Friday, 23 January 2009


Ken Berwitz

I just came across this piece from a web site called

I gather that the writer is either an observant Jew whose "lid" is a yarmulke, or a secular guy looking for an open can.

In any event, his blog today is about Barney Frank - a man he and I have very similar feelings about.  It is so well researched that I thought I would show it to you here:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Barney Frank The "Teflon Congressman"

Note: This was originally titled "Bank Bailout Boosts Barney's Buddies" Until I was reminded that I do not work for the NY Post.

Barney Frank is the "Teflon Congressman. He was a leading OPPONENT of regulating  of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac (see video below) and was able to transfer the entire blame on President Bush. He never had to answer why he fought so hard to squash regulation, was it the tons of campaign cash Frank got from Freddie and Fannie OR the fact that Frank's former lover was the former director of housing initiatives for Fannie Mae.

The July 3, 1998, Reliable Source column in The Washington Post reported Frank, who is openly gay, had a relationship with Herb Moses, an executive for the now-government controlled Fannie Mae. The column revealed the two had split up at the time but also said Frank was referring to Moses as his spouse. Another Washington Post report said Frank called Moses his lover and that the two were still friends after the breakup.
Of course no one calls Barney on it even though, according to his words they should:
Frank has argued that family life should be fair game for campaign discussion, wrote the Associated Press on Sept. 2. The comment was in reference to GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter. Theyre the ones that made an issue of her family, the Massachusetts Democrat said to the AP.
 Well Barney you made an Issue of it too, shouldn't we be finding out if you got your direction from Moses (and I am not talking about the Ten Commandments)

Frank aggressively fought reform efforts by the Bush administration. He told
The New York Times on Sept. 11, 2003, Fannie Mae and Freddie Macs problems were exaggerated, ok so maybe he was a bit off, since the twin headed Fannie/Freddie  has sacked the American Public with costs estimated to be in the hundreds of billions

These two entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis, Frank Opined to the Times. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.
The 10/8/03  Washington Post reported that Frank opposed giving the Bush administration the approval rights over banking business activities that could pose risk to the taxpayers. He worried the Treasury Department would sacrifice activities that are good for consumers in the name of lowering the companies market risks.

Frank Got away with ALL of that. No wonder why he acts as if
nothing can touch him, or that anyone who disagrees with him is biased, stupid or just wrong.

Now the Powerful Chairman of the House Banking Committee is at it again. As part of the release of the Banking Bailout Dollars, he directed funds to a local Massachusetts bank CITED BY REGULATORS FOR THEIR EXCESSES (they bought the CEO a Porsche). Even worse the Bank has been cited for UNSOUND Business Practices:
Frank, head of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, acknowledged that last fall he inserted into the governments $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program bill specific language to help OneUnited, New Englands only black-owned bank. He also said he contacted someone at the Treasury Department about OneUniteds application for emergency TARP funds, though he insisted he never asked Treasury to bend any rules on behalf of OneUnited.

I believe it would have been a very big mistake to put the only black bank out of business, Frank said in an interview.

OneUnited was financially reeling from the federal governments takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which had their shares wiped out by the government action. OneUnited owned substantial shares in the two mortgage giants, Frank said....

..But OneUnited was also facing regulatory scrutiny last fall from other government agencies, which later slapped a cease-and-desist order on OneUnited due to unsafe and unsound banking practices.

Regulators also complained of excessive executive pay at OneUnited - including a Porsche for use by CEO Kevin Cohee....

Barney Keller, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Republican Party, said he wasnt surprised by Franks action.

Rep. Franks motives on the committee have always been politics first, people second, which is exactly how we got ourselves into this mess in the first place, Keller said. I hope he at least gets to test-drive the Porsche. Source:Barney Frank helped controversial black-owned bank gain money
 Barney, taking care of friends is a noble gesture, BUT DO IT WITH YOUR OWN MONEY!!

Being a leading player in the collapse of our banking system has not hurt Frank, neither has his apparent conflict of interests, I doubt very much whether this will hurt him either.  And that is a shame, because the man is a menace to the US economy.

In my opinion, Barney Frank is a blowhard, an incompetent and a liar.  I think the people of Newton, MA make fools of themselves by re-electing this circus clown every two years.  If I haven't been clear enough in why I feel this way until now, maybe the blog you just read will fill in the blanks.


Ken Berwitz

If you think that title is an exaggeration, read the following excerpt from today's article in the Financial Times:

Obama urges Israel to open Gaza borders

By Daniel Dombey in Washington and Tobias Buck in Jerusalem

Published: January 22 2009 22:07 | Last updated: January 23 2009 00:04

President Barack Obama urged Israel on Thursday to open its borders with Gaza.

The plea came in a speech that signalled the new US administrations shift from Bush-era policy on the Middle East and the world as a whole. In a high-profile address on his second day in office, just hours after he signed an executive order to close the centre at Guantnamo Bay, Mr Obama proclaimed that the US would actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the wake of this months Gaza war.

As part of a lasting ceasefire, Gazas border crossings should be open to allow the flow of aid and commerce, with an appropriate monitoring regime, with the international and Palestinian Authority participating.

I have a feeling that there is suddenly a segment of Israel supporters, Jew and non-Jew alike, who are starting to wonder if "The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" wasn't a movie, but a documentary.

Can this be the same Barack Obama who said that he was unalterably suppportive of Israel?  The guy who said that if someone was attacking his wife and children he would do anything and everything to stop them?

Well, yes it can be, and it is.  The difference is that the election is over. 

So what is Mr. Obama saying now?

-"The outline of a durable peace is clear":  

Yes, it always has been.  Peaceful coexistence".  And????? 

Saying this is like saying the outline of a healthier economy is clear.  Spend only what has to be spent, cut out all the pork and no corruption.  The words are perfect.  Just let me know when saying it will make it happen.  I'll wait......

-"hamas must end it's rocket fire: 


You might as well tell a 1 month old not to soil his diaper.  hamas is committed, in writing, to obliterating Israel and killing every Jew there.  To this end, hamas fired literally thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel before Israel acted; until it couldn't rationalize looking the other way anymore and finally went in last month.  Again, just let me know when saying it will make it happen.  I'll wait.....

-"Israel will complete the withdrawal of its forces from Gaza": 

It did.  What's your point?

-"Our partners will support a credible anti-smuggling and interdiction regime, so that hamas cannot re-arm" (This one is my favorite):

Er, earth to obama:  hamas IS the regime.  Gaza ELECTED hamas to majority rule, and then hamas' murderous thugs finished the job by violently overthrowing what was left of the opposition.  Do you really think they give a damn whether or not you support them?

And since hamas is doing the smuggling, and isn't about to interdict itself, what do think your mouthings mean to them besides nothing?

Based on the above, Barack Obama is supporting (demanding?) that Israel open its borders, so the same people who want Israel obliterated and every Jew dead have access to the country in which they want to do it.  Otherwise, Mr. Obama reasons, aid and commerce will be denied to Gazans. 

In other words, Gaza's Egyptian border and its mediterranean ports are somehow not valid sources for aid and commerce; they can only come through Israel.  Thus the only way for Gaza to get what it needs is to put Israel and its people in mortal jeopardy.  Thanks Barack.  Great idea.  Very logical.

According to the exit polls, about 78% of all Jews voted for Barack Obama.  Presumably, a great many of them support Israel.

I hope they're happy with what they got.  Speaking as one of the other 22% , I can assure you I'm not. 

And the fact that, I suspect, we 22% are getting some worried new recruits from the 78% doesn't console me one little bit.  Where were they on November 4th?

free` I don't know why you presume a great many of the 78% support Israel, I would bet a great many of them don't. I would even go as far as betting a great number of those 78%'s blame Israel. The thinking on the left is that Israel is to blame for these savages that want to kill every Jew not just in Israel but world wide. (01/24/09)


Ken Berwitz

Ok, ok, I'm sorry for the squirrel and I'm certainly sorry for the people who lost their trailers.  But, dammit, this is funny. And a definite candidate for the "you can't make this stuff up" file:

Officials: Flaming Squirrel Sparked Wildfire

Students Moved From Elementary To High School

POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009
UPDATED: 12:59 pm EST January 23, 2009

A squirrel caught fire, sparking a blaze Wednesday morning that resulted in the evacuation of an elementary school in Jones, Okla., fire officials said.

Investigators said the squirrel touched two power lines at the same time and fell to the ground near Britton and Hiawassee roads, Oklahoma station KOCO reported.

That fire burned 5 acres in the Jones area, forcing the evacuation of the elementary school. Those students were taken to the Jones High School.

School officials said the students would be kept at the high school for the rest of the day. Parents will be able to pick them up at the normal time, although some parents have already come to the school to pick up kids.

Several trailers burned in the fire. However, no people were injured.

So that's how you hot-wire a squirrel.....

Ray Charles could have done the theme song for this story:  "Hit the rodent, jack"

On a more somber note, I truly am sorry about the trailer people who were burned out.  And all because of a squirrel.

Maybe they should contact ACORN.


Ken Berwitz

Here, from the New York Times (and many other sources) is the beginning of a front page story in the New York Times, the day after President Obama, with great fanfare, pomp and pride, signed executive orders which largely dismantled President Bush's war against terror:

Freed by U.S., Saudi Becomes a Qaeda Chief

Published: January 22, 2009

BEIRUT, Lebanon The emergence of a former Guantnamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaedas Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.

The militant, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemens capital, Sana, in September. He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with Al Qaeda in Yemen.

His status was announced in an Internet statement by the militant group and was confirmed by an American counterterrorism official.

Theyre one and the same guy, said the official, who insisted on anonymity because he was discussing an intelligence analysis. He returned to Saudi Arabia in 2007, but his movements to Yemen remain unclear.

The development came as Republican legislators criticized the plan to close the Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, detention camp in the absence of any measures for dealing with current detainees. But it also helps explain why the new administration wants to move cautiously, taking time to work out a plan to cope with the complications.

In this connection, I will also post from an analysis in today's Washington Post regarding what Mr. Obama has "accomplished" so far.  Here is how it starts:

Bush's 'war on terror' comes to a sudden end

Obama signals that America's reach in battling enemies will not be limitless

By Dana Priest
updated 5:13 a.m. ET, Fri., Jan. 23, 2009

WASHINGTON - President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects. With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the "war on terror," as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the U.S. government in battling its enemies will not be limitless.

While Obama says he has no plans to diminish counterterrorism operations abroad, the notion that a president can circumvent long-standing U.S. laws simply by declaring war was halted by executive order in the Oval Office.

Key components of the secret structure developed under Bush are being swept away: The military's Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, facility, where the rights of habeas corpus and due process had been denied detainees, will close, and the CIA is now prohibited from maintaining its own overseas prisons. And in a broad swipe at the Bush administration's lawyers, Obama nullified every legal order and opinion on interrogations issued by any lawyer in the executive branch after Sept. 11, 2001.

I have no doubt that Code Pink feels better.  And  And al qaeda, the taliban and hamas.

But do you feel safer?  As safe?

Think about it.

cardiac arrest I don't feel safer. (01/23/09)


Ken Berwitz

Today's lead editorial in the New York Times is titled "The President Orders Transparency".  It hails President Obama for bringing this attribute to the white house where, in the Times' view, it has not existed for 8 years.

Oh yeah?

This is from  It talks about the transparency of the Obama administration too.  See what you think:

Obama flashes irritation in press room


President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.

Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.

"Alright, come on" he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do."

Welcome to reality, Mr. Obama.  It's been a long time coming.

You're the President now.  If you walk into a room full of reporters, they are not going to bow down and jockey for position to kiss your ring.  They are going to ask questions.  And not all of them will be puff questions that celebrate how wonderful you are.  Some of them will be real questions. 

If this agitates you, if this irritates you, you're going to be one agitated, irritated man for the next four years.

What are you going to do about it?  Stick your middle finger out at them, the way you did at Hillary Clinton during the primary campaign?  The way you did at John McCain during the election campaign?  Your loving media didn't call you on either of those disgraceful, childish displays at at the time, because they were too invested in getting you elected. 

Well, now you are elected.  They don't have to look the other way any more.  Sure, a lot of them will still treat you like the god they created.  But a lot of them won't.  And they'll be asking questions too.

Folks, this is what you get from a rock star who knows little other than being surrounded by adoring starstruck sycophants. 

Last November we bought a pig in a poke.  Yesterday we got a quick look inside the poke.  It will be more than a little interesting to see what else is in there.

Bromo Obama scares the hell out of me. He owns the congress and the governors and he can do anything he wants. The people are going to regret this the next time we get hit, because he is screwing around with security (01/23/09)


Ken Berwitz

Here is a fascinating attack by Brian Maloney of on Rachel Maddow, who hosts the latest MSNBC hard-leftathon:

Rachel Maddow Bashes Network She Once Tried To Join


Maddow's Sheltered Life Comes Back To Haunt Her

With a rapid rise accompanied by a generous helping of mainstream media fawning, it was only a matter of time before broadcast rookie Rachel Maddow began to trip over her own words. Isn't that how this kind of story always plays out?

Thanks to an unfortunate series of blunders and career mishaps, that's precisely what has occurred in a big way, all in the course of just a day or two.

At a dinner Thursday evening, for example, Maddow reportedly told hacks and flaks at a Television Critics Association gathering
she's "never seen a show on Fox at any time, ever."

Isn't that a funny thing: just six months ago, before her debut as full-time MSNBC host,
Maddow was pitching her services to the FOX News Channel, the very network she's now busy attacking in public. Looks like Rachel has just Fox-ed herself into a corner.

Earlier that same day, Air America Radio announced they were moving her talk show to mornings and cutting it to just one hour,
raising speculation that it may be taped, given her evening MSNBC work and peculiar fear of taking live callers. Under previous AAR management, Maddow has already failed in morning drive.

When hosts are reduced to a single hour, by the way, it's usually a final stop on the way out of a station or network.

Finally, an overzealous producer also got Rachel into hot water, thanks to an embarrassing display at the site of last week's USAir crash into the Hudson River. Just as shaken, freezing passengers were being pulled from the frigid waters, they were
solicited for appearances on Maddow's MSNBC program:

(Huffington Post) A man who was onboard the US Air flight that went down in New Yorks' Hudson River Thursday spoke to media shortly after being rescued, memorably telling interviewers he was "scared as s--t" as the plane was going down.

After his interview, as he was attempting to leave the scene, he was asked two very different questions (by two different people):

1. "Jeff, do you need to go to the hospital? Are you alright?"

2. "Jeff, are you interested in appearing on The Rachel Maddow Show tonight?"


At the meeting with television critics, Maddow
followed up her Fox-free admission with some knee-slapping observations (see, she IS a comedian, just as the mainstream media claims, the humor is merely unintentional):

"The idea that there's any equivalency between us and Fox News..." she said. "Fox is a political experiment. Imagine them having somebody as liberal as Joe Scarborough is conservative doing their whole morning? It doesn't make sense."

Really, Rachel: MSNBC is fair and balanced thanks to Joe Scarborough's mushy moderate (and sometimes quite left-leaning) views? That's side-splitting.

Her hyper-partisan network boss followed up with some choice gems of his own,
claiming MSNBC is "less political" than Fox. These guys are a laff riot!

Given what we know about Maddow's background, should any of this come as a real surprise? Between the extremism of the (off the deep end) East Bay, Western Massachusetts, Oxford and Manhattan, she's spent her entire life hiding from conservatives and their viewpoints (occasional on-air jousts with populist Pat Buchanan really don't count).

And one suspects that if she could get away with it, she'd retreat to the Berkshires for good and make jam, or play with cats. So what is this really all about?

Top that off with an aversion to televised viewpoints from the competition and a picture emerges of a talking head without a clear idea of what the other side truly believes. Because she beats the fossilized Larry King in the 25-54 demo, however, the New York Times would have you believe she's the next candidate for sainthood.

By contrast, conservative talk radio's top stars have spent their entire lives studying (and most certainly living amongst) the left. The massive audiences they've generated recognize this quality; it has been key to their success.

Forget the doctorate (which in political science is a bloody waste of time), with this Achilles heel, why should Rachel Maddow be taken seriously?

For the record, Ms. Maddow, who started like a house afire (for context, it should be noted that katie carwreck did too at CBS news), now runs behind both Fox and CNN on both her 9:00PM broadcast and her 11:00PM repeat.

With her (still considerable) numbers down from where they started, and her Air America radio show losing what's left of its (tiny to begin with) audience, maybe there's a little less reason for her trademark smirk, and a little more reason to start operating in a professional manner. 

Part of that might be to open her mind, and her mike, to points of view other than her own.

Then again, at MSNBC that's probably grounds for dismissal.


Ken Berwitz

New York's Governor-by-chance, David Paterson, has made his decision.

Mr. Paterson has selected Kirsten Gillibrand to succeed Hillary Clinton as the senator from New York.

Who is Kirsten Gillibrand?  Fred Dicker of the New York Post can tell you better than I can, so here is his article:



ALBANY - Gov. Paterson, defying the liberal wing of his Democratic Party, has chosen little-known, NRA-backed, upstate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as New York's junior senator, it was learned last night.

The surprising - and, for many Democrats shocking - decision to pick the conservative Gillibrand, 42, from Hudson in Columbia County, was disclosed by the governor in calls to party officials and some members of the state's congressional delegation, many of whom said they were unhappy with the selection, sources said.

MORE: Nasty Caroline War

MORE: Kirsten Has Big Goals - But Little Experience

GERSHMAN: Oh, The Shame: Blago Did Better

Gillibrand, a mother of two occasionally resented by colleagues for being an aggressive self-promoter, was strongly backed for the post by Charles Schumer, the state's senior senator, who said a woman and an upstater was needed on next year's ticket.

Paterson's decision - to be officially announced today at noon at the state Capitol - was made just 24 hours after Caroline Kennedy took herself out of the running.

The decision was a major rebuff to some of the state's best-known Democrats interested in Clinton's seat, including Attorney General and former federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo, for whom Gillibrand once worked as a junior lawyer; Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, and Reps. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan and Steve Israel of Suffolk County.

Sources said "at least five" members of the state's Democratic congressional delegation called Paterson to protest the possibility of Gillibrand's selection. One, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of Nassau County, even threatened a primary challenge. Gillibrand faces a special election in 2010.

Democratic activists predicted that Cuomo, son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would also "seriously consider" challenging Paterson in a primary next year.

Calls were made from Paterson's office to leading Democrats and Republicans throughout the afternoon, inviting them to a special meeting room attached to the Capitol for "a major announcement."

The inclusion of several prominent Republicans among the invitees was an early sign to insiders that Paterson planned to pick an upstate Democrat.

Gillibrand has won two successive elections in one of the heaviest GOP districts in the state, first upsetting incumbent Rep. John Sweeney and, in November, defeating former state GOP chairman and multimillionaire Alexander Treadwell, in one of the most expensive races in the nation.

Liberal Democrats have been wary of her because she ran for re-election with the backing of the National Rifle Association, opposed the federal TARP program to rescue banks, and has been less than enthusiastic about gay marriage.

My take on this pick?  It's what you would expect from a political dimwit who no one ever vetted because no one ever expected him to be in the office.

Let's enumerate the reasons:

-Outside of Columbia County and environs, Ms.Gillibrand is a political unknown.  She therefore brings no political benefit to Mr. Paterson;

-Gillibrand is a centrist; in fact, by New York terms, she is to the right of center on many issues.  Incredible.

The liberal/left just cleaned everyone's clock in November.  Politically, New York is about as blue as the Carribean sky in July.  And given these conditions, Paterson picks someone whose positions are guaranteed to enrage the liberal left? 

Why would he do this?  I can think of only two good explanations:  1) out of principle because he believes what she believes (100% untrue) and 2) out of amazing political ignorance and tone-deafness (bingo!).

-Ms. Gillibrand, holds a congressional seat from a traditionally Republican district.  Now that district will have a special election to replace her.  Thus there is a very serious likelihood that the district will revert back to the Republican Party.

-Picking Gillison over Andrew Cuomo and Carolyn Maloney immediately makes political enemies of them both.  

These are two of the heaviest hitters in New York Democratic Politics.  About the last thing David Paterson needs is to be on either one's excrement list.  But now he's on both. 

Of course, it can be argued that if he picked either of these two he'd be on the other's list.  But by picking a third party - one with political views that are toxic to both Mr. Cuomo and Ms. Maloney to boot - he hits for the excremental daily double.

Bottom line:  By picking Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Paterson has screwed the liberal/left base of his party (which is the lion's share of that party), made two of the worst political enemies he could make, and probably has given Republicans a house seat they'd never have gotten otherwise.

You can almost see the line of party operatives at Eliot Spitzer's condo door, begging him to reconsider that resignation.  Heck, they might even offer to pay for his hookers out of their own pockets.


UPDATE:  FYI, Scott Whitlock of claims that Gillibrand is a good deal more liberal than Fred Dicker thinks.  You can read his piece by clicking here.

Buy Our Book Here!

Return to Current Blog
We're Hopelessly Partisan, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.

About Us

Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.

At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!