Thursday, 16 July 2009

THE FASCISM OF NANCY PELOSI

Ken Berwitz

Before you criticize me for that title, read this piece by Rep. John Carter (R-Texas):

Pelosi Censors Republicans

by Rep. John Carter (more by this author)

Posted 07/16/2009 ET

 

Monday night Democrats voted to shut down the U.S. House Representatives rather than allow a handful of Republican Congressmen to speak on the floor. What could have been so offensive or frightening about our discourse that Speaker Pelosi felt she had to protect her party by gagging free speech in the House?

In fact, we had planned to speak on the lack of transparency of the House since Democrats took control. We had planned to criticize Speaker Pelosi for repeatedly denying Members, the media, and the public to right to read legislation before it was voted on. We were set to discuss House Majority Leader Steny Hoyers statement last week that if his Members were required to read the Democrats healthcare reform package before it was voted on, it would fail.

So the Speaker obviously feels that if the public is truly aware of her partys agenda, they will reject it. She is now making sure the public is kept in the dark by trampling the centuries-old democratic traditions of the House.

What are those traditions? Every day that the House is in session, following the final vote of the day, representatives are allowed the privilege of free speech on the House floor in what is known as Special Orders. They may speak for one minute, five minutes, or one hour segments, and must request their time in advance. Time is allocated equally to both parties on a first-come basis.

Since the advent of live C-SPAN coverage of the House, this has provided a national televised outlet for both Republicans and Democrats to speak to the nation on topics they feel were not adequately addressed during regular order in the House, during which the Democrat majority has the parliamentary ability to limit debate and speeches.

Special Orders therefore frequently serves as a political safety valve if the party in the majority becomes too dictatorial during debate, using their majority status to truly oppress the minoritys ability to debate and offer amendments.

That is now the case in the House, with the Democrat majority under Pelosi repeatedly rejecting House rules to ram a far-left agenda through before the public has time to learn what is actually in the bills.

This is what we were committed to bring to public light.

House rules require a bill be publicly posted for three days before it can be voted on. That basic rule was written by none other than Thomas Jefferson as part of the original rules package of the House, as it is essential to the survival of representative democracy.

The House can waive that rule if it chooses on specific occasions. The Republican-controlled House chose to waive it when considering the Patriot Act in 2001 following the terror attacks of 9-11. They thought there was enough of a national defense emergency to just bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

But Nancy Pelosi and her House Democrats have chosen to ignore the rule on every major issue taken up by the House this year, including:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - The Obama Stimulus: This one just had to pass that very day because time was a-wastin in getting those new jobs coming. We couldnt wait for Members to read it. But then the President waited four days to sign it into law while he spent the weekend in Chicago, and months later none of the new jobs have come into existence.

The Childrens Health Insurance Program Reauthorization (SCHIP): Speaker Pelosi couldnt wait on this one either, although the deadline for reauthorization was still two months away. 

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Lilly was peddled as covering decades-old wage discrimination cases, but after waiting 20 years, Congress couldnt wait one more day to let Members actually read the thing. The bill is still stuck in the Senate Committee

The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009
: No excuses at all on this one. They just didnt want the details known.

The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009
: This one has been languishing since last October, but we suddenly had to pass it that day.

The AIG Bonus Tax Act: This had to get through right then, dont mind the details, we just had to go after those bonuses. Only when we read what passed after the fact, the bill contained waivers for all of the same executives the bill was supposed to reign in, many with curiously close ties to Treasury Secretary and tax cheat Tim Geithner.

The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009: No rush whatever on this one time-wise, the Democrats just didnt want people talking about the hundreds of billions given to foreign banks that should have gone to our troops.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act/National Cap-and-Trade Energy Tax:
No excuse was offered on this one, the Speaker just didnt want anybody reading Henry Waxmans 300 page amendment he sneaked in overnight before we were forced to vote. Three weeks later, the Senate shows no intention of taking up the bill before the opening day of dove season, if then.

Theres a reason all these bills are listed. The list constitutes every major policy bill undertaken by Congress this year. House Democrats are not just waiving the three-day rule -- they have destroyed it, and are intentionally pushing their agenda to the floor with blindfolds on the media and the public.

This constitutes an astonishing and chilling acceleration of the assault on representative democracy that began in earnest this January.

Representative democracy works when a U.S. Representative listens to the input of their constituents, and votes the way the majority of their district would vote. Only a Representative cant listen if no one has ever seen the bill, or had time to provide input. They have to vote blind, which for too many, is voting the way their leadership tells them.

This is what Republican House Members were going to the floor to say Monday night. We were set to decry the loss of openness in the House.

Instead, we were met with a slammed door by Democrats, who are now committed to burying truth along with democracy.

The Democrats are the majority -- for now. They chose to silence debate on the floor by gagging House Republican Members from using their historical right to speak after the close of the day. But they cannot stop us from speaking outside the halls of Congress and letting the American public know the truth about their ongoing attack against the very foundations of a free Republic.

Still think the title is too strong?  Then tell me why.  I'd love to hear it.


ISRAEL - IRAN UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

From today's Jerusalem Post:

World may back Iran op as part of deal

Jul. 16, 2009
JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

 

A deal taking shape between Israel and Western leaders will facilitate international support for an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities in exchange for concessions in peace negotiations with the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, The Times reported Thursday.

 

According to one British official quoted by the paper, such an understanding could allow an Israeli attack "within the year."

 

The report in the UK paper quoted unnamed diplomats as saying Israel was prepared to offer concessions on the formation of a Palestinian state as well as on its settlement policy and "issues" with Arab neighbors, in exchange for international backing for an Israeli operation in Iran.

 

"Israel has chosen to place the Iranian threat over its settlements," one senior European diplomat said.

 

According to the Times report, the passage of two Sa'ar 5-class Israeli Navy ships through the Suez Canal on Tuesday was a message to Iran and part of preparations being made by Israel for the possibility of a strike.

 

"This is preparation that should be taken seriously. Israel is investing time in preparing itself for the complexity of an attack on Iran. These maneuvers are a message to Iran that Israel will follow up on its threats," an unnamed Israeli defense official was quoted by the paper as saying.

 

"It is not by chance that Israel is drilling long-range maneuvers in a public way. This is not a secret operation. This is something that has been published and which will showcase Israel's abilities," another defense official said.

The passage of the ships comes several weeks after a Dolphin-class submarine passed through the international waterway for the first time.

 

One of the ships, the INS Hanit, already crossed the canal in June, in what an Egyptian source said was the first time a large missile ship used the strategic waterway, which is the fastest route to get Israeli Navy vessels from the Mediterranean, where they are based, to the Red Sea and beyond.

 

The other ship to cross on Tuesday was the INS Eilat.

 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that under a long-standing treaty, warships can freely sail through Suez as long as they have no hostile intentions against the state that owns the canal. He declined to say whether the maneuver was aimed at sending a message, saying, "I don't want to analyze an issue that I am not fully aware of."

 

In the event of a conflict with Iran, and if Israel decided to involve its three Dolphin-class submarines - which according to foreign reports can fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and serve as a second-strike platform - the quickest route would be to sail them through the Suez Canal. Going through the canal would also be the only way to get to the Gulf of Oman without refueling.

Assuming this story is true, (and we don't know for sure of course), how is it supposed to make me, a supporter of Israel, feel?

How nice of the world to allow Israel to protect itself from people who want to annihilate it --- in return for providing concessions to other people who want to annihilate it.

What other country in the world, today or at any other time in history, would ever have been asked to do that?


A STIMULUS PACKAGE THAT WILL REALLY WORK

Ken Berwitz

Want to increase unemployment, disincent business and drive the biggest taxpayers out?  Hey, I've found something that will work for all three. 

From today's New York Post:

DEM HEALTH RX A POI$ON PILL IN NY

TERRIFYING 57% TAX LOOMS FOR BIGGEST EARNERS

 

By CHARLES HURT IN DC and DAVID SEIFMAN AND JENNIFER FERMINO IN NY, Post Wire Services

Last updated: 7:26 am
July 16, 2009
Posted: 2:36 am
July 16, 2009

 

Congressional plans to fund a massive health-care overhaul could have a job-killing effect on New York, creating a tax rate of nearly 60 percent for the state's top earners and possibly pressuring small-business owners to shed workers.

New York's top income bracket could reach as high as 57 percent -- rates not seen in three decades -- to pay for the massive health coverage proposed by House Democrats this week.

OPINION: SLEDGEHAMMER HIT TO CRUMBLING EMPIRE STATE

EDITORIAL: HERE COMES OBAMACARE

OPINION: THESE PLANS WILL REDUCE YOUR CHOICE

The top rate in New York City, home to many of the state's wealthiest people, would be 58.68 percent, the Washington-based Tax Foundation said in a report yesterday.

That means New York's top earners, small-business owners and most dynamic entrepreneurs will be facing new fees and penalties.

The $544 billion tax hike would violate one of President Obama's ironclad campaign promises: No family will pay higher tax rates than they would have paid in the 1990s.

Under the bill, three new tax brackets would be created for high earners, with a top rate of 45 percent for families making more than $1 million. That would be the highest income-tax rate since 1986, when the top rate was 50 percent.

The legislation is especially onerous for business owners, in part because it penalizes employers with a payroll bigger than $400,000 some 8 percent of wages if they don't offer health care.

But the cost of the buy-in to the program may be so prohibitive that it will dissuade owners from growing their businesses -- a scary prospect in the midst of a recession.

Obama took to the airwaves yesterday with ads and TV interviews promoting the need to reform health care.

As a Senate health committee passed a different version of a health-care reform bill - a milestone for the issue - Obama said on NBC, "The American people have to realize that there's no such thing as a free lunch."

And in a Rose Garden speech, he said the "status quo" on health care is "threatening the financial stability of families, of businesses, and of government. It's unsustainable, and it has to change."

Asked if Obama supports the surtax on wealthiest Americans even though it would break a campaign pledge, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said only, "It's a process that we're watching."

Republicans in Washington and small-business defenders in New York said the House legislation would effectively place a stranglehold on businesses while running off top earners.

"Placing a big tax burden on the small-business community would rob them of the resources they need to create the jobs that will lead us out of the recession," said Tom Donohue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce.

"If there's one sure way to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, this is it."

Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist for small stores and businesses in New York City, warned that "in the middle of a recession, it's a very strange way to legislate."

"According to what we've read, the House health-insurance plan would have a job-crippling impact on neighborhood stores and other small businesses because they put mandates on these businesses that would prevent them from hiring people because of the cost of the plan," Lipsky said.

Under the House plan, businesses with payrolls of $400,000 or more would pay an 8 percent penalty for uninsured workers, while companies with payrolls between $250,000 and $400,000 would pay slightly smaller penalties.

Adding to this burden, said Michael Moran of the State Business Council of New York, is that New York is already a high-tax state.

"Any additional taxes make New York even less competitive," he said.

New York would become the third-most-hostile place for top earners to live under the proposed new surtaxes supported by House Democrats and championed by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY).

Also hit would be individuals earning $280,000 annually and families making $350,000 a year.

The profits from small businesses would also be taxed on the back end.

Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, an umbrella organization representing the city's major businesses, said that the estimated top marginal tax rate of 57 percent for New York actually underestimates the potential impact on businesses.

That's because it doesn't include the city's burdensome unincorporated-business tax, which snares many entrepreneurs.

"It could be between 62 and 63 percent," she said.

If the House plan passes, Wylde said, "There literally, at this point, is very strong reason to relocate your family and your business outside New York."

A lot of small businesses would be hit with the penalties for not insuring workers and get hit with the surtaxes, Moran warned.

"Many small businesses file their business taxes under personal income," he said. "That's the way the tax law is written. Small business, which is really where most of the job creation takes place, could be hit hard.

According to the city's Department for Small Business Services, there are some 220,000 small businesses in the five boroughs. The agency does not keep track of how many offer health insurance.

"It's something that's going to kill jobs. That's the result," said Stephanie Cathcart, spokeswoman for the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Among the most egregious provisions of the House proposal, she said, is a requirement that businesses pay the cost of 72.4 percent of individual health plans and 65 percent of family plans.

Those that don't hit the mark would face the payroll tax penalty.

Finally!  A stimulus package that will really accomplish something.

Aren't you thrilled?


USSC JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: QUE SERA SERA

Ken Berwitz

Que sera, sera,

Whatever will be, will be,

The futures not ours to see,

Que sera, sera.

What will be, will be.

 

That refrain, from the wonderful, academy award-winning song (sung by Doris Day, written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston), is in response to questions several friends have raised about what kind of a judge I think Sonia Sotomayor might be.

Here is my opinion (in appreciably more expanded form):

Regardless of what Ms. Sotomayor was or was not as a lower-court judge, and regardless of the comments she has made, her prior actions do not guarantee a thing about what she will do if confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.

Do I fear that she might be an activist instead of someone who enforces the constitution?  Based on her statements (a lot of them - far more than just that one about "a wise Latina woman...etc."), you bet I do.  That is why I am so against her nomination.  But do I know she will perform this way?  I do not. 

Illustratively, last month I put up an analysis of the 96 or so appeals-court cases Ms. Sotomayor ruled on over the years which related to racial discrimination.  Assuming the analysis is correct, Ms. Sotomayor's judicial opinions displayed no discernible prejudice for or against any group. 

Of course she was not a USSC justice when those opinions were rendered.  And as a member of the highest court, with lifetime tenure, that could change radically.

Another angle to think about is that no one knows for sure how Ms. Sotomayor feels about abortion rights.  Frankly, if I were an abortion rights advocate, she would scare the daylights out of me.  She has almost no abortion-related judicial record to evaluate - and she grew up in a traditional Latino Catholic household.  That should be a big fat warning flag to the people at NARAL, Planned Parenthood, etc.

Again, my point in all this is that, whatever we might perceive as the probabilities one way or the other, we do not know what kind of judge Sonia Sotoamayor will be.  If David Souter (whom she would replace) taught us anything, it is that an appointment to the Surpreme Court liberates a justice to be whatever he or she cares to be - even if it is opposite of what he or she used to be.

This means that, whatever has come before, we can at least hope for the best with Sonia Sotomayor.  And who knows, maybe we'll get it.

OK, enough.  Any other questions?


CHEYENNE CHERRY: THE DEFINITION OF DEPRAVITY

Ken Berwitz

"People" like this make me ashamed to be of the same species.

From the Associated Press:

NYC teen admits to leaving kitten in oven to die

Thu Jul 16, 2:29 am ET

NEW YORK A New York City teenager has admitted that she failed to let a kitten out of an oven after a friend put the animal inside and left it to roast to death.

 

After pleading guilty to charges of animal cruelty and attempted burglary on Wednesday, 17-year-old Cheyenne Cherry confronted a row of animal activists outside the courtroom. Cherry stuck out her tongue and told the activists that the kitten named Tiger Lily was "dead."

 

Authorities say Cherry and a 14-year-old friend ransacked a Bronx apartment before putting the cat in the oven, where it cried and scratched before dying.

 

The 14-year-old was charged with aggravated animal cruelty and burglary in the May 6 incident.

Cherry will serve a year in jail under a plea bargain.

I know it can't be done.  But if I could change that one year sentence to one minute in a medium-heat oven I would do it in a heartbeat. 

And, based on her reaction to the animal activists protesting her depravity, what do you think she she has learned?  How do you think she will conduct herself after getting out of jail?  Will she think twice about doing it again? 

Would you want your pet - or for that matter your child - anywhere near her?

Cheyenne Cherry.  Remember that name.  Dollars to donuts you will be reading it again someday.


ANN COULTER ON THE SOTOMAYOR HEARINGS

Ken Berwitz

I don't always agree with Ann Coulter.  Apart from the most obvious reason (i.e. I don't always agree wth her conclusions) Ms. Coulter has a tendency to make outrageously offensive comments and be unnecessarily insulting.

But two things should be said:

1) She's far from the worst out there (e.g. offense and insulting-wise, olbermann leaves her in the dust);

2) Every now and again she nails an issue.

Her latest column is one that nails an issue -- which, in this case, involves Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing and how it stacks up to previous hearings for judicial appointments.  So I'm putting it up in its entirety.  "Judge" for yourself:

DEMS TO GOP NOMINEES: WILL THE DEFENDANT PLEASE RISE?
by Ann Coulter
July 15, 2009

Every time a Democrat senator has talked during the Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor this week, I felt lousy about my country. Not for the usual reasons when a Democrat talks, but because Democrats revel in telling us what a racist country this is.

Interestingly, the Democrats' examples of ethnic prejudice did not include Clarence Thomas, whose nomination hearings began with the Democrats saying, "You may now uncuff the defendant."

Their examples did not include Miguel Estrada, the brilliant Harvard-educated lawyer who was blocked from an appellate court judgeship by Senate Democrats expressly on the grounds that he is a Hispanic -- as stated in Democratic staff memos that became public.

No, they had to go back to Roger Taney -- confirmed in 1836 -- who was allegedly attacked for being a Catholic (and who authored the Dred Scott decision), and Louis Brandeis -- confirmed in 1916 -- allegedly a victim of anti-Semitism.

Indeed, Sen. Patrick Leahy lied about Estrada's nomination, blaming it on Republicans: "He was not given a hearing when the Republicans were in charge. He was given a hearing when the Democrats were in charge."

The Republicans were "in charge" for precisely 14 days between Estrada's nomination on May 9, 2001, and May 24, 2001, when Sen. Jim Jeffords switched parties, giving Democrats control of the Senate. The Democrats then refused to hold a hearing on Estrada's nomination for approximately 480 days, shortly before the 2002 election.

Even after Republicans won back a narrow majority in 2003, Estrada was blocked "by an extraordinary filibuster mounted by Senate Democrats" -- as The New York Times put it.

Memos from the Democratic staff of the Judiciary Committee were later unearthed, revealing that they considered Estrada "especially dangerous" -- as stated in a memo by a Sen. Dick Durbin staffer -- because "he is Latino and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment."

Sandy Berger wasn't available to steal back the memos, so Durbin ordered Capitol Police to seize the documents from Senate computer servers and lock them in a police vault.

Led by Sens. Leahy and Chuck Schumer, Democrats ferociously opposed Estrada, who would have been the first Hispanic to sit on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. They were so determined to keep him off the Supreme Court that Leahy and Schumer introduced legislation at one point to construct a fence around Estrada's house.

In frustration, Estrada finally withdrew his name on Sept. 5, 2003.

At the time, liberal historian David Garrow predicted that if the Democrats blocked Estrada, they would be "handing Bush a campaign issue to use in the Hispanic community."

Alas, today Democrats can't really place Estrada -- James Carville confuses him with that other Hispanic, Alberto Gonzales. On MSNBC they laugh about his obscurity, asking if he was the cop on "CHiPs." They also can't recall the name "Anita Hill." Nor can anyone remember African-American Janice Rogers Brown or what the Democrats did to her.

Only the indignities suffered by Justices Taney and Brandeis still burn in liberal hearts!

So when Republicans treat Sotomayor with respect and Sen. Lindsey Graham says his "hope" is that "if we ever get a conservative president and they nominate someone who has an equal passion on the other side, that we will not forget this moment," I think it's a lovely speech.

It might even persuade me if I were born yesterday.

But Democrats treat judicial nominations like war -- while Republicans keep being gracious, hoping Democrats will learn by example.

Sen. Teddy Kennedy accused Reagan nominee Robert Bork of trying to murder women, segregate blacks, institute a police state and censor speech -- everything short of driving a woman into a lake! -- within an hour of Reagan's announcing Bork's nomination.

To defend "the right to privacy," liberals investigated Bork's video rentals. (Alfred Hitchcock, the Marx Brothers' movies and "Ruthless People" -- the last one supposedly a primer for dealing with the Democrats.)

Liberals unleashed scorned woman Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas in the 11th hour of his hearings to accuse him of sexual harassment -- charges that were believed by no one who knew both Thomas and Hill, or by the vast majority of Americans watching the hearings.

But when the tables were turned and Bill Clinton nominated left-wing extremist/ACLU lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republicans lavished her with praise and voted overwhelmingly to confirm her, in a 96-to-3 vote. (Poor Ruth. If Sotomayor is confirmed, Ginsburg will no longer be known as "the hot one in the robe.")

The next Clinton nominee, Stephen Breyer, was also treated gallantly -- no video rental records or perjurious testimony was adduced against him -- and confirmed in an 87-to-9 vote.

As Mrs. Sam Alito can attest, the magnanimity was not returned to Bush's Supreme Court nominees. She was driven from the hearings in tears by the Democrats' vicious attacks on her husband's character. The great "uniter" Barack Obama voted against both nominees.

Even Justice Ginsburg recently remarked to The New York Times that her and Justice Breyer's hearings were "unusual" in how "civil" they were.

Hmmm, why might that be?

To the extent that the Sotomayor hearings have been less than civil, it is, again, liberals who have made it so, launching personal attacks against the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions, and even the fireman whose complaint started the Ricci case.

But it was a nice speech.


ANOTHER ANGLE ON THE PHILADELPHIA SWIM CLUB STORY

Ken Berwitz

Several days ago I blogged about a Philadelphia area swim club which struck a deal with a day camp.  In return for about $2,000, the children would be able to use its facilities one day a week throughout the summer. 

But when the campers showed up - 65 Black children - the club suddenly decided to scrap the deal.  It handed back the money and told the camp to go somewhere else.  There were also claims that the children heard some of the members make racial comments about them.  And the club's President made an astoundingly obtuse and/or insensitive remark about them changing the club's "complexion...".  

In its defense, the swim club claimed that it had at least some minority members and that it knew the "complexion" of the day campers when it struck the deal.  These factors, assuming they are true, were supposed to convince us that race played no part in the cancellation.  Speaking for myself, it didn't work.

But now we have Steve Gilbert of www.sweetness-light.com, one of the blogosphere's most talented ferrets (that is a compliment, I assure you), coming up with this:

Philly Pool Kids Booter Is Obama Fan

You may by now have heard the heart-breaking story of how 60 kids were turned away from a Philadelphia swimming pool because they were black.

If not, here are the details from the Philadelphia TV affiliate NBC 10:

Pool Boots Kids Who Might "Change the Complexion"

By  KAREN ARAIZA

Wed, Jul 8, 2009

Dymire Baylor says he overheard a woman ask, "What are all these black kids doing?" when he and his freinds showed up.

More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason.

Kids at Creative Steps Day Camp were thrilled to go swimming once a week at the Valley Swim Club. But after only one trip to the private club, they were

"I heard this lady, she was like, Uh, what are all these black kids doing here? Shes like, Im scared they might do something to my child," said camper Dymire Baylor.

The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers first visit to the pool suggested otherwise.

"When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool," Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. "The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately."

The next day the club told the camp director that the camps membership was being suspended and their money would be refunded.

"I said, The parents dont want the refund. They want a place for their children to swim," camp director Aetha Wright said.

Campers remain unsure why theyre no longer welcome.

"They just kicked us out. And we were about to go. Had our swim things and everything," said camper Simer Burwell.

The explanation they got was either dishearteningly honest or poorly worded.

"There was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion and the atmosphere of the club," John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club said in a statement.

While the parents await an apology, the camp is scrambling to find a new place for the kids to beat the summer heat.

What has not be so far reported is that the heavy in this story, Mr. Duesler (actually Dr. John G. Duesler, Jr) is apparently a big Obama fan (NOTE:  IF YOU CAN'T SEE THE VISUAL BELOW, JUST CLICK IN THE SPACE):

(Click to enlarge.)

And there are more Mr. Duesler links to the Obama bandwagon here and here.

Which, we think, puts a slightly different (ahem) complexion on this story.

Is Steve right?  Does what he found out put a different (ahem) complexion on this story?

In my opinion, no. 

John Duesler's involvement in the activities detailed above does not have anything to do with his actions at the swim club. 

-The fact that Dr. Duesler utilized Barack Obama's name (and cachet) in the blood drive doesn't even mean he supports the man.  It might only mean that he used Mr. Obama's popularity to generate more participation;

-Further, even if  Duesler is a big Obama fan, how does that project to his decision about the day camp?  Barack Obama is in Washington DC, not Philadelphia.  Mr. Obama is not bringing 65 Black children to John Duesler's swim club, and Mr. Duesler isn't expected to deal with the complaints - and racial attitudes - of swim club members because of Barack Obama.

So, while I usually find myself in agreement with Steve Gilbert's conclusions, we'll have to part company on this one.


PETA: WHY IT IS SO HARD TO TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY

Ken Berwitz

How can you take PETA seriously when it appears to value animal life over human life?

From the AP, via today's New York Daily News:

Che Guevara's granddaughter to appear in PETA campaign

Friday, June 19th 2009, 4:00 AM

The granddaughter of Cuban revolutionary leader Ernesto "Che" Guevara is at the forefront of another revolution - for vegetarianism.

Lydia Guevara poses semi-nude in a PETA campaign that tells viewers to "join the vegetarian revolution," said PETA spokesman Michael McGraw.

The print campaign is expected to debut in October in magazines and posters, McGraw said. It will be launched first in Argentina, where Che Guevara was born, and then internationally. PETA approached the 24-year-old in recent months after finding out she was a vegetarian, McGraw said.

In the ad, Lydia Guevara wears camouflage pants, a red beret, and bandoliers of baby carrots while standing with one fist on her hip and the other outstretched.

"It very much evokes the tag line of the ad, which is 'Join the vegetarian revolution,"' McGraw said. "It's an homage of sorts to her late grandfather."

Che Guevara was a Marxist leader who played a pivotal role in Fidel Castro's rise to power in Cuba. He was executed in Bolivia in 1967.

The ad is PETA's first campaign promoting vegetarianism in South America.

"We say the best way to save animals is not to eat them," McGraw said.

He said others who have promoted vegetarianism for PETA include Paul McCartney, Forest Whittaker and Alicia Silverstone.

PETA uses the granddaughter of a terrorist mass murderer to make a joke out of what he did, by dressing her up in an ersatz guerilla outfit and referring to the vegetarian "revolution".  This is supposed to attract people to their organization?

Personally, I respect vegetarians and, at least to some extent, am in the process of joining them (I have not eaten meat from a cow, pig or sheep in over 15 years). 

But PETA?  Based on this ad, they are either human-haters, idiots or both.  Why would I ever join them?

Ken Berwitz Zeke - I think they had to take the Pamela Anderson billboard down, because Ms. Anderson's chest, which was at about the second floor level, stuck out so far that it was just a few inches from the office windows across the street. And every time the weather got cold they wound up being punctured and had to be replaced. (07/17/09)

Zeke PETA has run a good number of ads featuring nearly nude pictures of B-level stars... I recall a 3 story high Pamela Anderson billboard on the facade of the Russian Tea Room, during the renovations, maybe 5 years ago.... Just another day in the attention-grabbing media blitz. ..... PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals (07/17/09)


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

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

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