Tuesday, 19 May 2009


Ken Berwitz

So I was reading www.crooksandliars.com, a hard-left web site that hates Republicans and any Democrats who are not as reliably hard-left as the crooksandliars crew is. 

Before continuing, a little disclosure is in order.  John Amato, who runs crooksandliars.com, and I have a little history.  When "The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics" was published, I sent him a copy in the hopes that he would talk about it on his site.  John and I exchanged a few amiable emails for a short period of time.  Then when I asked if he had received the book, he emailed back that he threw it out without reading it, "LOL"'ed me, and I never heard from him again.  Subsequently, when I tried to post comments on his site, I always seemed to be saying the wrong thing and getting tossed out until I eventually gave up. 

Ironically, if John had read "Hopelessly Partisan" he would have realized that my co-author, Barry Sinrod, whom I have known for over 40 years and intentionally brought into the project, is as hard-left as he is.  So it goes....

Anyway, in looking at today's blogs I came across video of Sean Hannity interviewing Jesse Ventura about, among other things, the Bush administration.  As you can see below, John thought Ventura creamed Hannity and then some (if you have trouble with the video, click here):

Jesse Ventura slams Sean Hannity, who actually says America is 'better off' after George Bush!

Jesse Ventura has been going on TV a lot lately because he's promoting his new book, but he's been littering the airwaves with the carcasses of dead conservative talking points when it comes to the topic of torture and George Bush.

Elisabeth Hasslebeck had had the misfortune of trying to tackle Ventura earlier on The View, and had been exposed for the moron she is, especially on torture. So Ventura was on "Hannity" last night and much the same kind of complete and utter smackdown proceeded.

Best of all, get this: Sean Hannity thinks America is better off after George Bush instead of before. I'm serious. I'll do a Conservative/Pelosi impression on him and say that he's either a very sick man mentally a complete liar, a hairpiece hag or all three.

Hannity also did his teleprompter bit on Obama. Here's just a few of Hannity's insane ramblings (buckle up, it's a rough ride). Sean tried his best to get Jesse to bite on the "Bush inherited a rescession" bit -- which, um, didn't go very well...

Ventura: You're telling me that the United States was better off after George Bush or before him?

Hannity: After.

Ventura: Oh, my God. How can you make that statement?

Hannity: I just did..and I'll tell you why...

Ventura: It's ridiculous...This country was far better off (No.) before George Bush then it is after George Bush.

Hannity then read off his usual list of Islamofascist horrors confronting America and he asks Ventura what he would do.

Hannity: ...and we have radicals that think God is going to reward them with virgins in Heaven Jesse, how do we stop em? Tell me, what do you do?

Ventura: You pay attention to memos on August sixth that tell you exactly what Bin Laden is going to do. Instead we hear Condoleezza Rice going, "I didn't know what they were going to do." And the memos says Bin Laden set to hijack planes and ram them into buildings and your buddy George Bush, he was on vacation in Crawford at the time. Do you know he took over 900 days off for vacation?

Hannity: The President's never off....Do you know that, Let me give you an example...

Ventura: This one was on his watch because the biggest attack happened on his watch.

Hannity went into the deficit and Ventura told him Bush left it:

Hannity: This is Obama's deficit...

Ventura: To fix George Bush's mess.

To debate a bully you have to be a bully, unfortunately, and Ventura rolls over him like a rag doll.

Keeping in mind that I'm not a big Sean Hannity fan - and I think his show suffers greatly for the lack of Alan Colmes or some other liberal and/or left wing counterpart - I somehow didn't come to the same conclusions.  Here are a few of my observations (you may note that they come from parts of the interview which John, unaccountably, didn't get around to talking about):

-When asked his opinion of President Obama, Ventura said Mr. Obama was exceptionally intelligent when he speaks.  Hannity pointed out that he reads his speeches from a teleprompter and Ventura said "At least we have a President now who can read one".  That's not a smackdown of Hannity, it's just a nasty sarcasm aimed at President Bush. 

-When Hannity cited the 9/11 Commission, Ventura sneered that "they didn't investigate nuthin'"...whatever that means.  The only person a mindless comment like that smacks down is the one making it;

-Further on, Ventura said that "George Bush was bailed out of one of his bad business deals by Salem Bin Laden, osama's brother.  You don't think there's a connection there?  Come on".  

The obvious implication is that Bush had some kind of "I owe you one" tie to osama bin laden -- which, of course, is why he went after him with all guns blazing and caused bin laden to live in hiding ever since (assuming he is even alive). 

Ventura also neglected to mention (maybe he didn't know) that Salem Bin Laden, whatever his business dealings with George Bush, died in 1988.  That's 13 years BEFORE the 9/11 attack and long before anyone knew of osama's intentions regarding the USA.   They straitjacket people for less than this. 

-Ventura also cited an August 6 memo which, he claimed, specified bin laden was going to attack us by hijacking planes.  Ventura demanded to know why Bush just stayed on vacation in Crawford, Texas and didn't do anything about it.

Is there any truth to this startling claim?  Well, here, from CNN.com, is the August 6th, 2001 memo.  I have put the entire "hijacking" section in bold print:

The following is a transcript of the August 6, 2001, presidential daily briefing entitled Bin Laden determined to strike in US. Parts of the original document were not made public by the White House for security reasons.

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a -- -- service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told - - service at the same time that bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative's access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of bin Laden's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the U.S.

Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that in ---, Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own U.S. attack.

Ressam says bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation. Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Laden associates surveyed our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al Qaeda members -- including some who are U.S. citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks.

Two al-Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were U.S. citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a bin Laden cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ---- service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full-field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group or bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.

Ok, tell me how this leads to 9/11.  I dare you. 

The memo refers to a 5 YEAR OLD DOCUMENT which it downplays as "sensational threat reporting".  It indicates that a single plane would be hijacked, not four planes.  It does not indicate which plane(s) would be hijacked.  It does not indicate where the hijacking would take place.  It does not indicate where the one plane it is talking about would fly to.  It does not indicate the plane would be flown into a building, or what particular building it would be.  It does, however, suggest the purpose of the hijacking would be to gain the release of "U.S.-held extremists" - which was not the case. 

If Jesse Ventura were President on August 6, 2001, what would this memo have told him about 9/11?  Anything?  Only if he gave up wrestling and became a fortuneteller.

Maybe it's just me, but when you add in these parts of the interview, Sean Hannity comes out looking a lot better than John suggests. 

And Jesse Ventura, who is clearly not a stupid man, nevertheless comes across like a barroom loudmouth and a human cartoon.

free` I had the exact same experience today in the irc channel #politics. The libs contend that ventura tore up kilmead on fox and friends, but when you watch the show ventura looks like a lunatic. I guess it just goes to show you. If you want to watch the clip it is here>> jammiewearingfool.blogspot.com/2009/05/kilmeade-ventura-showdown.html (05/19/09)


Ken Berwitz


Here is an editorial in today's Washington Examiner that flays the skin off of our wonderful "neutral" media's nonstop love affair with Barack Obama's "stimulus package (which I call the "stimuless package for reasons that are quite apparent below).  The bold print is mine:

Obamas plan stimulates the deficit, not the economy


By: Examiner Editorial
05/19/09 12:05 AM EDT


President Obamas much-ballyhooed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 the economic stimulus plan - isnt stimulating much of anything except federal employment, despite having been rammed through Congress as emergency legislation in February. Thats the only conclusion to be drawn from the most recent Labor Department unemployment figures. Since the $787 billion spending measure was approved, 1.2 million Americans have lost their jobs and unemployment has ratcheted up to 8.9 percent the highest its been since 1983. Unemployment is beyond even what President Barack Obamas own economic advisors predicted it would be with no recovery plan and definitely not what Americans were told to expect.


Meanwhile, spending touted as timely, temporary and targeted that was supposed to be flooding the economy is barely trickling out of the federal bureaucracy. Less than $29 billion a mere four percent of the stimulus package has been spent so far. So much for the timely part of the Obama mantra. Lets not forget here that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were so hell-bent to get the bill through Congress that they refused to allow members sufficient time to read the massive 1,079-page spending bill before voting on it. One consequence was that the bill was stuffed with spending that is anything but temporary. So we can all wave goodbye to that part of the mantra.


Obama said on national television not long ago that the stimulus bill had saved or created over 150,000 jobs. But how can that be when joblessness increased a full percentage point after his stimulus package was passed? And theres that uncomfortable fact uncovered by an Associated Press study that found that states hit hardest by the recession are getting the least amount of stimulus spending. There goes the targeted part of the mantra.

The failure of the stimulus bill to boost the economy as promised is further exacerbated by the presidents budget, which explodes the 2010 federal deficit to $1.8 trillion, and the bailouts of two of Detroits Big Three automakers. George Mason economist Tyler Cowen predicted such dismal results when he pointed out that it is very hard to find [historical] examples of successful fiscal stimulus driving an economic recovery. Ever. In other words, the stimulus package was passed without any evidence that it would work. It is becoming increasingly clear that the long-term fiscal strategy of the White House is based on large doses of wishful thinking, concludes Harvard economist and former Bush administration advisor Greg Mankiw. But when you insist on ignoring basic economic principles, wishful thinking is all that's left.

What a complete fraud this is. 


While millions and millions of voters remained mesmerized by the perceived greatness and infallibility of Barack Obama, he and his fellow Democrats rammed through the single most budget-busting legislation in the history of the United States


So where are the benefits?  Isn't a stimulus package supposed to stimulate something?  Wasn't the idea that it would do so immediately - which is why they called it a stimulus package in the first place?


If it is stimulating the economy, how come retail sales have been below expectations for the past two months?  How come 1.3 million jobs were lost in February, March and April?  And how blatantly is the Obama administration lying when it calls this 1.3 million job loss a gain of 150,000 jobs? 


How incredibly stupid does the Obama administration think the people of the United States are?  And - god I hate to ask this - how many people are they right about?  Apparently, the answer is "still plenty". 


In a matter of several months the Obama administration, aided and abetted by a lopsided Democratic majority in congress, has moved to nationalize the financial industry and nationalize the auto industry.  Isn't nationalizing industries what hugo chavez does?  And what have we gained from it besides a government stranglehold on both? 


Are we supposed to bow at his feet and thank him for this?


Not me.  How about you? 


Ken Berwitz

Here is Mona Charen's excellent column about Barack Obama and his brilliant idea of "talking" to Iran while it develops the nuclear weapons to vaporize Israel:

Tick, Tick, Tick
Yet another iteration of the negotiations track that has yielded nothing.

By Mona Charen

Who said Irans development of a nuclear weapon, I believe, is unacceptable and we have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening? It wasnt Benjamin Netanyahu. No, Pres. Barack Obama said that at his first press conference after winning the 2008 election.

The clock is ticking ominously on that front. We feel a sense of urgency, an Israeli spokesman said as Prime Minister Netanyahu prepared for his first meeting with Obama since both were elected. All Israelis feel that sense of urgency because they have watched, frustrated, as the Bush administration signed on to a lengthy series of negotiations with Iran headed by the Europeans. With U.S. approval, the Europeans offered a smorgasbord of incentives for Iran to give up its nuclear program. They were met with meetings and more meetings. Iran agreed to nothing except more meetings in an attempt to run out the clock. Tick. Tick. Tick.


And now a new American administration arrives on the scene convinced, like its predecessor, that negotiations are the way to go except, oddly, President Obama believes that he is departing from past practice. Speaking to Newsweek magazine, he said:

We want to offer Iran an opportunity to align itself with international norms and international rules. I think, ultimately, that will be better for the Iranian people. I think that there is the ability of an Islamic Republic of Iran to maintain its Islamic character while, at the same time, being a member in good standing of the international community and not a threat to its neighbors. And we are going to reach out to them and try to shift off of a pattern over the last 30 years that hasnt produced results in the region.

Shift off a pattern over the last 30 years? But the world has negotiated with Iran offering carrots and sticks continuously over that period. Will the Obama magic somehow accomplish what the Europeans, the United Nations, and five previous presidents of both parties could not?

Among the very first initiatives of the Obama administration was a conciliatory video message to the mullahs on the occasion of Irans Nowruz holiday. The response of the regime has been underwhelming. Even in the face of Obamas goodwill gesture, Iran falsely convicted U.S. citizen Roxana Saberi of espionage (her trial lasted about 40 minutes). She has since been released after staging a hunger strike (and who knows what sort of backroom deal). Work on nuclear weapons continues.

Obama insists that he is not nave about Iran. If it doesnt work, the fact that we have tried will strengthen our position in mobilizing the international community, and Iran will have isolated itself, as opposed to a perception that it seeks to advance that somehow its being victimized by a U.S. government that doesnt respect Irans sovereignty.

When you consider Irans conduct on the world stage, its relentless support of terrorists around the globe, its genocidal threats against Israel and the United States, and its totalitarian repression at home, you might think that a leader with the persuasive gifts of Barack Obama would have no trouble mobilizing the international community. And in fact, Secretary of State Clinton has said, We believe that our outreach and our consultation lay the groundwork for tougher international sanctions.

Yes, but tick, tick, tick. How long do they have to indulge that approach?

Israel is terrified of an Iranian bomb. But she is not alone in the Middle East in this. Sunni Egypt is nervous as well, as is Saudi Arabia. Many observers believe that an Iranian bomb would ignite a nuclear arms race in the region. The Saudis can certainly afford to buy the technology. Even the tiny (but wealthy) United Arab Emirates are investing $7 billion in a missile-defense system. Does the Obama administration want to see the Middle East, hardly known for stability and reliability, bristling with nuclear weapons?

A number of news outlets are reporting that CIA director Leon Panetta visited Israel two weeks ago to deliver a warning: Do not take military action against Irans weapon sites without consulting with us first. Israel desperately needs American friendship now as ever. But the policy of the Obama administration seems to be yet another iteration of the negotiations track that has yielded nothing that in fact has bought time for the mullahs to complete their nuclear ambitions. It may be asking too much. As President Obama himself acknowledged to Newsweek: Theyre right there in range and I dont think its my place to determine for the Israelis what their security needs are.

Simply stated, the Obama administration is demanding that Israel sit on its hands while an enemy, committed to its destruction, is busily creating the means to do just that. 

President Obama didn't say the words, but his tacit message seems to be "hey, it's no skin off of mine".  Well, it's all the skin off of Israel's

 Israel does not have the luxury of hanging around twiddling its thumbs, waiting to see if Mr. Obama is as wrong about this as he has been about the so-called "stimulus" package.  Unlike Iran, or the dozens and dozens of other Islamic countries that want Israel obliterated, the first war Israel loses is the last one it fights. 

Israel has long been one of the USA's most reliable allies, and certainly wants the relationship to continue.  But not at the expense of risking annihilation. 

I guess Mr. Obama will just have to adjust.


Ken Berwitz

In 1962, singer Chubby Checker had a huge hit called "Limbo Rock".  The most famous line of the song was "How low, can you go?"

And now, almost 50 years later, Rush Limbaugh is rocking the hard-leftists at MSNBC by challenging them not to mention his name for a month.  It's The Limbaugh Rock!!

Here are the details from Andy Barr of www.politico.com:

Rush Limbaugh challenges MSNBC: Dont mention me

By ANDY BARR | 5/19/09 6:30 PM EDT 


Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh challenged MSNBC on Tuesday to go 30 days without mentioning his name on television.

Throughout the busy broadcast day, MSNBC cannot go an hour without mentioning me or playing video of me or having me discussed, Limbaugh said. I challenge you, MSNBC! Thirty days without anything mentioning me. No video of me, no guests commenting on me. See if you can do it.

Limbaugh accused the cable network of trying to build its ratings on my back by making him a frequent subject of discussion and portraying him as a leader of the Republican Party.

It seems that the liberalism that is MSNBC isn't selling as well as they would like because they cannot from the Scarborough show in the morning, all the way to night, they cannot go any appreciable length of time without showing video of me, the CPAC speech or excerpts from this radio show or having a bunch of hack guests on to discuss me, he said, according a transcript on his website.

Limbaugh also suggested that the network may not be able to withstand a ratings plunge if mentions of him were pulled from the network

Lets see if you can run your little TV network for 30 days without doing a single story on me, and then let's take a look your ratings during those 30 days and see what happens, he said. Because obviously MSNBC thinks they cannot get numbers without focusing on me.

I just want to see if they can survive on their own.

You've just got to know what's happening here, don't you?

By tossing down this gauntlet, Limbaugh has virtually assured himself of intense (and intensely negative) MSNBC coverage for the next month.  But the more Matthews*** and Schultz and olbermann and Maddow and Schuster attack him, the more he will play it up on his show and the higher his already-#1 ratings will go.

You may or may not like what Rush Limbaugh has to say.  But don't doubt his promotional skills for even one second.

It's The Limbaugh Rock!

 And what do I think of its beat?  I think its got MSNBC beat.  Like a drum.


***When I wrote this blog I inadvertently left Matthews out of the list.  That was pure oversight on my part.  Now he's added in.  Sorry about that.


Ken Berwitz

Yes, I know Meghan McCain is John McCain's daughter.  But until the last two or so months I never heard her name, and now mainstream media cannot get enough of her.  She's everywhere.

Here is the latest, from CNN:

May 19, 2009

Meghan McCain takes aim at GOP, Bristol Palin's abstinence tour

Posted: 09:25 AM ET

From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Meghan McCain said the Republican Party has room for a '24 year-old pro-sex woman.'

(CNN) Meghan McCain again took aim at some leaders of her party Monday night, declaring the GOP is currently being hijacked by those trying "to make it more extreme."

In an interview on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, the outspoken daughter of Arizona Sen. John McCain said the party needs to broaden its message as it struggles to regain power in the halls of Congress and eventually the White House.

"I do believe the Republican Party can be a safe place for the gay community," McCain said in the at-times lighthearted interview. "President Obama said that he was going to repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' and I think me and a lot of other people are still waiting on that and the Democratic Party isn't necessarily a better place for the gay community than the Republican Party is.

McCain's statements come only hours before Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is set to tell party leaders during a speech in Washington that the GOP should focus on conservative principles and that, "The era of apologizing for Republican mistakes of the past is now officially over."

But during the interview with the faux-conservative Colbert, McCain suggested the party's mantra of limited government does not conflict with more socially moderate principles.

"If you go to the basic beliefs of the Republican party of keeping government out of your life, why can't that include marriage?" she said.

McCain also criticized the recent push from Bristol Palin the 17-year-old daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin who gave birth last year to a baby boy to promote abstinence among teenagers, calling it "not realistic for this generation.

"I think we need to have sex education with condoms, birth control and etc, etc.," McCain said. "I think that if the Republican Party says abstinence only is the only way to be then we're going to lose a lot of young voters and I think I wouldn't want to practice anything I didn't preach."

"It can be a party for a 24 year-old pro-sex woman. It can be," McCain also said.

Someone help me out on this:  Give me the set of qualifications Meghan McCain has to speak for Republicans other than that she is a losing candidate's daughter (how often do you hear John Kerry's daughter these days) and -- this is the big one - that she presents herself as a Republican who seemingly cannot find anything but fault with the Republican Party?

That's it.  What else is there?  Has she held office?  Has she been appointed to some major national post?  No and no.

Her sum total is that she is a Republican (or so she says) with a recognizable name, who essentially would like the Republican Party to be a lite version of the Democratic Party.  Beginning, middle, end.

That's what her father was in the last election too.  How'd that work out?

But don't expect Ms. McCain to shut up any time soon.  Not when our wonderful "neutral" media are loving every word she says. 

free` Thank you for saying exactly what i was thinking. (05/19/09)

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