Monday, 26 February 2007

AN INCONVENIENT HYPOCRITE

Ken Berwitz

Here is a press release issued today from the Tennessee Center For Policy Research:

Last night, Al Gores global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gores mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWhmore than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWhguzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gores average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gores energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gores extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gores mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use, said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

For Further Information, Contact:
Nicole Williams, (615) 383-6431
editor@tennesseepolicy.org

I just watched the first part of CBS Evening News, starring Katie Carwreck (name change due to her ratings).  Katie's lead story was that Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth", won the oscar.  NOT ONE WORD about his breathtakingly massive use of energy.

I did not watch NBC or ABC, but I'm guessing that it either was not covered at all or was way down the list somewhere.  Maybe you can let me know.

Now I am eagerly awaiting tomorrow's New York Times to see the front page coverage they give Gore's profligacy.  Of course I am also eagerly awaiting the ghost of Andrew Carnegie coming to give me $1,000,000 and front row seats to Carnegie Hall for the rest of my life. 

I think Andy is the better bet.

UPDATE:  I write this on Tuesday morning.  There is bad news and good news.

The bad news? I monitored the New York Times' news section from front to back and there is not one word about Al Gore's superseding hypocrisy when it comes to conservation.

The good news?  The jury is still out on Andrew Carnegie.


GUEST COMMENTARY: JOE LIEBERMAN

Ken Berwitz

The following is a commentary by Joe Lieberman in today's Wall Street Journal.  It has more logic, common sense and forethought - and concern about the United States of America - than you will find in everything mouthed by pelosi and murtha combined. 

Please read it and think about what Senator Lieberman is saying.  He is talking about whether we are fighting to win the war on terrorism, not on how many votes are available if we engage in rhetorical gamesmanship while the other side keeps on fighting. 

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Lieberman Pleads To Democrats For Sense On Iraq War

February 26th, 2007

From the Wall Street Journal:

Photo

The Choice on Iraq

I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to step back and think carefully about what to do next.

BY JOSEPH LIEBERMAN
Monday, February 26, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

Two months into the 110th Congress, Washington has never been more bitterly divided over our mission in Iraq. The Senate and House of Representatives are bracing for parliamentary trench warfaretrapped in an escalating dynamic of division and confrontation that will neither resolve the tough challenges we face in Iraq nor strengthen our nation against its terrorist enemies around the world.

What is remarkable about this state of affairs in Washington is just how removed it is from what is actually happening in Iraq. There, the battle of Baghdad is now under way. A new commander, Gen. David Petraeus, has taken command, having been confirmed by the Senate, 81-0, just a few weeks ago. And a new strategy is being put into action, with thousands of additional American soldiers streaming into the Iraqi capital.

Congress thus faces a choice in the weeks and months ahead. Will we allow our actions to be driven by the changing conditions on the ground in Iraqor by the unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington? What ultimately matters more to us: the real fight over there, or the political fight over here?

If we stopped the legislative maneuvering and looked to Baghdad, we would see what the new security strategy actually entails and how dramatically it differs from previous efforts. For the first time in the Iraqi capital, the focus of the U.S. military is not just training indigenous forces or chasing down insurgents, but ensuring basic securitymeaning an end, at last, to the large-scale sectarian slaughter and ethnic cleansing that has paralyzed Iraq for the past year.

Tamping down this violence is more than a moral imperative. Al Qaedas stated strategy in Iraq has been to provoke a Sunni-Shiite civil war, precisely because they recognize that it is their best chance to radicalize the countrys politics, derail any hope of democracy in the Middle East, and drive the U.S. to despair and retreat. It also takes advantage of what has been the single greatest American weakness in Iraq: the absence of sufficient troops to protect ordinary Iraqis from violence and terrorism.

The new strategy at last begins to tackle these problems. Where previously there werent enough soldiers to hold key neighborhoods after they had been cleared of extremists and militias, now more U.S. and Iraqi forces are either in place or on the way. Where previously American forces were based on the outskirts of Baghdad, unable to help secure the city, now they are living and working side-by-side with their Iraqi counterparts on small bases being set up throughout the capital.

At least four of these new joint bases have already been established in the Sunni neighborhoods in west Baghdadthe same neighborhoods where, just a few weeks ago, jihadists and death squads held sway. In the Shiite neighborhoods of east Baghdad, American troops are also moving inand Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army are moving out.

We of course will not know whether this new strategy in Iraq will succeed for some time. Even under the most optimistic of scenarios, there will be more attacks and casualties in the months ahead, especially as our fanatical enemies react and attempt to thwart any perception of progress.

But the fact is that we are in a different place in Iraq today from even just a month agowith a new strategy, a new commander, and more troops on the ground. We are now in a stronger position to ensure basic securityand with that, we are in a stronger position to marginalize the extremists and strengthen the moderates; a stronger position to foster the economic activity that will drain the insurgency and militias of public support; and a stronger position to press the Iraqi government to make the tough decisions that everyone acknowledges are necessary for progress.

Unfortunately, for many congressional opponents of the war, none of this seems to matter. As the battle of Baghdad just gets underway, they have already made up their minds about Americas cause in Iraq, declaring their intention to put an end to the mission before we have had the time to see whether our new plan will work.

There is of course a direct and straightforward way that Congress could end the war, consistent with its authority under the Constitution: by cutting off funds. Yet this option is not being proposed. Critics of the war instead are planning to constrain and squeeze the current strategy and troops by a thousand cuts and conditions.

Among the specific ideas under consideration are to tangle up the deployment of requested reinforcements by imposing certain readiness standards, and to redraft the congressional authorization for the war, apparently in such a way that Congress will assume the role of commander in chief and dictate when, where and against whom U.S. troops can fight.

I understand the frustration, anger and exhaustion so many Americans feel about Iraq, the desire to throw up our hands and simply say, Enough. And I am painfully aware of the enormous toll of this war in human life, and of the infuriating mistakes that have been made in the wars conduct.

But we must not make another terrible mistake now. Many of the worst errors in Iraq arose precisely because the Bush administration best-cased what would happen after Saddam was overthrown. Now many opponents of the war are making the very same best-case mistakeassuming we can pull back in the midst of a critical battle with impunity, even arguing that our retreat will reduce the terrorism and sectarian violence in Iraq.

In fact, halting the current security operation at midpoint, as virtually all of the congressional proposals seek to do, would have devastating consequences. It would put thousands of American troops already deployed in the heart of Baghdad in even greater dangerforced to choose between trying to hold their position without the required reinforcements or, more likely, abandoning them outright. A precipitous pullout would leave a gaping security vacuum in its wake, which terrorists, insurgents, militias and Iran would rush to fillprobably resulting in a spiral of ethnic cleansing and slaughter on a scale as yet unseen in Iraq.

I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to step back and think carefully about what to do next. Instead of undermining Gen. Petraeus before he has been in Iraq for even a month, let us give him and his troops the time and support they need to succeed.

Gen. Petraeus says he will be able to see whether progress is occurring by the end of the summer, so let us declare a truce in the Washington political war over Iraq until then. Let us come together around a constructive legislative agenda for our security: authorizing an increase in the size of the Army and Marines, funding the equipment and protection our troops need, monitoring progress on the ground in Iraq with oversight hearings, investigating contract procedures, and guaranteeing Iraq war veterans the first-class treatment and care they deserve when they come home.

We are at a critical moment in Iraqat the beginning of a key battle, in the midst of a war that is irretrievably bound up in an even bigger, global struggle against the totalitarian ideology of radical Islamism. However tired, however frustrated, however angry we may feel, we must remember that our forces in Iraq carry Americas causethe cause of freedomwhich we abandon at our peril.

Mr. Lieberman is an Independent senator from Connecticut.

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