No More Than Gore

Boing! Boing! Gadgets has an interesting post/discussion about Al Gore’s energy use. Gore lives in a mansion and a conservative Tennessee group reported yesterday that last year Gore burned through 213,210 kilowatt hours of electricty. Which isn’t so bad . . . unless you’re the global point person on the need for people to change their lifestyles to thwart global warming.

Personally, I think there’s an opportunity here for a “No More Than Gore” campaign to see if Gore is willing to put his energy use where his rhetoric is. People would sign on and pledge to reduce their energy use to “No More Than Gore.” But there would also be incentive for Gore, since he could show up his conservative critics by actually practicing what he preaches . . . if Al Gore can get get his energy consumption down to, say, half the current average for American households, then anybody can do it.

Come on, Al, this is a teachable moment.

Same Old Al Gore

Al Gore gave a speech today hosted by MoveOn.Org which included easily debunked claims about Saddam Hussein and 9/11,

In any case, what we now know to have been false impressions include the following:

(1) Saddam Hussein was partly responsible for the attack against us on September 11th, 2001, so a good way to respond to that attack would be to invade his country and forcibly remove him from power.

That’s simply not true. The administration said there was evidence that Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda, and pointed out Hussein’s praise for the 9/11 hijackers and other terrorists. It did not say that it had evidence that Iraq played a role in 9/11. As Bush said in his State of the Union Address,

Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.

Donald Rumsfeld offered a concise explanation of what the Administration should have been pushing more in months leading up to the war instead of fixating on the idea that Iraq posed an immediate threat with its weapons of mass destruction program,

The objective in the global war on terror is to prevent another attack like September 11th, or a biological, nuclear or chemical attack that would be worse, before it happens. We can say with confidence that the world is a better place today because the United States led a coalition of forces into action in Iraq.

Gore compounds his misstatement by repeating a false claim about the recently released report on 9/11,

For example, according to the just-released Congressional investigation, Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks of Sept. 11. Therefore, whatever other goals it served — and it did serve some other goals — the decision to invade Iraq made no sense as a way of exacting revenge for 9/11.

The UPI originally made this claim in a July 23 article, and later was forced to retract it on July 29 after the report had been released and did not contain any information about Iraq. According to UPI,

Prior to the report’s publication, a person who had read it told UPI that it showed U.S. intelligence agencies had no evidence linking Iraq to the 9-11 attacks or to al-Qaida. In fact, the issue is not addressed in the declassified sections of the report.

One other person who has seen the classified version of the document told UPI subsequently that the Iraq issue is not addressed in the still-classified section, either. “They didn’t ask that question,” the person said.

Notice, by the way, that the UPI was apparently used by a source to plant a false story ahead of the release of the 9/11 report. And it worked — the main thing the former Vice President seems to know about the report is this false story.

I understand the need for journalists to maintain confidential sources, but when a source intentionally misleads in order to plant false stories the media should identify the source.

When the veracity of Bush’s statements about Iraq’s efforts to acquire uranium were called into doubt, the press demanded that the White House reveal who inserted those words into the State of the Union speech. When a corporation gets caught misleading investors, journalists demand that the source of the corruption be revealed and investigated, and often go as far as publishing confidential internal memos and e-mail to expose the wrongdoer.

But when the UPI runs a completely bogus story from an anonymous source, there’s absolutely no public accountability for that individual.


U.S. Renews Claims of Hussein-Al Qaeda Link. Greg Miller and Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2003.

9/11 spurred war, Rumsfeld says.Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times, July 9, 2003.

More Scheer myth-spreading. Brendan Nyhan, Spinsanity.Com, August 6, 2003.

Former Vice President Al Gore Remarks to Al Gore, New York University, August 7, 2003.

President Delivers “State of the Union”. White House, January 28, 2003.

Oh The Irony

A number of newspapers and online sites are reporting on the Miami Herald‘s recount of Flordia ballots. The newspaper found that George W. Bush would have won even with a recount…sort of.

The irony is that if disputed ballots were recounted according to the standard that Al Gore’s lawyers wanted, Bush would have won Florida by about 1,600 votes. On the other hand, if the courts had agreed to a recount but used the standard that the Bush legal team was offering, Bush would have lost by total of three votes.

Jake Tapper wrote an insightful analysis of the latest round in the 2000 election at Salon.Com.

Gore Still A Loser

The Miami-Herald recently completed its own recount of the Miami Dade “undervote” totals. The result?

Al Gore would have netted no more than 49 votes if a manual recount of Miami-Dade’s ballots had been completed, according to the review, which was sponsored by The Herald and its parent company, Knight Ridder. That would have been 140 too few to overcome Bush’s lead, even when joined with Gore gains in Volusia, Palm Beach and Broward counties — the three other counties where Gore had requested manual recounts.

Charley Reese Hates Al Gore for the All the Wrong Reasons

There are a lot of reasons I can think of to dislike Al Gore, but Orlando Senitel columnist Charley Reese has the worst reason I’ve ever heard someone offer for being revolted by the Vice President.

I suppose I owe it to folks to explain why I don’t like Gore. Well, he annoys me. He tells lies. And some years ago when he was in Congress he sat like a lump while some rock star insulted in his wife. I wrote him off then. A man who won’t defend his wife’s honor has no business being a commander in chief. I thought at the time that if Frank Zappa (he was the rocker) had said about Bess Truman what he said about Tipper Gore, Harry Truman would have dived over that table and punched his lights out right there on live national television. Andy Jackson would simply have killed him, as he had killed other men who made the mistake of insulting his beloved Rachel.

Is Reese insane? The reason Zappa insulted Tipper, of course, was because Tipper was leading the fight at the time for labeling of records to which Zappa was vehemently opposed. If you’re going to act as a public figure, you’re going to get attacked by opponents who might have things to say that aren’t so nice.

Moreover, I’m not so sure that homicide is still an appropriate method for dealing with an insult (it is always better to outwit rather than overpower an opponent — not to mention much more satisfying).