Sunday, 30 May 2010


Ken Berwitz

Yeah, I know the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped before Bush was born in a place he didn't live anywhere near.  But since Chris Matthews and Joe Klein seem to agree that the Louisiana oil spill is Bush's fault, why stop there?

Excerpted from Brad Wilmouth's blog at

On Sundays syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time magazine columnist Joe Klein joined the ranks of left-leaning media figures like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann in blaming the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on the Bush administration. As the panel discussed President Obamas handling of the disaster, Klein opined that "this is more Bushs second Katrina than Obamas first," and, after agreement from host Matthews, Klein continued: "Yes, because it was the Bush regulations, it was Dick Cheneys deregulation, and lording over the Minerals Management [Service]-"

The fact that President Bush has been out of office for almost a year and a half?  That Barack Obama has been President for all that time, and has a huge majority in both houses of congress to change regulations almost at will?  Who cares?  It's Bush's fault.

Hey, maybe President Bush was also responsible for the Blizzard of '88 and the bubonic plague.  Just ask the twin twits, Matthews and Klein.  You never know......

steve schneider how come after 9-11 there was no mainstream media talk of it being clintons fault. afterall they trained under clinton, his policies allowed them to be in our country etc etc etc. i'm sick of the blame bush nonsense. bush for all his faults had more class and didn't blame clinton which he easily could have. he took the responsibility. steve (05/31/10)


Ken Berwitz

As President Obama, his congressional majorities, and the usual leftward suspects all rail against Arizona's new immigration laws (which, it should be noted, are patterned after the federal laws that Mr. Obama and preceding administrations ignored), you might be interested to read the following facts, which come to us from West Coast Russ:

Just One Hospital


Parkland   Memorial Hospital in Dallas , Texas is a fairly famous institution and for a variety of reasons:

1. John F. Kennedy died there in 1963

2. Lee Harvey Oswald died there shortly after

3. Jack Ruby-who killed Oswald, died there a few years later.

On the flip side, Parkland is also home to the second busiest maternity ward in the country with almost 16,000 new babies arriving each year.  (That's almost 44 per day---every day)!

A recent patient survey indicated that 70 percent of the women who gave birth at Parkland in the first three months of 2006 were illegal immigrants. That's  11,200   anchor babies  born every year just in Dallas !!!

According to the article, the hospital spent $70.7 million delivering 15,938 babies in 2004 but managed to end up with almost $8 million dollars in surplus funding. Medicaid kicked in $34.5 million, Dallas County taxpayers kicked in $31.3 million and the feds tossed in another $9.5 million.

The average patient in Parkland in maternity wards is 25 years old, married and giving birth to her second child.  She is also an illegal immigrant.  By law, pregnant women cannot be denied medical care based on their immigration status or ability to pay.

OK, fine. That doesn't mean they should receive better care than everyday, middle-class American citizens. But at Parkland Hospital , they do. Parkland Memorial Hospital has nine prenatal clinics.   NINE!!!

The Dallas Morning News article followed a Hispanic woman who was a patient at one of the clinics and pregnant with her third child---her previous two were also born at Parkland . Her first two deliveries were free and the Mexican native was grateful because it would have cost $200 to have them in Mexico . This time, the hospital wants her to pay $10 per visit and $100 for the delivery but she was unsure if she could come up with the money. Not that it matters, the hospital won't turn her away. (I  wonder why they even bother asking at this point.)

"How long has this been going on? What are the long-term effects?

Well, another subject of the article was born at Parkland in 1986 shortly after her mother entered the US illegally - now she is having her own child there as well. (That's right; she's technically a US citizen.)

These women receive free prenatal care including medication, nutrition, birthing classes and child care classes. They also get freebies such as car seats, bottles, diapers and formula.

Most of these things are available to American citizens as well, but only for low-income applicants, and even then, the red tape involved is almost insurmountable.

Because these women are illegal immigrants, they do not have to provide any sort of legitimate identification - no proof of income. An American citizen would have to provide a social security number which would reveal their annual income - an illegal immigrant need only claim to be poor and the hospital must take them at their word.

Parkland Hospital offers indigent care to Dallas County residents who earn less than $40,000 per year. (They also have to prove that they did not refuse health coverage at their current job. Yeah, the 'free' care is not so easy for Americans.)

There are about 140 patients who received roughly $4 million dollars for un-reimbursed medical care. As it turns out, they did not qualify for free treatment because they resided outside of Dallas County so the hospital is going to sue them!  Illegal's get it all free!    But U. S citizens who live outside of Dallas County get sued!  How stupid is this?

As if that isn't annoying enough, the  illegal immigrant patients are actually complaining about hospital staff not speaking Spanish .. In this AP story, the author speaks with a woman who is upset that she had to translate comments from the hospital staff into Spanish for her husband. The doctor was trying to explain the situation to the family and the mother was forced to translate for her husband who only spoke Spanish.

This was apparently a great injustice to her.

In an attempt to create a Spanish-speaking staff, Parkland Hospital is now providing incentives in the form of extra pay for applicants who speak Spanish. Additionally, medical students at the University of Texas Southwestern for which Parkland Hospital is the training facility will now have a Spanish language requirement added to their already jammed-packed curriculum. No other school in the country boasts such a ridiculous multi-semester (multicultural) requirement.

(Sorry for the length, but this needs wide circulation particularly to our  "employees" in Congress .)

Remember that this is about only  ONE  hospital in Dallas , Texas . There are many more hospitals across our country that must also deal with this.   

And before you dismiss these eye-popping, jaw-dropping facts as internet spam, please be advised that (no friend to the right) checked them out.  And found them to be true.  You can read the snopes analysis by clicking here.

Does this bring the problem home clearly enough?  I hope, for your sake, that the answer is "yes".


Ken Berwitz

Today's Washington Post has a fair, informative article on the issuance of a military report about an incident which occurred on February 21 of this year.  It is a strongly critical report, as you can see by the excerpt I am posting below:

Drone operators blamed in airstrike that killed Afghan civilians in February

By Karin Brulliard
Sunday, May 30, 2010; A06


KABUL -- A biting U.S. military report released Saturday criticized "inaccurate and unprofessional" reporting by operators of unmanned drones for contributing to a mistaken February airstrike that killed and injured dozens of civilians in southern Afghanistan.


As many as 23 people were killed in the attack in Uruzgan province, where a strike intended for what military officials believed was an insurgent force hit a civilian convoy. The incident was condemned by the Afghan cabinet as "unacceptable," and it prompted Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, to apologize to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.


The U.S. military said in a statement that four senior officers were reprimanded and two junior officers were admonished in connection with the strike -- disciplinary actions that could damage their careers. In a memo accompanying the military report, McChrystal announced bolstered training to prevent similar incidents in the future, and he asked the U.S. Air Force to investigate the Predator team.


McChrystal has made it a top priority to reduce civilian casualties as the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan has shifted from killing Taliban members to protecting the Afghan populace. He has restricted the use of airstrikes, night raids and home searches, all in a bid to quell public hostility.


"Inadvertently killing or injuring civilians is heartbreaking and undermines their trust and confidence in our mission," McChrystal said in a statement.


The Feb. 21 incident in Uruzgan occurred when a U.S. helicopter fired Hellfire missiles and rockets on a three-vehicle convoy approaching the village of Khod, where U.S. Special Forces and Afghan troops were battling Taliban fighters. A Special Forces ground commander had determined the convoy was carrying militants arriving to provide backup to the fighters, according to the report, written by Maj. Gen. Timothy P. McHale.

I vaguely remember when this happened.  I remember hoping that the casualty count was wrong and all, or at least most, of the people who were hit deserved their fate. I remember thinking about this as a horrific, but unavoidable consequence of any war, especially one with air attacks.

But the reason my remembrance is so vague is that the incident was covered for a day or so, then promptly buried.  No "building" of the story by doing different angles of it on succeeding days.  No "troubling new information about...." features on the Today show.  No attacks on the commander in chief as a heartless murderer.  It was just allowed to die, like the 23 victims. 

My question is a simple, basic on.  If it were President George Bush instead of President Barack Obama, would this have been treated the same way?

You decide.


Ken Berwitz

Provocative title, wouldn't you say?

Well, it's not mine.  It is from John Hinderaker at, who has written an equally provocative (and, characteristically, intelligent, analytical) blog on the subject.

Here is Mr. Hinderaker's entire blog. (I am posting it all because it is short - and because Ive already given you a link to the web site he writes at, which I hope you will click on every day):

Is Obama the New Cheney?


May 29, 2010 Posted by John at 9:41 AM


No, not in terms of competence, which Cheney oozed and Obama, to put it mildly, does not. Rather, in terms of Cheney's inability to fake emotional involvement. Bill Clinton was a master of insincerity; when he felt our pain, we almost believed it. Cheney, on the other hand, once sheepishly admitted that he "doesn't do funerals." Emotional symbolism wasn't his forte, and he knew it.


Obama strikes me as, in that respect, a similar personality. He knew that politics dictated that he make a trip to the Gulf to show his concern over the oil spilll; he also knew that such a trip would do no practical good whatsoever.

Notwithstanding his daughter's misapprehension, there is nothing that Obama can personally do to plug the leak.


So what we got was a strikingly half-hearted effort. Obama passed through the Gulf in a whirlwind three hours and fifteen minutes, just long enough to pose for a series of photo ops and then beat it back to Chicago.


This is less time than most of us feel obliged to spend with our in-laws on Thanksgiving. And, after speeding back to Chicago, what was the first thing Obama did? He played basketball.


I think I finally understand what Obama's supporters have meant all this time when they call him "cerebral." He just doesn't do emotion well. I'm sympathetic to him on that one, as I was to Cheney. But Americans, unfortunately, have come to expect emotional resonance from their presidents. The lack of it could prove a significant liability to Obama.

 I read another web site, where one of the commenters said something like "40 days after the disaster and he shows up for a 3 hour tour?  Who does he think he is, Gilligan?"  I laughed - but through clenched teeth.


Ken Berwitz

Ed Morrissey of has dismantled much of the lying and fraud surrounding Joe Sestak's offer of a job in the Obama administration as a bribe (that's what I'd call it) to bug out of the primary race against Arlen Specter.

You can read it all by clicking here, and I urge you to do so.

But here are some of the key excerpts:

The Silence of the Sestak: The Big Me involved?; Update: WH memo released; Update: Sestak corroborates

by Ed Morrissey

With the political world holding its breath for the Friday-afternoon document dump containing the Obama White House response to the Joe Sestak scandal, Greg Sargent gets a sneak peek at the possible defense.  The Obama administration will say that it asked Bill Clinton to conduct informal talks with Sestak to determine his political ambitions, which Sestak then mischaracterized afterward:

Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether hed be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation.

But the White House maintains that the Clinton-Sestak discussions were informal, according to the sources.

Having someone outside of the administration as a buffer would be very convenient for Obama at this juncture.  It allows Obama to offload the blame to someone other than a staffer.  And like all buffers, it provides the President with plausible deniability for any legal problems that might ensue.

Assuming that Sargents sources are correct, we can pretty much predict what the document dump will say.  We asked President Clinton to see what Rep. Sestaks intentions were, and how we could help would cover all the bases and leave Bill Clinton holding the bag if anything untoward happened.  That, however, seems highly unlikely for a man so slippery that he could parse the meaning of the word is under oath. 

Heres a question, though.  Who was the buffer in Colorado?

Update: The New York Times has the same leak, but even more information about the job offer, emphasis mine:

Mr. Obama promised on Thursday to release an account of the matter, which White House lawyers have been drafting in recent days in consultation with Mr. Sestaks brother, Richard, who runs his campaign. The White House plans to release its statement later on Friday. Until now, the White House has said publicly only that whatever conversations took place with Mr. Sestak were not inappropriate.

The office of Robert F. Bauer, the White House counsel, has concluded that Mr. Emanuels proposal did not violate laws prohibiting government employees from promising employment as a reward for political activity because the position being offered was unpaid. The office also found other examples of presidents offering positions to political allies to achieve political aims.

Update II: What kind of unpaid position would be attractive enough to get Sestak out of the Senate primary?  Thats a darned good question, and Ill bet the Obama White House is scrambling to make up find an answer.  If Sestak challenges this spin, though, Id be very surprised.  I think hes looking for an exit from this scandal at least as hard as Obama and his staff.

Update III: Marc Ambinder has the White House memo.  Shouldnt this have been released at 5 pm or so?  And the memo itself seems to be evidence of potential wrongdoing, rather than an exoneration:

Uncompensated Advisory Board Options. We found that, as the Congressman has publicly and accurately stated, options for Executive Branch service were raised with him.  Efforts were made in June and July of 2009 to determine whether Congressman Sestak would be interested in service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board, which would avoid a divisive Senate primary, allow him to retain his seat in the House, and provide him with an opportunity for additional service to the public in a high-level advisory capacity for which he was highly qualified.  The advisory positions discussed with Congressman Sestak, while important to the work of the Administration, would have been uncompensated.

White House staff did not discuss these options with Congressman Sestak.  The White House Chief of Staff enlisted the support of former President Clinton who agreed to raise with Congressman Sestak options of service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board.

Er, isnt that at the least an admission of attempting to tamper with the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania?  If this didnt violate the law, why did Rahm Emanuel ask Bill Clinton to make the pitch rather than do it himself?

Im guessing this adds gasoline rather than water to the fire.

Update IV: Via the Boss Emeritus on Twitter, Sestak wastes no time in corroborating the White House account:

Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew Id say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.

There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families.

Excuse me, but a position on a Presidential Board is not a job in any sense of the word.  Sestak has repeatedly insisted that the White House offered him a job to get him to withdraw from the race.  Now were at the whos-lying stage, and it may well be everyone.

This story stinks like the back of a clam house during a garbage strike.  There are two reasons:

1) The claims being made by the Obama administration and Sestak are palpably false;

2) Our wonderful "neutral" media are clearly in the process of burying this scandal by putting it under the rubric of  "business as usual in Washington DC"

This is an utter disgrace, which is burgeoning into more of a disgrace by the day.  And the public is being sold a disgustingly dishonest bill of goods in an effort, by Obama and much of his fawning media, to slough it over.

Will the public buy what they're selling?  We'll soon find out.

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