Saturday, 17 October 2009

COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: THE DEMOCRATIC SCANDAL THAT MEDIA AVOID

Ken Berwitz

Thank you, Wall Street Journal, for talking about this. Most of the rest of our wonderful "neutral" media are too busy protecting the Democratic Party to act like journalists. (And thank you Sean Hannity for running a video, last night, of the Democratic committee members fleeing this meeting like rats leaving a ship):

The Vote Democrats Don't Want

Whatever you do, don't mention Countrywide.

By JAMES FREEMAN

If you think moderate Democrats are afraid of voting for ObamaCare, you should see how they react to a potential vote on the Countrywide Financial loan scandal.

The House oversight committee was scheduled to meet on Thursday afternoon to mark up several minor pieces of legislation. Days before the meeting, California Republican Darrell Issa notified committee Chairman Edolphus Towns that Mr. Issa would call for a vote to subpoena Countrywide documents from Bank of America, which bought the failed subprime lender last year. Recall that, under the "Friends of Angelo" program, named for former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, Democratic Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad received sweetheart deals on home mortgages. Mr. Issa wants to uncover the full story on Countrywide's effort to influence Washington policy makers.

Mr. Towns, a New York Democrat who also received mortgages from the unit that processed the VIP loans but claims he received no favors, has opposed such a subpoena. But can he count on his Democratic colleagues to vote it down? Perhaps Mr. Towns would rather not find out. Mr. Issa showed up for the scheduled 2 p.m. markup on Thursday hoping that a few Democrats would vote his way and allow the investigation to proceed. Then a strange thing happened: As Mr. Issa and the GOP members of the committee sat waiting for the meeting to begin, Democrats huddled in a back room without explanation. Thirty-five minutes later, the committee announced that the meeting had been postponed indefinitely.

A committee press release later claimed the postponement was "due to conflicts" with a markup occurring at the same time in the financial services committee. But Mr. Issa's staff videotaped several financial services members leaving the back-room gathering with Mr. Towns at the conclusion of the meeting. If members were there to confab with Chairman Towns, obviously they weren't at any finance committee markup -- suggesting the real "conflict" was between Democrats over whether to keep stonewalling the Countrywide matter.

This is a major scandal and a major disgrace.  That should send media swarming all over it.

But it is a DEMOCRATIC major scandal and major disgrace.  So it has received almost no coverage for the year that it has festered.  

Illustratively, today's New York Times does not have a word about this.  Democrats are shunning public exposure of the Countrywide Financial scandal like Dracula shunning a cross.

If it were Republicans getting sweetheart deals on mortgages from a financial company looking for political benefits, do you think the Times would look the other way?  The networks? 

Then they wonder why people call them biased.

I hope that Darrell Issa and other Republicans - maybe even a few Democrats with consciences - do everything in their power to have this scandal finally see the light of day. 

Heck, maybe even the Times and the major networks would have to notice it then.


SUDAN: ANOTHER OBAMA CAVE-IN

Ken Berwitz

Is there a terrorist or mass murderer that Barack Obama won't cave in to?

Iran.  The dicatator wannabe in Honduras.  Now Sudan.

Here is an excerpt from an Associated Press article that tells the sad, sorry, sickening story:

WASHINGTON In a new effort to engage the government of Sudan, U.S. officials say the White House will shift its policy toward Khartoum, but they warn that the violence and humanitarian abuses in Darfur must stop.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, and the administration's special Sudan envoy, Scott Gration, are to unveil the policy Monday at a news conference at the State Department, the officials said.

 

The officials spoke late Friday on condition of anonymity because Congress has not yet been briefed on the matter.

 

The announcement is planned to show unity within the Obama administration. Rice and Gration have notoriously clashed over engaging with the Sudanese government of President Omar al-Bashir, who has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity and war crimes for allegedly masterminding deadly attacks throughout Darfur.

 

Gration has argued in public for a less strict line toward Bashir, who he has told officials is the key to resolving the situation in Darfur as well as in southern Sudan, which in 2005 signed a provisional peace deal with the government in Khartoum, ending Africa's longest-runnning civil war.

 

However, the officials said the new policy will not make major concessions to Bashir, whose government is designated a "state sponsor of terrorism" by the State Department.

 

Instead, the new policy is designed to bring Khartoum into the fold by offering incentives for improved relations for improvements in the situation in Darfur as well as in southern Sudan, which will hold a referendum on succession scheduled to take place in 2011, they said.

Got that?  We're shifting our policy towards an unrepentant mass murdering terrorist scumbag.  We're going to offer him concessions.  Not "major" ones, mind you.  Just some goodies that, in the happy horsemanure world of the Obama administration, are thought of as a way to make him renounce his behavior and become a nice guy. 

A little like Benjamin Netanyahu giving some gifts to ahmadinejad in the hope that he will become more pro-Israel.

For whatever it is worth (which admittedly is next to nothing) this is the exact opposite of what Mr. Obama promised to do about Sudan during last year's election campaign. 

Obama was a brilliant foreign policy expert on Sudan, Iran, the middle east conflict, and everywhere else -- until he actually was expected to do something.  Now his lack of experience, naivete and obedience to the left wing appeaser crowd is in full view.  And it is damaging not only the United States, but people around the world who hope that we can save them from the fate of the ahmadinejads, zelayas and bashirs.

And, dsdaly we deserve this.  We did this 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 Neville Chamberlain approach to international affairs that he shows again and again.

The next time we can do something about this is the 2010 elections.  At least take away his rubber stamp congress so that there is a real dialogue about policy - not a smirking nancy pelosi telling us that the other party has no say at all because "we won". 

Those elections cannot come fast enough.


RUSH LIMBAUGH HAS HIS SAY

Ken Berwitz

For the past 1-2 weeks we have all been inundated with stories about Rush Limbaugh and the racist comments he is alleged to have made - comments that should disqualify him from owning even a small part of an NFL team. 

Here is Rush Limbaugh's side of things, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, with no editorial comment of mine one way or the other.

Make of it what you will:

Friday, October 16, 2009 As of 10:27 PM EDT

Opinion JournalOCTOBER 16, 2009, 10:27 P.M. ET

 

The Race Card, Football and Me

 

My critics would have you believe no conservative meets NFL 'standards.'

By RUSH LIMBAUGH

 

David Checketts, an investor and owner of sports teams, approached me in late May about investing in the St. Louis Rams football franchise. As a football fan, I was intrigued. I invited him to my home where we discussed it further. Even after informing him that some people might try to make an issue of my participation, Mr. Checketts said he didn't much care. I accepted his offer.

 

It didn't take long before my name was selectively leaked to the media as part of the Checketts investment group. Shortly thereafter, the media elicited comments from the likes of Al Sharpton. In 1998 Mr. Sharpton was found guilty of defamation and ordered to pay $65,000 for falsely accusing a New York prosecutor of rape in the 1987 Tawana Brawley case. He also played a leading role in the 1991 Crown Heights riot (he called neighborhood Jews "diamond merchants") and 1995 Freddie's Fashion Mart riot.

 

Not to be outdone, Jesse Jackson, whose history includes anti-Semitic speech (in 1984 he referred to Jews as "Hymies" and to New York City as "Hymietown" in a Washington Post interview) chimed in. He found me unfit to be associated with the NFL. I was too divisive and worse. I was accused of once supporting slavery and having praised Martin Luther King Jr.'s murderer, James Earl Ray.

 

Next came writers in the sports world, like the Washington Post's Michael Wilbon. He wrote this gem earlier this week: "I'm not going to try and give specific examples of things Limbaugh has said over the years because I screwed up already doing that, repeating a quote attributed to Limbaugh (about slavery) which he has told me he simply did not say and does not reflect his feelings. I take him at his word. . . . "

 

Mr. Wilbon wasn't alone. Numerous sportswriters, CNN, MSNBC, among others, falsely attributed to me statements I had never made. Their sources, as best I can tell, were Wikipedia and each other. But the Wikipedia post was based on a fabrication printed in a book that also lacked any citation to an actual source.

 

I never said I supported slavery and I never praised James Earl Ray. How sick would that be? Just as sick as those who would use such outrageous slanders against me or anyone else who never even thought such things. Mr. Wilbon refuses to take responsibility for his poison pen, writing instead that he will take my word that I did not make these statements; others, like Rick Sanchez of CNN, essentially used the same sleight-of-hand.

 

The sports media elicited comments from a handful of players, none of whom I can recall ever meeting. Among other things, at least one said he would never play for a team I was involved in given my racial views. My racial views? You mean, my belief in a colorblind society where every individual is treated as a precious human being without regard to his race? Where football players should earn as much as they can and keep as much as they can, regardless of race? Those controversial racial views?

 

The NFL players union boss, DeMaurice Smith, jumped in. A Washington criminal defense lawyer, Democratic Party supporter and Barack Obama donor, he sent a much publicized email to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying that it was important for the league to reject discrimination and hatred.

 

When Mr. Goodell was asked about me, he suggested that my 2003 comment criticizing the media's coverage of Donovan McNabbin which I said the media was cheerleading Mr. McNabb because they wanted a successful black quarterbackfell short of the NFL's "high standard." High standard? Half a decade later, the media would behave the same way about the presidential candidacy of Mr. Obama.

 

Having brought me into his group, Mr. Checketts now wanted a way out. He asked me to resign. I told him no way. I had done nothing wrong. I had not uttered the words these people were putting in my mouth. And I would not bow to their libels and pressure. He would have to drop me from the group. A few days later, he did.

 

As I explained on my radio show, this spectacle is bigger than I am on several levels. There is a contempt in the news business, including the sportswriter community, for conservatives that reflects the blind hatred espoused by Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson. "Racism" is too often their sledgehammer. And it is being used to try to keep citizens who don't share the left's agenda from participating in the full array of opportunities this nation otherwise affords each of us. It was on display many years ago in an effort to smear Clarence Thomas with racist stereotypes and keep him off the Supreme Court. More recently, it was employed against patriotic citizens who attended town-hall meetings and tea-party protests.

 

These intimidation tactics are working and spreading, and they are a cancer on our society.

 

Paul It seems to me that all the negative vibes this blowhard (Rush Hudson Limbaugh A.KA. Jeff Christie) has been spewing over these many years has come back to blow back on his face (A classic “Blow Back”). He always tries to give off the airs that he can have anything he wants but as we all witness those with more money and more influence tossed him aside like sack of potatoes and the ultimate insult was that it was done in public (money don’t buy you everything butterball). Now of course he blames everyone else (Michael J. Fox, Perez Hilton, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor, Hillary Clinton, Olympia Snowe, ESPN, NFL, the media, basically people of color, the handicapped, women and gays) when of course all you have to do is listen to his show and plainly hear his daily prejudices filled sermons. So NFL, I salute you decision, job well done. And to the whaling cry baby perched on his self made pedestal, quit your whining it was your own fault. Don’t we all feel better? (10/17/09)


CHRIS CHRISTIE: A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Ken Berwitz

Sorry, Chris.  This is not how you beat Jon Corzine.

Excerpted from the Newark Star-Ledger:

Civility reigns in surprising second debate

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Josh Margolin

STATEHOUSE

and claire heininger

They've been pummeling each other on the stump and in TV commercials, but the major candidates for governor were polite with each other last night in a surprisingly respectful debate. Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, Republican Chris Christie and independent Chris Daggett highlighted their philosophical governing differences and disagreements on the issues while fielding questions from panelists and students at William Paterson University. For the most part, they stayed away from the personal attacks and vicious rhetoric that has put the campaign in the national spotlight.

Unlike their first face-to-face meeting, Corzine and Christie seemed focused and relaxed. And Daggett, instead of targeting his efforts at Christie, was an equal-opportunity challenger, first hitting Christie and then shifting his sights to the incumbent governor during the 90-minute debate.

"There are more than two choices, there are three choices at least in this election," Daggett said. "Just imagine if we send a message out all across this country that it's time to end politics as usual ... Believe me: it's never wrong to vote for the right person."

Corzine spent the evening defending the record of the last four years and trying to underscore the differences between himself and Christie, who are both struggling, according to the polls, to make their cases to New Jersey voters.

"We can see clear contrasts ... stark contrasts, quite frankly," Corzine said. "This is a truly clear choice in this election about the direction that folks would want."

Corzine also spent much of his time on his steady theme that Christie is not the right choice for middle-class residents. "I will not," Corzine declared, "give tax cuts out to the very wealthy and big business."

Christie borrowed a rhetorical flourish from the late Ronald Reagan by asking viewers "Do you believe your life has improved?" He continued posing questions designed to show his main theme that Corzine has failed. "Do you believe that if we continue the same policies that we will get a different result? I simply don't."

The most contentious exchange came on the topic of the campaign itself and how ugly it has become.

"Both campaigns -- Republican and Democrat -- have embarrassed our state," said Daggett, a Republican-turned-independent who has shown unexpected strength in recent weeks

His once-formidable lead in the polls gone, Christie used the question to attack Corzine for using Christie's weight as a topic in ads and on the trail.

"Tonight would be a good night for me to let everybody in on a little secret ... I'm slightly overweight," Christie said. "I don't know why the governor and his staff don't just admit what he's doing."

 That line drew applause. Christie and Daggett got cheers from the audience at other points in the debate.

"I don't care a hoot about Mr. Christie's weight," said Corzine, who quickly segued to health care. "I do care about what matters for the people of New Jersey."

Calling out Corzine on his nasty jibes at Christie's weight was good, as the audience reaction demonstrated.  But when Corzine answered that he didn't care about Christie's weight, why didn't Christie come back with something like

"That is not true Mr. Corzine.  We've all seen ad after ad of yours calling attention to my weight.  You seem to have no problem lying to us, even when the lie is right out there in front of us.  Just like you are lying when you say I would deny women insurance coverage for their mammograms".

That would have put Corzine on the defensive:  not just on the weight, but on mammograms - a key wedge issue that Corzine has successfully used to take votes from Christie.  Most New Jersey voters have seen the "weight" ads against Christie over and over again, so the claim that Corzine was lying when he said he didn't care about Christie's weight has great credibility - which would have then attached to Christie's claim that Corzine was lying about mammograms.  

This what Christie has to do to win.

If Chris Christie were running for Mister Congeniality, politeness would take him far.  But he is running for Governor against a dirty campaigner with unlimited funding.  He will either take the offensive and force Corzine to defend the dirt he is throwing, or he will lose the election.

It's as simple as that.

Zeke ..... RINO .... RINO ..... RINO ...... Who gives these candidates their campaign strategy ? ... Bob Dole ?? ..... and that woman in the special NY race to replace the Republican House member who became Obama's Sec of the Army. She is a Republican, but supports Card Check, Global Warming, Stimulus Spending. .... Based on their views, it seems like Obama is selecting the Republican candidates. (10/17/09)


MORE ON THE J STREET CONFERENCE

Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I blogged about the hard-left, anti-Israel group J Street, and how congresspeople who were invited to its October 25 - 28 conference are declining to attend once they learn about the true nature of this organization.

Here is more, from Scott Johnson of www.powerlineblog.com.  Please pay special attention to the segment I've put in bold print:

Guess who's coming to dinner

October 17, 2009 Posted by Scott at 8:00 AM

Paul Mirengoff has been tracking the sponsoring hosts of the gala first annual dinner/conference to be held by the phony pro-peace, genuinely anti-Israel organization J Street in posts here and here. Michael Goldfarb adds that J Street "has been hemorraghing sponsors as Senators and Congressmen learned of its true agenda. Just in the last few hours," Goldfarb wrote yesterday, "Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Leonard Boswell (D-IA), have asked to have their names removed from the host committee."

Now what? Goldfarb reports that "J Street has played its hole card: Obama national security advisor Jim Jones has accepted an invitation to participate." The Obama administration apparently does not tire of making clear its hostility to Israel and its elected government.

Goldfarb also reports that Jones will be joined by other speakers who might make him squirm if he sticks around to listen. Among the other honored speakers scheduled to attend the J Street conference is "poet" Josh Healey, author of such works as "Queer Intifada," about his participation in the "Palestinian solidarity march," in which he declares that "Guantanamo is Auschwitz" and that Anne Frank is Matthew Shepard.

How can the Obama administration legitimize these people? 

Well, if you don't really like Israel very much, and you sympathize with Israel's enemies - the ones sworn to vaporize the Jewish state - it apparently is no problem at all.

As others are running, not walking, from J Street, the Obama administration sends its national security advisor to be a participant in its Israel hate-fest.

According to the exit polls, about 78% of all US Jews voted for Barack Obama.  Presumably, most of them support Israel.

I hope they're happy with what they got. 

Speaking as one of the other 22%, I can assure you I am not.

free` I know I have said this before, but, I don't know why you presume most of the American Jews that voted for obama support Israel. I believe most of that 78% in fact blame Israel for the trouble in the M.E. I think most of that 78% worship liberalism above G-D. (10/17/09)


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