Thursday, 08 April 2010


Ken Berwitz

It isn't easy to be the dumbest diplomat in the world, but Mohammed Al Madadi has to be a major contender.

Excerpted from an Associated Press article:

DENVER (AP) - Qatar's U.S. ambassador rushed to the defense of his envoy whom authorities say grabbed a surreptitious smoke in a jetliner's bathroom, sparking a bomb scare and widespread alert that sent jet fighters scrambling to intercept the Denver-bound flight.


But no explosives were found and authorities speaking on condition of anonymity said they don't think he was trying to hurt anyone during Wednesday's scare and he will not be criminally charged.


Qatar's U.S. ambassador, Ali Bin Fahad Al-Hajri, cautioned against a rush to judgment.


"This diplomat was traveling to Denver on official embassy business on my instructions, and he was certainly not engaged in any threatening activity," he said in a statement on his Washington embassy's Web site. "The facts will reveal that this was a mistake."


The ambassador did not mention the diplomat by name, but an Arab envoy briefed on the matter identified him as Mohammed Al-Madadi of Qatar, an oil-rich Middle East nation and close U.S. ally.


Wednesday's scare came three months after the attempted terror attack on Christmas Day when a Nigerian man tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner. Since then, law enforcement, flight crews and passengers have been on high alert for suspicious activity on airplanes. The scare exposed major holes in the country's national security and prompted immediate changes in terror-screening policies.


Two law enforcement officials said investigators were told the man was asked about the smell of smoke in the bathroom and he made a joke that he had been trying to light his shoes - an apparent reference to the 2001 so-called "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.

Let's try to get our arms around this:

-A "diplomat" takes a commercial flight from DC to Denver. 

-He sneaks a smoke in the plane's lavatory (which, it seems to me would have to set off the smoke detector unless he disabled it in some way). 

-He comes out of the lavatory reeking of smoke (obviously). 

-And when he is confronted by airline personnel, he makes what we are now assuming is a sarcastic comment that directly suggests he was trying to detonate an explosive device in his shoes.  

-Oh, did I mention that,  just in case there wasn't enough reason for suspicion already, this idiot is from a Muslim country and has a Muslim name?  What a great idea for him to talk about lighting his shoes.

And don't you just love that reaction from the Qatar ambassador?  No apology.  No contrition.  His contribution so far is to caution us against rushing to judgment. 

Maybe we need a little more. 

Maybe Qatar should officially apologize for the actions of this idiot they inflicted on us.  And maybe Qatar should offer to pay the costs for our fighter jets and emergency apparatus, since the sole reason those costs were incurred was due to the actions of their idiot. 

And maybe, since 157 passengers were inconvenienced, not to mention terrorized, an apology and some level of compensation (at least the cost of their flight) should be offered as well.

It's not like Qatar doesn't have the money.  It sits in a sea of oil and is one of the richest countries in the world.

Hey, a sea of oil?  Somebody check with Rep. Hank Johnson on the prospect that it might tip over and capsize!

Zeke Wasn't the dude on his way to visit a Muslim terrorist who is in jail? This is sort of a "are you being treated ok?" visit, which is allowed. It also allows passing along information and instructions. .... ..... (04/08/10)


Ken Berwitz

Our pal West Coast Russ just sent this to me.

I know it's an illusion.  But it is one of the greatest I've ever seen. 


 ...and see if you agree


Ken Berwitz

tiger woods has a new ad out, for Nike.

It is one of the most appalling, disgusting ads I have ever seen in my life.  I do not mean this sarcastically or exaggeratedly, I mean this literally.

The ad, shot in black and white rather than color, consists of a wordless woods, effecting as poignant a look as he can muster, while a tape of his dead father Earl is played, during which he asks whether Tiger learned anything.

What does this mean - beyond the fact that woods, and Nike, are willing to do anything, however depraved, to sell overpriced sports crap?

It means:

-tiger woods has decided to go from being shamed by his actions to using them to make money;

-tiger woods has no problem exploiting his dead father to do this;

-tiger woods is a remorseless money machine.  A billion dollars (his estimated net worth) isn't enough.  He is perfectly willing to raise crassness and commerciality to a new level so he can get more.

When I believed the image woods portrayed, I thought the world of tiger woods.  

Now I know better.  Now I consider him a jerk of all jerks, and a disgusting sack of excrement. 

I hope he is booed relentlessly at the Masters.  I hope that, regardless of whether this happens, there are people who will scream out about what a pig he is - maybe even while he's trying to concentrate on hitting the ball.  And I hope that, just as is apparently true in his personal life, he doesn't make the cut.


Ken Berwitz

Investors Business Daily nailed the issue of health care as an entitlement in yesterday's editorial.  Here it is:

 IBD Editorials

'I Want My Free M.D.'


Dependency: The Democrats' reform bill had hardly become law before doctors and insurers began getting calls asking about free health care. The growing sense of entitlement is disheartening, to say the least.


'Where do we get the free ObamaCare, and how do I sign up for that?" That's what Carrie McLean, an agent for, told McClatchy newspapers she's been hearing from callers.


She said that the company's phone center has been "inundated by uninsured consumers who were hoping that the overhaul would translate into instant, affordable coverage."


The McClatchy reporter also talked to Sandra Preston, a state employee in Paterson, N.J., who seemed to be waiting impatiently for the federal takeover to fully kick in. "Why does it take so long for certain health care things to take effect?" she asked.


A day before the McClatchy story ran, the Financial Times reported that the "demand for free medicines in the U.S. has increased sharply following the 2008 economic crisis."


Rich Sagall, creator of, a clearinghouse that helps patients find free medication, told the Times that he is "receiving 14,000 inquiries a day, up from 10,000 in late 2008."


This is happening at a time when "pharmaceutical companies say they have expanded donations through 'patient assistance programs' by typically 15% to 25%."


The United States was once a nation of proudly independent people. But now Americans in large numbers think they deserve free access to the Web, no-cost college educations, and jobs they don't deserve and can't be fired from. They believe others should be responsible for their mortgages and feel they have a right to early, cushy retirements at someone else's expense.


This unsustainable condition is perpetuated by a federal tax code that is forcing a shrinking number of taxpayers to fund the government while removing a growing number of Americans from the income tax rolls.


According to the Tax Foundation, 60% of U.S. households were taking in more in benefits and services from government six years ago than they paid out in taxes. That will rise to 70% or more under President Obama's spending hikes.


At some point, there won't be enough independent and productive citizens to keep the freeloaders living in the luxury to which they've become accustomed. That won't be the end of America, but we'll be able to see it from there.

It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.  "Free" medical care is being called "affordable" (hint:  everything is affordable if it's free).  And a week after the legislation is passed we have a genius wondering why it is taking so long to become a reality.

This is what happens when we become a nation of entitlement.  People start seeing the things they are "entitled" to in magical terms.  They just become available out of nowhere, funded out of nowhere, and all for "free". 

The problem?  These things aren't "free".  Someone is paying for them.  And the entitlement crowd doesn't appear to care about that. 

The attitude among many (not all, I assume) seems to be "Hey, I don't have to pay.  That's good enough for me.  Who cares if those rich people pay my way.  They've got plenty.  They owe it to me.  It's only fair.  They're lucky I don't take even more.  And maybe I will."

I read yesterday that we have reached the point where about half the country no longer pays federal taxes.  And the IBD editorial says that 60% get more in goods and services than they give (with the number rising).

At what point does the producer class see itself as little more than a bunch of major-league suckers?  At what point do they react by finding new ways (legal or illegal) of sheltering their money?  Maybe even changing residence to a different country?  

Could it happen?  You bet it could.  It has throughout history.  Remember how this country was created.

Is that a sobering thought.  Maybe even a little scary?



Ken Berwitz

Here is Mona Charon's absolutely excellent column on why Michael Steele should resign as head of the Republican National Committee. 

No further comment from me.  I can't think of a thing to say that she hasn't covered beautifully.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Go Quietly, Michael Steele

by Mona Charen

How to put this politely? Michael Steele is a man of considerable talent -- it's just that he conspicuously lacks those required for his present position. He's energetic, personable, and articulate. But those are not the qualities most required of a party chairman. The job demands an administrator, a behind-the-scenes schmoozer, and a tactician. Showboating is a hindrance. It's a job that requires the talents of a stage manager, whereas Steele likes to be the star. At a time when the Republican Party is the indispensable vehicle for thwarting the disastrous policies of the Obamaites, Steele is a costly distraction in more ways than one.

Let's stipulate that the chairman was not in attendance when RNC staffers accompanied prospective young donors to the "lesbian bondage" nightclub called Voyeur in West Hollywood, Calif., and that he only recently learned, along with the rest of us, that the RNC picked up the nearly $2,000 tab. Fine. But that establishes only that Steele is not a total fool (which cannot be said of the now-terminated RNC staffer). It hardly absolves him of managerial responsibility.


This was not a first offense. Since his election as RNC chairman, Steele has indulged an appetite for luxury hotels, chartered airplanes, expensive restaurants, and a lavish redecoration of his offices. Roll Call reported that Steele spent $18,500 to redecorate his dark-paneled office. "This is gonna sound weird," he explained, but "it's way too male for me." Actually, more than anything, it sounds vain and self-indulgent. Among the new accoutrements -- a Bowflex machine.


The Daily Caller (which broke the story of the Voyeur outing) also reported that the RNC spent $17,514 in the month of February alone for chartered airplanes, and that Steele had looked into the possibility of buying a private plane for the chairman's use. When he travels, Steele stays at luxury hotels like the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Four Seasons. While raising decent amounts of cash, the Republican Party under Steele has also burned through it quickly. Between July 2009 and February 2010, the GOP raised $63 million but spent $78 million, leaving the party without a solid cushion heading into the 2010 contests -- and behaving all too much like the federal government.


A party chairman does need to get around. But until now, it has usually been in the service of the GOP. Though he may not have charged donors for expenses on speaking gigs, Steele has been delivering speeches for his own enrichment, reportedly charging fees of up to $20,000.


In a year when Americans, particularly Republicans and independents, are apoplectic about Washington's promiscuous spending, this doesn't exactly send the right signal.


Well, if management isn't his strong suit, he must compensate with inspiring leadership, right? Not quite. He debuted with an utterly gratuitous swipe at Rush Limbaugh as "incendiary" and "ugly," and followed that with an unhelpful reference to abortion as an "individual choice" (though Steele is pro-life). Asked in January whether the Republicans would win the House of Representatives in 2010, Steele said, "Not this year." Not helpful -- and possibly not even true.


Now, with Voyeur making all the comedians' monologues, Steele is suggesting that he, like President Obama, is held to higher standards because he is black. It's possible that some people are more judgmental about him because he's black, but it's undeniable that many people are inhibited from voicing their dissatisfaction with him for the same reason.


Political parties are not college seminars, and leaders needn't be saints. But the Republican Party is just clawing back to respectability after the irresponsible spending of the Republican congressional majorities, the Foley scandal, and the perceived weaknesses of the Bush presidency. More importantly, the country is faced with a profound challenge from the left.  If the (social) Democrats under Obama/Pelosi/Reid are not stopped, if the Republican Party is unable to attract the energy and passion of the tea party movement, the country will be irreversibly changed for the worse.


At this moment, the Republican Party needs more than ever to present a sober, serious, and ethical face to the public. Voyeur was the last straw. It would be an unselfish gesture for Steele to step aside.


Ken Berwitz

Death panels.  They can't bring themselves to use the term. 

Hey, Sarah Palin said it, so to acknowledge she had a point would be sacrilege.  It would (gasp!) indicate that Palin was right about this, and a lot of people revered by the New York Times were wrong.  It would make her seem (double gasp!!) intelligent and insightful.

Interested in a bit more information on what I'm talking about?  Read Noel Sheppard's piece from and see.  The bold print is mine:

NYT: ObamaCare's Success Based On Denying Medical Procedures


In today's "Now They Tell Us" segment, the New York Times on Wednesday reported that ObamaCare's ability to bring down costs will be a function of denying some people medical services and procedures.

"From an economic perspective, health reform will fail if we can't sometimes push back against the try-anything instinct," wrote David Leonhardt. 

"So figuring out how we can say no may be the single toughest and most important task facing the people who will be in charge of carrying out reform." 

As you continue to read Leonhardt's shocking words, consider that the paper he writes for has published over 100 articles about Sarah Palin's "death panels":

This try-anything-and-everything instinct is ingrained in our culture, and it has some big benefits. But it also has big downsides, including the side effects and risks that come with unnecessary treatment. Consider that a recent study found that 15,000 people were projected to die eventually from the radiation they received from CT scans given in just a single year - and that there was "significant overuse" of such scans. [...]

It's not just CT scans. Caesarean births have become more common, with little benefit to babies and significant burden to mothers. Men who would never have died from prostate cancer have been treated for it and left incontinent or impotent. Cardiac stenting and bypasses, with all their side effects, have become popular partly because people believe they reduce heart attacks. For many patients, the evidence suggests, that's not true. 

Indeed. But how many of these CT scans are ordered by doctors concerned with potential lawsuits and are only requested as a CYA? How many ob-gyns are now doing Caesareans for exactly the same reason, or cardiologists recommending stents and bypasses?

This of course was an argument Republicans made throughout the healthcare debate, and why they advocated tort reform. Doctors themselves complain that many of the procedures they recommend are exclusively to reduce legal liability in the future.

But Leonhardt chose not to address that, and instead talked about the problem purely from an economic perspective:

Giving hospitals and drug makers a blank check will bankrupt Medicare. Slowing the cost growth, on the other hand, will free up resources for other uses, like education. Lower costs will also lift workers' take-home pay. 

Fascinating. You think that seniors across the fruited plain would have liked to know that ObamaCare would lead to the potential denial of medical services to "free up resources for other uses, like education?"

Wouldn't it have been nice if this kind of information was disclosed BEFORE Congress voted on this unpopular legislation?

As Ed Morrissey wrote Wednesday:

For months, media outlets like the New York Times scolded conservatives over their concerns about rationed medical care. Sarah Palin outraged them by referring to "death panels" when the ObamaCare bill wound up containing language enabling "comparative effectiveness" boards as guiding lights for medical care decisions...Now they admit that the "most important task" of the people running the ObamaCare reform is to deny people medical care - under circumstances where a group of elites decide it's not worth it. 

Morrissey was quite correct in his assessment of the Times' position on this matter BEFORE healthcare reform was passed.

According to LexisNexis, the Gray Lady has published over 100 articles with the phrase "death panel" since Palin's Facebook posting on the subject last August.

Two of these were written by Leonhardt. Here's what he wrote on September 2:

Next week, Congress will return to session, and health care, of course, will be at the top of its agenda. Passing a bill, it's clear, will be no easier than in previous decades. President Obama's poll numbers have fallen, while untruths about death panels have made the rounds and members of Congress have been subjected to town hall harangues. 

If Leonhardt and his colleagues would have spent more time actually informing the public about the proposals in front of Congress instead of attacking the former Alaska governor, Americans would have known the truth BEFORE the votes were taken.

Makes you wonder if Leonhardt is just trying to ease his conscience.

This reminds me (I'm trusting my memory here) of Dick Morris's cynical comment about the fact that, after Bill Clinton's 1996 election campaign, Democrats had to pay millions of dollars in fines and in givebacks to people who donated illegally.  With an ear-to-ear grin, he said "But we didn't have to give back the votes, did we?"

Well, ObamaCare is now signed and, barring a kibosh by the Supreme Court, the law of the land.  So now the New York Times can talk at will about what amounts to death panels. 

But they don't have to give back the votes, do they?

free` Absolutely sickening [no pun intended]. How is this not proof of fraud? (04/08/10)

Zeke .... .... " nor shall any State .... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. " ... ... 14th Amendment, US Constitution ... ..... ..... .... Wonder how THAT will impact the Cost/Benefit analysis of the Death Panels. ... .... [Sorry, you're over 50, you can't have a heart bypass]. ...... It will be VERY interesting to see what EQUAL PROTECTION means to the USSC. (04/08/10)


Ken Berwitz

For a week now, our wonderful "neutral" media have inundated us with the great news that jobs rose by 162,000 last month. 

Never mind that the prediction was 200,000.  Never mind that more than half of the 162,000 are temporary workers, mostly for the census, who will be unemployed again in July.  This was great news, sent straight from heaven, to warm the cockles of our hearts.

But now we get this news, just reported by the Associated Press (among others):

New claims for jobless benefits rose last week, while total benefit rolls dropped, the Labor Department reported Monday.

The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as the economy recovers.

The Labor Department said first-time claims increased by 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 460,000. That's worse than economists' estimates of a drop to 435,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The report covers the week that includes the Easter holiday, and a Labor Department analyst said seasonal adjustment for that week can be difficult since the Easter holiday occurs in different weeks each year.

The tally of people continuing to claim benefits for more than a week fell by 131,000 to 4.55 million, the lowest level since December 2008.

Do you figure we will now be treated to a week of saturation-reporting about how bleak the job picture remains?

Yeah, sure.  Right.  Count on it.


Ken Berwitz

This article comes to us from Fox News. 

You don't need me to explain how utterly appalling what you are about to read is; how depraved and how inhuman.  But, since it is unlikely other media venues are going to tell you about it, I want to make sure you know:

Child Bride Dies After Sex Organs Rupture

Thursday, April 08, 2010


A 13-year-old Yemeni girl who was forced into marriage died five days after her wedding when she suffered a rupture in her sex organs and hemorrhaging, a local rights organization said Thursday.


Ilham Mahdi al Assi died last Friday in a hospital in Yemen's Hajja province, the Shaqaeq Arab Forum for Human Rights said in a statement quoting a medical report.

She was wedded the previous Monday in a traditional arrangement known as a "swap marriage," in which the brother of the bride also married the sister of the groom, it said.

"The child Ilham has died as a martyr due to the abuse of children's lives in Yemen," the non-governmental organization said.

Her death was a "flagrant example" of the results of opposing the ban on child marriage in Yemen, which was leading to "killing child females," it said.

The marriage of young girls is widespread in Yemen, which has a strong tribal structure.

The death of a 12-year-old girl in childbirth in September illustrated the case of the country's "brides of death," many of whom were married off even before puberty.

Controversy heightened in Yemen recently over a law banning child marriage in the impoverished country through setting a minimum age of 17 for women and 18 for men.

Thousands of conservative women demonstrated outside parliament last month, answering a call by Islamist parties opposing the law.

A lesser number of women rallied at the same venue a few days later in support of the law, the implementation of which was blocked pending a request by a group of politicians for a review.

The sad truth is that "marriages" such as these are not at all uncommon in the Muslim culture.  Nor is it at all uncommon for females to have no say whatsoever in any other decisions that affect their lives.  To the contrary, they are 100% at the mercy of what men tell them to be and want from them.  They have no say in what they wear, who they can and cannot speak to, who they marry or virtually anything else.  

If that weren't bad enough, females (girls and women both) who have been raped stand an excellent chance of being killed by their own families because a rape victim (that's right, the victim) is considered to have dishonored those families.  Similarly, if a woman dares to object to her lack of freedom and discretion she stands an excellent chance of being killed as well.

And this is before we get to governmental intolerances, such as the death penalty that some Muslim countries (Afghanistan among them, you might be interested to know) imposes on anyone who converts from Islam to another religion.  So if a woman wants out of the religion, she can forget about that too.

I often write about why we fight radical Islam.  But tribal Islam can be every bit as bad - certainly for females.  Maybe even worse.

If you didn't know that before, now you do.


Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I detailed some of the extreme rhetoric used against Republicans and conservatives by the left. 

So I guess it is fitting that the following lunatic asylum quality rant was made by one of the extreme-rhetoric left's more prolific practitioners on the same day. 

From Brian Maloney at

7 April 2010

MSNBC Libtalker Ties Reagan Tax Cuts To 2007 Bridge Collapse


Schultz: Reagan Tax Cuts Led To MN Bridge Failure

Is Ed Schultz really trying to further the "progressive" cause, or is the joke on his fans? The MSNBC talker suffered a major credibility collapse during his radio show earlier this week after attempting to blame Reagan-era tax cuts for the 2007 bridge collapse in Minnesota.

While the tragedy was quickly used for partisan political purposes to attack Bush, it was later revealed the failure was tied to a dispute between the state and a contractor over who was responsible for safety and repairs on the I-35 structure. Litigation related to the case was only recently settled.

Since then, most of the left has moved on to other subjects, but not Ed, who said this:

SCHULTZ (06:21): And so, you can make the case, well, Reagan cut taxes and turned things around.

You can also make the case that bridges fell down across this country and 13 people were killed in Minnesota and what the heck, maybe we better invest in our infrastructure. It's all what your priority list is.

For the record, Ronald Reagan's left the presidency on January 20, 1989.  The I35W bridge collapsed on August 1, 2007.  .

Why stop at Reagan, Ed?  Maybe Eisenhower is partly to blame too.  He was responsible for a major buildup of the interstate highway system, wasn't he?  No interstate highways, no interstate highway bridges, right?

I wonder what Taft thought of bridges.....

It's not that Ed Schultz is a dope. He isn't.  It's that he thinks he can ramp up his leftwing following by acting like a dope.  And he has no problem doing so.


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