Tuesday, 05 February 2008

THE NOMINEE WHO CRIED (AND COUGHED) WOLF

Ken Berwitz

We've seen Hillary Clinton cry her way to a desperately needed primary victory in New Hampshire.

We've seen Hillary Clinton reprise her sob-a-thon just days ago, before Super Tuesday.

Now we have Ms. Cliinton going into an uncontrollable coughing fit while being asked what Bill Clinton would be doing in the White House during her administration (if this doesn't play, click on http://drudgereport.com/flashco.htm):



 
.

Lucky the interviewer didn't ask her about Norman Hsu. She'd probably cry again.  Heck, a question or two about all those Chinese waiters and dishwashers with their $2,000 checks and she'd have a stomach problem on camera.  Toss in the years when she sat on Wal-Mart's board as they union-busted and you might actually see flying body parts.

So tell me, do I sound a tad skeptical?


OVERWHELMED BY PARTISANSHIP

Ken Berwitz

I just read Richard Cohen's column in today's Washington Post.  It prompted me to e-mail Mr. Cohen and comment on what he had written. 

Let me show you the column and how I responded to it.  See if you agree.

First, the column:

Hillary's baggage is just too heavy for this voter to carry

Tuesday, February 5th 2008, 4:00 AM

At the most recent Democratic debate, moderator Wolf Blitzer referred to "a dream ticket for the White House" - either Hillary Clinton for President and Barack Obama for veep or the other way around. Both candidates demurred, giving me the opportunity to describe my own dream ticket: Obama for President; Clinton for chief of staff.

That's the long and the short of it. Just about everything Clinton says about herself - her experience, her indomitability, her presumed ability to work long hours - says to me that she would make a swell chief of staff. Beyond that, she either lacks the qualities that would make a great - not merely competent - President or hides them from us, as she has occasionally done with her own pain.

My conclusions about Clinton, forced upon me by the need to vote in a Super Tuesday primary, come from her own campaign. Whether she meant to or not, she has presented herself as a model of caution, of experience hard-earned and not enjoyed and an inability to admit fault or lousy judgment.

Two matters stand out. The first, of course, is her vote in favor of the Iraq war. I, too, supported going to war, so I don't think this alone disqualifies her from the presidency. I do think, though, that her refusal to simply admit that her judgment - not simply her facts - was faulty says something about her. We all knew George Bush was going to launch the invasion and was not merely seeking permission to stare down Saddam Hussein. If Clinton did not know that, then her judgment was doubly faulty.

Her refusal - her inability - to simply confess poor judgment says to me that her vote was politically motivated. In that, she was not alone. All of her 2008 Democratic primary colleagues who were in the Senate at the time voted for the war resolution. Many other Senate Democrats voted against it - not on the basis of different facts but on the basis of a different judgment about the same facts.

If that were the only example of Clinton voting suspiciously like a presidential candidate, I would not be troubled. But in 2005, she co-sponsored a bill that would make flag-burning illegal. It just so happened that around that time I heard Associate Justice Antonin Scalia explain why he, a conservative so conservative you cannot be more conserv.ative, considered flag-burning a form of political expression. It was therefore, he said, protected. Precisely so.

Look, I know what Barack Obama was doing when he refused to confront his minister about the latter's embrace of Louis Farrakhan. He was ducking an issue with no upside for him. He will not get my Profiles in Courage award for this, but the rest of his record overwhelms this one chintzy act.

Not so with Clinton. The fact remains that as a politician, Hillary Clinton is a creature of her husband. This is reality, not a putdown. In this respect, she is like George W. Bush or any of the Kennedys now out there telling us how to vote. Even the mighty Teddy is the product of nepotistic politics, and his adoration of Obama is, I suspect, partly a function of Obama's qualities and partly a function of the perceived slight of John F. Kennedy by Hillary Clinton some weeks ago.

But for Hillary Clinton, the Bill thing looms larger. He was a good President with bad associations - beginning with Jim McDougal of Whitewater fame and ending with Marc Rich of pardon infamy. Bill Clinton has a tropism for the faintly corrupt and his wife has more than a tropism for him. He would stalk her presidency as he has her campaign, and when she vows that she alone would rule the White House, she is talking personnel, not marriage. It ain't the same.

So I vote, as I must, for Obama and against Hillary. This is not an easy choice. But the time has come and, really, hers has gone.

Now, my response:

Thank you for today's column.  It certainly held my interest.
 
I was particularly interested by the following:
 
-You did not challenge Wolf Blitzer's idea that the combination of Clinton and Obama would be a "dream ticket".  A little reality has to obtain here.  There are many people who would never vote for a woman on the ticket and many people who would never vote for a Black on the ticket. Add in the great many people who would never vote for Hillary Clinton in particular and what do you get on election day?  If this is a "dream ticket" it is a Republican dream;  a very wet one.
 
-The fact that you seem surprised at Ms. Clinton playing politics with her war vote on Iraq.  When did either Clinton ever NOT play politics?  It's hard to imagine you are gullible enough to think her initial support and various revised positions on Iraq were not politically motivated.  If Charles Schulz had lived long enough to draw it, even Charlie Brown would have eventually realized that Lucy was going to pull the football away.
 
-The ease with which you slide by Senator Obama's 20 year association with a racist, separatist church (read its mission statement and see for yourself) whose magazine celebrated the career racist/anti-Semite louis farrakhan as 2007's "Man Of The Year'.  This is not a one-time anomaly that can conveniently be ducked, it is the coin of the realm for Trinity United Church of Christ.  You would never in a million years let a Republican skate on belonging to a church that made david duke its man of the year, would you?
 
-The characterization of Bill Clinton as "faintly corrupt".  That is like saying the Pacific ocean is slightly damp.
 
Mr. Cohen, I admire your writing skill.  And I know you have analytical talent.  But sometimes that talent is overwhelmed by your political leanings.  Today's column is a classic example.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Ken Berwitz
 
I wrote to Mr. Cohen once before and he didn't respond to me.  Maybe he will now.  I'll let you know one way or the other, of course.


THE ROTTEN APPLE DOESN'T FALL FAR FROM THE DISEASED TREE

Ken Berwitz

In my opinion (and I'm far from alone) lynne stewart is one of the most objectionable human beings in this country.  But little did I know how "successfully" she taught her own children.

Read the specifics in this report from today's New York Times:

Teacher Held in Forgery of Time-Off Requests

Published: February 5, 2008

A daughter of Lynne F. Stewart, the defense lawyer convicted of aiding terrorism by smuggling messages out of prison for a client, was arrested on Monday on charges of forgery and falsifying documents she submitted to take time off from her teaching job, some of it during her mothers trial and sentencing.

Skip to next paragraph
Paul O. Boisvert for The New York Times

Lynne Stewart in 2006 at her home in South Bombay, N.Y.

The daughter, Brenna Stewart, 46, was in custody and was awaiting her arraignment in the Bronx. The most serious charges against her, forgery and criminal possession of a forged instrument, are felonies that would carry a maximum of seven years in prison if she is convicted, said Steven Reed, a spokesman for the Bronx district attorney, Robert T. Johnson.

The charges against Ms. Stewart, a physical education teacher at Bronx Leadership Academy II, are based on an inquiry by Richard J. Condon, the special commissioner of investigation for the city schools.

Ms. Stewarts lawyer, Daniel N. Arshack, declined to comment on the charges, which were announced in a press release by Mr. Condons office.

Lynne Stewart was sentenced on Oct. 16, 2006, to 28 months in prison for illegally helping her client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, get messages to his followers in Egypt. Her sentence was significantly less than the 30 years sought by prosecutors. Ms. Stewart has not begun serving her term, pending an appeal.

According to a report by Mr. Condon in April, which spelled out his allegations against Brenna Stewart, the case involves her sister, who is a doctor practicing in Florida, a forged death certificate, and faked doctors notes.

Brenna Stewart obtained permission from school officials to take nine days off in 2006 and 2007, according to Mr. Condons report. It was unclear what Ms. Stewart did during most of her time off, but the report said that she attended her mothers sentencing on one of those days.

In her application for time off, the report said, Ms. Stewart included letters from her sister, Zenobia Brown, who said that Ms. Stewart was under her care for an acute contagious illness. The investigation by school officials found that Dr. Brown was not licensed to practice in New York.

Time off also was approved for Ms. Stewart to attend a family funeral, and her request was accompanied by the death certificate of a relative in Texas. According to Mr. Condons inquiry, the relative had died two years earlier, and the death certificate had been altered.

Ms. Stewart, who began working in the citys schools in 1984, has been reassigned to duties outside of the classroom, and termination proceedings have been brought against her, said Margie Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education. Since Ms. Stewart is a tenured teacher, she can be terminated only after an administrative hearing, which has not taken place, Ms. Feinberg said.

Ms. Stewart is also a lawyer, having been admitted to practice in New York in 1984. Mr. Condon said in his report that the New York Supreme Court should consider disciplinary action in regard to her ability to practice law. No action has been taken.

Mr. Condon said he had referred his findings about the actions of Dr. Brown to the Florida Department of Health. A spokesman for that agency said on Monday that no action had been taken.

There are the stewarts.  Some bunch.  Comparatively speaking, they make The Addams Family look like an outtake of Leave it to Beaver.

Let's see:  lynne stewart is convicted of illegally helping a murdering terrorist get messages to his terrorist cohorts. One of stewart's daughters decides she wants lots and lots of time off from her teaching position so she uses a forged death certificate and forged doctor's notes, along with a phony diagnosis from a doctor in Florida.  And the doctor turns out to be stewart's other daughter.

If this isn't enough for you, how outrageous is it that lynne stewart only got 28 months instead of the 30 years she could (and should) have been sentenced to?  And what about the fact that well over a year has passed without her spending even one day in prison? 

Do you think a right wing lunatic would get this kind of preferential treatment?  Uh-uh, no way no how.  It is only reserved for Lunatic-left and Mega-moonbat Brigade icons like lynne stewart. 

I wonder if her daughters will be tried, convicted, get jail tme and serve it before she even goes in.


A NEW YORK TIMES CONSERVATIVE

Ken Berwitz

I use political labels all the time in here.  But I don't really like them. Many people (most, I hope) are more than a list of positions someone else has staked out which they are supposed to swallow whole. 

With this in mind, I would like to talk about David Brooks of the New York Times.  Until a few weeks ago, Mr. Brooks was the its sole "conservative".  But now they have brought in William Kristol to write one or two columns a week - which apparently is supposed to "prove" how evenhanded the paper is. 

Yeah, right. 

The Times' regular columnists include Paul Krugman (hard left), Nicolas Kristof (hard left), Frank Rich (hard left) Bob Herbert (almost always hard left) and Maureen Dowd (bizarre left).  That ain't exactly matching up to two conservatives even if they ARE conservative.

But are they?

Here is the first paragraph of David Brooks' column in today's Times:

Im not a Hillary-hater. Shes been an outstanding senator. She hung tough on Iraq through the dark days of 2005. In this campaign, she has soldiered on bravely even though she has most of the elected Democrats, news media and the educated class rooting against her

This is a CONSERVATIVE?????

I'm glad Mr. Brooks does not hate Hillary Clinton.  Neither do I.  But, I know that she is a far left senator who is viciously and mindlessly attacking our Iraq effort every day, even as it shows significant success and progress. 

Since Mr. Brooks considers Ms. Clinton's senate performance "outstanding" I would like to show you a compendium of ratings given to her by various right and left wing interest groups.  You can find them yourself at the invaluable web site www.vote-smart.org, and I urge you to check me for accuracy there.  In fact, while you're there why not check every other candidate too, so you know who and what they are for yourself being at the mercy of what partisan sources (like the Times for example) tell you.

The scoop on Senator Hillary Clinton is as follows (all ratings are the latest available):

-Abortion:  NARAL and Planned Parenthood rate her 100%.  That means, for every issue they have a position on, she votes their side.  Not surprisingly the National Right To Life Committee gives her a rating of 0%;

-Taxes:  Americans For Tax Reform (which favors lower taxes) gives her a rating of 10%.  Citizens for Tax Justice (which favors higher taxes and redistribution of income) rates her 80%;

-Civil Liberties:  The ACLU gives Ms. Clinton a rating of 83%.  To remind you again, this means that she votes their side of things 5 out of every 6 times.  La Raza - a group which demands virtually full rights for illegal aliens and does not consider the southwest states part of the USA, rates Ms. Clinton 100%.  She votes their side every time;

-Conservative:  The American Conservative Union gives Ms. Clinton a rating of 8%.  This means she votes for the conservative position 1 out of every 12 times.

-Liberal:  Americans for Democratic Action gives Hillary Clinton a 95% rating.  That would be 19 out of every 20.

I could go on.  There are many more examples that show what you should already know by now.  But I'm not into beating dead horses.

Hillary Clinton (like Barack Obama, it should be noted) is hard left.  I don't give a #$*&%($# how reasoned and circumspect she tries to convince you she is.  This is how she VOTES.  And it is not my opinion, it is the opinion of the left and right wing groups who rate her.

David Brooks is certainly entitled to conclude that Senator Clinton's performance is "outstanding".  But, dammit, don't tell me that he is a conservative.  Because there is no way that the record I just showed you could ever in a million years be characterized as "outstanding" by any conservative.

Unless, of course, we're talking about a New York Times conservative.  If you compare Mr. Brooks to the rest of the Times' lineup you might have a point.

Come to think of it, using that logic Hillary Clinton is a conservative too -- if you compare her to Lynne Stewart.


BERKELEY FALLOUT

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of the Daily Californian, is an update on what has happened since Berkeley, California went to war against the US Marines:

The Daily Californian Online

Business Owners React to Marine Corps Vote

Contributing Writer
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Tags:

Some Berkeley business owners say they have received such a negative response from the recent City Council resolutions against the Marine Corps recruiting center in Downtown Berkeley that they may withhold city taxes in protest.

Last week the council declared that the center was "unwelcome" in Berkeley and sought to aide Code Pink, a group that organizes regular protests outside the center, by reserving a parking space for the group in front of the center, among other actions.

Since then, the resolutions have elicited a nationwide response. Last Thursday, United States Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said he would attempt to remove funding for programs in the Berkeley area to protest the council's actions.

Ted Garrett, the CEO of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, said he had received at least 140 e-mails from people who said they would not do business in Berkeley in response to the council's resolutions.

"Most are threatening to never set foot in Berkeley and never have anything to do with businesses in Berkeley," he said. "I know of at least one instance now where an innkeeper has reported that one visitor has cancelled their reservation because of the council's actions."

Councilmember Darryl Moore said some of the complaints may have come from people who never planned on visiting Berkeley in the first place.

"Those people don't live anywhere near Berkeley and who's to say that they were coming to Berkeley to begin with?" he said. "I just think it would be unfortunate if the chamber did some sort of knee-jerk reaction to all of this."

At a meeting of the chamber's Government Affairs committee yesterday, some members discussed a plan to withhold business license taxes to protest the resolutions' effects on their business.

A formal plan to withhold taxes would require the approval of the chamber's executive committee or board of directors.

But Carolyn Henry Golphin, the immediate past chair of the chamber's board, said withholding taxes should only be a last resort.

"We have to do what we have to do," she said. "We do need to make a stand together if that's what we all agree on."

Liz Stevens, broker and owner of Windermere Real Estate in Berkeley, said the current controversy was part of a larger problem.

"The city has a good way of keeping people at arms length and making decisions that affect them at the same time," she said.

Mark McLeod, a member of the chamber's board and president of the Downtown Berkeley Association, said he agreed that the council should have considered the implications of its actions before voting for the resolutions.

"The council can't operate as an isolated unit-the university, council and chamber have to realize they're all members of a large, complex community and have to act with a realization of the effect of their actions on all members of the community," he said.
.

I fervently hope this is just the beginning for these mindless, censorious, facistic morons.

I especially enjoyed that comment by council member darryl moore, who said "I just think it would be unfortunate if the chamber did some sort of knee-jerk reaction to all this".  Evidently he just wants to forget about knees and leave the jerk reaction that is already in place.  I guess it takes one to know one.

Incidentally, In 2002 tom bates, the mayor of Berkeley, showed his high regard for free speech by removing and tossing out something like 1,000 copies of The Daily Californian before the mayoral election because it endorsed his opponent.  He was forced to admit doing so and pay restitution for it (as if money compensated for the people having their news censored at his whim). 

It is a measure of the rampant stupidity in Berkeley that someone who did such a thing would ever be elected to office there again.  But, six years later, there he is.  That tells you plenty. 

Free speech, it seems, is valued in Berkeley --- just so long as the powers that be agree with what is being spoken. 

This is an environment stalin, mao and fidel would thrive in.  At the very least, they'd certainly recognize it.

I hope the council idiots (with the notable, honorable exception of Gordon Wozniak who voted against this sickness) get every bit of the scorn and ridicule they deserve.

Semper Fi.


GUEST COMMENTARY: ALAN DERSHOWITZ ON JEW HATRED

Ken Berwitz

This is reprinted from www.frontpagemag.com without further comment.  Because it doesn't need any.

Whos Making These Nazi-like Statements?  
By Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Here is a multiple choice quiz:

1. Who made the following statement? We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that culture of violence is eventually going to destroy humanity."

A) A person named Hitler,

B) A person named Stalin

C) A person named Gandhi?

2. Who described the establishment of the state of Israel as a historical, moral, political calamity, blames the existence of Israel for putting the entire world in peril and condemns American Jews for the shame of failing to denounce Israel?

A) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

B) The Hamas Charter

C) Award-winning American playwright Tony Kushner.

3. Who has said that Israel may eventually cause the end of the human race by means of global warming?

A) American losing politician Ralph Nader

B) American losing politician Pat Buchanan

C) Former minister in the Blair government, Clare Short.

The answer to the first question is Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and himself the former head of the MK Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence at the University of Rochester, who recently wrote those Nazi-like words in a widely circulated blog. He subsequently apologized for including all Jewish people, implying that it is only Israel and most Jewish people who are the biggest players in the culture of violence that is eventually going to destroy humanity. Not Islamic terrorists, not nuclear sabre-rattling Iran but the Jews! If you answered Hitler, that is understandable since Hitler made very similar accusations. Hitler, like Gandhi, accused the Jews of causing all the problems in the world.

The answer to the second question is Tony Kushner, who is thoroughly ignorant about the history, morality and politics of Israels establishment as the result of the United Nations division of the contested area into two states: one for the Palestinians and one for the Jews. The Jews accepted the two-state solution and declared statehood. The Arab nations rejected the two-state solution and declared a genocidal war against the Jewish state. But you wouldnt know that by listening to Kushner. If you mistakenly believed that the correct answer was Iran or the Hamas Charter, that too is understandable, because both have made the same point.

The answer to the third question is Clare Short, former Secretary of State for International Development in the UK Labor government, who has said that Israel will cause the end of the human race because it diverts the worlds attention from the problem of global warming. Not China, the United States or other large polluters, but tiny Israel, which is one of the most environmental-friendly nations of the world!

These are highly regarded individuals who have large followings around the world. Yet they mimic the most despised group in modern history the Nazi Party in blaming the worlds ills on the Jews, the Jewish state and American Jews. If this were not so dangerous and tragic, its patent ignorance would almost be humorous. It reminds me of the old joke about Hitler making an harangue in Nuremberg, during which he shouted out his favorite rhetorical question: Who is causing all the problems of the world? A voice from the back of the crowd shouted out, the bicycle riders. A shocked Hitler asked Why the bicycle riders? The voice responded, why the Jews?

Its easy to scapegoat the Jews or the Jewish state for all the worlds problems. One would expect, however, that in light of the history of Nazism, people like Gandhi, Kushner, and Short would reflect more deeply before issuing this modern day version of the Blood Libel. Shame on them


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