Monday, March 12, 2007

The 'Surge' in Iraq Is Succeeding

Did you read The 'Surge' Is Succeeding
Washington Post Sunday, March 11, 2007 op/ed piece by Robert Kagan
Hat tip Cigar Joe.

■ “I wonder if The Post and other newspapers have a backup plan in case it [the Surge in Iraq] does.”

■ “Four months later, the once insurmountable political opposition has been surmounted. The nonexistent troops are flowing into Iraq. And though it is still early and horrible acts of violence continue, there is substantial evidence that the new counterinsurgency strategy, backed by the infusion of new forces, is having a significant effect.”

■ “Some observers are reporting the shift. Iraqi bloggers Mohammed and Omar Fadhil, widely respected for their straight talk, say that "early signs are encouraging." The first impact of the "surge," they write, was psychological. Both friends and foes in Iraq had been convinced, in no small part by the American media, that the United States was preparing to pull out. When the opposite occurred, this alone shifted the dynamic.”

■ “The Fadhils report, "One difference between this and earlier -- failed -- attempts to secure Baghdad is the willingness of the Iraqi and U.S. governments to commit enough resources for enough time to make it work." In the past, bursts of American activity were followed by withdrawal and a return of the insurgents. Now, the plan to secure Baghdad "is becoming stricter and gaining momentum by the day as more troops pour into the city, allowing for a better implementation of the 'clear and hold' strategy." Baghdadis "always want the 'hold' part to materialize, and feel safe when they go out and find the Army and police maintaining their posts -- the bad guys can't intimidate as long as the troops are staying."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Emission Credits Could Reduce Emission and Eliminate Welfare

See the Wall Street Journal March 3, 2007 editorial Cap and Charade cautioned about “the political and business self-interest behind carbon limits” stating “What Duke, Entergy, TXU, BP, Dupont and all the rest want is to make sure that when the right to produce CO2 becomes limited, they're the ones that end up owning the allowances.”

■ “Earlier this year, 10 big American companies formed the Climate Action Partnership to lobby for government action on climate change.”

■ “Texas utility TXU [will] would join the forces lobbying for a cap on carbon emissions.”

■ Companies “for whom reductions were cheap or easy would reduce” emissions reducing the amount of credits they would need to buy

■ “If a cap is coming, better to design it in a way that [your company can] profit from it, instead of being killed by it.”

■ “there's no constraint on your ability to produce CO2 until the government creates one. When it does, it creates an artificial scarcity”

■ “What Duke, Entergy, TXU, BP, Dupont and all the rest want is to make sure that when the right to produce CO2 becomes limited, they're the ones that end up owning the allowances.”

■ “China is putting up a new coal-fired plant every week, raising emissions that will overwhelm whatever reductions cap-and-trade would yield in the U.S.”

How about granting the emission credits equally to all US citizens for their energy needs and able to sell the excess for industry and individuals to use? Markets could be established for companies and individuals to purchase the limited number of emission credits. No grandfather clause, all companies and individuals would require emission credits.

Each American could use as a source of income offsetting other taxes paid, while it would provide a minimum income level so welfare payments might be able to be eliminated. Individuals and companies who emit a lot would have to pay a lot.

Some Americans could refuse to sell their emission credits reducing the overall level impacting the environment. Although artificial, the government could use the marketplace effectively this way.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Washington Post on Joseph C. Wilson IV

"A bipartisan investigation by the Senate intelligence committee subsequently established that all of these claims [by former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV] were false -- and that Mr. Wilson was recommended for the Niger trip by Ms. Plame, his wife... The [Libby] trial has provided convincing evidence that there was no conspiracy to punish Mr. Wilson by leaking Ms. Plame's identity -- and no evidence that she was, in fact, covert... The former ambassador will be remembered as a blowhard. Mr. Cheney and Mr. Libby were overbearing in their zeal to rebut Mr. Wilson and careless in their handling of classified information. Mr. Libby's subsequent false statements were reprehensible. And Mr. Fitzgerald has shown again why handing a Washington political case to a federal special prosecutor is a prescription for excess. Mr. Fitzgerald was, at least, right about one thing: The Wilson-Plame case, and Mr. Libby's conviction, tell us nothing about the war in Iraq" -- Washington Post editorial March 7, 2007

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Libby Should have Used the I Cannot Remember Defense

Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal Best of the Web wrote on March 6, 2007 “The Libby Travesty” “Of course, Libby could have avoided indictment and conviction if he had simply said ‘I don't remember" a lot more during the course of the investigation’.”

If my memory serves there was a group who already knew that good advice. See and scroll down to ARKANSAS ALTZHEIMER'S

Number of times that Clinton figures who testified in court or before Congress said that they didn't remember, didn't know, or something similar.
Bill Kennedy 116
Harold Ickes 148
Ricki Seidman 160
Bruce Lindsey 161
Bill Burton 191
Mark Gearan 221
Mack McLarty 233
Neil Egglseston 250
Hillary Clinton 250
John Podesta 264
Jennifer O'Connor 343
Dwight Holton 348
Patsy Thomasson 420
Jeff Eller 697

FROM THE WASHINGTON TIMES: In the portions of President Clinton's Jan. 17 deposition that have been made public in the Paula Jones case, his memory failed him 267 times.
This is a list of his answers and how many times he gave each one.
I don't remember - 71
I don't know - 62
I'm not sure - 17
I have no idea - 10
I don't believe so - 9
I don't recall - 8
I don't think so - 8
I don't have any specific recollection - 6
I have no recollection - 4
Not to my knowledge - 4
I just don't remember - 4
I don't believe - 4
I have no specific recollection - 3
I might have - 3
I don't have any recollection of that - 2
I don't have a specific memory - 2
I don't have any memory of that - 2
I just can't say - 2
I have no direct knowledge of that - 2
I don't have any idea - 2
Not that I recall - 2
I don't believe I did - 2
I can't remember - 2
I can't say - 2
I do not remember doing so - 2
Not that I remember - 2
I'm not aware - 1
I honestly don't know - 1
I don't believe that I did - 1
I'm fairly sure - 1
I have no other recollection - 1
I'm not positive - 1
I certainly don't think so - 1
I don't really remember - 1
I would have no way of remembering that - 1
That's what I believe happened - 1
To my knowledge, no - 1
To the best of my knowledge - 1
To the best of my memory - 1
I honestly don't recall - 1
I honestly don't remember - 1
That's all I know - 1
I don't have an independent recollection of that - 1
I don't actually have an independent memory of that - 1
As far as I know - 1
I don't believe I ever did that - 1
That's all I know about that - 1
I'm just not sure - 1
Nothing that I remember - 1
I simply don't know - 1
I would have no idea - 1
I don't know anything about that - 1
I don't have any direct knowledge of that - 1
I just don't know - 1
I really don't know - 1
I can't deny that, I just -- I have no memory of that at all - 1