Wednesday, 02 June 2010

THE ROMANOFF CESSPOOL

Ken Berwitz

Did you think the Sestak Cesspool was the only one?

Here is the Denver Post's editorial on the Obama administration quite probably committing exactly the same illegality concerning Democratic senate candidate Andrew Romanoff:

Clear the air on Romanoff deal

Coloradans deserve to know the details about any job offer made to the Senate candidate in exchange for not running.


By The Denver Post

Posted: 06/02/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT

 

President Obama's White House apparently isn't that committed to dispensing with the business-as-usual kind of politics he campaigned against.

 

Senate primary races in Pennsylvania and Colorado instead have revealed an Obama political machine that engages in favoritism and behind-the-scenes wrangling and deal-making that seem decidedly old-school. The two contests, in which someone from the administration allegedly offered a candidate some type of job to drop out of their race, have raised key questions that remain to be answered, especially in Colorado's Senate race.

The White House and Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff should speak up.

 

In Pennsylvania, the administration has admitted it enlisted no less a power player than Bill Clinton to ask Rep. Joe Sestak to stop his bid against Obama ally Sen. Arlen Specter. Clinton suggested Sestak remain in the House and accept an influential, but non-paying, role on an advisory panel. (Sestak has since ousted Specter.)

 

The Denver Post last September quoted unnamed sources that said Obama's deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina, contacted former state House Speaker Romanoff, who hadn't yet announced his candidacy, with specific suggestions for Washington jobs in exchange for his staying out of the race against appointed Sen. Michael Bennet.

 

The White House denied any such offer, but sources told The Post's Michael Riley: "Romanoff turned down the overture, which included mention of a job at USAID, the foreign aid agency."

 

Obama endorsed Bennet the day after Romanoff formally announced he was in the race.

 

We read Riley's story with particular interest. Only days before it ran, after hearing whispers of a Romanoff job offer, we asked the former House speaker directly whether he had been offered a job by the White House to drop out of the race.

 

He told us unequivocally that he had not been offered a position.

 

The matter dropped off the political radar until Sestak admitted on the campaign trail that he was offered some sort of job.

 

Romanoff now refuses to answer questions about whether he was, in fact, offered a job. In fact, Romanoff refuses even to offer an explanation for why he won't answer the question. And yet, like Obama, Romanoff's campaign theme has been to run against the Washington way of doing things.

 

We don't know what to make of all the secrecy. Without an explanation, voters are left to wonder who to believe. And if Obama doesn't mind the position in which that places Romanoff, he ought to care about where it places him.

 

For his part, Romanoff appears to have done nothing wrong. Since he wasn't yet a candidate, it's unlikely the line between typical political deal-making and a crime was crossed.

 

The White House has offered an accounting of Sestak's job offer, albeit an explanation with some holes in it. And while there was more smoke in the Sestak case, Coloradans deserve some sort of explanation as well.

How bad does this stink?  Plenty bad.

And now that the Denver Post, albeit belatedly, is demanding answers about Romanoff, maybe there will be a synergy between the Sestak and Romanoff scandals that will force other media to demand answers as well. 

Wow.  Just imagine a mainstream media that is gung-ho to find out what wrongdoing there might have been.  A media dedicated to proactively seeking out and uncovering every possible vestige of scandal.

Why, that would almost be...like...if George Bush were still President.


THE SESTAK CESSP0OL: IT ISN'T GOING AWAY

Ken Berwitz

From Jake Sherman at www.politico.com:

Republicans are going to keep hammering away at the Joe Sestak job offer allegations. 

 

Reps. Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, and Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sent another letter to White House Counsel Bob Bauer on Wednesday, asking the White House to disclose specifics about any job offer to Sestak (D-Pa.) in exchange for dropping out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary.

 

By June 9, Issa wants the Obama administrations legal records, memos to the press office, and e-mails and phone records in relation to the Sestak job offer. Issa and Smith also are asking for notes and transcripts of interviews with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, former President Bill Clinton, Sestak and Sestaks brother Richard, who serves as his campaign manager.

 

The American people elected a president who promised to change the status quo and business-as-usual practices of Washington. Has this White House become a part of the establishment they once opposed? the Republicans wrote in the letter. The Sestak matter represents a chance for this White House to live up to the high standard of transparency and accountability they set for themselves.

 

Smith and Issa also accuse the White House of violating the criminal code, tampering of evidence, witness tampering and evasion of the legal process for dispatching Clinton to offer Sestak a spot on a presidential intelligence advisory board.

 

Sestak, who for months would not disclose any details of the offer, addressed it last week outside the Capitol in Washington. He answered questions and insisted that there was nothing unusual about his talk with Clinton; he said it lasted between 30 and 60 seconds.

 

Democrats have also been trying to get Sestak to dodge questions about the offer. Several of his Pennsylvania colleagues in the House have suggested he simply not answer questions about the offer, and one suggested he talk instead about the economy.

 

Aides to Sestak have also noted to reporters that he has never voluntarily brought up the offer during the course of the primary or general election and he has merely answered questions when asked.

Please note that Sestak first stated that he was offered a major job - he did not deny it was Secretary of the Navy - in return for quitting his primary challenge to Arlen Specter (that was when he was on the outs with Obama & Co.).  But now that he has won the primary and Demcorats are stuck with him as their candidate, thus have to suport him, he is pretending it was nothing with nothing.

Republicans - correctly - will not allow our wonderful "neutral" media to bury this scandal.  I wish them well in making sure that the public is shown every detail.

free` Sestak also said the offer came from someone in the white house, Clinton is not someone inside the white house. (06/02/10)

Zeke ..... .... very cogent point, free` ...... (06/03/10)


THE USA'S CONDEMNATION OF ISRAEL

Ken Berwitz

Are you aware that the Obama administration, through its incompetent, dishonest toady hillary clinton, has condemned Israel's actions against the so-called "humanitarian" flotilla?  The flotilla that, in fact, was loaded with violent terrorists (there is absolutely no doubt about this anymore)?   

First let's establish the lawfulness of Israel's actions.  From Alan Dershowitz:

Although the wisdom of Israel's actions in stopping the Gaza flotilla is open to question, the legality of its actions is not. What Israel did was entirely consistent with both international and domestic law. In order to understand why Israel acted within its rights, the complex events at sea must be deconstructed.

First, there is the Israeli blockade of Gaza, which included a naval blockade. Recall that when Israel ended its occupation of Gaza, it did not impose a blockade. Indeed it left behind agricultural facilities in the hope that the newly liberated Gaza Strip would become a peaceful and productive area. Instead Hamas seized control over Gaza and engaged in acts of warfare against Israel. These acts of warfare featured anti-personnel rockets, nearly 10,000 of them, directed at Israeli civilians. This was not only an act of warfare, it was a war crime. Israel responded to the rockets by declaring a blockade, the purpose of which was to assure that no rockets, or other material that could be used for making war against Israeli civilians, was permitted into Gaza. Israel allowed humanitarian aid through its checkpoints. Egypt as well participated in the blockade. There was never a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, merely a shortage of certain goods that would end if the rocket attacks ended.

The legality of blockades as a response to acts of war is not subject to serious doubt. When the United States blockaded Cuba during the missile crisis, the State Department issued an opinion declaring the blockade to be lawful. This, despite the fact that Cuba had not engaged in any act of belligerency against the United States. Other nations have similarly enforced naval blockades to assure their own security.

The second issue is whether it is lawful to enforce a legal blockade in international waters. Again, law and practice are clear. If there is no doubt that the offending ships have made a firm determination to break the blockade, then the blockade may be enforced before the offending ships cross the line into domestic waters. Again the United States and other western countries have frequently boarded ships at high sea in order to assure their security.

Third, were those on board the flotilla innocent non-combatants or did they lose that status once they agreed to engage in the military act of breaking the blockade? Let there be no mistake about the purpose of this flotilla. It was decidedly not to provide humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza, but rather the break the entirely lawful Israeli military blockade. The proof lies in the fact that both Israel and Egypt offered to have all the food, medicine and other humanitarian goods sent to Gaza, if the boats agreed to land in an Israeli or Egyptian port. That humanitarian offer was soundly rejected by the leaders of the flotilla who publicly announced:

"This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it's about breaking Israel's siege on 1.5 million Palestinians." (AFP, May 27, 2010.)

The act of breaking a military siege is itself a military act, and those knowingly participating in such military action put in doubt their status as non-combatants.

It is a close question whether "civilians" who agree too participate in the breaking of a military blockade have become combatants. They are certainly something different than pure, innocent civilians, and perhaps they are also somewhat different from pure armed combatants. They fit uncomfortably onto the continuum of civilianality that has come to characterize asymmetrical warfare.

Finally, we come to the issue of the right of self-defense engaged in by Israeli soldiers who were attacked by activists on the boat. There can be little doubt that the moment any person on the boat picked up a weapon and began to attack Israeli soldiers boarding the vessel, they lost their status as innocent civilians. Even if that were not the case, under ordinary civilian rules of self defense, every Israeli soldier had the right to protect himself and his colleagues from attack by knife and pipe wielding assailants. Less there be any doubt that Israeli soldiers were under attack, simply view the video and watch, as so-called peaceful "activists" repeatedly pummel Israeli soldiers with metal rods. Every individual has the right to repel such attacks by the use of lethal force, especially when the soldiers were so outnumbered on the deck of the ship. Recall that Israel's rules of engagement required its soldiers to fire only paintballs unless their lives were in danger. Would any country in the world deny its soldiers the right of self-defense under comparable circumstances?  

Next, let's see and hear hillary clinton's Obama-driven condemnation of Israel:




And finally, let's see and hear Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's explanation of why Israel did what it did. 

 

Now:  You tell me who sounds logical and intelligent, and who sounds like a toady, bereft of either attribute:

According to the exit polls, 78% of US Jews, most of whom presumably support Israel, voted for Barack Obama.

I hope they are happy with what they got.

Speaking as one of the other 22%, I can assure you I am not.

Zeke ..... 50 of the 'Humanitarians' had no identification --- except for several thousand dollars in each of their pockets .... a number have already been identified as terrorists. These 50 are refusing to cooperate -- won't give their names, nationality. (06/02/10)


CHRIS MATTHEWS: AL GORE WAS A CLASSY, PATRIOTIC LOSER IN 2000??????

Ken Berwitz

I'd like to think that not many people can completely revise history on TV and get away with it.  But when the network is MSNBC and the person doing it is the perennially ratings-challenged Chris Matthews on his "Hardball" show?  Piece of cake.

These days, the last segment of every Matthews show is called "Let me finish".  It usually consists of him whining out a hissy-fit about something or other.  Last night's "Let me finish" was about the breakup of  Al and Tipper Gore.  And this, so help me, is part of what Matthews said about Al Gore:

"The classiest, most patriotic thing he did was the way he accepted that 2000 election result and the supreme court's ruling...there's been a lot of nobility in this guy...his acceptance, that everyone else would have fought perhaps, his acceptance of that win on the part of George W. Bush back in 2000.  I don't think Bush would have taken it that easily.

Al Gore accepted the 2000 election result classily and patriotically??????????????????????????? 

Is Matthews just full of excrement, is he on mind-altering drugs, or both?

First off, Gore did not accept the 2000 election.  He tried to overturn his loss in Florida by going to the courts to get three heavily Democratic counties recounted - not the entire state (which the courts might have granted him), but just three counties that would be most likely to help him.  Very classy and very patriotic I'm sure.

And then, when most legal rulings went against him, both in Florida's state courts and finally in the US Supreme court, do you remember Al Gore being classy or patriotic about that? 

Do you remember Gore demanding that the people around him stop calling George Bush the "President-select" and "the Resident"?  I hope not, because it didn't happen.

Do you remember Gore demanding that they stop insulting the Supreme Court by calling them a bunch of political ideologues and claiming in virtually so many words that the fix was in?  I hope not, because it didn't happen.

Do you remember Gore trying everything he could to disallow military (thus more likely to be Republican) votes from counting?  I hope you do, because that did happen.

Does any of that sound classy or patriotic to you?  It sure as hell doesn't sound like either to me.

The fact is that Al Gore and the people around him were anything but classy and patriotic about this.  And, in qualitative terms, Chris Matthews has degenerated from a partisan but articulate and interesting political analyst, to a barroom loudmouth without the liquor (I think).

Al Gore was pathetic in 2000.  And Chris Matthews is pathetic now.

Zeke ... ... Chris Matthews is a pathetic twit. ..... .... However, Albert Gore is a venial meglomaniac. He has to be the center of attention (wonder how he managed 8 yrs as VP). Telling us all to cut back on our living standards while private jetting the world, living in a house that uses more energy than 2 dozen of us 'ordinary folk'. Proclaiming "Henny Penny is here, and Global Warming is Coming" .... .... but refusing to engage in public debate on this. Just sends his minions out to lambaste any opposition. Gore is a danger with his extravagant schemes (Carbon Credits, etc). ... ... Exactly HOW will the South survive without Air Conditioning ... which will become too expensive for the "ordinary folk" ... once all that Carbon Tax goes into effect. ,,, ,,, Not to worry -- Albert Gore uses Carbon Credits ... issued by his very own company. (06/02/10)


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