Wednesday, 09 July 2008

THE HARD LEFT'S COMMITMENT TO BARACK OBAMA

Ken Berwitz

I am posting this for anyone who assumes that the take-no-prisoners left wing is unconditionally in Barack Obama's corner.  It comes to us from the highest-traffic left wing web site of them all, www.dailykos.com.

F*** the Democrats!

Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 08:30:27 AM PDT

F*** Reid, F*** Pelosi, F*** Hoyer, F***Rockefeller, and , yes, F*** Obama.  F*** em all!  

After 2 years, the Dems have given Bush everything he wanted, from a trillion dollars for Iraq, to the destruction of the Constitution.  Now Bush walks away.  He gets away with murder, war crimes, and treason.  Things will be worse under McCain?  They wont, because they already are.  If this FISA vote goes through, I am closing my checkbook and resigning from the Democratic Party after 45 years.  I had high hopes in 2006, and after Obamas nomination, but it is now clear that the Democrats are congenital cowards.  Nothing is going to change.

Do I think that this angry leftist is going to vote for Obama anyway?  Yeah, I do.

But will he work as hard for Obama?  Will he work for him at all?  Will he contribute the same amount as he might have?  No, I don't think so.

That is the risk Obama runs by alienating these people.  Will he gain more than he loses by doing so?  Time will tell.


FISA: THE LATEST OBAMA FLIP-FLOP (AND IT'S A DOOZY)

Ken Berwitz

Today Barack Obama committed another flip-flop.  A monumental one.

I'll let John Hinderaker of www.powerline.com tell the story:

Obama Flip-Flops on FISA

Standing with his party's hard-left wing through the primary season, Barack Obama consistently opposed granting immunity to telecoms who cooperated with the federal government's foreign terrorist surveillance program in the years after September 11. Obama went even farther by vowing to oppose any cloture motion on the FISA reform bill as long as it included telecom immunity. Jake Tapper has assembled the quotes, including this one from Obama's Senate office in December:

Senator Obama unequivocally opposes giving retroactive immunity to telecommunication companies and has cosponsored Senator Dodd's efforts to remove that provision from the FISA bill. Granting such immunity undermines the constitutional protections Americans trust the Congress to protect. Senator Obama supports a filibuster of this bill, and strongly urges others to do the same....Senator Obama will not be among those voting to end the filibuster.

Like everything Barack Obama says, that pledge was operative only as long as it was in Obama's political interest. Last month, he announced a change in position. He still favored the Dodd amendment to strip telecom immunity from the act, but said he would now vote in favor of cloture and in favor of final passage of the FISA reform bill.

Today, the FISA bill came up for a series of votes in the Senate. Consistent with the new position he announced last month, Obama voted for the Dodd amendment, to delete telecom immunity from the act. The Dodd amendment failed, 66-32. Later came the cloture vote, the one on which Obama had pledged to vote "No." Obama voted "Yes." He then voted with the 69-28 majority in favor of the act.

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over Obama's flip-flop on the Left. The Associated Press wailed and gnashed its teeth a bit over the bill's passage, as well. This is how the AP began its story on the Senate vote:

Bowing to President Bush's demands, the Senate sent the White House a bill Wednesday overhauling bitterly disputed rules on secret government eavesdropping and shielding telecommunications companies from lawsuits complaining they helped the U.S. spy on Americans.

The Senate "bowed to President Bush's demands" in a 69-28 vote? In a parallel universe, the AP might have begun its story, "The Senate voted today, enthusiastically and overwhelmingly, to continue President Bush's program of keeping Americans safe by spying on terrorists overseas." But that's not a world any of us are likely to live long enough to see.

Bottom line:  In an effort to make himself more salable to the political center - i.e. the folks you need if you want to win a national election - Barack Obama is not only disillusioning (and infuriating) his hard left base, but is showing everyone, regardless of their politics, that he is nothing more than a politician who will do or say anything to win.   Right out of central casting.

Some of us knew this about him all along.  We're not surprised.  It is the ones who didn't know this about him all along, and thought he was some paragon of principled rectitude, who are taking the hit.  And it is a big one.


IRAN'S MISSILE TESTS AND THE CANDIDATES' REACTION TO THEM

Ken Berwitz

Iran tested 9 missiles yesterday - and bragged that they could hit any part of Israel, the country they are assuring us they will wipe off the face of the earth. 

All the talking, all the diplomacy, all the tact and all the wishing and hoping did not prevent this. 

The UN will probably issue a statement deploring what Iran has done.  Nobody cares and it doesn't change a damn thing.

But you might be interested in what our two presidential candidates are saying about it.

Here, via an excerpt from the Associated Press article, are their positions:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday that Iran's missile tests highlight the need for direct diplomacy as well as tougher threats of economic sanctions and strong incentives to persuade Tehran to change its behavior.

John McCain, the Republican seeking the presidency, said the tests demonstrate a need for effective missile defense, including missile defense in Europe and the defense system the U.S. plans with the Czech Republic and Poland.

"Working with our European and regional allies is the best way to meet the threat posed by Iran, not unilateral concessions that undermine multilateral diplomacy," McCain said in a statement

Obama has been criticized by Republicans for being too eager to engage enemies of the U.S. in talks. Asked how he would respond to the missile tests if he were president, Obama said he would confer with his national security team to find out whether "this indicates any new capabilities on Iran's part."

I urge you to think long and hard about which of these positions makes more sense to you.  Because we will be living with that decision for the next four years.

Russ Vote for me instead because if elected, I promise to carpet bomb the entire Middle East with with neutron bombs, thus ridding the world of current and future terrorists yet saving the buildings for tourism and the oil wells to supply our gas pumps. And, I promise to nuke any country that gives me any shit. In fact, if I just think they are going to give me shit, I will eliminate them. (07/09/08)


FOX NEWS: THE CHOICE OF.....DEMOCRATS (?!)

Ken Berwitz

Is that title a goof or is it real?  Well, here are the facts, short and sweet, which come to us from an article written by Mark Koldys of www.newsbusters.org (which you can read in its entirety by clicking here). 

The relevant passage is as follows:

In Q2, 2008 Fox News Channel averaged 1,585,000 viewers. CNN: 961,000, MSNBC: 685,000. So according to the PEW survey, how many of these are Democrats? Numbers don't lie:

  • FNC (31% Democratic): 491,350 Dem viewers
  • CNN (45% Democratic): 432,450 Dem viewers
  • MSNBC (48% Democratic): 328,800 Dem viewers

Yes, it's true. More Democrats watch Fox News Channel than either CNN or MSNBC.

Omigod.  Can it be?  Apparently the answer is yes, it can.  More DEMOCRATS watch Fox News than CNN or MSNBC.

In previous blogs I have laughed about keith olberman's daily "seething fury" posturing and commented that he exaggerates it so much that it looks like his head will explode. 

I wonder what would happen if olbermann reported these data (which I guarantee he will not).  Maybe this time his head would explode for real. 


IRAQ'S TIMETABLE DEMAND

Ken Berwitz

Remember the story of The Little Red Hen?  If not, you can read it by clicking here

The Little Red Hen is a short children's story generally credited to Joseph Jacobs, which teaches a very important lesson -- that some people (ok, in the story they're animals) are perfectly willing to reap the benefit of someone else's efforts.

With this in mind, the prime minister of Iraq, nouri al-maliki - a man who would not be prime minister without the expenditure of our blood and treasure - is now telling us he wants a timetable for our withdrawal from Iraq, the country we alone enabled him to lead. 

But before you throw up your hands in disgust, there is a little more to it than meets the eye: 

-From a political perspective, this is a smart move, maybe even a necessary one for al-maliki.  As long as the Arab world and the world in general think of him as holding power only because of the USA, he will get no respect from them, and probably little within Iraq as well.  What better time to assert himself than after most of his country, but not all of it is secure, and he has a military capability (we think) of keeping it that way and expanding that security?

-The fact that al-maliki is posturing as if Iraqis alone are responsible for the vastly improved conditions in Iraq gives him prestige and credibility in his geographic neighborhood - which he desperately needs.

-And, despite the offensive way al-maliki has stated this, he is not actually demanding that we leave completely.  Here is an excerpt from today's Wall Street Journal article, which lays out the political game he is playing (the bold print is mine):

A year ago, the conventional Beltway wisdom had it that Iraq was a failed state. Today, the same wisdom holds that it is less chaotic but still fragile, dependent entirely on a U.S. presence to survive. But judging by recent comments from Nouri al-Maliki, even this view may be out of date.

Addressing Arab ambassadors in Abu Dhabi on Monday, the Iraqi prime minister made headlines by saying his government was "looking at the necessity of terminating the foreign presence on Iraqi lands and restoring full sovereignty." Mr. Maliki has also been playing hardball with the Bush Administration in concluding a status-of-forces agreement by the end of the year, when the current U.N. mandate authorizing the U.S. presence in Iraq expires.

Mr. Maliki's comments are an assertion of confidence in his country's stability and not without cause. Fully nine of Iraq's 18 provinces are now under domestic security control. Al Qaeda is being smoked out of its last urban refuge in Mosul. The Iraqi army has performed with increasing skill and confidence against Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, which has also been ousted from its urban strongholds. Iraq will take in some $70 billion in oil revenue this year. T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oil magnate, told us yesterday that Iraq could double its current production, to five million barrels a day, in coming years.

More important, Iraq seems to have been able to consolidate the security gains achieved by the surge, even as the last of the surge brigades deployed in 2007 are now returning to the U.S. That makes further reductions in U.S. force levels look increasingly plausible, a further validation of President Bush's "return on success" strategy.

Mr. Maliki's comments were also designed for domestic Iraqi political consumption another sign of that country's robust democratic debate. With elections scheduled for the autumn, Mr. Maliki wants to show he's nobody's pawn, especially not America's. The Sadrists continue to play the nationalist card, even as they are themselves pawns of Iran. The rise of Iraqi nationalism is inevitable and largely welcome as a unifying national force. Remember all of those who said an Iraqi Shiite government would merely be a tool of Iran?

The Prime Minister is also making it clear to his Arab neighbors that his government is not about to collapse. Apparently, they believe him: Jordan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have announced plans to break the Arab diplomatic embargo of Iraq and return their ambassadors to Baghdad; the UAE has also forgiven $7 billion of Iraqi debt. Perhaps Saudi Arabia and Egypt will follow.

The significant question now is the pace and extent of any U.S. withdrawal, and the nature of any long-term U.S. military presence. Despite Mr. Maliki's comments, Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie was quick to add that the call for a timetable for U.S. withdrawal was "conditioned on the ability of Iraqi forces to provide security," according to the Associated Press. In other words, Mr. Maliki is not endorsing the Barack Obama agenda of immediate U.S. withdrawal starting on January 20.

Over the next few days - and probably throughout the presidential campaign - you are almost certain to hear Barack Obama and his people telling you that al-maliki is in agreement with his position on Iraq.  I hope this helps you to know better. 

I will end with this short and sweet analysis by Glenn Reynolds of www.instapundit.com:

July 08, 2008

IRAQ WANTS A WITHDRAWAL TIMETABLE? They're talking 2011. Tell 'em "sure." There's probably a fair-sized haggling component here, but it doesn't matter: If they want us to leave, we should say "no problem." Saddam's gone, the insurgency's back is broken, and while big U.S. bases in the area might be a stabilizing force in the region, they might not. Leaving because the elected Iraqi government asks us to is winning, not turning tail and ensuring defeat, which is what we would have done had we listened to Obama, the Iraq Study Group, et al. a couple of years ago.

Of course, ideally we'd leave via Tehran and Riyadh . . .


EAT AS I SAY, NOT AS I EAT

Ken Berwitz

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the draconian restrictions being demanded of food suppliers at the Democratic convention in Denver.  All they were missing was a bean sprout exhibit and book-burning pit for every cookbook with a recipe for fried foods.

But look at what has happened since.  This comes to us from the Denver Post:

Rest assured: Chicken tenders and doughnuts will make appearances at the Democratic National Convention.

In the midst of media mockery and embarrassment among national Democrats that Denver had declared fried foods a party foul and had ordered multihued entrees, the Denver host committee has softened an original document that called for caterers to be "lean and green."

Local officials are now calling the 12 stipulations laid out in a May Request for Proposal to caterers "guidelines."

The May request asked caterers to make "every effort" to accomplish healthy goals and called for:

Three-colored meals selected from the following palette: red, green, yellow, purple and white.

Half of the plate should belong to fruits and vegetables.

No fried foods.

The use of 70 percent organic or Colorado-grown ingredients.

A memo, titled "Fiction Fuels Frivolous Food Fight," will be issued later this week in an attempt to bring everyone caterers, national Democratic operatives tired of tongue-in-cheek press about it back from the ledge.

"Maybe we didn't do a very good job on the outset," said Chris Lopez, spokesman for the Denver host committee. "We'll take criticism for not presenting it well. It's a guideline. It's a recommendation. It's not to say we have lean and green mandates."

National convention spokeswoman Natalie Wyeth was more blunt with the host group's early efforts to be healthy.

"I think putting rules in place regarding the colors of food . . . is a bit over the top," she said. "We're offering a full range of choices . . . French fries, chicken tenders, and fish and chips."

The changes come too late for a bevy of caterers who have already spent dozens of hours crafting menus that fit with the host committee's initial desires.

It took Darby Donohue 100 hours to create a farmer's-market-themed party, with local growers standing by their wares that included salsa, tortillas, homemade breads, local meats and tamales.

Donohue, chief executive of Gourmet Fine Catering, didn't get the bid. He's disappointed but said he's taking the idea to several private parties he will work before and during the convention, which runs Aug. 25-28.

Because of cost concerns, the local host committee has scaled back plans for 24 parties and instead will be throwing only two a media party on the Saturday before the convention and a state delegation welcome party the following day.

Other greening efforts, promoted by local officials and the national convention committee, are underway.

People from 23 states have purchased $7.50 carbon credits with their plane tickets that will go to wind turbines in Colorado and Minnesota.

Only three states California, Nevada and Vermont have 100 percent of delegates participating.

A "carbon calculator" will be installed so visitors can see their carbon footprint.

In recent days, the Democratic National Convention Committee has worked hard to dispel the myth that fried foods are prohibited.

At a national media gathering Tuesday, public-affairs chief Jenni Engebret sen told reporters that there would be plenty of the unhealthy stuff to go around.

And when reporters entered the Pepsi Center, committee staffers were pushing Lamar's "fried" doughnuts.

The moral of this story is simple.  Democrats might be able to get great polling results by promoting PC behavior.  But they cannot legislate it.  Not even among themselves.

Pass the fries, and some ketchup too.

JJ I think Obama offers the best engine for change and offering hope to solve these types of issues!! www.beemike.com (07/09/08)


HARRY REID BLAMES BUSH FOR CONGRESS' POLL NUMBERS!!

Ken Berwitz

You cannot make this stuff up.

Harry Reid, ever vigilant in his efforts to sound like a circus clown who overdosed on valium, now is blaming the godawful approval ratings for our Democratic-controlled congress on......President Bush.

This is NOT a typo.  You read it correctly. 

Harry Reid is telling you that approval ratings for congress, both houses of which are controlled by Democrats, are down the crapper because voters don't like the Republican.

This is so bizarre that, if I were you, I would demand proof he really said it.  So here is your proof, straight from www.thehill.com:

July 8, 2008

Reid Ties Congress's Approval Rating to Bush

@ 4:16 pm by Chris Good

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today pointed to President Bushs unpopularity as an explanation for Congresss single-digit approval rating.

"Any time you have a president that is down so, so far in poll numbers, it drags down a city councilmember. It drags down any elected official, including us, and we recognize that," Reid said when asked about Congresss rating.

Rasmussen reported today that Congresss approval rating has slipped to 9 percentdown two percentage points from last month, and the first-ever single-digit rating for Congress in Rasmussens history.

Polls this month show Bushs approval between 29 and 30 percent. But Reid said pollsters told him Bushs rating is lower.

"I had a meeting last night with some pollsters and other consultants. One of them said that the president's approval rating is down, I think he said, 11 percent," Reid said.

There is so much idiocy in what Reid said that it's hard to keep up:

-Lower ratings for President Bush, a Republican, should ELEVATE a congress controlled by Democrats, not lower it.  At the very least it should not cause the congress to drop also.

-Since congress has fallen significantly below President Bush, isn't there a logical argument that it is congress dragging Bush down and not the opposite?

-If we ignore everyone else and accept the comment of one unnamed pollster/consultant,  President Bush is down 11%, from the 29% - 30% range the polls are showing. That would put Mr. Bush at 26% - 27%.  Isn't that still more than triple where the congress is?

You may be wondering what your job is in all this, so let me tell you:  Your job is to be an ignorant, ridiculous, pathetic, hopeless idiot.  That is what Harry Reid wants you to be.  Because if you are not these things, you cannot accept what he is saying.

As the army used to say, "Be all that you can be".  If this is all that you can be, you'll be highly impressed with Harry Reid.  If you can be more, you will have a markedly different reaction to his BS.

Your call.

free Atleast he didn't blame global warming. ;) (07/09/08)


A MORALE-BUILDER FOR NEW ORLEANS POLICE

Ken Berwitz

I used to have a poster in my office with various silly sayings.  One of them was:  "Eat a live toad first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day"

Well, read this story from Brendan McCarthy of the New Orleans Times-Picayune about a retiring New Orleans police officer and it's an excellent bet you won't read anything more imbecilic about the treatment of a retiring police officer for the rest of your life:

NOPD officer suspended for wearing the wrong uniform

by Brendan McCarthy, The Times-Picayune
Wednesday July 09, 2008, 8:41 AM

NOPD officer Robert L. Guidry in 2005

With minutes left in the last shift of his 35-year New Orleans police career, Sgt. Bobby Guidry received a call from a supervisor telling him he had been suspended for wearing the wrong uniform shirt, the veteran officer said.

The Police Department confirmed the censure Tuesday, though it quibbled with the term "suspended." Rather, Guidry is "under investigation for wearing the wrong uniform," said Police Department spokesman Bob Young.

Instead of the standard-issue all-black uniform, Guidry, a veteran officer in the city's Uptown 2nd District, chose the powder-blue uniform shirt that he wore to work for more than three decades.

He viewed it as a simple statement, not an affront to rules or department leadership.

"Eighteen people died in the line of duty in that powder-blue shirt while I was with the department," Guidry said. "I went to each of those funerals. I wore that shirt on a Saturday, on my last day, out of respect for them."

Police brass apparently didn't appreciate the sartorial statement, which took place June 28. Young said the improper uniform complaint originated in the 2nd District. The department's Public Integrity Bureau then opened a formal investigation with about 15 minutes left in Guidry's career.

The punishment will not affect Guidry's pension or benefits, but, as it stands now, he will not receive his retired police commission and will not be accepted into the NOPD's reserve unit, for which he had applied, Young said.

Superintendent Warren Riley, who could not be reached for comment, was apprised of the investigation, Young said.

Young said Riley stressed that "an officer has to maintain professionalism at all times, whether it is his first or last day."

For Guidry, the whole affair turned what might have been a bittersweet day simply bitter.

Guidry said a Police Department investigator called him and suggested he "write a letter to the chief and apologize."

He hasn't done that yet.

"What do I apologize for?" Guidry said. "I wore the wrong shirt. . . . I'll take a letter of reprimand, but a suspension? That's rough."

Guidry's attorney, Eric Hessler, said the retired officer will cooperate with investigators but appeal the disciplinary action. He called the timing of the reprimand particularly disrespectful to Guidry's many years of service.

"He was literally moving his stuff from his office into his car," Hessler said Tuesday. "He was basically done."

On his last day, Guidry said his supervisor advised him that he was suspended and a city employee called him days later with the same news. He has since received no paperwork or formal reprimand, and he said he hasn't been interviewed by NOPD internal investigators.

Young disagreed with the term "suspended," but he said Guidry's permanent record will reflect that he "retired under investigation."

The powder-blue uniform shirt had been worn by officers since the Police Department's inception. Riley changed the uniform after Hurricane Katrina to all-black uniforms.

"A lot of uniforms were displaced after the storm, and they wanted to eliminate the possibility of uniforms getting into the hands of criminals," Young said of the change.

Some officers protested the change. Many complained that the all-black uniform was too hot and that it bucked tradition.

Riley, in what some in the Police Department call a move to boost morale, recently announced that the department would revert to powder-blue shirts, probably by the first of the year.

There must not be much criminal activity in New Orleans.  Otherwise they'd never do something like this, would they?  There would be activities far more worthy of police action then, wouldn't there?

For god sake, reinstate Robert L. Guidry's retired police commission, welcome him to the reserve unit.....and offer him a heartfelt apology.

If you ever wondered why the leadership of New Orleans, police and otherwise, was so unbelievably useless before, during and after hurricane Katrina, this should help your understanding along.


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