Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Ken Berwitz

I watched a few minutes of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today.  And here is what I found out about Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX):

-He thinks people are stupid (Joe Scarborough);

-He is acting stupidly (Joe Scarborough);

-He is a lunatic (Donny Deutsch;

-One day he might wake up and think what an idiot he has been) Eugene Robinson

-There were also comments about how out of touch he is, and that he is an elitist Harvard/Princeton snob (based on a single quote from a former acquaintance in the reliably leftward New York Magazine).

I wasn't taping their mega-insultathon, so I'm probably leaving out a few others.

And what has engendered this tidal wave of hatred and disdain?  The fact that Cruz is leading a crusade to defund ObamaCare.

Other than the opinions they have of Mr. Cruz, their "proof" of how out of touch he is on this issue begins and ends with co-host Mika Brzezinski's report of two research findings from a new CNBC poll

-By 59% to 19%, people do not want government shut down to defund ObamaCare;

-By 44% to 38% people do not want ObamaCare defunded.

Since there is no link to the actual questionnaire, I don't know how the wording of each question may have affected these results.  But here is what I do know:

-I know that Ted Cruz is not - repeat, not - advocating a government shutdown.  He is advocating the passage of resolutions to fund government in general, but not ObamaCare specifically.  So that 59% - 19% spread, while very impressive, has nothing to do with his position. 

Why, then, did they show it, other than to hope you didn't realize it is irrelevant to their hatemongering?  Lots of luck coming up with a reason;

-And I know that if the best his haters (critics is too mild a word, given what they are calling him) can come up with is that, in one single poll, a minority of the 800 respondents (44%) opposes defunding ObamaCare versus 38% in favor - in other words less than half are against Cruz's position, and they are in a statistical tie with the people who agree with Cruz - they have damn little to support the premise that Ted Cruz is out of of touch with the public.

Moreover, what this bunch didn't tell their audience, is that the CNBC poll itself is an outlier; one of a kind compared to the rest of the major polls. 

Want proof?  This table, showing the results of major polls over the past two months, should help:

Against/Oppose +18
Poll Date Sample For/Favor Against/Oppose Spread
RCP Average 9/4 - 9/15 -- 38.7 52.2 Against/Oppose +13.5
Rasmussen Reports* 9/14 - 9/15 1000 LV 43 53 Against/Oppose +10
ABC News/Wash Post 9/12 - 9/15 1004 A 42 52 Against/Oppose +10
CNN/Opinion Research* 9/6 - 9/8 1022 A 39 57 Against/Oppose +18
FOX News* 9/6 - 9/8 900 RV 35 54 Against/Oppose +19
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 9/5 - 9/8 1000 A 31 44 Against/Oppose +13
USA Today/Pew Research 9/4 - 9/8 1506 A 42 53 Against/Oppose +11
Rasmussen Reports* 8/31 - 9/1 1000 LV 41 52 Against/Oppose +11
Rasmussen Reports* 8/17 - 8/18 1000 LV 41 54 Against/Oppose +13
Gallup 8/17 - 8/18 1021 A 41 49 Against/Oppose +8
Rasmussen Reports* 8/9 - 8/10 1000 LV 41 53 Against/Oppose +12
Rasmussen Reports* 7/26 - 7/27 1000 LV 42 53 Against/Oppose +11
FOX News* 7/21 - 7/23 1017 RV 40 53 Against/Oppose +13
CBS News 7/18 - 7/22 1036 A 36 54

That clear enough for you?  Take a good look at those data, count up how many different polling companies came to the same result (there are 8 of them), and you realize it is far more the supporters of ObamaCare who are out of touch than the detractors.

So why are Scarborough, Brzezinski, Robinson, Deutsch, et al so terrified of Ted Cruz?  Why do they feel the need to act like we kids used to during fourth grade recess at PS 201 in Queens, and name-call him? 

Cruz Derangement Syndrome, folks.  Cruz Derangement Syndrome. 

Put another way, they are far more comfortable with politicians who act like politicians and compromise their beliefs, than they are with someone who has beliefs and sticks to them even when the haters come after him with everything they've got.

Will Ted Cruz prevail here?  I would put the odds at 100-1 against him.  But he is demonstrating more honesty and more character than the entire "Morning Joe" crowd combined.  And in my book - maybe yours too - that counts for something.


Ken Berwitz

Suppose the President of Iran, a country prolifically involved in global terrorism, said he was willing to cut a deal with the USA, which involved his being given an OK to develop nuclear capability, based on the promise that it would only be used for peaceful purposes.  Would you buy in?

While you're thinking about this, please consider the following excerpt from Justin Sink's article at thehill.com:

President Obama is directing Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue a nuclear weapons deal with Iran, the president announced in a speech Tuesday to the United Nations.

Recent statements by Iran's new government indicating it is not interested in a nuclear weapons program "should offer the basis for a meaningful agreement," Obama told the gathering at the U.N. General Assembly.

He said he "firmly" believed the "diplomatic path must be tested."

"If we can resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear program, that can serve as a major step down a long road to a different relationship," Obama said.

So, what do you think?  Do you think it makes sense to try cutting a deal with the mullahs of Iran (not with hassan rouhani, who, like ahmedinejad before him, is nothing more than a puppet of the religious fanatics who run the show there)?

The words themselves certainly make sense.  In a perfect world, of course it is sensible to try a "diplomatic path". 

But - again - this is Iran.  Is the "diplomatic path" sensible if we know that they the party we would be engaging in diplomacy with is a thoroughly malevolent and thoroughly dishonest exporter of terrorism throughout the world?  Does that make any sense at all?

Then there is our history of such diplomatic efforts to consider:  specifically that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton cut a deal with North Korea in 1994 which involved the same promise of okaying nuclear capability for an evil nation, on the promise that it would be used only for peaceful purposes.

How'd that turn out?

And, finally, there is Israel - the country Iran is on record as intending to wipe of the face of the map.  Does anyone seriously think Israel will sit by, doing nothing, while Iran is free to develop the nuclear means to make good on that intention?

My fear, based on watching Barack Obama and his people botch just about every foreign policy situation they have been involved in, is that he and Kerry will agree to some kind of half-baked deal with Iran, and then let them stall, obfuscate and otherwise find ways to do whatever they want without regard to the deal they made. 

Please, please, let me be wrong about this.  Please, please tell me that Barack Obama will not, again, fall for a hot steamy load of BS from someone who, like Putin and al-assad among others, know they can play him like a $5 banjo.

I'm begging, Mr. Obama.  This time, think it through and get it right.

Zeke .... ..... ...... What wonderful news ! . . . . The news tonight will show President Barry Obama descending the stairs of Air Force One, clutching aloft a signed document, proclaiming we now have "Peace in our time". . . . . . . . (09/24/13)

free' I hope someone will ask Obama if he would put any time limits on the path of diplomatic negotiating. Then if he says yes and gives a time limit, I would remind him that the EU along with the US have been doing exactly that since 2002. If after over a decade isn't long enough, how much longer should we wait? The IAEA said in 2001 that Iran could have a nuke within 6 months, I am surprised they don't already have them. Iran should have been taken care of when we had them surrounded, but the state dept basically handcuffed Bush with that bogus intel report that Iran had stopped their nuke program. This is a dangerous game we (the free world) are playing with Iran. I could go on but I won't. (09/24/13)


Ken Berwitz

Here are the first two paragraphs of article at politico.com:

The Obamacare that consumers will finally be able to sign up for next week is a long way from the health plan President Barack Obama first pitched to the nation.

Millions of low-income Americans wont receive coverage. Many workers at small businesses won't get a choice of insurance plans right away. Large employers won't need to provide insurance for another year. Far more states than expected won't run their own insurance marketplaces. And a growing number of workers won't get to keep their employer-provided coverage.

In fairness, it is not surprising that there would be differences between what Barack Obama told us ObamaCare would be, and what it actually has evolved into.   

But "differences" between an initial conception and a final follow-through usually means that some things are not as good as hoped for while others are better.

In this case, however, did you happen to notice that every change is for the worse.  No exceptions?

If this does not make it clear that the "ObamaCare" sold to you by Mr. Obama was a snow job from the start - and virtually certain to get still worse in the future - I don't know how to reach you.


Ken Berwitz

Apropos of nothing political...

....my wife and I first experienced the greatness of Brian Stokes Mitchell in 1998, when he played Coalhouse Walker in the brilliant, but amazingly star-crossed, musical "Ragtime".  We were thrilled by his immense talent.

Seven years later, in June of 2005, Mr. Mitchell taped a special performance of "South Pacific" at Carnegie Hall. playing Emile De Becque, and co-starring with Reba McIntyre.  Needless to say, we couldn't wait to see and hear him.

De Becque's character has two classic songs:  "Some Enchanted Evening" - fabulous - and "This Nearly Was Mine" - even more fabulous; my favorite song from this great, great show.

I always thought Ezio Pinza, the original De Becque, "owned" both songs.  But Mr. Mitchell has proved me to be wrong.  Click on the above links and you won't wonder why.

If you love, or even casually like, Broadway music, the greatness of Brian Stokes Mitchell should stir you to your core. 

Yeah, I'll go back to politics in the next blog.  But, for now, please just let me marvel at this man's talent one more time, ok?  Thanks, and feel free to join me in doing so.

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