Thursday, 06 November 2008


Ken Berwitz

No, I don't blame Barack Obama for this.  But given the unprecedented amounts of money that poured into his campaign like a green tsunami, you have to admit it's more than a little ironic.

Here is the story, courtesy of WTHR-Channel 13, Indianapolis:

Obama campaign workers angry over unpaid wages

Diane Jefferson
Diane Jefferson

Jeremy Brilliant/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Lines were long and tempers flared Wednesday not to vote but to get paid for canvassing for Barack Obama. Several hundred people are still waiting to get their pay for last-minute campaigning. Police were called to the Obama campaign office on North Meridian Street downtown to control the crowd.

The line was long and the crowd was angry at times.

"I want my money today! It's my money. I want it right now!" yelled one former campaign worker.

A former spokesman for the Obama campaign said 375 people were hired as part of the Vote Corps program and said people signed up to work three-hour shifts at a time. Three hours of canvassing got workers a $30 pre-paid Visa card.

The workers showed up to get their cards Wednesday morning at 10:00 am.

"There was a note on the door saying 1:00 pm and then at 1:20 pm everybody was like why is nobody here. They just got here and they're trying to get it organized," said Heather Richards, a former campaign worker.

The large gathering of around 375 people prompted police to call in extra officers and set up temporary barricades. The barricades helped keep the crowd from spilling out onto Meridian Street. Police say the several hundred people in line were for the most part orderly.

"No arrests. Some of the people were upset at first because the line wasn't moving as fast as they thought it should. But we really haven't had any problems," said Major Darryl Pierce, Metro Police.

Eventually people did start getting paid, but some said they were missing hours and told to fill in paperwork making their claim and that eventually they would get a check in the mail.

"Still that's not right. I'm disappointed. I'm glad for the president, but I'm disappointed in this system," said Diane Jefferson, temporary campaign worker.

"It should have been $480. It's $230," said Imani Sankofa.

"They gave us $10 an hour. So we added it. I added up all the hours so it was supposed to be at least $120. All I get is $90," said Charles Martin.

"I worked nine hours a day for 4 days and got paid half of what I should have earned," said Randall Waldon.

Some people weren't satisfied with filling out a claim form for money they felt was still due to them.

"They say that they gonna call you or they going to mail it to you, but I don't know. We'll see what happens," said Antron Grose.

"Talking about they'll mail it to us. I ain't worried about that, man. They're not going to mail nothin'," said Martin.

How'd you like to have some fun.  Go to Indianapolis, stand in front of this crowd and tell them the reason is that President-designate Obama's redistribution program just kicked in. 

I promise to donate to your hospital recovery fund.


Ken Berwitz

I just read part of a Reuters article that assures me there was no pro-Obama bias in the election campaign.

This is not a goof.  I am not trying to make you laugh.  This is real.

Here is as much of the article as I was able to wade through (you can click on the link if your stomach is stronger than mine is):

Media bias largely unseen in US presidential race

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - At times during this year's U.S. presidential race, it seemed that supporters of Republican John McCain bashed journalists covering his campaign almost as hard as they did his Democratic rival, Barack Obama.

McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, famously stoked anti-media catcalls and boos by Republican delegates at the party's national convention.

And as recently as this past weekend, a crowd of McCain backers at a rally in Virginia turned to the press stand and chanted: "Tell the truth! Tell the Truth!"

McCain partisans were roused to anger by a perception that mainstream news organizations routinely gave Obama preferential treatment en route to his election as the first black U.S. president.

But media scholars, including a former top aide to McCain, disagree. They said campaign coverage often did lean in Obama's favor, though not -- as many conservatives have suggested -- because of a hidden liberal agenda on the part of the media.

Instead, academic experts said, Obama benefited largely from the dynamics of the campaign itself and the media's tendency to focus on the "horse race," emphasizing ups and downs in the polls and political tactics.

As Obama's poll numbers rose in response to events, so did favorable press coverage for him, not the other way round.

"Winning begets winning coverage," said Mark Jurkowitz, an author of a study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism that tracked campaign coverage.

Dan Schnur, communications director for McCain's 2000 presidential bid and now head of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, agreed.

"I don't think there's partisan or ideological bias because the mainstream media tries not to take sides in policy disagreements," he said. "Favorable news coverage is ... more a function of favorable poll numbers."


Some scholars acknowledge that Obama also generated good press by virtue of his charisma, and his place in history as the first black presidential candidate of a major political party.

"He was fresh-faced, his candidacy was historic and he had a campaign that seemed to transcend politics," said Robert Lichter, head of the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. "Reporters are suckers for candidates who don't seem like ordinary politicians."

But Kelly McBride, who teaches at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, said journalists should not be labeled as star-struck for reporting on the "mania" surrounding Obama.

"When you have a very attractive candidate, and you have people swooning for him, the reporters then report on the fact that people are swooning," she said.

I couldn't continue past that last paragraph.  Am I misreading, or does it essentially say that if the candidate is Mr. Wonderful, what can you do except report he's wonderful -- why that's not bias at all?

And there's no liberal agenda in news US media?  Yeah, sure.  And the cow jumped over the moon.

The only thing this incredible barf-a-thon of an article has convinced me of, is that sometimes major league bias is rationalized with equally major-league delusions.

barry sinrod Your blog has become moot. President Barack Obama will take us to the land of the free and straight line people. No more corruption and those in the Bush Administration will face the wrath of punishment soon (11/06/08)


Ken Berwitz

Here is a new installment of how life will be if we are not successful against radical islam, as it continues its self-proclaimed effort to take over the world and subject us all to shari'a law. 

This absolutely bone-chilling report is from BBC News:

Stoning victim 'begged for mercy'

A young woman recently stoned to death in Somalia first pleaded for her life, a witness has told the BBC.

"Don't kill me, don't kill me," she said, according to the man who wanted to remain anonymous. A few minutes later, more than 50 men threw stones.

Human rights group Amnesty International says the victim was a 13-year-old girl who had been raped.

Initial reports had said she was a 23-year-old woman who had confessed to adultery before a Sharia court.

Numerous eye-witnesses say she was forced into a hole, buried up to her neck then pelted with stones until she died in front of more than 1,000 people last week.

Meanwhile, Islamists in the capital, Mogadishu have carried out a public flogging.

Mogadishu is nominally under the control of government forces and their Ethiopian allies, who face frequent attacks by Islamist and nationalist insurgents.

The BBC's Mohammed Olad Hassan in the city says the flogging was a show of strength.

He says two men accused of helping to kill a man and torture his mother, who they accused of theft, were each given 39 lashes in the north-eastern suburb of Suqa-hola.

The man who actually killed the alleged thief was released, after agreeing to pay his family 100 camels in compensation.

Before the flogging, hundreds of Islamist fighters performed a military parade, our reporter says.

Death threats

Cameras were banned from the stoning in Kismayo, but print and radio journalists who were allowed to attend estimated that the woman, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was 23 years old.

People were saying this was not good for Sharia law, this was not good for human rights, this was not good for anything
However, Amnesty said it had learned she was 13, and that her father had said she was raped by three men.

When the family tried to report the rape, the girl was accused of adultery and detained, Amnesty said.

Convicting a girl of 13 for adultery would be illegal under Islamic law.

A human rights activist in the town told the BBC on condition of anonymity that he had received death threats from the Islamic militia, who accuse him of spreading false information about the incident.

He denies having anything to with Amnesty's report.


Court authorities have said the woman came to them admitting her guilt.


Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply, they said.

But a witness who spoke to the BBC's Today programme said she had been crying and had to be forced into a hole before the stoning, reported to have taken place in a football stadium.

"More than 1,000 people arrived there," he said.

"After two hours, the Islamic administration in Kismayo brought the lady to the place and when she came out she said: 'What do you want from me?'"

"They said: 'We will do what Allah has instructed us'. She said: 'I'm not going, I'm not going. Don't kill me, don't kill me.'

"A few minutes later more than 50 men tried to stone her."

'Checked by nurses'

The witness said people crowding round to see the execution said it was "awful".

"People were saying this was not good for Sharia law, this was not good for human rights, this was not good for anything."

But no-one tried to stop the Islamist officials, who were armed, the witness said. He said one boy was shot in the confusion.

According to Amnesty International, nurses were sent to check during the stoning whether the victim was still alive. They removed her from the ground and declared that she was, before she was replaced so the stoning could continue.

The port of Kismayo was seized in August by a coalition of forces loyal to rebel leader Hassan Turki, and al-Shabab, the country's main radical Islamist insurgent organisation.

Mr Turki is on the US list of "financers of terrorism".

It was the first reported execution by stoning in the southern port city since Islamist insurgents captured it.

The BBC had a reporter in the area, but he was shot dead in Kismayo in June.

Take a good look.  Because this is what will replace western civilization if we allow it to.  And it will be the way YOU live.

If we fight against radical islam we may win and we may lose.  If we do not, we will most assuredly lose because, either way, they will continue fighting.  And if they win, our culture and our civilization is over, to be replaced by what?  A society that kills 13 year old girls for the "crime" of being raped?

God help the people who want to live this way.  I know I'm not one of them.  Are you?

We play political games with this threat at our own peril.  George Bush knew that well.  Does Barack Obama?  We have four years to find out.



Ken Berwitz

Here we go.

So starts Obama's war on talk radio - the one place where conservative thought has any edge at all. 

One apparently is too many.

Here are the particulars, from Brian Maloney of


Obama's 'Fairness Doctrine' Czar Chosen, AAR Expects Benefit

Ahead of a widely-expected crackdown on free speech and political dissent by the incoming Obama administration, our Dear Leader has appointed a new FCC transition czar to oversee the process.

Henry Rivera, a longtime radical leftist, lawyer and former FCC commissioner, is expected to lead the push to dismantle commercial talk radio that is favored by a number of Democratic Party senators. Rivera will play a pivotal role in preventing critics from having a public voice during Obama's tenure in office.

Rivera, who resigned from the FCC nearly a quarter-century ago during the Reagan years,
believes in a doctrine of "communications policy as a civil rights issue".

His exit during the Reagan Administration paved the way for the Fairness Doctrine's repeal
when the late president appointed Patricia Diaz Dennis in 1986 to fill out the rest of Rivera's term. Had this not occurred, talk radio as we know it today would not exist.

That gives Rivera's new task a great deal of personal urgency: it's a late-career, second chance opportunity to shut down opposition voices that have been allowed to flourish since his depature from the commission.

In particular, Rivera is known for his
push for more minority broadcasting ownership, but this issue has largely been rendered obsolete as former commercial broadcasting empires teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.

Rivera's first opportunity to eliminate commercial talk radio will occur in June 2009,
as the term of Republican Robert McDowell expires and he can be replaced with a pro-Fairness Doctrine Democrat. That will give the commission a three-vote Democratic majority, though the final two seats must remain in Republican hands.

If they can strong-arm one of the three Republicans into leaving early, this can be implemented even sooner.

One issue facing Rivera and Obama's new commissioner is how the policy will be carried out.
According to data from the 1970s, when the old doctrine regulated the content of speech on the radio, the FCC was forced to utilize a great deal of its resources sifting through tens of thousands of "unfairness" complaints. The FCC's staff might have to be increased substantially to accommodate listeners looking to censor radio programming in their area.

Meanwhile, Air America Radio apparently believes liberal talk radio will benefit from the Fairness Doctrine's implementation!
In an interview with a broadcast trade publication, Air America CEO Bennett Zier seems to believe that conservative stations would be forced to carry libtalk programming in order to comply with the law (but wouldn't libtalk stations also be required to run conservatives?):

RADIO INK: What do you think of all the speculation about the return of the Fairness Doctrine? Would that be a big problem for Air America?

BENNETT ZIER: If theres a Fairness Doctrine, one would say that would be a good thing for left-of-center talk. But I think if Air America puts forth relevant, entertaining, provocative content, itll be a balance. People will be interested in what we want to do. We believe that we need to control our own destiny, and were going to do that by giving the listeners, the viewers, and the readers what they want in a lot of different technologies.

But this is delusional, as Air America's wildly unpopular talk programming will merely speed the demise of commercial radio if forced upon the industry's most-successful stations, which happen to be conservative talkers.

That could move the rest of the medium to the Internet and satellite radio, where Air America is already heard. The result would be a wipeout of a number of liberal radio executives who supported Obama.

Successful attempts by Democrats to suppress free speech will probably be cloaked, using different terminology and phony justifications. Don't be fooled: the only reason for this crusade is to wipe out every trace of political dissent.

How do you feel about being unable to hear both sides?  Stay tuned:  if this plays out the way Brian suggests, you may soon be able to answer first-hand.


Ken Berwitz

Once upon a time I had some respect for Bob Barr. 

Now he has decided he's a circus clown without the big red nose and fright wig.  Maybe those are coming soon.

Read this article from today's Boston Globe about how great he thought he did on election day, and see for yourself:

Barr brags over Tuesday showing

Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor November 5, 2008 07:05 PM

Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr is crowing after his showing in Tuesday's election, where he won enough votes -- not in his home state of Georgia, but in North Carolina -- to hold the balance of power.

In North Carolina, which remains too close to call, Democrat Barack Obama has a 12,000-vote lead over Republican John McCain, and Barr, a former Republican congressman from Georgia, has 25,181 votes, or 1 percent.

In Georgia, McCain won with 52 percent of the vote, while Barr won 28,622 votes, or about 1 percent.

And in Indiana, Barr prevented Obama from winning a clear majority. Obama had barely 50 percent, rounded up, while McCain had 49 percent, and Barr had 29,102 vote, or 1 percent.

UPDATE: Barr won about 489,000 votes nationally, compared to 657,000 for independent Ralph Nader, according to the latest tally by the Associated Press, counting 98 percent of precincts.

"This is just the beginning of the new Libertarian Party," Barr said in a statement issued this afternoon. "In these next four years, there will be an even greater need for a political party fully dedicated to lower taxes, smaller government and more individual freedoma voice for liberty."

"This year, we set a solid foundation for freedom, on which we will build a strong and united political organization that advances freedom and liberty in the United States," Barr added. "I, and all Americans who support true liberty, owe a great debt of gratitude to our staff, donors, volunteers and voters who helped support this campaign."

Over 121,000,000 votes have been counted and Bob Barr got 489,000 of them.  That is about 1/250th of the votes. --- 4 out of every 1,000.

Even the exhumed remains of Ralph, Nader did better.

And, to him, this is "just the beginning", as if he had accomplished some amazing feat? 

What's amazing is that anyone bothered to write what he said.  Heck, the only reason I'm mentioning it is that it has humor value.

Go get 'em Bob.  Maybe you can hit 500,000 in 2012.  I bet they'll erect statues of you all over the country.


Ken Berwitz

This report comes to us from NIS News in The Netherlands.  I think you'll find it very interesting and very thought-provoking:


NIS News Bulletin

Black TV Presenter Prefers "White Racists to Moroccan Scum"

THE HAGUE, 07/11/08 - TV presenter Prem Radhakishun, himself black and a strong advocate of multiculturalism, now feels safer in the proximity of white racists than among Moroccan teenagers. In an interview on Radio 1 yesterday, he expressed his frustration in a tirade.

On his TV programme Premtime, produced by public broadcaster NPS, Radhakishun has tried for some years to give a realistic picture of the problems of the multicultural society. He regularly visits old city districts for street interviews. Radhakishun, a Hindu originally from Surinam, has always defended the position of Moroccan youngsters and sees it as his task to get rid of stigmatisation and prejudice.

But in a tirade on Radio 1, Radhakishun said yesterday he has become "sick to death" of "all these Moroccan m*therf*ckers" that he says push him around. "Today I feel a lot safer among white Lonsdale racists" than among Moroccan teenagers. "I may snap soon (...) but if I bash that scum back I will be tried as a racist in a show trial," he fumed.

Radhakishun was explaining that this week, he was threatened by Moroccan teenagers for the umpteenth time, after shooting for Premtime in The Hague. "I was forced to run away" from a group of 'opportunity youngsters', as they are often called in policy papers, "to avoid being completely beaten up. Even though I have stood up for them for years."

Earlier, a young kid injured Radhakishun by throwing a full can of cola at him but Radhakishun continued the broadcast with a bleeding head. "Why is the government not doing anything? Damn it, I am simply becoming rightwing from this! And politicians just ask themselves where that 'feeling of uneasiness' comes from. This is much more important than the election of President Obama," according to the avowed Obama devotee.


There's a lesson in here somewhere.  And I have a feeling that it may differ from person to person. 

You decide what it is.


Ken Berwitz

Chris Matthews (or Chris Moutthews as I usually call him) has a new job.  He told us so.

For the past eight years Mr. Moutthews has unmercifully defecated on everything President Bush has done.  But now?

I'll let Mark Finkelstein of tell you all about it:

Matthews: My Job Is To Make Obama Presidency a Success

Just in time for the new James Bond movie, Chris Matthews has earned himself a new moniker: Odd Job. Matthews says he sees his job as a journalist as doing everything he can to make the Obama presidency a success.  Appearing on Morning Joe today, Matthews was reluctant to criticize Rahm Emanuel's kabuki dance over accepting Obama's offer to be chief of staff. The Hardball host was equally unwilling to see the Emanuel episode as evidence of a lack of planning and discipline in the nascent Obama administration. Matthews eventually explained why.[H/t multiple NB readers.]

CHRIS MATTHEWS:  Yeah, well, you know what?  I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work, and I think that --

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist!

MATTHEWS:  Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country.

View video here

Matthews wasn't done with his odd new job description . . . 

SCARBOROUGH: Your job is the make this presidency work?

MATTHEWS:  To make this work successfully.  This country needs a successful presidency.

Wow!  What a change!

I wonder if Moutthews beat out keith olbermann for this job, or they're going to be co-workers in boosting up whatever Saint Barack hands us during the next four years.

Never mind, I think I already know.

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