Monday, 19 May 2008

NBC'S HOPELESS PARTISANSHIP

Ken Berwitz

The White House nailed NBC for its, er, "creative editing" of an interview between President Bush and NBC correspondent Richard Engel.   It was entirely deserved, and served up perfectly. 

Read Klaus Marre's account from www.thehill.com and see for yourself:

White House takes swipe at NBC News

Posted: 05/19/08 03:40 PM [ET]

The White House on Monday sent a scathing letter to NBC News, accusing the news network of deceptively editing an interview with President Bush on the issue of appeasement and Iran.

At issue were remarks Bush made in front of Israel's parliament earlier this week. 

Specifically, White House counselor Ed Gillespie laments that the network edited the interview in a way that is clearly intended to give viewers the impression that [Bush] agreed with [correspondent Richard Engel's] characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it.

This deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured storyline is utterly misleading and irresponsible and I hereby request in the interest of fairness and accuracy that the network air the Presidents responses to both initial questions in full on the two programs that used the excerpts, said Gillespie in the letter to NBC News President Steve Capus.

Gillespie used the opportunity to also inquire whether NBC News still believes that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. In November 2006, the network decided to label the infighting in the country a civil war.

I noticed that around September of 2007, your network quietly stopped referring to conditions in Iraq as a civil war, Gillespie wrote. Is it still NBC Newss carefully deliberated opinion that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war? If not, will the network publicly declare that the civil war has ended, or that it was wrong to declare it in the first place?

Gillespie also hit NBC News on its reporting on the state of the economy.

Im sure you dont want people to conclude that there is really no distinction between the news as reported on NBC and the opinion as reported on MSNBC, despite the increasing blurring of those lines, Gillespie concluded. I welcome your response to this letter, and hope it is one that reassures your broadcast networks viewers that blatantly partisan talk show hosts like Christopher Matthews and Keith Olbermann at MSNBC dont hold editorial sway over the NBC network news division.

I put that last part in bold print because I liked it so well.  Mr. Gillespie is exactly right. 
 
NBC keeps tilting further and further left, further and further toward Barack Obama, and seems to be forgetting that it is supposed to separate news from partisan opinion.  So the White House reminded the network in blunt terms that this isn't the way it is supposed to do things. 
 
Unfortunately, however, I think NBC is so far in the tank at this point that it probably won't do much good.


DESECRATING THE KORAN

Ken Berwitz

The Koran (or Quran or however you care to spell it) is the Islamic bible. 

The fanatics in al qaeda and the taliban (among countless other similarly hate-filled, murderous groups) commit acts of hatred and extreme violence in the name of the Koran

But our allies in Iraq and other Islamic countries, and all peaceful Muslims in general, consider the Koran their bible just as much.  That is something we have to keep reminding ourselves. 

For this reason, it is appalling that a US soldier would have used a Koran for target practice in Iraq and, evidently, written some "graffiti" in the book which presumably was blasphemous towards it.

Here is an excerpt from the Associated Press account (which you can read in its entirety by clicking here): 

BAGHDAD (AP) - An American soldier used a Quran, the Islamic holy book, for target practice in a predominantly Sunni area west of Baghdad, prompting an apology from the U.S. military, a spokesman said Sunday.

Separately, mortar shells slammed into a residential area north of the Iraqi capital, killing at least four people and wounding 30, most children playing outside, officials said Sunday.

The shelling occurred as clashes broke out in Shiite areas late Saturday despite a truce reached last week by Shiite politicians and followers of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Iraqi police found the bullet-riddled Quran with graffiti inside the cover on a small-arms range near a police station in Radwaniyah, a former insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, U.S. military spokesman Col. Bill Buckner said in an e-mailed response to a query.

American commanders then launched an inquiry that led to disciplinary action against the soldier, who has been removed from Iraq, Buckner said.

The shooting, which occurred May 9 and was discovered two days later, threatened to further strain relations between the Americans and Sunni allies who have joined forces with them against al-Qaida in Iraq in Radwaniyah and other areas.

The Association of Muslim Scholars, a Sunni group, condemned the shooting of the Quran, calling it "a hideous act against the book of almighty God and the constitution of the nation and the source of its glory and dignity."

The incident was first reported by CNN, which broadcast a ceremony at which the top American commander in Baghdad apologized to tribal leaders in Radwaniyah. The military confirmed the details in an e-mailed response to a query.

"I come before you here seeking your forgiveness," Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond was quoted as saying. "In the most humble manner I look in your eyes today and I say please forgive me and my soldiers."

The commander also read a letter of apology by the shooter, and another military official kissed a Quran and presented it to the tribal leaders, according to CNN.

The military statement called the incident "serious and deeply troubling" but stressed it was the result of one soldier's actions and "not representative of the professionalism of our soldiers or the respect they have for all faiths."

The Sunni alliances have been key to a steep decline in violence over the past year, along with a U.S. troop buildup and a longer term cease-fire by al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.

What an incredibly stupid thing to do!

It not only denigrates the religion of people on OUR side as well as the enemy's, it gives the enemy invaluable propaganda to turn other Muslims against us.

Should the soldier have been removed from Iraq?  Should the soldier have been significantly disciplined?  Should we have humbly apologized for what he did?  Yes, yes and yes.  Emphatically.

People in the USA (very few, I'm happy and relieved to say) also use the bible to rationalize hatred and violence.  Like the Koran, it is a narrative which can be interpreted many different ways.  People who interpret the bible as a basis for hatred against others are not very different at all from those who do the same with the Koran.

A country which occupies another country, however beneficial the reasons might be, has a special responsibility for its conduct there.  That certainly includes the USA in Iraq.  Let's hope this does not happen again.


WOULD YOU HAVE GOTTEN OUT OF YOUR CAR AND COLLECTED THEM?

Ken Berwitz

Here's a highway obstruction you don't run into every day:

MORRIS, Ill. (AP) - Got milk?

Police say a trailer loaded with 14 tons of double-stuffed Oreos has overturned, spilling the cookies still in their plastic sleeves into the median and roadway.

Illinois State Police Sgt. Brian Mahoney says the truck's driver was traveling from Chicago to Morris on Interstate 80 around 4 a.m. Monday when he fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into the median.

"The boxes came out of the trailer and boxes were ripped open," he said.

The crash about 50 miles southwest of Chicago remains under investigation.

Mahoney says no charges have been filed but both lanes of traffic remain closed while authorities remove the cookies.

Lucky it didn't collide with a milk truck.  People would have snacked for miles.  It would have given new meaning to the term "we'll have something while we're on the road".  Etc. 


BARACK OBAMA'S ASSESSMENT OF "TINY" IRAN

Ken Berwitz

Here is a telling little anecdote which shows the difference between Barack Obama and John McCain in how they view the threat posed by terrorist nations, most especially Iran.  It comes to us from Amanda Carpenter, writing at www.townhall.com:

Likely Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama told supporters Iran is just a tiny country at a campaign stop in Oregon Sunday evening.

"Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us, Obama said.

Obamas rivals, including his fellow Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, have criticized Obama for his willing to meet with Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain issued a strong retort to Obama's assessment at a stop in Chicago on Monday. "The biggest national security challenge the United States currently faces is keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists," McCain said. "Should Iran acquire nuclear weapons, that danger would become very dire, indeed. They might not be a superpower, but the threat the Government of Iran poses is anything but "'tiny.'"

Can Mr. Obama possibly be this naive?  What in the world does the size of the country have to do with anything?  Iran's head of state is a religious fanatic who believes in the "12th Imam, and is threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.  Iran is merrily going on its way developing the nuclear capability to do just that. 

If Iran attacks Israel with nuclear weapons, what the hell will its size, "tiny" or otherwise, have to do with anything?  Can you tell me? 

And even if you did buy into this ludicrous premise, where did Mr. Obama ever get the idea that Iran is "tiny"?   Has he bothered to look at a MAP???

For the record, Iran, with a land area of 636,296 square miles, is the 18th largest country in the world.  It is well within the top 10% of all countries.  Illustratively, Iran is larger than South Africa, Venezuela, Pakistan, Turkey, France, Spain, Japan and Germany among others.  Does that sound tiny to you?

Would you rather compare by population instead of land area?  Ok, Iran, with over 66 million people (as of 2002)  is #18 in that measure too.  It has a larger population than, for example, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Poland and Argentina.  Does that sound tiny to you?

Then there is the comparison of Iran with Israel, the country it intends to vaporize the minute it can.  Iran is 636,296 square miles in size.   and has 66 million people.  Israel is roughly 8,000 square miles in size and has slightly over 6 million people.

Does THAT bring it home?

The level of naivet it takes for Mr. Obama to make the statement he did is breathtaking.  Frankly, it is what you expect to hear from someone who doesn't know what the (bleep) he is talking about, but talks about it anyway.

Is this what we want in a President?


PRESIDENT BUSH'S STATEMENT TO ARAB LEADERS

Ken Berwitz

Do you like straight, blunt talk that makes an important point without any dancing around the issue or double-meaning words that can be used to claim you didn't say it afterwards?

If so, you are probably going to like what President Bush said to Arab leaders at Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt.  And, if so, you are going to be appalled on how it has been reported.

Here are the particulars, from www.littlegreenfootballs.com:

AP: Bush 'Lectures' Arab Leaders on Need Not to Oppress Women, Kill Infidels

Sun, May 18, 2008 at 5:54:09 pm PDT

The media are almost universally giving it a negative spin, but President Bushs speech to the World Economic Forum in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm El-Sheik, with representatives from many Arab nations present, was pretty extraordinary: President Bush Attends World Economic Forum.

This section jumped out at me:

There are people who claim that democracy is incompatible with Islam. But the truth is that democracies, by definition, make a place for people of religious belief. America is one of the most is one of the worlds leading democracies, and were also one of the most religious nations in the world. More than three-quarters of our citizens believe in a higher power. Millions worship every week and pray every day. And they do so without fear of reprisal from the state. In our democracy, we would never punish a person for owning a Koran. We would never issue a death sentence to someone for converting to Islam. Democracy does not threaten Islam or any religion. Democracy is the only system of government that guarantees their protection.

Some say any state that holds an election is a democracy. But true democracy requires vigorous political parties allowed to engage in free and lively debate. True democracy requires the establishment of civic institutions that ensure an elections legitimacy and hold leaders accountable. And true democracy requires competitive elections in which opposition candidates are allowed to campaign without fear or intimidation.

Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail. America is deeply concerned about the plight of political prisoners in this region, as well as democratic activists who are intimidated or repressed, newspapers and civil society organizations that are shut down, and dissidents whose voices are stifled. The time has come for nations across the Middle East to abandon these practices, and treat their people with dignity and the respect they deserve. I call on all nations to release their prisoners of conscience, open up their political debate, and trust their people to chart their future. (Applause.)

Weve had our ups and downs with Dubya recently around here but this is a remarkable statement, very unlike the usual diplo-speak.

I wonder if CAIR will seethe?

UPDATE at 5/18/08 6:05:58 pm:

At ABC News, the AP article: Bush Lectures Arab World on Political Reform, Womens Rights.

Winding up a five-day trip to the region, Bush took a strikingly tougher tone with Arab nations than he did with Israel in a speech Thursday to the Knesset. Israel received effusive praise from the president while Arab nations heard a litany of U.S. criticisms mixed with some compliments.

Now why do you think that is? Its a real head-scratcher.

You watch the TV news, don't you?  You read a newspaper and maybe one or more - even many - news sites on the internet, don't you?  Well, try to find a good word about what President Bush said at Sharm El-Sheik.  Try to find ANY word about it. 

Maybe it's just a simple case of "don't report the things Bush does that most people will like.  It will ruin our story line".

You decide.


THE MEDIA SMEAR MACHINE AT WORK

Ken Berwitz

Watch John Hinderaker (of www.powerline.com), writing in The Weekly Standard, dismantle the media smear machine against one of their favorite targets, Karl Rove. 

With full attribution, of course, I am posting Mr. Hinderaker's devastating article below:

A Conspiracy So Lunatic...
Only 60 Minutes could fall for it.
by John H. Hinderaker
05/26/2008, Volume 013, Issue 35

Jill Simpson is an unusual woman. A lawyer, she has scratched out an uncertain living in DeKalb County, Alabama. Fellow DeKalb County lawyers describe her as "a very strange person" who "lives in her own world." The daughter of rabid Democrats, she has rarely if ever been known to participate in politics as even a low-level volunteer. Yet today, she is a minor celebrity who is unvaryingly described in the press as a "Republican operative." Those who know her in DeKalb County scoff at the idea that she is a Republican at all.

Recently, Simpson's house and law office were on the auction block. Rumor has it that she is leaving DeKalb County for good and heading for the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Jill Simpson, who barely got by in Alabama, is now toasted by the national Democratic party and featured on network and cable news. All this because she has testified--without a shred of supporting evidence--to a conspiracy so vast as to be not just implausible, but ridiculous.

Simpson claims to have participated in a phone conversation with several Alabama Republicans in which she was made privy to a plot involving the Republican governor of Alabama, Bob Riley, a former justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, a federal judge, two United States attorneys, several assistant United States attorneys, the Air Force, and, apparently 12 jurors, to "railroad" former governor Don Siegelman into his 2006 conviction for bribery and mail fraud. Every person whose name Simpson has invoked has labeled her story a fantasy, including Siegelman; she claimed to have played a key role both in his giving up his unsuccessful contest of the 2002 gubernatorial election and in his defense of the criminal charges against him.

Normally one might expect a person of uncertain mental health who alleged such a comprehensive conspiracy to be ushered quietly offstage. Instead, in late February, CBS's 60 Minutes gave her a starring role. This can be explained only by the fact that Simpson included in her fable, as she related it to CBS, a final conspirator: Karl Rove, who, according to Simpson, orchestrated the plot against Siegelman.

In her 60 Minutes interview, Simpson claimed to have been Rove's secret agent in Alabama. She said that during Siegelman's term as governor of Alabama, Rove had asked her to follow Siegelman around and try to get photographs of him "in a compromising sexual position" with one of his aides. This led to one of the great moments in recent broadcast history:

60 Minutes's Scott Pelley: Were you surprised that Rove made this request?
Simpson: No.
Pelley: Why not?
Simpson: I had had other requests for intelligence before.
Pelley: From Karl Rove?
Simpson: Yes.

Pelley was at a crossroads: He knew that either (1) he was on the verge of uncovering a whole series of Rovian plots, the stuff of which Pulitzers are made, or (2) he was talking to a lunatic. Intuiting, no doubt, which way the conversation was likely to go, Pelley discreetly chose not to inquire further.

Simpson can offer no evidence that she has ever spoken to or met Karl Rove. Moreover, when she told her story of the alleged conspiracy against Don Siegelman to John Conyers's House Judiciary Committee staff, she said that she heard references to someone named "Carl" in the aforementioned telephone conversation--she made the natural inference that this must be Karl Rove--but never offered the blockbuster claim that Rove himself had recruited her to spy on Siegelman. Neither in the affidavit that she submitted to the committee, nor in 143 pages of sworn testimony that she gave to the committee's staff, did she ever claim to have met Karl Rove, spoken to Karl Rove, or carried out any secret spy missions on his behalf, even though the whole point of her testimony was to try to spin out a plot against Siegelman that was ostensibly led by someone named "Carl."

60 Minutes chose to highlight Simpson's claim that she was Rove's secret agent without telling its viewers that this sensational allegation had been altogether absent from her sworn accounts. Subsequently, MSNBC's Dan Abrams invited Simpson to repeat her slur against Rove. This prompted Rove to write to Abrams, posing a series of questions about whether Abrams had used elementary journalistic methods to check the accuracy of Simpson's account.

Rove's letter drew a response from Abrams:

[Y]ou wrote, "Did it not bother you Ms. Simpson failed to mention [in her sworn statement to House Judiciary Committee staff] the claim she made to CBS for their Feb. 24, 2008 story, that you then repeated on Feb. 25th?"

Fair question. Which is why I asked her the following on Feb. 25, 2008: ABRAMS: And why have you never mentioned before the allegations of Rove and the pictures?  .  .  .

SIMPSON: Well, let me explain something to you. I talked to congressional investigators, Dan. And when I talked to those congressional investigators I told them that I had followed Don Siegelman and tried to get pictures of him cheating on his wife.

However, they suggested to me that that was not relevant because there was nothing illegal about that and they'd just prefer that not come up at the hearing that day.

Put aside the fact that before she was interviewed by House Democratic staffers, Simpson submitted an affidavit on the alleged conspiracy. In her affidavit, she did not claim that she had ever met Rove, let alone been his secret agent in Alabama. What MSNBC found plausible was Simpson's suggestion that House Democratic staffers got their hands on the story that Karl Rove had tried to get compromising photographs of the governor of Alabama and they hushed it up! The credulity of modern journalists apparently knows no bounds.

Simpson's story is unbelievable and contradictory on so many levels that it cannot bear a moment's inspection. (Wholly unexplained, for example, is why, if Rove or anyone else wanted to spy on the governor of Alabama, he would assign the task to a conspicuously large redhead with no experience as an investigator and no ties to the Republican party, rather than hire a professional investigator.) But that has not prevented her from being hailed as a hero by the Democratic party. Citing her testimony, John Conyers has threatened to subpoena Karl Rove to testify before his committee. Siegelman himself has called her a "great American," while simultaneously acknowledging that her story, insofar as it claims a relationship with him, is false.

Siegelman's embrace of Simpson is understandable. He is facing seven years in a federal prison; any port in a storm. But what explains CBS's and MSNBC's decision to peddle her fable?

Karl Rove has become the man who cannot be libeled. Any story that includes his name is treated as self-authenticating, requiring neither supporting evidence nor the barest plausibility. Having committed the unforgivable sin of contributing to two successful Republican presidential campaigns, Rove has become, for American media, the equivalent of an outlaw, possessing no rights that must be respected.

John H. Hinderaker is a contributor to the blog Power Line and a contributing writer to The Daily Standard.

Would 60 Minutes or Dan Abrams ever in a million years allow themselves to fall for this load of excrement if it were a Republican nailing, say, James Carville?  You know the answer to that as well as I do.

As with President Bush, they have built a years-long story about Karl Rove.  And facts no longer matter when each new chapter is written. 

Thank you John Hinderaker for exposing this fraud so completely.

And shame on you, Scott Pelley and Dan Abrams.  You are supposed to be professional journalists.


HOW THE UN EMPOWERS HAMAS

Ken Berwitz

I've written about UNRWA (the United Nations Relief Works Agency) within the last couple of weeks.  I've written about how it works on behalf of hamas in Gaza.  But Asaf Romirowsky, writing for the Washington Times, lays it out so well that I want you to see what he has to say. 

Here it is:

Article published May 19, 2008
Defund UNRWA
May 19, 2008

By Asaf Romirowsky - A few days ago an Israeli air strike killed a member of a Palestinian missile team that had been firing rockets from Gaza. Now the United Nations has come out with an unusual statement of bewilderment and utter shock as the truth has come out. The dead man, Awad al-Qiq, was a U.N. employee and headmaster of a top prep school in Gaza. He was also the chief rocket-maker for Islamic Jihad.

Mr. Al-Qiq not surprisingly, a science teacher worked for one of the schools run by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Now that he is out of the rocket business, the employment of such a "respectable" individual by the sole U.N. agency devoted to Palestinian refugees deserves an explanation.

In a new report by the Global Research in International Affairs Center by this author and Professor Barry Rubin, "UNRWA: Refuge of Rejectionism," the case is made that this group is a major cause of the continued Arab-Israeli conflict, the incitement of a whole generation of Palestinians to terrorist violence and even the suffering of the refugees themselves.

The report's recommendation is simple and workable: UNRWA should be dissolved and its functions divided between the far more effective and depoliticized U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Since Hamas came to power in 2006, Palestinians in the new Islamic state of Gaza have been crying out for more and more UNRWA aid. Historically, UNRWA has been the main vehicle for the perpetuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the United Nations. Where once it was charged with resettling Palestinians, its explicit mandate in recent decades has been to maintain them in the camps where Arab states left them some 60 years ago. Education, health and limited vocational training are provided, just enough to keep Palestinians as "refugees." UNRWA is an apparatus that maintains the status quo a huge bureaucracy with no incentive to move toward a resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem. This arrangement is ripe for abuse.

As one of the largest employers in the host countries with Palestinian refugee camps, UNRWA is staffed mainly by local Palestinians more than 23,000 of them, with only about 100 international U.N. professionals. The pattern of hiring within the served population is unique in the U.N. system. By contrast, UNICEF (to cite one example) avoids employing locals who are also recipients of agency services, considering it a conflict of interest. UNRWA bureaucracy has created an infrastructure for Palestinian dependency. Refugees, now in their third generation, rely on the services UNRWA provides and have no incentives to plan or implement solutions that may endanger their livelihood by rendering UNRWA's services obsolete.

It was under the leadership of former UNRWA Commissioner Peter Hansen that the organization's complicity with terror was openly exposed. In a statement to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Hansen admitted: "I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll " and I don't see that as a crime."

As Hamas' genocidal agenda has become impossible to cover up, UNRWA has now resorted to professions of shock and promises of "zero tolerance." For some UNRWA's affiliation with terrorism is not a detraction but an added value that shows "diversity." As Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said professor of Arab studies at Columbia University, notes, "humanitarian and charitable institutions throughout Palestine employ personnel regardless of sectarian or political affiliation and offer services on a similar basis. Thus, UNRWA, NGO-run institutions [and] public hospitals and clinics, for example, employ members of different political groups such as Fatah, the [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine], Hamas and Islamic Jihad, without reference to their belonging to a specific group."

As we look for ways to crack down on terrorism and terrorist activity, looking at UNRWA is a good start. American taxpayer dollars fund approximately one-third of UNRWA's operating budget. UNRWA provides food, medicine, economic aid, jobs, radical education, political opportunities, and even logistical assistance to Hamas and other extremist groups. UNRWA's budget, which exceeds $365 million, is funded by many nations, but the United States and other Western nations are the largest contributors.

Cutting off UNRWA's budget would be detrimental to Hamas in Gaza, which would be forced to either provide services to Palestinians or admit it has no intention of doing so. It would also send an important message to the United Nations, which perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem and lends legitimacy to groups like Hamas through UNRWA's continued existence.

Transferring UNRWA's services to other agencies, notably the High Commission for Refugees, which has a long and productive experience, would be another important move. And lastly, actually having the Palestinian Authority take responsibility for the social services if it is to truly govern the Palestinian people would send a signal to all parties that a future state of Palestine would be prepared to live in peace with its neighbors and itself.

The UN, incredibly, is sending a representative to the USA this week, to explore racism in this country.  That's no joke, it really is.  As if racism is a bigger problem here than in the countries where entire populations of people are killed in the streets for being the wrong race, tribe, etc.

Maybe they should consider sending him to Gaza instead, to see how his own organization empowers a terrorist group to be able to fund the indiscriminate killing of Israeli Jews.  Or is that the "acceptable" form of racism?

I think we both know the answer.

 


DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO, OBAMA-STYLE

Ken Berwitz

This morning, I came across a very well written essay by Paul Ibrahim.  It details the distance between what Barack and Michelle Obama say, and what they do. 

How big is the distance?  Think space probe.

Here are some key excerpts.  Use the above link to read Mr. Ibraham's entire piece:

Paul Ibrahim

May 19, 2008

Barack and Michelle Obamas Hypocrisy

Barack Obama has painted himself as someone new, as a change in U.S. politics, and as a Washington outsider who is uncorrupted by politicians ethical deficiencies, divisiveness and hypocrisy.

Yet in the period since the launch of his presidential campaign (which today is more than half as old as his entire Senate career up to that point), Obama and his wife have managed a larger magnitude of hypocrisy than a dozen Washington politicians combined. And the power couple has not even reached the general election yet.

Taxes and Riches. Michelle Obama has done her fair share of complaining about the financial difficulties she and her husband have had to endure. Discussing her household expenses, she gripes, I know were spending . . . between the two kids . . . about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth.

That would be fine, except for the fact that she said this to a room full of Muskingum County, Ohio residents whose median household income in 2004 was $37,192.

But perhaps the reason the Obamas have been able to spend thousands of dollars on dance lessons for their kids is because they took advantage of the same tax cuts that they have been simultaneously condemning. If they thought the tax cuts were so evil, why have they not insisted on sending extra money to the government?

Or they could have given more to charity. But from 2000 to 2004, when the Obamas were making, on average, $240,000 per year, they gave less than one percent of their money to charity. The Obamas said that this was because they were young parents who were still paying off their student loans in those years, and thus it was all they could give. Thats fine normally, people should not be criticized for choosing to donate too little of their income to charity.

Things change, however, when Barack says that once people are making over $200,000 to $250,000 they can afford to pay a little more in payroll tax. But . . . what happened to the children and the student loans? How can Obama say he had too many expenses to afford giving even one percent of his $240,000 income to charity, and then, once he became a comfortable millionaire, turn around and say that people in the $200,000-to-$250,000 range can afford to pay more in taxes?

 What hypocrisy.

New Politics. Barack Obama has centered his campaign on change in politics and the audacity of hope for something new. But the longer he is in politics, the more he appears to be of the same old breed of politicians.

Requesting $330 million in pork in a single year is already a sign of someone who has been seasoned and stewed by Washington, as Obama claims his opponents want him to be.

In fact, he has requested $1 million of your money for the University of Chicago Medical Center. Of course, one of the vice presidents of that hospital is, drum-roll . . . Michelle Obama! Sketchy? A bit, perhaps. But it gets worse when you find out that Michelles hospital salary nearly tripled soon after Baracks election to the U.S. Senate.

Now how is this behavior consistent with Obamas claim as the pioneer of new politics? It is not. It is hypocrisy.

Corporate confusion. Both Barack and Michelle Obama are products of corporate America, having both launched their careers in corporate law. Michelle has since gone on to serve on the board of TreeHouse Foods, Inc., which supplied most of its pickle and pepper products to Wal-Mart.

Michelle, however, stepped down from the board when her husband realized the necessity of bashing Wal-Mart, Americas largest private employer. But if she thought that her position was acceptable when her husband wasnt looking for votes, why should that change when he was?

It is hypocrisy.

Yes it is. And there is much more hypocrisy to Barack Obama. Obama wants to improve Americas image abroad, yet angers our allies by opposing tremendously beneficial free trade agreements. Obama claims he cannot disown his long-time pastor when he thinks he can make the country forget about the issue, yet disowns him when it becomes obvious Americans wont forget about it. Obama speaks of hope and optimism, yet paints America as a country of failures, misery and gloom.

It is Barack Obamas right to do all of these things. But it is Americas duty to see it as hypocrisy..

Look, the Obamas are hardly the first husband-wife political team to be hypocritical.  Heck, they're RUNNING against one in the primaries. 

But a good many people have convinced themselves that the Obamas are somehow  different from the rest.  And that's nuts.

Yes they are hypocrites.  Big-time. 

Just add it to the Obama list.  Hypocrisy, meet the lack of a rsum, the repugnant associations with people like jeremiah wright, ayers and dohrn, and the anti-Israel contingent he has hired on for his campaign staff.


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