Monday, August 04, 2008

Democrats exporting energy jobs

Two thoughts about recent economic data: first, the Labor Department reported yesterday that private employers cut payrolls in July by 51,000 jobs. (This isn't exactly correct; employers added many new employees over the summer, as they always do, but because the increase was a little less than in most recent summers, it was recorded as a "decline" on a seasonally-adjusted basis.) Democrats hailed the job report as a sign of economic failure.

My question is: why, then, are they so intent on exporting hundreds of thousands of energy jobs? We pay around $700 billion annually for foreign oil. That represents not just an enormous amount of money, it also represents jobs that must number in the hundreds of thousands. Why shouldn't that money go to Americans? If we do our own drilling, pipeline construction, refinery expansion, etc., hundreds of thousands of American laborers, pipefitters, welders, engineers, etc., will have great, high-paying jobs. The Democrats would be happy to fund a government program that would pay a like number of Americans to do make-work. Why, then, are they so determined to stop hundreds of thousands of American workers from making an excellent living in the private sector by supplying their fellow citizens with a desperately needed commodity? The Democrats' policies are simply perverse.

Second: last week, the administration announced increased federal budget deficit figures for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. As the Associated Press reported, "Democratic critics...charged that the soaring deficits showed the total failure of the Bush administration to put the government's fiscal house in order." But why did the 2008 deficit "soar" to an estimated $389 billion? Mostly because Congress decided that the existing budget deficit wasn't large enough to stimulate the economy, and therefore enacted a "stimulus" package in February that included mailing checks to 128 million households.

Democrats are masters of the politics of deceit and fraud, so its not surprising that few have noticed these inconsistencies. But not only are they exporting jobs in the energy sector, they are also exporting revenues and tax receipts that would go to reduce that deficit they claim to be worried about. The royalties alone on the oil and gas they have kept off limit would eliminate the national debt.



Rewards of Wisdom

As McCain's stand on the surge shows, experience cannot be separated from judgment

In January 2007, with Iraq in flames and Democrats set to take over Congress, President Bush had two options. He could side with Senator Barack Obama and begin a gradual drawdown of American troops in Iraq, leaving the Iraqis to a grim fate and dealing a serious and consequential blow to American interests in the Middle East and beyond. Or he could side with Senator John McCain and change strategies, sending additional troops to Iraq in an effort to secure the population and assist the Iraqis in their fight against al Qaeda and the Iranian-backed Shiite militias--the so-called "surge" policy. This latter option was the one Bush eventually adopted, of course. And for that, he deserves the thanks of Americans, of Iraqis, and indeed the world.

The surge is over. The last of the reinforcements sent to Iraq have returned home. The Iraq those troops leave behind is an utterly transformed place. Since their first offensive operations began in July 2007, overall attacks have been cut by 80 percent. The sectarian bloodshed staining Iraq in 2006 and 2007 has almost entirely abated. American casualties have fallen dramatically, with U.S. combat deaths in Iraq in July 2008 the lowest monthly total since the war began more than five years ago. Al Qaeda in Iraq has been routed, and the global al Qaeda organization faces what CIA director Michael Hayden calls a "near-strategic defeat" in Iraq. Shiite radical Moktada al-Sadr remains "studying" in Iran, while his militia has been cut to pieces by U.S. and Iraqi troops. The Iraqi army is progressing admirably; more than two-thirds of Iraqi combat battalions now take the lead in operations in their areas.

As the advocates of the surge predicted, a population that feels secure is a population more willing and able to reach political compromise. The Iraqi government has met almost all of the "benchmarks" the U.S. Congress set for it, and, although a national hydrocarbons law remains elusive, the country's oil wealth is being divided among its 18 provinces. That wealth is increasing dramatically as security has allowed oil production to return to prewar levels (and as prices have soared). The major Sunni political bloc has rejoined the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The Awakening, which began in Sunni-dominated Anbar province in the fall of 2006, has blossomed into a trans-sectarian, national, grassroots political movement. And Iraq is busy preparing for provincial and national elections that will further accelerate reconciliation by broadening and deepening the political participation of all the major groups.

Had Bush listened to Obama and decided to retreat last year, not only would the progress we see today not have occurred, but it is quite likely that the situation in Iraq would be much worse than it was at the end of 2006. Bereft of U.S. security, Iraqis would have turned to the nearest sectarian militia for protection from the widening civil war. An empowered and belligerent Iran would have moved to fill the vacuum America left behind, thus allowing the mullahs in Tehran to pursue unchecked their policy of "Lebanonization" in Iraq. And Al Qaeda in Iraq would have continued its barbaric killing spree, using the departing American soldiers as a recruitment tool, evidence of American weakness and unreliability. It would not be al Qaeda but the United States facing a "near strategic defeat" on Osama bin Laden's chosen front. And a defeated America would have led to a more dangerous world.

Fortunately, none of this came to pass. Bush sided with McCain, who had been calling for additional troops and a counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq since late summer 2003. We wonder what might have been averted--and what might have been accomplished--if Bush had adopted McCain's strategy five years ago.... Contrary to conventional wisdom, experience cannot be separated from judgment. Experience matters. It was a lifetime of service and involvement in national security issues that gave McCain the perspective and insight to urge a change in strategy as early as 2003. When it came to Iraq it was the old man, McCain, not the young, fresh, and cool Obama, who was flexible in judgment and willing to try a new approach. And Obama has been inflexible in his error.

More here


ELSEWHERE apologizes. Apparently the rash of blocked blogspot blogs was a data processing error too. First and then sitemeter. Why can't these galoots check their code before they thrust it upon their unwitting users?

Can't beat the colonel: "There's a new Colonel in command in Fallujah. PJ O'Rourke described him as a formidable man. "Some call him a genius. Others blame him for the deaths of millions. There are those who say his military reputation was inflated." Yes, it's Colonel Harland Sanders. The North Shore Journal reports that Kentucky Fried Chicken, Fallujah is now open for business"


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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