Tuesday, 06 May 2008


Ken Berwitz

Question:  What would give a Democratic operative or DNC member or super-delegate a hefty case of agita?

Answer:  Something like this, which comes to us from the Gallup poll:

PRINCETON, NJ -- Heading into Tuesday's important North Carolina and Indiana presidential primaries, 6 in 10 Democrats say Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should continue their presidential campaigns. Of the minority who would like to see either Clinton or Obama drop out and concede the nomination, more call for Clinton to step down than Obama.

These results are based on the May 1-3 USA Today/Gallup poll.

There is nothing - repeat, nothing - Democrat operatives/DNC members/super-delegates want more than to see this battle-royal end and to have one candidate to coalesce around.

But if you believe the Gallup data, most Democratic voters (Democrats!!!  No Republicans answered this question) want it to continue.

And, worse still, while 23% wish that Hillary Clinton would drop out of the race, 15% say the same about Barack Obama.  That means it isn't that the problem is not restricted to one candidate hanging on for dear life, BOTH candidates have a lot of people wishing they would begone.

If Barack Obama wins both Indiana and North Carolina today (and one polling venue, Zogby, indicates it will happen) then this probably is over no matter what Ms. Clinton's supporters want.  Her campaign contributions will dry up like an orange slice on a sand dune at high noon during July 4th weekend. 

But if Ms. Clinton is competitive, or wins one or both contests?  The 60% of Democrats who want the games to continue will get their wish.  And, I suspect, they'll be joined by about 99.9% of Republicans too.

But ss for the Demcoratic pros?  Tum, ta Tum Tum!!!



Ken Berwitz

As I write this, Democratic primary voters are going to the polls in North Carolina and Indiana

Throughout the primary season we have compared poll data with actual results - and, for the most part, laughed at how far from reality the polls were.  Well, this may be our last chance to do so in the 2008 election season.  So let's do it.

Here are the final poll data for each state, courtesy of www.realpolitics.com.  .

North Carolina Democratic Primary

Tuesday, May 6 | Delegates at Stake: 134

Polling Data

Poll Date Sample Obama Clinton Spread
RCP Average 04/28 - 05/05 -- 50.0 42.0 Obama +8.0
Insider Advantage 05/05 - 05/05 774 LV 47 43 Obama +4.0
Zogby Tracking 05/04 - 05/05 643 LV 51 37 Obama +14.0
SurveyUSA 05/02 - 05/04 -- 50 45 Obama +5.0
PPP (D) 05/03 - 05/04 870 LV 53 43 Obama +10.0
Rasmussen 05/01 - 05/01 831 LV 49 40 Obama +9.0
Research 2000 04/29 - 04/30 500 LV 51 44 Obama +7.0
Mason-Dixon 04/28 - 04/29 400 LV 49 42 Obama +7.0


Indiana Democratic Primary

Polling Data

Poll Date Sample Clinton Obama Spread
RCP Average 05/02 - 05/05 -- 49.0 44.0 Clinton +5.0
Zogby Tracking 05/04 - 05/05 644 LV 43 45 Obama +2.0
InsiderAdvantage 05/04 - 05/04 502 LV 48 44 Clinton +4.0
SurveyUSA 05/02 - 05/04 675 LV 54 42 Clinton +12.0
Suffolk 05/03 - 05/04 600 LV 49 43 Clinton +6.0
PPP (D) 05/03 - 05/04 851 LV 51 46 Clinton +5.0

Tomorrow we'll compare these data to what actually happened.  Maybe we'll laugh and maybe we'll be impressed. 

Stay tuned.

free remember a broken clock is right twice a day [unless it is a digital clock] (05/06/08)


Ken Berwitz

What does Michelle Obama have to complain about?  She has degrees from Princeton and Harvard (enjoy them with her, you paid a lot of the tuition), she is married to a Harvard graduate and US Senator, she has two beautiful daughters and her family is rich beyond the dreams of most voters.

Ms. Obama reminds me of that classic comment by Whoopi Goldberg at the Oscars some years ago, after a skit which included several fashion models: She said something like  "They get $10,000 an hour and they still look pissed". 

With this in mind, here is an excellent piece - complete with an equally excellent link - by Scott Johnson of www.powerlineblog.com:

Michelle Obama's gospel of bitterness


This past Friday Michelle Obama gave essentially the same stump speech in North Carolina that she had given the week earlier in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Based on the stump speech, Yuval Levin calls Mrs. Obama "The unhappiest millionaire." Levin's NRO column carries a link to the C-SPAN video of Mrs. Obama's North Carolina speech. It is well worth watching.

Levin characterizes the pervasive themes of Mrs. Obama's stump speech the "gospel of bitterness." Levin finds Barack Obama to be preaching a similar gospel, albeit one that benefits from "a peppier and more upbeat stump speech[.]" Senator Obama's enormous political skills make it much more difficult to discern the somewhat repulsive views and attitudes that are nakedly on display in Mrs. Obama's stump speech.

Michelle Obama seethes with bitterness. While she preaches the gospel according to Barack, she wears resentment and bitterness on her sleeve. It is therefore painful to listen to her. Mrs. Obama seeks to convey convey the impression -- and she expands on the theme at great length -- that Senator Obama's campaign is, to borrow Joe McCarthy's formulation, the victim of "a conspiracy so immense..." It is not clear whether the Obama campaign can overcome the power of these sinister forces.

According to Mrs. Obama, the Obama campaign has been constrained by nameless forces constantly changing the rules of the game and thereby preventing Senator Obama from securing the nomination. Who are "they"? Mrs. Obama says just enough about these nameless forces for us to infer that "they" include the Clintons and their supporters. "They" seem also (incredibly) to include the mainstream media. These nameless forces have approximately the same specificity as the names on Joe McCarthy's list.

In her North Carolina speech Mrs. Obama reiterates the condescending political sociology that she elaborated in her Fort Wayne remarks and that Barack Obama preached at his closed-door fundraiser with the San Francisco Democrats. Given the modesty of her and her husband's family backgrounds, Mrs. Obama denies that she or her husband could be elitists.

Yet Mrs. Obama's political sociology comfortably fits the What's the Matter With Kansas? school of thought held by the Demoratic Party's liberal elite. Indeed, it was an elite group of wealthy San Francisco Democrats to whom Barack Obama was preaching the gospel of bitterness in San Francisco.

Mrs. Obama mocks the notion that she and her husband are elitists. She implicitly asserts that only those born to wealth are capable of looking down their noses at their fellow citizens. She does not think highly of those of us who want to be left alone by advocates of the administrative welfare state such as she and her husband. Moreover, she finds us guilty of making our children the victims of our fears. We are raising "young doubters." (I confess!)

She says that she and Barack were born to parents of modest means, not with "silver spoons" in their mouth. Nobody knows the trouble they've seen. The burden of paying for her undergraduate education at Princeton and her law school education at Harvard has scarred her. It remains a motif of her stump speech. No one is accorded a chance to ask her if she thought about attending the University of Illinois, or if she's grateful for any of the financial assistance that facilitated her and her husband's attendance at the finest institutions of higher learning in the United States.

It appears that no one in the Obama campaign has the nerve to speak frankly with Mrs. Obama about how her stump speech might be improved. She could benefit from constructive criticism, because she is woefully deficient in the ability to see herself as others see her. She has just enough self-awareness to omit her admonition to the Los Angeles disciples of Barack:

Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

As I said last week about Mrs. Obama's Fort Wayne remarks: As long as Senator Obama won't require us to listen to the missus, I might be willing to settle for the compulsory mental readjustments.

Personally, I didn't attend Princeton or Harvard.  My degree comes from Queens College in New York City.  So maybe I don't have the academic background to fully understand why someone who has everything seems unable to stop whining and complaining.

But that is what Michelle Obama does.  Whine and complain.  Complain and whine.  Double double toil and trouble, pump out bile and make it bubble. 

Here are a couple of hints for Ms. Obama, straight from Brooklyn and Queens where I grew up: 

-Nobody likes people who can't stop complaining about how bad they have it, even if they DO have it bad;

-When they DON'T have it bad and complain all the time anyway, they come across as so ridiculous and obnoxious that nobody wants anything to do with them.

After this election Ms. Obama is either going to be living in the White House or in her $1.6 million dollar mansion in Chicago. 

Since I don't have either of these possibilities and I'm not complaining, my advice to Ms. Obama - again, straight from the streets of Brooklyn and Queens - is.....

.....why don't you just the $%#*%$%  up?


Ken Berwitz

I just read this "flash" from www.drudgereport.com:

Tue May 06 2008 06:35:49 ET

Hillary Clinton's inner circle now fears a stinging defeat is likely in North Carolina.

"Look, we worked hard and gave it our best shot, but the demographics, well, they are what they are," a top campaign source explained to the DRUDGE REPORT as voting began Tuesday morning.

The campaign now believes a 15 point loss, or more, would not be surprising. Her team will work hard throughout the day to lower all expectations in North Carolina.

The campaign hopes media attention will stay fixated on the competition in Indiana, where 72 delegates are on the line, and Clinton internals show a 10-point victory!


North Carolina had been seen by Clinton insiders as the senator's last shot to seriously jolt the system and overshadow the math. With 115 delegates at stake, North Carolina posed an uphill battle for Clinton.

Obama easily carried the region in earlier voting, topping Clinton in Maryland by 23-points; Virginia by 29, South Carolina 28 and Georgia 36.

(sniff, sniff, sniff)....Do you smell it?  Do you smell a way that the Hillary Clinton campaign can lose by 10-12% and crow about how well it did in North Carolina.

Quotes like these have an unmistakable aroma.  And - no prediction here, just a suspicion - I will be suprised if you see any 15% victory for Barack Obama in North Carolina.

By mid-evening we'll probably know for sure.  I'll try to cut away from the Yankee-Cleveland game and check every now and then.........


Ken Berwitz

Here is a fascinating take on the Middle East and our oil predicament.  It comes from Ralph Peters, writing for the New York Post. 

I don't know if Mr. Peters is right (nor do I know that he is wrong).  But it reads very logically, so I thought you might want to see it:



Seducer: Prince Bandar bin Sultan is just one of many Saudi false friends to the United States.
Seducer: Prince Bandar bin Sultan is just one of many Saudi false friends to the United States.

May 5, 2008 -- WANT to know a key rea son why you're being robbed at the gas pump? Well, my fellow Americans, you're being punished - for giving Iraqis a chance at democracy.

The Saudis ordered President Bush not to remove Saddam. The last thing that the despotic bigots in Riyadh wanted was change in the Middle East - especially change that empowered common men and women, Shia Arabs and Kurds.

But our president believed that the Saudis were not only America's friends, but his personal pals. He defied our Saudi masters. Silly him.

These past several years, the furious Saudis have been perfectly willing to help the new Iraq fail, hoping a disaster would lead back to rule by a Sunni Arab strongman. But the Iraqi government's starting to look like a going concern, after all.

So our president's old pals are teaching us a lesson - by limiting oil supplies. When Vice President Dick Cheney went to Saudi Arabia to beg for an increase in output, he got the bum's rush.

The Saudis aren't worried about our reaction. They know they'll always have regiments of paid protectors in Washington. They haven't just corrupted a few American public figures - they've built an entire Saudi cheerleading industry on the banks of the Potomac and beyond.

If our think tanks and universities had to list their funding sources on the cover of every "study" they publish, you'd be stunned. The Saudis and the Persian Gulf emirates have poured money into "nonpartisan" centers, faculties and department chairs from Massachusetts Avenue to Cambridge, Mass. (If you think mortgage brokers are greedy, you've never seen an intellectual offered a grant.)

Think those institutions have published many studies criticizing the Saudi royal family or the Emir of Qatar? Or defending Israel's right to exist?

If Congress really wants to improve our national security, let's try a baby step first: Pass a law requiring every think tank or college that accepts money from foreign governments, overseas institutions or ruling-dynasty members to register its employees as lobbyists.

Let's get this out into the sunlight so we can all savor the stink.

Another Saudi approach is to invite influential Americans to visit the kingdom as special guests: They literally get the royal treatment. Our political high-rollers and opinion-makers enjoy posh perks in Saudi Arabia - including lucrative contracts, cash hand-outs and Rolex party favors.

I've been terribly dismayed to see figures I respect - but who don't know the Middle East from East Orange - fall for Saudi pampering and the line that "We want change, of course, but we have to change gradually."

Even Osama bin Laden didn't buy that one. But you'll hear it parroted by no end of patsies in Washington.

Yet, as corrosive as the Saudis have been for our system, they're far worse for Muslims.

The crucial point you have to grasp is that the Saudis don't give a downtown damn about Muslims - flesh-and-blood men, women or children. They only care about Islam. They'd sacrifice tens of millions of Muslims to further their perversion of the faith.

I've visited over a dozen Muslim countries and many more that have significant Muslim minorities. In every case, I've found the Saudis funding evil.

From Thailand to the United States, the Saudi goal is to prevent Muslims from integrating into their host societies. In poor countries, such as Kenya, they pay families to pull their children out of state schools and send them to madrassahs - where they learn to recite the Koran, but no career skills.

The Saudis don't mind if Muslims live in poverty and squalor - as long as Muslims don't identify with the societies around them. They want strict religious and cultural apartheid.

So here's another easy thing Congress can do: Prohibit foreign funding, direct or indirect, of US religious institutions and schools by the government or citizens of any state that denies religious freedom to its own residents. No churches in Saudi Arabia? OK, no Saudi-controlled madrassahs in Virginia.

And when referring to Islamist terrorists or the Saudi royal family that nurtured them for so long, let's stop using the term "Islamo-fascists." As horrid as Italian or Spanish fascists could be, they were enlightened humanitarians compared to either al Qaeda or our Saudi "friends." Let's just call fanatics "fanatics."

The greatest modern tragedy for the Arab world wasn't European imperialism. It was who got the oil money: inbred desert barbarians with a zero-sum mentality about heaven and earth. The stunningly hypocritical Saudis (they could teach Eliot Spitzer plenty about top-flight hookers) have used their wealth to cut out Islam's heart. The faith of Mohammed, peace be upon him, has no greater enemies.

In this fight, we Americans, and Muslims around the world who cherish their faith, should stand united against the Saudis.

In the heat of the moment, Iran appears to many to be our worst enemy in the Middle East. While the nut house government in Tehran is a deadly problem, it's ultimately one of lesser scale. Our greatest enemy, anywhere, is Saudi Arabia, the cradle of terror.

Five years ago, I supported removing Saddam Hussein on moral and geopolitical grounds. I'm beginning to suspect we invaded the wrong country.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "Wars Of Blood And Faith."


Ok, now here is the broken-record part of the blog:

-Why are we not slightly inconveniencing a moose or two and drilling in ANWR?

-Why are we not drilling offshore - especially in the areas 100% available to us where Cuba is ALREADY drilling (and probably with far less regulatory concerns than our companies would have)?

-Why are we not using clean, well-regulated coal?

-Why are we not extracting shale oil at a fraction of what the saudis and their other USA hating friends charge?

-Why are we not taking a cue from France and using nuclear energy (about 80% of France's energy is supplied this way)?

I believe in environmentalism.  But I do not consider it a frigging suicide pact.  The loonies among us do. 

Let's wake up, and make sure that it is them, not us, consigned to the political asylum.


Ken Berwitz

Now that we are deep into the election season, olbermann has had months more to make inroads into O'Reilly's dominance and Dan Abrams has had enough time with the new incarnation of his show to build an audience, I thought you might like to see how everyone is making out.

Here, courtesy of www.mediabistro.com, are the latest (month of April) top 20 (actually 21 this time) cable news shows:


APRIL '08 (LIVE+SD) FINAL Competitive Program Analysis (excluding breaking news & specials)

APRIL '08: (03/31/2008 - 04/25/2008)

  1. FOXN THE OREILLY FACTOR                       2,394 451

  2. FOXN HANNITY & COLMES                          1,793 396

  3. FOXN ON THE RECORD W/GRETA               1,398 315


  5. FOXN THE OREILLY FACTOR (RPT)             1,239 350

  6. FOXN THE FOX REPORT W/S.SMITH           1,229 256

  7. CNN LARRY KING LIVE                               1,069 298

  8. FOXN FOX AND FRIENDS                           1,023 321

  9. FOXN AMERICAS NEWSROOM                  1,017 228

10. FOXN AMERICAS ELECTION HQ                   977 186

11. CNN CNN ELECTION CENTER                      962 291

12. FOXN YOUR WORLD W/NEIL CAVUTO          951 161

13. FOXN STUDIO B W/S.SMITH                          920 162

14. CNN LOU DOBBS TONIGHT                          871 239

15. FOXN HAPPENING NOW                               869 170

16. FOXN LIVE DESK W/M.MACCALLUM           840 167

17. CNN ANDERSON COOPER 360                    824 249

18. FOXN AMERICAS PULSE                             817 159


20. CNN SITUATION ROOM MTWTF                 640 182


Some things never seem to change:

-Fox absolutely dominates the cable news venues.  Every Fox show in prime time is higher than all other cable news shows at ANY time;

-MSNBC absolutely tanks compared to Fox;

-Bill O'Reilly continues to dominate all cable news shows;

-keith olbermann continues to run less than one-third of O'Reilly's viewership -- in fact Reilly's REPEAT at 11PM has two-thirds more viewership than olbermann's left-a-thon;

-Chris Matthews, who MSNBC keeps trying to turn into a superstar, isn't in the top 20 (I had to expand to 21 so you could see him);

-Dan Abrams' new packaging of his old show isn't even on the list (he's at #24).

At some point you will see promotional BS from CNN and MSNBC telling you how terrifically they are doing and how everyone who watches cable news is hanging by their thumbs waiting for each show to begin.

When you do, remember these numbers.  We all can use a good belly laugh once in a while.


Ken Berwitz

What is it with these nutcake "clergymen" who create bizarre religious cults that seem to have a special interest in sex with underage girls and boys?

Here is the latest warren jeffs wannabe, courtesy of the Associated Press (usually I respect the AP's copyright request, but this is just a few sentence long, so I'm thinking they'll indulge me:

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico state police say they've arrested the leader of an apocalyptic church on sex charges.

State police spokesman Peter Olson says 66-year-old Wayne Bent was picked up without incident Tuesday at the remote former ranch where he and his followers live. He's facing three charges of criminal sexual contact.

Bent goes by the name of Michael Travesser and claims to be the Messiah. State child welfare officials say there have been allegations of inappropriate contact between Bent and children at the northeastern New Mexico compound.

Bent has acknowledged having sex with his followers, but police haven't detailed the allegations against him. Officials recently removed two girls and a boy from the compound.

I look at scam artists like this, whom I equate with the televangelists who want you to praise Jesus for only $ (you fill in the number) and maybe a bequest in your will, and I cringe.

How can people be fooled into this?  Are there that many gullible dupes?  I guess the answer must be "yes".

I hope this sack of manure gets everything he deserves and more.  Both in this life and in eternity.


Ken Berwitz

Now here's a little something I bet you didn't know.  It comes to us from the invaluable www.memritv.org, and shows the quality of "thought" so many Arabs are exposed to that creates enthusiastic suicide bombers.  Keep in mind that the speaker is not only a member of hamas, but an elected member of the palestinian Arab parliament too.

See for yourself:.

   Home |Clips |Clip #1760

Title of Video: Hamas MP Salem Salamah: PEPSI Stands for "Pay Every Pence to Save Israel"
  Clip #1760 Broadcast: April 23, 2008  

There you go.  Pay Every Pence to Save Israel.  How could we have been so blind not to have known all along?

And while we're at it, here are the real words to the original Pepsi jingle, which have been hidden all these years by those wily Israelis:

"Pepsi-Cola hits the spot

Jerusalem and old Efrat

Tel Aviv and Haifa too,

Pepsi Cola saves it all for you"

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