Friday, 18 June 2010

THE BP SHAKEDOWN (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Rep. Joe Barton did a terrible thing yesterday. 

He told the truth in a way that gave his political enemies a treasure trove of propaganda material.

Barton, who apologized to BP and said he was ashamed that the company was being subjected to a "shakedown", should have known that, politically, what he said was hugely beneficial to President Obama and Democrats.  Even his Republicans colleagues bashed him for it until, hours later and after the political damage was done, he apologized for his apology.

But there is a bit of a problem.  Rep. Barton was 100% correct.

If, say a District Attorney called the CEO of a company into his office during an investigation of that company, and demanded money for any reason while the investigation was in progress, what would you call it?  The CEO's choice would be either to hand over the money or refuse the person heading the investigation.  That is coerced money, known in more colloquial terms as a shakedown.

Now, suppose the President and Attorney General of the United States called the CEO of a company into the oval office during an investigation of that company, and demanded money while the investigation was in progress?  What would you call that?

Let me say it again.  Joe Barton was 100% correct.

David Limbaugh has written a very insightful explanation of this shakedown, how it bespeaks a technique Mr. Obama has already used, and what his bullying and posturing means to the USA.  Here is the key excerpt:

To be sure, the oil spill has been terrible, and BP doubtlessly bears much blame. But do any of us know all the facts? Should the president be unilaterally declaring BP's strict liability as if he were the final judge, jury and executioner -- without even affording the company any opportunity to defend itself?

Alinsky-starved radicals might find it gratifying for a dictatorial president to beat up on such an evil agent of capitalism, but some of us find his approach unseemly and disturbing. Besides denying the company any semblance of due process and fairness, how about his habitual expenditure of negative energy -- pointing fingers -- instead of employing a constructive approach?

No matter how culpable BP is ultimately determined to be, Obama's bullying should not deflect our attention from another culprit here: environmental extremists.

Just as Obama blamed Wall Street and exempted government (liberal policies) and quasi government entities (Freddie and Fannie) for their complicity in the financial meltdown and just as he blamed doctors, pharmaceuticals and insurance companies for soaring health care costs caused mostly by socialistic governmental policies, he is summarily blaming BP and exempting unreasonable liberal environmental policies for shutting down more conventional and safer drilling methods -- and venues. As usual, he and his ilk greatly contribute to problems and then use those problems as catalysts to justify even greater doses of their destructive socialistic prescriptions. It's maddening.

Just as Obama browbeat and bought off the American Medical Association and big pharma to go along with Obamacare, he summoned BP executives to his office. Flanked by Attorney General Eric Holder, who has threatened criminal action against BP, he shook down BP into forking over a $20 billion installment to defer the government's further wrath. BP is but another prop Obama has chosen to advance another plank of his statist agenda -- this time his plan to shut down our conventional energy industry in favor of new, quixotic alternative energy methods that will succeed only in propelling this nation even faster toward Third World status.

Can we move the 2010 and 2012 elections up?  Please?

Zeke .... ..... Why on earth did BP hand over $20 bil to OilBama ? ... .... ... They must realize that was only the first blackmail payment. ... ... ... It will end only when Barry owns the whole company. ... ... Everyone and his uncle will be in line for payments -- ... ... ... . (06/18/10)


ANN COULTER ON THE ALVIN GREENE NOMINATION

Ken Berwitz

You may or may not like Ann Coulter.  But you have to admit she knows how to turn a phrase.

Here is a short excerpt from her acerbic, sarcastic and riotously funny analysis of Alvin Greene's Senate primary win in South Carolina:

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said Greene was not a "legitimate" candidate and called his victory "a mysterious deal." (Yes, how could a young African-American man with strange origins, suspicious funding, shady associations, no experience, no qualifications, and no demonstrable work history come out of nowhere and win an election?)

They're hopping mad, these liberals, but it's not clear what their theory of the crime is. Before accusing Republicans of committing a dirty trick, apparently no one asked the question: "OK, but what was the trick?"

The key to Greene's victory, you see, is that he got more votes. How do liberals imagine Republicans pulled that off? Mesmerize the Democrats into voting for an idiot? If they could do that, John McCain would be president. 

(NOTE:  Coulter goes on to explain why Greene's win could not have been the result of Republican crossover voting.)

I laughed when I read this segment and I'm still laughing now.  Take a look at the entire piece (by clicking here) and you'll get a lot more just like it.

(Anon) ... ... ... Is that Alvin Greene they are talking about, or is it Barry OilBama ? ..... .... .... .... 'not a "legitimate" candidate and called his victory "a mysterious deal." (Yes, how could a young African-American man with strange origins, suspicious funding, shady associations, no experience, no qualifications, and no demonstrable work history come out of nowhere and win an election?)lBama: .... ..... ' (06/18/10)


FOR THE FOLKS WHO THINK THIS IS ALL BP'S FAULT

Ken Berwitz

I don't know how this eluded me.  I apologize for not posting it until now.

Excerpted from an article in the May 5th Washington Post:

U.S. exempted BP's Gulf of Mexico drilling from environmental impact study

By Juliet Eilperin

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

 

The Interior Department exempted BP's calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.

 

The decision by the department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP's lease at Deepwater Horizon a "categorical exclusion" from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 -- and BP's lobbying efforts just 11 days before the explosion to expand those exemptions -- show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf.

A pop quiz for you:

-Which administration was in office on April 6, 2009?

-Which administration has been in office ever since then?

-Which administration, therefore, was in charge when BP was handed an exemption from a detailed environmental impact analysis?

-Which administration, therefore, gave the ok and go-ahead for the Deepwater horizon lease, where the oil rig disaster took place?

Still think it's all BP's fault? 

Just one more quiz question:

-What do you call a mainstream media which knew about this (it was in the Washington Post, wasn't it?) but then proceeded to bury it, thus creating the illusion that the Obama Administration was not at all responsible for the oil rig disaster?

I have a feeling we both have the same answer to that one.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.

free` -Which administration was in office on April 6, 2009? - OBAMA -Which administration has been in office ever since then? -OBAMA -Which administration, therefore, was in charge when BP was handed an exemption from a detailed environmental impact analysis? - OBAMA -Which administration, therefore, gave the ok and go-ahead for the Deepwater horizon lease, where the oil rig disaster took place? - OBAMA Still think it's all BP's fault? - NO BUSH has to take most of the blame ;) (06/19/10)


OBAMA'S BP BS SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

How useless, even counterproductive, was President Obama's oval office speech this past Tuesday?

Here is Charles' Krauthammer's take, excerpted from his latest Washington Post column:

Barack Obama doesn't do the mundane. He was sent to us to do larger things. You could see that plainly in his Oval Office address on the gulf oil spill. He could barely get himself through the pedestrian first half: a bit of BP-bashing, a bit of faux-Clintonian "I feel your pain," a bit of recovery and economic mitigation accounting. It wasn't until the end of the speech -- the let-no-crisis-go-to-waste part that tried to leverage the Gulf Coast devastation to advance his cap-and-trade climate-change agenda -- that Obama warmed to his task.

Pedestrian is beneath Obama. Mr. Fix-It he is not. He is world-historical, the visionary, come to make the oceans recede and the planet heal.

How? By creating a glorious, new, clean green economy. And how exactly to do that? From Washington, by presidential command and with tens of billions of dollars thrown around. With the liberal (and professorial) conceit that scientific breakthroughs can be legislated into existence, Obama proposes to give us a new industrial economy.

But is this not what we've been trying to do for decades with ethanol, which remains a monumental boondoggle, economically unviable and environmentally damaging to boot? As with yesterday's panacea, synfuels, into which Jimmy Carter poured billions.

Notice that Obama no longer talks about Spain, which until recently he repeatedly cited for its visionary subsidies of a blossoming new clean energy industry. That's because Spain, now on the verge of bankruptcy, is pledged to reverse its disastrously bloated public spending, including radical cuts in subsidies to its uneconomical photovoltaic industry.

There's a reason petroleum is such a durable fuel. It's not, as Obama fatuously suggested, because of oil company lobbying but because it is very portable, energy-dense and easy to use.

But this doesn't stop Obama from thinking that he can mandate into being a superior substitute. His argument: Well, if we can put a man on the moon, why not this?

Aside from the irony that this most tiresome of cliches comes from a president who is canceling our program to return to the moon, it is utterly meaningless.

I urge you to use the link I've provided and read Mr. Krauthammer's entire analysis. It is every bit as intelligent, insightful and informational as the segment you just read. 

Remember; as I've said many times before, we have no one to blame but ourselves for this awful, incompetent, train wreck of a presidency.  We elected a Chicago machine politician with no qualifications for the office, and gave him a huge partisan majority in both houses to second everything he is doing.

If the major polls are correct, a great many people who voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 have, albeit belatedly, come to this conclusion.

The 2010 elections cannot come fast enough. 

And that goes double for 2012.


IS THE TODAY SHOW'S INTEGRITY BEYOND REDEMPTION?

Ken Berwitz

That is a question you have to ask.  Because the Today Show has degenerated into full Obama-protection mode.

Here is one of numerous examples (a good many of which I have already blogged about over the past weeks and months).  It is a verbatim excerpt from this morning, in which host Matt Lauer discusses the oil rig disaster with NBC's chief White House correspondent David Gregory (you can watch the whole sorry mess by clicking here):

GREGORY:  Yes, the administration applied a lot of pressure, I dont think anybody believes it was a shakedown.

LAUER:  David, the latest poll numbers we have show that about 52% of the American people disapprove of the way the President is handling this oil spill crisis.  Thats up from 33% about a month ago. 

But I want to point out that this polling was done before the Presidents latest trip to the Gulf, which was a two day trip; before his oval office address to the nation; before that $20 billion dollar fund was set up.  Take me inside the White House.  Do they think they had a good week?

A few points to be made:

-First we have the astonishing claim by David Gregory that he doesn't think anybody believes the $20 billion dollar handout was a shakedown.  Huh?  

Not only did Joe Barton say it was a shakedown in so many words (his apology was obviously politically inspired and made under duress), but commentators on talk shows and all over the internet are agreeing with him - me very much included. 

No Republican will say it publicly because of the PR firestorm Barton generated, but does Gregory seriously believe that out of about 220 Republican congresspeople, some more conservative than Mr. Barton, nobody at all thinks of it this way? 

David Gregory either has a brain cloud, has decided that Republicans are ghosts and don't count as people, or he is lying on behalf of Obama and Democrats.  I'm betting on a combo of the second and third option;

-Next we have Matt Lauer.  He reported the latest poll, which shows that disapproval of President Obama's performance on the oil rig disaster has jumped from 33% in the network's previous poll to 52%  now.  That is a huge 58% increase in about one month's time.

But does Lauer simply report these data?  Nope.  Before Gregory can get in one word, Lauer jumps in to rationalize the bad numbers, by coming up with not one, not two, but three different reasons to ignore them. 

And what are the reasons?  Lauer says that, after the poll was taken...:

 ... President Obama went down to the Gulf for two days this week.  So what? The poll was taken after he'd already been down there several times.  Why would continuing trips mean a thing to poll respondents, if oil is still belching into the Gulf of Mexico?  If anything, his continued visits without any action taking place might lower those poll numbers...

...President Obama made his oval office speech.  Again, so what?  It was panned by just about everyone on the right, by most commentators in the middle and a lot of them on the left, including reliable leftists at his own network's sister station MSNBC (olbermann and Matthews, to name two).  How, then, could that dud of a speech possibly have improved Mr. Obama's poll numbers?  As in the "he visited the Gulf" rationale, if anything, the speech might have pushed his approval numbers even lower...

...President Obama got a commitment of $20 billion dollars from BP to be distributed by an administration appointee.  Ok, this  might - might - have improved his numbers because there are $20 billion dollars more in the till.  But it is highly doubtful, since a) that money doesn't stop a drop of oil from spewing into the Gulf and b) BP had already promised to pay as much as was needed - which, for the record, might exceed the $20 billion dollars. What's more, that promise was made on The Today show in front of Lauer's own viewers.  Are we supposed to believe that Lauer forgot this happened?

Bottom line:  The Today Show used to stop at just being biased in favor of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.  But now it has foregone any vestige of neutrality and is shamelessly committed to propping them up regardless of facts or logic.  It is no more or less than a propaganda arm of The Obama administration. 

You have to consider the possibility that Today may have moved so far in this direction that it is beyond redemption.

How pathetic.  What a disgrace to the journalistic profession.  What a disservice to the show's viewers.


THE SHAKEDOWN LOSS

Ken Berwitz

How much money has the United States lost since Barack Obama and his administration decided to conceal their breathtaking ineptitude during the oil rig disaster by relentlessly attacking BP?  Less than the $20 billion dollar shakedown?  As much?  More?   

Your first impulse might be to say "What are you talking about?  BP is paying us 20 billion dollars.  End of story"

Well, don't be so sure.  Here is an excerpt from John Hinderaker's blog at powerlineblog.com that will quickly disabuse you of any such assumption.  It came to John in the form of a facebook entry (if I knew the name of the person who posted it I would thank him/her profusely).  Please pay special attention to the part I have put in bold print:

In response to the notion (not necessarily yours, I understand) that Obama's generated $20B for US taxpayers, I'd like to to offer some admittedly sloppy calculations.

First, you said yesterday US citizens own 40% of BP. Looking at my Schwab account right now (I own BP stock myself), I see their market capitalization presently stands at $99B.

If their stock price has fallen by 40%, that means the market cap was (before all this ass-kicking started) around $165B -- so the value of the stock has fallen by $66B. 40% of that loss, or around $26 billion of it, was sustained by Americans if we hold 40% of the stock.

So the net cost of this drama to the taxpayers is $6B and counting. And that is assuming that $20B is distributed fairly. Perhaps they can put ACORN in charge of it.

Every time I see another angle of how this administration is "handling" (if you can use the word) the oil rig disaster, it comes out looking worse.


PRESIDENT OBAMA'S EFFECT ON ISRAEL

Ken Berwitz

I've written a great deal about how Barack Obama's actions as President have hurt and endangered Israel;  how his despicable treatment of Benjamin Netanyahu compared to the royal treatment afforded "Palestinian" President mahmoud abbas, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

But James Lewis has done such an excellent job of summing up the damaged wreaked by Mr. Obama that I want to put up at least the first part of his article at americanthinker.com - which you can read in its entirety by clicking here:

June 18, 2010

Obama and the Rising Mob Against Israel

By James Lewis

 

The Middle East is now teetering on the brink of war because a vast international mob has been loosed, with the tacit approval of Barack Hussein Obama. That is the real meaning of the Gaza martyrdom stunt of May 31, 2010. That purposeful provocation is not past. The Gaza suicide operation is still being used all over the Middle East and Europe to whip up hatred and violence.

 

As Mark Steyn just reported from a dingy cafe in Algeria,


I can just about make out the plasma TV up in the corner on which Jimmy Carter, dubbed into Arabic, is denouncing Israel. Al Jazeera doesn't so much cover the Zionist Entity as feast on it, hour after hour, without end. So here, at the western frontier of the Muslim world ... the only news that matters is from a tiny strip of land barely wider at its narrowest point than a rural Canadian township way down the other end of the Mediterranean. ... (there is) saturation coverage of the "Massacre In The Med" (as the front page headline in Britain's Daily Mirror put it)."

 

Iran, Lebanon, and Islamist Turkey have just announced new flotillas to break the Gaza blockade. If they succeed, it will not stop with Gaza. The conquest of Jerusalem and rest of Israel is the target. That is why Ahmadinejad has trained all his life in the "Al-Quds" (Jerusalem) Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the shock suicide brigade for reconquering Jerusalem. That is why the Hamas flag shows a green Islamic Jerusalem. It is why Kofi Annan at the U.N. proudly posed in front of a map of the Middle East with Israel erased.

 

Mob psychology has now been loosed upon the world again -- in the European media, the U.N., and the Middle East, all of them against the common scapegoat of Israel.

 

Lynch mobs have a psychology. They need agitators to whip up popular rage against their victims -- like the "community organizers" in Chicago, who once upon a time used to proudly call themselves communist "agitators." But agitators need followers, who do the actual work of running riot, killing, raping, and burning their helpless scapegoats in their homes and businesses. Think ACORN and the Black Panthers.

 

Finally, mobs need enablers, the authority figures -- the cops, military, and politicos who give the signal that it's now okay to run riot and kill the helpless victims of the moment. Political authorities usually try to control incipient mobs, because their power depends on keeping order. But in Russia and the Dixiecrat South, politicians and cops commonly withdrew their protection at critical moments and signaled the mobs when it was okay to run riot against victim groups like the Jews or the blacks. It happens all over the world, and the race, ethnicity, religion, or wealth of the victims makes no difference. A group label is enough.

 

Barack Hussein Obama is now playing the biggest role in the mob psychology of the Middle East. Why? Because he is the authority figure who has given the signal that it's okay to attack Israel. That is why Islamist Turkey, Lebanon, and Iran just announced that they are sending new flotillas to challenge Israel's small coastal navy. Intentionally or not, Obama has given the green light for Israel-haters to attack. In fact, this appears to be his strategy to put pressure on Israel to appease the Arabs, Iranians, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Fatah, the unappeasable mobs that want only to kill Israel.

 

That is how Obama's Cairo speech was interpreted by the agitators and mobs of the Middle East. It is how his middle name was interpreted, and how his reported remark to the Egyptian Foreign Minister that "I am a Muslim" is perceived. If Obama really is a Muslim, then he must follow the Quran. Turkish PM Erdogan has openly said that "a Muslim cannot commit genocide" -- because the Quran explicitly demands genocide against infidels who do not surrender to Islam. That is why the Turkish suiciders on the cruise ship Mavi Marmara screamed "Khaibar! Khaibar!" while attacking Jewish commandos rappelling down one by one with paintball guns. Khaibar is the name of a Quranic genocide committed by Mohammed against the Jews. It's like Neo-Nazis screaming "Auschwitz! Auschwitz!"

There it is.  Laid out so clearly that even the most ardent Obama apologist cannot help but see it. 

If the reader cares at all about Israel he/she should be sickened by what Barack Obama is doing.  If the reader is anti-Israel, however, he/she should be thrilled.

Your call.


ARIZONA: PRESIDENT OBAMA CHOOSES SIDES

Ken Berwitz

The United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, in a June 8 interview with an Equadorian TV station, said this:

"President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy. And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act."  

Ok.  Let's review what is going on in Arizona:

-President Obama promised Governor Brewer a (ridiculously inadequate) deployment of 1,200 troops to the Arizona/Mexico border - which is 360 miles long - within 2 weeks.  The two weeks have passed and no troops have arrived.

-President Obama stopped construction of a security fence separating Mexico and the United States, which President Bush initiated and was in the process of constructing.

-Through the Bureau of Fish and Wildlife, the administration has closed a portion of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (which is entirely in Arizona), because there is so much danger from Mexican drug cartel members and smugglers of illegal aliens.  Instead of sending armed forces to clean them out and regain our sovereignty, the adminstration has effectively conceded US territory to Mexican thugs, thus enabling them to operate freely inside of Arizona.

But the one thing the administration will do is sue Arizona for trying, in the absence of any effort by the Obama administration, to secure its border.

I don't have to ask which side this administration is on anymore.  President Obama's actions (and inactions) provide the answer with perfect clarity.


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