Tuesday, 17 June 2008


Ken Berwitz

If I were John McCain  I would be salivating at the thought of Barack Obama engaging him on military and national security matters.  And here is Mr. Obama, doing just that. 

Let me show you what I'm talking about, via excerpts from an Associated Press article:

Democrat Barack Obama says he'll take no lectures from Republicans on who will keep America safer. GOP rival John McCain's campaign criticized Obama Tuesday for speaking approvingly of the successful prosecution of terrorists.

A McCain aide said, "Obama is a perfect manifestation of a September 10th mind-set" and does not understand the dangers posed by U.S. adversaries.

Obama told reporters that the Republicans have no "standing to suggest that they've learned a lot of lessons from 9-11."

He said they "helped to engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9-11." He said Osama bin Laden is still at large in part because of their failed strategies.


Did Mr. Obama happen to notice that we invaded AFGHANISTAN before we invaded Iraq?  Did he happen to notice that it was there, not in Iraq, that we may have "pinned down" osama bin laden (no one knows for sure if we did) and that he escaped into one of the countless caves in that forlorn, desolate region before we even sent one soldier to take out Saddam?

Barack Obama sounds glisteningly eloquent.....when he is on script.  But when he is not, he can sound like what he is;  a rsum-less political neophyte who doesn't know what he's talking about.

If the people of this country elect Barack Obama on the grounds that he has a better grasp of military and national security issues than John McCain, we are going to deserve what we get for the four years we'll be paying for it.


Ken Berwitz

Is the Obama campaign going to attack John McCain for being 71 years of age?  Are Mr. Obama's people going to imply, without saying it in so many words, that Mr. McCain is senile or doddering or over the hill or incapacitated?

Seems so.

Read this piece from Carrie Budoff Brown of www.politico.com and see for yourself.  Be sure to pay special attention to the bold-printed quote from the shameless fool, John Murtha:

Are Dems talking about McCains age in code?


In a campaign year marked by flare-ups surrounding comments that have offended one group or another, John McCain and Barack Obama have moved on to the next sensitive battleground: the question of McCains advanced age.

As some Republicans see it, Democrats are deliberately talking in code about the presumptive 71-year-old GOP nominee as part of an attempt to highlight his age.

It is code; there is no question it is, Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist who helped lead President Ronald Reagans 1984 reelection campaign, said when age surfaced as an issue. They are trying to raise doubts.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough repeatedly argued on his show last week that the Obama campaign was portraying McCain as a doddering, old, confused fool. He needs to go to Miami Beach and play checkers.  

To Democrats, however, Republicans are imagining slights and smears where there are none as part of an attempt to silence any discussion of McCains vigor. 

They are definitely trying to just put a lid on the kind of language we use, said Democratic consultant Jonathan Prince.  

Obama aides deny any strategy to highlight age, and Obama, 46, himself told reporters last month that age should not be a factor. Indeed, he used to compliment McCains half-century of service to the country as a Vietnam War veteran and a member of Congress, but after McCain campaign manager Rick Davis argued that it was a sly way to inject age into the debate, Obama dropped the reference in February.  

But a Democratic strategist not involved in the campaign, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said he sees footprints of a deliberate Obama campaign strategy.

They have made allusions to McCains age and temperament because, with McCain, both his age and his volatile temper are legitimate issues. There is a line of appropriateness that they cannot cross. And I dont think they have, the strategist said.

Certainly there have been times when Democrats have tackled the issue head-on, as Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) has several times in recent months.  

The older you get, the more difficult it is to have the energy to confront these things, Murtha, who turns 76 on Tuesday, said in an interview with ThinkProgress, a liberal blog. I know myself. I have to pace myself. Im the same age he is. He said I was senile a couple of years ago. Well, thats beside the point, whether Im senile. But I just believe that his age is going to be very difficult for him to become a good commander in chief, because the decisions are so difficult. 

The issue is no small matter for McCain. Polls in recent months found voters more likely to take into consideration his age than Obamas race, which explains why the McCain campaign has turned into ersatz word police, calling foul on even the slightest hint of a reference to the Republicans age. 

McCain senior adviser Mark Salter rebuked Obama last month for saying that the Arizonan was losing his bearings. Obama, who was defending against charges that Hamas wanted him to win in November, protested that the phrase has nothing to do with age. 

But when Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) each described McCain as confused last week, Republicans became convinced that Democrats intend to run a crypto-ageist strategy, using words that create a subtle impression in voters minds.  

McCain himself did little to wave reporters off the narrative. 

Im obviously disappointed in a comment like that, McCain said when asked about Kerrys statement that the Republican confuses facts about Iran, Al Qaeda, and Sunni and Shiite Muslims.  

Kerry called the suggestion that his comments had something to do with age unfair and even ridiculous.

But the dynamic of Obamas running against a candidate whos a quarter of a century older is nonetheless creating an environment where some Democrats see the need to self-censor, proving that the McCain offensive is already working.

I was going to say, He lost his grip, said Democratic consultant Jonathan Prince, recalling a recent appearance on CNNs Situation Room. Those are normal words you use when you are involved in campaigns. You say, They are nuts, they are off their rocker, they lost it. They have become very adept at grabbing every opportunity they can to turn it into a personal slur.

They can't come right out and call McCain too old to be President.  Evidently, however, they are going to end-around their predicament by calling him the adjectives that go along with being too old, in the hope that voters will catch on.

The truth?  As a political strategy it's not half bad.  I can't say I wouldn't do the same if I were the Obama people. 

Now let's move on to another issue:  john murtha (whose comments above are in bold print) and the latest Haditha verdict.

Did you know that the "Haditha massacre"-related charges against another marine were dismissed today?  Do you know that not one marine has been convicted of murder or anything remotely close to it?  Did you know that the more information comes out, the less it looks like this was any massacre at all?

And did you know that john murtha, who - based on his own quote in this article -  thinks 76 years old equals 71 years old and that whether he is senile is beside the point, still has not retracted his despicable condemnation of these marines as cold-blooded murderers yet? 

This arrogant, corrupt sack of manure can't even bring himself to say he might have been mistaken.

Do I ask too much for the Obama camp to distance itself from murtha?  I guess I do. 


Ken Berwitz

Did you catch Al Gore's standup routine last night on behalf of Barack Obama?  The one in which he blamed George Bush and John McCain for everything but Derek Jeter's batting slump? 

Well, you might be interested to know how the man who made a fortune on the energy conservation issue is doing when it comes to his own energy conservation.

Here's your answer:

Energy Guzzled by Al Gores Home in Past Year Could Power 232 U.S. Homes for a Month
Gores personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite energy-efficient home renovations

NASHVILLE - In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice Presidents home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.

A mans commitment to his beliefs is best measured by what he does behind the closed doors of his own home, said Drew Johnson, President of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. Al Gore is a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to his commitment to the environment, judging by his home energy consumption.

In the past year, Gores home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month.

In February 2007, An Inconvenient Truth, a film based on a climate change speech developed by Gore, won an Academy Award for best documentary feature. The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research uncovered that Gores Nashville home guzzled 20 times more electricity than the average American household.

After the Tennessee Center for Policy Research exposed Gores massive home energy use, the former Vice President scurried to make his home more energy-efficient. Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the homes windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the green overhaul.

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month 1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations at a cost of $16,533. By comparison, the average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

In the wake of becoming the most well-known global warming alarmist, Gore won an Oscar, a Grammy and the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, Gore saw his personal wealth increase by an estimated $100 million thanks largely to speaking fees and investments related to global warming hysteria.

Actions speak louder than words, and Gores actions prove that he views climate change not as a serious problem, but as a money-making opportunity, Johnson said. Gore is exploiting the publics concern about the environment to line his pockets and enhance his profile.

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a Nashville-based free market think tank and watchdog organization, obtained information about Gores home energy use through a public records request to the Nashville Electric Service.

Media, particularly the folks over at MSNBC, had a field day with Gore's 2008 coming-out party for Mr. Obama.  Let's see how much coverage they give this inconvenient information.


Ken Berwitz

There is no one on cable news more objectionable to me than keith olbermann.  I consider him a viciously nasty partisan, without journalistic ethics or decency. 

He is also a liar.

I've pointed out olbermann's lies before, so readers of this blog certainly know what I'm talking about.  But yesterday was the topper of them all.

olbermann does a segment each day in which he sarcastically identifies the three "worst people/entities in the world".  The idea itself is pretty clever, credit where credit is due.  But olbermann's follow-through is not.  Virtually every political "worst person in the world" is a Republican or someone from Fox News - most often Bill O'Reilly, for whom olbermann has an obsessive, pathological hatred.

Yesterday's "worst person in the world" was Fox News.  No one person in particular, but the entire network. 

The reason, according to olbermann, was that the network's morning show, Fox & Friends, attacked Tim Russert before he was even in the ground.  Here are his exact words:

"If you want to do a segment dismissing the late Tim Russert as a member of the liberal media, if you want to continue to feed the delusions of your viewers that the failures of their lives are the fault of somebody else, like TV news, and not their own responsibility, if you want to find an excuse for the daily two minute's hate, and this time it's got to be Tim and whoever might succeed him, go ahead.  It's what you do.  It's the only thing you're even vaguely good at.  But, for God sake, do you have to do it the first morning of the first weekday after the man has died?  Could you not shut the spigot off just for a little while?  Could you not wait until after we have a funeral?  Of course you couldn't.  You're Fox News.  And you are the worst persons in the world"

Wow.  That was extremly powerful.  olbermann summoned all the controlled rage he could muster and spat out each word with that angry "my head is about to explode" look -- the one he has down pat and uses on every one of his shows that I have ever seen.

But there is a bit of a problem.

The problem is that Fox didn't do any such thing.  What olbermann said is a flat-out lie.  Fox had a guest on, Andrew Breitbart, who joined with the Fox personnel in saying absolutely nothing negative about Mr. Russert.  But...and maybe this is the reason for olbermann's lie...he did say something negative about olbermann and his only marginally less objectionable station-mate, Chris Matthews.

But don't take my word for it.  Here is a video of the entire segment.    See if you can find even one negative word about Tim Russert on it:

Please note that I've done something olbermann didn't do.  I've given you a look at and a listen to what actually was said.  Did you come across anything negative about Tim Russert?  No you did not.  And the reason, obviously, is that it isn't there.

Here's a handy rule of thumb, especially for olbermann's show:  If you are subjected to a condemnatory diatribe by a cable news host, but the host doesn't show you even one second of what he is condemning, get suspicious.  Get very suspicious.  It could mean that there isn't anything to show.  Like, for example,  in the video referenced above. 

The truth, as you can plainly see, is that Fox News did not do what olbermann said.   He knows it.  And now you do too. 

But, within that segment, Mr. Breitbart did say something negative about keith olbermann (and even moreso about his station-mate Chris Matthews) -- he tied olbermann to MSNBC's "leftward lurch".   

Maybe, just maybe, the fact that olbermann was classified as a left winger, which implicitly suggests he would not be a good replacement for Tim Russert, is the real cause of his holier-than-thou canned anger.  Maybe olbermann's rage has nothing to do with Mr. Russert at all.  Maybe keith olbermann cares a lot more about his own ambitions than he does about anything relating to Tim Russert.

Bottom line?  Olbermann is a liar - and a nasty one at that.  Does his personal ambition supersede his concern about Tim Russert's untimely death?  We can only guess.

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