Thursday, 04 February 2010


Ken Berwitz

February is designated Black History Month.  And there are countless positive contributions by Black people and grous that can be enumerated.

So how has NBC decided to celebrate?  you won't believe it.

This comes to us from "hotairpundit" (and many other sources as well):

Thursday, February 4, 2010

NBC Cafeteria Celebrates Black History Month with Fried Chicken Special?

Photo inside the NBC Universal Cafeteria at 30 Rock
I wonder what Fuzzy Zoeller thinks about this....Fried Chicken and Collard Greens

mediaite via thefoxnation


So who at NBC thought it would be a good idea for the special today to be, among other things, fried chicken, in honor of Black History Month?

Because, spoiler alert it wasnt a good idea at all. And now NBCU employee Questlove is bringing it to the attention of his 1 million plus Twitter followers.

Questlove, the band leader and drummer for The Roots
(the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) tweeted this picture from the NBC Commissary at 30 Rock, with the comment: Hmm HR?

This morning, on the Today show, Andrea Mitchell excoriated Rush Limbaugh for his use of the term "retard", because it was offensive and insulting to mentally challenged people.

Will she be coming on the show tomorrow,  to talk about what it means for NBC to celebrate Black History month with a cafe menu that could have been dreamed up by a propagandist at the KKK?

If people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, then the folks at NBC won't be throwing stones for a looooooooong time.

But wait.  There's more. 

After Questlove tweeted about the menu, NBC tweeted back that "The sign in the NBCU cafeteria has been removed. We apologize for anyone who was offended by it."

Geez loueeze, what a blunder!  If they are apologizing FOR anyone who was offended instead of TO them, aren't they saying the offended people are wrong to complain? 

I assumed that hotairpundit must have been mistaken about this - that NBC couldn't have butchered its apology that completely.  But I was wrong.  It's no mistake.  Here is NBC's actual tweet:

@questlove The sign in the NBCU cafeteria has been removed. We apologize for anyone who was offended by it.

Incredibly, this means that NBC's "apology" actually managed to make things even worse, by adding insult to injury.  Instead of being conciliatory it came out even more negative than before. 

Who wrote it?  keith olbermann?

Anyway, I wonder what they did with all the fried chicken and black-eyed peas.  Based on the tone deafness displayed by that menu sign, maybe NBC offered it to Lester Holt and Al Roker....


Ken Berwitz

You can't make this stuff up.

From the bowels - and I do mean bowels - of Congressperson Alan Grayson's mind, comes this:

Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act (Introduced in House)

HR 4431 IH

111th CONGRESS 2d Session

H. R. 4431

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns.


January 13, 2010

Mr. GRAYSON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means


To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns.

A 500% excise tax.  Just like the one he demanded for unions which contribute to, what's that you say?  Unions are ok to spend as much as they want?  Oh.

Well, the good folks of Orlando, Florida elected this genius.  I wonder if it was because they considered it unfair that they had to buy a ticket to see Goofy. 

Now they can just tune in to C-SPAN and hope that Grayson is on the schedule.


Ken Berwitz

Rush Limbaugh (far from my favorite person, as regular readers know) is being skewered today for his repeated use of the term "retard" (pronounced REE-tard) on yesterday's radio show.  I caught a part of it while in the car.

Some of the people - like Margaret Carlson on keith olbermann's hate-fest last night and Andrea Mitchell on the Today show this morning - made it sound as if he was just conversationally using the term, without explaining why he was doing so.  That is deceitful and wrong. 

But Limbaugh has plenty to answer for too.

What Limbaugh was doing, in reality, was using the term to tweak Rahm Emanuel (who DID use it conversationally when talking to Democratics last August).  He kept saying the word and then mockingly pointing out that it was Rahm's, not his.

The Mitchells, Carlsons and other critics who don't point this out are lying by omission.  Shame on them.

But shame on Limbaugh too, for the way he went about it.

After Mitchell's comment, my wife and I had a conversation about what Limbaugh did.  She felt that if he had said it once or twice, each time pointing out that he was quoting Rahm Emanuel, he would have been on at least somewhat firm ground.  But he went way over the line by repeatedly using the term, and clearly enjoying the "fun" of nailing Emanuel each time he did. 

She's 100% right.

It seems to me that, even if it was just to beat up on a political enemy, using an offensive term like that over and over again with obvious glee is low-down wrong, and sure to hurt a lot of people.  Badly. 

"He's a REE-tard, isn't that funny?" isn't funny.  

"He's a REE-tard, just ask Rahm Emanuel." isn't any funnier. 

In both cases it singles out people who did nothing to deserve being taunted, and who have no way of defending themselves.

I put the Limbaugh show on briefly today to see if he was at all apologetic.  He was not - he thought it was a laugh riot.

Maybe, just maybe,  Mr. Limbaugh ought to find something else to be laughing about.


Ken Berwitz

I just saw this remarkable ad at  It is done on behalf of Carly Fiorino, who is competing in the Republican primary against (among other people) Tom Campbell.

Charles Johnson, who runs LGF, thinks it is the greatest political ad he has ever seen.  I don't know about that, but I do know that it is one of the most unusual. 

It runs a little more than three minutes.  Invest the time:  You've not seen one like this before

(If you have trouble seeing it, then CLICK HERE):

Zeke .... .... Ken, ya might post the link .... .... Carly ran HP (Hewlett Packard) into the ground ... ... really poor decisions, especially on acquisitions ... ... the video has NO proposals .... no solutions .... .... ... probably there are no solutions to California's mess ... ... too many entitlements .... .... too many people living on public assistance ... ... too many useless government jobs .... too many weird laws ... ... too expensive to do business there .... .... too many people on welfare (many of whom have under the table jobs) ... ... no solution to the illegal immigrant problem (public assistance, health costs, crime / gangs, housing) ... .... moonbeam leftists (including one running for the Dem nomination -- Brown) (02/04/10)

free` Ken, I am surprised you still go to Little Green Balls (02/04/10)


Ken Berwitz


The opening when your heart beats like a drum

The closing when the customers wont come


Those lines are from Irving Berlins great show Annie Get Your Gun specifically, the song Theres No Business Like Show Business.


Apparently Mr. Berlin was way ahead of his time.  He may not have realized it, but he was also writing about the love affair this country had with Barack Obama a love affair that doesnt seem to have lasted very long.


From Douglas Heye, blogging for


Forget Polls, Heres Tangible Proof the Obama Honeymoon is Over

February 04, 2010 10:29 AM ET |Print

By Doug Heye, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

One sign that Washington, D.C., had been home to Obama Mania was the number of independent retailers selling all sorts of Obama merchandise. Every street corner, it seemed, had Obama wares (or Obama wear) for sale. Now, however, most of the winter caps for sale are not emblazoned with the Obama logo. T-shirts depicting our president as a dunking Michael Jordan, a victorious Muhammad Ali, or saber-baring Luke Skywalker (yes, these shirts all existed) are nowhere to be found.

This time last year, the Obama Store was teeming with customers. Ideally situated in the basement of Washingtons Union Station, the store was filled with consumers eager to buy anything with Obamas likeness while others took pictures of the life-size cut-outs of the president and first lady. Now, the Obama Store is boarded up.

How quickly things change in a year.

The Obama Store was capitalism at its most brilliant rawness; find a market and exploit it quickly. The store made possible one-stop shopping for all of your tacky Obama merchandise needs. T-shirts! Hats! Calendars! Hand-warmers! Keychains! It was like something out of Spaceballs (Obama: The Flame Thrower! The kids love this one.). The store carried every imaginable product with the words Obama and Commemorative, except, notably, the Obama Chia Pet.

Of course, the closing of the Obama Store may not be due solely to Obamas falling popularity. Perhaps the faltering economy (which Obama has nothing to do with, he keeps telling us) played a role. Regardless, the store was ideally situated to make big profits. Not only was it in the District of Columbia, where Obama won 93 percent of the vote, but Union Station is swarmed by the most wallet-opening demographic of them alltourists!

Sure, polls are unanimous that support from Obama loyalists is receding, but polls pale in comparison to real anecdotal evidence. Last week, Amber Lee Ettinger, better known as Obama Girl, announced that she has fallen out of love with the presidentleading to the question: If Obama has lost Obama Girl, has he lost America? Meanwhile, the Pepsi campaign that borrowed heavily from Obama has fizzled.

This Valentines Day, visitors to Union Station who had hoped to express their love for a significant other with a $20 pink T-shirt of Barack and Michelle Obama in a heart-shaped picture commemorating the Presidential Romance (or T-shirts of Obama and Joe Biden commemorating the Presidential Bromance, for that matter) may now be unable to do so. That the Obama Storewhich apparently received no stimulus moneyhas closed may be the most tangible sign yet that the honeymoon is over.

Annie Get Your Gun, ran on Broadway for 1,147 performances.  Evidently Barack Obamas run as a hit lasted less than 400 days.


Irving Berlin would have considered that a flop.  What do you think?


Ken Berwitz


Well well well.  Shame and embarrassment have trumped partisan BS.  Scott Brown will be seated in the US Senate today, instead of February 11th.  




U.S. Senator-elect Scott Brown, a Republican who won the seat held by late Edward M. Kennedy, will be certified today as winner of the Jan. 19 election so he can be sworn in later in the day.


Brown had been scheduled to be sworn in next week. His lawyer sent a letter to Massachusetts officials saying he wanted the election results to be certified without delay so he could enter the Senate today. When Brown takes his seat, he will end Senate Democrats 60-seat supermajority that has allowed them to overcome Republican stalling tactics on legislation.


While Senator-elect Brown had tentatively planned to be sworn into office on Feb. 11, he has been advised that there are a number of votes scheduled prior to that date, wrote his attorney, Daniel Winslow. For that reason, he wants certification to occur immediately.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patricks spokesman, Kyle Sullivan, said in a statement that officials will certify the election results this morning.


A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said Reid would be willing to comply with Browns wishes to move up his swearing-in ceremony.


Once we have his certificate, there is no reason why he cant be sworn in, said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Reid.


What wonderful paradigms of integrity these people are.  Princes on earth.


Ok, lets review a few facts:


-In 2004, Massachusetts law was that if there were a vacancy in the senate the Governor would pick a successor.  But John Kerry was the Presidential candidate that year which meant that, if he won, Republican Governor Mitt Romney would have replaced him presumably with a fellow Republican.  So the state senate, with its huge Democratic majority, changed the law to force a special election.  End of any Republican chance for the senate;


-In 2009, Democrat Ted Kennedy died, leaving a senate seat vacant.  Because of the 2004 law change, a special election would be held with no replacement appointed by the Governor (thus Democrats were down to 59 votes).  So the state senate changed the law back to its original form, in order for Democratic Governor Deval Patrick to select an interim Senator.  In other words, it was the Massachusetts Democrats version of "heads I win, tails you lose";


-Patrick appointed Democrat Paul Kirk as the interim senator.  And it was fully expected that Democrat Martha Coakley would win the seat in the January 19th election.  But, to Democrats horror, Republican Scott Brown won instead.


According to the legislation the Democratic state senate wrote when they reversed the law, once the election was held and a new senator elected, Paul Kirk's interim appointment was over.  The legislation said nothing about the interim senator remaining until the new one was certified.  It said only that he/she had to be a qualified candidate (i.e. age, US citizen, etc.).  But that would leave Democrats with 59 votes.  So Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats have allowed Kirk to continue in the senate as their 60th vote.  This does not appear to be legal, but they have done it anyway.  The voters?  Screw em;


-Then the Democratic Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts decided that, instead of certifying Scott Brown 10 days after the election (the time limit for absentee ballots to be submitted, thus ending the vote count) he would do so on February 11th..  Why would he dictate that there be an extra week of Brown sitting on the sidelines while Paul Kirk was casting votes in the senate?  Other than the fact that they needed Kirk as their 60th vote, try and find one.  I dare you.


Fortunately, however, enough shame has been passed on to Governor Patrick and Secretary Galvin and Majority Leader Harry Reid, by enough talk show hosts and a few media venues (like the Washington Times, for example not the Post), so that they suddenly have reversed field and will be kind enough to seat Mr. Brown today.


I hope you enjoyed this chronology. Because if you expect to see it in the NY Times or Washington Post or the network news or the Today show or the other morning shows, you are probably going to be disappointed.  


I often end my blogs by noting that the 2010 elections cannot come fast enough;  and that goes double for 2012.  Behavior like this is the reason why.


Ken Berwitz

When you're lying about almost everything else, why not lie about the deficit too?

Excerpted from Dick Morris' latest column at

These are the true deficits: Bush $800B, Obama $1.4T

By Dick Morris - 02/02/10 06:37 PM ET

President Barack Obama is being disingenuous when he says that the budget deficit he faced when I walked in the door of the White House was $1.3 trillion. He went on to say that he only increased it to $1.4 trillion in 2009 and was raising it to $1.6 trillion in 2010.

Here are the facts:

 In 2008, George W. Bush ran a deficit of $485 billion. By the time the fiscal year started, on Oct. 1, 2008, it had gone up by another $100 billion due to increased recession-related spending and depressed revenues. So it was about $600 billion at the start of the fiscal crisis. That was the real Bush deficit.

 But when the fiscal crisis hit, Bush had to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in the final months of his presidency, which cost $700 billion. Under the federal budget rules, a loan and a grant are treated the same. So the $700 billion pushed the deficit officially up to $1.3 trillion. But not really. The $700 billion was a short-term loan. $500 billion of it has already been repaid.

 So what was the real deficit Obama inherited? The $600 billion deficit Bush was running plus the $200 billion of TARP money that probably wont be repaid (mainly AIG and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). That totals $800 billion. That was the real deficit Obama inherited.

 Then he added $300 billion in his stimulus package, bringing the deficit to $1.1 trillion. This $300 billion was, of course, totally qualitatively different from the TARP money in that it was spending, not lending. It would never be paid back. Once it was out the door, it was gone. Other spending and falling revenues due to the recession pushed the final numbers for Obamas 2009 deficit up to $1.4 trillion.

So, effectively, Obama came close to doubling the deficit. 

Obamas program of fiscal austerity in this new budget is a joke. He freezes very selected budget items while he shovels out new spending in his stimulus packages. If he wanted to lower the deficit, heres what he could do:

 1. Cancel the remaining $500 billion of stimulus spending; and

2. Cancel the $300 billion of spending in stimulus II.

 Those are the real numbers. Or, as Al Gore would have it, the inconvenient truth.

If Mr. Morris has his figures right, please explain two things to me:

1) Why would Bush be blamed for the $500 billion that went out - and came back?  That money is no longer part of the deficit;

2) Why would Barack Obama be given credit for the $500 billion in returned loans from the Bush administration?  His administration didn't generate one penny of that money.

But has that stopped President Obama from claiming Bush's last deficit was $500 billion dollars more than it actually has turned out to be? 



UPDATE:  Commenter "free" has correctly pointed out that during the last two years of the Bush administration, when the deficit ballooned so high, Democrats were in control of both houses, thus responsible for the budgets.  However, despite their having voted with Bush on the TARP loans, I feel that when it comes to TARP Bush deserves the credit/blame (you pick the word), because he was the one who proposed and pushed it.

free` I think to be fair you need to go back to the deficit before the dems took over congress in 2007. Here is a chart . In fiscal year 2006 the federal deficit was $248 billion. A deficit of $163 billion for 2007. then $454.8 billion in 2008 and $1.4 trillion for 2009. How you blame Bush and the Republicans for this I do not know. (02/04/10)


Ken Berwitz



Why does Barack Obama keep lying about our jobs situation, no matter how ridiculous he sounds?


From Ed Morrissey at

Obama: Every economist says I saved or created 2 million jobs

posted at 9:30 am on February 4, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
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Jake Tapper is a little confused, and so am I.  The White House supposedly abandoned the saved or created jobs metric because of its fantasy elements and prefers now to count jobs funded through Porkulus, an order that came from one of the chief economists in the White House, Peter Orszag. So why did Obama claim to a Nashua, New Hampshire audience on Tuesday that he had saved or created two million jobs?

Now, if you hear some of the critics, theyll say, well, the Recovery Act, I dont know if thats really worked, because we still have high unemployment, the president said. But what they fail to understand is that every economist, from the left and the right, has said, because of the Recovery Act, what weve started to see is at least a couple of  million jobs that have either been created or would have been lost. The problem is, 7 million jobs were lost during the course of  this recession.

Every economist?  A good rule of thumb to consider the truthfulness of any speaker is his use of the terms always, never, none, all, and every.  Those terms usually provide a key for a lie or a gap in knowledge and Tapper points out the truth:

At the end of November, Congressional Budget office Director Douglas Elmendorf wrote that because of the stimulus bill in the third quarter of calendar year 2009, an additional 600,000 to 1.6 million people were employed in the United States..

But clearly other economists are much more skeptical, including Dan Mitchell at the libertarian Cato Institute, and J.D. Foster at The Heritage Foundation.

Some economists say the whole notion of counting saved or created jobs is impossible. Harvard University labor economist Lawrence Katz told ProPublica that trying to count how many jobs have been saved or created is a silly exercise.

And in fact, in December the Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag issued a directive scrapping the whole saved or created construct.

Why is the saved or created meme a silly exercise?  Economic policies will get judged on whether they promote growth in both production and jobs.  On that metric, Obama flopped in his first year.  Prior to the 2007 recession, the US started on the path of both production and job growth within 12 months of the start of the recession.  Obama took office in the 13th month, three months after a financial collapse.  Twelve months later, were still shedding jobs with no end in sight.  Thats the real measure of economic policy, and so far, Obamas failing.

The White House only documented 650,000 jobs supposedly saved or created and that was when the construct collapsed.  The counts included jobs that were never at risk in the first place, double-counted some jobs, counted jobs that had yet to be created, and so on.  The most infamous of these claims involved a single lawnmower that supposedly saved or created 50 jobs.  In the end, even the man in charge of the website that proclaimed these supposed victories admitted that he could not certify any of the data at last November which is why Orszag told his OMB staff to stop claiming jobs saved or created.

Apparently, that memo didnt get to Obama, or more likely, Obama simply likes to make claims that are flat-out false, and the use of every is a the key to understanding that.  Every economist doesnt buy the 2 million saved or created claim; in fact, not every economist in his own administration would support that claim, because it isnt true, and Obama knows it.

Jake and Ed may be a little confused about President Obamas invocation of the fraudulent saved or created scam.  But I have to say I am not. Based on his performance over the past year, I assumed hed just keep using it.  


I pity the people who are ignorant, or gullible, or partisan enough to buy the snake oil Barack Obama is selling.  Maybe someday theyll join the rapidly growing segment that used to believe him, but have become disillusioned by all the lies and no longer do.  


May it happen before November.  

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