Saturday, 22 May 2010


Ken Berwitz

Barack Obama has been President for almost a year and a half.  Congress has been run by Democrats for almost 3 1/2 years.

So if things are going wrong, who is to blame?  Why President Bush of course.

Is this lame?  Yes.  It could hardly be lamer.

Is it working?  Less and less.

Is President Obama still going to trot it out anyway?  You bet your bippy he is.  Welcome to Chicago.

Excerpted from Carole Lee's article at

President Barack Obama is trying to ride the wave of anti-incumbency by taking on an unpopular politician steeped in the partisan ways of Washington.

It doesnt matter that
George W. Bush left office 16 months ago.

The White Houses mid-term election strategy is becoming clear pit the Democrats of 2010 against the Republicans circa 2006, 2008 and 2009, including Bush.

Its not clear that voters still want to hear it.

If youre the leader of a large corporation and youre in power for a year and a half and you start off a meeting with your shareholders by blaming your predecessor, that wouldnt go over very well, said Merle Black, a political science professor at Emory University. This is a very weak approach. ... And I cant imagine it having an impact on these very swing voters.

Some Democrats would like Obama to shift his argument.

The president needs to indict not simply Bush or even Republicans. He is a visionary thinker, and his rhetoric should reflect that, said Democratic strategist Paul Begala. I want President Obama to make a consistent, compelling indictment of conservative ideas.

The message is layered. A shot at Bush (without mentioning his name.) A jab at congressional Republicans (although rarely saying Republicans.) A defense of the actions hes taken so far.

Its a striking approach for a president who often talks of looking forward not backward. But Obamas aides believe that explaining how the economic crisis occurred and what happened since is a fair argument to make and an important contrast to draw.

I dont necessarily think of it as blame, said White House press secretary
Robert Gibbs.

If Obama wants to run against the Bush record again, Republicans welcome that debate.

They argue that Democrats have been in charge in Congress for four years, and the White House going on two. And with unemployment still nearing double-digits despite billions being added to the deficit, the GOP thinks Obama will have a tough time making his case.

First of all I think that his attempt to try to blame 10 percent unemployment on the past administration will be viewed as a I was trying to think of some other word other than a joke, but I just dont think people buy it, said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee

At some point after youve been president for a while, knowing you have the substantial majorities in the House and the Senate, people are going to say, You know what? This is your responsibility. And I think weve arrived at that point.

While the results of Tuesdays elections dont change the White Houses course of action, Republicans point out that running against Bush has backfired in elections so far. That strategy didn't work so well in Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, so they can knock themselves out, said former Bush press secretary Dana Perino.

Democrats also are facing an enthusiasm problem this fall. Turnout was very low in Pennsylvanias Democratic primary between Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak. And a Gallup poll showed conservative voters are much more excited about voting in November 45 percent say theyre very enthusiastic, compared with 22 percent of moderates and 26 percent of liberals.

Lame.  Lame and pathetic.  Lame, pathetic and increasingly rejected by voters.

But what other way does Barack Obama know besides the Chicago way? 

Well, the good news for Mr. Obama is that Democrats are virtually certain of winning in Chicago this year.  But I wouldn't expect them to be very happy with the national results. 

Maybe President Obama can push through a law enabling Mayor Daley to annex the rest of the country before November.  Yeah, that's the ticket......

Zeke .... .... Yuh, the BlameBush game has been going on for a while now. .... .... I've responded to this meme with, "You've convince me. .... I won't vote for Mr. Bush in the next election." .... (05/22/10)

WisOldMan Paul Begala, calling President Wonderful "a visionary thinker", advises him to stop blaming Bush, and start blaming, that visionary stuff is really somethin'... (05/22/10)


Ken Berwitz


Did you know that there are plans to build a huge Mosque virtually on top of the ground zero site in lower Manhattan? 


It turns out that these plans may be in trouble.  And, personally, I am very glad.


From NBC News New York:


Ground Zero Mosque Plans Might Be Derailed

Decades-old Landmark ruling may stop building from being torn down


Updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri, May 21, 2010


The plan to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero may have hit a snag, due to an over 20-year pending landmark status.


The American Society for Muslim Advancement purchased the 152-year-old building at 45 Park Place last year for $4.8 million.  Their controversial plan to tear down the building and construct a 13-story mosque and community center has had many critics who feel it's disrespectful to those lost during the September 11th attacks.


A 1989 decision by the Landmarks Commission to propose the landmark status of the building may now prevent the building from being razed and the $100 million mosque from being constructed.


The building is located on a site once owned by Columbia College, and is "a prominent example of the store and loft structures that dominated the drygoods warehouse districts of Lower Manhattan," said Elisabeth de Bourboun, the Landmarks Commission's Director of Communications.


It was was one of a handful in Tribeca that were proposed as individual landmarks and heard in the 1980s, but not designated, explained de Bourbon.


"These buildings were part of the community requests we received in the 1980s to designate the four Tribeca historic districts," she said. "The commission held a public hearing on a proposal to landmark the building in September 1989, and has taken no formal action since then."


The building was converted to a discount clothing store in the late 1960s, and was most recently leased to Burlington Coat Factory.


The Landmarks Commission plans to hold another public hearing in the future, although a date has not been scheduled.


Is there any legal reason the mosque should not be built?  Not that I am aware of.


Are all Muslims terrorists or terrorist sympathizers?  No.


But is it astoundingly insensitive a big, crusty thumb in our eye, and a clearly intentional one at that to build a mosque at that site?  Youre damn right it is.


This is the equivalent of building a museum of German culture next to Auschwitz.  It is the equivalent of building a monument to Turkey in Armenia.


And what a spectacular propaganda tool a mosque would be at ground zero.  What a great story to tell al qaeda and its pals:  We not only blew it up, but we put the biggest, most expensive mosque in the world right where it was, and they couldnt stop us!  We own them!


So, bottom line:  While I cannot provide any specific reason for stopping a mosque from being built at that site, I would be thrilled, and relieved, if New York found a way to deep-six it.


Based on the NBC story, maybe that is what has happened.

free` It is not only a disgrace that we haven't rebuilt what the terrorists destroyed on 9-11, but what would be even worse is if the ideology behind the 9-11 attacks actually built a mosque first. (05/22/10)


Ken Berwitz

Governor Jan Brewer (R-Arizona) has thrown down the gauntlet to President Obama - and to the sanctimonious, smart-ass bordering states that have such a problem with her attempts to stanch the flood of illegals into Arizona.

Excerpted from an Associated Press article:

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is asking President Barack Obama to reallocate National Guard helicopters from other states to help Arizona secure its border with Mexico.

Brewer made the request in a letter to Obama dated Thursday and released Friday.

The governor acknowledges her request may be unpopular with other governors, but she says she believes there are legitimate national interests in sending more aircraft to Arizona.

What an interesting situation.  After all, why wouldn't a border state that has condemned Arizona be willing to give those helicopters up?

Let's think about California, which not only has done so, but has cities - Los Angeles among them -  which are specifically boycotting Arizona because it intends to be serious about illegal aliens. 

Since the powers that be in California think it is fine and dandy for illegals to stream in, eat up social services they did not pay taxes to provide, take jobs at lower wages that legal Californians a) will be denied or b) if they get them, will be paid lower wages because they are competing with illegals, etc. etc. etc. .....  what exactly does it need those helicopters for?

And if California does need the helicopters to try stopping illegal aliens from coming into the state, thus does not want illegals in the state, then what the hell are they complaining about if Arizona, for exactly the same reason, wants a way to get rid of the illegals who are already there?

Incidentally, I'm still waiting to hear Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa's response to the letter from Gary Pierce, a member of Arizona's utility commission, asking if he would like to give up the power that is supplied by Arizona to that city (about 25% of its total usage).

Here is Pierce's letter to Villraigosa:

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

I was dismayed to learn that the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based companies a vote you strongly supported to show opposition to SB 1070 (Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act).

You explained your support of the boycott as follows: While we recognize that as neighbors, we share resources and ties with the State of Arizona that may be difficult to sever, our goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona.  Our intent is to use our dollars or the withholding of our dollars to send a message. (emphasis added)

I received your message; please receive mine.  As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizonas electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the resources and ties we share with the City of Los Angeles. In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.

If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizonas utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizonas economy.

People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill.


Commissioner Gary Pierce

Good for Mr. Pierce.  When someone makes a complete idiot of himself, as Villaraigosa did, it's nice to see him called on it.


Ken Berwitz

How serious is homeland security about protecting our borders?  And how serious is the Obama administration about effective use of the "stimulus package" funding?

Read this piece by Mark Steyn and find out (the bold print is mine):

Saturday, May 22, 2010

That Ain't Hay, It's The USA   [Mark Steyn]

Kate McMillan has an interesting juxtaposition:

A top Department of Homeland Security official reportedly said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants referred to them by Arizona authorities.

That would be John Morton, assistant secretary of homeland security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As he sees it:

The law, which criminalizes being in the state illegally and requires authorities to check suspects for immigration status, is not good government, Morton said.

I gave a speech for the Goldwater Institute in Tucson a few weeks back, and several people came up from the border to see me. Like many letter writers I've heard from since, they told tales of living in remote properties where every night illegals cross their land. They lie awake at night frightened for their children and listening for footsteps in the yard. In effect, the sovereignty of the United States of America no longer applies in this territory - and John Morton and the Department of Homeland Security are entirely cool with that.

On the other hand:

FRANKLIN, Vt. This is one sleepy border crossing.

At the Morses Line Port of Entry, on the U.S.-Canada border, the border station is located smack-dab in the middle of a Vermont dairy farm.

On average, 2 1/2 cars pass through an hour. The pace is so slow that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents who man it have been known to fill out their days by driving golf balls in an adjoining meadow, shooting skeet or washing their cars.

As (I'd wager) the only National Reviewer ever to use the Franklin crossing, I would say that's a fair description. But that was until the stimulus came along!

The government, which got $420 million from the federal bailout to modernize land ports like this, wants to spend about $7 million to build an expanded station. To do it, the government says, it needs an adjoining 4.9-acre parcel now used to grow hay and corn.

Owners of the Rainville dairy farm were told last week that if they won't sell the hayfield for $39,500, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use eminent domain to seize it.

"The arrogance of it is breathtaking," said Brian Rainville, 37, whose parents and two brothers run the 220-acre farm and milk 80 cows on it. "Why are we being asked to make that kind of sacrifice when they can't demonstrate a public need?"

The public need is national security, according to Customs and Border Protection... "Our airports, seaports, and land ports of entry are all part of an interconnected security network to facilitate entry and exit to and from our country," the agency said in a statement Tuesday. "When we fail to fortify one, we weaken the entire system, putting our national security at risk."

So what? On the southern border your national security is "at risk" as a matter of policy. Why can't a Vermont dairy farm get the same deal?

(PS Bonus points if you spotted that the title of this post comes from the 1941 Republic Picture Sis Hopkins, in honor of the impending centenary of the great Frank Loesser.)

That is how serious homeland security is.  And it is how seriously the "stimulus package" money is being used.

Thank you, Obama administration, for this truckload of Bull droppings.

Can they move the next elections up and make them come faster?  Please?

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