Wednesday, 10 November 2010


Ken Berwitz

Israel gets about $3 billion dollars in aid from the United States.  In return:

-About two-thirds of it is spent right back in the United States;

-Israel is one of the United States' most loyal allies and, in the UN, votes with the United States a huge majority of the time;

-Israel provides technology and intelligence that is absolutely invaluable to the United States, which we cannot get anywhere else.

Palestinian Arab governments in Judea/Samaria (the west bank) and Gaza get about $400 million a year from the United States.  In return:

-We get exactly nothing.

-And, pathetically, Palestinian Arab people get nothing too - unless you can show me the  infrastructure, the new factories, the new roads, the agricultural advances, the technology sector, the medical sector, the artistic accomplishments, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.  The aid money that is not stolen and squirrelled into Swiss bank accounts (amazing how arafat became a BILLIONAIRE on almost no salary, wasn't it?) is pumped into weapons and terrorist support systems for the eventual, hoped-for annihilation of Israel. 

Remember, this is before we get to the contributions from numerous other sources - mainly European countries - which, according to most credible sources, makes Palestinian Arabs the greatest recipients of foreign aid in the world. 

But, evidently, the Obama administration feels it is not getting enough.  Read this report from Reuters and see for yourself:

U.S. gives $150 mln to Palestinian Authority

10 Nov 2010 15:29:14 GMT


WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - The United States will give an additional $150 million to the Palestinian Authority as Washington seeks to boost the fledgling government amid an impasse in peace talks with Israel, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.


Clinton made the announcement in a joint video conference with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who has been scrambling to fill a huge projected budget hole as his government expands services in expectation of full eventual statehood.

Boost the fledgling government?  Fledgling government?  How many decades does it take before that government isn't "fledgling" anymore?

And boost it to do what?  Can someone show me what good use the money being poured into the west bank and Gaza has ever been put to?  Has anyone in all these years dared ask those wonderful selfless civil servants at the Palestine Authority (PA) to account for where these untold billions of dollars have gone? 

Just a day or two ago the Obama administration attacked Israel for daring to move forward with construction of 1,300 residential units in its capital city of Jerusalem. 

But now that same administration - fronted by the amoral weasel Hillary Clinton, who will do, or be, anything that might further her personal ambition - hands them another $150 billion dollars. 

For what purpose?  Do you think it will be used to build 1,300 residential units in Jericho or Gaza City?  Or to rebuild the sewer systems that collapsed years ago because the metal was expropriated to build weapons?    Or........ahhh, what's the point in going any further.  The point is made.

According to the exit polls, 78% of Jewish voters cast their ballots for Barack Obama.  I hope they're happy with what they got.

Speaking as one of the other 22%, I can assure you I am not.

P.S. We had dear friends over for the weekend, both of whom voted for Barack Obama in 2008.  The wife - who also worked for Mr. Obama's campaign - told me that, knowing what she knows now, she could never vote for him again.

There is hope.


Ken Berwitz

Earlier today I blogged about a discussion between Fox News' Neil Cavuto and tea party conservative Kevin Jackson, about an SEIU executive who essentially called Black people stupid and White people racist.  Shortly thereafter, I removed the blog because a) I became aware that the interview took place over a half year ago (in April) and b) in any event, there was some kind of a problem, causing the video not to play.

I have since been called a racist for putting this blog up, and then quickly taking it down.

Therefore, as anyone who knows where I stand on racial equality certainly would expect, I have reversed my decision to remove the blog.  Here is a link to the video, which.....


and which should put a lid on the racist BS.

Not be be trite, but I don't have a racist bone in my body. 

The problem arises because I do not abide racism in any form from any group.  Incredibly, in the warped view of some, my insistence that all races hold to the same standards somehow makes me a racist.

They're nuts.

Ken Berwitz free - thank you for the comment.  FYI, the person in question equates holding Black people to the same standards as White people with racism.  It is both fascinating and disheartening that there are so many like him, who cannot understand that lowering expectations for Black people demonstrates neither benevolence nor reasoned understanding.  It makes them the racists they accuse others of being. (11/10/10)

free` Anyone that calls or claims you are a racist has obviously not read you blog. (11/10/10)


Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from an Associated Press article by Dina Cappiello:

The Interior Department's inspector general says the White House edited a drilling safety report in a way that made it falsely appear that scientists and experts supported the administration's six-month ban on new drilling.

The inspector general says the editing changes resulted "in the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer reviewed." But it hadn't been. The scientists were only asked to review new safety measures for offshore drilling.

The investigation is the latest in a string of incidents where the Obama administration has been accused of overstating the science behind official reports and political decisions made after the massive Gulf oil spill.

If you click on the link I've provided and read Ms. Cappiello's entire article, you will find an enumeration of the various lies and dodges that the Obama administration fed the public both during and after the oil rig disaster period.

I ask this a lot.  And I'm asking it again now.

How can anyone believe a word anyone in this administration says?


Ken Berwitz

When is  US Senator not a US Senator?

When he is a Republican, and Illinois Democrats are in charge of the paperwork necessary to seat him.

From yesterday's Investors Business Daily editorial:

Due to paperwork delays, the Republican senator-elect from Illinois will not be seated immediately for the lame-duck session, but two Democrats will. The Chicago Way strikes again.

The recent election was a damning indictment of government's lack of response to the will of the people. Yet we are now witnessing a spectacle of bureaucratic malfeasance at the least and, at worst, the de facto stealing of an election.

The senator-elect from Illinois is Mark Kirk. Illinois voters actually got to vote for him twice, legally once to fill out the unexpired term of famous empty suit Roland Burris, and be seated immediately in the lame-duck session, and once for his own six-year term.

The lame-duck session that begins Monday may very well determine if or how the Bush tax cuts are extended. It may also lead to ratification of the disastrous New START treaty with Russia. Yet only two of the three senators elected to fill unexpired terms will be seated immediately, and both are Democrats.

Those to be sworn in at the start of the lame-duck session are Chris Coons of Delaware, who will fill the rest of Vice President Joe Biden's term, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who replaces the late Robert Byrd. Kirk will not join them until Nov. 29 and will miss half the session. The reason, according to Illinois officials, is that the paperwork declaring Kirk the winner won't be ready until that date, so Kirk's hope to immediately occupy the seat once held by President Obama is dashed.

This was not just Kirk's hope. This was a condition of the double election and a solemn promise to the voters of Illinois who are now denied full representation in the lame-duck session as the fate of their state and the nation is decided. This is a whole new form of election fraud and voter disenfranchisement.

Maybe this happens in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, but it shouldn't happen here. Kirk isn't our favorite Republican, but GOP senators should filibuster every move the Senate makes in the lame-duck session until he is seated as the duly-elected senator from Illinois.

Dirty.  Underhanded.  A subversion of the will of the people.  The Illinois Democrat political machine.  Indistinguishable.

Seat Mark Kirk now.

And to mainstream media:  take time out from the usual bias and REPORT this dirty underhanded farce.  The change in ethics and journalistic standards will do you good.


Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from Andrew Malcolm's piece in the Los Angeles Times, via Doug Powers' blog at

Andrew Malcolm at the LA Times reported that Vice President Biden was holding a meeting on Transparency today behind closed doors, of course.


I checked Sheriff Joes schedule on the White House website, and sure enough, the administration transparently confirmed the closed-door transparency meeting that nobody else could see:


Could people at least see through the door to the transparency meeting? Nope. Listen to the testament to openness via short-wave radio? Nuh-uh.

 Not for nothing do I call him Jackass Joe.

Hee Haw!!!


Ken Berwitz

"Fair Game", the Sean Penn-driven movie about joe wilson, valerie plame and their palpably fraudulent whining about how mistreated they were by the big bad Bush administration, opened this weekend at a tiny number of theaters in selected markets.

Considering the small number of theaters, 46 domestically, it did very well, grossing over $700,000. 

However, it should also be considered that the theaters were targeted to places where there would be a receptive audience and that the "true believers" would probably flock to see it immediately.  In reality, therefore, it probably didn't do very well at all - and will not be much of a draw to general audiences.

The reason is simple:  who cares about wilson and plame?  Even for those who did care at one time, it is now years after the so-called scandal, so - other than the hopelessly dedicated "I hate Bush, I hate Republicans" crowd - most of them probaby don't care any more.

Now, what about the movie?

For this I give you a link to (Democrat) Stan Crock's long, but very worthwhile review at 

Here is its first few paragraphs:

Fair Game opened in theaters across America over the weekend. Based on the memoirs of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame (played stunningly by Naomi Watts) and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson (played well by Sean Penn), the movie perpetuates the conventional wisdom about the infamous Plame affair. It focuses on the consequences of the exposure of Plame in a column by Robert Novak. Both Wilson and Plame claimed they were the target of a Bush White House plot led by former Vice President Dick Cheneys chief of staff, Scooter Libby, to leak Plames CIA identity to retaliate against Wilson for an op-ed article he had written for the New York Times. The column disputed the famous sixteen words in President Bushs 2003 State of the Union about Iraqi attempts to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger to make nuclear weapons. Libby ultimately was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice as a result of a probe of the leak of Plames identity.


The movie conforms to a pure and simple Hollywood story line complete with hero (Wilson), villain (Libby), and innocent, distressed damsel (Plame). That story line is gospel for the Left. A corollary story line is gospel for the Right: that Libby took the fall for Cheney.


Both are wrong. The fundamental problem is that Hollywoods narrative needs and political leanings often conflict with reality. Hollywood needs a straightforward story line. Washington is more complicated. The usual explanation for bad outcomes inside the Beltway is not evil or corruption but incompetence or poor judgment. And there are rarely heroes.


Wilson, for example, is a misguided missile, not a courageous whistleblower, and Plame was hardly innocent collateral damage in a war of words. Whatever one thinks about the Iraq policy he helped formulate, Libby had nothing to do with the leak. A review of grand jury and trial transcripts shows he told both the grand jury and FBI that Cheney had told him about Plames CIA links, so he did not cover or take the fall for his former boss. But the conventional wisdom is deeply ingrained in the public psyche. In fact, when I bought Plames autobiography recently, the cashier at Borders called the White House behavior treasonous. Thats why its time to take a fresh look at the Plame affair and set the record straight.

Sorry Sean.  You're wrong.  Again.  And this movie is going to be a box office bomb (though if the production costs are really as low as is reported, you might make out ok on it).

If you want to console yourself, why not take another of your trips to that paradise of the people, Venezuela.  I'm sure "President" chavez will be happy to nationalize a resort or two for your personal privacy.


Ken Berwitz

I only read New York Times columniest Maureen Dowd some of the time.  On the plus side she writes very well and is often very clever.  On the negative side she has a tendency to go overboard on snarkiness (the fact that I also disagree with her most of the time is irrelevant;  I read a lot of material I disagree with every day).

So, having taken a seat in the most appropriate place to read a Times op-ed page, I started quickly scanning through Ms. Dowd's column, I was amazed to find myself agreeing with its assessment of Barack Obama.  And a lot of other things as well.

I continued reading from the point my eye initially was drawn to - about a quarter down the column - and it kept making sense.  Lots of it.

At some point I realized that this could only mean one of two things.  Someone held Ms. Dowd down and sprinkled her with a copious amount of logic dust, or she had given today's column over to someone else.

It turns out to have been the latter.

Maureen Dowd has a brother, Kevin, whose politics are way to the right of hers (i.e. mainstream conservative).  And once a year she gives him a chance to speak to her readers.  Today is the day.

If you want to read the best Maureen Dowd column of the year, just click here.  But if you're pressed for time, here is a taste of what is in it:

As a semichastened Barack Obama appeared at the press conference following the election, he conjured up the image of the curtain opening in The Wizard of Oz, revealing a little old man working the controls, not the great and powerful Oz.

The president had to wonder how this could happen in two short years. He must long for the days when the media routinely referred to him as cerebral and brainy (savvy was never mentioned) and salivated over Michelles amazing arms.

The voters left no doubt about their feeling for his super-nanny state where the government controls all aspects of their lives and freedoms. Warning signs were up in the three elections held in Massachusetts, Virginia and New Jersey and with the noisy birth of the Tea Party. But the president, swathed in the protective cocoon of adulation and affirmation from the media and his own sycophants, soldiered on in his determination to turn our country into just another member of the failed European union France without the food.

On Nov. 2, voters across every spectrum loudly stated their preference for a return to American exceptionalism, self-reliance, limited government and personal freedoms. They delivered a message that they would demand that their representatives start reflecting their wishes. They showed their muscle to shocked elitists who had dismissed their dissent as ignorance, bigotry or racism.

That same media is becoming increasingly aware that its creation is in over his head. He seems unaware of, or ambivalent about, the results of his actions. The last three weeks of the campaign were particularly unseemly. The vision of the President of the United States, one who spoke of civility and hope and change, exposed as just another Chicago pol, viciously and personally attacking his opponents, was undignified.

Here are my random thoughts for 2010:

To Nancy Pelosi: Its hard to watch a noble ideal ravaged by facts. Were going to need that military jet back.

To Keith Olbermann: A welcome, but all too brief, respite. Thank God youre not handicapping horses.

To Alan Grayson: Good riddance.

To Eric Holder: Try suing the bad guys.

To Vivian Schiller: Too bad the truth didnt set you free as in fired.

To President Bush : A 50-to-42 winner over Obama in a mock presidential poll in Ohio after doing absolutely nothing. A Nobel Prize is on the way.

Thank you, Kevin, for the logic.  And thank you, Maureen, for the self-inflicted tough love of seeing those words under your byline.


Ken Berwitz

Here, via an excerpt from the Anchorage Daiy News (which endorsed Lisa Murkowski), is the latest on how the state's contested senate contest is coming along:

Votes that misspell Lisa Murkowski's name shouldn't count as the state today tallies write-in ballots in the U.S. Senate race, Senate candidate Joe Miller said in a federal lawsuit Tuesday.

Miller is asking a judge to stop the state from making a judgment on a voter's intentions if the voter wrote in something other than "Murkowski" or "Lisa Murkowski." State law allows no leeway for other spellings, his lawsuit says.

Despite the lawsuit, the state is preparing this morning to start checking and counting the more than 92,000 write-in ballots cast in last week's election. Gail Fenumiai, the state's elections director, said she plans to start this counting at 9 a.m.

The state counted about 27,000 absentee and early votes Tuesday, according to Fenumiai, with Miller gaining on the write-in total by about 2,100 votes. At the end of the day, Miller remained 11,333 behind the write-in total.

At the beginning of the day, Miller had been trailing by 13,439 votes.

The state also has more than 12,200 questioned ballots to count starting Friday, depending on how many are determined eligible. But, unless there is a serious issue with the write-in ballots, it looks like Murkowski is in a good position to win.

Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell, who oversees Alaska elections, has indicated that he will accept minor misspellings of Murkowski's name as long as the "voter intent" is clear. "The courts have been very clear for the last 25 years that voter intent is important," Campbell said in an interview this week with KENI radio host Mike Porcaro. "You do not want to disenfranchise voters over a technicality."

But Van Flein, Miller's lawyer, is arguing that nothing in state law allows for that kind of discretion. "The statute does not allow for the election board to weigh 'voter intent,' 'voter feelings,' or 'voter hopes,' " Van Flein wrote in a letter to Fenumiai.

Here's what the law says:

"A vote for a write-in candidate, other than a write-in vote for governor and lieutenant governor, shall be counted if the oval is filled in for that candidate and if the name, as it appears on the write-in declaration of candidacy, of the candidate or the last name of the candidate is written in the space provided."

Miller's lawsuit argues the state waited until this week -- "the eleventh hour" -- to release a written policy saying it would weigh voter intent in the counting process.


Miller started this process over 13,000 behind the total write-in vote.  Absentee ballots have moved him about 2,000 votes closer.

According to the Associated Press, Ms. Murkowski was far from alone as a write-in candidate - she was joined by 159 others.  And we know that something like 92,000 absentee ballots were cast.

Forgetting the 12,000 additional contested votes,  In order to win, Ms. Murkowski must get about 88% of the total absentee vote - roughly 7 of 8 ballots cast.

It is an excellent bet that she got a huge majority of those ballots.  But with 160 candidates on the absentee list, you have to at least entertain the possibility that she did not make it.  

This looks like it will go right down to the wire.  And it is certainly possible that the winning margin can rest on whether correct spelling of Ms. Murkowski's name is or is not a requisite.

Stay tuned. 


UPDATE:  We have this from the Anchorage Daily News:

Update, 1:46 p.m.

The first batch of numbers is out and they show 89 percent of the write-ins counted so far were perfect for Lisa Murkowski.

Out of 7,638 write-ins counted just 67 wrote in someone other than Murkowski.

The Division of Elections says 6,804 votes were unchallenged for Murkowski.

Another 678 of the ballots were challenged but the challenge was overruled by the Division. Those are considered to be "challenged but counted," and will be reviewed in the expected recount with the courts having the final say.

There were only 89 successful challenges of Murkowski votes. That represents just 1.17 percent of the ballots counted.

There was one write in vote for Joe Miller.

Somebody named Sid Hill received five write in votes. That puts Hill in second place to Murkowski among the write in voters.

Obviously that is good news for Linda Murkowski -- so far.

Zeke .... .... .... We had a write-in some years ago in my local school board election. Ballot had 3 candidates for 3 positions (not unusual). .... A week before the election, turns out one candidate is a plant for Lyndon LaRouche (cult leader & conspiracy nut -- LaRouche says Queen of England is a drug dealer, ). .... ..... The person who was the write-in candidate against the LaRouche plant had a difficult name .... .... Her supporters stood right outside the 'no campaigning' boundary and handed out stickers with her name .... so people could spell it correctly. The effort was very successful. ..... .... The defeated plant did acknowledge her ties with LaRouche. ..... ..... ..... The stickers made the difference .... ..... ..... NJ law requires write-in names be spelled correctly. (11/10/10)


Ken Berwitz

Poor Bill Maher.  His BS analysis of the midterm election was so out of whack that even one of his usually kindred spirits couldn't take it.

Excerpted from Walter Hudson's excellent piece at  Please pay special attention to the part that I've put in bold print:

Bill Maher was befuddled by last weeks election as he discussed the results with his Real Time panel, which included Time magazine editor-at-large Fareed Zakaria. Maher could not understand why voters would cast their ballots for Republicans.

The leftist ideologue stubbornly refused to accept the simplest explanation, that voters parted with President Obama and his Democratic party on ideology. In fact, the simplest explanation was so unpalatable to Maher, he conjured up a nonsensical alternative.

[The blue dogs] lost on Tuesday. Those [Democrats] who said, You know what? Im not with Obama. I disavow him, even though hes my president in my party. They lost.

What does that tell you? You know, it tells me that this election was lost when Obama didnt back the public option. To me, that was the one key thing that said to the people You know what? This is no different than the Al Gore Democrats, the old Al Gore playbook. Lets run from our achievements. And lets not stand for what we believe in.

To his credit, Zakaria did not let Maher get away with such cognitive acrobatics.

Its difficult to imagine independents saying, Im gonna vote for extremely right-wing Republicans because Obama wasnt left-wing enough I think its more plausible to say that they perceived, rightly or wrongly, that he had moved too far left Fundamentally, 85% of the country has healthcare and worries about cost. 15% [of the country] doesnt [have healthcare] and worries about access. What [Obama] did was, he dealt with the issue of the 15% before he dealt with the issue of the 85%.

Bullseye.  Mr. Zakaria nailed it perfectly.

How in the world does it follow that voters who were angry because President Obama wasn't far enough to the left, would punish him and his party by voting for people who are at least as far to the right?  

It doesn't compute.  Not even in a funhouse mirror.

Too bad that Mr. Maher probably will not learn from this.  Especially because the lesson - that putting ideology over reality makes him out to be a buffoon - is so important.

To quote Jessie Burns in A River Runs Through It, "Why is it that people who need the most help won't take it?

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