Friday, 16 October 2009

JOBBED BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

Ken Berwitz

The Obama administration promised us jobs.  Lots of them.

And are we ever being jobbed.

From, of all places, the New York Times, via www.sweetness-light.com:

Stimulus Misses States That Need It Most

October 16th, 2009

Some surprising reporting from the New York Times:

Job Program Found to Miss Many States That Need It Most

By MICHAEL COOPER and RON NIXON

October 16, 2009

Businesses with federal stimulus contracts have created few jobs in states with the worst unemployment rates, according to data released Thursday by the federal government.

The new jobs reported Thursday come from a small slice of a sliver of the $787 billion stimulus program: the roughly $16 billion worth of stimulus contracts that were awarded directly by federal agencies, of which about $2.2 billion has been spent so far. But the preliminary data represented the first time that the federal government has reported actual job figures, and not just job estimates, and they provided the most complete snapshot yet of how one component of the sprawling program direct federal contracts was shaping up.

One thing was clear: while the federal contracts have created or saved 30,383 jobs, they were not directed to states with the highest jobless rates. Businesses in Michigan, whose 15.2 percent unemployment rate in August was the highest in the nation, reported creating or saving about 400 jobs. Businesses in Nevada, which had the next highest unemployment rate, reported 159. And businesses in Rhode Island, which had the third-highest unemployment rate, 12.8 percent, reported the fewest jobs: just six.

More jobs, by contrast, were reported in some of the states with lowest unemployment rates. Businesses in North Dakota, whose 4.3 percent unemployment rate was the lowest in the nation, reported creating or saving 219. The most jobs were reported in Colorado, whose 7.3 percent unemployment rate was below the national average that reached 9.8 percent last month, and where businesses reported creating or saving 4,695 jobs

The new jobs figures by themselves did not shed much light on the question of how well the stimulus program was accomplishing President Obamas goal of saving or creating 3.5 million jobs over two years. The administration estimates that the program has already created or saved one million jobs a figure that includes jobs from money that went through states, which will not be reported until the end of the month; layoffs that were averted when the stimulus gave fiscal relief to states; and jobs that were created or saved when people spent their tax cuts or other aid. But with the unemployment rate at 9.8 percent, Republicans are asserting that the program is failing to create enough jobs

White House officials were sensitive to the gulf between the 30,383 jobs in the report and the goal of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs. Jared Bernstein, the chief economist for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who oversees the stimulus, issued a statement saying that the jobs figure exceeded their expectations but cautioning that it is too soon to draw any global conclusions from this partial and preliminary data.

This article is interesting as far as it goes. But it seems to sidestep the most shocking news about the stimulus plan so far. That it has only created or saved 30,383.

The White House is certainly right to be sensitive to the gulf between the 30,383 jobs in the report and the goal of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs. The gap is downright laughable.

And how on earth can Obamas chief economist claim that the jobs figure exceeded their expectations?

As we have noted several times before, the unemployment rate is even worse than what Mr. Bernstein predicted it would be without Mr. Obamas recovery plan:

(Click to see chart)

But even as recently as June 9, 2009, the self-same Mr. Bernstein claimed that the stimulus bill would save or create 600,000 jobs over the second 100 days.

The day before, June 8, 2009, his boss Mr. Obama promised to deliver more than 600,000 jobs this summer.

Just a little more than a month ago the administration was still holding onto this rosy scenario. On September 3, 2009, Mr. Biden said the stimulus was working faster than expected.

Mr. Biden then went on to say that Obamas Council of Economic Advisers would report that the number of jobs created or saved because of the stimulus plan would back up his predictions of 150,000 jobs in the first 100 days and another 600,000 formed or saved over the second 100 days of the act.

But we are now 269 days into Mr. Obamas administration and all the White House can point to so far is these 30,383 jobs.

Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden and Mr. Bernstein were only off by 569,617 jobs.

And yet we are supposed to believe these same people when they assure us that healthcare reform will save billions of dollars. And that cap and trade will grow rather than harm the economy.

When have they ever been wrong before?

Almost 800 billion dollars for a "stimulus package" that was supposed to create jobs - which quickly morphed into creating or saving jobs.  A crushing debt burden for generations to come. 

And this is what we have gotten out of it.

We deserve this.  We did it to ourselves. 

We elected a Chicago machine politician, unqualified in any way to be President, and handed him a huge majority in both the house and senate that would back any half-baked ideas he had.  Like the bogus, useless, disastrous "stimulus package"

The next time we can do something about this is the 2010 elections.  They cannot come fast enough.


MAGICCARE

Ken Berwitz

Sometimes I wonder why the Obama administration and its lopsided congressional majority even bother trying to con us.  It seems that no matter how big the lie, how ridiculous the contention, much of our wonderful "neutral" media will dutifully accept what they shovel and barf it out to their readers/viewers/listeners.

Rich Lowry of National Review shows us one of the seemingly endless examples - this one related to the so-called "ObamaCare" legislation:

ObamaCare's Magic Math

Dems struggle to hide costs

Last Updated: 5:08 AM, October 16, 2009

Posted: 1:14 AM, October 16, 2009

Rich Lowry

IF only the laws of the universe didn't make it impossible to conjure something out of nothing. In a magical world free of such encumbrances, Democrats would be spared the bother of hiding the inevitable costs of ObamaCare.

The latest gambit of Democrats in both the Senate and House is to take roughly $250 billion out of health-care reform -- for Medicare payments to doctors -- and spend it in a separate bill. This instantly makes ObamaCare appear cheaper, although its impact on the federal budget will be precisely the same.

This isn't even competent three-card monte. It's the logic of the spendthrift who's maxed out on his Visa and MasterCard, but thinks it's frugal to put a new $6,000 Samsung 65-inch LCD flat-screen TV on his American Express card instead.

Every year, Medicare payments to physicians are supposed to fall. Congress always temporarily defers the cut. The House version of ObamaCare deferred it for 10 years, a reason it had so much red ink. The Baucus bill deferred it for only the first year (at a cost of $10.7 billion), then pretended Congress would subsequently cut doctor payments a drastic 25 percent. Without this otherworldly assumption, the bill would increase the deficit by roughly $150 billion over 10 years.

That violates the Obama pledge not to increase the deficit for health care by one dime by 1.5 trillion dimes. So Dems plan to spend the dimes elsewhere. Problem solved. In this Orwellian spirit, The Associated Press reports that the separate measure will free up $10.7 billion in the Baucus bill, "money that could then be spent on other priorities."

Why stop there? If all the subsidies and other costs are removed and passed separately from the Baucus bill, it becomes a $900 billion deficit-reduction measure, and ObamaCare can be advertised as the world's most affordable entitlement.

The intractable truth is that getting millions of new people health insurance is not costless. New insurance regulations intended to benefit the sick and uninsured will increase premiums for everyone else. Supporters of the Baucus plan implicitly respond, "Well, yes, that's why the bill has subsidies." But the subsidies are tightly limited to keep from exploding the deficit.

If the subsidies go up, the new taxes will have to go up. And those are already causing a revolt on the left.

In a revelatory moment, the unions argue that a tax on insurers offering high-priced "Cadillac" health plans will be passed along to consumers and hit the middle class. In this, they embrace a long-standing conservative argument that corporations don't pay taxes, their customers do. Perhaps for the first time ever, the head of the AFL-CIO thinks Milton Friedman has a point.

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that 87 percent of the tax would fall on Americans making less than $200,000 a year. Other Baucus taxes on drug companies and device-makers will be similarly passed along. The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin, says the insurance tax will have to be reduced. He told the AP that will cost money, "adding that he did not know where it would come from." That could be ObamaCare's motto.

This is the choice: Either premiums for middle-class people go up with limited compensating subsidies, or generous subsidies are funded with even more hidden middle-class taxes, or -- most likely -- some noxious combination of both.

Any of these choices is wrong politically. Democrats must, then, deny there's a cost to most people and hide it however they can. At the same time they attempt to stuff a massive new entitlement inside the politically necessary constraint of a deficit-neutral price tag of less than $1 trillion. They are like the movers who can't fit the couch through the door frame and keep backing it up and trying it a different way.

It's not going to fit. For that, blame the laws of the universe.

This is in-your-face fraud.  Period.

And the Democratic majority - understandably, given the history of media towards that party - expects that it can be perpetrated on you without much trouble. 

They're probably right.

Look at it this way:  Anyone who actually believes that 30 - 50 million more people can be given medical coverage without any change in the quality of care, and at a lower cost than when there were 30 - 50 million fewer people being covered, will believe anything.  And, evidently, there are millions and millions of people who believe this. 

A few questions for them, and for congress:

-The day that those 30-50 million more people are getting medical care, will congress also legislate the additional doctors to treat them? 

-Or the additional medical equipment? 

-Or the additional hospital beds? 

-Will there be no additional cost for the 30 - 50 million new patients?  Or will it cost even less than before -- because the government is in charge of it???????  

- Is this phenomenal expectation of efficiency based on the bangup job government has done in administering Medicare?

Just asking......


J STREET'S DEAD END

Ken Berwitz

J Street claims to be a pro-Israel organization dedicated to a peaceful two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.

In reality, it is a far left group that can't seem to find a thing Israel does right or that Palestinian Arabs do wrong. 

Later this month (October 25 -28th) J Street is having a convention in Washington DC.  And it apparently sent out invitations to all or most of congress.

A great many members, assuming it to be a truly a pro-Israel organization, accepted those invitations.  (Great vetting, guys.)

But what happens when they are made aware of what J Street actually is?

The Weekly Standard, a leading force in educating congress about J Street, is giving us an answer to that question.  Here are several of its blog entries for today, which tell the story:

Rep. Mike Castle Evacuated from J Street

J Street has lined up more than a hundred members of the House and some 30 members of the Senate to serve on the host committee for its inaugural conference later this month. Among the few Republicans on the list was Rep. Mike Castle, who has already thrown his hat in the ring for the race to fill Delaware's open Senate seat in 2010 and looks to be the early favorite. However, Castle's name suddenly disappeared from that list this morning. Why?

When I called Castle's office, they confirmed that they had asked for Castle's name to be removed from the list. I was also told that Castle was "totally unaware" that J Street had been using his name on their materials and that the decision to attach his name to the host committee was made at the "staff level."

"Someone was asked," and because J Street billed itself as a "pro-Israel" organization, a Castle staffer "just said, oh sure, of course." The Castle aide I spoke with was surprised to learn that one of the speakers at the J Street conference had blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks in the days that followed.

So the question is how many other members of the host committee are "totally unaware" that they've lent their names to J Street's conference? How many other offices made this decision at the "staff level," totally unaware that the group billing itself as pro-Israel was actually pro-engagement with Hamas and anti-sanctions on Iran? The number is likely substantial, and the number of Congressmen who distance themselves from this conference is, I'd bet, likely to grow.

Posted by Michael Goldfarb at 11:17 AM

More J Street Evacuations: Gillibrand, Schumer Drop Out

We reported this morning that Delaware Rep. Mike Castle, the front-runner for that state's open Senate seat in 2010, had withdrawn his name from the host committee for J Street's inaugural conference later this month -- his staff insists that Castle himself was "totally unaware" that his name had been attached to a conference that features a speaker who blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks. Now the other shoes are dropping. Ben Smith reports:

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has asked to be removed from the host committee for a conference of the left-leaning Jewish group J Street and was "unaware" she had been included on the group's list of supporters, spokesman Matt Canter said.

Her withdrawal comes after her political mentor, Chuck Schumer, also refused to participate in the event, and as the place of J Street -- positioning itself as liberal but staunchly "pro-Israel" -- remains hotly contested in American political circles.

I expect there will be many more members of Congress who were likewise "unaware" that their names were being used to boost the credibility of a group that supports engagement with Hamas, opposes sanctions on Iran (only six members of the House share that position), and believes the primary obstacle to peace in the Middle East is Israeli settlements. Stay tuned...

Posted by Michael Goldfarb at 02:09 PM

Another Congressman Evacuates J Street

The floodgates have opened. As members of the House and Senate either learn for the first time that their names are on the list of J Street's host committee or learn for the first time just what being "pro-Israel" means over at J Street, they're heading for the exits. Ben Smith reports:

One more name dropped off the list of some 150 members of Congress hosting an event for the liberal group J Street today: Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross.

A person in Ross's camp said they weren't sure how his name got on the host committee, but asked that it be removed.

That makes it four dropouts today: Reps. Castle and Ross and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.

THE WEEKLY STANDARD put a call in to another member of the Arkansas delegation, Senator Blanche Lincoln, asking her staff whether they might have been the victim of the same confusion -- whether they intended to lend the senator's name to an organization that advocates for engagement with Hamas and against sanctions on Iran. We will update when her office responds.

Only one Republican, Thad Cochran, remains on the list of senators endorsing the J Street conference. It's not clear why Cochran would want anything to do with a conference that features a speaker who pointed the finger at Israel for the 9/11 attacks in the immediate aftermath of that tragedy. Cochran is also cosponsor of the Lieberman-Bayh-Kyl Iran sanctions legislation in the Senate that J Street has vociferously opposed. Has Cochran changed his position on that issue? THE WEEKLY STANDARD has tried to pin down Cochran's staff on whether the senator intended to lend his name to the conference or whether this was some kind of mistake (though the number of legislators claiming their names were used without their permission might indicate this is more of a scam J Street is running than an honest mistake) with no clear answer so far. We will update when his office gets back to us.

I have a feeling that there are going to be more names dropping off this list ...

Update: Cochran's office informs THE WEEKLY STANDARD that he "will not be co-hosting the event."

Evacuation Continues: Cochran Flees J Street

The statement from Cochran's office: "Sen. Cochran will not be co-hosting the event." That makes five members of Congress who've yanked their support for the conference in less than 12 hours. When was the last time a conference had that kind of problem? How many more will drop out tomorrow? What kind of operation is J Street running that they have this many people claiming their names were being used without their consent? And for the members of Congress who remain on that list -- what kind of message are they trying to send by endorsing a conference that will feature a speaker who blamed Israel for 9/11, that will agitate against the very Iran sanctions legislation most of them voted for, and that will be a forum for Israel-bashers and Hamas sympathizers to rub elbows?

Posted by Michael Goldfarb at 07:11 PM

Do you doubt there will be more dropouts?  A lot more? 

And how many of them will claim they didn't even know their names were being used by J Street?  

Personally, I'm thrilled.  This bunch is about as pro-Israel as ahmadinejad.  

Special thanks to the folks at Weekly Standard for doing nothing more than advising members of congress what J Street is and what it stands for.

Oh, one other thing:  The Standard reports that one of J Street's featured performers is a "poet" and singer named Josh Healey.  Here is an example of his "poetry:

we call ourselves the chosen people
but I'm asking chosen for what?
chosen to recreate our own history
merely reversing the roles
with the script now reading that
we're the ones writing numbers
on the wrists of babies born in
the ghetto called Gaza
?

There you have it.  The essence of J Street. 

Like I said, expect more and more congresspeople to run from its conference.  And with damn good reason.

free` Makes you wonder why they signed up for it in the first place??? (10/16/09)


BASEBALL WEATHER

Ken Berwitz

When I was growing up in the 1950's, October 16th meant that the world series had been over for at least a week.

But it is 2009.  And October 16th is the first day of the American League playoff series, scheduled for up to 7 games, to determine which team will play in the world series. The world series itself will start on October 28 and, if it goes all seven games, will finish on November 5th.

The New York Yankees are playing the California Angels at Yankee Stadium tonight.  In the National League (their playoff series started yesterday) the Philadelphia Phillies are playing the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The current weather in New York City?  It is 44 degrees, going down to about 38 - 40, with occasional drizzling.  The raw, cold, dank feeling goes right through you.

How I hope it winds up being the Yankees versus Philadelphia.  Let the greedy bastards who run baseball figure out how to play in November weather in those two cities.  Better have some snow plows ready just in case.

Oh, by the way......go Yanks!

free` LOL Ken. I have a story for your series on why we fight islam. Somali Islamists: First it was mandatory veiling - now it's boob shakedowns in the street. reportonarrakis.blogspot.com/2009/10/somali-islamists-first-it-was-mandatory.html you aren't going to believe it. (10/16/09)

Ken Berwitz free - thanks for the heads-up (I'm desperately trying to avoid a number of bad puns here). I'm a little confused by why you'd mention it after a baseball blog....but it's very well worth posting. And I will. Many appreciations!! (10/16/09)


WELLINGTON COLLEGE: ENABLING SEXUAL PREDATORS

Ken Berwitz

This ugly story comes to us from London's Daily Mail.  The bold print is mine:

Pupils accused of 'sex attack' on girl, 13, at public school disco

By Tamara Cohen
Last updated at 9:24 AM on 16th October 2009

 

Two 15-year-old boys at a 28,000-a-year public school have been accused of serious sexual assault on a 13-year-old girl.

 

They allegedly attacked the fellow pupil at Wellington College in view of classmates during a school disco.

 

A group of boys in Year Ten are said to have targeted the first-year, who cannot be named for legal reasons, with one allegedly holding her down while another two performed a sex act on her.

 

All the students involved are boarders at the school, which put on the 'Rumble in the Jungle' disco in the school hall for pupils aged 13 to 15 on Saturday night.

 

No one has been arrested but the allegations are being investigated by Thames Valley Police.

 

A force spokesman said the victim and her parents had refused to press charges and decided to leave the matter in the hands of the school.

 

A source at the school said of the attack: 'It was in the school hall in front of everyone.

 

'People who saw it said she was in tears and was bleeding. She's in the lowest year and has only been at the school a few weeks.

 

'The police have been here all day trying to find people who saw it. The school are really angry about it and really want to keep it quiet. All the pupils in her year have had their mobiles and laptops taken away so they don't tell anyone.'

 

School staff refused to discuss the issue and released a statement saying: 'This is a private matter, it would be inappropriate to comment beyond saying that the school acted on legal advice and took the decision to involve police in a situation that did not require further police investigation.'

 

The allegations are a blow for headmaster Dr Anthony Seldon, who took over at the school in Crowthorne, Berkshire, in 2006.

 

The eminent historian has been credited with boosting academic standards and cleaning up the reputation of the co-educational boarding school after a series of sex and drug scandals.

 

In 2003, a 15-year-old boy pupil was arrested after allegedly raping a teenage girl from another public school, also during a school disco.

 

Earlier that year, two male prefects were reported to have been suspended after filming a 17-year-old girl and her boyfriend having sex.

 

In January 2004, a 15-year-old boy was expelled for dealing cannabis and two 16-year-olds suspended for using it at school.

 

Set in 400 acres of parkland, Wellington College was founded by Queen Victoria 150 years ago. Former pupils include George Orwell and Sebastian Faulks.

It is hard to decide which part of this story is most dispiriting:

-Is it the sexual assault itself?

-Is it that the sexual assault took place on a teenage girl in front of a roomful of other students (and what were they doing at the time other than watching the show?  Did any of them try to stop this?  Were any of them cheering?);

-Is it that the parents of the sexually assaulted girl refuse to press charges?

-Is it that the school is reported to have taken the cell phones and laptop computers from pupils to minimize their ability to tell others about what happened?

-Is it the school's position that "This is a private matter..."?

It's hard to choose, isn't it?

Beyond the assault itself, I see it as a tie between the parents refusing to press charges and the school taking the cell phones and laptops.

Suppose your teenage daughter is sexually assaulted at her school, during a disco when many other students are present.  Suppose A group of boys physically restrains her against her will, so that two of them can perform sex acts on her - while, apparently, no one in the room does a thing to stop it.  Neither students nor adults in attendance lift a hand.

Would you be absolutely outraged?  Would you press charges?  Or would you leave it to the school to do something instead of acting immediately and decisively on behalf of your child? 

If this story is true, the parents are not only idiots of the first order, but enablers of the animals that did this to their daughter.  The next young woman who is attacked will have these parents to thank for it. 

If you don't do something about violent sexual predators, you are telling them in so many words that what they did is ok to do again.

And the school's reaction?  To take away communications devices from pupils so they can't tell anyone that this occurred?  Who the hell's side are they on?  Did they get paid off from the parents of the animals they are protecting?  

And can the school staff possibly believe that a violent sexual assault by a group of boys on a helpless young woman is "a private matter"?  No it is NOT a private matter, it is a LEGAL matter and these boys should be arrested, taken into custody and charged with the felonies they committed. 

Has that happened?  Obviously it has not.  Even though countless students - and presumably school staff - witnessed the attack.

I have one other question:  Would you pay 28,000 british pounds a year (the equivalent of over $45,000) to send your child to a "school" where this could happen?  Would you pay $45?  $4.50?  


KRAUTHAMMER ON OBAMA

Ken Berwitz

Here is Charles Krauthammer's latest column.   It goes into detail about just how damaging Barack Obama's combination of inexperience and arrogance is to this country.

Please read every word.  The brilliance is Krauthammer's.  The bold print is mine:

Debacle in Moscow

 

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, October 16, 2009

 

About the only thing more comical than Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize was the reaction of those who deemed the award "premature," as if the brilliance of Obama's foreign policy is so self-evident and its success so assured that if only the Norway Five had waited a few years, his Nobel worthiness would have been universally acknowledged.

 

To believe this, you have to be a dreamy adolescent (preferably Scandinavian and a member of the Socialist International) or an indiscriminate imbiber of White House talking points. After all, this was precisely the spin on the president's various apology tours through Europe and the Middle East: National self-denigration -- excuse me, outreach and understanding -- is not meant to yield immediate results; it simply plants the seeds of good feeling from which foreign policy successes shall come.

 

Chauncey Gardiner could not have said it better. Well, at nine months, let's review.

 

What's come from Obama holding his tongue while Iranian demonstrators were being shot and from his recognizing the legitimacy of a thug regime illegitimately returned to power in a fraudulent election? Iran cracks down even more mercilessly on the opposition and races ahead with its nuclear program.

 

What's come from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking human rights off the table on a visit to China and from Obama's shameful refusal to see the Dalai Lama (a postponement, we are told)? China hasn't moved an inch on North Korea, Iran or human rights. Indeed, it's pushing with Russia to dethrone the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

 

What's come from the new-respect-for-Muslims Cairo speech and the unprecedented pressure on Israel for a total settlement freeze? "The settlement push backfired," reports The Post, and Arab-Israeli peace prospects have "arguably regressed."

 

And what's come from Obama's single most dramatic foreign policy stroke -- the sudden abrogation of missile defense arrangements with Poland and the Czech Republic that Russia had virulently opposed? For the East Europeans it was a crushing blow, a gratuitous restoration of Russian influence over a region that thought it had regained independence under American protection.

 

But maybe not gratuitous. Surely we got something in return for selling out our friends. Some brilliant secret trade-off to get strong Russian support for stopping Iran from going nuclear before it's too late? Just wait and see, said administration officials, who then gleefully played up an oblique statement by President Dmitry Medvedev a week later as vindication of the missile defense betrayal.

 

The Russian statement was so equivocal that such a claim seemed a ridiculous stretch at the time. Well, Clinton went to Moscow this week to nail down the deal. What did she get?

 

"Russia Not Budging on Iran Sanctions; Clinton Unable to Sway Counterpart." Such was The Post headline's succinct summary of the debacle.

 

Note how thoroughly Clinton was rebuffed. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that "threats, sanctions and threats of pressure" are "counterproductive." Note: It's not just sanctions that are worse than useless, but even the threat of mere pressure.

 

It gets worse. Having failed to get any movement from the Russians, Clinton herself moved -- to accommodate the Russian position! Sanctions? What sanctions? "We are not at that point yet," she averred. "That is not a conclusion we have reached . . . it is our preference that Iran work with the international community."

 

But wait a minute. Didn't Obama say in July that Iran had to show compliance by the G-20 summit in late September? And when that deadline passed, did he not then warn Iran that it would face "sanctions that have bite" and that it would have to take "a new course or face consequences"?

 

Gone with the wind. It's the United States that's now retreating from its already flimsy position of just three weeks ago. We're not doing sanctions now, you see. We're back to engagement. Just as the Russians suggest.

 

Henry Kissinger once said that the main job of Anatoly Dobrynin, the perennial Soviet ambassador to Washington, was to tell the Kremlin leadership that whenever they received a proposal from the United States that appeared disadvantageous to the United States, not to assume it was a trick.

 

No need for a Dobrynin today. The Russian leadership, hardly believing its luck, needs no interpreter to understand that when the Obama team clownishly rushes in bearing gifts and "reset" buttons, there is nothing ulterior, diabolical, clever or even serious behind it. It is amateurishness, wrapped in naivete, inside credulity. In short, the very stuff of Nobels.

Sorry for the amount of bold print.  But it is commensurate with the amount of brilliance, so there is bound to be plenty of it in a Krauthammer column.

This is a mess.  A mess that we have earned, by sending an unqualified Chicago machine politician out to the world, ripe to be played for a sucker by the professionals who are making mincemeat of him, therefore us.

What have we done to ourselves?


RADICAL ISLAM: WHY WE FIGHT

Ken Berwitz

With a thanks for the heads-up from commenter "free", here is another installment of why we fight radical Islam.  It comes to us from London's Daily Mail:

Whipped for wearing a 'deceptive' bra: Hardline Islamists in Somalia publicly flog women in Sharia crackdown

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 11:16 PM on 16th October 2009

A hardline Islamist group in Somalia has begun publicly whipping women for wearing bras that they claim violate Islam as they are 'deceptive'.

The insurgent group Al Shabaab has sent gunmen into the streets of Mogadishu to round up any women who appear to have a firm bust, residents claimed yesterday.

The women are then inspected to see if the firmness is natural, or if it is the result of wearing a bra.

If they are found wearing a bra, they are ordered to remove it and shake their breasts, residents said.

Al Shabaab, which seeks to impose a strict interpretation of Sharia law over all Somalia, also amputated a foot and a hand each from two young men accused of robbery earlier this month.

They have also banned movies, musical ringtones, dancing at wedding ceremonies and playing or watching soccer.

'Al Shabaab forced us to wear their type of full veil and now they order us to shake our breasts,' a resident, Halima, told Reuters, adding that her daughters had been whipped on Thursday.

'They  are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat.'

Officials of Al Shabaab, which Washington says is Al Qaeda's proxy in the failed Horn of Africa state, declined to comment. 

The group's hardline interpretation of Islamic law has shocked many Somalis, who are traditionally moderate Muslims. Some residents, however, give the insurgents credit for restoring order to the regions under their control.

Al Shabaab, which means 'youth' in Arabic, control large swathes of south and central Somalia.

Abdullahi Hussein, a student in north Mogadishu, said his elder brother was thrown behind bars when he fought back a man who humiliated their sister by asking her to remove her bra.

'My brother was jailed after he wrestled with a man that had beaten my sister and forced her to remove her bra. He could not stand it,' Hussein said.

Men were not spared the' moral cleansing'. Any man caught without a beard was been publicly whipped.

'I was beaten and my hair was cut off with a pair of scissors in the street,' Hussein said.

'My trouser was also cut up to the knee. They accused me of shaving my beard but I am only 18. 

'They have arrested dozens of men and women. You just find yourself being whipped by a masked man as soon as leave your house.'

Is it just me, or does a lot of "shari'a law" seem to consist of crazed lunatics making things up as they go along, so they can use the Koran as a basis for their sick violent tendencies?

We can fight radical Islam and either win or lose.  Or we can choose not fight radical Islam and most assuredly lose.  Because, either way, radical Islam is going to keep fighting. 

And if we lose, western civilization will be ended.  To be replaced by what?  A society where women are humiliated and beaten in the streets for wearing a bra???  And men are beaten for shaving???

 

There are people who want to live this way.  Thats their business and they're welcome to it.  I know I dont, and I assume you dont either. 

 

Thats why we fight.


THE RICK SANCHEZ RETRACTION SERIES

Ken Berwitz

What do you do with a TV host on a supposedly "trusted" news network, who keeps making statements that are inaccurate, which then have to be retracted?

That, folks, is what CNN has to decide about Rick Sanchez.

Here is a sampling, from Tim Graham, writing for www.newsbusters.org :

CNN Anchor Rick Sanchez Is Assembling a Pile of Retractions

 

By Tim Graham (Bio | Archive)
October 15, 2009 - 23:37 ET

 

Rich Noyes noted earlier that CNN's Rick Sanchez stated via Twitter what he couldn't say on the air because of the overdone "Balloon Boy" fracas. He was sorry he aired fabricated Rush Limbaugh quotes:

 

i've know rush. in person,i like him. his rhetoric,however is inexcusably divisive. he's right tho. we didn't confirm quote. our bad.

 

Our bad? How about "I was inexcusably reckless in airing fabricated quotes?"  But this is at least the third time in the last year that Sanchez has required a retraction when attacking a conservative or Republican.

 

Two months ago, Matthew Balan of NewsBusters forced Sanchez to retract his claim that Sen. John McCain said Republicans needed to recruit "competent" Hispanics, which inflamed CNN analyst Roland Martin. McCain never used that word.

 

It might go without saying, but "competent" Hispanic anchors don't require regular retractions.

 

(That came days after Sanchez suggested on Twitter that he couldn't be a sellout and work at Fox News: "do u know how much money i'd make if i'd sold out as hispanic and worked at fox news, r u kidding, one problem, looking in mirror". Fox's Julie Banderas fought back: "As a wise Latina woman, I have no comment other than to say... if I were Rick Sanchez, I wouldn't look in the mirror, period.")

 

Noel Sheppard reported last November that CNN reporter Jeanne Moos was assigned to correct Sanchez, who showed a video of President Bush not shaking hands at a G-20 summit: "And he seems like the most unpopular kid in high school that nobody liked. You know, the one with cooties."

 

Moos corrected: "It turns out the president had already shaken everybody's hand earlier that same day. In fact, he had shaken most of their hands twice starting the day before."

 

After all this unfairness, here's another claim Sanchez ought to retract: "I play it down the middle."

 

PS: Sanchez loves bringing on pundits from the liberal group Media Matters for America, the one Hillary boasted she created. In a story on Fox's Special Report tonight (a story I appeared in briefly), reporter Molly Henneberg said liberal author Jack Huberman claimed he got fabricated Limbaugh quotes from Media Matters, including Limbaugh's alleged praise for assassin James Earl Ray. Henneberg solicited this comment in reply:

 

"We are unsure where that quote came from, as well. We have never posted them." -- Doug Stauffer, Media Matters, 10/15/09.

 

Let's hope Media Matters wasn't claiming they never posted the "Slavery had its merits" quote -- because they did, on their "County Fair" blog. They jumped on it early, on October 7. Karl Frisch hailed Bryan Burwell for "one hell of a column" -- which included the fake slavery quote.

 

So much for the foes of "misinformation."

 

MMFA later updated the item with Burwell's cocky so-what response when confronted with the fake quote, as well as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's announcement that they will "continue to research the origin" of the quote, and not yet admit it was a fake.  

And Sanchez looks down his nose at Fox News?

Maybe it's just me, but I get the sense that people like Sanchez (and he is far, far from the only one) on competitive cable networks are so embittered by Fox's huge ratings compared to theirs, that they have given up any pretense of journalistic integrity.  

They see Fox News roughly the way KKKers see Black people:  i.e. the lowest of "us" is better than the best of "you".  That liberates people like Sanchez to make dumb statement after dumb statement, have to retract them, and still think he's somehow superior simply for not being on Fox.

Pathetic.

Zeke ...... FACTS ? ....... We doan need no Steenkin Facts ..... (10/16/09)


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