Monday, 04 May 2009

SPECTERMINATION (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

"I did not say I would be a loyal Democrat":  Arlen Specter, yesterday, on Meet The Press

From www.thinkprogress.com:

 

Specter: I Did Not Say I Am A Loyal Democrat

Shortly after news leaked that Sen. Arlen Specter would be switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party, media reports quoted Specter telling President Obama he would be a loyal Democrat who would support his agenda:

At 10:32am, President Barack Obama reached Specter and told him you have my full support and thrilled to have you.

Specter told the president, Im a loyal Democrat. I support your agenda.

Specter immediately exhibited his loyalty by restating his opposition to Dawn Johnsen, Obamas nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, and by joining every Republican in Congress in voting against the presidents budget.

Today on Meet The Press, host David Gregory asked Specter if he would be supporting Obamas health care plan given reports of his loyalty to Obamas agenda. No, Specter said, adding that he never said he would be a loyal Democrat:

GREGORY: It was reported this week that when you met with the president, you said, I will be a loyal democrat. I support your agenda. Let me test that on probably one of the most important areas of his agenda, and thats health care. Would you support health care reform that puts up a government run public plan to compete with a private plan issued by a private insurance company?

SPECTER: No. And you misquote me, David. I did not say I would be a loyal Democrat. I did not say that. And last week, after I said I was changing parties, I voted against the budget because the budget has a way to pass health care with 51 votes, which undermines a basic Senate institution to require 60 votes to impose closure on key issues. I did not say I am a loyal Democrat.

Watch it:

Trying to clarify Specters position on Obamas health care reform, Gregory then asked, You would not support a public plan? Thats what I said and thats what I meant, Specter replied.

 

Let me get this straight:  Arlen Specter abandoned the Republican Party and became a Democrat.  Then he told the Democratic party that he will not be loyal to it. 

And he did this because he wants to be re-elected??????????

By who?


BARACK OBAMA, WINSTON CHURCHILL, AMY DAVIDSON AND WARNER TODD HUSTON

Ken Berwitz

Now there's a dinner party I would pay money to have a tape of.

Here is a piece by Warner Todd Huston, a very conservative and usually very insightful writer, which talks about Barack Obama's spurious claim that Winston Churchill said "We never torture". 

It is a fascinating look at how this kind of misinformation/disinformation comes to life, who spawns it, how it becomes "fact" and how maddeningly incompetent and/or biased most mainstream media are for allowing it stand without checking its veracity (or, worse still, checking its veracity, finding out that it is spurious, and looking the other way for Saint Barack):

New Yorker: Obama a Better Churchill than Churchill? (Or Bush)

May 4, 2009 | |

-By Warner Todd Huston

Amy Davidson of the New Yorker should take up bowling or gardening because history doesnt seem to be her thang, if you will. In the aftermath of Barack Obamas own false historical reference, made during a Wednesday press conference, of famed WWII era English Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Davidson jumped to her keyboard to further garble history with an April 30 blog post on her Close Read blog at the New Yorker website.

On Wednesday, Obama made a reference to an article he was reading the other day wherein he discovered that during WWII Prime Minister Winston Churchill supposedly said We dont torture. (Transcript of Obamas remarks)The following morning, Davisdon praised Obama for his sentiment and waxed envious over the very good article from which Obama gleaned the tale.

There is only one little problem with the whole thing. Churchill NEVER said the line that Obama claimed he said. And further the very good article that Davidson praised was erroneous to say so. This means Obama was wrong, the article was wrong and so was Davidsons blog post.

Not surprisingly the original article that so badly mussed up history was written by one of the worst hacks in journalism, Andrew Sullivan (whose factually incorrect piece can be seen at The Atlantic).

The truth of the matter is that the British government did employ torture in various instances in the modern era we are talking WWII and later. She certainly did not make it a matter of routine, using it only occasionally and certainly not in every instance. But, use it she did all the while making appearances that it was a method that was unacceptable.

In one case, British Colonel Robin Tin-Eye Stephens used procedures that many leftists would consider torture today. From starvation to sleep depravation, the Colonel used all methods short of physical harm. The Colonel also constantly threatened execution with his German prisoners as a mental attack. Worse for todays leftists trying to cite the perfect interrogation techniques, he carried executions out with many of them. The truth is that Colonel Stephens did eschew the use of painful physical torture, but was not shy about psychological torture at all. Again, he did execute prisoners, a fact not lost on the ones that stayed alive in his care.

In another instance of British actions during WWII there was a detention center called The Cage. This facility has been investigated since the war and it has been revealed that physical torture of its inmates did occur.

What Churchill did know or not know about any of these incidents has never satisfactorily been ascertained. There is also nothing in the Prime Ministers voluminous writings that would elucidate the matter. So, for Obama and Sullivan to have said that Churchill specifically argued against torturing POWs is simply incorrect.

In any case, here is what Obama said last Wednesday:

I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, We dont torture, when the entire British all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat.

And then the reason was that Churchill understood you start taking shortcuts, over time, that corrodes whats whats best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country.

And I am struck, Mr. President, with the fact that you are completely wrong about Churchill. Let us turn to Richard M. Langworth, prominent Churchillian scholar to hear some actual historical facts.

While its nice to hear the President invoke Sir Winston, the quotation is unattributed and almost certainly incorrect. While Churchill did express such sentiments with regard to prison inmates, he said no such thing about prisoners of war, enemy combatants or terrorists, who were in fact tortured by British interrogators during World War II.

And where did Obama get this foolish notion of what Churchill said? The aforementioned hack Sullivan who states it as a fact in his Atlantic article despite that no such quote exists that Churchill nonetheless knew that embracing torture was the equivalent of surrender to the barbarism he was fighting.

Here is what Langworth says of Sullivans hackery on what Churchill knew:

Churchill nonetheless knew appears suddenly and with no evidence to back it up. Sullivan makes no other reference to Churchill, or to how he divined Churchills views on torture.

As Jonah Goldberg says in his NRO piece, Typically, Sullivans emotions are getting ahead of his facts. Simply put Sullivan has no facts at his command and merely makes up the whole Churchill knowing business. But it suits Obama fine, because facts arent necessary when you are The One. Isnt it just like President Obama to just say a thing in his authoritative way as if it were true regardless if it is true or not? He loves making pronouncements regardless of the actual facts. And, in true lapdog fashion, Amy Davidson of the New Yorker laps it all up like cream.

So now we get to Davidsons even worse garbling of history. Not only does she regurgitate Obamas false historical reference, she compounds the abuse of history by saying that Bush was more like the spineless, tyrant appeasing Neville Chamberlain than Obama is!

For those unaware, it was English PM Neville Chamberlain that told the world that there was peace in our times after a pre-WWII visit to Hitlers Nazi Germany. He signed all sorts of foolish treaties with the Nazis imagining that he had averted war with that belligerent state. The man was a fool, pure and simple. By the way, at the same time Chamberlain was saying how the world was finally at peace, Churchill was decrying Nazi aggressiveness and warning that England should prepare for war. We all know which of the two was right, Chamberlain or Churchill.

Here is Davidsons uninformed foray into historical analysis:

Obama out-Churchilled Bushnot bad, given Bushs constant and increasingly tedious invocations of the Prime Minister. (Obama may have been citing a very good Andrew Sullivan post.) Bush saw himself as a latter-day Churchillthough theres an argument that the better parallel is Neville Chamberlainand put his bust in the Oval Office, saying, He watches my every move. Obama ditched it for a bust of Lincoln, which hurt British feelingsback in February, the Telegraph speculated that Obama was mad at Churchill because of the torture of Kenyans, including, perhaps, Obamas grandfather, in the Mau Mau rebellion during his second premiership. So it took the British a few years to realize that Kenyans deserved to be treated like Germans. (And their treatment might not have been so lovely, as Politico points out.) Still, sentiment counts for something. And anyway, we can be better than Churchill.

Now I can agree with Davidson if she means Obama is like Ward Churchill. But Winston is right out.

In any case, aside from being a rather badly written paragraph technically, the references are all so far off from reality that they may as well be considered satire.

Weve already discovered above that Sullivan did not have a very good article. But, it also absurd that Bush was tedious in his Churchill invocations. Yes, Bush referenced Churchill many times, but has anyone seen any other report that bemoaned Bushs Churchill references until now? Was criticism of Bushs tedious Churchill references ever a talking point in the past? Was it something often commented upon? Not really. But it does make a great hindsight jab for little Miss Davidson, doesnt it? Suddenly, just because The Obammessiah mentioned Churchill, now Miss Davidson has an excuse to claim Bush was tedious when invoking Churchill. In truth, the only thing tedious here is Davidsons uninformed and knee jerk Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Next, Davidson says, without bothering to elucidate, that theres an argument that the better parallel is Neville Chamberlain instead of Churchill to compare Bush to. Just like Obama, Davidson just makes a pronouncement regardless of the facts. Could someone, anyone, tell us when Bush went around saying that there is peace in our times like Chamberlain did? Of course no one can. The claim is moronic.

Then, she pretends that Obamas assertion that Churchill refused to torture Germans but didnt mind torturing Kenyans is a factual statement. It is not. Yes Kenyans were horribly mistreated under Churchills tenure, but so were Germans. Yet, in neither case did the British government make hidebound policy that torture was a necessary aspect of their operations. It occurred, was looked away from, was not necessarily sanctioned, and used sparingly or in a quasi-legal manner. In fact, this is a common western reaction to torture. Nearly every western nation has done it and all are squeamish enough about it to sometimes equivocate about it while using it as little as possible. It is also salient that most western nations prosecute their own officials (or those down the ladder) over its use and this should not so easily be ignored. This is quite unlike third world nations such as China or Saddam Huesseins Iraq, where physical torture is an official tool, one that even has official handbooks made to instruct government officials in its use.

Davidson ends her badly reasoned and historically illiterate segment with anyway, we can be better than Churchill. Winston Churchill had flaws, sure. What human being doesnt? But if this little fool thinks we can so easily be better than one of historys greatest leaders, if it is so easy for this opinionist to say that Churchill wasnt worthy, it proves wholly that she knows nothing about Churchill, his times, or ours. Amy Davidson isnt worthy to hold Churchills coat or to fetch him a nice cup of tea.

and neither is Barack I won Obama.

(Harvards Short bio on Amy Davidson)

____________
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as
newsbusters.org, RedState.com, Human Events Magazine, AmericanDailyReview.com, townhall.com, New Media Journal, Mens News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism heard on BlogTalkRadio. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of publiusforum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

Fair Use: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site/blog for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


MASTECTOMY: AN OUT-PATIENT PROCEDURE????

Ken Berwitz

My cousin Audrey just sent this to me.  As you will see, it asks that you pass it along to 20 of your friends.

Through my blog, I'm in a position to do a little better than that.  So here it is -- and for the sake of women who go through this awful but necessary procedure, I strongly urge you to sign the petition:

Proposed Mastectomy Law Change

(written by a surgeon);

I'll never forget the look in my patients eyes when I had to tell them they had to go home with the drains, new exercises and no breast. I remember begging the doctors to keep these women in the hospital longer, only to hear that they would, but their hands were tied by the insurance companies.

So there I sat with my patient givin g them the instructions they needed to take care of themselves, knowing full well they didn't grasp half of what I was saying, because the glazed, hopeless, frightened look spoke louder than the quiet 'Thank you' they muttered.

A mastectomy is when a woman's breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let's give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery.

This Mastectomy Bill is in Congress now. It takes 2 seconds to do this and is very important. Please take the time and do it really quick! The Breast Cancer Hospitalization Bill is important legislation for all women.

Please send this to everyone in your address book. If there was ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of those times. If you're receiving this, it's because I think you will take the 30 seconds to go to vote on this issue and send it on to others you know who will do the same.

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 4 8-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through mastectomy' where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support.. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below.


http://www.mylifetimecom/community/my-lifetime-commitment/breast-cancer/petition/breast-cancer-petition

This takes about 2 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your 20 friends


FINANCIAL REALITY: BUSH & FEDERAL TAXES

Ken Berwitz

I am posting this piece from the Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org) without further comment.  Read it and know the truth, not the partial and non-truths that are parsed out to you by our wonderful "neutral" media.  Then think about how Barack Obama's tax ideas will affect things:

May 4, 2009

The Rich Pay More Taxes:  Top 20 Percent Pay Record Share of Income Taxes

By Curtis S. Dubay

WebMemo #2420

 

Since the passage of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, critics have claimed incessantly that they disproportionately benefited the rich while burdening the poor. Now that the data is in, these claims have been shown to be unquestionably false.

 

Squeezing the Wealthy Even More

According to a report issued by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the tax cuts significantly increased the share of federal income taxes paid by the highest-earning 20 percent of households compared to their levels in 2000, President Clintons final year in office.

 

In 2006, the latest available year from CBO, the top 20 percent of income earners paid 86.3 percent of all federal income taxes, an all-time high.[1] This is an increase of over 6 percent from 2000, when the top 20 percent paid 81.2 percent. During the same period, the bottom four quintiles all saw their share of the federal income tax burden fall sharply:

                          The bottom 20 percent of income earners' share of federal income taxes fell from 1.6 percent in 2000 to 2.8 percent in 2006;

                          The next 20 percent's share declined from 1.1 percent to 0.8 percent;

                          The middle quintile's share dropped from 5.7 percent to 4.4 percent; and

                          The fourth quintile's share decreased from 13.5 percent to 12.9 percent.

Each of these four quintiles' shares was an all-time low.

 

2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts Removed Low-Income Earners from Roles

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts removed millions of taxpayers from the federal income tax roles, leaving only those at the top to pay the bill. They lowered every federal income tax rate and created a new 10 percent bracket to further reduce taxes for low-income earners.

 

While these tax rate cuts lowered taxes for all taxpayers, low-income earners got the biggest cut. In addition to these rate cuts, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expanded the refundable Child Tax Credit from $500 per child to $1,000 per child. The combination of lower tax rates and an expanded Child Tax Credit meant many low-income taxpayers no longer paid any federal income taxes.

 

Was Greater Income the Cause?

Critics counter that the increase in tax shares for high-earners was due to income increases at the top of the income spectrum. But a closer look at the data shows this just is not the case.

 

The top 20 percent of earners saw their share of pre-tax income rise from 54.8 percent to 55.7 percent, from 2000 to 2006. During that same period, their share of federal income taxes increased from 81.2 percent to 86.3 percent.

The modest increase in incomes is not large enough to explain the large increase in the share of income taxes paid by the top 20 percent. Rather, the removal of substantial numbers of low-income taxpayers from the federal income tax roles is the real culprit.

 

Refundable Credits Redistribute Income

The bottom 40 percent of income earners actually paid a negative share of federal income taxes in 2006. In other words, these taxpayers are actually paid money through the tax code. This happens through refundable credits like the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, which result in "refunds" when they are greater than the taxpayers total income tax liability.

 

For instance, if a family with one child has an income tax liability of $300, it can claim the Child Tax Credit, which wipes out their tax liability, and still receive $700 from the IRS for the remainder of the $1,000 credit. On April 15, not only do the bottom 40 percent of all taxpayers pay no taxes, but they actually receive additional income from the IRS.

 

Refundable credits redistribute income from the top 20 percent of earners to the remaining tax filers, with the bottom 20 percent the prime beneficiaries. The bottom quintile's share of income, measured after taxes, actually increased a whopping 17 percent compared to its pre-tax levels because of the income they got from refundable credits. Comparing shares of income before taxes are paid to after, only the top quintile saw their share of income decline.

 

Obama's Tax Policies Widen the Gap

President Obama's tax policies would cause federal income taxes paid by the top 20 percent to increase and the shares of the remaining 80 percent to decrease even further. These policies include those passed as part of the stimulus legislation and those included in the President's Budget Blueprint.

The stimulus created the Making Work Pay Credit[2] and expanded the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. These refundable credits will knock even more taxpayers from the federal income tax roles and send more money to low-income taxpayers.[3] With fewer low- and middle-income taxpayers paying federal income taxes, the burden will shift even further in the direction of top earners.

 

President Obama also proposed in his Budget Blueprint to increase income taxes on those making over $250,000 by increasing their tax rates on investment income and reducing the amount they could deduct.[4] This would dramatically increase the share of taxes paid by the top 20 percent while the remaining 80 percent of earners would not pay higher taxes as a result of these proposed tax hikes.

 

Stop Shifting Burden to Top 20 Percent

To stop the shifting of the tax burden to a dwindling number of taxpayers, Congress should:

                          Make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent for all taxpayers, not just those making under $250,000. This would slow the shifting of the burden to the top 20 percent.

                          Stop creating and expanding refundable credits. Welfare spending and subsidies to low-income earners should be done through traditional spending programs, not hidden in the tax code. This would stop a growing portion of the population from being removed from the tax roles.

                          Cut top tax rates to return the shares of income taxes paid by each quintile to their more-sustainable 2000 levels.

 

 

On Dangerous Ground

The shifting of the tax burden to a small segment of high-income taxpayers is economically dangerous. The beneficiaries of government services are increasingly those who share little or none of the tax burden to pay for them. As they become more numerous, they put more pressure on Congress for more services. Meanwhile, those who bear most of the burden are being squeezed even more, shrinking their number. The result is a growing group of government beneficiaries clamoring for more of a shrinking groups wealth. Congress should put an end to this practice.

 

Curtis S. Dubay is a Senior Analyst in Tax Policy in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.



[1]Unless otherwise noted, all data come from Congressional Budget Office, "Historical Effective Federal Tax Rates: 1979 to 2006" April 2009, at http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/tax/2009/all_tables.pdf (April 23, 2009).

[2]Curtis S. Dubay, "Making Work Pay Credit Will Not Stimulate the Economy," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2240, January 26, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/wm2240.cfm.

[3]Curtis S. Dubay, "Obama's Stimulus Has "Spread the Wealth Around: Are Tax Hikes Next" Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2354, March 23, 2009, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/wm2354.cfm.

[4]U.S. Office of Management and Budget, A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America's Promise (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2009), p. 123, Table S-6, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets
/fy2010_new_era/A_New_Era_of_Responsibility2.pdf
(April 23, 2009).

 

 


RETHINKING MILITARY TRIBUNALS & GUANTANAMO

Ken Berwitz

President Obama is rethinking the use of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects who are now held at Guantanamo.  The fact that there still is a Guantanamo at all tells you that he already has rethought summarily closing it down.

There is no doubt that the President's hard-left base is going to range from disappointment to fury over this.  But, unlike them, once the election ended Mr. Obama realized that sloganeering wasn't enough;  he had to deal with reality.

In this connection, I read a very interesting two-paragraph condemnation of Mr. Obama for his changed position.  It was originally published in a German newspaper, but I saw it in the German magazine Der Spiegel. 

  I am posting it here, because it so nicely encapsulates the difference Mr. Obama has had to recognize between fantasy and reality:

In an editorial entitled "Obama's Great Mistake," the center-left daily Sddeutsche Zeitung writes:

 

"Obama's people certainly imagined things differently. But reality has caught up with them. What should they do with people who are in fact horrifying criminals but whose confessions came as a result of brutal interrogations? No regular court would accept the testimony. Should suspected masterminds of the 9/11 attacks and other terrible attacks be set free? That can't be the solution either. Obama is thus considering holding on to the military commissions with a couple of extra rights for the suspects. Bush light, so to speak."

 

"Obama is thus discrediting both himself and the US. It would be better were he to gather the necessary political courage to initiate criminal proceedings before regular courts. Legally, it will be incredibly complicated and possibly untenable in some cases. But the country cannot get around the purification process. Otherwise, the poison from the Bush era could continue to infect America's image for years to come."

Ooooohhhh, brutal interrogations.  Like what?  Waterboarding (which is part of our military's training exercises)?  Sleep deprivation?  Yelling?  Playing music they don't like? 

What do theese geniuses think should be done with enemy combatants, caught during military operations, who hate us, want us all dead and may have information we can use to prevent their kindred haters to do just that?  Kill them with kindness?  What do they think other countries would do if they had people like this and their citizens' lives were at stake?  What do they think Germany would do? 

Their solution is to take high value terrorists whose information might save US lives, get them lawyers and send them through the regular courts. 

The fact that criminal proceedings do not get us any of the information they may be able to suppy us; information that might save US lives?  No mention of that.  

The fact that, since security issues always obtain in cases that involve military security, all or most of the evidence may have to be withheld?  The fact that this means there is no way to realistically prosecute almost any of them?  No mention of that either.

The fact that with a combination of delaying tactics, the necessary time to prepare legal submissions, etc. these cases could go on for years?  The question of where to put the accused between the time the criminal procedures start to the time the case is dropped because of how much evidence cannot be made public?  No mention of that as well.

It is exactly this kind of mindless, politically-correct mung that Europe loves.  They get nothing done, but feel good about themselves and oh so superior. 

Sorry for being less civilized, folks, but we think it is necessary to do a bit more.  Even our current President feels this way. 

We apologize for our attempt at survival and hope you can somehow forgive us.


GUANTANA-NIMBY

Ken Berwitz

Most people are aware of what NIMBY means.  For those who don't, it is an acronym for Not In My Back Yard. 

You come across the NIMBY effect when government wants to open things like a drug rehabilitation center or a low income project.  Many people are proud to support these endeavors --- but go into a spontaneous cold sweat over the prospect that they will be built nearby. 

Well, it turns out that NIMBY is just as operative when it comes to politicians and the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo.  Read the following report from www.breitbart.com and see for yourself:

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Democrats are refusing to pay for President Barack Obama's plan to relocate prisoners from the Guantanamo detention facility where enemy combatants are being held.

 

Obama has signed an executive order to close the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by early next year. But the Pentagon has yet to come up with a plan on where to put the 240 or so prisoners. Between 50-100 are likely to be sent to the United States.

 

No lawmaker wants the accused terrorists in their backyard.

 

House Democrats unveiled a $94.4 billion war funding bill Monday and it had no money for the relocation plan.

 

The step is not likely to be the last word, however. If needed, money could be transferred laterwithout a politically difficult vote.

In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle, "sur-prahze, sur-prahze!

Does this hit home?  Did your senator and/or house member demand the closing of Guantanamo?  Well, what are they saying now?

That's politics for you.  They're wise guys when it's an abstract campaign slogan.  But they want these enemy combatants about as much as they want an advanced bowel virus.  And they certainly don't want to vote "yea" on a bill that results in some being sent to their home states. 

Simply stated, accepting jihadists who want to murder your constituents is not healthy for re-election campaigns.

But if they're going to be sent to someone else's state?  Oh, ok.  Now you're talking.


COULTER VS. BEHAR: COULTER BY A TKO

Ken Berwitz

I don't care whether you love, like, dislike or hate Ann Coulter.  She is very smart and very fast (FYI, that is a reference to her mind; I don't know about the other thing).

Coulter subjected herself to being on The View again (hmmm, maybe she's not so smart at that).  And, as usual, the terminally obnoxious joy behar started up. 

behar is a member of what I call the 4-S club. She is smug, smirky, snarky and self-impressed.  But when she started with Coulter she started with the wrong person.

See for yourself:

Whoops. Check please......

Like I said, you may or may not like Ann Coulter (personally, I have some major problems with her).  But, as joy behar didn't learn (I doubt she's capable of learning), don't try to match wits with Coulter if all you've got is the four "S" lineup.  She's going to clean your clock.


THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION - WHEN TO STOP LAUGHING

Ken Berwitz

I just read this piece by D. L. Hammack of www.americanthinker.com .  I agree with just about every point he makes.  And I have a three word answer for him. 

Here is the piece, and my answer:

May 04, 2009

It's no longer a laughing matter

By D.L. Hammack

 

When the new administration took over Washington and our smiling, community activist, leader took the oath of office, the chuckles began as we witnessed the most expensive inauguration in US history and the start of the transformation of America.  I giggled -- initially.  This idol-worshipped man with absolutely no background or experience became our new President.  I laughed at how America had been taken for a ride.

When the President embarrassed America with his lame gift to the British Prime Minister, it was so sad it was funny.  I giggled under my breath.

 

When the One could not convey any coherent text without the aid of his teleprompter, I snickered until I realized that these words were not his.  If the machine failed, he was absolutely lost and could not find a meaningful conveyance with two hands and a flashlight. 

 

When he then went on the apology tour of Europe; bowed to the Saudi king and shook hands with Hugo Chavez, I grinned, but the laughter was absent when I came to the conclusion that this man truly despises what America stands for.

 

When the new administration put out the plan for veterans to pay for their own health care, it started to get ugly.  There was absolutely no humor left when I thought of these heroes coming back to American soil with the new administrations' welcome home gift.  "Thanks guys and gals and for your eighteen months of life-threatening service, Johnny, what do we have for them?"

 

When Janet Napalitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security deemed returning war veterans and conservatives possible terrorists, it was no longer funny and it started to piss me off.  We can no longer call the real bad guys terrorists.  They get the moniker of Man Caused Disasters.  But returning war veterans being labeled as Home Grown Terrorists? 

 

Mr. President, you have the power to push buttons, but you're starting to push the ones that are going to send more and more Americans into opposition.

 

When the administration chose to publish the CIA interrogation memos jeopardizing the security of our soldiers and the willingness of all national security operatives to continue to do what they do -- all for political motivation, it became clear that they will stop at nothing to accomplish their ideological goals.  Enough is enough!  I can't even manufacture a whimper of humor anymore.

 

Now our leader has the audacity to take the bond holders and private investors in Chrysler to the woodshed and publicly threaten them into giving up their investment?  "How dare they be so un-American as to want more of their investment dollars back?"   

It's no longer funny.  This is serious. What was initially a comedy of errors and gaffes is now becoming a serious threat to our security, our economy and our way of life.

 

Initially, I thought that this guy would float his trial balloons aimed at taking us to the left... test the waters, so-to-speak.  He did.  We watched.  When nobody shot these balloons down, or stood up to the radical changes he proposed, he and Rahm became even more brazen. 

 

Initially, I thought that regardless of his left-leaning motivations, he surely would not endanger the people of America or cause them undue hardships as a result of his desires?  How wrong I was!  This man...the administration couldn't give a damn about the people or their suffering, as long as it advances their agenda and creates a future throng of democratic voters who are addicted to the state.  It's time for us to recognize that this President, his cabinet, his staff, his Supreme Court appointees all have a common interest and that interest has nothing whatsoever to do with the people of this country. 

 

Until we wake up and see this charade, this faade called the administration of change, we will continue to dig a hole so deep that no manner of "change" will allow us to escape from the policy mandates this President will force upon us.  Wake up America, or one day we will wake up and see an America that we no longer recognize or want to be a part of.  Those of us who recognize what is going on will continue to speak out to make people aware and we will continue to be singled out by the administration; vilified if necessary, as they continue the process of steamrolling America to accomplish their agenda.

 

My answer to the title for Mr. Hammack's piece:  It never was.


PAKISTANI APPEASEMENT AND US INCOMPETENCE

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of Islambard Wilkinson of the Times of London, is a classic display of appeasement by the Pakistani "government" (if you can call it that), and incompetence by the Obama administration:

Pakistan peace deal with Taliban 'collapses'

A peace deal struck between the Pakistani government and the Taliban virtually collapsed on Monday after militants attacked an army convoy in Swat Valley.

 

By Isambard Wilkinson in Islamabad
Last Updated: 11:54AM BST 04 May 2009

Muslim Khan, a spokesman for the Taliban, said that the controversial peace deal "practically stands dissolved" and said his fighters had permission to attack troops "everywhere".

The imminent collapse of the controversial Swat peace deal occurred two days before Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was due to meet President Barack Obama in Washington.

Under the peace deal, the government agreed to impose Islamic law in the districts that make up the Malakand Division in hopes that the militants would lay down their arms.

But the Taliban in Swat, the movement's stronghold, were emboldened, and soon entered the adjacent Buner district to impose their harsh brand of Islam.

Washington has criticised the deal and the government's resolve to tackle the Taliban.

However, Pakistani officials insist that by carrying out their part of the agreement, they can gain more support from the public to take action against the Taliban if the militants violate the pact.

The army has began to conduct operations against the Taliban in Buner and now may also resume operations in Swat.

The attack, which killed one soldier, took place early in the morning in Bari Kot region of Swat. Militants used rocket and gunfire to attack the convoy, but security forces repelled the attack.

The Taliban spokesman said it was in response to the alleged strengthening of military positions in the region in violation of the peace deal.

"Why do you think we should remain silent if they come heavy on us? ... We will attack them too," he said.

On Sunday the army accused the Taliban of "gross violations" of the deal by beheading two government officials, looting and attacking infrastructure in Swat.

Swat is just one part of the Afghan border region where Pakistan is facing Islamist insurgents. However, it is of special importance because of its proximity to the capital and the fact that it falls under the central government's control, unlike tribally ruled areas.

The Taliban defied a government curfew and patrolled Mingora, Swat's main town, after rejecting an Islamic appeals court set up under the peace deal.

For 10 days now, military helicopter gunships and ground troops have fought hundreds of armed Taliban who thrust west and south-east from Swat into the districts of Lower Dir and Buner where the deal also theoretically holds sway.

Mr Zardari, who is hoping to secure a massive US aid package, will discuss the deteriorating situation with Mr Obama at the White House on Wednesday.

Washington has expressed concern, with President Barack Obama acknowledging Zardari's government was "very fragile" and Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, saying Pakistan was "basically abdicating" to the Taliban in the area.

The US special envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke, attempted to smooth Pakistani feathers at the weekend by denying that Mr Obama had made the remarks. He added that the government was "a fine group of people".

America helped Pakistan raise $5.5bn (3.7bn) in Tokyo last week. Officials say that $1.5bn in civilian aid and military payments should be transferred to Pakistan this week.

Due in no small part to enormous pressure by the Democratic Party, we pushed out the corrupt, dictatorial Pervez Musharraf.  This resulted in a far worse alternative:   the taliban-appeasing loser Asif Ali Zardari. 

Here is then-candidate Barack Obama's position on Musharraf, as reported by NPR on August 19, 2008:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama issued a statement saying that Musharraf made the right decision to step down. It reiterated his position that "the central terrorist threat to the United States lies in northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan, and not Iraq." The Illinois senator also claimed credit for saying a year ago that the U.S. should move from a "Musharraf policy" to a "Pakistan policy."

What a great idea that was.  Now Musharraf's successor is proactively handing over significant parts of his country to the taliban.  Way to go, Barack.  What insight.  Just the kind we should expect from someone with your level of foreign policy experience.

Now, possibly trying to make up for his misreading of the Pakistan situation, Mr. Obama goes on the offensive and calls Zardari's government "fragile", while our Secretary of State chimes in by characterizing its appeasement of the taliban as a "basic abdication" --  both of which are obviously true. 

But when Pakistan indicates displeasure with what they said, Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton reverse field and use Richard Holbrooke to deny making those statements. 

What does that show President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to be, other than liars and hypocrites?  Can you come up with an alternative?  I can't.

If this were a Republican administration, our wonderful "neutral" media would be doing lead stories on it daily.  There would be countless features and analysis and panel discussions over the damage we are doing and the benefit that is accruing to the taliban and - since they are of a like mind to the taliban - al qaeda.  It would be defined as a USA-provided feast for international terrorism.

But this isn't a Republican administration, is it?  So have you seen or heard those lead stories, features, analyses and panel discussions?  Me neither.

Then they wonder why people call them biased.


JON STEWART BLOWN AWAY (NO MUSHROOM CLOUD NECESSARY)

Ken Berwitz

A couple of weeks ago, Jon Stewart took down Jim Cramer so badly that, if I were Cramer, I would be ashamed to show myself on TV again (maybe even in public).

Would you like to see Jon Stewart taken down just as badly?  Maybe even a lot worse?

Here is Bill Whittle of Pajamas Media doing the job.  And what a devastating job it is! His video is about 17 minutes long, and worth every second of your time. 

The issue is whether President Truman was a war criminal for allowing the H-Bomb to be dropped on Japan.  Simply stated, Whittle does to Stewart what Truman did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  See for yourself.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO

.


CHRIS DUDD COMPARES WATERBOARDING TO GENOCIDE (HONEST)

Ken Berwitz

Want to hear Chris Dudd (D-CT....and I think that D stands for Dimwit) compare our waterboarding at Guantanamo with nazi war crimes --- and use the now-debunked claim that khalid sheikh mohammed was waterboarded 183 times to do it?

Well, your wish (within reason) is my command:

 


Just another 47,652 or so more idiocies like this and President Obama will make Dudd co-Vice President with Joe Biden, on the grounds that the two of them are interchangeable.


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