Sure am glad he's a straight shooter, not someone who flip flops:
If John McCain thinks that the president should always rubberstamp whatever his generals tell him, then maybe he should drop out and and have Gen. Petraeus run for president instead. If McCain's Iraq policy is going to be totally based on what Petraeus wants, then put the general on the campaign trail to tell Americans what that is.
Seems McCain doesn't pass that commander-in-chief test after all. The president sets the policy, with advice from military leaders. Generals carry out that policy.
Or course, he's just following Bush's spin about how he lets his generals determine Iraq policy. Which is a lie, because generals who don't agree with Bush find themselves looking for new jobs. He has turned his generals into scapegoats. And if McCain wants to continue that course, then he is just a despicable as Bush.
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily waive regulations requiring the oil industry to blend ever-increasing amounts of ethanol into gasoline. A decision is expected in the next few weeks.
Mr. Perry says the billions of bushels of corn being used to produce all that mandated ethanol would be better suited as livestock feed than as fuel.
Feed prices have soared in the last two years as fuel has begun competing with food for cropland.
“When you find yourself in a hole, you have to quit digging,” Mr. Perry said in an interview. “And we are in a hole.”
"I got a suggestion from a very senior McCain aide late yesterday afternoon that he was going to announce it this week,'' Novak told Fox News Tuesday. "They didn't want it to come out the way it was going to come out, and they suggested I put it out.
"I then called another senior person who said, 'I can't talk about that, but wouldn't this be a terrific week to announce it, that is with Obama getting the headlines?' So I just put something on the Internet."
"I've since have been told by certain people that this was a dodge, they were trying to get a little publicity to rain on Obama's campaign,'' Novak told Fox. "That's pretty reprehensible if it's true, but we'll find out in a few days. "
Gee, he doesn't sound too happy. Novak has always been happy to pass on the GOP spin from his friends like Karl Rove. But he doesn't like to be manipulated like that. Wonder how that's going to play going forward.
UPDATE: After Novak does a hit-and-run job on Obama, he allegedly commits a real hit-and-run on K Street in Washington.
A few weeks ago I wrote a column about how the push by oil companies to obtain permission to drill in ANWR and offshore was about tying up leases for the future, not to increase production.
Here is a big piece of evidence to support that view. The Big Five oil companies, who are reporting record-shattering profits, are pouring 55 percent of that money into stock buybacks and dividends, while the amount of money spent on increasing production has stayed virtually unchanged for years.
Hate to break it to the people who think we can drill our way out of our energy problems, but the oil companies have no intention to help us here. It is in their best interests to keep production limited, to sit on millions of acres of leases the already have, and trying to tie up even more. It's that little thing called unregulated capitalism at work. With all the consolidation in the oil business, there is little competition here. These oil companies can lock up the supplies and watch the price go up. Their only worry is that the price will rise too much and the government will come in and bust up their party.
So yes, they make a big deal about new offshore drilling and ANWR. And if they convince Congress to go along, they'll drill a couple of holes here and there to make it look like they are doing something. But looking at their track record with the oil leases they already have, they certainly aren't going to increase oil production enough to make the price go down. Why would they? Heck, their shareholders would probably sue if they did.
Unfortunately, I think the press is missing the real scandal here.
The facts of the case are that Gibbons bought 40 acres for the express purpose of using it as a retirement residence. Because Nevada tax laws treat residential property different than farmland, Gibbons was hit with a $5k property tax bill.
But then Gibbons hired attorney John E. Marvel (son of longtime Assemblyman John W. Marvel, and who he appointed to the Nevada Tax Commission) to press his case against the Elko assessor, to get his taxes dropped from $5,000 to $15 by claiming it was used for agriculture.
The coverage focuses on the use of an attorney who also sits on the tax commission. While this is certainly interesting, and anyone can plainly see the political pressure being applied, I'm not sure you could create a case out of that.
The real scandal is the canceled checks Gibbons used to prove he was receiving more than $5k in agricultural income from this land. You see, it takes about 100 acres of this kind of land to feed one cow. Under even the most generous fee structure, the most Gibbons could make renting this land for grazing would be about $500. If someone is paying Gibbons more than $5,000 to graze one cow part time, it must be some kind of cow.
The funny part is that the person who is paying Gibbons all this money is the same guy he bought the property from, former Washoe District Judge Jerry Carr Whitehead.
The key will be these checks Whitehead supposedly wrote to Gibbons. Why would he pay 10 times the going rate for grazing land, when he already owns 3,000 acres in the same area? Do I smell a wee bit of fraud here? That's not an ethical problem, it's a criminal problem.
Despite all of Gibbons' Jimbo eruptions, it's this case that could bring his checkered political career to an end.
With the Iraqis now calling for U.S. troops to leave, the Bush-McCain war effort is falling apart.
Even though both Bush and McCain said in the past that we would leave if the Iraqis want us to, they are now furiously trying to find a way out of this political mess.
There is a rather large elephant standing in the room here. So many people believe that Bush-McCain want to stay in Iraq because of oil. That might be partially true, but there is something even bigger at work here.
If America leaves, Iran will likely move in. Bush-McCain do not want to admit that the government they helped install in Iraq, selected by the Shia majority that they helped free from Sunni domination, is closely allied with Iran. If America pulls out, the Iranians would be happy to help their Iraqi friends keep the peace, and protect the Shia government.
If Iran moves in, then the defeat will be evident to everyone. Even if violence drops to nothing, to the point where even McCain couldn't make the case for staying, it benefits Iran far more than us.
The same official who tried to walk back PM Maliki's endorsement of Obama's Iraq pullout plan now says that the government wants U.S. troops out by 2010.
That should put an end to the Bush/McCain spin that Maliki's comments were "misquoted." We now have it on record several times that the Iraqis want us to go home, soon, which matches Obama's plan.
John McCain will have to go find someplace else to fight his 100 years war.
First we have Iraqi PM Maliki endorsing Obama's 16-month pullout plan. The the Bush administration muscled Maliki's people to issue a statement that the PM was "misquoted" or "mistranslated." The funny part was that this sort-of retraction didn't name any specific part of Maliki's interview that was wrong, and the message itself came from CENTCOM. Gee, why would the Iraqi government send out a message through the U.S. Military?
So the latest spin from the Bush folks is that Maliki was simply appeasing his restless constituents in Iraq. After all, to them, a politician saying something he doesn't believe comes naturally.
Except that here, it points out the obvious, that the Iraqis and their government would like for us to leave, sooner than later. That leaves a whole lot of people who don't like Bush's and John McCain's plans for Iraq.