Sunday, 23 May 2010

THE IMPORTANCE (?) OF MARK CRITZ WINNING JOHN MURTHA'S FORMER SEAT

Ken Berwitz

Are you as tired as I am of Democrat and/or liberal and/or leftward and/or Obama-fawning parrots trying to sell you on the premise that Democrat Mark Critz winning John Murtha's former seat in the house of representatives is some kind of major, pro-Democratic event?

William Galston certainly is.  And given that he is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute, and former policy advisor to, among others, President Clinton, I'd say it is worth paying attention to what he has to say on the matter.

So here it is.  Please pay special attention to the final paragraph, which I have put in bold print:

A Single Democratic Victory in a Single Pennsylvania Race Doesnt Change Anything

William Galston

May 21, 2010 | 12:00 am

 

Conventional wisdom: it is a fickle, fickle thing. The latest example of the incredible lightness of opinion in todays media and political climate is the reaction to the results of the race in Pennsylvanias 12th congressional district. Politicians and pundits, right- as well as left-leaning, are taking it as evidence that Republican hopes of retaking the House this November are too optimistic. That may turn out to be the case, but PA-12 is hardly enough evidence to warrant the conclusion.

 

First, lets place that district in context. Yes, it was one of Obamas ten worst Appalachian congressional districts during his 2008 primary contest with Hillary Clinton. But it was his best of those ten, by far, during the general election (he got 49 percent of the vote), and it was the only one of the ten that John Kerry carried in 2004. The reason: its party registration is so overwhelmingly Democratic that even when lots of conservative Democrats peel off, a majority or near-majority remains for the partys nominee. So while the Republicans may have believed their own hype in the run-up to this weeks special election, PA-12 was always going to be tough for them

 

Now lets look at three Gallup surveys released within the past two days. One notes that so far in 2010, only 23 percent of Americans have been satisfied with the way things are goingwell below the 40 percent average of the past three decades, and the lowest reading recorded in a mid-term election year going back to 1982. [LINK to Gallup, May 19] A second survey observes that the two political parties have been at or near parity among registered voters since January in the generic congressional ballot. This is especially significant because (as the survey shows) the structure of voting preferences seen in the first three months of the [election] year generally carried through to the end. And parity among registered voters would be bad news for Democrats: on average, Republicans have enjoyed about a five-point turnout edge in midterm elections. 

 

The third survey underscores this point. It highlights a 19-point gap between conservatives and liberals in their enthusiasm about voting in this years midterm elections. And 62 percent of those who describe themselves as very conservative (10 percent of registered voters) say that they are very enthusiastic, versus only 44 percent of those who term themselves very liberal (a scant 4 percent of registered voters). 

 

Connect the dots and we have the portrait of an electorate thats highly dissatisfied with the status quo and that seems poised to give more votes in the aggregate to Republican than to Democratic candidates this fall. I dont know how many House seats that translates into, but Id be surprised if the number didnt start with a 3 (at least). As far as I can see, only a big change in the economya significant increase in the rate of GDP growth leading to a noticeable reduction in top-line unemployment numbers and a bump up in real disposable income for those who have jobswould be enough to change the overall outlook for November.

Thank you, Mr. Galston, for a hefty dose of reality. 

Given the ridiculous puffery about Mr. Critz's victory from Democratic propagandists posing as journalists (Eleanor Clift's column about this special election is a classic example, and far from the only one), it is truly a breath of fresh air.


IS SARAH PALIN NUTS? OR IS SHE ON TO SOMETHING?

Ken Berwitz

Which is it?  Is Sarah Palin nuts, or on to something?  Read this excerpt from an article from Agence France Presse and draw your own conclusions:

WASHINGTON (AFP) Right-wing darling Sarah Palin accused US President Barack Obama on Sunday of leading a lax response to the Gulf of Mexico spill because he is too close to the big oil companies.

 

The former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, who champions off-shore drilling, criticized the media for not drawing the link between Obama and big oil and said if this spill had happened under former Republican president George W. Bush the scrutiny would have been far tougher.

 

"I don't know why the question isn't asked by the mainstream media and by others if there's any connection with the contributions made to president Obama and his administration and the support by the oil companies to the administration," she told Fox News Sunday.

 

More than 3.5 million dollars has been given to candidates by BP over the last 20 years, with the largest single donation, 77,051 dollars, going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

 

Palin suggested this close relationship explained why Obama was, "taking so doggone long to get in there, to dive in there, and grasp the complexity and the potential tragedy that we are seeing here in the Gulf of Mexico."

 

The Obama administration has been forced to defend its response to the disaster as some Republicans have sought to portray it as their Katrina, an allusion to president Bush's mishandling of the response to the 2005 hurricane that devastated Louisiana.

 

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs mocked Palin's suggestions that Obama was somehow in bed with big oil because of 2008 presidential campaign contributions.

 

"Sarah Palin was involved in that election, but I don't think, apparently, was paying a whole lot of attention," Gibbs said.

Robert Gibbs can "mock" Ms. Palin all he wants.  But.....

-The Obama administration has been a week late and a $1,000 dollars short (a day late and a dollar short doesn't begin to tell the whole story) when it comes to acting decisively on the oil rig disaster.  Regardless of whether it is BP, Transoceanic, Halliburton or the Disney company that caused that explosion, it is the USA's shoreline.  And either there was no viable plan in place to deal with a major oil spill, or there was one and its implementation was disastrously incompetent;

-If the Center for Responsive Politics is right, and President Obama has gotten that kind of money from BP, why weren't we told about it - if not by Mr. Obama himself than by our wonderful "neutral" media, which seemed to find out about every penny given to President Bush by Enron and to the Republican party by Jack Abramoff?  Did  the BP money affect how Mr. Obama has handled (mishandled is more like it) this disaster?

-And why are our media not assigning significant blame to the Obama administration for the ecological disaster that we are witnessing - as they blamed the Bush administration for the effects of hurricane Katrina?  The plain truth is, President Bush did more BEFORE Katrina hit (he declared Louisiana a disaster area on August 27th, 2005 - two days prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans) than the Obama administration has done since the oil rig explosion and for a month thereafter.

-Never forget that it is our government that gave BP the right to drill.  Did it not have some plan of action if there were a problem with the drilling?  At what point do media stop kissing the Obama administration's collective rear end and start demanding that it take some responsibility for acting on this disaster?

Look, I don't know if Sarah Palin is on the right track.  But the facts I just enumerated are sitting on this issue like a bad piece of roast beef sitting in your stomach at 3:00 in the morning..

I want to know more.  Don't you?


THE KOREAN WAR, ROUND 2?

Ken Berwitz

Most people don't know that the Korean war is still ongoing.  In July 1953, North Korea signed an armistice agreement.  South Korea did not.  That is the "end" of the war - which is to say it didn't end at all.

Well, now - almost unreported by our ever-vigilant media - it stands an excellent chance of reverting to full-tilt mode - but this time with the added possibility of nuclear weapons.

Albeit belatedly, and not on its front page, The New York Times has started taking this at least somewhat seriously.  Yesterday it had a short article in its Asia-Pacific news, along with an article on page 4 noting that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is warning North Korea there will be "consequences" for sinking the ship (that should scare the crap out of them).

And the network news?  Forget it.  They're too busy deciding who brings the flowers to Mr. & Ms. Obama this week.

Regular readers may recall that I posted the US's initial take on this incident, which was that North Korea had nothing to do with the ship's sinking.  That, obviously, has become - what was Ron Ziegler's line from the Nixon era - "inoperative".

Look, I don't mean to be flip about what is happening in this terrible part of the world.  Any day that full-scale war breaks out between the two Korean entities will not surprise me.  And, given their hatred of each other, the unbridled ruthlessness of North Korea "leader" kim il song, and the insane amount of weaponry he has amassed, it could be unspeakably brutal in no time at all.

When does the UN get involved?  Isn't this what the organization exists for?

When does Mr. Obama stand up, supersede his feckless Secretary of State, and try to head it off by using the leadership and diplomacy only an American President has?  Or is he too busy sucking up to Mexican illegals because they might turn into Democratic votes?

And when do our media decide to educate their readers/viewers/listeners about this possible world-threatening horror?

Apparently, the answer is...the day after it happens.

Janet Montgomery "They're too busy deciding who brings the flowers to Mr. & Ms. Obama this week." Good line : ) (05/23/10)


CHARLES DJOU'S PRECARIOUS WIN

Ken Berwitz

My congratulations to Charles Djou, who won yesterday's special house election in Hawaii to replace Rep. neil abercrombie (no capitals for this Israel-hating sack of shit), who resigned to concentrate on his run for Governor.

Mr. Djou is the first Republican congressperson from Hawaii in almost 20 years.  And, in all likelihood, he won only because two Democrats were competing against him - as noted by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

Djou won the special mail-in election with 39.7 percent of the vote in the final printout, released at 9 p.m.

The final printout represented 171,417 ballots returned by voters in the district, which stretches from Waikiki and downtown to Mililani.

 

Democrat Colleen Hanabusa was second at 31 percent, with Democrat Ed Case third at 27.8 percent.

But a win is a win, nonetheless.  And I hope he does a bang-up job for his state. In November he presumably will face just one Democrat, and will probably be the underdog. 

Then again, this looks like a strong Republican year.  You never know.

 

 


ISRAEL PEACE PARTNER UPDATE

Ken Berwitz

So what do you do with over a million and a half bucks raised to rebuild a hospital that does not exist?

That delightful problem is now in the hands of Gazan "authorities" (translation:  hamas), after the money was raised in Greece to rebuild a hospital that, in point of fact, does not exist.

Sound bizarre?  Read this article from Arutz-Sheva (Israel national news) and see for yourself:

Israel Destroyed Gaza Hospital that Never Existed


by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

 

Another anti-Israeli campaign, this time charging that the IDF destroyed a Christian hospital in Gaza earlier this year, has gone up in smoke following an investigation by the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA). One question remains: what was supposed to happen with the $1.67 million raised for rebuilding the hospital?

 

Several months ago a fundraising campaign was conducted in Greece, with a star-studded telethon for the hospitals that Israel allegedly destroyed with their bombs during the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign from last December through mid-January.

 

The JTA revealed that the supposed hospital was not on United Nations and Red Crescent Society lists of damaged structures. Officials of non-government groups (NGOs) in Gaza told the American Jewish news network that only one Christian hospital was used during the campaign and that it did not sustain any damage.

 

When questioned, the Greek television station that broadcast the telethon said it was only responsible for providing the air time and that the government and a trade union were behind the campaign. The union referred the JTA to the government.

 

The Greek ambassador in Israel in turn referred the JTA to the Greek consulate in Jerusalem.

 

After the investigation began, a financial newspaper in Greece published a small article that a project is being sought in Gaza to be financed by the money" that was raised in the February telethon.

Got that?  The 1.67 million dollars extracted from hard-up-for-money Greek people who thought they were engaging in a humanitarian project, is now being held, unspent, in Gaza because it was collected to rebuild a phantom hospital. 

But it did serve a purpose.  The Greek people who contributed now "know" that Israelis are butchers who destroyed that hospital in the first place.

Don't you love that last paragraph?  a small article saying Gaza is looking for a project to spend the money on?  How about a major, fully conspicuous statement by the STATION THAT HELD THE TELETHON, telling its duped viewers about it?  That would be nice.

Of course they then would understand that Israel did not destroy the hospital and that they were jobbed by Gazans who lied about why they needed the money.  So I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that statement.


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