- The Washington Times - Monday, August 18, 2008

A new wrinkle

“Republican presidential candidate John McCain says that he’s taking another look at the possibility of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, and as part of that assessment McCain says that he plans to talk to the nation’s most prominent advocate of drilling in ANWR, Alaska governor Sarah Palin,” Stephen F. Hayes writes in the Weekly Standard.

“McCain has opposed drilling in ANWR. In the past he’s compared it to drilling in the Grand Canyon. But as energy prices climbed over the past several months, he has been careful to avoid locking himself into an anti-drilling position. In late June, McCain told voters in Missouri and Minnesota that he was open to receiving new information about exploration on Alaska’s coastal plain, but noted: ‘I certainly haven’t changed my position.’

“In an interview with the Weekly Standard aboard his campaign plane last week, McCain made clear he has not ruled out a change in his position — to one that endorses drilling in ANWR. ‘I continue to examine it,’ he said. So does his staff. McCain’s campaign has been quietly studying the ANWR issue and discussing the potential consequences — good and bad — of a policy change,” Mr. Hayes said.

“But in our conversation on August 13, McCain added a new wrinkle. When I asked him if he had consulted Palin about ANWR, he said that he had not yet done so. He added, ‘I probably should,’ he said. ‘I will.’”

Clinton’s coup

“The Obama campaign was in full spin mode this [past] week touting its decision to allow Hillary Clinton to have a roll call vote at the convention so her delegates can register their support of her,” John Fund writes at www.opinionjournal.com.

“‘It’s an olive branch that we think will pay dividends in party unity,’ one Democratic congressman told me. I’m not so sure. Many Clinton supporters will be appreciative of the symbolic gesture, but others such as those who unofficially call themselves Pumas may see it as an opportunity to make more trouble for Mr. Obama both on and off the convention floor,” Mr. Fund said.

“‘The one thing that Obama should never have agreed to is a roll-call vote with Hillary Clinton,’ says Jeff Birnbaum, a Washington Post columnist. Mr. Birnbaum nonetheless admits to being ‘so grateful that we are going to have a story, which is Hillary Clinton’s attempt tacitly to take over the Obama victory, and that [story] will go through virtually every day of the convention’ given how frequently Bill and Hillary Clinton are scheduled to appear before delegates.

“Indeed, the Clinton people I spoke with appear emboldened by the Obama concessions. They have already secured language in the Democratic platform denouncing the mainstream media for its ‘sexist’ coverage of the Democratic primaries. You can bet one of the few genuinely newsworthy stories the hordes of reporters in Denver will chew on is just how much Hillary Clinton is supporting Barack Obama — and how much merely laying groundwork for a comeback effort in 2012 if he loses in the fall.”

To tell the truth

“In 2001, Sen. Barack Obama was the only member of the Illinois senate to speak against a bill that would have recognized premature abortion survivors as ‘persons.’ The bill was in response to a Chicago-area hospital that was leaving such babies to die. Obama voted ‘present’ on the bill after denouncing it. It passed the state Senate but died in a state House committee,” David Freddoso writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“In 2003, a similar bill came before Obamas health committee. He voted against it. But this time, the legislation was slightly different. This latter version was identical to the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which by then had already passed the U.S. Senate unanimously (with a hearty endorsement even from abortion advocate Sen. Barbara Boxer) and had been signed into law by President Bush,” Mr. Freddoso said.

“Sen. Obama is currently misleading people about what he voted against, specifically claiming that the bill he voted against in his committee lacked ‘neutrality’ language on Roe v. Wade. The bill did contain this language. He even participated in the unanimous vote to put it in.

“Obamas work against the bill to protect premature babies represents one of two times in his political career, along with his speech against the Iraq war, that he really stuck out his neck for something that might hurt him politically. Unlike his Iraq speech, Obama is deeply embarrassed about this one — so embarrassed that he is offering a demonstrable falsehood in explanation for his actions. Fortunately, the documents showing the truth are now available.”

Global cooling

A New Jersey legislator, citing recent evidence for global cooling, has called for repeal of the state’s Global Warming Response Act.

“There are many credible members of the scientific community who have questioned the theory of global warming, and now we have some scientists actually suggesting the earths temperatures may be entering a period of dramatic cooling,” said state Assemblyman Michael Doherty, a Republican. “With this growing level of scientific uncertainty, it makes no sense to enact a new set of economically damaging regulations prompted by the global warming hysteria of recent years.”

The Global Warming Response Act was signed last year by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, which requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. The law required the state Department of Environmental Protection to release a report detailing how the state would meet the goals, with recommendations now expected to be issued this fall.

According to recent news reports, a top observatory that has been measuring sun-spot activity predicts that global temperatures will drop by two degrees over the next 20 years as solar activity slows and the planet drastically cools down. They suggest this could potentially herald the onset of a new ice age. Following the end of the suns most active period in over 11,000 years, the last 10 years have displayed a clear cooling trend as temperatures post-1998 leveled out and are now decreasing.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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