Tuesday, 19 October 2010


Ken Berwitz

Paul Mirengoff of powerlineblog.com has a short, very well written blog this morning about how the previous two Presidents responded when their party was trounced in a midterm election.  I urge you to click on the link I've provided and read it.

But his last paragraph was so worthwhile that I want to post it as a stand-alone comment:

There's a reason why, although Obama's approval rating has never fallen anywhere near Bush's rating at the time he left the White House, the current president and the ex-president "run" pretty close in hypothetical head-to-head polls. Bush comports himself with much more dignity and class than Obama, and displays much less arrogance.

Bingo.  100% dead-on correct. 

And that's something you can't learn at school or read off a teleprompter.  It is who and what you are.

Happily, I don't expect former President Bush to change.  Unhappily, I don't expect current President Obama to change either.


Ken Berwitz

For a week the Democratic Party - up to and including President Obama - has accused the Chamber of Commerce of funneling illegal foreign money to Republican candidates.

Never mind that there was never a scintilla of evidence to back this claim up.  The charge was made over and over again.  And, as per usual when it comes to attacks against Republicans, it was relentlessly repeated, thus indelibly etched in voters' minds, by our wonderful "neutral" media.  Enough so that, even without any proof at all, it has become conventional wisdom.  And right at election time too.  What lucky timing.

But there is a problem.

The problem is that, as it turns out, Democrats almost certainly are using foreign money for their campaigns.  And now those same media which worked so hard to tar Republicans with the illegal-money brush, have a real story on their hands;  one that goes directly to the people they seem so clearly to favor.

Want evidence to back this up?  Marc E. Thiessen, writing for (of all places) the Washington Post, has plenty of it.  I urge you to click here and read his entire piece.  But, until you do, here are a few key excerpts to hold you over:

With its baseless charge that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is using foreign money to influence the November elections, the Obama administration and its liberal allies have opened up a can of worms they may come to regret.


The accusations that foreign corporations are funding Republican attack ads have been widely panned. Even President Obama and his top aides have admitted they have no proof to back their allegations...   (But) now the Democrats' calls for investigations into these groups could backfire -- leading to closer scrutiny of the sources of funding for Democratic attack ads. Labor unions are spending millions to tar Republican candidates -- and they take in far more foreign cash than the Chamber.


The U.S. Chamber says it receives about $100,000 from its affiliates abroad (out of an operating budget of about $200 million), none of it used for political campaigns. Compare that to one of the largest labor unions in America, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is spending lavishly to elect Democrats. The SEIU claims 100,000 members in Canada. According to SEIU's 2008 constitution, dues include $7.65 per month per member that must be sent to the SEIU International in the United States. This means that the SEIU takes in nearly $9.2 million per year from foreign nationals -- almost 10 times the amount the Chamber receives from its affiliates abroad.


The SEIU is not the only union that takes in money from foreign members. According to the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers has 280,000 Canadian members; the United Food and Commercial Workers has more than 245,000; the Teamsters has more than 108,000; the Laborers' International Union of North America has more than 68,000; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has more than 57,000.


Now it's time for the Democrats to start answering the same charges that they leveled against the Chamber and American Crossroads with such abandon. Is organized labor using foreign money to elect Democrats this November? To paraphrase the president, they could be -- we just don't know. But if Republicans win two weeks from now, and take control of the investigative committees of Congress, we may soon find out.

So what do you think?  Now that this has been reported in one of the most iconic Democrat-favoring newspapers in the country, will other mainstream media be talking about it as well?  Will they give it as much play as the unfounded charges against the Chamber of Commerce and Republicans?  Half as much?  One tenth as much?  Any significant play at all?

And if they don't, what does that tell you about media in this country? 

Sadly, the answer is that it tells you nothing you don't already know.

Zeke .... ...... BJ Clinton received considerable sums of campaign donations from Buddhist Nuns who live under a vow of poverty. ! ! ! .... ..... .... Further, shortly after retiring, Mr. Slick received several million bucks for brief speeches given in Communist China. .... .... Cynics might talk about a connection with incredibly favorable trade rulings, including missile guidance technology that were made under the Clinton administration. .... .... .... Come on, how could THAT be payment for services rendered. (10/19/10)


Ken Berwitz

Read this excerpt from Kimball Perry's article at cincinnati.com.  Then imagine how media would be handling it if the party in question were Republican instead of Democrat:

Three van loads of Hughes High students were taken last week during school hours to vote and given sample ballots only for Democratic candidates and then taken for ice cream, a Monday lawsuit alleges. 

The complaint was made by Thomas Brinkman Jr., a Republican candidate for Hamilton County auditor, and the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending & Taxes against Cincinnati Public Schools.

They plan to bring four more high schools (to vote) this week, Christopher Finney, COAST attorney, said Monday after filing the suit.

It seeks a temporary restraining order to prevent school officials from participating or helping students participate in partisan politics during school hours or with school property or employees involved.

But the school districts lawyer denies any school connection.

No CPS personnel engaged in the promotion of candidates or any political party, CPS attorney Mark Stepaniak noted in a written release.

The suit alleges three van loads of Hughes High students arrived at the Downtown Board of Elections offices at 1 p.m. Wednesday, supervised by a school employee. School lets out at 3:15 p.m.

When they got out of the vans, the students, the suit alleges, also were accompanied by adults who appeared to be campaign workers or supporters for U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-West Price Hill, the congressman being challenged this fall by Steve Chabot. When the students got out of the vans, the suit alleges they were given sample ballots containing only Democratic candidates.

We want these kids to vote, Finney said. Im not sure them being bussed during the school day is a good thing, but thats not the thrust of the suit.

If they had fair sample ballots or no sample ballots it would be different.

That is unbelievable.  Or so I would think.  But I have to believe it, because it happened.

Don't you love the lawyer's claim that Cincinnati Public Schools personnel did not engage in promoting any political party?.  Nahhhhh, all CPS did was allow schoolchildren to be taken out of class, indoctrinated into the Democratic party, and then given ice cream to make sure the experience was nice and positive.  What has that got to do with promoting a political party anyway?

I hope that this story's coverage does not begin and end at the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Every Ohioan - and the rest of the country - should know when a political party pulls dirty tricks like this - and especially when it exploits schoolchildren.


Ken Berwitz

Here is what very well may be the most painful political segment in the history of politics.

Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC, interviewing South Carolina's Democratic senate candidate, Alvin Greene:


Can you believe what you just watched and heard?  It doesn't even stack up as good comedy, but it was real.

Now tell me why Christine O'Donnell - however unacceptable she may be as a candidate - is getting nailed as a hopeless idiot every day, but virtually not one word about Alvin Greene?

-Is it just political prejudice? 

-Is it racism - i.e. since Greene is a Black man, criticism is off limits regardless of how idiotic his comments are? 

-Is it because by nominating Greene, South Carolina Democrats have demonstrated that, collectively, they don't have the slightest idea of what they are doing?

If Alvin Greene were White and Republican, is there any doubt whatsoever that he would be nailed at least as much as Ms. O'Donnell, and almost certainly a lot more?

I end with a special citation for Lawrence O'Donnell, who, after listening to this human potato for four minutes, endorses him for the senate. 

How proud MSNBC must be.

Zeke .... .... .... Jim DeMint (R-SC) is a certainty to win. .... .... Greene DID have a tough primary fight ... ... but apparently, voters simply did not follow the Senate primary race, and Greene (unemployed, involuntarily discharged from the military - served in both the Army and USAF) ..... .... During Greene's time in the Air Force he received numerous poor evaluations from his superiors. The evaluations stated Greene was an ineffective leader who lacked organization and was unable to express thoughts clearly. Greene received an honorable but involuntary discharge from the Army in 2009 after a 13-year career and has been unemployed since. ..... .... .....Greene faces felony obscenity charges stemming from a November 2009 arrest for allegedly showing a pornographic picture on an Internet site to an 18-year-old female University of South Carolina student in a computer lab, and then allegedly saying to her "Let's go to your room." .... ..... .. (10/19/10)


Ken Berwitz

Here is one more debunking of the myth, which has been perpetrated ongoingly by much of our wonderful "neutral" media, that voters are angry at incumbents in general rather than Democrats in particular, .

This one comes via an excerpt from Alex Isenstadt's latest piece for politico.com:

With two weeks remaining until Election Day, the political map has expanded to put Democrats on the run across the country with 99 Democratic-held House seats now in play, according to a POLITICO analysis, and Republicans well in reach of retaking the House.

Its a dramatic departure from the outlook one year ago and a broader landscape than even just prior to the summer congressional recess. As recently as early September, many Republicans were hesitant to talk about winning a majority for fear of overreaching.

Today, however, the non-partisan Cook Political Report predicts a GOP net gain of at least 40 House seats, with 90 Democratic seats in total rated as competitive or likely Republican.

"When Chairman [Pete] Sessions and Leader [John] Boehner said that 100 House seats were in play, Democrats scoffed, said Ken Spain, the National Republican Congressional Committees communications director. Today, they aren't laughing anymore."

Let me remind you now, as I did yesterday, that Democrats hold 59% of the house and 59% of the senate (call it 60% for simplicity's sake).  Thus, if the "angry at incumbents" claim were true, for every 6 endangered Democratic seats there would be 4 endangered Republican seats. 

But, according to politico.com's analysis, those 99 endangered Democrats are offset by just 5 endangered Republicans.

In percentage terms, politico.com is telling us that, of the 104 seats in play, 95% of them are held by Democrats and 5% are held by Republicans.

Does that look like a 60%-40% split to you? 

Yet, despite the obviously fraudulent claim that the country's anti-incumbent position is generic rather than party-specific, you can count on seeing it again and again, right through to election day.

Old bias dies hard.


Ken Berwitz

You/ve extracted 575 billion dollars from Medicare, to cook the ObamaCare books and make them look far better than they are.  You've supported the estate tax, also known as the "death tax", so money and assets that seniors earned and paid their taxes on will be taxed again when they leave it to their families.  But now you need their votes.

So what do you do to diffuse the anger so many senior citizens feel about these policies?

You bribe 'em, that's what.

Excerpted from an article by Jim Abrams of the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON Democrats are making a pre-election pitch to give Social Security recipients a one-time payment of $250, part of a larger effort to convince senior voters that their party, and not Republicans, will best look out for the 58 million people who get the government retirement and disability benefits.

President Barack Obama has urged Congress to approve the $250 payment. House and Senate Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid say they will bring up the legislation when lawmakers return for the lame-duck session in November. In the meantime, Democrats are using the proposal to augment their campaign pitch that Republicans would undermine Social Security.

Democrats may have the votes in the House to push through the measure, although still unanswered is how they plan to cover the estimated $13 billion to $14 billion cost of giving $250 to each of more than 50 million Social Security beneficiaries. Obama hasn't offered any suggestions and the Senate measure last March was rejected 47-50 primarily because it would have stacked the cost on top of the nearly $12 trillion federal debt.

Basically, the Obama administration and most (not all) Democrats are hoping that senior citizens react like a bunch of mindless dopes, who either do not know what has been done to them, or who do know but are willing to forget the whole thing for two hundred and fifty bucks.

Maybe some are.  But I'm very confident that most are not.

We'll find out on November 2.


Ken Berwitz

Who said the economy has not boomed under Barack Obama?

Certainly not the folks in Washington DC.

Excerpted from Patrice Hill's article in Sunday's Washington Post:

Throughout the recession, one major city stood out as an oasis for jobs and growth: Washington, D.C.


Supported by a gusher of federal borrowing and spending, the District of Columbia was the nation's only metropolitan area that never stopped growing. It stood as a beacon for the nation's millions of job hunters, from recent college graduates seeking careers in civil service to well-heeled lawyers cashing in on a bonanza of work stemming from health care and financial reform.


A $700 billion bank bailout and $814 billion economic stimulus bill helped push the federal deficit to unprecedented levels of more than $1.3 trillion in the past two years, and a disproportionate share of that tidal wave of money washed up right back in Washington.


But the spectacle of Washington's free spending while virtually every other region has had to cut back increasing prosperity in the capital in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression has engendered public resentment and a pronounced anti-Washington sentiment that is now playing out in the midterm election cycle.


While the nation's work force took a body blow, losing 8.3 million jobs 5.5 percent of the jobs available before the recession Washington suffered no more than a surface wound. It reported a loss of about 35,000 jobs, or 1.1 percent of the jobs available mostly in real estate and construction businesses hurt by the housing collapse.

Wonderful.  Just wonderful.

Government jobs galore, to implement the policies that have resulted in higher unemployment everywhere else.  Civil service "work" balloons, while the rest of the economy goes to hell in a handbasket.

That last sentence, which I put in bold print, says it all.  The loss of jobs in Washington DC occurs in one of the most important areas that is used to measure our economic health. 

The 2010 election is two weeks from today.  I wish they could move it up even sooner.

And that goes double for 2012.


Ken Berwitz

Tom Bosley, the accomplished, long-time actor best known as Richie Cunningham's father on Happy Days, died in Los Angeles today at the age of 83.  The cause was heart failure.

On TV, apart from his 11 year stint as "Mr. C", Bosley played the recurring role of Sheriff Amos Tupper in Angela Lansbury's hit show, "Murder She Wrote", and starred for three years in the "Father Dowling Mysteries" -- ironic, given that he was Jewish.

As a stage actor, Mr. Bosley won a Tony for his role as New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

Though less well known, he also had a hugely prolific career as the voiceover for countless television and radio commercials, along with numerous cartoon characters.

In all the years I've known of Tom Bosley I never heard a bad word about him.  I hope (and expect) that is because he was a nice and likeable man.

May he rest in peace.

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