Monday, 12 November 2007

WHOOPI DOO-DOO

Ken Berwitz

Do you ever wonder how Whoopi Goldberg is making out as a radio talk show personality?

You may remember that, some time ago, I blogged about the fact that her radio show was going nowhere.  Here is the redoubtable Brian Mahoney of www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com to flesh out the gory details..

SINKING FAST
Syndicated Whoopi Morning Show On Last Legs

Essentially admitting they'd made a mistake in backing her, Clear Channel executives have begun to pull
Whoopi Goldberg's morning radio show from major affiliates.

Already suffering from a dearth of local stations willing to carry the radical leftist's show, Wake Up With Whoopi has lost two of its biggest outlets in just the past few weeks. Chicago's WILT-FM and WISX/ Philly are the stations pulling the plug.

The latest blows have radio insiders wondering how much longer the program can remain on the air in any form.
Here, the prediction is that she may not last into the new year.

Goldberg, now a co- host of ABC's The View, kicked off the show
with great fanfare and mainstream media publicity just last year. But it failed to catch on beyond Clear Channel's own stations and even some of those balked at carrying the program.

According to the
show's own website, only ten affiliates remain, with New York City as the sole major market outlet still on the list.


In Chicago, coverage of Goldberg's cancellation has been particularly blunt, including this Sun- Times story by
Robert Feder:

How badly did Whoopi get walloped? In adults between the ages of 25 and 54 -- the group most coveted by advertisers -- mornings dropped from 11th place with a 3.0 percent share under (former local host Melissa) Forman to 19th place with a 1.8 share under Goldberg, based on comparable Arbitron summer surveys.

In Philly, a local host will also replace Whoopi, which many in the radio industry see as vindication for broadcast veterans who have increasingly been cast aside in favor of celeb programming, only to see them fail soon after.

In fact, even some who share Goldberg's leftist viewpoints may well celebrate her show's coming demise, as it once again proves there's no substitute for on-air experience. The concept of allowing Hollywood types to "play radio" during career lulls has created an enormous level of resentment, especially when successful broadcasters are pushed aside to accommodate them.


As for Whoopi, who will shed any tears? She's got her seat at the table for The View's gabfest and is busy pushing her "progressive" views in the pages of Ms magazine.

Before the show is completely cancelled, let's hope Whoopi has the sense to pull the plug on herself.

.

The earlier blog about Ms. Goldberg was written after a particularly outrageous comment she had made on "The View".  At that time I speculated that she had to start making some kind of a wave because her career had tailspinned so badly in recent years.  One of the examples I gave was the non-listenership of her radio show. 

Evidently The View has not improved Ms. Goldberg's standing among radio listeners.  But given the show's history, and the fact that she occupies the "Rosie O'Donnell chair", you can probably count on her making similarly nutcakeian comments in the future. 


"EVERYONE HATES THE USA" UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

"Everyone hates the USA".  That's what the moveon.org crowd - puppeteers for the Democratic party these days -- so gleefully likes to tell us. 

The fact that in the last several years, in one major election after another (Germany, Japan, Australia, France, Canada - how's that for major?) the single most pro-American candidate won their national election?  I guess that doesn't count for much if you're a sorosian nutball.

There is also former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.  But he's not supposed to count, because he left government and has been replaced by Gordon Brown. 

And everyone knows Gordon Brown doesn't have the same feelings about the USA that Mr. Blair did, right?

Well, maybe not right.  Here is a BBC article about what Prime Minister Brown really think about us.  Judge for yourself:

US most important UK ally - Brown

Gordon Brown has said Britain's "most important" relationship is with the US, in his first major foreign policy speech since becoming prime minister.

He warned that he had "no truck with anti-Americanism" and said the EU should strengthen ties with the US.

Mr Brown also called for more "hard-head internationalism" in peacekeeping, aid and reconstruction.

In the speech at the Lord Mayor of London's banquet, he also warned Iran over its "nuclear ambitions".

'Values'

Mr Brown told the audience at Mansion House the UK had to work with "all those who share our vision of the future", including Nato, the UN, the EU and the US.

He said: "It is no secret that I am a life-long admirer of America.

"I have no truck with anti-Americanism in Britain or elsewhere in Europe and I believe that our ties with America - founded on values we share - constitute our most important bilateral relationship.

Iran should be in no doubt about our seriousness of purpose
Gordon Brown

"And it is good for Britain, for Europe and for the wider world that today France and Germany and the European Union are building stronger relationships with America."

The speech followed reports that Mr Brown was keen not too appear as close to President Bush as his predecessor, Tony Blair.

BBC US correspondent Jonathan Beale said there had been a "distinct autumn chill" in UK-US relations.

He added: "The question is can relations with Gordon Brown be as close as with Tony Blair?"

In his speech, Mr Brown signalled support for the US stance on Iran's "nuclear ambitions", saying Tehran had a choice between "confrontation" or a "transformed relationship with the world".

He added: "Iran should be in no doubt about our seriousness of purpose." .

We have been told so many times during the Bush era that everyone now hates us, that some people have been taken in and believe it.  

Reality is far removed from this fundamental element of the hard-left's wish list.  The truth is, while we will never be loved (the biggest and strongest guy in town never is) we are respected and valued allies of the major countries of the west.  Very respected and very valued.

Anyone who doubts this should read that list of elected heads of state again and remember how solidly pro-USA they were during their campaigns.  That says it all.


ISRAEL PEACE PARTNER UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of the BBC, is some news from those nice folks the world expects -- more exactly, demands -- that Israel make peace with.  Please read it and see how you would like to try partnering for peace with them:.

Deadly clash at Arafat Gaza rally

At least six people have died in gunfire at a rally in Gaza City organised by Fatah to mark three years since the death of Yasser Arafat.

The violence occurred when Fatah supporters began taunting Hamas police and throwing stones, witnesses said.

The Hamas security forces reportedly responded by firing towards the crowd.

It was the biggest rally held by the late president's party since it was ousted from Gaza by Hamas in June after a series of bloody clashes.

Arafat died in Paris on 11 November 2004 and since his death Palestinian politics has been riven by splits, the most violent between the secular nationalist Fatah party and the radical Islamists of Hamas.

Paying respects

Hamas has banned opposition rallies since its takeover of Gaza, and its security personnel were out in force at the edge of Monday's massive gathering.

Fatah is responsible for continued incitement against the Palestinian police, and there was a clear attempt to bring back chaos
Hamas Interior Ministry official Ehab Ghussen
However, correspondents say any move to prevent a ceremony commemorating Arafat - whose following still crosses factional divisions - would have been widely unpopular in Gaza.

The rally was not only a chance for people to pay their respects to the former leader, but a rare opportunity for a show of Fatah strength in Gaza.

Hundreds of thousands of Fatah supporters, many carrying pictures of Arafat and waving yellow Fatah flags, had gathered in a large square in the centre of Gaza City.

Huge banners showing Arafat in his trademark black-and-white keffiyeh headdress hung from buildings overlooking the square and speeches by Fatah leaders were played over loudspeakers.

Zakaria al-Agha, the Fatah chief in Gaza directly challenged the Islamic movement as he read a statement from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas:

"We say to Hamas and these armed militias, stop your crimes," he read. "These crimes will not shake our determination."

Dozens wounded

The gathering descended into chaos as gunmen began shooting.

Hamas security officials said they fired toward protesters who threw stones at security compounds.

Witnesses said the first shots were fired after crowds started accusing Hamas security forces of being a proxy for Shia Muslim-ruled Iran, chanting the word "Shia" repeatedly.

One man, calling himself Abu Samir, told the AP news agency that he believed that Hamas' security forces had definitely fired first.

"I saw brutality. I saw gunmen shoot at people. I saw them catch a boy and beat him with a stick," he added.

About 100 people were reported to have been wounded in the violence.

Hamas officials have accused Fatah of inciting the violence.

"Before the rally, Fatah militants were deployed throughout the area," Ehab Ghussen, from the Hamas-controlled interior ministry, told AP.

"Fatah is responsible for continued incitement against the Palestinian police, and there was a clear attempt to bring back chaos," he added.

Palestinian President and Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, denounced Hamas's actions as a "heinous crime," AP reported.

And Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan, now based in the West Bank, appealed for people not to allow the violence to escalate.

"I call on Fatah in Gaza to continue pursuing peaceful means in confronting Hamas," he told AFP. "I know many people in Gaza don't like this because emotions are running high but popular means are the only way to bring the downfall of this fascist movement."  .

The bad news is that this when hamas and fatah aren't killing Israelis they are killing each other.  The good news is that when they are killing each other they aren't killing Israelis. 

When do hamas and fatah not engage in deadly violence?  When have you ever heard either of these two groups engaged in any peaceful enterprise of any kind? 

Now:  think about the fact that these two groups, hamas and fatah are in complete control of Gaza and the Judea and Samaria (the west bank).  If one isn't in control the other is.  In other words, Israel has no one else to deal with except hamas and fatah.

Peace partnership, anyone?


HILLARY CLINTON: THE HOWARD DEAN OF 2008?

Ken Berwitz

A few weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Howard Dean was the presumptive 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.  Everyone knew that.  There was no doubt about it.

Dean owned the internet.  He had it sewed up after a little-known group called moveon.org ran an on-line primary which he won -- even though more conventional polling showed him back in the pack.  Money started pouring in. 

Media, for its part, had all but conceded the nomination to Howard Dean.  They wrote about his inevitability every day.  He was on top of the world.

John Kerry, by comparison, was not on top of the world or anything else.  His  numbers were in single digits, even in the conventional polls..  He was nowhere.  No one gave him a chance and, on paper, no one should have either.

Then the Iowa caucuses took place.  And guess what?  Howard Dean got his tushey handed to him and John Kerry, through various machinations and uses of his huge personal fortune (or at any rate the huge fortune he had personal access to) was the winner.  That was the end of Dean right there. 

Many people are of the misimpression that Howard Dean lost Iowa because of that bizarre event when he screamed YAAAAAAARRRGGGHHHHHHHHHH into the microphones.  But they remember wrong.  Dean did that AFTER losing Iowa.  He started reciting all the upcoming primaries he was going to win, with his voice rising and becoming more and more animated, and capped it off with the primal scream referenced above.  Bye-bye Dean.

Well, it is now just a matter of weeks before the Iowa caucuses.  Hillary Clinton is the presumptive 2008 Democratic nominee.  Everyone knows that.  There is no doubt about it.  Etc. etc. etc.

But a funny thing is happening on the way to Ms. Clintons coronation.  She may be starting to look like Mr. Dean. 

Please read this piece from todays New York Daily News, written by Michael McAuliff, which lays it out very nicely:.

Hillary Clinton suddenly vulnerable as bruises start to show

DES MOINES - Where did Hillary Clinton's mojo go?

That's what her campaign has to be asking after a rough two weeks. And more importantly, they have to be wondering how to recapture that fading aura of an unstoppable juggernaut.

Top Clinton strategist Mark Penn doesn't own up to his candidate suffering a dip, but he admits it's been tougher of late.

"The opponents went negative, and that created a new dynamic and a different set of headlines," Penn said.

The new dynamic emerged at the debate in Philadelphia two weeks ago, but didn't just spring from sharp criticism by her opponents. Clinton stumbled by offering fuzzy answers to some questions and refusing to take a stance on Gov. Spitzer's license plan for illegal immigrants.

Then Camp Clinton's damage control backfired as she was pounded for suggesting the "boys" ganged up on her. And Bill Clinton brought more scorn when he said the attempt to get an answer out of his wife on licenses verged on John Kerry Swift Boat territory.

Now Penn and company plan to stick to the high road, talking about Clinton's strength, experience and vision for America, fund-raising at a torrid rate and deploying Bill Clinton more.

They're also launching counterattacks, calling her opponents mudslingers.

"I think it's sinking in to the electorate that people who had pledges to not attack Democrats were abandoning those pledges," Penn said.

Clinton remains way ahead in national polls, though some have shown a slip and a survey in early voting New Hampshire out yesterday showed a tightening race there.

The focus for staving off any Clinton collapse, though, starts in Iowa, where the candidates wooed party faithful at the state Democrats' biggest event of the year over the weekend.

Iowa Democrats said they didn't feel Clinton is headed down yet, but many thought the bruises were starting to show over her immigration nonposition and a new flareup over revelations that Hillaryland planted questions in two "conversations" with voters.

"I've turned a little more negative on her because of the immigration issue," said Terry Edwards, a trucker from Waukee, Iowa. "She flip-flops on that. I'd like to know where she stands."

"She's vulnerable, definitely," said Paul Willis of Thornton, Iowa, who said Clinton has what it takes to win, but could also implode. "As people get to know the other candidates, they're saying, 'Maybe there is a second choice.'"

Some Democrats saw damage from the attacks but liked Clinton more.

"I think it is hurting her, although for me, it's made me feel a little better toward her," said Roy McCoy, of Riverside, Iowa. "I don't like bullying."  .

Is this the harbinger of a Hillary collapse?  Maybe no.  But, then again, maybe yes.

Hillary Clinton has all the media cachet, tons of money from her (so-far) loyal followers and has been anointed the Democratic presidential nominee before even one caucus or primary vote has been cast.  But Ms. Clinton has demonstrated a capacity to hurt herself every time she opens her mouth.  That makes her comparable to Howard Dean.

Ms. Clinton is also a U.S. Senator, without much to offer in the way of accomplishments, who has loads of money to work with and a strong, if clumsy, willingness to lie for votes. That makes her comparable to John Kerry.

It will be interesting to see which way this one goes.


THIS IS FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY?

Ken Berwitz

One of the great failures of the Bush administration, in my opinion, has been its disinclination to prevent runaway spending. 

Unfortunately, if there were ever a bipartisan problem it is that politicians spend money faster than they rake it in from the taxpayer.  Not almost as fast.  Not as fast.  But faster.

This was certainly true through the first 6 years of the Bush administration, when it had a Republican congress and there were no excuses they could make.

For the last year, however, congress has been controlled by Democrats.  Democrats who promised to rein in this kind of spending and give us fiscal responsibility.  Not like those profligate Republicans.

Well, here is a look at how they have done in this regard, from Donald Lambro, chief political correspondent of the Washington Times.  Read it over and see if you're impressed with the Democrats' "efforts".  As usual, the bold print is mine:.

Dems Tie Up Fiscal 2008 Appropriations Bill in Pork
By Donald Lambro
Monday, November 12, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Despite the Democrats' pledge to get control of their addiction to wasteful spending, their mountain of pork-barrel provisions has prevented Congress from passing its appropriations bills for fiscal year 2008. Exhibit A is a Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill taken up by the Senate last week that was filled to the brim with pork (also known as earmarks). This "minibus" bill was engineered by Democrats attempting to draw just enough votes to make it veto-proof.

Last week, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., one of the stellar anti-pork warriors in Congress, said this about the bill: "The Democrats have made a joke of the ethics bill as they packed this 'minibus' with thousands of pet projects. They have shown their (so-called anti-pork) rules to be laughable and ineffective, as they continue to spend millions on secret earmarks and hide their pork from public scrutiny."

All told, this spending package contained at least 2,200 earmarks worth more than $1 billion. Among them, a $1 million earmark for the Thomas Daschle Center for Public Service and Representative Democracy at South Dakota State University, named for the former Senate Democratic leader.

Democrats often go to great lengths to disguise what their earmarks are actually for, making their intentions sound far more important than they are. A $300,000 item that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., inserted into the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill for a museum called Exploratorium, which promotes "teacher recruitment, retention, and improvement initiative" (http://www.exploratorium.edu/).

But the Exploratorium's Web site describes the museum as "a collage of hundreds of interactive exhibits in the areas of science, art, and human perception" Its mission is "to create a culture of learning through innovative environments, programs and tools that help people nurture their curiosity about the world around them."

Pelosi's pet project has been given more than $33 million in federal-funding earmarks and grants over the past six years. "Should federal taxpayers be subsidizing a wealthy city's museum during a time of deficit spending?" asked the Senate Republican Conference's Pork Report?

In addition to bogus descriptions of what your tax dollars are paying for, lawmakers are fond of sticking their earmarked projects into bills that have nothing to do with the bill's purposes. Here's a sampling of the kind of pork found in the Defense Appropriations Act that was uncovered by Citizens Against Government Waste:

-- $23 million for the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) added by Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa. It has received more than half a billion dollars since 1992, but the Justice Department, which administers the program, wants to shut it down, calling its work "duplicative."

-- $4.8 million for the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area sought by Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., described as "a wealth of history, nature and recreation."

-- $3 million for "The First Tee," added by House Democratic Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina. The program's Web site says its mission is to "promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf." -- $1.6 million for the Allen Telescope Array, inserted by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., whose work is "dedicated to astronomical and simultaneous search for extra-terrestrial intelligence observations."

So far the Democrats' fiscal year 2008 appropriations bills would dish out a total of $24.7 billion for more than 12,000 earmarked expenditures like these.

"Democrats can't let go of their pork and keep inventing new ways to stop new earmark disclosure rules and bypass the old ones," DeMint said last week. "These shameful backroom deals are exactly why Congress continues to earn its lowest approval rating in history," he said. When will it stop? When the voters decide they have had enough.  .

Let me say again, that Republicans have not shown themselves to be fiscally responsible either.  I admit that when they were running congress things were bad.  But were they this bad? 

If voters are outraged about this kind of spending, they should vote out the people who DO the spending.  To a large degree that is what they did last year.  Well, let's hope that they do it again next year, now that the culprits are Democrats. 

Who knows, you vote out the spending addicts enough times, and maybe the ones who are left will think twice before they join the club.

J. Ansel The Exploratorium science center in San Francisco essentially created the science center movement worldwide. Tens of millions a educated by such places each year. If anything more funding should go to this place. Making politics over this wonderful institution, as the overspending of the Bush administration drives us into recession, is ironic and dreadful. (12/01/08)


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