Friday, 23 December 2011


Ken Berwitz

With a tip of the hat to the late, great, Jimmy Cannon, here is my latest version of....

Nobody Asked me, but....

-If Alan West survives Florida's redistricting** he is very likely in line for a leadership position within the Republican Party;

-John Boehner is not as inept as he is coming across as being.  he can't be.  I think....

-That goes for Eric Cantor as well, who at one time seemed to be a fast-rising star in the Republican Party, but now looks more like a journeyman with no special talent;

-I know I've said this before in numerous posts, but every day that eric holder is the Attorney General of the United States is a day that office is disgraced.  This country needs a "man" like him about as much as it needs a flu epidemic;

-No one makes better blueberry muffins than Balthazar's bakery, on Spring Street in Manhattan.  And that's not the only Balthazar item I could say this about.  If there is a better bakery in the New York City, I have yet to find it.

-My pal Brad just told me that his biggest pet peeve of the moment (not by any means his only one) is people who, when making a left turn, cut across the left lane of the street they are turning onto.   As you might expect, this is because it happened to him this morning.  I should also point out that a close second for Brad is people who talk on their cell phones while driving - a peeve which is shared by, oh, about 50,000,000 others;

-I wish Bob Beckel wouldn't insist on wearing suspenders instead of a belt.  Suspenders, to me, screams "pretentious".  And, yes, that's exactly how I've always felt about Larry King;

-I just read that, as of January 15th, the powerball lottery will go up to $2 a ticket.  The prizes will be higher too.  I don't know for sure, I'm betting a) that the prizes are not going up by the same 100% that the ticket cost is and b) that the volume of sales will drop because some of the $1 ticket buyers won't be willing to double their "investment".  We'll see.....

-Since NBC and ABC have not reported even one story about Operation Fast and Furious this entire year, I wonder what will happen if eric holder is forced to resign as Attorney General because of it.  Will they find a way not to report that too?

-I was just told by a friend and colleague that she and her husband went to Restaurant Nicholas in Red Bank, New Jersey, one of the highest-rated in the state.  She said the food was excellent, but the portions were so tiny that, despite having a relatively slight frame, she left hungry.  At $65 a pop, before "extras" (there are always "extras" in restaurants like this), plus a premium-price wine list (she got away easy with a $48 dollar bottle), you should at least walk out feeling like you finished a meal.   This pretty much dissuades me from ever going there.

-By contrast, Whispers, in Spring Lake, is rated just about as high as Nicholas for food by Zagat (27 vs. 28)) but, while hardly inexpensive, it costs a good deal less - and it's BYOB, which means you don't get your backside handed you for ordering a decent glass or two of wine.  My wife and I have gone there several times and have never been anything but thrilled with both the food and service.  And, yes, we always walk out with full, happy stomachs.

-Chris Matthews has degenerated so completely that he isn't even fun to watch for humor value anymore;

-The only time I ever watch either American Idol or X Factor is when my wife puts one of them on.  But I have watched enough of both to know that the host of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest, is about 10 times more engaging than Steve Jones, the cold, distant host of X Factor.  However well X Factor does ratings-wise, I can't help thinking it would generate more viewership with someone else.

-The New Jersey Nets were a marginal basketball team to begin with.  But now that the team's star center, Brook Lopez, is out for maybe 6-8 weeks with a stress fracture of the foot, I'm not sure they're even competitive.  Given that a) they don't draw many fans under the best of circumstances, b) this is their last year in New Jersey, which certainly does nothing for fan interest and now c) they're missing one of the few really good players they have.......well, you do the math;

-How much longer before Egypt explodes, even more than it is exploding now?  How much longer before Syria explodes, even more than it is exploding now?  How much longer before Iraq explodes, even more than it is exploding now?  If this is an "Arab Spring" I hope I never see an "Arab Winter".

-Wegmans' Cinnamon Squares are better tasting, and less expensive, than any other cinnamon dry cereal I've ever had.  That's a nice combination.

-The new Tom Hanks movie, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" is getting mixed, but generally negative, reviews.  This, however, does not trouble me at all, since "The Descendants", a thoroughly unlikable movie about thoroughly unlikable people in thoroughly unpleasant situations, got great reviews.  For some reason, the more dysfunctional the characters in a movie are, the better critics like that movie - which certainly explains why The Descendents made out so well.  How can any critic tell me what I like anyway?


**In the original post I also mentioned that Alan Grayson was trying to win back the seat he lost to West.  That, of course, was wrong.  Alan Grayson is certainly trying to win his seat back, but he did not lose it to Rep. West, he lost it to Daniel Webster.  Sorry about that.

BOBW I have two more pet peeves for your blog. i hate people who pay for a $6.00 bill with a credit cardwhile you are standing next on line. The other is-it always seems when on line at a supermarket- and it is always a female-- they stand there with their teeth in their mouth watching everything being rung up and bagged as well as put into then wagon-- then they wake up- open up the purse and hunt for their money and count out loose chage- what is wrong with being semi-ready? (12/23/11)


Ken Berwitz

My thanks to Clay Waters of for calling to my attention the December 17th pack of lies, also known as the feature article on Iraq by Mark Landler of the New York Times.

Let me show you a couple of the more egregious lies in this article.  Then, if you have the stomach for it, you can find other ones on your own.

Let's start with the first paragraph:

WASHINGTON President Obama has made good on his campaign pledge to end the Iraq war, portraying the departure of the last troops as a chance to turn to nation-building at home.

That is a lie.  President Obama's campaign pledge was to bring home all the troops, either as "the first thing I am going to do", or in 12 months, or in 16 months, depending on which day he was speaking and which audience he was speaking to. 

This is the 36th month of his presidency.  Did he make good on that pledge?

In reality, all President Obama is doing is making good on President Bush's pledge, which was to remove all combat troops by the end of 2011. 

That's, right, President Bush.  The S.O.F. (Status of Forces) agreement was completed in November, 2008 by Mr. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki.  Not by then-senator Barack Obama.

Don't believe me?  Then read all about it in this article which, for irony's sake, I have pulled guessed it:  The New York Times.  Today's edition, in fact.

But since we're talking about the troop removal, here's a fair question that Landler did not ask:  given the circumstances on the ground right now, would President Bush have simply followed through with the complete pullout, or would he have attempted to renegotiate it back to a partial pullout so that US forces might help stem the incipient civil war that is taking place? 

We will never know the answer.  But, given Mr. Bush's capacity for rethinking and adjusting, as shown by his willingness to engage in the surge that turned the war around, we have to think the answer might well have been yes

Now let's move on to a further point in the article, where Landler claims:

Mr. Obama made much of his commitment to a multilateral foreign policy, in contrast to President George W. Bushs unilateral invasion of Iraq. That, his advisers say, grew out of a conviction the United States needed to work with others and forge consensus to restore its moral standing.

Unilateral invasion?  Unilateral???? 

If the invasion was unilateral, maybe Mr. Landler, and/or the Times, can explain this:

Table 1

Can the Times, or anyone else, explain how our action was "unilateral" when we were joined by 30 other countries?  I'll wait; and it will be a long one.

Yes, there are other problems with this article as well.  Please feel free to use the link I've provided above, and find them yourself.  But these two, blatant as they are, should give you an excellent idea of what the New York Times has become. 

Keep in mind that Mark Landler did not write this article, er, unilaterally:  it had to be vetted by editors and who knows how many other personnel.  Therefore it is a product not of him personally, but of the Times as an overall entity.

Please, please remember what you just read - especially when you come across any other political coverage from this formerly great newspaper. 

Why would you trust a thing it says?

Zeke .... .... All the News that Fits Our Agenda, We Print .... ..... ..... (12/23/11)


Ken Berwitz

Our dear friends, Myra and Bob, just sent us a terrific email. 

If you are of a certain age, and especially if you have any connection to the great borough of Brooklyn, New York - my birthplace and home (until they tore down the post-WWII prefab housing we lived in, after which we moved to what then was our idea of the country:  Queens), you are going to love this.  I guarantee it.

Just CLICK HERE, and be transported back in time to a place that will make you smile, laugh, and maybe even shed a tear or two.


BOBW Thank you- fantastic- as only one from BROOKLYN can truly appreciate it. I went as far as printing the photos- Thank you to BOBBY and MAYA as well (12/25/11)

BOBW Thank you- fantastic- as only one from BROOKLYN can truly appreciate it. I went as far as printing the photos- Thank you to BOBBY and MAYA as well (12/25/11)

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