Thursday, 04 September 2008


Ken Berwitz

Time to debunk another flat-out lie about Sarah Palin. 

This one relates to the attack that while Ms. Palin says she is a friend to parents with special needs children (like her own), she slashed 62% from the special needs budget. 

If that were true I agree Ms. Palin would be a liar and a hypocrite.

But it isn't true.  The liars and hypocrites are the people making this claim.

Here are the facts, from

Palin Derangement Syndrome Watch: Daily Kos and CNN

September 4, 2008

The latest attempt to smear Governor Palin comes from Night Runner at Daily Kos (with an assist from CNNs Soledad OBrien, according to Brian Faughnan of the Weekly Standard Blog (I dont watch CNN much these days).

To hear NR@DK and OBrien tell it, Palin cut the Special Education (Budget) by 62%.  Heres the justification DK uses for this smear:

For those of you who seem so enamored with Gov. Sarah Palin, it might be worth noting that she oversees the budget for the Department of Education and Early Development Special Schools in Alaska. 

These funds provide supplementary educational services to students with severe disabling conditions and the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy. The resident school where the child would normally be placed does not have the resources to provide an adequate educational program. Without the supplementary services the childs needs would not be met by the local school district in most cases. 

The following programs are included within this component: Special Education Service Agency (SESA)

   The Annual budget for 2007, which preceded Gov. Palin was $8,265,300. (RWL note: Broken link)

   The Annual budget for 2008, enacted by Gov. Palin is $3,156,000. (RWL note: Broken link again)

   The Annual budget for 2009, enacted by Gov. Palin is $3,156,000. (RWL note: Broken link again again)

   This is a cut in special needs services to children in Alaska of 5,109,300 , or 62%.

Now, Faughnan does a pretty decent job responding to this crap, but because I saw the per student funding level and skipped the words per student, I initially thought Palin would need a better defense (sorry, Brian).  So I did a little more digging, and I found that Night Runner is an idiot, and OBrien (for lapping this up) is lazy and unprofessional.

I started with the FY07 budget for Special Schools (that was Murkowskis last budget year). Indeed, Special Schools received $8,265,300.  Now, one thing to keep in mind: this budget included the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy, which NR@DK referenced earlier.

Next up is the FY08 operating budget, and indeed, it only shows $3,156,000.  Heres the part DK and OB forgot to mention: the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy is a separate line item in the operating budget - to the tune of $5,709,000.  The funds total $8,865,000, an 7.26% increase, not a 62% cut.

The FY09 Operating Budget has the same separation.  Add them together again, and you have $9,214,900, 3.95% more than FY08 and 11.49% more than FY07.  Again, not a 62% cut.

This is something the NR@DK could have easily checked just by looking at the Alaska State Budget website and making a few clicks.  Ms. OBrien could have also checked this out in less than an hour if she had bothered to actually work at her craft rather than ball up bad numbers from Daily Kos and fling them with glee on unsuspecting campaign officials.

So, what we have learned?  That Governor Palin did not cut special needs education funding, that DK still spews out sludge, that CNN has joined MSNBC (and many others) in sinking to the nut-roots level.

Now you know the truth.  That "62% slash" from the budget was an ACCOUNTING PROCEDURE.  In fact, Ms. Palin RAISED the budget for special needs children.

These people are liars.  Desperate, terrified, partisan liars.  Why would you believe them anymore, about Sarah Palin or anything else?


Ken Berwitz

Remember the hilarious movie My Cousin Vinny?  Remember when Vinny Gambini (played by Joe Pesci) sleeps through the prosecutor's opening remarks and is suddenly kicked awake when the judge asks for his response to what he did not hear?  Remember his entire commentary?  "Everything that guy just said is bullshit.  Thank you".

Well, here, courtesy of today's New York Post, is Obama mouthpiece David Axelrod using the same defense against Sarah Palin:


By GEOFF EARLE, Post Correspondent

Posted: 11:31 am
September 4, 2008

PITTSBURGH Barack Obama's camp is unloading on Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin after Palin described herself as a "pit bull" and then tore into Obama in a tough convention speech.

"There wasn't one thing that she said about Obama or what he's proposing that's true," fumed Obama's strategist David Axelrod, speaking to reporters aboard Obama's campaign plane.

Axelrod defended Obama against one of Palin's most biting lines, when she ridiculed a favorite part of Obama's resume, saying: "I guess a small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer -- except that you have actual responsibilities."

"They can demean service in the community but I think most people appreciate it," Axelrod shot back.

"He's proud of those three years that he spent as a young person working in those communities," Axelrod said, referencing Obama's time working in Chicago after college.

He accused Palin of trying to "ignore his work as a constitutional lawyer, as a professor at the University of Chicago, his eight years in the legislature, his years in the United States Senate." Obama himself rarely mentions his time spent in academia or at Harvard Law.

Axelrod said the little-known Palin should answer reporters' questions. "I don't think the American people are going to tolerate candidates who are unwilling to answer basic questions about their record, about issues, about the country."

"It's an extraordinary event, shedding an awful lot of heat and no light. It almost defies the laws of physics," he said of the GOP convention so far. "These are serious, serious times. People understand that we've got big problems. The fact that they don't add any of them I think will be noted."

Can this possibly be the best they can do? Imitate Vinny Gambini?  Holy you-know-what.
Lame whining like this proves to me Ms. Palin has already won this round.
My favorite comment involves the comparison of Ms. Palin being mayor of a small city with executive responsibilities, a budget, employees, etc.  to Mr. Obama being a community organizer.  That is a classic.
Look, I respect the concept of community organizing.  Some community organizers are wonderful people trying their best to accomplish whatever they can without any particular legal standing or empowerment. 
I don't know what Barack Obama did as a "community organizer" (and neither do you, since his campaign has not favored us with any specific explanation of his activities).  But let's assume he was a great one.   How in the world does that compare to being an elected executive running a small city?
Sarah Palin's point was, of course, that she had executive experience in that job and Barack Obama had none as a "community organizer".  She was dead-on 100% right. 
And you can bet a moose stew on it.


Ken Berwitz

MSNBC going further left is not easy to imagine.  But here's how the network did it, courtesy of Page Six at the New York Post:


September 4, 2008 --

NO wonder Keith Olbermann is so enamored of Rachel Maddow: She is helping the paranoid blowhard rid MSNBC of disloyalists. Maddow tried to replace all the staffers who work on the 9 p.m. time slot, which she takes over on Monday, but management refused. "She is Olbermann's protg and is behaving like he does," said one insider. Olbermann - who never went to the Republican National Convention (as Page Six first reported) because of his assassination fear - succeeded in getting rid of GOP analyst Mike Murphy. Let's see who's next to get hacked under the dynamic duo's ax.

Poor keith.  Given his prejudices (and they are legion) I suppose this means he has a pathological fear of rich White old men.

As for Rachel Maddow, she is as reliably left wing as olbermann.  And, if this is any indication, she apparently is as reliably averse as olberman is to have people she can't hand-pick anywhere near her.

This sacking of Michael Murphy from MSNBC (not NBC, apparently) is fascinating to me.  I didn't know that happened, but in reading it I did some quick research and came up with this from Michael Calderone at

August 28, 2008

Murphy unlikely to appear on MSNBC

Last night, while analyst (and former McCain adviser) Mike Murphy was talking about how he believes the Clintons secretly back McCain making the grand claim to Chris Matthews that Hillary would even vote for McCain Keith Olbermann said in an open mike, "Let's wrap him up."

I've heard from a source with knowledge of the situation that Murphy technically an NBC, not MSNBC, analyst  is going to focus on network shows like "Meet the Press" and "Today" and is unlikely to appear during MSNBC's convention night coverage.

The NY Post reported yesterday that Olbermann was keeping Murphy off the air Monday. Murphy also didn't appear on Tuesday.


If you worked at MSNBC and ever were within earshot of olbermann or maddow or anyone of their handpicked staff, would you dare to have an opinion that rubbed theirs the wrong way?

That's some "network", let me tell you.


Ken Berwitz

It is a national disgrace that the same media scouring Alaska to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin and her children is barely even looking at The Annenberg Challenge papers, which were released the same time as Ms. Palin was selected by John McCain.

The Annenberg Challenge was a program which supposedly was going to help Chicago's schools.  It was funded with $49 million dollars by the Annenberg Foundation.  It was run by william ayers, an unrepentant urban terrorist who not only bombed the pentagon, police stations and other targets in this country, but bragged that he wished he had done even more bombing.  And it was administered by Barack Obama.  For almost four years.

Barack Obama has told us to our faces that he barely knew william ayers.  These papers prove that Mr. Obama was lying to us.  Not a little white lie, but a big fat total 100% lie.  The kind of lie that, if John McCain ever made it, would be page one and lead story material for the rest of the campaign.

Anyone who wonders for one second whether there is media bias in this country can stop right there and know the answer without a doubt.

But Barack Obama's deep association with terrorist william ayers, which is detailed in the Annenberg Challenge papers - and which Mr. Obama absolutely lied to our faces about - is not the only repulsive association he has.

jodie evans, a co-founder of Code Pink, a lunatic asylum quality hate-the-USA group, is a big time fundraiser for Mr. Obama.  When evans is not bundling money for the Obama campaign she is engaging in urban guerilla tactics, including yesterday when she tied to run onto the stage during Sarah Palin's remarkable speech.  From the Washington Post:

A pair of Code Pink activists just got to the very edge of the stage and were a moment away from apparently running on stage, right by the Kentucky slot on the floor next to a host of McCain's most senior staffers.

Secret Service men grabbed them at last minute and literally dragged them out.

When evans isn't involved in juvenile BS like this, she is actively supporting the forces we fight in Iraq, speaking adoringly of fidel castro and calling our Marines "assassins".

But Mr. Obama has no problem accepting the tens of thousands of dollars, maybe more, jodie evans has bundled for him.  Nor did he have a problem attending a major fundraising event she hosted for him.

And were are the media on this association?  In a distant universe, folks, far far from any reportage that would come back to you, the voter.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


Ken Berwitz

"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".  We all learned that as children.  It made sense then and it makes sense now.

With this in mind, I am posting Michelle Malkin's superb piece on the hypocrisy of Barack Obama's selective outrage over partisan smears. 

Here it is without any further comment from me, because it doesn't need any:

Hey, Obama: Fight the Smears

By Michelle Malkin    September 4, 2008 09:27 AM

I wrote a special column today for the NYPost on how Barack Obama must do more to fight the smears originating with members of his own team and extended family of slavering supporters against Sarah Palin.

Megyn Kelly ripped a bumbling Us Weekly stooge here.

Erick Erickson of RedState has a suggestion: We should encourage our readers to take the US Weekly magazines at their local grocery stores and stick them in the toilet paper section. Hey, thats an insult to the toilet paper.

Reader Kirk: Why doesnt the McCain camp ask Obama to return the money from the US Weekly owner?


How Bam buds are smearing Sarah
by Michelle Malkin
Special to the NYPost
Copyright 2008

WHEN you point a finger, the old say ing goes, three fingers point back at you. When it comes to accusing his opponents of spreading vicious rumors, Barack Obama needs to pull back his finger and follow the other three.

Told of accusations that members of his team facilitated the avalanche of smears against GOP veep nominee Sarah Palin, he scoffed: I am offended by that statement; there is no evidence at all that any of this involved us. Obama insisted: We dont go after peoples families, we dont get them involved in the politics. It is not appropriate and it is not relevant. Our people were not involved in any way in this and they will not be.

Hmm. Depends on the meaning of our people. The new issue of Us Weekly hits newsstands Friday - hitting millions of readers with a smirk-attack on Gov. Palin, shown with her youngest son, Trig, in a photo plainly chosen to make her look weird.

The cover line: BABIES, LIES & SCANDAL, along with these juicy bullet-items:

* Under attack, admits daughter, 17, is pregnant

* Investigated for firing of sisters ex-husband

* Mom of five: New embarrassing surprises

The story reads like a partisan hit job because, well, it is. Pimping the report to journalists at the Republican National Convention was Mark Neschis - a former Democrat flack turned corporate-communications chief for US Weeklys owner, Wenner Media.

Wenners chief is Jann Wenner, a big-time Obama donor. In March, his flagship Rolling Stone ran a cover story dubbing Obama The New Hope in the accompanying editorial, Wenner oozed: We need to recover the spiritual and moral direction that should describe our country and ourselves. In the July issue, he fawned over The Messiahs dazzling smile in a seven-page sitdown interview. Rolling Stone put Obamas face on the cover again over the summer. In June, Us Weekly ran a gushing cover story on Michelle and Barack Obama headlined, Why Barack Loves Her.

Obama could begin Wenners spiritual and moral recovery by condemning the use of gossip rags to wage partisan war on the Palin family.

And the Dem nominee can make good on his vow to fire smear-mongers by cutting loose one of his own people.

On Tuesday, much of the media - spurred by Obama supporters and left-wing blogs - falsely spread claims that Palin had been a member of the Alaskan Independence Party - many of whose members espouse secession. No state records exist of Palins membership in the party - and shes been a registered Republican for more than a quarter-century. The New York Times had to retreat from its story on Palins radical ties, but the damage was done.

And Team Obamas rumor-spreading wasnt done yet. The Associated Press points to Obama advisers and surrogates who linked Palin this week to conservative former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.

Mark Bubriski - Obamas Florida spokesman - was one of those linkers. He sent an e-mail to the Miami Herald claiming: Palin was a supporter of Pat Buchanan, a right-winger or as many Jews call him: a Nazi sympathizer.

Wrong again. Palin attended a Buchanan visit to Alaska that year, but backed Steve Forbes White House run.

Offended yet, Barack?

To date, Bubriski has offered no apology and suffered no consequences. Meanwhile, MoveOn (which has endorsed Obama) has mass e-mailed the lie to thousands of activists.

Incensed at what it saw as unfair attacks on his character and family, the Obama campaign bought the domain name and launched an all-out effort in June to combat baseless rumors. But the site has been rather sleepy since its splashy debut.

To effect some change (and undo the damage done by his friends), maybe Obama would be willing to turn Fight the Smears over to Palin?


Ken Berwitz

Here we go again.

When Republicans in trouble they are "Republicans".  But this is another example of the fact that Democrats in trouble are "?'s".

Here is the beginning of the Associated Press article about Detroit's DEMOCRATIC mayor kwame kilpatrick - a man so corrupt even his own people gave up the ghost and backed away from him (try to imagine how corrupt you have to be for that to happen in Detroit!).  Read the entire article by clicking here:

Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick pleads guilty, will resign after months of legal, political drama

DETROIT (AP) -- Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to felony charges Thursday in a sex scandal and will step down after months of defiantly holding onto his job leading the nation's 11th-largest city. He was ordered jailed for four months and fined $1 million.

The plea deal brings to an end a seven-months-long ordeal that led to felony charges against Kilpatrick and plunged the city, region and state into political chaos.

During a separate hearing moments after Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner accepted the mayor's plea, Kilpatrick offered a no contest plea in an assault case.

The judge also accepted that plea, which called for Kilpatrick to serve a four-month jail sentence that would run at the same time.

Kilpatrick had faced 10 felony counts in the two separate criminal cases.

There are the first five paragraphs.  Do you see any mention of kwame kilpatrick's party affiliation?  Me neither.  And if you click on the link I provided and read the entire article you still won't find any mention of it.


And I'm also fascinated by the timing.  How fortuitous for Democrats that this happened the morning after Sarah Palin's speech, when the fewest number of people will be paying attention to it.

Oh, did I mention that kilpatrick is a big time supporter of Barack Obama, who Obama praised to the skies?  


Ken Berwitz

If political polls are your cup of tea, this should be genuinely interesting, because it is the last one you'll see that does not incorporate Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican convention.

Here's the story, courtesy of CBS news:

CBS) The presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain is now even at 42 percent, according to a new CBS News poll conducted Monday-Wednesday of this week. Twelve percent are undecided according to the poll, and one percent said they wouldn't vote.

This is in contrast to a poll conducted last weekend, where the Obama-Biden ticket led McCain-Palin by eight points, 48 percent to 40 percent.

McCain has also closed the enthusiasm gap some with Obama, but it still exists. Fifty-five percent of Obama's supporters are enthusiastic about their choice, and now so are 35% of McCain's. Last weekend, just 25 percent of McCain's supporters were enthusiastic about him, compared to 67 of Obama's supporters.

8% in less than a week.  That's quite a difference, isn't it?  But don't blame Sarah Palin.  Since the poll was conducted Monday to Wednesday and Ms. Palin spoke Wednesday night, the results have nothing to do with reactions to her speech.

Part of Mr. McCain's jump, I am reasonably certain, is due to weekday versus weekend interviewing.  Republicans, in aggregate are more likely to be out of their homes on weekends, therefore Democrats get better results then (honest, this is a fact). 

But part of it is also the beginning of the Republicans' convention bounce.  And it's hard to believe that bounce won't become more pronounced now that Ms. Palin was such a hit (even many of her opponents grudgingly concede as much).

We'll keep an eye out tomorrow and see if other polls show a similar movement.


Ken Berwitz

I wondered how Sarah Palin, from a small town in Alaska, would handle herself in front of a huge crowd of people and hundreds of millions of viewers/listeners around the world.

Now I know.

A grand slam 9th inning home run.

Ms. Palin was poised.  She was collected.  She spoke beautifully.  She defined herself as someone who came from modest beginnings to become a state Governor without forgetting for one minute what those beginnings were. 

She then contrasted herself with Barack Obama using style and a smile.  And oh what a contrast she drew.  Read this segment and see for yourself:

I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids' public education better.

When I ran for city council, I didn't need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

How many voters - women, small-town Americans, traditional values people - do you think this must have resonated with?  How many millions?

Then there was this - also stated with style and a smile, rather than bile:

We've all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers.

And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate.

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger ... take more of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.

America needs more energy ... our opponent is against producing it.

Victory in Iraq is finally in sight ... he wants to forfeit.

Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay ... he wants to meet them without preconditions.

Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights? Government is too big ... he wants to grow it.

Congress spends too much ... he promises more.

Taxes are too high ... he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific.

The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business - like millions of others who run small businesses.

How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up? Or maybe you're trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio ... or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia ... or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota.

If Obama/Biden think they have some small town hick patsy to push around, they better think harder.  A lot harder.  Sarah is as tough as nails. 

And, even more interesting, she combines that toughness with being the mother of five children.  Did you see little Piper holding the newest baby and licking her hand then using the moistness to pat down his hair?  That was one of the sweetest moments you will ever see in or out of politics.

Finally, Ms. Palin made it clear that she was not intimidated by the sickeningly thuggish attacks of some media and some hard-left lunatic web sites on her family - and that she was not afraid to call them out on it.  Hey, what can they do, try to character assassinate her?  They're already doing that. 

I will close by posting a verbatim e-mail comment I made to my sister Barbara this morning.  Please excuse my bad language, brothers and sisters talk to each other like this all the time (at least we do):

These people were*** terrified of Sarah Palin's candidacy because Palin is exactly what they have claimed they wanted in a woman.  Someone whose personal plumbing has not prevented her from moving ahead in every dimension and breaking every boundary.  And as an extra added attraction she didn't have a powerful husband greasing the skids for her the way their hero Hillary Clinton did.  Sarah Palin grew up with nothing and has gotten everywhere 100% through her own capabilities. 
This is why they have accused and vilified and tormented her in every way they could concoct.  She's an idiot.  She's from nowhere so she knows nothing.  She was the mayor of a shitty town.  She is the governor of a shitty state.  She's a shitty mother.  Stay home with the kids, Sarah, it's your fault your slut daughter is knocked up.  You caused the baby to have Down syndrome because you didn't care about him during your pregnancy...oh, wait, it wasn't your pregnancy, it's your daughter's pregnancy.  And by the way thanks a lot for the bubonic plague and sinking the Titanic.
***I use the past tense because what I wrote was true BEFORE the absolute grand slam home run speech she delivered last night.  Now you can double the terror level they feel.  I figure that by the end of the week they'll accuse her of handing over the Sudetenland to Hitler and going out on a date with him afterwards.  And, media being as far in the tank for Obama as they are, six journalists will swear they witnessed the whole thing


Ken Berwitz

A quick addendum to the previous blog: 

I just scanned through Sarah Palin's entire speech and realized that she completely ignored Joe Biden.  Not one word about him, not by name or indirectly.  The entire comparative she framed was between herself and Barack Obama.

There is no way that was not intentional. 

In my view, this is an attempt by Ms. Palin to have voters compare her directly with Mr. Obama, not Mr. Biden.  If she succeeds, it would not only take Obama off message but, to the extent it is possible, will put John McCain above the fray --- and Joe Biden into the attic. 

This, in turn, would force Joe Biden, who is certainly not one to quietly be left out, to put his natural aggressiveness into overdrive so he can get back into the mix.  And knowing Biden's propensity for making rash, stupid comments he then has to back away from, it seems to me that this is designed to create a major opportunity for getting him to say something that will offend women by the millions. 

What an interesting chess game.

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