Thursday, 05 November 2009


Ken Berwitz

Information very sketchy so far, and - as with all breaking news like this - sure to change and expand rapidly.

So far we are told that there are 7 dead and 20-30 injured to varying degrees.  We do not know who the shooters are or why they shot.

What a terrible event.


UPDATE:  Now reports are that the death toll is up to 12, over 30 are injured...and the primary shooter has been kiilled by local police, but there are at least two others involved.


FURTHER UPDATE:  Later reports indicate that there was just one shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, and he is not dead, but shot and hospitalized.




Ken Berwitz

From Ken Shepherd at

Campaign Dirty Trick Targeted Gay GOP Alderman Candidate, MSM Fail to Run with Story


By Ken Shepherd (Bio | Archive)
November 5, 2009 - 15:18 ET


An openly gay city council candidate is targeted by malicious campaign literature suggesting he may be a pedophile and subsequently loses his bid for alderman.


It's the type of story highlighting bigotry and homophobia that the mainstream media would love to trumpet and it happened just days ago in the 2009 city elections in Annapolis, Md.


Unfortunately for Scott Bowling, he's a Republican in the liberal capital city of Maryland.


Aside from coverage in the Annapolis Capital and the Baltimore Sun's Maryland Politics blog, a Google News search and Nexis searches of the AP wire, major newspapers, and network transcripts revealed no coverage of the story in the mainstream media:


A candidate for Annapolis alderman says he will file a complaint with the state Attorney Generals office after an anonymous racist and homophobic flier criticizing his candidacy began circulating last weekend.


The flier, addressed to the Friends and Supporters of Black Annapolis, was distributed in public housing developments in Ward 3, where Republican Scott Bowling, who is white, is challenging the Democratic incumbent Classie Hoyle, who is African-American.


The flier states that Bowling will be a danger to us all and our children, and makes references to the risk of sexual assault, and says that Bowling is white and gay, and wants to push for a pro gay agenda at City Hall.


Its racial, bigoted and prejudiced and this has no place in Annapolis politics, said Bowling, 38, a mortgage banker.


The flier also compares Bowling, who is openly gay, to Samuel E. Shropshire, the alderman who has been accused of fondling a male midshipman.


Given Annapolis's proximity to Washington, D.C., it's hard to believe that this story would not come to the attention of editors at the Washington Post or the bureau chiefs for the cable news networks in D.C. Yet although the Post has a Maryland Politics blog, the Bowling controversy has not even been covered in that lightly-trafficked portion of the Post's Web page, much less given ink in the dead tree edition.


Here's a conversation that could have taken place among certain supporters of Classie Hoyle, the beneficiary of this sick witch hunt:  

"Ok guys, no need to worry about the homophobic political filth against Scott Bowling.  Hey, he's a Republican, so go to it. 

"And while we're at it, why not toss in a hefty dose of racism against him too?  No one will care, I guarantee the mainstream media will look the other way for us.

"I know they talk about homophobia and racism all the time.  But he's a REPUBLICAN, remember?  And a WHITE one too, so they won't see it as racism at all.  They'll basically ignore what we do."

It makes me want to puke.


Ken Berwitz

Remember when President Bush was absolutely skewered for reading to a class of schoolchildren for a short time after initially being apprised that the World Trade Center was hit by one or more planes on 9/11/01?

Well, watch this video, and see President Obama, who had been told of the Fort Hood massacre, spend almost two minutes crowing about a conference on Native Americans today, essentially putting political BS before any mention of what happened there.

Great move, Mr. President.

Let's see how our wonderful "neutral" media address this tonight and tomorrow.

Want to take bets?


Ken Berwitz

Why did Barack Obama use our taxpayer money to bail out GM and Chrysler?  Why didn't he allow them to go bankrupt and re-organize in a way that at least gave them a chance to get out from under?

Unions.  There's your one word answer.  GM and Chrysler, in bankruptcy, would have dramatically changed their pay and benefits scale to automotive unions - which have deals, made under far better times, that are completely out of whack with today's reality. 

But now, with Uncle Sap paying the losses, there is no problem at all.  It no longer matters whether GM and Chrysler lose money, because it isn't their money.  It's our money. 

And what about Ford, the one major US automaker which did not give itself over to Obama & Co.? 

Well, here is a piece by of that tells you -- and explains why most of us are so in the dark about what is actually happening:

It's About Time: AP Admits Ford 'Has Benefited From Customer Goodwill' For Not Taking Govt. $

By Tom Blumer
November 5, 2009 - 00:18 ET


 Well, it only took them the better part of a year to pick up on what yours truly first noted in early February (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), , and what anyone with eyes has surely known for months, But the Associated Press has finally acknowledged it -- or at least it's the first time I've seen the wire service do so.


In the eighth paragraph of their article covering October's auto sales, AP reporters Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin recognized part of the reason -- and perhaps the most important reason -- why Ford has been cleaning the clocks of General Motors and Chrysler all year long:


Ford has benefited from consumer goodwill because it didn't take government bailout money or go into bankruptcy protection, as General Motors and Chrysler did.


Though October seems at first glance to have turned out somewhat differently than the first nine months of the year for Detroit's sort-of Big 3, that really isn't the case.

  • Yes, GM scored its first year-over-year improvement in 21 months (+5.6%), but that was after a 45% year-over-year decline in October 2008.
  • GM's unit sales increase in October over September, which was marred by a post-Cash for Clunkers hangover, was only 13.5%. The analogous gains at both Ford and Toyota were over 20%.
  • Chrysler only eked out a 5.8% improvement from September to October, and has been consistently selling fewer than 70,000 vehicles per month.
  • GM is overdosing on buyer incentives, which the AP pair said averaged $4,100 per vehicle. Though I don't have specific comparables for the competition, Edmunds reports that industrywide incentives were on average far lower. GM's profitablity has to be suffering (more likely it is hemorrhaging cash), unless its Chinese operations are somehow propping up North America.

Ford reported a profit of almost $1 billion in its most recent quarter. GM and Chrysler should be reporting results soon -- I think. GM passed on telling us what happened in the quarter that ended in June, but promised that it would issue full-blown financials covering its emergence from bankruptcy through September 30, even though (brace yourself) it said that as "a private company," it doesn't really have to. Chrysler's results will my be incorporated into the financial statements of minority owner Fiat, and depending on how presented may or not be readily separable from Fiat's other worldwide operations.


Regardless of which financial numbers if any get released, the unit sales numbers tell us all we need to know. Ford is heading up, while GM and Chrysler are tumbling down. Either the Obama administration and its car czars failed to consider the possibility of public rejection of the companies once they received federal money and went through bankruptcies, or they didn't care and went ahead anyway. At least $81 billion later (much more if the bailout at GMAC is considered, as it should be), here we are.


Media coverage of the full extent of already recognized and possible additional taxpayer losses has rarely escaped the business pages, even though the decisions involved in "saving" the two companies were mostly if not entirely political.

In other words, Ford is strengthening while GM and especially Chrysler are only selling cars because of how heavily they are being subsidized -- by OUR TAX MONEY.  And prospective car buyers appear to be incorporating the high road that Ford took into their buying decisions.

But, for a change, our wonderful "neutral" media are, for the most part, burying it so that you're not supposed to know.

Based on how Ford is doing relative to GM and Chrysler, I don't blame them.

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.

Zeke ... So.... Mr. Obama's Kash-fer-Klunkahs program is effective and achieved its objectives [ "Unions. There's your one word answer." ] ... As a country, we are eating our seed corn ... Saving union jobs at $250,000 apiece is a long term tax burden. ... ... And, when interest rates go up (and with inflation returning, they will) the US will be in a 3rd world situation -- huge annual interest payments on national debt. ... (11/05/09)


Ken Berwitz

This is from my pal Bob.  I don't know where he got it, but I think it is well worth posting.

See if you agree:

If George W.  Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how  inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?
If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?
 If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan's holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have  approved?
 If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have  approved?
 If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?
If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky? 
If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved?
 If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip or proof of his stupidity? 
If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved? 
If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?
 If George W.  Bush had misspelled the word "advice" would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potato as proof of what a dunce he is?
 If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?
If George W. Bush's administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?   
If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and  incompetence? 
If  George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO  of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved? 
 If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved? (NOTE:  I'm not so sure of this one)
If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved? 
If George Bush had isolated a significant branch of the public media for disagreeing with him, would you have approved?
So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in a few months -- so you'll have three years+  to come up with an answer.  


Ken Berwitz

Congratulations to the 2009 World Series champion New York Yankees.

Congratulations to Hideki Matsui for driving in 6 of the 7 runs last night and becoming the series MVP.

Congratulations to the unparalleled closer Mariano Rivera for pitching 16 innings in this year's post season, and giving up a total one run while saving 5 out of 5 games.  For the world series specifically, congratulations on pitching 5 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball over 4 of the 6 games with 2 saves out of 2.

Congratulations to Derek Jeter for batting .344 throughout the post-season and .407 in the world series.

Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez for his timely hitting,  with 18 RBI's in the 15 post season games, including 6 in the world series.

Congratulations to Mark Teixeira for overcoming uncharacteristically poor hitting with absolutely brilliant fielding.

Congratulations to Andy Pettitte for four more post-season wins, two of them in the world series.

Congratulations to C. C. Sabathia for telling manager Joe Girardi "give me the ball" on three days' rest, and toughing out those innings, so that the Yankees could stay in the game.  As Cliff Lee showed, not every ace pitcher will do this.

Congratulations to Damaso Mart, who pitched 5 2/3 of scoreless relief in the post-season and 2 2/3 innings of perfect ball (8 men up, 8 men down, 5 by strikeout) in the world series.

Congratulations to the rest of the Yankees, and their contributions.

And congratulations to Joe Girardi, who managed the Yankees to the team's 27th world series victory.  We finally found something that could get him to show his emotions in public.

Ok, enough.  Now, how long to spring training?


Ken Berwitz

George Bush:  Previous President of the United States.

Barack Obama:  Current President of the United States

Panacea (from Webster's Dictionary):  : a remedy for all ills or difficulties : cure-all

Bushacea (from Ken Berwitz's tiny but occasionally fertile mind):  Barack Obama's remedy for all his ills or difficulties.  His cure-all.

Here is the first paragraph of today's article from Reuters:

MADISON, Wis. (Reuters) - A year after his historic election, President Barack Obama sought to remind Americans on Wednesday the biggest problems he is grappling with -- from the economy to the war in Afghanistan -- are the legacy of his predecessor, George W. Bush.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking on the link I've provided.  But, basically, you can stop right where I have. 

Barack Obama has been President for almost a year.  His presidency has been marred by a 787 billion dollar "stimulus package" that hasn't stimulated anything but the wallets of his supporters, tens of billions in bailout money to automakers who cannot make it, a debacle on cap and trade, a debacle on health care, and the obvious lack of respect afforded him by other heads of state, both friend and foe, because he doesn't appear to know what the eff he is doing.  And more.

So whose fault is this?  Not Saint Barack, that's for sure.  It must be someone else.  It must be the last guy.  It must be....

 George Bush.  Yeah, that's the ticket.  It's Bush.

George Bush has become the Bushacea:  the one-size-fits-all answer to every mistake and every failure of the Obama administration.  And, for a while,  it worked too.

But is it still working?  After hearing Bush invoked relentlessly throughout the year, are voters still buying?

I suggest you look at Mr. Obama's poll numbers, and then at the results in Virginia and New Jersey this week, for hints.  

Poll number-wise, Barack Obama started his presidency with transcendental superstar status.  But in a matter of 6-7 months, that initial euphoria gave way to noticing what he was doing and how competent he appeared to be.  Accordingly, the numbers plummeted to the point where, by August, they were lower than George Bush's were at the same time of his presidency.  

Election-wise, President Obama was featured by the campaigns of both Democratic candidates - but especially by the incumbent Governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine.  New Jersey is a bluest-of-blue state, Corzine is a Democrat, and Obama repeatedly came to New Jersey and stood at his side throughout the campaign.  Yet, on election day, Corzine lost to a virtual nonentity who had only a small fraction of the money Corzine/Obama were working with.

Put this all together and what do you have?  It seems inescapable that this Bushacea jazz has about run its course. 

But don't count on Mr. Obama dropping it just yet.  After all the failures of his administration can't be his.

Can they?


Ken Berwitz


The Fort Hood murderer's name is reported to be Nadal Malik Hasan.  According to the Army Times:

Major named as Fort Hood shooter


At least 3 soldiers suspected in rampage that killed at least 12, wounded up to 31

Staff and wire reports
Posted : Thursday Nov 5, 2009 18:25:37 EST


An Army psychiatrist was identified Thursday as one of the gunmen in a shooting rampage on Fort Hood, Texas, that left at least 12 people dead and up to 31 wounded.

One soldier, a suspect, was killed and two soldiers were taken into custody, according to base spokesman Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, who added that the three suspects were soldiers.

A Pentagon source identified the shooter as Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan; the source said Hasan was a psychiatrist recently reassigned from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to work with soldiers at Darnall Army Medical Center on Fort Hood. He was killed at the scene.

A psychiatrist??!!

I initially thought the name sounded both Black and Muslim.  But having looked at his picture, he appears to have the skin tone of a North African (dark compared to a Caucasian, but not Black as we usually think of it).  I suppose at some point in the near future we will find out his ancestral origin and religion.

But what I said in the first incarnation of this blog still goes 100%:  So what?  

We still don't know the what and why of this horrific action.  But we do know that there are many Black people and - this may be a surprise to some - many Muslim people who serve our armed forces with honor and distinction.

Let's not be foolish enough to toss out generalizations based on that name and skin tone.

BOBW HE-----------WAS-------------A --MUSLIM-------FACT- JUST A FACT (11/05/09)


Ken Berwitz

How's this for a "you can't make this stuff up" story?

Bricklayer shows up at his own funeral in Brazil


updated 2:26 p.m. ET, Wed., Nov . 4, 2009

RIO DE JANEIRO - A Brazilian bricklayer reportedly killed in a car crash shocked his mourning family by showing up alive at his funeral.

Relatives of Ademir Jorge Goncalves, 59, had identified him as the victim of a Sunday night car crash in Parana state in southern Brazil, police said.

As is customary in Brazil, the funeral was held the following day, which happened to be the holiday of Finados , when Brazilians visit cemeteries to honor the dead.

What family members didn't know was that Goncalves had spent the night at a truck stop talking with friends over drinks of a sugarcane liquor known as cachaca, his niece Rosa Sampaio told the O Globo newspaper . He did not get word about his own funeral until it was already happening Monday morning.

A police spokesman in the town of Santo Antonio da Platina said Goncalves rushed to the funeral to let family members know he was not dead.

"The corpse was badly disfigured, but dressed in similar clothing," said the police spokesman, who talked on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to discuss the case. "People are afraid to look for very long when they identify bodies, and I think that is what happened in this case."

'I had doubts'
Sampaio told O Globo that some family members were not sure the body was Goncalves.

"My two uncles and I had doubts about the identification," she told O Globo. "But an aunt and four of his friends identified the body, so what were we to do? We went ahead with the funeral."

The police spokesman confirmed there were doubts: "His mom looked at the body in the casket and thought something was strange. She looked and looked and couldn't believe it was her son," Sampaio said. "Before long, the walking dead appeared at the funeral. It was a relief."

The body was correctly identified later Monday, the police spokesman said, and has already been buried in another state. He declined to release the actual victim's name.

I hope they didn't pay in advance for the funeral.

Hey, maybe it was on the layaway plan......


Ken Berwitz

Did you even know that Republicans had proposed an alternative to the ObamaCare/PelosiCare 2,000 page monstrosity of a health care bill?

Did you know that, over the past several months, Republicans have proposed literally dozens of alternative bills, all of which have been squashed by the Democratic majority?

And did you know that, according to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) the current Republican proposal would reform health care and save us money to boot?

From Republican congressman, and minority leader, John Boehner's office:

CBO Confirms GOP Plan Will Lower Health Care Premiums, Lower Deficit Without Tax Hikes on Families & Small Businesses
Nonpartisan Congressional Scorekeeper: GOP Plan Lowers Premiums By Up to 10 Percent

Washington, Nov 4 - House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed in a letter tonight that the Republican health care plan will lower health care premiums by up to 10 percent and reduce the deficit by $68 billion over 10 years without imposing tax increases on families and small businesses:

When it comes to reforming health care, controlling skyrocketing costs is the American peoples top priority.  Now CBO has confirmed that the Republican plan will lower health care costs for American families, and thats good news for everyone struggling in todays economy.  The choice now could not be clearer: Speaker Pelosis plan raises costs. Our plan lowers them.

Not only does the GOP plan lower health care costs, but it also increases access to quality care including for those with pre-existing conditions at a price our country can afford. The cost of the Speakers bill, now at $1.3 trillion and counting, is a debt that will be paid for by our kids and our grandkids. The American people deserve a better solution, and Republicans smart, fiscally-responsible plans give them exactly what they want.

NOTE:  In a
letter delivered tonight, CBO estimated that the GOP health care plan would reduce average private health insurance premiums per enrollee in the United States relative to what they would be under current law.  Specifically:

    For the small group market (generally businesses with 2 to 50 employees), the GOP plan would reduce premiums in 2016 for example by up to 10 percent.
    For the individual market, the GOP plan would reduce premiums in 2016 by up to eight percent.
    For the large group market, the GOP plan would reduce premiums in 2016 by up to three percent.

So tell me;  does this at all interest you?  Would you like to know more about the Republican plan and how it differs from the Democratic plan?

If so, you just might want to log on to congressman Boehner's site and find it.

Because you will grow old waiting for our wonderful "neutral" media to be talking about the Republican plan, and comparing it to what President Obama and Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi are trying to ram down your throat.

Keep 'em ignorant and you own 'em.

free` The GOP are having a 12 hour webcast to point out the health care legislation problems. Pelosi Plan Exposed: 12 Truths about PelosiCare and Republican Alternatives. (11/05/09)


Ken Berwitz

It is now 8:14 PM.  keith olbermann's "Countdown" show, so far, has been comprised entirely of a sniveling, insulting, personally vicious attack on various Republicans (Michele Bachmann, John Boehner, etc.) on the health care issue - complete with a definitive statement that we have 46 million uninsured (how would he know that?  How does he have the nerve to state it as a specific number rather than an estimate?   Even President Obama is now claiming the number is only 30 million.  Does he have better information than the President?  Or does that huge ego of his make him just think he knows more?)

But not a word about the Fort Hood Massacre.

It is now 8:16, and olbermann teased it as the next story before going to commercial.  That would put him about 20 minutes into his show before it was important enough to talk about.  Better to attack Republicans first - that's far more important, isn't it?

8:19: finally Olbermann gets around to talking about Fort Hood. 

What a pig.


Ken Berwitz

From Fox News:

WASHINGTON - You're afraid your cancer is back, and a health insurance company just turned you down.


Under the health care bills in Congress, you could apply for coverage through a new high-risk pool that President Barack Obama promises would immediately start serving patients with pre-existing medical problems.


Wait a second. Read the fine print. You may have to be uninsured for six months to qualify.


"If you are a cancer patient and have cancer now, you can't wait six months to go into a plan because your condition can go from bad to death," said Stephen Finan, a policy expert with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. He called the waiting period in the Senate bill "unacceptable."


Advocates for people with serious health problems, as well as some insurance experts, are raising questions about one of the most important upfront benefits in the Democratic health care legislation: a high-risk pool for the medically uninsurable.


Obama proposed the pool in his September health care speech to Congress. Intended to serve the most vulnerable as a temporary fail-safe, it would stay in place until 2013. That's when insurance companies would be banned from denying coverage because of medical problems.

Y'know, if this report is accurate, maybe President Obama and his fellow Democrats are right when they say there won't be death panels. 

With a 6 month wait before being treated for conditions like cancer, who needs them?

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