Saturday, 12 September 2009


Ken Berwitz

Like the last blog, this is from Byron York.  Read it and understand just how accurate Rep. Joe Wilson was in calling out President Obama.  The BS is Mr. Obama's, the bold print is mine:

On illegal immigrants, White House sides with Joe Wilson, GOP; backs verification system for health benefits

By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
09/12/09 3:21 AM EDT

In the wake of Rep. Joe Wilson's shouted accusation that President Obama was lying when he said proposed health care reforms "would not apply to those who are here illegally," the White House has released word that the president supports an enforcement system to prevent illegals from participating in a proposed government health insurance exchange.

"Undocumented immigrants would not be able to buy private insurance on the exchange," the White House said in a statement published by MSNBC. "Those who are lawfully present in this country would be able to participate." The White House added that, "Verification will be required when purchasing health insurance on the exchange. One option is the SAVE program (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) which states currently use to make sure that undocumented immigrants don't participate in safety-net programs for which they are ineligible."

A number of Republicans have advocated the use of the SAVE system to ensure that any newly-created benefits do not go to people who are in this country illegally. In July, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee defeated a Republican proposal to use SAVE for that very purpose. Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee defeated a similar proposal.

The White House says illegals would still be able to buy insurance in the private market, apart from the exchange, which is the case today. "That market will shrink as the exchange takes hold, but it will still exist and will be subject to reforms such as the bans on pre-existing conditions and caps," the White House statement said. In addition, laws in existence today which require hospitals to give emergency treatment to anyone, including illegals, will remain in effect.

Got that?  The mechanism for preventing illegals from getting taxpayer-funded health care was NOT IN THE BILL.  When its inclusion was proposed by Republicans, DEMOCRATS VOTED IT DOWN. 

So the passage which excluded illegals was, in reality, a fake and a fraud.  Because, without any means of checking, illegals would be able to get health care as if that passage were never written in the first place.

Now, only AFTER Mr. Wilson's outburst, the White House has a sudden interest in verifying the legal status of people seeking taxpayer-funded health care. 

What utter, complete phoniness this is.  And what a debt of gratitude we owe Mr. Wilson!  Because without his "YOU LIE" scream, this sudden addition of a verification process would never have been there.  The proof?  It wasn't there until he screamed.

But be warned:  watch for this checking mechanism to be quietly discarded before the bill passes, or other language inserted that will render it inoperable.  You have to know who you are dealing with here.  This is Chicago machine politics. 

Lucky for them they won't have to worry about our wonderful "neutral" media reporting it.  Just as most of the media never reported that there was no checking mechanism until Mr. Wilson's outburst.  And even then, they called him, rather than Mr. Obama, a liar on the grounds that the bill said there would be no illegals --- without regard to the lack of any way to check.

Simply stated, during the Obama presidency the meaning of "watchdog media" is that Obama & Co. flim-flam us, and the media's reaction is to watch.


Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from From Heather S. Heidelbaugh's latest column for

The ACORN Way: Change the Law After You Break It

by Heather S. Heidelbaugh


On July 22, 2009, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Pittsburgh against the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett (R), and the District Attorney for Allegheny County, Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. (D) to enjoin these officials from applying a law that makes it a crime for an organization or individual to give, solicit, or accept payment or financial incentive to obtain a voter registration if the payment or incentive is based upon the number of registrations or applications obtained. ACORN argues that the law and its enforcement precludes ACORN from hiring and paying employees to advance the organizations goal of registering eligible voters, thereby imposing a severe burden on ACORNs First and Fourteenth Amendment Rights.


ACORN has been accused nationally of paying its employees based on the number of voter registrations each employee turns in at the end of the day. If the daily quota is not reached, the employee eventually is fired. The Attorney General of Nevada found this practice to be in violation of that states anti-quota law and is currently prosecuting ACORN the organization as well as its employees. In Pittsburgh, the District Attorney, Stephen Zappala was investigating whether to charge ACORN, the organization with a violation of the same type of anti-quota law when ACORN filed this lawsuit in federal court.

The United States Supreme Court in Smiley v. Holm, 285 U.S. 355, 366 (1932) held that the comprehensive words of Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution embrace authority to provide a complete code for congressional elections, not only as to times and places, but in relation to notices, registration, supervision of voting, protection of voters, prevention of fraud and corrupt practices, counting of votes, [and] duties of inspectors and canvassers. Second, the statue has a rational basis to prohibit the exact situation that has occurred with ACORNs voter registration drives all over the country.

You can best believe that ACORN and the ACLU will use this case as a test case all over the country to stike anti-quota statutes if they are successful in this case declaring the anti-quota statute unconstitutional. Hopefully, the statute will be upheld as constitutional. Then, District Attorney Zappala, in addition to investigating ACORN for violation of the Solicitation of Registration statute, can also investigate ACORNs funders who also violate the statute by paying per registration card.

Is ACORN a corrupt, partisan organization that, with the complicity of media (which have barely covered its actions over all these years), has operated as a taxpayer-funded arm of the Democratic party?

To me, the answer is self-evident.  And its exposure is long, long overdue. 

Only because of the blogosphere, which has shamed them into finally reporting about ACORN - this organization's way-overdue comeuppance may now be at hand.


Ken Berwitz

One of the numerous lies in President Obama's health care speech is that he wants a bipartisan approach and that he is perfectly willing to discuss alternatives to his proposals with Republicans, if they would just come up with some to show him.

Let's start with the fact that President Obama has refused to meet with Republicans on health care since April.  Does that sound bipartisan to you?  Does that sound as if he is willing to discuss alternatives?

Now let's address whether or not there are any Republican alternatives which he could be shown.  To hear Mr. Obama tell it, you'd swear there wasn't a one.  But is it true?

From Byron York, writing for the Washington Examiner (the bold print is mine):

Democrats stifle Republican health care plans

By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
September 11, 2009

Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia Republican who heads the House GOP Study Committee, came to President Obama's speech Wednesday night itching to make a point. Price, who also happens to be an orthopedic surgeon, has often heard the president accuse Republicans of criticizing Democratic health care proposals while having no plans of their own. He expected Obama to do the same Wednesday night.

"We knew the president would at some point say something like, 'and the other side has no ideas,' " Price says. So Price and his Republican colleagues brought with them copies of the more than 30 health care reform bills they have proposed in the House this year.

Obama didn't directly accuse Republicans of not having a plan. But he did say he would welcome "serious" health care proposals. "My door is always open," Obama said.

That's when Price held up the sheaf of papers he was carrying -- a copy of H.R. 3400, the Empowering Patients First Act, which Price and the Republican Study Committee proposed in July. Other GOP lawmakers held up their own bills. Some raised a list of all the health care bills -- there are more than 30 -- proposed by members of the Study Committee.

Why use the props? "To say in a quiet and respectful way, 'Here are our ideas,' " Price says. "To say to the president, 'You're not being honest with the American people when you say that there haven't been ideas put forward, and that you've listened to them, because you haven't.' "

The small Republican protest got a bit of coverage, although it was overshadowed by the hubbub over GOP Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst during the president's speech. But the larger problem remains. Republicans have authored a number of health care bills -- serious legislation addressing portability, pre-existing conditions, cost and other issues that most trouble American consumers -- and hardly anyone has noticed.

Republicans don't really blame Nancy Pelosi. The speaker is as partisan a Democrat as they come, and no one is surprised that she has used her power to stifle Republican efforts. But they do blame the Obama administration. "The White House, in spite of saying they look forward to meeting with anybody who wants to solve these challenges, has rebuffed us at every turn," Price says.

They also blame the media. Somewhere in this extended health care debate, Republicans believe, reporters might have noticed that there are real, substantive GOP proposals out there. So far, though, it hasn't happened.

A search of the LexisNexis database of newspapers, magazines, television programs and major blogs finds about 3,000 mentions of the major House Democratic bill, H.R. 3200, in the past six months. (Those are just the stories that refer to the bill by its House number; there have been thousands more stories referring generally to the Democratic legislation.) A similar search found 60 mentions of H.R. 3400, the Price bill.

Another Republican bill, H.R. 2520, the Patients' Choice Act, by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, received 12 mentions in the same time period. And two other bills, H.R. 3217 and H.R. 3218, the Health Care Choice Act and the Improving Health Care for All Americans Act, by Rep. John Shadegg, together received 20 mentions.

The virtual embargo on reporting Republican legislation has allowed Democrats and their allies in the media to keep up the "Republicans have no plan" attack. Just hours after the president's speech, for example, the Democratic National Committee released a new commercial claiming that Republicans "refuse to offer a plan" to reform the health care system.

Just for the record, in case you want to check them out, these are the bills proposed, so far, by Price and his allies in the House: H.R. 77; H.R. 109; H.R. 198; H.R. 270; H.R. 321; H.R. 464; H.R. 502; H.R. 544; H.R. 917; H.R. 1086; H.R. 1118; H.R. 1441; H.R. 1458; H.R. 1468; H.R. 1658; H.R. 1891; H.R. 2520; H.R. 2607; H.R. 2692; H.R. 2784; H.R. 2785; H.R. 2786; H.R. 2787; H.R. 3141; H.R. 3217; H.R. 3218; H.R. 3356; H.R. 3372; H.R. 3400; H.R. 3438; H.R. 3454; and H.R. 3478.

"It's frustrating," Price says. But Republicans believe that in the end, the public won't buy the administration's line. "The American people are smarter than that," Price says. "They know there are alternatives out there. That's what August was all about."

Does President Obama ever tell the truth about anything?

And do our loving, fawning media ever do anything but watch his back as he lies?

Rep. Joe Wilson is being tarred and feathered for spontaneously yelling out "You Lie!" while President Obama was lying.  When do our wonderful "neutral" media demand that President Obama start answering for the lies he tells?


Ken Berwitz

From CNN:

Ancient synagogue found in Israel

Vividly colored, preserved frescoes also discovered on walls

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- In what was slated to be the site of a new 122-room hotel, archaeologists say they have have discovered one of the world's oldest synagogues in Northern Israel.


The site, which was unearthed as preparations were being made for construction of the hotel near the Sea of Galilee, is believed to date back some 2000 years from 50BCE to 100CE.

In the middle of the 120 square meter main hall of the synagogue archaeologists discovered an unusual stone carved with a seven branched menorah . "We are dealing with an exciting and unique find," said excavation director and Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeologist Dina Avshalom-Gorni.

The menorah engraving is the first of its kind to be discovered from the Early Roman period according Avshalom-Gorni who said the site joins just six synagogue locations that are know to date from the same time.

She said synagogues from this period were extremely rare in part because many Jews during that time were in the habit of visiting the main temple in Jerusalem three times a year as opposed to attending local houses of worship.

Avshalom-Gorni posited that the engraved menorah was done by an artist who had visited the main synagogue in Jerusalem known as the Second Temple where the actual menorah was believed to be kept.

In addition to the engraved stone Avshalom-Gorni said they discovered preserved frescoes on the walls with "vivid" colors.

The synagogue was discovered in area called Migdal, historically an important settlement along the Sea of Galilee, which researchers say was mentioned in ancient Jewish texts as playing a prominent role during what is known as the Great Revolt, when Jews attempted to rebel against Roman rule. Migdal also figures in early Christian writings as the place where Mary Magdalene accompanied Jesus and the Apostles.

Jose Miguel Abat, a legal representative for the company developing the land, Ark New Gate, said the company was thrilled at news of the find and planned to establish a multi-cultural and multi-religious center at the location.

"We are sure this finding and the planned center will attract tourists and visitors from Israel and from around the World," Abat said in a statement.

This is worth remembering the next time you hear that the land of Israel was stolen by Jews, not from them.


Ken Berwitz

Do you know who James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles are? 

If you do, you probably are something of a news junkie (like me).  But if  you don't, you probably will soon enough.

James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles walked into an ACORN office in Baltimore, posing as a pimp and a prostitute who wanted to open a prostitution business with underage girls.  They were enthusiastically aided and abetted by the ACORN staff who, among other things, advised them to call it a "performing arts" business so the authorities wouldn't know underage girls were being sold as prostitutes.

And they caught all of this on videotape.

You would think that O'Keefe and GIles would be celebrated as heroes for uncovering the depravity of what was going on there, of how willing ACORN's people were to help them along, even after being told exactly what the "business" was.  Right?

Ok, now read Ed Morrissey's piece from, and find out what is actually happening.  Prepare to be sickened to the pit of your stomach.  Please pay particular attention to the two paragraph's I've put in bold print:

Will Baltimore prosecute other journalists, too?

posted at 8:50 am on September 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Before we answer that question, we first have to know the person making the decisions about prosecutions in Maryland. Who exactly is Patricia Jessamy, the Baltimore City States Attorney whose office threatened to prosecute the undercover reporters that exposed ACORNs pimp-protecting and tax-evasion operation? Chris at HAP does a lot of legwork on Jessamy and finds a partisan Democrat who has invested both time and money in supporting Barack Obama:

Chris also has links to Jessamys personal contribution to Obamas campaign, as well as her position on a steering committee for his campaign. Jessamy isnt exactly an uninterested party when it comes to Obama and those organizations that support him. That explains the odd decision by the prosecutor to consider charges against the people who uncovered a conspiracy to evade taxes and shield pimps, rather than the conspirators themselves.

But what else has Jessamy done while in office? Mark Tapscott points out that Jessamy likes to highlight her connection to a local childrens shelter:

Jessamy, a Democrat, was appointed to the States Prosecutor position in 1995 and has since been re-elected to the job three times. Among the items listed on Jessamys extensive resume of accomplishments is that she is president of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center. She also lists her prior membership on the Governors Council on Child Abuse and Neglect from 1995 to 1998!

Lets be clear about what is happening here: OKeefe and Giles dressed up as a pimp and prostitute and walked into the Baltimore ACORN office seeking tax advice for a brothel that would include the use of 13-year-old sex slaves from San Salvador. Two ACORN advisors happily provided all kinds of advice about how to deceive federal and state tax authorities about the true nature of the business, and how to insure that the prostitutes keep their mouths shut.

In other words, two ACORN employees appear to have voluntarily become accessories to multiple federal, state and local crimes, including child abuse, interstate transportation for purposes of prostitution, tax evasion, and immigration law violations. The two ACORN employees may also have thus provided hard evidence that their employer should be prosecuted as a criminal enterprise under the RICO statutes.

And the Baltimore City States Attorney may prosecute the two people responsible for exposing this heinous operation!

On one hand, Jessamy brags about helping children who are abused or neglected. On the other hand, when she discovers evidence that the local ACORN office helps abusers evade detection and protect their child-prostitution rings, she aims her prosecutorial guns at the people who expose them. Does that help children or hurt them?

Lets get back to the original question about Jessamys roundup of undercover journalists. Jessamy has been in office since 1995. Has she ever pursued this kind of prosecution of undercover journalists in Baltimore before going after the people who went after ACORN? Hot Air reader Carrie W notes at least two times when a local Baltimore TV station used undercover journalists with cameras to record people without their knowledge, and won awards for their efforts. Did Jessamy go after WMAR in 2000?

Baltimores Beggars
WMAR-TV, Baltimore
Anchor Stan Stovall went undercover as a vagrant to experience what life is like for Baltimores beggars. For two days, Stovall wore a disguisedonning makeup and a scraggly beardand roamed the popular tourist areas of Charm City. I had to admit I had some reservations about getting made up as a homeless person, Stovall says. I could tell you how people would treat me without getting [a disguise.] But he did it anyway, panhandling during the day and returning to the station for the nightly newscast. It was one of the ideas that was submitted to look at the issue of panhandlingof whether those people were really homeless and needed the money, says WMAR News Director Sandra McKeller. We decided to do it for [the May sweeps] and add a twist by adding our anchor dressed up and actually get the perspective of being a panhandler. McKeller said the piece tried to examine the plight of homelessness. The burning question Stovall wanted to answer: Should you give panhandlers money? Some of the research I found in talking with homeless advocatesand even homeless people themselves was you should not give them cash, he says.

Now, this description doesnt make clear that WMAR had a hidden camera and mike on Stovall, but thats certainly the implication. Would a local TV station go to that much trouble and not get the interactions on camera? If that isnt quite clear enough, though, WMARs award-winning effort in 2006 is explicit:


First Place: Tisha Thompson, John Anglim, Susan Kirkwood

(WMAR-TV) The US Rental Network

Judges Comments: This is just darn good journalism. We didnt hear enough about the conversation your producer had in the hidden camera part of the story. We loved the MySpace connection & the thoughtfulness of the other people involved in a past scheme. Excellent.

Hidden cameras? Darn good journalism for WMAR, and apparently not anything in which Jessamy was interested. In 2009, when those hidden cameras go after a group supporting Barack Obama and his policies well, thats a different matter altogether. It shows that Jessamy is less interested in enforcing the law and helping children than she is in abusing her power to attack critics who threaten Obamas power and policies.

How about it, Baltimore? Time for Jessamy to retire, and to find a City States Attorney who goes after criminals rather than the people who expose them? And will Maryland journalists take a stand on behalf of Hannah Giles and James OKeefe?


patricia jessamy is a children's advocate?  Yeah, right. Children being forced into prostitution takes second place to threatening the people who videotaped ACORN aiding and abetting it.  And let's not forget that she looked the other way when exactly the same kind of videotaping is done by a Baltimore TV station to get sympathy for beggars.

If there were any justice, patricia jessamy would be called on the carpet and told to either act responsibly or ship out.  But that will never happen - not in one-party Baltimore Maryland.

They'll just leave this great "children's advocate" in place to choose partisanship over the welfare of children any way she damn well pleases.

What a complete, utter disgrace.


Ken Berwitz

The estimates are so disparate that I won't even try to guesstimate what the real number was yet.  Give it a day or two to see the pictures and listen to people I consider credible.

But the estimates range from "thousands" at MSNBC  and CBS (both used an Associated Press report.  What does "thousands" mean?  No one knows), to 60-70,000 at ABC News.  There are claims that the police estimated well over a million at 12:34PM (which I do not believe).

It seems certain, however, that if you add the crowd in DC, to the many local tea parties around the country for people who didn't get there, the true total will be well into the hundreds of thousands.

To be continued....


Ken Berwitz

Here, from, is a list of "Friday night policy dumps" -- that is, White House press releases at a time when the fewest people might read them (this, of course, assumes our wonderful "neutral" media will report them):

Administration abandons six-party talks; capitulates to NKorea...

Agrees verification needed to ensure illegals don't receive healthcare benefits...

Census bureau cuts ties with ACORN...

Obama Opts for Import Tariffs on Chinese Tires...

Click on each of these to see what the the administration is up to when they think you're not looking.



Ken Berwitz

Yom Kippur, the "day of atonement", is the highest holy day of the year for Jews.  It is a day of fasting and praying, which ends with the traditional blowing of a "shofar" (ram's horn). 

My friend Robin just sent me video of a Rabbi showing a group of children how the shofar is blown and the different sounds it is supposed to make......until a dog joins in the fun.

You can watch it by clicking here.  I guarantee that, whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, it will give you a laugh.


Ken Berwitz

Here is an email from James Carville, which was blasted to potential Democratic contributors today.  My comments are in blue:



They're heckling the President of the United States from the floor of Congress. (As Democrats did, and a lot worse, throughout President Bushs 8 years). They're turning town halls into shouting matches.  (As Democratic operatives have for many years, and continue to). They're comparing health insurance reform to fascism. (Did you complain when Jerrold Nadler, among other Democrats, called Republicans fascists?  I didnt think so)
Heck, if crazy were a pre-existing condition, the GOP wouldn't be able to get insurance.
(Very nice, James.  Very temperate)
But did President Obama stoop to their level? Of course not. He stood before Congress and told the American people why his health care plan is the change we need. He hit a home run. 
(Actually President Obama called his political opposition liars in his speech, before Joe Wilson opened his mouth.  And he lied continually about health care, as even the Associated Press detailed.  It was a home run for hypocrisy and dishonesty)
But while a home run can get you the momentum, it doesn't always win you the game. For Democrats running for Senate in 2010, this speech was a beginning, not an end.
(You can say that again.  Democrats are in trouble, specifically because of the hypocrisy and dishonesty I just mentioned)
That's why we need to support the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The DSCC is coming up on an important goal, and we need your help to elect senators who will protect the American people, not pander to the right-wing fringe. Meeting our $3 million goal is so important, that your gift will be matched by a group of senators, doubling your impact.
(Translation:  To Carville, you either support Democrats or pander to the right-wing fringe.  Sad that there are people who buy this BS every time he sells it.)
Click here to make a donation of $5 or more today. Every dollar will make a difference!
President Obama spoke to our highest ideals. But I want to speak to political reality.
(Thats funny.  I love two consecutive sentences that contradict each other.)
We've got a lot of Democrats up for re-election in 2010. They know that the moment they take a stand for reform, a whole lot of special interests are going after them like hounds on a fox. That means tens of millions of dollars of negative ads and "astroturf" campaigns.
(Astroturf?  Like the unions and organized activist groups that Democrats relentlessly trot out?  The ones with all those preprinted signs that say the same thing?  Calling other people Astroturf is beyond hypocrisy.)
When the howling starts, our people need to know we have their backs.(
That's why we have to hit them where it hurts - by giving Democrats the resources they need to keep winning elections and making change. Our goal is $3 million by Sept. 30. Help us meet our goal today, and your gift will be matched.
(Straight appeal for $$$.  Standard stuff)
Click here to make a donation of $5 or more today. Every dollar will make a difference!
I've been called a Ragin' Cajun for a long time, so it's not often that I'm lumped in with the calm, collected folks. But the right-wing talk show hosts - and their Congressional cronies - have taken "no" to a whole new level.
(Keep offering lies, keep excluding any input on legislation from the Republican Party so it is entirely one-party rule, and youll keep getting no.  The ball is in your court)
So, one rational person to another, let me tell you something: Thanks to President Obama and our majority in the Senate, we have the chance to make change that lasts. But if we assume that one speech solves everything, if we decide to sit this one out, we're asking for trouble.  
(Sit out a chance to separate the suckers from the cash?  Thats not happening)
Because if we don't say yes, we know who'll say no.


James Carville

Zeke ... Civility in public discourse is an anachronism. (09/12/09)


Ken Berwitz

Here is the latest installment of Rasmussen's (three day rolling average) presidential approval ratings.

In the interest of keeing this in context, I am showing the entire week.

-From Sunday through Wednesday there were no people who could have heard Mr. Obama's speech);

-Today, most people could have heard it (a few who were interviewed during/after the speech on Wednesday, all of Thursday and all of Friday).  And everyone could have heard media analysis of it.

Here are the data:



Presidential Approval Index

Strongly Approve

Strongly Disapprove

Total Approve

Total Disapprove












































As you can see,  there is some positive movement on the "strongly approve" dimension, but not a great windfall of any kind - just 2% since Wednesday.  And since Mr. Obama was edging up in "strongly approve" for the entire week, a good argument can be made that this would have happened regardless of his speech.


In total approve/disapprove, it's just about the same.  From 48% -51% on the last day before anyone could have reacted to the speech, to 50%-49% now.


Based on these data (and let's remember that it is just one study), Mr. Obama's speech had minimal impact. 


Later today, Gallup's three day rolling average numbers will come out and we'll see if they reflect what Rasmussen is showing or they are different in some way.






It is just past 1PM and the Gallup data have come out.  Here is the past week's approval/disapproval of Barack Obama.


September 12 (results of interviewing on September 9 - 11:  51% - 42%


September 11 - 51% - 42%


September 10:  51% - 42%


September 9:   51% - 42%


September 8:   51% - 41%


September 7:   51% - 41%


September 6:   52% - 41%


There is virtually no difference in Mr. Obama's approval/disapproval numbers before or after his health care speech. 

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