Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Ken Berwitz

How much does the Secretary of State earn in a year?  I don't know for sure.  But I'm pretty confident it is less that $7.6 million dollars.

Why would that number come to mind?  Because if Hillary Clinton is offered, accepts, and is confirmed as the US Secretary of State, that's how much money she is likely to get over and above her salary.

Here are the specifics, from Kenneth P. Vogel, writing for  And if they don't outrage you, you are immune to outrage:

State: HRCs ticket to debt forgiveness?
By: Kenneth P. Vogel
November 18, 2008 08:17 PM EST

If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes Barack Obamas secretary of state, she could wipe away her lingering $7.6 million presidential campaign debt.

As the nations top diplomat, she would be barred by tradition and ethics rules from partisan political activity, including raising cash to pay off debt from her unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

And that could give her a powerful case to make to the Federal Election Commission about why it should forgive her campaign debt through a settlement process not unlike filing for bankruptcy.

Her ability to raise money would be ended by going into the administration, said former FEC chairman Michael Toner, who recently served as the top lawyer on Fred Thompsons failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In deciding whether to grant a so-called debt settlement agreement and close out a campaign committee, Toner explained that commissioners look at whether you have ability to raise funds, the length of time thats passed and whether you are otherwise eligible to terminate.

That means ensuring that there are no pending FEC complaints against her campaign which is tough to determine since the commission doesnt publicly list complaints its investigating and that the vendors still owed money agree to forgive their unpaid bills.

Clintons outstanding invoices are almost entirely with Washington-based allies and political firms less likely to clamor for cash than mom-and-pop businesses outside the Beltway.

Firms that do a lot of work for campaigns understand that complaining to the press or suing over lingering bills are big no-nos, likely to get them blacklisted, David Louis Plevan, an official with
Electrum Productions, told Politico after Clinton bowed out of the race in June.

At the end of September, his firm, which staged more than 500 events for the Democratic senator from New York, was owed more than $300,000 by her campaign. It also owed $5.3 million to
pollster and strategist Mark Penns firm, $830,000 to her direct mail firm, $250,000 to the company of top spokesman Howard Wolfson and $235,000 to strategist Minyon Moores firm.

The Obama transition team declined to say whether Clintons debt was a factor in her vetting for secretary of state. And her spokesman, Philippe Reines, deflected a question about whether she would pay back the debt if she was tapped.

Senator Clinton has said that paying off her campaign vendors is a priority for her, and she remains committed to that goal, said Reines , adding that the campaign,
which reported $7.9 million in vendor debt at the end of September had paid back about $300,000 in the last six weeks.

Overall, though, Clinton has had a rough time raising cash to retire her debt since dropping out of the presidential race. She already missed a deadline to recoup any of the $13.2 million in personal loans she made to the campaign, and her campaign hasnt paid any of its outstanding bills to Penn or Moore, while it paid back only $17,000 to Wolfson.

Its common for big campaigns, particularly losing ones, to let unpaid bills linger, sometimes for years (This year, for instance, Bill Clintons 1996 reelection campaign
reported $219,000 in debts, though all of it was disputed).

Still, the size of Hillary Clintons vendor debt is unprecedented, and it likely would be the largest debt settlement in FEC history, eclipsing the $2.7 million debt that John Glenns ill-fated 1984 presidential campaign carried for more than 20 years before the FEC forgave it.

If Clinton remained in the Senate, she could just keep reporting the debt and whittling away at it as she can, said former FEC commissioner David Mason.

But if she does go to the State Department, obviously thats off the table, so she may have more incentive to get the debt taken care of right away, he said, though he stressed that Clinton could petition the FEC for debt settlement regardless of whether she takes a Cabinet post.

Theres not a whole lot of precedent for forgiving the campaign debt of an incoming Cabinet member.

When Bruce Babbitt became secretary of the interior under Bill Clinton in 1993, the FEC forgave $128,000 in debt he had carried from his 1988 presidential campaign. And Mason recalled the case of a former House member who lost his seat and took a Cabinet post in his home states government, which forbade him from engaging in political activity.

The commission took that into consideration in the debt settlement agreement, said Mason, who posited that Clintons debt likely wont play a role in her decision about whether to join the Obama administration. Its not really a problem for her, so going to State is not really a solution, because its not a problem in the first place.

If Clinton became secretary of state, shed also have to empty her leadership political action committee, 
which had nearly $700,000 in the bank in mid-October, and her Senate reelection committee. It had nearly $6 million on hand at the end of September a lot of which was rolled over from general election contributions to her presidential campaign, which could not be used to pay back her debt. She could give the cash from both committees to the Democratic National Committee, charity or dole it out among candidates.

Is that outrageous enough for you? 

It's bad enough Obama is stacking his administration with every leftover from the Clinton years that he can find***.  But this wouldn't just be reinstalling Clinton people, it would be reinstalling Clinton ethics too. 

Is that "Change we can believe in" or "Change we can relieve on"?  You tell me.


***Activist lawyer and radio talk show host Mark Levin has an interesting, and very logical, explanation for why Mr. Obama is loading his administration with Clinton people.  He points out that Obama has no one of his own to use instead of the Clinton people, since he has only been a Senator for less than four years and, during that time, did little other than run for President.

But voters put him in charge of the country, didn't they?  Well, at least they drew on the massive amount of information about him, pro and con, that media supplied......................


Ken Berwitz

Read this piece from and see how well or poorly you think al qaeda ingratiated itself to Barack Obama:

Al-Qaida No. 2 insults Obama with racial epithet

Al-Qaida No. 2 insults Obama in new tape Play Video AP   Al-Qaida No. 2 insults Obama in new tape
CAIRO, Egypt Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader used a racial epithet to insult Barack Obama in a message posted Wednesday, describing the president-elect in demeaning terms that imply he does the bidding of whites.

The message appeared chiefly aimed at persuading Muslims and Arabs that Obama does not represent a change in U.S. policies. Ayman al-Zawahri said in the message, which appeared on militant Web sites, that Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s African-American rights leader.

In al-Qaida's first response to Obama's victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice "house negroes."

Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term "abeed al-beit," which literally translates as "house slaves." But al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as "house negroes."

The message also includes old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters' house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites.

The 11-minute 23-second video features the audio message by al-Zawahri, who appears only in a still image, along with other images, including one of Obama wearing a Jewish skullcap as he meets with Jewish leaders. In his speech, al-Zawahri refers to a Nov. 5 U.S. airstrike attack in Afghanistan, meaning the video was made after that date.

Al-Zawahri said Obama's election has not changed American policies he said are aimed at oppressing Muslims and others.

"America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always," the deputy of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden said.

He said Obama's plan to shift troops to Afghanistan is doomed to failure, because Afghans will resist.

"Be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them," he said.

Al-Zawahri did not threaten specific attacks, but warned Obama that he was "facing a Jihadi (holy war) awakening and renaissance which is shaking the pillars of the entire Islamic world; and this is the fact which you and your government and country refuse to recognize and pretend not to see."

He said Obama's victory showed Americans acknowledged that President George W. Bush's policies were a failure and that the result was an "admission of defeat in Iraq."

But Obama's professions of support for Israel during the election campaign "confirmed to the Ummah (Islamic world) that you have chosen a stance of hostility to Islam and Muslims," al-Zawahri said.

al qaeda's mission is to either convert the people of the world to lunatic-asylum quality radical Islam or kill them.  Short of joining the movement, nothing Barack Obama can do will make al qaeda any happier with him than they were with George Bush.

The people who thought a Black, leftward President who is willing to act in a friendlier way to Palestinian Arabs at the expense of Israel would be attractive to these subhumans were wrong.  The ones (including, I am sure, a lot of the same people) who thought al qaeda would be less threatening to us if George Bush were out of the picture?  Wrong again.

It's a little late for this learning curve, but there it is. 

Personally, I hope Mr. Obama thinks long and hard about what being called a "house Negro" means to him -- and then thinks just as long and just as hard about how he feels towards groups who are in any way supportive of or sympathetic to the ones calling him this offensive, dismissive insult.

If we're very fortunate, it will affect his presidency.


Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I did the short form on who and what Barack Obama's choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder, is.

Today we have National Review's more extensive analysis of Mr. Holder - his unseemly past actions and his then and current views.

Here it is, without any bold print from me:

Confirming Fears
By the Editors

That didnt take long.

As we observed throughout the campaign, Barack Obama gave indications that his election would mean a return to the September 10 mentality, a national-security outlook marked prominently by its lack of seriousness about the terrorist threat. In choosing Eric Holder to be his attorney general, President-Elect Obama has taken a step toward confirming those misgivings.

Holder was the Clinton administrations last deputy attorney general, succeeding Jamie Gorelick in 1997 under Janet Reno. That appointment marked the final elevation in a series of Clinton-era promotions that punctuate his rsum. Holders rise, like Obamas own, is of symbolic significance, as he now has been nominated to be the nations first black attorney general. Symbolism, however, cannot camouflage the fact that Holder is a conventional, check-the-boxes creature of the Left.

He is convinced justice in America needs to be established rather than enforced; hes excited about hate crimes and enthusiastic about the constitutionally dubious Violence Against Women Act; hes a supporter of affirmative action and a practitioner of the statistical voodoo that makes it possible to burden police departments with accusations of racial profiling and the states with charges of racially skewed death-penalty enforcement; hes more likely to be animated by a touchy-feely Reno-esque agenda than traditional enforcement against crimes; hes in favor of ending the detentions of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay and favors income redistribution to address the supposed root causes of crime.

In any other time, Holder would simply be an uninspired choice. But these are not ordinary times we face a serious, persistent threat from Islamist terrorists. At the same time, Democrats have expressed outrage over both the alleged politicization of the Justice Department and the reckless disregard of its storied traditions. For these times, it is difficult to imagine a worse choice for AG than Eric Holder.

Much has been made, and appropriately so, of Holders untoward performance in the final corrupt act of the Clinton administration: the pardons issued in the departing presidents final hours. Of these, most notorious is the case of Marc Rich, an unrepentant fugitive wanted on extensive fraud, racketeering, and trading-with-the-enemy charges but granted a pardon nonetheless thanks to the intercession of his ex-wife, a generous donor to Clintons library and legal-defense fund.

Holders role was aptly described as unconscionable by a congressional committee. He steered Richs allies to retain the influential former White House counsel Jack Quinn (Holder later conceded he hoped Quinn would help him become attorney general in a Gore administration); he helped Quinn directly lobby Clinton, doing an end-run around the standard pardon process (including DOJs pardon attorney); and he kept the deliberations hidden from the district U.S. attorney and investigative agencies prosecuting Rich so they couldnt learn about the pardon application and register their objections.

Theres more. In 1999, over the objections of the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, and prosecuting attorneys, Holder supported Clintons commutation of the sentences of 16 FALN conspirators. These pardons of terrorists who even Holder has conceded had not expressed any remorse were issued in the months after al-Qaedas 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, when the Clinton administration was pretending to be the scourge of terrorism. The commutations were nakedly political, obviously designed by Clinton to assist his wifes impending Senate campaign by appealing to New Yorks substantial Puerto Rican vote.

Equally noxious were the stealthy pardons of Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans Weather Underground terrorists associated with Obamas friends Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn issued on the same day as the Rich pardon. Rosenberg and Evans had been serving decades-long sentences for bombings targeting American government facilities. With Holder again helping to circumvent the pardon process and to evade objections from prosecutors, the terrorists jail terms were commuted just weeks after the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.

Under Holders stewardship, moreover, the Justice Department chose, in the Dickerson case, to oppose its own prosecutors and seek reversal of the conviction of a bank robber whose voluntary confession had been elicited without Miranda warnings. Taking the Justice Department's signal, the Supreme Court overruled the lower courts and vacated the conviction, upending 30 years of precedent which had held that Miranda was not part of the core Fifth Amendment guarantee. Thanks to this ruling, rendered in the comfort of pre-9/11 complacence, terrorists tried in civilian courts which is where Obama and Holder want them to be tried will enjoy a powerful argument against the admission of critical confession evidence.

To be blunt, Holder is a terrible selection. If theres any Obama cabinet nomination that Republicans feel moved to oppose, this should be it.

I would love to have a one-on-one sitdown with some of the people who have claimed that the Bush administration didn't make us safer (some claim it made us less safe - fascinating since we haven't been hit since 9/11).  I would like to ask them what effect an Attorney General like Eric Holder might have on how safe they feel.

I saw a clip of Holder on the Today Show this morning, telling a panel that if he knew then what he knows now, he would not have given a favorable opinion on Bill Clinton's pardon of the despicable international criminal marc rich. 

That sounds like a complete lie to me.  What do we know now about rich that we didn't know then, besides nothing?  But don't expect to see mainstream media nailing Holder for the lie.  They're too busy drooling over his boss-to-be.

Incidentally, is Mr. "Change We Can Believe In/Change We Need" intending to appoint anyone who wasn't in the Clinton administration?


Ken Berwitz

When you were a kid and got into a jam because of something you did, your mother probably told you that "you made your own bed, now lie in it"

Well, for months media in this country have protected Barack Obama from fallout regarding his association with USA hating terrorist scumbag william ayers.  Part of the effort has been to suppress the extent of their relationship.  And part of it has been to "rehabilitate" ayers by positioning him as a wonderful, dedicated educator and a pillar of the community.

Now that the election is over, however, ayers has unleashed himself on the public and we're seeing a bit more of what he is.  For one, he just published a book in which he refers to Mr. Obama as a "family friend".  This, of course, puts the lie to Mr. Obama's claim that ayers was just some guy he knew from the neighborhood, who (coincidentally) served on a couple of boards with him. 

Fascinatingly, after publication of the book, ayers denied the closeness of their relationship while being interviewed on Good Morning America.  But hey, why not?  If the election of 2008 proved anything it proved that there is a large segment of the public who will believe whatever they're told, even if today contradicts yesterday which contradicted the day before.

And ayers is also suddenly a lot more public about how radically leftist his views remain.  As an example, the final part of this post is a swatch of ayers' writing, which I came across at  Try to stay awake reading it - long enough to read Charles Johnson's funny and pointed comment at the end.

Ayers Reviews Marxist Book from Marxist Perspective

US News | Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 5:59:17 pm PST

Heres a look at the kind of scholarship Bill Ayers is producing, a review of an obscure Marxist tract by UCLA professor Peter McLaren, subtitled: Notes From A Self-Realizing, Sensuous, Species-Being.

This is simply a knotty rehash of the discredited line of the old U.S. Communist PartyBlack and White Unite and Fightafter it had abandoned revolution: class is all that counts, and everything else is just a distraction. Again, theres nothing easy about contributing to a further understanding of the peculiar intersection of race and class, of hierarchies of color mapped onto relations to productionparticularly the murderous role of white supremacy in blocking unity and revolutionary changebut there is an important and relevant conversation underway from W.E.B. DuBois to James and Grace Lee Boggs, from Audre Lorde to Robin D.G. Kelley, Angela Davis, and bell hooks that could be acknowledged and engaged. Race and gender, gender and class, class and racea lot has been done and theres a lot left to do, but smart white male lefties like Peter naming and then dismissing the triplet seems more than a little glib. It seems to point toward a limiting white blind-spot and a severely pinched vision of social justice.

In an aside, McLaren manages to both accept and deflect two weaknesses often associated with his work: While some criticism is substantiveincluding a welcomed critique of the enciphered language of some academics and a challenge to radical educators to come up with concrete possibilitiesmuch of it is small-minded and petty ... (p. 30). Note the some academicsNot me! Not me!and the active enciphering to boot. There is, in fact, a self-conscious performativeness on almost every page:

Through policies of increasing its military-industrial-financial interest, it continues to purse its quivering bourgeois lips, bare its imperialist fangs, and suck the lifeblood from the open veins of South America and other regions of the globe. (p. 23)

Watered by the tears of the poor and cultivated by working-class labor, the dreams that sprout from the unmolested soil of capital are those engineered by the ruling class. (p. 20)

On and on and on like that. Who needs waterboarding? We can just force terrorists to read a few paragraphs from the published works of Bill Ayers.


Ken Berwitz

Somehow I think a nice, new Playtex or Maidenform bra would have cost her less....

Mass. senator resigns after bribery charges

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

(11-19) 12:45 PST BOSTON, (AP) --

A Massachusetts state senator photographed while allegedly stuffing thousands of dollars in bribe money into her sweater has resigned.

Dianne Wilkerson's resignation was announced Wednesday by state Senate President Therese Murray. Wilkerson was indicted a day before on eight counts of attempted extortion.

The Democrat had faced increasing pressure to step down and possible expulsion by her Senate colleagues since she was arrested last month.

The 53-year-old Wilkerson issued a statement saying she would have no further comment. She was in her eighth term on Beacon Hill.

If convicted, Wilkerson could face up to 20 years in prison.

I know corruption is not funny, but I'm having trouble avoiding the humor in this.

Look at the bright side, Dianne.  Maybe they'll give you a padded cell.


Ken Berwitz

My very dear friend Bob just sent me this.  I am passing it along to you in the hope that you feel the same way about it that he and I do.  And that you pass it along as I have. 

Navy Petty Officer Mike Monsoor 
 PO2 (EOD2)(Explosive Ordnance Disposal) Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq , giving his life to save his fellow Seals.
 During Mike Monsoor's funeral in
San Diego
, as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEAL's were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two's, with the coffin moving up the center.  As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from
 his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin
 The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the  coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it.  This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero .
 This should be front-page news instead of the crap we see every day.
 Since the media won't make this news, I choose to make it news by forwarding it onto you guys. I am damn proud of our military. If you are proud too, please pass this on.  If not then rest assured that these fine men and women of our military will continue to serve and  protect.

Keep in mind that this act of bravery occurred OVER TWO YEARS AGO (September, 2006).  And I'm betting you never heard of him.

Pass it along.  Please.

free Thank you so much for posting this and i hope everyone that reads this takes a minute to say a prayer for all of our military members and their families. Our media has lost its way and maybe a little prayer for them also. Also on a side note it isn't called the Congressional Medal of Honor, it is the Medal of Honor. (11/20/08)


Ken Berwitz

The following full page ad appears in this week's Washington Times National Weekly:


I give credit to Barack Obama and his people, who have successfully stonewalled every attempt to force Mr. Obama to show his actual birth certificate.  Not the facsimile which proves nothing to anyone(and which may well have been doctored).

I also give credit to our wonderful "neutral" mainstream media, which was far more invested in learning how much Sarah Palin's clothes cost than in finding out if the Democratic nominee is legally able to serve as President.  If media wanted a legacy that really lasts, this will almost certainly give it to them.

And I ask again, as I have been asking for months:  A call to Hawaii and a processing fee of $10 will get the birth certificate that proves whether or not Mr. Obama is legally able to serve as President.  But instead of producing it, Mr. Obama and the Democratic party instead hired a small army of lawyers to prevent every attempt to see that birth certificate.  How do you not conclude that there is something on it that Mr. Barack does not want you to see?  Something really significant.

I wish Mr. Berg and the others who are demanding proof of Mr. Obama's eligibility every success. 

And I condemn the major media that have intentionally looked the other way, suppressing virtually all news of the lawsuits filed to force Mr. Obama to produce the "vault copy" of his birth certificate (filings in about 10 states now) and the progress of those lawsuits.

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

Ted You gotta hear this 90 minute blogradio on why the media has a blackout of the looming Obama Birth Certificate Constitutional Crisis: (11/19/08)


Ken Berwitz

This just came to me from my pal Russ.

It is stupid, it stereotypes and it has no business in civil conversation....


it's clean (mostly) and funny as hell.  So up it goes:


(1) FINE : This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) FIVE MINUTES : If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) NOTHING : This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) GO AHEAD : This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) LOUD SIGH : This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) THAT'S OK : This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) THANKS : A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' .. that will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) WHATEVER... : Is a woman's way of saying F-- YOU!

(9) DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, I GOT IT : Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a  man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

* Send this to the men you know, to warn them about arguments they can  avoid if they remember the terminology.
* Send this to all the women you know to give them a good laugh, cause they know it's true!!!


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