Friday, 01 October 2010

TIME AND LOGIC

Ken Berwitz

Time Magazine, which has made a two year habit of putting Barack Obama on its front page, has an article in its latest edition which sings the praises of the so-called "stimulus package".  You can use the link I've just provided to read it all, but here is the first paragraph:

People of good faith can disagree over whether President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package is creating enough jobs, piling on too much debt, or helping the country in the long run. But it's about time to retire one set of critiques of the stimulus: that it would be riddled with fraud, hamstrung by delays, and crippled by cost overruns. So far, while the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is clearly not a political success, it is just as clearly a managerial success on schedule, under budget, and according to independent investigators, remarkably free of fraud.

I don't know what your reaction to this is.  But mine was a very basic one:  "Huh????"

What was the purpose of the "stimulus package".  It was sold as legislation that would stop unemployment - then at about 8% - in its tracks, and lower it by creating 3.5 to 4.0 million jobs by the end of 2010.

But unemployment jumped over 10%, and has settled uncomfortably in the mid-9's.  And the economy has not only not gained 3.5 - 4.0 million jobs, but it has lost jobs. 

In other words, it is an abysmal failure that did not do what we were promised it would do.  So I'm supposed to be happy with Time's (exceedingly dubious) claim that there has not been fraud in how the money was doled out?  The effing LEGISLATION is a fraud.

What this shows is that, even as some media start to wean themselves off the kool-aid and realize what a mess the "stimulus package" is, and how completely President Obama and his Democratic congress have failed on what they promised it would accomplish, Time Magazine is a staunch, firm, unshakable holdout. 

I wonder if Time's "brain trust" (such as it is) connects the magazine's unconditional Obama-love to their plummeting circulation.

From Wikipedia (the bold print is mine):

Time Magazine Paid Circulation by Year

 

 

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Circulation (millions)

4.2

4.1

4.1

4.1

4.1

4.1

4.1

4.0

4.0

4.1

3.4

3.4

3.4

During the second half of 2009 the magazine saw a 34.9% decline in news stand sales.[8] During the first half of 2010 there was another decline of at least one third in Time magazine sales.

 

Come to think of it, based on this article maybe they think that's been a success too.

Ken Berwitz free - let's not forget that $111 million in California, that created, or saved, a total of 54 jobs. That's two million per. No fraud there........ (10/01/10)

free` What about the zip codes and districts that got funds, that we found out don't even exist? (10/01/10)

free` First it was phantom Congressional districts. Now it’s phantom zip codes. Last month, we reported on federal stimulus money credited with creating jobs in nonexistent New Mexico Congressional districts. The website, recovery.gov, reported $26.5 million going to ten New Mexico Congressional districts that do not exist. Those millions were credited with creating 61.5 jobs. Spadework by our Watchdog counterparts in other states showed a total of $6.4 billion reported as being allocated to 440 nonexistent, or “phantom,” Congressional districts. newmexico.watchdog.org/1031/federal-stimulus-funds-reportedly-spent-in-nonexistent-zip-codes/ (10/01/10)

Zeke .... ..... TIME, the Weekly Fiction Magazine ..... ..... ..... (10/01/10)


RICK SANCHEZ: A POSSIBLE CAREER MOVE

Ken Berwitz

It just hit me:  Now that Rick Sanchez has - I would think - effectively ended his career at CNN by making several thinly veiled Jew-baiting comments on Pete Dominick's satellite radio show, I have a great idea for his next career move.

He should team up with Helen Thomas, and they can co-anchor the news on Al-Jazeera.

No need to thank me Rick and Helen.  Just doing my part to make sure you're happily ensconced in a place where you will feel right at home.

free` He should team up with Helen Thomas, and they can co-anchor the news on Al-Jazeera. ---- LOL that is perfect. (10/01/10)


JACKASS JOE STRIKES AGAIN

Ken Berwitz

Joe Biden, at a rally in Nebraska (excerpted from an unbylined blog at politico.com):

Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday again promised supporters that Democrats would keep control of both houses of Congress as he campaigned in Omaha for state Sen. Tom White, who's challenging Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.).

"Were going to pick up some House seats nobody expected us to get, just like this one here (in Nebraska)," said Biden, who also repeated his now-familiar refrain that former President George W. Bush was to blame for the poor economy.

Political analyst Larry Sabato's latest update, excerpted from an article by Isaac Wood, his House Race Editor:.

As Election Day nears, more of the House election picture comes into focus. While our overall view of the level of Republican gains remains unchanged at +47 seats, we are changing the ratings of many key races as the list of endangered seats, and their relative degrees of vulnerability, becomes clear.

This week we are changing the ratings of 21 House races, all in the direction of the GOP, including 10 seats formerly listed as Toss-Ups that are now leaning into the Republican column.

Not for nothing do I call him Jackass Joe.


A CASE FOR THE CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL

Ken Berwitz

Jerry Brown is the Democratic candidate for Governor of California.  But he suddenly has a new, high-profile case on his hands.  I wonder if he'll pursue it.

The case involves an illegal alien who falsified her status to get a job with a very well to do, successful corporate executive.  When the executive found out she had been lied to, she fired the illegal who lied to her. 

And now - incredibly - that illegal has a celebrity lawyer, who claims that she, rather than the corporate executive she lied to, is the aggrieved party.

Now that you've been given the facts, let me explain why I doubt Mr. Brown will be pursuing this case (as if you didn't already know).

The illegal in question worked for Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for Governor who is challenging Mr. Brown.  And the lawyer trying to turn this situation on its ear is Gloria Allred, a Democrat who happens to be a long time friend, supporter and contributor to ......you guessed it:  Jerry Brown.

Why are they trying this hail mary?  Could it have something to do with the success Ms. Whitman had in their debate on Tuesday?

Here, via an excerpt from his latest blog, is how Thomas Lifson of americanthinker.com sees it:

In sum: the only parties to have done anything wrong were the housekeeper, who used false documents to deceive Whitman, the victim, and the employment agency Whitman used to hire a qualified worker. By the way, Whitman paid this housekeeper $23 an hour -- a wage rate  at which one could certainly hire a qualified legal worker.  The normal reason employers hire illegals is to pay lower wages than a legal worker could command.

 

Whitman did what the law required of her when she learned of the fraud perpetrated against her. She fired the maid. Allred's press conference featured the maid crying, as if she had been somehow abused.

 

Jerry Brown, as California AG, now has knowledge of a fraud perpetrated against  a Californian. It is his responsibility to prosecute the law breakers - the maid and employment agency. If anything, the case reveals that he has failed to protect Californians attempting to obey the law from fraudsters.

 

There is more than a month remaining until the election. That is ample time to turn this spectacle back against those who have perpetrated it. Allred is a longtime Brown supporter and donor. Her unwillingness to answer the questions posed by Hugh Hewitt speaks volumes.

 

This sort of scam could work if timed a few days before the election. So why did Allred launch it prematurely? Probably because the night before her press conference, Whitman cleaned Brown's clock in his debate with Whitman, and it was necessary to change the subject.

 

Meg Whitman has the brains and savvy to turn this stunt around. And the money necessary to get her story out.

Can you find one thing Mr. Lifson says that you would disagree with?

I'm betting the answer is "no".  It sure is for me.

free` I found one. He refers to her as a maid, her attorney [allred] claims she was a housekeeper. (10/01/10)


NEW YORK CITY'S $27.5 MILLION LESSON IN BUREAUCRACY

Ken Berwitz

Which of these two sentences do you consider easier to read?

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs

THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER THE LAZY DOGS

While you're scratching your head at the utter idiocy of that question, read this excerpt from Jules Shan's blog at news.gather.com:

New York City is being forced to change everyyes, EVERYstreet sign at the staggering cost of $27.5 million. Who is demanding this change, you ask? Federal regulators, of course.

The eight-year project will require that each street sign within New York City limits is changed from all capital letters (MADISON AV) to title case (Madison Av).

 

At this point, you may be shaking your head or even crying out, Why? Why? WHY?!?

The Department of Transportation has a good reason, howeveror so they think.

The new guidelines, established in 2003, aim to improve everyones safety. These guidelines mandate title-case signs to be implemented by 2018, because federal regulators believe they are easier to read. If drivers can read street signs more quickly, then they should be able to spend more time looking at the road (minus texting, eating, glancing at their companion, petting their dog, etc.).

What do you think? Is changing street signs going to make New York City safer, or just a lot more broke?

$27.5 million dollars to turn MADISON AV into Madison Av?  Because it is supposed to be easier to read?

Hey, why stop there?  Why not have announcers at every intersection stopping every car and telling drivers what intersection they are going through.  Don't forget to add in sign language announcers for deaf drivers too.

After all, we can't have people missing the fact that they're on MADISON AV, can we?

Remember:  This is the same bureacracy that the Obama administration and its Democratic congress have put in charge of your health care.

Sleep well tonight.

Zeke .... Yuh ..... 'n NYC has LOTSA places with NUMBERS or SINGLE LETTERS ...... 34th Street, Avenue C ...... and when I drive in NYC, with its rectangular grid in most places, it's easy enough to keep track of where you are. .... ..... Seems this is a solution in search of a problem. .... Wonder if it would be cheaper to give everyone a new GPS instead. (10/01/10)

WisOldMan What's the name of this new program, requiring that tens of millions of dollars be spent, to change every street sign in New York from all-upper case... ...No Street Sign Maker Left Behind ? (10/02/10)


THE WASHINGTON POST-DEMOCRAT

Ken Berwitz

How is the Washington Post doing on the neutrality front?

In answer, here are the first two paragraphs from Tim Graham's blog at newsbusters.org:.  

The second headline on washingtonpost.com Friday morning highlights "High marks for stimulus package." Oh, who gave it high marks? It explained underneath: "Massive program is coming in on time and under budget -- and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse -- according to a White House report."

On page A15 of the paper, the headline is "Positive review of stimulus package." Underneath that in smaller, capitalized type is "White House Report." Online, it's simply "Report gives stimulus package high marks." Lori Montgomery's story reads like a breathy Obama-Biden press release -- and it quotes no conservatives or Republicans.

One other thing:  Notice the mantra about on time, under budget, little fraud or abuse?  Isn't that exactly what Time Magazine is recitin...er, reporting as well? 

Can it be that the source of this wonderfully uplifting description is (gasp!) the people giving out the money? 

That's like reading a movie review written by the director.

Somehow, the term BS seems inadequate.....


PRESIDENT OBAMA & OUR STANDING IN THE WORLD

Ken Berwitz

Wasn't this supposed to improve?  Wasn't the changeover from Bush to Obama supposed to reclaim our standing in the world - especially in the Middle East?

Excerpted from Gallup's latest data:

approvalmena

 

Approval is down significantly in 2010 compared with 2009 in 6 of the 10 countries and areas surveyed both years. Egypt, where President Barack Obama gave a 2009 speech reaching out to the Muslim global community, led these declines and Morocco and Algeria also saw double-digit drops. Approval did not decline significantly in Iraq, Yemen, or Syria as the changes are within the margin of error.

Approval of U.S. leadership is highest in Algeria, Iraq, and Libya, although only a minority expresses approval. Approval ratings are among the lowest in the Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Tunisia. In the Palestinian Territories, the increase in approval between 2008 and 2009 was short-lived and approval returned to its 2008 level in 2010 as the Mideast peace process sputtered. It will be interesting to see if approval changes now that peace talks have started again. Approval in Tunisia is now lower than it was in 2009.

 Now:  When do media start talking about this?

Given their track record with Mr. Obama, it will probably be the same day that Lindsay Lohan announces she is leaving show business, having a sex change operation and becoming a cub scout.


THE DEMOCRATS' POST-ELECTION AGENDA

Ken Berwitz

At this moment (in politics all things are always subject to change) Democrats appear likely to lose the house, to lose most of their majority in the senate, and possibly to lose the senate outright as well.

That gives the currently-Democratic congress two months - from November 2 election day to January 1 when the winners take their seats - to do things they don't dare do when voters can react to them.

So what are they saying about this, and what might they be doing in those two months? 

The following excerpt is from Linda Chavez's latest column at townhall.com:

Members of Congress have now returned home to try to save their own jobs, never mind helping the millions of Americans who have lost theirs. "When we come back this fall, the election will be over," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the Washington Post. "I hope that it also means that Republicans will finally be able to put the American people ahead of their short-term political interests and ambitions."

Reid's comments to the Post are one of the most outrageous examples of double-speak in recent political history. Reid wasn't really talking about Republicans. He was talking about members of his own party. What Reid and his counterpart in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are hoping is that Democrats who lose their seats in the election will be willing to pass legislation in a lame duck session that they know the voting public doesn't support. In Reid's logic, they will be free to vote their liberal ideology. And it won't matter because they will have already lost their jobs. But it is precisely this kind of arrogance that has Democrats in such poor shape heading into the mid-term elections.

Reid and Pelosi failed to pass the single most important piece of economic legislation on the table, namely extending tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of the year. What that will mean is a big tax increase come January, and not just increases in the overall tax rate for the top earners.

Failure to extend the Bush tax cuts will also mean a reinstatement of the marriage penalty that makes some married couples pay higher taxes filing jointly than they would if they were single and filing individual returns. It will mean cutting in half the child tax credit from $1,000 to $500. It will increase tax rates on dividends from a maximum of 15 percent to 39.6 percent, which affects seniors who depend on dividends to supplement their Social Security and pensions. And it will raise the top capital gains tax rate from 15 percent to 20 percent, stifling business investment.

Anyone who thinks that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire only affects a tiny segment of rich people has been brainwashed by the Democratic party and their (many, many) media acolytes.

It is not true.

The one and only reason they backed off prior to the election is because they know it would hurt them in the election - i.e. voters would react negatively.

But if the majority is lost on election day?  Their philosophy appears to be "Hey, we're outta here in a couple of months anyway so we can do whatever we want.  If the voters don't like it they can go straight to hell."

That's something worth remembering on election day, 2010.  And, very definitely, on election day 2012 as well.

Zeke .... ..... Ole Harry 'n Nancy will still be top dawgs ..... with LOTS 'n LOTS of plum jobs to hand out to legislators scheduled to become unemployed. .... ..... ..... The losing candidates will gladly comply with the leadership for a cushy position at taxpayer expense .... .... .... (10/01/10)


WHAT IF IT WERE PRESIDENT BUSH?

Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from an Associated Press article:

SHIKARPUR, Pakistan (AP) - Suspected militants in southern Pakistan set ablaze more than two dozen tankers carrying fuel for foreign troops in Afghanistan on Friday, highlighting the vulnerability of the U.S.-led mission a day after Pakistan closed a major border crossing.

The Pakistani government shut the Torkham border in the northwest in apparent protest at a NATO helicopter incursion that killed three of its soldiers on the border. The events raised tensions between Pakistan and the United States, which have a close but often troubled alliance in the fight against militants. Pakistan also lodged a formal protest with NATO on Friday.

The convoy of tankers attacked Friday was likely headed to a second crossing in southwest Pakistan that was not closed. It was not clear if the vehicles had been rerouted because of the closure at Torkham.

A few questions:

-Weren't we supposed to be much better liked by the folks in this region once President Obama replaced President Bush?

-Isn't this "often troubled" alliance with Pakistan supposed to have improved under President Obama?

-Is Pakistan complicit in this military disaster for closing the usual route and therefore forcing the NATO trucks to take a longer and apparently less secure alternative?  If so, what are we going to do about it?

-How badly does this hurt our war effort? 

Finally, what would our media have said about this if it were President Bush instead of President Obama?  How fast would they have been to blame the President's pursuit of the war and his involvement in the NATO attack within Pakistan if that President's name were Bush rather than Obama?

And before anyone reminds me that Bush started the war in Afghanistan, let me remind readers that it was Obama who called Afghanistan a "necessary war" (i.e. one he would have fought regardless of Bush), and Obama who has quadrupled our troop strength there.

I will end by noting that, because of the Obama's troop surges, we have suffered approximately the same number of combat fatalities during his 20 months in office as there were during the entire 7+ years President Bush pursued the war. 

Our result?   The taliban seem to be getting stronger, and our position seems to be worsening. 

When do media start talking about what an abject failure the Obama strategy has been?  Ever?  They sure as hell talked about Afghanistan when it was Bush, didn't they?

free` What happened to the media coverage of anti-war groups? For that matter, what happened to the anti-war groups? Do they only oppose war if it is a Republican President? What a bunch of dishonest people these so called "anti-war groups" are. (10/01/10)

free` I have noticed in the stories about drone attacks they don't include any mention of women and children being killed. Every story when Bush was POTUS highlighted the civilian casualties. (10/01/10)


HOW THE WORLD HAS CHANGED

Ken Berwitz

My co-author, Barry Sinrod, sent this to me years ago.  I had forgotten about it, but I just looked at some very old emails that were saved for one reason or another and there it was.

I've done a bit of editing to account for the intervening years, and find that it is still very, very funny.  Ihope you enjoy it - even if you are as old as I am (64);  the age when it really hits home!

This is for everybody, but especially those whose

level of maturity qualifies them to relate to it...
 

1975: Long hair
2010: Longing for hair

1975: KEG
2010: EKG

1975: Acid rock
2010: Acid reflux

1975: Moving to California because it's cool
2010: Moving to Arizona because it's warm

1975: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2010: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

1975: Seeds and stems
2010: Roughage

1975: Hoping for a BMW
2010: Hoping for a BM

1975: Going to a new, hip joint
2010: Receiving a new hip joint

1975: Rolling Stones
2010: Kidney Stones

1975: Screw the system
2010: Upgrade the system

1975: Disco
2010: Costco

1975: Passing the drivers' test
2010: Passing the vision test

1975: Whatever
2010: Depends

And just in case you weren't feeling too old today, this will certainly change things..

The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1992.

They are too young to remember the first space shuttle blowing up on liftoff.

Their lifetime has always included AIDS.

Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.

They have always had an answering machine.

They have always had cable.

They cannot fathom not having a remote control.

Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show (since they were 2);


Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.

They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.

They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.

They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.

They never heard: "Where's the Beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel", or "de plane, Boss, de plane".

They do not care who shot J. R. and have no idea who J. R. even is.

McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.

They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Feel a little older?

Wellllllll.......YOU ARE!!!  And so am I.

But at least we can laugh about it. 


RICH SANCHEZ' JEW-BAITING TIRADE

Ken Berwitz

This matters.  Even though, relatively speaking, almost nobody watches rick sanchez on CNN, it matters anyway.

From Steve Krakauer's blog at mediaite.com:

CNNs Rick Sanchez is not happy with being made fun of constantly on The Daily Show and Colbert Report. It is from this jumping off point that he absolutely unleashed on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and at times his own network, on Pete Dominicks satellite radio show yesterday.

The big takeaway Sanchez calls Stewart a bigot, then walks it back a bit, and he implies CNN is run by Jews.

Dominick was not just a radio show host he is a CNN contributor who has a regular gig on John King, USA (more on that below), and he formerly was the warm up comic at The Daily Show. Which is why when Sanchez says I think Jon Stewarts a bigot early in the interview, Dominick pushed back:

Dominick: How is he a bigot?
Sanchez: I think he looks at the world through, his mom, who was a school teacher, and his dad, who was a physicist or something like that. Great, Im so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything you could ever imagine.
Dominick: What group is he bigoted towards?
Sanchez: Everybody else whos not like him. Look at his show, I mean, what does he surround himself with?

A few minutes later, Sanchez takes back the word bigot, changing it to prejudicial and uninformed.

Later in the interview, Dominick brings up the fact that Stewart is Jewish, so is a minority himself. Sanchez laughs this off:

Im telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah.

If that wasnt clear, the yeah was sarcastic. I cant see somebody not getting a job somewhere because theyre Jewish, says Sanchez.

I hope sanchez is fired today.  And that a Jew does the firing.


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