“Strive to be the greatest man in your country, and you may be disappointed. Strive to be the best and you may succeed: he may well win the race that runs by himself.” – Benjamin Franklin

“[L]et us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for… Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.” – Ronald Reagan

“Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil; our great hope lies in developing what is good.” – Calvin Coolidge

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure- which is: Try to please everybody.” – Herbert Swope

“Back from the front, Gen. David Petraeus called on Congress Thursday to begin considering a drawdown of U.S. troops after five years of war. Violence in Iraq has plunged to its lowest levels since 2004, and al-Qaida is a tattered shadow of its former self- key leaders dead, successors weak and recruiting down. ‘My sense’ Petraeus said, ‘is I will be able to make a recommendation (in the autumn) for further reductions.’ This is no Saigon-style exit, but a coming victorious end of a long conflict. U.S. forces have pounded al-Qaida into irrelevance. Using highly disciplined Special Forces strikes, advanced intelligence and communications, and local allies in the right places, 155,000 U.S. troops have been crushing a vicious enemy motivated by no rational forces in a war with no precedent. They are winning against all odds, overcoming not just terrorists, but other obstacles such as a lumbering Pentagon bureaucracy and weak-kneed Western intelligentsia whose media toadies trump every military error and harp on every isolated bad deed. Now proven wrong, these same critics retaliate by ignoring what is a very big story. Worldwide terror attacks have fallen off 40% since 2001, according to a study by Canada’s Human Security Report Project, and support for al-Qaida in the Arab world has collapsed. The study found terror attacks had been over-counted because Iraq War atrocities distorted the figures. Security gains elsewhere included even sub-Saharan Africa, where the improvement was called ‘extraordinary.’ Just as the conflict in Iraq is coming to a close, two related terror wars- in Spain and Colombia- are also seeing signs of victory… From the deserts of Iraq to the villages of Spain to the jungles of Colombia, these victories against terrorist groups are all linked. They are the result of using proven tactics, holding together resolutely, cooperating with other nations to share and deliver intelligence, and forming united fronts. When this happens, terrorists cannot flourish. Recent successes show that these wars are winnable.” – Investor’s Business Daily

“[A]s I have talked with some of our young soldiers, as well as some vets and their families, I have begun to notice a budding awareness (if not yet quite resentment) among them that not only are a very small fraction of Americans prepared to wear the uniform and bear the burden of citizenship but also few of their fellow Americans even seem to be aware or appreciative of the sacrifice.” – Tony Blankley

“As for this week’s Clinton complaints [that sexism is doing her in], I imagine [Margaret] Thatcher would bop her on the head with her purse. [Indira] Gandhi would say ‘That is no way to play it.’ [Golda] Meir? ‘They said I was the only woman in the cabinet and the only one with- well, you know. I loved it’.” – Peggy Noonan

“If the House of Representatives has now declared it ‘illegal’ for the government of Saudi Arabia to restrict oil production, why is it still legal for the government of the United States to restrict oil production? In fact, the government of the United States restricts pretty much every form of energy production other than the bizarre fetish du jour of federally mandated ethanol production.” – Mark Steyn

“Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to raise the price of oil, as well as most everything else, and lower the value of the pension and mutual funds that union members and retirees depend on. Of course, they don’t describe their plan that way. Instead, they call for a windfall-profits tax on the oil companies. But it’s the same thing.” – John Stossel

“Republican National Committee Chairman Robert M. Duncan complains that conservative, pro-life, pro-gun Democrats won three special elections by stealing GOP issues… Democrats didn’t steal your issues, sir. You abandoned them. Your party discarded them. Democrats simply engaged in dumpster harvesting.” – Cal Thomas

“McCain is still being vilified for referring to Iran-supported terrorists in Iraq as al Qaida, as if the vast majority of Americans care about the distinction between a Sunni and a Shiite terrorist.” – Doug Patton

“Barack Obama was speaking to a Jewish group, and he told them that his name Barack is the same as the Jewish word ‘baruch,’ which means one who’s blessed. Obama had a harder time explaining his middle name, Hussein. Things got quiet there.” – Conan O’Brien

“I’m sure [Barbara Walters is] going to catch plenty of flak from her cronies in the media. Certainly not because she’s using an affair, long over and done with, to hawk her book, and certainly not because Sen. Brooke is a black man, but because… he was, of all things, a Republican.” – Burt Prelutsky

“When the House of Representatives takes up arms against $4 gas by voting 324-84 to sue OPEC, you know that election-year discourse has gone surreal.” – Charles Krauthammer

“I was watching the Big Oil execs testifying before Congress. That was my first mistake… Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz knew the routine: ‘I can’t say that there is evidence that you are manipulating the price, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not.’ Had I been in the hapless oil man’s expensive shoes, I’d have answered, ‘Hey, you first. I can’t say that there is evidence that you’re sleeping with barnyard animals, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not’.” – Mark Steyn

Jay Leno: Barack Obama is now focusing on John McCain, is calling it “a contest of the past versus the future.” How many people wish it were the future and this election was already in the past? … When speaking in Montana, Barack Obama got a standing ovation when he said, “It is time to take back the country.” The bad news: he was on an Indian reservation at the time. … Earlier this week, Vice President Dick Cheney gave the commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy. He was given a 19-gun salute. And two Coast Guard members were slightly injured when Cheney returned fire.