Wednesday, 31 December 2008


Ken Berwitz

Rachel Maddow is intelligent and articulate.  That's the good news. 

The bad news is that she is a LAMB.  A member of the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade. 

This brings us to Ms. Maddow's position on Israel - specifically, its attack on Gaza. 

LAMBs hate Israel.  They hate Israel because it is a winner.  It is successful.  It is far ahead of its impoverished neighbors in so many ways.

LAMBs tend to hate countries like Israel because they cannot be happy if anyone does better, or has more, than anyone else (which, of course, means that they cannot ever be happy at all). 

Never mind the reasons that Israel is so far beyond its Arab neighbors in freedom and democracy, education, industry, agriculture, medicine, science, etc.  Never mind that Israel's neighbors are their own worst enemies.  The neighbors have less, so they are aggrieved and oppressed. Israel has more so it is despicable.

This brings us to Gaza.

"Palestinians" have less than almost anyone else in the Middle East, Israeli or Arab.  Never mind that for over half a century palestinian Arabs, as a group, have forgone virtually everything that would improve their lives.  Never mind that they have, instead, dedicated themselves to taking over Israel and killing Jews.  That's okey-dokey with the LAMB set.  After all, Israel is the bad guy.  Israel has more, so it  must be the bad guy. 

Three years ago, Israel left Gaza, thus giving Gazans what they claimed to want.  100% of the land, free of all Jews.  A deal that hitler would have loved to pieces. 

Israel also offered to partner with Gazans in building their quality of life.  Why not?  The happier and more prosperous Gaza is, the safer Israel is likely to be.   Both sides win.

But Gaza didn't work out that way.  Instead of seizing the opportunity to build a functioning, viable society, Gazans went running to hamas, allowed it to take over the entire Gaza strip, and rededicated itself to obliterating Israel and killing Jews.  That was much more important than living in peace and prosperity.

When Israel finally had its fill of the daily mortars and rockets being fired at its civilian population, it attacked.  Not a "proportionate response", which never got Israel anything but more mortars and rockets, but an attack designed to severely damage hamas' ability to fire at Israel's cities and towns.

So how does Rachel Maddow react to this?  I'll let Jack Coleman of tell you:

Maddow Criticizes Lack of 'Proportionality' to Israel Hitting Hamas -- While Exaggerating Civilian Deaths

Listening to Rachel Maddow's criticism of Israel for the conflict in Gaza, I was reminded of a cartoon I saw years ago when World War II was still vividly within memory for many Americans.

The cartoon showed a German having built what he expected to be a toy, with the empty box and its assembled contents beside him and a friend standing nearby. The man turned to his friend in exasperation and said -- No matter what they send out, it always ends up a machine gun.

Maddow is like the postwar German industry of the cartoonist's premise -- not much versatility in the product line. Regardless of circumstances leading to renewed conflict in the Middle East, her deconstruction of reality places only Israel on the trigger end of a smoking gun, and guilty for whatever actions led to its use.

Here's what Maddow imparted to her Air America Radio listeners on Monday --

But while we're on the wild wide world of scary tour, of course, Israel has started another war. A third straight day of airstrikes on Gaza, the death toll now more than 300 people. Israel says they are doing this to prevent Palestinians from firing rockets into southern Israel. First of all, there's the question of proportionality as to how many people those rockets have killed versus how many people the Israeli bombing has now killed. There's also the issue of effectiveness. In the midst of this massive air assault killing hundreds of civilians in Gaza, a rocket fired from Gaza today killed a man and wounded seven in the Israeli town of Ashkelon. Effectiveness. Three Israelis were also stabbed by a Palestinian in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank today. Is there a military solution to this problem?

In a manner akin to Barney Fife charging a mugging victim with assault for swinging back, Maddow blames Israel for having "started" another war, instead of citing the undeniable aggressor -- Hamas. But what lowers Maddow's comments to the contemptible is her condemnation of Israel for alleged lack of "proportionality" in response to Hamas' aggression -- while Maddow exaggerates the number of civilian deaths caused by the Israeli counterattack. 

News reports out of Gaza, such as the following excerpt from a story earlier today in the International Herald News, don't come anywhere near Maddow's claim of "hundreds of civilians" killed by Israel --

So far, more than 350 Palestinians - about 60 of them civilians - have been killed, according to the United Nations. Four Israelis - three civilians and a soldier - have died.

You'd think being able to say "dozens" or "scores" of civilian deaths in Gaza would suffice for Air America propagandists, but apparently this level of carnage doesn't meet their standards.

As 2008 draws to a close, Maddow has received abundant praise from likeminded quarters for her rapid ascension in the punditrocracy. Among critics outside the chorus, however, is CNN anchor-reporter Anderson Cooper, who had this to say to the Los Angeles Times --

LA TIMES: This year we saw the rise of Rachel Maddow and Campbell Brown -- very opinionated. You haven't succumbed too much. Do you have plans to?

COOPER: I have no plans to, no. I think those people are really good at what they do. Rachel Maddow is an incredible talent -- she's funny, and smart, obviously well researched on subjects. I'm just not interested as a viewer in listening to anchors' opinions. It seems like there's an awful lot of yelling, and this year yelling's been replaced by sarcasm and snarkiness.

Cooper's criticism of Maddow was picked up by wowOwow, "The Women on the Web" blog. I was struck by one of the comments to the post --

Commentators and reporters are two different things and comparing the two is ridiculous and a non-issue. The fact that Cooper would require a commentator like Maddow to act like a news reporter makes me question his understanding of the news media. Its not her job to act like Cooper. Its not Coopers job to act like Maddow. This is a non-issue.

To which I say, couldn't agree more. Maddow is a commentator, not a straight news reporter (no pun intended), nor an anchor. She is free to pontificate about whatever she wants and, to her credit, could hardly be more transparent in her politics.

But this doesn't mean Maddow can create her own facts, which she did on Monday -- and not for the first time, as described in previous posts at NewsBusters.

That is exactly what I would expect from a LAMB. 

And, needless to say, Ms. Maddow also brings her LAMB views to MSNBC.  While I admit I have avoided watching her show recently (mostly due to business/personal/family time superseding politics), I have no doubt Maddow is as anti-Israel there as she is on her radio show.

Oh, well.

Improbable though it seems right now, there may come a time when Gaza collectively comes to its senses and starts valuing quality of life over hatred and death.  And if they do, Gaza has the potential to be as prosperous as Israel. 

Then Maddow and her fellow LAMBs will have another enemy to talk down.


Ken Berwitz

Ok, this finishes the blogging for 2008.  My wife and I are going to visit family, then into New York City with dear friends for what we hope to be a great dinner and a great night.

Since I want to wind up on a happy note, I am posting a link to one of the funniest, most brilliant pieces I have seen all year.  It was sent to me by my west coast pal Russ, who has a talent for finding really great stuff like this.

So, without further ado, here is "Uncle Ray's 2008 Year In Review".  And if it doesn't make you laugh early and often, you need a humor implant.





Ken Berwitz

Earlier today I blogged about Rachel Maddow's attitude regarding the Israeli attack on Gaza - which is intended to cripple hamas' ability to put Israel under daily siege. 

Scott Johnson of has an excellent blog about the mindset of people like Maddow.  It has links to both Alan Dershowitz and Victor Davis Hanson's commentaries as well, and is very worthwhile reading.  So I'm posting it below:

Disproportionate idiocy

Alan Dershowitz addresses the subject of "Israel, Hamas and moral idiocy" in a Christian Science Monitor column that bears the stamp of his characteristic verve. On the same subject, Victor Davis Hanson offers seven moderate proposals that in their own way get at the moral idiocy Dershowitz addresses:

1) Request that 50% of Israel's air-to-ground missiles be duds to ensure greater proportionality.

2) Allow Hamas another 1,000 free rocket launches to see if they can catch up with the body count.

3) Have Israeli soldiers congregate in border barracks so that Hamas's random rockets have a better chance of killing military personnel, to ensure it can claim at least a few military targets.

4) Redefine "holocaust" to refer to deaths of terrorists in numbers under 400 to give greater credence to Hamas's current claims.

5) In the interest of fairness, allow Hamas to establish both the date that war is supposed to begin and the date when it must end.

6) Send Israeli military advisers to Hamas to improve the accuracy of their missiles.

7) Take down the barriers to return to Hamas a fair chance of getting suicide bombers back inside Israel.

Fans of the idiotic version of "proportionality" that Hanson mocks will be glad to know that Hamas is pounding southern Israel with rockets.

I doubt this will have much impact on Maddow & her LAMB friends, but there it is anyway. 

Reality is what it is, even if some people avoid it like the plague.


Ken Berwitz

A day has passed since rod blagojevich selected Roland Burris to complete the senate term of soon-to-be-President Barack Obama.

And "blago" has gotten exactly what he wanted.  Illinois is in an uproar and Democrats are furious and embarrassed.

But what can they do about it?  Damn little, that's what.

The Illinois secretary of state, Jesse White, says he will not certify Burris as the state's new senator.  That sounds very problematic, doesn't it?  Except there is no legal need for White to do it.  Here is what the Congressional Quarterly has to say about certification:

Although the secretary of state typically signs the certification letter and a Senate-suggested template for the letter leaves a spot for the signature in addition to that of the governor there appears to be no requirement under the federal or state constitution, Illinois law or Senate rules that the secretary of State sign off on the pick.

So although certification has become a tradition of sorts, it has no legal standing at all (it should be noted that the AP has an article today which indicates certification is a requirement.  Stand by for their retraction).

Then we have Majority Leader harry reid.   reid says that he and the rest of the Democratic senators will not accept Burris into the senate.  He is basing this rejection on Article 1, Section 5 of the constitution. 

Knowing this, you would logically assume that Article 1, Section 5 gives reid the authority to keep Mr. Burris out.  But it doesn't.  Here are the relevant parts of Article 1, Section 5, straight from    -- complete with its own explanation of what they mean:

Original Text

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.


The House and Senate decide whether their members are qualified to serve and have been properly elected, and determine any disputed elections.  One-half plus one of each house is necessary to make a quorum to conduct business.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

The Senate and House each sets its own rules, disciplines its own members, and by a two-thirds vote can expel a member.  Censure and lesser punishments require only a majority vote.

Well, let's see:  Mr. Burris was not elected, there are no returns to check and he personally fits the constitutional requirements to be a U.S. Senator. 

Further, in order to punish Mr. Burris for disorderly behavior and/or expel him from the senate, he would first have to be a member of that body.  And even then, punishment for disorderly behavior and expulsion would relate to his personal actions, not those of the guy who appointed him. 

So all reid has done is to again display his remarkable level of ignorance and ineptitude.  Yawn....same old same old for harry reid.  

Democrats (and Republicans too, for that matter) can shun Senator Roland Burris if they care to.  They can treat him like the 2009 version of Jefferson Smith from the great Frank Capra movie "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", or even worse.  But I don't see how they can prevent him from being seated.

Is rod blagojevich a corrupt scumbucket?  In my opinion the answer is clearly yes.  But - and this is the big question - has he been convicted of any wrongdoing?  No he has not. 

In the eyes of the law rod blagojevich is a Governor in good standing, no more or less so than any other Governor of any other state.  As such, he has a perfect right to appoint Barack Obama's successor -- which he has done.

And, as pointed out in my blog yesterday, blagojevich has cleverly selected a Black candidate to replace Mr. Obama as the one and only Black member of the senate.  For Democrats to reject Roland Burris is for Democrats to favor a senate without any Black representation. 

This is exactly the same strategy used by the first President Bush, when he proposed Clarence Thomas, a Black conservative, for the Supreme Court in 1991.  Voting against a conservative meant also voting in favor of an all-White Supreme Court. 

I don't know Justice Thomas, but I have a feeling he is belly-laughing his way through this one.

Helene Ah yes, nceily put, everyone. (12/10/11)


Ken Berwitz

As Democrats and media have a collective cow over rod blagojevich appointing Barack Obama's senate replacement, I find it fascinating that they remain 100% mute about New York Governor David Paterson being able to do the same thing - in his case, replacing Hillary Clinton.

It is true that blagojevich stands accused of corruption and attempted bribery.   

But if that is a good reason to prevent him from naming a senate replacement, what should they be saying about someone who admitted to illegally taking campaign funds for personal expenditures -- and returned them only when he couldn't hide it any more?

What am I talking about?  Well, here is a story from the New York Post of March 22 of this year which explains it:




March 22, 2008

Gov. Paterson is reimbursing his state Senate campaign for stays at a Manhattan hotel, as his aides revealed he'd also improperly used the account to buy suits, furniture and a dinner with his dad.

The new revelations came during an hourlong briefing with reporters, in which the aides struggled to explain numerous questionable charges to Paterson's accounts from campaign accounts.

Those include payments to a Quality Inn on the West Side where Paterson has admitted to bringing an extramarital lover - and to sometimes using his campaign credit card when his own didn't work.

Paterson is repaying $252 for two of the Quality Inn stays - on Nov. 9, 2002, and April 20, 2003 - because he can't remember who stayed there, campaign lawyer Henry Berger said at the press briefing.

But the new Democratic governor also used his campaign account for other personal expenditures - a practice that is illegal - and then reimbursed the fund several months late, Berger acknowledged.

The lawyer said he found the repayments after a limited internal review.

They included:

* A $1,430.04 check Paterson wrote in June 2004 to cover more than $1,000 worth of clothes at the Men's Wearhouse, and a roughly $350 tab at the club Den.

The items were listed as "constituent services" in Paterson's filings, and there are no receipts available, Berger said.

It is also a violation of state election law to falsely label the reason for the campaign expenditure.

* A $637 check in July 2004 for roughly $470 worth of furniture at Taft Furniture Warehouse, an Albany Crowne Plaza hotel bar bill and about $40 at another men's store.

* A $70 check in February 2004 to cover a post-Christmas dinner with his dad at Docks restaurant on the East Side.

* Paterson himself reportedly said he paid a woman identified as his former lover, Lila Kirton, $500 as a reimbursement for a donation for another candidate. But Berger yesterday said that upon further review, it turns out there was an extensive reconfiguration of his campaign database and she was paid wages.

Officials refused to say whether Kirton was still romantically involved with Paterson at the time.

* After initially refusing, Paterson aides provided late yesterday a copy of a canceled check for $1,000 to Luiza Vizcarrando, a New Jersey woman who told The Post she barely knew Paterson, never worked for him and didn't get paid.

The check was for "list management," and Berger said she also did work on the database for "two weeks." Vizcarrando couldn't be reached for comment.

Election law expert Lawrence Mandelker told The Post, "You're not supposed to be using campaign resources for totally personal expenses."

He added that usually when it's reimbursed, it's "no harm, no foul," but added, "It's not the best practice."


Paterson admitted - years after the fact and only under duress - that he illegally used thousands of dollars of campaign funds for personal reasons.  And then we have that $1,000 check to Luiza Vizcarrando, who says she doesn't know a thing about the money she supposedly got.

At this point it would be a good idea to post the definition of "embezzlement".  According to

Embezzlement is defined in most states as theft/larceny of assets (money or property) by a person in a position of trust or responsibility over those assets.

Would you say Paterson's actions fit that description?  Exactly.

And just in case you think Paterson learned his lesson, read this.  It is excerpted from an article in today's edition of The Buffalo News:

Paterson campaign funds to pay for Caribbean trip

Despite state savings, critic raises questions

ALBANY While asking lawmakers to go along with a multibillion-dollar package of spending cuts to deal with the states financial crisis, Gov. David A. Paterson plans a five-day business trip to two Caribbean islands.

Paterson notes that he is financing the trip with his campaign money instead of taxpayer dollars even though it is billed as mostly government- related, with some politics tossed in.

But the use of campaign funds also has raised eyebrows.

In June, Paterson proposed limiting campaign funds to expenditures directly related to promoting the nomination or election of a candidate, said Blair Horner, of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

The measure, introduced late in the State Legislatures session, was not approved.

Call us crazy, but we think campaign contributions were raised for elections, not to subsidize lifestyles of elected officials, Horner said. It may be a working vacation. But its not an election swing. I know of no enclave of [New York expatriates on] St. Maarten.

So tell me; when do you suppose Majority Leader harry reid will threaten not to seat any replacement senator selected by David Paterson? 

When do you suppose the rest of the Democratic senators will demand that Paterson not pick a replacement? 

When do you suppose our wonderful "neutral" media, which finally had to notice blagojevich's corruption only after the telephone tapes made it impossible not to, will also notice that David Paterson has no more scruples than blagojevich does? 

When will they demand his resignation, or removal from office, as they have of blagojevich?


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