Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Ken Berwitz

Look, we know that Juan Williams is no fan of the way NPR has been operating - given that he was fired by its former (as of last week) leadership, essentially for the crime of appearing on Fox News Channel.  But what he has to say about NPR expands far beyond any personal animus Mr. Williams might (justifiably) have. 

Here are excerpts from his latest piece.  Read them, use the link to read Mr. Williams' entire commentary, and then judge for yourself:

It just keeps happening. NPR's leader ship keeps tripping over its microphone wires and then asking everybody else to plug them back in.

I know everybody thinks I must be in a vindictive mood, celebrating the sudden departure of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller after her handpicked personal fund-raiser was caught on tape disparaging Tea Party activists and Jews and taking more shots at me. I'm human and do have some thoughts, but it's OK to keep them to myself: Schiller's very public missteps allow everyone to draw their own conclusions about her.

I'm not being vindictive when I say that NPR's leaders had become ingrown and arrogant to the point that they lost sight of journalism as the essential product of NPR. People like Schiller and Ellen Weiss, the head of news for NPR, who made it her life's work to fire me, came to think of themselves as smarter than anyone else.

They felt no need to answer to any critic. Any approach at variance with their own was considered traitorous and a basis for exiling them to the Gulag -- or, in my case, firing me.

The recent videotape showing NPR chief fund-raiser Ron Schiller (no relation to Vivian Schiller) is just an open microphone on what I've been hearing from NPR top executives and editors for years. They're willing to do anything in service to any liberal with money, and then they'll turn around and in self-righteous indignation claim that they have cleaner hands than anybody in the news business who accepts advertising or expresses a point of view.

Ron Schiller's performance on videotape -- which included lecturing two young men pretending to be Muslims on how to select wine -- is a "South Park"-worthy caricature of the American liberal as an effete, Volvo-driving, wine-sipping, NPR-listening dunderhead.

Is Juan Williams on target here?  Is he making valid points?  Is NPR a smug, elitist, oh-so-fashionably-liberal joke (my interpretation of what Mr. Williams has said, not his words)?

Speaking for myself, the answer is yes.  What do you think?


Ken Berwitz

Want to see the classic "do what I say, not what I do"?  Then read this excerpt from Jason Stein's article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Madison A Democratic state senator wants to make it impossible for senators in the future to block legislative action by leaving the state.

Sen. Tim Cullen of Janesville was one of the 14 Democrats in the Senate who sought unsuccessfully to block Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair law by driving to Illinois on Feb. 17 and only returning last week. That law drew massive protests by repealing most collective bargaining by public employees in the state.

"The main point I want to make is that what we did we had every legal right to do. It was an extraordinary step against an extraordinary bill," Cullen said. But "the institution of the Senate is not well-served going forward by having this particular avenue available."

Got that?  Cullen is saying that it is ok for him to try subverting democracy by absconding to prevent passage of legislation he disagrees with.  But he's going to make it illegal for others to abscond in an effort to prevent passage of legislation they disagree with.

In short, Tim Cullen is not just an absconder, he is a self-superiorhypocrite too.

If voters in the Janesville area re-elect this turkey, they deserve what they're getting.


Ken Berwitz

You cannot beat Newt Gingrich for analytical brilliance.  How does he come up with these things?

Would you believe that - prepare to be amazed - Mr. Gingrich has deduced that his political opponents are going to use his history of marital infidelity and divorce against him?

My god, Einstein had nothing on this man.

Excerpted from Michael O'Brien's blog at thehill.com:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he's counting on his potential foes for the Republican presidential nomination to use his past infidelities against him.

Gingrich, who's exploring whether to run for president, said he anticipated that his competitors for the nomination would dig into his past, including his admitted extramarital affairs.


I expect my opponents to go back 15, 20, 25 years and try to render an alternate judgment," Gingrich said Monday evening on WRKO radio. "I understand that's what they'll do."

Gingrich has said he hopes primary voters look at the totality of his life and record, including his apologies for having committed adultery in the past. Voters, Gingrich said, should look at who he is today.

Just curious:  did Mr. Gingrich also brag about what a great marriage he had the first time around?  The second time around? 

Or did he brag about what great sex he was getting from the women he bedded before getting divorced?

Let's understand, first of all, that Newt Gingrich has about as much chance to win the 2012 Republican nomination as I do to be named Saudi Arabia's Minister of Religion.  Which ain't much.

Even in the infinitesimally probable event that he is named the nominee, it will be after months of daily attacks on his dissolute, me-first life - along with (less fairly, I admit) the hundreds of charges brought against him both during and after his stint as Speaker of the House.

And if you think Gingrich's fellow Republicans are going to nail him, wait until you hear the Obama machine go to work.

But, then again, why does any of this matter?  Are you aware of any public groundswell for Newt Gingrich to run for President?  Do you know of anyone who is chafing at the bit to vote for him?  I'll bet the answer is, at most, maybe one or two - but more than likely no one at all.

What an ego Gingrich must have to even think about this, let alone to think about it out loud.

Can't he just stick to writing books and doing political analysis?  Does really he have to go on this ego-induced fool's errand?

I guess he does.  That's what makes him  a Newt.


Ken Berwitz

Do you think of India as a more significant military power than the USA?

Well, during this administration, maybe you should.

Excerpted from Dean Nelson's article at London's Daily Telegraph:

The operation is one of the most successful since Somalian pirates escalated their campaign of extortion and kidnap on the Indian Ocean two years ago.

The Indian authorities have yet to disclose the nationality of the suspects but they are believed to be from either Somalia or Yemen.

They were arrested after an Indian naval ship closed in on a hijacked fishing vessel just under 700 miles off the Kerala coastal port of Cochin.

The boat was carrying 61 suspected pirates and 13 of the boat's crew who had been held captive.

The suspected pirates had hijacked the boat, the Mozambique-flagged Vega 5 in December last year and had since used it as a base for attacks on other ships.

The number of pirate attacks and the scale of their demands has increased singnificantly in recent months. More than 660 people are currently believed to be held hostage in pirates from raids on 30 ships.

India has intensified its operations against pirates in the Indian Ocean. It arrested 28 pirates last month and 15 in January.

India has decided to do something about the threat.  And is acting, strongly, against the pirates. 

The Obama administration has done nothing about the threat.  And even after four of our citizens were murdered by pirates last month, we are still not doing anything about the threat - nothing visible, nothing that has been announced, nothing that has been reported.

Now, let me ask again:  Which country is a more significant military power?  What do you think a Somali, or Yemeni, pirate would say?

What a disgrace this is.  What a laughingstock we have become.

free` We have a no nothing media darling as potus, what did you expect from him? We are getting exactly what we deserve for electing this guy. The 53% that voted this guy in are insane. (03/15/11)


Ken Berwitz

The quote of the day is from Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell (not Fox News Channel's Brett Baier, as I originally posted):

"If George Bush reacted this way during an international catastrophe -- wholly irrelevant radio addresses, golf outing for the 61st time, the left-wing media would require medically induced sedation to keep them in check."

Exactly true. 

Heck,why not?  What else was there to occupy his time?


Ken Berwitz

Mark Steyn has written the best commentary about the Itamar Massacre that I have seen (including my own).  Here are excerpts, and this link, which you most definitely should use to read every word:

Dead Jews Is No News

March 14, 2011 10:41 P.M.

By Mark Steyn


On Friday night, twelve-year old Tamar Fogel came home to find both her parents, Ruth and Udi Fogel, two brothers Yoav (11) and Elad (four), and her three-month old sister Hadas murdered in their beds. They had had their throats cut and been stabbed through the heart.

Thats not shocking: There is no shortage of young Muslim men who would enjoy slitting the throat of a three-month old baby, and then head home dreaming of the town square or soccer tournament to be named in their honor.

Back in Gaza, the citizenry celebrated the news by cheering and passing out sweets.

Thats not shocking, either: In the broader Palestinian death cult, there are untold legions who, while disinclined to murder Jews themselves, are content to revel in the glorious victory of others.

Today the delegitimization of Israel is all but universal: Indeed, these days Palestinian leaders pay more lip service to the two-state solution than Europeans. On Israels national day, prominent Britons of Jewish background write to The Guardian to deplore the existence of the Jewish state. And Israeli Apartheid Week is multiculti Torontos gift to the world.

Demonstrating his uncanny ability to miss the point, the head of the Canadian Jewish Congress tweeted today:

Anonymity breeds ugliness online.

You would think even this sad, irrelevant fool might have noticed that the striking feature of todays ugliness is how non-anonymous it is.

UPDATE: Claire Berlinski, who is on the scene in Itamar, writes that (three month old) Hadas was, in fact, decapitated:

Anyone who in any way tries to rationalize or minimize this or to suggest that this is a fitting punishment for anything needs to go out and look at a three-month-old baby and ask himself what it would take to climb over a fence, climb in a window, and cut off that childs head.

Incidentally, for whatever it is or isn't worth, Mark Steyn is not Jewish.  What he is, is intelligent, perceptive and honest enough to see things for what they are. 

You might think that anyone would see this massacre for what it is; but you would be wrong.

Oh, and what have President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton had to say about it? 

United States President Barack Obama
There is no possible justification for the killing of parents and children in their home. We call on the Palestinian Authority to unequivocally condemn this terrorist attack.

United States Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the brutal murder of an Israeli family early Saturday morning in the West Bank. The United States condemns this appalling attack in the strongest possible terms. To kill three innocent children and their parents while they sleep is an inhuman crime for which there can be no justification. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims and with all the people of Israel. The murderers must be found and brought to justice. Israeli security forces have launched a thorough investigation and we look to the Palestinian authorities to assist in every way possible.

Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  

Not one word of condemnation about a culture that teaches this is some kind of glorious victory.  Not one word about a government which runs TV programming telling its children how wonderful it would be for them to die killing Jews.  Not one word demanding that "Palestinians" do a thing about any of this.

Do you still wonder why the Obama administration is so poorly thought of in Israel?  Don't wonder.

free` Ken wrote: "Not one word of condemnation about a culture that teaches this is some kind of glorious victory. Not one word about a government which runs TV programming telling its children how wonderful it would be for them to die killing Jews. Not one word demanding that "Palestinians" do a thing about any of this." ---------------------------------------- Had obama or clinton made those statements the majority of people wouldn't know what they were talking about. Remember our media does NOT report on any of those things. (03/15/11)


Ken Berwitz

As regular readers know, I have been talking quite a bit in recent days about President Obama's disengagement from his job requirements - i.e. that the world is teeming with things he should be addressing and, other than a few template-quality pronouncements, he is not addressing them.

Well, I'm far from the only one noticing that we have an absentee President.  Investors Business Daily (IBD) has written a scathing editorial about it.

Here are a few key excerpts:

The White House Disengages

'There is only one president," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., told Politico this week, when asked if President Obama should be exercising leadership toward reforming America's out-of-control entitlement spending programs, such as Medicare and Social Security.

The soothsayer famously told Julius Caesar to "beware the ides of March." One of the priority items for Obama on Tuesday, March 15, was taping his picks for the NCAA basketball tournament.

Then, of course, there is the partying. Late last month, the president and first lady treated themselves to an East Room concert by Smokey Robinson, Sheryl Crow, comedian Jamie Foxx and others. At previous soirees, the Obama White House has hosted Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and even a cavalcade of stars from Broadway shows.

And let's not forget former Beatle Paul McCartney being flown in from England to sing "Michelle" to the first lady and attack President George W. Bush from the East Room stage.

The Japan earthquakes are threatening the nuclear power renaissance this president promised, the U.S. is impotent as the Mideast burns and Islamist terrorists wait to exploit the instability, and our still-tepid economy remains threatened by out-of-control entitlements.

Conrad says "there is only one president." But where is he? And how many more Democrats will it take to get him to step up and fulfill his responsibilities?

Is this some kind of a joke? 

Is President Obama even interested in continuing to perform his presidential duties?  Or has he decided to revert to form, and do what he did as an Illinois state senator and then a U.S. senator:  Nothing.

And why should we expect anything more?  We elected a Chicago machine politician, with no political accomplishments and no qualifications for the office.  What possible reason would we have to expect anything more from him as President?

It was no problem at all for Mr. Obama for the two years we also gave him huge majorities in the house and senate.  He could effortlessly pass whatever legislation he wanted to. 

-That is how we wound up with a so-called "stimulus package:" that cost us almost a trillion dollars and resulted in unemployment rising, not falling. 

-And it is how we wound up with the ObamaCare monstrosity, which much of the country does not want, and has been ruled unconstitutional anyway.

But now?  With a Republican house and a much smaller majority in the senate, being President no longer is as easy as snapping his fingers.  It requires actual effort and actual capability.

Little wonder that Barack Obama is busying himself with basketball and entertainment galas instead.

Zeke ..... ...... DEFINITELY ... check out thebardofmurdock.blogspot.com .... ..... ...... it is a raving panic. ..... ..... Really well written satire, in verse. ..... (and it reads much better, when formatted by line) ...... (03/16/11)

thebardofmurdock Budget: Act III, Scene II With apologies to William Shakespeare, author of Julius Caesar Friends, Members, Senators, lend me your ears; I come to praise Obama, not harm him. The deficits men leave live on for years, The life of surpluses is very slim; So it is with Barack too. The noble Reid Hath told you that Barack’s a budget hawk: If it were so, we should in truth pay heed, And frequently we all have heard that talk. Here, under leave of Harry and the rest – For Harry is an honorable man; So are they all, as I can sure attest – Come I to ask for a new master plan. Obama gave us all Obamacare, But Harry said he is a budget hawk; And Harry is a gentleman foursquare. And have we not all heard Barack’s sweet-talk? Did he not say that we should spread the wealth? Does this Obama seem to penny-pinch? When everyone receives free care for health? I think the fists of thrift should have more clinch. Yet Harry calls him parsimonious. And Harry is a truthful man for sure. Obama signed the stimulus excess, With payoffs for his unions to secure, With other organizers: Minginess? Yet Harry sees only a budget hawk. And Harry’s honor seeps with all largesse. I speak not to engage in just small talk, But here I am to speak what I do know. You all did love Barack, not without cause: But now is time to deficits forgo. O spending! Thou art fled to blind applause, And men have lost their reason! Bear with me; My heart is in decline much like our land, And I must pause till it come back to me. thebardofmurdock.blogspot.com (03/15/11)

Zeke ..... ...... Foresoothe ........ ..... Let us all contribute to purchase a mustang for our President .... for when he shouts the words from Shakespeare's "Richard III" Act V Scene IV ..... "My kingdom for a horse". (03/16/11)

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