Monday, 15 October 2007

IRRELEVANCY, DEFINED

Ken Berwitz

If this isn't the definition of irrlevancy, I give up:.

Chafee Hints at Obama Endorsement

Lincoln Chafee may be out of politics, but he's still making political news. Last month it was reported that Chafee had bolted the Republican party. This weekend on a local talk show in Rhode Island, Chafee ruled out endorsing any likely Republican nominee.

When asked about supporting a Democrat, Chafee hedged, but then added that if he did endorse a Democrat it would not be Hillary Clinton. Chafee said Clinton, and others who voted in favor of the Iraq war were "disqualified" to lead the country. The whole exchange looked like it could very well be a preview of an Obama for President campaign commercial.  .

It's actually comical, isn't it?

Lincoln Chafee, who is no longer in politics, is making an endorsement.

Chafee, who was the least Republican senator in the senate when he was in politics, is no longer a Republican.

And Chafee, who is from a state that is guaranteed to go Democratic in 2008 is not going to endorse a Republican, he's going to endorse a Democrat.

Now that's irrelevant!

Somehow I doubt the Republican party will miss Mr. Chafee and his endorsement......


GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ (WHICH IS WHY YOU PROBABLY HAVEN'T SEEN IT)

Ken Berwitz

You have to hand it to most mainstream media.  When they have good news about Iraq, they sure know how to handle it. 

They bury it so deep that you'd have to launch a rocket ship from China to find it.

Please note, however, that I cited most mainstream media, not all.  And one of the exceptions is the Washington Post, which published the following editorial in yesterday's editions:.

Better Numbers

The evidence of a drop in violence in Iraq is becoming hard to dispute.
Sunday, October 14, 2007; B06

NEWS COVERAGE and debate about Iraq during the past couple of weeks have centered on the alleged abuses of private security firms like Blackwater USA. Getting such firms into a legal regime is vital, as we've said. But meanwhile, some seemingly important facts about the main subject of discussion last month -- whether there has been a decrease in violence in Iraq -- have gotten relatively little attention. A congressional study and several news stories in September questioned reports by the U.S. military that casualties were down. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), challenging the testimony of Gen. David H. Petraeus, asserted that "civilian deaths have risen" during this year's surge of American forces.

A month later, there isn't much room for such debate, at least about the latest figures. In September, Iraqi civilian deaths were down 52 percent from August and 77 percent from September 2006, according to the Web site icasualties.org. The Iraqi Health Ministry and the Associated Press reported similar results. U.S. soldiers killed in action numbered 43 -- down 43 percent from August and 64 percent from May, which had the highest monthly figure so far this year. The American combat death total was the lowest since July 2006 and was one of the five lowest monthly counts since the insurgency in Iraq took off in April 2004.

During the first 12 days of October the death rates of Iraqis and Americans fell still further. So far during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which began Sept. 13 and ends this weekend, 36 U.S. soldiers have been reported as killed in hostile actions. That is remarkable given that the surge has deployed more American troops in more dangerous places and that in the past al-Qaeda has staged major offensives during Ramadan. Last year, at least 97 American troops died in combat during Ramadan. Al-Qaeda tried to step up attacks this year, U.S. commanders say -- so far, with stunningly little success.

The trend could change quickly and tragically, of course. Casualties have dropped in the past for a few weeks only to spike again. There are, however, plausible reasons for a decrease in violence. Sunni tribes in Anbar province that once fueled the insurgency have switched sides and declared war on al-Qaeda. The radical Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr ordered a cease-fire last month by his Mahdi Army. Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the top day-to-day commander in Iraq, says al-Qaeda's sanctuaries have been reduced 60 to 70 percent by the surge.

This doesn't necessarily mean the war is being won. U.S. military commanders have said that no reduction in violence will be sustainable unless Iraqis reach political solutions -- and there has been little progress on that front. Nevertheless, it's looking more and more as though those in and outside of Congress who last month were assailing Gen. Petraeus's credibility and insisting that there was no letup in Iraq's bloodshed were -- to put it simply -- wrong. .

How sad it is that I have to commend the Washington Post for doing nothing other than editorially stating facts;  facts that indicate good news for the USA and our war effort in Iraq.

And how lamentable it is that the reason they are to be commended is that The Post is one of the very few media venues telling their readers about it.

Now, if you have a spare day, I urge you to watch C-SPAN's coverage of the senate to see people like harry reid, dick durbin, john kerry, hillary clinton, barack obama and their usual cohorts rise, one after the next, to celebrate this positive turn of events and maybe even tip their hats to General Petraeus. 

Whoops, excuse me, make that a spare eternity.  Because it's not going to happen any more than nancy pelosi and john murtha will be happily talking about it in the House of Representatives.

But if you tune into Rush Limbaugh there's an excellent bet you'll hear about it.  Funny, about those unpatriotic, anti-troop guys..........


REID: PAYING THE PRICE

Ken Berwitz

What happens to a Nevada Senator who becomes a mouthpiece for the moveon.org wing of his party?

Here's the answer, courtesy of this excerpt from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.   And pay special attention to the last two paragraphs, which I've put in bold print, because they are a laugh riot:.

Poll: Reid's popularity falls among Nevadans

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's appeal among Nevadans has plunged dramatically in a new Review-Journal poll, which finds him viewed unfavorably by most likely voters in his home state.

Reid is still slightly more well-liked than Gov. Jim Gibbons. Both the Democratic senator and the Republican governor are less favorably viewed than President Bush.

"Fortunately for Reid, he doesn't have to run for re-election for a while," said Brad Coker, managing partner of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., the Washington, D.C.-based firm that conducted the poll. If they decide to run again, Reid's name won't be on the ballot until 2010, nor will Gibbons'.

The poll asked 625 likely voters from around the state whether they recognized a politician's name, and if so, if they had a favorable, unfavorable or neutral opinion of that person. The survey carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Reid's favorable rating was 32 percent, compared with 51 percent unfavorable and 15 percent neutral. Gibbons was viewed favorably by 30 percent, Bush by 34 percent.

The Review-Journal last asked Nevadans their opinion of Reid in early May. At that time, he was seen favorably by 46 percent and unfavorably by 42 percent.

Even that was seen as alarming for Reid because his favorability did not top 50 percent and because the difference between the two numbers was only 4 percentage points. It continued a slide for Reid that coincides with his taking the Democratic leadership after his re-election in 2004, with 61 percent of the vote.

The new poll marks the first time the Review-Journal has measured Reid's unfavorable rating higher than his favorable number.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas political scientist David Damore said Reid's position as top Democrat -- the first Nevadan to lead his party in the Senate -- continues to hurt him, as it makes him a punching bag for Republicans nationally. Especially now that Reid leads the majority party that is at odds with the White House, he is visible as never before.

"That's what happens to these guys who become the party spokesperson and get all the national attention, particularly someone who's coming from a state that's not as liberal as his party," Damore said.

Voters' opinion of Reid was starkly partisan. Just 2 percent of Republicans viewed him favorably, 90 percent unfavorably. Among Democrats, the numbers were 62 percent and 16 percent; with independents, they were 31 percent and 44 percent.

A Reid spokesman said the Nevadan was taking the hit for a more general dissatisfaction.

"Nevadans, like all Americans, want to bring an end to the war in Iraq, and everyone in Congress is being held accountable for the president's inaction and Republican obstructionism," Jon Summers said.

"People were excited (after the 2006 election) about the Democrats taking the majority in Congress. I think they thought we would somehow have the ability to end the war as soon as we took the majority. That's unfortunately not how it works," he said.  .

Look at that drop in Harry Reid's popularity.  If those data are correct, he has fallen through a trap door.

And why did it happen?  Not because he is a cut and run Democrat who is doing everything he can to damage the war in Iraq.  No no no, that's not it.  The reason is because Nevadans are angry at.....Republicans!

That's right.  Republicans.  In the Bizarro World of political spin, Harry Reid...."is being held accountable for the president's inaction and Republican obstruction".

Yeah, that's the ticket.  That's why Reid is down the tubes.  It has nothing to do with him.  Not his hard left political agenda (which is about the last thing many Nevadans thought they were getting with him, you can bet on it).  Not his dirty land deals in which he made over a million bucks via the sale of property he was never the owner of. 

None of that has anything to do with anything.  Nope, it's those rascally republicans and that mean President Bush.  They're the culprits.  They're the ones who are stealing his popularity away!!

If you can't find a belly laugh in this, or at least an amazed shake of your head, then you have no sense of humor. 


Fwd: Coulter: "I don't think most Jews are as stupid as Donny Deutsch"

A conservative Republican who deserves to be MUTED............ Disgusting.....barry sinrod




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RICARDO SANCHEZ

Ken Berwitz

I respect and admire General Ricardo Sanchez for his service to our country.

I do not understand why he would frontally attack our war effort now, especially given the fact that even critics of the war are conceding the troop surge is working (e.g. the New York Times, Washington Post, numbers of Democratic congresspeople who were against our entry into the war, like Brian Baird D-Wash among others, etc.).

But I have to admit that it is fascinating to watch some of the same people who absolutely despised General Sanchez as the General under whom the "Abu Ghraib scandal" took place, suddenly think he's such a swell guy.

Personally, I didn't think the so-called Abu Ghraib scandal amounted to almost anything at all, and have no bone to pick with General Sanchez over it.  But if I did, he wouldn't suddenly become persona grata because he said something I liked years later.  Obviously others don't share my consistency.


IMUS RETURN?

Ken Berwitz

This is from today's Drudge Report (www.drudgereport.com).  Make of it what you will:

THE RESURRECTION OF IMUS: RETURNS ON NATION'S TOP TALK STATION
Mon Oct 15 2007 07:52:30 ET

**Exclusive**

In a dramatic and dazzling career rebound, controversial radio host Don Imus has secured a deal returning him to the airwaves on December 3 -- this time on the nation's most listened to talk station, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned!

"Imus In The Morning" will make high-impact resurrection on WABC in New York City, top sources reveal.

"We'll have him on a standard 40-second delay," a studio source explains. "Don is rested, humbled, and ready for war!"

Specific terms of the deal will not be released, but the host, who was fired by CBS and MSNBC after making disparaging comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team, has inked a eight-figure, multiyear contract with WABC parent company, CITADEL BROADCASTING.

The stunning comeback is a defeat for those who protested and picketed Imus earlier this year.

Imus is said to be particularly incensed by Senator Hillary Clinton's "shameless exploitation" of the Rutgers situation.

The senator, who Imus has called "satan" and the "devil", traveled to Rutgers in April to praise the women's basketball team for its response to the controversy. In a campaign email, Hillary called Imus's comments "small-minded bigotry and coarse sexism."

"Hillary, prepare to meet your maker!" a source close to the host joked early Monday.

Station executives are still tinkering with the new schedule at WABC, which will likely see current morning jock Curtis Sliwa paired with late morning's John Gambling.

Imus will be interviewed by Barbara Walters for a coming special.


ROCKIES' ROAD

Ken Berwitz

Apropos of nothing political......

The Colorado Rockies barely snuck into the postseason baseball playoffs.  They did so via the highly improbable feat of winning 13 of their last 14 regular season games.  And, so far, they are 6 - 0 in the postseason. 

Wow.  19 wins in 20 games.

Lots of luck to these guys, the true Cinderella team of the year.  Let's see if they can go all the way.  THAT would be a Rocky Mountain high.


NATIONALIZED HEALTH CARE: SOMETHING TO CHEW ON

Ken Berwitz

As we continue to have the wondrous benefits of nationalized health care detailed to us by politicians who think it gets them votes, here is another example of what happens if we get it.  This time it is not from Canada (a rich source of such material) but from the United Kingdom.  It comes to us via the London Daily Mail and Guardian, via Agence France Presse:.

English pull own teeth as dental service decays

London, United Kingdom

15 October 2007 01:17

Falling numbers of state dentists in England have led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released on Monday.

Others have used superglue to stick crowns back on, rather than stumping up for private treatment, said the study. One person spoke of carrying out 14 separate extractions on himself with pliers.

More typically, a lack of publicly-funded dentists means that growing numbers go private: 78% of private patients said they were there because they could not find a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, and only 15% because of better treatment.

"This is an uncomfortable read for all of us, and poses serious questions to politicians from patients," said Sharon Grant of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health.

Overall, 6% of patients had resorted to self-treatment, according to the survey of 5 000 patients in England, which found that one in five had decided against dental work because of the cost.

One researcher involved in compiling the study -- carried out by members of England's Patient and Public Involvement Forums -- came across three people in one morning who had pulled out teeth themselves.

Dentists are also concerned about the trend.

Fifty-eight percent said new dentists' contracts introduced last year had made the quality of care worse, while 84% thought they had failed to make it easier for patients to find care.

Almost half of all dentists -- 45% -- said they no longer take NHS patients, while 41% said they had an "excessive" workload. Twenty-nine percent said their clinic had problems recruiting or retaining dentists.

"These findings indicate that the NHS dental system is letting many patients down very badly," said Grant.

"It appears many are being forced to go private because they don't want to lose their current trusted and respected dentist or because they just can't find a local NHS dentist." -- AFP
.
 
I would love to tell you that stories like this find there way into general circulation in the United States.  But they don't. 
 
Most media's political model is Hillarycare.  And getting them to present both sides of the story is like, er, pulling teeth. 
 
 


President Gore and the history of 2000

Barry Sinrod

Tom Friedman writes, "Mr. Gore lost the presidency, but in the dignity and grace with which he gave up his legal fight, he united America."

You may remember that Al Gore never really had any chance to resist the Supreme Court's decision. The decision itself was a travesty. The court ignored its most profound philosophical commitments to federalism and devolving more power to the states in order to overturn the Florida court's decision and did so along nakedly partisan lines. If the two justices who had been appointed by Bush's father -- an obvious conflict of interest -- had recused themselves, then Gore would have become president, and hundreds of thousands of people whose deaths Bush and Cheney have caused for foolish and counterproductive reasons would still be alive today and the world would be a better place in almost every way. My point is, it is the pundits who made it impossible for Gore even to think of resisting by fighting it out in the Electoral College and demanding that the man who won the popular vote win the presidency. (Republicans were planning to make this argument when it looked like the vote might go the other way). Many of these pundits were calling for Gore to cave even when it was clear he had won the popular vote and maybe Florida as well. (I think he did, but it really doesn't matter. The vote was a statistical tie, decided purely on the basis of political machinations, at which the Gore team was sadly inept.) Friedman recognizes at least a portion of the catastrophe that Bush has caused -- "Never has so much national unity -- which could have been used to develop a real energy policy, reverse our coming Social Security deficit, assemble a lasting coalition to deal with Afghanistan and Iraq, maybe even get a national health care program -- been used to build so little" -- but not his responsibility and that of his colleagues in misportraying Gore during the election, misportraying the results of the Florida vote, and then shilling for Bush's lies about Iraq. (And don't expect the MSM's war on Gore, here and here, to disappear, save for a few weeks, perhaps.)

Meanwhile, in a column that shames his colleague across the page, Frank Rich explores the manner in which the rest of us have behaved like "Good Germans" in sitting still for the evil our government continues to commit in our name:

By any legal standards except those rubber-stamped by Alberto Gonzales, we are practicing torture, and we have known we are doing so ever since photographic proof emerged from Abu Ghraib more than three years ago. ... There has been scarcely more response to the similarly recurrent story of apparent war crimes committed by our contractors in Iraq. ... There has been no accountability. The State Department, Blackwater's sugar daddy for most of its billion dollars in contracts, won't even share its investigative findings with the United States military and the Iraqi government, both of which have deemed the killings criminal. ...

We can continue to blame the Bush administration for the horrors of Iraq -- and should. Paul Bremer, our post-invasion viceroy and the recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his efforts, issued the order that allows contractors to elude Iraqi law, a folly second only to his disbanding of the Iraqi Army. But we must also examine our own responsibility for the hideous acts committed in our name in a war where we have now fought longer than we did in the one that put Verschrfte Vernehmung on the map. ...

Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those "good Germans" who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo. It's up to us to wake up our somnambulant Congress to challenge administration policy every day. Let the war's last supporters filibuster all night if they want to. There is nothing left to lose except whatever remains of our country's good name..





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PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS (ON) THE DDT

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of the Associated Press, is a linkage made by Barack Obama between religion and environmentalism.

No, I haven't been in the kickapoo joy juice, this is for real.  Look and see.  Obama supplies the religious fanaticism, I supply the bold print that highlights it:

.

Obama Links Faith to Environmentalism
Oct 15 03:15 PM US/Eastern
By AMY LORENTZEN
Associated Press Writer
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama said Sunday that his religious beliefs influence his plans for how to protect the environment.

Speaking before religious leaders and others at what he called an "interfaith forum on climate change," the Illinois senator said God has entrusted humans with the responsibility of caring for the earth, and "we are not acting as good stewards of God's earth when our bottom line puts the size of our profits before the future of our planet."

"It is our responsibility to ensure that this planet remains clean and safe and livable for our children and for all of God's children," he told about 200 people gathered at the downtown public library. "But in recent years, science has made it undeniably clear that our generation is not living up to this responsibility. Global warming is not a someday problem, it is now."

Last week, Obama released a plan to combat global warming that calls for an 80 percent reduction in U.S. carbon emissions by 2050.

Obama said he would force industries and power companies to clean up their operations. He would institute a "cap and trade" approach that would require polluters to buy allowances, essentially putting a price on pollution and creating an incentive to cut emissions.

He said $150 billion from the sale of allowances could help drive the development of environmentally friendly technologies, including the next generation of biofuels, expansion of a delivery infrastructure and fuel-efficient vehicles.

"We've heard promises about energy independence from every single president since Richard Nixon, but we are actually more dependent on oil today than ever before," he said.

Obama said many of his rivals have talked about the issue but "have taken a pass on it in years in Washington."

He said he would ask the biggest carbon-emitting nations join the U.S. in creating a global energy forum to develop climate protocols. He would also share clean energy technologies with all nations.

Obama also challenged individuals to do their part to help the environment, and he called for making government, businesses and homes 50 percent more energy efficient by 2030. He said he wants all federal government buildings carbon neutral by 2025.

Among other White House hopefuls, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has said she is intrigued by a carbon auction system but has stopped short of endorsing it. Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut has proposed taxing polluters for their carbon emissions. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who has pledged to have a carbon neutral campaign, also proposes a "cap and trade" system that aims to reach the 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

On Sunday, Edwards and Sen. John McCain picked up environmental endorsements from Friends of the Earth Action and Republicans for Environmental Protection, respectively.

Meeting the threat of global climate change will take hard work and faith, Obama said.

"Not a blind faith, not a faith of mere words, not a faith that ignores science, but an active searching faith," said Obama, a member of the United Church of Christ. "It's a faith that does not look at the hardship and pain and suffering in the world and use it all as an excuse for inaction or cynicism, but one that accepts the fact that although we are not going to solve every problem here on earth, we can make a difference."

Despite the event's environmental focus, Obama also addressed the Iraq War and a House proposal for a tax to cover war spending. He said he agrees there's no such thing as a free lunch and that tax cuts and war spending can't coexist for ever.

"The only reason we haven't been feeling the pinch is because China and South Korea and Mexico have lent us money," Obama said. "I believe in the basic principle that you pay for what you've initiated. I would say that the idea of a war tax is probably a little late. I would have liked to have seen that suggestion before we spent $600 billion."

.

Can I get an AMEN?  (AMEN!!!!)

How about a few choruses of "Rock of Algaes".  Followed by "Jesus loves the little bean sprouts, all the little bean sprouts of the world"

Then we can finish 'er up with a rousing chorus of "Amazing Grain".

Think, just think:  What if a Republican tied one of his/her issues - say, tort reform - to religious faith?  What would the press do with that?

Well, here is Barack Obama doing it with environmental politics.  And if you think there's going to be a hue and cry about it, think harder.

Obama is safe.  Why?  Because media believe in environmental politics too, as proven by the fact that they aren't going to attack a protected species.


Another Phony soldier ? Watch the Administration now...

Barry Sinrod

Ex-Commander Says Iraq Effort Is a Nightmare

Tyler Hicks/The New York Times Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, then the top American commander in Iraq, in Baghdad in 2004.

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By _DAVID S. CLOUD_ (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/david_s_cloud/index.html?inline=nyt-per) Published: October 13, 2007

Correction Appended WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 In a sweeping indictment of the four-year effort in _Iraq_ (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iraq/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) , the former top commander of American forces


A CLARIFICATION

Ken Berwitz

Just to clarify, Tom Friedman did not write what Barry's blog appears to suggest he did.  Friedman wrote the first sentence of it.  The rest was supplied by one or another of the various LAMB*** members that Barry relies on for all information.

As a kindness to Mr. Friedman, I want to make sure no one blames him for that crap. 

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

***Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade

UPDATE:  I just did some checking and found that the commentary Barry put up was written by Eric Alterman.  Alterman is the genius who wrote a book a couple of years ago assuring us there is no liberal media bias.  That's a little like writing a book assuring us that chickens don't go cluck, they go oink.


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