Sunday, 06 October 2013


Remember when candidate Barack Obama promised us the most transparent administration in history?

Well, I thought you might be interested in seeing an example of this "transparency".

Excerpted from Leonard Downie Jr's article in Friday's Washington Post:

After the New York Times published a 2012 story by David E. Sanger about covert cyberattacks by the United States and Israel against Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities, federal prosecutors and the FBI questioned scores of officials throughout the government who were identified in computer analyses of phone, text and e-mail records as having contact with Sanger.

"A memo went out from the chief of staff a year ago to White House employees and the intelligence agencies that told people to freeze and retain any e-mail, and presumably phone logs, of communications with me," Sanger said. As a result, longtime sources no longer talk to him. "They tell me: 'David, I love you, but don't e-mail me. Let's don't chat until this blows over.'"

Sanger, who has worked for the Times in Washington for two decades, said, "This is most closed, control-freak administration I've ever covered."

Does that look like transparency to you?

And it's not like this is something new.  When has the Obama administration ever demonstrated any transparency about anything?

But I have to admit it is gratifying to see this reality acknowledged in a Washington Post article about a New York Times reporter, given that both newspapers - especially the Times - are rarely sparing in their support of Mr. Obama.

Hey, who knows?  If they can talk about the lack of transparency, maybe they'll start talking about the many other negative facets of this administration like, for example, how ugly its manipulation of the government shutdown has be....well, let's not get carried away.


Ken Berwitz

Today's Quote Of The Day winner is the always-eloquent Mark Steyn who, writing for National Review, had this to say about the Obama administration closing the World War II Memorial:

"The World War II Memorial exists thanks to some $200 million in private donations - plus $15 million or so from Washington: In other words, the feds paid for the grass. But the thug usurpers of the bureaucracy want to send a message: In today's America, everything is the gift of the government, and exists only at the government's pleasure, whether it's your health insurance, your religious liberty, or the monument to your fallen comrades. The Barrycades are such a perfect embodiment of what James Piereson calls "punitive liberalism" they should be tied round Obama's neck forever, in the way that "ketchup is a vegetable" got hung around Reagan-era Republicans. Alas, the court eunuchs of the Obama media cannot rouse themselves even on behalf of the nation's elderly warriors."

Many times I have read someone else's words and thought "Boy do I wish I had said that".  But few, if any, do I feel this way about as often as Mark Steyn.

Heck, "Barrycades" alone was worthy of Quote Of The Day honors.

Congratulations, Mr. Steyn, you have nailed this just about perfectly.  May every memorial be open to you (and the rest of us) in perpetuity - even if the current smallminded, vindictive administration feels otherwise..


Ken Berwitz

Much too intense here right now.  Time for some R&R.

If you love movies, and you love memorable quotes from movies, prepare for a major treat.  Because here, as sent to me by our pal Toy Insurance Bob, is the American Film Institute's video of what it considers the greatest quotes of them all.

Speaking for myself, it is 10:45 of sheer joy.  Click below and see if you agree:


I know you come here for political blogs, and I'll go right back to them tomorrow..........but isn't this a great sign-off for the night?

Zeke ..... ...... W o n d e r f u l . . . . . . . .. (10/07/13)


Ken Berwitz

Push-polling is when a poll question is constructed in a way that is designed not to get a real answer, but instead to get an answer which agrees with a specific point of view.        

Want to see one?, which compiles polling data on a wide range of political and social issues, is currently featuring this question on its home page:

Government shutdown and the health care law

See the problem?

It is no surprise at all that most people want the government shutdown to end.  So if you put just about anything up against ending the shutdown, it is going to lose big-time.

In this case, the CBS poll (which, for the most part, was conducted using very fair questions) is asking respondents whether the higher priority should be getting the government running again, or acceding to the Republican position.  And, of course, getting the government running again wins.

But there is no question in the poll which asks this from the opposite side:  i.e. whether the higher priority should be getting the government running again or acceding to the Democrat position (ObamaCare being enacted 100% as-is, with all no modifications at all).  If that had been asked, is there any doubt the answer would be that most people want the government running again - just as they did versus the Republican position?

Let me again say that the CBS poll questions are very fair.  But this particular one is push-polling at its finest.....and one that, in my opinion, should therefore not have featured, as if it were letting us all in on some abiding truth about public sentiment toward the shutdown.


Ken Berwitz

Any day the United States takes out a significant terrorist target, anywhere in the world, is a very good day.  And a day we may have taken out two of them is a great day.

Excerpted from Barbara Starr, Evan Perez and Greg Botelho's article at

In two operations nearly 3,000 miles apart, U.S. military forces went after two high-value targets over the weekend. And while officials have yet to say whether the operations were coordinated or directly related, they show Washington's reach, capability and willingness to pursue alleged terrorists.

One operation took place Saturday in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, when U.S. forces captured Abu Anas al Libi, an al Qaeda leader wanted for his role in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

In the second raid, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs in southern Somalia targeted the top leader of Al-Shabaab, which was behind last month's mall attack in Kenya. The SEALs came under fire and had to withdraw before they could confirm whether they killed their target, a senior U.S. official said.

Anyone who reads this blog certainly knows I have no problem criticizing the Obama administration.  But not for this:  my commendation for both operations.  My congratulations on the success of one, and what I hope is the success of the other as well.

And my highest commendation - and thanks - to our brave military men and women who actually hit the ground and carried out these operations.  You are the best.

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