Follow by Email

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Obama and the Media Doing Their Best To Talk UP the Economy

Preview for Sunday 053108

Hey folks,

It's not working.

Welcome to the Big Sunday Edition of the OPNTalk Blog. Glad you could stop by. That's right. TRILLIONS spend. Nothing solved. NOTHING. As a matter of fact. Things continue to get WORSE.

Billions spent on Banks. No one can get loans. Billions spend on Housing. People losing their homes at record rates. Billions spent in Insurance. Insurance rates increasing at all time highs. Billions spend in the Auto Industries? GM to go bankrupt, and hundreds of Dealerships closing and record high Unemployment. Where oh where have the Trillions gone?

Yet, Obama and the MMD {Mass Media Drones} are now switching tactics. Instead of the constant DOWN talking of the Economy during Bush, they are now attempting to talk UP the Economy. It's just not working. Get this. This is from the AP - Has economic twilight fallen on nation's Sun Belt? just last night.

In Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, the Stress Index more than doubled from 5.12 at the beginning of the recession in December 2007 to 12.67 in March 2009, worsened by a foreclosure rate that nearly tripled.

_Mounting foreclosures in Las Vegas' Clark County drove up its Stress Index score from 10.5 at the start of the recession to 19.3 in March 2009.

_In Lee County, home to Fort Myers, unemployment has doubled and foreclosures have soared 75 percent since the recession began, lifting its Stress Index from 10.5 to 19.98.

The boom in parts of the Sun Belt was, Florida wrote in the Atlantic, a "giant Ponzi scheme" — a growth machine that banked on wishful thinking, on the hope that an unending stream of new arrivals would forever inject their money into construction and real estate.

But as often is the case with such schemes, there comes a day when the engine sputters, gasps, and conks out. A day when the faithful stop turning up.

In the Sun Belt's newer, shallow-rooted communities, the roadkill is most evident: Where once there were "boomburbs," there now stand "ghostdivisions." Where property-flipping was once almost a middle-class sport, joblessness and "For Sale by Owner" signs reign.

The fallout is traceable in other ways, too. Nevada — the only state with a lower proportion of native residents than Florida — has seen net migration plunge 61 percent in two years; Arizona, 55 percent.

Were it not for immigrants, many of them from Latin America, and for fertility, the Sunshine State would actually have lost population last year — an "astounding development in the Florida experience," says Bill Frey, a senior fellow and demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

He said the end of steady movement of people into the Sun Belt is part of a broader trend of curtailed migration during this downturn. "The merry-go-round has stopped, in terms of people moving from place to place."


I'm so glad that the Economy is "back from the brink" Mr. President. So glad indeed. Just in Port St Lucie, up the road a bit from where I am coming to you from, there sits two planned communities. Both meant to have homes starting at the low $400,000 into the millions, there they sit with half finished homes. Signs that say now $190,000. "Reduced" "New ownership" ETC.

So where is the Economy coming back? Oh, to answer a question, "What about the Gas Prices lately? How do you defend that? We know you have friends that you like to defend all the time in Big Oil, so tell us, there is no demand, how do you defend the Gas Prices? We await your answer. Ought to be good." I'll be talking about that tomorrow in the "From the Energy Front" segment.

Coming right up today?

Response to GOP Chairman Michael Steele
North Korea Nuclear, Iran Soon To Be, Obama Over His Head
Do Not Dare To Give The President A Letter
Scientists develop new basis for H5N1 vaccine: WHO
IWA for Sunday 053109

Oh did you see this. This was just cute. I mean that. This was really cute. Nice dress too.

"I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished," the president said in a statement an aide read to the press.

Can we all say Awe? What play did they see?

The play by August Wilson is about black America in the early 1900s, with residents of a boardinghouse recalling their migration from the sharecropping farms of the South to the industrialized North.

Of course. {Sigh} Some of you will get it. Some won't.

Anyway, We have a lot of ground to cover, so let's get started. I'm about to attempt to help the GOP again. I doubt they will get it either. But I'll try again. Be right back.

Peter
Sources:
AP - Has economic twilight fallen on nation's Sun Belt?
AP -
First couple's NY date: a campaign promise kept

Response to GOP Chairman Michael Steele

The Country DOES need a Choice.

Hey folks,

OK. So I got this in the Emails on Saturday. It's from GOP Chairman Michael Steele. What he says is one hundred percent correct. I also agree that America needs a choice. But I have some advice for Chairman Michael Steele. Here is what he sent me.

"Last year the Democrats told voters they would bring "change" to Washington, but their version of change has been to push America to the left farther and faster than I think anyone could have imagined.

That is why I believe America needs the Republican Party now more than ever before.

Across our nation, some people who were willing to take Barack Obama at his word when he campaigned as a reasonable, moderate candidate are coming to realize the unfortunate truth.

Candidate Obama talked about fiscal responsibility, about government living within its means. But President Obama is spending with reckless abandon and saddling our children and grandchildren with mountains of debt.

Candidate Obama boasted about cutting taxes. But President Obama will have to raise taxes to pay for his massive top-down government explosion.

Candidate Obama talked a lot about being bipartisan, but he has yielded his legislative agenda almost entirely to Nancy Pelosi who has repeatedly shut Republicans out of negotiations on important legislation, from economic stimulus to the budget to health care.

President Obama and his Congressional allies have shown America their true agenda.They are leftist radicals bent on transforming our constitutional republic into a socialist "utopia" by
dismantling the free enterprise system, eroding the rule of law, imperiling our national security, and curtailing our freedom.

A groundswell of popular grassroots opposition to the Obama Democrats' unprincipled power grab and failed policies is rising across America.

Tea Party movements to protest outrageous confiscatory taxation by Washington, renewed enthusiasm for strong local government, and concern for the loss of traditional American values are growing.

I have travelled extensively since being elected RNC chairman, meeting with state party leaders and grassroots activists alike.

There is genuine enthusiasm for a Republican balance to the reckless excesses of the president and congressional Democrats. I believe the Republican Party can ride that wave of local enthusiasm to victory in upcoming elections.

And that is why I'm asking you to continue your support of our efforts. America is looking for leadership and it's our responsibility to step up and provide it. Please help us lay the groundwork to win back government for the American people by
making a contribution of $1,000, $500, $100, $50 or $25 to the Republican National Committee today. Your gift will support the recruitment and election of principled candidates who will roll back the Democrats' damage and govern with humility and respect.

Our time is coming. We can and must be ready to lead the fight. Thank you."

Sincerely,

"Signed"

Michael Steele
Chairman, Republican National Committee


So you want money from me and other Americans to help the Republican Party? I only have one question. Why? I'm being serious here. Why? Why would Americans WANT to give you a dime? Sorry, but the growing disdain for Obama is not good enough. "We ain't the Democrats," is not good enough.

Back in the day, there came along a man named Newt. Newt saw what was going on in the country, saw the problems with the Liberals trying to run things, and he came out and gave an ALTERNATIVE. He did not say, vote for us, we ain't them. He came up with a viable, concise, plan. "The Contract with America." He said HOW the Republicans differ from those in power. He said WHY the Republicans held the views they did back then. He took responsibility for past failures and promised a new beginning. It worked. The Republican Party won.

Now we need to talk about what happened AFTER. After they got into power. Nothing. More of the same. Oh you can find some good points here and there, but in essence, some of the Republicans in power attempted to out Lib the Liberals. Government continued to grow. Spending continued to grow. Some of the moves toward social policies began to look just like the Democrats. Then came Bush.

Bush has successfully defended this country and kept us safe. One could still argue, as I did before hand, that Iraq was not really an immediate necessity, but kept us from being attacked again? No doubt about that. But a Conservative does this not make. He began talking about using tax monies to fund programs that some Conservatives do not believe in. He started talking about Amnesty. He started the whole bailout thing. It is of my honest opinion that the Republicans became drunk with their new found power. They became Liberals. In a matter of speaking.

So the American people voted them out. Now, the Liberals are back in. The "Progressives" AKA Communists, now have total power with the BIGGEST Socialistic driven President in history. Trillions spent, nothing solved. The Economy is the worse it has been, if not EVER, most definitely in the past 25 years. Everything is a mess even though the MMD and the President are NOW {to late but now} attempting to talk up the Economy.

Yes Mr. Steele, Americans are waking up. More and more are starting to wave off the effects of the Obamaid, and they are starting to take a look around. They do not like what they see. So now you come along and say now is the time. You are right. We need to have balance brought back to government. We need to slow this freight train called the Obama agenda down. But it will be harder than you think.

EVERY person running for office, from the dog catcher to the Senator, need to tell people WHY they are better for the Country. They need to return to their UNWAVERING Conservative VALUES. They need to EXPLAIN WHY Conservatism is better. What Conservatism IS. They need to show people a viable, concise plan.

Now I know that you and some other Republicans have been out their talking about Rush, and Christian Conservatives, and talking about what you must do to get votes. Like back away from the Abortion issue, and Gay Marriage. You think it wise to alienate people that are unwilling to compromise their true beliefs and fundamental core values? It's not. Becoming the Left, is what got you out of power to begin with. Here are a few things that you need to refocus on.

1 - The Constitution is the Final Authority.
2 - Abortion IS Murder. It is also NOT a Constitutional Right.
3 - Smaller, less intrusive Government. Let the American People BE the American People.
4 - NO AMNESTY! Period.
5 - The fact that Government is not the solution to the problem. Government IS the Problem.
6 - Marriage is legally defined by a Union of One Man and One Woman.
7 - Stop interfering in the Free Market. Stop attempting to control Private Industries.
8 - Before the Government starts creating idiotic laws that will hurt the average American, make sure that you actually have REAL Scientific Evidence to back it up. Not to mention, and Constitutional Right to do what you want to do.
9 - Being humble goes a long way. BE the Party "By the People, FOR the People"
10 - Do not go around apologizing for America's Greatness. CELEBRATE IT. Show us how you plan to keep us safe, and show those that would like to kill us, they will lose, in NO uncertain terms.

Before a Conservative Independent like me, or any TRUE Conservatives out there, be they Republican, or even Democrat, {Can be done, remember Reagan Democrats?} are going to give you a chance, let alone a Dime, you are going to have to prove to us that you are the better choice. That there is actually a difference. America NEEDS something new, fresh, and SANE. We need a choice. Right now? There seems to be little prospects that you have anything to offer.
Peter

North Korea Nuclear, Iran Soon To Be, Obama Over His Head

We do live in dangerous times.

Hey folks,

OK, to the hard news. What do you think will be the topic of conversation on June 16 between South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak and President Barack Obama? It had better be North Korea.

I know some of you may not know this, but way back when, in the beginning or the War being taken to Iraq, I said I think we need to be concentrated on North Korea. Instead of going after a guy with a sling shot in a desert, we should be going after the one that HAS WMDs, and said in not uncertain terms he would love to use them against us.

Remember when North Korea was heating up the first time around? June 20, 2006 I posted on this. I said this.

The United States, Japan, Australia, South Korea and other countries have urged North Korea to abandon any missile firing. North Korea fuels the missile. Plans the launch. Their reason? North Korea says it needs nuclear weapons and a delivery system to counter what it contends are U.S. intentions to invade or topple the government. Of course this is not true.

Secretary Rice said,

"It would be a very serious matter and, indeed, a provocative act should North Korea decide to launch that missile," That it "would once again show North Korea is determined to deepen its isolation, determined not to take a path that is a path of compromise and a path of peace, but rather instead to once again saber-rattle."


Now today, According to The AFP - US warns NKorea amid reports of rocket launch preparations

SEOUL (AFP) – Unfazed by international anger at its second nuclear bomb test, a defiant North Korea was said Saturday to be preparing to launch a long-range missile.

The United States stressed it would not accept the North as a nuclear-armed state and warned that more atomic tests could spark an arms race in East Asia.

"A train carrying a long-range missile has been spotted at the weapons research centre near Pyongyang," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted an intelligence source as saying.

The source said it may be a modified version of a Taepodong-2, which the North tested in 2006 and in April and which is theoretically capable of reaching Alaska.

"It usually takes about two months to set up a launch pad, but the process could be done in as little as two weeks, which means the North could launch a long-range missile as early as mid-June," the source said.

Yonhap quoted a presidential official as saying the North may schedule a launch to coincide with a June 16 summit between South Korean President Lee Mying-Bak
{Actually it's President Lee Myung-Bak} and US President Barack Obama in Washington.

Two defence officials in Washington told AFP US satellite photos had shown vehicle activity at two launch sites, one in the west and one in the east.

Diplomats at the United Nations Security Council are discussing a new resolution which could impose new sanctions to punish the North for Monday's nuclear test -- its second since 2006.

In a telephone conversation Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso agreed "that one has to seriously respond (to the tests), which represent a challenge to international security," a Kremlin statement said.

Pyongyang says it will take "additional self-defence measures" in response to any sanctions.

The North has further fuelled tensions in the past week by launching six short-range missiles, renouncing the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 and threatening possible attacks on South Korea.

Analysts believe ailing leader Kim Jong-Il is trying to bolster his authority with the test to prepare for an eventual succession.

Meetings were held in five provinces to hail the event, the country's official news agency reported.

Speakers stressed it "greatly encouraged the Korean people in their dynamic drive for effecting a new great revolutionary surge and dealt telling blows at the US imperialists and their followers keen to stifle the DPRK (North Korea)," it said.

Analysts believe the North is not interested in further disarmament negotiations unless it is accepted as a nuclear-armed state.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates insisted that will not happen.

"The policy of the United States has not changed. Our goal is complete and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state," he told a Singapore security conference.

"North Korea's nuclear programme and actions constitute a threat to regional peace and security," Gates said, adding they pose "the potential for some kind of an arms race here in this region."

Gates said Washington "will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in Asia -- or on us," but stressed there was no immediate military threat to the United States.

South Korean and US forces on the peninsula are on heightened alert for any border clashes.

South Korean Defence Minister Lee Sang-Hee, who met Gates on the sidelines of the conference, said their patience with North Korea was running out.

"A strong response has been agreed on by the US and South Korea against any active military provocation," Lee said.

The North walked out of six-nation nuclear disarmament talks after the Security Council condemned its April 5 rocket launch and tightened existing sanctions.

The United States is sending two diplomats to consult the other nations who were negotiating with the North -- China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

Stephen Bosworth, the special envoy on North Korea, and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg will head Sunday to Tokyo and later visit China, South Korea and Russia, the State Department said.

Kim Jong-Il "is determined to go out with a bang and not a whimper," US analyst Marcus Noland wrote in The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi.

"Severely weakened by a stroke last year, the emaciated Kim has been frenetically delivering 'on-the-spot guidance,' as if to reassure himself and his country that he is still in control," Noland wrote.


If we had dealt with this before we went into Iraq? Who knows. But now we have what we have. At the same time we have Little Hitler {President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad} telling everyone that Iran has boosted its capacity to enrich uranium.

Ahmadinejad said last month that Iran had 7,000 centrifuges at its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz in central Iran.

"Now we have more than 7,000 centrifuges and the West dare not threaten us," IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying on a small radio station late Wednesday.

Senator Lieberman wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. He said this.

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that it is imperative that the world prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. She pledged that the Obama administration's engagement with Iran to achieve that end would be carried out "with eyes wide open and under no illusions."

Mrs. Clinton is right. Iran's illicit nuclear activities represent a uniquely dangerous and transformational threat to the United States and the rest of the world -- a threat that demands a response of open-eyed realism.

A realistic response requires that we first recognize that the danger posed by the Islamic Republic's nuclear activities cannot be divorced from its broader foreign policy ambitions and patterns of behavior -- in particular, its longstanding use of terrorist proxies to destabilize and weaken its Arab neighbors and Israel, to carve out spheres of Iranian influence in the Mideast, and to tilt the region toward extremism.

The Iranians have supported Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories, and Shiite militias in Iraq. They have sponsored terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of innocent Muslims throughout the region. They have also exploited the plight of the Palestinians in a cynical attempt to put a wedge between moderate Arab governments and their people."


Obama has been so busy trying to "fundamentally change" this country, turning it into the new USSA, that he doesn't seem to have a clue as to what to do with all this. They all KNOW it too. Little Hitler does not fear Obama. Kim Jong-Il does not fear Obama. The Islamic Terrorists, do not fear Obama. the more Obama becomes like them, and the more Obama spends our way into bankruptcy, the less time and money he has to do anything about THEM.

I guess that apology tour didn't do the trick. Huh? I guess Obama being elected did not make the world "love us again." Huh? Wave your hand Obama, wave your hand. SMILE Obama SMILE! Take the lead of one of your advisers, quote Winnie the Pooh. Do something. Make them "Love us." We truly do live in dangerous times.
Peter

Sources
AFP - US warns NKorea amid reports of rocket launch preparations
Iran Focus / Wall Street Journal -
There's no room for partisanship on Iran

Do Not Dare To Give The President A Letter

You Can't Make This Stuff Up Category 053109

Hey folks,

In the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up Category," for today, 053109, we learn just how open and accessible our new Kin,,I mean President is. Obama does not have time to deal with little people that wish to ask him a honest question, {Ask Joe The Plumber} or give the President a letter. Even if you have the proper Press Credentials. Just ask Brenda Lee.

That's right, turns out that Brenda Lee, a Reporter, with White House Press Credentials, was bullied, threatened, and DRAGGED away from where she was standing. Why? Because she DARED to wait for President Obama to give him a letter. Was it a threatening letter? Nope. It was a letter urging him "to take a stand for traditional marriage." That's it folks.

According to The Huffington Post - Brenda Lee, Reporter, Dragged Kicking And Screaming From Near Air Force One

LOS ANGELES — A writer for a small Georgia newspaper who wanted to give President Barack Obama a letter was forcibly removed from a press area near Air Force One on Thursday shortly before he arrived at the airport.

Airport security officers carried the woman away by the feet and arms as she protested her removal. She was then allowed to leave. She said the letter she had written was opposing gay marriage.

She later identified herself as Brenda Lee, a writer for the Georgia Informer in Macon, and said she is a "Roman Catholic priestess" who lives in Anaheim, Calif. She said she has White House press credentials.

The newspaper's Web site says it is a monthly publication; the site has writings by Lee posted. A call to the newspaper was not immediately returned.

The White House had no comment, said deputy press secretary Josh Earnest in Washington.

The incident occurred about 10 minutes before Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport by helicopter to board Air Force One. He had been in Los Angeles to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.

Lee said later in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that she wanted to hand Obama a letter urging him "to take a stand for traditional marriage."

She said she asked a Secret Service agent to give the president her letter, but he refused and referred her to a White House staffer. Lee said she refused to give the staffer the letter.

"I said, 'I'll take my chances if (the president) comes by here,'" said Lee. "He became annoyed that I wouldn't give him the letter."

Lee said she protested when she was asked to leave.

"I said, 'Why are you bothering me?' They escorted me outside the gate," she said. She said security officers allowed her to return when she promised she would not yell or wave, but then other officers arrived and told her to leave.

"I said, 'I'm not leaving,'" she said. "They tried to drag me out."

Two officers then picked her up and carried her out. An Associated Press photographer photographed the incident.

"I was afraid you could see under my clothes," she said, her voice choking up.

Lee, who said this was the second presidential event she has covered, was later released.


No explanation and no comment by the White House on this? I guess there really need not be. You have this average Citizen that wanted to give the President a letter that she had written, as to not waste his precious time standing there talking to a peasant, and yet she was carried away? Literally. Don't you know Ms. Lee? The President doesn't have time to deal with little people like you. That's why his Crew carried you away. How DARE you think that you could possibly correspond with the President directly. You being a Minority Woman should know that. As long as you voted for him, that's good. You did your job. Now, just go away.
Peter

Sources:
The Huffington Post - Brenda Lee, Reporter, Dragged Kicking And Screaming From Near Air Force One

Scientists develop new basis for H5N1 vaccine: WHO

Bird Flu Update 053109

Hey folks,

We're back and talking about the Bird Flu. Yes, the Bird Flu. Not the infamous Swine Flu that we have been following so closely, that HAS Avian influenza as part of it's make up, but Bird Flu itself. In today's Health and Science Segment, we learn that there may be a new Hope in our battle against H5N1. According to Reuters - Scientists develop new basis for H5N1 vaccine: WHO By Laura MacInnis Laura Macinnis – Thu May 28, 10:04 am ET

GENEVA (Reuters) – Scientists have used bird flu virus samples from Egypt to develop a new basis for a vaccine against the toxic H5N1 strain that continues to circulate, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Avian influenza kills about half the people it infects, but unlike the quickly circulating H1N1 flu virus has not been shown to pass easily between humans to date.

The WHO said the candidate virus was developed at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta "thanks to the ministry of health and population of Egypt, for providing virus specimens,"

"This recombinant vaccine virus is available for distribution," it said in a statement on its website.

"Institutions, companies and others interested in pandemic vaccine development who wish to receive these candidate vaccine viruses should contact either the WHO Global Influenza Program ... or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Pharmaceutical companies including Novartis are already working on vaccines against H5N1 bird flu, which has killed or forced the culling of more than 300 million birds since 2003 as it spread to 61 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

While eclipsed on the headlines by the highly contagious H1N1 strain, which proved deadly in its North American epicenter but has caused mild symptoms as it spread, the WHO stressed it was important to remember the risks posed by avian influenza.

The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization reported 250 outbreaks of H5N1 in birds in February alone -- in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal and Vietnam.

Avian influenza has killed 261 people out of 424 infected since 2003. By contrast, the H1N1 strain, commonly known as swine flu and which has put the world on pandemic alert, has infected more than 13,000 people but killed just 95, according to WHO figures.

Its statement on Thursday said flu experts were continuing to monitor the evolution of avian influenza and other flu viruses and stressed the need for countries to keep providing samples of identified strains.

"Countries are encouraged to share with WHO their specimens and/or isolates, both from humans and animals, for their inclusion in the WHO H5N1 vaccine virus development and selection process, in addition to other activities of public health significance," it said.

Virus sharing is a sensitive topic for developing countries such as Indonesia, who have bristled at the idea of companies using their biological material to manufacture and patent vaccines that are then sold at unaffordable prices.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, who raised the United Nations agency's pandemic alert to 5 out of 6 in response to the fast spread of swine flu, is trying to broker an international agreement on the sharing of virus samples by January 2010.

She has called on countries to do all they can to ensure fresh samples of both H5N1 and the new H1N1 strains reach the pharmaceutical community so that their vaccines can offer immunity against the latest forms of the viruses.

The WHO's statement did not include new guidance on the H1N1 virus or vaccines to fight it. WHO officials have said they would offer recommendations "during the summer" about how many pandemic vaccines focused on that strain may needed, depending on whether it continues to cause mild effects as its spreads.

British scientists have produced a strain of H1N1 flu virus which could be used for large-scale production of a vaccine, should it go ahead.

That strain is being made available to the pharmaceutical industry and other flu laboratories, Britain's Health Protection Agency said on Thursday, describing it as "a crucial step toward large scale production of a vaccine against swine flu."


So not only may we have some good news on the Bird Flu front, but also the Swine as well. For those of you who wonder why I focus on following these things so closely it's because the more informed we are, the better prepared to deal with anything that arises we will be. I'm not fearful of these things. I am not advocating you lock yourselves away or buy one of those stupid and useless masks. I am keeping you informed of what IS out there and keeping an eye on it so we have no surprises.

I will continue to post updates when necessary of this and Swine Flu. Rest assured, any information that pops up that you need to know about, like this vaccine, you can feel confident that you will find it here.
Peter

Sources:
Reuters - Scientists develop new basis for H5N1 vaccine: WHO

IWA for Sunday 053109

A Racist would restate a comment after taking heat? Really?

Hey folks,

OK. We're back. Time to wrap things up with the IWA. Yes, this week was easy. The way all IWA's should be. But this one actually has the President attempting to defend the indefensible.

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Sorry. But that is a Racist statement. I do not care how you want to reword it NOW. Nor do I even care that the latest excuse is: The remark was in the context her saying that "our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging."

There are a few different problems with this. First, it is Racist. Second, it goes against what the very role of what a Judge, especially a Supreme Court Judge, is to be.

First the Race thing. OK. I want you to imagine a White Male being nominating and coming out and saying that Because he is a White Man, he will reach a better conclusion than a Black Woman. Or being a Christian, he will reach a better conclusion than an Atheist. I GUARANTEE that his name would be withdrawn REGARDLESS of whatever excuse he or others attempted to make for him. But because she is a Latina Woman, it's find.

Second. A Judge should be color blind. A Judge is NOT suppose to bring their own life experiences into the court. A Judge is suppose to be impartial. It does not matter who goes before the Judge, it is the Judges job to look at all the facts presented, and apply the Law to the situation. This whole concept that the next Justice needs to be Empathetic? To what? Who? No, the next Justice, like any other, needs to understand the Law, including the ones that govern THEM.

No folks. She is NOT the right person for this job. Now of course the MMD is gathering around her, and the White House is attempting to spin. Obama just said Friday, when asked about this, he said this.

"I'm sure she would have restated it."

Really? Why? She truly believes this. He also said.

"If you look in the entire sweep of the essay that she wrote, what's clear is that she was simply saying that her life experiences will give her information about the struggles and hardships that people are going through, that will make her a good judge," Obama said in the broadcast interview.

That is NOT what she said, nor what she meant. Sorry. Both are clear.

She also believes this. Remember this? Some of her thoughts on Judges' role in shaping policy were captured on video.

No. She really is not the best person for the Job. But she is the PERFECT person for the IWA. Congratulations Sonia Sotomayor, for displaying your total, either ignorance of what a Role of a Judge is, or the Arrogance to not care, and for the now infamous Racial remark, you ARE the Idiot of the Week. Do not worry though, you will be confirmed. Congratulations on that as well.
Peter

Sources:
AP - Obama sure Sotomayor would restate 2001 comment

Friday, May 29, 2009

Facts on Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Judge Sonia Sotomayor's arrogance and disregard for law is troubling.

Hey folks,

Finally it is FRIDAY! Happy Friday to you. First a quick note. Yesterday was not my fault. Comcast was doing some "Routine Maintenance" which shut down their Internet connections for all of Stuart and neighboring area's. By the time it got back up, it was to late for me to discuss what I wanted to. Perhaps on Sunday.

Since it IS Friday, it's time to go to the Emails. This one was sent in by our friend BG. He does find some great stuff. It is from the Heritage Foundation. Here it is.

The Facts on Obama's Supreme Court Nominee

President Barack Obama this morning nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.

» To ensure lawmakers, the media and the America can get all the facts on the Supreme Court vacancy,
The Heritage Foundation has created a Rapid Response web page. Be sure to check back for all the latest updates.

Senators should "engage in robust advice and consent to assure that if confirmed Judge Sotomayor would not use her seat…to advance liberal policy preferences," argues
Heritage Foundation Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow and former Attorney General Edwin Meese.

The "advice and consent" process, mandated by the Constitution, is a delicate and timely one. Senators should use it to determine whether Judge Sotomayor will faithfully and impartially interpret the Constitution and laws of this nation -- and not shape them to her policy preferences.

"Nominations should be judged by a common standard: Will they apply the Constitution of the United States and the law as it is written and according to its original meaning?"
asks Heritage expert Conn Carroll. "Or will they use the lifetime appointment to enact policy preferences from the bench?"

Judge Sotomayor, who sits on the Federal Court of Appeals in New York, has a long record of statements about the proper role of judges, many of which raise important questions.
Heritage constitutional scholar Robert Alt explains:

Judge Sotomayor's statements about judges as policymakers, her questioning of whether judges can be objective in most cases, and her insensitive statement that the ethnicity of some judges somehow makes them better at doing their job than judges of different ethnicity—raise serious questions about her view of judging which must be carefully and fully explored by the Senate.

Some of her thoughts on judges' role in shaping policy were
captured on video.

President Obama has established an "aggressive confirmation timetable,"
writes Heritage senior policy analyst Andrew Grossman. But his push to complete all hearings and vote before Congress' August recess may be hasty and "risks shortchanging the Constitution's commands."

The Senate "should not delay" the confirmation process, Grossman argues, "but nor should it be rushed." - Amanda Reinecker


LINK: The Heritage Foundation

Now to address my new fan, "Nameless cynic," and those that think like he does, for just a second. Yes, I understand that she will be replacing a Lib LEANING Judge. I said that. But she would have NEVER got elevated to where she is now, if it were not for the sole purpose of the fact she is a Hispanic Female that does NOT agree with the Constitution. She is a Racist, and follows in Obama's Racism tendencies. She will be a Lackey. That's it. But of course pointing things like this out just get me and others called Racist. {Smile}

The fact is, she stands for and will push for Obama's agendas. Some of which are EXSTREMELY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Not that people like Nameless care about the Constitution. I and most American DO.

More and more people are waking up. They are seeing Obama for what he is. A fraud and a failure. Trillions spent. NOTHING solved. Him coming out yesterday saying that the economy is coming back from the brink is just completely pathetic. He is either outright lying to the American people, or, he truly is that ignorant. I'm not sure what's worse.

See you all Sunday.
Peter

Note: "From The Emails" is a weekly segment in the Friday edition of the OPNtalk Blog. If you care to send in News Articles, Comments, Stories, or anything else you may wish to share, please feel free to send it to opntalk@aim.com As always, you never know what you are going to see here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Told You Judge Sonia Sotomayor Fits Obama Agenda

You heard it here first. Pro Amnesty, Anti Life, Liberal, Judicial Activist

Hey folks,

Happy Hump Day. For those of you who are true OPNers, Judge Sonia Sotomayor is no surprise. I told you back on May 5, 2009, that she fits the Obama Agenda. Democrats Want Lackey Judge

"There is speculation that he is looking at Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in NY. Remember her? Sotomayer was on the panel that rejected a new trial for the former radical activist, Judith Clark who is imprisoned for being the getaway driver in a 1981 Rockland County armored-truck robbery. The incident left three people dead, including two police officers.

"See? She is not a Radical. She did not advocate from the bench. She would make a great Judge. She was even appointed by President George H W Bush."

However, The Wall Street Journal called her a "liberal." The Free Congress Foundation called her a "Judicial Activist." Amnesty groups pushed for her confirmation in 98. She was confirmed on October 2, 1998 in a 67-29 vote, and she received her Commission on October 7.

She is a big Amnesty Advocate and a big Anti-Life Advocate. {Pro-Choice} So she fits the Obama Agenda...."


Obama did pick her yesterday. This is his choice for the highest court in the land. According to some news out there, she found her inspiration reading Nancy Drew. Uh, OK. She had a hard life. OK. She is Hispanic. You don't say. She is a Woman. Really? "A Victory for Latina Moms?" Of course the Left is calling this "Brilliant, Historic, Wise."

It's called Identity Politics. It is also called putting someone up, that RACE can be used to defend her, leaving facts aside, to get a lackey in place to further an agenda. If you dare say anything against her RECORD. Her own STATEMENTS. Her own ACTIONS. Then YOU are a Racists. That is how Obama got elected. This is how Sotomayor will be confirmed. But facts are facts.

Even the New York Times said this yesterday.

Judge Sotomayor "has issued no major decisions concerning abortion, the death penalty, gay rights or national security. In cases involving criminal defendants, employment discrimination and free speech, her rulings are more liberal than not."

It is clear who she is and where she stands. In 2001 when delivering the Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture at the University of California-Berkeley Law School, Sotomayor said this.

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Some say this is a very controversial and even offensive statement. But that is what Obama TOLD you he was looking for. Not someone with experience in the Law. Not someone that believes in the Constitution, he doesn't, but someone that will rule by life experiences. Empathy.

Yes, with the MMD {Mainstream Media Drones} simply keep hammering that this is brilliant and you are a Racist if you disagree, and of course the fact she has a lot of friends on the Left that have the power to rush her into the Seat, this is a done deal. Elections have consequences. She can not be stopped. Look for Amnesty, Prop 8 to be visited, and of course Abortion, to be on the docket once she is in place. Constitutional Challenges? I doubt you would like the outcome of those. No folks. Another blow to Freedom and Democracy. Another Radical to be put in place.

The only way you can slow any of this down at all, is to get ready, get educated on what is happening right in front of you, and go VOTE when the time comes. Do it before your vote no longer matters.
Peter

Sources:
OPNTalk - Democrats Want Lackey Judge
NYT -
Sotomayor’s Rulings Are Exhaustive but Often Narrow

Swine Flu Update 052709

CDC Case Count

No New Information Except Case Count

Alabama 66 cases 0 deaths
Arkansas 4 cases 0 deaths
Arizona 531 cases 3 deaths
California 553 cases 0 deaths
Colorado 60 cases 0 deaths
Connecticut 102 cases 0 deaths
Delaware 102 cases 0 deaths
Florida 139 cases 0 deaths
Georgia 28 cases 0 deaths
Hawaii 40 cases 0 deaths
Idaho 9 cases 0 deaths
Illinois 896 cases 0 deaths
Indiana 120 cases 0 deaths
Iowa 71 cases 0 deaths
Kansas 34 cases 0 deaths
Kentucky** 27 cases 0 deaths
Louisiana 86 cases 0 deaths
Maine 9 cases 0 deaths
Maryland 41 cases 0 deaths
Massachusetts 238 cases 0 deaths
Michigan 176 cases 0 deaths
Minnesota 44 cases 0 deaths
Mississippi 7 cases 0 deaths
Missouri 24 cases 1 deaths
Montana 12 cases 0 deaths
Nebraska 29 cases 0 deaths
Nevada 49 cases 0 deaths
New Hampshire 23 cases 0 deaths
New Jersey 29 cases 0 deaths
New Mexico 97 cases 0 deaths
New York 343 cases 1 deaths
North Carolina 12 cases 0 deaths
North Dakota 6 cases 0 deaths
Ohio 14 cases 0 deaths
Oklahoma 51 cases 0 deaths
Oregon 116 cases 0 deaths
Pennsylvania 88 cases 0 deaths
Rhode Island 10 cases 0 deaths
South Carolina 36 cases 0 deaths
South Dakota 3 cases 0 deaths
Tennessee 94 cases 0 deaths
Texas 900 cases 3 deaths
Utah 122 cases 1 deaths
Vermont 2 cases 0 deaths
Virginia 25 cases 0 deaths
Washington 517 cases 1 death
Washington, D.C. 13 cases 0 deaths
Wisconsin 766 cases 0 deaths
TOTAL*(48) 6,764 cases 10 deaths

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Obama and the Media Never Learn, Ahmadinejad Will Not Stop

People wonder why I state the fact I know Little Hitler better than Obama

Hey folks,

Just this past Sunday I said this.

"That's right. Little Hitler himself proved his intentions Wednesday when they successfully tested a long range missile that is capable of hitting Israel. It is also capable of carrying a Nuclear Warhead."

I also said this.

"Folks, he has been telling the world his intentions for YEARS. He is going to win this election, and he will continue his quest until he is stopped by force. It really is that simple." OPNTalk - Iran Missile Test Should be Cause For Concern to Obama

Now the Media was reporting what they were told to. Ahmadinejad's time is running out and that Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu agreed that talking to Little Hitler was a good idea. That we would be going on with negotiations and Hillary was running around calling for more Sanctions.

Well, this is completely false and ignorant. Ahmadinejad is not going anywhere, and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not see talks with Ahmadinejad as all that useful, and he will do whatever it takes to protect Israel from this growing threat, with or without us. Obama still seems to be under the false impression that he can just go over and wave his hand and Iran will love us. {Sigh}

Then some in the Media was reporting that Iran has decided that talks on their Nuclear programs were a good Idea, but would have to wait until after their elections. Really? Not according to Aljazeera.net - Iran rejects nuclear dialogue

Iran's president has ruled out any talks with major powers over its nuclear programme, saying the issue is "closed".

"We have said this before and we are saying it right now, that we will not talk about the nuclear issue with those outside the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday.

Ahmadinejad did offer to "debate ... on global issues as well as world peace and security" with Barack Obama, his US counterpart, at the UN General Assembly in September.


Of course, as I keep telling you, STALLING TACTICS. But Obama is not going to convince Little Hitler from giving up his quest to get a Nuclear weapon that he will USE to wipe Israel off the map. That he could use against US.

Obama has urged a "serious process of engagement" with Iran, but last week threatened deeper sanctions if Tehran did not respond positively to attempts to open dialogue over Iran's nuclear agenda.

Western nations, including the US, have accused Iran of planning to develop atomic weapons, but Tehran insists that it only wants the technology for energy production.

Javier Solana, the European Union foreign minister, held talks with Said Jalili, Iran's nuclear negotiator, in April about discussions with the so-called P5-plus-1, which includes the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.

The group's dialogue with Iran has been on hold since last September.


Talks will not work folks. Sanctions will not work. We are just wasting time. Like I said, with the long range missile test, Little Hitler made his intentions CRYSTAL CLEAR! Now he is coming out and flat out telling Obama, Nuclear talks are off the table, PERIOD. How many times and ways does he have to tell us this. Even Ahmadinejad seems to be getting frustrated at having to continuously repeat it. "We have said this before and we are saying it right now," {Laughing} Why is Obama NOT getting the message?
Peter

Sources:
Aljazeera.net -
Iran rejects nuclear dialogue

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chevron's Ecuadorian Battle, More At Stake Than You Think

You NEED to be aware if this.

Hey folks,

In this weeks "From the Energy Front," we are going to look at the legal battle between Chevron and the Government of Ecuador. Why? Because there is far more at stake here than money, and YES, it DOES effect YOU.

You see folks;

Texaco Petroleum (Texpet) was minority partner in an exploration and production venture with Petroecuador, Ecuador's state-owned oil company. The production operation took place primarily on government lands and was conducted in compliance with Ecuadorian laws and regulations. Roughly 1.7 million barrels of crude oil were produced, with the Government of Ecuador (GOE) receiving 95 percent of the total financial proceeds.

At the conclusion of the venture's twenty-year concession, the area and facilities of the former consortium were subjected to a government-supervised audit, which, together with other Government data, became the basis for a settlement agreement under which Texpet was required to conduct environmental remediation with respect to sites in proportion to its one third interest in the venture. To that end, Texpet executed a $40 million remediation and public works program under close GOE supervision; Texpet's remediation was fully inspected, certified and approved by the GOE; and the GOE granted Texpet a full and complete release of all further claims, liabilities and obligations associated with Texpet's operations in Ecuador.

The release documents were signed by GOE's Minister of Mines & Energy, the President of Petroecuador, and the General Manager of Petroproducción--the operational division of Petroecuador. Texpet has had no role whatsoever in exploration and production operations in Ecuador since 1992.

Since 1992, the only one operating in Ecuador is the State Run Oil company Petroecuador. Unlike Texaco and or now Chevron, which bought out Texaco in 2001, Petroecuador has a losy enviromental record, and is fully responsible for any harm that has come to the people of Ecuador.

The following Video describes the undeniable facts of this case. It is a little over 13 minutes long but well worth the time.

YouTube - Video

So lets review.

The environmental case pending against Chevron in Ecuador has devolved into a runaway judicial farce, orchestrated by a community of interest made up of U.S.-based contingency-fee lawyers seeking a financial bonanza and the government of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, which seeks both a financial and political windfall. Four facts about the case cannot be disputed:

1. At the conclusion of the oil production concession between Texaco Petroleum (“Texpet,” a subsidiary of Texaco, which merged with a Chevron subsidiary in 2001)and the government of Ecuador in 1992, the parties conducted a full environmental audit, and Texpet performed a multi-year, $40 million remediation program proportionate to its minority ownership share of the Consortium. That program was approved by the government of Ecuador, which then granted Texpet and all related entities a full and complete release from any remaining environmental liability associated with the consortium’s operations.

2. When the same U.S. contingency-fee lawyers initially filed the Aguinda case —the precursor to today’s Lago Agrio lawsuit—in U.S. federal court in 1993, the then government of Ecuador formally intervened in the case and advised the court that the government, not private plaintiffs, had the exclusive right to assert claims for environmental impacts to the government-owned lands upon which the oil operations had been conducted, and that the government had resolved those claims through the negotiated remediation program and the related Settlement and Release.

3.By its own admission, the government of Ecuador for years neglected to perform its share of the environmental remediation. Indeed, in sharp contrast, it has systematically starved its wholly-owned oil operations of the funds necessary for reasonable maintenance and responsible oil field operations, preferring instead to divert its billions of dollars in oil proceeds to other purposes.

4. Since the government of Ecuador assumed full ownership of the operation nearly 20 years ago, Petroecuador has compiled a deplorable record of environmental irresponsibility, tallying more than 1,400 oil spills since 2000 alone.


These facts by themselves demonstrate that the government of Ecuador, not Chevron, bears both the legal and moral responsibility for the environmental conditions presently on display in Petroecuador’s production area.

For the U.S.-based contingency-fee lawyers, this case has never been about facts, evidence or law. Instead, it has been a constant campaign of misinformation designed to pressure Chevron into a large financial settlement. Their campaign features the compelling visual images of the environmental neglect at Petroecuador’s production sites and the impoverished conditions of the people residing in the area, but conveniently sidesteps the fact that Texpet cleaned up its portion of the operation and that Petroecuador has been the sole owner and operator of the area for nearly 20 years. There can be no serious question about the motives of the U.S. contingency-fee lawyers conducting this case. Philadelphia lawyer Joe Kohn, the financier behind the litigation, appeared in the recent movie Crude, saying unashamedly that this matter “was not taken as a pro bono case, you know a lot of my motivation is, at the end of the day, is that it will be a lucrative case for the firm.” This blind pursuit of money above all else is demonstrated by the fact that the plaintiffs’ lawyers, in apparent disregard for the supposed interests of their clients, actually asked the government to cease environmental cleanup of Petroecuador sites so as not to interfere with their case.

For the current government of Ecuador, the case offers twin benefits. By publicly demanding a verdict against Chevron and pressuring the judicial system under his control to that end, President Correa burnishes his image as a revolutionary man of the people crusading against foreign economic interests. At the same time, the government of Ecuador diverts blame for the state-owned oil company’s undeniable and well-documented environmental mismanagement and for the government’s failure to provide basic sanitation and healthcare infrastructure in the Oriente region.

Emboldened by the open and public support they have received from the Correa government, the plaintiffs’ lawyers have brazenly transformed the case from a claim for environmental remediation into a demand that Chevron spend billions of dollars to reconstruct the government’s wholly-owned oil production infrastructure and to install water systems and healthcare facilities throughout the former concession area. The plaintiffs also demand that Chevron pay more than $8 billion in compensation for alleged “unjust enrichment,” despite the fact that the government of Ecuador took more than 95 percent of the Consortium’s proceeds when Texpet was participating and has been the 100 percent owner of the oil operation since 1992.

Since the Correa government assumed power and consolidated executive control over the other branches of Ecuadorian government, the lawsuit has lost any semblance of impartiality or basic fairness. Most significantly, the court has abandoned the due process guarantees mandated by Ecuadorian law, eliminated the plaintiffs’ burden of proof, and substituted in its place the work of a patently unqualified mining engineer, Mr. Richard Cabrera. Mr. Cabrera has suggested a wholly illegitimate and unsubstantiated damage and penalty recommendation against Chevron in excess of $27 billion. Mr. Cabrera was not only paid solely by the plaintiffs, but he openly relied on them to staff his effort while seeking to obstruct Chevron’s representatives from even observing his work. In fact, major portions of his submissions to the court are cribbed from the plaintiffs’ own submissions, if not written by them directly. His work product is devoid of scientific content, lacks even the most basic evidentiary support, and assesses monetary relief for alleged environmental damage and health claims he has never even bothered to investigate, inspect or verify.

Early in his administration, President Correa openly campaigned for a verdict against Chevron, at the same time that the government proclaimed that any judge who issued opinions inconsistent with the government’s interests would be subject to dismissal and even possible criminal prosecution. In these sad circumstances, it would be nothing short of professional suicide for the court in Lago Agrio to do anything other than rule against Chevron.


Now I know some of you are sitting back, even after watching the Video, saying, OK. This is interesting, but why should I care? How does any of this effect me? It is going to effect you in ways that you can not even imagine. This is nothing more than attempt, riddled with corruption, to shake down the Chevron Corporation for 27 Billion dollars for something they have no hand in. But that does not matter. They want to put the blame on them and charge them with all these environmental travesties. However, what will this case ACTUALLY do?

A- This will set a prescient that can and will be used in the future to redistribute wealth. An excuse to steal Chevron and other Oil Companies profits. In the name of saving the planet.

B- Will also allow them {The Lawyers, Judges, and Government} more power to control NEW Drilling in different locations. They can then say, "look what happened in Ecuador, we can not have this 'here.'" Wherever here may be.

C- Make the Lawyers and Government a lot of money.

D- Make a take over by the Government even more palatable to the American Sheeple, uh, People. This can be done the same way as the replacement of the Moritoria, and or stopping Drilling already in progress. "look what happened in Ecuador, we can not allow the Oil Companies to do whatever they want and make this insane amount of profit while destroying the Environment, so we will take over the industry, and they will do whatever we tell them to do."

Remember the immortal words of Senator Maxine Waters

"And guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal would be all about socialize -- uh, uh, would be about basically taking over and the government running all of your companies."

Talking about Big Oil. They have been trying to find a way to do this for a while. If they can saddle Chevron with Ecuador, then it will be much easier for them to sell it to the American people. Why? Because if you actually look at the FACTS, the TRUTH, "Big Oil" has one of the cleanest track records in history when it come to the environment. Not to mention, Texaco, or Texpet, was already released and signed off on, and Chevron had nothing to do with Ecuador. They can not use facts and truth.

So this may not seem like it effects you, but I assure you it does. Look at the track record? Obama and crew take over the Financial Institutions, Billions spend, nothing solved. Housing? Same thing. AGI? Same thing. Now Auto companies. GM now stands for Government Motors. They WANT you to be forced to buying the idiotic, "Green Cars." Now if they OWN or Control the Oil Companies, they can ensure no new drilling, no alternatives, unless the Government get's their share of course, and higher gas prices. See the Connection?
Peter

Sources:
Texaco in Ecuador - Chevron in Ecuador
Chevron Corporate Memo {PDF} - Texaco Petroleum, Ecuador and the Lawsuit against Chevron
YouTube - Video

HAPPY MERORIAL DAY 052509

HAPPY MERORIAL DAY


I stand when I see a Service Person. I shake their hand. I do not care who they are, where they are from, what faith they follow. When they wear that uniform, they are one. They are a Soldier, a Warrior. One that has CHOSEN to take it upon themselves to do whatever it takes., to pay whatever the price, to keep me safe.

To all those that came before. To all those that sign up today, knowing they maybe required to give the ultimate sacrifice. To all the families that stand behind and proudly support them. This proud American says THANK YOU!

Happy Memorial Day to you all. Gods bless you and keep you safe.
Peter

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pelosi Says No More Questions, Press Says OK

Preview for Sunday 052409

Hey folks,

Welcome to the BIGGEST Big Sunday Edition EVER. Glad you can join us today. Never before has this preview been more important. The links more important. We have for you EIGHT posts today. If you do not want to read Obama's Speech, click on Cheney's. If you do not want to read my analysis of the dueling speeches, click on Diabetes. So on so forth. Some of the following are quite lengthy, so click on whatever you want to read. I encourage you to read them all of course, but I understand that time can be a factor.

Before we get to all that, I did want to point out something that was interesting. Did you catch Pelosi's command to the press "No more questions?" and their response "OK?"

PELOSI: I have made the statement that I'm going to make on this. I don't have anything more to say about it. I stand by my comment, and what we are doing is stay on our course and not be -- uh, eh, err -- distracted from it going forward in a bipartisan way for jobs, health care, energy for our country and -- and -- and that on the subject that you asked I've made the statement that I'm going to make. I won't have anything more to say about it.

REPORTERS: (shouting questions)

PELOSI: I won't have anything more to say about it!

REPORTER: Madam Speaker --

PELOSI: Another subject.

And another subject it was. Not another word about it. Nor is there likely to be if the reporter wants to keep their job.

Anyway, coming right up today?

President Barack Obama Speech on 052009
Former Vice President Dick Cheney Speech at AEI
Dick Cheney Mopped the Floor With Obama, Press Livid
Californians Say No More Money Liberals
Iran Missile Test Should be Cause For Concern to Obama
Catholic Church Sells Out On Life
Diabetes
IWA for Sunday 052409

All that in just a second. First I want to make you aware of something. Here is something we need to keep an eye on.





Senate Bill - 787

The person that put this together said this.

If the federal government takes control over all the non-navigable water in the US and the land adjoining it, then it will have the right to seize it and give it away.

Give it away to who?

Well, that multi-trillion dollar deficit has to be paid off somehow.

Look to the Feds to to try to take control of more and more private property in the months and years to come.

Just say no.


I agree. Let them know that you will not sit back and allow this to happen.

CDC Update: As of 052209

Alabama 66 cases 0 deaths
Arkansas 3 cases 0 deaths
Arizona 520 cases 2 deaths
California 553 cases 0 deaths
Colorado 59 cases 0 deaths
Connecticut 81 cases 0 deaths
Delaware 94 cases 0 deaths
Florida 129 cases 0 deaths
Georgia 27 cases 0 deaths
Hawaii 33 cases 0 deaths
Idaho 18 cases 0 deaths
Illinois 877 cases 0 deaths
Indiana 106 cases 0 deaths
Iowa 71 cases 0 deaths
Kansas 34 cases 0 deaths
Kentucky** 22 cases 0 deaths
Louisiana 86 cases 0 deaths
Maine 9 cases 0 deaths
Maryland 41 cases 0 deaths
Massachusetts 197 cases 0 deaths
Michigan 176 cases 0 deaths
Minnesota 39 cases 0 deaths
Mississippi 7 cases 0 deaths
Missouri 24 cases 1 deaths
Montana 10 cases 0 deaths
Nebraska 29 cases 0 deaths
Nevada 32 cases 0 deaths
New Hampshire 23 cases 0 deaths
New Jersey 47 cases 0 deaths
New Mexico 97 cases 0 deaths
New York 327 cases 1 deaths
North Carolina 12 cases 0 deaths
North Dakota 5 cases 0 deaths
Ohio 14 cases 0 deaths
Oklahoma 50 cases 0 deaths
Oregon 101 cases 0 deaths
Pennsylvania 73 cases 0 deaths
Rhode Island 9 cases 0 deaths
South Carolina 36 cases 0 deaths
South Dakota 4 cases 0 deaths
Tennessee 89 cases 0 deaths
Texas 900 cases 3 deaths
Utah 122 cases 1 deaths
Vermont 2 cases 0 deaths
Virginia 25 cases 0 deaths
Washington 494 cases 1 death
Washington, D.C. 13 cases 0 deaths
Wisconsin 766 cases 0 deaths
TOTAL*(48) 6,552 cases 9 deaths

Like I said folks, we have more than a lot to get to today. So I'm going to fill my cup, today's coffee of the day is one of my favorites, Folgers Gourmet Selection "Chocolate Truffle" www.folgers.com

You know, even with the extra time I put into all this today, I still did not get to everything I wanted to talk about. Do not forget tomorrow is the new "From The Energy Front" Segment. A lot to talk about there as well.

Be right back.
Peter

President Barack Obama Speech on 052009

Transcript of President Barack Obama Speech on 052009

President Barack Obama: "These are extraordinary times for our country. We are confronting an historic economic crisis. We are fighting two wars. We face a range of challenges that will define the way that Americans will live in the 21st century. There is no shortage of work to be done, or responsibilities to bear.

And we have begun to make progress. Just this week, we have taken steps to protect American consumers and homeowners, and to reform our system of government contracting so that we better protect our people while spending our money more wisely. The engines of our economy are slowly beginning to turn, and we are working toward historic reform of health care and energy. I welcome the hard work that has been done by the Congress on these and other issues.

In the midst of all these challenges, however, my single most important responsibility as President is to keep the American people safe. That is the first thing that I think about when I wake up in the morning. It is the last thing that I think about when I go to sleep at night.

This responsibility is only magnified in an era when an extremist ideology threatens our people, and technology gives a handful of terrorists the potential to do us great harm. We are less than eight years removed from the deadliest attack on American soil in our history. We know that al Qaeda is actively planning to attack us again. We know that this threat will be with us for a long time, and that we must use all elements of our power to defeat it.

Already, we have taken several steps to achieve that goal. For the first time since 2002, we are providing the necessary resources and strategic direction to take the fight to the extremists who attacked us on 9/11 in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We are investing in the 21st century military and intelligence capabilities that will allow us to stay one step ahead of a nimble enemy. We have re-energized a global non-proliferation regime to deny the world's most dangerous people access to the world's deadliest weapons, and launched an effort to secure all loose nuclear materials within four years. We are better protecting our border, and increasing our preparedness for any future attack or natural disaster. We are building new partnerships around the world to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates. And we have renewed American diplomacy so that we once again have the strength and standing to truly lead the world.

These steps are all critical to keeping America secure. But I believe with every fiber of my being that in the long run we also cannot keep this country safe unless we enlist the power of our most fundamental values. The documents that we hold in this very hall - the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights -are not simply words written into aging parchment. They are the foundation of liberty and justice in this country, and a light that shines for all who seek freedom, fairness, equality and dignity in the world.

I stand here today as someone whose own life was made possible by these documents. My father came to our shores in search of the promise that they offered. My mother made me rise before dawn to learn of their truth when I lived as a child in a foreign land. My own American journey was paved by generations of citizens who gave meaning to those simple words - "to form a more perfect union." I have studied the Constitution as a student; I have taught it as a teacher; I have been bound by it as a lawyer and legislator. I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief, and as a citizen, I know that we must never - ever - turn our back on its enduring principles for expedience sake.

I make this claim not simply as a matter of idealism. We uphold our most cherished values not only because doing so is right, but because it strengthens our country and keeps us safe. Time and again, our values have been our best national security asset - in war and peace; in times of ease and in eras of upheaval.

Fidelity to our values is the reason why the United States of America grew from a small string of colonies under the writ of an empire to the strongest nation in the world.

It is the reason why enemy soldiers have surrendered to us in battle, knowing they'd receive better treatment from America's armed forces than from their own government.

It is the reason why America has benefited from strong alliances that amplified our power, and drawn a sharp and moral contrast with our adversaries.

It is the reason why we've been able to overpower the iron fist of fascism, outlast the iron curtain of communism, and enlist free nations and free people everywhere in common cause and common effort.

From Europe to the Pacific, we have been a nation that has shut down torture chambers and replaced tyranny with the rule of law. That is who we are. And where terrorists offer only the injustice of disorder and destruction, America must demonstrate that our values and institutions are more resilient than a hateful ideology.

After 9/11, we knew that we had entered a new era - that enemies who did not abide by any law of war would present new challenges to our application of the law; that our government would need new tools to protect the American people, and that these tools would have to allow us to prevent attacks instead of simply prosecuting those who try to carry them out.

Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. And I believe that those decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that - too often - our government made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight, and all too often trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, we too often set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And in this season of fear, too many of us - Democrats and Republicans; politicians, journalists and citizens - fell silent.

In other words, we went off course. And this is not my assessment alone. It was an assessment that was shared by the American people, who nominated candidates for President from both major parties who, despite our many differences, called for a new approach - one that rejected torture, and recognized the imperative of closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Now let me be clear: we are indeed at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates. We do need to update our institutions to deal with this threat. But we must do so with an abiding confidence in the rule of law and due process; in checks and balances and accountability. For reasons that I will explain, the decisions that were made over the last eight years established an ad hoc legal approach for fighting terrorism that was neither effective nor sustainable - a framework that failed to rely on our legal traditions and time-tested institutions; that failed to use our values as a compass. And that is why I took several steps upon taking office to better protect the American people.

First, I banned the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques by the United States of America.

I know some have argued that brutal methods like water-boarding were necessary to keep us safe. I could not disagree more. As Commander-in-Chief, I see the intelligence, I bear responsibility for keeping this country safe, and I reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation. What's more, they undermine the rule of law. They alienate us in the world. They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists, and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America. They risk the lives of our troops by making it less likely that others will surrender to them in battle, and more likely that Americans will be mistreated if they are captured. In short, they did not advance our war and counter-terrorism efforts - they undermined them, and that is why I ended them once and for all.

The arguments against these techniques did not originate from my Administration. As Senator McCain once said, torture "serves as a great propaganda tool for those who recruit people to fight against us." And even under President Bush, there was recognition among members of his Administration - including a Secretary of State, other senior officials, and many in the military and intelligence community - that those who argued for these tactics were on the wrong side of the debate, and the wrong side of history. We must leave these methods where they belong - in the past. They are not who we are. They are not America.

The second decision that I made was to order the closing of the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

For over seven years, we have detained hundreds of people at Guantanamo. During that time, the system of Military Commissions at Guantanamo succeeded in convicting a grand total of three suspected terrorists. Let me repeat that: three convictions in over seven years. Instead of bringing terrorists to justice, efforts at prosecution met setbacks, cases lingered on, and in 2006 the Supreme Court invalidated the entire system. Meanwhile, over five hundred and twenty-five detainees were released from Guantanamo under the Bush Administration. Let me repeat that: two-thirds of the detainees were released before I took office and ordered the closure of Guantanamo.

There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law. Indeed, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law - a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected. Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter-terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.

So the record is clear: rather than keep us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies. It sets back the willingness of our allies to work with us in fighting an enemy that operates in scores of countries. By any measure, the costs of keeping it open far exceed the complications involved in closing it. That is why I argued that it should be closed throughout my campaign. And that is why I ordered it closed within one year.

The third decision that I made was to order a review of all the pending cases at Guantanamo.

I knew when I ordered Guantanamo closed that it would be difficult and complex. There are 240 people there who have now spent years in legal limbo. In dealing with this situation, we do not have the luxury of starting from scratch. We are cleaning up something that is - quite simply - a mess; a misguided experiment that has left in its wake a flood of legal challenges that my Administration is forced to deal with on a constant basis, and that consumes the time of government officials whose time should be spent on better protecting our country.

Indeed, the legal challenges that have sparked so much debate in recent weeks in Washington would be taking place whether or not I decided to close Guantanamo. For example, the court order to release seventeen Uighur detainees took place last fall - when George Bush was President. The Supreme Court that invalidated the system of prosecution at Guantanamo in 2006 was overwhelmingly appointed by Republican Presidents. In other words, the problem of what to do with Guantanamo detainees was not caused by my decision to close the facility; the problem exists because of the decision to open Guantanamo in the first place.

There are no neat or easy answers here. But I can tell you that the wrong answer is to pretend like this problem will go away if we maintain an unsustainable status quo. As President, I refuse to allow this problem to fester. Our security interests won't permit it. Our courts won't allow it. And neither should our conscience.

Now, over the last several weeks, we have seen a return of the politicization of these issues that have characterized the last several years. I understand that these problems arouse passions and concerns. They should. We are confronting some of the most complicated questions that a democracy can face. But I have no interest in spending our time re-litigating the policies of the last eight years. I want to solve these problems, and I want to solve them together as Americans.

And we will be ill-served by some of the fear-mongering that emerges whenever we discuss this issue. Listening to the recent debate, I've heard words that are calculated to scare people rather than educate them; words that have more to do with politics than protecting our country. So I want to take this opportunity to lay out what we are doing, and how we intend to resolve these outstanding issues. I will explain how each action that we are taking will help build a framework that protects both the American people and the values that we hold dear. And I will focus on two broad areas: first, issues relating to Guantanamo and our detention policy; second, issues relating to security and transparency.

Let me begin by disposing of one argument as plainly as I can: we are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people. Where demanded by justice and national security, we will seek to transfer some detainees to the same type of facilities in which we hold all manner of dangerous and violent criminals within our borders - highly secure prisons that ensure the public safety. As we make these decisions, bear in mind the following fact: nobody has ever escaped from one of our federal "supermax" prisons, which hold hundreds of convicted terrorists. As Senator Lindsey Graham said: "The idea that we cannot find a place to securely house 250-plus detainees within the United States is not rational."

We are currently in the process of reviewing each of the detainee cases at Guantanamo to determine the appropriate policy for dealing with them. As we do so, we are acutely aware that under the last Administration, detainees were released only to return to the battlefield. That is why we are doing away with the poorly planned, haphazard approach that let those detainees go in the past. Instead, we are treating these cases with the care and attention that the law requires and our security demands. Going forward, these cases will fall into five distinct categories.

First, when feasible, we will try those who have violated American criminal laws in federal courts - courts provided for by the United States Constitution. Some have derided our federal courts as incapable of handling the trials of terrorists. They are wrong. Our courts and juries of our citizens are tough enough to convict terrorists, and the record makes that clear. Ramzi Yousef tried to blow up the World Trade Center - he was convicted in our courts, and is serving a life sentence in U.S. prison. Zaccarias Moussaoui has been identified as the 20th 9/11 hijacker - he was convicted in our courts, and he too is serving a life sentence in prison. If we can try those terrorists in our courts and hold them in our prisons, then we can do the same with detainees from Guantanamo.

Recently, we prosecuted and received a guilty plea from a detainee - al-Marri - in federal court after years of legal confusion. We are preparing to transfer another detainee to the Southern District of New York, where he will face trial on charges related to the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania - bombings that killed over 200 people. Preventing this detainee from coming to our shores would prevent his trial and conviction. And after over a decade, it is time to finally see that justice is served, and that is what we intend to do.

The second category of cases involves detainees who violate the laws of war and are best tried through Military Commissions. Military commissions have a history in the United States dating back to George Washington and the Revolutionary War. They are an appropriate venue for trying detainees for violations of the laws of war. They allow for the protection of sensitive sources and methods of intelligence-gathering; for the safety and security of participants; and for the presentation of evidence gathered from the battlefield that cannot be effectively presented in federal Courts.



Now, some have suggested that this represents a reversal on my part. They are wrong. In 2006, I did strongly oppose legislation proposed by the Bush Administration and passed by the Congress because it failed to establish a legitimate legal framework, with the kind of meaningful due process and rights for the accused that could stand up on appeal. I did, however, support the use of military commissions to try detainees, provided there were several reforms. And those are the reforms that we are making.

Instead of using the flawed Commissions of the last seven years, my Administration is bringing our Commissions in line with the rule of law. The rule will no longer permit us to use as evidence statements that have been obtained using cruel, inhuman, or degrading interrogation methods. We will no longer place the burden to prove that hearsay is unreliable on the opponent of the hearsay. And we will give detainees greater latitude in selecting their own counsel, and more protections if they refuse to testify. These reforms - among others - will make our Military Commissions a more credible and effective means of administering justice, and I will work with Congress and legal authorities across the political spectrum on legislation to ensure that these Commissions are fair, legitimate, and effective.

The third category of detainees includes those who we have been ordered released by the courts. Let me repeat what I said earlier: this has absolutely nothing to do with my decision to close Guantanamo. It has to do with the rule of law. The courts have found that there is no legitimate reason to hold twenty-one of the people currently held at Guantanamo. Twenty of these findings took place before I came into office. The United States is a nation of laws, and we must abide by these rulings.

The fourth category of cases involves detainees who we have determined can be transferred safely to another country. So far, our review team has approved fifty detainees for transfer. And my Administration is in ongoing discussions with a number of other countries about the transfer of detainees to their soil for detention and rehabilitation.

Finally, there remains the question of detainees at Guantanamo who cannot be prosecuted yet who pose a clear danger to the American people.

I want to be honest: this is the toughest issue we will face. We are going to exhaust every avenue that we have to prosecute those at Guantanamo who pose a danger to our country. But even when this process is complete, there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States. Examples of that threat include people who have received extensive explosives training at al Qaeda training camps, commanded Taliban troops in battle, expressed their allegiance to Osama bin Laden, or otherwise made it clear that they want to kill Americans. These are people who, in effect, remain at war with the United States.

As I said, I am not going to release individuals who endanger the American people. Al Qaeda terrorists and their affiliates are at war with the United States, and those that we capture - like other prisoners of war - must be prevented from attacking us again. However, we must recognize that these detention policies cannot be unbounded. That is why my Administration has begun to reshape these standards to ensure they are in line with the rule of law. We must have clear, defensible and lawful standards for those who fall in this category. We must have fair procedures so that we don't make mistakes. We must have a thorough process of periodic review, so that any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified.

I know that creating such a system poses unique challenges. Other countries have grappled with this question, and so must we. But I want to be very clear that our goal is to construct a legitimate legal framework for Guantanamo detainees - not to avoid one. In our constitutional system, prolonged detention should not be the decision of any one man. If and when we determine that the United States must hold individuals to keep them from carrying out an act of war, we will do so within a system that involves judicial and congressional oversight. And so going forward, my Administration will work with Congress to develop an appropriate legal regime so that our efforts are consistent with our values and our Constitution.

As our efforts to close Guantanamo move forward, I know that the politics in Congress will be difficult. These issues are fodder for 30-second commercials and direct mail pieces that are designed to frighten. I get it. But if we continue to make decisions from within a climate of fear, we will make more mistakes. And if we refuse to deal with these issues today, then I guarantee you that they will be an albatross around our efforts to combat terrorism in the future. I have confidence that the American people are more interested in doing what is right to protect this country than in political posturing. I am not the only person in this city who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution - so did each and every member of Congress. Together we have a responsibility to enlist our values in the effort to secure our people, and to leave behind the legacy that makes it easier for future Presidents to keep this country safe.

The second set of issues that I want to discuss relates to security and transparency.

National security requires a delicate balance. Our democracy depends upon transparency, but some information must be protected from public disclosure for the sake of our security - for instance, the movements of our troops; our intelligence-gathering; or the information we have about a terrorist organization and its affiliates. In these and other cases, lives are at stake.

Several weeks ago, as part of an ongoing court case, I released memos issued by the previous Administration's Office of Legal Counsel. I did not do this because I disagreed with the enhanced interrogation techniques that those memos authorized, or because I reject their legal rationale - although I do on both counts. I released the memos because the existence of that approach to interrogation was already widely known, the Bush Administration had acknowledged its existence, and I had already banned those methods. The argument that somehow by releasing those memos, we are providing terrorists with information about how they will be interrogated is unfounded - we will not be interrogating terrorists using that approach, because that approach is now prohibited.

In short, I released these memos because there was no overriding reason to protect them. And the ensuing debate has helped the American people better understand how these interrogation methods came to be authorized and used.

On the other hand, I recently opposed the release of certain photographs that were taken of detainees by U.S. personnel between 2002 and 2004. Individuals who violated standards of behavior in these photos have been investigated and held accountable. There is no debate as to whether what is reflected in those photos is wrong, and nothing has been concealed to absolve perpetrators of crimes. However, it was my judgment - informed by my national security team - that releasing these photos would inflame anti-American opinion, and allow our enemies to paint U.S. troops with a broad, damning and inaccurate brush, endangering them in theaters of war.

In short, there is a clear and compelling reason to not release these particular photos. There are nearly 200,000 Americans who are serving in harm's way, and I have a solemn responsibility for their safety as Commander-in-Chief. Nothing would be gained by the release of these photos that matters more than the lives of our young men and women serving in harm's way.

In each of these cases, I had to strike the right balance between transparency and national security. This balance brings with it a precious responsibility. And there is no doubt that the American people have seen this balance tested. In the images from Abu Ghraib and the brutal interrogation techniques made public long before I was President, the American people learned of actions taken in their name that bear no resemblance to the ideals that generations of Americans have fought for. And whether it was the run-up to the Iraq War or the revelation of secret programs, Americans often felt like part of the story had been unnecessarily withheld from them. That causes suspicion to build up. That leads to a thirst for accountability.

I ran for President promising transparency, and I meant what I said. That is why, whenever possible, we will make information available to the American people so that they can make informed judgments and hold us accountable. But I have never argued - and never will - that our most sensitive national security matters should be an open book. I will never abandon - and I will vigorously defend - the necessity of classification to defend our troops at war; to protect sources and methods; and to safeguard confidential actions that keep the American people safe. And so, whenever we cannot release certain information to the public for valid national security reasons, I will insist that there is oversight of my actions - by Congress or by the courts.

We are launching a review of current policies by all of those agencies responsible for the classification of documents to determine where reforms are possible, and to assure that the other branches of government will be in a position to review executive branch decisions on these matters. Because in our system of checks and balances, someone must always watch over the watchers - especially when it comes to sensitive information.

Along those same lines, my Administration is also confronting challenges to what is known as the "State Secrets" privilege. This is a doctrine that allows the government to challenge legal cases involving secret programs. It has been used by many past Presidents - Republican and Democrat - for many decades. And while this principle is absolutely necessary to protect national security, I am concerned that it has been over-used. We must not protect information merely because it reveals the violation of a law or embarrasses the government. That is why my Administration is nearing completion of a thorough review of this practice.

We plan to embrace several principles for reform. We will apply a stricter legal test to material that can be protected under the State Secrets privilege. We will not assert the privilege in court without first following a formal process, including review by a Justice Department committee and the personal approval of the Attorney General. Finally, each year we will voluntarily report to Congress when we have invoked the privilege and why, because there must be proper oversight of our actions.

On all of these matter related to the disclosure of sensitive information, I wish I could say that there is a simple formula. But there is not. These are tough calls involving competing concerns, and they require a surgical approach. But the common thread that runs through all of my decisions is simple: we will safeguard what we must to protect the American people, but we will also ensure the accountability and oversight that is the hallmark of our constitutional system. I will never hide the truth because it is uncomfortable. I will deal with Congress and the courts as co-equal branches of government. I will tell the American people what I know and don't know, and when I release something publicly or keep something secret, I will tell you why.

In all of the areas that I have discussed today, the policies that I have proposed represent a new direction from the last eight years. To protect the American people and our values, we have banned enhanced interrogation techniques. We are closing the prison at Guantanamo. We are reforming Military Commissions, and we will pursue a new legal regime to detain terrorists. We are declassifying more information and embracing more oversight of our actions, and narrowing our use of the State Secrets privilege. These are dramatic changes that will put our approach to national security on a surer, safer and more sustainable footing, and their implementation will take time.

There is a core principle that we will apply to all of our actions: even as we clean up the mess at Guantanamo, we will constantly re-evaluate our approach, subject our decisions to review from the other branches of government, and seek the strongest and most sustainable legal framework for addressing these issues in the long-term. By doing that, we can leave behind a legacy that outlasts my Administration, and that endures for the next President and the President after that; a legacy that protects the American people, and enjoys broad legitimacy at home and abroad.

That is what I mean when I say that we need to focus on the future. I recognize that many still have a strong desire to focus on the past. When it comes to the actions of the last eight years, some Americans are angry; others want to re-fight debates that have been settled, most clearly at the ballot box in November. And I know that these debates lead directly to a call for a fuller accounting, perhaps through an Independent Commission.

I have opposed the creation of such a Commission because I believe that our existing democratic institutions are strong enough to deliver accountability. The Congress can review abuses of our values, and there are ongoing inquiries by the Congress into matters like enhanced interrogation techniques. The Department of Justice and our courts can work through and punish any violations of our laws.

I understand that it is no secret that there is a tendency in Washington to spend our time pointing fingers at one another. And our media culture feeds the impulses that lead to a good fight. Nothing will contribute more to that than an extended re-litigation of the last eight years. Already, we have seen how that kind of effort only leads those in Washington to different sides laying blame, and can distract us from focusing our time, our effort, and our politics on the challenges of the future.

We see that, above all, in how the recent debate has been obscured by two opposite and absolutist ends. On one side of the spectrum, there are those who make little allowance for the unique challenges posed by terrorism, and who would almost never put national security over transparency. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: "anything goes." Their arguments suggest that the ends of fighting terrorism can be used to justify any means, and that the President should have blanket authority to do whatever he wants - provided that it is a President with whom they agree.

Both sides may be sincere in their views, but neither side is right. The American people are not absolutist, and they don't elect us to impose a rigid ideology on our problems. They know that we need not sacrifice our security for our values, nor sacrifice our values for our security, so long as we approach difficult questions with honesty, and care, and a dose of common sense. That, after all, is the unique genius of America. That is the challenge laid down by our Constitution. That has been the source of our strength through the ages. That is what makes the United States of America different as a nation.

I can stand here today, as President of the United States, and say without exception or equivocation that we do not torture, and that we will vigorously protect our people while forging a strong and durable framework that allows us to fight terrorism while abiding by the rule of law. Make no mistake: if we fail to turn the page on the approach that was taken over the past several years, then I will not be able to say that as President. And if we cannot stand for those core values, then we are not keeping faith with the documents that are enshrined in this hall.

The Framers who drafted the Constitution could not have foreseen the challenges that have unfolded over the last two hundred and twenty two years. But our Constitution has endured through secession and civil rights - through World War and Cold War - because it provides a foundation of principles that can be applied pragmatically; it provides a compass that can help us find our way. It hasn't always been easy. We are an imperfect people. Every now and then, there are those who think that America's safety and success requires us to walk away from the sacred principles enshrined in this building. We hear such voices today. But the American people have resisted that temptation. And though we have made our share of mistakes and course corrections, we have held fast to the principles that have been the source of our strength, and a beacon to the world.

Now, this generation faces a great test in the specter of terrorism. Unlike the Civil War or World War II, we cannot count on a surrender ceremony to bring this journey to an end. Right now, in distant training camps and in crowded cities, there are people plotting to take American lives. That will be the case a year from now, five years from now, and - in all probability - ten years from now. Neither I nor anyone else can standing here today can say that there will not be another terrorist attack that takes American lives. But I can say with certainty that my Administration - along with our extraordinary troops and the patriotic men and women who defend our national security - will do everything in our power to keep the American people safe. And I do know with certainty that we can defeat al Qaeda. Because the terrorists can only succeed if they swell their ranks and alienate America from our allies, and they will never be able to do that if we stay true to who we are; if we forge tough and durable approaches to fighting terrorism that are anchored in our timeless ideals.

This must be our common purpose. I ran for President because I believe that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together. We will not be safe if we see national security as a wedge that divides America - it can and must be a cause that unites us as one people, as one nation. We have done so before in times that were more perilous than ours. We will do so once again. Thank you, God Bless you, and God bless the United States of America."