Friday, 23 May 2008


Ken Berwitz

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York, has a media free pass. 

Want proof?  Read this excerpt from Noel Sheppard at (read the entire piece by clicking here):

Media Miss Schumer's OPEC Oil Production Versus ANWR Drilling Gaffe

By Noel Sheppard | May 23, 2008 - 14:38 ET

As the oil executives hearings on Capitol Hill received great media attention given soaring gasoline prices, supposedly impartial press members missed a classic gaffe by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as it pertains to the benefits of OPEC raising production quotas versus America drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

On Wednesday, Schumer once again claimed "if [Saudi Arabia] did a million barrels of oil a day increase from today, it would go down about -- the translation to gasoline would be about $.50 a gallon, maybe $.62."

Yet, on May 7, Schumer felt a likely similar increase from drilling in ANWR would "reduce the price of oil by a penny."

As Marc Sheppard over at the American Thinker cleverly pointed out Thursday, in Schumer's odd calculus, only increases in foreign oil production will bring down the price

So, Schumer was chastising these executives for wanting to explore for more oil while getting them to admit an additional million barrels available per day would bring prices down significantly even though he believes the extra production if it came from ANWR would be totally irrelevant.

Why weren't media all over this glaring hypocrisy?

Yes, that's a rhetorical question.

Can you imagine the media outcry if John McCain had said the reverse of that (i.e. that ANWR would give us a 62 reduction but an identical amount of Saudi oil would give us just 1)?  You'd never hear the end of it. 

 And what if President Bush said it?  Or Rush Limbaugh?  Or any of the other media bogeymen?

This, friends, is what you get when a politician is handed a free pass.  And Mr. Schumer revels in it.


Ken Berwitz

Here is a short, sweet, superb analysis of how well we are doing in Iraq.  It comes complete with a headline that implies Democrats  would be most likely to reverse our success, presumably for political gain (with the copious help of a great many in the mainstream media).  It is written by Paul Mirengoff of

Success that probably only the Democrats can reverse

Yesterday, we noted how the Iraqi army has taken control, for now, of Sadr City. This accomplishment follows a campaign in Basra that even the New York Times has acknowledged was successful. .

And the good news doesn't stop here. Max Boot points out that in Mosul, considered the last stronghold of Al Qaeda in Iraq. the number of daily attacks has dropped at least 85 percent since U.S.-Iraqi forces began an offensive against Sunni insurgents in the city earlier this month. This according to Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, commander of Multi-National Division North.

More generally, the rope continues to tighten around the neck of al-Qaeda. While acknowledging that it remains a threat to stability, Army Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, interim head U.S. Central Command, finds that al Qaeda is in its weakest state since it gained an initial foothold in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion five years ago. Simply put, these terrorists are running out of places where local Iraqis will accommodate their extremist ideology. And when al Qaeda does find a foothold somewhere, as in Mosul, U.S.-Iraqi forces can deliver a drubbing.

This means, as Peter Wehner puts it, that "the debate has shifted from what the right strategy is to one of national will." In other words, "Will our nation, weary of this long and costly war, continue along the path which has brought about indisputable, and in some cases breathtaking, progress?" If so, "there will be honor in our effortsand, its now reasonable to say, success as well."

We are experiencing succeess in Iraq.  Major success.  Success that should be blaring on the front page of every newspaper and should be a, if not the, major story on every network news show. 

Is it?  And if it isn't (which it isn't), then why not?

Is it because to succeed in Iraq means blowing away the story line media have been feeding us for years?  Is it because the Democratic party has put itself in a position where it is damaged politically if the news from Iraq is good, so its media friends are cooperating by attempting to keep voters ignorant of the good news in this election year?

You tell me.


Ken Berwitz

Hillary Clinton has every right to stay in the presidential race.  Despite my dislike of her, I strongly believe Democrats would be far better off if she were the candidate.

But I can't believe she framed her reason for staying in the way she did.  Here it is, courtesy of  If you happen to be fond of incredibly tasteless comments, this is a true classic:




May 23, 2008 --


Hillary Clinton today brought up the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy while defending her decision to stay in the race against Barack Obama.


"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won theCalifornia primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said, dismissing calls to drop out.


Watch a video of the editorial board meeting here.


Obama's camp immediately fired back.


"Sen. Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign," Obama campaign spokesman said in a statement.


Clinton made her comments at a meeting with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader's editorial board while campaigning in South Dakota, where she complained that, "People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa."

Obama, the first African-American to advance so far in the race for the White House, has faced threats, sources have said.


Has Ms. Clinton taken leave of her senses?  Can she possibly be telling voters that her rationale for staying in is just in case Barack Obama is assassinated? 

I would prefer to think she didn't mean it the way it came out and that this was just an unbelievably grotesque case of misspeaking.  But she isn't making it easy.  So far she hasn't backtracked from it even one little bit.

What an awful thing to say.  And how foolish to leave it as is.  Comments like this are not just going to put her out of the race in 2008.  They can permanently damage her - presidentially AND in the senate.

UPDATE:  Ms. Clinton just apologized, saying that "if it was in any way offensive...I had no intention of that". 



Ken Berwitz

Here are excerpts from a piece by Nicole Russell, writing for American Spectator (  In it, she details how Minnesota Tim Pawlenty, faced with a lemon of monumental proportions, made as much lemonade out of it as he could.  In my opinion,it is a chapter-and-verse argument for bringing him on board as John McCain's running mate. 

You can read the entire article by clicking here:

Minnesota Miracle

By Nicole Russell

Published 5/23/2008 12:07:52 AM


Before the clock struck midnight last Sunday and their carriage transformed into a pumpkin, Minnesota legislators and Governor Tim Pawlenty reached a deal with local representatives worth more than just Cinderella's glass slipper and a starstruck prince.

Faced with a legislature that conjured up a veto-proof majority to override Pawlenty's veto of a recent $6.6 billion transportation bill, Pawlenty reached across the aisle to save Minnesotans money. Other politicians should take note: It is possible to get things done, even when you're outnumbered.

Not all Minnesotans are happy with the Governor's negotiations. To some conservatives, the end-of-session deals only demonstrates, on a local level, what many Republican politicians are doing on a national level: Compromising.

To be sure, the 2008 legislative session was anything but a model of small-government conservatism. It included bills that require enormous amounts of money, including $70 million to fund the Central Corridor light rail project between Minneapolis and St. Paul and $20 million to develop land for a new state park on Lake Vermillion. The legislature also passed plenty of additional regulations -- on business, health care, diesel fuel, and so much more.

WHILE IT'S HARD to defend such money-sucking projects, the flip side of the coin offers some hope to Minnesota taxpayers. Minnesota's $935 million projected state budget deficit was erased and the budget for this next fiscal year was balanced without raising taxes.

The legislature passed a Tax Bill that caps property taxes for three years (with some exceptions) and includes permanent property tax relief. This bill is a slice of heaven compared to the tax bill proposed by the Democrat house last year which guaranteed a tax increase and didn't guarantee property tax relief.

So even if Minnesota taxpayers "lost" in some areas, they avoided $5 billion worth of proposed tax increases by the Democrats, thanks to Governor Pawlenty and the Republicans in the House.

With legislature and the Governor cheering and some conservatives pouting in the corner, it begs the question of Pawlenty and other politicians in his position: What else could he have done with a Democrat-controlled legislature (and veto-proof majority)?

The results of this session are proof positive that Republican leaders shouldn't give up trying to accomplish conservative reforms with their liberal counterparts. If they can do well with limited resources and few allies, they'll know exactly what to do when they're dealt a better hand.


Consider Mr. Pawlenty.  He is young (47 years old), dynamic, conservative, obviously capable of working effectively with Democrats as the article shows, and has been elected Governor of a purple-leaning-blue swing state two times.

How does that fit John McCain's Vice Presidential needs?  Like a glove.


Ken Berwitz

For months John McCain has had to endure a series of attacks, some of them extremely vicious and personal, about his age (he is 71). 

The single most disgusting of them was keith olbermann's "joke" that he might need Depends.

Any on-air host who said that would immediately be reprimanded or, more appropriately, suspended --- assuming his network had at least the integrity of a sun-dried dog turd.  Since olbermann is on MSNBC, it will therefore probably not surprise you to learn that nothing happened to him at all.

In any event, Mr. McCain has released his comprehensive medical records.  Here, via excerpts from the Associated Press article , is what they show:

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. (AP) - Three-time melanoma survivor John McCain appears cancer-free, has a strong heart and is in otherwise general good health, according to eight years of medical records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting remains at risk for developing new skin cancers, and gets a thorough check by a Mayo Clinic dermatologist every few months.

"I do not see any worrisome lesions," Dr. Suzanne Connolly concluded after McCain's most recent exam, on May 12.

The details of McCain's health are contained in 1,173 pages of medical documents spanning 2000 to 2008 that his campaign made available to the AP to make the case that he's healthy enough to serve as president, as well as to counter the notion that he's too old. The Arizona senator will turn 72 in August and would be the oldest elected first-term president.

Like many aging Americans, McCain takes medicine to keep his cholesterol in check.

But Mayo internist Dr. John Eckstein, his longtime personal physician, lauded McCain's performance on a heart stress testsweating it out for 10 minutes when Eckstein routinely sees patients decades younger quit at five or seven minutes.

"I think physiologically he is considerably younger than his chronologic age based on his cardiovascular fitness," Eckstein said in an interview Thursday. "I got a call from the cardiologist who said that he had not seen anyone that age exercise for that long in a long time."

His likely Democratic rival, Barack Obama, will be 47 in August. Obama, lean and agile and a frequent basketball player, says he has quit smoking. Neither he nor Democratic opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton has released health records.

"We don't have a crystal ball, but we have no way to say anything at the present time would preclude him from running for office," said dermatologist Connolly.

Early on in the primaries, a number of voters said McCain's age was a problem, but recent surveys suggest it may not be as big an issue. An ABC News-Washington Post poll conducted in April found 70 percent saying McCain's age would not make any difference to their vote. Other recent polls found similar results, with two-thirds or more saying his age doesn't matter.

McCain has shrugged off the issue by highlighting his stamina and strong genes. He has recalled his "rim-to-rim" Grand Canyon hike in he has campaigned with his energetic mother, age 96. He was a two-pack-a-day smoker until quitting in 1980.

During his first presidential run, eight years ago, McCain disclosed hundreds of pages of records to reporters as he sought then to counter what aides called a "whisper campaign" questioning his mental fitness. In those records, medical personnel concluded that his years in prison, including solitary confinement, left him with no psychological wounds. Aides said McCain has had no mental evaluations in the past eight years and none was included in the documents.

Well, there it is.  Essentially Mr. McCain is the picture of health. In fact, this news is so good that it could put the McCain hating olbermann in the hospital himself.

Will it happen?  Depends.....


Ken Berwitz

How do you feel about people who are truly amazing - not hyped-up amazing but the real kind?

Tell you what:  Click on this link, which comes to us from my California buddy Russ, and see amazing in all its glory.  I guarantee that you will be mesmerized.


Ken Berwitz

If this exchange is any indication of how a campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain would go, Mr. Obama had better learn from it.  Because Mr. McCain literally pinned his ears back and made him look like a child.

Yesterday, the senate passed a veterans' bill sponsored by Senator Webb.  The vote was very strong:  75-22.  President Bush opposed the bill because it contains a number of individual elements he wanted removed, and has threatened to veto it.  Senator McCain supports the President's position.

Senator Obama made one of his rare appearances in the senate chamber and voted for the bill.  Senator McCain was not there to vote. 

Seeing this as an opportunity to make points with the military and people who support the military, Mr. Obama made the following statement:

"I respect Sen. John McCain's service to our country.  He is one of those heroes of which I speak. But I can't understand why he would line up behind the president in opposition to this GI Bill. I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans. I could not disagree with him and the president more on this issue."

At this point I would like to remind you that Mr. McCain has said he wants to run a fair, respectful campaign.  Some people might take that to mean he would not hit back hard on a given issue, even if he is attacked.  Well, read Mr. McCain's response to the Obama attack and see if you still think so.  Here it is, in its entirety:

"It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Senator Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim.

"When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house in New London, Connecticut, and a Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. My father immediately left for the submarine base where he was stationed. I rarely saw him again for four years. My grandfather, who commanded the fast carrier task force under Admiral Halsey, came home from the war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. I grew up in the Navy; served for twenty-two years as a naval officer; and, like Senator Webb, personally experienced the terrible costs war imposes on the veteran. The friendships I formed in war remain among the closest relationships in my life. The Navy is still the world I know best and love most. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home to the country they loved so well.

"But I am running for the office of Commander-in-Chief. That is the highest privilege in this country, and it imposes the greatest responsibilities. It would be easier politically for me to have joined Senator Webb in offering his legislation. More importantly, I feel just as he does, that we owe veterans the respect and generosity of a great nation because no matter how generously we show our gratitude it will never compensate them fully for all the sacrifices they have borne on our behalf.

"Senators Graham, Burr and I have offered legislation that would provide veterans with a substantial increase in educational benefits. The bill we have sponsored would increase monthly education benefits to $1500; eliminate the $1200 enrollment fee; and offer a $1000 annually for books and supplies. Importantly, we would allow veterans to transfer those benefits to their spouses or dependent children or use a part of them to pay down existing student loans. We also increase benefits to the Guard and Reserve, and even more generously to those who serve in the Selected Reserve.

"I know that my friend and fellow veteran, Senator Jim Webb, an honorable man who takes his responsibility to veterans very seriously, has offered legislation with very generous benefits. I respect and admire his position, and I would never suggest that he has anything other than the best of intentions to honor the service of deserving veterans. Both Senator Webb and I are united in our deep appreciation for the men and women who risk their lives so that the rest of us may be secure in our freedom. And I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.

"The most important difference between our two approaches is that Senator Webb offers veterans who served one enlistment the same benefits as those offered veterans who have re-enlisted several times. Our bill has a sliding scale that offers generous benefits to all veterans, but increases those benefits according to the veteran's length of service. I think it is important to do that because, otherwise, we will encourage more people to leave the military after they have completed one enlistment. At a time when the United States military is fighting in two wars, and as we finally are beginning the long overdue and very urgent necessity of increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, one study estimates that Senator Webb's bill will reduce retention rates by 16%.

"Most worrying to me, is that by hurting retention we will reduce the numbers of men and women who we train to become the backbone of all the services, the noncommissioned officer. In my life, I have learned more from noncommissioned officers I have known and served with than anyone else outside my family. And in combat, no one is more important to their soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen, and to the officers who command them, than the sergeant and petty officer. They are very hard to replace. Encouraging people not to choose to become noncommissioned officers would hurt the military and our country very badly. As I said, the office of President, which I am seeking, is a great honor, indeed, but it imposes serious responsibilities. How faithfully the President discharges those responsibilities will determine whether he or she deserves the honor. I can only tell you I intend to deserve the honor if I am fo rtunate to receive it, even if it means I must take politically unpopular positions at times and disagree with people for whom I have the highest respect and affection.

"Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions. If that is how he would behave as President, the country would regret his election."

Talk about a direct hit! 

Simply stated, Mr. McCain reamed Mr. Obama.  Completely.

If Barack Obama thinks he's going to win a rhetorical battle with John McCain by playing politics with a military issue, he learned a major lesson here.  I wonder if his smugness and arrogance will allow it to seep in.

free unfortunately it doesn't matter what McCain says [or obama] it depends what/how the media reports it. (05/23/08)


Ken Berwitz

There is dumb.  There is dumber.  There is dumbest.   And there is Maxine Waters.

Please read the blog below, which is from  Then watch the video

Pay special attention to the people around Ms. Waters, as they try, not quite successfully, to suppress their laughter:

Video: Maxine Waters threatens to nationalize Americas oil industry

posted at 9:26 pm on May 22, 2008 by Allahpundit

Befitting the catastrophic stupidity of this idea, she doesnt even know what the proper term for it is. Im sitting here telling myself that Shep and the Foxies must have taken this out of context somehow since it would seem rather newsworthy and yet theres not a single article about it on the wires that I can find. Go figure. But here you go, one of the most alarming collectivist ad libs by a mainstream American politician since the last creepy thing Hillary said,whatever that may be.  Viva Chavez! 




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