of dollars on new and existing government programs. Rather than using the revenue generated from this cap-and-trade system to fund new and existing government programs, would it not make more sense to return the revenue generated directly to the citizens who will be bearing the brunt of the costs associated with implementing this program?

Under the bill, credits would be freely allocated to entities, such as states, that don’t have to reduce emissions but are able to sell those credits and use that money to assist consumers through rebates or public programs.

“I believe we need to increase the amount of allowances that are auctioned, rather than giving them away for free to other entities who are supposed to use the value of those allowances to benefit the public. In my view, American citizens would be better served receiving relief directly rather than relying on middlemen to provide that relief through government programs.

“I also believe we should eliminate all international offsets as a way for emitters to comply with the U.S. carbon cap. There are serious questions about the integrity of many of these projects, and it is difficult to determine whether these projects would have occurred anyway. In addition, these offsets would have a distorting affect on the U.S. cap-and-trade market and would lead to even more American dollars being spent overseas in countries like China, instead of in America.

“If cap-and-trade legislation is done properly, we see an opportunity to marry the tremendous passion for the environment with the need to have energy security in our country, and we look forward to the debate on the floor and continuing to work constructively with the bill sponsors.”

Noting that climate change and cap-and-trade would be significant issues facing Congress, Corker has spent his first 16 months in office delving into the complexity of the policy. Last May 2007, he traveled to Europe with Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) to meet with European Union officials, carbon traders, representatives from the utility industry, and cement manufacturers. In July, Corker went to Greenland with Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to view the effects of climate change. He has also spent countless hours with Tennessee-based industry, conservation groups, and experts discussing the impacts of climate change legislation.

In April, Corker began making presentations to his colleagues outlining his concerns with the bill.


Bob Corker is quickly emerging as one of the best informed U.S. Senators on the complex issue of energy policy and global warming. I am proud of the work he is doing in this regard. I wish however that Corker, or someone, would introduce a revenue-neutral Carbon Tax instead of relying on Cap and Trade. A Carbon Tax is much less subject to manipulation, and is more immediate and direct. While many pundits and economist have expressed support for a Carbon Tax as the best way to combat global warming, no elected official has stepped forward to propose it.

Cap and Trade is the next-best approach for addressing the issue of carbon emission and is much preferred to the approach of subsidizing favored technologies and attempts to regulate emission by mandating reductions. Both a Carbon Tax and a Cap and Trade rely on market forces to achieve results. Since a Cap and Trade Bill is what is before us and a Carbon Tax is not, I am reluctantly supporting Cap and Trade.

Cap and Trade can be very complex. If it is done wrong, it can put distortions in the economy and be ineffective. If done wrong, then it will take a while to discover it is not achieving the desired results and increased greenhouse emissions will, in the meantime, continue. Congress will probably be very reluctant to revisit a Cap and Trade bill once one is adopted so it is very important that they get it right the first time.

A workable, effective Cap and Trade policy is going to have two groups of enemies: Those who don't want to do anything, and those who are so passionate about the issue they will support anything, even if it is a poorly designed program. Those of us who believe the issue of combating global warming is important, must hope that Congress gets it right and passes a good Cap and Trade bill. Making sure Congress passes a good Cap and Trade bill must be the the goal; not just passing a Cap and Trade Bill.

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