Sunday, 10 February 2008

IF IT WORKS ONCE, AND THEN TWICE.....

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of www.littlegreenfootballs.com, is news of Hillary Clinton's THIRD sob-fest:

Hillary Weeps Again

Sat, Feb 9, 2008 at 8:17:50 pm PST

Yes. Again.

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., wipes her eye as she listens to a disabled U.S. veteran in the audience tell his story during a campaign stop at The City of Lewiston Memorial Armory in Lewiston, Maine., Saturday, Feb. 9, 2008.

.

You can believe one of two things: 

-Either these tears are insincere and she is making (or trying to make) unbelievable suckers of Democratic voters,

-or that they are sincere and the potential President of the United States and Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces is incapable of controlling her emotions on a regular basis.

So tell me, which of these alternatives would make you want her to be President?  The blatant fraud one or the uncontrollable emotions one?

Still wondering why Barack Obama is doing so well?


BILL O'REILLY ON WATERBOARDING

Ken Berwitz

Since Bill O'Reilly has found his way into this blog over the past couple of days, I thought I'd give him his say about the latest topic he has written about - which happens to be waterboarding:

Sorry, candidates: Waterboarding works

By Bill OReilly  |   Sunday, February 10, 2008  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Op-Ed
Photo
Photo by AP

Lost in the swirl of the Super Tuesday vote was a very important story about your safety and security. In order to better define the debate on torture, the Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, whereby a bound captive is placed upside down underwater.

It is not a nice feeling.

CIA Director Michael Hayden told committee members that, since 9/11, the agency had used waterboarding exactly three times in order to extract information from reluctant captives. The men involved were all al-Qaeda big shots, and according to the CIA, they all gave up information that prevented terror attacks that could have killed thousands.

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell also informed the senators that al-Qaeda is being protected inside Pakistan and is currently training agents to infiltrate the United States for the purpose of killing civilians.

Now, this is nothing new to those of us who understand that the leader of Pakistan, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has failed to control both al-Qaeda and the Taliban inside his country. So those evil people now have a sanctuary from which to launch their murderous operations.

My question is: What will the presidential candidates do about that, and about the interrogation of captured terror suspects?

John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all say waterboarding is torture and should be outlawed. So lets assume it will be after President Bush leaves office. Lets also assume that most captured terrorists will not give up their comrades under standard Geneva Convention interrogation methods.

Who wins under that scenario? Well, it looks like the terrorists do, right? With waterboarding out and chatting in, the bad guys have one less thing to worry about. Do you feel safer knowing name, rank and jihad number are all thats required of a captured al-Qaeda terrorist?

And then theres Pakistan. What exactly are the candidates going to do about that country? I understand that change, hope and health care are big themes this year, but Id like my health-care program to include not being blown up by fanatical killers trained in Pakistan. File that under preventive medicine.

Of course, its the medias fault. Instead of concentrating on vital life-death issues, news outlets go nuts when Bill Clinton scolds a reporter. With the gotcha game paramount, waterboarding and Pakistan/al-Qaeda stories are largely ignored. The candidates are rarely even asked about them because questions about Hillarys Wal-Mart connections are so important.

The American people need to wise up. Yeah, the presidential horse race is fun and interesting. But on vital questions of the day, the candidates spit out flimsy general rhetoric and walk away.

To protect my family, I want the waterboarding option included among presidential powers. As for Musharraf, I want this guy held accountable.

Sorry if that interrupts the hope train..

The fact that there are only three known instances of waterboarding - all of which appear to have been effective - is not enough to change the minds of all three viable presidential candidates (Obama, Clinton AND McCain) along with hyperventilating "news" venues like the New York Times and those wonderful, evenhanded folks over at MSNBC.

I give John McCain a pass on this because of the years he spent being tortured in North Vietnam.  I disagree with him, but his position is certainly understandable.  In any event, Mr. McCain is highly supportive of the military in just about every other way and is firmly committed to a success in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The position shared by Obama and Clinton is understandable too, but for a different reason.  To appeal to the Democratic hardline left wing base, which seems firmly in command of the party these days, they have to be against pretty much anything that makes the military look good, or effective, or might move us forward in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Waterboarding is just a tiny part of their opposition. 

That's quite a difference, wouldn't you say?


R.I.P. ROY SCHEIDER

Ken Berwitz

The shark couldn't get Roy Scheider.  The thugs in The French Connection couldn't get him or his partner, Gene Hackman.  But, at the age of 75, a combination of multiple myeloma and a staph infection could.

May he rest in peace.


NANCY PELOSI: SABOTEUR

Ken Berwitz

I've speculated on whether people like nancy pelosi are more interested in partisan political gain than concerned about our war effort, the morale of the troops and, frankly, the security of our country.

If you think this is hyperbole, then I would like to call your attention to the following, which I picked up at www.politico.com

The despicable al-quaeda-benefitting propaganda is pelosi's.  The bold print is mine:

Pelosi calls Iraq a 'failure'

By: Mike Allen
Feb 10, 2008 12:57 PM EST

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said twice Sunday that Iraq is a failure, adding that President Bushs troop surge has not produced the desired effect.

The purpose of the surge was to create a secure time for the government of Iraq to make the political change to bring reconciliation to Iraq, Pelosi said on CNNs Late Edition. They have not done that.

The speaker hastened to add: The troops have succeeded, God bless them.

Pelosis harsh verdict is a reminder of the dilemma for Democrats as they head into this falls presidential and congressional elections:

They need to make the case that the country needs to depart from the direction set by Bush. Yet they dont want to look like naysayers at a time when Iraq has become more stable, albeit still violent.

Republican strategists say one of their few chances to avoid a blowout in November is to paint Democrats as defeatists.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sparked a furious response from the right last year when he said the Iraq war is lost.

Bush announced in September that the surge policy of additional troops would allow a gradual reduction in forces as a return on success. Improvements in Iraq helped revive the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), now the front-runner for the Republican nomination.

Shortly after Pelosi spoke on Sunday with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Iraq, a suicide bomber killed more than 20 civilians at a checkpoint north of Baghdad, the U.S. military reported.

Pelosis comment came during a discussion of her call for the redeployment of our troops out of Iraq.

Anchor Wolf Blitzer asked: Are you not worried, though, that all the gains that have been achieved over the past year might be lost?

There haven't been gains, Wolf, the speaker replied. The gains have not produced the desired effect, which is the reconciliation of Iraq. This is a failure. This is a failure. The troops have succeeded, God bless them. We owe them the greatest debt of gratitude for their sacrifice, their patriotism, and for their courage and to their families as well.

But they deserve better than the policy of a war without end, a war that could be 20 years or longer. And Secretary Gates just testified in the last 24 hours to Congress that this next year in Iraq and Afghanistan are going to cost $170 billion.

Afghanistan is not settled because the president took his eye off the ball and took the full attention that should have been in Afghanistan, and shifted some of that to Iraq, a war without end, without a plan, without a reason to go in, without a plan to win, without a strategy to leave. This is a disaster we cannot perpetuate.

Somewhere out there (maybe among the morons on the Berkeley city council, next door to pelosi's district) there must be someone buying her BS about how everything the troops do fails, yet THEY are so wonderful and successful and God love them.  But I doubt you can find very many troops who are buying it - or, for that matter, very many people with functioning cerebrums who are.

pelosi and her party need defeat in Iraq to win the presidency, maybe to hold one or both houses of congress.  Victory is not a political option, therefore, so she is doing whatever she can to disparage our troops and sabotage the war effort even as it succeeds so clearly that even john murtha had to admit it.

What a sick, depraved, disgusting excuse for a human being pelosi is. 


TIM RUTTEN: LIAR

Ken Berwitz

Tim Rutten is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.  And he is a liar. 

Want proof?  Read this piece that I found at www.patterico.com and see for yourself.  Be sure to read the links provided, so you'll know for sure:

Tim Rutten Lies About Cheneys CPAC Speech

 Patterico @ 1:52 am

Tim Rutten:

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, Vice President Dick Cheney was addressing the meat-eaters at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He told them that he was glad the administration had tortured people and that hed do it again: Would I support those same decisions again today? Youre damn right I would.

I found it curious that Cheney would say he was glad the administration had tortured people. That doesnt sound like something hed say. And I dont really trust Tim Rutten, since he has lied to me so many times in the past.

So I checked the transcript.

I first searched for the word torture and found that Cheney had used it only once in the speech:

The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture its against our laws and against our values. Were proud of our country and what it stands for.

That doesnt quite sound like Cheney saying he was glad we tortured people.

So I decided to look up the context of the Cheney quote: Would I support those same decisions again today? Youre damn right I would. Here it is:

Our new strategy in Iraq has succeeded by careful planning, and by close attention to changing conditions on the battlefield. The same will be true of any drawdown of troops. On behalf of the President, I can assure you that the decision will be based on what is right for our security and best for the troops without regard to polls, elite opinion, or flip-flops by politicians in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)

From the very morning our nation was attacked on 9/11, the President of the United States has had to make some immensely enormous decisions. Every day he faces responsibilities that others would pale before. Ive been there with him. Ive seen him make the tough calls, and then weather the criticism and take the hits. President Bush has been tough and courageous. Hes made the right decisions for the right reasons, and he always reflects the best values of the American people. Ive been proud to stand by him and by the decisions hes made. And I would support those same and would I support those same decisions again today? Youre damn right I would. (Applause.)

The important thing to remember, six and a half years after 9/11, is that the war on terror is still real, that it wont be won on the defensive, and that we have to proceed on many fronts at the same time. For those of us who work in offices and sit at desks in Washington, the sacrifices required are pretty small compared to those of Americans serving in the Iraqi desert, or in the mountains of Afghanistan, or the public servants who work day and night, with little margin for error, to detect a secret enemy before its too late.

That doesnt sound like Cheney was supporting torture either.

Im not great at mind-reading, but Im going to guess that this is the passage Rutten was referring to:

Just as weve monitored the communications of enemies at large, weve also gotten information out of the ones that we have captured. The military has interrogated terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay. And in addition, a small number of terrorists, high-value targets, held overseas have gone through an interrogation program run by the CIA. Its a tougher program, for tougher customers. (Applause.) These include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11. He and others were questioned at a time when another attack on this country was believed to be imminent. Its a good thing we had them in custody, and its a good thing we found out what they knew. (Applause.)

The procedures of the CIA program are designed to be safe, and they are in full compliance with the nations laws and treaty obligations. Theyve been carefully reviewed by the Department of Justice, and very carefully monitored. The program is run by highly trained professionals who understand their obligations under the law. And the program has uncovered a wealth of information that has foiled attacks against the United States; information that has saved thousands of lives. (Applause.)

The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture its against our laws and against our values. Were proud of our country and what it stands for. We expect all of those who serve America to conduct themselves with honor. And we enforce those rules. Some years ago, when abuses were committed at Abu Ghraib prison, a facility that had nothing to do with the CIA program, the abuses that came to light were, in fact, investigated, and those responsible were prosecuted.

I suppose Rutten would argue that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was, in his view, tortured and that Cheney, by praising his interrogation, is supporting torture. Fine; if Rutten wants to make that argument, let him make it.

But thats not what Rutten said. He said Cheney told people he was glad the administration had tortured people. And Cheney didnt tell people that. At all. Cheney said: We do not torture its against our laws and against our values.

Rutten has told a lie. And he should be called on the carpet for it.

If you feel like beating your head against a wall, heres the address: ReadersRep@latimes.com. Me, Im not bothering. At the L.A. Times, if its an opinion column, anything goes and the facts be damned.

That goes double for Tim Rutten..

I don't use the term "liar" lightly.  But this is a clear, unequivocal case of someone lying.

And the lie is about a Republican and published in the Los Angeles Times.

Who would have ever thought that could happen?


THE SATURDAY PRIMARIES

Ken Berwitz

Yesterday Barack Obama blew Hillary Clinton away.  He didn't just win all three primaries (and the Virgin Islands primary too), he won them by landslides.

In Washington state, Mr. Obama beat Ms. Clinton by 68% to 31%.  In Nebraska it was 68% - 32% and in Louisiana it was 57% to 36%.

On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee edged John McCain 43% to 42% in Louisiana and steamrollered him 60% to 24% in Kansas.  It appears that McCain eked out a 26% to 24% win in Washington, with ron paul getting 21% and quite possibly being the only reason Mr. McCain won there.

So what do we make of this?

One thing we make of it is that, outside of the big coastal states like New York and California, the Democratic base does not want Hillary Clinton as its candidate.   Barack Obama's performance has made this crystal clear.  And now, he has a majority (albeit not a large one) of committed delegates. 

If Clinton can hold onto the superdelegates - the ones she DOESN'T have to win in primaries - she probably is still going to be the Democratic nominee.  But if she is, it will cleave her party into pieces.  It will alienate Black and hard-left voters so badly that it is hard to see how she could win a national election.

I wonder if the Clintons - Hillary or Bill - ever considered the possibility that their party could lurch so far left that Hillary, with her solid-as-a-rock left wing voting credentials and promise of universal health care, would not be the favorite.  I assure you they're considering it now.

Republican John McCain is in a much different position.  Yes, Huckabee did very well yesterday.  However he still has only a small fraction of the delegate count compared to McCain and, barring some major unforeseen event, McCain will be the nominee. 

But these votes are another stark reminder to McCain that his selection is a very grudging one to a great many people in his party. 

It is very hard to read the dynamics here. What does a candidate do when he knows he is not liked by a large segment of his base, but also knows that a) he is going to be the nominee and b) his opponent in the general election is going to be so much more distasteful to the party base that they'll probably hold their noses and vote for him anyway?

Maybe the answer is that he doesn't really have to do anything.


AN ANSWER TO JAKE TAPPER

Ken Berwitz

Jake Tapper of ABC New informs us of Hillary Clinton's real intent regarding MSNBC's david shuster, and then asks a question. 

First, Mr. Tapper:

Clinton Campaign Not Looking for Shuster to Be Fired, After All

February 09, 2008 9:07 PM

After some conversations with folks at the Clinton campaign, I can offer some clarity -- maybe -- on what they're asking NBC/MSNBC to do.

And despite Clinton's letter, saying David Martin Shuster's apology and suspension was not sufficient, Clinton's goal is not for NBC to fire Shuster, he and his fans will be happy to hear. Until Thursday, the Clinton campaign had no issues with Shuster, I'm told.

The campaign says it has more to do with what it sees as a sexist, locker room, on-air atmosphere at MSNBC.

Clinton supporters ask: what other network has had, within the space of one year, because of comments widely seen as boorish and inappropriate, a firing (Imus), an on-air apology (Chris Matthews) and a suspension (Shuster)?

Clinton, who has been on the receiving end in two of those incidents, is taking a stand for MSNBC to clean up its act. Or, so Camp Clinton says.

Of course, others might think she is capitalizing on an ugly moment to galvanize female voters.

What say you?.

Now, my answer.

Jake, Ms. Clinton was as clear as glass.  She said that a temporary suspension was not sufficient. Well, what is more than a temporary suspension? 

One of two things happened:  Either Clinton rethought her demand that shuster be fired, or here initial comment and subsequent backtrack was intentional - meant as a warning to shuster (and others at MSNBC) not to cross her again. 

If it is the latter, look at the benefit for Ms. Clinton.  Now if anyone hurts her wiwoo sensibiwities for the rest of the campaign she can regale them with how forgiving she was the first time and then lower the boom.  Does that sound Clintinesque to you?  Me too.

And here's another part of my response, Jake:  Which MSNBC personality is NOT mentioned in that list of apologies? 

It is keith olbermann, who is far and away the most vicious, personally insulting hatchet man on the network -- and one who has about as much chance of giving moderate or conservative Republicans a fair shake as Britney Spears has of being elected head of the Women's Christian Temperance Union.

There is one reason and one reason only that a pathological hater like olbmerann is unchallenged and unapologetic;  it is because his pathological hatred is directed against Republicans and conservatives, not Democrats like Hillary Clinton. 

Olbermann is the poster boy for what is wrong with MSNBC.  But the network is so overjoyed that he can generate even one-third the viewership of Bill O'Reilly that it won't do a thing about him.  The last thing MSNBC would ever do is demand that he apologize, or change in any way. 


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