Sunday, 24 January 2010

THE "CREATE OR SAVE" LIE

Ken Berwitz

From www.politico.com, via The Daily Caller (www.dailycaller.com):

White House cant keep job numbers straight

By The Daily Caller   01/24/10 at 4:53 pm

 

Three different White House advisers appearing on three different Sunday talk shows gave three different estimates as to just how many jobs were created as a result of President Obamas three-trillion dollar Recovery Act.

Politico reports:

 

The discrepancy was pointed out by a Republican official in an email to reporters noting that Three presidential advisers on three different programs [gave] three different descriptions of the trillion-dollar stimulus bill.

 

Valerie Jarrett had the most conservative count, saying the Recovery Act saved thousands and thousands of jobs, while David Axelrod gave the bill the most credit, saying it has created more than or saved more than 2 million jobs. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs came in between them, saying the plan had saved or created 1.5 million jobs.

I guess the operative philosophy is, "What the hey:  if you're making it up as you go along, any amount will do.'

Reality check:  The "stimulus package" was passed on February 17th, 2009; almost a full year ago.  At that time unemployment was at 8.1%.  President Obama told us that it would cap unemployment there.  He also told us that, without it, unemployment would go to 8.5% - 9%

Well, with it unemployment has gone to 10%, and about 3,500,000 million jobs have been lost. 

So when the Jarretts, Axelrods and Gibbs' tell us that any number of jobs has been "created or saved", whether "thousands and thousands" or "1.5 million" or "more than 2 million", they are lying right to our faces.

What disgraces they are.  And what a mistake this country made when it elected the man who put them in positions of power and who lies right along with them.


FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: OBAMA-STYLE

Ken Berwitz

Here is the first paragraph of a much larger story from David Rogers of www.politico.com.  It tells you all you need to know about the Obama administration:

Trying to win the votes of fiscal moderates, President Barack Obama formally endorsed legislation Saturday creating an independent commission with the power to force Congress to vote on major deficit reduction steps this year, after the November elections.

After the November elections, eh?  Why not ASAP? 

I'll tell you why - and it is the same reason that so much $$$ from the so-called "stimulus package" has gone unspent so far.

You are watching a ruthless, unprincipled, win-at-all-costs Chicago machine politician hold the money in reserve, so that he and his equally ruthless, unprincipled congress can use it to artificially pump up the economy during the election campaign and maybe win some house and senate seats which might otherwise have been lost.

It's not like Obama & Co. are new to using our tax dollars for political gain:   Think $300 million to Louisiana.  Think medicaid*** payments being exempted for Nebraska.  Think $60 billion dollars in exemptions for Union insurance plans.

Get the picture?

Other than using our treasury to make fools of voters, why would this supposed move toward fiscal responsibility require almost a year before implementation?  (And, given the naked politics of Mr. Obama's strategy, why would you believe it will ever be implemented at all)?

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.  And that goes double for 2012.

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

NOTE:  I originally, and erroneously, wrote this as "medicare".  My sister emailed to correct me, so I've changed it.  Trust me, she is not the last female today who will tell me I did something wrong.

free` That is all obama has done his whole life, spend other peoples money for social change. Our MSM should be ashamed of themselves, they put this whole country at risk to get there guy elected. (01/24/10)


MSNBC'S IDEA OF UNPROFESSIONAL, INTOLERANT BEHAVIOR

Ken Berwitz

You can't make this stuff up.  You just can't.

From Noel Sheppard at www.newsbusters.org:

NBC Prez on Olbermann-Scarborough Tiff: Don't Publicly Criticize Colleagues

By Noel Sheppard (Bio | Archive)
Sun, 01/24/2010 - 10:39 ET

 

The president of NBC has officially responded to Joe Scarborough criticizing Keith Olbermann for his attacks on Scott Brown.

In a memo obtained by the Huffington Post, Phil Griffin told his on air staff: "We do not publicly criticize our colleagues. This kind of behavior is unprofessional and will not be tolerated."

Griffin was addressing comments made by MSNBC's Scarborough about Olbermann. As NewsBusters reported Monday, the "Morning Joe" host first tweeted his disapproval of the "Countdown" host's comments about Brown -- "How reckless and how sad" -- reiterating on his program Tuesday morning, "Sad and pathetic.

As a result, Griffin sent out the following memo Friday (h/t TVNewser):

From: Griffin, Phil (NBC Universal)
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 3:02 PM

MSNBC is THE place for viewers to get the best political analysis and opinion in today's vast marketplace of ideas. We don't tell our hosts what to say. We don't have talking points. We encourage our talent to voice their opinions strongly and smartly, always rooted in fact. All of this has brought us great success, culminating in last year's victory over CNN.

Hosts strongly voicing their OWN opinions can no-doubt lead to spirited, substantive disagreements. This debate is encouraged. What we're doing at MSNBC is something our competition is not. And it is difficult. We have many strong personalities with differing, passionate opinions, but it is important to remember that we are all on the same team. I want to reiterate my long-standing policy: We do not publicly criticize our colleagues. This kind of behavior is unprofessional and will not be tolerated.

Let me be clear: I encourage you to keep doing what you do best. Give the viewers your perspective and a vigorous debate on the issues they care about. But do not turn substantive differences into personal ones.

Phil

Griffin also sent the following to TVNewser:

"An important rule was broken. I spoke to Keith and he said in the spirit of teamwork and the free flow of ideas, he didn't think it warranted punishment or suspension. I also talked to Joe and he apologized to me," said the MSNBC president, adding, "That's why I made the decision that this didn't rise to the level of punishment, but I felt it was necessary to reiterate my long-standing policy."

For his part, Scarborough tweeted the liberal website Mediaite Saturday, "There is no 'tiff.' I offered a brief commentary as did others."

Readers should recall Olbermann dissing Scarborough during a live discussion in the middle of 2008's Democratic National Convention saying, "Jesus, Joe, why don't you get a shovel?"

So, is this the end of it?

Stay tuned.

Let me get this straight:  Phil Griffin thinks that keith olbermann, who is likely the single most viciously insulting, offensive TV personality ever let loose anywhere near a supposed news station, has been treated "unprofessionally" because Joe Scarborough called his hate-filled, eminently dishonest attack on Scott Brown "reckless and sad"?   

Un effing believable.

This is the same Phil Griffin who proudly sics olbermann on the public to inflict an hour's worth of rumpelstiltskinesque outrage.  To call names and toss out accusations with gleeless abandon.  Yet he feels that if anyone else at the network doesn't like this embarrassment on legs, it is that person who is behaving unprofessionally. 

Has Griffen ever watched keith olbermann's show?  If he did, he might realize that it would need intense remedial help to rise to the level of unprofessional and intolerable.

With myopia like this, it is no wonder that MSNBC remains a perpetual loser in the ratings, or that olbermann struggles to achieve one-third the viewing audience of the man he hates, Bill O'Reilly.

And since olbermann has called O'Reilly just about everything other than bin laden's twin brother (at least I haven't heard him say it - who knows?), should the President of Fox News be writing letters about unprofessional, intolerable behavior too?


WHOSE SIDE IS THIS ADMINISTRATION ON?

Ken Berwitz

From Steve Gilbert, at www.sweetness-light.com (the bold print is his too):

Biden: US To Appeal Blackwater Case

January 23rd, 2010

 

From a cheering Associated Press:

Biden: US to appeal dismissal of Blackwater case

By Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press Writer

January 22, 2010

BAGHDAD The U.S. will appeal a court decision dismissing manslaughter charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security contractors involved in a deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday.

Bidens announcement after a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani shows just how diplomatically sensitive the incident remains nearly three years later.

Blackwater security contractors were guarding U.S. diplomats when the guards opened fire in a crowded Baghdad intersection. Seventeen people were killed, including women and children, in a shooting that inflamed anti-American sentiment in Iraqi.

According to Blackwater and several witnesses, the guards only opened fire after being fired upon.

But somehow the Associated Press neglects to mention that detail at least in the part of the article that people are likely to actually read.

Biden expressed his "personal regret" for the shooting and said the Obama administration was disappointed by the dismissal. "A dismissal is not an acquittal," he said 

How can American citizens get a fair trial when the President and Vice President have stated that they are guilty?

The U.S. rebuffed Iraqi demands that the U.S. contractors face trial in Iraqi courts. After a lengthy investigation, U.S. prosecutors charged five of the contractors with manslaughter and took a guilty plea from a sixth.

But the case fell apart in December after a judge found that the Justice Department mishandled evidence and violated the guards constitutional rights. Prosecutors now face difficult odds getting an appeals court to reinstate the case.

Luckily, under Mr. Obamas regime, constitutional rights are only for foreign terrorists. Not American citizens who are risking their lives for our national security.

And, lo and behold, we find buried at the bottom of this AP story:

Court documents paint a murky picture of a case rife with conflicting evidence. Some witnesses say the Blackwater convoy was under fire; others say it wasnt. Some said the entire convoy fired into the intersection; others said only a few men opened fire.

Even the governments key witnesses, three members of the Blackwater convoy, at times seemed to undercut the governments case

Its painfully clear that Mr. Obama and his Justice Department will do anything within their powers to prosecute the people on our side who are fighting the War On Terror.

Just as it equally clear that they will do whatever they can, exploit every technicality, to let the terrorists go free. And, failing that, they will give them a megaphone for them to air their grievances.

Has a war ever been fought where the leadership is doing everything at every turn to betray its own soldiers?

Who does this administration think is the bad guys?

Who does this administration think is making war on us?

Whose side is this administration on?

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.  And that goes double for 2012.

Zeke ... ... What has been happening with the 3 Navy Seals? One was charged with punching a captured jihadi. Not sure why the other two were charged. ... ... ... ... "Yes, making mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep" - Rudyard Kipling (Tommy) (01/24/10)


ENABLING AL-QAEDA

Ken Berwitz

From the Associated Press:

Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden has issued a new audio message claiming responsibility for the Christmas day bombing attempt and vowed further attacks. In a message carried by the Al-Jazeera Arabic news channel Sunday, Bin Laden addressed President Barak Obama saying there would be no peace for America unless there was security for Palestinians. He described the attempt by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to detonate a bomb on plane on Christmas day as a "confirmation" of previous attacks, including Sept. 11.

Why would osama bin laden do this? 

The "suspect" umar farouk abdulmutallab (aka the guy with the mutilated genital area from the bomb he had planted there) is in custody.  He is young, he is inexperienced, he is almost certainly ripe for interrogation.  Why would bin laden brag that he was part of the al qaeda organization?

The reason is that, due to the insane policy of our justice department under Attorney General eric holder, abdulmutallab is being treated not as an enemy combatant but as a common criminal.  He has been placed into the civil court system, handed a lawyer at taxpayer expense, and now has the right to remain silent and not tell anyone anything.

bin laden doesn't often do us favors.  But he did us two of them by issuing this audio message.

-he proved that al qaeda doesn't think it has a thing to fear from Obama and holder;

-he showed that he is still alive and functional, a year after Obama was elected on the promise that, unlike President Bush, he would be the man to capture bin laden and bring him to justice.

I'll tell you what, though:  while holder is our AG, bin laden might as well just give up and surrender.  He'll have better accommodations in our criminal justice system, better food and better communications opportunities.

Every day that eric holder is in that office, and every day that he is supported by Barack Obama, is a day that the US is in grave danger.  Are we out of our minds?


FRANK RICH'S IVORY TOWER

Ken Berwitz

How deep is New York Times columnist Frank Rich into his ivory tower?

Well, here is the first paragraph of today's column, which discusses the Massachusetts election.  You tell me:

It was not a referendum on Barack Obama, who in every poll remains one of the most popular politicians in America. It was not a rejection of universal health care, which Massachusetts mandated (with Scott Browns State Senate vote) in 2006. It was not a harbinger of a resurgent G.O.P., whose numbers remain in the toilet. Brown had the good sense not to identify himself as a Republican in either his campaign advertising or his victory speech.

Let's take these points one by one:

-Barack Obama, who is tanking in virtually every poll - including the New York Times' own poll - remains one of the most popular politicians in America? 

The www.realclearpolitics.com average of major polls currently shows us the following:

President Obama Job Approval

RCP Average

Approve         49.4

Disapprove   44.9

Does that look like one of the most popular politicians in America?  An average approval rating below 50%?

-The election had nothing to do with health care?  Scott Brown won in dark-blue Massachusetts, by running specifically on the basis that, if elected, he would vote against ObamaCare - even to the point of signing his name with a "41" to denote that he would be the 41st Republican vote.

-And a Republican winning the seat formerly occupied by Ted Kennedy doesn't mean anything good for the Republican party (presumably the wins in Virginia and New Jersey didn't either)?

Would you hire a columnist who wrote this kind of sh...er, stuff?  Would you pay one?  I wouldn't give him/her a penny.  Why bother when I could get unresearched misinformation for free at the nearest barroom.

But he is FRANK RICH of the NEW YORK TIMES.  So it must all be true and he must be worth every penny they pay him. Right.

Heck, this column could get him a Pulitzer prize....


A WASHINGTON POST RETRACTION

Ken Berwitz

Yesterday's Washington Post did something you almost never come across.  It retracted an editorial position - and just weeks after it was published.

See for yourself below.  The bold print is mine:

Did the Obama administration blow an opportunity in the Flight 253 case?

 

 Saturday, January 23, 2010

 

UMAR FAROUK Abdulmutallab was nabbed in Detroit on board Northwest Flight 253 after trying unsuccessfully to ignite explosives sewn into his underwear. The Obama administration had three options: It could charge him in federal court. It could detain him as an enemy belligerent. Or it could hold him for prolonged questioning and later indict him, ensuring that nothing Mr. Abdulmutallab said during questioning was used against him in court.

It is now clear that the administration did not give serious thought to anything but Door No. 1. This was myopic, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

 

Whether to charge terrorism suspects or hold and interrogate them is a judgment call. We originally supported the administration's decision in the Abdulmutallab case, assuming that it had been made after due consideration. But the decision to try Mr. Abdulmutallab turns out to have resulted not from a deliberative process but as a knee-jerk default to a crime-and-punishment model.

 

In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, all said they were not asked to weigh in on how best to deal with Mr. Abdulmutallab.

 

Some intelligence officials, including personnel from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, were included in briefings by the Justice Department before Mr. Abdulmutallab was charged. These sessions did provide an opportunity for those attending to debate the merits of detention vs. prosecution. According to sources with knowledge of the discussions, no one questioned the approach or raised the possibility of taking more time to question the suspect. This makes the administration's approach even more worrisome than it would have been had intelligence personnel been cut out of the process altogether.

 

The fight against an unconventional enemy such as al-Qaeda cannot be waged exclusively or effectively through any single approach. Just as it would be a mistake to view all terrorist acts as law enforcement challenges, so would it be unwise to deal with all such incidents as acts of war. All paths must be seriously considered before a determination is made.

 

The administration claims Mr. Abdulmutallab provided valuable information -- and probably exhausted his knowledge of al-Qaeda operations -- before he clammed up. This was immediately after he was read his Miranda rights and provided with a court-appointed lawyer. The truth is, we may never know whether the administration made the right call or whether it squandered a valuable opportunity.

 

Incredible.  Even in its retraction, the Post can't bring itself to admit being wrong.

"We may never know whether the administration made the right call or whether it squandered a valuable opportunity???

Sorry, Post, but YOU may never know.  But most of US do. 

We know that any interrogation of a terrorist that is stopped before we are certain that all the information was extracted was not only the wrong call, but a free pass to terrorism.  Even if you don't.

And more and more of us know that any administration that "fights" terrorism this way is begging for another attack. 

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough.  And that goes double for 2012.


THE SUPREME COURT'S FREEDOM OF SPEECH RULING

Ken Berwitz

Here is columnist Jeff Jacoby's excellent column on the so-called "Freedom of Speech" case which the Supreme Court ruled on this week:

'The freedom to think for ourselves'

by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe

 

THE SUPREME COURT'S RULING last week in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a triumph for the First Amendment. In clear and cogent language, five justices swept away the caste system under which some groups of citizens have been free to engage in vigorous and unfettered political speech while other groups face criminal penalties for doing the same thing. Overturning two of its precedents and much of the 2002 McCain-Feingold act, the court called their sweeping restrictions on corporate spending during election campaigns by the name they merit: censorship. When the government dictates "where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority, "it uses censorship to control thought. This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves."

Not surprisingly, some of the formerly privileged groups are reacting angrily to the court's blow for free speech. The New York Times, for example, promptly excoriated what it termed a "disastrous" decision, declaring that it that will "thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century" by freeing corporations to deploy "their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding."

In truth, the decision simply extends to all corporations the same First Amendment freedoms that media corporations -- such as The New York Times Co. -- take for granted. For-profit corporations that happen to be in the business of publishing or broadcasting are free to spend money supporting or opposing political candidates. Why shouldn't corporations in every other industry be equally free?

On the front page of Friday's Times, an article analyzing the impact of the court's decision was headlined, "Lobbies' New Power: Cross Us, And Our Cash Will Bury You." Sounds menacing. Yet newspapers, magazines, and TV networks deploy that power all the time, "burying" public officials (and countless other subjects) with hard-hitting journalism and commentary of every kind -- news stories, photographs, documentaries, exposs, endorsements. They may not always use their power wisely or fairly, but on the whole the marketplace of ideas is richer for their participation. If media corporations have a robust First Amendment right to be heard during political campaigns, every other kind of corporation does too.

Some of the attacks on the high court's ruling have been hysterical -- in both senses of the word. "SUPREME COURT UNDOES DEMOCRACY," wailed Public Citizen in bright-red, Armageddon-sized capital letters on its web site. Florida congressman Alan Grayson denounced Citizens United as "the worst Supreme Court decision since the Dred Scott case."

Such unhinged reactions to a ruling that extends free speech rights to all is a sad reminder of how far the left has moved from the First Amendment tradition of the 20th century's great liberals. Kennedy's opinion quotes from a 1957 dissent by three of those liberals -- Justices William O. Douglas and Hugo Black, and Chief Justice Earl Warren:

"Under our Constitution it is We The People who are sovereign," they avowed. "The people determine through their votes the destiny of the nation. It is therefore important -- vitally important -- that all channels of communication be open to them during every election, that no point of view be restrained or barred, and that the people have access to the views of every group in the community."

McCain-Feingold was an egregious affront to that principle of open communication. It made it a crime for any corporation -- big or little, for-profit or nonprofit -- to broadcast "electioneering communications" in the weeks leading up to an election, or to advocate the election or defeat of any candidate for federal office at any time. That meant, as the court pointed out, that under McCain-Feingold it would have constituted a felony for the Sierra Club to run an ad a month before Election Day exhorting viewers to disapprove of a congressman who favors logging in national forests. Or for the National Rifle Association to publish a book urging citizens to vote against an incumbent US senator because he endorsed a handgun ban. Or for the American Civil Liberties Union to put up a website telling the public to vote for a presidential candidate because he is a champion of civil liberties.

"These prohibitions are classic examples of censorship," wrote Justice Kennedy. Of course they are. Why did it take the court so long to say so? And why wasn't the opinion unanimous?

Exactly right.  The meaning of this decision is that freedom of speech will no longer be extended to some corporations and disallowed for others.

Not surprisingly, members of the angry left are wailing and banging their fists over this evening of the playing field.  When go from a position of advantage and privilege to one of equality, you're probably not going to like it very well.

And special congratulations to Jeff for his singling out of the New York Times - owner of The Boston Globe, which publishes his columns.

That took a lot of courage.  I hope you still have a job.


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