Tuesday, 27 January 2009

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FIRST TV INTERVIEW

Ken Berwitz

It certainly could have been one of the networks.  NBC, CBS and (though marginally less biased) ABC gave him pretty much everything they could throughout the campaign.

It certainly could have been CNN.

It most definitely could have been MSNBC, which did everything but pick furniture with him.

If his intent was that it be a foreign venue, it certainly could have been the BBC which, if it were legal, would run him for Prime Minister too.

It could even have been Israeli TV, given that Israel is one of the most loyal, and valuable (think mossad, think transfer of intelligence) allies we have in the world.

But it wasn't any of those.

Read below, and Jake Tapper of ABC will tell you which venue Barack Obama selected for his first TV interview as President:

President Obama Does First Formal TV Interview as President with Al-Arabiya

January 26, 2009 6:29 PM

As special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell heads off to the region to begin work on negotiating a cease fire between Israel and the Palestinians, President Obama has sat for his first formal TV interview with the Arabic cable TV network Al-Arabiya, ABC News has learned.

The interview was taped this evening and is set to air at 11 pm ET, as Mitchell is in the air and on his way to the region.

Based in Dubai, Al-Arabiya estimates that it has a potential audience exceeding 23 million in the Gulf region.

But that's not all.  Mr. Obama has preceded the al-Arabiyah interview with several statements from him and his people that we are going to rethink our Mid Eastern policies.

Does this mean we are going to rethink our strong support of Israel over the hamas government of Gaza - which wants Israel gone and its Jews dead - and the fatah government of the west bank - which wants Israel gone and its Jews dead? 

According to the exit polls, 78% of Jewish voters cast their ballot for Barack Obama.  Presumably, most of them support Israel.

I hope they're happy with what they got.


IS NANCY PELOSI CHANNELING MARGARET SANGER?

Ken Berwitz

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America. Are we being targeted? Isn't that genocide? We are the only minority in America that is on the decline in population. If the current trend continues, by 2038 the black vote will be insignificant. Did you know that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a devout racist who created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed as undesirables of society? The founder of Planned Parenthood said, "Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated." Is her vision being fulfilled today?: The introductory paragraph at www.blackgenocide.org.

Are you aware that nancy pelosi has justified adding hundreds of millions of dollars for contraception to the stimulus package, on the grounds that lowering the birth rate will help the economy? 

Are you aware that about $200 million would go straight into the hands of Planned Parenthood which, as noted above, disproportionately terminates the pregnancies of Black women?

pelosi's remarkably stupid, ignorant, obtuse and, quite possibly, racist comment was made to George Stephanopoulous on ABC's Sunday morning "This Week" program.

I'm usually not one to quote Jack Cafferty of CNN, but he did a very professional, candid and even-handed report on this idiocy.  Here it is, as detailed by Matthew Balan of www.newsbusters. org. 

Please pay special attention to the viewer comment I've put in bold print:

CNNs Jack Cafferty Compares Speaker Pelosi to Chinese Dictator Mao

 Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgDuring his regular Question of the Hour segment on Mondays Situation Room, CNN commentator Jack Cafferty compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosis idea to spend hundred of millions of dollars on contraception as a cost-reducing measure to the oppressive birth control policies of the Chinese Communists under Mao: What exactly did she mean? Are the millions of dollars for contraception supposed to stop people from having babies? [Thats] starting to sound a little like Chairman Mao.

The commentator began his 5 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment by describing President Obamas proposed stimulus package, and how this past weekend, lawmakers were out on their soap boxes. Democrats were selling the plan. Republicans were pointing out problems with the plan. He then addressed Speaker Pelosis comments to George Stephanopoulos on This Week: On ABC, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, defended hundreds of millions of dollars in the stimulus package earmarked for contraception. She said family planning reduces costs and explained that the stimulus plan includes assistance to states, and part of that includes childrens health and education. That includes contraception, which Pelosi said will, reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

Cafferty concluded his segment with his Chairman Mao comparison, and his Question of the Hour: [I]s Nancy Pelosi right when she says adding birth control to the stimulus package will help the economy?

Seven minutes before the top of the 6 pm Eastern hour, Cafferty read some of the viewer responses to his question. He actually split the responses, with three agreeing with the Speaker, and three criticizing her remarks.

The full transcript of Caffertys segment, which began six minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of Mondays Situation Room, and the viewer responses near the end of the hour:

JACK CAFFERTY: The $825 billion stimulus package that President Obama wants on his desk by mid-February is supposed to begin to turn the economy around. The president talked about transparency. He even announced that therell be a Web site that will give an accounting so people can see how the money is being spent, and he also vowed there will be no pork in this bill.

Now over the weekend, lawmakers were out on their soap boxes. Democrats were selling the plan. Republicans were pointing out problems with the plan. On ABC, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, defended hundreds of millions of dollars in the stimulus package earmarked for contraception. She said family planning reduces costs and explained that the stimulus plan includes assistance to states, and part of that includes childrens health and education. That includes contraception, which Pelosi said will, reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.               

What exactly did she mean? Are the millions of dollars for contraception supposed to stop people from having babies? [Thats] starting to sound a little like Chairman Mao. When asked if she had any apologies for what some saw as controversial remarks, Madame Speaker answered, No apologies.

So heres the question -- is Nancy Pelosi right when she says adding birth control to the stimulus package will help the economy? You can go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog.
  
-5:53 pm EST

CAFFERTY: The question this hour is -- is Nancy Pelosi right when she says adding contraception to the stimulus package will help stimulate the economy?

Marie in Salt Lake City: Having birth control either covered by Medicaid or by ones health insurance will save our nation millions, if not billions But its not enough to hand out birth control pills. We need to educate women, especially the poor undereducated women in our cities and rural areas. If poor women would use birth control responsibly, we would cut the cost of welfare moms, and for the pro- life folks, wed cut the number of abortions as well. Pelosis right.

Pete in New York says, Ah yes, the values of a rich white San Franciscan. Perhaps Nancy was looking across to Oakland and its poor people and she became a bit uneasy. I hate to say it, but this could fall into the category of racist comments if we could get her to describe the kind of person whos going to receive the condoms. What would the reaction be if somebody in the GOP said we needed to stop the poor from breeding so that we could save money? This is a Democratic leader and not some flaky back-bencher. What an embarrassment to the country.

Don in Canada says, Shes right, Jack. If we had enough sense to plan our families, we wouldnt have so many mouths to feed, jobs to fill, or kids to educate. Its these same no-to-birth-control crusaders that are the first to criticize poor welfare families.

H.D. in Phoenix: You must be joking. With all the hard challenges this country is facing, this is the best she can come up with to help stimulate the economy? The Peoples Socialist Republic of California needs to put a muzzle on that woman.

Melanie in Iowa says, She knows what shes talking about. As many of us remember during the barrage of presidential commercials, a lot of people with financial trouble give up medicine first. Helping provide birth control is a cost-saver for the government in the long run.

And Mary in California: Pelosi needs to mind her own business and stay out of Americans personal lives. Not only is the idea pork -- its also socialism.

For the record, nancy pelosi has five children and 7 grandchildren (so far).   I thought you might like to know that.

Now, what about the comment I put in bold print?  Given what we know about the disproportionate percentage of Black women comprising Planned Parenthood's clientele, does "Pete" have a valid point?  I would think the answer is yes.

Maybe we should start calling her nancy pelosi-sanger.  These two seem to have a great deal in common.


THE DEMOCRATS' WAR AGAINST FREE SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

Democrats have literally started waging a war against free speech. 

Think I'm kidding?  I'm not. 

Here's one facet of that war:  the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a petition drive against......Rush Limbaugh.

It seems the DCCC has taken offense at Mr. Limbaugh's statement that he wants Barack Obama to fail.  Its petition drive even includes a 19 second swatch of his voice saying this.  Here it is, along with the plea to sign the DCCC's petition:

Last week, Rush Limbaugh actually said that he "hopes" President Obama fails to meet Americas challenges.

Jobs, health care, our place in the world the stakes for our nation are high and every American needs President Obama to succeed.

Stand strong against Rush Limbaughs Attacks sign our petition, telling Rush what you think of his attacks on President Obama. Well send Limbaugh your comments.

Let's start with the obvious.  If Rush Limbaugh said that he wants Barack Obama to fail, so what?  Do these people have a problem with freedom of speech?  Is Limbaugh not entitled to feel that way and say so?  Did Democrats root for George Bush to succeed or fail for the last eight years?  Why did the rules change on January 20, 2009?

Now let's go to the less than obvious.  The reason the DCCC only played a 19 second piece is because it intentionally left out the context of what Limbaugh said and, by so doing, changed its meaning.

Let me prove that.  Here, straight from the verbatim transcript of his show, is what the DCCC parsed out to us --- but with what he said beforehand and afterwards, which explains it:

I'm not talking about search-and-destroy, but I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half.  I know what his politics are.  I know what his plans are, as he has stated them.  I don't want them to succeed.  

If I wanted Obama to succeed, I'd be happy the Republicans have laid down.  And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him.  Look, what he's talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care.  I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work.  So I'm thinking of replying to the guy, "Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails." (interruption) What are you laughing at?  See, here's the point.  Everybody thinks it's outrageous to say.  Look, even my staff, "Oh, you can't do that."  Why not?  Why is it any different, what's new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails?  Liberalism is our problem.  Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here.  Why do I want more of it?
 

Well, well, well.  When we see what Mr. Limbaugh said IN CONTEXT, we find out that he strongly disagrees with Barack Obama's ideas about growing government.  Thus the failure he is rooting for is a failure to implement policies that, in his opinion, will damage the country.  It has nothing at all to do with Barack Obama personally.

That's just a bit different than the cherry-picked, out-of-context 19 seconds the DCCC was nice enough to try miseducating you with.  Like 180 degrees different.

The bottom line here is that these people are terrified of dissent.  They are terrified that someone with a large listener base will dispute what they are trying to do. 

And it isn't only the DCCC.  Their boss, President Obama himself, personally attacked Limbaugh while speaking to Republican congressional leaders earlier this week.

In other words, they are terrified of free speech.  And they are going to war against it.

Can the unbelievably misnamed "Fairness Doctrine" be far behind?


BARACK OBAMA AND THE RACIAL STANDARD

Ken Berwitz

Here is a classic little story from CNN, which comes to us via Steve Gilbert's www.sweetness-light.com.  It gives you a pretty good idea of where a good many people are, race-wise, as we begin the Obama presidency.  The bold print is Steve's:

CNN: Black Obama Faces Higher Standard

January 26th, 2009

From those colorblind folks at CNN:

Will Obama have to be better because hes black?

By John Blake

(CNN) Just days before he was sworn in, President Obama was giving his daughters a tour of the Lincoln Memorial when one of them pointed to a copy of Abraham Lincolns second inaugural address carved into the wall.

Obamas 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, told her father that Lincolns speech was really long. Would he have to give a speech as long? Obamas answer was completed by his older daughter, 10-year-old Malia.

"I said, Actually, that one is pretty short. Mine may even be a little longer, " Obama told CNN recently. "At which point, Malia turns to me and says, First African-American president, better be good. "

The story is light-hearted, but it touches on a delicate question: Will people hold Obama to a different standard because he is the first African-American president?

Americans appear split by race on that answer. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, 53 percent of blacks say the American public will hold Obama to a higher standard than past presidents because he is black. Most whites 61 percent say Obamas race will not matter in how he will be judged

Perhaps Obama will avoid those stomachaches because of the massive good will his election has generated. But that could change quickly if Obama makes a controversial decision or a mistake, says Andrew Rojecki, co-author of "The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America."

Rojecki says people who say Obama isnt going to be held to a different standard because of his skin color didnt pay attention to his campaign.

He says Obama had to deal with challenges that other candidates didnt have to face. Obamas run for office was almost ended by his association with his minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose incendiary sermons shocked many

Even people who regard themselves as the most progressive, open-minded supporters may subconsciously hold Obama to a different standard, Rojecki says.

He says several academic studies show that it often takes people longer to associate good qualities to blacks when different faces are flashed across a screen.

"They have these stereotypes buried in their subconscious," he says. "Thats why people cross the street when they see a young black man. Theyd rather not take a chance."

Obama virtually had to be perfect to overcome those stereotypes, Rojecki says. He was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, he has an Ivy League-educated wife and adorable daughters, and he ran a great campaign.

"Hes the perfect symbol of achievement," Rojecki says.

White candidates for office dont have to have an uninterrupted life of achievement to be considered for the Oval Office, Rojecki says.

"If George W. Bush were black, do you think he would be president?" Rojecki says

So much for Mr. Obama inaugurating a post-racial era.

From our observations, Mr. Obamas skin color is not even the slightest of problems. If he were a conservative, the right would draw his carriage through the streets.

But our watchdog media never seems to tire of race baiting.

"They have these stereotypes buried in their subconscious," he says. "Thats why people cross the street when they see a young black man. Theyd rather not take a chance."

Talk to the Reverend Jackson about that one, Mr. Rojecki.

Or that typical white person, Obamas grandmother.

"Hes the perfect symbol of achievement," Rojecki says.

Mr. Rojecki is quite the kidder.

Susan Estrich was the first female editor of the Harvard Law Review. (For the same affirmative action reasons.)

Does anyone think she is qualified to be President?

Oh, brother.

Does this mean that, for the next four years, every time President Obama is criticized for anything, the criticism will be filtered through a racial prism?  Does this mean we can't say anything negative about our President's actions because he is a Black man? 

If so, where is the racism?  Where does it truly sit?  The answer is that it sits with the people who are pushing this utter BS on us.

Barack Obama was elected by a majority of voters, including a majority of the White vote.  But he can't be criticized by the same people who elected him without the criticism being seen as race-based stereotyping?  What a hot, steamy load.

And while we're on the subject of stereotypes, let's understand that, under some circumstances, they are not entirely unreasonable. 

Are you surprised I'd say that?  Well, don't be.  I'll show you what I mean.

Suppose a White or Pakistani family runs a convenience store.  Two Black kids, wearing reversed baseball caps and jeans down below their butts, walk in and start wandering through the store.  Will the owners watch them every second, out of fear that the kids might steal something?  You bet they will. 

But before you condemn this as racism, suppose the convenience store is owned by a Black family.  Do you have any doubt at all that these two kids will be watched closely?  I hope not, because you can bet the house, car and first-born that they will be watched every bit as closely by the Black owners.

Does this show that Black convenience store owners are racist?  No it does not, any more than it shows that the White and Pakistani owners are.

The reason for their scrutiny is that the two kids I described are just about the highest-risk "customers" a convenience store has.  Statistically, the likelihood of them stealing is dramatically greater than for almost any other group.  OF COURSE the store personnel will carefully watch them.

And the point of commonality between these store owners, whether White, Pakistani or Black, is that none of them wants to get robbed.  Not wanting to get robbed is 100% race-neutral.

Look at it this way;  suppose statistics showed that people who wore red hats were dramatically more likely to steal than anyone else.  If you owned a convenience store, would you carefully watch anyone who came into your store wearing a red hat? 

Sure you would.  Not because you were discriminating against people with red hats, but because you knew the probability that they would try to steal something was much higher.  The red hat itself is incidental. 

If statistics showed that people who wore blue hats stole more you'd watch them instead.  Or people who wore eyeglasses.  Or people who had receding hairlines.

Or young Black males, wearing reversed baseball caps and jeans down to their butts, who are wandering through your store.

See the point?

And the saddest part is that these losers cause so much stereotyping.

If a young Black male goes into a convenience store for no reason other than to buy milk and eggs for his mother, there is little doubt that the store owner, whether Black or non-Black, will keep an eye on him.  Not because the kid is doing anything wrong and not because the store owner is a racist, but because the store owner is acting on knowledge of the probabilities -- otherwise known as living in the real world.

It's not an easy issue, is it?

But here's a very easy one:  If Barack Obama screws up as President, every one of us, White, Black or otherwise, has a perfect right to notice that he did and say so.  None of us deserves to be admonished for honest criticism because some writer, or politician, or social critic decides to lecture us on how racist we are for doing so. 

(Anon) an interesting point was if george bush was black would he have been president, the second part of that equation should be addressed. if obama was white would he be president. clearly, a first term white senator with no executive experience would not have had any chance. this may have been the first time ever that being black was an advantage in politics.regardless, obamas race should have no effect on how he is judged as president. white or black if we are attacked or the economy stays down he will be responsible. steve (01/27/09)


A SURPRISING EPISODE OF GUESS THAT PARTY

Ken Berwitz

In recent months I've had a lot of fun, often at the Associated Press' expense, exposing the fact that when a Democratic politician is either accused, charged or convicted of wrongdoing his/her party is not mentioned. 

In fairness, I should also show you when it is. 

Here is the beginning of an AP story about the mayor of Hartford, Connecticut:

Hartford, Conn., mayor arrested on bribery charges

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Hartford's mayor turned himself in Tuesday on charges of having a city contractor do $40,000 in work at his home and paying for it only after being confronted by investigators.

Eddie A. Perez, a native of Puerto Rico and the first Hispanic mayor in the city's history, called his conduct inappropriate but said he did not commit a crime. He pledged to remain in office.

"I should never have used a city contractor to have done improvements on my home," Perez said Tuesday. "It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I should never have allowed the perception of impropriety to color my administration."

Perez, the Democratic mayor of Connecticut's capital city since 2001, was charged with receiving a bribe and falsifying evidence.

The story continues, but there's no need to post it.  As you can see, the AP did identify Mr. Perez' party affiliation.

I would love to think that my series on "Guess That Party!" has something to do with this.  But I doubt it.  I assume that bigger, louder voices than mine have caused the AP's turnaround.

Regardless, it's good to see Democrats treated like Republicans this once.  May it continue.

free` Yes, maybe this is a start. The 4th paragraph is better than not at all, but I have noticed when it is a Republican it is usually in the 1st sentence. (01/28/09)


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