Tuesday, 26 January 2010


Ken Berwitz

Arkansas congressperson Marion Barry is retiring rather than to try running for re-election as a Democrat this year.

Before doing so he had a discussion with President Obama about Democratic prospects, and here, according to The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, via Glenn Thrush at www.politico.com, is how it went:

January 25, 2010

Berry: Obama said "big difference" between '10 and '94 is "me"

Rep. Marion Berry's parting shot, published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette [no link, subscription only] offers a warning to moderate Democrats and border state moderates warning of a midterm bloodbath comparable to the 54-seat D-to-R swing in 1994.

But the jaw-dropper is Berry's claim that President Obama personally dismissed any comparison between Democrats now and under Bill Clinton 16 years ago by saying his personal popularity would bail everybody out.

The retiring Berry, who doesn't say when the remarks were made, now scoffs at Obama's 50-or-below approval rating:

Writes ADG reporter Jane Fullerton:

Berry recounted meetings with White House officials, reminiscent of some during the Clinton days, where he and others urged them not to force Blue Dogs off into that swamp of supporting bills that would be unpopular with voters back home.

Ive been doing that with this White House, and they just dont seem to give it any credibility at all, Berry said. They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, Well, the big difference here and in 94 was youve got me. Were going to see how much difference that makes now. [snip]


I began to preach last January that we had already seen this movie and we didnt want to see it again because we know how it comes out, said Arkansas 1st District congressman, who worked in the Clinton administration before being elected to the House in 1996... "I just began to have flashbacks to 1993 and 94. No one that was here in 94, or at the day after the election felt like. It certainly wasnt a good feeling.

Remember:  those comments were made after President Obama campaigned for Democrats in the Virginia and New Jersey Governor races and then the Massachusetts senate race. 

Three losses out of three - including the seat Ted Kennedy held for 47 years - and he has the cajones to make it sound as though things will turn around because he is in the White House?

I wonder if it has occurred to Mr. Obama that Congressperson Berry is retiring because of the fact that "you've got me".  

What hubris.  What amazing hubris.


Ken Berwitz


How can a man this small make himself so much smaller?  Its a question for the ages.


In case you are unaware (and a lot of you may be, since his ratings are so low), keith olbermann hosts a show called Countdown on MSNBC an NBC-owned network which seems to have become a repository for the hard-left among us.


One of olbermanns daily features is the worst people in the world a very clever concept (credit where credit is due).  In it, he names three people he has a problem with and insults them (thats where it falls apart because he is so vile and obnoxious that the cleverness and humor and impact is pretty much overwhelmed by his bile-spurting diatribes).


Yesterday his worst person in the world was Bill OReilly, the Fox News Channel personality whom he competes against in his time slot, and who regularly makes mincemeat of him in the ratings.  This infuriates olbermann, who has made OReilly one of his worst people in the world so regularly that it has become something of a yawner.


In any event, olbermann again designated OReilly worst person in the world last night.  And I thought it would be instructive for you to see the quality of his commentary.  So here it is, verbatim:


But our winner, Bill-O the clown. About 60 networks carried the Haitian Earthquake telethon Thursday night. CNN did, we did. CNBC didnt. CNN Headline didnt. Fixed News didnt. At least, most of them did not, in lieu of the telethon, instead run a pathetic program whose lead story was about how great the program was and how great its coverage of Haiti had been.


Bill-O did. "Fox News had almost six times as many viewers as MSNBC primetime, five times the audience of CNN. Thats not a victory. Now, most of the liberal media ignore that story, and will not tell you how dominant Fox News has become. Thats why many newspapers are failing. They simply dont tell you the truth. But writing in "The Miami Herald," TV critic Glenn Garvin did tell the truth."


He then proceeded to read a quote from Glenn Garvin, for years the hands down winner in any poll of newspaper TV writers or of TV people as the TV critic the most in Foxs pocket, the farthest down the lunatic fringe rabbit hole. Here we read Glenn Garvin in hopes of seeing something shrill and reactionary to reaffirm that were on the money.


Instead of two hours to help Haiti, Fox gives us Bill-O. Instead of here is the phone number to help Haiti, Bill-O gives himself == patting himself on the back and this comic relief Garvin smooching his hiney. Then the coup de grace, "to be fair, CNN has covered the Haiti story very well. Theres no question about it. And I applaud the CNN correspondents who have done such a good job. But our Fox News correspondents are just as good."


Then why dont you put them on, instead of stroking yourself in front of the American public? Just once. Just an hour off from your desperate attempt to bring validation and meaning into your purposeless little life, by reading out the ratings again. Bill, this is a new emotion for me. I dont know how else to say this: I am now embarrassed for you. Bill "I Have Big Ratings; That Makes My Whole Life Worthwhile" O`Reilly, todays worst person in the world.


Is it any wonder that, apart from the sorosian left, most people avoid watching this guy?


Please note that all OReilly did was say that Fox News was doing a good job covering Haiti and that it was generating high viewership for it.  Look at how that was spun, and try counting up the personal insults (go slowly:  there are so many you might miss one or two).


Oh, by the way, during the 2008 campaign olbermann had a burst of better ratings for a relatively short period of time.  When that happened, he made sure to brag about his higher ratings and compare them to OReillys.


So apart from being vile, vicious, bitter and insulting.he is a hypocrite too.


Behold the incredible shrinking olbermann.


Ken Berwitz

From Agence France Presse we have this story.  Please pay special attention to the part I've put in bold print:

Indonesia mulls tearing down Obama statue



JAKARTA Indonesian authorities said Monday they are considering a petition to tear down a statue of US President Barack Obama as a boy, only a month after the bronze was unveiled in Jakarta.


The statue of "Little Barry" -- as Obama was known when he lived in the capital in the late 1960s -- stands in central Jakarta's Menteng Park, a short walk from the US president's former elementary school.


Critics say the site should have been used to honour an Indonesian and 55,000 people have joined a page on social networking website Facebook calling for the statue to be removed.


"We've been discussing for the past two weeks what to do with the statue... whether to take it down, move it elsewhere or retain it. We're finding the best solution," Jakarta parks agency official Dwi Bintarto said.


Obama, who was born in Hawaii, lived for four years as a child in Jakarta from 1967 after his divorced mother married an Indonesian.


The bronze was designed by Indonesian artists and depicts the boy Obama dressed in shorts and a T-shirt with a butterfly perched on his hand.


"The statue is of Obama as a child, not as the US president. His relatives and friends who erected it said it's meant to motivate children to study hard and dream big," Bintarto said.


Members of the "Take Down the Barack Obama Statue in Menteng Park" group on Facebook say Obama has done nothing for Indonesia.


"Barack Obama has yet to make a significant contribution to the Indonesian nation. We could say Obama only ate and s (expletive) in Menteng. He spent his subsequent days living as an American," the web page says.


"For the dignity of a sovereign nation, Barack Obama's monument in Menteng Park must be removed immediately."

The childhood connection and his knowledge of a few words of Indonesian made Obama popular in the mainly Muslim country of 234 million people.


Obama said in November he would visit Indonesia this year along with First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha.

 In fairness, 55,000 people is not a lot when you're talking about Indonesia.  But I'm suspecting that it is a pretty good-sized chunk of the people who have internet access and facebook accounts.

Maybe they can remove the Obama part and just keep the butterfly that is in his hand. 

Hey, I have an idea.  How about replacing the butterfly with his passport or long-form birth certificate. 


Ken Berwitz

First, we have the following excerpt from this morning's column by New York Times columnist (and enthusiastic Obama supporter) Bob Herbert:

Mr. Obama may be personally very appealing, but he has positioned himself all over the political map: the anti-Iraq war candidate who escalated the war in Afghanistan; the opponent of health insurance mandates who made a mandate to buy insurance the centerpiece of his plan; the president who stocked his administration with Wall Street insiders and went to the mat for the banks and big corporations, but who is now trying to present himself as a born-again populist.

Mr. Obama is in danger of being perceived as someone whose rhetoric, however skillful, cannot always be trusted. He is creating a credibility gap for himself, and if it widens much more he wont be able to close it.

Then, we have President Obama, from yesterday, claiming that the so-called "stimulus package" has been successful in "saving or creating" jobs: 

"These steps have saved or created about 2 million jobs so far.  But over 7 million jobs have been lost as a consequence of this recession."

Reality check:  What you just read it classic Obama BS.  So much so that, if Mr. Herbert had been aware of Mr. Obama's claim in time, I'm pretty sure he would have worked it into this morning's column.

-First Mr. Obama tells us that the "stimulus package" has "saved or created" 2 million jobs.  The data to corroborate this claim is non-existent:  it can't exist because a) it is impossible to gauge how many jobs - if any - are "saved" (we don't even have a specific definition of the term to go by) and b) just about every news venue that looked at the figures presented by Mr. Obama's administration quickly concluded they were obviously false/ridiculously inflated.  Even usually loyal Obama media couldn't escape this conclusion;

-Then Mr. Obama tells us that, during the same period of time, over 7 million jobs have been lost.  By appending "as a consequence of this recession" to those grim data he tries to accomplish two things:  1) separate job creation from job losses, as if they were two completely different statistics - which no one in his/her right mind would believe - and 2) blaming all job losses on the previous administration (which, a year after President Bush left office,  fewer and fewer people are buying anymore).

How many times do we have to recount what President Obama said about the "stimulus package"?    He said it would cap unemployment at 8%.  He said that if it were not passed unemployment could rise to 8.5% - 9%.  He said that it would create 3,500,000 - 4,000,000 million jobs by the end of 2010 (a few days later, it became "created or saved").

Based on these promises, the legislation passed about one year ago -- with virtually no Republican support (understandable, since Republicans were completely shut out of writing the "stimulus package", thus making it a 100% partisan Democratic bill).  And instead of either stopping at 8% or dropping lower, unemployment zoomed to 10%, with well over 3,000,000 jobs lost. 

If Barack Obama did not mean to include those job losses in his estimate of the "stimulus package" success, because they were "a consequence of this recession", then why did he say unemployment would cap at 8%?  The only way unemployment would have risen is by loss of these jobs.  In other words, Mr. Obama is just plain lying to our faces.

And the 2 million jobs that were "saved or created"?  Other than the Soros-loving left, can you find any legitimate news venue that backs the Obama administration up on this absurd claim?  Look until your eyes fall out and you'll find a very precious few.  As noted above, even Obama supporters had to hold their nose for this BS.  So when Mr. Obama says it he, again, is just plain lying to our faces.

Based on the above, I conclude that when Bob Herbert says Mr. Obama is creating a credibility gap, he is being remarkably kind.  Mr. Obama is not creating one, he has created one. And it already is so wide that a large percentage of the electorate no longer believes him - which is why his approval numbers have gone from the stratosphere to Davey Jones' locker in a matter of months.

And if President Obama thinks he can retrieve his credibility with comments like the one referenced above, he is going to find out that it still has plenty further to fall.


Ken Berwitz

It happens every year at this time.

There is an anti-abortion "March For Life", tens and tens of thousands mass in Washington DC, there are speeches, often by high profile politicians.........

.........and our wonderful "neutral" media do not cover it, so you probably don't even know it happened.

Here is an excerpt from www.newsbusters.org writer Tim Graham's piece on this year's march:

As usual, ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored Fridays March for Life protest. (Even the Associated Press skipped over the tens of thousands marching.) But the PBS NewsHour at least offered a brief from news anchor Hari Sreenivasan:

Thousands rallied in Washington in the annual March For Life. It was the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. The anti-abortion crowd rallied at the White House, and then moved on to the Supreme Court. A handful of abortion rights supporters were also present.

NPR covered the trial on the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller on Friday night (as well as Friday morning), but had no March for Life mention.

More from Mr. Graham:.

As the new year began, The New York Times offered a 780-word article to a protest for illegal immigrants with four marchers walking from Miami to Washington. But on Saturday, tens of thousands of Americans gathering in Washington for Friday's annual March for Life received part of a sentence.


In the Saturday paper on January 23, an article on the trial facing the killer of late-term abortionist George Tiller on page A-11 featured this note in paragraph 9 of a 12-paragraph dispatch by Monica Davey:


Testimony began the same day that abortion rights groups celebrated, and abortion opponents protested, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.


Times defenders could note that The Caucus blog on the Times website offered a two-sentence preview on Friday:

37 Years: Just one day after the Supreme Court announced its latest landmark decision, abortion opponents will gather in Washington to mark the 37th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. Among the events: a National March for Life rally.

The Washington Post carried a calm story by William Wan on the March for Life with color photos of each side of the abortion divide. (An online video on the Post website gave substantial time to both sides, even though the pro-abortion contingent was vastly outnumbered, as usual.)


The Los Angeles Times covered the Tiller trial in Wichita, but reporter Robin Abcarian made no mention of the March for Life. Neither did anyone else at that paper.

Readers of this blog know that I support the use of all contraceptives, including the "day after" pill, and that I support a woman's right to abort until there is a beating heart and brain activity - which is when I define what she is carrying as a live child.  I also support later-term abortions, if there is clear evidence that the woman's life is at risk.

Obviously I'm no champion of the "March For Life" people.  But, dammit, they did march, there were a great many of them, and it is news. 

When mainstream media shut out coverage of this march, year after year after year, they are engaging in blatant censorship, by declining to cover a news story because they don't agree with the people they would be covering.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


Ken Berwitz

The great jazz drummer, Ed Thigpen, died in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 13th (though I first read of it today).  The cause of death was not disclosed,

Mr. Thigpen was simply amazing.  He knew how to create an atmosphere with his drums.  His subtlety (a word rarely used with jazz percussion) was remarkable.  Maybe that is why the greats - like Oscar Peterson (7 years) and Ella Fitzgerald (5 years) loved working with him.

Ed Thigpen was an expatriate.  He moved to Copenhagen in 1972 and lived there for the rest of his life, only occasionally coming back to the United States.  That was Europe's gain and our loss.

Thank you, Mr. Thigpen, for the greatness.  May you rest in peace.


Ken Berwitz

Why do we fight radical islam?  Every now and again it's good to remind ourselves of the answer. 

This story comes to us from London's Daily Telegraph:

Rape victim receives 101 lashes for becoming pregnant

A 16-year-old girl who was raped in Bangladesh has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault.


By Dean Nelson, South Asia Editor
Published: 4:30PM GMT 25 Jan 2010

The girl's father was also fined and warned the family would be branded outcasts from their village if he did not pay.

According to human rights activists, the girl, who was quickly married after the attack, was divorced weeks later after medical tests revealed she was pregnant.

The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year.

Bangladesh's Daily Star newspaper reported that she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint.

Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.

Her rapist was pardoned by the elders. She told the newspaper the rapist had "spoiled" her life.

"I want justice," she said.

She was raped.  But within their culture, the shame was hers, not the rapist's. 

He raped her.  But within their culture, he was "pardoned by the elders".  What the hell, it was only rape.

The punishment?  101 lashes - to the VICTIM - and a fine to be paid by the victim's father or he and his family would be outcasts.

If we fight radical Islam we may win and we may lose.  But if we don't fight, we will most assuredly lose, because radical Islam will fight regardless.

And if we lose, our culture will be ended.  To be replaced by what?  A world in which rape victims are the villains and rapists are the protected species?

That is why we fight radical Islam.

And that is why we play political games - like sending terrorists through the civil court system - at our own peril.


Ken Berwitz


Want a taste of what the civil-court trial of khalid sheikh mohammed and his pals will be like?


Well, heres one for you, excerpted from an Associated Press article:


NEW YORK A U.S.-trained Pakistani scientist linked to al-Qaida got into trouble again Monday in federal court after twice interrupting the sometimes tearful testimony of an American solider who claimed he shot her in self defense in Afghanistan in 2008.


"I feel sorry for you," Aafit Saddiqui blurted out at one point at her attempted murder trial in Manhattan. After a judge had deputy U.S. marshals remove her, she pointed at the witness and muttered something else before disappearing behind a side door.


U.S. District Judge Richard Berman allowed Saddiqui to return later, but kicked her out again amid another rambling tirade about injustice. At the end of the day, the defense argued that the removals made her look bad in front of the jury and asked for a mistrial, which the judge denied.


Authorities allege that Siddiqui, 37, is an al-Qaida supporter who was detained at an Afghan police station on July 18, 2008, after being caught carrying handwritten notes referencing a "mass casualty attack" and listing the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and other New York City landmarks.


Before she could be interrogated in an Afghan police office, prosecutors say she managed to grab a military assault rifle set down by a U.S. Army soldier and open fire at American personnel, but missed. The soldier, a chief warrant officer, shot her with his pistol during a struggle.


On Monday, the officer appeared in uniform and used a cane as he limped into court to testify on condition that he not be identified. He began weeping as he recounted how a roadside bomb had left him severely injured and killed three fellow soldiers in the fall of 2008.


"Sometimes it's a little hard to talk about this," he said.

He testified Afghan authorities had told him Siddiqui had been restrained, and was shocked when she sudden appeared from behind a curtain wielding his M4 rifle and yelling, "Allah akbar," Arabic for "God is great."


"It was pretty amazing she got that thing up and squared off," he said. "She was looking at me and aiming dead at me."


Hearing the rifle go off, the officer said he followed his military training and pulled his pistol. Siddiqui was wrestling with an interpreter when he shot her in the stomach.


"I operated within the rules of engagement to eliminate the threat," he said.


Siddiqui's outbursts weren't the only disruptions of the day: The judge removed two jurors who told him in private that they couldn't be impartial because a spectator had pointed at them and mouthed an obscenity. They were replaced and the man was barred from the courtroom.


But Attorney General eric holder, former senior partner at Covington and Burling, a law firm renowned for its defense of terrorist suspects, wont reconsider.  


Better to have an enemy combatant who was captured outside the country be given US citizens rights in a civil court than a trial by military tribunal.  This makes sense to holder and to his boss, Barack Obama.


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



Zeke Ken - ... ... The server is acting up; double posting things. ... ... ... ... ... ... Also, when you deleted my duplicate comment, it got both copies. Can you restore it ? ... ... ... ... (01/26/10)

Ken Berwitz zeke - I know. Please repost your comment and I think I can get rid of that message. (01/26/10)

Zeke .... Ken..... It was posted under "Barack Hubris Obama" ....... clicking on "comments" gives this message : .... .... The file you requested does not exist. The url may be incorrect. Requested File: (item_7036.htm) (01/26/10)

Ken Berwitz zeke - I've called and they told me they're working on the problems. I promise I only deleted one of the two duplicate comments. But if both went out I can't restore it (or, at any rate, I don't know how). Please repost. Thanks!! (01/26/10)

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