Tuesday, 17 September 2013

CHUCK TODD: PARTISA...ER, JOURNALIST

Ken Berwitz

NBC's Chuck Todd wrote a blog today in which he discussed how unlucky poor President Obama has been with the timing of events this past week. 

It is an excellent demonstration of the difference between Mr. Todd and an actual journalist.  Let me show you, by putting up his commentary in rust, and my reaction to it in blue.  Then you can decide for yourself who is making more sense:

*** Bad timing: When you're in a rut, nothing seems to go right. That's true in sports, in life and, yes, in American politics. And for the Obama White House, little seems to be going right, especially when it comes to timing. Ok, it's not his incompetence, his bad decision making; it's just bad timing.  Let's see your reasons.  Last week, President Obama gave a speech to the nation on Syria about the need to use U.S. force there -- at the very same time as the United States appeared to reach a diplomatic breakthrough, which produced a disjointed message. You call it a breakthrough.  Others call it a charade by Vladimir Putin and bashar al-assad that Obama fell for, hook line and sinker.  Then on Friday, the president sat down for an interview with ABC that would air on Sunday. But that interview came BEFORE the U.S. struck that diplomatic framework with Russia on Saturday morning, so Obama was unable to discuss the specifics of that framework. Poor Barack.  Are you telling us that, as President of the United States, Barack Obama could not have contacted ABC to append a discussion of the specifics?  That ABC would not have added it to their broadcast?  Do you think we're all idiots?  And that brings us to yesterday's presidential speech to mark the fifth anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse: Taking place a few hours after tragic DC shootings that claimed 12 lives just miles from the White House, Obama remarked about the tragedy, talked about Syria, and then gave his economic speech, which included political broadsides at the GOP. This is bad timing that hurt the President?  WRONG WRONG WRONG. It was not bad timing, it was an amazingly bad decision by the President to make a political speech while people were being shot to death during a mass murder spree.  No one forced Barack Obama to make his speech then.  He and he alone was responsible for doing so.

*** A political speech on the economy that fell on deaf ears: Some, including MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, have criticized the president for delivering a political speech yesterday after the shooting deaths and the chaos in the city. (And it just wasn't Obama: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor released a political statement on Benghazi yesterday.)  Unbelievable.  You are equating a live political speech by the President during a mass murder spree (not after:  he didn't know for sure it had ended when he spoke), with the release of a document?  That is either obvious partisanship, complete tone-deafness or both.  Personally, I'm voting for door #3.  But here's our question to the White House: Who was listening to that economic speech yesterday -- beyond folks paying attention to grab anything the president said about the shootings? Anything you wanted to say about the economy, the budget stalemate in Washington, or the debt ceiling was going to be lost. So why not wait a day or two? And this is whose fault?  As noted earlier, the decision to make a blatantly political speech while people were being killed at a military facility was Barack Obama's.  No one else's.  And, here, even you seem to agree.  So where is your criticism of him for making that speech?  Oh, wait.  I forgot.  Eric Cantor released a written document, so that means Barack Obama gets a free pass.  Do you actually think this qualifies as journalism?  You're kidding, right?

So?  Am I all wet?  Does Chuck Todd come out as a thoughtful, neutral journalist here, and me a jumble of baseless complaints?  Or does Todd come out as a ridiculous partisan, perfectly willing to contort reality on behalf of his lord and savior Barack Obama?

Your call.


SEX EDUCATION: BRITISH STYLE

Ken Berwitz

There is a lot of controversy about sex education.  But there is no denying that a class of primary (elementary) school students in England got  an excellent lesson in its culmination last Thursday.

It seems that Diane Krish-Veeramany, 30, a teacher at Manford Primary School in the town of Chigwell, was pregnant with an impatient baby.  He decided he wanted to enter the world a week early....in Ms. Krish-Veeramany's class.

Three teaching assistants became assistants in a very different way than they were used to, by helping her with the delivery - as her husband was rushing to the school (he got there in time too).

The very happy ending is that Mom and baby (Jonah is his name:  very fitting for such a whale of a delivery) are doing just fine. 

And the children in Ms. Krish-Veeramany's class?  I guarantee you they know more about sex now than they did before school last Thursday.

Ok, that was fun.  Now back to the far less pleasurable, less fertile and more barren world of politics.


THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from financial wheeler-dealer, hardass Democrat operative, and current candidate for Governor in Virginia, Terry McAuliffe.

Here he is, telling the world that, as Governor, he will unilaterally act to keep abortion clinics which do not meet state health standards open:

"I can do what I talked about, issue a guidance opinion by March to keep the remaining health centers open. I can do that myself as Governor. That's why I said I'll do that by March to keep the remaining, uh, Norfolk is closed. Fairfax is closed, or closing, so there will be 18 left. Only one of those 18 actually meet the, the requirements so they'll all close if I don't do that. But I will issue what's called a guidance opinion by mid-March which will say that these regulations, I have, the General Assembly wasn't definitive with the Board of Health as to the rules, I can give a guidance opinion to the Board of Health to grandfather in those remaining clinics to keep them open. That's why this election is so important, and I will do that."

Can't believe what you just read?  Well, believe it.  He said it.  Every word. 

See, it seems that a large majority of abortion clinics do not meet Virginia standards.  So instead of angrily demanding that they immediately be improved to the point where they are at least minimally acceptable as medical facilities - which might alienate some of the abortion-at-all-costs crowd McAuliffe currently owns due to opponent Ken Cuccinelli's pro-life stand - he will be happy to keep them open in their current substandard conditions.

Hell, as long as he's gung-ho for terminating babies, why not put the women having those abortions at risk too.  

What's that you say?  You still can't believe a major-party Gubernatorial candidate would openly state that it doesn't matter to him whether abortion clinics meet health standards, he'll end-around the standards and keep them open anyway?

Ok, click here for the video.  See and hear it for yourself

With that amazing statement, Terry McAuliffe has put himself in a league of his own.  The man does not care whether an abortion "clinic" is unsanitary or if abortions are performed without proper medical personnel.  Who - other than butchers like kermit gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist serving a life term for murdering babies in his unsanitary, ill-equipped. improperly staffed "clinic" - has demonstrated greater indifference to the health and well being of women than he has.

For this remarkable lack of concern, Terry McAuliffe wins Quote Of The Day honors hands down. 

And he also wins a new award I just invented:  "The kermit gosnell Award For Not Giving A Damn About Life And Death" - either of the babies which will be aborted in those conditions, or of the women who think they are receiving safe, acceptable care.

Congratulations to you, Terry.  No one earned this kind of recognition more.

free' Ken wrote; "Hell, as long as he's gung-ho for terminating babies, why not put the women having those abortions at risk too." ---------------------- You know what I have to agree with that paragraph. In fact I think all baby butchering shops should be brought to the same standards as the ones that were forced to close. Why would I say such a thing? Because any woman who would murder her unborn baby deserves the risk of death herself. In fact I will go even further and remove the word risk from the above sentence. (09/17/13)


OUTFOXING THE COMPETITION?

Ken Berwitz

Here, according to Dylan Byers of politco.com, is the new prime time lineup for Fox News Channel, as of October 7th:

7PM:  Greta Van Susteren (formerly 10PM)

8PM:  Bill O'Reilly (same as before)

9PM:  Megyn Kelly (new to prime time)

10PM:  Sean Hannity (formerly 9PM)

Shepard Smith, who currently occupies the 7PM slot, will move to 3PM...and will head a "breaking news" division which would provide news updates and, if the story warranted, pre-empt prime time programming.

There it is.  Make of it what you will.


AARON ALEXIS: GUNS & VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES

Ken Berwitz

aaron alexis, the madman who shot about 2 dozen people Washington D.C. Navy Yard - 12 of them fatally (so far) -  before being shot and killed by authorities, is the embodiment of the two issues this country must deal with to protect itself against mass murderers.

Initial reports by mainstream and internet media, regarding how many weapons alexis had and how he acquired them, are, as is usual when "journalists" compete to get their stories in first, completely contradictory.  Illustratively:

-USA Today reports that "A federal law enforcement official said Monday that Alexis...legally purchased at least some of the weapons used in the assault within the past few days in Virginia.  This leads to the question of how many weapons he had?  "At least some" means more than some.  How many is that?  To read this you'd swear he walked into the Navy Yard with a full arsenal in his possession.

-NBC News-Washington reports that alexis entered the building with a shotgun, shot a security guard and took his 9MM pistol, then shot a police officer and may have taken his rifle - 100% different. 

If ever a man should not have been able to purchase guns legally, it would be aaron alexis; a man with major anger management issues and a history of gun-related incidents.  

But if alexis did purchase one or more weapons legally, how could any reasonable person not conclude that the vetting process in that state - and in federal guidelines as well - needs to be more stringent?  Would it be asking a lot, for example, to disallow people with a background like alexis's from being able to wander into a gun shop and walk out packing?

Ok, that's one issue.  Now let's talk about the other.

It is widely being reported that aaron alexis was obsessed with violent video games. 

Regular readers of this blog know I have written, literally dozens of times, about these "games" as a causative element of mass-murder shootings.  Newtown Connecticut and Aurora Colorado immediately come to mind, but there are others as well.

We are talking about the video games - and there are a lot of them - which reduce murderous shooting sprees to a competitive game, with points for each kill, maybe additional points for how the kill takes place, and the "winner" being whoever does the most killing. 

How can any reasonable person not conclude that the high correlation between mass murdering shooters and their involvement with video games which dehumanize human beings into little more than opportunities to score points and "win", tells us something about the effect of those video games on those shooters?

Well, here's one genius who has decided it's not much of an issue:  Josh Feldman at mediaite.com.  Here is his snarky, self-superior, reaction to people who think they are an important part of the picture:

We still don't know enough about Alexis to be able to say anything definitive about his motivations, but to the media and political figures who love jumping on this particular talking point, here's a bit of advice: take a deep breath. Relax. Think about it first. Don't jump to conclusions or start getting all up in arms. There are plenty of people who play violent video games who don't do such horrible things. A video game in and of itself is not the sole trigger for violent acts in any human being, there are likely a number of psychological factors at play.

Whew, that's reassuring.

Uh, Josh:  Using your "logic", can you tell us why there should be anything more than nominal gun control laws - or, for that matter, any gun control laws?  After all, there are plenty of people who own guns who don't do such horrible things.  A gun in and of itself is not the sole trigger for violent acts in any human being and there are likely a number of psychological factors at play. 

If you actually believe what you wrote about violent video games, I assume you agree with the same point as it applies to gun control, right?

The fact that Josh Feldman is not alone, that there are so many others like him in mainstream media, explains why, when a mass murder like this occurs, we hear almost exclusively about the need for more gun control laws (which, of course, are irrelevant to anyone obtaining and/or using a gun illegally), but llitle or nothing about the kill-kill-kill video games one after another of the shooters play.

Anyone who thinks that addressing the gun control part and not the video game part makes us safer from the aaron alexis's of the world, needs to think harder.  A lot harder.


ARMING TERRORIST MURDERERS WHO HATE US

Ken Berwitz

Here are excerpts from two articles in today's news, which should send a chill up your neck:

First, from Jamie Dettmer's piece at dailybeast.com:

Nearly half of the rebel forces battling to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are jihadist or hardline Islamists, a British defense consultancy has warned its private clients, thus contradicting claims by Obama administration officials that opposition ranks are predominately moderate.

According to a study by IHS Jane's for commercial clients, the rebels number around 100,000 fighters...

...IHS Jane's Charles Lister, an insurgency expert and author of the analysis, estimates that around 10,000 are jihadists fighting for al-Qaeda affiliates (the Islamic State of Iraq and the smaller Jabhat al-Nusra), while another 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists, who have less of a global jihad vision but share a focus on establishing an Islamic state to replace Assad. Another 30,000 or so are more moderate Muslim Brotherhood Islamists.

Next, from Joel Gehrke's piece at washingtonexaminer.com:

President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to "vetted" opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., in 2001. Assad's regime is backed by Iran and Hezbollah.

The president, citing his authority under the Arms Export Control Act, announced today that he would "waive the prohibitions in sections 40 and 40A of the AECA related to such a transaction."

Let's put these together.

We have a major defense consultancy telling us that, of the 100,000 or so "rebels", 45,000 are either al-qaeda terrorists or al-nusra terrorists - which there is not a dime's worth of difference between - and another 30,000 are "more moderate" Muslim brotherhood islamists.  If you are like me, and do not accept the premise that, although members of the Muslim brotherhood might be less aggressively murderous compared to al qaeda and al nusra, they are anything but moderates, this means three quarters of the rebels are Islamic terrorists/hardliners. 

This leads to the obvious question of why, if the fight is between mass-murdering butcher bashar al-assad, and terrorist lunatics, we would take one side over the other.  Why would we help a mass murderer?  Why would we help terrorist lunatics?  Why would we do anything but stand back, while they fight and kill each other?  Does anyone in his or her right mind believe either side - Vladimir Putin's sock puppet al-assad or the USA hating terrorists - would wind up being our pals?   

Now, let's add in the news that Barack Obama, again acting as the tinhorn dictator he thinks he is, has announced he is waiving the legal restriction on arming terrorists, in order to deliver arms to the "rebels" - which is to say the side loaded with terrorists.  

Obama's rationale for doing so?  We have "vetted" the opposition groups we would be giving arms to. 

Anyone who believes this is either beyond gullible, or brain dead altogether. 

There is NO WAY Barack Obama or anyone else in this woeful administration knows, with any certainty whatsoever, who will wind up with the arms he is so eager to deliver to al-assad's enemies.  And with most of them al qaeda, al nusra or Muslim brotherhood, do you have any doubt at all that some, maybe most, maybe all of those arms will wind up with people just as murderous as al-assad is, who hate the USA at least as much as he does?

I often call President Obama inept and incompetent.  Waiving our laws to arm these "rebels" does not even rise to that level.

Mr. President:  For god sake, have you taken leave of your senses?   DO NOT ARM TERRORIST MURDERERS WHO HATE US. 


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