Wednesday, 27 November 2013

POLITICIZING THANKSGIVING DINNER

Ken Berwitz

It has sunk to this.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has launched a web site called yourrepublicanuncle.com, which provides "talking points" to answer anyone at the thanksgiving table who dares to utter a heresy against the greatness that is Barack Obama.

In its own words:

The holiday season is filled with food, traveling, and lively discussions with Republican relatives about politics - sometimes laced with statements that are just not true.

Here are the most common myths spouted by your family members who spend too much time listening to Rush Limbaugh - and the perfect response to each of them:

Beyond the obligatory hit on Rush Limbaugh (do these people ever say anything without invoking a bogeyman or two?), the site then goes on to provide a series of what those nice DNC folks consider "myths" and "perfect" responses.

Before continuing, I would like to stop here, and note that the web site, which could not have taken very long to create, seems to work just fine. 

This being the case, would it be too mythical to ask why the $400 - $634 MILLION DOLLAR ObamaCare web site, which was built over a three year period and has been out there for almost two full months, is still a disaster?  Would it be imperfect to ask why the Obama administration is not explaining why this happened, canning the people in charge of it, and getting significant refunds of our taxpayer money from the web developers because it doesn't work?

But I digress.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is just one "myth" and "perfect response"...in rust, with my comments in blue:

Myth

President Obama has increased the deficit. 

Fact

 

Since President Obama took office, the deficit as a percentage of GDP has been cut by more than 50% . And by the way, if Republicans manage to repeal the Affordable Care Act, that's actually going to increase the deficit by something like $109 billion over the next 10 years.


Well, they've certainly uncovered a myth.  Let me post the facts which expose it: 

Here are the deficits for President Bush's last four years:

FY 2005: $318 billion

FY 2006: $248 billion

FY 2007: $161 billion

FY 2008: $458 billion

And here they are for President Obama's first four years: 

FY 2009: $1,413 billion

FY 2010: $1,294 billion

FY 2011: $1,300 billion

FY 2012: $1,087 billion

FY 2013: $  680 billion (est.)

Notice a bit of a difference? 

 

The cut of "more than 50%", is a cut on Barack Obama's own deficit numbers.  That isn't cutting a thing, it is getting down somewhere near (but still hugely above) where he started in the first place.  

 

The Obama people will argue that 2009 should count for President Bush, because the previous fiscal year continues for 3 quarters into the next year and the new budget starts October 1.  But that does not apply here. 

 

Why?  Because, unlike other years, the budget was held up until Obama's so-called stimulus package - all $800 BILLION DOLLARS of it - passed the 60% Democrat house and senate, and was signed into law by Barack Obama; not by George Bush, who had nothing whatsoever to do with it.  Much of that money - and tons of additional Obama-introduced money - was spent in Fiscal 2009.  Read all about it here

 

In fact, President Bush did not even sign the 2009 budget; President Obama did, on March 11, 2009.  So the DNC's "perfect" answer, is perfectly full of crap.

 

Regarding the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare to we peons):  the DNC's self-serving cost estimates, based on nothing but DNC speculation, are as meaningless as President Obama's promise that we could all keep our current insurance policy and our doctors.

I could go on.  But I think you get the idea.  Besides, I am still stuck on the distasteful nature of this site - to politicize Thanksgiving dinner on behalf of a failed President. 

Isn't one cooked turkey enough?


CHARLES SCHWAB: TWO MORE STORIES

Ken Berwitz

The list continues to grow.

Here is a comment from yesterday's blog about Charles Schwab...with the name (screen name, actually) intact because it was publicly posted and therefore cannot be privileged information...

DRKNIGHT Hi Ken, do not be surprised if you meet any resistance from the Phoenix office. The person that you contacted, about a letter in which you verified. I am paraphrasing but they witnessed several events that to them are culturally offensive and discriminating. And that they consistently put the employees in harm's way of a working in a hostile working environment which tends to be a common occurrence at Charles Schwab. Their mentality is to protect themselves by any means necessary. Do not be surprised to hear something that all of those people were disgruntled ex-employees which I find hard to believe myself personally. I am grateful that you are involved helping out what has been going on with this corrupt environment.

...and the contents of an email which passes along a character reference for Mark Labell, whose communication with me is what has spurred this blog series (in this case I will not be posting names:

...the information that was sent to you is infact true. Schwab will never admit to any wrong doing to anything however. Itoo have witnessed a number of things that are very questionable behavior.

Like you I do not know Mr. Labelle personally however I do knowpeople who have worked with him and well let's just say He is everything that agood company would want in their employees. Please take a look at this letterthat hopefully will give you a good idea of what he is all about. If that doesnot tell you what he is all about then I do not know what else would

I am writing this characterreference letter for Mark Labell who I have known for many years now. I wasfortunate to meet and work with Mark Labell for approximately 6 years atCharles Schwab. I worked in operations and Mark worked on the technical side. Bothpositions required solving highly complex technical problems to ensure theexternal customer was receiving the best and expected client experience whilethe client utilized the various tools and services offered by the company. BothMark's team and my team were considered second and third level escalationteams. Issues were sent to us when others could not solve them. MarkLabell and I had partnered together to solve many very challenging issues thatimpacted our external client. We solved many difficult situations that keptclient loyalty high. I was always impressed with Mark's unquenchable drive todetermine the cause of the issue and resolve it to ensure that the companyprovided the best customer service to the client. Mark would regularly partnerwith individuals internally that he knew could help with solving the issues. Hewas driven by teamwork, partnership, and servicing the client to the best ofhis ability. Mark was well known for doing what was right for the client.

It was an honor to work withMark Labell and I am happy to support him with this character reference letterthat is well deserved and earned.

Thank you for your time,

XXXXX XXXXX

How many more will there be?  And how many will it take before Charles Schwab - particularly its Phoenix office - responds? 

I guess we'll find out soon enough.

JoanDe_Arc Segregation: In today’s society?JoanofdeArc This is 2013 as we are nearing the end of a very strange year. And what do I see stories about segregation in today’s society. Was it not enough what the Jewish people had to go through with the Holocaust? No I am reading that a major company here in The United States is allowing this kind of practice to go on behind closed doors. I am nauseated and shocked beyond belief that nobody has come to this young man’s rescue sooner. There is far too much hatred in this country and far too much what has you done for me lately. Because Of this story I am going to encourage everyone I know not to invest with this company. I will be having my family move our investments far away from individuals who are prejudice and narrow-minded. I need to remind people that this Country is considered the melting pot. (12/02/13)

Carnage Society Management at Charles Schwab used Gestapo tactics in order to get rid of many good hard working individuals. This kind of behavior is most disturbing and very upsetting. Charles Schwab launched a ad campaign that said “talk to Chuck”. Do you honestly think he knows what goes on with his company? If he was on the Show undercover boss I think he would be filled with anger and repulsion as to what has been going on at the Phoenix office. (12/02/13)

Church_Guy While at a church function last night, I was reminded and yet humbled by the story of David and Goliath. I see the large company (Charles Schwab) vs the little guy (former employee. The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. The two armies faced each other, camped for battle on opposite sides of a steep valley. A Philistine giant measuring over nine feet tall and wearing full armor came out each day for forty days, mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight. His name was Goliath. Saul, the King of Israel, and the whole army were terrified of Goliath. One day David, the youngest son of Jesse, was sent to the battle lines by his father to bring back news of his brothers. David was probably just a young teenager at the time. While there, David heard Goliath shouting his daily defiance and he saw the great fear stirred within the men of Israel. David responded, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of God?" So David volunteered to fight Goliath. It took some persuasion, but King Saul finally agreed to let David fight against the giant. Dressed in his simple tunic, carrying his shepherd's staff, slingshot and a pouch full of stones, David approached Goliath. The giant cursed at him, hurling threats and insults. David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied ... today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air ... and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel ... it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath's head. Finding a hole in the armor, the stone sank into the giant's forehead and he fell face down on the ground. David then took Goliath's sword, killed him and then cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. So the Israelites pursued, chasing and killing them and plundering their camp. David chose not to wear the King's armor because it felt cumbersome and unfamiliar. David was comfortable with his simple slingshot, a weapon he was skilled at using. God will use the unique skills he's already placed in your hands, so don't worry about "wearing the King's armor." Just be yourself and use the familiar gifts and talents God has given you. He will work miracles through you. • David's faith in God caused him to look at the giant from a different perspective. Goliath was merely a mortal man defying an all-powerful God. David looked at the battle from God's point of view. If we look at giant problems and impossible situations from God's perspective, we realize that God will fight for us and with us. When we put things in proper perspective, we see more clearly and we can fight more effectively. When the giant criticized, insulted and threatened, David didn't stop or even waver. Everyone else cowered in fear, but David ran to the battle. He knew that action needed to be taken. David did the right thing in spite of discouraging insults and fearful threats. (12/01/13)

Jack_cactus So am I to understand this correctly. An employee at a brokerage firm was not only discriminated against, but was forced out of his job because he stood up to management and voiced his opinion on how he was being ostracized. His human resources department not only failed him but failed the company as well by turning a blinds eye. That seems like corporate politics to me. Lately in the news both local and national what do you see? Kids bullied to the point that they kill themselves, postal and factory workers who have gone postal going on shooting rampages or even making national news was the issue with The NFL and Jonathan Martin and the Miami Dolphins. Do we need to see more tragedies before any action is taken? Work place bullying is becoming an epidemic. (12/02/13)

DRKNIGHT I would have to agree with you Church_Guy, not sure about the killing part but I agree with your rationale about David and Goliath theory. Charles Schwab's actions of retaliation against any employee is not only heinous but deplorable. I am glad that there is at least this platform of communication where individuals can share their profundity without the fear of being chastised . Harassment of any kind unless brought up to the forefront usually goes unnoticed from what I have been reading most people are afraid to come forward in fear of severe repercussions that may be inflicted upon them by management. For people to stand up for their rights or stand up to management for them selves and for others for example A Pizza Hut manager in Indiana says he was fired because he refused to open on Thanksgiving Day. Tony Rohr, an employee of more than 10 years, told his managers that Pizza Hut could “be company that stands up and says we care about our employees and they can have the day off.” They instead asked him to write his resignation. Still defiant, he explained his decision in the letter: I am not quitting. I do not resign, however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company [...] I hope you realize that it’s the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible. For employees at Pizza Hut, Thanksgiving and Christmas were the only two days of the year they were guaranteed to have off. When Pizza Hut, retailers, and other restaurants choose to open on Thanksgiving, many American workers that already struggle to take holidays off have little choice but to comply. The U.S. is the only advanced economy that doesn't guarantee paid vacation days. But because he did the right thing and because Pizza Hut is at least a stand up company gave us this update: Pizza Hut asked the franchise owner to reconsider firing Rohr, because “we fully respect any employee’s right to not work on a holiday.” He will get his job back. Unlike Charles Schwab if you are not liked by management for whatever reason then you become a martyr. (12/01/13)

The Rainbow Connection Letter to the editor: I was doing some research for a college course that I am taking on Public Policy and Government, when I came across some blogs that you had been writing about that had to do with my former employer. Charles Schwab & company. I was an employee for about two and a half years before I left last year. I was working at the call center at the Phoenix location. I can relate to the person you have been writing about as for me I completely felt as if I was being ostracized. I am not of the Jewish faith but I have many friends that are, however I am a gay male who would continually receive both glaring and scrutinizing looks from management. There were even several days where management would completely ignore me and walk right past me to talk to someone else as if I was not even there or if I was talking to a co-worker the other person would be called away from talking to me. I attended a few meetings with a (Pride group) which is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender group. The reason I did not attend more meetings is because of the overwhelming feeling I had of not only being ostracized by the managers but they put the fear of heck into you almost on a daily basis. There were some days I was just afraid to even get out of bed and or leave the house. Some of the employees are great to work with but mid- level managers that is a completely different story, it is almost like Jekyll and Hyde atmosphere. I hope this will give you some additional insight to what some people have experienced while working at Charles Schwab. (11/29/13)


DIET SIERRA MIST CRANBERRY SPLASH

Ken Berwitz

Apropos of nothing political...

I bought a bottle of diet Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash, and poured some to drink.'

The next - and last - recipient of this, er, beverage, was the kitchen drain.

Obviously some people like it.  But, to me, it tastes like Robitussin (without the health benefits).

Ok, that's off my chest.  Now, back to politics...which usually has no benefits, health or otherwise.


OBAMACARNAGE: DESPERATELY SEEKING RESUSCITATION

Ken Berwitz

How does the left resuscitate ObamaCare, which virtually every major poll shows the public does not want - at least in its present form (i.e. as constructed exclusively by Democrats with no Republican input whatsoever) - and which has had a rollout so cataclysmically disastrous that even the usually compliant media have been forced to say so?

Simple:  it conducts a PR campaign to bamboozle the public into thinking ObamaCare is a great system.

Excerpted from  Joe Schofstall's article at capitalcityproject.com:

Families USA (FUSA) - an organization that describes itself as a "national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans" - was given a $1.1 million grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on October 4, 2013, to gather "success stories" of Americans dealing with Obamacare and distribute them to the media who often refer to them as an "independent" group. This is part of a greater upcoming effort to bolster the perception of the lowly health care law.

However, the organization is a far cry from "non-partisan" and is extremely close to the Obama Administration and Enroll America - the group leading the efforts to sign people up for Obamacare.

Philippe Villers, the president of Families USA, serves as the Secretary and Treasurer of Board of a little-known group called the Herndon Alliance. The Herndon Alliance originated in Herndon, VA in 2005 and produced research the left used to sell the overhaul of the United States health care system and counteract opposition as the president was making a push for Obamacare.  

Ron Pollack, the above mentioned co-founder and Executive Director of Families USA, told the Washington Post in a 2010 interview after the passage of Obamacare that he was going to help found a group called Enroll America in order to raise millions of dollars to assist with enrollment.

Pollack currently sits on the board of directors of Enroll America.

In fact, the grants given by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation show Families USA and Enroll America are in the exact same office building, in the exact same suite.

With the above in mind, remember that we are less than one week away from the administration's self-imposed deadline for the ObamaCare web site being fixed and fully operational - which (surprise, surprise) it very definitely is not. And if people perceive that it is not, it will cause another huge round of negative reactions to ObamaCare, as well as to the guy who inflicted it on us and the people in his party who voted it into law.

For that reason, I assume this is just about when the "non-partisan" material from these "non-partisan" folks will start being disseminated big-time.

So when you start seeing those smiling faces telling you to disbelieve everything you know and instead pretend ObamaCare is a great success...maybe the best thing for you to do is to continue knowing what you know.  


THE TODAY SHOW: NBCENSORSHIP

Ken Berwitz

I admit I was in and out of the room, so maybe I missed the stories about ObamaCare and Iran on the Today Show.  If so, I will update and say so.

But, to the best of my knowledge - other than possibly a sentence or two in passing - neither ObamaCare (which Today has removed from the news for a week now, as if it didn't exist) nor Iran (the day after its leadership declared that what President Obama is touting as the key provision of the agreement is "invalid")  has so much as been mentioned.

Keep 'em ignorant and you own 'em.

Zeke .... .... I remain grateful to Mr. Obama and the Main Stream Media. . . . Until they joined to manipulate their 'reality' of events, I never truly appreciated the full insight of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" . . . . . (11/27/13)


ONE FOR THE PUSH POLL POOP PILE

Ken Berwitz

Here are the first three paragraphs of a feel-good article by Mat Spetalnick of Reuters, telling us what a terrific reception President Obama's deal with Iran has received from a grateful public.  His words are in rust, with my comments in blue:

Americans back a newly brokered nuclear deal with Iran by a 2-to-1 margin and are very wary of the United States resorting to military action against Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort falls through, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.  That's a great political victory for President Obama.  But what was the question wording? 

The findings were rare good news in the polls for President Barack Obama, whose approval ratings have dropped in recent weeks because of the botched rollout of his signature healthcare reform law.  Again, a great victory for President Obama.  Uh, what was the question wording?

According to the Reuters/Ipsos survey, 44 percent of Americans support the interim deal reached between Iran and six world powers in Geneva last weekend, and 22 percent oppose it.  Hmmm, that's a 2 to 1 margin all right, but not of all Americans, only the 66% who expressed an opinion.  In actuality, it's 44% support, 22% oppose, 34% didn't answer.  But...for the third time...what was the question wording?

I could go on asking.  Maybe you'd like to use the link I've provided and look for it yourself.  But be assured, Mr. Spetalnick never tells us the question wording, thus what the public is actually reacting to. 

I had to go to the Ipsos web site to find it...along with the other questions as well.  Click here  to see them for yourself, and you won't wonder why they were withheld.

It turns out that Mr. Spetalnick's article references Question #6 of the poll.  But before I show it, I think you might be interested in an earlier question - Question #3 - in which poll respondents are asked (told is more like it) the following: 

 Q3. Diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran are substantively improving. Which of the following statements comes closer to your personal view?

 The US is right to improve its diplomatic relations with Iran

36%

 

The US should hold a hard line with Iran and maintain or expand current sanctions

 

37%

 

Unsure

28%

Interesting, wouldn't you say?  Before being whether they support or oppose the deal with Iran, respondents are primed with the "fact" that our relations with Iran have seen major improvements. 

Have they?  I didn't know that, did you? 

But all respondents - prior to being asked their opinion of the deal President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry cut with Iran - have been informed about our increasingly rosy relations with those nice folks in Tehran.

Now let's get to Question 6:  the basis for Reuters' good news gush-a-thon.  Here it is:

Q6. The United States and other world powers have reached an interim deal with Iran to freeze on the nation's nuclear program in exchange for lifting some sanctions on the country. Do you support or oppose this deal? 

Support

44%

Oppose

22%

Not sure

34%

Wow.  An absolute, 100%  freeze on the nation's nuclear program.  What a great breakthrough!!  OF COURSE some of the sanctions should be lifted.  

Except.....

-It is not an absolute freeze.  Iran is being allowed to retain all its fissionable material, keeping half of it at 20% (weapons grade), and diluting the other half to 5%...which can easily be reconverted back to 20%;

-The deal requires only partial inspection of Iran's nuclear facilities;

-In any event, Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson has said that the US is mistaken; the country did not agree this and it is "invalid".

Other than that, the premise of Question 6 is completely correct.

If you aren't sickened by now over how inaccurate this article is -- not to mention what a grotesquely bad deal Obama and Kerry cut - hold on:  there's more:

-Question 4 shows that - to use Reuters' little trick of counting only people with a definitive opinon/eliminating the "don't know" crowd - 90% of its sample (63% out of 69%) believes Iran's nuclear program is for weapons, not peaceful purposes. 

-And Question 5 shows that a majority of the sample (45% out of 82%) feels the US should use military force - either exclusively or along with diplomatic channels - to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb. 

Are you wondering how this squares with Mr. Spetalnick's claim that "Americans...are very wary of resorting to military action against Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort falls through..."?  So am I.

And, as an extra-added attraction, the very end of the article informs us that the poll was conducted among only 591 peope;  way below the 900 - 1,000+ sample size most national polls usually use. 

Bottom line:  Is it just me, or does this look, and smell, very much like it should placed on top of the push poll poop pile?

xschwabbie It is about time that former Schwabbies come to the defense of former employees that have endured the same behavior as Mr. LaBell has encountered. Schwab was once a great company to work for. Unfortunately that environment no longer exists. I think if Chuck knew that his company was bullying it's employees this type of behavior would end. Mark LaBell was a great person to work with. (12/01/13)

xschwabbie It is about time that former Schwabbies come to the defense of former employees that have endured the same behavior as Mr. LaBell has encountered. Schwab was once a great company to work for. Unfortunately that environment no longer exists. I think if Chuck knew that his company was bullying it's employees this type of behavior would end. Mark LaBell was a great person to work with. (12/01/13)

xschwabbie It is about time that former Schwabbies come to the defense of former employees that have endured the same behavior as Mr. LaBell has encountered. Schwab was once a great company to work for. Unfortunately that environment no longer exists. I think if Chuck knew that his company was bullying it's employees this type of behavior would end. Mark LaBell was a great person to work with. (12/01/13)

xschwabbie It is about time that former Schwabbies come to the defense of former employees that have endured the same behavior as Mr. LaBell has encountered. Schwab was once a great company to work for. Unfortunately that environment no longer exists. I think if Chuck knew that his company was bullying it's employees this type of behavior would end. Mark LaBell was a great person to work with. (12/01/13)

xschwabbie It is about time that former Schwabbies come to the defense of former employees that have endured the same behavior as Mr. LaBell has encountered. Schwab was once a great company to work for. Unfortunately that environment no longer exists. I think if Chuck knew that his company was bullying it's employees this type of behavior would end. Mark LaBell was a great person to work with. (12/01/13)

xschwabbie It is about time that former Schwabbies come to the defense of former employees that have endured the same behavior as Mr. LaBell has encountered. Schwab was once a great company to work for. Unfortunately that environment no longer exists. I think if Chuck knew that his company was bullying it's employees this type of behavior would end. Mark LaBell was a great person to work with. (12/01/13)


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