On China, Obama Bias, Drilling, Etc.

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Sep 11, 2008 11:45 AM
On China, Obama Bias, Drilling, Etc.

Washington Post Foreign Service reporters Jill Drew and Maureen Fan: “Beneath the shimmer (of new construction) and behind the slogan (‘One World, One Dream’), China is under criticism for suppressing Tibetan protests, sealing off large portions of the country to foreign reporters, harassing and jailing dissidents, and not doing enough to curb air pollution. It has not lived up to the pledge in its Olympic action plan released in 2002, to ‘be open in every aspect,’ and a constitutional amendment adopted in 2004 to recognize and protect human rights has not shielded government critics from arrest.”

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Forbes writers Neil Weinberg, Michael Maiello and David Randall, in an article entitled “Paying for Failure”: “In 2007 chief executives overall took a 15 percent pay cut, rightly so, as the return on the S&P 500 fell nearly two-thirds to 5.5 percent. Average salaries came in at $1.1 million and total pay at $12.8 million. But, as is evident in our annual performance-versus-pay survey (which weighs shareholder returns against pay over six years), plenty of bosses rake in large sums for mediocre work.”

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the new “National Defense Strategy”: “Iraq and Afghanistan remain the central fronts in the struggle (against islamofascist terror), but we cannot lose sight of the implication of fighting a long-term, episodic, multi-front, and multi-dimensional conflict more complex and diverse than the Cold War confrontation with Communism. Success in Iraq and Afghanistan is crucial to winning this conflict, but it alone will not bring victory.”

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Former longtime columnist Robert Novak: “I’ve been covering presidential campaigns since 1960. I have always said I have never seen the media as much entranced by a candidate as when they were in my very first campaign, in 1960, when they were for JFK. But I’m telling you right now, the enchantment with (Barack) Obama beats the JFK syndrome.”

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The New York Sun: “If $1,000 gold and Bear Stearns aren’t enough of a wake-up call for the dollar, try the latest news out of communist Vietnam, where the dong, like many other national currencies, is soaring as the greenback falls. Nearly 35 years after the communist conquest, Vietnam’s currency is getting more respect than the dollar.”

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Former world chess champion and Russian pro-democracy activist Garry Kasparov: “Russia’s invasion (of Georgia) was the direct result of nearly a decade of Western helplessness and delusion. Inexperienced and cautious in the international arena at the start of his reign in 2000, (Vladimir) Putin soon learned he could get away with anything without repercussions from the European Union or America.”

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Economist/columnist Robert Samuelson: “The first thing to do: Start drilling. It may surprise Americans to discover the United States is the third-largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. We could be producing more, but Congress has put large areas of potential supply off-limits. These include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and parts of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. By government estimates, these areas may contain 25 billion to 30 billion barrels of oil (against about 30 billion barrels of proven U.S. reserves today) and 80 trillion cubic feet or more of natural gas (compared with about 200 trillion cubic feet of proven reserves).”

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Former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson: “Conservatism is alive and well in America — don’t let anyone tell you differently. And by conservatism, I don’t mean the warmed-over ‘raise your hand if you believe’ kind of conservatism we see blooming every election cycle. No, I’m speaking of the conservatism grounded in principles based upon enduring truths. An understanding of the importance of human nature in the affairs of individuals and nations. Respect for the lessons of history, the importance of faith and tradition. The understanding that while man is prone to err, he is capable of great things when not subjugated by a too-powerful government.”

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Novelist, essayist, and Fordham law professor Thane Rosenbaum: “Gearing up to elect a new president, we are left to wonder how, in spite of numerous failed polices and poor judgment, President Bush’s greatest achievement (he kept us safe after 9/11) was denied to him by people who ungratefully availed themselves of the protection that his administration provided.”

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Columnist Albert Hunt: “Hillary Clinton will have nightmares about her botched run for the presidency. . . . It’s going to be tougher for her husband. The most talented and resilient politician of this generation has damaged his standing with gaffes, political miscalculations, and a series of paranoiac, volcanic eruptions.”

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The Wall Street Journal’s Gordon Crovitz: “Aristotle lived during the era when the written word displaced the oral tradition, becoming the first to explain that how we communicate alters what we communicate. . . . It’s still early in the process of a digital rhetoric replacing the more traditionally written word. . . . (With the advent of the Internet) we’re not giving up books for the same words on screens — we’re giving up on words. Pick your data point: A recent National Endowment for the Arts report, ‘To Read or Not to Read,’ found that 15- to 24-year-olds spend an average of seven minutes reading on weekdays; people between 35 and 44 spend 14 minutes; and people 65 and older spend close to an hour.”