Monday, 19 July 2010


Ken Berwitz

As President Obama, Vice President Biden and their equally fraudulent Democratic cohorts in congress keep trying to convince you that millions of jobs are being "created or saved", I thought it would be good to interject an element of reality.

Here it is, via excerpts from an article by Gregory Bresiger in today's New York Post:

It's unstimulating

Economists shrug off Obama's recovery claims


Last Updated: 6:06 PM, July 18, 2010

President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the White House economic team put on the full court press this week.


The message: that the $787 billion federal "Recovery Act" program has created some 3 million jobs so far and will save another 500,000 positions by year's end.


And what do economists think? Depends on what your definition of "save" is.


The stimulus has propped up some public sector jobs, by steering millions to state budgets that would otherwise be cut. The public sector did not start shedding jobs until Dec. 2008 -- over a year after the economy faltered -- losing only 141,000 workers, less than 1 percent of the workforce.


But it hasn't helped the private sector, where, according to Labor Dept. figures, 8.5 million jobs have been lost since the recession started in November 2007. That's 7.5 percent of the private workforce. The unemployment rate is still hovering near the 10 percent mark and weekly new claim reports are still come in over 425,000.


Arthur Laffer, who was an economic adviser to President Reagan dismissed these claims of economic recovery.


He stressed the loss in private-sector opportunities is because of huge public spending. He said that most of the saved jobs were in the public sector and that those footing the bill for the stimulus -- the taxpayers -- would have been helped much more if the billions of dollars expended had instead stayed in the private sector.


Laffer, famous for the Laffer Curve showing the relationship between tax rates and tax revenue, agreed that the Obama administration stimulus had saved some jobs. But he added that the administration wasn't giving a complete picture of its effects.


Of course, the stimulus funds helped the people to whom it went; but it also destimulated the people from whom the money was taken. So the net effect is zero.


The Obama administration doesn't take into account human nature, Laffer said. "They just don't believe in incentives in the same sense as do people in the private world.


A White House spokesman didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.


What would Laffer have done to turn around the economy now? He would have had a federal tax holiday for a year and a half. The holiday would have covered every tax from payroll to corporate.


He believes that the increased economic activity would more than pay for the cuts. "Can you imagine if we had a year and a half of no federal taxes of any sort? The economy would be booming."

Is Arthur Laffer's idea correct?  Would it have helped?  I don't know.

But what I do know is that, after telling us that President Bush was the reason for millions of lost jobs, and that the so-called "stimulus package" would stop job losses and turn things around, what we have actually seen is millions of additional job losses.

That doesn't explain or justify the economic condition we were in when President Bush left office.  But what it does tell us is that when Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden, et al claim they're "creating or saving" millions of jobs, they are lying by omission. 

They are counting (and often just inventing) new and saved jobs, without also counting the millions and millions of lost jobs which occurred after the "stimulus package" was enacted. 

In the real world, lost jobs count too. 

Where I grew up, the nicest was of saying this is that they're full of crap.


Ken Berwitz

From CBS News:

SHOCK: Video Suggests Racism At NAACP Event



Last Tuesday, the NAACP passed a resolution condemning racism in the Tea Party movement. The organization's delegates called on Tea Party leaders to "repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches."

Tea Party members and supporters saw the resolution as a condemnation of the group itself, which calls for fiscal responsibility, restrictions on governmental power, and backs political candidates who claim the same.

The NAACP's action caught the attention of Andrew Breitbart of, who said the controversy was "absolutely manufactured for political gain," in a summer "in which the economy is the number one issue affecting blacks and whites in this country. This country can ill afford the schism of race to be exploited the way [he is] based upon the false premise of the Tea Party being racist."

He also claimed to possess recorded evidence of racism from the NAACP.

On Monday, Breitbart posted a video of a speech by Shirley Sherrod, USDA Rural Development Georgia State Director, delivered at the NAACP's 20th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet.

The video shows Sherrod speaking of racial considerations being a factor for how much help she would give.

"The first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm, he took a long time talking but he was trying to show me he was superior to me. I know what he was doing, but he had come to me for help. What he didn't know while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me was, I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him," Sherrod said.

"I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farmland, and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land. So I didn't give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough," Sherrod said. "So that when he, I assumed the Department of Agriculture had sent him to me, either that or the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and he needed to go back and report that I did try to help him."

In the video, Sherrod also spoke of referring the white farmer to a white lawyer, thinking the latter would be more sympathetic because of race. "So I took him to a white lawyer that had attended some of training that we had provided because Chapter 12 bankruptcy had just been enacted for the family farm. So I figured if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him."

The NAACP had no immediate response Monday afternoon.

Want to see the video of this racist moron?  Click here.

Now:  try to imagine the excrement-hemmorhage there would be if the NAACP (or anyone else) came up with video of a Tea Party official telling an audience about not doing much for a Black person who needed help, but handing that person over to another Black, to be with "his own kind".  

Earlier this evening I watched a few minutes of the Dylan Ratigan show on MSNBC.  Ratigan had an official from the St. Lous Tea Party on, and did just about everything he could to bait her into an angry response, including several attempts to tie her organization to racism.  The official somehow managed to maintain her composure (I doubt that I could have under the circumstances).  She answered Ratigan directly and credibly - and made him look like the self-righteous, obnoxious jerk he is.

As I watched this, I wondered if Ratigan will have an NAACP official on any time soon to explain the actions of Shirley Sherrod.

If you want to bet the over/under, it starts at eternity.


UPDATE:  Suddenly, the day after this video surfaced and was put out for people to see, we get this from Fox News:

The NAACP released a statement late Monday condemning Sherrod's admission.

"We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers," the statement said. 

"Her actions were shameful," it continued. "While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man."

My reaction?  They're full of what a bull produces after lunch.

shirley sherrod made those overtly racist comments FOUR MONTHS AGO, AT AN NAACP BANQUET, IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE. 

There is no way the NAACP was unaware of what sherrod said.  Therefore the only reason it is "appalled by her actions" now, four months later, is that her comments were made public.  Until then the NAACP was just fine with this, as demonstrated by the fact that it neither said nor did a thing about sherrod's racist comments.

The NAACP has sunk to the bottom of the barrel.  The only thing keeping it alive is media's deference which, in my opinion, exists out of remembrance that the NAACP used to have value and/or because they are so afraid of being called racist for reporting embarrassing news about it that they compromise their journalistic professionalism and look the other way.

free` I think those naacp big wigs that were on stage with her should have to quit also. In the video you can clearly see them agreeing with and applauding her. (07/20/10)


Ken Berwitz

Months ago, the eric holder Department of Justice dismissed charges against three racist thugs who were intimidating voters in Philadelphia during the 2008 election.  And for months most mainstream media worked triple-overtime to avoid discussing this appalling scandal.  (Thank you to the blogosphere for keeping it alive.  Before there was one, this story would have been completely buried and forgotten.)

But when a DOJ lawyer resigned over this disgrace and started talking, suddenly some - by no means all, but some - mainstream media started reporting about it. 

This has finally embarrassed the Washington Post - at least its "ombudsman - to address why the Post ignored the story for all this time.

Here's what he had to say.  The bold print is mine:

Why the silence from The Post on Black Panther Party story?

By Andrew Alexander
Sunday, July 18, 2010; A17

Thursday's Post reported about a growing controversy over the Justice Department's decision to scale down a voter-intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party. The story succinctly summarized the issues but left many readers with a question: What took you so long?

For months, readers have contacted the ombudsman wondering why The Post hasn't been covering the case. The calls increased recently after competitors such as the New York Times and the Associated Press wrote stories. Fox News and right-wing bloggers have been pumping the story. Liberal bloggers have countered, accusing them of trying to manufacture a scandal.

But The Post has been virtually silent.

The story has its origins on Election Day in 2008, when two members of the New Black Panther Party stood in front of a Philadelphia polling place. YouTube video of the men, now viewed nearly 1.5 million times, shows both wearing paramilitary clothing. One carried a nightstick.

Early last year, just before the Bush administration left office, the Justice Department filed a voter-intimidation lawsuit against the men, the New Black Panther Party and its chairman. But several months later, with the government poised to win by default because the defendants didn't contest the suit, the Obama Justice Department decided the case was over-charged and narrowed it to the man with the nightstick. It secured only a narrow injunction forbidding him from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of Philadelphia polling places through 2012.

Congressional Republicans pounced. For months they stalled the confirmation of Thomas E. Perez, President Obama's pick to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, while seeking answers to why the case had been downgraded over the objections of some of the department's career lawyers. The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility launched an investigation, which is pending. The independent, eight-member Commission on Civil Rights also began what has become a yearlong probe with multiple public hearings; its report is due soon. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), a prominent lawmaker in The Post's circulation area, has been a loud and leading critic of how the case was handled. His office has "aggressively" sought to interest The Post in coverage, a spokesman said.

The controversy was elevated last month when J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department lawyer who had helped develop the case, wrote in the Washington Times that his superiors' decision to reduce its scope was "motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law." Some in the department believe "the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation," he wrote. Adams recently repeated these charges in public testimony before the commission.

The Post didn't cover it. Indeed, until Thursday's story, The Post had written no news stories about the controversy this year. In 2009, there were passing references to it in only three stories.

That's prompted many readers to accuse The Post of a double standard. Royal S. Dellinger of Olney said that if the controversy had involved Bush administration Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, "Lord, there'd have been editorials and stories, and it would go on for months."

To be sure, ideology and party politics are at play. Liberal bloggers have accused Adams of being a right-wing activist (he insisted to me Friday that his sole motivation is applying civil rights laws in a race-neutral way). Conservatives appointed during the Bush administration control a majority of the civil rights commission's board. And Fox News has used interviews with Adams to push the story. Sarah Palin has weighed in via Twitter, urging followers to watch Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's coverage because "her revelations leave Left steaming."

The Post should never base coverage decisions on ideology, nor should it feel obligated to order stories simply because of blogosphere chatter from the right or the left.

But in this case, coverage is justified because it's a controversy that screams for clarity that The Post should provide. If Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his department are not colorblind in enforcing civil rights laws, they should be nailed. If the Commission on Civil Rights' investigation is purely partisan, that should be revealed. If Adams is pursuing a right-wing agenda, he should be exposed.

National Editor Kevin Merida, who termed the controversy "significant," said he wished The Post had written about it sooner. The delay was a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat, he said.

Better late than never. There's plenty left to explore.

There's your great "ombudsman". 

Not one word about this for months.  And finally, only after being embarrassed into saying something, the mildest possible chiding, coupled with a happy-endingish "better late than never".

Then the Washington Post wonders why people call it biased?

Oh, brother.

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