Tuesday, March 30, 2004

He's probably responsible for the weather, too.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to imagine, in any election year, a more vapid, patronizing, intellectually dishonest, geared-to-the-uninformed and silly campaign than John Kerry is running. (My Way News: "Kerry Blames Bush for High Gas Prices" This is only one example, but check Today's WSJ for the real story on oil. Along with Kerry, Chuck Schumer and other masters of schadenfreude are attempting to gin up an issue where there is none, and where, in fact the president can't really make a big difference. Opening the oil reserves to bring down oil prices was Schumer's particular cause celebre the last time we had a spike, and it made less difference than regular market forces finally did. Sure oil prices are high, but blame OPEC, not Bush. Hearing Kerry bellow about how the current prices have something to do with Halliburton Corporation is clear evidence of how full of crap he is, and how little he thinks of his supporters to lie to them this way.

I really wish this country would quit looking to the government to solve every problem that comes along, and stop listening to politicians who continually attribute deity-like power to the president, thereby inferring that bad things happen because the president didn't "do enough to stop it." When it comes to Al Quaeda, maybe we could have been better prepared, had better intelligence, etc., but GAS PRICES? C'mon.

If you really want to know the scoop on why gas prices are so high, here's the short version from the WSJ article:

Most important, demand has skyrocketed. Not only in the U.S., where economic growth has been gangbusters, but also in China, which has leapt ahead of Japan to become the second largest oil market in the world. While there is some debate about whether China is consuming oil or using it to build a strategic stockpile, the result is the same strong demand. China's growth has also sparked an economic recovery and higher oil demand in the rest of Asia. Count India, too, as an increasingly oil-thirsty economy.
This roaring demand has not been met with increasing production. Blame that mostly on OPEC. The oil cartel has been smarting over the fall of the dollar against the euro. That, of course, reduces dollar-denominated oil revenues and increases the incentive to keep supplies tight. With prices at or above $28 per barrel--the upper-bound of OPEC's target range--the Saudis, for example, ran a budget surplus for the first time in decades.
Inventories are also low. The U.S. has not yet recovered from the disruption in crude and refined products from Venezuela last year. And tight inventories exaggerate any changes in supply at the margin.

Read the whole thing and be enlightened.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Politicizing the war on terror

Daniel Henninger in OpinionJournal:

In his firefighters speech (which is at johnkerry.comand deserves to be read in its entirety), Sen. Kerry said: 'This administration has put a tax giveaway for the very wealthiest of our nation over making sure that we do all that we can to win the war on terror here at home. . . . America doesn't need leaders who play politics with 9/11 or see the war on terror as just another campaign issue.'
This is a serious charge. It clearly is accusing George Bush of acting in bad faith every day since the towers fell and an airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. Not everyone needs to love George Bush, but delegitimizing America's 2 1/2-year effort against terrorism is a dangerous game. For my money, the presidential debates can't come fast enough.

Read Henninger's piece in its entirety.

United's New Campaign

I absolutely love the new ad campaign from United Airlines. The sketchy art, coupled with wordless little vignettes are beautiful examples of 30-second storytelling and image-building. Oh, and the Gershwin music and Robert Redford's voice help at the end. I just saw the one about the woman with an idea -- symbolized by a lightbulb that appears over her head. As others are exposed to the idea, they get a lightbulb too. Wonderful, warm story of a person's success. Ad of the year, so far, in my book. Advertising Age has a review of the campaign, where you can also view the series' "Interview" spot.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Making the connection

Andrew Sullivan makes it even clearer:

Now why would al Qaeda want the disintegration of the transition in Iraq? Because they understand how that transition is the most formidable blow to their hopes of transforming the entire Middle East. When clever anti-war types insist there is not and never has been any connection between the fight for democracy in Iraq and the war against terror, they are thinking in terms of legalities and technicalities - not strategy. The only way to meaningfully defang Islamist terror is to transform the region. If we don't, we will simply be putting out small fires for ever, instead of dealing with root causes. The root cause is the lack of democracy in the region, which gives these religious fanatics the oxygen they need. Al Qaeda understand the stakes. So must we. Iraq is the battlefield. We cannot, must not, falter. In fact, we must ramp up the pressure. Alone, if needs be.

Spain's Lesson to the Democrats (if they'll listen)

John Kerry has been making lots of noises about how the war in Iraq was wrong, how Bush did it "the wrong way," etc. He'd better think twice about giving whatever "foreign leaders" he's talking to the impression that he'd reduce US resolve against terror. The fact that Al Qaeda loves the left is fairly evident, especially in light of CNN's report that what happened in Spain was specifically aimed at placing the Socialists in power there.

The more the left in the US berates the President in a time of war, the more it provides aid and comfort to terrorists, and the more it encourages a subsequent attack here. Given the mouthiness of Kerry, Dean et al, this may now be inevitable as terrorists may attempt to affect our elections in November. If so, I only hope America doesn't respond as Spain did by being cowed.

Think about it: if the terrorists prefer the left, what conclusions can we draw from that?

Monday, March 15, 2004

Europe responds to terrorism.

From Andrew Sullivan:

"THE E.U. VOWS SURRENDER: Romano Prodi, the chief of the European Commission, puts it as bluntly as anyone: 'It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists,' Prodi said. 'Terrorism is infinitely more powerful than a year ago.'
This is classic appeasement. And it's also demonstrably untrue. Al Qaeda has been seriously weakened since 9/11, thanks almost entirely to those countries, especially the U.S., that chose to confront it. But it seems clear to me that the trend in Europe is now either appeasement of terror or active alliance with it. It is hard to view the results in Spain as anything but a choice between Bush and al Qaeda. Al Qaeda won."

This is so sad

MSNBC - Madrid suspect linked to 9/11 figure

MSNBC today. Regarding the tape found near the bomb site:

"You love life and we love death, said the man on the tape, who wore Arab dress and spoke Arabic with a Moroccan accent."
No kidding.

Kerry's Imaginary Friends II

Kerry refused to name the world leaders he presumably spoke with, on a sort of protecting-your-sources reasoning, reports Reuters. At the risk of sounding cliche, give me a break. If these conversations happened, they represent important foreign policy issues, if not problems, and should be reported to the president, if not the press. If they didn't happen, then, it appears, Kerry just has a penchant for making up stuff.

So, in this context, we have to believe that either: a) Kerry would support this kind of "back-door" diplomacy if he were president, b) Hejust lies about stuff like this or c) He has an extremely active fantasy life. Which scenario to pick?

Are we going to let terrorism win? Europe may.

Andrew Sullivan laments the victory in Spain for Islamofascists, and points out the connection between terrorism and Iraq.
if the appeasement brigade really do believe that the war to depose Saddam is and was utterly unconnected with the war against al Qaeda, then why on earth would al Qaeda respond by targeting Spain? If the two issues are completely unrelated, why has al Qaeda made the connection? The answer is obvious: the removal of the Taliban and the Saddam dictatorship were two major blows to the cause of Islamist terror.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Kerry's imaginary friends

From the Washington Times: Kerry fails to back up foreign 'endorsements'. I think this guy is headed for trouble if he can't stop making stuff up. Bonus quote:

"Rather than dealing with President George W. Bush and hawkish officials in his administration, Pyongyang seems to hope victory for the Democratic candidate on November 2 would lead to a softening in U.S. policy towards the country's nuclear-weapons program" according to London's Financial Times, which said that Mr. Kerry's speeches are being broadcast on Radio Pyongyang and reported in "glowing" terms.

"The mullahs in Iran probably don't care to have Bush in there because he won't suffer terrorists or the country's that harbor them," said Mr. Allen. "I want a president who cares about what's right rather than the U.N. protocols."

And a poll taken by Andres McKenna Polling and Research found that Americans overwhelmingly believe "the terrorists would prefer" Mr. Kerry to win the election.

The poll of 800 registered voters, taken in February, showed 60 percent thought terrorists would be happier with Mr. Kerry, while just 25 percent said the terrorists would prefer Mr. Bush.

Monday, March 8, 2004

Secret Admirers?

My Way - News has this today:

"Without naming anybody, Kerry said he had received words of encouragement from leaders abroad who were eager to see him defeat Bush on Nov. 2.

'I've met foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy they look at you and say, 'You've got to win this, you've got to beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that,' he said."

Why can't they say this publicly. I'm hoping someone in the press finds out who Kerry's talking about here.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

What am I missing?

In the Dems' weekly radio address (I didn't know they had one), Kerry comments:

"If I am president, I will be prepared to use military force to protect our security, our people and our vital interests,"
"But I will never send our troops into harm's way without enough firepower and support."

Given Kerry's flip-flopping on defense, we have to ask the question: would he REALLY vote to defend our country, and would he REALLY provide enough support?

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Morris on Kerry

Dick Morris nails the Democratic Party. with How Bush can destroy Kerry faster.:

Their party has now moved back to the liberal extremism of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis that characterized the 1980s ? with the same predictable result.

Sometimes it's really hard to tell the Morris is/was a Democrat. Maybe it's his distaste for the Clintons that makes me feel this way, but in any case, he's one of the best analysts going, and I love hearing and reading what he has to say.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

The Married State

Christopher Hitchens in today's OpinionJournal (free registration required.) This is so good, so eleoquent, I won't quote it here - you have to read it in full. While I may not agree on all points made, it reflected much of what I've been feeling about the whole issue of gay marriage. Hitchens is an exceptional voice of reason.

Monday, March 1, 2004

Vietnam and Kerry

In today's OpinionJournal, an eloquent statement of why we need better than Kerry at the helm of our country.