MAXINE

"Aim at Heaven ... you get Earth thrown in - Aim at Earth and you get neither" - C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Last National Debate By A Clinton Ends In Whimper

Opening shot of the last democrat party presidential primary debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE) - via photo from computerscreen of MSNBC Video

The Last National Debate By A Clinton Ends In Whimper

Whining and whimpering her way through the questions posed by NBC’s Brian Williams and Tim Russert, Hillary Clinton played the victim card throughout the the ninety minute debate held on MSNBC. This may very well be the last appearance in a national political debate for political office by any Clinton (Bill or Hillary).

“I have a great deal of respect for Senator Obama, but we have differences, and in the last several days, some of those differences in tactics and choices that Senator Obama’s campaign has made ... have been very disturbing to me,” she said at the outset of the debate.

But the real whining started at the answer on the second subject question posed in the debate and both were first directed to Hillary Clinton. She pointed out through a question … why is it, that in these debates, I always get asked the questions first? - “I seem to get the first question, all the time!” she said.

As President, Hillary, you would always get the first question!

On a question from Tim Russert about providing financial disclosure and tax return documents before this next Tuesday’s Ohio and Texas primaries, she responded (paraphrased), “I will try but Tim, I am little busy right now, I barely have time to sleep.”

You know, Tim ... Hillary Clinton at the last democrat primary debate (Ohio). Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE) - via photo from computerscreen of MSNBC Video

About the debate, this from Vodkapundit’s Steven Green posted up at Pajamas Media –

Final Face-Off: Clinton, Obama Spar in Ohio
by
Stephen Green - Vodkapundit - 2-27-2008

During the lead-up to Saturday’s debate in Texas, all the pundits agreed that Hillary Clinton needed to come out swinging. But she played nice instead. So the big question before the Ohio debate was: Which Hillary Clinton would we see? Conciliatory Clinton or Pillory Hillary? Now, as any honestly greedy person will tell you, the answer to most either/or questions is… Both!

And that’s what we got in tonight’s debate — both Hillary Clintons.

Clinton was at great pains to make sure we knew where she and Barack Obama agreed. On NAFTA, on the need to get out of Iraq, on the necessity for universal health care… Clinton always made sure we understood exactly where she was in sync with the ever-more-popular junior senator from Illinois.

Clinton was also at great pains to make sure we knew where she disagreed with Obama. More often than not, their disagreements were over the minutia of policy details. Ann Althouse called the debate “
an annoying combination of wonky and angry.” She got that right.

The debate opened with 16 minutes of discussion over whose mandatory health care plan was the most mandatory, and whose was slightly less intrusive. That part of the debate went on so long, in fact, that moderator
Brian Williams even joked about it near the end. And what did we learn? That Clinton cares very deeply whether or not anyone, anywhere, might somehow be able to escape the clutches of HillaryCare. We also learned that Obama cares only very slightly less.

On NAFTA the candidates are agreed: Free trade sucks. Although Obama was quick enough to provide a little shout-out to American workers’ productivity, a smart move in blue-collar Ohio. In fact, that line could be seen as poaching on yet another of Clinton’s core constituencies. It could be seen that way because that’s exactly what Obama was doing.
Neither candidate would be cornered into threatening to cut off NAFTA inside of six months, but both promised to “reexamine” or “renegotiate” the treaty. The fact that the original agreement took years, not months, to negotiate was left unmentioned. That NAFTA then took a determined President Clinton and a lot of willing Republican Senators to get ratified was left unmentioned, too.

The two candidates also disagreed on… well, mostly they disagreed on who would make the best president. Tonight’s telling detail was the Man Who Wasn’t There. Both candidates agreed that
George Bush was terrible, awful, etc. But the name left virtually unmentioned was John McCain. One of these two potential nominees will almost certainly be squaring off against McCain next fall. Was their failure to frame themselves against him a sign of confidence or weakness?

If I had to summarize the debate with some clever sounding phrase, I’d call it the “Chinese Food Debate.” An hour later, I remember there being a lot of stuff on the table, but all I feel is empty inside.

My favorite Clinton-leaning blog, TalkLeft,
summarized the debate like so:

NBC stinks.
Tim Russert stinks. Brian Williams stinks. Keith Olbermann stinks. Chris Matthews stinks. Who won the debate? No one. Who lost? Everyone. [I guess facts DO matter, when it is "your girl" getting the short end of the media glow]

So who really won? My gut tells me that nobody won — which counts as a win for Obama. If you really want to know who won, don’t look at tomorrow’s poll numbers. Instead, wait until the weekend. If by then, Clinton is still sinking in Ohio, then chalk up one very big win for Obama. If Hillary holds steady, then score it as a minor win — again, for Obama. Clinton had too much to do tonight, and too little time to do it in. And with too little sympathy, I think, in middle America for her efforts.

Clinton was at great pains to separate herself from her husband’s trade legacy. She was at great pains to separate herself from her Iraq War vote. She was at great pains to draw distinctions between herself and Obama. Mostly what came across was, Hillary Clinton was in great pain.

Twin losses in Texas and Ohio next week might just put her out of her misery — but don’t count on it. The Clinton we saw tonight might not have fought well, but she certainly showed that, at long last, she’s willing to fight.
Reference Here>>

Hillary Clinton explains universal healthcare to Barack Obama. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE) - via photo from computerscreen of MSNBC Video

In order for the debate to be deemed a Chinese food debate … there would first have to be some food … any food.

No entitlements discussion (where was Social Security and Medi-Care?), no real immigration discussion, no discussion on the fact that there are six Supreme Court justices past the age of 68.

Did anyone notice Barack Obama’s answer on how he would handle a hypothetical, but plausible situation where Russia’s Vladimir Putin builds up his armies and decides to station them in Serbia … “As president, what would you do?”, queried Tim Russert.

“Well, first, I would contact the international community, many of whom have recognized Kosovo … “

When do the citizens of the United States get to hear a debate, and vote for the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?!

I do not know about the rest of you, but we, at MAXINE, are tired of watching discussions between politicians & potential leaders who believe they are doing the best job they can at running for Student Body President.

On this issue alone (Russia’s build-up), the sound of “President John McCain” is beginning to have a nice ring to it!

Entire Debate Here>>

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Uh-Huh! Hillary Wears An “Elvis” Collar To Win (UPDATED)

Hillary Clinton with an Elvis collar on her derss jacket as she celebrates her win in the Nevada Democratic caucuses on Saturday. Image Credit: Associated Press via CNN

Uh-Huh! Hillary Wears An “Elvis” Collar To Win

Elvis is back in the building. Look at these photos of Hillary Rodham Clinton wearing what we, at MAXINE, believe to be a collar design lifted directly from the costumes of Elvis Presley in his living and performing heyday.

Image from 1973 television broadcast, "Elvis:Aloha from Hawaii." - Image Credit: Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and RCA Records.

Hillary has a lot to be happy about, even with the strong union endorsement support for Barack Obama and impromptu caucus polling stations being set up where people work as opposed to the traditional polling stations only being where people live … Clinton pulls out a convincing 6% win.

Sen. Hillary Clinton celebrates her win in the Nevada Democratic caucuses on Saturday. Image Credit: Associated Press via CNN



Poll Answers

This excerpted from CNN News –

Clinton claims Nevada caucuses with help from women, Latinos
CNN - Jan. 19, 2008 - 4:20 pm PT

In Nevada's contest, Clinton led rival Barack Obama by 6 percentage points with 97 percent of precincts reporting in Saturday's Democratic caucuses.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was a distant third.

"I guess this is how the West was won," Clinton told supporters Saturday.

Clinton issued a special thanks to her supporters from the 60,000-strong Culinary Workers Union. Clinton had been encouraging members of the union, which endorsed Obama, to vote their conscience.

Zachary Conine, a permanent caucus chairman in Las Vegas, said Clinton's campaign organization helped hand her the win.

"Her people are efficient, fervent. They were there first, they were calling people, they had a list of voters they were using to call people, making sure people came out. They had signs, they had shirts, they had a clear chain of command," he said.
----
"Right now, things are very uneasy in the black community," said Donna Brazile, a CNN analyst who managed former Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. She said her own relatives in South Carolina are split between Clinton and Obama.
----
In Nevada, Obama also led strongly among voters under 30, while Clinton took the over-45 category.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., greets workers at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino in Las Vegas on Saturday. Image Credit: Rick Wilking - Reuters

Like Republicans, Democratic caucus-goers called the economy their top issue in 2008 -- and they preferred Clinton, whose husband presided over a lengthy economic boom in the 1990s, by a 49-38 margin over Obama.

And in the last days, both Clinton and Edwards blasted Obama over comments he made to the editorial board of a Reno newspaper, in which he praised former president and Republican icon Ronald Reagan's "clarity" and "optimism" and said the GOP had been "the party of ideas" for the last 10 to 15 years.

"There's no nostalgia in the Democratic Party for Ronald Reagan," Brazile said. "Hillary Clinton may have benefited from not just the love that people have for Bill Clinton, but also criticizing Obama in the last 24 hours about his support for Ronald Reagan."

The war in Iraq and health care were the No. 2 and No. 3 issues for Democrats, and Clinton led strongly among voters who chose those as their top issues, the entrance polls found.

Edwards has based his campaign on a strong populist pitch targeting corporate interests, whom he said have "rigged" Washington in their favor. But he drew the support of just 10 percent of caucus-goers who called the economy their top issue, and 11 percent among those who viewed health care their biggest concern.

Nevada Democrats said they had a record turnout for Saturday's caucuses, with more than 107,000 people taking part.

The caucuses were held after a dispute between two of the state's largest labor organizations, the 60,000-member Culinary Workers Union and the 28,000 strong Nevada State Education Education, which represents teachers.

The state Democratic Party gave the nearly 200,000 workers on the Las Vegas strip a chance to take part in the caucuses by setting up nine "at-large" precincts in casinos. That was expected to give a boost to Obama once the culinary workers endorsed the Illinois senator.

The teachers union went to court last week to block the plan, arguing it gave hotel and casino employees an unfair advantage over other workers and granted outsized weight to the "at-large" precincts. A federal judge in Las Vegas rejected the suit Thursday, ruling that caucus procedures were up to the state party to decide.

Reference Here>>

New Elvis Collar Outfits!

Dark Blue Elvis Collar outfit featured in a campaign ad released by the Hillary Clinton campaign for president entitled "Night Shift" - Image Credit: hillaryclintondotcom via YouTube (2-19-2008)


Hillary Clinton at the University of Texas debate 2-21-2008 - The Elvis Collar! (black with white piping) - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)


Hillary Clinton in her mid-blue Elvis Collar suit - Whitmer High School Fieldhouse, Toledo, Ohio – 2-23-2008. Image Credit: The Toledo Blade

UPDATE - Super Tuesday 2.0:

Hillary accepts applause from the crowd Tuesday night March 4, 2008 after posting campaign saving wins in Ohio and Texas. Again, Elvis is baaaaack in the building!



Hillary Clinton addresses the crowd in Columbus, Ohio in her Elvis suit that she first wore in Nevada. Stop the bus, the tour has come full circle. Image Credits: Associated Press (AP)

Yes, the plural of 'Elvis' is 'Elvi'. Thank you ... thank you very much!

... and now, a word from Elvis, himself.


Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley - Hawaii 1973.












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Thursday, February 21, 2008

NY Times & McCain – Secures Expected "Flatline" Response

John McCain and his wife Cindy refute a critical story in The New York Times at a press conference in Toledo, Ohio, Thursday. Image Credit: AP Photo

NY Times & McCain – Secures Expected "Flatline" Response

Nobody really thinks that the New York Times … or any mainstream newspaper … actually pursues reporting (just the facts) or working in a professional journalistic manner any more. Especially on topics that involve the Government and Politics. What the MSM has trouble doing is separating the liberal, socialist agenda biases and activism with the job of providing useful information based upon true investigative and written journalistic ethics.

John McCain is a target for the New York Times because he holds his attitude and character out to be hallmarks of un-impeachable behavior.

The New York Times sat on this “story” until now because John McCain, for the first time just this last week, took off after the Democrats in their bid to become the preferred candidate for the office of President of the United States.

It is the opinion here, at MAXINE, that the New York Times wanted to place the first “brush back” move on John McCain in order to have him shrink back into his familiar “Maverick” territory and move back to his more liberal center positions.

Again, this week, on the campaign stump, John McCain began to position himself with a little more of the conservative base perspective when he spoke against the prospects of a Democrat controlled Presidency. What better way to have John McCain become more beatable than to have him become more supporting of liberal policies of the Democrat Party? By hitting McCain and smearing his character, McCain will go back to being more McCain like! If all we have is liberal policies and agendas to vote for … WHY NOT JUST VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT – or not vote at all.

When John McCain came out for his first news conference in front of reporters to answer questions, what we were treated to was a flatline response from John McCain. It was DEAD and without passion … one word responses without a clear indignation of the tactics of the New York Times. He was agitated, but without edge.

It is just this motive and response from John McCain we think the New York Times has moved this week with this smear story against John McCain.

The NYT got exactly what they wanted without much of a mark on them because this is what WE, the reading public, come to expect.

John McCain, left, and Vicki Iseman. Published reports later suggested a possible relationship between Ms. Iseman and John McCain. Both have denied it. Image Credit: Getty Images

This excerpted from CBS Broadcasting –

McCain: Reports Of Relationship 'Not True'
Reports Question His Relationship With Lobbyist Vicki Iseman

TOLEDO, Ohio (CBS)


John McCain denied a romantic relationship with a female telecommunications lobbyist and said a report by The New York Times suggesting favoritism for her clients is "not true."

"I'm very disappointed in the article. It's not true," the likely Republican presidential nominee said as his wife, Cindy, stood alongside him during a news conference called to address the matter.

McCain described the woman in question, lobbyist Vicki Iseman, as a friend.

The newspaper quoted anonymous aides as saying they had urged McCain and Iseman to stay away from each other before to his failed presidential campaign in 2000. In its own follow-up story, The Washington Post quoted longtime aide John Weaver, who split with McCain last year, as saying he met with lobbyist Iseman and urged her to stay away from McCain.

Weaver told the Times he arranged the meeting after "a discussion among the campaign leadership" about Iseman.

McCain said he was unaware of any such conversation.

The Arizona senator said he won't allow the report to distract him from his presidential campaign.

"I will focus my attention in this campaign on the big issues and on the challenges that face this country," he said.
----
"This is like the worst kind of tabloid journalism," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told CBS' The Early Show. "We think it's unfair, unjust and inaccurate."

The published reports said McCain and Iseman each denied having a romantic relationship, and the paper offered no evidence that they had, saying only that aides worried about the appearance of McCain having close ties to a lobbyist with business before the Senate Commerce Committee on which McCain served.

The story alleges that McCain wrote letters and pushed legislation involving television station ownership that would have benefited Iseman's clients.
----
McCain defended his integrity last December, after he was questioned about reports that the Times was investigating allegations of legislative favoritism by the Arizona Republican and that his aides had been trying to dissuade the newspaper from publishing a story.

"I've never done any favors for anybody - lobbyist or special-interest group. That's a clear, 24-year record," he told reporters in Detroit.

Reference Here>>

This updated information from Bill Bradley at PJM's New West Notes -

** A MCCAIN STORY IRONY, AND A BIG CALIFORNIA CONNECTION**

The New Republic has a brand new story on the back story of the New York Times’ publication of the story. Some say the planned New Republic publication prompted the New York Times to publish late yesterday.

The New Republic reports that the Washington bureau chief of the Times, Dean Baquet, played the key managerial role in pushing the story forward, against the skepticism of Times editor Bill Keller.

What the New Republic piece doesn’t say, since it’s written by an Easterner, is that, prior to becoming the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, Dean Baquet was the managing editor of the Los Angeles Times. And in his role at the LA Times, Baquet was deeply involved with and a key internal advocate of the late-breaking LA Times story during the 2003 California recall slamming Arnold Schwarzenegger.

That story proved to be a major backfire, as Schwarzenegger not only survived but went on to a landslide victory, with most not buying the convenient late timing of the story and its prior awareness by top Democrats. The LA Times and its influence has been on a steep downslope ever since.

I wonder if the McCain story will have a similar effect on the New York Times.

Reference Here>>

You know, when one has a chance to reflect:

That since it is well known that the New York Times editorial staff was “sitting” on this story for several months now (according to the New Republic) and that the paper had just given their formal endorsement as their choice as the Republican Party candidate they would like to see as President (if it had to be a Republican, presumably) just before the Super Tuesday primaries …

… This whole episode of a smear story about John McCain, of eight (8) years ago, published by the New York Times says a lot more about the character of the New York Times than it does about the character of John McCain.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Phony Faintings At Obama Rallies – MEDVED

Image Credit: SanDiego.edu

Phony Faintings At Obama Rallies – MEDVED

Today, during the second hour of the Michael Medved show, Michael alleged that he suspected that faintings had been staged at least six Obama campaign rallies.

He felt that after seeing and hearing several video's showing the faints he suspected that they were staged because:

1) The "faint" would always happened next to the stage.

2) Barack Obama showed calm and stated the same words over and over in each of the six occurrences - "Make some space for her. Make some space for her."

3) The "faintee" was ALWAYS a woman.

4) Each of the occurrences (6) when shown together all felt the same and process like.

We, at MAXINE would like to see what Michael Medved had seen ... we were only left with Michael's radio account and the playing of the audio of a recent Obama campaign stop from Santa Barbara, California.

We are waiting to hear (and, hopefully see) more.

YouTube of B. Hussian Obama in action. After watching this Video, scroll and click on other titles to compare performances! Has Obama ever met Benny Hinn? ... jus' askin'! (added 9:45 AM PST 2-16-2008)

UPDATE - 6:15 PM:

The following information is contained in the link from the comment left by Anonymous, below -

Obama Campaign Theatrics
The Dori Monson Show (Seattle) - Producer Phil writes - Friday, February 15, 2008 @ 5:23pm

A Wall Street Journal writer, James Taranto , has uncovered a hilarious and puzzling coincidence at 5 different Sen. Obama campaign speeches over the last few months, including the recent speech in Seattle.

Dori and listeners have found one other Sen. Obama incident posted on YouTube where a person near the stage faints. Sen. Obama responds to each incident with the same routine and phrases.

Is it phoney, orchestrated, manufactured campaign theatrics or is it merely physiological coincidence? ... You be the judge.

VIDEO
circa Feb. 24th, 2007-Sen. Obama in Los Angeles, CA

VIDEO
Sept. 8th, 2007--Sen. Obama in Santa Barbara, CA scroll to 6:29

VIDEO
Dec. 8th, 2007--Sen. Obama in Des Moines, IA scroll to 1:45

VIDEO
Jan. 8th, 2008--Sen. Obama in Hanover, NH

VIDEO
Feb. 4th, 2008--Sen. Obama in Hartford, CN scroll to 6:05

AUDIO
Feb 8th, 2008 Sen. Obama encountered another fainter at his Key Arena speech in Seattle








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Monday, February 11, 2008

Greenhouse Gas Studies Ignore Two Considerations

The biofuel developed for ASU's "Tubes in the Desert" project (artist rendering above) avoids many of the downsides presented by biofuels such as corn, cellulose or other crops/plants. Because it uses a microscopic bacteria as the fuel source, it doesn't compete with food crops and could yield a much larger amount of fuel per acre. Image Credit: From YouTube Video - The Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University

Greenhouse Gas Studies Ignore Two Considerations

On Friday, The New York Times reported on the conclusions of two recently released studies that looked into the CO2 equation of the production and use of ethanol and the potential mandated use of biofuels for America in the future.

The conclusions of these studies basically state that when one measures the potential of the release of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere from biofuel and ethanol one has to take into account the front end … the CO2 production and release caused by the conversion of land and the harvesting of cellulosic matter to feed the biofuel creation process.

While this may be true given a traditional, corn based ethanol/biofuel paradigm, the conclusion focuses only on the reasons for this push to a plant based fuel solution to be Global Warming / Climate Change / Environmental Protection.

The biofuel developed for ASU's "Tubes in the Desert" project uses a microscopic bacteria as the fuel source (the bacteria are grown in transparent tubes, hence the name). ASU researchers are also exploring the possibilities of microbial fuel cells -- tiny microbes that generate energy by feeding on waste. Image Credit: From YouTube Video - The Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University

We, at MAXINE, have to ask – Whatever happened to becoming less dependent on foreign sources of petroleum based fuel so that we do not continue to feed the potentials of increased terrorism from hostile nations?

Furthermore, technology has been developed to deliver a purer way of creating ethanol through a bacteria based production approach. This approach uses less energy and produces far less carbon dioxide than the traditional methods these studies were based upon.

This excerpted from The Seattle Times -

Biofuels make greenhouse gases worse, scientists say

By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL - The New York Times - Friday, February 8, 2008 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

These studies, published in the prestigious journal Science, for the first time take a detailed, comprehensive look at the emissions effects of the huge amount of natural land that is being converted to cropland globally to support biofuels development.

The destruction of natural ecosystems — whether rain forest in the tropics or grasslands in South America — not only releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when they are burned and plowed, but also deprives the planet of natural sponges to absorb carbon emissions. Cropland also absorbs far less carbon than the rain forests or even scrubland that it replaces.

Together the two studies offer sweeping conclusions: It does not matter if it is rain forest or scrubland that is cleared, the greenhouse-gas contribution is significant. More important, they discovered that, globally, the production of almost all biofuels resulted — directly or indirectly, intentionally or not — in new lands being cleared for food or fuel.
----
Searchinger's team determined that corn-based ethanol almost doubles greenhouse-gas output over 30 years when the land-use changes to grow corn are considered. Cellulosic ethanol made in the U.S. from switchgrass, a fuel that has been singled out by President Bush as a way to reduce the country's dependence on oil, produces 50 percent more emissions than gasoline does, the study said.

The clearing of grassland releases 93 times the amount of greenhouse gas that would be saved by the fuel made annually on that land, said Joseph Fargione, lead author of the second paper, and a scientist at the Nature Conservancy. "So for the next 93 years you're making climate change worse, just at the time when we need to be bringing down carbon emissions."

ASU's "Tubes in the Desert" Project

Searchinger said the only possible exception he could see for now was sugar cane grown in Brazil, which takes relatively little energy to grow and is readily refined into fuel. He added that governments should focus on developing biofuels that did not require cropping, such as those from agricultural waste products. "This land-use problem is not just a secondary effect — it was often just a footnote in prior papers," Searchinger said. "It is major."

Industry groups, like the Renewable Fuels Association, immediately attacked the new studies as "simplistic."

"Biofuels like ethanol are the only tool readily available that can begin to address the challenges of energy security and environmental protection," said Bob Dineen, the group's director, in a statement issued after the Science reports' release.
----
The U.S. recently enacted legislation boosting biofuel production to 36 billion gallons in 2022 from 7.5 billion gallons in 2012. The European Union requires 10 percent of transportation to use biofuels by 2020.
----
There should be more focus on producing biofuels from municipal waste and from land that can't be used for food crops, said Alex Ferrell, an energy and resource professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Soil and plants are essential stores of carbon, containing more than the atmosphere, he said.

Ferrell, who wasn't involved in the two studies, said the economic model used in Searchinger's study will have a "profound" impact on the biofuel debate because it questions the rationale of governments who see biofuels as a way to limit global warming.
Reference Here>>

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mitt Romney - One Class Act Bows Out For Unity

Mitt Romney at CPAC 2007 - Image Credit: Rob Bluey


Mitt Romney - One Class Act Bows Out For Unity

This is a sad but strong day for conservativism. Mitt Romney suspends his campaign to seek the nomination for the Republican candidate to run for the President of the United States.

He does so for the very highest reasons for this has never been about Mitt Romney for Mitt Romney.

This has been about having a leader for the next four years that believes in fighting evil Islamic terrorism (and the war on terror) in the face of strengthening the freedom of people around the world.

This is also about beating the "blame America first" Democrats for this world and nation leadership position ... for the good of America and the good and unity of the Republican party.

This excerpted from Michelle Malkin -

Live from CPAC: Romney speaks…”Frankly in this time of a war, I cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror…I feel I need to stand aside”
By Michelle Malkin • February 7, 2008 12:44 PM 12:43pm Eastern.

I’m starting a new thread for Romney’s speech…awaiting his official announcement of the suspension of his campaign. And possible endorsement today of John McCain.

Laura Ingraham continues to warm up the crowd. “It’s not enough to say you’re a footsoldier for Reagan. The question is: “What have you done for conservatism lately?”

(Applause)

Laura Ingraham’s introduction: “Mitt Romney is the conservative’s conservative. Above all, he is a class act.”

Romney enters. Loud applause, standing ovation.

Thanks talk radio.

I love being introduced as the conservative’s conservative.

I look forward to joining you many, many more times in the future…

…To all of you, thank you here for caring enough about america to show up to speak up to stand up for conservative principles…

Conservative principles are needed now more than ever…face a new generation of challenges…unless america changes course we could become the france of the 21st century…

He’s very energetic.

“Culture makes all the difference…The threat to our culture comes from within. welfare state. dependency is culture killing. we’ve got to fight it like the poison that it is. (Applause.)”

Talks about fatherless children.

It’s time for the people of America to fortify marriage by constitutional amendment so liberal judges cannot attack it.

(Applause.)

Europe is facing a demographic disaster…Stand up for family values and morality and culture. Conservatives here and across the country will always be honored to stand on and for principle.

We face economic competition unlike any we’ve known before…China and Asia…if we don’t change, they will pass us by as world superpowers.

Invest in nuclear energy, clean coal, etc. Cheers and applause. Simply put, America must never be held hostage by the likes of Putin, Chavez, and Ahmadenjiad.

(Standing ovation.)

Segues to government spending. Let’s not just focus on pork. Any plan for the future must include entitlement reform. We have to solve it, not just acknowledge it.

(Applause.)

Government workers make more than private sector employees. Lower taxes. take a weed whacker. stand up to the increasingly voracious appetites of the unions in our government.

(Applause)

And finally…the threat of radical violent jihad…they hate everything we believe about freedom, just as we hate everything they believe about radical jihad…

But there’s an important difference from 1976. Today we are a nation at war.

i disagree with sen mccain on a number of issues…(audience boos) but i agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be succesful in iraq

and i agree with him on eliminating al qa

if i fight on in my campaign all the way to the convention, i want you to know that i forestall the launch of a national campaign.

“NOOOOO!”

Frankly in this time of a war, I cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

This isn’t an easy decision. I hate to lose

not just about me…i entered this race because i love america. i feel i have to now stand aside.

We cannot allow the next president of the United States to retreat in the face of evil extremism.


UPDATE:

Speech by Gov. Romney at CPAC

February 7, 2008

I want to begin by saying thank you. It's great to be with you again. And I look forward to joining with you many more times in the future.

Last year, CPAC gave me the sendoff I needed. I was in single digits in the polls and I was facing household Republican names. As of today, more than 4 million people have given me their vote for president, less than Senator McCain's 4.7 million, but quite a statement nonetheless. 11 states have given me their nod, compared to his 13. Of course, because size does matter, he's doing quite a bit better with his number of delegates.

To all of you, thank you for caring enough about the future of America to show up, stand up and speak up for conservative principles.

As I said to you last year, conservative principles are needed now more than ever. We face a new generation of challenges, challenges which threaten our prosperity, our security and our future. I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st century -- still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower. And to me, that is unthinkable. Simon Peres, in a visit to Boston, was asked what he thought about the war in Iraq. "First," he said, "I must put something in context. America is unique in the history of the world. In the history of the world, whenever there has been conflict, the nation that wins takes land from the nation that loses. One nation in history, and this during the last century, laid down hundreds of thousands of lives and took no land. No land from Germany, no land from Japan, no land from Korea. America is unique in the sacrifice it has made for liberty, for itself and for freedom loving people around the world." The best ally peace has ever known, and will ever know, is a strong America!

And that is why we must rise to the occasion, as we have always done before, to confront the challenges ahead. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is the attack on the American culture.

Over the years, my business has taken me to many countries. I have been struck by the enormous differences in the wealth and well-being of people of different nations. I have read a number of scholarly explanations for the disparities. I found the most convincing was that written by David Landes, a professor emeritus from Harvard University. I presume he's a liberal -- I guess that's redundant. His work traces the coming and going of great civilizations throughout history. After hundreds of pages of analysis, he concludes with this:

If we learn anything from the history of economic development, it is that culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference.

What is it about American culture that has led us to become the most powerful nation in the history of the world? We believe in hard work and education. We love opportunity: almost all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came here for opportunity -- opportunity is in our DNA. Americans love God, and those who don't have faith, typically believe in something greater than themselves -- a "Purpose Driven Life." And we sacrifice everything we have, even our lives, for our families, our freedoms and our country. The values and beliefs of the free American people are the source of our nation's strength and they always will be!

The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960's welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven't given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. They fight to strip work requirements from welfare, to put more people on Medicaid, and to remove more and more people from having to pay any income tax whatsoever. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug -- we have got to fight it like the poison it is!

The attack on faith and religion is no less relentless. And tolerance for pornography -- even celebration of it -- and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare programs have led to today's grim realities: 68% of African American children are born out-of-wedlock, 45% of Hispanic children, and 25% of White children. How much harder it is for these children to succeed in school -- and in life. A nation built on the principles of the founding fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.

The development of a child is enhanced by having a mother and father. Such a family is the ideal for the future of the child and for the strength of a nation. I wonder how it is that unelected judges, like some in my state of Massachusetts, are so unaware of this reality, so oblivious to the millennia of recorded history. It is time for the people of America to fortify marriage through constitutional amendment, so that liberal judges cannot continue to attack it!

Europe is facing a demographic disaster. That is the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life and eroded morality. Some reason that culture is merely an accessory to America's vitality; we know that it is the source of our strength. And we are not dissuaded by the snickers and knowing glances when we stand up for family values, and morality, and culture. We will always be honored to stand on principle and to stand for principle.

The attack on our culture is not our sole challenge. We face economic competition unlike anything we have ever known before. China and Asia are emerging from centuries of poverty. Their people are plentiful, innovative, and ambitious. If we do not change course, Asia or China will pass us by as the economic superpower, just as we passed England and France during the last century. The prosperity and security of our children and grandchildren depend on us.

Our prosperity and security also depend on finally acting to become energy secure. Oil producing states like Russia and Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran are siphoning over $400 billion per year from our economy -- that's almost what we spend annually for defense. It is past time for us to invest in energy technology, nuclear power, clean coal, liquid coal, renewable sources and energy efficiency. America must never be held hostage by the likes of Putin, Chavez, and Ahmendinejad.

And our economy is also burdened by the inexorable ramping of government spending. Don't focus on the pork alone -- even though it is indeed irritating and shameful. Look at the entitlements. `They make up 60% of federal spending today. By the end of the next President's second term, they will total 70%. Any conservative plan for the future has to include entitlement reform that solves the problem, not just acknowledges it.

Most politicians don't seem to understand the connection between our ability to compete and our national wealth, and the wealth of our families. They act as if money just happens -- that it's just there. But every dollar represents a good or service produced in the private sector. Depress the private sector and you depress the well-being of Americans.

That's exactly what happens with high taxes, over-regulation, tort windfalls, mandates, and overfed, over-spending government. Did you see that today, government workers make more money than people who work in the private sector. Can you imagine what happens to an economy where the best opportunities are for bureaucrats?

It's high time to lower taxes, including corporate taxes, to take a weed-whacker to government regulations, to reform entitlements, and to stand up to the increasingly voracious appetite of the unions in our government!

And finally, let's consider the greatest challenge facing America -- and facing the entire civilized world: the threat of violent, radical Jihad. In one wing of the world of Islam, there is a conviction that all governments should be destroyed and replaced by a religious caliphate. These Jihadists will battle any form of democracy -- to them, democracy is blasphemous for it says that citizens, not God shape the law. They find the idea of human equality to be offensive. They hate everything we believe about freedom just as we hate everything they believe about radical Jihad.

To battle this threat, we have sent the most courageous and brave soldiers in the world. But their numbers have been depleted by the Clinton years when troops were reduced by 500,000, when 80 ships were retired from the Navy, and when our human intelligence was slashed by 25%. We were told that we were getting a peace dividend. We got the dividend, but we didn't get the peace. In the face of evil in radical Jihad and given the inevitable military ambitions of China, we must act to rebuild our military might. Raise military spending to 4% of our GDP, purchase the most modern armament, re-shape our fighting forces for the asymmetric demands we now face, and give the veterans the care they deserve!

Soon, the face of liberalism in America will have a new name. Whether it is Barack or Hillary, the result would be the same if they were to win the Presidency. The opponents of American culture would push the throttle, devising new justifications for judges to depart from the constitution. Economic neophytes would layer heavier and heavier burdens on employers and families, slowing our economy and opening the way for foreign competition to further erode our lead.

Even though we face an uphill fight, I know that many in this room are fully behind my campaign." You are with me all the way to the convention. Fight on, just like Ronald Reagan did in 1976. But there is an important difference from 1976: today... we are a nation at war.

And Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror. They would retreat and declare defeat. And the consequence of that would be devastating. It would mean attacks on America, launched from safe havens that make Afghanistan under the Taliban look like child's play. About this, I have no doubt.

I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating Al Qaeda and terror. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters... many of you right here in this room... have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

I will continue to stand for conservative principles; I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism!!

It is the common task of each generation -- and the burden of liberty -- to preserve this country, expand its freedoms and renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.

To this task... accepting this burden... we are all dedicated, and I firmly believe, by the providence of the Almighty, that we will succeed beyond our fondest hope. America must remain, as it has always been, the hope of the earth.

Thank you, and God bless America.


... AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, GOV. MITT ROMNEY.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mitt Romney Surge Seen In California

"Experience Matters" Image Credit: GovMittRomney/YouTube

Mitt Romney Surge Seen In California (an observational commentary)

Conservative Republican’s may finally be able to send Arnold Schwarzenegger a message on how they feel about his liberal betrayal of the people who swept him into office.



Arnold endorses a man cut from the same cloth in Senator John McCain for President … California Republicans can bring the party back to its conservative principles with a vote cast for Mitt Romney.



This excerpted from the Sacramento Bee –

Turnout may set primary record
Tight races, early election energize California's voters.

By Kevin Yamamura - Sacramento Bee - Published 12:00 am PST Tuesday, February 5, 2008

With California poised to play a pivotal role in today's highly competitive Super Tuesday presidential contests, a record 8.9 million primary voters are projected to participate statewide, according to the Field Poll.

The election has energized voters because it is the first presidential primary since 1952 in which no incumbent or sitting vice president is running for the White House and neither major party has yet to settle on its nominee.
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Republican turnout may be determined in large part by how successful candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are in spurring the party's conservative base to vote, DiCamillo said.

The projected 8.9 million voters would be a record for a California primary, but not for all elections – more voters have participated in past November presidential contests. Field Poll anticipates 38.8 percent of Californians eligible to vote will do so in this election, the highest percentage in a primary since 1980, when Republicans first nominated California favorite son Ronald Reagan.

The big turnout, a record number of absentee voters and recent changes in voting equipment will delay results, officials have said. The final tally of presidential delegates, based on outcomes in each congressional district, may not be known for days.

"You Have No Choice Friend" Image Credit: htfttf/YouTube

Candidates and their surrogates worked Monday to urge their supporters to vote – and to persuade the remaining high number of undecided voters to back them. Romney held an event late Monday in Long Beach. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had an event Monday for Sen. John McCain at a phone bank in Gardena.

In Sacramento, former President Clinton addressed a crowd of about 600 people at Cal Expo, urging supporters to persuade their friends to vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, particularly the 18 percent of likely Democratic voters who remained undecided as of Saturday.


"All the surveys show, actually, there are still a fair amount of undecided voters out there, people you could reach between now and tomorrow," he said.
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The Field Poll predicts a record number of absentee voters, an estimated 4.1 million, which is expected to represent 46 percent of the electorate.

According to the Field projection, Democrats are expected to constitute 45 percent of likely voters, and Republicans will be 37 percent. Independents and third-party voters will make up the remaining 18 percent. Roughly half the independents will vote in the Democratic primary. They can't vote Republican because the GOP contest is a closed election.

Unlike her predecessors, Secretary of State Debra Bowen did not release turnout projections Monday. She declined to make a prediction because of the unusual factors surrounding this contest. Those factors include this being the earliest primary California has held and the fact the races remain wide open, spokeswoman Kate Folmar said.

About 2,000 supporters greeted Romney near the Long Beach airport to hear the candidate make an election eve pitch for votes in what appears to be a tightening California primary.

"California is huge," Romney told reporters after the rally. "There's something happening here in California that's big. People in California are really concentrating on this race with renewed attention. … I'm getting greater support in California than I had a week ago, and we wanted to come back and put an exclamation point on the kind of support I'm getting here in California."

Kathy Kirchhoff of Long Beach attended the Romney rally with her husband and two children, drawn to the event by polls showing the former Massachusetts governor narrowing the gap in California against McCain.

Reference Here>>

Statement released to the Laura Ingraham show via YouTube (click image). James C. Dobson, Ph.D., is founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization that produces his internationally syndicated radio programs, heard on over 3,000 radio facilities in North America and in twenty seven languages in approximately 4,130 additional facilities in over 160 other countries. Image Credit: Focus On The Family

Dr. James Dobson, evangelical leader from Colorado Springs, Colorado, has released a statement exclusively to be read on the Laura Ingraham radio talk show this morning.

The statement reads as follows:

“I’m deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, who voted for embryonic stem cell research to kill nascent human beings, who opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, and who has little regard for freedom of speech, who organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.

“I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has at times sounded more like a member of the other party. McCain actually considered leaving the GOP in 2001, and approached John Kerry about being Kerry’s running mate in 2004. McCain also said publicly that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does not make the medicine go down. I cannot, and I will not vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.

“But what a sad and melancholy decision this is for me and many other conservatives. Should John McCain capture the nomination as many assume, I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime. I certainly can’t vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama based on their virulently anti-family policy positions. If these are the nominees in November, I simply will not cast a ballot for president for the first time in my life. These decisions are my personal views and do not represent the organization with which I’m affiliated. They do reflect, however, my deeply held convictions about the institution of the family, about moral and spiritual beliefs, and about the welfare of our country.”

Reference Here>>

UPDATE - February 6, 2008:

Super Tuesday did not deliver the strength of showing that Mitt Romney had hoped for. It did not help that in West Virginia the Huckabee forces were aided by the McCain camp on a second ballot buy-off and threw in with Huckabee to give him the 18 delegates. John McCain arranged for his delegates to vote for Huckabee by offering to give each of the delegates a Blackberry as a buy-off if they changed their vote. On the first ballot, Romney had outclassed the field by 9% but State Conventions allow for second and third ballots until over 50% for just one candidate is achieved.

McCain did well on Super Tuesday. It was speculated that McCain needed at least 600 delegates for him to claim anything more than just front runner status. The tally as it stands at the time of this update - McCain/613 - Romney/269 - Huckabee/190. The race is not over but special events, like a recognition of the conservative strength between Romney and Huckabee, will have to happen.

This just in - Republican "Pro-Choice" group endorses John McCain!

Boy, this sounds like an oxymoron - the Republicans want to have a "Big Tent" but isn't this a tent pole too far?

This excerpted from GOPUSA -

The Strange GOP Nominating Victory
By Tony Blankley - February 6, 2008

Assuming John McCain gets the GOP nomination, it will show how whimsical history can be. It would be the first time in living memory that a Republican presidential nomination went to a candidate who was not merely opposed by a majority of the party but was actively despised by about half its rank-and-file voters across the country -- and by many, if not most, of its congressional officeholders. After all, the McCain electoral surge was barely able to deliver a plurality of one-third of the Republican vote in a three-, four- or five-way split field. He has won fair and square, but he has driven the nomination process askew.

This result reminds me of a nursery rhyme: "For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."

In the current instance, the lost nail was a viable conservative candidate. And despite the crabby, orthodoxy-sniffing, slightly over-the-hill condition of the conservative Republican majority, it still could easily nominate its candidate. In fact, we had two strong conservative candidates, either of whom almost surely would have unified the party early, as George W. did in 2000. But through accidents of history, neither ran.

Consider the recently very popular, tall, attractive, smart, eloquent, conservative, successful two-term Republican governor of one of our most populous swing states -- married to a beautiful Hispanic woman, no less. In fact, he is the son of a former president. Unfortunately for him and the party, he is also the brother of the current president. If Jeb Bush's name were Jeb Smith, the former Florida governor easily could have kept the conservative two-thirds of the Republican vote united and won the nomination. But fate made him a Bush in the only election in the past 20 years when no Bush need apply.

Or consider the cheerful, handsome, solidly conservative Virginia senator expected to run as the son of Reagan. Unfortunately, he uttered three little syllables: Ma-ca-ca. He lost his re-election, and so adieu, Sen. George Allen.
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So, the mischievous gremlins and elves inside the wheel of history have served up John McCain to lead Ronald Reagan's party into November battle. McCain is both the finest war hero since Eisenhower to run for president and the one senior Republican who has gleefully put his thumb in the eyes of his fellow Republicans and conservatives for a decade and a half. He is the apostate leader of a party tending toward ossified orthodoxy.

Conservatives, such as Rush Limbaugh, worry (with good cause) that this fluke of Republican history might permanently deflect the course of the party away from conservatism. And indeed, we came to power in the party through, in part, a fluke of history. In the nomination fight of 1964 (in which I was a youth coordinator for Barry Goldwater in California), Goldwater had been running even or behind all spring. (He lost New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, West Virginia, Oregon and Pennsylvania. He won Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Nebraska and some caucus states.)

We were losing the decisive California primary until a few days before the vote, when Nelson Rockefeller's new young second wife, "Happy" Murphy Rockefeller, gave birth to little Nelson Jr. -- reminding social conservatives of his previous, presumed adultery. Goldwater won by a thin 2 percent.

We went on to the Cow Palace Convention in San Francisco, where we Goldwaterites and Rockefeller exchanged vulgar, angry epithets. Rockefeller, Mitt's dad, George Romney, and other moderates refused to support Goldwater. Some moderates formed "Republicans for Lyndon Johnson."

Would we conservatives have taken over the party if Goldwater had lost that California primary? Perhaps we had history's wind at our backs anyway, but I remember being very grateful at the timing of young Nelson Jr.'s arrival. History is made of such things.

If we conservatives sit on our hands this November, as moderates did 44 years ago, will we marginalize ourselves within the party (as the old Romney moderates did)? Or will we be saving the party for the grand old cause? Let's watch McCain's next moves.
Reference Here>>


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