Friday, 12 December 2008


Ken Berwitz

Regular readers know I am not an Ann Coulter fan.  But when she is 100% right, that's worth paying attention to.  And this is one such time.

Here is Ms. Coulter's latest column, which talks about the Minnesota count/recount -- most particularly, how it is being manipulated to put al franken into the Unites States Senate:

December 10, 2008

What is the point of having a hand recount of ballots in the Minnesota Senate race if the Democratic secretary of state is going to use the election night totals in precincts where it will benefit Democrat Al Franken?

Either the hand recount produces a better, more accurate count, or there was no point to the state spending roughly $100,000 to conduct the hand recount in the first place.

But that is exactly what the George Soros-supported secretary of state has agreed to do in the case of a Dinkytown precinct near the University of Minnesota. The hand recount of the liberal precinct produced 133 fewer ballots than the original count on election night and, more important, 46 fewer votes for Franken.

So he's proposing to defer to the election night total over the recount tally.

There are no "missing" ballots in Dinkytown. Ballots were run through the voting machines twice on election night. Last week, Minneapolis elections director Cindy Reichert explained they already knew for a fact that 129 ballots had been run through machines twice on election night, which pretty closely matched the 133 allegedly "missing" ballots.

As Reichert said, "There are human errors that are made on Election Day." According to an article in the Dec. 2, 2008, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Reichert was "confident that that's what happened" and that "we have all the ballot envelopes here."

But after relentless badgering by the Franken campaign, now Reichert isn't so sure anymore. So the new plan is for Minneapolis to submit both the election night total from Dinkytown -- which gives Franken an extra 46 votes -- and the meticulous hand recount total, which does not, and allow the canvassing board to decide which to use.

The 129 ballots that Reichert said were run through the machines twice on election night could end up being counted twice.

In all other precincts, the initial tallies from election night are treated as highly unreliable rough approximations of the actual vote, while the results from the hand recount are regarded as the absolute truth.

Only in the Dinkytown precinct, where the election night total gave Franken an additional 46 votes, does the state treat the hand recount as an error-prone joke compared to the highly accurate election night vote.

The Soros-supported Secretary of State Mark Ritchie explains that there is "precedent" for counting election night totals rather than the recount totals. If so, how about using the election night tally from some of the precincts that gave Coleman more votes on election night?

Highly implausible, post-election "corrections" in just three Democratic precincts -- Two Harbors, Mountain Iron and Partridge Township -- cost Coleman 446 votes. But I note that Ritchie doesn't propose deferring to the election night totals there.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune attributed the 436-vote "correction" in Franken's favor to "exhausted county officials." Were they more exhausted in those three precincts than in Dinkytown?

Either the post-election tally is better than the election night tally or it isn't. Cherry-picking only those election night results Ritchie likes isn't an attempt to get an accurate vote-count; it's an attempt to get a Democrat in the U.S. Senate.

If Minnesota is going to accept the election night tally from Dinkytown, why not from any of these precincts where Coleman lost votes under far more suspicious circumstances? And why are guys named "Al" always caught trying to steal elections?

Wholly apart from the outrageous inconsistency of deciding that some election night tallies trump the hand recount and some don't, Franken's miraculous acquisition of more than 500 votes from heavily Democratic precincts in post-election "corrections" wasn't believable on its face -- and that's even accounting for the fact that Franken voters tend to be stupider than average and therefore more likely to fill out their ballots incorrectly.

Corrections in all other 2008 races combined led to only 482 changes in the entire state of Minnesota. The idea that typo "corrections" in one single contest from only three precincts, out of more than 4,000 precincts, could lead to 436 "corrections" benefiting Franken is manifestly absurd.

Ritchie's proposal to accept the election night count from one precinct is a stunning admission that even he doesn't believe a hand recount is any more accurate than the original election night tally.

To be sure, endlessly recounting ballots doesn't yield more accurate results, it just creates different results. There is no reason to think a tabulation is more accurate because it occurred later in time.

But then why have a recount at all? If the state of Minnesota is going to spend $100,000 and endless man-hours to conduct a meticulous hand recount on the grounds that it is more accurate, the state ought to at least pretend to believe in its own recount.

Election recounts are never intended to get more accurate results. They are simply opportunities for Democrats to manufacture new votes and steal elections.

And once again, Republicans are asleep at the wheel while another close election is being openly stolen by the man whose contributions to western civilization include the "Planet of The Enormous Hooters" sketch on "SNL."

Ms. Coulter is dead-on.  If the recount is supposed to be the catch-all and end-all, how come they're using the original count in Dinkytown (what an aptly named place!) to hand al franken 46 votes?

Are they using the original count?  If so Coleman won and that's the end of it.

Are they using the recount?  If so, those 133 ballots don't exist.

Are they using the original count AND the recount, as long as al franken gets votes from it?  Then why bother to count at all?  Stop the dog and pony show, and just hand franken the election. 

What a pathetic joke.

John Emerson Coulter makes up a lot of stuff and she doesn't check her facts. Her 133-ballot story was refuted a week or more ago. There are three physical records of voting: a log book, the machine record, and the paper ballots. The log book and the machine record agreed, but the paper ballots were 133 short. They looked at the ballots they had, and they were in four enveloped labeled "2 of 5" to "5 of 5". "1 of 5" was missing. It was pretty clear what happened. The people who made the decision didn't have any trouble deciding. Of course, they had the information and you didn't but aren't you a little embarrassed to be second-guessing them? Coulter is a smear artist and you never should have trusted her. (12/13/08)


Ken Berwitz

For the past several days I have read numerous reports assuring me that Barack Obama has nothing to do with the attempted sale of his senate seat by Governor rod blagojevich. 

Heck, Mr. Obama told us that neither he nor anyone associated with him had anything to do with blagojevich at all.  And Barack Obama never lies, does he?  Little wonder mainstream media now "know" it is true.

So they have "pre-exonerated" him.  That is, they have concluded - and told us - that he is innocent before any further information comes out, as it unquestionably will.  They have reconfirmed his sainthood.  

Well, Mr. Obama does lie.  He lied to us about a bunch of things through his fantasyland presidential campaign.  And, in part he won the election based on those lies.

A day after being told there was no contact with blagojevich, articles surface about them meeting after the election, AND a picture of the two of them huddled together. 

Now, about that assurance that none of his staff talked with blagojevich......

This is from today's Chicago Sun-Times:

Is Emanuel the adviser on gov tape?

MUM | Obama's chief of staff refuses to answer the question

December 11, 2008

President-elect Barack Obamas chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, refused to take questions from reporters this morning about whether he was the Obama advisor named in the criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The complaint states Blagojevich wanted a promise of a high-level appointment or some other reward for Blagojevich in exchange for Blagojevich naming Obamas friend Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the U.S. Senate.

Emanuel was uncharacteristically absent from Obamas news conference this morning. He was spotted two hours later in the lobby of Chicagos City Hall. He was there to listen to his two children performing in a concert with their school, Anshe Emet.

A Sun-Times reporter pressed him to comment about whether he was the emissary named in the criminal complaint.

Youre wasting your time, Emanuel said. Im not going to say a word to you. Im going to do this with my children. Dont do that. Im a father. I have two kids. Im not going to do it.

Asked, Cant you do both? Emanuel replied, Im not as capable as you. Im going to be a father. Im allowed to be a father, and he pushed the reporters digital recorder away.

Blagojevch was caught on tape saying that he wanted the Obama advisor in question to know what Blagojevich wanted in exchange for the Jarrett appointment.

Blagojevich said, He asks me for the fifth CD thing, I want it to be in his head. Emanuel represents the 5th Congressional District in Illinois.

No one in the Obama campaign or administration has been charged with any wrongdoing. Obama said this morning that none of his staff has had a hand in any dealmaking on his Senate replacement.

As you can see, even here there is an assurance that "no one in the Obama campaign or administration has been charged with any wrongdoing".  Unbelievable, but there it is.

The problem, however, is that Mr. Obama's chief of staff, who isn't what you'd call a shrinking violent when it comes to talking politics, is hiding from the press and even hiding behind his children to avoid any comment about involvement with blagojevich.

Ok, I will assume that you are a reasonably intelligent person.  Consider these facts: 

-rod blogojevich is the Governor of Illinois;

-Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel both came out of exactly the same Democratic political machine he did; 

-blagojevich is solely in charge of replacing Obama as senator and Emanuel is Obama's chief of staff. 

Now:  do you believe these people aren't talking? 

If your answer is "yes", let's go to Disneyland.  We can meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald and all your other pals.  And I'll get you the big one;  a special face-to-face with Goofy.  Honest.


Ken Berwitz

Barney Frank chairs the house banking committee.  He's the guy who was nailed by Bill O'Reilly for telling investors that Fannie Mae had problems in the past but was "sound going forward" -- which resulted in an unknown number of said investors believing him, thus losing their shirts..

Well, not content with this "accomplishment", Mr. Frank has now imparted his wit and wisdom regarding the potential bailout of GM, Ford and Chrysler to Lesley Stahl at CBS' 60 Minutes.  Here are some of the high (low?) points of his commentary, which will air this Sunday:

(CBS) Propping up ailing car companies is not what the governments bailout for Detroits car makers is really about, says the man in the middle of the controversial plan. Barney Frank (D-Ma.), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, insists it is about the individual - saying the government needs to help the people in the car companies and other firms tied to the failing industry.

The 14-term congressman from Massachusetts talks to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl in a interview to be broadcast this Sunday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

"No. Were not propping up companies. Thats your mistake," he tells Stahl, who had asked him about taxpayer money going to prop up companies that had made bad decisions. "Were propping up individuals. The world doesn't consist of companies. The world is people. The country is people."

When Stahl points out that Frank is then talking about welfare, he responds, "Yeah, Im for welfare. Youre not? Are you for letting people starve?"

Some argued that bankruptcy was the way for Detroit to work out its troubles and reformulate their businesses. Frank is against that as well because it also hurts the individual. "There's only one thing you can do in bankruptcy: break your word, break your deals," says Frank. "It allows you to say to the small businesses who have been catering lunches for youthe workers, 'Sorry, were not paying you,'" he tells Stahl.

I love it. "The world doesn't consist of companies.  The world is people"   What the hell does this nitwit think COMPANIES consist of?  Kangaroos?  Elks?  Cornish game hens?

And then we have "There's only one thing you can do in bankruptcy:  break your word, break your deals".  

Well, what if those deals are the cause of the bankruptcy?  What if the auto companies have no realistic chance of surviving without restructuring those deals?  Because if that is true (and it is), all the bailout will accomplish is to pour more billions down a hole from which there will never be any return. 

If the auto companies cannot revise their labor contracts to be more in line with the domestic factories run by Toyota, Mazda, etc. they cannot compete.  So the choice is either to let them declare bankruptcy so they can renegotiate those deals in a more competitive way, or just keep subsidizing their losses with taxpayers' money.  Barney Frank is happy with the last alternative.  Are you?

Of course, there's always welfare......

Personally, I would rather put Barney the Dinosaur in charge of the house banking committee.  They both have pea brains.  But the dinosaur occasionally sings on key.

free` You will never get a democrat politician to agree to anything that will hurt the unions. (12/12/08)


Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy or (which is indispensible if you want to know what is going on in the Middle East) is the latest indication of how Israel/palestinian Arab peace negotiations are progressing:

Special Dispatch Series - No. 2146
December 10, 2008 No. 2146
Arab Islamist Clerics to Palestinians: Slaughter the Jews Like You Did in 1929; Blow Yourselves Up in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

Following are excerpts from speeches by Arab Islamic leaders expressing solidarity with Gaza, which aired on Al-Manar and Al-Aqsa TV, December 3 and 5, 2008.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit

Sheik Himam Sa'id, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan: "Oh noble Gaza, raise your head high. You have made the Muslims raise their heads high. And you, people of Hebron - you are now waging a war against the Jews. You are well-versed in this. We saw how, on a day in 1929, you slaughtered the Jews in Hebron. Today, slaughter them on the land of Hebron. Kill them in Palestine. Arise, oh people of Palestine, all the people of Palestine - arise in defense of your Al-Aqsa Mosque, arise in defense of Nablus and Hebron. Arise and face the [PA] Preventive Security forces. Fear them not, for they are rabbits. They are wolves, so fear them not, oh lions.


"Oh young men, what will you say to the Jordanian government? Expel the Jewish ambassador from Amman. Amman is pure, and the Jewish ambassador must not defile its soil. Recall the Jordanian ambassador from Palestine. Only mujahideen should be in Palestine - not ambassadors, not ministers, or any representative of this nation. Do not recognize the ambassador of this nation in Palestine. Palestine is the land of Jihad, of sacrifice, and of preparation. We say to this government: Stop normalization with the Jews. Stop all imports and exports with the Jews. Our markets are full of Jewish vegetables and Jewish fruits. Traders who bring these fruits and vegetables are traitors, collaborators. Tell them this. Make them hear our voice. The position of the religious scholars is that anyone who trades with the Jews is a traitor and collaborator."


Husan Abdallah, Lebanese Association of Islamic Scholars: "I say on behalf of the Association of Islamic Scholars: The truce with the Zionist entity is meaningless. The solution is to renew the resistance in a stronger and more effective way. Let pure bodies blow up again in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and in all the cities of occupied Palestine, because this enemy understands nothing but the language of force.


"To the courageous Egyptian people we say: Arise and bring down the artificial border, and bring food and medicine to your besieged brothers in Gaza. The Egyptian people is required to show an act of violence, even if they go to jail, even if they die - they will be martyrs for the sake of Allah."


Osama Hamdan, Hamas representative in Lebanon: "Our goal is to liberate all of Palestine, from the river to the sea, from Rosh Hanikra to Umm Al-Rashrash [Eilat]. From Gaza, gentlemen... We do not want a state 364 square kilometers in size, nor do we want a state for which we had to beg at the negotiating table. Such a state will never come to be. What we want is a free state, which maintains its dignity, 27,000 square kilometers in size - the size of Palestine in its entirety."

But, of course, you knew this already, didn't you?  After all, our wonderful "neutral" media have reported it so you would have an educated understanding of who and what Israel is "negotiating" with, right?

Any questions?

free` Ken, This is a story I think your readers may find interesting. I know I did. It comes from Front Page and I think it fits in this category. We Are Not Anti-Semites By Steven Plaut. (12/12/08)


Ken Berwitz

The Rahm Emanuel/rod blagojerkovich connection is starting to explode.

Chicago Fox News is reporting that Emanuel and blagojevich did have a number of meetings about filling Barack Obama's soon-to-be-vacated senate seat.  And they may have been taped.  You can see the report below or, if that doesn't work, by clicking here:




Then we have this somewhat-behind-the-curve report from CBS2Chicago, which tells us:

Questions Surround Emanuel In Blagojevich Case

Emanuel Declines Comment On Whether He Had Conversations With Blagojevich

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Questions are mounting about the possible involvement of President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in the scandal engulfing Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

As CBS 2's Joanie Lum reports, Blagojevich represented the North and Northwest Side's 5th Congressional District in Washington before he was elected governor and Emanuel took over in 2002.

An examination of the FBI complaint against Blagojevich and the days immediately following Obama's historic election victory suggests the governor was highly interested in Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett as a potential Senate appointee, albeit with a steep price tag.

The 76-page complaint contains multiple references to "Senate Candidate 1," whose description clearly fits Jarrett, a former finance chief for Obama's earlier campaigns and incoming senior White House adviser. 
Read More

Because of that, the question has thus arisen as to whether Emanuel had any dealings with the governor.

Emanuel did not appear at a news conference Thursday at which President-elect Obama addressed the Blagojevich scandal and announced Tom Daschle as his pick for Health and Human Services secretary.

But a Chicago Sun-Times reporter ran into Emanuel at City Hall, and said Emanuel refused to answer any questions about whether he had conversations with Blagojevich.

Obama said at the news conference Thursday that no one on his staff tried to make any deals.

The genie is out of its bottle, and it ain't getting stuffed back in.  Indications are pretty clear that Rahm Emanuel has neck-deep involvement in this scandalous situation....with the tide still rising.

And, of course, there is Barack Obama - who first said no one associated with him had any involvement at all, and then said he was "confident" no one did.  Now he'll have to move his lie one notch further toward the truth.

This is exactly what Obama did with his claims about never hearing jeremiah wright say anything untoward, and his admission of how much money antoin "tony" rezko procured for his campaigns over the years.  Tell the lie, and then modify the lie as facts come out that prove he was lying.

Liars are what they are.   And Barack Obama lies to us all the time.  Rahm Emanuel isn't lying - yet - because he's just not talking.  

Maybe Mr. Obama should learn from that.

steve schneider ken, my understanding was that rahm was the whistle blower. is it somehow wrong for him to have discussed obamas replacement? it sounds like he realized the seat was for sale and notified the feds. if this is the case i for one don't have a problem with far as obama is concerned that fact that he was referred to as a "motherfucker" makes me think that he played no part in the scam. steve (12/12/08)

Ken Berwitz Steve - your faith in Rahm Emanuel, who came straight from the bowels of Chicago politics, is, in my opinion, misplaced. No one hides from the press for being the good guy.  As far as blagojevich, he uses the term motherfucker the way we use the word "the". It doesn't seem to have a lot of direction. (12/12/08)


Ken Berwitz

Here, from, are the details of two rulings by the Minnesota Canvassing Board about counting ballots for the Coleman/franken senate race.  As you read them, keep in mind that this election took place well over a month ago:

December 12, 2008

Franken camp wins two key rulings

Al Frankens campaign won two key rulings today that may help him overcome a tiny deficit against Sen. Norm Coleman in the Minnesota Senate recount.

The Minnesota Canvassing Board unanimously recommended that all counties include the absentee ballots that were unfairly rejected on Election Day in the recount. Election officials throughout the state have been sorting absentee ballots based on why they were rejected and putting aside a fifth group (called the fifth pile) with those unfairly rejected ballots.

Minnesotas Deputy Secretary of State predicted over 1,500 ballots fall in this category. If theyre included, they could potentially overturn Colemans razor-thin lead. Coleman leads Franken by 192 votes, according to the Secretary of States official count.

Earlier, the Canvassing Board voted unanimously to include the 133 missing ballots from a Minneapolis precinct that voted overwhelmingly for Franken -- another victory for the Franken camp. Colemans campaign argued the ballots may never have existed in the first place, and shouldnt have been counted.

We are pleased that the state canvassing board has affirmed what we always believed to be true: Minnesota is not a state that disenfranchises its voters, said Franken spokesman Andy Barr.

Today's decisions represent positive and productive steps towards ensuring that this election is decided fairly and accurately, as well as a complete rejection of the Coleman campaign's effort to throw out lawful votes from Minnesotans.

Next week, the Canvassing Board will pore over as many as 4,000 ballots that both campaigns have disputed.

Coleman's campaign will be holding a press conference at 1:45 EST to offer its reaction to the ruling.

FYI, the Minnesota Canvassing Board is comprised of the Secretary of State, two state supreme court justices and two district court judges. 

The Secretary of State is Guy Ritchie, a Democrat and favorite of the crowd.  But, in fairness, it should be noted that the other four members include two Republicans, one leftward Democrat and one whose politics are not 100% clear but appears to be a Democrat.  So if the vote is unanimous, I conclude that Coleman probably got a fair hearing.  

That said, however, I would love someone to explain to me how 133 ballots that they cannot find will count anyway, wouldn't you?  And waddayaknow, they're in a vastly Democratic area and will benefit al franken.  Go figger.

I have less and less expectation that Norm Coleman will retain his senate seat (and I had very little to begin with).  Maybe franken will get lucky (wink, wink) and a few more 133-vote stashes will materialize........


UPDATE:  I just read a live-blog of the Canvassing Board meeting.  With all due respect to, which I often cite, its coverage of this meeting is misleading. 

Simply stating the vote was unanimous suggests everyone was equally in agreement.  In reality, Judge Magnusun was clearly against recommending that county election boards reconsider the so-called "fifth pile".  Please click on the link and see for yourself.

One other point, which should have been emphasized in the initial blog:  Please remember that the canvassing board can only recommend.  It cannot force the county election boards to do anything.

John Emerson Basically, they have the log of the voters who signed in and the record from the voting machine. These match. But the paper ballots are 132 or 133 short. (I forget). The ballots are in envelopes numbered from "2 of 5" to "5 of 5", but "1 of 5" is missing. For these ballots they're going to revert to the voting machine numbers. The purpose of the recount is to make the count more accurate, and to take the 133 lost ballots off the count would make it less accurate. (12/12/08)

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