Tuesday, 29 January 2008

SSHHHHHHHHH, GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS

Ken Berwitz

Memo to mainstrea media:

Emergency advisory!  The following information is to be reported as quietly as possible and then buried.

If you have to mention it at all, say it in a whisper.  Put it in a back page somewhere.  Try not to use it at all in the network news.  We can't damage our story line about the inevitable recession.  And this could put a dent in it:

December durables orders surprisingly strong

Figure of 5.2 percent is the largest gain in five months for factors data

MSNBC News Services
WASHINGTON - The government reported Tuesday that orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods soared in December, showing the largest gain in five months.

New orders for long-lasting U.S.-made manufactured goods rose by a much bigger-than-expected 5.2 percent in December and a key gauge of business spending also surged, the Commerce Department said.

Nondefense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a proxy for business investment, rose a much greater than-expected 4.4 percent. It was the first rise in that category since September, a Commerce Department official said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected orders for durables to rise 1.5 percent and for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft to rise 0.1 percent.

Even when the volatile transportation category was stripped out, durable goods orders rose 2.6 percent last month. Excluding defense orders, durables demand climbed 2.9 percent.

Analysts had forecast durables orders to be unchanged excluding transportation and to rise 0.7 percent excluding defense..

For god sake, don't let this out of the bag!  We're in an election year.  Good news is out of the question.  We can't have this kind of information being considered by voters.  Because if they see the economy as having both positive and negative elements instead of all negative.....they might not vote the way we'd like them too.

And we can't have that, can we?


TED'S PLUMBING PROBLEM

Ken Berwitz

Would you like to see some genuine fury?  Ok, happy to oblige.

Here is genuine fury from the National Organization for Women (NOW) New York chapter.  It is directed at Ted Kennedy.  Please read the chapter's statement and you'll see what I mean:

And now the greatest betrayal! We are repaid with his abandonment! Hes picked the new guy over us. Hes joined the list of progressive white men who cant or wont handle the prospect of a woman president who is Hillary Clinton (they will of course say they support a woman president, just not this one). They are Howard Dean and Jim Dean (Yup! Thats Howards brother) who run DFA (thats the group and list from the Dean campaign that we women helped start and grow). They are Alternet, Progressive Democrats of America, democrats.com, Kucinich lovers and all the other groups that take womens money, say theyll do feminist and womens rights issues one of these days, and conveniently forget to mention women and children when they talk about poverty or human needs or Americas future or whatever.

This latest move by Kennedy, is so telling about the status of and respect for womens rights, womens voices, womens equality, womens authority and our ability indeed, our obligation - to promote and earn and deserve and elect, unabashedly, a President that is the first woman after centuries of men who know whats best for us..

Now these are unhappy women.

And why are they so unhappy? Because of Ted Kennedy's "ultimate betrayal".

And what was Ted Kennedy's "ultimate betrayal"?  He is supporting Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton. 

At this point it should be noted that Ted Kennedy has spent a lifetime in 100% support of NOW's positions.  And, in the far more abbreviated time he has been in the public light, so has Barack Obama.  So what's the problem?

Plumbing.  Plumbing is the problem.  Ted Kennedy has the wrong plumbing and so does Barack Obama.  Hillary Clinton is a woman.  She has the right plumbing.  And therefore she must be supported.  Because plumbing is everything.

Let's talk bluntly about NOW.  When it began it was an important organization, because women were second-naturedly not being given a fair shake in our society.   Over the years most, if not virtually all, of its positions have been realized. 

This is not to say that NOW was entirely responsible for the progress, it is to say that NOW played an important role along with many other groups and individuals.

Today, NOW is something of an anachronism.  It is old, tired, significantly less important and pretty much out of steam.  The only reason you ever read about NOW is because a segment of mainstream media insist on keeping it alive (I would say the same for code pink and the shadowy "group" al sharpton claims to head). 

Our mainstream media treats leftward groups the way major league baseball treats lefthanded relief pitchers.  No matter how far past their prime, they will always have a place somewhere.

My evidence?  The NRA has multiples more female membership than NOW.  Ditto for Southern Baptists.  But when was the last time mainstream media published any statements or positions from the women in either of those groups?  NOW is who you hear the noise from.  Thank you mainstream media.

In any event, the fact remains that Hillary Clinton's positions are at one with both Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama.  Her only distinguishing factor is that, unlike Kennedy and Obama (I think), she sits when she pees.  That's a pretty poor reason for the fury displayed in their statement.  But, then again, NOW is what it is.

One other thing:  Please note that NOW's statement indicates in so many words that ALL women feel exactly the same way its members do.  Just read the first sentence and see for yourself.  It references "Women";  not "Our members" or "Many women" or "Most women".  Just "Women", period, end of story.  I don't think you can be much clearer.

In this regard, I have just two words for NOW: 

They don't.


THE SHERYL CROW...ER, LEAK

Ken Berwitz

Here's one that surely fits under the heading "you can't make this stuff up".  I pulled it from www.hotair.com.

You probably remember Sheryl Crow's suggestion that we can conserve if we use just one square of toilet paper after each sitting, or "two or three for pesky situations". 

Now, almost a year later, and after Ms. Crow became an absolute laughingstock of both the right AND the left over that comment (Rosie O'Donnell's reaction?  "Has she seen my ass?"), Ms. Crow is no longer willing to take the rap.

But wait until you see who she blames for it:

Sheryl Crow: The one square TP debate was all a Rovian plot

posted at 5:55 pm on January 28, 2008 by Bryan
Send to a Friend | regular view

Finally, after nearly a year we get to the bottom of the story.

Last spring, you were held up as a parody of environmental correctness when you proposed restricting the use of toilet paper to one square per bathroom visit. What was that about? I think its a fantastic and eye-opening example of how the media is operated by political figures, of how Karl Rove was humiliated in the media and how, within 24 hours, he was able to humiliate me and take any sort of credibility away from me.

What are you saying? You think Karl Rove leaked the toilet-paper story to the press after you and Laurie David sparred with him about global warming at the White House correspondents dinner? I cannot tie him directly to that leak, but within 24 hours of our exchange, as we were leaving D.C., it was on the CNN ticker tape: Sheryl Crow has proposed that we legislate toilet paper to one square.

Did you ever actually suggest that? It was always a joke. It was part of a shtick

Its not the first time Crow has said one square was a joke. But it is the first time she has tied it to Roves ubiquitous, evil schemes. As usual with these liberal accusations, though, it turns out to be a fantasy. One square didnt originate with Turd Blossom. It originated with an article on the Huffington Post, which was written by none other than Sheryl Crow.

UnlessRove is such a magnificent you-know-what that he somehow posed as Crow, wrote that post, and then leaked it to CNN. It must be that.

Or Crow is now joking about the plot about the joke..

Yep, it wasn't Sheryl Crow at all.  There was this amazing "invasion of the body snatchers" moment in which she was put into cold storage for a few moments and a Karl Rove-like creature came out of his pod to post those comments under Ms. Crow's name.

Well, all I can say is at last we now know the truth.  God that Karl Rove is devious. 

I'll bet he uses more than 2 or 3 squares even when the situation isn't pesky at all.


MARGARET TRUMAN, R.I.P.

Ken Berwitz

Margaret Truman Daniel, only child of President Harry and Bess Truman, died today at the age of 83.

Ms. Daniel was something of an oddity.  Her father succeeded to the presidency after FDR's death, while she was still in college.  Among her quotes: 

"I feel that I've lived several different lives and that was one of them...some of it was fun, but most of it was not. It was a great view of history being made" 

"The only thing I ever missed about the White House was having a car and driver"

But, that said, she parlayed the publicity of being a president's daughter into a pretty successful TV and writing career. 

Ms. Truman was also a concert singer.  One of the most famous anecdotes about that part of her public life occurred during her father's second term of office and is recounted below from the Associated Press obituary:

She made her professional singing debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1947 and gave her first Carnegie Hall concert two years later. Critics generally praised her poise but were less impressed with her vocal talent.

When Washington Post critic Paul Hume wrote after a 1950 concert that she "is extremely attractive on the stage ... (but) cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time," her father fired off a note on White House stationery scolding Hume for a "lousy review."

"I have never met you, but if I do you'll need a new nose and plenty of beefsteak and perhaps a supporter below," the president wrote. .

You can't say Dad didn't stand up for his daughter.

R.I.P.  Ms. Daniel.  And say hello to Harry for us.  He may have given 'em hell, but I doubt that it's where he wound up.


GUEST EDITORIAL: MANCHESTER (NH) UNION LEADER ON HILLARY CLINTON'S 'HONESTY'

Ken Berwitz

No need for commentary from me.  Here is the editorial, which speaks for itself:

Hillary's word: It's worth nothing

COURTING VOTERS in Iowa and New Hampshire, last August Sen. Hillary Clinton signed a pledge not to "campaign or participate" in the Michigan or Florida Democratic primaries. She participated in both primaries and is campaigning in Florida. Which proves, again, that Hillary Clinton is a liar.

Clinton kept her name on the Michigan ballot when others removed theirs, she campaigned this past weekend in Florida, and she is pushing to seat Michigan and Florida delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The party stripped those states of delegates as punishment for moving up their primary dates.

"I will try to persuade my delegates to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida," Clinton said last week, after the New Hampshire primaries and Iowa caucuses were safely over.

Clinton coldly and knowingly lied to New Hampshire and Iowa. Her promise was not a vague statement. It was a signed pledge with a clear and unequivocal meaning.

She signed it thinking that keeping the other candidates out of Michigan and Florida was to her advantage, but knowing she would break it if that proved beneficial later on. It did, and she did.

New Hampshire voters, you were played for suckers. .


BARACK OBAMA AND JEWS: IS THERE A PROBLEM HERE?

Ken Berwitz

Here is a story that any Jew, and/or any person at all who cares about Israel or anti-semitism, should read before casting a vote for Barack Obama:

Obama aide wants talks with terrorists
Foreign adviser's 'anti-Israel policies,' sympathy for Hamas, raise concerns

Posted: January 29, 2008
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Aaron Klein
 2008 WorldNetDaily.com

JERUSALEM While officials here largely maintain a policy against interfering in U.S. election politics, some Israeli security officials quietly expressed "concern" about an adviser to Sen. Barack Obama who has advocated negotiations with Hamas and providing international assistance to the terrorist group.

The officials noted Robert Malley, a principal Obama foreign policy adviser, has penned numerous opinion articles, many of them co-written with a former adviser to the late Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, petitioning for dialogue with Hamas and blasting Israel for numerous policies he says harm the Palestinian cause.

Malley also previously penned a well-circulated New York Times piece largely blaming Israel for the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David in 2000 when Arafat turned down a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and eastern sections of Jerusalem and instead returned to the Middle East to launch an intifada, or terrorist campaign, against the Jewish state.

Malley's contentions have been strongly refuted by key participants at Camp David, including President Bill Clinton, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and primary U.S. envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross, all of whom squarely blamed Arafat's refusal to make peace for the talks' failure.

"We are noting with concern some of Obama's picks as advisers, particularly Robert Malley who has expressed sympathy to Hamas and Hezbollah and offered accounts of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that don't jibe with the facts," said one security official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official stated he was not authorized to talk to the media about U.S. politics, noting Israeli officials are instructed to "stay out" of American political affairs.

In February 2006, after Hamas won a majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament and amid a U.S. and Israeli attempt to isolate the Hamas-run Palestinian Authority, Malley wrote an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun advocating international aid to the terror group's newly formed government.

"The Islamists (Hamas) ran on a campaign of effective government and promised to improve Palestinians' lives; they cannot do that if the international community turns its back," wrote Malley in a piece entitled, "Making the Best of Hamas' Victory."

Malley contended the election of Hamas expressed Palestinian "anger at years of humiliation and loss of self-respect because of Israeli settlement expansion, Arafat's imprisonment, Israel's incursions, Western lecturing and, most recently and tellingly, the threat of an aid cut off in the event of an Islamist success."

Malley said the U.S. should not "discourage third-party unofficial contacts with [Hamas] in an attempt to moderate it."

Hamas is responsible for scores of deadly shootings, suicide bombings and rocket attacks aimed at Jewish civilian population centers. The past few weeks alone, Hamas militants took credit for firing more than 200 rockets into Israel.

Hamas' official charter calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel.

Hamas maintained a national unity government with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas until the Palestinian leader dissolved the agreement and deposed the Hamas prime minister last year.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post two weeks ago coauthored by Arafat adviser Hussein Agha, Malley using could be perceived as anti-Israel language urged Israel's negotiating partner Abbas to reunite with Hamas.

"A renewed national compact and the return of Hamas to the political fold would upset Israel's strategy of perpetuating Palestinian geographic and political division," wrote Malley.

He further petitioned Israel to hold talks with Hamas.

"An arrangement between Israel and Hamas could advance both sides' interests," wrote Malley.

In numerous other op-eds, Malley advocates a policy of engagement with Hamas.

After the breakdown of the Camp David talks, Malley wrote a lengthy New York Times piece that mostly blamed Israel and the U.S. for the breakdown of the negotiations.

Malley was a special assistant to Clinton for Arab-Israeli affairs and was a member of the U.S. peace team during the Camp David negotiations. He currently serves as director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at the International Crisis Group, which is partially funded by billionaire and Obama campaign contributor George Soros, who also serves on the board of the Crisis Group.

Ed Lasky, a contributor to the American Thinker blog, calls Malley a "[Palestinian] propagandist" who, he charged, bends "the truth to serve an agenda that is marked by anti-Israel bias. ... Malley's writings strike me as being akin to propaganda."

Lasky points out Malley's father, Simon Malley, was a personal friend of Arafat and wrote in support of numerous struggles against Western countries. Simon Malley founded Afrique Asie, a French magazine that was known for its advocacy for "liberation" struggles throughout the world, including the Palestinian cause.

Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, called Simon Malley a "sympathizer" of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which, headed by Arafat, carried out numerous terror attacks.

"[Robert] Malley has seemingly followed in his father's footsteps: He represents the next generation of anti-Israel activism," wrote Lasky.

Obama spiritual adviser also anti-Israel?

Obama the past few days has taken note of his growing negative image within the pro-Israel and Jewish activist community, reaching out yesterday to a coalition of Jewish and Israeli newspapers.

Obama told Israel's Haaretz daily there is a "constant virulent campaign" being waged against him, aimed particularly at weakening support among Democrat voters within the Jewish community.

Obama said "false" e-mail campaigns calling him Muslim and accusing him of not pledging allegiance to the U.S. have been especially visible in the Jewish community.

The presidential hopeful urged Haaretz and U.S. Jewish newspapers to use their "megaphone" so people can hear "from the horse's mouth" that anti-Israel accusations against him are "unfounded."

Mass e-mail distributions have pointed out Obama's spiritual adviser, Jeremiah Wright Jr. of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, recently presented Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan with a "Lifetime Achievement" award. Farrakhan has expressed consistent anti-Israel views.

Wright, who reportedly married Obama and baptized his daughters, has called for divestment from Israel and refers to Israel as a "racist" state."

Obama called Wright's heralding of Farrahkan a "mistake" but has not spoken out against Wright's views regarding Israel.

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick noted in a column last week, "Obama has taken no steps to moderate his church's anti-Israel invective. Obama's affiliation with Wright aligns with his choice of financial backers and foreign policy advisers. To varying degrees, all of them exhibit hostility towards Israel and support for appeasing jihadists." .

Let's see now:  A key foreign policy aide is a palestinian Arab sympathizer who seems to have a soft spot for hamas, while viewing the middle east problem as entirely Israel's fault.  And the leader of the church Senator Obama has been a member of for 20 years is not only anti-Israel but the church magazine just made career anti-semite and racist louis farrakhan its "Man Of The Year".

Is there a problem here?  It seems to me that there is.  A big one.


GIVE GAZA (BACK) TO EGYPT?

Ken Berwitz

Daniel Pipes has written a terrific essay for www.frontpagemag.com on how Gaza came to be, and why it should be a part of Egypt (even though Egypt does not appear to want any part of it now, any more than they did 30 years ago when Israel tried to give it back).

 

Here it is:

GiveGaza to Egypt

By Daniel Pipes
FrontPageMagazine.com | 1/29/2008

Startling developments in Gaza highlight the need for a change in Western policy toward this troubled territory of 1.3 million persons.

Gaza's contemporary history began in 1948, when Egyptian forces overran the British-controlled area and Cairo sponsored the nominal "All-Palestine Government" while de facto ruling the territory as a protectorate. That arrangement ended in 1967, when the Israeli leadership defensively took control of Gaza , reluctantly inheriting a densely populated, poor, and hostile territory.

Nonetheless, for twenty years Gazans largely acquiesced to Israeli rule. Only with the intifada beginning in 1987 did Gazans assert themselves; its violence and political costs convinced Israelis to open a diplomatic process that culminated with the Oslo accords of 1993. The Gaza-Jericho Agreement of 1994 then off-loaded the territory to Yasir Arafat's Fatah.

Those agreements were supposed to bring stability and prosperity to Gaza . Returning businessmen would jump-start the economy. The Palestinian Authority would repress Islamists and suppress terrorists. Yasir Arafat proclaimed he would "build a Singapore" there, actually an apt comparison, for independent Singapore began inauspiciously in 1965, poor and ethnically conflict-ridden.

Of course, Arafat was no Lee Kuan Yew. Gazan conditions deteriorated and Islamists, far from being shut out, rose to power: Hamas won the 2006 elections and in 2007 seized full control of Gaza . The economy shrunk. Rather than stop terrorism, Fatah joined in. Gazans began launching rockets over the border in 2002, increasing their frequency, range, and deadliness with time, eventually rendering the Israeli town of Sderot nearly uninhabitable.

Faced with a lethal Gaza, the Israeli government of Ehud Olmert decided to isolate it, hoping that economic hardship would cause Gazans to blame Hamas and turn against it. To an extent, the squeeze worked, for Hamas' popularity did fall. The Israelis also conducted raids against terrorists to stop the rocket attacks. Still, the assaults continued; so, on January 17, the Israelis escalated by cutting fuel deliveries and closing the borders. "As far as I'm concerned," Olmert announced, " Gaza residents will walk, without gas for their cars, because they have a murderous, terrorist regime that doesn't let people in southern Israel live in peace."

That sounded reasonable but the press reported heart-rending stories about Gazans suffering and dying due to the cutoffs that immediately swamped the Israeli position. Appeals and denunciations from around the world demanded that Israelis ease up.

Then, on January 23, Hamas took matters into its own hands with a clever surprise tactic: after months of preparation, it pulled down large segments of the 12-km long, 13-meter high border wall separating Gaza from Egypt , simultaneously winning goodwill from Gazans and dragging Cairo into the picture. Politically, Egyptian authorities had no choice but uneasily to absorb 38 wounded border guards and permit hundreds of thousands of persons temporarily to enter the far northeast of their country.

Israelis had brought themselves to this completely avoidable predicament through incompetence signing bad agreements, turning Gaza over to the thug Arafat, expelling their own citizens, permitting premature elections, acquiescing to the Hamas conquest, and abandoning control of Gaza 's western border.

What might Western states now do? The border breaching, ironically, offers an opportunity to clean up a mess.

Washington and other capitals should declare the experiment in Gazan self-rule a failure and press President Husni Mubarak of Egypt to help, perhaps providing Gaza with additional land or even annexing it as a province. This would revert to the situation of 1948-67, except this time Cairo would not keep Gaza at arm's length but take responsibility for it.

Culturally, this connection is a natural: Gazans speak a colloquial Arabic identical to the Egyptians of Sinai, have more family ties to Egypt than to the West Bank, and are economically more tied to Egypt (recall the many smugglers' tunnels). Further, Hamas derives from an Egyptian organization, the Muslim Brethren. As David Warren of the Ottawa Citizen notes, calling Gazans "Palestinians" is less accurate than politically correct.

Why not formalize the Egyptian connection? Among other benefits, this would (1) end the rocket fire against Israel , (2) expose the superficiality of Palestinian nationalism, an ideology under a century old, and perhaps (3) break the Arab-Israeli logjam.

It's hard to divine what benefit American taxpayers have received for the $65 billion they have lavished on Egypt since 1948; but Egypt's absorbing Gaza might justify their continuing to shell out $1.8 billion a year..

 

I wouldn't bet on Egypt doing what Mr. Pipes suggests any time soon.  Egypt has made it clear that they don't want Gazans any more than Israelis do.  And Egypt certainly does not want the dead weight of the Gaza territory, which currently offers a mother lode of dependency, hate and terrorism, but little else.

 

The silver lining here is that the world has finally been made aware that Israel is not - and never was - the only outlet for Gazans. 

 

Until that wall came down, most people "knew", as if it were actually true, that Israel was their only exit point.  International media made this farcical lie easy to perpetuate, by simply not reporting about how Egypt contained the Gazan population at ITS exit points.

 

So the people of Gaza took care of matters by blowing apart Egypt's border wall, which had so successfully contained them inside (anyone want to tell me again about how ineffective border walls are?). 

 

Now nobody can pretend Israel is the problem any more. 

 

As Mr. Pipes points out, Egypt and Gaza have the same people with the same language and the same culture.  Even if Egypt does not want to absorb Gaza, why not just create a formal affiliation, or just make entry and exit easier? 

 

The benefit would be no more border hostility plus a great market for Egyptian goods and services. 

 

And what is the downside?  Well, for one, it benefits Israel.  Ok....I guess you can stop right there.


Buy Our Book Here!


Return to Current Blog
We're Hopelessly Partisan

hopelesslypartisan.com, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.


About Us



Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.


At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!