Monday, 12 July 2010

BACKTRACKING FOR BOLDEN: CLUMSY AND UNCONVINCING

Ken Berwitz

Remember that statement - that perfectly definitive statement - by NASA administrator Charles Bolden that "perhaps his foremost" charge from President Obama was that "...he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world, and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations, to help them feel good about their historic contributions to science, math and engineering"?

Not surprisingly, this was pretty roundly condemned throughout the blogosphere (though not the mainstream media, since damn few mainstream media venues thought it was important enough to run as a story). 

So now we have this, from Fox News:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that NASA Administrator Charles Bolden must have misspoken when he told Al Jazeera last month that one of his top priorities is to reach out to Muslim countries. 

"That was not his task and that's not the task of NASA," Gibbs said. 

Bolden, though, said last month in the interview that it was President Obama who gave him that task. He made a similar claim in February. 

The White House also backed up Bolden last week when his remarks first stirred controversy. A White House spokesman last Tuesday said Obama wants NASA to engage with the world's best scientists and that to meet that challenge, NASA must "partner with countries around the world like Russia and Japan, as well as collaboration with Israel and with many Muslim-majority countries." 

He said it in February.  He said it last week.  The White House "backed up Bolden" when he said it last week. 

But now we are being told that he must have misspoke.

In the title of this blog, I called Gibbs' claim clumsy and unconvincing.  That is far and away the nicest characterization I can come up with for such obvious, blatant BS. 

I guess I'm just an old softie at heart.


THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS

Ken Berwitz

From the LA Times and KTLA Los Angeles, comes this self explanatory story.   The bold print is mine:

Imperial Valley newspaper catches heat for political cartoon

July 12, 2010 | 10:35 am

The Imperial Valley Press is being criticized by some readers who believe a political cartoon mocked the injuries of a decorated Iraq war veteran who is running for Congress.

The cartoon, published Saturday, shows a poster of candidate Nick Popaditch, who has a patch over his right eye. Two youths with skateboards seem perplexed by the poster

"What does that remind you of?" one says.

The other answers: "A James Bond super villain? A bald pirate? Uncle Fester with an eye patch."

Popaditch, a Marine gunnery sergeant, lost the sight in his right eye during the battle for Fallouja in Iraq in 2004. He received the Silver Star and Purple Heart and now is the Republican candidate in the 51st Congressional District, facing Democratic incumbent Bob Filner.

Among those criticizing the cartoon is Cheryl Perez, president of the Ladies Auxiliary, Military Order of the Purple Heart, unit 49, San Diego.

"I realize Nick is running for a political office and political cartoons are the norm," Perez wrote. "Attack him on his political views, not on injuries he sustained while fighting for other people's freedom and liberties. ... This is not just an insult to Nick, but an affront to every Purple Heart recipient."

Editor Brad Jennings, an Air Force veteran whose son is serving in the Air Force, said he has apologized to Popaditch and plans an apology and explanation in his column to be published Tuesday.

"Our intent was never to besmirch the service of a veteran, never to personally attack Mr. Popaditch," he said. "To me, the cartoon was meant as a comment on our locally ill-informed voters."

Does Mr. Jennings' explanation hold water?  It certainly seems so to me - especially given his military background and what his son is doing these days.

Point made?  I thought so.


THE NAACP AND THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT

Ken Berwitz

At one time the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was an important organization. 

But it is getting harder and harder to remember the NAACP's importance since, these days, it is far more known for its yearly convention and televised awards show than it is for serious efforts on behalf of civil rights. 

Case in point:  The organization's frontal attack on the "Tea Party". 

Excerpted from an article at cnn.com:

July 12, 2010

NAACP to condemn 'racism of the Tea Parties'

Posted: July 12th, 2010 02:31 PM ET


From CNN Political Producer Shannon Travis

Washington (CNN) On Tuesday the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will offer a resolution to its members condemning what it believes to be rampant racism in the Tea Party movement.

NAACP Deputy Communications Director Chris Fleming confirmed the resolution's existence to CNN but admitted he had not yet seen it. The resolution could be offered, and possibly pass, on Tuesday or later this week, Fleming said. The nation's oldest civil rights organization is currently holding its 101st convention in Kansas City over six days.

The Kansas City Star reports that the resolution will urge "all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era."

Other claims reportedly found in the resolution: Tea Party activists have engaged in racist behavior, for example, by waving signs that degrade African-Americans and President Obama, in particular; members of the movement have verbally and physically abused black members of Congress and other elected officials; and a number of Tea Party activists think that issues of importance to African-Americans get too much attention.

The Tea Party Express, a national Tea Party organization, is angry about the resolution.


"This is indeed the kettle calling the pot black," Mark Williams, national spokesman of the conservative grassroots group, told CNN.

"We're fighting the government programs that have emasculated the black family," Williams said.

The Tea Party movement started about a year ago.  There have been countless demonstrations, involving countless numbers of people sympathetic to the movement, in countless places, featuring countless numbers of homemade signs.  And other than an overtly racist sign held by dale robertson***, (who claims to be a founder of the Tea Party movement but who the movement has very emphatically disavowed), you would have trouble gathering more than a handful of signs or comments that could be construed as racist.  Unless, of course, you equate any sign criticizing Barack Obama with racism, which is absolutely ridiculous.

As far as the claim that Tea Partiers have "verbally and physically abused black members of congress and other elected officials...", this appears to stem from the bogus charges made by a group of congresspeople, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who intentionally marched through a Tea Party protest in a clear effort to provoke such abuse.  But there was a bit of a problem:  none of the physical and verbal abuse ever occurred. 

My proof?  There were video and audio recordings galore made during this "entrapment march", but not one of them - let me say that again:  not one of them - picked up even one such epithet.  The claim, therefore, is an absolute lie.

But this doesn't mean diddly-squat to the NAACP.  It needs bogeymen to keep those donations coming. And the Tea Partiers currently are its bogeymen of choice.

Two other points to be made here:

1) If the NAACP were really interested in combating racism, maybe it would have something to say about the racist, anti-Semitic "new black panther party" - especially its member in good standing, king samir shabazz, who was one of the "men" who intimidated voters in Philadelphia on election day.  There is video footage of this thug standing on Philadelphia's South Street with a microphone, screaming the vilest racial epithets at both Whites and at least one Black man who was with a White woman.  Click on the link I just provided and see for yourself.

2) And when do they address the Congressional Black Caucus which, itself, is an overtly racist organization?  Only Blacks can join and no White congresspeople, no matter how they vote on any issue, are welcome.  If that isn't a racist organization, what is?

It's a bit hard to ignore overt racism from members of one group, while just plain inventing it for another, and then claim the racial high ground.

And it is even harder to take a "civil rights organization" seriously when this is what it has degenerated into.

=========================================================================

***Ironically (bizarrely is more like it), according to a blog at www.mediaite.com, dale robertson blames the claim that he is a racist on......Republicans:

Robertson, though, believes that the Republicans are behind an attempt to portray him as a racist in order to hijack his movement.

I know who they are. he says. Theyre Republicans, uh, basically the precinct chairs who tried to seize the Tea Party movement. Whove taken donations illegally and they know that but I dont have the resources to go after them cause I dont have millions of dollars in my pocket to sue the Republican Party. Its just a game theyre playing but, yknow, youre living in the world of politics. They dont care about the truth. All they care about is stealing dollars and so they are.

Go figger..

By the way, the Dale Robertson referred to in this blog has nothing to do with actor Dale Robertson who starred in the NBC hit western, Tales of Wells Fargo, which ran from 1957 to 1962.  Mr. Robertson, who will be 87 years old on Wednesday, is enjoying (I hope) retirement on his ranch in Oklahoma.  I expect (again, I hope) that he is as disgusted by his namesake as I, and any other decent person, should be. 

Real racism is despicable.  No matter which group it is being inflicted on.

free` Video Surfaces Of New Black Panther Party President Praising Bin Laden In 2002. diots4obama.blogspot.com/2010/07/video-surfaces-of-new-black-panther.html Holding up an illustration of Bin Laden at what appears to be an NBPP meeting, Shabazz dramatically sings the praising of the head of Al-Qaeda: (07/12/10)

Zeke .... ..... There is an award of $100,000 to anyone who can provide proof (video/cell phone, etc) that the word "Nigger" was voiced during the Black Caucus 'walk through' .... (many of whom had cell phones or video cameras running during this 'event'). .... The offer was made by Andrew Breitbart of breitbart.com, biggovernment.com, and who 'published' the videos of the ACORN offices providing 'advice' to a pair who presented themselves as prostitute and pimp. .... .... The offer has been there since the 'walk through' a month or two ago. ... No one has attempted to collect .... and it is so easy to get the money ... just submit a video showing the misbehavior ......... tsk tsk ... you'd think it never happened. (07/12/10)


TOPLESS (AND HEADLESS. BUT AT LEAST NOT SHOELESS)

Ken Berwitz

Here's a classic "you can't make this stuff up" story, excerpted from an Associated Press article:

BEATRICE, Neb.Residents who complained about a nearly naked female store mannequin prompted police to conceal the window display and stirred a debate about obscenity. Police covered the window at Hannah's Treasures for about a day last week after several people in the southeast Nebraska city of 12,500 complained about the mannequin with a pair of pants around its ankles and wearing shoes but no other clothing.

 

City Attorney Tobias Tempelmeyer said Monday he had yet to receive all the police reports on the semi-naked mannequin.

 

"We're not able at this point to issue a determination whether it's obscene or not," Tempelmeyer said.

The owner of the closed shop later dressed the offending mannequin in a bikini.

Actually, I heard that the semi-naked female mannequin wasn't the problem. It was that the male mannequin facing it got a woody.

Well, that's what I heard.....


DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS AND THE "STIMULUS PACKAGE"

Ken Berwitz

As you may remember, the so-called "stimulus package" was supposed to justify its almost 800 billion dollar price tag (which has risen to nearly a trillion now) by capping unemployment at 8% and creating up to 4 million jobs by the end of this year. 

But in the real world unemployment didn't cap and drop, it spurted to over 10% and is currently at 9.5%.  And millions of jobs were lost, not created. 

This presents a huge problem for Democratic Governors.  They can either support President Obama by pretending that the "stimulus package" has worked - which is guaranteed to lose them votes, maybe even their jobs - or they can attack President Obama and incur the wrath of a head of state with a thin skin and a talent for vindictiveness. 

Not an easy situation.  

Here, excerpted from Jonathan Martin's blog at politico.com, is a further explanation of where they are:

BOSTON Democratic governors facing grim budget choices, lingering unemployment and angry voters are pointing a finger at their colleagues in Democratic-controlled Washington to explain this years toxic political climate.

 

Few will directly fault President Barack Obama for their partys plight heading into the fall midterm elections, but the state chief executives gathered here for the National Governors Association meeting believe Congress and the White House have made an already difficult year worse.

 

While they are almost uniformly grateful for the financial windfall they enjoyed from the stimulus legislation, Democrats believe it wasnt sold well to the public and that more still must be done to revive the lagging economy.

 

I think the bottom line is, theyre not seeing the jobs that should have come from it, said West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, explaining why voters in his state are dissatisfied with the massive spending bill. Are we just protecting government, or are we really stimulating the economy? Maybe its too early to tell.

 

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter said expectations for the immediate impact of the bill were set too high.

 

They may have oversold the job creation part of it, said Ritter, whose 2006 election heralded a Democratic resurgence in the Mountain West and whose decision not to run for reelection this year has illustrated the partys declining fortunes in the region.

 

Theyre not satisfied with the pace of job recovery that they expected when the recovery act was passed, he said of his states citizens. Whether the president of the United States inherited this situation or not, hes now owning it. For the federal government, this administration and the Congress to have not delivered [jobs] more quickly has become the problem.

 

Washington Gov.Chris Gregoire said Democrats are paying a political price now, in part because there was a failure to convey the economic urgency that necessitated the massive spending bill.

 

They didnt do a good enough job from the get-go explaining and getting everybody to understand that we can go off the cliff into a depression or spend money now and go into a recession, said Gregoire, who is in her second term.

 

But more fundamental differences between the liberal-leaning Democrats running Washington and some of the more centrist Democratic governors are also on display here.

 

Manchin, the incoming chairman of the NGA and a likely candidate to replace the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), said the administration wasnt sympathetic to his states coal-dependent economy.

 

Were out of sync, he said. We have very differing views. Theres a balance to be had between the environment and the economy. And it looks as if theyre overtipping that.

 

He added, I cant correct all the sins of the past overnight, and you cant basically throw all my people out of work overnight, either.

 

Most striking about the sour mood among the Democratic chief executives is that the carping about Washington didnt come just from the partys moderate wing.

 

Echoing the complaints of some congressional Democrats and Obamas own economic team, the presidents statehouse allies complained that the partys deficit hawks were stifling the economic recovery by opposing additional spending on job creation and aid to states.

Fascinating.  So it is not just Democratic Governors trying to figure out a way to "nice" President Obama's disastrous economic policies while simultaneouslly appearing to be acting in their constituents' best interests (a near impossibility).  They also have to deal with the not-inconsiderable segment of Democratic wonks who think we aren't going into debt enough, we should be spending even more money we don't have.

These folks have almost four more months to dance around this problem.  I (and, I suspect, you) will be more than a little interested to see how they try to do it.

Zeke ... .... Follow Da Money. ... .... .... Hundreds of Billions have gone to Obama's cronies, supporters and minions. .... .... ACORN is still getting Federal Money. ... .. 100 Billion to the UAW - by buying Government Motors. .... (Bankruptcy would have wiped out UAW wage rates, benefits, restrictive work rules and pension liabilities) .. .... .... Wacko environmental regulation .... (07/12/10)


THE POLITICAL TOXICITY OF HOLDER'S LAWSUIT AGAINST ARIZONA

Ken Berwitz

In my previous blog I pointed out how badly the disastrous Obama "stimulus package" damages prospects for re-electing Democratic Governors.

Well, it is far from the only issue they are worried about. 

Here, via excerpts from yesterday's article in the New York Times, is how those same Governors react to the eric holder-led Department of Justice suing Arizona to stop the state from enforcing its new laws against illegal immigration.  The bold print is mine:

BOSTON In a private meeting with White House officials this weekend, Democratic governors voiced deep anxiety about the Obama administrations suit against Arizonas new immigration law, worrying that it could cost a vulnerable Democratic Party in the fall elections.

 

While the weak economy dominated the official agenda at the summer meeting here of the National Governors Association, concern over immigration policy pervaded the closed-door session between Democratic governors and White House officials and simmered throughout the three-day event.

At the Democrats meeting on Saturday, some governors bemoaned the timing of the Justice Department lawsuit, according to two governors who spoke anonymously because the discussion was private.

Universally the governors are saying, Weve got to talk about jobs,  Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, a Democrat, said in an interview. And all of a sudden we have immigration going on.

He added, It is such a toxic subject, such an important time for Democrats.

The Democrats meeting provided a window on tensions between the White House and states over the suit, which the Justice Department filed last week in federal court in Phoenix. Nineteen Democratic governors are either leaving office or seeking re-election this year, and Republicans see those seats as crucial to swaying the 2012 presidential race.

Republican governors at the Boston meeting were also critical of the lawsuit, saying it infringed on states rights and rallying around Ms. Brewer, whose presence spurred a raucous protest around the downtown hotel where the governors gathered.

Id be willing to bet a lot of money that almost every state in America next January is going to see a bill similar to Arizonas, said Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska, a Republican seeking re-election.

But the unease of Democratic governors, seven of whom are seeking re-election this year, was more striking.

I might have chosen both a different tack and a different time, said Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. of Colorado, a Democrat who was facing a tough fight for re-election and pulled out of the race earlier this year. This is an issue that divides us politically, and Im hopeful that their strategy doesnt do that in a way that makes it more difficult for candidates to get elected, particularly in the West.

I guess that if you are part of the Obama machine you figure that there is no reason to talk about jobs.  After all, you've told the shee - er, voters - that you're creating them by the millions, so they must be deliriously happy with the way things are going.

But Governors - very especially Democratic Governors - seem much more invested in dealing with the real world rather than the faux-fantasy world of Barack Obama & Co.  They have people out of work and soaring state deficits because of it.  They can't sit in an ivory tower and play lets-pretend.  Because when Governors do that, voters have a nasty little habit of turning them into ex-Governors.

So Democratic Governors, along with most people (other than the Obamatons, that is), understand that the meaningful dialogue is jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs.  They know that the result of a lawsuit to prevent Arizona from securing the border is greater anger against Democrats and accordingly fewer votes.  With that in mind, it is not hard to see where their priorities lie.

Now, what are they going to do about Barack Obama and his disgraceful sock-puppet toadie, eric holder?


THE UN'S (DIS)REGARD FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS

Ken Berwitz

This one is for the people who still have any regard for the United Nations and/or who think it is in any position to act as a credible arbiter for international disputes.  The bold print is mine.

From John Hinderaker at www.powerlineblog.com:

The World Is Full of Bad Jokes

July 10, 2010 Posted by John at 6:39 PM

But the worst joke of all is the United Nations. Here is a headline from April: U.N. Elects Iran to Commission on Women's Rights.

Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women....

 

Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.

 

Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of "vacancies in subsidiary bodies," was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was "elected by acclamation," meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states -- including the United States.

Fast-forward three months, to today's headline: Iran human rights chief defends stoning sentence.

Head of Human Rights Headquarters [!] of Iran's Judiciary, Mohammad Javad Larijani slammed Western protests against stoning emphasizing that stoning exists in Iran's constitution and it is "legal."

 

He responded to the recent campaign in international media backed by Western politicians to stop the stoning sentence of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, saying that Iran's judicial system will not change its direction because of "Western attacks" and "media pressures."

As you have probably read, Ms. Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of adultery in an Islamic court. She confessed to adultery after receiving 99 lashes and has been imprisoned for the last five years. As a result of an international campaign inspired by her son, the mullahs have now said that she will not be stoned to death--a barbaric form of execution that would involve burying her up to her chest and having a crowd of volunteers pelt her with stones that, by Islamic law, are not big enough to kill her quickly.

 

The ultimate point, I think, is that opinions vary widely as to what "the status of women" should be. For the United Nations to appoint a committee that pretends to harmonize Western notions of dignity and equality with Iranian notions of subjection and sadism is a species of insanity.

There's your UN.  Quietly putting a terrorist country which, human rights and equality-wise, treats women like something less than barnyard animals, on a commission for the status of women. 

That is like putting hamas on a commission in charge of promoting tolerance for Jews. 

And, in the Obama era, what is the United States' response to this?  What is our level of outrage? 

We didn't even request an open vote.  We were just fine with a terrorist state, ruled by fanatics who adhere to a religion that treats women as property - small-time property at that - being placed on a commission that is supposed to oversee the rights and equality of women.

Now, grow old waiting for so-called "women's rights" groups to protest in any significant way.  They'll never do it, because Barack Obama's political agenda is too attractive to them to make a stink over something so trifling to them as this. 

And our wonderful "neutral" media?  Well, this story is five days old.  Have you seen or heard a word about it in that time?

Then they wonder why people call them biased.


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