Saturday, 22 December 2007


Ken Berwitz

No one who knows a thing about George Romney, former Michigan governor and Mitt Romney's father, could possibly question his commitment to civil rights.  No one, that is, except people with an animus against Romney, Republicans, Mormons or some combination thereof. (Yes, there are people who believe that to have been a Mormon then was inherently to have been a racist).

Mitt Romney has stated several times that his father marched with Martin Luther King.  Whether or not this is literally true is immaterial.  He marched "with" Dr. King in the sense that they both advocated for racial equality even if the two never met.  (So did I, and I never met Martin Luther King in my life.)

But since our "unbiased" media have spent the better part of a week trying to prove Romney lied about his father and Dr. King, maybe they would be interested in these two eye-witness accounts, which come to us courtesy of the Romney campaign and

Shirley Basore, 72, says she was sitting in the hairdressers chair in wealthy Grosse Pointe, Mich., back in 1963 when a rumpus started and she discovered that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and her governor, George Romney, were marching for civil rights right past the window.

With the cape still around her neck, Basore went outside and joined the parade.

They were hand in hand, recalled Basore, a former high-school English teacher. They led the march. We all swung our hands, and they held their hands up above everybody elses.

Another witness, Ashby Richardson, 64, of Massachusetts gave the campaign a similar account.

Im just appalled that the news picks this stuff up and say it didnt happen, Richardson, now a data-collection consultant, said by phone. The press is being disingenuous in terms of reporting what actually happened. I remember it vividly. I was only 15 or 20 feet from where both of them were. .

Adding to this is a book, published in 1967 and co-written by (liberal) Washington Post columnist David Broder, which said that Romney "marched with Martin Luther King through the exclusive Grosse Pointe suburb..."

Would it be asking too much for the media, which had no problem at all attacking Mr. Romney's honesty, to either call Shirley Basore, Ashby Richardson and David Broder liars - and prove it - or indicate that maybe, just maybe, they were wrong about Mitt Romney's father?


Ken Berwitz

Earlier today I promised the New York Times' "scorecard" which details  how we are doing in Iraq versus previous years.  Although it is relatively small so it can fit on this blog (sorry about that) I have posted it below.  If you want to see the full-sized version, just go to and then click to enlarge.

After a year of nonstop Bush-bashing, how it must have galled the Times to print this.  But since they did last year (happily on their part I'm sure, because last year's data were so much less positive), they were more or less forced to do so again now.

Regardless of our political views let's all hope that, in the very near future, these numbers will improve so much that many, maybe even most, of our troops can come home.  I hope you agree.


Ken Berwitz

From www.wikipedia.comTokyo Rose (alternate spelling Tokio Rose) was a generic name given by Allied forces in the South Pacific during World War II to any of approximately twenty English-speaking female broadcasters of Japanese propaganda.

As the year draws to a close and we see significant, even dramatic successes in Iraq, it is good to remember some of the people who did their level best to disparage our country and our troops at a critical juncture in the war;  i.e. to imitate tokyo rose. 

One of the most egregious examples is from the sickening excuse for a US senator and majority leader, harry reid:

I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows that this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq,   Harry Reid, April 19, 2007

For this statements, and others just like it, I am now calling the senate majority leader, Tokyo Reid. 

For the record, the disgusting quote above did not go unnoticed by Republicans.  Here are two (of many) responses:

I cant begin to imagine how our troops in the field, who are risking their lives every day, are going to react when they get back to base and hear that the Democrat leader of the United States Senate has declared the war is lost,:  Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky,

 If Harry Reid believes that this war is lost, where is his plan to win this war? Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan  .

Even the New York Times has had to suck it up and show how improved the situation is in Iraq.  This has come in the form of an op-ed chart published in today's paper. 

I'm a little occupied (our son, beautiful daughter in law and transcendentally magnificent grandson are over), but I'll try to post it later on.



Ken Berwitz

Well, a year has gone by with President Bush and the reid and pelosi-led Democratic congress.  How did he make out?

Here is a guest commentary by Steve Huntley of the Chicago Sun-Times on that subject.  I think he makes some very, very good points.  See if you agree:

'Lame duck' Bush shows he's far from being cooked goose

December 21, 2007

For a lame duck, President Bush isn't hampered by much of a limp in dealing with the Democratic-run Congress. While it might be a stretch to say he's walking all over the Democrats, it's clear that Bush is getting his way on most of the important votes.

A year ago, the Bush haters greeted the Democratic sweep into Congress as a portent that the president they described as inept, inarticulate and incompetent would become irrelevant.

What a difference a year makes.

So successful has he been in taming Capitol Hill that the lame duck president could have used his news conference Thursday to strut, but he chose instead to be conciliatory and praise Democrats for getting the country's work done. He did throw in a few barbs about the job being accomplished late in the year, marred by nearly 12,000 pork projects (your tax dollars paying for beaver management in North Carolina and Kansas), and incomplete in that Congress didn't pass anti-terrorism legislation to facilitate spying on terrorists.

How did the president manage to turn in such a successful autumn? Well, he wielded his veto, leveraged the threat of it and managed the GOP minorities in both houses to his advantage. His successes in just the past week or so include:

  Getting Congress to fund the war in Iraq without any timetable for troop withdrawals.

  Forcing Democrats to adhere to his limits on domestic spending.

  Getting relief for the middle class from the hated alternative minimum tax without a tax increase to offset revenues lost by the AMT reprieve.

  Making his veto stick to stop a major expansion of a health program beyond its original target of insuring poor children.

It helped that Bush had persuasive arguments on his side.

On the war, the military surge is working better than virtually anyone envisioned last summer. To force an artificial timetable now would endanger that progress. A taste of the frustration from the angry anti-war left wing over Bush's policy could be found Thursday in a posting at quoting a poll of Iraqis complaining the surge wasn't working. The poll was taken in August.

On controlling spending, Congress wasn't willing to hazard a veto and a confrontation that could shut down the government.

The AMT was never intended to be a general tax increase, but rather a measure, an ill-conceived one it turns out, to collect revenues from the rich using loopholes to escape the IRS. Therefore a move to offset AMT relief would constitute a new tax increase, not a popular concept with an election year looming.

The State Children's Health Insurance Program doesn't yet cover all eligible poor children, so it was hard to make the case for expanding it to the middle class, especially because that would require more revenues and possibly lure people from private insurance plans into a new entitlement. The Democrats' cause wasn't helped by disclosures that several states already use the kids' program to insure adults.

The next test of will between the White House and the Democrats comes in January over revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The sticking point has been the Democrats' stance against Bush's proposal to prevent lawsuits against telecommunications utilities that aided eavesdropping by counterterrorism agents. They argue the firms violated Americans' privacy and should be sued.

But look at it this way: Suppose the police show up at your door and tell you that they have suspicions that your new neighbor is doing something unlawful. You let the cops use your den window to watch the neighbor's house for several days. No charges follow but months later the neighbor sues you. I suspect you'd be pretty outraged by being dragged into court over doing your civic duty and complying with a police request. That's the situation facing the telcoms.

I wouldn't bet against Bush chalking up another win. .

I wonder how the crowd feels about this;  how happy they are with harry reid and nancy pelosi.  After all, just demanding a defeat in Iraq, disparaging our troops and accusing President Bush of everything short of being a member of the taliban didn't do the trick, did it? 

Next year promises to be even more interesting.  Stay tuned.


Ken Berwitz

This week, Time magazine engaged in its yearly exercise of self-importance by naming its "___ of the year" (I can't put a word there because it has been a man, a woman and a thing).

Time's choice?  Not General Petraeus, who appears to have turned Iraq around.  Not even Al Gore, who won everything else in sight because no one is allowed to disagree with him on global warming.  Heck, to pick Gore would be predictable, and predictability removes any residual interest level about who/what Time settles on. 

And Time certainly is not about to pick George Bush, a man it hates about as much as the New York Times does.

So who did the magazine pick?  Vladimir Putin, the Russian answer to Yugo Chavez.  Yep, sure.  He certainly was more significant than anyone else this year.

I love how The Weekly Standard and its editor, William Kristol, handled this.  Here it is:

Man of the Year


The Weekly Standard administers justice, first to Time Magazine, and then to General David Petraeus, designating him Man of the Year. As to Time, Bill Kristol writes:

Time ludicrously chose to make Russia's ex-KGB agent-turned president Vladimir Putin its cover boy. They just couldn't make Petraeus man--oops--person of the year. Our liberal elites are so invested in a narrative of defeat and disaster in Iraq that to acknowledge the prospect of victory would be too head-wrenching and heart-rending. It would mean giving credit to George W. Bush, for one. And it would mean acknowledging American success in a war Time, and the Democratic party, and the liberal elites, had proclaimed lost.

As to Generals Petraeus and Odierno, Kritsol writes:

[T]he reality is that in Iraq, after mistakes and failures, thanks to the leadership of Bush, Petraeus, and General Ray Odierno--the day-to-day commander whose contributions shouldn't be overlooked--we are winning.

The reality is also this: The counterinsurgency campaign that Petraeus and Odierno conceived and executed in 2007 was as comprehensive a counterinsurgency strategy as has ever been executed. The heart of the strategy was a brilliant series of coordinated military operations throughout the entire theater. Petraeus and Odierno used conventional U.S. forces, Iraqi military and police, and Iraqi and U.S. Special Operations forces to strike enemy strongholds throughout Iraq simultaneously, while also working to protect the local populations from enemy responses. Successive operations across the theater knocked the enemy--both al Qaeda and Sunni militias, and Shia extremists--off balance and then prevented them from recovering. U.S. and Iraqi forces, supported by local citizens, chased the enemy from area to area, never allowing them the breathing space to reestablish safe havens, much less new bases. It wasn't "whack-a-mole" or "squeezing the water balloon" as some feared (and initially claimed)--it was the relentless pursuit of an increasingly defeated enemy.

Kristol concludes with a salute to the American forces that have executed the turnaround engineered by General Petraeus:

The counterinsurgency campaign of 2007 was probably the most precise, discriminate, and humane military operation ever undertaken on such a scale. Our soldiers and Marines worked hard--and took risks and even casualties--to ensure, as much as possible, that they hurt only enemies. Compared with any previous military operations of this size, they were astonishingly successful. The measure of their success lies in the fact that so many Iraqis now see American troops as friends and protectors. Petraeus and his generals have shown that Americans can fight insurgencies and win--and still be Americans. For that and so much else, he is the man of the year.

The Standard has posted an interview with General Petraeus originally published in the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche. It's a long interview that supports the Standard's recognition of General Petraeus. In this respect it also contrasts with Time's interview with Vladimir Putin (see Media Is a Plural for the undoctored transcript), in which the editors elicit such gems from Putin as "Russia is a nation, like the United States, with a balanced but strong presidential power..." .

The lesson to be learned here (aside from reaffirming its hubris and its hatred of President Bush) is that Time magazine's  ____ of the year selection is a lot less important than the magazine thinks it is. 

Or, put another way, Time  is of another time.

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