Thursday, 22 October 2009

THE J STREET CONFERENCE - WILL JAMES JONES SPEAK?

Ken Berwitz

Here is an excellent article by Gabriel Schoenfeld, writing for the New York Post, on what it means if Obama National Security Advisor James Jones shows up at the J Street Conference next week:

Another Obama test on Israel

Gabriel schoenfeld

By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD

 

J-street is a new Washington, DC-based Jewish lob bying group that is seeking a place at the table alongside more venerable organizations like the American Jewish Committee and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. Started only a year ago with generous "seed money" from the financier George Soros, its first national conference begins this Sunday. The keynote speaker -- if he shows up -- will be National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones.

The "if" is an important question, for there is a chance, if the White House pays attention to the controversy it would be stepping into, that Jones won't show. Among the growing list of notables who've already dropped off the program's "honorary host committee" are New York's two senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. The reason for such distancing isn't difficult to fathom. J-Street has been engaged in a bit of pretense. It bills itself as "pro-peace" yet is anything but -- except, perhaps, if its policy recommendations were ever followed, the peace of the grave.

Consider the Goldstone report, recently approved by the United Nations Human Rights Council, which denounces Israel for committing "crimes against humanity" when it acted decisively in Gaza last winter to defend itself against Hamas rockets being lobbed daily into its territory. J-Street has issued two statements on Goldstone. Neither contains an iota of criticism of a report that even The Economist, not exactly friendly toward Israel, calls a "thimbleful of poison" and the product of "willful blindness." Instead of condemning this UN travesty, J-Street has treated it with respect, calling upon Israel "to credibly address [its] full range of charges and findings."

Then there's the Iranian effort to acquire nuclear weapons, where J-Street has staked out a position to the left of the left. Last year, it launched a petition drive against a congressional resolution calling for tougher inspections of air and sea cargo heading for Iran, calling it "provocative" and "saber rattling."

More recently, J-Street has applauded the administration policy of "engagement" with the mullahs. There's nothing especially controversial about that. But J-Street has also adamantly opposed setting what it calls "artificial deadlines" in the talks now under way. Even the administration, as it goes the extra mile in diplomacy to probe Iran's intentions, is aware that time is an important factor in facing up to the Iranian bomb program. Indeed, the administration has set just such an "artificial deadline" in case Iran is using the negotiations to run out the clock.

J-Street calls itself "pro-Israel," but on one issue after the next -- from the administration's call for a total freeze on "natural growth" in settlements to its advocacy of direct Israeli talks with Hamas -- it embraces positions overwhelmingly rejected by the Israeli public. It even has endorsed staging the play "Seven Jewish Children," by the British playwright Caryll Churchill, which draws a "direct line" as The New Republic's James Kirchick has observed, connecting "Nazi Germany's mass murder of Jews to Israel's treatment of Palestinians."

It is difficult to see how the term "pro-Israel" applies. A better term might be "pro-squeezing Israel." J-Street favors a US policy that would force Israel to take steps long favored by the American and Israeli left that Israel's democratically elected government has considered time and again and deemed severely wanting.

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama spoke of how the US alliance with Israel is based on shared interests and shared values. "Those who threaten Israel," he said, "threaten us." Israel, he continued, "has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security."

Yet as president, Obama has been sending more than a few mixed signals and creating doubts about where he really stands. Jones has thus far kept a low profile as Obama's national-security adviser. Giving a keynote address to the phony "pro-peace" and "pro-Israel" J-Street convocation, if it proceeds, will be a revealing test of the administration's true intentions.

Gabriel Schoenfeld, a Hudson Institute senior fellow, is a resident scholar at the Witherspoon Institute.

For the record, more congresspeople than New York's two senators have dropped out of this Israel hate-fest.  As they should have.

Look, if you don't like Israel, don't like its policies and think that Palestinian Arabs, including hamas, are somehow the aggrieved parties here, then by all means align with J Street and be part of its conference.

But if you think that it makes sense for Israel to defend itself against people who are on record as wanting to vaporize the country and kill its Jews, then maybe you should find something else to do on those days.

Let's see where James Jones - and, by extention, Barack Obama - come out on this issue.

George Soros is waiting to see who is with him and who is against him -- whether that money was well spent.


GUEST EDITORIAL: SAN DIEGO NEWS-TRIBUNE

Ken Berwitz

Here is today's San Diego News-Tribune editorial, about the White House war against Fox News.  The bold print is mine:

Union-Tribune Editorial

Obama vs. Fox

White House shows immaturity, thin skin

2:00 a.m. October 22, 2009

By brazenly declaring war on a member of the Fourth Estate, the Obama administration is making a first-rate error in judgment.

Just because White House officials, and maybe even President Barack Obama himself, don't like Fox News doesn't mean they have the right to decide that the network is in the words of White House Communications Director Anita Dunn opinion journalism masquerading as news. Nor does it have the right to try to isolate Fox News by urging other networks to shun their colleagues because, as White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel put it, Obama does not want the CNNs and the others in the world [to] basically be led in following Fox. And it certainly doesn't have the right to call on other media outlets to do what Obama senior adviser David Axelrod wants them to do: join the administration in declaring that Fox is not a news organization.

Come again? Did we really just hear top White House officials try to rally the media to gang up on a single network because the administration doesn't like the stories it produces? What would James Madison say? The father of the Constitution took pains to establish the idea of a free press acting as a watchdog on government. Whether the levers of power are controlled by Republicans or Democrats, and whether the press is liberal or conservative, makes no difference. What matters is that the press be able to do its job, and that government stay out of the way.

Not only is it dangerous and wildly inappropriate for the White House any White House to start compiling enemies lists, it's also not very smart. Government should not make a habit of insulting and isolating a major news organization. Better to just ignore whatever bothers you. Otherwise, people might get the idea you have a thin skin and that you have something against being asked tough questions.

And the next thing you know, there are tough questions coming from all directions. Earlier this week at the White House press gaggle with reporters, ABC News' Jake Tapper tore into White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Tapper wanted to know why the administration thought it was appropriate to single out a specific news organization as inauthentic and then invite everyone to pile on in an attempt to marginalize critics. Gibbs couldn't come up with a good answer, and he frankly seemed surprised at the question. After all, isn't ABC News part of the club? Why would one of its reporters defend the opposition instead of just going along? The best that Gibbs could do was to insist that this was the White House opinion and it was sticking by it.

Bravo to Tapper. But shame on the White House. It's behavior is outrageous and petty. It can't win this battle, and it should never have engaged the fight. It's time to stop picking on Fox News, and start showing some maturity. Freedom of the press is not something to be trifled with especially when it makes the powerful uncomfortable.

Bingo. 

They get it.  Would that some of our other wonderful "neutral" media did.


COMMON SENSE FROM DICK CHENEY

Ken Berwitz

That's right.  Dick Cheney.  And he has plenty of it to offer, if only the Obama White House can stash its arrogance for two seconds and listen.  Here are excerpts from the Associated Press article covering Mr. Cheney's analysis:

Oct. 22, 2009

Cheney: Stop 'dithering' over Afghanistan

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says Obama must do 'what it takes to win' in Afghanistan

 

 (AP)  Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday night accused the White House of dithering over the strategy for the war in Afghanistan and urged President Barack Obama to "do what it takes to win."

"Make no mistake. Signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries," Cheney said while accepting an award from a conservative national security group, the Center for Security Policy.

Cheney disputed remarks by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that the Bush administration had been adrift concerning the war in Afghanistan and that the Obama administration had to start from the beginning to develop a strategy for the 8-year-old war.

To the contrary, Cheney said, the Bush administration undertook its own review of the war before leaving office and presented its findings to Obama's transition team.

"They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt," Cheney said. The strategy Obama announced in March bore a "striking resemblance" to what the Bush administration review had found, the vice president said.

"The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger," the former vice president said. "It's time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity."

Cheney criticized Obama's decision to drop plans begun in the Bush administration for missile defense interceptors in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic, calling the move "a strategic blunder and a breach of good faith." The administration said it will instead pursue a higher-tech system that is also more cost-effective.

"Our Polish and Czech friends are entitled to wonder how strategic plans and promises years in the making could be dissolved just like that with apparently little if any consultation," he said. "President Obama's cancellation of America's agreements with the Polish and Czech governments is a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans."

Cheney said those who try to placate Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and accede to his wishes will get nothing in return but trouble.

That is excellent advice.  Is there anyone in the current administration ready to take it?

Unfortunately for us, our soldiers and our allies, the prospects seem unlikely.....


CAN DOUGLAS HOFFMAN WIN?

Ken Berwitz

Douglas Hoffman is running as a conservative in the 23rd congressional district in New York.  He is running against two liberal Democrats - one of whom is on the Republican ticket.

Let me explain.

The 23rd is a Republican district (i.e. a majority of registrations are Republican).  The seat was held by Republican John McHugh, until he was tapped by President Obama to be Secretary of the Army.  Now it is up for grabs in a special election.

There are three major candidates running for McHugh's seat:

-Democrat Bill Owens (who currently leads in the most recent polling with just 33%, because Republican/Conservative votes are split);

-Republican Dede Scozzafava, whose Republican credentials are as hard to find as her name is to spell.  She is in second place at 29%, not far behind Owens;

-Conservative Douglas Hoffman, who has a far more mainstream Republican set of positions than Scozzafava and who is at 23% - in third place but with a serious chance to win if Scozzafava falters.

Scozzafava is a liberal Republican - enough so that she literally could have been the Democratic candidate.  She is supported by the hard-left www.dailykos.com, which says it all.

By contrast, Hoffman is a conservative Republican.  In his own words:

The GOP candidate, Dede Scozzafava, has voted for taxpayer funded abortions, higher taxes, more government spending and has regularly sought the support of ACORNs Working Families Party.  She loudly voiced support for the stimulus bill that has increased our national debt but has failed to improve the economy. She is a vocal supporter of legislation that would force many workers into unions. She is an Olympia Snowe Republican willing to sell out her party and GOP principles of limited government, lower taxes, and more individual liberty.  These are principles I hold strongly.

In New York's 23rd district, those positions would win in a two-person race.  It is entirely possible they will win in a three-person race. 

Who would have thought a third-party candidate would be so close this late in the campaign?  And who is to say that Scozzafava, who has made gaffe after gaffe in running for the seat (including calling the police on a reporter who asked questions she found embarrassing - so help me) will not fall by the wayside, with Hoffman picking up her losses?

It will be a fascinating election night....


THE DOJ AND FORCED RACIAL VOTING

Ken Berwitz

What if I told you the eric holder Department of Justice was forcing a town to have partisan elections, so that Black voters would know who is a Democrat, thus who to vote for?

And what if I told you that, with few exceptions, the mainstream media are burying this story?

Well, I am telling you this.  And here, from Ken Shepherd of www.newsbusters.org, are the specifics:

Networks, Newspapers Ignore Partisan, Racially-motivated Obama DOJ Action Against Kinston, NC

By Ken Shepherd

October 22, 2009 - 11:53 ET

The Obama ascendency, the president's acolytes have been keen on telling us, is the dawn of a new post-partisan era. But a development that undercuts that fiction -- the Obama Justice Department's recent move to scuttle non-partisan local elections in Kinston, North Carolina, on the basis of racial and partisan considerations -- has escaped the interest of the mainstream media.

Both the Washington Times (in a Tuesday front-pager) and NewsBusters sister site CNSNews.com have reported the story, but a Nexis search today yielded no stories from print outlets such as the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, or Los Angeles Times. Broadcast news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC have also failed to touch the story. Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" briefly discussed the story shortly before 7:00 a.m. EDT on the October 21 edition with Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund.

A search for news stories about the controversy on Google News this morning yielded only 14 hits, most of them from conservative organizations or blogs.

Below is an excerpt from CNSNews.com reporter Adam Brickley's October 21 story:

The U.S. Department of Justice is refusing to allow the town of Kinston, N.C., to hold nonpartisan local elections on the grounds that African Americans cannot win election without being listed as Democrats on the ballot. 

In a letter sent Saturday by to Kinston City Attorney James P. Cauley III, the Justice Department stated: Removing the partisan cue in municipal elections will, in all likelihood, eliminate the single factor that allows black candidates to be elected to office. 

The department Tuesday also refused to answer questions from CNSNews.com about the letter.

Kinston voters last year approved changing city council elections to a nonpartisan basis, similar to thousands of other towns in the U.S. without mention of party affiliation. 

The letter, written by Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King, flatly asserts that the decision was made on the assumption that the towns citizens use race as the primary consideration in voting. 

In Kinston elections, King wrote, voters base their choice more on the race of a candidate rather than his or her political affiliation, and without either the appeal to party loyalty or the ability to vote a straight ticket, the limited remaining support from white voters for a black Democratic candidate will diminish even more. 

Can you believe this?  The Department of Justice is forcing a town to have partisan elections even though the town does not want them.  Why?  So Black voters (who the DOJ evidently thinks are too stupid to make decisions on their own) will know who the Democratic candidates are, thus who they are supposed to vote for.

You see, in the eyes of the DOJ, Black voters select their candidates based on race and Black candidates are Democrats, so Black voters should know who the Democrats are in order to vote based on race.

That's what it says, doesn't it?  Read it again and see for yourself.

And how do the people of Kinston feel about this?  They were the ones who voted to have nonpartisan elections.  It was their choice to do this.

From the Washington Times article:

KINSTON, N.C. | Voters in this small city decided overwhelmingly last year to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections, but the Obama administration recently overruled the electorate and decided that equal rights for black voters cannot be achieved without the Democratic Party.

The Justice Department's ruling, which affects races for City Council and mayor, went so far as to say partisan elections are needed so that black voters can elect their "candidates of choice" - identified by the department as those who are Democrats and almost exclusively black.

The department ruled that white voters in Kinston will vote for blacks only if they are Democrats and that therefore the city cannot get rid of party affiliations for local elections because that would violate black voters' right to elect the candidates they want.

This is the eric holder Department of Justice in all it's "glory". 

If something like this ever happened in the Bush administration it would be front page/lead story news everywhere in the country, and there would be loud, angry demands that the Attorney General, who runs the DOJ, should resign or summarily be fired.

But this is the Obama administration and that's eric holder at the helm.  So it is buried as if it means nothing.

Then they wonder why people call them biased?  Then they wonder why people are fleeing in droves to alternative media for their news?


HATING SARAH PALIN --- FOR FUN AND PROFIT$

Ken Berwitz

From Thom Geier, at something called www.shelf-life.ew.com:

Attention, Sarah Palin bashers: Lookalike book 'Going Rouge' is coming!

by Thom Geier

Categories: Anthologies, Book Covers, Essays, News, Nonfiction, Publishing Biz

Sarah-Palin-books_l

We know that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin can hunt, and even field-dress a moose, but how will she take to poachers on her book sales? Start-up publisher OR Books has announced plans to publish Going Rouge: Sarah Palin An American Nightmare, a collection of essays about the maverick Republican with a title and cover design remarkably similar to Palins upcoming memoir. Whats more, ORs paperback tome will be released on Nov. 17, the same day that Palins own Going Rogue: An American Life hits shelves and one day after Palins just-announced, first-ever appearance on Oprah Winfreys show. (A shout-out to Ron Hogan at GalleyCat for the tip.)

Going Rouge is compiled by Richard Kim and Betsy Reed, two top editors of the left-leaning weekly The Nation, and includes essays by Nation regulars like Katrina vanden Heuvel, Naomi Klein, and Katha Pollitt. Its the first release from OR Books, a fledgling outfit founded earlier this year by publishing veterans John Oakes and Colin Robinson that embraces progressive change in politics, culture and the way we do business, according to its website.

I realize that this anti-Palin book is a paperback and probably wont be stocked anywhere near Palins hardcover memoir in bookstores, but are these jackets look too similar to be, well, fully kosher? At the very least, might some hockey-mom-loving conservatives be confused enough to pick up the wrong book? You betcha!

cover-promo

UPDATE: It seems that OR Books isnt unique in its attempt to capitalize on Sarah Palins upcoming memoir, Going Rogue nor in rearranging the letters of the title for its own effort. Cartoonist Julie Sigwart and political satirist Micheal Stinson are self-publishing Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book, a 48-page paperback that will be released Nov. 17 (the same day as the G.O.P. firebrands autobiography as well as OR Books anti-Palin essay collection, also titled Going Rouge). The sample pages on the books promotional website fall clearly into the realm of political satire, including a coloring page with lipsticks and pigs (naturally) and a caricature of Palin in fishing overalls and possible fishing gear: a gun, a saw, an ax, and a bomb.

The prevailing "wisdom" from these folks seems to be "She's a nut, a right-wing lunatic, ignorant, a slut, it wasn't her child, she's getting divorced, blah blah blah blah yada yada yada........but, hey, we can turn a buck here."

What a surprise.


ANN COULTER LETS FLY AT KEITH OLBERMANN

Ken Berwitz

Now this has the makings of a truly great feud. 

Ann Coulter is snide, sarcastic, sometimes gets her facts wrong, and is also brilliant, articulate and usually gets her facts right.

keith olbermann is snider, more sarcastic, very often gets his facts wrong, and also thinks he is brilliant and often gets his facts wrong (did I say that already?  oops, sorry).

Ann Coulter is a hugely successful author and lecturer (when her lectures are not intentionally prevented from occurring by the left wing thought police on college campuses, that is).

keith olbermann has had a modicum of success as a sportscaster and has spent 6 years eating Bill O'Reilly's dust on his mid-evening "Countdown" show.  (Illustratively, the latest data from www.mediabistro.com show O'Reilly tripling olbermann's viewership both in total and in the key 25-54 demographic).

So why do I think a feud is in the offing (especially given that these two have commented about each other in the past - mostly olbermann insulting Coulter -  without a hot war breaking out)? 

The reason is Ann Coulter's latest column, in which she has decided to hit back at olbermann but good.  Here it is:

The Grating Communicator
Ann Coulter
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

 

The Obama administration has attacked Fox News in order to prevent government corruption stories broken on Fox from bleeding into the other media, which are all-consumed with daily updates on Levi Johnston's Playgirl spread and Carrie Prejean's breast implants.

 

That's understandable. But I think the administration should have picked someone other than David Axelrod to deliver the claim that Fox News is "not really news," inasmuch as Axelrod was behind the leak of scurrilous allegations in Jack Ryan's sealed divorce papers when he was running for a Senate seat against Obama. Talk about vicious personal gossip.

 

Now that Fox has been branded an untouchable, the teacher's-pet media are jubilant.

 

In Newsweek, Jacob Weisberg wrote a column saying liberals should refuse to appear on Fox News, pointedly concluding, "And no, I don't want to come on 'The O'Reilly Factor' to discuss it." Considering that Weisberg is a 107-pound weasel with a speech impediment, this is on the order of Weisberg's announcing that he's not interested in appearing in the next "Ocean's Eleven" movie with George Clooney.

 

The strangest thing about all the invective against Fox is that it is happening in a world that contains MSNBC. At least Fox News primetime hosts, and many of their guests, know something about politics. MSNBC's primetime lineup presents an array of people who sound like earnest college kids who just walked up to a Common Cause table, and the sum-total of what they know about politics is what they read in the brochures.

 

In the past week, both Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann have rolled out the Willie Horton ad, claiming that it marked the beginning of vicious personal attacks in politics, as opposed to what it was: The most devastatingly relevant campaign commercial in all of American history.

 

You can always astonish college kids by telling them the true story of Willie Horton. Among the jaw-dropping facts are:

In the '80s, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that a prison furlough policy had to be extended to convicted murderers, who were ineligible for parole.

 

Even the Massachusetts Legislature, which contained about three Republicans, realized this was insane, and quickly passed a bill excluding first-degree murderers from the weekend furlough program. But in a desperate bid for the ACLU's Brain-Dead Liberal of the Year Award, Gov. Michael Dukakis vetoed the bill.

 

Horton, who was later released under this program, was in prison for carving up a teenager at a gas station and then stuffing his body into a garbage can. (He had already been convicted of attempted murder in South Carolina -- through no fault of his own, the victim survived.)

 

Even after Horton used his Dukakis-granted furlough to rape and torture a Maryland couple in their home for 12 straight hours, the Greek homunculus issued a statement reaffirming his strong support for furloughing murderers.

The Bush campaign commercial about Dukakis' furlough program never showed a picture of Horton. In fact, the actors playing "criminals" passing through a revolving door in the ad were all white.

 

Voters considered it relevant that a candidate for president was so beholden to the ACLU that he backed an idiotic furlough program that released first-degree murderers.

 

Every informed student of the 1988 campaign knows that the Bush ad didn't show Horton's picture. And yet in Keith's discussion of Bush's allegedly vile, racist use of Willie Horton, he used a phony version of the ad, doctored to include a photo of Horton.

 

I don't blame Keith personally for this blatant distortion: He gets all his research material from Markos Moulitsas and other left-wing bloggers, so he can't be held responsible for the content of his show. Keith's principle contribution to the program is his nightly display of self-congratulation and pompous douche-baggery.

 

Remember, Keith, like his MSNBC colleague Contessa Brewer, majored in "communications" in college, not a research-related field, such as political science. In his coursework, he learned such skills as: Dramatically Turning to Camera, Hysterical Self-Righteousness, Pausing Portentously and Gravely Demanding Apologies/Resignations From Various Public Figures.

 

Given this background, it's understandable that Keith will make errors. As viewers witnessed recently, he can't even pronounce the name of prominent American economist and philosopher, Thomas Sowell. (Although he did spend three weeks at a Berlitz course in Arabic honing his pronunciation of "Abu Ghraib" to razor-sharp prissiness.)

The bloggers and Keith bring different skill sets to the game. They provide the tendentious half-truths, phony opinion polls and spurious social science, while Keith provides his booming baritone, gigantic "Guys and Dolls" suits and gift for ridiculous, fustian grandiloquence. Keith is far better equipped than, say, the pint-sized, girly-voiced, Frito Bandito-accented Markos Moulitsas to deliver the party line.

 

But here's the fly in the ointment: Keith has once again been victimized by left-wing blogs into thinking that the 1988 Bush ad showed Willie Horton's picture, when in fact, Horton's race was deliberately scrubbed from the ad.

 

Again, in fairness to Keith, he's never been a "content guy." He was a communications major. (The agriculture school Keith attended offered a degree in this field.) He lifts the material for his show from liberal blogs, overwrites it, and throws in his trademark smirking and snorts. But that's all he does because, again, he was a communications major.

A few things about this column:

-I don't know how much Jacob Weisberg weighs and don't know why his weight or speech impediment (if he has one) bears on anything.  That was over the top.  I did, however, smile at the thought of someone described that way co-starring in Ocean's Eleven;

-I have not seen the willie horton ad in a long time.  But I remember pretty distinctly counting 14 men in the ad and thinking 11 were White and 3 were Black or Latino.  That is from memory and could be wrong, but it is pretty vivid in my mind.  In any event, it doesn't change Ms. Coulter's points (i.e. that horton himself was not in the ad and that the people in the ad were predominantly not Black);

-Something Coulter didn't mention:  The Bush campaign was not the first to bring up Dukakis' involvement in the release of willie horton.  Al Gore, running against Dukakis for the presidential nomination, did so before the Bush ad was aired.  And Time Magazine wrote a story about it before the ad was aired as well;

-"Homunculus" is latin for "little man".  If you knew that already, I apologize for doubting you.  But if you didn't (like me) it probably is helpful;

-keith olbermann graduated Cornell University (an Ivy League school - which he is happy to remind viewers of with some regularity).  But he did not attend the main school, he attended the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  It is fair to say that most people would not equate this to a conventional Cornell education.

Since, in addition to the "attributes" I've already noted about keith olbermann, he is so thin-skinned that it's surprising you don't see his skull configuration during the show, it is an excellent bet that he will unload on Coulter for her column; maybe as soon as tonight.

Hey, finally a reason to watch Countdown.

=========================================================================

UPDATE: 

I decided not to rely on memory for the "willie horton" ad, but to see it again.  So I went to www.youtube.com.  And guess what?  The one and only willie horton ad I've come up with is from something called the "National Security PAC".  And it shows willie horton's face.  What I cannot find is the Bush campaign's ad, which is what the hullabaloo was all about.   So far I've tried "willie horton ad", "willie horton commercial" and "willie horton commercial from Bush campaign", but none of those gets it to my screen.

That means people who go looking for Bush's willie horton ad may well walk away "knowing" that Bush used willie horton's face - which, we have been told countless times, injected racism into the campaign because horton is Black (yes, I know that showing horton's face inherently must show a Black man because horton is Black, but when did that ever get in the way of a good racism rant?).

Why has the actual Bush ad about willie horton seemingly disappeared from youtube?

==========================================================================

FURTHER UPDATE: 

After searching further, I finally found the Bush "revolving door" ad.  Not at youtube.com, but at something called livingroomcandidate.org.  You can see it by clicking here

What you will see (at least what I think I saw) is two Blacks and one Latino among the 19 or 20 (not 14) men in the ad.  Again, please click on the link I've provided and see it for yourself.  (FYI - 2 Black male prisoners out of 19 or 20 is far lower than the actual percentages of incarcerations for Massachusetts.   Here are some supportive data, from Harvard University.)

Asking again:  why is the Bush campaign's willie horton ad either not on youtube at all, or so hard to find that most people will give up and just assume it put out the full-face version?


COLLEEN CARROLL CAMPBELL SAYS IT PLAIN

Ken Berwitz

Here is an essay written by Colleen Carroll Campbell, for the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.  She couldn't be more on target.  Please pay particular attention to the paragraph I've put in bold print:

The White House war on Fox News

 

Colleen Carroll Campbell

 

10/22/2009


You'd think the leader of the free world would have more important things to worry about.

We are, after all, in the midst of a recession, two wars and a swine flu epidemic. Iran is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia is rebuffing our overtures to cooperate in imposing sanctions on Iran. The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating amid a fraud-marred election and White House indecision about a troop surge. Meanwhile, the dollar's value is falling; Americans are struggling to hold on to their homes and jobs and Congress is flirting with a health care reform proposal that many consider a cure worse than the disease.

But never mind all that. President Barack Obama has a serious issue to tackle. After enjoying adoring, 99 percent content-free press coverage throughout his campaign and recently winning a Nobel Peace Prize for his good intentions, Obama has smelled a skunk at the garden party of his presidency. Irked that one television network reports on his sagging poll numbers and tea-party critics rather than sticking to the White House talking points parroted by such bastions of objectivity as MSNBC, the conciliator-in-chief finally has decided to get tough on a rogue regime. He has launched a full-scale, all-hands-on-deck attack on ... Fox News.

After lamenting in June that "I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration," Obama boycotted Chris Wallace's "Fox News Sunday" show last month while visiting all of its competitors. He then dispatched communications director Anita Dunn to explain on CNN that Obama does not regard Fox as a "legitimate news organization" but as "the communications arm of the Republican Party." As proof of Fox's bias, Dunn noted indignantly that Wallace recently had fact-checked statements made by Obama administration official Tammy Duckworth.

 

Not everyone shared the administration's outrage at this affront. So White House officials upped the ante last week, taking to the airwaves to warn other journalists about the dangers of following up on the critical stories about Obama that Fox often breaks. White House senior adviser David Axelrod admonished ABC's George Stephanopoulos to remember that Fox's news programming is "really not news," so "other news organizations, like yours, ought not to treat them that way, and we're not going to treat them that way." White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel lectured CNN's John King on the importance of not having "the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox, as if what they're trying to do [sic] is a legitimate news organization."

This sudden concern for the integrity of American journalism is puzzling coming from an administration whose spokesperson recently was caught on video bragging to an overseas crowd about Team Obama's ability to dictate coverage during the election. As Dunn noted in January, "We controlled [press coverage] as opposed to the press controlled it Very rarely did we communicate through the press anything that we didn't absolutely control."

Apparently, Obama and his handlers have learned that it is easier to control media coverage while campaigning than while governing, just as it is easier to make promises than to keep them. No wonder, then, that they have chosen to pick a fight with that great bogeyman of the liberal imagination, Fox News. Perhaps White House officials are hoping for a twofer from this feud: a chance to gin up support from Obama's increasingly impatient base while distracting the rest of America from his inaction on priorities foreign and domestic.

It's a time-honored political trick, and if any politician can pull it off, Obama can. But sooner or later, this kill-the-messenger tactic will tire even his strongest supporters. Then the president will be forced to stop complaining about his critics and turn his attention to proving them wrong.

 

Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, television and radio host and St. Louis-based fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Her website is www.colleen-campbell.com.

Ms. Campbell is 100% dead-on (It sort of makes you wonder how she managed to get this printed by the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, doesn't it?).

When does the Obama administration stop blaming Fox, blaming Bush, blaming Republicans in general, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseam.....and do something beneficial for the country? 


IS THE STIMULUS PACKAGE WORKING?

Ken Berwitz

If President Obama and his Democratic majorities in congress gave us a genuinely successful stimulus package, that would go a long way toward alleviating the outrage over Republicans having no input at all in the legislation - not one word.  Nothing succeeds like success.

But, as John Lott, writing for Fox News, points out, the US "recovery", such as it is, is weaker than country after country that didn't create any such stimulus package.

See for yourself:

John Lott   - FOXNews.com  - October 22, 2009

LOTT'S NUMBERS: Why Is Unemployment Rising Faster In the U.S. Than Other Countries?

The Obama administration claims that it was their passage of massive government spending that saved the United States from another Great Depression.  Last week, Larry Summers, Obama's top economic adviser, claimed that because of the stimulus: 

"We have walked a substantial distance back from the economic abyss and are on the path toward economic recovery.  Most importantly, we have seen a substantial change in the trend of job loss."  

And Vice President Biden declared at the end of September: 

"In my wildest dreams, I never thought it [the stimulus] would work this well."

As President Obama and other Democrats have correctly pointed out many times, this has been a worldwide recession. But if Summers and Biden are right in their assessment of the stimulus measures, one would think that the U.S. economy should be recovering better the many other countries, countries not wise enough to follow Obama's lead of an extraordinary $787 billion increase in government spending.  It is also particularly timely to evaluate the spending since Christina Romer, the chairwoman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, told Congress today that the stimulus had already had most of its impact on the economy.
 
Take Canada. Their stimulus package was nowhere as extensive as ours.  Their
$22.7 billion in stimulus spending this year, and $17.2 billion next year, amounts to about 7.5 percent of their federal spending for their 2009 and 2010 budgets -- not much more than a third of the per-capita stimulus spending in the United States
 
Has Canadian unemployment climbed higher than than ours because of their relative inaction? Hardly. Last September, unemployment in both Canada and the U.S. stood at
6.2 percent. By January, when President Obama took office, the U.S. unemployment rate was 7.6 percent; Canada's was at 7.2 percent.  But since then U.S. unemployment has gone up much faster. In September, the U.S. unemployment rate had soared to 9.8 percent, while the Canadian rate had only increased to 8.4 percent.
 
But it is not just Canada where the unemployed are faring better. 
Other countries, too, decided against a massive stimulus plan. In March, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel nodding in agreement at his side, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared: "the problem is not about spending more."  Later that month, the president of the European Union, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic, castigated the Obama administration's deficit spending and bank bailouts as "a road to hell."  The Washington Post wrote that there was a fundamental divide that persists between the United States and many European countries over the best way to respond to the global financial crisis.
 
The unemployment rate in the European Union was higher than in the United States to begin with even before the Obama administration's spending. By January, the EU unemployment rate stood at 8.5 percent -- almost a whole percentage point higher than ours. So what has happened since the big U.S. stimulus spending spree was passed? We more than caught up with the EU's high unemployment rate.  By August, the last month data is available for the EU, the U.S.'s unemployment rate slightly exceeded the EU's -- 9.7 versus 9.6 percent.
 
Germany has particularly been out front resisting the call for more public spending.  Yet, from January through September, the German unemployment rate only rose slightly, from 7.9 to 8.2 percent.
 
Data on unemployment rates from 27 countries from Japan and South Korea to Brazil and other South American countries to Europe shows that from January to August display the same consistent pattern.  Even in the EU it isnt just a few countries that are driving the relatively small increase they have experienced.  The U.S. had a larger increase in unemployment that 22 countries -- that is, 81 percent of the countries had a smaller increase in unemployment this year than the United States. Unemployment in some major countries such as Brazil and Russia has actually
fallen since January (see Table here).  Other countries, from France to Mexico to Australia to Switzerland, have seen unemployment increase by only about half the amount of the U.S. rate. Indeed, the average increase in unemployment for the 27 countries is slightly less than half the US increase.
 
Table 1 can be
seen here.
 
As Canada illustrates, it isnt just countries that had higher unemployment rates before we passed our stimulus plan who have had smaller increases in unemployment this year. About half the countries had lower unemployment rates than the U.S. in January and half higher rates, but both groups of countries have seen much smaller increases in unemployment than the United States.
 
For thirteen countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development it is possible to use estimates of the size of different countries stimulus programs and compare it to the change in unemployment rates. Countries with larger stimulus spending tended to have bigger increases in unemployment.  Each one percentage point increase in a countrys GDP that is spent on a stimulus was associated with unemployment increasing by about a third of a percentage point.  The impact isnt statistically significant, but any increase in unemployment hardly comforts nations that are piling up huge debts.
 
Figure 1 can be
seen here.
 
So why would more stimulus increase unemployment? Spending almost a trillion dollars on various stimulus projects means moving a lot of resources from areas where the private sector would have spent it to the public sector thus eliminating the jobs many people currently have.
 
Jennifer Psaki, a White House spokesperson, declined numerous requests to answer any questions from Foxnews.com regarding the findings shown here.
 
The unemployment data from other countries raises serious questions about the large government-spending program, especially since the U.S. program that was primarily sold as a good way to create or save millions of jobs. With the Obama administration and Congress already talking about possibly providing another $200 billion to extend these government-spending programs, these data raise real questions about the efficacy of this spending.

No wonder the Obamanites hate Fox.  How dare they allow Lott to provide these facts!

Take a good look, folks, because what you have just read is the payoff for saddling our children and grandchildren with unprecedented debt.  We got less than countries which simply let the markets work.

So do you figure this will be lead-story material tonight on the networks' news shows?  Or in the NY Times or LA Times or Washington Post or Atlanta Journal-Constitution, etc. etc. etc. tomorrow morning?  Or on the Today show? 

If so, give me a puff of what you're smoking.  It must be the good stuff.


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