Friday, 15 April 2011

PAP SMEARS

Ken Berwitz

 

I haven't seen Mike Papantonio much - certainly not as much as the regular cable news hosts on Fox, MSNBC and CNN. 

 

But what I have seen of Mr. Papantonio tells me that he is a hard-left ideologue with a penchant for viciously offensive personal insults against people to his right (which is just about everyone).  

 

Yeah, I know this description fits a lot of media personalities, but Papantonio happens to be the one Im talking about today.

 

Here, excerpted from Brian Maloneys radioequalizer.blogspot.com, is a sample of Mr. Papantonios, er, qualities as a political commentator:

 

 

Today's poster child for (the strategy of smears, not facts) is notorious Florida trial attorney / libtalker Mike Papantonio.

 

Papantonio used an Ed Schultz Show guest appearance to repeatedly call (Rep. Paul) Ryan "a freak" and "boy", used and abused by the all-powerful, eminently-evil Koch Brothers (cue sinister musical score).


Then, just when his rant was growing especially tiresome, we were suddenly jarred awake: the Papster says he still supports Obama because he's "carrying our spear."

JUST IMAGINE the reaction to a conservative host using "Obama" and "spear" in the same sentence! It would dominate the news cycle for days.

But don't expect Sharpton & Friends to protest this one.

 

Imagine that terminology - unintentionally racial as it probably was - had come from, say, Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh.  Do you think there just might be a media outcry?

 

Well, it wasn't Hannity or Limbaugh, it was Papantonio.  So there wont be. 

 

Among the prevailing poobahs of our wonderful neutral media, it is a near-guarantee that Mike Papantonio's comment about Barack Obama "carrying our spear" will be seen as perfectly acceptable; just a cute little turn of phrase.  It cant be racial, because Papantonio's left wing credentials are impeccable.  So hes one of the good guys.  After all, isn't every leftist a paradigm of racial tolerance? 

 

Then they wonder why people call them biased.


THE NEW YORK TIMES VS. THE KOCH BROTHERS: RETRACTIONS

Ken Berwitz

With apologies to John Hinderaker at www.powerlineblog.com, I am posting his latest blog in its entirety.  I am doing so because a) it is so important, b) I can't find a way to cut it down without losing something important and c) if you read it, you will probably be persuaded to go to his web site every day (or so I hope).  Please pay special attention to the last paragraph, which I have put in bold print.

Mr. Hinderaker can certainly feel free to lift anything I write for powerlineblog.com  (as long as he spells my name right):

Correction Number Two

April 14, 2011 Posted by John at 10:18 PM

 

We summed up here our coverage of the New York Times' smear campaign against Charles and David Koch and their company, Koch Industries. The Times has printed one false or misleading claim after another about the Kochs. On April 7, the paper issued a correction of its own editorial attacking the Koch brothers. Today came correction number two, which related to an op-ed column by David Callahan, an employee of a left-wing advocacy organization:

An Op-Ed article on April 4, about disclosure rules for nonprofit groups that engage in political advocacy, imprecisely described contributions by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch to such groups. While they contributed to a predecessor of the conservative group FreedomWorks, they say they have not contributed to FreedomWorks itself.

As we pointed out, the Callahan column contained at least two more factual misrepresentations that the Times has yet to correct. But note the grudging nature of the one correction the paper did issue today. The Times says that the op-ed "imprecisely described" the Koch brothers' contributions to certain nonprofit groups. Actually, this is what Callahan wrote:

One such group is FreedomWorks, which has received significant amounts of money from the Koch brothers and is a force behind both the Tea Party political movement and the conservative libertarian policy agenda it espouses.

Given that the Koch brothers have in fact contributed nothing to FreedomWorks, the claim that that organization has "received significant amounts of money" from them is not an imprecise description, it is a flat misrepresentation.

 

Note, too, the paper's implied doubt about whether its correction is really necessary: "they say they have not contributed to FreedomWorks itself." The Times acts as though there is some doubt about the matter, but, as a one-minute Google search will reveal, FreedomWorks has confirmed that it has received no money from the Kochs.

 

The Times should be deeply embarrassed that its vendetta against the Koch brothers, two of America's most respected businessmen, has been so sloppily executed that it has already resulted in two corrections--with more, perhaps, to come. The paper should be embarrassed, but it probably isn't. The Times long ago signaled its willingness to sacrifice whatever journalistic reputation it once possessed in order to advance its far-left political agenda. Lying in the service of leftism is, in the world of the New York Times, no sin.

The New York Times of today reminds me of what Henry Drummond (Spencer Tracy) said about Matthew Harrison Brady (Frederic March) to E. K. Hornbeck (Gene Kelly):  "A giant once lived in that body".  

The New York Times once was, or at least conveyed the impression of being, a great newspaper.  It no longer is.  Now The Times is a left wing propaganda sheet which regularly embarrasses itself, due to its lack of professionalism and its outright dishonesty. 

Too bad for the Times.  And too bad for us.


LUCY OBAMA, GOP BROWN, AND THE FOOTBALL

Ken Berwitz

Remember that "Peanuts" comic strip at the start of every football season -- the one where Lucy convinces Charlie Brown to try kicking the football that, every other year, she pulled away at the last second?  Remember how he fell for it again anyway, and wound up flat on his back, muttering how he had been taken?

With this in mind, why would any Republican be surprised if President Obama made nice to them as if he had a serious interest in working together, and then sandbagged them by going 100% partisan?

Excerpted from Lori Montgomery's article in today's Washington Post:

Obama address was surprise attack, GOP lawmakers say

The three Republican congressmen saw it as a rare ray of sunshine in Washingtons stormy budget battle: an invitation from the White House to hear President Obama lay out his ideas for taming the national debt. Echoes of 80s failure in Obamas fail-safe budget plan

 

They expected a peace offering, a gesture of goodwill aimed at smoothing a path toward compromise. But soon after taking their seats at George Washington University on Wednesday, they found themselves under fire for plotting a fundamentally different America from the one most Americans know and love.

What came to my mind was: Why did he invite us? Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said in an interview Thursday. Its just a wasted opportunity.

The situation was all the more perplexing because Obama has to work with these guys: Camp is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, responsible for trade, taxes and urgent legislation to raise the legal limit on government borrowing. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.) chairs the House Republican Conference. And Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is House Budget Committee chairman and the author of the spending blueprint Obama lacerated as deeply pessimistic during his 44-minute address.

At a time when the parties risk economic catastrophe unless they can come together to raise the debt limit, Obamas partisan tone made no sense, Republicans across Capitol Hill said Thursday. Even some Obama allies wondered whether the president had made a tactical error.

Yes, the tenor of the speech was surprising, said Erskine Bowles, who headed Obamas fiscal commission and is working with a bipartisan group of six senators to develop a compromise plan to rein in borrowing.

When do Republicans finally figure out that this is the nature of the man?  How many times are they going to be "surprised" to find out that Barack Obama places partisanship over just about everything else - certainly over working with members of the party he wants defeated in 2012. 

Have they forgotten his "bipartisanship" after the 2008 elections (not 2010 as I originally posted.  Thanks, sis), when Democrats put together the so-called "stimulus package" and "ObamaCare" without any input from Republicans because, in his words "We won"? 

Take the hint, guys.  If you want bipartisanship you've come to the wrong place.  Don't expect it.  And, until and unless things change, don't offer what won't be reciprocated.  It just makes you look like a bunch of suckers.


THE LIBYA MESS (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Can it be that we finally have an objective in Libya?  And, if so, what would achieving that objective actually mean?

Excerpted from an article by Tim Shipman and James Chapman in London's Daily Mail:

Now it IS regime change: Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy promise to keep bombing Libya until Gaddafi is gone

By Tim Shipman and James Chapman
Last updated at 2:34 PM on 15th April 2011

Leaders send mixed messages as French say there is 'no military solution'

David Cameron, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy upped the stakes in the Libya conflict last night as they vowed to fight on until Colonel Gaddafi is ousted.

In a joint article, the British, American and French leaders warned it would be an unconscionable betrayal were Nato to stop bombing with the dictator still in power.

Gaddafi must go and go for good before rebuilding of the country could begin, they said, rejecting calls for an immediate ceasefire.

However the highly unusual joint statement did little to paper over behind-the-scenes bickering over how to advance the military mission.

 

It will also fuel the concerns of critics who say the aims of the conflict are becoming dangerously blurred.

 

And French foreign minister Alain Juppe added to the confusion today when he said that air strikes alone wold not topple Gaddafi.

 

He said: 'In reality, we have the same objective - this objective is to allow the Libyan people to enjoy democratic freedom.

So we weren't going to depose qaddafi, but now we are -- oh, wait a minute, "they" weren't going to depose qaddafi but now "they" are.  I forgot that "we" aren't in charge of anything anymore.

And, while we know we are fighting against qaddafi, we still have no idea of who we are fighting for.  There is convincing evidence that "the rebels" are al-qaeda sympathizers:  i.e.one of their major leaders, abdel-hakim al-hasidi, has stated he recruits al-qaeda to fight with him because they are "also good muslims".  Can we possibly be bombing Libya to replace qaddafi with that?

Does anyone in the Obama administration have even the slightest idea of what they are doing in Libya?  Does President Obama?  Does Secretary of State Clinton?

Can they possibly agree with French foreign minister Juppe that "this objective is to allow the Libyan people to enjoy democratic freedom"?  How can that be, if all we know about "the rebels" who would replace qaddafi is that a) they can't fight him effectively but b) they are happy to fight alongside the "good muslims" who belong to al-qaeda? 

Do Mr. Obama, Ms. Clinton or Mr. Juppe remember those "democratic freedom" protests in Egypt just months ago?  Have they noticed what Egypt is becoming, now that Hosni Mubarak is gone?  Have they noticed who is taking over that government?  Is this "democratic freedom" to them?  Do they have any guarantees that Libya would not follow exactly the same path?

Libya is a mess.  A complete, unadulterated mess.  And the Obama administration is a clueless participant in it.

Can we move up the 2012 elections?  Please?

Zeke ..... ..... I simply do not understand Obama's thinking of Libya. .... All his other policies have clear, understandable reasons : .... Stimulus (pay off supporters) ..... ObamaKare, CO2 reduction, (income redistribution & centralize power) ..... ..... .... but Libya ?? ??? Who gets anything out of that ? .... Unless it is to threaten Israel --- listen to Barack, or else you are next ..... (04/15/11)


TRUMP VS. BERWITZ: A QUICK COMPARISON

Ken Berwitz

This is not a comparison of financial assets or length of hair.  Donald Trump beats me on both (though I have a feeling he loses on number of strands).

This is a comparison of political and social outlooks, based on the statement Mr. Trump made to Sean Hannity during his interview.

Trump:   "I'm Christian, pro-life, against gay marriage and so for the death penalty"

Berwitz:  I'm Jewish, pro-choice (until there is a beating heart and brain activity), in favor of gay marriage (or civil union if that's the terminology you prefer) and almost always against the death penalty.

Add to this the fact that, while I admire Donald Trump's talents as a businessperson and a self-promoter, I consider him a master of hyperbole who frequently shoots from the hip and talks right out of his rectum.  Add in a few other characteristics I'm not especially fond of, and I think you probably have a pretty good idea of how I view his possible presidential run.

In an earlier blog, I referred to Donald Trump as "Carl Paladino to his logical conclusion".  That stands as originally written.

I have zero expectation that Republicans will nominate Donald Trump.  But god help them if they do.


DRILLING FOR OIL: IS IT THE WEDGE ISSUE OF 2012?

Ken Berwitz

Oil is well over $100 a barrel - and may be going higher.

Gas prices are poised to hit a national average of $4.00 - and may be going even higher. 

These factors affect far more than cars at the pump.  They affect the cost of products which are transported - which means just about every product you can think of.

And higher oil prices enrich the countries which produce oil, which - in the case of the USA, means about 60% of what we use.  And many of the countries we are enriching this way, absolutely hate our guts.

So who is for, and who is against, the USA increasing its domestic oil production?

Excerpted from Ryan Tracy's article for Dow Jones Newswires:

A bill requiring the U.S. to open areas off the Virginia coast and in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas exploration cleared a key hurdle in the U.S. House Wednesday. The House Natural Resources Committee voted to approve the leasing measure, paving the way for a vote by the full House next month. Earlier Wednesday, the committee also voted to establish a 60-day maximum for the Interior Department to approve or deny offshore drilling permits. If Interior took longer, the permit would be deemed approved.

The bills are part of an effort by House Republicans to support domestic oil and gas production, which they have stepped up in recent months in the face of rising gasoline prices. Democrats have pushed back, saying that Congress should focus on providing incentives for non-traditional energy sources and reducing energy consumption.

All but two Democrats voted against the bills on offshore leasing. The bills' prospects are less certain in the Senate, where Democrats hold a majority.

Summarizing:  Republicans strongly favor drilling to increase the amount of oil we produce domestically.  Democrats strongly oppose such drilling.

Can you see a wedge issue here?  A huge wedge issue that literally mean millions of votes?  I assume you can.

Can Republicans see a wedge issue here?  About that, I make no assumptions. 

You might wonder how it could be possible for them not to see something that is this plainly obvious.  But let's remember that these are Republicans we're talking about.

Stay tuned.

free` Whether we drill for more oil or not, we better build some new refineries also. (04/15/11)

Zeke .... ..... .... It's the Economy, Stupid ! .... .... ..... (04/15/11)


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