Monday, 01 October 2007

BAD NEWS FOR REPUBLICANS (OR IS IT GOOD NEWS?)

Ken Berwitz

Not surprisingly, the religious right isn't taken with Rudy Giuliani.

Mr. Giuliani is a fiscal conservative and a domestic and foreign policy realist which, I'm sure is fine with that crowd.  But he is also a social liberal who is not solidly "pro-life"***.  Religious conservatives react to socially liberal, pro-choice candidates roughly the way Dracula reacts to a cross and a wooden stake.

With this in mind, let me show you an article from www.salon.com about where the religious right may be heading in 2008:.

Religious right may blackball Giuliani

Christian conservative leaders privately consider supporting a third-party, antiabortion candidate should Rudy Giuliani win the GOP nomination.

By Michael Scherer

Sep. 30, 2007 | A powerful group of conservative Christian leaders decided Saturday at a private meeting in Salt Lake City to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if a pro-choice nominee like Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination.

The meeting of about 50 leaders, including Focus on the Family's James Dobson, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, who called in by phone, took place at the Grand America Hotel during a gathering of the Council for National Policy, a powerful shadow group of mostly religious conservatives. James Clymer, the chairman of the U.S. Constitution Party, was also present at the meeting, according to a person familiar with the proceedings.

"The conclusion was that if there is a pro-abortion nominee they will consider working with a third party," said the person, who spoke to Salon on the condition of anonymity. The private meeting was not a part of the official CNP schedule, which is itself a closely held secret. "Dobson came in just for this meeting," the person said.

The decision confirms the fears of many Republican Party officials, who have worried that a Giuliani nomination would irrevocably split the GOP in advance of the 2008 general election, given Giuliani's relatively liberal stands on gay unions and abortion, as well as his rocky marital history. The private meeting was held Saturday afternoon, during a lull in the official CNP schedule. Earlier in the day, Vice President Dick Cheney had traveled to Utah to deliver a brief address to the larger CNP gathering. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also addressed the larger group.

The decision has also been reported in an unsigned article by WorldNetDaily, a conservative online news service. "Not only was there a consensus among activists to withhold support for the Republican nominee, there was even discussion about supporting the entry of a new candidate to challenge the frontrunners," the article said. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, WorldNetDaily's editor, Joseph Farah, attended the larger CNP gathering.

According to a New York Times profile, the CNP was established in 1981, with the help of Paul Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Foundation, and the Rev. Tim LaHaye, the bestselling author of the "Left Behind" book series. In recent years, President Bush, former Undersecretary of State John Bolton and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have met with the group, the Times reported. CNP membership is a closely held secret, and its meetings are not publicly announced or open to the press.

Dobson, who is one of the nation's most outspoken Christian leaders, has previously announced that he does not support Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain or former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson as nominees for the Republican Party.

Attendees at the Saturday afternoon meeting also discussed the possibility of recruiting another person to run for the Republican nomination, said the person familiar with the proceedings. Several names have already been floated, though no decision on a possible candidate has yet been made, the person said.  .

A few points to be made here:

-Do religious conservatives have the right to oppose Giuliani and other candidates with views similar to his?  Yes, of course;

-Do they have a right to seek out an alternative candidate?  Yes, of course;

-Is this bad news for Republicans?  I'm not so sure it is.

One of the main differences between Democrats and Republicans in these increasingly polarized times is that Democrats are in the tank for the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade.  These LAMB groups, spearheaded by the george soros proxy, moveon.org, claim they have bought the Democratic Party and now own it (those actual words are from Eli Pariser, the putative head of moveon.org).  And most Democratic candidates are doing precious little to prove them wrong.

By contrast, while the religious right certainly is important to the Republican party, it doesn't own and operate them or anything close.  Otherwise, how could Rudy Giuliani be at the top of every poll of Republican primary voters? (Point of order:  though I am extremely skeptical about political polls, I have to pay attention when all of them say the same thing).

Personally, I don't like the James Dobsons, Tony Perkins' and Gary Bauers of the world.  I find them sanctimonious farts;  Cotton Mather types whose tolerance level rarely exceeds their personal prejudices.  And I confidently believe I am not alone in this feeling -- even among people who might be religious and politically conservative.

The bottom line, therefore, is that if Rudy Giuliani gets the Republican nomination he will lose some percentage of religious conservatives for the reasons described in this article.  But he will also hold a large percentage of them -- the ones who  prefer him, flaws and all, to a Democratic alternative.  And he will gain votes among the many centrist voters who are ok with his views on abortion, gay rights, etc., thus are more comfortable voting for Republican Giuliani  because he is unacceptable to the religious right.

Me, I look at this and see a net gain for Giuliani -- provided he doesn't decide to start pandering to the religious right in an effort to keep more of them in the fold. 

If Giuliani panders to this segment he will hold some - not a great many - of the  religious right votes which otherwise would have strayed. The Dobkins/Perkins/Bauer people know his long-held positions and won't buy the claim that he suddenly has new ones. 

But that pandering effort is going to turn away so many centrist votes that it will almost certainly result in a net loss. 

It seems to me that if you can a) stay true to yourself and b) generate more votes because of it, that would be a pretty good thing to do.  I hope Mr. Giuliani agrees.

---------------------------------------------------

***I use the term liberal to describe someone who is tolerant and inclusive.  I do NOT mean it to describe the looney-tune left, the ones you find inhabiting places like moveon.org, dailykos.com and crooksandliars.com.  Too many of the of people in those places are anything but tolerant and inclusive.


JUDGEMENT TO RUSH

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of www.radioequalizerblogspot.com, is another nail in the coffin of the malevolent leftwing LAMBs who are trying everything under the sun to make an issue out of Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comment. 

If you remember, I debunked this nonsense just a few days ago by showing what Limbaugh said, in context, and then showing what he said right afterwards. 

To remind you, Limbaugh used the term "phony soldiers" and then, about two minutes later, gave the example of Jesse MacBeth, who really IS a phony soldier.  There was no doubt whatsoever about what he meant when he used the term.  So mediamatters.org knew their attack on Limbaugh was a lie.  But they made it anyway, to the unbridled glee of many Democrats in congress.

But wait, there's more:  As it turns out, ABC news used the same adjective about bogus veterans two days BEFORE Limbaugh.....and mediamatters.org, along with the other leftward looney-tunes, didn't have a bad word to say about it.

I'll let the radio equalizer himself, Brian Maloney, give you the particulars:.

TWO DAYS EARLIER...

ABC's 'Phony Vets': Same Language, Context As Rush

*** Update: Reid's Going Nuts Over Limbaugh, I'll Be Discussing It On Tonight's O'Reilly Factor -- 8pm ***

In an explosive new twist to the flap over
Rush Limbaugh and the "phony soldiers" controversy, it has emerged that ABC News used similar language and the same context in a news segment that aired two days before his comments. As a result, serious doubt should be cast upon those who are pushing for the talk titan's censure.

In fact, on Monday, 24 September, the network's Charlie Gibson introduced a segment reported by Brian Ross regarding a number of "phony veterans" now under investigation for falsely claiming to have served in wartime. One of those mentioned in the story is none other than Jesse MacBeth, the same fake soldier referenced by Rush during the program in question.


With congressional Democrats poised to introduce an anti-Rush resolution on Capitol Hill tomorrow, wouldn't they do well to first take a look at the real story? Otherwise, they may end up with egg on their collective faces.

And given this new information, how will the Soros- funded Media Matters crowd keep this faux controversy alive?

Concerned that the clip in question might soon disappear from ABC's website, your Radio Equalizer placed it on YouTube yesterday as a precaution:





In addition, here's the verbatim transcript:
ABC News Transcript


September 24, 2007 Monday


SHOW: WORLD NEWS WITH CHARLES GIBSON 6:44 PM EST


A CLOSER LOOK; OPERATION STOLEN VALOR


ANCHORS: CHARLES GIBSON


REPORTERS: BRIAN ROSS (NEW YORK, NY USA)


LENGTH: 575 words


CONTENT: OPERATION STOLEN VALOR, US MARINE CORPS, REGGIE BUDDLE, JEFFREY SULLIVAN, DOUGLAS CARVER, US DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, JESSE ADAM MACBETH


GRAPHICS: STOLEN VALOR


CHARLES GIBSON (ABC NEWS)


(Voiceover) 'A Closer Look" tonight at phony heroes. A famous recruiting slogan once touted the Army as a place to be all you can be. But increasingly, scam artists are posing as the war heroes they never were, claiming credit for acts of courage in Iraq and Afghanistan. Federal officials have launched a crackdown. Operation Stolen Valor they call it. Tonight, our Brian Ross investigates.


GRAPHICS: BRIAN ROSS INVESTIGATES


BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)


(Voiceover) At the Washington State Capitol in Olympia this year, a Marine Corps Color Guard included a Marine chaplain to deliver the opening prayer. But authorities later discovered that the Marine chaplain, Captain Reggie Buddle, was not a chaplain.


JEFFREY SULLIVAN (US ATTORNEY)


I think he went to seminary school and flunked out.


BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)


(Voiceover) Nor was a Buddle a captain, nor had he earned all the medals he wore. In fact, Buddle had never been in the Marines, even though he had officiated at numerous Marine weddings, baptisms and funerals.


JEFFREY SULLIVAN (US ATTORNEY)


It was devastating to the people who had relied on him.


BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)


(Voiceover) At a time when tens of thousands of US soldiers have put their lives on the line in Iraq and been honored for their sacrifice and courage, federal prosecutors have had to launch a crackdown on phony heroes.


JEFFREY SULLIVAN (US ATTORNEY)


They want something that they didn't earn. They didn't have the guts to go and do it themselves.


BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)


(Voiceover) Authorities say many of the phony heroes make up their stories, so they can get free treatment at veterans' hospitals.


DOUGLAS CARVER (VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL)


They're taking money away that should be used for the deserving veterans.


BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)


(Voiceover) Most of the phonies are spotted by people who really earned their medals. In St Louis, this supposed Marine with a chest full of honors was turned in because he seemed too fat to be a real Marine. It turns out he never served a day in the Marines.


JESSE ADAM MACBETH (VIDEO BLOGGER)


Once I was in Baghdad...


BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)


(Voiceover) But authorities say the most disturbing case involves this man, 23-year-old Jesse Macbeth. In a YouTube video seen around the world, Macbeth became a rallying point for anti-war groups, as he talked of the Purple Heart he received in Iraq and described how he and other US Army rangers killed innocent civilians at a Baghdad mosque.


JESSE ADAM MACBETH (VIDEO BLOGGER)


Women and men, you know - while in their prayer, we started slaughtering them.


BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)


(Voiceover) It was a complete fabrication.


DOUGLAS CARVER (VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL)


He was in for approximately six weeks and then he was discharged. I don't think he even completed basic training.


BRIAN ROSS (ABC NEWS)


(Off-camera) Last week in federal court in Seattle, Macbeth offered an apology for defaming the real American heroes as he admitted to lying about his service record and his supposed atrocities, Charlie.


CHARLES GIBSON (ABC NEWS)


(Off-camera) Operation Stolen Valor. Brian Ross investigating, thanks.



Interestingly, there's an entire movement dedicated to promoting and supporting the Stolen Valor Act of 2005. In addition, investigations into false claims by "phony soldiers" has ensnared none other than the late L Ron Hubbard, who lied about his service for many years.


Given the overwhelming evidence to support Limbaugh's contention that he really was talking about phony soldiers who have faked their service, how does the left justify continuing this fabrication?
.

That last question is a very good one, so let me answer it.  The left does not have to worry about justifying a continuation of this fabrication because so many of their kindred spirits in the media hate Limbaugh as much as they do and are perfectly willing to perpetuate it right along with them.

Please scroll back to September 28 and read the transcript of what Limbaugh actually said -- which blows mediamatters.org's lie 100 miles out of the water.  Then reread the ABC report above and think about why, when ABC said virtually the same thing, it was ignored.

The insight you will derive from this glittering example of leftwing lying and media bias will be invaluable.


RANDOM THOUGHTS

Ken Berwitz

Here they are, in no particular order:

-I would not have thought it possible that Dan Rather could make a bigger jackass of himself than he did with the fake documents which he and his equally jackassian producer, Mary Mapes, dredged out of a swamp just before the 2004 elections.  But now he's suing CBS for $70 million dollars on the grounds that he didn't get as much work after leaving the network's anchor desk as he thought he was supposed to. 

This will result in the spectacle of Rather, who I would think is a very wealthy man and does not need the money, publicly and proactively rehashing the events that destroyed his career so the world can laugh at him again. 

Personally I think he's nuts to do it.  And that's the frequency, Kenneth.

-Republicans got 2/3 of the dirty money from Jack Abramoff (Democrats got 1/3 of that money) and all we heard was Republican corruption.  Democrats got 100% of the money from Norman Hsu with Hillary alone getting about $850,000 and the story is buried in three days flat.  Man oh man, is it ever good to be a Democrat.

-How come the traffic reports I get on WINS, WCBS and Bloomberg radio are so consistently wrong about the Hudson river crossings - if they mention them at all?

-Alex Rodriguez has had a season that would fit neatly into the golden age of baseball.  54 home runs, 143 runs scored, 156 rbi's and a .645 slugging percentage - all of which led not just the American league, but the major leages.  Then add in a .424 on base percentage, 24 stolen bases and gold-glove quality fielding, along with the fact that he hit in the clutch for the entire season. If A-Rod isn't the American League MVP there is no justice. 

Magglio Ordonez, eat your heart out.  

-If you ever go to one of the Bonefish Grill restaurants (there are a number of them) order an appetizer called Bang Bang Shrimp.  I tried it at their Cary, North Carolina location and it was really tasty with enough spiciness to enhance the flavor without making it inedible for people who don't care for spicy foods.  

-Hillary Clinton has started using a belly laugh as one of her props during interviews.  If it's a tough question and/or one that she doesn't have a predetermined answer to, out comes that laugh.  As with everything else Hillary Clinton does, it is scripted to the nth degree.  I have a feeling a lot of her "supporters" know this, but grit their teeth and try to look past it.  I wish they wouldn't try as hard and, instead, use the energy expended on teeth-gritting to demand answers from her.

-I've never been a Met fan, always a Yankee fan.  So from a team standpoint it was ok with me that they did a hall of fame choke by blowing a 7 game lead in the last two weeks of the season.  But while not a Met fan, I AM a Willie Randolph fan and it hurts to think this may well get him fired.  He is too good a manager and too good a man for this.  I am hoping against hope that they retain his services for 2008.  UPDATE :  My friend Bob emphatically disagrees with me.  He thinks Willie lost the respect of his players and didn't know how to get it back, especially with Jose Reyes.  Maybe Bob is right...he watched the Mets a lot more than I did. 

-Zabar's is still, hands-down, the single best place to get coffee on the planet.  The quality is superlative and the price (most varieties are $6,98 a lb) is less than you'd pay for whole bean coffee at your local supermarket.  This, of course, is before we get to the countless other world class food items they sell.  What a great store.

-Regardless of the jury verdict, we will never know for sure if Isiah Thomas, who is both President and Coach of the New York Knicks basketball team, made "improper" advances to former Knicks executive Anuka Brown Sanders, as she claims.  But  a couple of weeks ago I read that when Ms. Sanders asked Mr. Thomas to hand-sign letters to a number of season ticket holders, he said (this is supposed to be an actual quote) "I don't give a fuck about these White people".  

Frankly, I'd like to hear about that at least as much as Thomas's alleged sexual improprieties.  And I would LOVE to hear why this didn't immediately become a cause celebre in our supposedly liberal media.  If Thomas were a White man and was accused by a co-worker of saying he didn't give a fuck about Black people, he'd be collecting unemployment right now -- without a prayer of ever getting another job in the NBA.

-I don't deserve my wife.  That is not a joke about my wife, it is a statement of how much better she is than I am. 

-keith olbermann is a far better sportscaster than he is a cable news host.  Of course if you've seen his daily PMS attack on MSNBC you'll probably assume being better at sportscasting is not that hard to do.  And you'll be right.

-What year was it when the UN ceased to have any positive affect on international events?  I think you'd have to go back some to find it.

-Ilene makes a helluva gazpacho.  You don't know who I'm talking about but I do, and since I was the one who had the gazpacho my opinion is the only one that counts.

-Why in the world does my new 2007 top of the line Honda Accord not have a meter for measuring average mileage?  I didn't even look to see if it was there when we bought the car because, since virtually every car anywhere near its price range has one, I just sort of assumed it was there.  Well, I assumed wrong.  I admit it is not very important in the great scheme of things, but I miss it and wish it were there.

-If you are driving north on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey and want to get out at exit 172, you get out at exit 172.  If you're driving south and want to get out at exit 172, there isn't one.  Nor is there an exit 171,170,169,168 or 167.  The first southbound exit is 166, which means you are going twelve #!&%0#|*$%*^%#  miles out of your way for no good reason.  What's that all about?

However:  There is a way you can defeat this idiocy:  pull into the first service area (left-hand exit), drive across to the other side and exit northbound.  You'll be about a half mile from exit 172.  Hah!!!

-Our grandson gets cuter and smarter by the day.  That's my unbiased opinion  - and my last word.


MORE GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ

Ken Berwitz

This Associated Press item was on the www.yahoo.com site.  See if you find it in your newspaper, or on the news show you watch.

As usual, the bold print is mine:.

U.S., Iraqi civilian deaths fall sharply

By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer 36 minutes ago

Deaths among American forces and Iraqi civilians fell dramatically last month to their lowest levels in more than a year, according to figures compiled by the U.S. military, the Iraqi government and The Associated Press.

The decline signaled a U.S. success in bringing down violence in Baghdad and surrounding regions since Washington completed its infusion of 30,000 more troops on June 15.

A total of 64 American forces died in September the lowest monthly toll since July 2006.

The decline in Iraqi civilian deaths was even more dramatic, falling from 1,975 in August to at least 988 last month, a decline of 50 percent, according to an AP tally. The civilian death toll has not been so low since June 2006, when 847 Iraqis died.

The AP count includes civilians, government officials and police and security forces, and is considered a minimum based on AP reporting. The actual number is likely higher, as many killings go unreported.

In a joint statement, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and U.S. Commander Gen. David Petraeus commended Iraqi's security forces and its citizens for the decrease in violence.

"We are confident that you and your fellow citizens will continue to display determination, that Iraqi Security Forces will remain vigilant and that additional Iraqis will join our combined effort," said the statement released Monday.

In violence Monday, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives just outside the gates of Mosul University, killing an agriculture professor, said police spokesman Abdul Karim al-Jbouri said. Less than an hour later, police found a second bomb in an empty car nearby and safely detonated it.

Over the weekend, U.S. and Iraqi forces killed more than 60 insurgent and militia fighters in intense battles, with most of the casualties believed to have been al-Qaida militants, officials said.

U.S. aircraft killed more than 20 al-Qaida in Iraq fighters who opened fire on an American air patrol northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. command said Sunday.

The firefight between U.S. aircraft and the insurgent fighters occurred Saturday after the aircraft observed about 25 people carrying AK-47 assault rifles one brandishing a rocket-propelled grenade into a palm grove, the military said.

"Shortly after spotting the men, the aircraft were fired upon by the insurgent fighters," it said.

The command said more than 20 of the group were killed and four vehicles were destroyed. No Iraqi civilians or U.S. soldiers were hurt.

Iraq's Defense Ministry said in an e-mail Sunday that Iraqi soldiers had killed 44 "terrorists" over the past 24 hours. The operations were centered in Salahuddin and Diyala provinces and around the city of Kirkuk, where the ministry said its soldiers had killed 40 and arrested eight. It said 52 fighters were arrested altogether.

The ministry did not further identify those killed, but use of the word "terrorists" normally indicates al-Qaida.

The U.S. Embassy, meanwhile, joined a broad swath of Iraqi politicians both Shiite and Sunni in criticizing a nonbinding U.S. Senate resolution seen here as a recipe for splitting the country along sectarian and ethnic lines.

The Senate resolution, adopted last week, suggests Iraqi government and parliament adhere to their constitution if they can agree. The basic law allows for a loose confederation of regions under a limited central government, leaving the bulk of power with the regions. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., was a prime sponsor.

In a highly unusual, unsigned statement, the U.S. Embassy said resolution would seriously hamper Iraq's future stability: "Our goal in Iraq remains the same: a united, democratic, federal Iraq that can govern, defend, and sustain itself."  .

Question to Mr. reid and Ms. pelosi-ricardo:  Do you still say the troop surge was a failure?  Heck, now you have actual information instead of pre-judging it as you did before the troops were even in place.

Or, put another way, are you still rooting so hard for the USA to fail that you ignore this news, as you have ignored all the other good news from Iraq over the last three months?  Is that what your constituents elected you to do? 

Whoops, forget that last question.  I forgot where nancy pelosi is from...maybe it IS what they elected her to do.


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