Saturday, 03 May 2008

THE WISDOM OF OUR TIME

Ken Berwitz

I know this is stupid of me, because it is going to encourage "Russ" to send more of these and clog up my e-mail box.

But most of them are at least a little funny.  And several are very funny.  So here they are:

 


 
 
The Wisdom Of Our Time
It's not whether you win or lose, but how you place the blame.
 
 
You are not drunk 
if you can lie on the floor 
without holding on.
 
We have enough youth. How about a fountain of 'smart'?
 
 The original point and click interface   
was a Smith & Wesson.
 
A fool and his money  
can throw one hell of a party.
 
When blondes have more fun, do they know it?
 
Five days a week my body is a temple.
The other two it's an amusement park.
 
LEARN FROM YOUR PARENTS' MISTAKES 
USE BIRTH CONTROL
 
Money isn't everything,
but it sure keeps the kids in touch.
 
Don't Drink and Drive
You might hit a bump and spill something.
 
If at first you don't succeed,
skydiving is not for you.
 
Reality is only an illusion
that occurs due to a lack of alcohol.
 
Time's fun when you're having flies.
......Kermit the Frog
 
We are born naked, wet and hungry. 
Then things get worse.
 
Red meat is not bad for you  
Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.
 
Ninety-nine percent of all lawyers 
give the rest a bad name.
 
Friends don't let friends
take ugly
 people  home.  
 Xerox and Wurlitzer will merge 
to create reproductive organs.

 
 
Alabama state motto:  
At least we're not Mississippi .
 
Gaseous clouds
have been detected
around Uranus.
 
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS NO
MATCH FOR NATURAL STUPIDITY.
 
GUN CONTROL:
using both hands
 
The more I learn about terrorism,
the more I understand the phone company.
 
The latest survey shows that
three out of four people make
up 75% of the population.
 
 
Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant'   
is like calling a drug dealer
 an 'unlicensed pharmacist '.
 

.


EURO VS. DOLLAR: IS THE BUBBLE BURSTING?

Ken Berwitz

My wife, who loves to travel and is itching to go back to Europe next year for our 40th anniversary (she's nice enough to want to take me along) has been railing for years about the cost of a euro in US dollars.  And she has a point. 

Last week the euro moved above $1,60.  And given its nothing-but-upward trend of the last couple of years, it looked like this was just another milepost toward where it eventually would be. 

But a funny thing has happened.  All of a sudden the euro is going down.  Not a ton, I admit.  It closed Friday at $1.5424.  But down is down, and that's a drop of almost 4% in just one week's time.

The folks at www.bloomberg.com seem to feel that this reversal may be heralding a different direction for futures traders.  If so, the euro would continue to drop, and who knows how low it would go. 

Here is the Bloomberg article:

Futures Traders Bet on Dollar Gain For First Time Since 2005
By Bo Nielsen and Ye Xie

May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Futures traders are betting for the first time since December 2005 that the dollar will gain against the euro.

The difference in the number of wagers by hedge funds and other large speculators on a decline in the euro compared with those on a gain, known as net shorts, was 21,315 on April 29, compared with net longs of 18,907 a week earlier, figures from the Washington-based Commodity Futures Trading Commission show.

``The dollar has already turned against the euro,'' said Benedikt Germanier, a currency strategist at UBS AG in Stamford, Connecticut. ``The dollar will go to $1.52 in a straight line.''

The dollar increased 0.3 percent to $1.5424 per euro at 5 p.m. in New York, from $1.5474 yesterday. It touched $1.5361, the highest level since March 24.

The dollar rose 1.3 percent against the euro this week, its biggest rally since March, and has appreciated 3.6 percent from a record low of $1.6019 reached on April 22. It's the first time the dollar has posted two weeks of gains since December.

The currency rose after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates on April 30 and said ``substantial'' easing since September would help foster growth. The Labor Department reported today that U.S. employers eliminated fewer jobs in April than forecast, indicating the labor market is weathering the economic slowdown.

Payrolls shrank by 20,000 last month following a revised decline of 81,000 in March. The median forecast of 82 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a drop of 75,000.

The yield advantage of two-year German bunds over comparable-maturity Treasuries has decreased to 1.40 percentage points from 1.85 percentage points on March 31, making dollar- denominated assets more attractive to investors.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the currency against six major counterparts, touched 73.698, the highest level since March 5. The index fell to 70.698 on March 17, the lowest level since its 1973 inception.

I am not at all knowledgeable on how these markets work.  So I'm just parroting what others are saying.  But if this is what they are saying, maybe Europe will be a good deal more affordable for us - and you - in the near future.

Politically, a strengthening dollar is good news for Republicans.  But, sad to say, bad news for Democrats. 

What a terrible situation a party is in when, for political advantage, it needs things to go wrong and stay wrong in our country.


THE DEMOCRATIC HOBSON'S CHOICE

Ken Berwitz

Joan Swirsky, writing for www.newmediajournal.com   has put together a very tight compendium of political negatives for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  It is too long to post here, but I'll put up the key parts and you can read the rest by clicking here:

Democrats Offer Electorate Horrific Hobsons Choice
Politics Joan Swirsky, Featured Writer
May 1, 2008
 

Thomas Hobson, an English stable owner in the 15th century, offered his customers two unappealing choices: either to take the least desirable horse or none at all. Six centuries later, we still refer to no-win (i.e., lose-lose) options as Hobsons Choice.

 

Welcome to the Hillary-Obama race!

 

It simply boggles the mind that out of over-300-million American citizens, the best that the Democrat Party can offer its leftist followers is the choice between a pathologically lying socialist and a Marxist in liberal clothing.

 

 

What Weve Learned About Hillary?

Well, the lying is nothing new. Even before her Arkansas days, Hillary was known for her ugly untruths. In fact, when she was 27 part of her famous 35-years of experience she worked on the Watergate committee investigating Pres. Richard Nixon. After the investigation was over, the man who supervised her work, retired general counsel and Chief of Staff of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Zeifman, fired Hillary and refused to give her a letter of recommendation one of only three people he had fired in his 17-year career.

According to an article by author
Dan Calabrese, Zeifman said he fired Hillary because she was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.

Who can forget the red-phone ladys serial lies concerning:

 

▪ Whitewatergate

 

▪ BillingFilesgate

 

▪ TravelOfficegate

 

▪RightWingConspiracygate

 

▪ CattleFuturesgate

 

▪ Big et al. here!

 

Then she ran for New York senator and added to the above list her lies about:

 

▪ Always loving the Yankees

 

▪ Having Jewish relatives

 

▪ Knowing nothing about her husbands pardons of FALN terrorists (the better to capture the Hispanic vote)

 

▪ Being clueless about her husbands pardons of the Hasidic communitys crooks (the better to capture the Jewish vote)

 

▪ Creating jobs for upstate New Yorkers

 

▪ Equally big et al. here!

 

All of Hillarys lying was a preamble to her lifetime ambition of becoming the first female U.S. president. Her run proves that repetition aids learning. After decades of chronic confabulation, she has now raised to a virtual art form the non-truth, the fictional, the exaggerated, and, let us not omit, the bald-faced lie!

 

▪ Having 35 years of experience

 

▪ Contributing to the Irish peace process

 

▪ Landing in Kosovo under sniper file

 

▪ Being misled into voting for the war in Iraq (mega-whopper here)

 

▪ Too many et als. to count!

 

Its no wonder that the following joke is now zooming around the Internet;

 

What Weve Learned About Obama?

Because hes been prominent on the national scene for less than four years, Obama with his appealingly even temperament and golden way with words has not refined the art of lying as Hillary has, although youd never know this from sites like www.Obamalies.com. Hes getting better, however, perhaps as a result of steeping himself and being steeped in the world of Chicago machine politics. But for the sheer length of this numbingly-repetitive, media-orchestrated campaign, Americans would never have known about Obamas:

 

America-hating wife (America is a mean countryAmericans have to fix their "broken souls." Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.").

 

America-hating, anti-Semitic (We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians), racist (We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority) spirtual inspiration (And in my personal walk, Obama said, I seek daily to imitate his faith), Afrocentric-Liberation-Theology-spewing Rev. Jeremiah Wright (God Damn America) and the candidates 20-year relationship, philanthropic largesse, and continued affiliation with Wrights church.

 

▪ America-hating (and bombing) William Ayers ("I don't regret setting the bombs. I feel we didn't do enough").

 

American-hating Sam Graham-Felsen, the Obama campaigns official blogger, who chose to hang a Communist Party flag in his Harvard campus apartment.

 

▪ Endorsement by America-hating Hamas.

 

▪ Endorsement by America-hating Black Panther Party.

 

▪Endorsement by America-hating Marxist Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua.

 

America-hating Rashid Khalidi, who from 1972 through 1983, was the director in Beirut of the official anti-American, anti-Semitic Palestinian press agency, FAFA.

 

America-hating Marxist-Leninist Che Guevara, Castros chief executioner, whose picture was pinned to the wall of one of his headquarters, with his approval.

 

Anti-American revolutionary Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist Party member, and early mentor.

 

Close association with his campaign advisor, Tony McPeak, who has remarked that our foreign policy is unduly influence by people in Miami and New York.

 

Close affiliation with big-time crook Tony Rezko, who is now on trial for corruption in Illinois.

 

▪ Suspect association with the radical anti-war group Code Pink, which donated $600,000 to help Iraqi terrorists in Fallujah fight U.S. military forces and harassed, vandalized and impeded U.S. military recruiters across the nation.

 

These uniformly anti-American associations should cause all sane Americans to question Obamas self-proclaimed judgment just as they should question Hillarys deep ties to America-loathing terrorists.

 

And what are we to make of the fear and loathing Obama inspires from dozens if not hundreds of prominent black intellectuals from the worlds of politics, academia, and the media?

 

Among them is columnist Ken Blackwell, who comments on Obamas vision for our nation:

 

▪ National security: Over the summer, Mr. Obama talked about invading Pakistan, a nation armed with nuclear weapons; meeting without preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who vows to destroy Israel and create another Holocaust; and Kim Jong II, who is murdering and starving his people, but emphasized that the nuclear option was off the table against terrorists something no president has ever taken off the table since we created nuclear weapons in the 1940s.Mr. Obama is a foreign-policy novice who would put our national security at risk.

 

▪ Economic policy: For all its faults, our health care system is the strongest in the world. And free trade agreementshave made more goods more affordable so that even people of modest means can live a life that no one imagined a generation ago. Yet Mr. Obama promises to raise taxes on the rich.

 

▪ Social Security: Raise taxes. Medicare: Raise taxes. Obamas solution to everything is to have government take it over. Big Brother on steroids, funded by your paycheck.

 

▪ Social issues: Mr. Obama said that, Christian leaders have hijacked hijacked Christianity. He is pro-partial birth abortion, and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will rule any restriction on it unconstitutional. He espouses the abortion views of Margaret Sanger, one of the early advocates of racial cleansing. And, in Illinois, he refused to vote against a statewide ban on all handguns in the state.

 

Hobson gave his customers two bad choices. In 2008, Democrats have given us two choices that are potentially disastrous for our country. I hope that keeping both of them far away from the Oval Office will be, for most voters including Independents the proverbial no-brainer!

I strongly urge you to link to Ms. Swirsky's article and read every word of it.  There is a lot more than what I am able to show you in one blog. 

And if you're counting on media to provide it for you?  Like I said, link to Ms. Swirsky's article.


EUROPEAN SELF-CENSORSHIP

Ken Berwitz

Here is an extremely hard-hitting, even borderline intolerant, article by Christopher Orlet, writing for The American Spectator (www.spectator.org).  I don't agree with everything Mr. Orlet says, but his most important point - that much of Europe seems willing to subordinate free speech to the threats of fundamentalists - is right on target:

Among the Intellectualoids
Sense and Sensitivity
By Christopher Orlet
Published 5/2/2008 12:07:47 AM

Whether by church, monarch, or dictator, Europeans are not unaccustomed to being told what to do and what to think. Perhaps that is why they have elected the German Hans-Gert Pottering president of the European Parliament. President Pottering is a totalitarian official of the Old School, only this time the reactionary enemy is not the Jew or the petite bourgeoisie, but anyone not properly sensitive to the religion of Islam. For this reason the Dutch MP turned filmmaker Geert Wilders is currently in his crosshairs.

Wilders is infamous for making the short anti-Koran film Fitna, undertaken around the time of the
jihadist murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Wilders is no friend of freedom either; he has advocated the banning of the Koran and other Islamic books and on more than one occasion suggested that the Dutch constitution and European Convention on Human Rights should be suspended to protect citizens from Islamic extremism. Unhappily this pair of Germanic politicos is in no way exceptional in its belief that Europe's masses have too much freedom.

Pottering recently decreed that while Europeans do not necessarily have to love those of other faiths, they must at least
respect them, regardless of whether that respect has been earned. "We might disagree with others but we have to respect them," declared Pottering.

Many Muslims meanwhile have made it plain that they are unwilling to respect free speech, or to accept the offenses, inconveniences, and injuries incidental to it. Since Muslims are easily offended, and offended Muslims tend toward violence thus becoming a danger to public safety, it is argued, such respect can only be attained through means of a prohibition or ban on jokes, satires, parodies, or anything thought to denigrate the faith and thus cause a breach of the peace.

Last week Pottering told a Gulf newspaper that "Europe" was against any cartoons that could instigate violence, presumably including Tom & Jerry cartoons. "We in Europe are committed to the freedom of the press, on the one hand, but on the other the media should develop a sort of self responsibility. They should always know the consequences of what they publish about other cultures." (Emphasis mine.)

Immediately after the cartoon jihad there were calls by Muslim officials to prosecute the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on charges of blasphemy. Many of us thought that blasphemy laws had gone out with the stocks and witch-burning, when in fact the last British citizen to be sent to prison for blasphemy was John William Gott. In 1922 Gott was sentenced to nine months' hard labor for comparing Jesus to a clown. Some in the British government have realized that with its growing and easily offended Muslim population, blasphemy charges could wreak havoc on the court system, though the government has stopped short of repealing the laws, perhaps out of a sense of sick nostalgia.

Laws against inciting hatred (and not necessarily violence) because of their religious beliefs serve much the same purpose. Substitute "speech" or "words" for "cartoons" and you have Pottering's and his radical fundamentalist allies' real bugbear: speech they do not like.

The tragedy is that Europeans -- who continue to re-elect the EP official -- are willing to give politicians like Pottering the right -- if not the power -- to ban speech he does not like.


MUSLIMS ARE NOT THE only members of a faith community easily offended by perceived blasphemies, insults or parodies. Indeed, most followers of developing world religions (whether practiced by Sikhs, Hindus, Nigerian Christians or African animists) seem willing to riot at the least offense. It is no surprise that they convey these enthusiasms with them when resettling in the West.

So in order to assuage and ameliorate these primitive passions European governments have chosen to crack down on the natural rights of those -- mainly non-religious persons -- who are not rioting and threatening death. That's the penalty for not adequately respecting a medieval desert superstition.

On second thought, the EP's president is too much the milquetoast to be compared to past totalitarian leaders who sought to repress freedom and curb liberty. Pottering, in fact, cannot even bring him self to admit that there is such a thing as Jihadism.

"If there are people who commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam..." Pottering begins. If? What more proof does the leader of Europe's Parliament need, a videotaped beheading of his wife and children?

European leaders believe that their continent will be a much more congenial place, a regular peaceable kingdom if they will only clamp down on civil liberties. But by appeasing Muslims, and other hotheaded believers from the Third World, they risk alienating those who believe free speech and a free press are the most important freedoms the West has invented, and are thus worth fighting for.

Will Europeans again allow themselves to be coerced into silence by political scoundrels? If history has taught us anything it is that blackguards, villains and tyrants flourish when freedoms are suppressed, while honest men and the honest truth are the first casualties.


Haven't we been down this route before?  Haven't we seen the consequences of Europe acquiescing to forces that take them backwards before?  Haven't we bailed Europe out with our own blood and treasure when it happens?

Santayana said that "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it".  Though most of his life was spent in the United States, Mr. Santayana lived and died a Spanish citizen.  Too bad so many of his fellow European citizens don't ever seem to listen to him.


NO-PRAH

Ken Berwitz

What happened to Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama's valued supporter and fellow congregant at jeremiah wright's Trinity United Church of Christ?

It wasn't that long ago that Ms. Winfrey was out there, in front of countless thousands of cheering fans (her fans or his?  No one knows for sure).   She was enthusiastically telling us all that the best thing we could do was vote for Barack Obama.

Well, where is she now?  And where has she been for the last three months?

Here, via selected excerpts, is an explanation by Carrie Budoff Brown and Jeffrey Ressner of  www.politico.com.  You can read their entire article by clicking here:

When Barack Obama needed Oprah Winfreys help, she delivered.

When he needed an infusion of campaign cash, she threw a star-studded fundraiser last summer at her California estate. When he needed a big-name draw in the early-primary states, she addressed massive crowds in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

And when Obama was looking for a late boost in a critical Super Tuesday state, Winfrey was once again there for him, giving up her Sunday afternoon for a Los Angeles rally.

But as Obama faces his most crucial primary day in months and struggles to move past the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy, Winfrey is far from the campaign trail, appearing more focused on sweeps not election  season.

Indeed, since Super Tuesday on Feb. 5, Oprah has been absent from Obama's side. Her people say other projects have kept her too busy to hit the hustings for the candidate. His people say theyd love to have her but dont need her help in attracting crowds anymore. Either way, people expecting to see her on the stump anytime soon may have to hold their breath longer than David Blaine did this week on her namesake talk show.

Yet it would seem like the perfect time for Obama to call in his super surrogate, considering the next two states up for grabs: North Carolina has a significant African-American population, and Indiana shares a border and a media market with Illinois, where Winfrey resides and tapes her talk show.


"She doesn't have anything planned at this time," said a representative for Harpo Productions. Winfrey "still strongly supports Obama," but "her business commitments have kept her schedule full since February."

Winfrey is currently shooting new programs through May sweeps, which stretches from April 24 to May 21.

Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said they understand that the campaign values her help and wants more of it but that it is not likely until the general election. Psaki suggested the campaign needs to decide when is the best time to tap its surrogates, particularly one as coveted and recognizable as Winfrey. 


Oprahs rare foray into politics proved controversial among certain segments of her largely female fan base, leading to speculation that her absence from the trail reflects a conscious decision to dial back her involvement for reasons other than business projects. After all, the scale of her media empire suggests Winfrey is rarely without pressing business commitments.

When asked about it Friday in Indiana, Obama downplayed the suggestion that Oprahs popularity has declined because of her involvement with his campaign.

According to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll released after her three-state campaign tour with Obama in December, Winfrey's favorability rating dropped to 55 percent, down from 68 percent in September.

Winfrey's website lit up with criticism, too. One writer called her a "traitor" for not supporting the first viable female presidential candidate, setting off a heated debate on her comment boards among her critics and supporters.

But by the one measure that truly matters  Nielsen ratings  Winfrey does not appear to be suffering.

In the six-month period in which Winfrey's advocacy was at its height  from September to February  her TV ratings registered no sharp increases or declines.

It is "impossible to attribute any change in Oprah's ratings to her support for Barack Obama," said Robert Seidman, co-founder of the website
TVbythenumbers.com, which charts the ratings of popular television shows.

Winfrey started her big Obama push Sept. 8 with a fundraiser at her estate near Santa Barbara, Calif. Her Nielsen ratings for the week of Sept. 10-16 came in at 7.63 million.

In mid-November, her ratings were 8.02 million.

By February, following her last public appearance in support of Obama at UCLA with Michelle Obama, Maria Shriver and Caroline Kennedy, Oprah's TV ratings came in at 7.92 million and then topped 8 million again by March.

In April, well after her last high-profile Obama appearance, her ratings dipped to 5.98 million but so did the ratings of other syndicated shows, such as "Wheel of Fortune."

"Just as I attribute none of 'Wheel of Fortune's' decline to Pat Sajak's political affiliation, as an analyst I don't think people checked out of Oprah because she supports Barack Obama," Seidman said. "The seasonal trends for everything, across the board, are down."

Donna Bojarsky, a political consultant who works closely with celebrities and the Democratic Party, says she sees nothing unusual in Oprah's absence from Obama's side.

"She's just busy," Bojarsky said.

Noting that Winfrey hasn't endorsed candidates in the past, she said there's a benefit to keeping her appearances "highly valued and rare."

The reason I put that lower rating in bold should be self-evident.  It is a drop-off of 25%, which is huge.  And althoughthe article states that Wheel Of Fortune dropped off too, it doesn't show by how much.  I'm betting it's nowhere near the same degree.

Further, that 25% loss of audience came right after Ms. Winfrey had been most visible in her support of Obama.  Tossing in data from late last year, when most people had no idea of her Presidential preference, seems geared to throwing us off the scent.  Of course the viewership moved very little -- Obama wasn't an issue then.  When he was an issue is when the numbers fell off a table.

I have to conclude, therefore, that Oprah Winfrey stopped being the out-front celebrity supporter of Barack Obama because it was hurting her professionally. 

And the people who stopped watching?  Don't they also vote?

That's a little something that the super-delegates might want to keep in mind when they decide for once and for all which candidate they will support.


FRANKEN RAZZBERRIES

Ken Berwitz

Have you been following the senate race in Minnesota between Al Franken and Michael Brodkorb?

"What's that" you say?  "Isn't Franken running against the incumbent senator, Norm Coleman"? 

Well, yeah, he is.  But he's also running against Michael Brodkorb.  And Brodkorb seems to be winning. 

Let me show you what I mean, via excerpts from an Associated Press article, which you can read in its entirety by clicking here:

Republican blogger has Al Franken's Senate campaign reeling

By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press WriterFri May 2, 8:20 AM ET

Senate candidate Al Franken wants to talk about jobs, health care and global warming. Republican blogger Michael Brodkorb wants to talk about Franken's failure to pay all his income taxes on time.

Guess what everyone is talking about?

From the kitchen table in his tranquil suburban neighborhood, Brodkorb for the last year has used his blog "Minnesota Democrats Exposed" to launch a furious political assault on Franken. He's labeled the former comedian and liberal commentator a "mean-spirited and un-Minnesotan" candidate who's running a "desperate and ridiculous" campaign.

That's routine stuff in the world of political blogging, but in the last two months Brodkorb has scored two direct hits that have the Franken campaign reeling. Brodkorb scooped the traditional media by detailing extensive bookkeeping problems in New York and California that ultimately prompted Franken, this week, to pay about $70,000 in back taxes to 17 states.

The stories have knocked Franken off balance as he prepares to take on Sen. Norm Coleman, in what's expected to be one of the most expensive and toughest-fought U.S. Senate races this year.

A typical Brodkorb scoop is splashed across his Web site under bold-faced banners like "Shock!" or "Breaking News!" The items are often followed soon after by a news release from the state Republican Party on the same subject, and many of his themes find their way into Coleman's talking points.

In person, Brodkorb is a dark-haired, soft-spoken and polite 34-year-old whose infant twin daughters sometimes nap not far from his laptop.

He said he grew up in a family that wasn't political, and his interest in Republican politics began in college. He said he believes in "the fundamentals of being a Republican less government, individual freedom, personal responsibility, strong national defense."

He dropped out of college in 1995 to work on the failed U.S. Senate campaign of Rudy Boschwitz. In the late '90s, Brodkorb worked for state Senate Republicans, where he started to learn how to do "opposition research" digging up dirt on opponents. He did it well enough to become director of research for the state Republican Party, and served in similar roles for several Republican campaigns.

Brodkorb's critics suggest some of his best stories are leaked from Republican campaigns, the state party and Republican-affiliated groups as part of a coordinated effort against Democrats. That includes Dave Colling, who managed the 2006 congressional campaign of Keith Ellison, a regular Brodkorb target.

Brodkorb won't detail his methods, except to say he "gets tips all the time from Democrats and Republicans" and independently researches them before posting anything.

Brodkorb wouldn't reveal how he first got the notion to check up on Franken's business dealings in New York and California, but said simple searches on government Web sites delivered the goods: New York had levied a $25,000 judgment against Franken's private corporation for failing to carry workers' compensation insurance, and the corporation was in forfeiture in California.

Brodkorb shrugs off Democrats' claims that he's a Republican operative by saying he's never been paid to blog. He said he earns a living through corporate, non-political consulting work, and would disclose on his blog if he does any paid campaign work this year.

Nevertheless, as state Republican Party Chairman Ron Carey put it: "I'm glad he's on our side."

Al Franken is supposed to be a funny man.   Personallly, I've never found him to be.  And his involvement in the Air American/Gloria Wise foundation scandal has made my unfunny perception of him a forever thing.

The information Michael Brodkorb has unearthed about Franken would be bad enough by itself.  But when added to the Air America fiasco?  It has all the look (and smell) of a pattern of disregard for ethics and fairness, in the pursuit of money.

Is that a good attitude to bring to the senate?  Minnesotans will tell you what they think come election day.

But before you count Al Franken out, remember:  these are the same folks who elected Governor Jesse Ventura.


"RED KEN" LIVINGSTONE: MAYOR OF LONDON NO MORE

Ken Berwitz

London has really done it now.  They have replaced a sack of manure with a sack of rotten tomatoes.

"Red Ken" Livingstone, the far left, USA-hating, Israel-hating, Palestinian Arab-rationalizing sack of manure has been defeated by Boris Johnson, a man who has no problem at all tossing out racially offensive comments of his own.

What a choice between these two.  It was like picking between cancer and heart disease.

On balance, though, I have to admit I'm a good deal more comfortable with Johnson than Livingstone. 

The folks over at www.sweetness-light.com have written this up very well, so let me show you what they've divined from the AP report and what they have to say about it:

Offensive Conservative Ousts London Mayor

May 2nd, 2008

From a deeply saddened Associated Press:


Outgoing mayor of London, the Labour Party candidate Ken Livingstone, left, stands beside the capitals new mayor Conservative Party candidate Boris Johnson as the results are announced at City Hall in London, in the early hours of Saturday, May 3, 2008.

Eccentric opposition lawmaker ousts Labour mayor of London

By DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press

LONDON - A Conservative lawmaker with a knack for offensive remarks ousted the left-wing mayor of London in an upset that capped the ruling Labour Partys worst local election showing in four decades.

Results released early Saturday showed Boris Johnson defeating Ken Livingstone in Labours first test at the polls since then-Prime Minister Tony Blair handed the reins last year to Gordon Brown, who has since been dogged by accusations of indecision and incompetence

I do hope that it does show that the Conservatives have changed into a party that can again be trusted, Johnson said, shortly after the result was announced to cheers from raucous supporters. Lets get cracking tomorrow and lets have a drink tonight.

Livingstone a staunch leftist who courted Venezuelas Hugo Chavez and faced off with the U.S. Embassy for unpaid congestion charges said the blame for his defeat must rest at his door, not Browns.

I accept that responsibility and I regret that I couldnt take you to victory, the veteran politician said, looking pale and crestfallen. He leaves office immediately

Uncombed and often awkward, Johnson is known both his wit and for remarks that are have offended minority communities and others.

He labeled members of the Commonwealth piccaninnies a derogatory term for black people, referred to Africans as having watermelon smiles, and likened his partys internal conflicts to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing.

Johnsons scorn has also been directed at gay marriage, which became legal in Britain in 2005. In his book Friends, Voters, Countrymen, he said that if homosexuals could marry then why not three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.

Ex-party leader Michael Howard ordered Johnson to visit the northern city of Liverpool in 2004 to apologize after he wrote an editorial accusing the citys people of wallowing in victimhood after Liverpudlian Ken Bigley was taken hostage in Iraq and beheaded.

Johnson has cultivated a befuddled, rumpled image and was often seen clumsily pedaling his bicycle to Parliament.

His campaign billboards featured silhouettes of his iconic poses scratching his unruly thatch of blond hair, ambling along a road with hands stuffed in wrinkled pockets, gesticulating wildly to make a debating point

Johnson said it is likely there will be the odd ill-chosen expression in his future

Yes, Mr. Johnson is eccentric and given to offense.

But Red Ken is the cats whiskers according to the Associated Press. (After all, he only courted Mr. Chavez and stood up to the Americans.)

What media bias?

Bye-bye Ken.  But don't worry.  Gaza city might have an opening any day, and they'll be happy to elect someone with your views....until the first time you're accused of having impure thoughts, that is.


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