Saturday, 16 March 2013

SEQUESTER WATCH

Ken Berwitz

It is day 16 of the sequester.  

Do you feel any different?  Do you think anything has changed?  Do you think the country has gone to hell in a handbasket?

No?  Me neither.

But President Obama's Press Secretary, Jay Carney, is singing a very different tune.  Here is what he said, in a contentious inteview with Fox News' Jenna Lee on yesterday's edition of "Happening Now":

"Well it is the consequence of sequester.  I'm surprised to hear the suggestion this late date that it's anything else. The Secret Service, like every agency in government, has to cut its budget, significantly, because of sequester. That's how the law was written, and that's what everyone is doing in defense and everywhere else across the government, including the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service."

For the record, the sequester has bumped all of $83 billion dollars from a 3.6 TRILLION dollar budget -- with only half of it taken this year, which means the actual drop is just $42 or so billion.  That is slightly more than 1%.  As in big deal

So why is Jay Carney making this ridiculous statement?  Apparently it is not enough for him to lie just about every day to the White House press corps (probably every day without exception...but I can't say that with 100% certainty).  He is doubling down by lying to the rest of us as well.

President Obama desperately needs a crisis to "prove" Barack Obama was right about what horrible consequences would come down on us if there were forced cuts in our impossibly bloated deficit spending.  And, by God, he is going to come up with one, even if he has to create the crisis out of thin air - while hoping you are "low information" enough to be convinced it is real. 

But in the absence of any such real crisis, he is now reduced to pumping out ludicrous comments such as the one you just read, whether directly from his own mouth or the mouth of his people - like Press Secretary Jay Carney, for example.

Another installment of sequester watch tomorrow.

Ken Berwitz Zeke - never underestimate the inability of Republicans to exploit an exploitable situation. (03/16/13)

Zeke ..... ..... .... Why are the Republicans NOT highlighting wasteful government expenditures and demanding that THOSE be eliminated to make the $42 billion squeeze-ester amount. ..... Closing the Washington Monument is a cliche, it (or equivalent - WH tours) has been done so often. ..... .......[ Look at the waste in the trillion dollar Stimulus ...... and no shovel ready jobs ....... my town got a bunch of left turn lanes that actually slowed traffic.] .... Pick obvious bloat, waste, pork, cronyism and demand they be defunded. Bring the Secret Service in front of Congress and examine Obama's lavish 40 car motorcade, 'baggage 747 airliner' when he flies, add up the cost of his photo-op trips. ..... ..... ' (03/16/13)


A SEQUESTER SUGGESTION

Ken Berwitz

Last December, I posted this graphic, which I got from my pal Perry the Publisher to make a general point about who gets what these days, and where spending cuts could most satisfyingly be made.

But now, a half-month or so into the sequester - or maybe I should call it the stealth sequester, since the government seems to be humming along just fine anyway - it seems even more appropriate.  So here it is:

Dear Mr. President and congress:  Sequester this.


THE WEEK IN PICTURES

Ken Berwitz

Over at powerlineblog.com, Steven Hayward has put up the latest edition of what he seems to be saying will be an ongoing series: "The Week In Pictures". 

I have to tell you, I just looked at his compilation, and my reaction ranged from broadly smiling to laughing out loud. 

I'll show you three of them below.  But if you don't click here and look at them all, you are cheating yourself out something really terrific:

You can tell me you're not laughing....but I won't believe you.

Ok, back to politics.


RACHEL CORRIE: THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY

Ken Berwitz

This is not an anniversary.

Ten years ago today, Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old student from the United States, educated at Evergreen State College in Washington to pretty much hate everything about Israel and its Jews, while loving and/or rationalizing pretty much everything about Palestinian Arabs, was run over and killed by an Israeli bulldozer.  Ms. Corrie was standing in front of the bulldozer, acting as a human shield to prevent it from taking down a house....but the operator apparently did not see her (no surprise at all:  sit in the cab of a bulldozer, look down, and you'll notice that you cannot see the area directly in front of you).

This was a great moment for the "International Solidarity Movement" (ISM), which Corrie belonged to.  And today, ISM has a memorial tribute to Rachel Corrie, telling us what a wonderful young lady she was.  Here is the picture of Corrie ISM shows readers:

rachel1

Wow.  The Sweetheart of old Sigma Chi has nothing on this sweet little innocent.

However, I thought you might be interested in seeing the Rachel Corrie who was putting herself in front of bulldozers ten years ago.  Here is a picture of her at that time:

That is the Rachel Corrie Israelis saw.  Is it just me, or do you also detect a slight difference in demeanor?

I agree that contorting your face in a rictus of hatred is not a capital crime, punishable by death.   But standing in the blind spot of a bulldozer that you know will be moving in your direction is likely to do the job just as completely.....and, in this case, did.

That said, I should point out that I do have a level of sympathy for Rachel Corrie -- in the same way I have a level of sympathy for many Palestinian Arabs who, like her, hate Israel and want it obliterated:  They are victims of their environment. 

Palestinian Arabs are constantly, and exclusively, fed lies about and hatred for Israel.  From what I've read about Evergreen State College, that, in no small part, is what Rachel Corrie (and the other students there) are fed.  And it appears to be even worse now than it was in Corrie's day, as you can read about here

Hatred is what she learned, what she "knew", what she acted on, and what ultimately resulted in her being flattened by a bulldozer.

Like I said; not a happy anniversary.

Zeke .... .....1) . IIRC there were reports that Corrie was SITTING -- a much less visible figure. ...... ...... 2) . It was an ARMORED bulldozer (since the Arabs had a habit of sniping at Israelis). .... ..... Visibility is very restricted through the narrow vision slits. ..... .... 3) . Basically, Corrie was playing a game of Chicken, not realizing that Out of Sight is Out of Mind. (03/16/13)

Zeke - - - - - tomgrossmedia {dot} com/TheForgottenRachels {dot} html - - - - - The Forgotten Rachaels -- Some victims of the Arab Intifada (Murdering Israeli Civilians) -- Rachael Thaler, 16 - Blown up in a Pizzeria ........ Rachael Levi, 19, Murdered while waiting for a bus .......Rachael Levy, 17, blown up in a Jerusalem grocery store ...... Rachael Charhi, 36, blown up while sitting in a cafe ...... Rachael Gavish, 50, blown up in her home, along with her husband and son ...... Rachael Kol, 50, gunned down during a "Palestinian truce" , along with her husband ......... Rachael Ben Abu, 16, murdered by Palestinian bombers, in a shopping mall, also during a "Palestinian truce" ........ ...... Rachael Shabo, 40, sitting with her three sons (5, 6, 13), murdered in their home ....... ........ ......... ....... Where is the rememberance for THOSE Rachaels .... and for all the innocent victims of Palestinian assassins ........... ...... (03/16/13)

free` Question: How do you know when a muslim truce [hudna] is over? Answer: BOOM!!!!!! (03/16/13)


ROB PORTMAN'S STAND ON GAY MARRIAGE: (SOME) CONSERVATIVE REACTION

Ken Berwitz

I just read an article by Todd Beamon at newsmax.com, which quotes a number of conservatives who are unhappy with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) because he has changed his view of gay marriage.

As someone who is not, I would like to post the key quotes, in rust, with my reactions to them in blue:

"Sen. Portman is a great friend and ally, and the speaker respects his position But the speaker continues to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.":  Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner   That's fine.  He can believe whatever he wants - as long as he doesn't deny others their beliefs.

"I don't think they have the power to change what is a religiously inspired definition.":  Newt Gingrich   
Sure they do.  The law does not have to adhere to any religion.

"Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot.": Senator Marco Rubio  
No, it does not prove you are (or are not) a bigot. But what it does do is expose you as being narrow-minded in your outlook, because to "define marriage in a traditional way" only, denies the rights of people outside that traditional view. Why would you do that?  What is the problem with people living differently than you do, as long as you remain free to live the way you see fit?

"There is a concerted effort to pick off Republicans and make us appear divided.  He's going to be held accountable by the voters of Ohio.  The issue of his son going out as gay is not a public policy decision."  
a) Republicans are divided on this issue.  That's not a matter of being "picked off",  it is a matter of fact.  b) That's right, Senator Portman is going to be held accountable by the voters - who, I hope, are less intolerant than you are.  c)  His son's sexual orientation caused Mr. Portman to rethink his position.  What would it take to make you do the same...besides a brain transplant?

"I respect Rob Portman and his decision, but the truth is marriage is a union between a man and woman that's unique in nature.  You can't consummate any other marriage because nothing else is a construct in nature.  It's an important building block of society for people to come together and have children and raise them on the solid platform with a father and mother.": former senator Rick Santorum.  
a) Marriage is exclusively one man-one woman to you.  But you speak only for yourself.  b) I can't respond to that "construct in nature" business, because I can't figure out what it means.  c) And, while I agree that it is important for people to "come together" (though I can't decide if that is your euphemism for having sex, or a pleasurable result of the activity) and have children, I fail to see what it has to do with whether or not gay marriage should be legal.  If having children is the requisite issue, does that mean men and women who are not going to have children should be prevented from marrying too?

There are the comments and my answers.  Feel free to agree or disagree to your heart's content.

WisOldMan Portman will be a one-term senator, but not because of his silly idea to join those seeking to redefine marriage simply because his son has turned away from a traditional lifestyle and decided to live al alternate lifestyle instead, but because the OH vote centers around the cities, particularly Cleveland, and black voters are not going to go for a white moderate that is for gay marriage, nor of course do mainstream Americans. File under "Toast". (03/17/13)


THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's source for the quote of the day is Alan West, former career military man and former (possibly future) congressperson from Florida.  Mr. West, speaking before CPAC, told his audience:

"There's nothing on this green earth that a liberal progressive fears more than a Black American who wants a better life and a smaller government"

Truer words were never spoken.

A Black conservative (gasp!) causes other Black people to ask "why would he be conservative?".  And people who ask "why?" sometimes are impressed by the answer.  That is disastrous for the left, so much of which, want, and need, Black people to monolithically feel oppressed and dependent on government - because it means they will vote for the party which gives them things "for free".  

The Alan Wests of the country are living proof that a) there are Black people who do not think this way, and b) that Black people can achieve great success without sucking on the teat of government. 

The haunting fear of the left is that people who recognize this about Mr. West will then do some looking around, and realize how many other Black people are successful without the oppression/dependency routine that keeps so many of their fellow Black people down.  Because, truth be known, there are a great many of them.   

Thank you, Mr. West, for providing our quote of the day.  And let me end this blog with a number of other quotes from the same speech:"

"I am sick and tired of hearing that it is our moral duty to serve the state, because conservatives believe that it is our moral duty to serve our fellow man regardless of race, sex, affiliation or creed, and when we serve, we believe that it is the state's duty to get out of the way"

"When more Americans prefer freebies to freedom, these great United States will become a fertile ground for tyranny. When did 'Ask not what your country can do for you' become 'Ask only what your country will give you'?"

"We're told compassion comes not from generosity but from compliance. We're told kindness means raiding a man's hard-earned wages and sending it off to Washington, D.C., so that they - not you - may dole it out in courtesies and indulgences,.  Compassion comes from a choice and not the liberal definition of a choice - the choice to say I can do with a little less so my brother can have a little more."

"Where's the kindness when a faceless bureaucrat thumps a red stamp on a monthly food ration? Where is love exchanged? Where is the love felt when a state administrator stuffs a welfare check into an outgoing mail?"

Do we need more people like this, or what?


THE WEEK IN PICTURES

Ken Berwitz

Over at powerlineblog.com, Steven Hayward has put up the latest edition of what he seems to be saying will be an ongoing series: "The Week In Pictures". 

I have to tell you, I just looked at his compilation, and my reaction ranged from broadly smiling to laughing out loud. 

I'll show you three of them below.  But if you don't click here and look at them all, you are cheating yourself out something really terrific:

You can tell me you're not laughing....but I won't believe you.

Ok, back to politics.


THE LEADERS OF NORTH KOREA

Ken Berwitz

In case you wondered what they look like, here, from drudgereport.com, is a picture of those merry, humanistic folks who run the happy prosperous country of North Korea:


It appears that the men standing on either side of 28 year old "leader" kim jung-un are each holding one of his hands. 

I'm not sure why they would do this, but I speculate that they are either Generals trying to stop him from waving the go-ahead to fire nuclear missiles, or (given his apparent maturity level) bathroom monitors about to take him for a wee-wee and a doo-doo - which every one of them looks in desperate need of.

These are the wonderful folks who ex-President Jimmy Carter and then-President Bill Clinton helped to become a nuclear power.  Heckuva job, guys.


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