Friday, 05 June 2009


Ken Berwitz

I am getting up to here with media that attack Sonia Sotomayor's critics and claim that calling her a racist or sexist is "smearing" her (USA Today is the latest offender of note, but it is far, far from the only one).

Damn it, Sonia Sotomayor IS a racist.  She IS a sexist.  This is based on what she herself has said in so many words, not in any extrapolation or projection of her comments.

Here, from Seth Stern of Congressional Quarterly, is the latest demonstration of this truth:

Sotomayor Repeatedly Referenced 'Wise Woman' in Speeches


Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor delivered multiple speeches between 1994 and 2003 in which she suggested "a wise Latina woman" or "wise woman" judge might "reach a better conclusion" than a male judge.

Those speeches, released Thursday as part of Sotomayor's responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee's questionnaire, (to see Sotomayor's responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee click here and here) suggest her widely quoted 2001 speech in which she indicated a "wise Latina" judge might make a better decision was far from a single isolated instance.

A draft version of a October 2003 speech Sotomayor delivered at Seton Hall University stated, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion." That is identical to her October 2001 remarks at the University of California, Berkeley that have become the subject of intense criticism by Republican senators and prompted conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh to label her "racist."

In addition, Sotomayor delivered a series of earlier speeches in which she said "a wise woman" would reach a better decision. She delivered the first of those speeches in Puerto Rico in 1994 and then before the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York in April 1999.

The summary descriptions of speeches Sotomayor provided indicated she delivered remarks similar to the 1994 speech on three other occasions in 1999 and 2000 during two addresses at Yale and one at the City University of New York School of Law.

Her repeated use of the phrases "wise Latina woman" and "wise woman" would appear to undermine the Obama administration's assertions that the statement was simply a poor choice of words. After details of the 1994 speech circulated before the questionnaire's release, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, emerged from his private meeting with Sotomayor and expressed new concerns about the nominee's "identity politics."

Every day, two things seem to happen:  We find more examples of Sotomayor's overt racism and sexism, and we find more idiots who are perfectly willing to angrily defend her racism and sexism.

Earlier, I mentioned USA Today.  Here is the first paragraph of today's opinion piece which defends Sotomayor against the indefensible:

Smears on Sotomayor

In a nation still wrestling with its long history of prejudice, calling someone a "racist" is one of the most incendiary things you can say. So it has been dismaying to hear prominent conservatives throw the word around so carelessly in their campaign to discredit Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Don't you just love that? 

USA Today claims the term "racist" is being thrown around carelessly.  But go to and read the entire piece -- I dare you to find any mention of HER ACTUAL WORDS.  In other words, forget what Ms. Sotomayor has said for decades (the CQ article goes back to 1994, but you can find examples all the way back to her doctoral thesis).  Just accept USA Today's conclusion regardless of facts. 

And please note that, going along with a great many other media venues (NBC most conspicuous among them), USA Today makes sure to invoke the dreaded "conservatives" demonization, as if conservatives were the only people troubled by Sotomayor's rich history of defining herself and others by race and gender.  Then, after singling out and discrediting conservatives this way, it has the gall to complain that she is the one being discredited -- in the same sentence!

If you ever wondered what is wrong with media today, if you ever wondered why the public's trust in media has fallen so low, you don't have to go any further than this sorry spectacle to see the light. 


Ken Berwitz

This news story, which I got from CBS New York, qualifies as an installment of both the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" and the "Darwin Award Finalist" categories.  "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" won by a nose (speaking of body parts you wouldn't want to use near the car in the story):

Jun 5, 2009 11:10 am US/Eastern

NY Car Ticketed Repeatedly With Dead Body Inside

NYC Woman Believes Her Father Lay Dead Inside His Car For Weeks While Police Wrote Tickets Over And Over


A New York City woman says her father apparently lay dead for weeks in a minivan while police repeatedly left parking tickets on the vehicle.

Jennifer Morales of Manhattan says it's believed her father, George Morales, died of a heart attack.

Morales said she had last heard from her dad in early May. Morales said she had contacted police; but police say they have no report on record.

A city marshal found the body of George Morales on Wednesday while trying to tow the minivan from beneath the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway overpass. Parking tickets and dust covered the vehicle.

The BQE runs from southern Brooklyn to the Grand Central Parkway in Queens.

The most damning part of this story is that the odor coming from that minivan, even after several weeks of mostly warm temperature, was not unusual enough to arouse anyone's suspicions. If you ever drive the BQE (as we often do) this probably will not be a surprise to you.....



Ken Berwitz

A little reality check from Steve Gilbert of 

AP: Jobless Rate Slows (Hits Record)

From the ever dependable Ms. Aversa at the Associated Press:

Unemployment rate. (Chart from the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics, not the Associated Press.)

Jobless rate hits 9.4 percent in May; layoffs slow

By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON With companies in no mood to hire, the unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in May, the highest in more than 25 years. But the pace of layoffs eased, with employers cutting 345,000 jobs, the fewest since September.


WASHINGTON With companies in no mood to hire, the unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in May, the highest in more than 25 years. But the pace of layoffs eased, with employers cutting 345,000 jobs, the fewest since September.

The much smaller-than-expected reduction in payroll jobs, reported by the Labor Department on Friday, adds to evidence that the recession is loosening its hold on the country. It marked the fourth straight month that the pace of layoffs slowed.

"This tide is turning," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus. "We expect this trend of slower job loss to continue throughout the year."

If laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time work are included, the unemployment rate would have been 16.4 percent in May, the highest on records dating to 1994.

Even with layoffs slowing, companies will be reluctant to hire until they feel certain that economic conditions are improving and that any recovery will last.

Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost a net total of 6 million jobs

Education, health care, leisure and hospitality were among the industries adding jobs in May

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke repeated his prediction this week that the recession will end this year, but again warned that any recovery will be gradual.

Many economists believe the jobless rate will hit 10 percent by the end of this year. Some think it could rise as high as 10.7 percent by the second quarter of next year before it starts to make a slow descent. The post-World War II high was 10.8 percent at the end of 1982.

Fridays report "supports the notion that the recession will end this year," Yamarone said. But pain will linger and the jobless rate will move higher. He predicts it will peak at 10.2 percent early next year.

The Fed says unemployment will remain elevated into 2011 given the expectation of tepid recovery. Economists say the job market may not get back to normal meaning a 5 percent unemployment rate until 2013. Economic recoveries after financial crises tend to be slower, economists say.

Evidence has been mounting that the recession is letting up, with fresh signs emerging earlier this week.

The number of people continuing to draw unemployment benefits dipped for the first time in 20 weeks, and first-time claims also fell. Manufacturings slide is slowing. Builders are boosting spending on construction projects and a barometer of home sales firmed

Once again, now that Mr. Obama is President, every effort is made to spin this as good news.

Meanwhile, the bad news is buried in the article:

If laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time work are included, the unemployment rate would have been 16.4 percent in May, the highest on records dating to 1994.

And this:

Economists say the job market may not get back to normal meaning a 5 percent unemployment rate until 2013. Economic recoveries after financial crises tend to be slower, economists say.

Are their economic recoveries after non-financial crises?

Anyway, lest we forget, unemployment during the Bush administration was never anywhere near this bad:(if you have trouble seeing the chart, just click here):

Unemployment rate. (Click to enlarge)

This chart, like the one at the top, is from the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics.

You wont be seeing these anywhere in our watchdog media.

Is Steve right about our wonderful "neutral" media mostly looking away and not reporting this? 

Well, did you see it in the media?  There's your answer, right there.


Ken Berwitz

Is Dick Cheney more popular than Nancy Pelosi?

That is question you wouldn't have seen just a few months ago.  But that was then and this is now. 

If you believe the Gallup poll, not only do Dick Cheney and Nancy Pelosi have virtually the same approval ratings, but Cheney is a few points ahead in favorability. 

Here are the particulars, via an excerpt from Gallup's article:

Cheney and Pelosi Have Poor Ratings in Common

Pelosis ratings down, while Cheneys improved from record low

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ -- Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Dick Cheney have little in common politically, but they receive almost identical image ratings from the American public. According to a May 29-31 Gallup Poll, 37% of Americans have a favorable view of Cheney and 34% have a favorable view of Pelosi. Both Cheney and Pelosi are viewed unfavorably by at least half of AmericansThe similarity between Cheney's and Pelosi's ratings is notable given that the two have emerged as the leading voices on either side of this year's debate over whether the government's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" against terrorist suspects constitutes torture.

Cheney came out of his brief vice presidential retirement in March to publicly defend the Bush administration's support of CIA interrogation policies, and on May 21 went head-to-head with President Barack Obama on the issue in separate national security speeches. Pelosi has condemned "waterboarding" and earlier this year supported a call to investigate Bush administration officials who authorized it; however, she recently fell into a public battle with the CIA over whether she was previously briefed on the agency's use of the coercive technique.

When you take into account the fact that our wonderful "neutral" media have relentlessly presented Cheney as Darth Vader's evil brother, while largely giving a free pass to Pelosi, even for her obvious lies regarding what she knew about waterboarding, and her despicable "cover-my-butt" attack on the CIA, those numbers are truly remarkable.

Maybe people are finally catching on.  If so, it's about time.


Ken Berwitz

Are you still one of those people who thinks that Global Warming is an undisputed fact of life, and no serious scientists doubt it? 

If so, please read this blog by John Hinderaker at, and allow yourself to consider a major-league rethink:

Power Line Blog: John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, Paul Mirengoff

Climate Change Reconsidered

June 5, 2009 Posted by John at 9:43 AM

An important event in the global warming debate occurred this week, with the release of Climate Change Reconsidered, an 880-page book produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. Climate Change Reconsidered is authored by Dr. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso, with 35 additional contributors. The purpose of the book is to "present an authoritative and detailed rebuttal of the findings of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on which the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress rely for their regulatory proposals." You can download it in its entirety at the linked site.

At the highest level, these are the conclusions of Climate Change Reconsidered:

The scholarship in this book demonstrates overwhelming scientific support for the position that the warming of the twentieth century was moderate and not unprecedented, that its impact on human health and wildlife was positive, and that carbon dioxide probably is not the driving factor behind climate change.

The authors cite thousands of peer-reviewed research papers and books that were ignored by the IPCC, plus additional scientific research that became available after the IPCC's self-imposed deadline of May 2006.

The book is replete with detailed statistical data and arguments of the sort that global warming alarmists refuse to engage in. It contains far too much data to summarize, but here are the "key findings" in Chapter 3, titled "Observations: Temperature Records."

* The IPCC claims to find evidence in temperature records that the warming of the twentieth century was "unprecedented" and more rapid than during any previous period in the past 1,300 years. But the evidence it cites, including the "hockey-stick" representation of earth's temperature record by Mann et al., has been discredited and contradicted by many independent scholars.

* A corrected temperature record shows temperatures around the world were warmer during the Medieval Warm Period of approximately 1,000 years ago than they are today, and have averaged 2-3F warmer than today's temperatures over the past 10,000 years.

* Evidence of a global Medieval Warm Period is extensive and irrefutable. Scientists working with a variety of independent methodologies have found it in proxy records from Africa, Antarctica, the Arctic, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

* The IPCC cites as evidence of modern global warming data from surface-based recording stations yielding a 1905-2005 temperature increase of 0.74C +/- 0.18C. But this temperature record is known to be positively biased by insufficient corrections for the non-greenhouse-gas-induced urban heat island (UHI) effect. It may be impossible to make proper corrections for this deficiency, as the UHI of even small towns dwarfs any concomitant augmented greenhouse effect that may be present.

* Highly accurate satellite data, adjusted for orbit drift and other factors, show a much more modest warming trend in the last two decades of the twentieth century and a dramatic decline in the warming trend in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

* The "fingerprint" or pattern of warming observed in the twentieth century differs from the pattern predicted by global climate models designed to simulate CO2-induced global warming. Evidence reported by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) is unequivocal: All greenhouse models show an increasing warming trend with altitude in the tropics, peaking around 10 km at roughly twice the surface value. However, the temperature data from balloons give the opposite result: no increasing warming, but rather a slight cooling with altitude.

* Temperature records in Greenland and other Arctic areas reveal that temperatures reached a maximum around 1930 and have decreased in recent decades. Longer-term studies depict oscillatory cooling since the Climatic Optimum of the mid-Holocene (~9000-5000 years BP), when it was perhaps 2.5 C warmer than it is now.

* The average temperature history of Antarctica provides no evidence of twentieth century warming. While the Antarctic peninsula shows recent warming, several research teams have documented a cooling trend for the interior of the continent since the 1970s.

If you want to inform yourself about the global warming debate, there is no better place to begin.

Still sure about that?  Boy, I hope not..


Ken Berwitz

Here, via Charles Johnson's, is what the Washington Post's great columnist, Charles Krauthammer, has to say about President Obama's comments regarding Palestinian Arabs and Israel:

Krauthammer: Obama's Settlements Canard

Opinion | Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 10:06:35 am PDT

Charles Krauthammers column today is about Barack Obamas speech to the Muslim world, and his call for Israel to cease settlement growth: Barack Obamas Israeli Settlements Canard.

This first paragraph is the truly important point, and its the reality that most diplomats and politicians are constitutionally unable to acknowledge:

In the 16 years since the Oslo accords turned the West Bank and Gaza over to the Palestinians, their leaders built no roads, no courthouses, no hospitals, none of the fundamental state institutions that would relieve their peoples suffering. Instead they poured everything into an infrastructure of war and terror, all the while depositing billions (from gullible Western donors) into their Swiss bank accounts.

Obama says he came to Cairo to tell the truth. But he uttered not a word of that. Instead, among all the bromides and lofty sentiments, he issued but one concrete declaration of new American policy: The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements, thus reinforcing the myth that Palestinian misery and statelessness are the fault of Israel and the settlements.

Blaming Israel and picking a fight over natural growth may curry favor with the Muslim street. But it will only induce the Arab states to do like Abbas: sit and wait for America to deliver Israel on a platter. Which makes the Obama strategy not just dishonorable but self-defeating.

My only difference with Krauthammer is that these myths are not unique to Barack Obama; the Bush administration said the same things about settlements, and so has every US president for the past 20 years.

Its a phenomenon that psychologists call displacement the real problem (Arab rejection of Israels right to exist) is so difficult and unworkable that blame is displaced to an easier target (the settlements).

But the fact is that even if the settlements were to vanish completely, the underlying problem of rejectionism would remain. There can never be any real progress toward peace until the US and the world overcomes this obsessive denial of reality.


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