It seems the first lady of Iceland is a Huffington Post contributor and Jewish, too. Weird.
Reuters reports that in a briefing today, Guy Caruso of the Energy Information Administration — the government’s “top energy forecaster” — said expanding offshore oil drilling would do little to lower gas prices:
“It would be a relatively small effect, because it would take such a long time to bring those supplies on,” Caruso said during a briefing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the EIA’s new long-term international energy forecast. “It doesn’t affect prices that much.”
In 2007, the EIA also concluded that offshore drilling “would not have a significant impact” on oil prices. The remarks today come after both Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and President Bush endorsed plans to expand offshore oil drilling in response to record gas prices.
The recent decline in violence in Iraq has seems to have given conservatives cover to not only defend the “surge,” but even to attempt to rehabilitate the decision to go to war in the first place.
Preparing the ground, Tony Blankley writes that “in September 2007, more than 19,000 insurgents had been killed by coalition forces since 2003″ :
Of course, most of those 19,000 killed insurgents were not foreign terrorists, but local Iraqis moved to action by our occupation. However, according to studies by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and by the Defense Intelligence Agency, foreign-born jihadists in Iraq are believed to number between 4 and 10 percent of the total insurgent strength. So it is reasonable to assume that we have killed — as of nine months ago — between 800 and 1,900 non-Iraqi terrorists who otherwise would have been plying their trade elsewhere. It only took a couple of dozen to commit the atrocities of Sept. 11.
But no, it’s not reasonable to assume that at all. While it’s probably true that some of the extremists drawn to Iraq would have attacked elsewhere, the evidence is overwhelming that, for the majority of foreign fighters in Iraq, the U.S. occupation itself was the decisive factor in their radicalization and mobilization. It only becomes “reasonable” to assume that all of the foreign terrorists killed in Iraq would have become terrorists absent the American invasion of Iraq if one is desperate to justify a disastrous war, as Blankley is. Read more
What are you interested in?
Last week I linked to a report for the Center for American Progress by Caroline Wadhams and Lawrence Korb called “The Forgotten Front” about Afghanistan. Some of you weren’t convinced by their argument that continued U.S. engagement in Afghanistan could, if married to a new strategic approach, bear fruit for Americans and Afghans alike. Wadhams was kind enough to email some thoughts in response to some of the issues raised in comments:
Someone sent me the link (here)
After last week’s Supreme Court decision granting terror detainees the right of habeas corpus, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blasted the decision as one of the worst ever. Raising the specter of Osama bin Laden being tried in civil court, McCain invoked the Nazi war crimes trials to declare that bin Laden should be denied habeas rights at all costs, Supreme Court be damned:
There was no habeas at Nuremburg and there should be no habeas for Osama bin Laden. … Let me be clear, under my administration Osama bin Laden will either be killed on the battlefield or executed.
McCain has invoked the Nazi trials at Nuremberg before to uphold his position on habeas. Unfortunately for McCain, in that instance it was to push for granting those rights to terror detainees, as he explained to Tim Russert in 2005:
Now, I know that some of these guys are terrible, terrible killers and the worst kind of scum of humanity. But, one, they deserve to have some adjudication of their cases. And there’s a fear that if you release them that they’ll go back and fight again against us. … [I]f it means releasing some of them, you’ll have to release them. Look, even Adolf Eichmann got a trial.
Those accused of Nazi crimes at Nuremberg were not tried under U.S. law, and thus did not have explicit habeas rights. But Nazis unquestionably received fairer trials than terrorist detainees today. The fact that some accused and tried at Nuremberg were found innocent and released shows that Nuremberg offered a practical habeas right. By contrast, the Pentagon has indicated it could continue to imprison a Guantanamo detainee indefinitely, even if he were found innocent by a military tribunal.
What, exactly, does McCain find so frightening about bringing Osama bin Laden to court? He is unquestionably guilty and will be found guilty. A fair trial would only add moral authority to his conviction. Or is moral weight another aspect of the war on terror that McCain doesn’t care about?
Today on the campaign’s official blog, Michael Goldfarb re-posted McCain’s declaration that, like Nazis, bin Laden should be denied habeas rights. He laughably claimed that it is Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) who has “refused to clarify his position” on habeas for detainees.
Barack Obama announces a bunch of state directors:
Jackie Norris, Senior Advisor to Obama during the Iowa Caucuses will serve as the Iowa State Director. Mike Dorsey, who served as Obama’s Midwest Political Director in the fall and state director in Missouri, is heading to Montana. Adrian Saenz, the state director for Texas primary and caucuses, will lead the New Mexico campaign. Kat Pustay, an Alaska native who served as state director for the caucuses, has returned to Anchorage. Rob Hill, who directed the Oregon primary, will be staying in Portland.
I don’t really know anything about any of those people, but Kat Pustay “who served as state director for the caucuses” seems to have done an excellent job so it’s interesting that they’re sending her back to her native Alaska rather than to a more traditional swing state.
McCain adviser re-writes history of McCain’s ‘impossible’ and ‘dumb’ plan to kick Russia out of the G8.
In October 2007, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrote about the G8 in Foreign Affairs, saying “it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia.” Now, an anonymous “McCain adviser” tells Reuters that McCain’s October 2007 comment “doesn’t reflect where he is right now” and is just “a holdover from an earlier period.” But that “earlier period” apparently includes March 2008, since McCain made the same argument then in a major speech on foreign policy:
We should start by ensuring that the G-8, the group of eight highly industrialized states, becomes again a club of leading market democracies: it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia.
After McCain argued for kicking Russia out of the G8 in March, foreign policy experts panned the idea, with one “senior U.S. official” calling it “impossible” and “just a dumb thing.”
It seems the Obama campaign has an ambitious plan to put staff resources into states it’s unlikely to win, such as Texas and Wyoming, in order to be able to help out with registration and organization to assist downballot Democrats. In Texas, for example, Democrats are close to gaining control of the State Legislature (and thus the redistricting process). The best part, though, is this comeback from the McCain campaign:
Uh huh. Here’s the latest polling:
I’m not sure that being ahead in Ohio (and Pennsylvania) and tied in Florida when winning either would deliver you the election qualifies as “weak.”