Wednesday, 06 February 2013

AN UPDATED PROVERB

Ken Berwitz

I've seen this in various forms over the years, but the following version, just sent to me by our pal Toy Insurance Bob, is the funniest so far (or, maybe it's not so funny).

You decide -- is it humor, reality, both or neither:

Original Chinese Proverb :

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

2012 USA Proverb Revision :

Give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone, cash for his clunker,
food stamps, section 8 housing, free contraceptives, Medicaid,
ninety-nine weeks of unemployment, free meds, and he will vote for
Democrats the rest of his life; --- even after he's dead.

.


ROBERT MENENDEZ'S LATEST "MENENDACITY"

Ken Berwitz

Here is the latest "menendacity" from Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the "menendacious" one.

First, his defense:  To the surprise of absolutely no one, Menendez is blaming his troubles on a baseless smear fomented by the right wing. (Hmm, baseless smear, right wing conspiracy....this boy doesn't get many points for creativity, does he?)

 Read this article at politico.com and see for yourself.  But when you do, please also go through some of the reader comments.  See if you find it as interesting as I do that, while politico.com commenters tend to the liberal/left side, for this story the preponderance of them range from deep skepticism about Menendez to an outright assumption that he is full of crap.

Now let's look at a few excerpts from Michelle Malkin's latest column at townhall.com, and see if, in the words of that noted legal expert Vincent LaGuardia Gambini, Menendez's defense holds any water:

Shady Menendez campaign contributor and BFF Salomon Melgen is the high-flying eye doctor at the center of the senior senator's ills. Melgen is owner of the Casa de Campo resort home where he and Menendez reportedly engaged in sexual romps with a bevy of Dominican escorts, including at least one minor girl. In his latest statement on the matter Monday, Menendez repeated his blanket denials of any wrongdoing, recycled his attack on conservative media reporting the story and labeled accounts of the alleged island sex parties "smears."

While his lips keep denying, his actions smack of lying. Last week, he sheepishly disclosed that he had just reimbursed Melgen in January of this year for nearly $60,000 in expenses tied to two of three private jet trips to the Dominican Republic in 2010 -- which he had never admitted taking before. Senate rules require prior approval of such private jet travel and luxury lodging. Senate rules also require financial disclosure of such gifts after approval.

Menendez ignored all the rules, blamed his staff and now wheedles that the matter simply "fell through the cracks."

But you know what didn't fall through the cracks? A special multimillion-dollar port security contract Melgen wanted with the Dominican Republic. The politically connected ophthalmologist -- who forked over $700,000 to help Menendez and other Democrats get re-elected last cycle -- has zero experience in port security. But Menendez used a Senate hearing last summer to lobby for enforcement of the contract Melgen's company has with the Dominican government.

Wait, there's more. While Melgen shelled out millions to Menendez and the Democratic Party over the years, he is a serial tax evader. The jet-setting doc incurred liens of $1.3 million before 2002, $6.2 million in 2011, and a still outstanding $11.1 million lien between 2006 and 2009. And the FBI and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- not a part of the "right-wing" blogosphere the last time I checked -- are now sifting through boxes of documents they carted away during last week's raid of Melgen's offices as part of a Medicare fraud investigation.

The feds finally acted after a document shredding truck was spotted outside Melgen's clinic. I think it's safe to say a "right-wing blog" didn't send it.

Hmmmm.  Menendez has a sudden memory jolt about this little matter of almost $60,000 legally required to be declared a gift, from Saloman Melgen, a big-time benefactor whose specialty seems not to be ophthalmology but of stiffing the government out of millions, and millions and millions of dollars. 

By "coincidence", after giving tons of quite probably ill-gotten money to Menendez and other Democrats, Melgen's port security company is heavily promoted by Menendez, even though Melgen has no qualifications to run a port security company. 

And all this before we get to Melgen's hobnobbing with Menendez and other Democrats both here and in the Dominican Republic, where - if you believe Menendez - he had no interest in the sex parties which apparently took place on Melgen's yacht and in his resort.

You tell me:  does Robert Menendez come across as a victim of baseless smears?  An innocent man being put through the ringer by (tip of the hat to Elmer Fudd here) those wascally wight wingers?

Or does Menendez look like a low-life scumbag who takes bribes, pays back handsomely with taxpayer dollars, and who enjoys the company of hookers - especially, according to one of them, "the youngest and freshest " ones?

Folks, this is not going away.  And it is not going to get any better either.

If you're asking me, the only thing that can save Menendez is if the Democrat Party aids and abets him well beyond what party members usually do for one their own -- and if the Accomplice Media buries the scandal because Menendez is a Democrat (I won't ask you if you think they would do so for a Republican, I respect your intelligence too much).

Personally, I don't think either prospect has a long shelf life.  Not on a bribery and sex scandal...especially with the likelihood that underage girls are involved.  If there's one thing media are likely to keep talking about, even if it hurts a Democrat, it is a sex scandal (ask Anthony Weiner if he agrees).  Besides, Menendez may be important, but he isn't that important:  his party will hold the senate with or without him.

I mean, there is just so far Democrats, and their Accomplice Media, will go for a guy like this.  After all, his name isn't Clinton, is it?


CHUCK HAGEL: FINALLY A MAJOR NEWSPAPER SAYS THE OBVIOUS

Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from today's editorial in the Chicago Tribune (which I strongly urge you to read in its entirety...there is so much more):

If you only tuned in for former Sen. Chuck Hagel's opening statement in the Senate confirmation hearing last week on his nomination for secretary of defense, you might have thought, what's all the fuss?

But then came the questions from the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Queries that Hagel should have drilled out of the park, given that he'd prepped intensively for this performance. Instead, Hagel stumbled, bumbled and fumbled.

One squirm-in-your-chair example: Hagel declared the Obama administration's policy on Iran's nuclear weapons program was "containment," meaning the U.S. could tolerate a nuclear-armed Tehran. An aide handed Hagel a slip of paper to remind him that the administration's position is that Iran will not be allowed to terrorize the world with a nuclear weapon.

Slap to forehead.

Sen. John McCain grilled Hagel about his opposition to the 2007 troop surge in Iraq ordered by President George W. Bush. Hagel refused to say whether he had been right or wrong. He said he'd await the "judgment of history." If he had spoken with candor, he would have acknowledged that the surge helped win that war and hasten the safe departure of U.S. troops. Why the reluctance to say so?

There was a puzzling assertion by Hagel that Iran's rulers are "legitimate" and "elected." The despotic ayatollah who rules Iran and all those who rigged the last presidential election must still be chuckling over that.

Even Hagel's defenders blanched at his astonishingly poor performance. "I'm going to be candid," Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri told MSNBC. "I think that Chuck Hagel is much more comfortable asking questions than answering them."

We'll be candid, too: He should be in some other job, not running the Pentagon.

The nation needs a defense secretary who is consistent, who is well-versed in defense planning and policy, and who will give frank and independent advice to the president about when and when not to project U.S. power. Hagel inspires no confidence on any of those counts.

Chuck Hagel served this country honorably in Vietnam. But his troubling position on key defense issues and his disastrous performance at his hearing last week should prompt the Senate to turn down the nomination.

The Trib's editorial concludes, much to its chagrin, that even after this unbelievable display of ineptitude, selective memory loss and clumsy ducking when asked yes-no questions,  Hagel will probably be confirmed.  To my chagrin, I probably agree.

Pathetic doesn't even begin to describe it.

Now: when do some of the other major media venues, all of which saw Hagel in action, join the Chicago Tribune in stating the obvious?


THE CBS GRAMMY WARDROBE ADVISORY EMAIL

Ken Berwitz

According to Nikki Finke of deadline.com, this is a real email.

Anyone who wonders how far we have gone from what used to be reasonably accepted norms need only look at these guidelines:

Date: February 5, 2013, 10:39:56 PM EST
Subject: 55th GRAMMYS: Standard And Practice Wardrobe Advisory

-kindly confirm receipt of s&p standards-

***GRAMMYS 2013***

CBS Program Practices advises that all talent appearing on camera please adhere to Network policy concerning wardrobe.

Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could  possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible "puffy" bare skin exposure. Please avoid commercial identification of actual brand name products on T-shirts. Foreign language on wardrobe will need to be cleared. OBSCENITY OR PARTIALLY SEEN OBSCENITY ON WARDROBE IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR BROADCAST. This as well, pertains to audience members that appear on camera. Finally, The Network requests that any organized cause visibly spelled out on talent's wardrobe be avoided. This would include lapel pins or any other form of accessory.

I'm not exactly sure what to say about the quality of a show the network needs to advise this way.  Please feel free to draw your own conclusions. 

But one thing I would bet on:  the music industry being what it is these days, people are going to make a point of sneering at what you just read - either in words, or in actions. 

Y'know, that almost makes me think the grammies might be worth watching. 

Almost.


A QUICK QUESTION ABOUT OUR MILITARY AID TO EGYPT

Ken Berwitz

Israel and the United States have been allies since Israel's creation as a secular state in 1948.  Israel votes about 90% of the time with the USA in the UN, and has provided decades of invaluable intelligence, and military technology, to us - a huge return on the aid we have given to Israel. 

With that in mind, a question:

Since Egyptian President mohamed morsi has been caught on tape calling for his people to nurture hatred against Jews, since he defines Jews as the descendants of apes and pigs, since he has solidified ties with hamas and Iran  - both of which are committed to the annihilation of Israel.....

....why the hell is this administration supplying him with F16s and tanks that could be used if/when hamas or Iran attack?

If you've got an answer, I would love to know what it is.


CHUCK HAGEL: FINALLY A MAJOR NEWSPAPER SAYS THE OBVIOUS

Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from today's editorial in the Chicago Tribune (which I strongly urge you to read in its entirety...there is so much more):

If you only tuned in for former Sen. Chuck Hagel's opening statement in the Senate confirmation hearing last week on his nomination for secretary of defense, you might have thought, what's all the fuss?

But then came the questions from the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Queries that Hagel should have drilled out of the park, given that he'd prepped intensively for this performance. Instead, Hagel stumbled, bumbled and fumbled.

One squirm-in-your-chair example: Hagel declared the Obama administration's policy on Iran's nuclear weapons program was "containment," meaning the U.S. could tolerate a nuclear-armed Tehran. An aide handed Hagel a slip of paper to remind him that the administration's position is that Iran will not be allowed to terrorize the world with a nuclear weapon.

Slap to forehead.

Sen. John McCain grilled Hagel about his opposition to the 2007 troop surge in Iraq ordered by President George W. Bush. Hagel refused to say whether he had been right or wrong. He said he'd await the "judgment of history." If he had spoken with candor, he would have acknowledged that the surge helped win that war and hasten the safe departure of U.S. troops. Why the reluctance to say so?

There was a puzzling assertion by Hagel that Iran's rulers are "legitimate" and "elected." The despotic ayatollah who rules Iran and all those who rigged the last presidential election must still be chuckling over that.

Even Hagel's defenders blanched at his astonishingly poor performance. "I'm going to be candid," Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri told MSNBC. "I think that Chuck Hagel is much more comfortable asking questions than answering them."

We'll be candid, too: He should be in some other job, not running the Pentagon.

The nation needs a defense secretary who is consistent, who is well-versed in defense planning and policy, and who will give frank and independent advice to the president about when and when not to project U.S. power. Hagel inspires no confidence on any of those counts.

Chuck Hagel served this country honorably in Vietnam. But his troubling position on key defense issues and his disastrous performance at his hearing last week should prompt the Senate to turn down the nomination.

The Trib's editorial concludes, much to its chagrin, that even after this unbelievable display of ineptitude, selective memory loss and clumsy ducking when asked yes-no questions,  Hagel will probably be confirmed.  To my chagrin, I probably agree.

Pathetic doesn't even begin to describe it.

Now: when do some of the other major media venues, all of which saw Hagel in action, join the Chicago Tribune in stating the obvious?


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