Monday, 10 August 2009

"UN-AMERICAN": THE NEW MEANING

Ken Berwitz

Do  you consider it un-American that people are scared and/or furious over the health care proposals advanced by Barack Obama and his lopsidedly Democratic congress?

Do you consider it un-American that, instead of sitting back and letting it happen, they are voicing their fears and their fury at town hall meetings around the country?

Well speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi and majority leader Steny Hoyer think this is un-American.  And they say so, in a guest commentary which I have excerpted from this morning's USA Today:

Already, three House committees have passed this critical legislation and over August, the two of us will work closely with those three committees to produce one strong piece of legislation that the House will approve in September.

In the meantime, as members of Congress spend time at home during August, they are talking with their constituents about reform. The dialogue between elected representatives and constituents is at the heart of our democracy and plays an integral role in assuring that the legislation we write reflects the genuine needs and concerns of the people we represent.

However, it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue. These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted "Just say no!" drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion.

Let the facts be heard

These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.

Translation:  One "hanging in effigy" and one protest sign are being used to claim that countless people all over the country who are against Obamacare and demand that their voices be heard, are "drowning out opposing views" and  "un-American". 

Of course union thugs beating up people who were against Obamacare in St. Louis, and union thugs physically removing Obamacare critics from a town hall meeting in Florida, then shutting the door in their faces, went unmentioned in the Pelosi/Hoyer commentary.  I guess that is their idea of the American way.

The one tiny bright spot here is that Pelosi and Hoyer didn't invoke racism as the reason, which a great many of their kindred pals in media have done. (Keith olbermann had a particularly scurrilous segment making this claim, which I blogged about, and debunked, several days ago).  Of course it is possible that they wanted to, but just couldn't fit it within the number of words they were allotted.  I wouldn't put it past either of them.

How dare people voice dissent about health care.  This is President Obama, isn't it?  God has spoken.  Disagree and be damned, you heretics.  Anyone have a stake, some gasoline and a lighter handy? 

I have a question for Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Hoyer and the folks at USA Today:  For decades - literally decades - virtually any conservative booked to speak at a major college campus has been the subject of organized protests over the booking itself and, if that didn't work, organized shout-downs when he/she tried to speak.  Many have been prevented from being able to speak at all, and a good number have been physically attacked on campus.

Now, where the HELL were Pelosi, and Hoyer, and USA Today during these years? 

Most of the people at the town hall meetings are trying to get answers, and voices rise when the congressperson they're trying to get those answers from either ducks and dodges the questions or lies to their faces.  Want to compare that to the college shout-downs?

And isn't this the same Nancy Pelosi who explained why Republicans did not get to write even one word of the so-called "stimulus package" by smirking and saying "we won"?  Is that un-American, Ms. Pelosi?  Mr. Hoyer?  The editors of USA Today?

What hypocrites.  What liars.  What frauds.  And we have at least 1 1/2 more years before we can do anything about it.

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.


POLITICAL ORGANIZING THAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA CHOOSE NEVER TO SEE

Ken Berwitz

This one is from our friend, Steve Gilbert, at www.sweetness-light.com.  I urge you to read it through (the bold print is his, not mine).  And please pay special attention to the last three lines, which make two hugely important points, and come to the conclusion that has caused so many of us to go straight past mainstream media if we want to find out the real story:

Astroturf For Healthcare $10-$15 Hr!

August 9th, 2009

From one of the dozens of current ads on Craigslist:

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Date: 2009-07-27

Now is our chance to make health care work.

Americas health care system is broken. Health care costs are spiraling out of control, throwing families, businesses and government into financial crisis. Families are worried their health coverage wont be there when they need it. Our country cant afford to wait for health reform that keeps costs down and protects consumers.

We cant wait for affordable, dependable health care.

Were fighting for health care that will protect families financial health, lay out a clear path for all Americans to afford health care, and improve patient safety and quality care.

You can work for change this summer.

Join motivated staff around the country working to make change happen. You can make great friends and money along the way. Earn $4000-$6000 this summer.

To apply for a job, visit our websitewww.JobsThatMatter.orgor call Chris at [213-251-8630.]

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Isnt it odd how easy it is to find these organizations on the other side?

And yet after all of these years we have heard so little about them.

Its almost as if we dont have a watchdog media.

What great investigating technique did Steve use to find this?  What brilliant strategy did he use, that mainstream media were unaware of and could learn from him?

The answer is none and none. 

Steve did nothing but log onto the internet and look at craigslist - as any member of the mainstream media could at any time.  He then REPORTED what he saw there, instead of ignoring it on behalf of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

It is to our media's eternal disgrace that they work so hard to prevent both sides of the story from seeing the light of day.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


A "HOW MANY THINGS CAN YOU FIND" PUZZLE

Ken Berwitz

Remember those puzzles when you were a kid, where you had to look at a hand-drawn picture and find things within it.  Like three frogs, two chickens a telephone, a man with a beard, etc.?

Well here are the first three paragraphs of an Associated Press article about Honduras.  Let's play the same kind of game, only this time we'll try to see how many things are wrong with what was written:

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) -- Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military coup after betraying his own kind: a small clique of families that dominates the economy. Now those same families stand as the greatest obstacle to the U.S.-backed drive to return him to power.

Elites across Latin America are watching the standoff closely, as they plot their own strategies to combat democratically elected presidents such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez who have demonized the wealthy as they push for a more even distribution of income.

Washington has shunned the interim government so as not to legitimize it, while lobbying Honduras' business leaders in an effort to resolve the crisis. It's an acknowledgment of the tremendous sway those elites hold on the country.

Ok, let's play:

-zelaya was ousted in a military coup?  Nope.  He was removed from office by the Honduran supreme court, its highest legal authority.  The military involvement was physically implementing that legal ruling.  The military didn't take over the country - in fact, the interim President is from zelaya's own party.  So this is a complete lie...er, honest mistake.

-zelaya was removed because he betrayed a bunch of fatcats?  Nope.  He was removed because he illegally tried to run a referendum that would keep him in office.  Whoops.  Another one.

-The chavez problem is that he's trying to even out income?  Uh uh.  The chavez problem is that he has nationalized entire industries and is in the process of shutting down all opposition, both political and media, so that there is one voice in the country - his.  That's three.

-Washington is not simply shunning the interim government, it is demanding that the would-be dictator zelaya be reinstated.  That's right, the guy Honduras' supreme court legally removed from office.  We're at four now. 

-And the fact that Honduras' interim government is legitimate whether or not the Obama administration likes it - because the interim government exists 100% within its legal system?  That's five.

Wow.  Five hot steamy loads of what a bull produces after lunch, in just the first three paragraphs.  Finding BS in this piece is easier than finding those frogs and chickens.

Then they wonder why more and more people seek out non-traditional sources of information.........


THE ORPHANED PLANES

Ken Berwitz

"Victory has 100 fathers, defeat is an orphan":  John F. Kennedy***

I've always loved that quote, though  - as you will see at the bottom of this blog - its actual source is not JFK, to say the least.  Here, excerpted from an article in today's Wall Street Journal, is an excellent example of what it means.  Please pay special attention to the part I've put in bold print:

August 10, 2009-08-10

Opposition Emerges to House's Jet Spree

By BRODY MULLINS and T.W. FARNAM

WASHINGTON -- Bipartisan opposition is emerging in the Senate to a plan by House lawmakers to spend $550 million for additional passenger jets for senior government officials.

 

The resistance to buying eight Gulfstream and Boeing planes comes as members of both chambers of Congress embark on the busiest month of the year for official overseas travel. The plan to upgrade the fleet of government jets, which was included in a broader defense-funding bill, has also sparked criticism from the Pentagon, which has said it doesn't need half of the new jets.

 

"The whole thing kind of makes me sick to my stomach," said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) in an interview Sunday. "It is evidence that some of the cynicism about Washington is well placed -- that people get out of touch and they spend money like it's Monopoly money."

 

Several other senators said they share the concerns and will work to oppose the funding for the jets when the legislation is taken up by the Senate in September, including Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.,) Jack Reed (D., R.I.), Richard Burr (R., N.C.), Christopher Bond (R., Mo.) and John Thune (R., S.D.).

 

The funding for new planes is "a classic example of Congress being out of touch with the realities of deficit spending," said Mr. Thune.

 

The Obama administration had sought $220 million to buy four passenger jets, including two that are currently being leased by the Air Force, to replace a fleet of older planes. Before leaving town for the August break, House lawmakers doubled the aircraft order to eight, at a total cost of $550 million.

 

Barack Obama is so fond of going on television and pontificating to us, that I'm sure he won't mind explaining why, in the midst of a recession and after putting us an estimated 1.5- 2 trillion dollars in debt this year alone, his administration would be doing this.  Maybe Mr. Obama could tell us which members of his administration were pushing the purchase of these planes. 

And maybe our wonderful "neutral" media might tell us which specific house members were involved.

But the truth is, finding that information out would be a very pleasant surprise to me because I have little expectation that it will ever see the light of day.

Illustratively, 3 months ago 76 senators signed a letter to President Obama supporting Israel and beseeching him to take into account the risks Israel would be taking in any peace agreement.  For weeks I blogged that none of our media put up the names of the signees, therefore advising us of which 23 senators (there were 99 in office at the time) did not sign that letter.  To this day I still have never seen the list and, believe me, I've looked.

So if our media won't tell us that, why would I expect them to tell us who was advocating for over a half billion dollars in new junket-planes?

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

***While this quote was widely attributed to JFK, he actually expropriated it from, of all people, Benito Mussolini's foreign minister (and his son-in-law), Count Galeazzo Ciano.  According to a dialogue I read  at NPR's web site, Ciano wrote in his diary that "victory finds a hundred fathers but defeat is an orphan."


THE 'NEUTRALITY' OF MSNBC'S "MORNING MEETING"

Ken Berwitz

i just watched a short portion of video from an MSNBC show called "Morning Meeting", in which health care was discussed.

The male host, someone named Dylan Ratigan, started a fact-checking segment by referred to....."the most intense sort of rumor mongering, uh, one being from representative Boner, that....". 

Let's stop there.  Rep. John Boehner's name is pronounced "BAY-ner".  Either Ratigan doesn't even know the name of the house minority leader, or he is intentionally mispronouncing it to equate Mr. Boehner's name to a mistake, or a colloquialism for a penis. 

But, then again, what's the difference how he pronounced the name since Ratigan already had categorized Rep. "Boner" as passing along "intense rumor mongering".  

Does this give you any confidence that he is capable of neutrality?

Then there was the show's three-person panel, which presumably was there to give a full spectrum of opinion on the health care issue.  It was comprised of:

-A writer for www.politico.com, a mainstream but Democratic leaning web site,

-a Democratic strategist,

-and an editorial writer for the Democratic-supporting Washington Post - one who won the "Pulitzer Price" according to MSNBC's split-screen information (I wonder how much Pulitzer's cost these days).

How can anyone watch this show and expect to be informed?  Beats me.

But, then again, it's MSNBC.  So I doubt that anyone actually does.

Zeke Can't wait for the report on Jamie S. Gore Lick. ... (Clinton Deputy Attorney General who drafted the "CIA & FBI can't speak to each other" law.) (08/10/09)


THE HUMAN BODY (MEN VS. WOMEN)

Ken Berwitz

From my business partner.  It will give you something to, er, think about.

The Human Body  

    

-It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
-One human hair can support 3 kg (6.6 lbs).
-The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb.  
-Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.
-A womans heart beats faster than a man's.
-There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
-Women blink twice as often as men.  
-The average person's skin weighs twice as much as the brain.
-Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.
-If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.
-Women reading this will be finished now.

-Men are still busy checking their thumbs.


GUEST EDITORIAL: WASHINGTON TIMES ON SQUASHING HEALTH CARE DISSENT

Ken Berwitz

Here, without further comment, is the Washington Times' bone-chilling editorial about what union thugs, and their masters in the home office, are doing to prevent health care dissent:

EDITORIAL: Look for the union label

The 'persuasion of power' is employed to squash dissent

By | Monday, August 10, 2009

Politics is getting increasingly violent as Democrats desperately try to salvage their health bill.

Rep. Brian Baird, Washington Democrat, said last week that public protest against the government health care plan "is close to Brown Shirt tactics." For Mr. Baird to characterize his constituents as Nazi storm troops is distasteful, to say the least. Yet it is fully in line with the tone set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who misleadingly decried protesters "carrying swastikas." Closer examination revealed that in every case, the symbol was being used as a warning against the arrogance of power of which Mrs. Pelosi has become emblematic.

Democratic talking points characterize the spontaneous grass-roots opposition to the planned government takeover of the health care system as being organized by a shadowy cabal of lobbyists and insurance companies. However, the real storm troops are being deployed openly by organized labor in an attempt to squelch dissent.

On Aug. 6, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney sent marching orders to his members to confront concerned citizens at town-hall forums. In St. Louis, members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) reportedly attacked and beat Kenneth Gladney, who was passing out yellow flags outside a forum held by Rep. Russ Carnahan, Missouri Democrat. SEIU President Andy Stern has summed up his philosophy as, "We prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn't work, we use the persuasion of power." We expect to see his grim-faced "purple shirts" using intimidation at other events during the congressional recess.

This effort is fully consistent with the general contempt that the Democratic majority has shown for those who oppose its radical agenda. The promised era of bipartisanship is long gone. The government's new slogan is "sit down and shut up." In an appearance in McLean last week, President Obama advised opponents of his plan to "get out of the way" and said he didn't want them "to do a lot of talking." The Obama White House made history when it set up an e-mail snitch line for people to report on the "fishy" ideas of their fellow citizens.

The Democrats would do better to try to understand the root causes of this unprecedented spontaneous outpouring of public concern and frustration than to resort to intimidation tactics. There are many serious questions about the growth of government and the planned takeover of health care that need to be answered, not beaten down. Deploying thugs will only lead to violence, which serves no one's interest. If the people are shouting, it is because the politicians have stopped listening.

 


ASTROTURFING: THE REAL THING

Ken Berwitz

The increasingly desperate Democratic Party is trying at all costs to sell us the patently absurd fantasy that dissent over Obama's health care is a case of "astroturfing":  i.e. not grass roots dissent, but organized and orchestrated.

I wonder what the Democratic Party thinks this is.  It comes to us from  www.redstate.com.

Ben Cardin (D-MD) is desperate for Obamacare Supporters to show up tonight at ACORN & SEIU sponsored Senate Townhall

Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)

 

Monday, August 10th at 11:24AM EDT

 

Below is an email chain forwarded to me. It originated with a Ben Cardin staffer. The Cardin staff is desperate to make his Senate townhall tonight look like a rally for Obamacare.

Isnt this astroturfing, Senator? You, a United States Senator, using a network of liberals to gin up support for Obamacare?

 

And lets put this in perspective: This means Senator Ben Cardin supports Obamacare and knows he cant vote for it without an astrotruf campaign of his own.

 

Note that the original message at the bottom was sent by Rev. Jerome Stephens,
Statewide Field Representative for Senator Ben Cardin to Denise Riley at the AFL-CIO. Rileys assistant Kim Tucker then blasted it out.

 

If you are in Maryland, show up tonight.

 

Note that SEIU and ACORN are sponsors.


Original Message
From: Penny McCrimmon
To: Penny McCrimmon
Sent: Friday, August 07, 2009 9:56 AM
Subject: FW: More Info: Senator Cardins Health Care Town Hall Meeting- Tea Baggers
 
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR RESPONSE!!!!!!!!!!!!  I knew I could count on my fabulous Obama volunteers.  Here is the information you requested.  Also, from the most influential Political Club in the State, the Central Baltimore County Democratic Club (CBCDC), theyve stepped up to the challenge and are sponsoring a pre-meeting rally.
 
A Republican Friend (who says the Republicans just dont get it) told me that the few Republican Legislators that we have in the State are sponsoring the Tea-Baggers by paying for their transportation to this event.  Im resending my initial email.  Click the link below to RSVP to Senator Cardins Office.  They need to know how many will attend.  Also, first come, first seated.
 
Senator Benjamin Cardins Town Hall Meeting on Health Care
Monday, August 10, 2009, 7 pm
Harold Kaplan Concert Hall
Cross Campus and Osler Drives
Towson, MD
 
The Central Baltimore County Democratic Club will hold a pre meeting Rally at 5:30 pm
Harold Kaplan Concert Hall
Co-sponsors are the following Unions:  SEIU, AFL-CIO, MSTA, UFCW.  Progressive Maryland and ACORN are also sponsors.
 
 
Penny McCrimmon
 
 
 

From: Penny McCrimmon ?Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2009 12:16 PM?To: Penny McCrimmon ?Subject: FW: Senator Cardins Health Care Town Hall Meeting- Tea Baggers
 
We need to get the Obama volunteers to attend Senator Cardins Health Care Town Hall Meeting.  If youve been watching the news, youre aware that the Tea Baggers have been sabotaging Democratic Congressional Town Hall Meetings on President Obamas Health Care  reform meetings.  We need to be a visible presence at this event to support the Presidents agenda in the same manner that we worked to get him elected.  All of the necessary contact info is provided herein.
 
Penny McCrimmon
 

From: Ward?Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2009 10:27 AM?To: Penny McCrimmon?Subject: Fwd: Health Care Town Hall Meeting with U S Senator Ben Cardin
 
I would not miss this! How about you? The YDs might want to be there too??Ward
??Original Message?From: Kim Tucker, AFL-CIO?To: Kim Tucker, AFL-CIO?Sent: Wed, Aug 5, 2009 2:53 pm?Subject: Health Care Town Hall Meeting with U S Senator Ben Cardin
 
Below is the information for Sen. Ben Cardins Town Hall Meeting on Health Care,
this Monday, August 10th in Towson.

Sen. Cardins office has been notified that the teabaggers and birthers will
be holding a rally outside the concert hall at 5:30 PM.  They will then file
into the Town Hall Meeting.

They have asked us to send people that support health care reform to counter the
ones who will try to disrupt the meeting.  Please let your staff, members,
friends, family all know and encourage them to attend.  They can RSVP to:

RSVP - sean_mckew@cardin.senate.gov
 
Thank you!

Denise
 
Denise Riley
Political Director
Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO

________________________________________
 
From: Jerome_Stephens@cardin.senate.gov
To: Denise Riley
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2009 12:30:48 -0400
Subject: Health Care Town Hall Meeting with U S Senator Ben Cardin
 
 
Please share with your network

As Congress considers health care reform, Senator Cardin has been traveling
around the state speaking to Marylanders about the legislation.  In August, he
will hold town hall meetings in Towson.  If you plan to attend, please RSVP. 
Space is limited at the venue.  In accordance with fire regulations, when the
venue is full, there will be no standing room available.

Monday, August 10th - 7 p.m.
Towson University Center for the Arts
Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall
Corner of Cross Campus and Osler Drives
Towson, MD 21204
 
Parking is available across the street from the Center for the Arts
on Auburn Drive off Osler Drive on Lot 13.

RSVP - sean_mckew@cardin.senate.gov
 
Rev. Jerome Stephens
Statewide Field Representative
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin
http://cardin.senate.gov
  
Message Sent By:
Kim Tucker, Administrative Assistant
Maryland State
& D.C. AFL-CIO
opeiu2,aflcio

You want astroturfing?  Real astroturfing?  There it is, right in front of your eyes.

For anyone who still wants to believe the absolute BS being shovelled by the Democratic Party about everyday people being astroturfers?  Don't claim you aren't aware of the truth.  Because there it is.

And a special thanks for our wonderful "neutral" media ignoring it.  Again.


THE NIKI TSONGAS TOWN HALL MEETING

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of www.hotair.com, is what happened at the town meeting held by house member Niki Tsongas.

Please make special note of the reaction to Tsongas' talking about HER options in the plan SHE can have and WE cannot. 

And then note the obvious plant who is on the microphone afterwards.

Tsongas: I wont take ObamaCare because I have better options

posted at 8:48 am on August 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Share on Facebook | printer-friendly

Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) manages to answer the question that Keith Ellison (D-MN) and the rest of her Obama-care supporting colleagues in both the House and Senate have avoided. The crowd, however, didnt like the response very much, and lets Tsongas know it. At about the four-minute mark, one of Tsongas peons constitutents asks Tsongas whether she will commit to adopting ObamaCare for her own coverage and give up her so-called Cadillac or gold-played Congressional coverage, and thats when Tsongas suddenly becomes concerned with protecting choice (via the boss):

CONSTITUENT: My question to you, Congresswoman Tsongas, is that if this is such a great plan, why did you opt out of it when you took the vote [loud applause, standing ovation]?

TSONGAS: People often say why dont the American people have what those of us in Congress have. [Audience erupts] Let me explain what I have. Let me explain what I have. What I have is a tremendous array you know, last year when I went to a discussion what I have is a tremendous array of choices. And I made a choice based on what I was willing to pay for and what made sense in terms of coverage for me and my family. [Audience shouts out: "We want choice! We want choice!] This is essentially what we are creating for the American people. We are creating greater choice.

[Smattering of applause overwhelmed by boos.]

No, Representative Tsongas, youre not creating choice.  Youre restricting choice, both explicitly and implicitly.  The ObamaCare bill explicitly forces private insurers into conformity in dictating coverages in order to qualify under state exchanges, which greatly reduces choice and will almost certainly wipe out at least some existing private plans.  Implicitly, the public option will undercut private insurers and give businesses a chance to opt out of providing coverage at all which means as many as 83 million Americans will lose their insurance in the first ten years.  Thanks to the rules set up by ObamaCare, those people will have no choice at all but to take the public option.

But who wont have to worry about losing their insurance?  Congress, of course.  They get to set the rules to ensure that ObamaCare applies to us but not to them.  Reminds one of royalty does it not?  Thats why the Tea Parties have become so popular these days, and one of many reasons why ObamaCare offends the sensibilities of Americans.

This axiom applies: Beware the cook who wont eat his own food. Perhaps the best way to make that clear to Tsongas is to get her out of Congress and make sure she loses that Congressional coverage as fast as possible.

Take a good look at the video.  These are the "un-American" people frauds Pelosi and Hoyer are dissembling about. 


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