Thursday, 24 May 2007


Ken Berwitz

Maybe it's because media let him (and Ted Kennedy) off the hook when they got drunk at a Washington DC restaurant one night and made a "waitress sandwich" out of their server - who may or may not have found it to be amusing.

Maybe it's because media let him off the hook for being so instrumental in the regulations that allowed Arthur Andersen and Enron to collaborate in a way that led to both companies going under and thousands of their employees and stockholders screwed to the gills.  (Not surprisingly, both companies contributed heavily to Dodd).

Maybe it's because media let him off the hook for publicly proclaiming that Robert Byrd - the former KKK member and lifelong racist scumbag - would have been a great leader in any era, including the Civil War. (it should be noted that he said this after Trent Lott's comment that the country would have been better off with Strom Thurmond as president, which was used to hound Lott out of his position as Senate majority leader).

I don't know if it was one or more of those events, or maybe other gaffes and disgraces from Dodd as well.  But he apparently has come to the conclusion that he will not be held accountable for what he does or says.

At any rate, I can't think of a more plausible explanation for Dodd's new campaign ad than delusions of immunity, brought on by being given a free pass over and over again.

Dodd, you see, is running for the presidency.  He has about as much chance of winning the nomination as rosie o'donnell has of winning the next Miss Teen USA pagaent, but he's running.  And in the course of doing so,  he has put out a TV ad.  I just watched it on Hardball. 

The ad says that Chris Dodd's anti-war stance is the reason Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama changed their position from supporting the war in Iraq to being against it.  I mean this, it's no joke.  The ad really says it.

Hillary Clinton changed her position because of CHRIS DODD?  Barak Obama used to be in SUPPORT of the war?   This, folks, is tinfoil hat/parallel universe material of the first order.

Some people are visionaries.  Dodd, apparently, is a delusionary.  On the other hand, if he were to be elected maybe he could do for the USA economy what his regulatory policies did for Enron. 

One other note on this, by the way.  After running the ad on Hardball, it's host, Chris Mouthews, barely challenged Dodd's ridiculous claim.  Make of it what you will.


Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I blogged about the eminently corrupt house member from Pennsylvania, john murtha, assuring us he treats all members of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee he chairs just wonderfully.  Specifically, he said:, "The committee and staff give every Democrat and Republican the same consideration. We have extensive hearings and every request is given careful consideration. We will continue to do just that.

 Well, here is john murtha a day later (bold print is mine):-

Murtha sends Rogers an apology note

Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania sent a note of apology to Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan Wednesday, the day after a divided House denied Rogers a vote to officially reprimand the powerful senior Democrat.

Murtha apologized for his "outburst" in a handwritten note Rogers received Wednesday morning, the latter's office confirmed. This marks his first acknowledgement of an episode between the two lawmakers on the House floor.

Last week, the powerful Democrat allegedly threatened to deny Rogers any future spending projects in defense bills after the Michigan Republican challenged his earmark request for $23 million to prevent the administration from closing an intelligence gathering facility in his western Pennsylvania district.

Republicans have called the tirade a flagrant abuse of House rules.

Members and aides on both sides of the aisle continued to speculate that Rogers or another Republican will eventually call on the ethics committee to formally investigate last week's flap, even after Tuesday's partyline vote to prevent debate. -

In other words, murtha admitted that he did exactly what he claimed he didn't do, just one day before -- which, not incidentally, involved a direct violation of the rules Democrats themselves put in place. 

But the Democratic controlled house of representatives, in a virtually total party line vote, refused to reprimand him for it, even though THEY had set the rules he was flagrantly breaking.

I guess we've progressed, though.  Instead of just the culture of corruption we now have the culture of collusion as well.


Ken Berwitz

In 2000 I was faced with what I considered an awful choice for the presidency.  I could either vote for a man who I did not consider qualified for the job (George Bush) or a man I considered a lying fraud (Al Gore).  I voted for the unqualified man on the theory that he could a) grow into the job and b) in any event could put qualified people around him, but a lying fraud is a lying fraud.  I have no regrets at all about that vote. 

In 2004 the Democratic party offered me what Republicans had in 2004;  an unqualified candidate (i.e. a senator with virtually no legislative successes in 20 years).  By that time, of course, the unqualified man I voted for in 2000 had held the office for four years and done what I considered a good job in general and a great job in protecting us from international terrorism (that's the threat Democrats, very much including Edwards, now claim to be a hoax, not real at all.  Just like the holocaust deniers).  I voted for Bush again.

In 2008 we do not know who the Republican or Democratic nominee will be.  We do know, however, that for the first time since 1952, neither major party candidate will have previously been a President or Vice President.  So the field is wide open - as demonstrated by the large number of candidates on both sides.

One of the Democratic candidates -- the one who has very dextrously positioned himself as a premier choice of the hard left (which gives him significant momentum in the Democratic party) -- is John Edwards.

But is he qualified to be President?  Let's look at the record.

Prior to his political career, John Edwards was a highly successful lawyer who became fabulously wealthy by suing doctors and hospitals -- often on issues that tugged at heartstrings (infant sicknesses and mortality) but were of dubious validity. 

Johnny Cochran once bragged that if he could get one Black juror he could win his case.  With Edwards, he presented horror stories from the most vulnerable segment of society (forgetting the abortion issue, of course) and jurors melted time and time again.

That makes Edwards a very slick, very clever lawyer.  But it doesn't qualify him for the presidency.  So let's move on to his political career.

John Edwards' entire political career consists of winning a senate seat from North Carolina, accomplishing absolutely nothing legislatively through his one term in that office, and barely ever showing up to committees where he might have accomplished something.  Illustratively

-In his first two years on the Senate Judiciary committee, Edwards was tied for the second lowest attendance of any senator -- 10 out of 30 meetings.  By contrast, the average for all Senators on that committee was 70%;

And who was the guy he tied with?  Strom Thurmond, who was 99 years old, with one foot in the grave.  The one guy he beat out?  Hold on to your hats fun-lovers, it was Ted Kennedy.  Maybe he was too busy dry-humping waitressses with Chris Dodd to attend.

-In his third and fourth years, which included the time he spent running for President instead of doing something useful in the Senate, he had the single lowest attendance record of them all - 9% (3 of 34).  And he didn't even stay for all of THOSE meetings, as proven by the proxy votes cast on his behalf.

-Add in the 87 hearings which took place in those two years, which Edwards attended 6 of (not a typo, that's less than 1 in 10) and a clear picture emerges of a man who was elected to be a senator and used that election to do nothing but further his personal ambitions.

Little wonder that, if you believe the political polls, it was highly unlikely he could have been re-elected to his senate seat.  That's certainly fair enough;  what were the citizens of his state getting for their money?   Hey, I would have taken half as much to not show up as Edwards did.  Maybe I should have moved down there and run on a cost-cutting platform.

Bottom line:  John Edwards is a slick, clever, calculating lawyer who has slickly, calculatingly, cleverly carved out a niche in his party's base.  As long as people ignore the fact that he has always been all talk and no action politically, he may be able to generate enough votes to be a major force in 2008, maybe even win the nomination.


Republicans are a disgrace to America!

Barry Sinrod
The Republicans have reached the pinnacle of stupidity today as they stood with the President to fund the war and not listen to the more than 70% of Americans who want us out of this war.
They will forever remember today, because come Labor Day they will all be scattering for cover.
2008 will bring in a tidal wave of Democrats that will give us a super majority in both houses and the white house and then we will begin to turn the country back to where it was when Clinton left office in 2001.
A super majority will enable us to do what these bastards have done for six years plus. We will have the opportunity to get every single email, every single recorded message from secret meetings and then go out and prosecute the entire administration of crooks.
It will be a banner day to see both the President and the Vice President arrested, tried and convicted and go to jail. 
The 21 Republican Senators who are up for re election in 2008 are toast.. Even those who have been there for 20+ years are done.  The house will also see the same results.
The only thing that will stop the Democrats are the tactics of Karl Rove and his system of fixing the election and denying people the right to vote.
Already they have set in motion a way to throw out the votes from the military that they don't like. The US attorney appointed by Karl Rove is the real "bad sinister man" and we will get him very soon and show the public what he has done. It is called "caging".   The real fight has started tonite.

See what's free at

Ken Berwitz Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. As usual Barry's entire "point" is a hate diatribe against Republicans coupled with some looney-tune claims (i.e. every Republican senator will lose, Republicans are trying to suppress the military vote, etc. -- real tinfoil hat stuff). Here's a little reality for you:  Democrats already have a majority in both houses. If DEMOCRATS wanted the war over they could defund it at will. But they understand that while people want us out of Iraq (me included, by the way), they don't mean that we should give a withdrawal timetable to our enemies and then bug out in defeat, leaving Iraq to terrorist insurgents and their masters in Iran and Syria. That is why the Democrats - not Republicans but DEMOCRATS - did not defund it. Someday, maybe Barry will realize that terrorism is the threat to him, not "Republicans". But that day apparently is not here yet. (05/24/07)


Ken Berwitz

Here is a fascinating article from the AP, via Asharq Alawsat, a major english-language Arabic newspaper, on Lebanon's fight against radical islam in their so-called "Palestinian refugee camps".  The bold print is mine:-


Lebanese PM vows to uproot Islamic militants fighting in refugee camp


BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - Prime Minister Fuad Saniora vowed in an address to the nation on Thursday his government would uproot Islamic militants battling the army in a Palestinian refugee camp.

"We will work to root out and strike at terrorism, but we will embrace and protect our brothers in the camps," Saniora said in a televised speech, insisting Lebanon has no quarrel with the 400,000 Palestinian refugees who live in the country.

His address came a day after the Lebanese defense minister issued an ultimatum to the Fatah Islam militants barricaded in the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp, many of whom are believed to be Arabs from other countries, to surrender or face a military assault.

Saniora said the Fatah Islam militant group holed up in the camp was "a terrorist organization that claims to be Islamic and to defend Palestine" and was "attempting to ride on the suffering and the struggle of the Palestinian people."

The fighting, which broke out Sunday, has killed some 50 combatants and many civilians.

A truce went into effect Tuesday afternoon to allow thousands of civilians to escape the battles. Sporadic gunfire could be heard again on Thursday.

There have been complaints that the army's artillery attacks have inflicted heavy damage on the buildings in the camp, causing civilian casualties.

Although Palestinian factions have dissociated themselves from Fatah Islam, refugees in other camps across Lebanon were seething with anger over the bombardment, raising concern that violence could spread. "You are our brothers," Saniora told Palestinian refugees in his TV address. "We share with you the bad times before the good ones."

There have been eyewitness accounts of Palestinian men being briefly detained for questioning about conditions inside the camp and for information about Fatah Islam.

Human Rights Watch has expressed concern about the conduct of warfare, stressing on the need to protect civilians in times of fighting. "Legitimate security concerns cannot justify arbitrary arrests of any Palestinian," Nadim Houry of the human rights group told The Associated Press. "There has to be an approach taking into account that the Palestinians in the camp are not the enemy," he said.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Elias Murr was criticized by one of the major newspapers for comments he made that the army will not rest until it makes the militants pay heavily.

"We have 27 martyrs from the army and there should be 270 killed or captured from the other side in order for the battle to be equal," Murr said in an interview with al-Arabiya on Wednesday.

"This is vengeful logic, not a logic of the state," said the influential As-Safir newspaper on its front page Thursday. 


About this, several points:

-First off, I wish Mr. Saniora well in his attempt to rid these "refugee camps" of radical islamists.  They are a cancer on humanity and a danger to the government of any country they function in.

-I shake my head in amazement at the utter obtuseness of the Human Rights Watch representative.  "Legitimate security concerns cannot justify arbitrary arrests of any Palestinian,"?   "There has to be an approach taking into account that the Palestinians in the camp are not the enemy" ? . Maybe this genius would like to explain how you do it?

These are densely populated areas with militants who do not wear any uniform (thus look no different than anyone else) hiding within them and, essentially, using the inhabitants as human shields.  The choice is to either allow them to function freely or to go after them and endanger at least some of the civilians THEY are endangering.  If Human Rights Watch has a better idea, they sure as hell aren't telling anyone. 

I had a great aunt who used to say "There should be peace"  She was a nice lady who suffered a lot in her lifetime and deserved respect, love and sympathy.  But no one in the family ever believed that her saying "There should be peace" translated into a tangible course of action. 

Now:  what if she somehow became a spokesperson for human rights watch?  Would saying the same words have even one percent more meaning?  They are nice words that describe a salutary result, without the remotest clue as to how they could be implemented.  Just like the empty, meaningless words of the Human Rights Watch "genius" I referenced above.

-Can someone please tell me what a "refugee camp" is?  Maybe I'm dense, but I think that everywhere else in the world other than the lands abutting Israel, this term refers to a place where people fleeing one place can stay until they get to some other place. 

But when it comes to Israel, the rules somehow change 100%.  These "refugee camps" are 60 ****ING YEARS OLD.  People have been born in, lived reasonably complete lives in, and died in these "camps". 

The "refugees" who either fled Israel, or left voluntarily because their grand mufti told them to wait until Israel was annihilated and then return as conquerors, are all either elderly or dead. 

Simply stated, the "refugee camps" are, in fact, towns and cities with permanent structures, just like towns and cities elsewhere in Lebanon, Gaza, and Judea/Samaria (the west bank).  And the people there are not refugees, they are residents.

Recognizing this obvious reality is an important step to progressing toward decent lives instead of existences of squalor, destitution, hopelessness and hatred.  How I hope the people in these "refugee camps" come to realize as much.

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