Archive for the ‘Ronald Reagan’ Category

Thankful for interesting times

November 27, 2008

“May you live in interesting times” is supposed to be an ancient Chinese curse, but I can’t find evidence that the saying is Chinese at all, much less that it’s ancient. One of the earliest reliable citations seems to be a 1950 short story by the British science-fiction author Eric Frank Russell, writing under the pen name Duncan H. Munro, who quotes the imprecation and then adds: “It isn’t a curse any more. It’s a blessing.” 

By Eugene Robinson
The Washington Post
Thursday, November 27, 2008; Page A29

That’s the glass-half-full way of seeing this extraordinary moment. As we celebrate Thanksgiving and enter the holiday season, it feels as if our nation is at a cusp, a brink, a verge. It’s true that if things get much more “interesting,” we might have a collective nervous breakdown. But along with the anxiety, there’s also a sense of rare opportunity — a chance to emerge better than we were economically, politically and socially.

Easy for you to say, many people would respond, and they’d have a point. I’ve been as mesmerized and freaked out as anyone watching the stock market lose nearly half its value, then recover some ground, then oscillate so wildly that a 200-point gain or loss in the Dow is the new definition of a slow day. I’ve lost money (not that I had that much in the first place), but I haven’t been wiped out the way some people have. I don’t have an adjustable-rate mortgage or a house that’s “underwater.” My employer is still in business.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/26
/AR2008112603250.html?hpid=opi
nionsbox1

President-elect Obama’s first gaffe: A slap at Nancy Reagan

November 8, 2008

In a hasty and wise bit of damage control, president-elect Barack Obama quickly telephoned former First Lady Nancy Reagan this afternoon to apologize for “a careless and offhanded remark” he made about her this morning during his first post-election news conference.

Obama was asked how he was preparing to take over the White House, what books he’s reading, if he’d talked to any ex-presidents. He replied:

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan

“In terms of speaking to former presidents, I’ve spoken to all of them that are living. Obviously, President Clinton — I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances.”

The passing reference to the former First Lady’s alleged interest in horoscopes struck some observers as a gratuitous slap at an old lady at a time Obama was trying to set a positive, professed bipartisan tone for his transition.

The Obama press office received numerous inquiries for explanation and reaction. And this afternoon issued the following statement:

““President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan today to apologize for the careless and off-handed remark he made during today’s press conference.

“The President-elect expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share and they had a warm conversation,” said President-elect Obama Transition Team Spokesperson Stephanie Cutter.”

–Andrew Malcolm; The Los Angeles Times

Obama apologizes for Nancy Reagan joke

November 8, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama called to apologize to former first lady Nancy Reagan on Friday after he made an errant joke at her expense in his first postelection press conference.

By Steven Dinan
The Washington Times

Mr. Obama, answering a question about which ex-presidents’ advice he sought, said he had “spoken to all of them that are living.” He went on, but appeared to realize he probably didn’t need the “living” qualifier, and explained, “I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances.”

The joke at the expense of the ailing former first lady rubbed some who heard it the wrong way, and within hours Mr. Obama said he was wrong.

“President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan today to apologize for the careless and off-handed remark he made during today’s press conference,” spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said in a statement Friday evening. “The president-elect expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs. Reagan that so many Americans share, and they had a warm conversation.”

Reagan

Above: Mrs. Ronald (Nancy) Reagan

Mr. Obama seemed to get his facts backward in making the joke, aiming at Mrs. Reagan when it was actually Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton who wrote in her syndicated column during her time as first lady that she occasionally held imaginary conversations with long-dead first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

“I occasionally have imaginary conversations with Mrs. Roosevelt to try to figure out what she would do in my shoes,” Mrs. Clinton wrote in a June 1996 column. “She usually responds by telling me to buck up or at least to grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros.”

Mrs. Reagan, by contrast, consulted an astrologer friend about auspicious days for scheduling events. The White House said the practice began after the attempt on President Reagan’s life.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library didn’t respond to a message asking about the incident.

After an election heavy on personality, in which the candidates made headway with voters on “The View,” “The Daily Show” and celebrity gossip blogs, maybe it was fitting Mr. Obama found himself explaining what books he’s reading, what kind of dog he’s going to get and which presidents he has talked to for advice in response to a question from Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet.

She asked: “I’m wondering what you’re doing to get ready. Have you spoke to any living ex-presidents, what books you might be reading? Everyone wants to know, what kind of dog are you going to buy for your girls? Have you decided on a private or public school for your daughters?”

Mr. Obama said the dog – something he promised his daughters on election night – is a “major issue” in their household. They are looking for a breed that is hypoallergenic because of his daughter Malia’s allergies.

“Our preference would be to get a shelter dog, but, obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me,” he said, referring to his being the child of a white American woman and a black Kenyan man.

“So whether we’re going to be able to balance those two things, I think is a pressing issue on the Obama household.”

Rehab for recovery: ask an economist

October 28, 2008

By Robert
The Washington Times

COMMENTARY:

Back in early 1981, when I went to Washington to work for President Reagan, one of the architects of supply-side economics, Columbia University’s Robert Mundell,  visited my Office of Management and Budget OMB office inside the White House complex. At the time, we suffered from double-digit inflation, sky-high interest rates, a long economic downturn and a near 15-year bear market in stocks.

So I asked Professor Mundell, who later won a Nobel Prize in economics, whether Reagan’s supply-side tax cuts would be sufficient to cure the economy. The professor answered that during periods of crisis, sometimes you have to be a supply-sider (tax rates), sometimes a monetarist (Fed money supply) and sometimes a Keynesian (federal deficits).

I’ve never forgotten that advice. Mr. Mundell was saying: Choose the best policies as put forth by the great economic philosophers without being too rigid.

Of course, John Maynard Keynes was a deficit spender during the Depression. Milton Friedman warned of printing too much or too little money. And Mr. Mundell, along with Art Laffer, Jack Kemp and others….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/
2008/oct/28/rehab-for-recovery/

Too Late for a McCain Comeback?

October 17, 2008

With less than three weeks to go, CNN’s latest poll of polls shows Sen. McCain trailing Sen. Obama by 8 points nationwide — a mid-October deficit that only one presidential hopeful has overcome to win the White House in the last 50 years: Ronald Reagan.

Bt Andrew Mooney
CNN

(Oct. 16) – Sen. John McCain likes to say he enjoys being the underdog. After all, this is the relentless candidate who somehow managed to capture his party’s nomination after the political world left him for dead in the summer of 2007.
.
But even as he spends the campaign homestretch reminding wary Republicans of his miraculous comeback last year, history suggests it may simply be too late.
.
Both publicly and privately of course, neither the candidates nor their aides are ready to say the race is over.

On Thursday morning, Sen. Barack Obama warned supporters not to get “cocky,” while a few hours later McCain pledged to Pennsylvania voters he would erase Obama’s lead by Election Day.
.
But with less than three weeks to go, CNN’s latest poll of polls shows McCain trailing Obama by 8 points nationwide — a mid-October deficit that only one presidential hopeful has overcome to win the White House in the last 50 years.
.
In the 1980 presidential election, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan trailed President Jimmy Carter by 8 points in a late October Gallup poll. A mere 10 days after that survey was conducted, Reagan defeated the incumbent president by nearly 3 percentage points, sealing one of the biggest turnarounds in the history of American presidential politics.
>
But if 2008 is at all like 1980, it’s Obama who is Ronald Reagan, not McCain.

Read the rest:
http://news.aol.com/elections/article/is-it-too-
late-for-a-mccain-comeback/215417

Missile Defense at 25

March 23, 2008

By James Hackett
The Washington Times
March 23, 2008

It is fitting that the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s announcement of the Strategic Defense Initiative is on Easter Sunday, a day synonymous with peace. As a result of Reagan’s vision, and President Bush’s determination in withdrawing from the ABM treaty and fielding defenses, this Easter the world is a safer place.
Ronald Reagan
.
Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, the danger of nuclear-armed missiles is still with us. Russia under permanent ruler Vladimir Putin still has 2,945 deployed nuclear warheads and is fielding new SS-27 Topol-M intercontinental missiles (ICBMs). And Moscow is developing a new version known as the RS-24, which has been tested with three warheads but is expected to carry as many as six.
.
Mr. Putin threatens to target missiles on Poland and the Czech Republic if they host U.S. missile defenses, and on Ukraine if it joins NATO.
Vladimir Putin
And in Asia, China is engaged in a massive military buildup, with new ballistic and cruise missiles designed to strike U.S. aircraft carriers, new DF-31A ICBMs aimed at the United States, and more than 1,000 short-range missiles opposite Taiwan.
.
Other countries are developing longer-range missiles while seeking nuclear weapons, notably North Korea’s oddball regime, which seems willing to sell nuclear technology as well as missiles to anyone, and the mullahs in Iran. Then there is Pakistan, which already has an arsenal of nuclear warheads and missiles to carry them. Pakistan is an ally today, but al Qaeda wants to seize power and control the “Muslim bomb.”
 

Google Earth captured an image of the new Chinese ballistic-missile submarine, docked at the Xiaopingdao base south of Dalian. U.S. officials say the new submarines may increase Beijing´s strategic arsenal.
.

The main value of missile defense is to deter opponents from using nuclear missiles to intimidate and achieve their goals through fear. Defenses also provide security in the event of an actual missile launch by design or accident. And as the recent shoot-down of a falling satellite showed, missile interceptors can be used for other useful purposes, including deflecting asteroids on a collision course with Earth.
.
The missile defense program has come a long way since Reagan’s speech 25 years ago today when he said deterrence works, weakness invites aggression, and we maintain peace through strength. He urged use of our technological strength to find a way to deter attack. It may take decades, he warned, “but I believe we can do it.”
.
He was right about American technology. The idea of striking a very fast missile with a fast interceptor was considered a joke by many at the time. But that technology, unmatched by any other country, is now the key element of our missile defenses. After several test failures, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has done a remarkable job of improving the program to conduct successful flight tests.
.
Since 2005, there have been 26 intercepts in 27 tests, an amazing record for a new weapon system. Today there are 24 interceptors in silos in Alaska and California protecting the United States, and 25 on ships in the Pacific, with more on the way. It is important to keep this successful program on track and not make changes that might jeopardize progress toward deployment of a global layered defense.
.
As Vice President Richard Cheney said at a recent Heritage Foundation dinner, the talk about which presidential candidate would be best to take a call at 3 a.m. reminds us that no president should ever be told that a missile is coming toward the United States and there is no way to stop it.
.
Missile defense can stop it.
 

The plan is to base 40 interceptors in Alaska, four in California and 10 in Poland, a radar in the Czech Republic and a mobile radar closer to Iran. But as the threat grows, more interceptors will be needed, at least 20 in Europe and up to 100 in Alaska, given the growing threat from China.
 

There is some discussion of breaking up the missile defense program to separate sustaining current deployments from future development. It is natural for MDA to want to turn operational activities over to the services and concentrate on research and development. But that could lead to future budget cuts as research projects fail and the services meet their immediate needs by reducing missile defense funds.
 

Another issue involves moving toward a very centralized command-and-control system, which could increase the risk of systemwide failure. It is important not to tinker too much with the program that has been highly successful in producing the defenses protecting the nation today. It is up to the White House and defense secretary to keep this effort on track, finish negotiations for the bases in Europe this year, and preserve the legacy of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

James T. Hackett is a contributing writer to The Washington Times based in Carlsbad, Calif.

It’s Not Compassion — It’s Wright-Wing Racism

March 22, 2008

By Michael Reagan
March 20, 2008
.
Most of the media and their fellow liberals were positively giddy over Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday, all but comparing it to the Sermon on the Mount.

I won’t deny it was a masterful piece of oratory — the man can be spellbinding — but when you stop to consider what Sen. Obama was really doing up there on the podium, invoking the specter of slavery and Jim Crow and the era of “whites only,” it becomes clear that it was a con job designed to make the voters as giddy as he knew his worshippers in the submissive media would be.

The speech was meant to be an explanation and expiation of his guilt for his years of remaining mute in the face of the outrageous anti-Americanism spewed by his pastor and bosom buddy, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Until Tuesday, Barack Obama (you can’t use his middle name, which has now become the “H-word,” allegedly a code word for anti-Muslim rhetoric) had steadfastly denied he ever heard his friend and pastor make his hateful remarks. In the speech, however, he just kind of mentioned that… well, yes … he guesses he was aware of the Reverend Wright’s offensive rhetoric after all. Mea Minima Culpa.

He then launched into a defense of his friendship with the man he credited for bringing him to Christianity, and helping to form his social and political philosophy and set him on the path to a life of public service. Admirably, while denouncing Wright’s extremism, he refused to denounce the man himself.

Nobody expected him to declare Wright anathema and cast him into the outer darkness where there is weeping and wailing and the gnashing of teeth — one simply doesn’t do to that sort of thing to a longtime friend, benefactor and mentor even if he has been shown to have slipped the rails time after time.

What was not expected was Barack H. Obama’s use of a litany of America’s past racist offenses to justify not only Wright’s blatant hatred of white America but his suggestion that it was a sentiment shared by most African Americans. And that is simply not true.

Nor was it true, as Obama charged, that the Reagan coalition was created out of white resentment for affirmative action or forced busing.

He charged that “anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime… talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.”

Poppycock! These are not only outright falsehoods, but echoes of what Obama learned at the feet of Jeremiah Wright and now preaches as his own beliefs. He learned his lessons well.

When he suggested that my father’s coalition was based on anger over affirmative action and welfare he was peddling a blatant falsehood as egregious in its falsity as Wright’s charge that whites created AIDS to wipe out the black population.

Read the rest:
http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/mreagan/2008/mr_03201.shtml

America’s Naval Supremacy Slipping

March 18, 2008

During a recent trip to China with Adm. Timothy Keating, American reporters asked General Chen Bingde, chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army, “Should the United States have anything to fear from China’s military buildup?”

The general responded: “That’s impossible. Isn’t it? There’s such a big gap between our military and the American military. If you say you are afraid, it means you don’t have enough courage.”
.
Courage or not, China’s rapid and massive military buildup (particularly in terms of its expanding submarine force and progressive aircraft-carrier R&D program) has analysts concerned. And the U.S. Navy — the first line of defense against any Chinese expansionism in the Pacific — continues to struggle with the combined effects of Clinton-era downsizing, a post –9/11 upsurge in America’s sealift and global defense requirements, and exponentially rising costs of recapitalization and modernization of the Navy’s surface and submarine fleet, aircraft, and related weapons systems. 
A warplane takes off from the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier ... 
F/A-18 takes off from the U.S. Navy
Aircraft Carrier USS John C. Stennis.
.

Currently, America maintains a 280-ship Navy (including 112 ships currently underway) responsible for a wide range of seagoing operations, as well as air and land missions, conventional and unconventional. 
.
The fleet is small — a dwarf fleet compared to the nearly 600-ship Navy under President Ronald Reagan — but its responsibilities aren’t.
.
Among them are defense of the U.S. homeland and American territories and interests abroad.
.
Keeping the sea lanes open and safe from terrorism, piracy, and weapons smuggling. Maintaining air superiority above the Navy’s areas of operation. Maintaining sea-basing and amphibious landing and landing-support capabilities (this includes the Marine Corps, which technically and traditionally falls under the Department of the Navy). Maintaining light, fast forces capable of operating in rivers and along the coastal shallows (littorals). Maintaining a strategic nuclear capability (through its ballistic missile submarine force). Maintaining superior information and intelligence collection and counterintelligence capabilities. And maintaining its ability to engage in direct action — like the recent cruise-missile strike against Al Qaeda targets in Somalia — and providing support for special operations worldwide. 

USS Greeneville off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii.
.
The Navy’s enemies and potential enemies include everyone from global terrorists like Al Qaeda to previous Cold War adversaries China and Russia.
.
And not only is the Navy fleet small, it is rapidly aging, and gradually losing the depth and flexibility needed to accomplish all of its current missions and strategic requirements.
.
The Navy currently maintains 11 aircraft carriers. The USS Enterprise is slated to retire in 2012, but the under-construction USS Gerald R. Ford could be delivered by 2015.The fleet is also comprised of an array of cruisers, destroyers, frigates, attack and ballistic missile submarines, amphibious assault and sealift-capable ships, support vessels of all kinds, and a variety of special warfare craft.
USS Wasp LHD-1.jpg
USS Wasp
.
Sounds formidable, and in 2008 it is. But the Navy is not even close to where it needs to be if it hopes to match, deter, or outfight the emerging sea powers that will continue to grow over the next 10, 20, or 30 years.
.
“Even though we obviously have a strong eye toward what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan for our ground forces, we still must have a balanced force that can deal with a range of threats,” says Peter Brookes, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs. “China is going to be a major conventional threat in the coming years. So we need the capability of projecting naval power across the Pacific to maintain peace and stability in that region.”
.
According to Brookes, the Navy needs to focus on — among other things — regaining much of its anti-submarine warfare capability (undersea, surface, and airborne) that has been neglected since the end of the Cold War.
USS Kitty Hawk CV-63.jpg
USS Kitty Hawk.  This aircraft carrier calls Japan “homeport.”  She was ordered to the vicinity of Taiwan on or about 18 March 2008 to provide security for the Taiwanese elections.  Photo from the U.S. Navy.
.
Hoping to remedy its overall shortfall, the Navy has proposed a 313-ship fleet – an increase of 33 surface ships and submarines — able to be deployed according to Navy officials by 2019.
.
Among the Navy’s new additions would be the Littoral Combat Ship — a small, swift-moving surface vessel capable of operating in both blue water and the coastal shallows — a nuclear-powered guided-missile destroyer, a next-generation guided-missile cruiser, a new class of attack submarine, a new carrier with an electromagnetic aircraft launching system (replacing the steam-driven catapult system), and ultimately a new fleet of jets like the F-35 Lightning II (the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter).
USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000).jpg
USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000)
.
All of the newly developed ships and airplanes would have multi-roles, and would be able to go head-to-head with a wide range of conventional and unconventional threats. Problem is, developing new ships and weapons systems take time, are often technically problematic in the developmental stages, and increasingly hyper-expensive. Additionally, new ships and systems are being designed, developed, and built at the same time the Navy is having to spend money on manpower and costly, aging ships, aircraft, and weapons systems just to stay afloat and fighting.

single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launches from the U.S. Navy AEGIS cruiser USS Lake Erie
This photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows an SM-3 missile being launched from the USS Lake Erie warship on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2008. The Pentagon says the missile successfully intercepted a wayward U.S. spy satellite orbiting the earth at 17,000 miles per hour, about 133 nautical miles over the Pacific ocean. (AP Photo/US Navy)
.
Of the proposed  $515 billion U.S. Defense budget for Fiscal Year 2009, the Navy is asking for $149.3 billion — 29 percent of the budget — which includes the Marine Corps’ piece of the pie (As its current recap/mod needs are similar to the Army’s, we will address Corps issues in our forthcoming piece on ground forces.), and that requested figure will almost certainly, and necessarily, increase over subsequent years.
.
Nevertheless, experts contend we are kidding ourselves if we believe the Navy will crack the 300 mark under the current plan.

This picture released by the US Navy shows Fire Controlman 2nd ...
Our sailors make our Navy the most capable in the world. This picture released by the US Navy shows Fire Controlman 2nd Class John Whitby operating the radar system control during a ballistic missile defense drill on February 16 aboard the USS Lake Erie. The US warship is moving into position to try to shoot down a defunct US spy satellite as early as Wednesday before it tumbles into the Earth’s atmosphere, Pentagon officials said.
(AFP/US Navy-HO/Michael Hight)
.
“This is the dirty secret inside the Beltway,” says Mackenzie Eaglen, a senior policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation. “If you crunch the actual shipbuilding numbers — year-to-year for the next 10 to 20 years — a 313-ship Navy is a pipe dream.”
.
According to Eaglen, the budget requests for shipbuilding submitted to Congress between FY 03 and FY 07, averaged just over $9.5 billion per year. “What’s needed is at least $15 billion per year,” she says. “What’s worse is that I see Defense spending dropping.”
.
Cynthia Brown, president of the American Shipbuilding Association, believes money slated for new ship construction needs to be at least $22 billion per year.
.
“Of the proposed $149.3 billion, only $12 billion is slated for new ship construction in FY 09,” says Brown. “Since 2001, the Defense Department has increased its spending by 80.8 percent, excluding war supplementals, but shipbuilding has only increased 12.2 percent.”
.
Costs of recapitalizing and modernizing our Navy will continue to rise, as will the conventional and unconventional threats our sailors must be trained and equipped to fight. And considering the make-up of Congress — and who may be moving into the White House in 2009 — the nation’s primary power-projection force may find it near impossible to avoid becoming, as Eaglen says, “a mere shadow of its former self.”

Satellite Shot Down: Lucky or Excellence?

March 16, 2008

16 March 2008

(CBS) Last month, we were treated to a space spectacular – not a shuttle launch or moon landing, but the shoot down of a crippled intelligence satellite by a missile launched from a U.S. Navy ship. It was a test of the country’s missile defense system, a system that was conceived over 20 years ago by President Reagan. And it worked. Was it a lucky shot, or is the nation’s missile defense a reason for Americans to feel secure? National Security correspondent David Martin has some answers.

single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launches from the U.S. Navy AEGIS cruiser USS Lake Erie
This photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows an SM-3 missile being launched from the USS Lake Erie warship on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2008. The Pentagon says the missile successfully intercepted a wayward U.S. spy satellite orbiting the earth at 17,000 miles per hour, about 133 nautical miles over the Pacific ocean. (AP Photo/US Navy)

It was 25 years ago this month, in a presidential address from the Oval Office, when Ronald Reagan asked this question:

“What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reach our own soil or that of our allies?”

President Reagan never used the words, but this will forever be known as the “Star Wars” speech, a term of gentle derision for his vision of battle stations in space destroying Soviet missiles with lasers.

It never happened, but today there is a scaled-down version of Star Wars, not in space but on Earth – interceptors to defend not against an all-out Soviet attack, but against a handful of missiles launched by North Korea or Iran.

“If you want to call it Star Wars lite,” Lt. Gen. Trey Obering told CBS News correspondent David Martin, “I have no problem with that term.”

Obering is the man in charge of building a system that can shoot down incoming ballistic missiles – the proverbial “hitting a bullet with a bullet.”

“I was a big fan of the ‘Star Wars’ movies,” Obering told Martin, “and when you think about what that was involving, it was, I think, the force of good versus the forces of evil in the universe.”
A ballistic missile streaks across the sky during a test for ... 
A ballistic missile streaks across the sky during a test for the US missile defense program in 2001.(AFP/File/Mike Nelson)

Obering’s forces of good include a giant radar floating on an oil platform in the Pacific Ocean; nearly two dozen interceptor missiles in underground silos in Alaska and California; and still more interceptors on Navy cruisers. One of those blew up that out-of-control satellite a few weeks ago – the first real shootdown by a system that to date has cost $115 billion, but which most Americans don’t even know exists.

Martin asked Obering straight out if the U.S. currently has a missile defense system.

“Yes sir,” he answered. “We have a missile defense system today.”

“As we’re speaking,” Martin pressed him, “someone is sitting at a screen watching for that North Korean missile?”

“Yes sir, that’s a fact. We have crews on alert.”

“This may be one of the best kept secrets in Washington,” Martin told him.

Read the rest:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/16/
sunday/main3941552.shtml

Cheney says US needs missile defense

March 12, 2008
By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – Borrowing a theme from the presidential contest, Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday that the possibility of a 3 a.m. emergency call to the White House is all the more reason for the next commander in chief to follow through on President Bush‘s plans for a national missile defense.

Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at a Heritage Foundation Dinner ...
Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at a Heritage Foundation Dinner commemorating the 25th Anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative Proposal on Tuesday, March 11, 2008, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)


“It’s plain to see that the world around us gives ample reason to continue working on missile defense,” Cheney told the conservative Heritage Foundation at a dinner recognizing the 25th anniversary of President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, a proposed network of rockets capable of shooting down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Bush has set in motion a more modest version of Reagan’s original plan.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080312/ap_on_go_
pr_wh/cheney;_ylt=AglCCh7o4m
CMMlNL_Cstelms0NUE