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John McCain Among the Conservatives

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By Joel Achenbach
He got booed, some. But John McCain also got cheered, and most of the time the cheers drowned out the boos to the degree that McCain, making a dramatic appearance before the Conservative Political Action Conference gathering in Washington, might plausibly have felt himself amid allies.

The McCain camp did a bang-up job of packing the hall at the Omni Shoreham Hotel with placard-waving McCain supporters. When Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn introduced McCain, the supporters gave him a rousing standing ovation, even as a number of conventioneers booed and remained seated.

"We should do this more often," McCain said in a scripted quip that he delivered with a rather forced laugh. Speaking with a Teleprompter, he continued down a winding, somewhat disorienting verbal road that a speechwriter conceivably could have straightened out a bit.

"I hope you will pardon my absence last year, and understand that I intended no personal insult to any of you," he said. "I was merely preoccupied with the business of trying to escape the distinction of preseason front-runner for the Republican nomination, which, I'm sure some of you observed, I managed to do in fairly short order. But, now, I again have the privilege of that distinction, and this time I would prefer to hold onto it for a while."

This was, in fact, no longer a front-runner's speech, but a presumptive nominee's speech. McCain congratulated his vanquished foe Mitt Romney on running a spirited campaign. He invited Romney's supporters to support him. He threw in some kind words for Mike Huckabee.

His speech served two functions: acknowledging the many disagreements with the conservative base while trying to highlight the many areas of agreement, and defining the choice that will face the country in the fall.

McCain said he respected the opinions of those who disagreed with him as a matter of firmly held principles. He did not apologize for his positions. But he did acknowledge a communications failure regarding his stance on illegal immigration last year. When he brought up illegal immigration, someone in the crowd loudly booed him, and he paused, and smiled, as supporters began cheering.

The full prepared text of McCain's remarks can be read here.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 7, 2008; 5:15 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Joel's Two Cents , John McCain  
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Next: Life in the Bubble: Condi vs. Romney

Comments

mawt - WOW!!! What are you doing wasting time commenting on Achenbach's trivial dalliances? You are obviously ready for the big time! I can't believe that you don't already have your own magazine/newspaper/network.

Posted by: bobsewell | February 7, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who supports the Born Again, Faith Based, Pro Life Lying War Criminal Mass Murderer Serial Killer in Chief and the VP of Torture should never be in the WH. Anyone who supports wasting a couple of trillion dollars of taxpayers funds in Illegal Invasions of Sovereign States should never be our leader. If one had any courage, one would call for the Axis of Evil to be indicted for War Crimes. People who support Mission Accomplished is equally Guilty in the thousands of Murders. The Decider and his Murderous Gang need to face Justice at the International Criminal Court. There is no Statue of Limitations on War Crimes.

Only a Coward would send others to do his dirty work. Why have these Born Again Killers not made any sacrifices with their huge public salaries to finance their Illegal Invasions.

WHAT WOULD JESUS KILL?

The Guns Owned Party of the National Right to Annihilate are all Cowards with Guns. They can only Kill Defenseless Creatures. They have Zero courage without their Guns.

All of these Religious Extremist Psychos are Frauds. Only Deluded Ignorant Idiots would believe any of them and their Delusional Religious Fairy Tales.

INDICT the Born Again, Faith Based, Pro Life Lying War Criminal Mass Murderer Coward Serial Killer in Chief and the VP of Torture and their Gang of Born Again Coward Killers!

http://www.un.org/law/icc/statute/99_corr/cstatute.htm
War Crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court


McCain, the candidate who is trying to become the oldest person ever elected to a first presidential term and who almost promises a war with Iran ("There is only one thing worse than military action, and that is a nuclear-armed Iran").

935 Iraq Falsehoods

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Wednesday, January 23, 2008; 1:00 PM

A nonprofit group pursuing old-fashioned accountability journalism is out with a new report and database documenting 935 false statements by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials hyping the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the two years after Sept. 11, 2001.

The Center for Public Integrity reports that its "exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The database also documents how Bush and others had reason to know, or at least suspect, what they were saying was not supported by the facts.

John H. Cushman Jr. writes in the New York Times: "There is no startling new information in the archive, because all the documents have been published previously. But the new computer tool is remarkable for its scope, and its replay of the crescendo of statements that led to the war. Muckrakers may find browsing the site reminiscent of what Richard M. Nixon used to dismissively call 'wallowing in Watergate.'"

And yet there are plenty of reasons why the deceitful run-up to war is not old news. For one, the war goes on. For another, government credibility remains severely damaged. And then there's the fact that the president has never really been held to account for his repeated falsehoods.

Bush famously told The Washington Post, upon embarking on his second term, that he saw the 2004 election as his "accountability moment." Yet neither before nor since has he admitted mistakes or poor judgment. The closest he came may have been in December 2005, when he acknowledged intelligence failures -- by others.

Study Puts Iraqi Death Toll at 151,000
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE - Jan 9, 2008

About 151,000 Iraqis died from violence in the three years after the United States invaded, concludes the best effort yet to count deaths -- one that still may not settle the fierce debate over the war's true toll on civilians and others.

The estimate comes from projections by the World Health Organization and the Iraqi government, based on door-to-door surveys of nearly 10,000 households. Experts called it the largest and most scientific study of the Iraqi death toll since the war began.

Exxon Mobil posts $40.6 billion profit, Oil giant breaks record for largest annual profit by a U.S. company
By RUSSELL GOLD
February 2, 2008

Exxon Mobil Corp. posted the largest annual profit in U.S. corporate history, reporting 2007 net income of $40.61 billion, fattened by soaring oil prices. The company beat its own record of $39.5 billion set in 2006.

Oil and natural-gas production declined for the year at the world's largest publicly traded oil company by market capitalization, and Exxon said its refinery output also fell slightly from a year earlier. However, its bottom line benefited from significantly higher global crude-oil prices, which briefly touched $100 a barrel earlier this year.

Chevron Corp., the No. 2 U.S. oil company, also reported Brobdingnagian profits. Its $18.69 billion annual profit was a record for the San Ramon, Calif., company.

Report: Iraq war costs could top $2 trillion
New study takes into account long-term costs of healthcare for wounded soldiers.

By Tom Regan | csmonitor.com

A new study by Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, and Harvard lecturer Linda Bilmes concludes that the total costs of the Iraq war could top the $2 trillion mark. Reuters reports this total, which is far above the US administration's prewar projections, takes into account the long term healthcare costs for the 16,000 US soldiers injured in Iraq so far.
"Even taking a conservative approach, we have been surprised at how large they are," the study said, referring to total war costs. "We can state, with some degree of confidence, that they exceed a trillion dollars."
The higher $2 trillion amount takes a 'moderate' approach. Both figures are based on the projection that US troops will remain in Iraq until 2010, with steadily decreasing numbers each year. The economists also used government data from past wars, and included such costs as the rise in the price of oil, a larger US deficit and greater global insecurity caused by the war, the loss to the economy from injured veterans who cannot contribute as productively as they would have done if not injured, and the increased costs of recruiting to replenish a military drained by repeated tours of duty in Iraq. These are items which are almost never included by the US government when determining the cost of the war.

Before the war started, Mitch Daniels, then the White House budget director, had said the war would be an "affordable endeavor" and rejected an estimate by the chief White House economic adviser that the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion as "very, very high."


Budget Hits $3 Trillion As Debt Marks Bush Legacy
By MICHAEL M. PHILLIPS and JOHN D. MCKINNON
February 1, 2008

WASHINGTON -- George W. Bush took office in 2001 with budget surpluses projected to stretch years into the future. But it's almost certain that when he returns to Texas next year, the president will leave behind a trail of deficits and debt that will sharply constrain his successor.

On Monday, the president will unveil a $3 trillion-plus budget request for his final year, which is likely to show a deficit of more than $400 billion. New details of the budget emerged yesterday, with officials saying the White House plans to keep a lid on nonsecurity discretionary spending. It wants to cut about $200 billion from the government's medical programs for seniors and the poor. (See related story.)

The longer-term picture is darker. Despite his efforts, Mr. Bush failed to work out a deal with Congress to tackle the spiraling costs of government health and retirement programs. The next president, if he or she serves two terms, could find the U.S. government so deeply in hock that it would face losing its Triple-A credit rating, something that has never happened since Moody's Investors Service began grading U.S. securities in 1917.

As a result, the ambitions of Mr. Bush's successor to cut taxes, institute universal health care or aid troubled homeowners might have to give way to the reality of soaring costs for Social Security, the Medicare program for the elderly and the Medicaid program for the poor.


A Trillion Dollars wasted by the Born Again, Faith Based, Pro Life Lying War Criminal Mass Murderer Serial Killer in Chief and the VP of Torture. Vote for more Born Again Religous Hypocrite Frauds and expect more of the same stupid policies Illegally Invading Sovereign States, Wasting Taxpayers Money and Generating More Terrorists. What has been Gained by this Trillion Dollars Wasted?

Indict the Killer in Chief and the VP of Torture for War Crimes.

Rising Cost Of Iraq War May Reignite Public Debate
By YOCHI J. DREAZEN and JOHN D. MCKINNON
February 4, 2008

WASHINGTON -- The cost of U.S. military operations in Iraq is rising rapidly, and could reignite the national debate about the war, which has taken a back seat to the economy as an issue for most voters this election year.

Today, the White House will propose a federal budget that for the first time tops $3 trillion. The plan is expected to include a record sum for the Pentagon and an additional $70 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while essentially freezing discretionary spending in areas other than national security, including most domestic programs.

The sharp contrast between President Bush's defense and domestic-spending goals could give Democrats a potent political weapon as the economy continues to deteriorate. But with the Democratic-controlled Congress likely to scrap most of Mr. Bush's spending plans, his funding proposal for Iraq may be one of the budget's most enduring elements.

Mr. Bush's budget calls for about $515 billion to be allocated to the Defense Department for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, according to people familiar with the matter. If passed by Congress, that would be the largest military budget -- adjusted for inflation -- since World War II.

Pending Requests

The budget also includes a separate request of $70 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 alone. For this fiscal year, Congress has yet to approve additional spending of about $102 billion the White House has requested for the two conflicts.

Boosted in part by rising fuel prices and the expense of repairing or replacing vehicles worn down by the long war, U.S. spending on Iraq has doubled in the past three years.

Last year's buildup of U.S. troops -- known as the "surge" -- and the military's growing use of expensive heavy munitions to roust Iraqi insurgents also have contributed to the cost increase. According to a recent Congressional Research Service report, the average monthly cost of the conflict -- by CRS's measure -- hit $10.3 billion in the year ended Sept. 30, 2007, up from $4.4 billion in fiscal 2004.

$1 Trillion Mark

With Congress having already approved $691 billion in war spending since 2001, the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined could rise to just under $900 billion by next spring and could near the $1 trillion mark by the end of 2009.

Pentagon officials acknowledge that war costs have risen sharply, but they say the added spending is justified not only by higher fuel and food prices but also by the need to provide better protective gear and other equipment to U.S. troops. They also note that the U.S. has begun spending tens of millions of dollars a year on salaries for what the Pentagon calls "Concerned Local Citizens," the mainly Sunni fighters who now function as neighborhood-watch organizations in many parts of Iraq.

On the domestic front, the president's new budget is expected to keep a tight lid on costs that aren't security-related. One big target for savings would be Medicare, the health-care program for the elderly. But the budget for homeland security is expected to rise sharply again, with much of the money going to increasing immigration enforcement and border security.

Today's announcement is also expected to project deficits in the range of $400 billion for both 2008 and 2009, thanks to a big economic-stimulus plan Congress is expected to approve. If war costs were fully included, the 2009 deficit would be even higher.

Wars Cost $15 Billion a Month, GOP Senator Says


By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 27, 2007; A07

The latest estimate of the growing costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the worldwide battle against terrorism -- nearly $15 billion a month -- came last week from one of the Senate's leading proponents of a continued U.S. military presence in Iraq.

"This cost of this war is approaching $15 billion a month, with the Army spending $4.2 billion of that every month," Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska), the ranking Republican on the Appropriations defense subcommittee, said in a little-noticed floor speech Dec. 18. His remarks came in support of adding $70 billion to the omnibus fiscal 2008 spending legislation to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, as well as counterterrorism activities, for the six months from Oct. 1, 2007, through March 31 of next year.

CIA says used waterboarding on three suspects
Tue Feb 5, 2008 6:59pm EST
By Randall Mikkelsen

WASHINGTON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - The CIA used a widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three suspects captured after the Sept. 11 attacks, CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress on Tuesday.

"Waterboarding has been used on only three detainees," Hayden told the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was the first time a U.S. official publicly specified the number of people subjected to waterboarding and named them.

Congress is considering banning the simulated drowning technique. A Democratic senator and a human rights advocacy group urged a criminal investigation after Hayden made his remarks.

"Waterboarding is torture, and torture is a crime," Human Rights Watch said in a statement.


CIA chief: Waterboarding probably not legal
His testimony to lawmakers comes as attorney general refuses inquiry
The Associated Press
updated 2:12 p.m. CT, Thurs., Feb. 7, 2008
WASHINGTON - CIA Director Michael Hayden cast doubt on the legality of waterboarding on Thursday, a day after the White House said the harsh interrogation tactic has saved American lives and could be used in the future.

Hayden told the House Intelligence Committee that he officially prohibited CIA operatives from using waterboarding in 2006 in the wake of a Supreme Court decision and new laws on the treatment of U.S. detainees.

He said the agency has not used waterboarding for "just a few weeks short" of five years.

"It is not included in the current program, and in my own view, the view of my lawyers and the Department of Justice, it is not certain that that technique would be considered to be lawful under current statute," Hayden said.

Though now legally questionable, Hayden said, waterboarding was legal in 2002 and 2003, a time when the technique was used to interrogate Al-Qaida detainees.

Posted by: mawt | February 7, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

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