Friday, October 31, 2008

A New Direction by Sen. John McCain

"After months of campaign trail eloquence, we've finally learned what Sen. Barack Obama's economic goal is. As he told Samuel J. 'Joe the Plumber' Wurzelbacher in Ohio, he wants to 'spread the wealth around.' Given the chance to retract his statement on network news, he affirmed it. He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. I am going to create wealth for all Americans by creating opportunity for all Americans." -- Sen. John McCain

"A New Direction"
By Sen. John McCain
Rocky Mountain News
October 31, 2008

We have just a few short days until the election. It's been a long campaign and we've heard a lot of words. I know you're worried. America is a great country, but we are at a moment of national crisis that will determine our future. Will we continue to lead the world's economies or will we be overtaken? Will the world become safer or more dangerous? Will our military remain the strongest in the world? Will our children and grandchildren's future be brighter than ours?

My answer to you is yes. Yes, we will lead. Yes, we will prosper. Yes, we will be safer. Yes, we will pass on to our children a stronger, better country. But we must be prepared to act swiftly, boldly, with courage and wisdom.

After months of campaign trail eloquence, we've finally learned what Sen. Barack Obama's economic goal is. As he told Samuel J. "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher in Ohio, he wants to "spread the wealth around." Given the chance to retract his statement on network news, he affirmed it. He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. I am going to create wealth for all Americans by creating opportunity for all Americans.

Senator Obama may say he's only going to go after "the rich," but it's the middle class who are going to bear the brunt. To pay for nearly a trillion dollars in new government spending, his tax increase would impact 50 percent of small-business income in this country, and the jobs of 16 million middle-class Americans who work for those small businesses.

The McCain-Palin tax cut is the real thing. We will hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home. We're going to double the child deduction for working families. We will cut the capital gains tax. And we will cut business taxes to help create jobs, and keep American businesses in America. Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy.

In this country, we believe in spreading opportunity, for those who need jobs and those who create them. And that is exactly what I intend to do as president of the United States.

I announced a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him. This will help stem the tide of foreclosures that are hurting families, and it will put a floor under the broken housing market that was at the root of the financial crisis.

I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork-barrel bill Congress passes.

My administration will stop spending $700 billion to buy oil from countries that don't like us very much. Sen. Obama will argue to delay drilling for more oil and gas and against building new nuclear power plants in America. As president, we will start new drilling now. We will invest in all energy alternatives - nuclear, wind, solar and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex-fuel and electric automobiles. We will invest in clean-coal technology. We will lower the cost of energy within months, and we will create millions of new jobs.

What America needs now is a fighter. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight - hoping for our luck to change at home and abroad. We have to act. We need a new direction, and we have to fight for it.

I've been fighting for this country since I was 17 years old, and I have the scars to prove it. I will fight to shake up Washington and take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it and I'm asking you to stand and fight with me on Nov. 4.

John McCain is the Republican candidate for president of the United States.

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Reality Check: The Cost Of Obama's Pledges

"The fact is the savings Obama has identified do not cover his spending. According to a CBS News estimate, he's around $90 billion short. The Obama campaign disputes this, saying everything including the stimulus is paid for over 10 years. But other analysts say - even presuming Obama saves money in Iraq and chops the federal budget as promised - he falls short." -- CBS News' Wyatt Andrews

"Reality Check: The Cost Of Obama's Pledges"
Wyatt Andrews
CBS News
October 29, 2008

Without question, the Barack Obama infomercial served as a very slick and powerful recitation of the biggest promises he's made as a presidential candidate. But the very bigness of his ideas is the problem: he seems blind to the concept his numbers don't add up.

Obama has already proposed a new stimulus package of $188 billion over two years. His tax cuts will cost $85 billion a year. His "army of new teachers": $18 billion; Renewable energy: $15 billion. CBS News and various independent experts estimate Obama's total first year spending could exceed $280 billion.

Still Obama repeated his claim he can find the money to pay for every proposal.

"I've offered spending cuts above and beyond their cost," he has said.

The fact is the savings Obama has identified do not cover his spending. According to a CBS News estimate, he's around $90 billion short. The Obama campaign disputes this, saying everything including the stimulus is paid for over 10 years. But other analysts say - even presuming Obama saves money in Iraq and chops the federal budget as promised - he falls short.

Let's break all of this down, starting with his highly suspect, and widely discredited, claim that he can find federal "spending cuts beyond the costs" of his promises. Very few independent economists believe he has identified the savings needed to offset his remarkable list of tax credits, tax cuts and spending pledges.

Fact: Even if you believe Obama intends to fix health care, most independent analysts say the cost is massive - $1.2 trillion over ten years, according to the highly respected Lewin Group. When the new Congress wakes up next year to a $1 trillion deficit, and answers the overwhelming new demands for another stimulus package, will the leadership really bite on a health care reform package that digs the deficit hole so much deeper?

And that's just the beginning of what Obama would spend.

Fact: The tax cuts he promises, which are mostly refundable tax credits (code for cash back), will cost $60 billion just in year one, according the National Taxpayers Union, though the Obama campaign's own estimates in July put that figure at $130 billion.

Fact: His new promise to give businesses a $3,000 tax credit for each new job created will cost $40 billion. But economists say this credit is far more likely to benefit companies already planning to expand and will likely not be enough to help companies create new jobs or forestall layoffs.

Fact: Obama's claim he will lower health care premiums by $2,500 is: 1.) guesswork, which is 2.) based on health care savings that might, in a perfect world, happen over 10 years - a fact Obama neatly glosses over.

Fact: Obama, when referring to savings he can make by leaving Iraq ($90 billion, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates), has spent these savings several times over, across several different promises depending on the crowd he's addressing.

Most of the time he spends the Iraq savings in the context of the roads he wants to build; sometimes it's for the teachers he wants to hire. Tonight, he riffed rhetorically on the savings, asking how many scholarships could be funded, or how many schools could be built. In the end though, presuming he really saves $90 billion, he can only spend it once.

Remember he also mentioned rebuilding the military ($7 billion/yr); his education initiative ($18 billion/yr); and his energy initiative ($15 billion/yr). He did not mention the $188 billion that he would spend on the brand new stimulus package he has proposed.

If he closes every loophole as promised, saves every dime from Iraq, raises taxes on the rich and trims the federal budget as he's promised to do "line by line," he still doesn't pay for his list. If he's elected, the first fact hitting his desk will be the figure projecting how much less of a budget he has to work with - thanks to the recession. He gave us a very compelling vision with his ad buy tonight. What he did not give us was any hint of the cold reality he's facing or a sense of how he might prioritize his promises if voters trust him with the White House.

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Governor Sarah Palin's Remarks, Erie PA

Thank you. It's good to be in Erie, Pennsylvania, and I appreciate the hospitality of Penn State. I'm grateful as well to our distinguished guests: Governor Tom Ridge, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, John Lehman, the 17th secretary of the Navy, Ambassador Rich Williamson, Admiral Marsha Evans and retired three-star General Carol Mutter of the United States Marine Corps: I thank all of you for joining us.

Yesterday in Ohio, I spoke about the great and urgent need to gain energy security for our country. Energy policy is just the most dramatic example of how domestic and foreign policy cannot be separated anymore. When we draft energy policy these days, we need to think about both prices at the pump and about pipelines on the other side of the world, about basic economics and about the fundamentals of national security.

It used to be we could place domestic and foreign concerns in more or less "distinct categories" -- and choose a president according to which seemed the greater priority at the time. But the world has so drastically changed and those days are gone. Even if a most immediate concern is economic, our recovery will still depend on leadership that can protect and advance our security and our vital interests in the world.

It's easy to forget this in a time of economic worry and hardship. When your most valuable assets -- from your home to your retirement plan -- seem at risk, it may be hard to spend much time worrying about great troubles in far-off places. When you fear for your own job, or the possible loss of health insurance, it may be hard to spare much thought even for the most urgent matters of national security. The security of other nations, and even the fate of millions of people across the world, can seem remote when America itself is passing through an economic crisis.

One of the requirements of presidential leadership is to understand that the "dangers of the world" do not disappear when our attention is diverted! In fact, if we remain distracted for too long, they become much, much worse. As Senator McCain said yesterday: we're going to pull through this economic crisis! And with policies to keep taxes low, promote growth, and create jobs, we will come out stronger, just as America -- the greatest country on earth -- has done before!

But when the worst of our economic crisis has passed -- and it will pass -- we don't want to find ourselves facing even graver problems because we lost sight of the things that matter most. And as John McCain has understood throughout his career -- serving on carriers, in cockpits, and in the Capitol -- nothing takes priority over the security of this country!

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the consequences of victory and defeat alike will reach far into the future making America much safer, or placing us in greater danger. Now, Barack Obama didn't have much to say in that long infomercial of his last night about the stakes in the wars America is fighting, or about the need to support the troops in the field, or why he supported cutting off funding to our troops in the war. He prefers to wrap his "closing message" in a warm and fuzzy commercial message. He wants to soften the focus in these closing days, hoping your mind won't wander to the real challenges of national security that he is incapable of meeting. But in "a time for choosing," what we need is clarity! We need an alertness to dangers that are still in our power to contain!

Seven years after 9/11, there is a temptation to assume that we have seen the worst that terrorists can do, or that they have somehow changed their mind, and abandoned their mission of inflicting "catastrophic harm" on our country! But we must not confuse effective countermeasures with an end to the threat. The terrorist threat will be with us for many years, and millions of innocent lives are in the balance. Our children's future is at stake here! In this time for choosing, the question is which man will protect us from Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, and other grave threats in the world, which one understands the threat! That man is Senator John McCain.

If you don't believe me, Senator McCain's running mate on this score, then just listen to Senator Obama's running mate. In that way of his, Joe Biden strayed off message the other day and stumbled on the truth. And he never sounded more certain of anything. First, in the primaries he said Barack Obama is not ready to be president. Then, the other day, he "guaranteed" us that Obama's lack of experience ensures us an international crisis. He said we could expect this crisis by July of 2009, within just six months of an untested man's arrival to the Oval Office.
After a warning like that, it would be some comfort to believe, at least, that Congress might provide some national-security leadership. But, no, we've been put on notice by the Democrat majority that this is not to be expected either. Already, plans are underway by Democrat House Finance Committee chairman Barney Frank to cut defense spending by 25 percent!

We're fighting two wars, with a force strength in need of rebuilding, and a guaranteed crisis heading our way, in the considered judgment of Joe Biden himself -- and they think it's the perfect time to radically reduce defense spending? They even tie these cuts to projected savings from the forced withdrawal -- an early surrender -- in Iraq that Barack Obama promises! The far left wing of the Democrat Party is preparing to take over the entire federal government, folks. And according to their own stated plans, the first thing to go will be one quarter of our defense budget.

As the time for choosing draws near, let me provide a better idea -- wiser and safer course for America. Let's not retreat from wars that are almost won. Let's not gut the defense budget, in a time of multiple conflicts and obvious dangers. And let's not entrust all the powers of the federal government to the one-party rule of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

You know, a man can be admirable in many ways, and promising, and yet still not be ready for the most important and demanding job in the world. Rousing speeches can fill a stadium, but they cannot keep this country safe. For a season, a man can inspire with his words. But for a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds. And in five days, it will all come down to a choice between these two men, Barack Obama and John McCain.

Only one of them understands the costs of war, because he has paid those costs himself in the pursuit of peace. Only one of them has ever held command over more than a political campaign, and borne responsibility for the lives of others. He is a man of unquestioned honor, of personal and political courage, and of tested judgment -- the kind of judgment that avoids crisis instead of inviting it. In a time of great danger, we are fortunate to have a man of his caliber ready to serve as commander in chief -- and I ask you, my fellow Americans, to elect John McCain as the next president of the United States. Thank you, and God bless America.
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Barack Obama's Misleading Infomercial

Wednesday night, Barack Obama's infomercial offered the American people a nicely packaged product of misleading information. Check out the facts below:

JUST WORDS #1: Barack Obama Decries Record Deficits But Admits He Has No Interest In Reducing The Deficit

Barack Obama: "We were running a record deficit and our national debt had never been higher." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama: "I Do Not Make A Promise That We Can Reduce [The Budget Deficit] By 2013." "'I do not make a promise that we can reduce it by 2013 because I think it is important for us to make some critical investments right now in America's families,' Obama told reporters this week when asked if he'd match McCain's pledge." (Nedra Pickler, "Analysis: Obama Won't Try For McCain's Budget Goal," The Associated Press, 7/8/08)

· Chicago Tribune: Barack Obama Has "No Interest In Eliminating Deficit Spending." "Since winning the nomination, Obama reportedly has been moving toward the middle of the political spectrum. But on the budget, he still sounds left of center, with no interest in eliminating deficit spending." (Editorial, "Failure Of Nerve," Chicago Tribune, 7/8/08)

· The Associated Press: Barack Obama Not "Even Trying" To Balance The Budget And "Frankly Says He's Not Sure He'd Bring It Down At All In Four Years." "Barack Obama says John McCain's plan to balance the budget doesn't add up. Easy for him to say: It's not a goal he's even trying to reach. Not only does Obama say he won't eliminate the deficit in his first term, as McCain aims to do, he frankly says he's not sure he'd bring it down at all in four years, considering his own spending plans." (Nedra Pickler, "Analysis: Obama Won't Try For McCain's Budget Goal," The Associated Press, 7/8/08)

JUST WORDS #2: Barack Obama Talks About Leadership In The Financial Crisis But When The Crisis First Began, He Refused To Lead

Barack Obama: "But then a little over a month ago, the bottom fell out. What happened in the financial markets was the final verdict on eight years of failed policies. And we're now going through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. A few weeks ago, we passed a financial rescue plan. It's a step in the right direction ... and as president, I'll ensure that you, the taxpayers, are paid back first. But we also need a rescue plan for the middle class ... starting with what we can do right now that will have an immediate effect." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Washington Times: "Obama Mum On Market Crisis." "Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama opted Friday not to divulge details of his recovery plan for the financial crisis after a morning meeting with his top economic advisers -- fearing it would stir Wall Street jitters." (S.A. Miller, "Obama Mum On Market Crisis," The Washington Times, 9/20/08)

· Barack Obama Did Not Make Calls To Round Up Votes For The Economic Recovery Package. ABC's JOHN BERMAN: "The McCain campaign has been hammering Obama suggesting he did not take a leading role in the financial negotiations." SEN. MCCAIN: "At first, he didn't want to get involved. Then, he was monitoring the situation." BERMAN: "Indeed, Obama aides say he did not make any calls to help round up votes." (ABC's "Good Morning America," 9/30/08)

· Barack Obama "Hinted That Had He Known Earlier The Deal Was Going Down To Defeat He Would Have Worked The Phones Even Harder." "Obama also hinted that had he known earlier the deal was going down to defeat he would have worked the phones even harder, especially given that some of those who voted no, were some of his early supporters." (Lee Cowan, "Obama Places No Blame, But..." MSNBC's "First Read" Blog,, Posted 9/30/08)

· Fox News' Major Garrett Reported That Barack Obama Would Not Take A Position On Whether Or Not He Supported Or Opposed The Government Rescue Of AIG. GARRETT: "On the biggest financial issue of the day, Barack Obama would not say if he supported or opposed the government-backed rescue of insurance giant AIG." BARACK OBAMA: "We don't know all the details of the arrangement with AIG and the Federal Reserve must ensure that plans protect the families that count on insurance." GARRETT: "Obama also wants taxpayers protected but executives and shareholders exposed but on the central question to intervene or not, Obama sidestepped. Advisers said lack of details forced caution. The larger political truth: advisors believe anxiety alone is enough to lift Obama in the polls. That is why on the trail, Obama doesn't talk about specifics of the moment but the nation's overall direction." (Fox News' "The Special Report," 9/17/08)

JUST WORDS #3: Barack Obama Says He'll Cut Taxes For Those Making Less Than $200,00 But Yesterday It Was Either $250,000 Or $150,000

Barack Obama: "As president, here's what I'll do: Cut taxes for every working family making less than $200,000 a year." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· In July 2008, Barack Obama Said: "If You Make $250,000 A Year Or Less, We Will Not Raise Your Taxes. We Will Cut Your Taxes." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Powder Springs, GA, 7/8/08)

· Joe Biden: "Spreading the wealth was not--he was talking about is all of the tax breaks have gone to the very, very wealthy. For example you have right now, this year, under the old tax policy that was just -- that was put in by George Bush, people making an average 1.4 million a year, good people, decent people, patriotic -- they're going to get an $87 billion tax break. What we're saying is that $87 billion tax break doesn't need to go to people making an average of 1.4 million, it should go like it used to. It should go to middle class people -- people making under $150,000 a year." (Joe Biden, Interview With WNEP Scranton, 10/27/08)

· Obama-Biden Campaign Aides Said That Those Making Between $150,000 And $250,000 Will Actually Not See A Tax Increase Or A Tax Cut. "Biden aides say his comments were actually consistent with Obama's tax plan -- people under $150,000 get a cut, and people making up to $250,000 stay the same." (Mark Murray and Mike Memoli, "$150,000 Vs. $250,000," MSNBC's "First Read" Blog,, Posted 10/28/08)

JUST WORDS #4: Barack Obama Says That His Business Tax Plan Will Create Jobs Here But His Running-Mate Disagrees

Barack Obama: "Give businesses a tax credit for every new employee that they hire right here in the U.S. over the next two years ... and eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Washington Post: Barack Obama's Plan On Business Taxes "Would Make It Even Harder" For Corporations To Compete And Will Hurt Workers In The United States. "Barack Obama says that he would 'end tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas' and blasts John McCain for refusing to condemn such loopholes. But the offshoring issue is more complicated than Mr. Obama's rhetoric suggests. ... Mr. Obama's proposal would change the provision in which U.S.-based companies don't have to pay taxes on their earnings abroad until that income is 'repatriated' -- brought back into the United States, for example as dividend payments. ... Mr. Obama's suggested fix would make it even harder for them to compete abroad -- ultimately hurting workers and others here." (Editorial, "The Export Of Jobs," The Washington Post, 8/17/08)

· The Wall Street Journal Said Barack Obama's Proposal Penalizes Most American Companies That Have Subsidiaries Abroad With "A Big Tax Increase." "Under Mr. Obama's plan, 'patriot employers' qualify for a 1% tax credit on their profits. To finance this tax break, American companies with subsidiaries abroad would have to pay the U.S. corporate tax on profits earned abroad, rather than the corporate tax of the host country where they are earned. Since the U.S. corporate tax rate is 35%, while most of the world has a lower rate, this amounts to a big tax increase on earnings owned abroad." (Editorial, "Obama's 'Patriot' Act," The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/08)

· Joe Biden Acknowledged That Eliminating Tax Breaks For Corporations Won't Keep Jobs Here; That America Has To Make It "More Attractive" For Corporations To Operate Here. Biden: "I agree with everything that was said here. But the bottom line here is that eliminating the tax breaks is not going to keep jobs here in America. We've got to make it more attractive to have jobs here in America and for corporations to be here. You've got to take the burden off the corporations with a health care system that's universal, so we're not at a competitive disadvantage." (Sen. Joe Biden, Democrat Presidential Candidates Debate, Howard University, Washington, DC, 6/28/07)

JUST WORDS #5: Barack Obama Says He Will Help Small Businesses Even As He Proposes Higher Taxes That Will Kill Small Businesses

Barack Obama: "And just like after 9-11, we'll provide low-cost loans to help small businesses pay their workers and keep their doors open." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Obama-Biden Has Called For Higher Income Taxes, Social Security Taxes, Capital Gains And Dividend Taxes, And Corporate Taxes, As Well As "Massive New Domestic Spending." "Obama's transformation, if you go by his campaign so far, would mean higher income taxes, higher Social Security taxes, higher investment taxes, higher corporate taxes, massive new domestic spending, and a healthcare plan that perhaps could be the next step to a full-scale, single-payer system. Is that what most Americans want, someone who will fulfill a Democratic policy wish list?" (James Pethokoukis, "Barack Hussein Reagan? Ronald Wilson Obama?" U.S. News & World Report's "Capital Commerce" Blog, 2/12/08)

· Obama-Biden Will Increase Capital Gains And Dividend Taxes. Obama Economic Advisors Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee: "The top capital-gains rate for families making more than $250,000 would return to 20% ... The tax rate on dividends would also be 20% for families making more than $250,000, rather than returning to the ordinary income rate." (Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee, Op-Ed, "The Obama Tax Plan," The Wall Street Journal, 8/14/08)

· Tax Policy Center: Obama-Biden Would Raise Taxes On One Out Of Every Three Senior Households. "Even though Senator Obama's plan eliminates individual income taxes for seniors with incomes less than $50,000, his plan would raise taxes for almost 10 million senior households, over a third of the total (not shown in table). On average, seniors would face a tax increase of about 2 percent of income." (Burman et al., "A Preliminary Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans," The Tax Policy Center, 6/11/08)

· Obama-Biden Would Raise Income Taxes. Obama: "[I] would roll back the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000." (Sen. Barack Obama, CNN Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Manchester, NH, 6/3/07)

· U.S. Department Of Treasury: Small Business Owners "Are Frequently Subject To The Highest Individual Income Tax Rates." ("Topics Related To The President's Tax Relief," U.S. Department Of Treasury,, May 2008)

· Obama-Biden Would Raise Social Security Taxes. "Obama's proposal ... would impose social security taxes on income above $250,000 per year. He would continue to exempt income between $102,000 and $250,000 from social security taxes." (Teddy Davis, Sunlen Miller, and Gregory Wallace, "Obama Kisses Billions Goodbye," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog,, 6/18/08)

JUST WORDS #6: Barack Obama Talks About Pension Security While Democrats In Congress Propose Rules To Eliminate 401(K)s

Barack Obama: "You earned your pension. You earned it. It wasn't a gift. You gave up wages so that money could be set aside for your retirement. Time and time again, what we're seeing is companies who owe their workers retirements, pensions shedding those obligations. When you make a commitment to workers at a company, those aren't idle promises. Those are promises that should have the force of law." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Wall Street Journal: "Lawmakers Have Been Suggesting They May Look At Policy Changes To 401(k)s . In Coming Months." "In the past 12 months, more than a half-trillion dollars have 'evaporated' from 401(k) plans as a result of turmoil in the financial markets, said U.S. Rep. George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. ... Lawmakers have been suggesting they may look at policy changes to 401(k)s -- the tax-advantaged plans that are the most widely used retirement vehicle -- in coming months. Miller made it clear he sees flaws in the 401(k) model. About $3 trillion is invested in the plans, the majority of it placed in equity mutual funds that track the stock market. Miller said the 401(k) approach is a policy 'not well devised' for changes in the market. He said the plans were meant to be savings vehicles, not primary retirement plans." (Jennifer Levitz, "Amid Deep Los ses, Congress Examines 401(k)s," The Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire," 10/7/08)

· Among The Changes To The 401(K) System That Were Proposed At A Recent Congressional Hearing, "Chief Among Them Was Eliminating $80 Billion In Tax Savings For Higher-Income People Enrolled In 401(K) Retirement Savings Plans." "A wide range of sweeping changes to the 401(k) system were proposed Tuesday at a hearing on how the market crisis has devastated retirement savings plans. Chief among them was eliminating $80 billion in tax savings for higher-income people enrolled in 401(k) retirement savings plans. This was suggested by the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor. 'With respect to the 401(k), it appears to be a plan that is not really well-devised for the changes in the market,' Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said. 'We've invested $80 billion into subsidizing this activity,' he said, referring to tax breaks allowed for 401(k) contributions and savings. With savings rates going down, 'what do we have to start to thi nk about in Congress of whether or not we want to continue and invest that $80 billion for a policy that is not generating what we ... say it should?' Mr. Miller said." (Sara Hansard, "Congress Mulls Major 401(k) Changes," Investment News, 10/7/08)

· At An October 2008 Hearing, Education And Labor Committee Chairman Rep. George Miller (D-CA) Asked: "What Do We Have To Start To Think About In Congress Of Whether or Not We Want To Continue And Invest That $80 Billion For A Policy That's Not Generating What We Now Say It Should?" "But I think the key point raised by Dr. Ghilarducci, and Mr. Orszag I'm going to direct this to you, is that we've invested $80 billion a year into subsidizing this activity, which originally I thought was sort of a savings plan. And now its' become a retirement plan. I don't know when it changed, but now everybody is told that that's their retirement supplement. And again, it appears that while we've lamented all the time the savings rate isn't going up for the investment of this $80 billion, in fact, it's probably going down or appears to have been on a downward trend for a number of years. What's the policy? I mean, what do we have to start to think about in Congress of whether or not we want to continue and invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating what we now say it should?" (U.S. House Committee On Education And Labor, Hearing, 10/7/08)

· Rep. Miller: "I Think What We Are Seeing Is That After 25 Years Of 401K Plans That They Are A Big Failure In Terms Of Providing An Adequate Retirement For Middle Class Americans." (Jeff Mitchell, "Miller Says Government Must Next Turn Its Attention To Propping Up Sagging 401K And Pension Plans,", 10/8/08)

JUST WORDS #7: Barack Obama Says The American People Aren't "Looking For A Handout" But Proposes A New Welfare System

Barack Obama: "Americans -- they don't expect government to solve all their problems. They're not looking for a handout. If they're able and willing to work, they should be able to find a job that pays a living wage. They should be able to retire with some dignity and some respect." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Wall Street Journal Calls Obama's Numerous Refundable Tax Credits "Tens Of Billions Of Dollars In Government Handouts." "For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase 'tax credit.'" (Editorial, "Obama's 95% Illusion," The Wall Street Journal, 10/13/08)

· New York Post: "[O]bama's 'Tax Cuts' Really Amount To A Sizable Expansion Of Welfare." "In truth, as The Wall Street Journal detailed yesterday, nearly all of those 'cuts' actually come in the form of 'refundable tax credits,' by which the government in effect writes a check to those who meet certain criteria - even if they don't pay taxes in the first place. In other words, Obama's 'tax cuts' really amount to a sizable expansion of welfare. That leaves American taxpayers to foot the bill - both directly, and through the lost economic opportunity that's sure to follow Obama's promised tax hikes on income, dividends and capital gains." (Editorial, "Ready, Set ... Spend!" New York Post, 10/14/08)

· Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "[T]he One-Third Of All American Working Families Who Pay No Income Taxes Now Will Receive A Government Check Under The Obama Plan. And That Number Could Rise To About 44 Percent Under Obama's Proposal." "The 'tax-cut plan' of Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama is anything but. In fact, it's nothing more than another liberaled-up wealth-transference program that, in the 'old days,' was known as welfare. ... Just as troubling, however, is this little factoid: Even the one-third of all American working families who pay no income taxes now will receive a government check under the Obama plan. And that number could rise to about 44 percent under Obama's proposal." (Editorial, "Obama's Tax Cut: New Welfare Deal," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 10/14/08)

JUST WORDS #8: Barack Obama Says His $150 Billion Fund Will Lead To Energy Independence But "There's No Guarantee That The Research Will Result In Less Oil Being Imported"

Barack Obama: "As president, I'll use companies like McKinstry as a model for the nation. I'll invest $15 billion dollars a year in energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy -- like wind, solar and bio-fuels -- creating five million clean energy jobs over the next decade -- jobs that pay well and can never be outsourced." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· FactCheck.Org: "On closer examination, his proposal is to spend $150 billion over the coming decade on energy research. Ten years doesn't sound all that 'fast' to us, and there's no guarantee that the research will result in less oil being imported. ... We do object to implying that a decade-long program, which in all probability could not even begin until sometime in late 2009, is a 'fast track' to anything." (FactCheck.Org, "Straining A Point,", 7/17/08)

JUST WORDS #9: Barack Obama Says We Need To Tap The Very Same Domestic Sources Of Energy He Opposes Tapping

Barack Obama: "And to further reduce our demand for foreign oil, I'll tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology and expand domestic production of oil." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Opposes Offshore Drilling. OBAMA: "This is not real. I know it's tempting. The polls say the majority of Americans think that's one of the ways we're going to solve this problem, but it's not real." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Springfield, MO, 7/30/08)

· Joe Biden Said That He And Barack Obama Don't Support Clean Coal And Believe In "No Coal Plants Here In America." PERSON: "Senator, Senator, wind and solar are flourishing here in Ohio, so why are you supporting clean coal?" BIDEN: "Say ... I didn't hear what you said." PERSON: "Wind and solar are flourishing here in Ohio, so why are you supporting clean coal?" BIDEN: "We're not supporting 'clean coal.' Guess what. China's building two every week. Two dirty coal plants. And it's polluting the United States. It's causing people to die." PERSON: "So will you support wind and solar?" BIDEN: "Absolutely. Before anybody did. The first guy to introduce a global warming bill was me, 22 years ago. The first guy to support solar energy was me, 26 years ago. It came out of Delaware. But guess what. China is gonna burn three hundred years of bad coal unless we figure out how to clean their coal up. Because it's going to ruin your lungs and t here's nothing we can do about it. No coal plants here in America. Build them, if they're going to build them over there make 'em clean because they're killing you." (Joe Biden, Remarks, Maumee, OH, 9/17/08)

JUST WORDS #10: Barack Obama Says His Spending Proposals Are All Paid For But According To Independent Sources, Barack Obama Can Not Account For All His New Spending

Barack Obama: "That's why, for my energy plan, my economic plan and the other proposals you'll hear tonight, I've offered spending cuts above and beyond their cost. I'll also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that don't work ... and making the ones we do need work better and cost less." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· ABC News: Barack Obama Can Not "Pay For Every Dime" Of New Spending He Has Proposed. "Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said during Friday's presidential debate that he would 'pay for every dime' of his spending. But according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 'without substantial cuts in government spending' Obama's plan -- and McCain's, too --'would substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years.' The Tax Policy Center has estimated that Obama's proposed tax policies would increase the debt by $3.5 trillion over ten years." ("Fact Check: 'Pay for Every Dime'? Not Quite," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog,, Posted 9/26/08)

· PolitiFact Discredits Barack Obama's Claim That His Proposals Are Paid For; Says His Rhetoric Is "Disingenuous." "Until he fleshes out his economic plan considerably more, it's disingenuous to go around claiming his proposals are 'paid for.' And that claim is even more suspect considering that his proposals would leave a larger deficit than would the tax laws currently on the books. We find his claim to be Barely True." ("'Paid For' Without Real Money," St. Petersburg Times' ",", 6/16/08)

· Los Angeles Times: Barack Obama "Has Not Identified New Revenue Sources Or Spending Cuts To Pay For Some Of" His Proposals. "The Obama campaign responds that tax cuts, once enacted, are usually renewed and do not expire. Therefore, they say, Obama can legitimately claim to be recouping money for other purposes by scaling back the tax cuts. Obama has not identified new revenue sources or spending cuts to pay for some of what he wants to do." (Peter Nicholas, "Adding Up The Cost Of Obama's Agenda," Los Angeles Times, 7/8/08)

JUST WORDS #11: Barack Obama Talks About Reforming Education But He Has No Record

Barack Obama: "Now is not the time for small plans - now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation - to provide every child a world class education. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries, and give them more support. And in exchange I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· "In His Eight Years In The State Senate And Two Years In The U.S. Senate, Mr. Obama Hasn't Made A Significant Mark On Education Policy." ("Obama's Annenberg Stint Informs White House Bid," Education Week, 3/7/07)

· The Washington Post: Barack Obama "Elusive" On School Accountability. "Mr. Obama, as the New York Times' David Brooks recently observed, has promised dozens of crowd-pleasing programs but has been elusive on such thorny issues as teacher tenure and school accountability." (Editorial, "Focus On School Reform," The Washington Post, 7/7/08)

· Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman: "Obama Is The Staunch Defender Of The Existing Public School Monopoly." "On the subject of elementary and secondary education, the two seem to have gotten their roles completely mixed up. Obama is the staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly, and he's allergic to anything that subverts it. John McCain, on the other hand, went before the NAACP last week to argue for something new and daring." (Steve Chapman, Op-Ed, "Change: A Matter Of Convenience," Chicago Tribune, 7/20/08)

JUST WORDS #12: Barack Obama Says His Health Care Plan Will Save Families $2,500 But There Is "Zero Credible Evidence" For That

Barack Obama: "That's why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions ... and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 dollars a year. And you can keep your same coverage and your same doctor." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama's Pledge To Lower Health Care Premiums By $2,500 In His First Term "Is A Matter Of Considerable Dispute" Among Experts. "In speech after speech, Senator Barack Obama has pledged that he will lower the country's health care costs enough to 'bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.' Moreover, Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has promised that his health plan will be in place 'by the end of my first term as president of the United States.' Whether Mr. Obama can deliver is a matter of considerable dispute among health analysts and economists." (Kevin Sack, "Obstacles For Obama In Meeting Health Care Goal," The New York Times, 7/23/08)

· A Health Policy Professor At The University Of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Said The Savings In The Obama Plan Are "Wishful Thinking." "Jonathan B. Oberlander, who teaches health policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, called it wishful thinking. 'Do they have the potential to generate significant savings in the long run?' Dr. Oberlander asked. 'Yes. Do I believe they will produce substantial savings in the short run that can be used to finance Obama's plan? No.'" (Kevin Sack, "Obstacles For Obama In Meeting Health Care Goal," The New York Times, 7/23/08)

· M.I.T.'s Jonathan Gruber Said That There Is "Zero Credible Evidence" That The Obama Plan Will Save The Average Family On The Costs Of Insurance Premiums. "Experts also are skeptical of both [Obama and Clinton's] claims that their plans will reduce the cost of insurance for the typical family by $2,000 or more. 'I know zero credible evidence to support that conclusion,' says M.I.T's Jonathan Gruber." ( Website,, Accessed 6/9/08)

· Factcheck.Org: Barack Obama's Claim That His Plan Will Cut Insurance Premium Costs By $2,500 Is "A Bit Of Misleading Math." "That's a bit of misleading math. It assumes individual Americans will share in all of the savings for the health care system, which includes insurance companies, the government and health care providers. Obama claims families will save $2,500 under his plan, but they won't see at least some of those savings directly in the form of lower premiums. And they may not see them indirectly either." (Factcheck.Org,, Accessed 6/16/08)

JUST WORDS #13: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Says Barack Obama Was A Clear Leader In The Illinois State Legislature But He Voted "Present" Nearly 130 Times

Senator Dick Durbin: "Here's a person who as a state legislator was a clear leader in Springfield on so many important issues that really made a difference. Came to Washington, had an impact as soon as he arrived." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Voted "Present" Nearly 130 Times When He Was A State Senator. "In the end, Mr. Obama chose neither to vote for nor against the bill. He voted "present," effectively sidestepping the issue, an option he invoked nearly 130 times as a state senator." (Raymond Hernandez And Christopher Drew, "It's Not Just 'Ayes' And 'Nays': Obama's Votes In Illinois Echo," The New York Times, 12/20/07)

· Hillary Clinton: Barack Obama's State Senate "Present Votes" Demonstrated An Unwillingness To "Draw A Lot Of Political Heat." CLINTON: "And, you know, this is kind of like the 'present' vote thing, because the Chicago Tribune, his hometown paper, said that all those 'present' votes was taking a pass. It was for political reasons. Well, when you come up with a universal health care plan and you don't have any wiggle room left, you know that you're going to draw a lot of political heat." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, CNN Democrat Presidential Debate, Myrtle Beach, SC, 1/21/08)

JUST WORDS #14: Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Says Barack Obama Went Up Against His Own Party But The Ethics Bill Was Hardly A Test Of Party Loyalty

Senator Claire McCaskill: "He's changed the rules in Washington. Gone are the free gifts from lobbyist, gone are the fancy airplane rides for nothing. He did that. Now, it wasn't easy. He had to work across party lines. More importantly, he had to fight senior members of the Senate who liked it just fine the way it was." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Joining 82 Other Senators, Barack Obama Voted For The 2007 Lobbying And Ethics Reform Legislation. "Reid, D-Nev., motion to concur in the House amendment to the bill that would overhaul congressional lobbying and ethics rules for members and their staffs and require the disclosure of 'bundled' campaign contributions that exceed $15,000 in a six-month period. Former senators would have to wait two years before becoming lobbyists." (S. 1, CQ Vote #294: Motion Agreed To 83-14: R 34-14; D 47-0; I 2-0, 8/2/07, Obama Voted Yea)

· Ethics Bill "Hardly A Test Of Party Loyalty." "Worth noting, also, is that Obama gave his supposed collaboration with McCain as an example of how he had worked 'against party loyalty ... for the good of America,' in the words used by Warren in his question. In fact, the measure that became law was sponsored by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and a bipartisan list of 16 others. ... But in the end the bill was hardly a test of party loyalty." ("Saddleback Bloggers,", 8/18/08)

· The Wall Street Journal's John Fund: "On A Relatively Minor Ethics Bill," Barack Obama Declined To Work With John McCain In Favor Of "Signing Onto The Democratic Leadership's Ethics Bill." "Mr. McCain said he had 'a long list' and provided specifics from global warming to runaway spending under a Republican Congress. Barack Obama offered only one answer: 'Well, I'll give you an example that in fact I worked with John McCain on," Mr. Obama said, 'and that was the issue of campaign ethics reform and finance reform.' ... While it's true he briefly teamed up with Mr. McCain on rewriting a Congressional ethics bill, their alliance didn't last long. Back in February 2006, Mr. Obama wrote to Mr. McCain that he was declining to join a bipartisan task force and was instead signing onto the Democratic leadership's ethics bill. Mr. McCain responded with a harsh note accusing Mr. Obama of retreating into 'self-interested partisan posturing.' ... In the end, both men found a way to kiss and make up, and both found reasons to oppose the final ethics bill. But Mr. Obama is now the one citing work on a relatively minor ethics bill as an example of his unself-interested pursuit of the national good. The actual history isn't so clear and draws an unfortunate contrast with Mr. McCain's well-known independence from party orthodoxy. A shortage of examples of him breaking with his party's line remains one of Mr. Obama's big vulnerabilities." (John Fund, Op-Ed, "Obama's Self-Profile In Courage," The Wall Street Journal's "Political Dairy," 8/18/08)

JUST WORDS #15: Senator Joe Biden Says Barack Obama Reached Across And Led On An Effort That Was Hardly A Test Of Leadership

Barack Obama: "He came in, not only reached out, but reached across the aisle to Dick Lugar, one of the leading guys in America for the past 20 years on arms control, to keep loose nukes out of the hands of terrorists." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Co-Sponsored Legislation To Authorize "The President To Establish A Program To Provide Assistance To Friendly Foreign Countries For Proliferation Detection And Interdiction Activities And For Developing Complementary Capabilities (Program)" That Was Incorporated Into Another Bill That Passed By Unanimous Consent. (S. 2566, Introduced 4/6/06)

· The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: "Working with Dick Lugar on loose nukes was a good thing, and an example of Obama's willingness to write legislation [with] Republicans, but it didn't piss off liberals. (Who's in favor of looser nukes?)" (Marc Ambinder, "Obama's Bipartisanship," The Atlantic, 6/26/08)

JUST WORDS #16: Barack Obama Says He Will Expand The Military But An Adviser He Is Selling Access To Is Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) Who Proposes Cutting Defense Spending By 25%

Barack Obama: "As president, I will rebuild our military to meet 21st century challenges." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) Proposed A 25 Percent Cut In Military Spending To Fund A New Stimulus Package. "After the November election, Democrats will push for a second economic stimulus package that includes money for the states' stalled infrastructure projects, along with help paying for healthcare expenses, food stamps and extended unemployment benefits, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said Thursday. In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay." (Steve Urbon, "Frank Envisions Post-Election Stimulus From Democrats," Standard-Times, 10/24/08)

· Barack Obama's Campaign Offered Up A Reception With Rep. Barney Frank To Donors For $1,000. "Aides to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) scheduled pricey luncheons, roundtables, readings, V.I.P. receptions, dinners and policy dinners with campaign officials and advisers, offering donors a taste of his potential administration. ... An e-mailed October 'national schedule of upcoming events across the country for Obama/Biden' was provided to Politico by one of the recipients. Among the offerings: ... --Reception in Palm Springs, Calif., with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee -- $1,000 or $250." (Mike Allen, "Obama Donors Get Access To Top Advisers," Politico,, 10/ 29/08)

JUST WORDS #17: Barack Obama Says He Wants Tough Diplomacy With Iran But Would Meet With Ahmadinejad Without Precondition

Barack Obama: "I will renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Would Unconditionally Meet With The Leaders Of State Sponsors Of Terror "Without Precondition" Like Ahmadinejad. QUESTION: "[W]ould you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?"... OBAMA: "I would." (CNN/YouTube Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Charleston, SC, 7/23/07)

· The Wall Street Journal: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy "Could Strengthen Mr. Ahmadinejad." "Middle East experts said Obama's strategy holds potential pitfalls. In Iran, they said, Sen. Obama could strengthen Mr. Ahmadinejad if as U.S. president he moves too quickly to hold direct talks with Tehran's leader." (Jay Solomon, "Obama's Foreign-Policy Pledge Sparks Criticism from Rivals," Wall Street Journal, 3/26/08)

· The Washington Post: European Officials "Increasingly Concerned That Sen. Barack Obama's Campaign Pledge To Begin Direct Talks ... Could Potentially Rupture U.S. Relations With Key European Allies." (Glenn Kessler, "Europe Fears Obama Might Undercut Progress With Iran," The Washington Post, 6/22/08)

JUST WORDS #18: Barack Obama Says He Will Focus On Afghanistan But He Did Not Focus On Afghanistan When In The United States Senate

Barack Obama: "And I will refocus our efforts on finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Has Served As Chairman Of The Subcommittee On European Affairs From 2007 -- 2008. (U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Website,, Accessed 2/15/08)

· As Chairman Of The Subcommittee On European Affairs, Barack Obama Could Have Held Hearings On The Role Of NATO In Afghanistan. "[A]mbassador John Ritch, who served for two decades as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's senior staffer on European affairs and East-West relations...[P]oints out that as subcommittee chair, Obama could have examined a wide variety of urgent matters, from the role of NATO in Afghanistan and Iraq to European energy policy and European responses to climate change..." (Joe Conason, "Obama's European Problem,", 12/29/07)

· Barack Obama: "I became Chairman of this committee at the beginning of this campaign, at the beginning of 2007. So it is true that we haven't had oversight hearings on Afghanistan." (MSNBC Democratic Presidential Debate, 2/27/08)

· Hillary Clinton Criticized Barack Obama For Not Holding Hearings As European Affairs Subcommittee Chairman. Sen. Clinton: "But I also have heard Senator Obama refer continually to Afghanistan, and he references being on the Foreign Relations Committee. He chairs the Subcommittee on Europe. It has jurisdiction over NATO. NATO is critical to our mission in Afghanistan. He's held not one substantive hearing to do oversight, to figure out what we can do to actually have a stronger presence with NATO in Afghanistan." (Sen. Clinton, NBC Democrat Presidential Debate, Cleveland, OH, 2/26/08)

JUST WORDS #19: Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) Says Barack Obama -- Who Has An Extreme Partisan Record -- Could Bring Bipartisanship To Washington

Governor Bill Richardson: "That he's a man that can heal this country, that can bring bipartisanship." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Associated Press: "None" Of Barack Obama's Touted Bipartisan Efforts Paced Him "At Odds With The Leaders Of His Own Party Or Gave Significant Offense To Outside Interest Groups With Democrats." (David Espo, "Bipartisanship Marks McCain's Senate Tenure," Associated Press, 7/2/08)

· NPR's Juan Williams: Barack Obama "Doesn't Have The Record" Of Bipartisanship That John McCain Has. NPR'S JUAN WILLIAMS: "You think about everything from campaign finance to immigration and on, and there's John McCain working across party lines. Senator Obama doesn't have a record. Now, he can make the claim and he can hold himself up as pure and trying to reach to a new generation of post partisan politics, but he has to do so largely based on rhetoric and wishful thinking because he doesn't have the record." (Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume," 5/7/08)

· The Washington Post's Richard Cohen: "There Is Scant Evidence The Illinois Senator Takes Positions That Challenge His Base Or Otherwise Threaten Him Politically." (Richard Cohen, Op-Ed, "McCain's Core Advantage," The Washington Post, 6/24/08)

· Politico's Jonathan Martin: "He's Pretty Much A Conventional Liberal On The Issues And Has Few Examples Of Breaking With His Own Party, So How Does Obama Try To Pull Off Being 'Post-Partisan?'" (Jonathan Martin, "Obama's Third Way: It's All In The Tone," Politico, 6/30/08)

· Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK): "His Record Does Not Reflect Working In A Bipartisan Fashion." "Boren, the lone Democrat in Oklahoma's congressional delegate, said that while Obama has talked about working with Republicans, 'unfortunately, his record does not reflect working in a bipartisan fashion.'" (Tim Talley, "Okla. Dem Calls Obama Liberal, Declines To Endorse," The Associated Press, 6/10/08)

· "The Record Shows Obama To Be A Fairly Doctrinaire Liberal Democrat..." (Editorial, "Obama's Rhetoric Soars, But What Does His Record Suggest?" USA Today, 1/28/08)

· In 2007, Obama Voted With The Democrat Party 97 Percent Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website,, Accessed 3/3/08)
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Hillary Clinton Supporters and Women React to Obama's "His Choice" Ad

McCain-Palin 2008 today (10/29/08) released the following statements from former Hillary Clinton supporters and Women for McCain leadership in reaction to Barack Obama's sexist attack ad "His Choice":


Judy Black, National Co-Chair, Women for McCain: "Enough is enough! Senator Obama has stooped to a new low in his constant attacks on Governor Palin with his new ad titled, 'His Choice.' Barack Obama's choice has been to attack, demean and ridicule women, first Sen. Clinton and now Gov. Palin. American women do not need any more of Obama's sexist choices or attacks. John McCain made the choice to put a strong leader with a proven record forward as his running mate. As a woman, I am outraged by the over-the-top treatment of Gov. Palin and I urge all women to reject the double standard put forward by a man who was just a state senator in Illinois three years ago by voting McCain-Palin this Tuesday."

Patty Denton, Washington County Republican Chairwoman: "We, as a country, should be past the days in which women were treated as inferior. Women are the backbone of this country. It's disappointing for Senator Obama, who has proclaimed change' as his mantra, to disregard the monumental progress women have made in this country. Governor Palin is an exceptional leader and has fought on the side of all Americans, regardless of race or gender. These types of ads show that the Obama campaign is willing to do anything to score a few political cheap shots at the expense of women. On November 4th, women will go to the polls and demand respect for themselves and their daughters from the type of negative attacks perpetrated by Senator Obama."


Representative Jo Ann Emerson: "With more executive experience than Barack Obama and Joe Biden combined, Governor Sarah Palin holds her own on the national scene and embodies the values that Americans want in those who will lead our country. This ad is just one more example of the constant attacks from the Obama-Biden campaign. With each attack, they attempt to dismiss the intelligent, qualified, and experienced woman who will soon become our next Vice-President of the United States."

Sharon Barnes, Missouri State Chair Women for McCain: "These attacks on Governor Sarah Palin show the desperation of the Democratic Party to try to stem the overwhelming support for the maverick Republican team of John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin - a team dedicated to bringing about the right kind of change for the people of this country. The voters of this great nation will not be fooled. Gov. Palin is a proven leader and serious reformer with experience in economics, defense and foreign policy that the Democratic candidate for president can only wish he had."


Shelly Mandell, President of Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women: "I am outraged by the new ad put out by Barack Obama. It is sexist and demeaning to women. These tactics started with Hillary Clinton and continue, growing even more disgusting with Gov. Palin. I was a Hillstar for Hillary and an avid supporter. Trashing two women clearly in a sexist manner in one election is an outrage and must be identified and stopped. There must be consequences. Let female Obama supporters take a good look at this and still believe their candidate supports women's rights and women's dignity."

Prameela Bartholomeusz, DNC Platform Committee Member: "I am once again stunned at the personal and sexist attacks by the Obama campaign against Gov. Palin. This latest ad is sexist and offensive. The Gov. of Alaska has been managing and balancing a budget of $10 billion; I think she knows a bit about economics. Sen. Obama never spoke up against sexism during the primary season, and is not speaking out against misogyny during this phase of the election season -- he is contributing to it. I have no confidence that Sen. Obama will fight for women's issues if elected. This sets women back decades."


Christine J. Toretti, PA Women For McCain Co-Chair, PA National Committeewoman: "Vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, is an experienced public servant. As governor of Alaska and as mayor of Wasilla she proved to be an effective leader and businesswoman. Senator Obama's baseless attack on Governor Palin is preposterous. God forbid a leader is not only competent, but beautiful and wears a skirt!"

Bernie Comfort, Pennsylvania Women for McCain State Chair: "Senator Obama's ad simply mocks Governor Palin. The real truth is Gov. Palin has experience dealing with the economy as an executive running the state of Alaska and as a business owner. She is the experienced leader we need to lead this country with John McCain."

Stephanie Bressler, Ph.D, Hillary Clinton supporter, University of Scranton women and politics professor: "It's a sexist example of reducing a woman to an object - a wink - and denying her a voice. Her lips are actually moving, but she's not allowed to be heard."


Barbara Rosier-Tryon, Member of the Warren Republican Women's Club: "This is yet another sexist cheap shot on Gov. Palin's image from the Obama-Biden campaign. Sarah Palin's record of reform and experience as governor of Alaska and commander of the state's National Guard is more distinguished than Barack Obama's one and only term in the U.S. Senate."


Martha Jenkins, North Carolina Women for McCain State Chairman: "Barack Obama chose Joe Biden to make up for his own lack of foreign policy expertise. He has absolutely no reason to criticize McCain's pick of Palin. Gov. Palin is infinitely more qualified than Barack Obama. In running this ad, Obama is acknowledging that Gov. Palin is an effective and a positive part of John McCain's candidacy; otherwise, why focus on her at all? Barack Obama is using this ad to divert attention from the fact that the American public is realizing that Obama is just as radical as his associates, and that he lacks the experience and judgment to be President of the United States."


Albert Chang, Regional Director of Citizens for McCain, a group that includes Democrats and Independents: "We look forward to winning Tampa and the surrounding counties for McCain-Palin. This ad is a distracting personal attack on an experienced executive and the voters of Florida will see through it. This campaign will remain focused on issues impacting the everyday lives of Floridians and Americans."

Mary Calderon, Tampa, former Senator Clinton supporter: "I'm disappointed that Senator Obama has resorted to personal attacks at this point in the campaign. Would any male candidate for vice president of the United States be afforded similar treatment by the Obama campaign? I would say not."


Judy Singleton, Indiana Women for McCain Co-Chair: "Obama seems to have a problem with strong, smart women. Ask Hillary. Running an ad like this is an affront to talented women everywhere. To imply that Gov. Palin doesn't understand economics because she's pretty and winks is ridiculous. As a governor, she's proved she understands the economy better than Barack Obama, who hasn't completed his first term in the Senate, does. All one has to do is look at her record of leadership on economic development and then look at his."


Amy Siskind, Ambassador for Hillary: "When Senator Hillary Clinton was demeaned and degraded during the Presidential Primary, many of us of, myself included, vowed 'never again'. The treatment of Governor Palin by both the main stream media, and now the Obama Campaign, shows that the misogyny fest is alive and well in our country. There has been a complete and utter smear job of our fellow citizen, Sarah Palin, who is only trying to serve her country."
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McCain-Palin Statement on ACORN Testimony

Released 10/29/08

Today, McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis released the following statement in response to the testimony given by a former employee of an ACORN affiliate in a Pennsylvania court of law:"Today's testimony by a former employee of an ACORN affiliate proves Barack Obama is guilty of lying to the American people about his relationship with ACORN. At the last presidential debate, in front of sixty million people, Barack Obama said his campaign was not involved' with ACORN. We now know that Barack Obama's campaign was working hand-in-glove with an organization reportedly under investigation by the F.B.I. and in more than a dozen states. In addition to funneling $832,000 to ACORN for get-out-the-vote efforts, the Obama campaign and ACORN have been sharing donor lists, encouraging maxed-out Obama donors to contribute to this unethical organization."


Today, A Former Employee Of ACORN's Sister Organization Testified That A "Donor List" From Barack Obama's Campaign Was Provided In Late 2007 For Fundraising Efforts.

"A former staffer for an affiliate of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now testified today that the organization was provided a donor list' from the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in late 2007 for fundraising efforts. Anita Moncrief, a former Washington, D.C. staffer for Project Vote, which she described as a sister organization of ACORN, said her supervisor told her the list of campaign contributors came from the Obama campaign. Moncrief said she has a copy of a development plan' that outlines how Obama contributors who had maxed out' under federal contribution limits would be targeted to give to Project Vote, and that it was her job to identify such contributors. Moncrief testified that ACORN and Project Vote were virtually identical ." (Brad Bumsted, "Former ACORN Staffer Testifies," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 10/29/08)

During A Presidential Debate, Barack Obama Said He Was Not Involved With ACORN.

BARACK OBAMA: "Now, with respect to ACORN, ACORN is a community organization. Apparently what they've done is they were paying people to go out and register folks, and apparently some of the people who were out there didn't really register people, they just filled out a bunch of names. It had nothing to do with us. We were not involved. The only involvement I've had with ACORN was I represented them alongside the U.S. Justice Department in making Illinois implement a motor voter law that helped people get registered at DMVs." (Senator Barack Obama, 2008 Presidential Debate, Hempstead, NY 10/15/08)

Barack Obama Started Working With ACORN In 1992. "What's more, Obama worked as executive directo r of ACORN's voter-registration arm, Project Vote, in 1992." (Editorial, "Is ACORN Stealing The Election?" Investor's Business Daily <> , 10/8/08)

Barack Obama Represented ACORN In A Lawsuit.

"The latest wave of ACORN investigations has provided Republicans with both an opening to assail an old foe, and a new line of criticism to use against the Democratic presidential nominee, who represented ACORN in a lawsuit in the 1990s." (Alexander Burns, "ACORN Gives GOP New Line Of Attack," Politico < /14492.html> , 10/11/08)

Barack Obama Trained ACORN Staff.

"At the time, Talbot worked at the social action group ACORN and initially considered Obama a competitor. But she became so impressed with his work that she invited him to help train her staff." (Letta Tayler and Keith Herbert, "Obama Forged Path As Chicago Community Organizer," Los Angeles Times <,1,6933215,full.story> , 3/2/08)

When Barack Obama Was On The Board Of Directors Of The Woods Fund, ACORN Received $190,000 Of Grants From The Organization. (Donors Forum Website, <> , Accessed 6/10/08)

Barack Obama's Campaign "Paid More Than $800,000" To An ACORN Affiliate For Get-Out-The Vote Efforts.

"U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign paid more than $800,000 to an offshoot of the liberal Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now for services the Democrat's campaign says it mistakenly misrepresented in federal reports." (David M. Brown, "Obama To Amend Report On $800,000 In Spending," Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 8/22/08)

ACORN's Political Action Committee Endorsed Barack Obama.

"ACORN's Political Action Committee, ACORN Votes, announced Feb. 21 that it had endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for President." (ACORN, "ACORN's Political Action Committee Endorses Obama," Press Release <> , 2/21/08)
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An Acorn Whistleblower Testifies In Court

Ms. MonCrief testified that in November 2007 Project Vote development director Karyn Gillette told her she had direct contact with the Obama campaign and had obtained their donor lists. Ms. MonCrief also testified she was given a spreadsheet to use in cultivating Obama donors who had maxed out on donations to the candidate, but who could contribute to voter registration efforts." -- John Fund

"An Acorn Whistleblower Testifies In Court"
By John Fund
The Wall Street Journal
October 30, 2008

Acorn, the liberal "community organizing" group that claims it will deploy 15,000 get-out-the-vote workers on Election Day, can't stay out of the news.

The FBI is investigating its voter registration efforts in several states, amid allegations that almost a third of the 1.3 million cards it turned in are invalid. And yesterday, a former employee of Acorn testified in a Pennsylvania state court that the group's quality-control efforts were "minimal or nonexistent" and largely window dressing. Anita MonCrief also says that Acorn was given lists of potential donors by several Democratic presidential campaigns, including that of Barack Obama, to troll for contributions.

The Obama campaign denies it "has any ties" to Acorn, but Mr. Obama's ties are extensive. In 1992 he headed a registration effort for Project Vote, an Acorn partner at the time. He did so well that he was made a top trainer for Acorn's Chicago conferences. In 1995, he represented Acorn in a key case upholding the constitutionality of the new Motor Voter Act -- the first law passed by the Clinton administration -- which created the mandated, nationwide postcard voter registration system that Acorn workers are using to flood election offices with bogus registrations.

Ms. MonCrief testified that in November 2007 Project Vote development director Karyn Gillette told her she had direct contact with the Obama campaign and had obtained their donor lists. Ms. MonCrief also testified she was given a spreadsheet to use in cultivating Obama donors who had maxed out on donations to the candidate, but who could contribute to voter registration efforts.

Project Vote calls the allegation "absolutely false."

She says that when she had trouble with what appeared to be duplicate names on the list, Ms. Gillette told her she would talk with the Obama campaign and get a better version. Ms. MonCrief has given me copies of the donor lists she says were obtained from other Democratic campaigns, as well as the 2004 DNC donor lists.

In her testimony, Ms. MonCrief says she was upset by Acorn's "Muscle for Money" program, which she said intimidated businesses Acorn opposed into paying "protection" money in the form of grants. Acorn's Brian Kettering says the group only wants to change corporate behavior: "Acorn is proud of its corporate campaigns to stop abuses of working families."

Ms. MonCrief, 29, never expected to testify in a case brought by the state's Republican Party seeking the local Acorn affiliate's voter registration lists. An idealistic graduate of the University of Alabama, she joined Project Vote in 2005 because she thought it was empowering poor people. A strategic consultant for Acorn and a development associate with its Project Vote voter registration affiliate, Ms. MonCrief sat in on policy-making meetings with the national staff. She was fired early this year over personal expenses she had put on the group's credit card.

She says she became disillusioned because she saw that Acorn was run as the personal fiefdom of Wade Rathke, who founded the group in 1970 and ran it until he stepped down to take over its international operations this summer. Mr. Rathke's departure as head of Acorn came after revelations he'd employed his brother Dale for a decade while keeping from almost all of Acorn's board members the fact that Dale had embezzled over $1 million from the group a decade ago. (The embezzlement was confirmed to me by an Acorn official.)

"Anyone who questioned what was going on was viewed as the enemy," Ms. MonCrief told me. "Just like the mob, no one leaves Acorn happily." She believes the organization does some good but hopes its current leadership is replaced. She may not be alone.

Last August two of Acorn's eight dissident board members, Marcel Reed and Karen Inman, filed suit demanding access to financial records of Citizens Consulting Inc., the umbrella group through which most of Acorn's money flows. Ms. Inman told a news conference this month Mr. Rathke still exercises power over CCI and Acorn against the board's wishes. Bertha Lewis, the interim head of Acorn, told me Mr. Rathke has no ties to Acorn and that the dissident board members were "obsessed" and "confused."

According to public records, the IRS filed three tax liens totaling almost $1 million against Acorn this spring. Also this spring, CCI was paid $832,000 by the Obama campaign for get-out-the-vote efforts in key primary states. In filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Obama campaign listed the payments as "staging, sound, lighting," only correcting the filings after the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review revealed their true nature.

"Acorn needs a full forensic audit," Ms. MonCrief says, though she doesn't think that's likely. "Everyone wants to paper things over until later," she says. "But it may be too late to reform Acorn then." She strongly supports Barack Obama and hopes his allies can be helpful in cleaning up the group "after the heat of the election is gone."

Acorn's Mr. Kettering says the GOP lawsuit "is designed to suppress legitimate voters," and he says Ms. MonCrief isn't credible, given that she was fired for cause. Ms. MonCrief admits that she left after she began paying back some $3,000 in personal expenses she charged on an Acorn credit card. "I was very sorry, and I was paying it back," she says, but "suddenly Acorn decided that ... I had to go. Since then I have gotten warnings to 'back off' from people at Acorn."

Acorn insists it operates with strict quality controls, turning in, as required by law, all registration forms "even if the name on them was Donald Duck," as Wade Rathke told me two years ago. Acorn whistleblowers tell a different story.

"There's no quality control on purpose, no checks and balances," says Nate Toler, who worked until 2006 as the head organizer of an Acorn campaign against Wal-Mart in California. And Ms. MonCrief says it is longstanding practice to blame bogus registrations on lower-level employees who then often face criminal charges, a practice she says Acorn internally calls "throwing folks under the bus."

Gregory Hall, a former Acorn employee, says he was told on his very first day in 2006 to engage in deceptive fund-raising tactics. Mr. Hall has founded a group called Speaking Truth to Power to push for a full airing of Acorn's problems "so the group can heal itself from within."

To date, Mr. Obama has declined to criticize Acorn, telling reporters this month he is happy with his own get-out-the-vote efforts and that "we don't need Acorn's help." That may be true. But there is no denying his ties with Acorn helped turbocharge his political career.

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McCain-Palin Campaign Statement re: GDP

Thursday (10/30/08) Doug Holtz-Eakin, McCain-Palin 2008 Senior Policy Adviser, issued the following statement on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) number:

"Today's announcement that third quarter GDP fell at a 0.3 percent rate confirms what Americans already knew: the economy is shrinking. Barack Obama would accelerate this dangerous course. According to the independent Center for Data Analysis, Barack Obama's new policies will destroy nearly 6 million jobs over the next decade.

"Barack Obama's ideologically-driven plans to redistribute income will impose higher taxes on families, small businesses, and investors; expensive, rigid, job-killing health mandates on employers; energy policies that fail to promote domestic oil, natural gas, and coal, and will impose a massive Washington-driven regulation of everything from home furnaces to factories; isolationist trade policies that endanger one out of every five jobs; and massive new spending plans that that will burden the economy and saddle our children with debt. Barack Obama is change Americans cannot afford.

"John McCain's comprehensive reforms will clean up Wall Street, clean up Washington, and create nearly 2 million more jobs over the same period. John McCain offers a new direction and a real choice: lower taxes and under control spending; lower health care costs and portable insurance; an energy policy that declares independence from dangerous and unstable sources, values the environment, and supports growth; serious reforms to taxes, education, and trade to promote global competitiveness, and short-run plans to help the seniors, savers, homeowners, and workers hurt by the financial crisis."

McCain-Palin 2008 Launches New TV Ad: "Obama Praising McCain"

U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released its latest television ad, entitled "Obama Praising McCain." The ad highlights Barack Obama's past praise for John McCain on the issue of confronting global climate change. As he said numerous times during the first debate, Barack Obama often believes John McCain is right. The ad will air in key states.


Script For "Obama Praising McCain" (TV :30)

ANNCR: The truth on global warming:

BARACK OBAMA: The right approach begins with the proposal put forward by Senator Lieberman and Senator McCain.

The Lieberman-McCain bill establishes limits for greenhouse gas emissions. It's a framework that's not only good for the environment, it's also good for business.

I want to thank Senator Lieberman, as well as Senator McCain, for the outstanding leadership that they've shown.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

AD FACTS: Script For "Obama Praising McCain" (TV :30)

ANNCR: The truth on global warming: BARACK OBAMA: The right approach begins with the proposal put forward by Senator Lieberman and Senator McCain. The Lieberman-McCain bill establishes limits for greenhouse gas emissions. It's a framework that's not only good for the environment, it's also good for business. I want to thank Senator Lieberman, as well as Senator McCain, for the outstanding leadership that they've shown. JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.

· Senator Barack Obama (D-IL): "Since coming to Washington, I've believed that the right approach begins with the proposal put forward by Senator Lieberman and Senator McCain, a proposal they've been pushing for years, and I thank them again for their leadership on this issue. The Lieberman-McCain Bill establishes limits for greenhouse gas emissions well into the 21st century. To remain below these limits, the bill encourages the market to determine how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rewarding cost effective approaches using a system of tradable allowances." (Sen. Barack Obama, Hearing, Committee On Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate, 1/30/07)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Governor Sarah Palin on Achieving Energy Independence

Note: I heard Sarah Palin give this speech this morning on Fox News (so glad they're carrying many of the campaign speeches without all the pundit filters!). It was a superb speech. She connects and speaks in a way that is so easy to grasp, unlike so many others who pepper their speeches with meaningless catch phrases and say nothing while making it sound like something profound. This is common sense policy presented in a concise, intelligent manner. The more I hear Sarah Palin, and the more I learn about the "real" Sarah Palin (not the one the media and libs are trying to make up), the more impressed I am. - jmd

Remarks as prepared for delivery in Toledo, OH, at 9:00 a.m. ET by Governor Sarah Palin on Achieving Energy Independence:

Thank you all very much. I appreciate the hospitality of Xunlight Energy, and all the people of Toledo. The folks at Xunlight are doing great work for this community and our country.
Every day, when there are no cameras around to draw attention to it, this company and others like it are engaged in the great enterprise of energy independence. And what we see here is just a glimpse of much bigger things to come. Solar power is one of many alternative energy sources that are changing our economy for the better. And one day they will change our economy forever.

All who work in pursuit of new and clean energy sources understand that America's energy problems do not go away when oil and gasoline prices fall, as they have in recent weeks. Oil today is running about 64 dollars a barrel -- less than half of what it was just a couple of months ago. And though this sudden drop in prices sure makes a difference for families across America, the dangers of our dependence on foreign oil are just as they were before.

The price of oil is declining largely because of the market's expectation of a broad recession that would lower demand. This is hardly a good sign of things to come, and should only add to our sense of urgency in gaining energy independence. When our economy recovers, and growth once again creates new demand, we could run into the same brick wall of rising oil and gasoline prices -- and now is the time to make sure that doesn't happen. In Washington, we can view this period of lower oil prices as just one more chance to make excuses -- and on the problem of energy security, we've heard enough excuses. Or we can view it as an opportunity to finally confront the problem.

In reality, volatile oil prices are just the most immediate consequence when foreign powers control our energy supplies. They are an economic symptom of a strategic problem. And prices will stabilize only when we have reached the great goal of energy security for America.
Achieving this objective will require a clean break not just from the energy policies of the current administration, but from thirty years' worth of failed policies in Washington. As in other challenges that confront our nation, we must shape events, and not simply manage crises. We must steer far clear of the errors and false assumptions that have marked the energy policies of nearly twenty Congresses and seven presidents. Some tasks will be the work of decades, and some the work of years. And they all will begin in the term of the next president.

For our part, John McCain and I are determined to set this country firmly on a path toward energy independence. America has the resources to achieve this vital goal. We certainly have the ingenuity. And if John McCain and I are elected, we will supply the political will to finally get it done.

In my experiences in Alaska, I have seen what American ingenuity can achieve if given a chance. As governor of a huge energy-producing state, and as chair of our state's oil and gas conservation commission, and chairman of the nation's Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, I've also seen how political pressures, special interests, and corporate abuses can work against the clear public interest in expanding our domestic energy supplies.

Alaska is the one of the most resource-rich places on earth. Yet for many years, our state's oil and gas wealth was the carefully guarded preserve of the political establishment -- the good ol' boys -- rewarded by a few big oil companies and through an oil services company that liked things just the way they were. As you may have seen in the news this week, Alaska's senior senator is not the first man to discover the hazards of getting too close to moneyed interests with agendas of their own.

For the people of Alaska and their representatives, it had been hard enough to persuade Congress to authorize construction of the original Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline. And when Congress finally acted in 1973, it approved the pipeline over the "No" votes of five senators, including a freshmen senator named Joe Biden.

For the next three decades, there had been talk of building another pipeline to transport cleaner, greener natural gas down to the Lower 48. But that's all it ever amounted to -- talk. And one of the main obstacles was big oil itself -- ExxonMobil and other companies.

They should have been competing to invest in a new means of delivering their product to market. Instead, they wanted a higher price than fair competition would yield. They were holding out for more billions of dollars -- in public money. No one in good conscience could pay them what they wanted to build that pipeline. And that's how we found things when I became governor: No progress, no pipeline, no gas revenue for Alaska, no added energy security for America.

So we introduced the big oil companies and their lobbyists to a concept some of them had forgotten -- free-market competition. They had a monopoly on power and resources, and we broke it.

The result is, finally, progress on the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history -- a nearly forty billion dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence. When the last section is laid and its valves are opened, that pipeline will lead America one step farther away from reliance on foreign energy. That pipeline will be a lifeline -- freeing us from debt, dependence, and the influence of foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart.

We've shaken things up in Juneau. Whatever the good ol' boys are running these days, it's not the State of Alaska. And that's the kind of serious reform that we need in Washington, because the stakes for our country could not be higher.

Energy security is one of the great questions in this election. It tests our ability to confront and solve hard problems in Washington, instead of constantly putting things off. And it brings together so many other issues -- from the value of our pay checks to our nation's most vital interests abroad. Americans blame Washington for doing next to nothing about our energy problems, and they are right.

Abroad, we see Russia with designs on a vital pipeline in the Caucasus. Its strategy is to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon. And there, as elsewhere, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers.

To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world's oil supplies ... or that terrorists might strike at a vital refining facility in Saudi Arabia ... or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries ... we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.
In the worst cases, some of the world's most oil-rich nations are also the most oppressive societies. And whether we like it or not, the money we pay for their oil only makes them more powerful and more oppressive. Oil wealth allows undemocratic governments to crush dissent and to subjugate women. Other regimes use it to finance terrorists around the world and criminal syndicates in our own hemisphere.

By relying upon oil from the Middle East, we not only provide wealth to the sponsors of terror -- we provide high-value targets to the terrorists themselves. Across the world are pipelines, refineries, transit routes, and terminals for the oil we rely on. And Al Qaeda terrorists know where they are.

As if all this weren't bad enough, there is also the damage that our dependence on foreign oil inflicts on our economy. Over the years, trillions of dollars have flowed out of our country, often to nations or regimes hostile to our country. Through this massive transfer of wealth, we lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year that would be better invested in American enterprises to create American jobs.

All of this explains why, as Senator McCain has said, energy security is not just one more issue on the candidate questionnaire. Energy security is the sum total of so many problems that confront our nation. It demands of us that we shake off old ways, negotiate new hazards, and make hard choices long deferred. And three decades of partisan paralysis on energy security is enough. It's time we meet this challenge in a way consistent with the character of our nation, and that starts with producing more of our own energy.

In a McCain administration, we will authorize and support new exploration and production of America's own oil and gas reserves -- because we cannot outsource the solution to America's energy problem. Every year, we are sending hundreds of billions of dollars out of the country for oil imports, much of it from OPEC, while America's own oil and gas reserves in America go unused. And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both.
As a matter of fairness, we must assure affordable fuel for America by producing more of the trillions of dollars' worth of our oil and natural gas. On land and offshore, we will drill here and drill now!

Another essential means to energy independence is a dramatic expansion in our use of nuclear energy. In a McCain administration, we will set this nation on a course to build 45 new reactors by the year 2030. And we will set the goal of 100 new plants to power the homes and factories and cities of America.

This task will be as difficult as it is necessary. We will need to recover all the knowledge and skills that have been lost over three stagnant decades in a highly technical field. We will need to solve complex problems of moving and storing materials that will always need safeguarding. We will need to do all of these things, and do them right, as we have done great things before.
One of the efforts that will assist in securing our energy future is the development of clean-coal technology. And here we have another big disagreement with our opponents. Last month Joe Biden told a voter -- and I quote -- "we're not supporting clean coal." He says clean coal's a good idea for China -- but sorry, Ohio, Joe Biden says it's not for you.

That's just nonsense, and there's plenty more of it in Senator Biden's record. He's against drilling off our coasts, for environmental reasons. But he says that offshore drilling holds real promise for the island nation of Cyprus -- as if the environmental safeguards of the Cypriots are more rigorous than our own. And so far as he and Senator Obama are concerned, nuclear power's okay, too -- but only for France and other European nations. Our opponents seem to have all sorts of solutions for the energy needs of other nations -- now if only they'd focus more on what America needs.

It's worth asking why Senators Obama and Biden are opposed to the very same production methods in America that they advocate for other nations. Usually, the answer we hear is that they fear environmental harm from domestic production, especially in the case of offshore drilling. But there's a big problem here, even if we take their argument on its own terms. Technology has made production far cleaner than was once thought possible -- by use of such methods as horizontal drilling, carbon capture and storage, and enhanced recovery. And those cleaner, safer technologies are far likelier to be used in the United States and Canada than by China, India, or other developing nations.

So policies that forego domestic production don't protect our environment. They simply accelerate and reward dirtier and more dangerous methods of production elsewhere, in countries that apply few if any environmental safeguards. While our opponents like to posture as defenders of the environment, in practice their refusal to support more domestic production does more harm than good.

As for our coal resources, America has more coal than the oil riches of Saudi Arabia. Burning coal cleanly is a challenge of practical problem-solving and human ingenuity -- and we have no shortage of those in America either. So, in a McCain administration, we will commit two billion dollars each year, until 2024, to clean-coal research, development, and deployment. We will refine the techniques and equipment. We will deliver not only electricity but jobs to some of the areas hardest hit by our economic troubles.

And in the end, with or without the green light from Joe the Six-Term Senator, we will make clean coal a reality. For the sake of our nation's security and our prosperity, we need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers.
To meet America's great energy challenge, John and I will adopt an "all of the above" approach. In our administration, that will mean harnessing alternative sources of energy, like wind and solar. We will end subsidies and tariffs that drive prices up, and provide tax credits indexed to low automobile carbon emissions. We will encourage Americans to be part of the solution by taking steps in their everyday lives that conserve more and use less. And we will control greenhouse gas emissions by giving American businesses new incentives and new rewards to seek, instead of just giving them new taxes to pay and new orders to follow.

On energy policy, our opponents are always talking about things we cannot do, because our own government won't let us. When you look over the energy plans of Barack Obama and his allies in Congress, it's just a long, labored agenda of inaction. And it's the same agenda of inaction we could expect under the one-party rule of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. They're always talking about things we can't do in America, energy we can't produce, refineries we can't build, plants we can't approve, coal we cannot use, technologies we cannot master. As John McCain has observed, for a guy's who's slogan is "Yes, we can," Barack Obama's energy plan sure has a whole lot of "No we can't."

Again and again, our opponents say that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems -- as if we all didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.

No, we can't "drill our way out of the problem" entirely. But this is America, the most resourceful country on earth, and we can drill, and refine, and mine, enrich, reprocess, invent, build, conserve, grow, and use every available means to regain our independence.

The mission of energy security will demand great things of our country. It will require commitment, resolve, and political courage. And John McCain is a man who knows something about hard missions, about overcoming dangers and keeping faith with his country. The stakes are high, and complete success will not come quickly. But I can promise you this: Unless we begin this mission now, the only change we'll see is a change for the worse. And when we do succeed in the hard work ahead, our children will live in a more prosperous country, in a more peaceful world. Thank you all very much, and God bless America.
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