Monday, 11 January 2010

ERROLL SOUTHERS: OUR NEW TSA CHIEF?

Ken Berwitz

This one is for anybody left who thinks that Barack Obama is either serious about homeland security or a friend of Israel.

From Paul Mirengoff at www.powerlineblog.com:

Erroll Southers continues heading south

January 11, 2010 Posted by Paul at 9:06 AM

 

From David Freddoso at the Examiner comes word that Erroll Southers, President Obama's nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration, stated in 2008 that America is subject to terror attacks because of its alliances with countries like Israel and France. In an internet interview, Southers said:

 

Due to connectivity that we have with countries such as Israel, France -- countries that are seen by groups, by al Qaeda, as infidels or anti-Islamic -- by the true nature of our alliance with them means that we subject to be attacked as well.

 

The reference to Israel is a standard talking point among the anti-Israel left. The reference to France seems off-the-wall. Is there any evidence that France is viewed by al Qaeda as more anti-Islamic than other countries including the U.S. itself?

 

Southers' comments also indicate that he's comfortable with reducing funding for Homeland Security grants, because the risk of terrorism has diminished. Southers is hopeful that the money that would have spent on homeland security will go to promote education and deal with "global warming."

 

So Southers is a hack leftist and a fool. Do we really want -- can we really afford -- a TSA chief whose thinks the reason al Qaeda attacks us is because of our "connectivity" with Israel and France?

 

We already knew that Southers acted corruptly, albeit 20 years ago, and was not forthcoming about the facts of his misconduct when he testified before the Senate last fall. The latest revelations should be a deal-breaker.

This is the guy Barack Obama would install as the Transportation Security Administration? 

What will he do?  Cut off flights to and from Israel and France?  Maybe accompany it with a personal apology to osama bin laden for having any dealings with them?

Un effing believable.  And - no surprise here - barely covered by our wonderful "neutral" media.

To the 78% of American Jews who voted for Barack Obama:  I hope you're happy with what you got.  Speaking as one of the other 22%, I can assure you that I am not.


WHEN ALLEN B. WEST SPEAKS? ATTEN ---HUT!

Ken Berwitz

Allen B. West (Lt. Colonel - Ret.) is a man who commands attention.  And should.  Mr. West is an extraordinarily impressive man, with strong values and a love of country that is far, far more than just talk, as one look at his biography will show you.

West is running for congress in Florida's 22nd district.  And he has some very, very pointed words for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  I thought you might like to see them:

Greetings,

The revelation of Senator Harry Reids comments referencing negro talk is just indicative of the true sentiment elitist liberals, and indeed the Democratic party, have toward black Americans. The history of the Democrat party is one of slavery, secession, segregation, and now socialism. It is this new aged socialism born from the Johnson Great Society programs that have castigated blacks as victims needing government dependency. One need only to look upon the city of Detroit to ascertain what liberal social welfare policies have produced for the inner city the new plantation for black Americans.

The Ku Klux Klan was birthed by the Democrats as a terrorist wing to intimidate blacks, and whites, who sought to promote economic and education independence and social justice for blacks. What was once overt has just morphed and become covert, yet still exists.

One can only imagine the insanity and media outrage if Reids quote had come from a member of the Republican party. I look forward to hearing from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton on Reids comments or has liberal hush money paid for the silence of these proprietors of poverty and victimization theory. Actually, if President Obama had any courage he would demand Reid step down as Senate Majority Leader, and discontinue any support for his Senate reelection notice I said if. I am quite sure the Soros money which elevated Obama to the position of President has bought his servitude.

Why am I running for US Congress as a Republican? Simple. I would rather stand proudly and be called an Uncle Tom and a sellout than lose my self-esteem and be considered an inferior by liberals. I understand the legacy of the GOP and the black community not the revisionist history espoused by liberal educators. I am not, shall never be, and will not raise my daughters to be a part of the liberal 21st century plantation. I am not just some articulate, clean, well spoken negro. I am an American warrior, Congressional candidate, and shall never submit to the collective progressive ideal of inferiority.

Senator Harry Reids comments are disgusting, despicable, and unacceptable. They are representative of how intellectual elite liberals do indeed speak of black Americans in their closed private spaces. Next week I have been invited to NYC to address the Hudson Institute, a conservative organization, conference on Reclaiming American Liberty. That invite came to me because I took advantage of the opportunities this great Republic offered. I followed the guidance of my parents and set my standards above all others around me. I speak well and have impeccable communicative skills because my Father and Mother prioritized that quality.

I shiver to think what my future could have been if I listened to the insidious rhetoric of charlatans such as Harry Reid, and the ambassadors of affirmative action who reside in the Congressional Black Caucus.

Sure, the stuck on stupid blacks are going to address me in derogatory names, but I possess something which they lack; Honor, Integrity, and Character. To them I say, continue to be slaves to the liberals for your vote and in a year you will be calling me Congressman West.

Steadfast and Loyal,
LTC(R) Allen B West

Does Mr. West go overboard in some ways?  Frankly yes he does.  And I could live with out that "impeccable communicative skills" braggadocio.

But is he a serious, significant, fearless man, with strong grounding and strong beliefs, who would bring great value to this congress?  I certainly think so.

One other thing:  Florida is the state that is currently disgraced by the mouth of congressperson Alan Grayson; a fresh man (that separation of the word is intentional) who apparently is on a mission to be the most embarrasing person the house of representatives - and is well on his way to accomplishing it. 

I would love to hear these two go at it.  Wouldn't you?  Too bad West is running in a different district.


THE OBAMACARE EPIPHANY

Ken Berwitz

epiphany:  A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization

Most polls show that a majority of this country is against the health care legislation being cooked up by congressional Democrats.  This is more than a little fascinating, since the same electorate gave Democrats such a huge mandate in 2008.

Deroy Murdock, writing for National Review, enumerates some of the reasons so many voters have had an epiphany about ObamCare and changed their tune.  See if you agree:

Yes We Can Lose Our Health Insurance
Kiss your current coverage goodbye.

By Deroy Murdock

No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise, President Obama told the American Medical Association last June. If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.

Unfortunately, Obamas oft-repeated vow is as flimsy as assuring a ten-year-old: If you like your hometown, you can stay there. Surprise! Daddy gets a new job and hauls the family from Santa Barbara to Dallas.

Obamas pledge is hollow, mainly because most Americans do not own their health plans. Unlike their auto, home, or apartment insurance which is their private property 159 million non-elderly Americans enjoy employer-controlled group coverage. Employees may love their insurance, but their bosses can change it the moment they become disenchanted, just as easily as companies switch from Coke to Pepsi in office vending machines. Employers also can drop coverage altogether.

The administrations claims that no one will lose their current coverage are patently false, says the Galen Institutes Grace-Marie Turner. Here are some ways this could happen.

 

Obamacare would forbid insurers from basing rates on the individual health of their customers in any community. It also would force issuers to cover people who refuse to buy insurance until they get sick. These and Obamacares other complexities and contradictions would make insurance pricier, as would a $149.1 billion, 40 percent excise tax on high-value Cadillac plans. Thus, some employers would save money by paying fines after de-insuring employees. Workers who cherish their health plans then would find themselves dumped into the government-run Health Insurance Exchange.

Some smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, explained a December 10 memorandum by Medicares chief actuary, Richard S. Foster. He added: The per-worker penalties assessed on non-participating employers are very low compared to prevailing health insurance costs. As a result, the penalties would not be a significant deterrent to dropping or foregoing coverage. We estimate such actions would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 17 million.

Even more ominously, Obamacare would require employers to provide federally approved coverage. Obama considers meaningful plans those at least as generous as the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Obamas definition of meaningful coverage could eliminate the health plans that now cover as many as half of the 159 million Americans with employer-sponsored insurance, plus more than half of the roughly 18 million Americans in the individual market, says Cato Institute policy analyst
Michael Cannon. This could compel close to 90 million Americans to switch to more comprehensive health plans with higher premiums, whether they value the added coverage or not.

Meanwhile, Medicare Advantage (MA) covers some 11 million seniors who purchase supplementary insurance with additional benefits, including preventive services and gym memberships. Obamacare would siphon $118 billion from MA through 2019 and funnel it into a massive new entitlement, even as Medicare wheezes into bankruptcy in 2017. These cuts would disfigure MA and likely jettison many seniors from the program. Consequently, Were not going to be able to say If you like what you have, you can keep it, Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa) predicted to Bloomberg News. And that basic commitment that a lot of us around here have made will be called into question.

Among the many Cash for Cloture bribes that helped Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) procure several of the 60 votes needed to secure Senate passage of his Obamacare bill, Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) got Sunshine State seniors shielded from MA cuts. Reids taxpayer-funded purchase of Nelsons vote is nicknamed Gator Aid.

When Humana, Inc. warned its elderly customers about proposed MA cuts last September, the Obama administration slapped a gag order on Humana and other private insurers the First Amendment be damned. Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services eventually rescinded this authoritarian ruling, but not before pressuring these companies to discuss their misgivings only with seniors who requested such information.

In a preview of life under Obamacare, Phoenixs Mayo Clinic stopped treating Medicare patients as of January 1, unless they pay cash. Medicare usually reimburses doctors just 80 cents on the dollar, with a new 21 percent reduction
next March. Mayos physicians apparently are sick of that.

 

 Also, in particularly baffling prose, pages 114 to 118 of the Senates Obamacare bill seem to limit tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts to the individual market, and only for those under age 30. The 9.5 million workers who now enjoy HSA-qualified, high-deductible plans and self-insured individuals over 30 apparently would lose their catastrophic coverage and tumble into the Exchange.

Finally, page 91 of the Houses Obamacare bill lets those with individual plans keep their grandfathered health insurance coverage, provided that the insurer does not enroll any individual in such coverage come 2013. Nor may it change any of its terms or conditions, including benefits . . .  So, you are grandfathered unless your insurers actions even without permission effectively ungrandfather you, plunging you into the Exchange.

Can Americans lose health coverage under Obamacare? Yes we can!

Have voters moved away from ObamaCare because, initially, they were not aware of just what a mess this legislation would make of health care but, at some point, they suddenly saw the light?

Is it because they thought about the fact that they were lied to about other parts of the Obama agenda (e.g. what the stimulus package would do for the economy, that Mr. Obama would bring "transparency" to government, etc.) and realized the health care promises may just be more of the same?

Is it that they thought about the fact that government always seems to come in way above budget and always seems to mess things up royally, and then realized what the implications would be if that were true of health care?

Is it that they realized the legislation is going to gut Medicare?

Is it that bribes were given out with our taxpayer money to get the necessary votes?

Is it some other thing(s)?  Some combination of these things?

Whatever it is, ObamaCare is a disaster in waiting.  And, although belatedly, voters seem to have caught on.

Now, when do the Democrats who are trying to force it down our throats catch on too?  They better start - November isn't that far off.


THE TODAY SHOW'S IDEA OF A "PANEL DISCUSSION"

Ken Berwitz

This figures to be a very bad day for Democrats.  More information from the soon-to-be-released book Game Change by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann is leaking out.  And, although it contains embarrassing anecdotes about Republicans (e.g. Dick Cheney's opinion of Sarah Palin as a VP candidate), the preponderance of material concerns the Democratic Party. 

So far, the most damning excerpt concerns Majority Leader Harry Reid's comments on why Barack Obama had a better chance to win the Presidency than other Black politicians specifically, Reid referred to him being light-skinned, and able to turn his "Negro dialect" on and off.

Needless to say, this is exceedingly embarrassing for Reid - who does not deny he made the comments and very quickly apologized for doing so (NOTE:  "very quickly" refers only to the time period after his comments were leaked.  If we're talking about when he actually made these comments, the apology is a year late).

President Obama almost immediately accepted Reid's apology and said he considered the book closed.  That's good of him.  But, with all due respect to the President, Reid's comments reflect not just on Barack Obama.  They reflect on all Black people by telling them what skin tone and dialect they need to get ahead - and on all White people since it generalizes how Whites, as a group, feel about Blacks. 

This has the potential to be politically fatal for Reid, who is engaged in an uphill fight to win re-election this year. But the political impact of these words extends far beyond him personally:  As majority leader, Reid is the guy trying to hold together a tenuous 60-vote bloc for the pending health care legislation.  Political toxicity of this kind isnt going to help him hold that bloc together.

Not surprisingly, therefore, The Today show decided to run a major feature about Reids comments, and their affect on the political landscape.  The show ran a video presentation followed by a commentary by Senior White House Correspondent Chuck Todd, and then a panel discussion during which, one would assume, both sides would be discussed.

To their credit, The video presentation and Todd commentary were fair.  That doesnt always happen on Today, so credit where credit is due.

But then we come to the panel discussion the grand finale that is supposed to encapsulate and sum up the issue. Sadly, that is where Today reverted straight back to form.

Matt Lauer, whose politics are clearly to the Democratic side, interviewed two participants.  As noted before, you would assume that one would state the Democratic point of view and the other would do the same for Republicans.  Thats what a panel discussion does it presents both sides so that you can make up your own mind.

Well, let me remind you again:  This is the Today Show.

The two participants were Harold Ford, a Democrat, former Tennessee congressperson, former Tennessee senate candidate, who now lives in New York and is contemplating a run for the senate in November.  That makes him someone who needs the support of his partys senior people (like the senate majority leader, for example.  Plus, Ford is a big Obama supporter, thus certainly willing to go along with the President on his "forgiveness". 

And the other was Gwen Ifill, a journalist whose political leanings are clearly Democratic and who wrote a salutary book about Barack Obama (The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. which was released during the campaign.) 

A Republican?  An independent?  Someone who would in any way present the other side of the story regarding Reid?  Nope.

And that, folks, is the Today show being the Today show. 

Am I surprised by the one-sidedness displayed here?  Not at all.  This is far from the first time Today has had a  panel discussion comprised entirely by one side of the issue.  I expect that it also is far from the last.

And that would not be a problem to me - if sometimes the panel was entirely from the Democratic perspective and sometimes it was entirely from the Republican perspective. 

But - and I urge anyone who can show me wrong about this to do so - I do not recall one instance, ever, of a supposedly nonpartisan panel discussion on Today being comprised entirely of Republicans.  Nor do I ever expect one.

So their hard-hitting, cover-all-the-bases panel discussion was two Obama supporters accepting Obama's position on the Reid comments and propping up Reid himself. 

Then they wonder why people call them biased.....

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

One further note:  Speaking of racism, the book also claims that Ted Kennedy was furious with a comment allegedly made about Mr. Obama by Bill Clinton.  Clinton is supposed to have said "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee". 

I wonder if Today will ever mention anything about this little gem.  Or will it be consigned to the back drawer, along with the global warming/climate change stories they couldn't stop reporting -- until the country and the world were gripped by a prolonged cold snap. 

Ahhh, neutrality..........


STIMULUSLESSNESS

Ken Berwitz

Did the almost $800 billion dollar "stimulus package" work? 

No it did not.  All we have gotten so far is what, for lack of a better term, stimuluslessness. 

And my source for this information is none other than the President of the United States.

President Obama told us that if congress enacted this legislation our unemployment rate, which then was at 8%, would cap right there.  But if it was not enacted unemployment would grow to 8.5% or even 9%,

Well, it was enacted.  And, over the rest of the year, unemployment grew to 10%. 

Yes, I know that President Obama and his fellow BS artis...er, honest, dedicated colleagues, claim that about a million or so jobs have been "created or saved" (I love that "saved" routine -- can anyone tell me what it means or how it can be measured?).  But the problem is that actual job figures show we've lost 3.5 or so million jobs this year.  Oops. Busted.

With this in mind, please read the following excerpt of a piece by Sammy Benoit at yidwithlid.blogspot.com, and get some more insight into the stimuluslessness of our economy -- and how serious the Democratic congress is about parlaying it into another round of stimulus money:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Economists Say Stimulus Spending Not Effecting Unemployment.  

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result- Albert Einstein.

 Just about a year ago when the new president and his progressive democratic congress were debating the "Porkulus" bill we were all told that it would include "shovel ready" construction projects that will serve to get people up and working.

Here's a little fun fact.

the AP analysis showed:

Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless of how much stimulus money Washington poured out for transportation, raising questions about Obama's argument that more road money would address an "urgent need to accelerate job growth."

Hear that Congress---It didn't matter, so what are you going to do about it?  Save the money next time?

Obama wants a second stimulus bill from Congress that relies in part on more road and bridge spending, projects the president said are "at the heart of our effort to accelerate job growth."

 

Construction spending would be a key part of the Jobs for Main Street Act, a $75 billion second stimulus to revive the nation's lethargic unemployment rate and improve the dismal job market for construction workers. The House approved the bill 217-212 last month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., worked the floor for an hour; the Senate is expected to consider it later in January.

Huh, but it didn't matter, it didn't create Jobs all you are doing is spending money for spending's sake.

AP's analysis, which was reviewed by independent economists at five universities, showed that strategy hasn't affected unemployment rates so far. And there's concern it won't work the second time. For its analysis, the AP examined the effects of road and bridge spending in communities on local unemployment; it did not try to measure results of the broader aid that also was in the first stimulus like tax cuts, unemployment benefits or money for states.

"My bottom line is, I'd be skeptical about putting too much more money into a second stimulus until we've seen broader effects from the first stimulus," said Aaron Jackson, a Bentley University economist who reviewed AP's analysis.

Even within the construction industry, which stood to benefit most from transportation money, the AP's analysis found there was nearly no connection between stimulus money and the number of construction workers hired or fired since Congress passed the recovery program. The effect was so small, one economist compared it to trying to move the Empire State Building by pushing against it.

The "stimulus package" effect on construction is like "trying to move the Empire State Building by pushing against it"?  That pretty much says it all.

 

If you like your money being poured down a bottomless pit, and stimulating nothing except Barack Obama's political allies (SEIU, for one), then this should be a thrilling era for you. 

 

If, on the other hand, you had hoped that the "stimulus package" would actually accomplish something tangible, recognize it did not, and feel that there are people to blame?  Then you should be as eager as I am for the 2010 elections - and twice as eager for 2012.

Zeke ... ... Regarding the Stimulation Act ... ... IIRC, most of the money has NOT been spent --- maybe there will be a huge raft of temporary jobs, just in time to soothe things prior to the November elections. ... ... $800 billion is a reasonable amount to buy another 2 years of Dimocrat Domination in DC. ... ... Seriously, I do wish someone could convince me that Obama is not simply trying to bankrupt the country .... But hey, put me down for one of them road construction jobs .... I wanna be the guy who leans on the shovel ... maybe even the guy who sits behind the wheel of the truck and reads the newspaper. (01/11/10)


COAKLEY/BROWN: HOW WORRIED ARE DEMOCRATS?

Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I blogged about the senate race in Massachusetts between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown.  At that time I pointed out that Boston's two major news papers had hugely different polling results for the race:  The (leftward) Boston Globe showed Coakley ahead by a landslide margin, 50% - 35%.  But the (rightward) Boston Herald had Scott Brown at 48% to 47% for Ms. Coakley.

With a 16% disparity, it is possible that one or both of these polls might be wrong.  But only one can be accurate.  

If you're wondering which one the Democratic Party believes, the following email should be of great interest to you.  It was sent to us (and, presumably, a ton of other people) from J. B. Poersch, Director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:

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

(NAME)

Since I first sent you this email, a new poll shows that Democrat Martha Coakley and tea party Republican Scott Brown are in a dead heat. The election is only eight days away. Martha is fighting to keep Ted Kennedy's seat blue, but it's turning into one heck of a battle. We need your help. Health care reform and the rest of President Obama's agenda hang in the balance.

Click here to donate $5 or more to fight back against Republican attacks. We are just $25,000 away from our goal.

I thank you for your support, and I know Martha does, too. Let's win next Tuesday!

-J.B. Poersch

DEMOCRAT COAKLEY UNDER ATTACK - WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Dear Friend,

You need to know this: Polls are tightening in Massachusetts, and America's future hangs on getting Martha Coakley elected to Ted Kennedy's seat on Jan. 19. Winning this special election means passing health care reform and the rest of President Obama's agenda.

We need your help today. The special election is only 10 days away. Funds are needed NOW to fight back against swiftboat attacks. Click here to make an immediate donation of $5 or more to the DSCC.

American Future Fund, the guys who brought you the Swift Boat attacks against decorated war veteran John Kerry, are up with a $400,000 buy, smearing Coakley. She's being outspent, and a new poll shows that the right wing money is doing the trick. Republican Scott Brown is within striking distance.

Keeping this seat blue is critical. Coakley is the 60th vote needed to pass health care and the rest of President Obama's agenda. As Massachusetts' first woman senator, she will help advance Kennedy's legacy - fighting for equal rights, a strong economy, and our families and communities.  Without her vote, health care won't happen.

The DSCC provides a crucial role in close races like this one. When the right wing whips out their wallets and starts attacking our candidates, we level the playing field. We fight back. We get every Democrat out to the polls. And we make the difference. You make the difference.

We need your help today. The special election is only 10 days away. Funds are needed NOW to fight back against these swiftboat attacks. Click here to make an immediate donation of $5 or more to the DSCC.

This is not just any old Senate seat. This is the seat Ted Kennedy held for 47 years. Republicans would love nothing more than stopping health care by winning this race. Ceding his seat to the forces of obstruction is simply not an option. Not today, not on Jan. 19, not ever.

Sincerely,

J.B. Poersch
 
P.S.: Health care and the rest of Obama's agenda hangs in the balance. We must elect Martha Coakley. The special election is only 10 days away. Funds are needed NOW to fight back against these swiftboat attacks. Click here to make an immediate donation of $5 or more to the DSCC.

=======================================================================
 
Now you know which poll they believe.
 
Bottom line:  Scott Brown has a genuine chance to upset Martha Coakley and win.  Even if he doesn't, a close loss would be a major victory given that it is Massachusetts and the seat was held by Democratic icon Ted Kennedy.
 
Democrats know this and are justifiably worried. 
 
January 19th is going to be some interesting day.

Ken Berwitz Wis - I agree. Turnout is everything. Democrats hold a huge majority of major-party registrations in Massachusetts. But I'm certain that health care legislation is driving a majority independents toward Brown - and even some usually yellow-dog Democrats. I can't prove it, but I have a feeling that there are a good many Democrats who say they'll vote for Coakley, but in the privacy of the voting booth will not do so, because they do not want their current health care changed or taken away entirely. Ironically, it is this issue - which was Ted Kennedy's biggest of his latter years - that might put his former seat into Republican hands and push the Democratic majority below 60. For Democrats to win, they must get out a huge percentage of voters who think they will benefit by the enactment of ObamaCare - which, in all likelihood would be at the lowest end of the economic scale.  Those folks are going to be very, very hard to rally for a special election of this kind.  But...we'll all find out for sure in 8 days. (01/11/10)

steve schneider first off i think it is a fantasy to think that a republican may win in massachusetts. now if by some miracle a republican does win, don't for a second think that this will prevent obamacare from passing. there will be massachusetts shenanigans, which of course is why there is someone in kennedys seat to begin with. apparently, the plan is to delay swearing in the new senator until after the vote. steve (01/11/10)

WisOldMan Scott Rasmussen takes a good look at the race, and says it's all about turnout...the lower, the better are Brown's chances. I'd post the link, but it doesn't appear to be an option... www.rasmussenreports.com (01/11/10)


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