Saturday, 09 March 2013

THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote of the day comes to us from Charles Krauthammer - his second of the week (my congratulations, sir...first time that's happened).

Speaking of President Obama's doomsday predictions about the sequester, compared to what has actually happened, Mr. Krauthammer had this to say:

"The only thing that truly changed is that his numbers have gone down from the mid to high 50s into the 40s. And the only thing that's happened in the real world he tried to exploit the sequester, with predictions of the apocalypse. Then with sort of the petty actions like shutting the tours of the White House.

And what happened is Obama's strongest constituency, which is not the left, it's the mainstream media, could no longer cover for him without being entirely embarrassed. It had to expose the one exaggeration after another on the sequester, the stuff about the janitors being laid off and all that which wasn't so and, secondly, the obvious cynicism of the White House tours trying to inflict the maximum pain in order to make a case and to blame Republicans.

"That kind of partisanship has worked for the President since election night and through the fiscal cliff, but it crashed on the sequester."

Bingo.  Right on target.  Every day that goes by without the country in a sequester-induced tailspin, makes Mr. Obama look even worse.

The best line of the quote?  "Obama's strongest consitituency....the mainstream media".

And, over a week after the sequester kicked in, it is also too late to make a deal and pretend he just managed to stave off disaster before it occurred.  Other than the hardest-line Obamanites, no one out there will believe him anymore.

Like Martha and the Vandellas famously sang, "Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide".


SAMIRA IBRAHIM: A STATE DEPARTMENT-CREATED SUPERSTAR?

Ken Berwitz

Just when you think the State Department could not have bungled, botched and mangled the samiri ibrahim situation more completely, you realize that it has made things even worse than you realized.

Here are the first, second and final paragraphs from Lee Smith's latest piece at weeklystandard.com. (NOTE:  Try to find anything about it in our wonderful, "neutral" mainstream media, which have buried this story in an effort to keep their readers/viewers as ignorant as possible):

Since Samuel Tadros first reported for THE WEEKLY STANDARD on prospective International Woman of Courage Award winner Samira Ibrahim's anti-Semitic, pro-9/11 tweets Wednesday afternoon, some observers have argued that the State Department, as Jeffrey Goldberg writes, "narrowly averted a moral and public relations disaster." That's true insofar as you agree that her public statements are odious.

However, it's instructive to see this from another perspective as well-a perspective that has no problems with anti-Semitism, that celebrates suicide bombings against Israeli civilians as well as 9/11, and sees Hitler not as an embodiment of evil but as a bold visionary, a truth-teller. Unfortunately, this is a perspective all too common in the Arabic-speaking Middle East, and it is from this perspective that Ibrahim will be seen as a hero. In other words, the State Department has not averted anything; rather, it has created a monster and given her a stage the size of the Middle East.

Ibrahim herself seems to have sensed the State Department's incompetence and zeroed in on weakness. State Department officials said Ibrahim "has categorically denied" writing the offending tweets and claimed "she was hacked." But what she said last night was at odds with State's account. The tweets were hers, she said, she owned them, and she wasn't going to apologize. And now, a star is born. 

Exactly.

It has been said that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Well, in the land of - actually a vast majority of - the Muslim world, the stone-cold anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-USA hater is king...in this case, queen.

samira ibrahim will go back to Egypt a national hero.  She will be celebrated for the exact same views that our media have made good and damn sure not to tell the USA's people about.  They will never know what a hate-filled pig this country was about to honor, what an absolute mess the State Department - the Hillary Clinton state department (that's when she was vetted, folks) - made of things or that the investigative work from a conservative web site is all that prevented it from happening.

Oh, one more thing:  Remember Huma Abedin? 

Huma Abedin - born in Michigan but raised in Saudi Arabia - is the wife of Anthony Weiner, the former Representative who had to resign in disgrace once we found out he was sending penis pictures to women on the internet. 

But Abedin is more than that.  She was Hillary Clinton's chief aide while Clinton was Secretary of State.

What mainstream media provided virtually no coverage of, is the fact that Huma Abedin's family (especially her mother), has ties to radical Islamic organizations - which would like nothing better than to see the USA collapse and Israel, along with its Jews, annihilated. 

(Doesn't that make you wonder why we have never heard of Abedin being estranged in any way from her family after marrying the - ostensibly - Jewish Anthony Weiner?  Wouldn't you think media would find that an interesting subject to investigate?  I guess it must have slipped their minds).

Would it be reasonable to wonder what part Ms. Abedin had in the vetting process for samira ibrahim?  And whether Hillary Clinton knew about it, or was just displaying the incompetence which has marked her many years in the public arena, even if a fawning, loving media never talk about it?

Just asking.....


A QUICK QUESTION ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN'S ANGER TOWARD RAND PAUL

Ken Berwitz

Question:  Is Senator John McCain (R-AZ) angrily calling Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) names because he thinks Rand is wrong, or because he is embarrassed that Rand is doing something about what he thinks is wrong, while McCain gives his 78,423rd interview in which the newsperson treats him as a current leader of the Republican Party?

Put another way, is John McCain angrilly calling Rand Paul names because Paul is showing him up as a has-been windbag of a Senator, whose political importance disappeared years ago, but whose self-importance has yet to make the adjustment?

I have to admit that I was very negatively disposed to Rand Paul at first, in no small part because he seemed to be close to his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, who had (and presumably still has) many views I find loathsome.  But, based on some of Mr. Paul's comments, and actions, as a senator, I am taking a long, hard second look at him.   

To be continued......


THE NEW YORK TIMES' JOB HEADLINE

Ken Berwitz

I just got today's New York Times.  Its lead story is about the just-released job data.  The headline, in nice big print, is "

JOBLESS RATE DIPS TO FOUR YEAR LOW; 236,000 JOBS ADDED

Unemployment Level Down to 7.7%, but Analysts Fear U.S. Spending Cuts

That says a lot in very few words, doesn't it?  Job growth is really humming, 7.7% must be terrific since it is the lowest in four years......but we better keep our spending at least at the same level, or "analysts" these great results could be in jeopardy.

And the article assures us that...."many experts said that if it were not for political gridlock in Washington, which led to the automatic spending reductions on March 1, the performance of the job market and the broader economy would be even more robust in the months ahead'.

What a wonderful paean to the Obama administration which, as we all know, did everything it could to prevent the "gridlock" and avoid those automatic spending reductions, right?  Right?

Except....

-The Times - pure oversight, I'm sure - neglects to remind you that since the Obama administration has been in power for four years, the wonderful reduction in unemployment it is dancing in the streets over brings it down to the level it was at when Mr. Obama took office in the first place. 

This means that, for the entire time Obama & Co. have been in charge, unemployment was higher than it was under President Bush...and now, after four years, has  done nothing but get back to the Bush level. 

Somehow, when you say it that way, the job situation doesn't seem quite as good, does it?

-The Times somehow neglects to mention that the only reason unemployment is down to 7.7% is that so many people have just plain stopped looking for work.  You have read down to the 17th paragraph of this article to find out that "Not everything in the picture was brighter, however.  One cause of concern was the continuing shrinkage of the labor force, which had 130,000 fewer workers in February".  Then, two paragraphs further down, "The labor participation rate sank to 63.5%, a low for the current economic cycle".

Uh, "a low for the current economic cycle"?  Sorry, Times, but it is a low not for just this cycle, it is the lowest participation rate in over 30 years.   If labor participation did nothing but stay exactly where it was when President Bush left office, Obama's great 7.7% unemployment rate would be over 10%. 

Somehow, when you say it that way, the job situation doesn't seem quite as good, does it?

-Then there is the fact that, virtually every month of the entire Obama administration (no more than one or two exceptions over four years), the previous month's data have been adjusted downward.  This time around, the Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusted the January data down 38,000 - and, therefore, showed negative rather than positive job growth just one month ago. 

This phony-baloney sleight of hand does two things:  1) it makes the data for the current month look better than than they really are, and 2) once adjusted, the true, lower numbers make the next month look better by comparison. 

Somehow, when you say it that way, the job situation doesn't seem quite as good, does it?

Starting to get the picture?

Once upon a time there was a great newspaper called the New York Times.  However, as that Tony Bennett song says, "But that was once upon a time, very long ago".  How true of the Times. 

One more thing:  the song ends by saying "...once upon a time never comes again".  That, sad to say, is probably just as true of the Times.


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