Friday, 20 June 2008


Ken Berwitz

It's entertaining, if nothing else.

A bill that is despised by the hard left comes before the house.  First the Democratic party puts on a very loud, very public dog-and-pony show denouncing the bill.  This is meant to reassure their hard-left base that "we're with you!!".  But then, later and with far less fanfare, they vote the bill into legislation anyway.

Democrats have done this for years with war funding bills.  And now, as seen in the excerpts from this Reuters article , they have done it with the bill that gives telephone companies immunity if they aid in terrorist surveillance:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that could shield phone companies from billions of dollars in lawsuits for their participation in the warrantless surveillance program begun by President George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks.

Drafted by Democratic and Republican negotiators, the White House-backed measure would also overhaul U.S. spy powers. The Senate is expected to give the bill final approval next week, clearing the way for Bush to sign it into law.

"It will help our intelligence professionals learn our enemies' plans for new attacks," Bush said just hours before the House overwhelmingly approved the bill 293-129.

The compromise drew fire from a number of Democrats and civil liberties groups -- even as Democratic backers defended it as fair but not perfect.

This is the dance that Democrats have to do these days.  It's the old two-step.  First they rail against the bill so that the hard leftists still love them.  But then they vote for a "compromise" version which, in reality, has exactly what was being railed about anyway.

Why do they do this? Is it out of fear that defunding a war in progress, or making it hard for telephone companies to help in surveilling terrorist suspects, will lose them so many votes that they cant afford to follow through? Quite possibly so. But whatever the reason, this is what they are doing.

Does it make fools of the hardline leftists who think the Democratic Party is on their side?  Yep, it sure does.  But - and this is the fun part - as long as the hard left's reaction is to spit out angry denunciations, but then grit their teeth and vote Democratic anyway, you can bet your bottom dollar that they'll do it again.  And again.  And again.


Ken Berwitz

Here, from Reuters, is proof that you can take the politician out of Chicago, but you can't take the Chicago politics out of him:

Obama: Nuclear power worth considering, not panacea

Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:22pm EDT

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Friday nuclear power was "not a panacea" for U.S. energy woes but it is worth investigating its further development.

During a meeting with U.S. governors, Obama noted that nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases and therefore the United States should consider investing research dollars into whether nuclear waste can be stored safely for its reuse.

But he said, "I don't think that nuclear power is a panacea."

Obama's Republican opponent, John McCain, has proposed a big push on nuclear power. The Arizona senator earlier this week said that if he is elected to the White House, he would put country on a course to build 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030.

Obama, an Illinois senator, did not directly discuss the McCain proposal at the economic forum, where several governors talked of higher fuel costs as one of the most pressing issues facing their states.

Translation:  Don't worry enviro-wackos, I have no intention of using nuclear to solve our energy needs.  But I'll be sure to "look into it".  Maybe for four or even eight years.  Honest.

John McCain, by contrast, has specifically endorsed nuclear energy and wants to build the plants.

Which of these two has the most credibility to you?  Or, reworded, which of these two has ALL the credibility.

What an issue for Mr. McCain.


Ken Berwitz

 "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have":  President Gerald R. Ford, August 12, 1974, three days after taking over the presidency from Richard Nixon 

Investor's Business Daily, an editorial published yesterday, has provided some plain, old-fashioned common sense about our energy crisis -- and the awful solution being touted by many democrats.

Here it is.  The bold print is mine:

Nationalize This!

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, June 19, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Energy Independence: "We can't drill our way out of the problem," goes the Democratic mantra on oil. So what would Democrats do? Some in the party have the worst possible answer: "Nationalize the oil industry."

In the kind of "oops!" moments politicians have when they say something they wish they hadn't, two House Democrats have recently suggested nationalizing the U.S. oil industry.

The first was the far-left Maxine Waters of South Central Los Angeles. During a May 22 grilling of oil CEOs, she responded: "Well, I can see that this congresswoman is going to favor nationalizing the oil companies, and making sure the prices go down."

Then, this week, responding to President Bush's call for more drilling, the just-as-liberal Maurice Hinchey of New York's Borscht Belt chipped in with: "We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets into the market."

This is what it's about: "control." And it's extremely dangerous for our democracy because once government controls the economy, it controls you, too. Then the Constitution, which guarantees your rights as a citizen of our republic, becomes a dead letter.

What's especially shocking is these two extremists no longer seem out of step with what used to be a centrist Party.

Don't take our word for it. A Rasmussen Poll released Tuesday showed that 37% of Democrats think nationalizing the oil companies is a good idea. Only 32% disagreed with that.

Which makes us wonder: Do they even know that socialism state ownership of the means of production has been completely discredited by history?

For 74 years, we struggled against this evil system, and it ultimately collapsed of its own internal contradictions. Yet, apparently, many Democrats are keen to replicate its worst features here.

What's ironic about this nationalization mania is that government, specifically bad decisions made during decades of control by Democrats, is to blame for our current energy woes.

Whether it's their failure to build nuclear power plants or oil refineries, their refusal to drill for our plentiful oil, their reliance on market-destroying price controls or their absurd belief that windfall profit taxes will somehow bring us more energy, Democrat-led Congresses have failed us over and over again.

They've demonized oil companies for the very thing they themselves are responsible for namely, destroying the link between higher prices and increased output of energy that would naturally occur in a functioning free-market economy.

This is a global problem, they insist. The fact is, the world's oil crisis is due almost entirely to government intervention in working markets at all levels. As we've noted before, roughly 93% of the world's oil reserves are controlled, directly or indirectly, by governments. It is they who have screwed it up.

Among the world's 15 largest oil companies, 13 are mega-sized, government-owned behemoths such as Mexico's Pemex, Venezuela's PDVSA and Saudi Arabia's Aramco. Compared with them, Exxon Mobil and Chevron are tiny.

By refusing to respond to market incentives and through the inevitable corruption of their own governments using nationalized oil companies as piggy banks, these government-owned entities have created a massive energy bottleneck that is showing up now as the economies of China, India and other countries gulp oil at an accelerating rate to fuel their double-digit growth.

With oil above $130 a barrel and gasoline pushing $5 a gallon, logic dictates that we drill for more. Our oil companies will do that dirty, difficult job for us, but only if they're given access to our bountiful resources and assured they won't be vilified, taxed out of business or taken over by a U.S. House of Socialists. .

Ok, I admit I don't agree with everything here.  I do not consider Maurice Hinchey or Maxine Waters to be "liberals", for example, because that is an insult to what real liberalism is all about.  And I don't consider Democrats, as a group, socialists; not even some of the ones mouthing this idiocy about nationalizing our oil industry.

But the central theme of this editorial is right on target.  A number of politicians, almost all of them Democrats, are trying to make up for the energy mess they have put us in by demanding a socialistic "solution" that will make it even worse.

It will be interesting, maybe even decisive in the 2008 election, to see if Republicans have the cajones to stand up to them.  If not, then maybe Republicans deserve to lose, and we deserve what we get.


Ken Berwitz

Media never tire of telling you that President Bush's approval ratings are low.  So how come they never tire of not telling you how much lower approval ratings for the Democratic congress are?

If you're wondering just how badly thought of congress is these days, Gallup just did their latest poll on confidence levels for various institutions.  The results just might answer your question:

Confidence in Congress: Lowest Ever for Any U.S. Institution

Just 12% of Americans express confidence in Congress

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's annual update on confidence in institutions finds just 12% of Americans expressing confidence in Congress, the lowest of the 16 institutions tested this year, and the worst rating Gallup has measured for any institution in the 35-year history of this question.

Gallup first asked about confidence in institutions in 1973, repeating the question biannually through 1983, and obtaining annual updates since then. This year's update comes from a June 9-12 Gallup Poll.

In the latest update, Congress ranks just below HMOs, for whom 13% of Americans express "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence. Big business, the criminal justice system, organized labor, newspapers, television news, and the presidency all receive relatively low confidence ratings.

In contrast, Americans express the most confidence in the military, as they have each year since 1988 (with the exception of 1997, when small business edged it out). Small business ranks second in the current poll, just ahead of the police. These are the only three institutions that for whom a majority of Americans express a high degree of confidence.

Now that is ugly.  Congress generates a confidence level of 12%.  Compare that to the President's 30% rating and Bush goes from being a bottom dweller to the king of the mountain. 

You would think that if President Bush's ratings are newsworthy because of how low they are, Congress's almost flatlined numbers would be even more so.  But where, other than here, have you seen them?

And if you think this is because Gallup's numbers are some kind of abberation, forget it.  Go to and check out the ratings compiled there from most of the major polling companies.  You'll see that this is true across the board.

In fact, don't even bother, I'll do it for you.  On average, in the last four polls, President Bush has an average approval rating of 29.25%.  The Democratic congress has an average of 18.5%

Now let me re-ask what I asked before:  Why do you suppose President Bush's numbers get all the attention and the Democratic congress gets a free pass?  

And why do you suppose when they talk about how many people think the country is on the wrong track (76%, versus 17% thinking it is on the right track) it always seems to come down on President Bush rather than congress?  Do they even mention congress?

I think we both know the answer.


Ken Berwitz

Who says that clouds don't have silver linings?

On the negative side, Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) has lost its single most prominent congregant, U.S. Senator and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

But, on the positive side, TUCC is now liberated to go right back to what it was before they cleaned up its act to get Mr. Obama elected:  a racist cesspool.

Gone is that video which had been added to "about us" part of their web site (, with a benign White woman telling you how wonderful it is to pray there.  She is certainly not needed anymore. 

And back is the wholly racist, separatist agenda that was sanitized away for the months that Mr. Obama had to pretend his church was something different than what it really was.  Here is the "about us" description today.  See if you find it open-minded or inclusive (bold print is mine):

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.

No need to boob-bait the voters anymore, Barack Obama has moved on.  Now TUCC doesn't have to pretend it is anything but what it is. 

Remember, folks, THIS is what Barack Obama ran to 18 years ago when he could have picked any other church.  THIS is what he stayed a part of for all that time, and subjected his wife and two children to.  THIS is what he thought was so wonderful that he called the pastor, jeremiah wright, his spiritual mentor.  THIS is what he contributed tens of thousands of dolllars to.  THIS is what he never criticized for all that time -- until he had voters to fool this year.

And this is before we get to the utter disdain, even hatred spewed by his church about Israel and the fact that, just last year, it gave a lifetime achievement award to racist ant-Semite louis farrakhan.

If you want to know the real Barack Obama, not the made-for-November version you're being spoon-fed right now, TUCC is where you should start.

Oh, and one other thing:  For those of you who think jeremiah wright actually left his position as pastor (as opposed to pretending to do so as a political solution to Obama), go to the web site and click on "pastor" and then "pastoral staff".  See whose name you find.


Actually, one more thing:  Do you really believe Mr. Obama has left this church?  If you are more than a little skeptical, I certainly understand.

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