Thursday, 23 October 2008


Ken Berwitz

Today's lead editorial in the New York Times scathingly attacks Republicans for "purging" voter rolls of people likely to vote Democratic.  Their examples are not very impressive (unless you agree with the editorial in which case they're great) and the term "purge" is not accurate, as my wife (who works in voter registration)  told me this morning. 

But, hey, this is the New York Times so they must be right.  Right?

In any event, now that the Times has taken care of "purges", maybe it can put up a story or two about voter intimidation by Obama supporters against McCain/Palin. 

Maybe it can mention the Manhattan woman whose McCain sign was pulled out of her hand and was then beaten with the stick it was attached to. 

Or the Michigan pizza parlor owner - a staunch Obama supporter - who is giving away free pizza to people who bring in McCain signs.  This has caused numerous signs to be stolen from private property - as the owner surely knew would happen.

Or possibly it might talk about the Florida McCain supporter whose home was shot up, as reported by Channel 6 news in Orlando:

Republican HQ Manager's Home Shot Up Over McCain Signs

'Democrats Far More Aggressive in Seminole County,' Victim Says

POSTED: 11:26 pm EDT October 22, 2008
UPDATED: 8:44 am EDT October 23, 2008

The home of a Central Florida Republican headquarters manager was shot up and damaged over his support of Sen. John McCain, the man told police.

Rog Coverely said several pellets pierced his Longwood home. Coverely showed several spiderwebbed-holes in the front windows of his home.

The Republican manager said he is convinced he was targeted because of new McCain signs he added around his home.

"All I can tell you is this, I have a very good relationship with my neighbors," Coverely said. "I mow my lawn. The only thing that has changed is I have two McCain signs in my front yard."

Coverely said he has taken about 300 calls concerning stolen or vandalized McCain signs in the area.

"It says this campaign is getting vicious," Coverely said.

Coverely said it appears Democrats are becoming more aggressive in the county.

"I wouldn't say slipping but I would say the Democrats have become far more aggressive in Seminole County because it is such a heavy Republican area," Coverely said.

Local 6 has learned that the attorney general's office is getting involved in area investigation and has asked to see police reports of sign vandalism and theft.

Last week, everyone who watches or reads about presidential politics had to have been made aware that someone in a McCain crowd yelled "kill him" when Barack Obama's name was mentioned. 

The story turned out to be palpably false.  The FBI conducted numerous interviews, including people standing where the reporter was, and no one except that reporter heard any such thing.  But it is now indelibly imprinted in our minds, isn't it?

By contrast, real incident after real incident, even violent ones such as a beating and a shooting, are ignored by virtually all of those same media.  Certainly by the New York Times.

After all, they can't have stories like that muddying the waters.  It might hurt Saint Barack.

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



Ken Berwitz

Here, from Steve Gilbert of, is one of the most incredible attacks on Sarah Palin that you will find (and that is one bodacious competition):

CNNs Truth Squad Lies About Palin

October 23rd, 2008

Here is a all too typical lie from CNNs preposterously named Truth Squad, via YouTube:

Governor Palins statement in question is [at 35 seconds into the clip]:

I do have more executive experience than Barack Obama does. You know he had served for his 300 days before he became a Presidential candidate.

Hilariously, CNN goes on to quibble about how many days Mr. Obama has actually served in the US Senate. And they claim it was more than 300 days.

We asked the Secretary Of The Senate how many days the Senate was in session between [the date Obama was sworn in as a Senator and when he filed to run for the Presidency]. The answers: 304 days.

But Senators also work when the Senate is not in session. If you count all of Obamas time as a Senator before he announced his candidacy for President that adds up to 768 days.

And the Truth Squads verdict on this is: MISLEADING.

Mrs. Palin does not give credit to Obama for the work he did while the Senate was not in session

This is would be hilarious if it were not (so) typical.

Of course Mr. Obamas number of days in the Senate was not quite the point of Mrs. Palins oft-repeated observation that she has more executive experience than he does.

Indeed, no matter how many days Mr. Obama has served in the US Senate, Mrs. Palins statement is still undeniably true.

Since being one of a hundred Senators affords you no executive experience whatsoever no matter how many days you have served.

In fact, Governor Palin has more executive experience than Senator Byrd. (Not counting Byrds executive experience as a Grand Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan, of course.)

Alas, so much for CNNs Truth Squad.

(But isnt irony ironic?)

I once saw a movie from the 1950's or early 60's in which a teenaged girl comes home just before 3AM and is confronted by her irate father.  He is demanding where she was "until 3 in the morning" and every time he says it she triumphantly says "It was 2:45".

Moviegoers either laughed or were enraged.  Being a kid, I laughed - though I suspect that if my parents, raising my then-teenage sister, had seen it they would have been enraged.  In either case, the gag was that she deflected the issue by raising an entirely irrelevant technicality.

I don't often remember this movie, but this CNN attack on Ms. Palin brought it right back to me.

Then they wonder why people call them biased.


Ken Berwitz

I am posting the following story because it is being reported by WTAE-TV Pittsburgh and will be in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tomorrow.

I want to wait one full day to see if the young lady's account holds up.  Because if  it does - or if it turns out to be a hoax - it almost certainly will have a material effect on the presidential election.

Woman Attacked, Letter Scratched Into Her Face

Woman Robbed With Knife At Bloomfield ATM

POSTED: 4:03 pm EDT October 23, 2008
UPDATED: 8:24 pm EDT October 23, 2008

PITTSBURGH -- A 20-year-old woman who was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield was also maimed by her attacker, apparently because of her political views, Pittsburgh police said.

According to WTAE's news exchange partners at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Ashley Todd, of College Station, Texas, was using an ATM at Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street just before 9 p.m. Wednesday when a man approached her and put a knife to her throat.

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said the robber took $60 from Todd, then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim's car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using the knife to scratch the letter "B" into her face, Richard said.

The Tribune-Review reported that Todd, who isn't familiar with the area, drove to a friend's house and together the pair located the Citizens Bank ATM at Liberty and Pearl where the attack happened and called police.

Todd declined to comment to the Tribune-Review. Friends said she is in Pittsburgh volunteering for the McCain-Palin campaign.

Richard said the woman refused medical treatment after the assault, which happened outside the view of the bank's surveillance cameras.

The robber is described as a dark-skinned black man, 6 feet 4 inches tall, 200 pounds with a medium build, short black hair and brown eyes. The man was wearing dark colored jeans, a black undershirt and black shoes.

The Obama-Biden campaign released a statement, commenting on the attack. The statement said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice."

The McCain-Palin campaign also released a statement saying, "The McCain campaign is aware of the incident involving one of its volunteers. Out of respect, the campaign won't be commenting. The campaign also confirms that Senator McCain and Governor Palin have both spoken to the woman."

If you would like to see a picture of the beaten woman's face and a video of the story, click here.

At present, I don't have a reason to doubt the veracity of this young woman's account.  Maybe I never will.  But it has been my experience that stories like this often change dramatically after the initial reports (think Duke Lacrosse).

If it is true, I expect that it will affect a great many votes in (and out of) Pennsylvania.  Sadly, it will do so by adding an element of racial fear that will damage Barack Obama's candidacy.  

Let me say in strongest terms that I wish to God this were not so.  Barack Obama did not attack this young girl nor did any other person, Black or otherwise, except the perpetrator.  But that doesn't change the reality of how something like this plays to the voting population.

If it is a hoax, I expect that it will also affect a great many votes.  It will shred John McCain's credibility to a lot of people and probably lose him so many votes that whatever chance he had to win Pennsylvania will disappear. 

Let me say in strongest terms that I wish this were not so.  If it is a hoax, John McCain did not perpetrate it.  Only the young lady and anyone she might have been conspiring with.  But that doesn't change the reality of how something like this plays to the voting population.

As you can see, there is nothing good that can come out of this.  And no matter what the truth turns out to be, I expect it to be a huge issue in the election - one that transcends speeches, ads and campaign promises.

I'll talk about it again tomorrow or Saturday, once we have a more certain idea of what really happened.


UPDATE:  It turns out that the young woman has confessed it is a hoax. She made it up (I wonder how she got the facial beating....maybe she'll favor us with an explanation at some point).

If John McCain is very lucky, the sudden, significant turnaround in murtha's district will overcome the damage she may well have caused him.

Of course, there is also a possibility that she was never a McCain supporter in the first place, and this is a different kind of set-up.

I can't wait for the next chapter.......and with less than two weeks to election day, neither can Mr. Obama or Mr. McCain.


Ken Berwitz

Barack Obama is eventually going to be heading to Hawaii so he can see his ailing 86 year old grandmother (yes, this is the one he accused of making racist remarks and acting like a "typical White person").

Since he will be in his alleged home state, I have an idea for something he can do when granny is sleeping.  Maybe the following piece will give you an idea of what it is.  Please pay special attention to the last paragraph, which I have put in bold print:

Lawsuits Starting Across the Nation Proceeding to Avert Potential Constitutional Crisis, Possible Civil Unrest, and Confidence in Elections; Lawsuits are being filed in Eight States Seeking to Require Barack Obama to Provide Certification of Birth in U.S. or Be Removed as Presidential Candidate on State Ballots.

Seattle WA. 10/22/2008 Lawsuits in eight states as of this writing Hawaii, Washington, California, Florida, Georgia. Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut, are seeking judicial authority to force the certifying or decertifying of Senator Barack Obamas qualification to run as a candidate for President as a natural born U.S. citizen. Previously, two lawsuits have failed to force the certifying documents from Obama.

Philip Bergs months-long lawsuit in Federal Court in Philadelphia reached a dramatic plateau yesterday as Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) failed to respond to the court that Mr. Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen and therefore not qualified to run for office of President of the U.S. They admitted to Obamas non-qualification by their failure to respond to a 30-day court ordered discovery in which Obama and the DNC were ordered to answer a petition by Berg. Berg is a lifelong Democrat in the Pennsylvania Democratic Party who has sought to ratchet up the legal pressure as Obama and the DNC has continually delayed providing certifying documentation of Obamas birth, which he claims to have been in Hawaii.

 A lawsuit in Honolulu in the First District Court is seeking a court-order to open Obamas secret birth records. Obama has thus far neglected a Freedom of Information request for the records at two hospitals in Hawaii. Lawsuits in Washington and Georgia are seeking state Superior Courts to force the states Secretary of State, as the chief state elections officer, to perform their state constitutional duties to require original certifying birth records from Mr. Obama that would verify his birth in Hawaii. 

Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution reads: "No Person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States."

There are numerous allegations to Obamas claim of natural birth in the U.S. on the web and in the media, all raising suspicion and doubt as to Obamas actual place of birth and qualification to run for president. Some of the assertions to which Obama admitted on Bergs suit are: he was born in Mombassa, Kenya in 1961 while his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was married to Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyan; when his mother, divorced from Obama Sr, moved to Indonesia and married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian, Obama was adopted by Soetoro and became an Indonesian citizen; while in Indonesia, Obama had his name changed to Barry Soetoro; Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981 under an Indonesian passport when Pakistan was a no travel zone for Americans; Obama had admitted to receiving illegal contributions in his campaign for president. Additionally, there is an allegation that Obamas Kenyan grandmother claims that Obama was born in Kenya; Muammar Gadhafi, leader of Libya, has publicly claimed that Obama was born in Kenya and studied in Muslim schools in Indonesia. Obama has also admitted to hold citizenship in another country (the U.S. Constitution forbids dual citizenship).  

Non-partisan and independent reviews and examinations of Obamas birth certificate as shown on his official website has evidence of tampering and in any case does not list any of the points of information commonly found which would make it traceable and verifiable such as hospital, doctor, size weight, foot prints etc.

Interestingly, all these state lawsuits would be dropped if Mr. Obama would simply provide the requested documents supporting his claim of being born in Hawaii.

 Is there a problem here? 

I don't know and I'm not saying there is.  But I do know that simply requesting, getting and showing a legitimate Hawaiian birth certificate should end the issue.  And, instead, Mr. Obama has not done so and has ignored every legal attempt to get him to. 

I don't know what it costs to get a birth certificate in Hawaii, but it's a pretty good bet that the dollar amount is less than the cost of an army of lawyers fighting to prevent us from seeing it.

Common sense tells me that if Mr. Obama is fighting to suppress his birth certificate instead of just getting it, showing it to us and settling the issue, there is something he does not want us to know about.

And common sense also tells me that if there is a problem with Mr. Obama's legal status to run for President, and we find out about it AFTER he is elected, there will be impossibly disastrous consequences.  Every action he will have taken as president, every bill signed, every treaty agreed to, will become null and void.

This is no joke. This affects our ability to function as a country.

According to Hawaiian law, the only person who can request and receive Barack Obama's birth certificate is Mr. Obama himself.  You and I cannot get it, only he can. 

So I ask Mr. Obama to take a few minutes to call the appropriate bureau of records and get the birth certificate.  Then show it to us so that we can laugh at this lunatic accusation.  

Or don't do so and give us reason to suspect it is not a lunatic accusation at all.


Ken Berwitz

Here is an eye-opening report by Scott Johnson of, on how  Barack Obama is managing to take in all that money.  I urge you to read it and tell your friends:

Who is John Galt?

October 23, 2008 Posted by Scott at 6:52 AM

We've previously noted the gusher of illegal campaign contributions flowing into the Obama campaign from contributors such as "Doodad Pro" and "Good Will." More recently, incidents have been reported in which people have seen credit card charges surface suggesting they donated to Barack Obama when they did not. Matthew Mosk and Sarah Cohen noted one such incident earlier this week:

Now comes the story of Mary T. Biskup, of Manchester, Missouri. Biskup got a call recently from the Obama campaign, which was trying to figure out why she donated $174,800 to the campaign -- well over the contribution limit of $2,300.

The answer she gave them was simple. "That's an error."

Is the Obama campaign knowingly receiving illegal contributions? Yesterday one of our readers reported the results of an experiment he conducted:

I've read recent reports of the Obama campaign receiving donations from dubious names and foreign locales and it got me wondering: How is this possible?

I run a small Internet business and when I process credit cards I'm required to make sure the name on the card exactly matches the name of the customer making the purchase. Also, the purchaser's address must match that of the cardholders. If these don't match, then the payment isn't approved. Period. So how is it possible that the Obama campaign could receive donations from fictional people and places? Well, I decided to do a little experiment. I went to the Obama campaign website and entered the following:

Name: John Galt
Address: 1957 Ayn Rand Lane
City: Galts Gulch
State: CO
Zip: 99999

Then I checked the box next to $15 and entered my actual credit card number and expiration date (it didn't ask for the 3-didgit code on the back of the card) and it took me to the next page and... "Your donation has been processed. Thank you for your generous gift."

This simply should not, and could not, happen in any business or any campaign that is honestly trying to vet it's donors. Also, I don't see how this could possibly happen without the collusion of the credit card companies. They simply wouldn't allow any business to process, potentially, hundreds of millions in credit card transactions where the name on the card doesn't match the purchasers name.

In short, with the system set up as it is by the Obama camp, an individual could donate unlimited amounts of money by simply making up fake names and addresses. And Obama is doing his best to facilitate this fraud. This is truly scandalous.

Our reader was not yet done. He tried the experiment on the McCain site: "I tried the exact same thing at the McCain site and it didn't allow the transaction." He then repeated the experiment at the Obama site:

I went back to the Obama site and made three additional donations using the names Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Bill Ayers, all with different addresses. All the transactions went through using the same credit card. I saved screenshots of the transactions.

Our reader reports, incidentally, that he was using his MasterCard for the contributions. We submit this report in the spirit of inquiry and would especially appreciate hearing from readers who can illuminate how credit card procedures might (or might not) allow this to happen.

UPDATE: Readers have replicated the experiment reported in this post. We will have to revisit the issue tonight or tomorrow and appreciate any information you can provide in the meantime.

CLARIFICATION: Many readers point out that the Obama campaign would exercise some control over the security level required to verify small dollar transactions and that no collusion with the card issuer or bank is therefore required. Mark Steyn elaborates here. Mark explains the question of security settings and then adds:

As the Powerline reader has noted, if "John Galt" of "Ayn Rand Lane" attempts a contribution at the McCain campaign, it gets rejected. Which is just as well. If the Republican candidate's website were intentionally set up to facilitate fraudulent donations, it would be on the front page of The New York Times. But, as it's King Barack the Spreader, we can rest assured the crack investigative units will be too preoccupied with Governor Palin's shoes over the next two weeks.

It is a point that needs making and that could be made every day.

The stench emanating from Mr. Obama's campaign is so foul it is almost unbearable.  Yet mainstream media don't seem to smell it at all.

How come?  Try to guess.


Ken Berwitz

I hope this needs no explanation from me...because I'd be hard-pressed to provide one:

Woman arrested for killing virtual reality husband

TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- A 43-year-old Japanese woman whose sudden divorce in a virtual game world made her so angry that she killed her online husband's digital persona has been arrested on suspicion of hacking, police said Thursday.

 The woman, who is jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his identification and password to log onto popular interactive game "Maple Story" to carry out the virtual murder in mid-May, a police official in northern Sapporo said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

"I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

The woman had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.

She has not yet been formally charged, but if convicted could face a prison term of up to five years or a fine up to $5,000.

Players in "Maple Story" raise and manipulate digital images called "avatars" that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting against monsters and other obstacles.

The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married, and killed the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his beloved online avatar was dead.

The woman was arrested Wednesday and was taken across the country, traveling 620 miles from her home in southern Miyazaki to be detained in Sapporo, where the man lives, the official said.

Will a virtual judge put her avatar in a virtual jail for virtually the rest of her life too?

I'd call that a virtual certainty.  After all, the victim was "hacked" to death, wasn't he?


Ken Berwitz

I didn't think I would be writing this.  I assumed the people of john murtha's western Pennsylvania district would re-elect him to an 18th term, if for no other reason out of simple inertia.  But that might not be happening.

Here are excerpts from an article in today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that gives me at least a bit of hope the murtha era is at an end.  Please pay special attention to the part I've put in bold print:

Murtha's hold on House seat slips

By Mike Wereschagin and David M. Brown
Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two veteran warriors battling to represent the 12th Congressional District appear locked in the closest race in the district in years.

Democratic Rep. John Murtha leads retired Army Lt. Col. William Russell by a little more than 4 percentage points, within the Susquehanna Poll's 4.9-point margin of error. The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted for the Tribune-Review on Tuesday, amid uproar over Murtha's statement that some of his constituents are racist.

Murtha, 76, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, apologized for the racism remark, saying he meant to say that skin color is a factor in the battle for the presidency between Obama and Republican John McCain. Trying to add context to his remarks, Murtha later said many in Western Pennsylvania were "rednecks" several years ago.

Russell, 46, a Republican who served in the Iraq war, jumped on the remarks. McCain, in a campaign stop Tuesday in Moon, said he "could not disagree with those critics more," without mentioning Murtha by name.

About 54 percent of voters among those polled say it's time for someone else to represent them in Congress. About 35 percent say Murtha deserves to be re-elected.

Murtha's last few challengers didn't come close to toppling him. He won by more than 20 percentage points in 2006 against Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey. He was unopposed in 2004.

This year, according to the poll, it's different.

"This is clearly a winnable race for Russell," Lee said.

Russell's campaign welcomed the poll results.

"In the beginning, we were facing an impossible task. A little later on, we were looking way up the mountain. Now, it looks like the summit is in sight," said Steve Clark, Russell's spokesman.

"We not only disagree with the poll, but we find its results ridiculous," said Matthew Mazonkey, a spokesman for Murtha's campaign. "Congressman Murtha has a clear record of working tirelessly for Western Pennsylvania, and his efforts have created tens of thousands of local jobs."

Obama leads McCain by about 5 percentage points in Murtha's district, which stretches from Cambria County southwest through Washington County, according to the poll. Even if Obama maintains that lead, it's unlikely his coattails would be much help to Murtha, who has to win on his own, Lee said.

"Russell moved to Johnstown within the past year. He said he decided to run after Murtha's 2006 statement that a Pentagon investigation into the deaths of Iraqi civilians in Haditha would show that Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Russell repeatedly has criticized Murtha for not apologizing for the remark after seven of the eight Marines charged in the killings were cleared of wrongdoing.

Murtha has stood fast, saying his blunt language brought critical improvement to how American troops engage Iraqis. "We're no longer just breaking down doors," Murtha said.

Officials, including a two-star general, conducting the investigation and the Naval Criminal Investigation Service "came up with the same conclusion I did," Murtha said.

Murtha said he has empathy with U.S. soldiers in Iraq, noting that three of his brothers served in the Marine Corps and he was a Marine for 37 years.

"Listen, they've gone through hell. ... I understand the pressure that's on them," Murtha said.

Russell has raised a lot of money for a first-time candidate -- $2.5 million, compared to $2.1 million raised by Murtha, according to Federal Election Commission reports through Sept. 30. On Oct. 1, the Murtha campaign had $590,995, and Russell showed $333,413 in the bank.

Many residents in the district are upset with Congress for passing a $700 billion economic recovery package in an effort to stabilize the nation's financial market, Russell said. Murtha supported the legislation.

"The bailout, the way it was produced, ended up a bad bill," Russell said.

"The average person here who has been paying their mortgage or have paid off their house, are being asked to foot the bill for all these people -- whether it is the bank or the speculator or the person who bought beyond their means -- and people are very unhappy about that," Russell said.

Murtha said he voted for the bill because top economic officials said something had to be done to keep the economy from spiraling into deeper trouble.


Wow.  murtha calls the 8 marines cold blooded killers without any trial or any evidence.  And now, after 7 of the 8 are exonerated and the 8th is still pending but likely to be exonerated as well, his reaction is not an apology or an acknowledgement he was wrong, but an idiotic, hubris-filled comment that he stopped OTHER people from acting the way the Haditha 8 did (or, more accurately, as they didn't, since no one has been convicted of doing anything wrong).

So William Russell is in the game, with a realistic shot at unseating murtha.  And all it took was murtha's scandalous judgment about the Haditha marines, followed by calling his consituents racists, followed by a semi-apology, followed by him then calling them rednecks. 

Is THAT enough for voters to dump this human compost heap?  We'll find out on November 4th.

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