Monday, 18 June 2007

GUEST COMMENTARY: CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

Ken Berwitz

Charles Krauthammer, pulitzer-prize winning columnist for the Washington Post, is arguably the finest columnist in the USA.  Hey, any conservative who is allowed NEAR the pulitzer prize, let alone wins one, MUST be pretty amazing.

Mr. Krauthammer has written a typically brilliant analysis of why the immediate building of a border fence between the USA and Mexico must be a non-negotiable part of any immigration legislation.  He's right, of course.

Here is how he explains it:.

Want reform? Build a fence

Strong barrier should be non-negotiable point in immigration bill

By Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist based in Washington: Washington Post Writers

June 18, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Comprehensive immigration reform is back on the front burner and it still is a complex compromise with too many moving parts and too many competing interests. Employers want a guest-worker program; unions want to kill it. Reformers want to introduce a point system that preferentially admits skilled and educated immigrants; immigrant groups naturally want to keep the existing family preference system. Liberals want legalization now; conservatives insist on enforcement "triggers" first.

There is only one provision that has unanimous support: stronger border enforcement. I have seen senators stand up and object to the point system, to chain migration, to guest workers, to every and any idea in this bill -- except one. I have yet to hear a senator stand up and say she is against better border enforcement.

Why not start by passing what everyone says they want? After all, proponents of this comprehensive reform insist that the current situation is intolerable and must be resolved. It follows, therefore, that however much they differ in the details of how the current mess should be resolved, they are united in the belief that such a mess should not be allowed to happen again. And the only way to make sure of that is border control.

So why not pass it, with the understanding that the other contentious provisions would be taken up subsequently? Because for all the protestations, many of those who say they are deeply devoted to enforcement are being deeply disingenuous. They profess to care about immigration control because they have to. But they care so little about the issue that they are willing to make it hostage to the other controversial provisions, most notably legalization.

Why am I so suspicious about the fealty of the reformers to real border control? In part because of the ridiculous debate over the building of a fence. Despite the success of the border barrier in the San Diego area, it appears to be very important that this success not be repeated. The current Senate bill provides for the fencing of no more than one-fifth of the border and the placing of vehicle barriers in no more than one-ninth.

Instead, we are promised all kinds of fancy, high-tech substitutes -- sensors, cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles -- and lots more armed chaps on the ground to go chasing those who get through.

Why? A barrier is a very simple thing to do. The technology is well tested. In our time, the barrier Israel has built has been so effective in keeping out intruders that suicide attacks are down more than 90 percent.

Fences work. That's why people have them around their houses -- not because homeowners are unwelcoming, but because they insist that those who wish to come into their domain knock at the front door.

Fences are simple. They don't require much upkeep. Two fences with a patrol road between them across the length of the U.S.-Mexico border would be relatively cheap, easy to build and simple to maintain.

Why this preference for the fancy high-tech surveillance stuff that presents no physical impediment to illegal entry but instead triggers detection -- followed by alarm, pursuit, arrest and possible violence? It makes for great TV. But why is that good for the country?

It is certainly good for the Border Patrol, ensuring a full employment program until the end of time. But why for the rest of us? Fences have no retirement benefits.

The final argument against fences is, of course, the symbolism. We don't want a fence that announces to the world that America is closed. But this is entirely irrational. The fact is that under our law, America is indeed closed -- to all but those who, after elaborate procedures, are deemed worthy of joining the American family. Those objecting to the fence should be objecting to the law that closes America off, not to the means for effectively carrying out that law.

A fence announces to the world that America is closed to ... illegal immigrants. What's wrong with that? Is not every country in the world the same? The only reason others don't need such a barrier is because they are not half as attractive as America.

Fences are ugly, I grant you that. But not as ugly as 12 million people living in the shadows in a country that has forfeited control of its borders.

Comprehensive immigration reform has simply too many contentious provisions to command a majority of Congress or the country. We all agree on enforcement, don't we? So let's do it. Make it simple. And do it now. Once our borders come visibly under control, everything else will become doable. Including amnesty.

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My HOPELESSLY PARTISAN FRIEND won't like being in the minority for the next 8+

years. He actually believes what he writes.   I let him use his hot air for days at a time and then here I am.
 
Barry Sinrod
 
Hillary's blind trust?  How would you like to be Mr. Cheney. Who is a thief, a liar, soon to be indicted and jailed for his misconduct as Vice President and his dealings with Iran and Iraq.  Hillary has been investigated more than anyone in the entire government and NOTHING, not anything has ever been found or for that matter for her husband either.
 
Yet Cheney continues to ignore the rule of law and do as he pleases.  Soon even the Republicans will repeal the Bush Cheney bill that does not allow us to see the very public papers of this administration and the previous Bush administration. They signed their own bill as soon as they got into office against a principle that has stood for since Washington.  Now it will be repealed.
 
Read about Mr. Cheney.  
 
Cheney's Halliburton stock options rose 3,281% last year, senator find

An analysis released by a Democratic senator found that Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year, RAW STORY can reveal.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney's options -- worth $241,498 a year ago -- are now valued at more than $8 million. The former CEO of the oil and gas services juggernaut, Cheney has pledged to give proceeds to charity.

The above graph released by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) charts the value of the Vice President's holdings in Halliburton in the past year.

Advertisement

Halliburton has already raked in more than $20 billion from the Bush-Cheney Administration for work in Iraq, and they were awarded some of the first Katrina contracts," Lautenberg said in a statement. "It is unseemly for the Vice President to continue to benefit from this company at the same time his Administration funnels billions of dollars to it. The Vice President should sever his financial ties to Halliburton once and for all.

Cheney continues to hold 433,333 Halliburton stock options. The company has been criticized by auditors for its handling of a no-bid contact in Iraq. Auditors found the firm marked up meal prices for troops and inflated gas prices in a deal with a Kuwaiti supplier. The company built the American prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The Vice President has sought to stem criticism by signing an agreement to donate the after-tax profits from these stock options to charities of his choice, and his lawyer has said he will not take any tax deduction for the donations.

However, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded in Sept. 2003 that holding stock options while in elective office does constitute a financial interest regardless of whether the holder of the options will donate proceeds to charities. CRS also found that receiving deferred compensation is a financial interest.

Cheney told "Meet the Press" in 2003 that he didn't have any financial ties to the firm.

Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest," the Vice President said. "I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years.

Cheney continues to received a deferred salary from the company. According to financial disclosure forms, he was paid $205,298 in 2001; $262,392 in 2002; $278,437 in 2003; and $294,852 in 2004.

And now for MICHAEL MOORE

 

May 20th, 2007 9:36 am
Michael Moore's 'SiCKO' Receives Healthy Response at Premiere

By Anthony Kaufman / Wall Street Journal

CANNES, France -- Filmmaker Michael Moore received a warm reception at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday morning, where his latest movie "SiCKO," a critical look at the U.S. health-care system, premiered to the world's press. No stranger to the festival, Mr. Moore won the top prize, the Palme d'Or, for "Fahrenheit 9/11" three years ago here.

During the packed 8:30 a.m. morning press screening at the Grand Lumiere Theatre, several scenes in the documentary brought spontaneous applause, including a prologue segment that shows one man, without health care, stitching a large open wound on his leg with his own hand.

"SiCKO," however, does not focus on the uninsured, but the vast number of Americans who have health-care coverage, and their personal stories of frustration with the system. A teary-eyed mother recalls the story of her daughter's death when being transferred from one hospital to another owned by Kaiser Permanente. Another woman blames the U.S. system for the demise of her husband, who was denied a bone marrow transplant. After the screening, several hard-nosed U.S. critics and journalists admitted to crying during the film.

The "straight-from-the-heart" approach of "SiCKO," as described in press notes, is less confrontational than what many audiences have come to expect from the director of "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11."

"It was a conscious decision," Mr. Moore said at a crowded press conference, where dozens of journalists were turned away outside. "I wanted a different tone," he said. "I thought about the whole conceit of the audience living vicariously though someone on screen. And it's not for Michael Moore to do it; it's for American people to do it. The film is a call to action."

Unlike his previous movies, Mr. Moore is also less of a visible force. While his voice narrates on the soundtrack, he doesn't appear on screen until an hour into the documentary.

During the largely flattering press conference, the few barbed questions came from Canadian journalists who criticized the film's overwhelmingly positive picture of universal health care in Canada. "I think you'd be hard pressed to find Canadians that would agree 20-40 minutes is a standard waiting time in a Canadian hospital," said Macleans magazine's Brian Johnson. "Why do you paint a picture so universally rosy in a country like Canada when it can undermine the credibility of your film?"

Mr. Moore acknowledged that health-care problems exist in Canada, the United Kingdom, and France, all countries in which the film compares to America's system, but he reiterated his opinion that U.S. industry remains far worse. "Would you give up your Canadian health-care card for an American one?" Mr. Moore said. "No," the journalist replied.

Mr. Moore also defended his decision to bring three boatloads of ailing U.S. citizens and 9/11 rescue workers to Cuba, where they hoped to receive the same medical care, in a wry sequence, as detainees in America's Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Denied access, Mr. Moore sought treatment for the Americans at Havana's central hospital, instead.

The move recently brought a legal response from the U.S. Treasury Department, who has charged Mr. Moore with violating the U.S. trade embargo and travel restrictions to Cuba. Mr. Moore said his plan was to travel to American soil all along. "If the detainee camp had been in a U.S. Naval base in the Philippines, Australia, Italy, or Spain, we would have gone there," he said.

Mr. Moore suggested that there was the possibility that the U.S. government may try to confiscate material that was illegally obtained in Cuba. Whether such an action may delay the film's theatrical release date on June 29 from the Weinstein Co. and Lionsgate, distributors of "Fahrenheit 9/11," Mr. Moore couldn't say.

He is due to respond to U.S. authorities on Tuesday.

This will be the highest grossing documentary in history when it is released on June 29th.

IMMIGRATION

The Republicans will not even give the bill a chance even though it comes directly from the fuhrer!



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Ken Berwitz Yeah, we know, Cheney is going to jail, should go to jail, might go to jail and is on his way to jail. We heard you the last 3,928 times. Of course the fact that every penny of what he is making on those options is going to charity means nothing. Maybe if he lost money on them Barry would demand that the charities should pay him the difference..................................................................The idea that Hillary and Bill Clinton have never been found to do anything wrong when they were investigated is stupefyingly ridiculous. I guess Clinton paid Paula Jones $850,000, pled no contest to obstruction of justice and gave up his law license just for the fun of it. And those whitewater records that Hillary told us she didn't have but which turned up in her living quarters floated in on the wings of a dove. And the $100,000 she made in cattle futures just by reading the Wall St. Journal (which didn't publish cattle futures at the time) instead of through a cozy arrangement with a shady broker? A figment of our imagination....................................................As far as michael moore goes, I have no doubt he'll make a fortune bamboozling people again. He's still a liar, as detailed in the article I posted.......................................................................Finally, calling President Bush "the fuhrer is too hatefilled and sickening to dignify with a response. (06/18/07)


DUKE PAYS FOR ITS RUSH TO JUDGEMENT

Ken Berwitz

First the statement as it was made, then the translation:

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DURHAM - Duke University has reached a settlement with each of the three former lacrosse players and their families.

The university made the announcement this afternoon.

According to a press release issued by Duke, the terms of the settlement will not be disclosed.

In a statement, Duke officials said the board of trustees and Duke President Richard Brodhead had determined that it was in the best interests of the Duke community to eliminate the possibility of future litigation and move forward

"This past year has been hard for many people who care about Duke -- for students, faculty, staff, alumni, families and friends -- and for the three students and their families most of all," the Duke statement said. "We resolve to bring the Duke family together again, and to work to protect others from similar injustices in the criminal justice system in the future. "  .

Translation:

We acted like a bunch of morons.  We tried and convicted three young men on the lacrosse team, tarred every other player with the same brush, shut down an entire sports program, fired the coach, and did it all without the slightest idea of whether they were guilty.

Now we know that they were not guilty at all and that their accuser is a liar and a fraud.  So we are scared excrementless that the three young men we railroaded will sue the pants off of us --- and, for all we know, other players and maybe the coach will also sue.  God help us.

Let's hand these kids enough money to make them agree that they will not litigate any further, because it stands to reason that they would win the largest settlement.  Whatever we give them will be better than dragging this through a court of law, where we will come out looking like vigilantes who probably should be wearing hoods and carrying torches.

Then, if we have to hand out more to the coach and maybe even a player or two, at least we've cut the biggest loss already.

Did we learn anything from this?  Well, 88 of our professors signed a document which tried and convicted the three players too.  We're not going to admonish them, or punish them in any way.  Hey, these are ACADEMICS for pete's sake, they don't have to make sense.


WHY DO I PAY ATTENTION TO BARRY?

Ken Berwitz

As you may have noticed, my co-author, Barry Sinrod, just blasted off at Dick Cheney for owning Halliburton options that rose tremendously and made a lot of money.  The fact that Cheney was giving the profits to CHARITY didn't matter, this made him a thief and he's on his way to jail.

I wrote a comment below Barry's post about that and several other things he said (especially the disgusting reference to President Bush as hitler, which is beneath him - way beneath him) and was going to let it go at that.

But I just noticed something about the Cheney story.  It isn't new.  It isn't contemporary.  It isn't something that just came out and hasn't been explored yet.   The story is from October of 2005, over a year and a half ago!!!!

In other words, if there was anything to this at all, if there was any impropriety, or if Vice President Cheney reneged on his pledge that all the money was going to charity, you'd have heard about it 1,000 times by now - especially with a Democratic congress chafing at the bit to investigate Bush, Cheney and any other Republican they can nail.  Did you?

Oh, brother...........


HILLARY'S BLIND TRUST

Ken Berwitz

I question the common sense of anyone who believes a word that comes out of Hillary Clinton's mouth, OR her husband's.

Remember that classic routine in the "Peanuts" comic strip at the start of each football season, when Charlie Brown is supposed to kick the football, with Lucy as the holder?  Remember that every year Lucy pulled the football away as Charlie Brown tried to kick it, and he wound up flat on his behind? 

"Peanuts" died with its creator, the great Charles Schulz.  But I like to imagine that if Charlie Brown were ever allowed to grow up in that strip, he'd eventually realize what a sap Lucy was making of him and stop trying to kick the football.  Maybe Schulz would even figure out a way to turn the tables one year so it was Lucy who wound up flat on her behind.

Incredibly, there are Charlie Browns in the real world too - people who can be bamboozled by the same people over and over again and never catch on.  And the Clintons have an entire segment of them.  No matter how many times Hillary or Bill lie to their faces, no matter how obvious the lies are, they buy in, because....well, because they are the CLINTONS and those bad right wingers (it's always right wingers, you see) are just picking on them, and if they'd just leave Hill and Bill alone they'd realize what saints on earth the two of them are, etc. etc. etc. yada yada yada blah blah blah barf.

Now that I've turned the subject to the terminal gullibility of some Clinton supporters, I will post the following excerpt from Friday's Associated Press article regarding Ms. Clinton's "blind trust":.

Clintons Sell Possibly Troublesome Stock
Jun 15 01:50 PM US/Eastern
By JIM KUHNHENN
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton liquidated the contents of their blind trust upon learning it contained investments of $5 million to $25 million that could pose conflicts of interest or prove to be embarrassing to her presidential campaign.

The blind trust and a bank account valued in the same range place the Clinton's total wealth at between $10 million and $50 million.

The Clintons had to disclose the contents of the blind trust in April under instructions from the Office of Government Ethics and sold the assets in May, according to a disclosure form filed Friday. The Clintons have had a blind trust continuously since 1993 and had no control over its transactions.

Over time, the Clintons' blind trust grew significantly and included stock holdings in oil and drug companies, military contractors and Wal-Mart.

The report, also filed with the Federal Election Commission, provides the most detailed look at the Clintons' holdings as their wealth has expanded since the former president left the White House in 2001.

The new report also shows that the former president made $16 million in speaking fees between January 2006 and Wednesday. So far this year, Bill Clinton has given 34 paid speeches for a total of $5.9 million.

The blind trust held stock in pharmaceutical companies, including $250,000-$500,000 in Biogen Idec and Johnson & Johnson and $100,000- $250,000 in Amgen, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. It also invested in General Electric and Raytheon, two leading defense contractors. The trust had a varied portfolio, with investments in numerous other companies, including Exxon Mobil, BP Amoco, Walt Disney and eBay.

The report said all the proceeds of the sales are being placed in a cash account. The massive unloading of stock means the Clintons face "substantial" capital gains taxes, Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said.

President Clinton registered his blind trust with the Office of Government Ethics when he became president in 1993, then Sen. Clinton registered it as a Senate blind trust when she became a senator in 2001.

Wolfson said the Clintons now "will be working to create a new blind trust consistent with both OGE and the Senate's rules."

Though all the blind trust transactions were handled over the years by a trustee without the Clintons' knowledge, some of the holdings could have been awkward for Hillary Clinton as she pursues the Democratic presidential nomination.

The blind trust held stock worth $100,000-$250,000 in NewsCorp, the parent company of Fox News, which many Democrats have denounced as biased against them. The trust also held stock in Wal-Mart and Wal- Mart de Mexico.

The senator served on the Wal-Mart board from 1986 to 1992, and was close with the Walton family that created the nation's largest retailer. But she has recently called on the company to provide better worker benefits and last year her Senate campaign returned $5,000 to Wal-Mart's political action committee. At the time, Clinton campaign spokeswoman Ann Lewis said the money was returned "because of serious differences with current company practices." 

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Harriet Van Horne, the great liberal columnist, had a terrific sarcasm about things like this.  She used to say they had "all the sincerity of a Christmas card from a bank".  I quote her here because I couldn't say it any better, or even as well.

Let's first get by the leap of faith it would take to believe that Hillary Clinton - a woman who deducted her husband's used underpants for tax purposes (so help me that's not a joke, she really did), would not find a way to determine what kind of investments were in her trust.  If you believe that, you're already well on your way to Charlie Brownville.  But let's suppose she didn't anyway.

When you set up a blind trust, you can discuss what industries and what specific companies you refuse to invest in.   Even in a blind trust, for example, a Rabbi could instruct the administrator not to invest in Hamas Armaments, Inc.  You certainly have that much latitude.

So when you see that the "blind trust" invested in company after company that a) the Clintons would never want their name associated with but b) happen to make a lot of money, there is a logical conclusion to be drawn.

I can spell it out for you, but it's not necessary:  either you know the logical conclusion already, or you're a member of the Charlie Brown crowd and it won't matter how obvious I make it.

The Clintons like money.  Lots of money.  And getting lots of money requires investing in companies that will generate it, no matter how politically incorrect they might be. 

Would the Clintons invest in a blind trust just to wind up with "peanuts"?


JUST A "BUMPER STICKER"?

Ken Berwitz

I'm posting this ABC news report for the Democratic candidates who think there is no global terrorism.  The ones who think this is a figment of our imagination;  "a bumper sticker" (yes, incredibly that is a direct quote which came from the human oil slick, John Edwards).

I am also posting it for the LAMB crowd -- the Lunatic left And Mega-moonbat Brigade, which hates George Bush, Republicans and anything the USA does in its national interest so much that they pervert logic beyond recognition to pretend global terrorism doesn't exist..

Exclusive: Suicide Bomb Teams Sent to U.S., Europe

June 18, 2007 4:45 PM

Brian Ross Reports:

Exclusive_suici_mn_2 Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the United States and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

Teams assigned to carry out attacks in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Germany were introduced at an al Qaeda/Taliban training camp graduation ceremony held June 9. 

A Pakistani journalist was invited to attend and take pictures as some 300 recruits, including boys as young as 12, were supposedly sent off on their suicide missions.

Photos: Inside an al Qaeda/Taliban 'Graduation'

The tape shows Taliban military commander Mansoor Dadullah, whose brother was killed by the U.S. last month, introducing and congratulating each team as they stood.

"These Americans, Canadians, British and Germans come here to Afghanistan from faraway places," Dadullah says on the tape. "Why shouldn't we go after them?"

The leader of the team assigned to attack Great Britain spoke in English.

"So let me say something about why we are going, along with my team, for a suicide attack in Britain," he said. "Whether my colleagues, companions and Muslim brothers die today or tonight, every drop of our blood will invigorate the Muslim (unintelligible)."

Video: Watch the Taliban's 'Graduation' Ceremony

U.S. intelligence officials described the event as another example of "an aggressive and sophisticated propaganda campaign."

Others take it very seriously.

"It doesn't take too many who are willing to actually do it and be able to slip through the net and get into the United States or England and cause a lot of damage," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism official. .

This is a political blog site.  We talk about many issues here, some of them more important than others, some less.  But when it comes to terrorism directed against our country, our people, our culture and our civilization, there is no room for partisan politics.  No room for clever wordsmithing and meaningless back-and-forth posturing. 

Global terrorism is real.  Very real.  And we play games with it at our own peril.


What more can you say. Is BUSH dumber than a 5th grader? YES

I asked my two fifth grade grandsons.
 
Barry Sinrod
 

Is George Bush Dumber Than a Fifth Grader?

Posted Jun 18th 2007 5:29PM by Ben Mankiewicz
Filed under: Politics, George Bush, Young Turks

Studio lights up...Roll cold open...Cue music bed...Cue Applause...Host enters stage right.

"Hello America and welcome to another jaw-dropping episode of "Are You Smarter Than the President?"

The key to a good reality show is that unlike so much scripted television the audience doesn't know what's going to happen. It's like sports. We watch because we don't know who'll win.

That's why my little game show idea would be such a failure. Where Fox's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" is a surprisingly challenging game pitting man against 10-year-old boy, "Are You Smarter Than the President?" would be a ratings disaster.

Why? Because it turns out everyone is smarter than the president.

Last week, after Senate Republicans (and Joe Lieberman) prevented a no confidence vote on Attorney General-for-life Alberto Gonzales, Bush said he was prepared to ignore Congress (as usual) no matter what the vote.

"This process has been drug out a long time," Bush said. "It's political."

In case you missed it there, the President of the United States just used the phrase "drug out."

Insert your own Bush-on-drugs joke here, but let's get to the substance, or lack thereof, of Bush's quote. He meant "this process has been dragged out." Or if he were merely sort of ignorant, he could have said "this process has been drugged out," though that would've meant the process had actually overdosed on Oxycontin.

But he said "drug out," which is just stupid. Nowhere in the definition of "drag" is "drug" an acceptable use of the past tense. Drug means, um, drug.

So, to re-cap: the guy the world is counting on to use a complicated combination of intense international pressure and diplomacy to entice China and Russia to use THEIR influence to compel Iran to halt its nuclear ambitions is dumber than your neighbor's daughter Madison. Who is precocious, but maybe shouldn't be the President.

Bush's defenders (all 186 of them) point out that those of us who criticize President Bush for his cataclysmic cerebral deficiencies are intellectual snobs.

(By the way, how did we let the Rush Limbaughs of the world make the word "intellectual" a negative in American politics? It means a person of superior intellect, someone who uses the mind creatively. Yeah, burn...it's quite the insult).

Anyway, they claim the intellectual snobberati just doesn't appreciate the true sophistication of Bush's plain-spoken, man-of-the-people style. First of all, Harry Truman was plain-spoken. Dwight Eisenhower was plain-spoken. And man of the people? Ike worked two years in a creamery to help put his brother through college before earning an appointment to West Point, spending his life in the military, a true man of the people. And Truman, he worked on the railroad, as a farmer, then after World War I, he started his own clothing store. Another genuine man of the people.

Bush was handed a series of jobs in oil (and one in baseball) because he was George H.W. Bush's son. Did he take advantage of these breaks? As everyone now knows, he failed at every "job," right up to and including president (in hindsight, we should be grateful Texas never invaded New Mexico while Bush was governor for manufacturing salsa of mass destruction).

Calling Bush "plain-spoken" is an insult to millions of Americans who are actually plain-spoken, people who eschew high-falutin language for straightforward talk. I like those people. They don't use words like "eschew.." (For a list of Bush's verbal embarrassments, click here).

Look, I get it. Not every President of the United States has to sound like George Will or Paul Simon (no, the other one).

I realize that just because a person don't talk good, it don't mean they ain't smart. Except most times, that's exactly what it means.






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FRED THOMPSON ON HARRY REID

Ken Berwitz

Fred Thompson all over harry reid might be even a better description.

Former senator and possible presidential contender Fred Thompson writes an essay each week for ABC News.  I do not recall any other serious presidential candidate (which Mr. Thompson obviously is) ever being so candid and direct in expressing his/her points of view.  No doubletalk, no newspeak, no unintelligible BS that you could take 4 different ways, no "it depends on what is is" moments.  There it is, right on the square, as plain as it can be.

Paul Wellstone, the tragically deceased senator from Minnesota, used to talk this plainly too and I always liked him for it.  Wellstone was a leftwing liberal, so we obviously disagreed on many issues.  But he left me with the impression that he truly believed what he said and said what he truly believed, which is a breath of fresh air in the fetid climate of today's politics.  That goes a long way with me. 

Maybe I'm naive, but I feel that people this sincere are not umbilically bound to positions.  In other words, if someone really BELIEVES in a position instead of just saying what will get the most votes, then if something happens down the road that might change things he/she would move with it. 

Wellstone gave me a sense he could do that.  And, albeit from a very different political camp, so does Mr. Thompson.

In any event, here is Fred Thompson's commentary about harry reid.  Enjoy the candor:

.

June 18, 2007


Reading Harry Reid

Well, you've heard by now that Senate leader Harry Reid insulted one of this country's brightest military minds, Marine Corps General Peter Pace -- calling him "incompetent." Let me take a few moments to put this in context.

First, Harry Reid voted for the war, like a majority of our legislators. America decided as a nation to free Iraq and the region from Saddam Hussein's tyranny. I have friends, both Democrat and Republican, who questioned the decision at the time, but the Republic made a commitment based on constitutional and democratic procedures. So they are now a hundred percent committed to moving forward in a way thats best for our country. None of them, by the way, believe surrendering to the forces of terror in Iraq is what's best for our country.

Harry Reid, though, has taken a different route. He made his statement about General Pace on a conference call with fringe elements of the blogosphere who think we're the bad guys. This is a place where even those who think the 9/11 attacks were an inside job find a home.

And why shouldn't they think that? Reid has led the attack on the administration, with Nancy Pelosi, charging it lied and tricked America into supporting the war. Ignoring multiple hearings and investigations into pre-war intelligence findings that have debunked this paranoid myth, they accuse an entire administration of conspiracy to trick us into a war.

I suppose that's easier for some than admitting that they've flip flopped -- but the fact that Reid says this sinister Republican plot is going to help him elect more Democrats ought to be raising a few flags. Saying General Pace is incompetent doesn't even rank near the top of his bizarre statements.

How could anyone possibly believe, as Reid charges, that our commanding general in Iraq, David Petraeus, is out of touch with what's going on. Surely someone in Reid's position would know that Petraeus is briefed daily on all aspects of Iraq -- from civil to military. Surely he has to know that Petraeus is a true warrior scholar who literally wrote the Army's book on counterinsurgency warfare.

But Reid's comments are not meant for logical analysis. He proclaimed the war lost some time ago, and the surge as a failure even before the additional troops were on the ground. The problem is that every one of Reid's comments I've noted here has also been reported gleefully by Al Jazeera and other anti-American media. Whether he means to or not, hes encouraging our enemies to believe that they are winning the critical war of will.

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DUKE LACROSSE: THE LAWSUITS BEGIN

Ken Berwitz

Reade Seligmann, one of the three Duke lacrosse players falsely accused by the stripper and serial liar, Crystal Gail Mangum, has decided to file a lawsuit against the rogue District Attorney of Durham County, NC, michael nifong.

Colin Finnerty and David Evans, the two other falsely accused players, also intend to file a civil lawsuit against nifong -- because, as with Seligmann, he withheld evidence that would have potentially cleared them. 

On a purely humanitarian basis, I am sorry to see what will now happen to michael nifong.  But, having said this, I must also point out that he brought this on himself 100%.  Nifong has no one to blame but nifong, period.

They say, every cloud has a silver lining.  Maybe the silver lining here is that this can be a lesson to other officers of the court wherever they may be, that they are not above the law, they don't make the law, and they can be held accountable to the law.  If so, at least it serves some good purpose.

Now, when do they file charges against Crystal Gail Mangum?  What makes her a protected species?  Isn't she the one who lied about these three young men in the first place? Why should she be off the hook?

And when does Duke University collectively grow at least a small area of integrity and admonish the 88 professors who signed a statement which, essentially, tried and convicted Seligmann, Finnerty and Evans before they had any idea if they did even one thing wrong? 

What gets them a free pass, other than the cowardice of Duke University?


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