Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oil-Fueled Catastrophe in the Airline Industry Would Cripple U.S. Economy and Eliminate American Jobs

23 Jun 2008 05:01 Africa/Lagos

Oil-Fueled Catastrophe in the Airline Industry Would Cripple U.S. Economy and Eliminate American Jobs

RADNOR, Pa., June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The skyrocketing price of aviation fuel will have devastating implications far beyond new surcharges for checked bags and in-flight beverage services according to a new study prepared by the Business Travel Coalition (BTC). Not only are U.S. airlines and their passengers facing their darkest future, but fast-approaching airline liquidations will cripple the U.S. economy that depends on affordable, frequent intercity air transportation.

Massive job losses, supply chain disruption, declining business activity, shrinking tax revenues, weakened American competitiveness, devastated communities, and reduced tourism are just some of the predictable results from airline liquidations that could happen as early as the second half of 2008 as a direct result of unsustainable fuel prices.

The paper, "Beyond the Airlines' $2 Can of Coke: Catastrophic Impact on the U.S. Economy from Oil-price Trauma in the Airline Industry," expands on the analysis released on June 13, 2008 by AirlineForecasts, LLC and BTC and points to the real news about the airlines' fuel problems: how multiple liquidations at legacy U.S. airlines -- now a serious possibility -- would have a wide-ranging impact on many facets of the U.S. economy. The report will be presented and discussed during a U.S. House Small Business Committee hearing scheduled by Chairwoman, Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY) for Thursday, June 26.

"The airline industry stimulates so much economic activity -- much more than many people currently understand," said BTC Chairman Kevin Mitchell. "Airline networks are an integral part of the transport grid that supports the U.S. economy, and without immediate action to bring down fuel costs, we face the economic equivalent of a major blackout later this year or early next. Unlike in a blackout, however, the cabin lights may never come back on for many U.S. airlines."

"The runaway price of oil is seriously hurting working families at every level, and as the airline fuel crisis intensifies, the risk of major job losses in all travel and tourism sectors and in other airline-dependent industries increases as well," stated Jean McDonnell Covelli, BTC member and President of The Travel Team, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Rich Products Corporation. "As a matter of highest priority, elected officials must focus on devising an energy policy that will keep Americans productively traveling and working."

According to the paper, "Airlines move people, but also high-value, time-sensitive or perishable cargo. Failure of one large airline would disrupt the travel of 200,000 to 300,000 passengers per day and thousands of tons of goods. The almost-full planes of remaining airlines would not be able to absorb much of these volumes. Failure of multiple airlines would paralyze the country and our American way of life, leaving us less productive, more isolated, less happy and more vulnerable."

The paper points to nine specific impacts of a collapse of the industry:

-- Direct Employment. Between 30,000 and 75,000 would lose work immediately with just one airline failure, with payroll losses of $2.3 billion to $6.7 billion.

-- Indirect Community Impact. Losses would ripple throughout communities given that each airline job creates large numbers of indirect local jobs, and other economic activity.

-- Reduced Purchases from Suppliers. Airline purchases would cease at any failed carrier impacting companies that rely on airlines to keep their businesses afloat as well as public entities such as airports.

-- Impact on Tourism. The world's largest industry would be devastated in the U.S., with locally severe effects in places like South Florida, Hawaii, Las Vegas or Colorado, depending on which airline(s) fail.

-- Effects on Logistics and Supply-Chain Management. Restaurants, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers relying on just-in-time parts, florists, grocers and the fashion industry would be among those injured.

-- Decline in Business Activity. Business travel -- really the flow of human capital, which precedes or facilitates other flows -- would be severely disrupted, with acute disruption in airline hubs and major cities.

-- Declining Tax Revenues. Loss of income taxes paid by employees, coupled with the loss of excise, use and other airline-paid taxes would be bad news for governments already struggling with declining revenues.

-- Increasing Government Outlays. Impacted individuals would immediately place demands on governments in the form of unemployment compensation, retraining and the demand for other resources.

-- Weakened US Competitiveness. America competes with other countries for tourists, and with reduced air lift to the U.S., travelers would be less likely to visit the U.S. and more likely to use non-U.S. carriers.

The full BTC study can be downloaded at

About BTC

Founded in 1994, the mission of Business Travel Coalition is to bring transparency to industry and government policies and practices so that customers can influence issues of strategic importance to them.

Source: Business Travel Coalition

CONTACT: Kevin Mitchell of BTC, +1-610-341-1850,

Web site:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Address by President Bush to the Nation On the High Cost of Gasoline

President George W. Bush at the White House on Friday June 20, 2008.

21 Jun 2008 15:06 Africa/Lagos

Radio Address by President Bush to the Nation

President's Radio Address Audio En Español

WASHINGTON, June 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following transcript was released today by the White House Press Office:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Americans are concerned about the high price of gasoline. Everyone who commutes to work, purchases food, ships a product, or takes a family vacation feels the burden of higher prices at the pump. And families across our country are looking to Washington for a response.

The fundamental problem behind high gas prices is that the supply of oil has not kept up with the rising demand across the world. One obvious solution is for America to increase our domestic oil production. So my Administration has repeatedly called on Congress to open access to new oil exploration here in the United States. Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal. Now Americans are paying the price at the pump for this obstruction. So this week, I asked Democratic congressional leaders to take the side of working families and small businesses and farmers and ranchers and move forward with four steps to expand American oil and gasoline production.

First, we should expand American oil production by increasing access to the Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS. Experts believe that the OCS could produce enough oil to match America's current production for almost ten years. The problem is that Congress has restricted access to key parts of the OCS since the early 1980s. So I've called on the House and Senate to lift this legislative ban and give states the option of opening up OCS resources off their shores while protecting the environment. There's also an executive prohibition on exploration in the OCS, which I will lift when Congress lifts the legislative ban.

Second, we should expand American oil production by tapping into the extraordinary potential of oil shale. Oil shale is a type of rock that can produce oil when exposed to heat and other processes. One major deposit in the Rocky Mountain West alone would equal current annual oil imports for more than a hundred years. Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress are standing in the way of further development. In last year's omnibus spending bill, Democratic leaders inserted a provision blocking oil shale leasing on Federal lands. That provision can be taken out as easily as it was slipped in -- and Congress should do so immediately.

Third, we should expand American oil production by permitting exploration in northern Alaska. Scientists have developed innovative techniques to reach this oil with virtually no impact on the land or local wildlife. With a drilling footprint that covers just a tiny fraction of this vast terrain, America could produce an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil. That is roughly the equivalent of two decades of imported oil from Saudi Arabia. I urge members of Congress to allow this remote region to bring enormous benefits to the American people.

Finally, we need to expand and enhance our refining capacity. It has been 30 years since a new refinery was built in our Nation, and lawsuits and red tape have made it extremely costly to expand or modify existing refineries. The result is that America now imports millions of barrels of fully refined gasoline from abroad. This imposes needless costs on American families and drivers. It deprives American workers of good jobs. And it needs to change.

I know Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past. Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions. If congressional leaders leave for the Fourth of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act.

This is a difficult time for many American families. Rising gasoline prices and economic uncertainty can affect everything from what food parents put on the table to where they can go on vacation. With the four steps I've laid out, Congress now has a clear path to begin easing the strain high gas prices put on your family's pocketbook. These proposals will take years to have their full impact, so I urge Congress to take action as soon as possible. Together, we can meet the energy challenges we face -- and keep our economy the strongest, most vibrant, and most hopeful in the world.

Thank you for listening.

Source: White House Press Office

CONTACT: White House Press Office, +1-202-456-2580

Web Site: White House

20 Jun 2008
High Gas Prices Drive U.S. Consumers to Find Deals on the Internet, According to comScore
Gas Saving Tips that Make the Most 'Cents' ... and Ones that are 'Non-Cents'
'My Retirement is in My Gas Tank'

DNC Files FOIA Request Over McCain's Latest Campaign Impropriety

20 Jun 2008 20:50 Africa/Lagos

DNC Files FOIA Request Over McCain's Latest Campaign Impropriety

McCain Campaign Event in Ottawa Runs Afoul of Hatch Act

WASHINGTON, June 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Democratic National Committee today filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. Department of State seeking information about possible violations of the Hatch Act in connection to John McCain's events in Ottawa today. The FOIA request follows reports that McCain campaign officials requested assistance in arranging a $100-a-plate luncheon speech from U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins.

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According to reports, Senator Lindsey Graham, a McCain campaign co-chair, asked Ambassador Wilkins "for advice about logistics, venues and cities" for the event. Ambassador Wilkins also reportedly contacted a Canadian business leader to help sell tickets to the event. McCain's appearance is a campaign event being paid for by his campaign. The Hatch Act forbids U.S. Ambassadors from engaging in any partisan activity whatsoever on foreign soil. The DNC today called on the State Department to turn over all records related to Senator McCain's visit.

Today's report follows news this week that Senator McCain has refused to reimburse a private company for the use of its corporate jet. Senator McCain is also skirting the law by unilaterally withdrawing from the primary funds program after using the promise of taxpayer money to secure a loan and gain free ballot access. Earlier this year, outside groups filed another FEC complaint related to Senator McCain's fundraiser in London's Spencer House in April.

"By apparently running afoul of the Hatch Act during his trip to Canada today, it appears that Senator McCain is once again putting his political aspirations ahead of following the law," said DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney. "Between his refusal to pay for his campaign's use of a corporate jet and his illegally attempting to withdraw from the primary funds program, this is becoming a disturbing pattern of impropriety on the part of Senator McCain and his campaign. How can the American people trust John McCain if he is unwilling to follow the law when it gets in the way of his political aspirations?"

For a copy of the FOIA Request, click here:



McCain Campaign Asked Ambassador to Skirt Hatch Act. "A Canadian newspaper reported Thursday that Friday's scheduled $100-a-plate luncheon speech by Sen. John McCain in Ottawa was organized in part by U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins, a former South Carolina lawmaker whom President Bush appointed in 2005... The article in the Edmonton Sun, and an earlier one in the Globe and Mail, says that Wilkins contacted Thomas d'Aquino, the president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, to help set up what they described as a fundraiser before McCain's visit. McCain is scheduled to give a speech at the Chateau Laurier Hotel and to meet with several Canadian officials... The Hatch Act circumscribes political activity for government employees. According to the American Foreign Service Association Web site, the State Department's ethics office prohibits fundraising activities for its presidential appointees." [The Trail blog, Washington Post, 6/19/08: dors.html#more ]

McCain Campaign Approached Canadians Seeking Visit & CEO Reception Hosts. Two weeks ago, U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins telephoned big-business lobbyist Tom d'Aquino, head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Wilkins had been contacted by the McCain campaign about a Canadian visit, and the ambassador wanted to know if some of d'Aquino's group of corporate chief executives might be interested in meeting the Republican presidential candidate. Almost instantly, d'Aquino jumped at the opportunity, and an additional $100-a-plate luncheon organized by the Economic Club of Canada sold out in 30 minutes with tickets now reselling at up to $1,000 a pop. [Edmonton Sun, 6/19/08:]

Coming to Canada McCain's Choice; Visit Arranged By Lindsey Graham Who Passed Word that McCain Was Interested in Coming to Canada. Mr. McCain's visit came together very quickly. About two weeks ago, his organization contacted the Economic Club of Canada, whose president, Mark Adler, has strong business connections. Coming to Ottawa was the McCain organization's choice, club spokeswoman Nicolee Tattersall says. As well, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, who is from South Carolina, is a close friend of South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is very close with Mr. McCain. According to the U.S. source, Mr. Graham called the ambassador to tell him that Mr. McCain was interested in coming to Canada. He asked for advice about logistics, venues and cities that would be appropriate for the presidential nominee. [Globe & Mail, 6/13/08: in13.html ]


Wall Street Journal: McCain Campaign Fails to Reimburse For Up To Four Campaign Flights. "She used the jet on several trips last year that included campaign-related activity but never got campaign reimbursement, according to flight-tracking records and campaign-finance reports verified by the McCain campaign. At the New York fund-raiser, she spoke on stage, warming up the audience for her husband. If the campaign had paid for Mrs. McCain's trip to New York and three others that appear to have included some campaign work, it would likely have cost a total of about $15,000, the equivalent of first-class fare for the trips combined." [Wall Street Journal, 6/18/08: c4Wj.html ]

Republican Expert: McCain Should Have Paid for the Flights. "Jan Baran, a Republican campaign lawyer, said the campaign should have paid. 'I don't know why they want to fight it,' he said. 'The chutzpah is not that they're not paying for this trip, it's that they're using a corporate airplane at a highly discounted rate.'" [Wall Street Journal, 6/18/08: c4Wj.html ]

New York Times: McCain Used Unresolved Loophole in His Own Reform Law to Get Discounted Flights. "Mr. McCain's campaign paid a total of $241,149 for the use of that plane from last August through February, records show. That amount is approximately the cost of chartering a similar jet for a month or two, according to industry estimates. The senator was able to fly so inexpensively because the law specifically exempts aircraft owned by a candidate or his family or by a privately held company they control. The Federal Election Commission adopted rules in December to close the loophole -- rules that would have required substantial payments by candidates using family-owned planes -- but the agency soon lost the requisite number of commissioners needed to complete the rule making. Because that exemption remains, Mr. McCain's campaign was able to use his wife's corporate plane like a charter jet while paying first-class rates, several campaign finance experts said. Several of those experts, however, added that his campaign's actions, while keeping with the letter of law, did not reflect its spirit." [New York Times, 4/27/08:]


FEC Did Not Grant McCain Permission To Withdraw From Public Financing System in the Primary. According to the Washington Post, "The nation's top federal election official told Sen. John McCain yesterday that he cannot immediately withdraw from the presidential public financing system as he had requested, a decision that threatens to dramatically restrict his spending until the general election campaign begins in the fall... Mason notified McCain that the commission had not granted his Feb. 6 request to withdraw from the presidential public financing system." [Washington Post, 2/22/08]

FEC Raised Questions About A Loan the McCain Received. According to the Associated Press, "The government's top campaign finance regulator says John McCain can't drop out of the primary election's public financing system until he answers questions about a loan he obtained to kickstart his once faltering presidential campaign... Federal Election Commission Chairman David Mason, in a letter to McCain this week, said the all-but-certain Republican nominee needs to assure the commission that he did not use the promise of public money to help secure a $4 million line of credit he obtained in November." [AP/MSNBC, 2/21/08]


Judicial Watch Files Complaint Over London Fundraiser. "Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it filed a formal complaint, dated April 22, 2008, with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) related to a fundraising luncheon held at London's Spencer House to benefit Senator John McCain's presidential campaign. The venue for the event was apparently donated to the campaign by foreign nationals, in violation of federal campaign finance laws." [Judicial Watch release, 4/24/08:
Judicial Watch release on Reuters

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,

This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Source: Democratic National Committee

CONTACT: Damien LaVera of the Democratic National Committee,

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Nancy Pelosi Statement on Death of Tim Russert

New York Post Photo: Tim Russert speaks during a taping of "Meet the Press" in Washington. The "Meet the Press" host died of a heart attack while recording a voiceover at the NBC studio. He was 58.

Timothy John Russert, Jr. (May 7, 1950June 13, 2008)

14 Jun 2008 01:43 Africa/Lagos

Pelosi Statement on Death of Tim Russert

WASHINGTON, June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the death of Tim Russert:

"Today, broadcast journalism lost one of its giants, who will be remembered along with names like Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and David Brinkley. The City of Buffalo has also lost its favorite son, who loved his city and its hometown team, the Bills. The smile that came across Tim's face whenever he spoke of the place of his birth and his favorite football team was one of true joy and I will never forget it.

"Tim Russert embodied the very best in broadcast journalism and has been a fixture in millions of living rooms every Sunday morning on NBC's 'Meet the Press' an institution that he shaped into one of the most influential news and opinion programs of our time. A stellar journalist, Tim also touched our hearts with his loving portrait of his father in the best-selling book, 'Big Russ and Me.'"

"To everyone at NBC News, who today lost not only a colleague, but a true friend, I offer my deepest condolences. Most of all, my thoughts are with Tim's wife, Maureen, and his son, Luke. I hope it is some comfort that so many throughout the world have the Russert family in their thoughts and prayers at this difficult time."

Source: Office of the Speaker of the House

CONTACT: Brendan Daly or Nadeam Elshami, +1-202-226-7616

UNITY Mourns the Loss of Tim Russert

13 Jun 2008
Howard Dean on the Passing of Tim Russert
Newt Gingrich Statement on the Passing of Tim Russert
Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on The Death of Tim Russert

New Report: Carly Fiorina the Latest McCain Advisor Linked to Iran, Says Democratic National Committee

Carly Fiorina

13 Jun 2008 00:34 Africa/Lagos

New Report: Carly Fiorina the Latest Senator John McCain Advisor Linked to Iran, Says Democratic National Committee

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Democratic National Committee:
According to reports, one of John McCain's top economic surrogates -- Republican National Committee Victory Fund Chair Carly Fiorina -- was head of Hewlett-Packard at a time when the company was actively working to circumvent export controls established as part of a trade boycott of Iran. This report makes Fiorina the second senior McCain advisor in as many weeks to be linked to companies doing business in Iran. Last week, on the same day Senator McCain called for "the moral clarity and conviction of civilized nations" to organize "a divestment campaign" aimed at isolating Iran, the Huffington Post reported senior advisor Charlie Black lobbied for a Chinese oil company doing work in Iran. Before that, reports revealed that the lobbying firm co-owned by McCain campaign manager Rick Davis represented Ukrainian companies doing business in Iran.

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According to a 2004 article in Forbes, Hewlett-Packard was "among many other U.S. companies" that kept offices in Dubai and were linked to Iranian traders there. As the report noted, "If you want to get around export controls, just sell the product to a front company in Dubai. The middlemen will take it from there." The CEO of Hewlett-Packard at the time was Carly Fiorina. In fact, Fiorina bragged about Hewlett-Packard's success in the Middle East during a 2003 corporate earnings call. [Forbes, 4/19/04; Hewlett Packard Q1 2003 Earnings Conference Call, Fair Disclosure Wire, 2/25/03]

"The fact that John McCain is stocking his campaign with lobbyists and corporate executives who have profited from companies doing business in Iran raises serious questions about his promise to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons," said Democratic National Committee Senior Advisor Matt Dorf. "McCain has consistently taken a 'do as I say, not as I do' approach to the reforms he claims to support, but our nation's security is too important for games like this. If McCain is serious about his call to isolate Iran, he will rid his campaign of any advisors and strategists who worked to circumvent the American government's trade boycott."

John McCain at AIPAC: Divest in Iran. "Years ago, the moral clarity and conviction of civilized nations came together in a divestment campaign against South Africa, helping to rid that nation of the evil of apartheid. In our day, we must use that same power and moral conviction against the regime in Iran, and help to safeguard the people of Israel and the peace of the world." [Remarks to AIPAC conference, 6/2/08]

Forbes: Hewlett Packard Exported Goods To Dubai To Open Up Markets In Iran. In the April 12, 2004 issue a Forbes magazine story entitled, "Trading With The Enemy" reported, "If you want to get around export controls, just sell the product to a front company in Dubai. The middlemen will take it from there... Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Microsoft, among many other U.S. companies, keep Dubai offices and are favorites these days among Iranian traders in Dubai. Reason? Strong demand for 'anything high-tech for military or oil services,' says Bolurfrushan of the Iranian Business Council." [Forbes, 4/12/04]

2003: Fiorina Touted Success In Middle East In The Face Of Falling Domestic Revenue. In a conference call releasing Hewlett Packard's earnings for the first quarter of 2003, CEO Carly Fiorina said, "Our revenue shortfalls were largely confined to the U.S. market, as weak commercial spending continued." She added, "In the Americas, revenue declined 7% sequentially because of weakness in the U.S. and Latin America. Canada, on the other hand, reported solid sequential revenue growth. The strongest performance was in Europe, Middle East, and Africa where revenue was up more than 6% from the previous quarter." [Hewlett Packard Q1 2003 Earnings Conference Call, Fair Disclosure Wire, 2/25/03]

McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis Represented Ukrainian Companies Doing Business in Iran. "Before Rick Davis began serving as John McCain's campaign manager, his lobbying firm had a pretty cosmopolitan set of clients. For example, Ukranian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, who has several business links to Iran... Davis Manafort was helping Akhmetov's conglomerate, System Capital Management Holdings, to develop a 'corporate communications strategy' between the beginning of 2005 through the end of summer 2005, the company said. The company's subsidiary, Metinvest, a steel company, has one of its 11 offices in Tehran. And another subsidiary, Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant, sells large pipes to Iran. Those business ties go back to at least 2005, when Davis Manafort was working for the company, according to a handful of stories in business publications like the Russia & CIS Metals and Mining Weekly and the Mining and the Metals report, which we found on Nexis." [TPM, 5/30/08:

Charlie Black's Lobbying Firm Worked For Company Doing Business in Iran. "In the summer of 2005, John McCain's chief strategist Charlie Black, working for his firm Black, Kelly, Scruggs & Healey, was paid $60,000 to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of the Chinese oil conglomerate CNOOC. At the time, CNOOC was mounting an aggressive bid to buy Unocal, a California-based oil giant, and Black was tasked with churning up congressional support. But the bid ultimately fell through, in part because of objections over CNOOC's ties to Iran, a country in which it had already invested tens of millions of dollars... Flash-forward nearly three years and Black's old client -- which later scored a $16 billion deal with the Iranian government -- could now create major headaches for his current boss. On Monday, McCain, in a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, called for a broad and aggressive international campaign to divest from Iran." [Huffington Post, 6/2/08]

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This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


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Rachel Ray's Dunkin' Donuts and the American Islamophobic Outrage

The controversial Dunkin' Donuts Online Advert.

My friend Father Dave of Australia notified me of the controversy over the embarrassment and harassment of America's celebrity chef Rachel Ray, because of the "Palestinian" scarf she had around her neck in the Dunkin' Donuts online advert. The Dunkin' Donuts ad campaign has been stopped, because of the erroneous and outrageous political uproar over her kaffiyeh-like garment!

Rachel Ray

This is preposterous!
Americans have become paranoid since 9/11 and anything that looks Islamic makes them suspicious of Islamic terrorism and an ordinary Arabian scarf around your neck becomes a symbol of an Islamist? Therefore an American cannot put on any Middle Eastern apparel?

An Arabian model is now a terror suspect?

Watch this report directly on YouTube for more on this fiasco of Islamophobia.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Faith of Barack Obama

You can pre-order The Faith of Barack Obama before it gets to the book stores.

You'd have to live in a cave to have avoided hearing about Barack Obama's woes as he deals with the crises arising from the close mentor relationship he had with the senior pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. How, people ask, could Sen. Obama represent as president people of all races, when he attended for 20 years a church permeated by a defining, if understandable, spirit of anger toward white America? There is, however, much more to the senator's faith than this one issue. As early as 2004, as he delivered a powerful speech to the Democratic National Convention in Boston, he was taking a stand for his faith: "We worship an awesome God in the Blue States." In The Faith of Barack Obama, Stephen Mansfield explores Obama's religious faith without political or ideological bias. His basic premise is this: If a man's faith is sincere, then it is the most important thing about him. As a result, it is impossible to understand how Barack Obama will lead without first understanding the religious vision that informs his life.

12 Jun 2008 13:00 Africa/Lagos

Thomas Nelson To Release The Faith of Barack Obama

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Senator Barack Obama's faith and the larger subject of the role of faith in politics will almost assuredly become an issue in the general election.

In the wake of the Rev. Wright scandal, there is confusion over exactly what Senator Obama believes and perhaps more importantly, how those beliefs would shape his policies as president of the United States.

In The Faith of Barack Obama (Thomas Nelson, August 2008), Best-selling author Stephen Mansfield explores Obama's religious faith without political or ideological bias.

Mansfield skillfully takes readers along Barack Obama's unusual religious walk, ultimately concluding that Barack Obama is unapologetically Christian and unapologetically liberal.

The Faith of Barack Obama is a prism through which one can understand not only what is happening religiously in politics but in society as a whole. Readers will learn of Barack Obama:

-- How he plans to infuse his faith into public policy
-- What led to his skepticism of religion
-- Why he had quarrels with God
-- What ultimately brought him to faith
-- Why he has become a man comfortable with confession

"You must read this perceptive and well written book. Then you will know why Barack Obama has such a passion for justice and equity, such a gift for filling people of different generations with a newfound hope that things can and will change for the better. His inspiration comes from his faith; he is an ardent believer. Yes, he is a Christian and proud of it."


Stephen Mansfield is the New York Times bestselling author of The Faith Of George W. Bush, The Faith of the American Soldier, Then Darkness Fled: The Liberating Wisdom of Booker T. Washington, and Never Give in: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill, among other works of history and biography. He was born in 1958 and grew up largely in Europe due to his father's work as an intelligence officer in the United States Army. He is becoming one of the nation's most sought after commentators and lecturers on matters of faith and American culture.



-- Barack Obama's unusual faith walk
-- Getting past The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. controversy
-- The dissolving influence of the Religious Right
-- How Barack's own words give us a glimpse into his spirituality and
how he governs
-- The role of faith in government
-- Why is faith in the forefront of the 2008 presidential election?
-- The differences between how John McCain's faith is perceived vs.
-- Barack Obama is what America is becoming

Source: Thomas Nelson

CONTACT: Curt Harding, Senior Publicist, +1-615-902-2246,

Web site:

China Author: Martin Walters, Stephen Mansfield; Buy New: $16.29
Tokyo Eyewitness Travel Guide Author: Stephen Mansfield;
No Retreat, No Surrender Author: Tom DeLay, Stephen Mansfield; Buy New: $15.09
American Heroes Author: Stephen Mansfield; Buy New: $9.34
American Destiny Author: Stephen Mansfield, Sam Bartholomew;
Never Give In Author: Stephen Mansfield

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Senate Tax Bill's Defeat is Windfall for Consumers, Economy

11 Jun 2008 01:09 Africa/Lagos

Senate Tax Bill's Defeat is Windfall for Consumers, Economy

NCPA Expert Says Failure to Adopt Windfall Profits Tax Will Keep U.S. Competitive

WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Failure of a Senate bill designed to tax the profits of the largest domestic oil producers and curb speculation in the oil futures market is a windfall for consumers and the economy, according to NCPA Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett.

"U.S. energy policy should focus on the supply of oil and gas, not raising prices for consumers as any windfall profits tax would have done," Burnett said. "The Senate considered this bill despite every government study and economic analysis, all of which prove that a windfall profits tax will only raise prices for consumers, make it more costly to develop and produce oil supplies and increase our dependence on foreign oil."

Burnett points out, for example, that a 1990 Congressional Research Service report estimated the windfall profits tax enacted in the 1980s reduced domestic oil production by 3 to 6 percent and increased oil imports between 8 and 16 percent. He also noted that a windfall profits tax would put U.S. oil and gas companies at a competitive disadvantage in the global energy marketplace.

"All this bill would have done is raise prices to consumers, reduce the value of investors' stock portfolios and retirement funds, and give government a slush fund to play with," Burnett said. "Profits siphoned off by government from domestic oil companies would not be available for investment in new production and refining capacity, but would be spent instead on pet government projects that have nothing to do with providing affordable energy to U.S. consumers."

"In order to lower gasoline prices, U.S. energy policy should focus on increasing the supply of oil and gas to meet world demand," Burnett added.

The NCPA is an internationally known nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute with offices in Dallas and Washington, D. C. that advocates private solutions to public policy problems. We depend on the contributions of individuals, corporations and foundations that share our mission. The NCPA accepts no government grants.

Source: National Center for Policy Analysis

CONTACT: Leah Gipson of NCPA, +1-972-308-6486,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Newt Gingrich: Why Norway Does Not Have an Energy Crisis and We Do

Newt and Callista participate in a sea safari in Bodo, Norway.
Newt and Callista participate in a sea safari in Bodo, Norway.

Newt Gingrich and his beautiful Callista sent the following report from their vacation in Norway and he has addressed the energy crisis plaguing the United States and the solution to end the high price of gasoline. This is a must read.

~ Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

The Publisher and Editor of Nigerian Times International Online Media Network

Report From Norway: Why They Don't Have an Energy Crisis and We Do
by (more by this author)
Posted 06/10/2008 ETUpdated 06/10/2008 ET

I am writing to you this week from Norway, where Callista and I have witnessed extraordinary natural beauty - and some things America could learn about creating a more sensible balance between protecting the environment and finding more domestic sources of energy.
You see, Norway, unlike the United States, has successfully avoided the "everywhere versus nowhere" trap when it comes to drilling offshore for oil and gas.

The "everywhere versus nowhere" trap results when aggressive energy developers demand the unconstrained right to drill everywhere while environmental extremists assert that drilling can occur nowhere. This is the stalemate we currently have in the United States, with disastrous consequences. Emotion trumps science. Regulation blocks innovation. And sound methods of achieving energy independence are overlooked and underdeveloped. And gas prices go up, up, up.

A Case Study in Green Conservatism
The six days Callista and I have spent traveling around Norway have convinced us that Norway is a case study in Green Conservatism. Norway has struck a remarkable balance between respect for the environment and energy independence; between stewardship of the earth and global economic competition. It is a place of both enduring natural beauty and the third largest oil exporter in the world.

Our cruise on Hurtigruten cruise line has to rank among the most beautiful voyages in the world.
We visited an island with 1.3 million puffins, watched reindeer running five feet away from us through a fishing village (it was startling), saw sea eagles which are enormous and were once endangered but have had a huge comeback. There are now 2,500 pairs of sea eagles in Norway due to ending the use of the pesticides which were decimating them (proving, in good Green Conservative fashion, that there are good environmental causes).

All of this in a country that has made itself the 10th largest oil and gas producer in the world by doing something that is virtually off limits in the United States: Drilling offshore for oil and gas.
The U.S. Was Once a Leader in Offshore Drilling. Today Norway Is

The United States was a leader in the creation of the offshore drilling industry in the 1950s and early 1960s, but today it's countries like Norway that are leaders in the field.
Norway's annual output of 1.6 billion barrels of oil comes exclusively from offshore drilling. Oil and natural gas are transported through a network of sub seafloor pipelines. Norway is the home to the world's largest natural gas drilling platform. And the truly remarkable fact is that Norway has built this robust offshore oil and gas drilling industry alongside large and thriving fishing and tourism industries.

The Norwegian Model: Trust, Common Sense, and Green Conservatism
Norway has avoided the "everywhere versus nowhere" trap that has paralyzed U.S. offshore drilling through a common sense approach that is textbook Green Conservatism.
In Norway, strong environmental protections were part of exploration, drilling and transportation of oil and natural gas from the outset. This initial environmental emphasis has built the sense of trust necessary to allow Norway to move to a cooperative, performance-based model rather than a regulation-based model like we have in the U.S.

Norway has relatively few laws, regulations and government agencies that govern offshore drilling. Their equivalent of our Supreme Court - the Hoyesterett - reportedly declined jurisdiction over offshore drilling on the grounds that it lacks expertise!

The result is a policy in which environmental concerns are carefully balanced with energy needs. Norwegians have put some areas off-limits to drilling. In some areas, drilling is carefully circumscribed. But the point is that drilling occurs. Environmental concerns have informed - not pre-empted-Norway's oil and gas industry.

The American Model: Distrust, Stalemate and Energy Crisis
Compare that to the United States, where a series of congressional prohibitions and presidential moratoria on offshore drilling - fed by public mistrust and largely unfounded environmental fears - have placed virtually all of the offshore United States off limits to drilling.
The United States is the only country in the world that so dramatically limits the exploration and development of its offshore oil and gas deposits.

The hysteria is so acute that both of our current presidential candidates even voted in 2005 in favor of willful ignorance about our domestic energy resources. Each voted for an amendment that would have removed from the energy bill that ultimately passed a provision for a comprehensive inventory of the oil and natural gas resources in the offshore continental shelf of the United States. Fortunately the amendment failed -- even though one of the two candidates is still the sole sponsor of a bill to repeal the authorization of the inventory. You can read the inventory here that 44 U.S. Senators didn't want you to read and learn that the U.S. Minerals Management Service estimates a mean of 85.9 billion barrels of undiscovered recoverable oil and a mean of 419.9 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered recoverable natural gas in the Federal Outer Continental Shelf of the United States.

I'm not suggesting that the United States adopt the level of government involvement in oil and gas that Norway has (its major petroleum producer, Statoil, is a public-private company). And I'm too much of a realist to think that the U.S. oil and gas industry and the environmental groups are going to suddenly sit down, hold hands together, and forget their differences.
What I am advocating is a more informed public making its demands of energy independence clear to our government.

New Poll Shows Broad, Bipartisan Support for Tapping Domestic Energy Sources, Including Offshore
Last week American Solutions released the results of new survey research dealing with energy security, coal and climate change. The adults surveyed made clear that Congress should prioritize increasing the availability of affordable energy over battling climate change.
In pursuit of the immediate goal of energy security, clear majorities of Americans of every political and ideological stripe advocated the U.S. tap into its voluminous domestic energy resources, including the oil located off its coasts and in Alaska and the coal deep within its grounds. Clean coal was particularly popular and Americans urged the swift building of zero emissions coal plants.

Americans prefer a greater use of domestic energy sources and an innovation-encouraging tax policy that rewards businesses for new energy solutions. While there were some political and ideological differences, for the most part, Americans stood united in favor of a smart, practical energy policy that would allow them to drive to work and power their homes without breaking their bank accounts. For additional information, including the survey results, click here.

A Vote to Watch: The Peterson Amendment to Lift the Offshore Drilling Moratorium
This week, Congressman John Peterson (R-Pa.) will offer an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that would lift the congressional moratorium on offshore drilling.
Contact your member of Congress today and urge them to support the Peterson Amendment to restore sanity and common sense to our domestic energy policy.
Every American should keep their eyes on the House Appropriations Committee this week to see whether members vote to support our desire for environmentally responsible increased domestic energy production, or whether they continue to bury their heads in the sand.

The Dictators' Roman Holiday
Now on to a completely different topic.
In a display of arrogance and hypocrisy that was outrageous even for the United Nations, UN food development officials last week accused the United States of raising global food prices by subsidizing ethanol production.

Actually, the outrage began even earlier.
Only the United Nations would invite a dictator who has purposefully starved his own people to a summit on the international food crisis. But that is precisely what happened in Rome last week. Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, who has starved his political enemies and channeled food aid to only favored groups, was in attendance, as was the Iranian dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It has already been one year since the U.S. Congress voted 411-2 to call on the UN Security Council to punish Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for violating the UN Charter and the UN Convention on Genocide for his repeated incitement of genocide against the Israeli people, yet the Iranian dictator is still welcome at UN events.

True to form, Ahmadinejad used the international spotlight to once again predict the demise of the state of Israel and accuse the U.S. of plotting an attack on him.
Mugabe accused the West, not his own genocidal policies, of starving his people.
In other words, it was a typical gathering for the United Nations.

Europe's Resistance to GM Foods, Not America's Support for Biofuels, Has Contributed to the Global Food Crisis
But the infuriating arrogance of UN bureaucrats lecturing the world's largest provider of food aid - and the single greatest contributor to the UN food fund - cannot be allowed to pass without comment.

In fact, it is the Europeans irrational resistance to genetically modified (GM) crops - aided and abetted by extremists on the left

-- that is responsible for much of the hunger in Africa and the rest of the developing world.
GM crops that are commonplace in the U.S.

- crops that don't need expensive pesticides and even potentially are drought resistance - are banned in Europe. And Europe and the Left's misinformation about the health and safety of these foods has led most African nations to ban them too for fear of being shut out of lucrative European export markets.

South Africa is the only African nation that grows GM crops. And while food production in the rest of Africa is 20 percent per capita less than it was in 1970, South Africa is producing surplus amounts of crops through biotechnology.

The U.S. Should Refuse to Participate in Future UN Charades
The UN food crisis gathering ignored the issue of GM foods, of course, but it did call on member nations to kick in at least $20 billion a year to help ease global hunger.
President Bush, who has tripled U.S. aid to Africa during his presidency, should ignore this demand and publicly refuse to participate in farces with vicious, murdering thugs like Mugabe and Ahmadinejad like the one in Rome last week.

President Bush should transition U.S. assistance to direct, bilateral forms only. Our willingness to allow UN bureaucrats and international dictators to lecture us in public strengthens them and isolates us. Far from feeding hungry people, it consigns them to lives of poverty, desperation and premature death.

For their good, and for our national self-respect, we should stop being a part this charade.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

P.S. -- "The pacing of the book can sometimes leave you breathless, and more than once I found myself reading "just one more page" after I'd just finished two chapters. This is a great beach read for people who don't always read beach books." So says one reviewer of historian William Forstchen and my new novel, Days of Infamy. It makes a great Father's Day gift. To get a signed copy by Father's Day, place your order here by 5:00 pm EST Tuesday.

P.P.S. -- I am tremendously gratified to report that our "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" petition drive has gathered the support of an astounding 450,000-plus Americans. But why stop here? If you haven't signed the petition, do so now here. If you have already signed, send this link to five friends and ask them to become a part of the campaign to lower energy prices by developing our domestic energy resources.

Several elected officials endorsed the DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW, PAY LESS campaign last week along with several radio/television talk show hosts.
Many thanks to these leaders for taking a stand for real change by endorsing the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" campaign:
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
U.S. Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.)
State Sen. Amy Koch (R-Minn.) - "Feel free to add my name to the list. I think it is simple and clear. Bravo!"
State Rep. Kevin Lundberg (R-Colo.) - "I have been and continue to be a strong advocate for the oil shale development here in Colorado and our nation as a whole."
Treasurer of Indiana, Richard Mourdock - " THIS is the 08 equivalent of the Contract with America if used correctly because everyone 'gets it.' "
President, Arkansas Republican Women Anne Britton
2010 Candidate for Georgia Governor, John Oxendine
Also watch this YouTube video and hear what Americans think of the high gas and diesel prices and what we should do about it.

Mr. Gingrich is the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and author of "Winning the Future" (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company

Hillary Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Hillary Haters and the MSM

I read the report on Tom Brokaw Slams Press Drumbeat For Hillary's Exit: "Inappropriate", "Commentary Disguised As Reporting" written by DAVID BAUDER June 9, 2008 12:01 AM EST .

I believe that Arianna Huffington does not like the Clintons for issues best known to her.
I suspect that she has something against Hillary Clinton, but I am sure her resentment against Hillary Clinton goes back in time before she co-founded the Huffington Post.

"Hillary's too vane to be president. It didn't matter much that Sen. Clinton is a fickle leader -- until Obama came along."
~ Arianna Huffington

Moreover, she has a crush on Barack Obama.:)

The American mainstream news media that should have campaigned for the impeachment of President George W. Bush failed to do so, and instead diverted their focus on the making of Barack Obama mamia, the American Idol of the mainstream news media and like a pack of wolves bared their fangs and claws to tear the Clintons to shreds and scuttle the presidential ambition of Senator Hillary Clinton. They fawned and swooned over Senator Barack Obama who actually patronized them and spent more millions of dollars on advert placements and slots on the news channels of the mainstream news media.

I can bet that they will not join Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) in the 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush, because they are hypocrites and puppets of their employers and patrons, the stakeholders and shareholders in the corporations benefiting from the spin-offs of the war in Iraq and the capitalists supporting the draconian economic policies of the Bush administration.

The 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign exposed the intellectual fallacy and hypocrisy of the American news media, because the mainstream news reporters, anchors and talkshow hosts compromised the principles of objective journalism for filthy lucre.

Remember Marc Cooper's nasty "Hillary's Ignominious Finale" posted on the Huffington Post on February 26, 2008 at 11:03 PM (EST)?

Many HuffPost writers and wannabes composed their best articles on how to dismiss Hillary Clinton even before the New Hampshire Primary, only to be shocked when she won and went ahead to become the Democratic frontrunner.

When Barack Obama had his winning streak in the following caucuses and primaries after the Super Tuesday, the Huffington Post and the pack of Hillary Haters were howling at Hillary Clinton to chase her off the presidential race, but she disgraced them by not giving up and going ahead to defeat Barack Obama in the next major primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania. What Marc Cooper called Hillary's Ignominious Finale in February became a magnanimous finale for Hillary Clinton last Saturday, June 7, 2008.

She has proved her mettle and became the Feminist hero of the American Dream .
Hillary Clinton has lost the presidential nomination in 2008, but she has gained the consolidation of her presidential ambition for the future.

The First American Coup

The First American Coup

In 1933, there was a military coup plot to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945).

The first truth is that the liberty of democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism -- ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way to sustain an acceptable standard of living.
~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 - April 12, 1945) , the 32nd President of the United States of America, on April 29, 1938, in a message to Congress titled "Recommendations to the Congress to Curb Monopolies and the Concentration of Economic Power."

Wall Street

FDR was the thirty-second President of the United States and the only U.S. President who served more than two terms, for he was elected to four terms in office, from 1933 to 1945. But he had many enemies who hated him so much that they attempted to topple him by undemocratic means.

The military coup was planned by power brokers of the richest corporations on Wall Street, amongst which were Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel, JP Morgan, and DuPont. One of the richest bankers and brokers on Wall Street, Robert Clark, was willing to contribute half of his $60 million fortune to finance the coup. His deputy, former Commander Gerald Macguire of the American Legion, said:"We need a fascist government in this country to save the nation from the Communists who want to tear it down and wreck everything we have built in America."

The 1933 coup would have succeeded, had it not been for the bravery of General Smedley Butler, the lionized World War I hero whom plotters wanted to lead the coup, but he instead blew their cover.

Reference: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., "Hillary Haters and The Roosevelts, The Huffington Post, December 12, 2007.

Posted by Orikinla Osinachi. at 9:52 AM

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Magnanimous End of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Campaign

Senator Barack Obama received the most important endorsement of his presidential campaign from his archrival, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton when she conceded the highly coveted presidential nomination of the United States Democratic Party to him on Saturday June 7, 2008. Then she called on her estimated 18 million voters and donors to support and vote for him in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election in November.
“I endorse him and throw my full support behind him, and I ask of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me," Senator Hillary Clinton said.

Hillary Clinton said this was not the kind of finale she had hoped for when she began her presidential campaign in 2007, but she certainly loved the company of the mammoth crowd of her enthusiastic supporters and well-wishers who thronged the National Building Museum in Washington D.C, .to witness the suspension of her historic presidential campaign. She has proved that she is a formidable presidential candidate after the grueling six months of primaries and caucuses in 50 U.S. states and in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Democrats Abroad..

Senator Hillary Clinton definitely would have been the inevitable presidential nominee of the Democratic Party if the political phenomenon of Obamania never erupted. She was overwhelmed by the sudden popularity of Senator Barack Obama who became the new poster boy of American Democracy since former President Bill Clinton. The Clintons could not checkmate the Black Knight in shining armor and all the pawns they threw at Barack Obama failed to stop him. They thought he would not do better than Rev. Jesse Jackson who was the most ambitious African-American presidential candidate before Senator Barack Obama, but he became the irresistible superstar of the American Dream.

The so-called inevitability or invincibility of the presidential candidacy of Senator Hillary Clinton was a myth created by the American mainstream news media until they were dazzled and fazed by the superlative sensationalism of the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama and his big budget. He attained rock star status and won the hearts of millions of American youths with his flowery speeches and suave mannerisms and off the hook political correctness and practical understanding of political rhetoric.

Millions of his fans and the detractors of the Clintons who preferred the new kid on the block of American politics flooded the most popular American online social networks of the new generation, such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. He beat Hillary Clinton in the first presidential contest when he won the Iowa Democratic caucuses on January 3, 2008 and made one of the best political speeches in American political history. America has never had such a charismatic presidential candidate since President John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) and the media dubbed Barack Obama the new JFK and even Caroline Bouvier Kennedy endorsed him as a President like her father. But the undaunted Hillary Clinton stopped the momentum of Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa when she defeated him in the next contest in the New Hampshire Democratic primary on January 8. She defeated him again at the Nevada Democratic precinct caucuses until he routed her in the South Carolina primary after using his campaign and news media to rubbish and tarnish the public image of the Clintons over their inappropriate remarks at their political campaign rallies.

The Super Tuesday Democratic primaries and caucuses were keenly contested, but Hillary Clinton won the most populous states and became the frontrunner until he overtook her after his winning streak in ten states. She miscalculated the projections of her presidential campaign after the Super Tuesday and she could not stop his insurmountable lead to clinch the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party and became the first African-American to become the presidential nominee of a major political party in the history of the United States of America.

It was the great Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue" and that is what I saw in the honorable personality of Senator Hillary Clinton as she acknowledged the best qualities of Senator Barack Obama and became his strongest ally when she honorably endorsed him as being worthy to be elected as the next President of the United States of America in November, 2008.

By her remarkable and laudable exemplary leadership, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has defined the dignity, integrity, nobility, tenacity, and magnanimity of the heroic American woman in the political history of America.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima
One of Hillary Clinton’s HillRaisers.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

President George W. Bush To Write Book On the War in Iraq

President George W. Bush in an interview on Friday told Gianni Riotta of Rai TV, Italy, that he will write a book on the Iraq War to defend his decision on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, because he wants the true story of what really happened to be documented for history. He spoke on the historic achievement of Senator Barack Obama as the first African-American presidential nominee of a major political party in the history of the United States and the remarkable accomplishment of Senator Hillary Clinton who lost the presidential nomination of the United States Democratic Party to Barack Obama. He also spoke on his determination to help the presumptive Republican Party nominee Senator John McCain to win the 2008 U.S. Presidential election in November.

It was a definitive interview on the justification of the critical foreign policy of President George W. Bush, the energy crisis and the future of America.

The following is the full transcript of the important interview.

7 Jun 2008 21:22 Africa/Lagos

Interview of President Bush by Gianni Riotta, Rai TV, Italy
WASHINGTON, June 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of an interview of President Bush by Gianni Riotta, Rai TV, Italy:

Map Room
June 6, 2008
10:28 A.M. EDT

Q Mr. President, the world has known tremendous change during your tenure, and three areas of concern remain: Iraq., Iran, and Afghanistan. What's your assessment of those three theaters? And looking back in perspective, would you do anything different?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that's an interesting question on doing anything different. Of course, history is going to be the judge of that. But the decision, for example, on Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision then and it's the right decision now.

The progress in Iraq has been substantial. For a period of time, democracy was in doubt, primarily because sectarian violence was really unacceptable. I decided to put more troops in, rather than pull back, and now the violence is the lowest it's been since March of 2004. And politics is beginning to happen. So I'm encouraged about Iraq.

Afghanistan is also difficult because of a new democracy emerging from the shadows of a brutal regime. Last year, of course, the Taliban announced they were going to go on the offense; in fact, our coalition went on the offense and, from a security perspective, made some progress against the Taliban. The best progress, though, is the advance of better-trained police forces -- and I thank the Italian government for helping -- as well as a better Afghan army, which over time needs to provide the security for the country. Iraq will probably -- progresses quicker because it's got wealth. Afghanistan is broke.

Iran -- the free world must continue to send a clear message to the Iranians that their ability to enrich which could be transferred to a program to develop a nuclear weapon is unacceptable. And so I will continue to work on this trip to talk about the dangers of a nuclear Iran -- not civilian nuclear power, but a program that would be aimed at blackmail or destruction -- and that we've got to work to stop them from learning how to enrich. And there's other ways to approach it.

Q Should Iran resist the international pressure, military option remains open?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it does.

Q Italy wants to join the five-plus-one group of contacts negotiating with Iran. Germany is skeptical, they don't want us. What do you say?

THE PRESIDENT: I say that whatever is effective in terms of sending a clear message to Iran. I will be spending time talking to this with the Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. I talked to Condi about this issue, and I said, look, whatever works. Let's make sure we're effective. Italy can be an effective voice in sending a message to the Iranians, and that you don't have to choose isolation. There's a better way forward. Verifiably suspend your enrichment program, and there's a better way forward for you and your people.

And Italy can be a critical part of that. And so we'll work -- I haven't really taken the temperature that much, but my judgment is Italy can be a very important contributor.

Q The relationship between the United States and Europe has been strained sometimes in the recent past. During your trip, what do you suggest we can do together vis-a-vis the oil crisis, the food crisis, and the recession coming?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, you know -- first of all, let me talk about strained relations. Look, I've had great relations with many of the leaders. America and Italy remain incredibly close. Do we agree on every issue? No. But do we agree on common values? Absolutely. We believe in human rights and human dignity, and free press and free religion. And so what unites us is a heck of a lot stronger than those moments where we don't necessarily agree on every single issue. And so I will remind people of that. I'll remind people that we've got a lot of work to do.

In terms of the current energy issue, we're too dependent on hydrocarbons. World demand is such, relative to supply, that the price of energy is high. And therefore, we need to be spending monies on new technologies to enable us to become less dependent on oil. And I'm a big nuclear power guy. I believe the United States must be much more aggressive expanding nuclear power -- for two reasons: one, less dependency on hydrocarbons; and two, it will make us better stewards of the environment. I mean, if you're concerned about global warming, one thing you ought to be concerned about then is making sure that we've got power generated from a clean source of energy -- a renewable source of energy, which is nuclear power.

The food prices concern me, obviously. But the truth of the matter is, one reason why food price is so high is because energy prices are high. I mean, when you think about it, farming is a pretty energy-intensive business -- fertilizer is an energy; driving a tractor is an energy; crops to markets require energy. And so the crux of a lot of the problem is the energy prices.

Q Looking to Prime Minister Berlusconi, what areas will you encourage Italy to work with the United States, especially?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Iran, of course, which I happen to see as a major threat. Look, we got a lot of common areas: Afghanistan -- and I will thank the Italian people for their sacrifices to help this young democracy. Silvio Berlusconi and I worked a lot of big issues together in the past; I know him well, I trust him, I like him. I find him to be one of the really interesting world leaders. And I'm really looking forward to seeing him again in his capacity, once again, as the Prime Minister.

We ought to work on trade matters; we ought to work on diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria on the continent of Africa, for example. I mean, there's a lot we can do together.

Q You met the Pope while in the United States, and how do you see his role in trying to reopen the dialogue between different civilizations and religions?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think it's -- look, the Holy Father is a significant world figure. And we had a fabulous visit here, and it was such an honor to welcome him here to the South Lawn of the White House. I wish you could have seen it. Maybe you did see it. I wish your viewers could have seen the reception he was given here. I think it was one of the largest crowds ever on the South Lawn, like 13,000 people. And my own personal visit with him was so uplifting.

And we did talk about interfaith dialogue, that I think is really important for people to find common ground through religion to deal with the violence that is used by some in the name of religion, to perpetuate an ideology -- and to remind people that peace -- religion is peace. And there's no better person to carry that message than His Holy Father.

I talked to the King of Saudi Arabia about his visit with the Holy Father, and those are two very important figures when it comes to, obviously, Christianity and Islam. And I think it's great that he's reaching out.

Q I know you don't want to comment on the presidential elections, but the world is watching and is very excited because --


Q There is a former war hero, there is an African American candidate, there's been Italian Americans, there's been a lady running for President. How do you see vitality of the American democracy, looking at this?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, I'm for McCain, and everybody knows that. On the other hand, I thought it was a really good statement, powerful moment when a major political party nominates a African American man to be their standard bearer. And it's good for our democracy that that happened. And we also had a major contender being a woman. Obviously Hillary Clinton was a major contender. So I think it's a good sign for American democracy.

Now the debate begins as to who could be the best President. And I'm in an interesting position -- I ran hard for presidency twice; I campaigned hard in the off years, and now I'll be passing the mantle on to Senator McCain, particularly at the convention when he becomes the official nominee of our party. Obviously he's going to be the nominee, but there's a moment at the convention where it's -- "here he is." And I'll do my part to help him win, but it's going to be up to him. He'll be the man sitting in the Oval Office making the tough decisions for peace and security.

Q You mentioned history at the beginning of this interview. And you know, you're aware that history will ask you about Iraq. What do you think, now when you look back to Iraq, especially after the report yesterday, are you still happy with all these positions?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, I want to remind people, the report yesterday was one of many reports that -- everybody thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. I will remind people -- and one of the things important about history is to remember the true history. And so the UN Security Council resolution was 15 to nothing on Saddam Hussein: disclose, disarm or face serious consequences. European nations -- France, Great Britain -- supported that -- 1441 -- because everybody thought he had weapons of mass destruction, including many of the people who -- of the Democratic Party here in the United States. You should listen to their words, and listen to their quotes.

And so, absolutely, getting rid of Saddam Hussein was the right thing. And it was -- we're all disappointed the intelligence wasn't what it was. But now the challenge is to help this young democracy survive. And a democracy in the heart of the Middle East is going to be, in my judgment, a powerful part of change. And we've got to work to free people in the Middle East from tyranny, because that is the place from which the terrorists have launched their attacks.

Q In the few seconds that are left, what will you do next?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, good question. I haven't had much time to think about it, because I've got a lot to do. But I will probably write a book, talking about the decisions I had to make, precisely to make sure that history understands the conditions and the environment during which I had to make decisions. Start a freedom institute at what's called Southern Methodist University in Dallas, to talk about the universal values of freedom abroad and at home. And other than that, I'm open for suggestions.

Q Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir. Thanks. Looking forward to going. Looking forward to going back to Rome. It's a fabulous city, one of the great cities of the world.

Q Especially after you leave the White House, come and I will take you around. (Laughter.) Without the constraint of official --

THE PRESIDENT: I'd love to.

END 10:38 A.M. EDT

Source: White House Press Office

CONTACT: White House Press Office, +1-202-456-2580

Web site:

Join Hillary Clinton's Rally for Barack Obama for President On Saturday

I have been honored and privileged to work with so many dedicated people on Hillary's historic campaign. Your enthusiastic commitment to her campaign through the primaries has been inspirational.

As you know, Hillary will be holding an event tomorrow in Washington D.C. to thank all of her supporters, to express her support for Senator Obama, and to talk about the issues that have been at the core of her public service, the issues she will continue fighting for.

Hillary wanted to make sure her online supporters were a part of this special event, just as you have been a part of her campaign from the very beginning. So, we will be streaming it live over the website at

We invite you to visit our website on Saturday June 7, at 12 p.m. EDT to watch Hillary speak live.

Thank you for everything you have done for our campaign.


Maggie Williams
Campaign Manager
Hillary Clinton for President

Friday, June 6, 2008

An Historic Day

Senator Barack Obama

An Historic Day

Senator Obama has accomplished an incredible first for the African-American community, and for the United States. Barack Obama is the first African American to be nominated for President on a major party ticket.

This historic event shows just how far this country has come to healing the racial divides that have plagued our history as a nation. But along the way the campaign provided some painful reminders of just how much further we have to go to achieve true equality for all Americans.

This is a day that should make us all proud, and then it should make us redouble our efforts to protect those rights that many have given their lives to secure. And for 100 years, that's exactly what the NAACP has done.

As a bipartisan, 501 C3 organization we don't get involved directly with candidates. What we do, I think better than any other organization, is organize the voting efforts of the African American community. This year the NAACP is focused on four things: voter registration, voter education, election protection and getting out the vote. We've been hard at work already, and over the summer you'll be hearing more from us as we roll out new phases of our program. But here are just a few updates.

NAACP and its coalition partners have already registered hundreds of thousands of new voters, and we're expanding our efforts so that we can reach even more young people through technology and field efforts on college campuses. Our goal is to register many thousands more new voters between now and November with an eye to increasing African-American voter turnout by 5%.

Earlier this year the NAACP's Washington Bureau published its annual Congressional Scorecard so that voters could see how their representatives in Congress have voted on civil rights issues. We also published the written responses to the NAACP's Presidential Questionnaire, distributed to all campaigns earlier this year.

In July, when the NAACP holds its 99th Annual Convention in Cincinnati, John McCain and Barack Obama will participate in the NAACP's Presidential Forum. The Forum will give the candidates the opportunity to answer questions on issues that are critical to civil rights and to communities of color. The NAACP will distribute this information through its network so that every voter has access to unvarnished information about the candidates' positions.

Over the next several months, our work together will help define the future of civil rights in this great country. I hope that we can count on you to stand with us in every way possible.


Julian Bond

(c)2008 NAACP, 4805 Mt. Hope Drive, Baltimore, MD 21215.