Monday, 03 March 2008

THE TUESDAY PRIMARIES, NEW YORK POST-STYLE

Ken Berwitz

Do you want the simplest, easiest-to-follow analysis of tomorrow's Democratic primaries in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont?

Well, thanks the the New York Post here it is, all laid out for you:

Enlarge

There, that was simple, wasn't it?

If you click on "enlarge" it gets bigger.  If you click on it a second time it gets bigger still (sort of like literary viagra).  Then you can click a third time to make it smaller again (so much for the viagra reference).

I promise to have a little bit more about Senators Clinton and Obama in a subsequent blog.


POLL POSITIONS

Ken Berwitz

Ok, let's do this one more time.

Here, courtesy of www.realclearpolitics.com, are the very latest polls for the states in tomorrow's Democratic primaries.  On Wednesday we will compare them to the real numbers, and find out if they are any more accurate than what we saw for earlier primaries. 

Given how far off they've been so far, it won't take much.

Ohio Polling Data

RCP Average

02/26 - 03/02

-

49.3

42.9

Clinton +6.4

Rasmussen

03/02 - 03/02

858 LV

50

44

Clinton +6.0

Suffolk

03/01 - 03/02

400 LV

52

40

Clinton +12.0

PPP (D)

03/01 - 03/02

1112 LV

51

42

Clinton +9.0

SurveyUSA

03/01 - 03/02

873 LV

54

44

Clinton +10.0

Reuters/CSpan/Zogby

02/29 - 03/02

761 LV

45

47

Obama +2.0

Quinnipiac

02/27 - 03/02

799 LV

49

45

Clinton +4.0

Texas  Poll Data

Poll

Date

Sample

Clinton

Obama

Spread

RCP Average

02/26 - 03/02

-

46.8

46.5

Clinton +0.3

Rasmussen

03/02 - 03/02

710 LV

47

48

Obama +1.0

InsiderAdvantage

03/02 - 03/02

609 LV

49

44

Clinton +5.0

PPP (D)

03/01 - 03/02

755 LV

50

44

Clinton +6.0

SurveyUSA

03/01 - 03/02

840 LV

48

49

Obama +1.0

Reuters/CSpan/Zogby

02/29 - 03/02

748 LV

44

47

Obama +3.0

Rhode Island Polling Data

Poll

Date

Sample

Clinton

Obama

Spread

RCP Average

02/23 - 03/02

-

48.0

38.3

Clinton +9.7

Brown University

02/27 - 03/02

402 LV

42

37

Clinton +5.0

Fleming

02/24 - 02/27

401 LV

49

40

Clinton +9.0

Rasmussen

02/23 - 02/23

1035 LV

53

38

Clinton +15.0

Vermont Polling Data

Poll

Date

Sample

Obama

Clinton

Spread

Rasmussen

02/24 - 02/24

1013 LV

57

33

Obama +24.0

Research 2000

02/19 - 02/21

400 LV

53

39

Obama +14.0

Based on these polls, Hillary Clinton is back in the hunt. She will win both Ohio, squeak out Texas and take Rhode Island to boot.  Obama is safely ahead only in Vermont.

We'll see.....


IBD ON WHY YOU SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT BARACK OBAMA

Ken Berwitz

I just came across this superb Investors Business Daily editorial.  It is almost two months old and I somehow missed it until now - for which I apologize.

Readers of this blog already have seen a lot of the information it contains.  But there is a lot more that I didn't know about and - given our wonderful media - I assume you didn't know about either.

But now you will.  Because here is the entire editorial:

Obama's Church

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

Posted 1/15/2008

Election 2008: Since we first drew attention to Barack Obama's Afrocentric church a full 12 months ago, other media have weighed in. And additional disturbing information has come to light.

At the core of the Democratic front-runner's faith whether lapsed Muslim, new Christian or some mixture of the two is African nativism, which raises political issues of its own.

In 1991, when Obama joined the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, he pledged allegiance to something called the Black Value System, which is a code of non-Biblical ethics written by blacks, for blacks.

It encourages blacks to group together and separate from the larger American society by pooling their money, patronizing black-only businesses and backing black leaders. Such racial separatism is strangely at odds with the media's portrayal of Obama as a uniter who reaches across races.

The code also warns blacks to avoid the white "entrapment of black middle-classness," suggesting that settling for that kind of "competitive" success will rob blacks of their African identity and keep them "captive" to white culture.

In short, Obama's "unashamedly black" church preaches the politics of black nationalism. And its dashiki-wearing preacher who married Obama and his wife and now acts as his personal spiritual adviser is militantly Afrocentric. "We are an African people," the Rev. Jeremiah Wright reminds his flock, "and remain true to our native land, the mother continent."

Wright once traveled to Libya with black supremacist Louis Farrakhan to meet with terrorist leader Muammar Qaddafi. Last year at a Chicago gala, Wright honored his old pal Farrakhan, who's fond of calling whites "blue-eyed devils," for lifetime achievement.

It comes as little surprise then that Wright would think Israel a "racist" occupier of Palestinians, while describing the 9/11 attacks as a "wake-up call" to "white America" for ignoring the concerns of "people of color."

Wright makes the Rev. Jesse Jackson look almost moderate and patriotic. Yet this is whom Obama picked to baptize his daughters, plus to act as his "sounding board" during his presidential run.

The candidate already has heeded his church's "nonnegotiable commitment to Africa," spending an inordinate amount of his campaign time on the Kenyan crisis, for one. Obama has close family ties to Kenya, and even founded a school in his ancestral village the Senator Obama School.

In the bloody conflict there, which already has claimed some 700 lives, Obama appears to have sided with opposition leader Raila Odinga, head of the same Luo tribe to which Obama's late Muslim father belonged.

Obama's older brother still lives there. Abongo "Roy" Obama is a Luo activist and a militant Muslim who argues that the black man must "liberate himself from the poisoning influences of European culture." He urges his younger brother to embrace his African heritage.

Beyond family politics, these ties have potential foreign policy, even national security, implications.

Odinga is a Marxist who reportedly has made a pact with a hard-line Islamic group in Kenya to establish Shariah courts throughout the country. He has also vowed to ban booze and pork and impose Muslim dress codes on women moves favored by Obama's brother.

With al-Qaida strengthening its beachheads in Africa from Algeria to Sudan to Somalia the last thing the West needs is for pro-Western Kenya to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.

Yet Obama interrupted his New Hampshire campaigning to speak by phone with Odinga, who claims to be his cousin. He did not speak with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

Would Obama put African tribal or family interests ahead of U.S. interests?

It's a valid question, and one voters deserve to have debated regardless of the racial and religious sensitivities. Thanks to a media blackout of these issues, the electorate has yet to benefit from a thorough vetting of Obama.

We have to wonder how much of the national agenda Africa would consume under an Obama administration. Of the six "world threats" Obama lists in stump speeches, at least half of them concern that chronically troubled Third World continent.

Yes, some of his African priorities are noble, such as fighting AIDS and genocide. But how much U.S. aid, resources and presidential time would he devote to them? How much is enough? If Bill Clinton was America's "first black president," would Barack Hussein Obama be our first president for Africa?

Then there is the issue of his Muslim past. Obama, 47, was raised by two Muslim fathers and attended Islamic classes in Indonesia.

He denies being Muslim, however, and says he "embraced Christ" while answering the altar call 20 years ago at Trinity. (Contrary to anonymous e-mail rumors circulating, Obama never took the oath of office on the Quran. He used a Bible, and Vice President Dick Cheney swore him in during his Senate ceremony.)

This merely raises another concern, beyond that of the controversial church he chose to baptize him. If Obama were ever Muslim, even as a youth, he would now be viewed as an apostate, which in radical Islam is punishable by death. As Mideast expert Daniel Pipes has noted, a President Obama could be the target of a fatwah.

Still, his Muslim heritage is not the signal issue before the electorate. It's his Afrocentric church, which preaches black socialism and black nativism, and his family ties to an African tribe that's fanning the flames of Marxism and militant Islam in a country once considered strongly democratic and a friend of the U.S.

"I believe in the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change," Obama has asserted. He also says his faith has led him to question "the idolatry of the free market."

If a President Obama's foreign and domestic policies are anything like the Afrocentric doctrine he's pledged to uphold, Americans will pay a hefty price, including those among the growing black middle class.

Does this disturb you?  Does it concern you, even scare you?  Good.  It should.

And are you amazed that, even 6 weeks after its publication, mainstream media have neither disputed the editorial's information nor reported it? 

Well, you shouldn't be.  Barack Obama remains a political brahmin, untouchable by mainstream media except for charges that he has a quick, ready answer for.  Mr. Obama is their god.

Is he yours?


DUKE UNIVERSITY: THE FIASCO CONTINUES

Ken Berwitz

Here is a short article from Clarice Feldman at  www.americanthinker.com about Duke University's attempts to suppress news about the lawsuits filed against it by former members of its lacrosse team. 

Read it and shake your head, like I did:

Duke's boundless chutzpah

Clarice Feldman

After tarring and feathering and discriminating against the Duke lacrosse members  at a critical juncture in their college careers and lives, the Duke Administration has gone to court trying to shut down the players' website, which contains the pleadings in their recently filed case against the university and a compendium of press coverage about the case. 

The website seems well within ethical bounds and the pleadings by the University cite no authority to suggest otherwise. As K.C Johnson observes:

[E]thics rules specifically allow attorneys to make public statements countering negative publicity "not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer's client."

Given the copious negative statements by Duke officials and especially by Duke faculty members about the unindicted lacrosse players, it's hard to imagine a clearer example of negative publicity "not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer's client." It's not hard, however, to imagine why Duke would want to ensure that the lawsuit receives as little publicity as possible.

On the assumption that the local courts have finally grown  chary of giving Duke assistance in further depriving these students of their constitutional rights, I assume that the university's request will be denied, and draw your attention to this conduct and the team's website to help thwart this and further such nonsense by making it utterly counterproductive..

Remember the old adage that, if you've dug yourself a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging?

Well, Duke University has basically dug 3/4 of the way to China.  And they're putting on extra shifts.


AS THE WORLD SITS AND WAITS...............

Ken Berwitz

The following story comes to us via Agence France Presse.  If it surprises you at all, you are a newcomer to this blog:

Long-range rockets fired from Gaza are Iranian: Israel army
The Israeli army on Monday said that all the long-range rockets fired by Gaza militants against southern Israel during the latest round of violence were manufactured in arch-foe Iran.

Speaking to the parliament's powerful foreign affairs and defence committee, a senior military intelligence official said that over 20 Katyusha-type rockets, also known as Grad, were fired against Israel since last Thursday.

"We are talking about regular Iranian-made rockets," an official quoted the intelligence official as saying.

The 122-millimetre rockets have a range of about 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) and carry a large payload which caused heavy damage to buildings in the southern coastal town of Ashkelon, which bore the brunt of the Grad rocket fire.

Gaza militants have in recent years fired thousands of short-range makeshift rockets and mortars against southern Israel, but have only rarely fired the longer-range Grad-type rockets.

Israel believes that over 100 such rockets were smuggled into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip through its porous border with Egypt in recent months following the Hamas violent takeover of the territory, a security official has told AFP.

More than 116 Palestinians, including 22 children, were killed during the latest escalation of violence in Gaza which erupted last Wednesday and ended early Monday morning. Two Israeli soldiers and one Israeli civilian have also been killed.

Israel accuses Iran of actively backing and supplying arms to Hamas.

Iran is supplying the weapons that enable terrorists in Gaza to hit more and more Israeli targets.  Israel is finally, at long last, hitting back hard.  The fact that Israel is hitting back harder than before means it is possible - even probable - the country is prepared to continue escalating. 

Little wonder, since the alternative is allowing terrorists to kill Israelis at will.   

Something is going to give and it's going to give soon.  Can anyone guarantee Iran will not be a target?  Can anyone guarantee Iran will not target Israel directly?  Can anyone guarantee this will not move to nuclear weapons?

But the world sits.  And waits.  And waits.  And waits................

The UN sits.  And waits.  And waits.  And waits........................


HILLARY ENDORSES MCCAIN OVER OBAMA????

Ken Berwitz

No need to add to Ed Morrissey's piece for www.hotair.com.  It speaks for itself.  Amazingly.

Hillary endorses McCain over Obama?

posted at 6:40 pm on March 3, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly

OK, folks now its really on. The Hillary Clinton team apparently believes that the experience issue will prove a winner for her, so typically, shes overplaying it. On her way out of Toledo to Texas, she dropped this nugget on the press:

But before leaving, to insert herself into the days news coverage, she held a quick media availability at the Hilton and provided this unusually concise capsule comment for reporters, including The Times Louise Roug:

I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. Sen. John McCain has a lifetime of experience that hed bring to the White House. And Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.

Did I read this correctly? Did Hillary just endorse John McCain for the presidency over Barack Obama? How else would anyone understand this comment?

I guess we have our answer about whether Hillary will withdraw after tomorrow if she cant win Ohio and Texas. It sounds like shell stay in through the convention, and possibly do a Coulter and campaign for the opposition if she doesnt get her way.

Note to the new boss: Can I get the Bill Clinton beat when they start campaigning for McCain?


HELPING HILLARY

Ken Berwitz

It may surprise readers of this blog to know that I have just tried to help out Hillary Clinton.

My reasoning is that I want the best possible President for this country.  And although I do not like or trust Ms. Clinton, I do not like or trust Mr. Obama even more.  That makes her the better of two awful choices. 

Here is what I just sent to the Clinton campaign:

It amazes me that the Clinton campaign allows Senator Obama to get away with his "I was always against the Iraq war" claims. 

Mr. Obama hurts Ms. Clinton every time he says this.  And he gets a free pass?  That's crazy.

There is an answer which simultaneously elevates Ms. Clinton and puts Mr. Obama on the defensive.  It is inexplicable to me that the Clinton campaign has not used it yet:
---------------------------------------------------------------

"Yes, I voted to authorize.  So did almost every senator on both sides of the aisle.  We did so based on the intelligence we were given.  It would have been irresponsible to tie a President's hands under such circumstances.  That's why the vote was nearly unanimous.

We hoped that Mr. Bush would use our authorization wisely.  Obviously I, along with many other Democratic senators and most citizens, feel he did not.  But we did not have the ability to fast-forward to the present and see how the Bush administration performed.

Now we come to Senator Obama.  He  was not IN the senate when that authorization vote was taken.  If he had been, would he have voted the same way I did?  No one knows.  Not you.  Not me.  Not even Mr. Obama.  Despite his assurances, there is no way in the world he can take credit for a "no" vote he never had the chance to make. 

How easy it is to sit back after the fact, see what happened, determine the most politically beneficial position and then claim it for your own.  I didn't have that luxury.  My opponent did. 

So when Mr. Obama tells you what he WOULD have done - without any way of proving it - I suggest you take it with a grain of salt.  Maybe the whole shakerful.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

If Senator Clinton uses this strategy she will nail Senator Obama on the fantasy vote he is selling to the public, without going negative.  And he will sound ridiculous every time he claims ownership of the anti-war position.

I wish I had sent this to the Clinton campaign sooner.  But I didn't.  And, like Mr. Obama, I can't go back in time.

If it can help Ms Clinton from now on, so be it.


WITH FRIENDS LIKE GLORIA STEINEM......

Ken Berwitz

When I was younger, there was a rueful expression we used when a someone we trusted did us wrong:  "With friends like this, who needs enemies"

I wouldn't at all blame Hillary Clinton for resurrecting that expression today, because of her "friend" Gloria Steinem. 

Ms. Steinem is a professional feminist, whose public life has been almost completely  innoculated from criticism in mainstream media no matter how wacky her comments.  But this weekend, in Austin, Texas, her nutcake commentaries have embarrassed Senator Clinton tremendously.  And the timing couldn't be worse:  i.e. as Ms. Clinton fights for her political life just days before the Tuesday primaries.

Here, excerpted from the New York Observer article (which you can read in its entirety by just clicking here), is what Steinem said, supposedly on Ms. Clinton's behalf:

AUSTIN, TexasFeminist icon Gloria Steinem took to the stump on Hillary Clintons behalf here last night and quickly proved that she has lost none of her taste for provocation.

From the stage, the 73-year-old seemed to denigrate the importance of John McCains time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In an interview with The Observer afterward, she suggested that Barack Obama benefitsand Clinton suffersbecause Americans view racism more seriously than sexism.

Steinem raised McCains Vietnam imprisonment as she sought to highlight an alleged gender-based media bias against Clinton.

Suppose John McCain had been Joan McCain and Joan McCain had got captured, shot down and been a POW for eight years. [The media would ask], What did you do wrong to get captured? What terrible things did you do while you were there as a captive for eight years? Steinem said, to laughter from the audience.

McCain was, in fact, a prisoner of war for around five and a half years, during which time he was tortured repeatedly. Referring to his time in captivity, Steinem said with bewilderment, I mean, hello? This is supposed to be a qualification to be president? I dont think so.

...Steinem (said that) the Illinois senator was an intelligent, well-intentioned person. She added: I would like very much to see him be president for eight years after Hillary has been president for eight years.

But she also opined that a majority of Americans want redemption for racism, for our terrible destructive racist past and so see a vote for Obama as redemptive. Then, using a term for the mass killing of women, she added, I dont think as many want redemption for the gynocide.

They acknowledge racismnot enough, but somewhat, Steinem continued. They would probably be less likely to acknowledge that the most likely way a pregnant woman is to die is murder from her male partner. There are six million female lives lost in the world every year simply because they are female.

In her speech, Steinem argued that there was a major sexist component to the murmurs from some quarters suggesting Clinton should abandon her presidential quest.

There is, she said, a great deal of pressure at play for her to act like her gender and give in. Several shouts of No! came from the crowd. Steinem went on: Its a way of reinforcing the gender roles, right? Men are loved if they win and Hillary is loved if she loses. But maybe we shouldnt be so afraid of an open convention that actually decides something. After all, it was an open convention in New York City that gave us Abraham Lincoln.

Steinems speech offered, Letterman-style, 10 reasons why she was supporting Hillary. Most were serious, though one of the more flippant was We get Bill Clinton as Eleanor Roosevelt.

Other than Austin, she said, there is no community in the whole world that understands how to include everybody, how to be serious and have a good time at the same time, how to be fan-fucking-tastic quite so well.

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign sends over the following statement from Howard Wolfson: "Senator Clinton has repeatedly praised Senator McCain's courage and service to our country. These comments certainly do not represent her thinking in any way. Senator Clinton intends to have a respectful debate with Senator McCain on the issues."

These are the words of someone who is so used to being revered for whatever comes out of her mouth that she second-naturedly makes utterly imbecilic comments like the above and probably never thinks for one second that anyone will say boo.   Hey, when did they ever in the past?  I can almost hear her thought process:

I am woman.  I am invincible.  I work harder to get further with less appreciation than any other species in th.....wh - what's that you say?  Barack Obama is BLACK?  Y'mean he wins the oppression competition over Hillary Clinton's plumbing?  See, that's NOT FAIR!

I demand that Hillary's (and my) plumbing trump Barack Obama's melanin content!  I have spent my entire life demanding deference because I am a woman and everyone I care about has always agreed with me.  The press has always eaten this up.  I demand that things go back to the way they were!

Or, put another way, when media bias is in full bloom (that would be just about always), it is a lot less enjoyable when you're on the receiving end.

To her credit, Hillary Clinton put out about as direct a disclaimer as she could.  It can be found in the "Update" addendum above. 

I'm sure Ms. Clinton hopes this will overcome as much of the damage Steinem has done as possible.  What I'm not sure about is whether anything can overcome it completely.

steve schneider personally i don't get why hillary is considered to be such a feminist. if her husband was not the ex president would she even be in the senate? my feeling is that if all of a womans accomplishments are because of her husband she is the opposite of a feminist. regardless gloria steinman is obviously in a dream world to dismiss what john mccain endured. will hillary apologize? will the press admonish her if she doesn't? steve (03/03/08)


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