Tuesday, 01 March 2011


Ken Berwitz

Here is President Obama's comment, and Wisconsin Governor Walker's response.  You decide who comes out looking better:

President Obama:

"I dont think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon"

Governor Walker:

"Im sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay. And Im sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts.

"Furthermore, Im sure the President knows that we have repeatedly praised the more than 300,000 government workers who come to work every day in Wisconsin.

"Im sure that President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsin, and isnt acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another."

So? Who do you think makes more sense?  I won't tell you my opinion -- but I suspect you already know it anyway.


Ken Berwitz

In case you're wondering how what bailout of General Motors is yielding, here is a bit of insight from Consumer Reports, via this excerpt from David Shepardson's article for the Detroit News:

Washington Consumer Reports offered a harsh initial review of the Chevrolet Volt, questioning whether General Motors Co.'s flagship vehicle makes economic "sense."The extended-range plug-in electric vehicle is on the cover of the April issue the influential magazine's annual survey of vehicles but the GM vehicle comes in for criticism.


"When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it doesn't really make a lot of sense. The Volt isn't particularly efficient as an electric vehicle and it's not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy," said David Champion, the senior director of Consumer Reports auto testing center at a meeting with reporters here. "This is going to be a tough sell to the average consumer."


The magazine said in its testing in Connecticut during a harsh winter, its Volt is getting 25 to 27 miles on electric power alone.


GM spokesman Greg Martin noted that it's been an extremely harsh winter and as a Volt driver he said he's getting 29-33 miles on electric range. But he noted that in more moderate recent weather, the range jumped to 40 miles on electric range or higher.


Champion believes a hybrid, such as the Toyota Prius, may make more sense for some trips.

"If you drive about 70 miles, a Prius will actually get you more miles per gallon than the Volt does," Champion said.


But look at the bright side.  Now that we taxpayers are footing so much of the bills for General Motors, the company will never go under.  Those union members who didn't lose a thing when we took the major ownership of GM can continue collecting every dime, no matter how crappy the product is.  Ditto for Chrysler.

Doesn't that just make your day?

Zeke .... ..... Da Gub'mint Motors Volt will get half that mileage when the battery is 4 or 5 years old ... (Just like your cell phone battery). .... .... And, what will be the resale value of the $41,000 electric roller skate, when the buyer knows they'll soon have to buy a new battery, which costs $15,000 ? ........... ........... ......... What about the driving range in hilly areas ? .... Or running a/c on a hot summer day; heater in winter ?..... .......... (03/01/11)

Zeke ..... @Ken : ..... ..... The $7,500 is subject to sales tax ... (7% in NJ = $525; 8.875 % NYC = $656). .... ..... ..... I am NOT certain, but I THINK the $7,500 is treated as INCOME.... so you are paying the IRS and any state/local income tax on it, as well. .... ..... ..... Please note that this $7,500 gift is for any electric car .... I'd go with the Tesla roadster -- sharp looking car... and only $110K (less gub'mint rebate) (03/01/11)

free` Is that 41k with or without the tax subsidy? The government plans to let you deduct a portion of the purchase price. Our government is in the business of favoring certain companies and ways of life using everyone elses tax dollars. (03/01/11)

Ken Berwitz free - zeke points out that it is before the rebate. But would you pay $33.5K for this hunk of mung? Or anything close? I doubt it. (03/01/11)

Zeke ....@free' .... ..... You pay the $41 K (plus sales tax on the full amount) .... .... Come April 15th, you get a $7,500 tax credit ..... ..... ..... This is based on the proven economic theory of the Lakota Indian who cut 12" off one end of his blanket and sewed that piece onto the opposite end, ... to make it longer. .... .... IIRC, if your income is above some level, then the rebate is less. .... ... (03/01/11)

free` Ken, no way would i ever do that. Just was pointing out another instance where our tax dollars are being wasted. (03/02/11)


Ken Berwitz

julian assange, the founder of wikileaks has a big problem

And whose fault is it?  Those JOOOOOOOOOZ, that's who. 

Excerpted from an article by Ravi Somaiya, writing for the New York Times:

LONDON A report published by a British magazine on Tuesday said the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, suggested that British journalists, including the editor of the newspaper The Guardian, were engaged in a Jewish-led conspiracy to smear his organization.

His remarks appeared in the magazine Private Eye, in an article by its editor, Ian Hislop, who outlined a rambling phone call that Mr. Assange made on Feb. 16 to complain about the coverage of WikiLeaks.

He was especially angry about a Private Eye report that Israel Shamir, an Assange associate in Russia, was a Holocaust denier. Mr. Assange complained that the article was part of a campaign by Jewish reporters in London to smear WikiLeaks.

A lawyer for Mr. Assange could not immediately be reached for comment, but in a statement later released on the WikiLeaks Twitter feed, Mr. Assange said Mr. Hislop had distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase.

The Private Eye article quoted Mr. Assange as saying the conspiracy was led by The Guardian and included the newspapers editor, Alan Rusbridger, and investigations editor, David Leigh, as well as John Kampfner, a prominent London journalist who recently reviewed two books about WikiLeaks for The Sunday Times of London.

When Mr. Hislop pointed out that Mr. Rusbridger was not Jewish, Mr. Assange countered that The Guardians editor was sort of Jewish because he and Mr. Leigh, who is Jewish, were brothers-in-law.

FYI, "Israel Shamir" is the sarcastic alias of Adam Ermash (also known as Jran Jermas), a Jew-hating, Israel-hating holocaust denier.   You can read all about him in my December 14, 2010 blog

There is no campaign to smear wikileaks by Jews or anyone else.  Frankly, there is no need, because wikileaks is eminently smearable without one.

And if assange doesn't like a member of his staff being called an anti-Semitic holocaust denier, I suggest that he doesn't hire one to be a member of his staff.

Why isn't assange in jail?


Ken Berwitz

Yesterday I blogged about a Wisconsin Democrat, state assemblyperson gordon hintz, who, after the budget vote (assembly Democrats did not leave the state like their senate counterparts), was nice enough to tell Republican assemblyperson Michelle Litjens You are fuckin dead.

Now hintz is admitting he said it.  But he has an explanation.  What could it be? 

In hintzs own words:

I believe my response was shock. The only way they were going to pass this bill was by ignoring and shredding rules of the Assembly, Hintz said. I apologized (Monday) when I learned my comments may have been taken personally by someone

Well, that ends the issue, doesnt it? 

-hintz believes (he doesnt know?) he reacted out of shock.  So he is exonerated, right?  After all, dont blame him; he was in a state of shock, wasn't he?;

-hintz then accuses Litjens, along with every other Republican, of ignoring and shredding the rules in other words, his apology is, in reality, an attack.

-And his grand finale is to assure us he apologized when he learned (he didnt know?) that telling someone she is fuckin dead may have been taken personally.  Sure, that makes sense; who could possibly have thought such a comment would be taken that way?

The only thing saving this disgusting, obnoxious loudmouth is that, once again, almost none of our wonderful neutral mainstream media will report his behavior to their viewers/readers.

Not enough time.  Too busy trying to find incidents of right wing incivility, you see.  Thats where the reporting comes in. 

Besides, keep 'em ignorant and you own 'em.

And, yes, these are the same people who squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.


Ken Berwitz

If you are to believe President Obama, the Wyden/Brown "compromise" is a big concession to Republicans and should make them more receptive to ObamaCare.

Yeah, right.

Dean Clancy of dailycaller.com blows this hot steamy load to smithereens with nothing more than a factual presentation of what it does/doesn't do.  You can read Clancy's entire piece (and you owe it to yourself to do so) or read the excerpts I am showing below:

Mr. Obama has a history of making soothing noises when on the defensive, without actually yielding an inch of ground, in order to draw his opponents into a trap.


We may be seeing the same tactic here.


The Wyden-Brown state flexibility bill that the president came out for yesterday morning doesnt actually create any state flexibility. The bill, introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Scott Brown (R-MA), would basically just move up, from 2017 to 2014, the date when states would be allowed to petition the feds for some flexibility from Obamacares numerous rules and mandates.


States would still have to jump through all kinds of federal hoops. As the White House fact sheet explains, to receive an innovation waiver, a state will have to persuade the federal secretary of health and human services that the states alternative approach will:


* Provide coverage that is at least as comprehensive as the coverage offered through Exchanges . . .


* Make coverage at least as affordable as it would have been through the Exchanges.


* Provide coverage to at least as many residents as the Affordable Care Act would have provided.

* Do not increase the Federal deficit. That last line is especially important. As the states know all too well from their painful experiences with trying to negotiate Medicaid waivers, the feds will use the budget neutrality requirement to try to limit the states flexibility as much as possible.

And once granted, waivers will have to be renewed every five years, with states having to persuade HHS that theyre actually meeting the above goals (or any new goals added by HHS in the interim).

Are you kidding me?  That isn't a concession, it's a conoction.  A concoction made of pure, unadulterated, government inspected, US Prime, meadow-fresh cow dung.  It is artfully designed either to fool gullible congressional Republicans (of which there are more than a few), or scare them about the (not unreasonable) concern that voters will think opposition to the "compromise" means they, rather than Obama & Co., are the ones being obstinately partisan.

It reminds me of that terrific scene in "It's A Wonderful Live" when Jimmy Stewart tries to calm his panicking shareholders at the savings and loan by saying

"Can't you understand what's happening here? Potter isn't selling, he's buying! And why? Because we're panicking and he's not"

Republicans can panic and give away their position - a position that most people seem to side with them on.  Or, they can not panic and hold that position.

I'll be watching.  So should you be.  

Just like Mr. Potter would.


Ken Berwitz

Michael Graham, writing for the Boston Herald (did you really think you'd ever see something like this in the Globe?), has nailed a central issue of the union war, on their own behalf for their own benefit, against the rest of us. 

Do yourself a favor and read every word -- but, in the meanwhile, here is some of Mr. Graham's commentary:

Typical Americans, including the blue-collar brand, arent fans of threats and violence coming from government union mobs. In Wisconsin, its Democratic state Rep. Gordon Hintz telling GOP Rep. Michelle Litjens, You are [expletive] dead after she voted for Gov. Scott Walkers budget.

Here in Massachusetts, its Gov. Deval Patricks director of the Department of Labor: Make no mistake about it, George Noel said Saturday, we are at war!

And if the tax-getters are at war, who are they at war with? Tax-payers, obviously.

Liberals trying to play the class warfare card in Wisconsin have always been wrong on the facts. Public sector employees in Milwaukee are like their counterparts across America they get paid more than most of their neighbors. Their average teachers salary is $56,500, while the average household income the entire household is $42,950.

Its the same here in Massachusetts, where the median household income is $65,000, while the average Boston teacher makes $80,000 plus benefits. Those benefits bring the total to well more than $100,000 in compensation a year, including great health care and a defined benefit pension that the average Bay State family can only dream about.

Six-figure salaries and benefits .  .  . and these government union workers are declaring war on us? They should be buying us drinks and offering back rubs.

The Wall Street Journal looked at 2009 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and reported this:

Public employees earn salaries that are about one-third higher on average than what is provided to private workers per hour worked .  .  . health benefits are twice as generous as what workers employed by private employees earn. By the way, nearly this entire benefits gap is accounted for by unionized public employees. Nonunion public employees are paid roughly what private workers receive.

And government union goons are camped out in the Wisconsin State House and making threats at Beacon Hill to keep it that way.

Does Michael lay it out plainly enough?  I'd say.

Does he make sense?  I'd say.

Is it time not to destroy unions, but to bring them back so they're somewhere remotely near where the rest of the working people are?  I'd say.

Now:  what do you say?


Ken Berwitz

From Fox News:

Fox Nation has learned exclusively from a highly placed source within Wisconsin state politics that the fourteen AWOL Democrats are experiencing "dissension in the ranks." State Sen. Julie Lassa (D) is pregnant and "extremely unhappy" about being on the run. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D) has been hit particularly hard by his paycheck being withheld. Wisconsin State Senate leadership is currently negotiating with eight of the fourteen to come home. Gov. Scott Walker (R) has declared today the deadline for action on his budget repair bill and plans to give a budget address at 5 p.m. ET. A deal may be announced around that time.

Assuming this is true, what exactly will the Wisconsin 14 have accomplished?

Once they're back, the budget will be passed, just as it was going to have been two weeks ago when they ran away like so many scared mice.

Maybe they expected Republicans to forget they are the majority in Wisconsin and cave in.  But that didn't happen. 

Maybe they expected the country to come running to their side and commiserating with the union members.  Like, for example, the teachers whose average salary is far higher than the average US household income and who have an additional $35,000 or so in benefits on top of their salary.  But that didn't happen either.

What did happen is that - to the extent our wonderful "neutral" media covered it - the country found out that a good number of the union protesters are unruly, foul-mouthed violent thugs.  In other words, what media have largely pretended the Tea Partiers are, these people really are.

I suspect their hope is to be seen as conquering heroes -  instead of pathetic fools who engaged in an asinine two week farce.  And if the only voices they hear are from the unions, the U of W student activists and assorted left wing groups who support them so avidly, They might even become convinced of it.

But then there is this matter of everyone else.......


Ken Berwitz

Earlier today, eric holder, the disgraceful toady, Obama sock puppet and - sickeningly - our Attorney General, was being grilled by Republican John Culbertson (R-TX) on why his justice department gave a free pass to Black thugs intimidating voters in Philadelphia during the last Presidential election.

In the course of Mr. Culbertson's questionning, he pointed out that Bartle Bull - the noted journalist, author, who is a lifelong liberal Democrat and fierce defender of equal rights for all regardless of color - was personally present when this happened and called it the most serious case of voter intimidation he had ever witnessed. 

This is what eric holder answered:

"When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia, which was inappropriate....to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people"

Let's forget for a moment that Mr. Bull was not comparing it to the South in the 60's, he was talking about what he had personally witnessed.

Would someone tell me how it is acceptable for this "man" to hold his job while telling us that "his" people begin and end with the Black population?

Personally, I am White.  So is Bartle Bull.  So is about 85% of the USA.  But to eric holder?  We're them, certainly not his people.  How do I know?  Because he said so, that's how.  Can this possibly be an acceptable mindset for the country's Attorney General?

Illustrtively, President Bush's last Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, was both White and Jewish.  Suppose he defended the vacating of charges against Whites or Jews by referring to either group as "my people"?  How long do you think he would last as Attorney General after doing so?  A week?  A few days?  Even less?

But, sadly, it is an excellent bet (not 100% but close) that our wonderful "neutral" media either will not report this at all, report it as nominally as possible, or (worst possibility) try to justify it.

There are a lot of reasons that eric holder should be fired as Attorney General, and they go back well before today's incident.  But if his "my people" comment doesn't get him fired, I doubt that anything will.

The 2012 elections cannot come fast enough.

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