By Adam Nagourney
The New York Times
By Adam Nagourney
The New York Times
David Paul Kuhn
Top Republican strategists believe John McCain’s stalled presidential campaign can only be revived if the takes an immediate and decisive turn in direction, one marked by an almost unwavering focus on the economy and a sharp break from Bush administration economic policy.
While’s past associations with controversial figures such as former radical should be a part of McCain’s , they say, the GOP nominee needs to primarily concentrate on the historic nature of the current economic crisis and explain why he is better suited to lead the country out of it.
“Either McCain wins the argument over the economy or he loses,” said Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker of the House. “When the economy is this central to everybody’s life, when everybody is as worried as they are now, then when you are not talking about the economy you are not winning.”
“Can he come back? I think he can. But time is running very short. I would give it about a week, at the most, to turn this around,” said, McCain’s former top strategist. “We are speaking in angry Greek and the public wants to hear economic English.
“If we think we can make the public care about William Ayers or some other things when they are afraid of losing their jobs, not being able to pay for college or work ten more years because they are worried about their retirements, we are kidding ourselves,” Weaver continued.
Whit Ayers, a longtime Republican pollster, was equally direct. “It’s hard to imagine the voters thinking about anything else when the Dow Jones is dropping 500 points a day,” he said.
As much as anything else, several strategists said, McCain needs to put more distance between himself and the Bush administration’s economic policy.
“The meta frame should have been every mistakemade [ ] wants to continue,” said , a prominent conservative anti-tax activist.
By Michael Lumley
The Daily Beacon (University of Tennessee)
Monday, October 22, 2007
A few months ago at a National Press Club Lunch in Washington, Newt Gingrich actually said something worth repeating. That happens so rarely now-a-days with prominent political leaders I was actually a little astonished. Essentially, Newt argued that the current electoral process is too long, too expensive and fundamentally insane.
“As the campaigns get longer,” Gingrich said, “you’re asking a person who’s going to be sworn in in January of 2009 to tell you what they’ll do in January of 2007, when they haven’t got a clue — because they don’t know what the world will be like, and you’re suggesting that they won’t learn anything through the two years of campaigning.”
Newt’s completely right of course. In 2000, Americans voted for a “compassionate conservative” who believed in limited government, cutting growth in federal spending and a restrained foreign policy. Instead they got George W. Bush.
How could America have been so deceived?
Our electoral process sucks.
Presidents are elected from a pool of candidates who are selected based on one determining factor — their ability to gather small contributions from large groups of people. How best to do this? Some have found that being mayor of a large city devastated by a major terror attack helps. Others have tried being married to very popular former presidents. Less common is an approach involving vision, principle or leadership.
But it’s not enough to start out with a really terrible pool of candidates. After the system eliminates anyone who is unable to instantly reach two to three million campaign donors, it plunges the candidates into a series of encounters that the political machine calls “debates.”
To call these spectacles debates is a bit like calling “Big Brother 4” prime-time television or calling Britney Spears an artist. I mean, sure, technically they’re debates, but in reality, its only 90 minutes of eight to 10 suits doing their damnedest not to stick their feet in their mouths.
Take this real debate question, posed to Rudy Giuliani: What are the biggest mistakes that you have ever made, and how have they changed you for a better person? You have thirty seconds.
Thirty seconds? To answer the question properly would take 30 seconds of just thinking before speaking. Of course, as all good candidates do, Giuliani simply deflected the question — playing it safe and keeping his foot well away from his mouth.
Every once and a while, however, a candidate actually tries to engage in a meaningful policy discussion instead of parroting off meaningless drivel like “I believe in the American Dream.” When this happens, they are first misunderstood and then demonized.
Take Ron Paul, who tried to explain in one Republican debate that American foreign policy might be contributing to a “blowback” effect — that is, when we kill women and children overseas, it makes their relatives angry at us and more likely to blow up buildings. The solution: Critically examine our policies to ensure that they maximize the benefit to the American people and discontinue policies that do more harm then good to our relations overseas.
But for Rudy Giuliani, Paul’s digression into substantive policy analysis was a golden opportunity. In thirty seconds, Giuliani turned the reasonable position articulated above into a message that Ron Paul blamed America for 9/11, and as mayor of New York during 9/11 (something he just won’t shut up about) he demanded an official apology from the Paul campaign.
What’s even worse is that a lot of people out there — people I thought were smart enough not to fall for this crap — loved Giuliani’s aggressive approach.
And then there’s a whole other host of issues that I don’t even have the words to discuss here. Campaign finance reform is silencing people with little or no name recognition. In the wake of the 2004 election, candidates are no longer allowed to change their minds about anything — lest the opposing factions wave flip-flops in the air at rallies or speeches. (Yes, the flip-flop has now become an appropriate substitute for intelligent and rational debate.) And when the driving issue in a campaign becomes something like “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” or a made-up story about National Guard papers, well, something is definitely wrong.
The bottom line is this: It’s time for Americans to demand real, intelligent and appropriate presidential campaigns. How do we do that? Quit voting for politicians who shovel out meaningless drivel. And for once, just once, let’s start using our brains.
— Michael Lumley is a senior in economics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Revised for October 22, 2007
While the U.S. has been tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia and China have surged ahead economically, militarily and as “super powers” with immense wealth and global influence.
Moreover, China and Russia have strengthened their strategic relationship and cooperation in opposition to the United States.
Like the giant Gulliver from “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, the U.S. has seemed at times “tied down” by the little people. Now, with oil prices rising, some economists are saying “The ‘R’ Word” (recession) for the near-term U.S. economy.
Meanwhile, Russia and China are flush with petro-dollars and not looking back. Militarily, Russia and China conducted, for the second straight year, unprecedented joint military training exercises. And diplomatically, Russia and China have thwarted attempts by the U.S., U.K. and others to stifle Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Huge trade surpluses have swelled the foreign exchange reserves of China and Russia as they export more manufactured goods and produce more oil.
Now globalization faces a real test: the rapid rise of state-run investment arms by China, Russia and other cash-rich nations.
|Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
Владимир Владимирович Путин
Strangely, against all this as a backdrop, in the presidential primary debates to date there seems to be more interest in social issues like gay marriage, healthcare and immigration. While these and other issues are important they ignore the elephant in the living room: the world’s only super power has re-invigorated rivals of the most dangerous sort.
Newt Gingrich has spoken eloquently about the future of America on a grand scale but he has already excused himself from consideration for the White House. The others, it seems to us, have been too silent on the bigger issues of the world.
At the G-7 meetings this past weekend finance chiefs planned to ask China and other nations to give more data on state-run fund activities.
These countries want to earn better returns on their massive currency reserves, but some in the West fear sovereign wealth funds may try to control strategic assets or invest for geopolitical reasons. The Group of Seven nations — the U.S., Japan, U.K., Canada, France, Germany and Italy asked China re-value its currency – and idea rebuffed before.
The deputy governor of the Chinese central bank, Wu Xiaoling, insisted that Beijing was moving to reform its exchange rate mechanism.
“Moving the exchange rates in the absence of economic restructuring policies will hurt China,” Wu told a forum at the Peterson Institute of International Economics.
“Since China is one of the driving forces of the global economy, this will accordingly hurt the global economy. Therefore China’s authorities decided to reform the foreign exchange regime in a controlled manner on its own initiative and in a gradual fashion.”
In other words, we’ll restructure when we want because what is good for China is good for the global economy.
This past year has been a banner year for China and new trade initiatives.
President Hu Jintao has personally led the charge, visiting and striking deals in several African countries. Not to be outdone, Russia’s President Putin has been on the road too – including to Iran in a landmark visit.
Chris Buckley of Reuters wrote on October 21, 2007, “Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong retired from the Communists’ upper ranks on Sunday, bolstering Party boss Hu Jintao’s grip on power and clearing the way for a younger generation of potential successors.”
Putin and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made it clear there is no room for others seeking Caspian Sea resources.
Vladimir Putin is set to step down as President of Russia but news reports paint the picture of a man seeking tremendous behind the scenes influence once he is no longer heading the Kremlin.
Putin has also created a new nationalism in his “Nashi” youth cult – a sort of recreation of the communists summer training camps of the Lenin years.
Putin’s Nashi manifesto states, “Today the U.S. on one side, and international terrorism on the other, are trying to take control of Eurasia and the entire world. Their sights are set on Russia. The task of our generation is to defend the sovereignty of our country the way our grandfathers did 60 years ago.”
Militarily, Russia has again commenced bomber patrols and surveillance of U.S. bases and China is embarked upon a secret restructuring and rebuilding of its military.
Meanwhile, the U.S. fights the war against terror or sleeps – depending upon one’s point of view.
Next year is likely to be China’s year as Beijing hosts the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Those seeking the U.S. presidency should start to formulate and articulate their strategies now on how to deal with a resurgent Russia and a burgeoning China.
Wikipedia says Gulliver’s Travels (1726, amended 1735), officially “Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships,” is a novel by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the “travellers’ tales” literary sub-genre.
By John E. Carey
September 15, 2007
Did anybody notice that talking heads and politicians are now wearing the soft pastel necktie regularly? I remember when dark blue with stripes was the order of the day. England’s famed regimental ties were considered “classy” and they had meaning.
I have a little problem with pink, yellow and white ties.
Those pastel ties, believe it or not, remind me of the softening of America. We have nearly thrown in the towel in Iraq, a liberal blog accused the leader of the war effort of “betrayal,” and our movie stars (except for Russell Crowe and he’s an Aussie) are slim, lightweight and not overpoweringly manly — not that there is anything wrong with that.
John Wayne is dead — and in many sectors the one-time American icon is the butt of jokes.
The rise of women in America, a very good thing, has also prompted a kind of erosion into what a man is considered to be.
As the summer closes I am struck by two major news stories. First, we discovered this year that much of what you buy at WalMart, Target and Sears is made in China — and the standards and business practices of China are vastly different from our own. And two: former Chairman of the Federal Reserve said our nation gave up on standards like fiscal constraint which had served us well for decades.
You don’t hear many people talk about “standards” and “principles” very much and maybe it takes an octogenarian like Mr. Greenspan to remind us who we are and who we might be — with a little more restraint, wisdom and a dash of principles.
Sometimes the mantra of tolerance seems on the slipper slope to “anything goes.”
You don’t hear about hard work much either. Even President Bush says we need our immigrants (and the strong backs of people in other countries) to do the jobs “Americans” refuse to do.
A friend of mine in China commented at the height of the food and product safety scandals in China that the U.S. has outsourced and basically given away much of the manufacturing might that made America a superpower. His question is, “Would the United States have given much of its manufacturing to the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War?”
This election season is a good time to talk about standards, principles and the big picture of our world view. I haven’t seen a lot of that except from newt Gingrich and he isn’t running. But there is still time and Americans are a hopeful people.
U.S. economy weakens further
By Newt Gingrich
September 10, 2007
The essence of this speech is very simple.
Six years after the attack of 9/11/2001 we are having the wrong debate about the wrong report.
The heart of our problem is in attitude. Wars require bold efforts and undertaking real risks. We must recognize the requirements for change and we must adopt a spirit that it is better to make mistakes of commission and then fix them than it is to avoid achievement by avoiding failure.
Six years after the attack of 9/11/2001, the difference between the debate we ought to be having and the debate we are having is staggering.
(c) Callista Gingrich, Gingrich Productions
The gap between where we are and where we should be is so large that it seems almost impossible to explain why the Petraeus Report, while important, will be a wholly inadequate explanation as to what is required to defeat our enemies and secure America and her allies.Read it all:
By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
September 7, 2007
Everyone who believed all the American presidential hopefuls were accounted for had to think again Wednesday night when Fred Thompson announced his candidacy as a Republican hopeful for the White House. Now there is one remaining very talented dark horse to contend with: Newt Gingrich.
We believe Newt Gingrich is the only American looking at the future with a “big picture” vision of hope and destiny. Yet we know Newt has his share of baggage and might not be elected even if he decides to enter the fray. Like Hillary Clinton, Newt’s hard core beliefs appeal to some and turn off others. Both are strong willed politicians and that means, in today’s vernacular, “polarizing.”
Thompson is running to the right of all the other announced candidates. He is embracing the legacy of Ronald Reagan. But a careful reading of New Gingrich’s works tells one that Newt is as far to the right as Fred: and that has a certain appeal to a certain group of voters.
This campaign is like no other ever. The internet, bloggers, text messages, YouTube and Oprah are all now part of the “mainstream.” Cute young women swooning over candidates in rock videos have become the norm and not an aberation. Those too old or not in tune enough to keep up will be overwhealmed.
A few of the links below shed more light on Newt Gingrich and we hope readers will take a look and decide for themselves….
September 7, 2007
Next Monday, I will give a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) marking six years since 9/11 and outlining the larger war we should have been waging in order to defeat our terrorist enemies on a worldwide basis.
My speech at AEI is designed to make the case for a larger and more productive dialogue about what we need to accomplish in the Real War we’re engaged in — not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but also in dealing with our enemies on a larger strategic scale, including Iran, Syria, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and the worldwide forces of terrorism that want to destroy our civilization and eliminate our freedoms.
The reason I am speaking out is simple: We need a war-winning option, and today we do not have such an option.
Read it all at:
Newt Gingrich For President
By Barrett Kalellis
The Washington Times
August 19, 2007
Whether Newt Gingrich will run for president, and whether he can win the Republican nomination, not to mention the general election against a Democratic rival, is a tenuous set of propositions.
In reality, he has a high set of negatives working against him. His enemies — and they are many — portray him as an ideologue, more motivated by old-line Republican scripture than by political compromise. Opponents also gleefully point to his “dark side,” citing his failed marriages, extramarital affairs and other insensitive behavior, allowing Democrats to point the finger of hypocrisy to smear any Republican who dares to talk about “family values.”
By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 10, 2007
America is losing the world-wide war against America. That’s right, the world-wide war against America.
This is not just our war against terrorists or terrorism. This is also about three or four-fifths of the rest of the world opposing the “Only Superpower.”
Just as when ancient Rome became decadent and soft and hired more and more mercenaries to fight its wars; we Americans are discussing gay marriage at political “debates” while China and Russia make deals to oppose the U.S. plan to throttle Iran’s nuclear program.
While John Edwards is getting his $400.00 haircut, about one million Chinese “hackers” are launching a cyber attack against U.S. computers.
Why does Newt Gingrich, a student of history and a well schooled Washington insider, add to his speeches, “We are in trouble, and somebody had better start talking about it in a blunt way.”
You think that is just a cute tag line or does he believe it?
The war we are already engaged in is a world-wide war against the U.S. and that’s us.
We at Peace and Freedom view “war” as a struggle for dominance in many areas: geo-political influence, resources, science and technology and everything else. The U.S. has already proven, with the assistance of terrorists and insurgents from around the globe, that the best military doesn’t always “win.” The lessons of the war in Vietnam are locked in which Pentagon safe?
What we are talking about is a war by every possible means that is being launched against the U.S. and to which the U.S. should respond. It is a war to assemble political, manufacturing, military, technological and mineral wealth.
And we are losing.
Consider China. You have read any news lately in any credible “world view” publication or web site that DIDN’T have some jaw dropping news about China?
Here are just a few topics and headlines recently from China (and a few other places):
Well, you get the idea.
During the last year, China opened the world’s largest seaport: in Pakistan. China deflected international pressure on the genocide in Darfur so it could continue to hustle Sudan’s leadership to gain a monopoly over that county’s oil. China destroyed a satellite with an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test. A Chinese submarine maneuvered undetected into a position that allowed it to surface within sight of a U.S. aircraft carrier. North Korea tested at least one nuclear device. Iran threatened to go nuclear and tested missiles of increasing range: perhaps they can already reach into Europe. And while the U.N. and U.S. wring their hands about pollution and global warming, China continues to hide behind the legalese that it is a “developing nation” and exempt from restrictions like those in the Kyoto pact. That air pollution over Beijing is from manufacturing, my friend. A manufacturing juggernaut.
During the last year Vladimir Putin in Russia has opposed the U.S. on all fronts, invoking old Cold War rhetoric. Russia has been reinvigorated by oil wealth.
Chihuahuas like Hugo Chavez upped their ugly rhetoric and initiated more anti-U.S. positions and actions.
Cindy Sheehan when to Venezuela to visit. Nancy Pelosi went to Syria to visit. And during a Democratic debate, Barak Obama said he’s go anywhere to visit.
While Meredith Viera of NBCs TODAY Show tasted Chinese cuisine in Beijing to the delight of some grinning Chinese stooge Olympic handler, China was sucking as much iron and tin out of Africa as it could find.
While Americans sat transfixed to Paris Hilton and other meaningless and fleeting news, some ground-shaking world events have occurred. What we need to know is: has this been due to geological shifts or nuclear testing?
I don’t want to be painted an alarmist and dismissed to a corner of the room. What we are urging is a reawakening of our view of the world situation and a change to the sleepwalking politicians at the debates so far. Get Dennis Kucinich off the stage for God’s sake and let’s hear what Mr. Gingrich has to say.
My friend Les Lothringer, who lives and works in China and has spent his lifetime understanding international business says, “The U.S. has made a mistake allowing so much manufacturing and R&D to come here [to China], or anywhere for that matter. It should be brought back to the U.S. The Chinese economy will slow. Americans will learn some financial discipline and American domestic technical know-how, which made the US pre-eminent, will assert itself.”
To ignore Les’ advice is folly, we believe. Viewed as a monopoly board, all the hotels and properties are headed out of the U.S.
And we are not even discussing this mass migration.