"I will stick to my policy of letting this idiot wind blow over."
The thing about wind is that it's seasonal, and always comes back.
Only, in this passage Obama revealed precisely why he is vulnerable to such charges: he can't seem to tell the difference between a gift and a theft. There is nothing remotely socialistic or communistic about sharing. If you have a toy that someone else wants, you have three choices in a free society. You can offer to trade it for something you value that is owned by the other. You can give the toy freely, as a sign of friendship or compassion. Or you can choose to do neither.
Collectivism in all its forms is about taking away your choice. Whether you wish to or not, the government compels you to surrender the toy, which it then redistributes to someone that government officials deem to be a more worthy owner. It won't even be someone you could ever know, in most cases. That's what makes the political philosophy unjust (by stripping you of control over yourself and the fruits of your labor) as well as counterproductive (by failing to give the recipient sufficient incentive to learn and work hard so he can earn his own toys in the future).
Government is not charity. It is not persuasion, or cooperation, or sharing. Government is a fist, a shove, a gun. Obama either doesn't understand this, or doesn't want voters to understand it.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli leaders are seriously considering a dormant Saudi plan offering a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab world in exchange for lands captured during the 1967 war, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday.
Barak said it may be time to pursue an overall peace deal for the region since individual negotiations with Syria and the Palestinians have made little progress.
Barak said he has discussed the Saudi plan with Prime Minister-designate Tzipi Livni, who is in the process of forming a new Israeli government, and that Israel is considering a response.
Saudi Arabia first proposed the peace initiative in 2002, offering pan-Arab recognition of Israel in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from Arab lands captured in 1967 — the West Bank, Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
The 22-member Arab League endorsed the plan last year.
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Israel has said the plan is a good basis for discussion, but expressed some reservations.
"There is definitely room to introduce a comprehensive Israeli plan to counter the Saudi plan that would be the basis for a discussion on overall regional peace," Barak told Israel's Army Radio.
He noted the "deep, joint interest" with moderate Arab leaders in containing Iran's nuclear ambitions and limiting the influence of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
While Israel's outgoing prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has welcomed the Saudi plan, he and other leaders want to keep small parts of the territories captured in 1967. Israel also objects to language that appears to endorse a large-scale return of Palestinian refugees to lands inside Israel. Israel says a massive influx of Palestinians would destroy the country's Jewish character.
Israel's ceremonial president, Shimon Peres, proposed putting Israel's various peace talks on one track last month at the United Nations, calling on Saudi King Abdullah to "further his initiative." He has since been pushing the idea in meeting with Israeli, Arab and Western officials, his office said.
While Peres has no formal role in Israeli foreign policy, he is a Nobel peace laureate and well respected in the international community.
In Sunday's interview, Barak said he was in full agreement with Peres.
"I had the impression that there is indeed an openness to explore any path, including this one," he said of his talks with Livni.
Barak, who leads the Labor Party, is expected to play a senior role in the next administration.
Livni's office refused to comment on her talks with Barak.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat noted that pursuing the Saudi peace initiative did not necessarily undermine the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians and he encouraged Israel to pursue this track.
"I think Israel should have done this since 2002. It is the most strategic initiative that came from the Arab world since 1948," he said. "I urge them to revisit this initiative and to go with it because it will shorten the way to peace."
Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor widely seen as a Republican rising star, will keynote a high-profile Christian conservative fundraising dinner next month in Iowa, his office confirms.
Jindal will speak at the Iowa Family Policy Center's “Celebrating the Family” banquet in suburban Des Moines on November 22nd, according to his spokeswoman, Melissa Sellers. While in the state, he also may to go to Cedar Rapids to see some of those areas impacted by the summer floods. Jindal, of course, has led his state's recovery from Katrina since being elected in 2007.
It will be Jindal's first visit to Iowa, Sellers said.
The trip is a reminder that, even with a presidential election looming, caucus politics is never far away in the Hawkeye State.
The Christian conservative organization is led by Chuck Hurley, a well-known activist who first backed Sam Brownback before switching over to Mike Huckabee in this year's GOP nomination battle.
Their flyer touting Jindal's speech features quotes from conservative luminaries. "The next Ronald Reagan," says Rush Limbaugh.
Jindal, 37, got some vice-presidential buzz this year and spent a well-documented Memorial Day weekend at the McCain ranch near Sedona along with other prominent GOP elected officials and potential future rivals.
He has won praise from a range of Republican figures from McCain's top advisers to Limbaugh to anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist.
Though never thought to be in the serious running to be McCain's running mate, he has emerged as frequent surrogate this year, doing Sunday morning shows on the Arizona senator's behalf and spending last Saturday at the LSU-Florida game in Gainesville making the pitch for the nominee.
Conventional pundit wisdom seems to accept that a vigorous attack shows strength. But that's not true. Think of all the genuinely strong people you've known in your life. What sets them apart is that they stay calm when other people are attacking. McCain doesn't seem to get this, and neither do the conservatives who were insisting that McCain needed to haul out the heavy artillery tonight. Obama does.
That’s typical Bill Kristol — not only chronically wrong about everything, but far worse, completely incapable of acknowledging mistakes. He just suppresses them, pretends they don’t exist, and in that regard is the perfect face for the right-wing movement that is dying a painful, harsh and profoundly well-deserved death in front of everyone’s eyes.
In the end, I couldn’t do it. My California ballot arrived in the mail today, and I opened it fully intending to vote for John McCain. I filled out the state propositions first — yes on 8, no on everything proposing a new bond or new spending — then the local offices, straight Republican excepting Kevin Johnson for (nonpartisan) Sacramento mayor. Finally, the vote for President of the United States: an academic exercise in California, where Barack Obama will surely win by a crushing margin. But good citizenship demands voting as if it matters. Do I believe in John McCain? Not as much as I used to. Do I believe in Sarah Palin? Despite my early enthusiasm for her, now not at all. Do I believe in the national Republican Party? Not in the slightest — even though I see no meaningful alternative to it. So, my choice for President in 2008, scrawled in my ballot as an act of futile protest, is Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. If nothing else, I am confident this is the first of several votes I will cast for him in years to come.
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- "Okay, so Florida, you know that you're going to have to hang onto your hats," Sarah Palin told a rally of a few thousand here this morning, "because from now until Election Day it may get kind of rough."
You betcha. And the person dishing out the roughest stuff at the moment is Sarah Palin.
"I was reading my copy of the New York Times the other day," she said.
"Booooo!" replied the crowd.
"I knew you guys would react that way, okay," she continued. "So I was reading the New York Times and I was really interested to read about Barack's friends from Chicago."
It was time to revive the allegation, made over the weekend, that Obama "pals around" with terrorists, in this case Bill Ayers, late of the Weather Underground. Many independent observers say Palin's allegations are a stretch; Obama served on a Chicago charitable board with Ayers, now an education professor, and has condemned his past activities.
"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.
"Boooo!" said the crowd.
"And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.
"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.
"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.
Palin went on to say that "Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers's living room, and they've worked together on various projects in Chicago." Here, Palin began to connect the dots. "These are the same guys who think that patriotism is paying higher taxes -- remember that's what Joe Biden had said. "And" -- she paused and sighed -- "I am just so fearful that this is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America, as the greatest force for good in the world. I'm afraid this is someone who sees America as 'imperfect enough' to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country."
"Boooo!" said the audience.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said of Franklin Roosevelt that he had a "second-class intellect, but a first-class temperament." Obama has shown that he is a man of limited experience, questionable convictions, deeply troubling associations (Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko) and an alarming lack of self- definition -- do you really know who he is and what he believes? Nonetheless, he's got both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president.