Friday, 20 November 2009


Ken Berwitz

Regular readers of this blog know that I am no fan at all of political polls (though I do put some stock in the directional movement of a poll from wave to wave). 

But, since so many people see them as some kind of holy grail, I thought it might be interesting to note that, as of today, four major polls have Barack Obama's approval rating below 50%.

First it was Rasmussen, which currently has Mr. Obama at 46% approval and Zogby, which currently has him at 49%.  Then it was Quinnipiac, which has him at 48%.  And today it is Gallup, where he just dropped to 49%.

Importantly, these are not minor polling organizations or partisan push-pollers.  These are the majors. 

What does it mean?  I don't know.

Could Mr. Obama bounce back?  Yes, of course he could and it is certainly not at all out of the question -- any more that it is that he could fall further.

Will our wonderful "neutral" media be reporting that this many major polling organizations now have him in negative territory now?

Well, watch the network news, watch the morning shows, read the papers, and see.  (Or is that not see)?

Ken Berwitz free - point very well taken. The worst disparity I've seen - from a CNN poll on reaction to Obama' health care speech - had 18% of the sample Republican and 45% Democrat. You can see it for yourself by going to Then they wonder why people call them biased. (11/20/09)

free` I would like to see the breakdown of the sample that they used. Most polls i have seen over-sample the democrats, if these polls also did that then obama's numbers are even worse than these polls show. (11/20/09)


Ken Berwitz

I don't know much about the Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman.  But, based on what he has written about Senator (in name, anyway) Roland Burris, I can tell you that what I do know about him I like.  A lot.

You have to like a man this blunt and honest:

Roland Burris is a lying snake

The Senate Select Committee on Ethics has completed its investigation of Sen. Roland Burris, and his office is trumpeting its finding that he committed no "actionable violations of the law." What his press release didn't mention is that the committee also found he had provided "incorrect, inconsistent, misleading or incomplete information" about his appointment to the Senate. Which is senatorese for, "Pants on fire!"

Where did His Ego fall short of complete truthfulness? He first denied having any contact with Gov. Rod Blagojevich or his representatives about being appointed to Barack Obama's vacant seat. Then he said only that he had talked with the governor's former chief of staff, Lon Monk. At that point, despite its skepticism, the Senate let him be sworn in.

Then, and only then, did Burris amend his earlier testimony to admit contacts with five other Blagojevich cronies. Later yet, he acknowledged conversations with the governor's brother--including one in which (as a wiretap revealed) he promised to donate to the governor's campaign, offered to try to raise money for him, and expressed an intense desire for the Senate job. All of which sounded like a quid pro quo.

Why didn't he provide that information sooner? Because if he had, the Senate wouldn't have seated him. He lied to get an office he lusted after, and that he couldn't have gotten any other way.

The result is that he gets to call himself a senator and can boast that he's never been indicted. But to most Illinoisans, Burris will always be remembered as a lying snake.

I owe the readers of this blog an apology.  When Burris was selected by Blagojevich, I wrote that, at least on paper, he appeared to be one of the few relatively honest politicians in Illinois. 

Boy was I wrong.  Roland Burris is to honesty what Sarah Palin is to the keith olbermann fan club.


Ken Berwitz

I stole that title from the editorial in today's New York Post, which (justifiably) hammers Harry Reid for trying to ram an awful, unworkable, dishonest crap sandwich of a health care bill through the senate this weekend:

The health-deform express

Comments: 1

Last Updated: 2:51 AM, November 20, 2009

Posted: November 20, 2009


The Democrats' health-care express is on the move again -- too quickly for Americans to absorb the long-term implications of its potentially devastating impact on the US economy.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled his latest bill Wednesday, complete with a Congressional Budget Office analysis suggesting it would cost $849 billion over 10 years -- well below the president's $900 billion ceiling.


In fact, the actual cost of the Reid bill is three times that figure.


Yet Reid aims to push through a critical procedural vote on the bill this weekend, which will demonstrate whether he has the 60-vote "supermajority" needed to derail a GOP filibuster.


Already, some previous Democratic holdouts are expressing initial support -- though Connecticut's Joe Lieberman and Arkansas' Blanche Lincoln are standing firm.


Good for them: The Reid bill is no improvement over the radical health-care legislation that squeaked through the House two weeks ago.


Let's start with its supposed cost: The CBO reached its figure only because the bill front-loads 10 years of revenue -- the taxes that take effect right away -- versus only seven years of expenses, since the plan doesn't kick in until 2014.


All gimmicks aside, the 10-year cost of actual implementation of the Reid bill is a staggering $2.5 trillion.


Moreover, the CBO figure relies on a 23 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to physicians that everyone on Capitol Hill admits -- privately, anyway -- will never happen.


In fact, the CBO itself acknowledges that "the long-term budgetary impact could be quite different if key provisions of the bill were ultimately changed or not put into effect."

And, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bill, it does next to nothing about America's real health-care problem: soaring medical costs.


But, like Pelosi's bill, it provides for a "public option" that inevitably would lead to a government takeover of health care, de facto rationing, a massive expansion of Medicaid -- and billions in new taxes and private-sector mandates.


No surprise, then, that the new Quinnipiac Poll shows that Americans disapprove of that plan by 51 percent to 35 percent -- with independents opposed by 2-to-1.


But is Congress paying attention?


The next couple of days will tell.

Read it fast, senators:  you've got less than two days to absorb its over-2000 pages.

And remember what you saw earlier this week, when people from BOTH parties rose up against the idiotic, ill conceived death-panelish idea of denying women most of the mammograms currently recommended by the American Cancer Soceity. 

If this bill has other equally (or even more) idiotic, ill conceived, death-panelish ideas, YOU will be held responsible for voting them into law.  I suggest you think about that in your spare moments, as you try to digest the equivalent of over 8 good-sized novels in less than 48 hours.

Transparency in government?  My ass.


Ken Berwitz

Here is a simple, easy-to-understand explanation of the Republican position on filibustering judicial nominees.  It comes to us from Paul Mirengoff, at  The bold print is mine:

A hack argument

November 20, 2009 Posted by Paul at 9:42 AM

There's a stock column appearing in left-liberal MSM outlets all over the country, The author varies, but the main point is the same: Republican Senators are guilty of "hypocrisy" for attempting to filibuster one of President Obama's judicial nominees after having criticized Democrats for filibustering a host of President Bush's nominees a few years ago. This piece by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post is an example of the genre.

But why is it hypocritical for Republicans to resist a regime under which judges nominated by a Republican president need 60 votes for confirmation -- as so many did for years and some did until the bitter end -- while judges nominated by a Democratic president need only 50 votes? Milbank has no answer. His response to Senator Sessions' articulation of this point is to sniff "Un-huh."

This is vintage Milbank -- fourth-rate analysis coupled with third-rate irony.

 That's pretty simple and easy to understand, isn't it?  So how come Dana Milbank and so many others decline to understand it?

Could it be media bias?  Naaaaaahhhh.


Ken Berwitz

Finally, if belatedly, the Obama administration is starting to take it on the chin for our lousy economy - from Democrats as well as Republicans (hey, they have to run in 2010 also).

Here, excerpted from today's Washington Post article, are some examples of how it is happening:

Angry Congress lashes out at Obama
House Republicans call on Geithner to resign


By Brady Dennis, Zachary A. Goldfarb and Neil Irwin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 20, 2009

Growing discontent over the economy and frustration with efforts to speed its recovery boiled over Thursday on Capitol Hill in a wave of criticism and outright anger directed at the Obama administration.

Episodes in both houses of Congress exposed the raw nerves of lawmakers flooded with stories of unemployment and economic hardship back home. They also underscored the stiff headwinds that the administration faces as it pushes to enact sweeping changes to the financial regulatory system while also trying to create jobs for ordinary Americans.

President Obama's allies in the Congressional Black Caucus, exasperated by the administration's handling of the economy, unexpectedly blocked one his top priorities, using a legislative maneuver to postpone the approval of financial reform legislation by a key House committee.

Two buildings away, at a session of the Joint Economic Committee, Republicans escalated their attacks on Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, including a call for his resignation.

"Conservatives agree that as point person, you failed. Liberals are growing in that consensus as well," said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.). "For the sake of our jobs, will you step down from your post?"

Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Tex.) took a different tack. "I don't think that you should be fired," he told Geithner. "I thought you should have never been hired."

Even Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), a friend of the administration, suggested that Geithner had been inconsistent in addressing China's practice of keeping its currency low against the dollar.

And Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said Wednesday on MSNBC that he thinks Geithner should step down, pointing to his handling of the aftermath of American International Group's meltdown.

Across Capitol Hill, senators signaled their opposition to rushing regulatory reform. While some Democrats voiced reservations about parts of the bill, Republicans went further, faulting Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) for pushing ahead before the roots of the crisis were understood.

Perhaps most troubling for the administration was that one of the few measures to succeed Thursday was an amendment by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) that would subject the Federal Reserve to unprecedented scrutiny. The amendment, which won bipartisan support in the House Financial Services Committee despite the reservations of administration officials, would allow the Government Accountability Office to audit all of the Fed's operations, including its decisions on interest rates and its transactions with foreign central banks.

Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, chose the marbled Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building -- site of past hearings on Watergate, Pearl Harbor and the Wall Street abuses during the Great Depression -- to open debate on a massive draft bill designed to achieve the most ambitious reworking of the financial system in decades.

"This is one of those moments in our nation's history that compels us to be bold," Dodd said.

But soon, ranking committee Republican Richard C. Shelby (Ala.) took the floor, and for 18 uninterrupted minutes he opined that nearly every element of Dodd's bill was misinformed, uninformed, unnecessarily rushed or just plain flawed. "This committee has not done the necessary work to even begin discussing changes of this magnitude. Nevertheless, you have laid a bill before the committee," Shelby said. "I will be opposing this legislation. Not because we disagree on its ends, but rather on its means."

Shelby said Dodd was wrong not to conduct an investigation into the causes of the recent financial crisis before pushing forward with legislation. He said rather than ending the problem of institutions that are "too big to fail," the current bill expands the government's ability to bail out big banks. Shelby apologized for the length of his critique, expressed his hope that the two men might "yet find some common ground," and yielded the floor.

 "Well," Dodd said in the morning's only moment of levity, "I thank you for the endorsement."

It's about time.  Long overdue.

In February, Barack Obama scared us into accepting the so-called "stimulus package" - by warning us that with it, unemployment would cap at 8% but without it, unemployment could rise to 9%.  When that monstrosity passed, he took ownership of the economy.

And who did Mr. Obama put in charge of the economy he took ownership of?  Timothy Geithner - tax cheat par excellence. 

What a bang-up job he's doing.

Since enactment of the "stimulus package", unemployment is not at the 8% Mr. Obama promised.  Nor is it at the 9% he scared us with.  It is at 10.2% - and is expected to continue rising.  That translates into a loss of over 3,000,000 jobs. 

But Mr. Obama, Mr. Geithner and their cronies are looking you in the eye and telling you they "created or saved" 1,000,000 jobs.

Not hard to see why people aren't buying this BS, is it? 

Look at it this way:  more and more people are outraged by - and personally affected by - the abject failure of the "stimulus package".  And, next year, every house member plus one-third of the senate is up for re-election.

About the last thing on earth that these potential ex-congresspeople want is for their constituents to think that they are happy with the economy as it now is.  And, evidently, some of them fear that a lot more than they fear Obama, or Geithner, or Reid or Pelosi.

It's about time and long overdue for that, too.


Ken Berwitz

The SEIU (Service Employees International Union) is about as tight as it can be with Barack Obama.  So much so, that Andy Stern, who heads the union, has been the single most frequent visitor to the White House since Mr. Obama became President.

So what kind of a union is he running? 

Maybe this video will give you a hint. 

Watch, and listen to,  homecare worker after homecare worker tell you how they wound up being "represented" by these thugs.  Hear about their threats, and their liberties with mailed ballots.  You will be sick to your stomach. 

And then remember that this is the same union whose members were physically attacking "tea party" protesters in city after city.

Is this a workers' union or a paramilitary group?

But will our media report this?  HAVE they reported it to date?  The answer is that they have - as minimally as they can get away with.

Why are they protecting these people?  Why aren't they protecting helpless workers? 

These are questions they will have to wrestle with their consciences on.  And I hope they do ASAP.


Ken Berwitz

Here, from my apparently shameless sister, are 19 of the worst puns you will ever come across in your life:

1.  The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

10. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

11. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'

12. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

13. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab centre said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

14. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

15. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

16. A backward poet writes inverse.

17. In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

18. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

19. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine

Only 19 of them?  Doesn't it seem like we need another one?

I hope you read these puns where you live.  That way, your reaction will be home-groan.  (Ok, there's #20).

free` All of them were good, we need some light humor from time to time. But I liked #12 the best. (11/20/09)


Ken Berwitz

Two reports for you here.  And if they are as they appear, this is the mother of all bombshells in the Global Warming debate.

First, an article from the BBC:

The e-mail system of one of the world's leading climate research units has been breached by hackers.


E-mails reportedly from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), including personal exchanges, appeared on the internet on Thursday.


A university spokesman confirmed the email system had been hacked and that information was taken and published without permission.


An investigation was underway and the police had been informed, he added.


"We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites," the spokesman stated.


"Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all of this material is genuine.


"This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation.


"We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and we have involved the police in this enquiry."


Researchers at CRU, one of the world's leading research bodies on natural and human-induced climate change, played a key role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, which is considered to be the most authoritative report of its kind.


'Inside information'


Graham Cluley, a computer security expert, suggested that December's key climate summit in Copenhagen, which has made headlines around the world, could have increased the university's profile as a possible target among hackers.


"There are passionate opinions on both sides of the climate debate and there will be people trying to knock down the other side," Mr Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, told BBC News.


"If they feel that they can gather inside information on what the other side is up to, then they may feel that is ammunition for their counterargument."


Mr Cluley added that universities were vulnerable to attacks by hackers because some many people required access to IT systems.


"You do need proper security in place; you need to be careful regarding communications and make sure your systems are secure.


"I trust that they will now be looking at the systems, and investigating how this happened and ensuring that something like this does not happen again."

And now, here are excerpts from one of the quickly burgeoning number of media venues providing some of the information that was hacked.  This comes from Andrew Bolt, writing for the Australian Herald/Sun.  But tons of other media, both traditional and non-traditional, are putting the hacked material up as well:

The ethics of this are dubious, to say the least. But the files suggest, on a very preliminary glance, some other very dubious practices, too, and a lot of collusion - sometimes called peer review. Or even conspiracy 

A warning, of course. We can only say with a 90 per cent confidence interval that these emails are real.  

(ALTERNATIVE link to the files. And another link.)


 Ethics alert! (my bolding - and Ive update this post with the full alleged email, now):

From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,mann@XXXX, mhughes@XXXX
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Cc: k.briffa@XXX.osborn@XXXX

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,

Once Tims got a diagram here well send that either later today or first thing tomorrow.

Ive just completed Mikes Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keiths to hide the decline. Mikes series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.

Thanks for the comments, Ray.


Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone XXXX
School of Environmental Sciences Fax XXXX
University of East Anglia

Nice. This could be fun.


Surely these emails cant be genuine. Surely the worlds most prominent alarmist scientists arent secretly exchanging emails like this, admitting privately they cant find the warming theyve been so loudly predicting?:

From: Kevin Trenberth
To: Michael Mann
Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600
Cc: Stephen H Schneider , Myles Allen , peter stott , Philip D. Jones , Benjamin Santer , Tom Wigley , Thomas R Karl , Gavin Schmidt , James Hansen , Michael Oppenheimer

Hi all

Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming ? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low.

This is January weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing weather).

Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earths global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [1][PDF] (A PDF of the published version can be obtained from the author.)

The fact is that we cant account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we cant. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.***

This has to be a forgery, surely. Because if it isnt, were about to see the unpicking of a huge scandal.

I mean, the media will follow this up, right? In the meantime, use with care.


Have I said conspiracy already?

From: Tom Wigley
To: Phil Jones
Subject: LAND vs OCEAN
Date: Fri, 06 Nov 2009 17:36:15 -0700

We probably need to say more about this. Land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming and skeptics might claim that this proves that urban warming is real and important.

See attached note.



Mopping up any awkward evidence about the IPCCs latest report before Climate Audit gets hold of it?

From: Phil Jones
To: Michael E. Mann
Subject: IPCC & FOI
Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008


Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

Keith will do likewise. Hes not in at the moment minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I dont have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!



Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit

Destroying government data subject to an FOI request is a criminal offence. Is this data being deleted the stuff CA asked from Jones in repeated FOI requests? If true, Jones had better get himself a lawyer very fast, but I doubt very much he would have done anything remotely illegal.


This, if true (caution!), is especially sick.  (Note; John Daly was a Tasmanian sceptic who did superb work, especially on sea level rises on the Isle of the Dead").  Ive added the boldening):

From: Phil Jones
Subject: Fwd: John L. Daly dead
Date: Thu Jan 29 14:17:01 2004

From: Timo Hmeranta
Subject: John L. Daly dead
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 12:04:28 +0200
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.4510
Importance: Normal

In an odd way this is cheering news ! One other thing about the CC paper just found another email is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals to give all the data and codes !! According to legal advice IPR overrides this.


It is with deep sadness that the Daly Family have to announce the sudden death of John Daly.Condolences may be sent to Johns email account (daly@XXXX)

Reported with great sadness


I said conspiracy, but Professor Overpeck (a contact of Robyn 100 metres Williams) prefers they be called the team:

At 14:09 -0600 13-09-06, Jonathan Overpeck wrote:

thanks David - lets see what others think. I agree, that we dont want to be seen as being too clever or defensive. Note however, that all the TAR said was likely the warmest in the last 1000 years. Our chapter and figs (including 6.10) make it clear that it is unlikely any multi-decadal period was as warm as the last 50 years. But, that said, I do feel your are right that our team would not have said what the TAR said about 1998, and thus, we should delete that second sentence.

any other thoughts team?

(Thanks to various readers.)


The anonymous hackers offer this brief summary of their alleged finds so far:

0926010576.txt * Mann: working towards a common goal
1189722851.txt * Jones: try and change the Received date!
0924532891.txt * Mann vs. CRU
0847838200.txt * Briffa & Yamal 1996: too much growth in recent years makes it difficult to derive a valid age/growth curve
0926026654.txt * Jones: MBH dodgy ground
1225026120.txt * CRUs truncated temperature curve
1059664704.txt * Mann: dirty laundry
1062189235.txt * Osborn: concerns with MBH uncertainty
0926947295.txt * IPCC scenarios not supposed to be realistic
0938018124.txt * Mann: something else causing discrepancies
0939154709.txt * Osborn: we usually stop the series in 1960
0933255789.txt * WWF report: beef up if possible
0998926751.txt * Carefully constructed model scenarios to get distinguishable results
0968705882.txt * CLA: IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science but production of results
1075403821.txt * Jones: Daly death cheering news
1029966978.txt * Briffa last decades exceptional, or not?
1092167224.txt * Mann: not necessarily wrong, but it makes a small difference (factor 1.29)
1188557698.txt * Wigley: Keenan has a valid point

Will Al Gore be commenting on this?  How about the countless members of our wonderful "neutral" media, who have not only assured us there is global warming, but essentially ranked anyone who doubted it an idiot, clown, fool and slave to political ideology.

Again, I acknowledge that it is not 100% certain these are real.  But they damn sure look it to me.  And if they are, who are the real idiots, clowns and fools and slaves to political ideology?

Zeke ... ... (1) CO2 reduction will cost trillions of dollars ... (2) Very much unproven is whether there is a trend of increased global temperatures or we are seeing normal climate fluctuations ... (3) Very much unproven is whether reducing CO2 from fossil fuels will lower global temperatures ... (4) Volcano eruptions reduce global temperatures ... the particle emissions produce 'clouds' which shield the Earth from the Sun. ... Could a man made screen of particles lower global temperatures, if, the Natural-Climate-Cycle Deniers are correct. ... (5) Would Nuclear Power result in reduced CO2 levels without Cap & Tax ... (6) IMHO, the Warm-Mongers are doing the Chicken-Little routine ... the data do not convincingly prove that spending trillions of dollars is warranted (11/20/09)


Ken Berwitz

Just how far does Palin Derangement Syndrome go?

Here is some insight, via today's New York Post:

The AP's Palin panic

Last Updated: 2:51 AM, November 20, 2009

Posted: November 20, 2009


Sarah Palin -- the Associated Press wants folks to believe -- is so pat ently unqualified as a political leader that no one, absolutely no one, could possibly take her seriously. Except, it seems, the Associated Press.


Indeed, the latest example -- in which the AP sent 11 (count 'em: 11) reporters to "fact-check" Palin's new book, "Going Rogue" -- suggests that the agency is pathologically obsessed with the former Alaska governor and '08 GOP veep candidate.

Gee, what on earth are they afraid of?


AP didn't send 11 reporters to fact-check President Obama's two books (it didn't bother to fact-check them at all). Nor did it hold Vice President Joe Biden's books under a microscope.


But Sarah Palin, who no longer even holds office, merited a platoon of reporters to dissect her every word. And to yell "Gotcha" for any minor variance from what this hit squad sees as truth.


Not that the crack team actually found anything. Their inquiry turned up all of six (count 'em, six) instances of what they consider lapses. (Nearly two reporters for each one!)

And what counts as a lapse?


Such horrors as Palin's claim that as gov she didn't "often" stay at "high-end, robe-and-slipper" hotels. Ah, Palin just couldn't put that one past those dogged AP sleuths: They found one she did stay at. How about that?


In truth, what bothers Palin's critics is not that she's unqualified or an egregious fabricator but that, in fact, she isn't.


They're terrified that she's too qualified, in that she comes across as refreshingly candid and down-to-earth, that folks relate to her -- even though (horrors!) she's not an Ivy League Democrat.


Well, we suspect that the AP will just have to get used to it. Tsk, tsk.

How they must hate her.

How terrified of her they must be. 

Look I do not want Sarah Palin to be the President of the United States, and fervently hope she is never the nominee. 

But I do admire her greatly.  She came from next to nothing, and rose to become a mayor, an energy secretary, a Governor, a Vice Presidential nominee and now has, far and away, the single best-selling political book of the year; the #2 best selling book of any kind. 

And I understand why millions  and millions of people would connect with Ms. Palin.  She has a husband and children who apparently live - very publicly in their case - with the same kinds of problems, disappointments and even scandals that regular people face every day.  Who is to say that this is less of an education in how to address the needs of a country than, say, an Ivy League education?

So I hope she continues to be in the public eye - and continues to scare the excrement out of media types who could never connect with, or understand, ordinary people the way she does.

Ken Berwitz Zeke - If you mean the same Jackass Joe who could not accurately describe the constitutional duties of Vice President - the job he was running for - after 36 YEARS IN THE SENATE - I couldn't agree more. (11/20/09)

Zeke ... Sarah Palin seems to lack executive experience - not even a couple of years as Governor... ... but at least that's less on-the-job learning than ... well than Barry Obama. ... ... Palin has lots of experience in fighting entrenched corrupt machine politicians --- successful experience. ... ... ... and can ANYONE keep a straight face and say that Jackass Joe is MORE qualified to be VP than Sarah ? (11/20/09)

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