Monday, 23 February 2015


Ken Berwitz


Another day, another hit piece by the Washington Post on Wisconsin's Republican Governor, Scott Walker.  And - no surprise - it is being given lead-story status.

This time the attack is on Governor Walker's terrible mistreatment of unions in Wisconsin.

It's headline:   Walker's anti-union law has labor reeling in Wisconsin

Is it just me, or does that headline look a tad negative toward Governor Walker?

Excerpted from Robert Samuels' article (which, in fairness to Mr. Samuels, does make at least somewhat of an effort to present both sides - and causes me to wonder how he feels about the obviously anti-Walker headline that was used for it):

KING, Wis. - At the old union hall here on a recent afternoon, Terry Magnant sat at the head of a table surrounded by 18 empty chairs. A members meeting had been scheduled to start a half-hour earlier, but the small house, with its cracked walls and loose roof shingles, was lonely and desolate.

"here used to be a lot more people coming,"said Magnant, a 51-year-old nursing assistant, sighing.

The anti-union law passed here four years ago, which made Gov. Scott Walker a national Republican star and a possible presidential candidate, has turned out to be even more transformative than many had predicted.

Walker had vowed that union power would shrink, workers would be judged on their merits, and local governments would save money. Unions had warned that workers would lose benefits and be forced to take on second jobs or find new careers.

Many of those changes came to pass, but the once-thriving ­public-sector unions were not just shrunken - they were crippled.

Unions representing teachers, professors, trash collectors and other government employees are struggling to stem plummeting membership rolls and retain relevance in the state where they got their start.

Here in King, Magnant and her fellow AFSCME members, workers at a local veterans home, have been knocking on doors on weekends to persuade former members to rejoin. Community college professors in Moraine Park, home to a technical college, are reducing dues from $59 to $36 each month. And those in Milwaukee are planing a campaign using videos and posters to highlight union principles. The theme: ­"Remember."

The state branch of the National Education Association, once 100,000 strong, has seen its membership drop by a third. The American Federation of Teachers, which organized in the college system, saw a 50 percent decline. The 70,000-person membership in the state employees union has fallen by 70 percent.

So what do we have here? We have a headline - and, largely, an entire article - attempting to convince readers that Governor Walker is a union-buster whose agenda has terribly hurt union workers.

But if that is so, why aren't former union members flocking back to the fold?  Are they all so stupid that they can't see what they have lost?

And why are unions reducing dues something like 40%?  Does that mean those dues were ridiculously bloated in the first place?  Could that have something to do with so many former members bolting the unions the minute they had the chance?

And why have Wisconsinites, who are certainly no strangers to support of the union movement, elected him Governor three times over the past four years (two elections and a recall attempt).

See, a headline like the one used for this article does little other than stir up more antagonism and more anger.  What it does not do is encourage a serious dialogue which measures the plusses and minuses of what Mr. Walker's legislation.

I again remind you that Wisconsin voters have elected Scott Walker Governor three times in four years.  And it certainly is not because he has successfully hidden his stand on public sector unions; to the contrary, Mr. Walker has featured that stand in every one of the elections.  Would voters do that if they opposed his stand on this issue?

Put another way, do you think Scott Walker may be onto something here - something the folks over in Washingtonpostville do not want to acknowledge?

Is that why they (and a boatload of other Democrat-friendly media venues) appear to be so scared of him?

Keep watching for the next hit piece on Walker.  It's an excellent bet you won't have long to wait.


Ken Berwitz

Neil Patrick Harris:  I was rooting for him to do well.  And he did a lot of the time - a couple of times he was great.  But, all in all, too overdone, contrived and snarky for my taste.

Best Picture:  Neither my wife nor I liked Birdman.  Though the acting was excellent, we thought it was an annoying, way-too-cutesy inside joke for people in the entertainment industry.  I probably would have gone with either The Theory Of Everything or The Imitation Game

Best Director:  Ditto about Birdman.  I thought Wes Anderson should have gotten it for Grand Budapest Hotel - or,  just on the combination of longevity and creativity, Richard Linklater for Boyhood.

Best Actor:  Months ago, I wrote that Eddie Redmayne was amazing as Stephen Hawking.  I'm very glad he won and his acceptance speech seemed sincere (though you never know - remember, he won for being able to convincingly play someone he is not).

Best Actress - Everyone expected Julianne Moore to win, so no surprise there.  I didn't see the movie, so I can't comment.

Best Supporting Actor:  J. K. Simmons is a tremendous actor.  I didn't see the movie, but I'm glad he won - and I loved his admonition about talking, not texting or emailing, to the people you love.

Best Supporting Actress:  Patricia Arquette was excellent but I thought Keira Knightley was even better in The Imitation Game (is it just me, or does her otherwise beautiful appearance suffer from her teeth?)

And one other thing:  how in god's name could they leave out Joan Rivers when doing the "In Memoriam" segment for movie people who died last year?  Wasn't she funny enough at the makeup counter with Miss Piggy in "The Muppets Take Manhattan"?  Or as the hysterical Dot Matrix in "Spaceballs"?  Does the fact that she wrote the movie "Rabbit Test" count?  And how many years was she the only reason watching the "red carpet' pre-Oscar show was worthwhile?  What an amazingly stupid snub.

OK, back to politics where "best" awards are a lot harder to come by....and there is a lot less competition for them.

bobw I agree about Joan Rivers. Big mistake. the show was stinko.MLK would have turned over in his grave if he was able to hear that "HANDS UP" bull crap rap song. the winner with his insipid speech about more blacks being in jail now that there were slaves in America was also full of crap. Who is shooting who in the inner cities? DO THE CRIME THEN DO THE TIME! Oh! Oporah stop the tears.... (02/23/15)


Ken Berwitz

At last night's Oscars, some of the biggest cheers were given to best supporting actress winner Patricia Arquette, for her impassioned demand that women be compensated equally with men.

That's hardly a surprise since a lot of people - quite possibly Ms. Arquette among them - are still of the belief that women's salaries average just 77 cents on the dollar versus men.

With that in mind, I wonder if Patricia Arquette is a Hillary Clinton supporter.

The reason for my curiosity is that, according to a wage analysis of Ms. Clinton's senate staff conducted by the conservative Washington Free Beacon (who did you expect would do this?  The Washington Post?), female staffers averaged all of 72 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts.

Funny thing, though:  for as long as I can remember, Ms. Clinton has made exactly the same demand for wage equality that Ms. Arquette was talking about. 

Would that dissuade those who advocate equal pay for equal work (like me, for example) from being a tad wary of Hillary Clinton's commitment to this objective?  Would it make a few of them wonder if - again - Hillary Clinton talks a good game but, in reality, is full of crap?

Maybe that is another reason she has gone on hiatus/into hillbernation for the past couple of months. 

If so, I don't blame her.  While a lot of women are so signed, sealed and delivered to Her Royal Hillaryness that blatant hypocrisies like these will be ignored, there just may be some women - maybe a good many of them - who might reaction negatively to this information.

I hope so.


Ken Berwitz

al sharpton is under attack.  But not by the usual suspects; this time it is a Black media group that is claiming he sold out to Comcast for personal benefit:  to get his own TV show and lots of $$$$$.

Let me explain, via the following excerpt from Eriq Gardner's article at please pay special attention to the last part, which I've put in bold print:

Even though the FCC hasn't yet ruled on the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, one group has already filed a lawsuit claiming at least $20 billion in damages from the way the two giants allegedly discriminate against black-owned media.

The complaint, filed in California on Friday, comes from the National Association of African-American Owned Media, which also filed a similar suit against AT&T and DirecTV in December.

This time, the plaintiff is not only targeting both Comcast and TWC - on the eve of the two companies merging to become what would be the largest pay television distributor in the United States - but also various African-American advocacy groups and MSNBC host Al Sharpton for allegedly facilitating discrimination.

Sharpton tells us that he "welcomes the opportunity to answer the frivolous allegations" and says he will be bringing counterclaims for defamation.

At the time of Comcast's 2010 acquisition of NBCUniversal, Comcast entered into memoranda of understanding with the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Action Network, but the lawsuit says the voluntary diversity agreements are "a sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast's discriminatory business practices."

The lawsuit goes on to say that Comcast made large cash "donations" to obtain support for its acquisition. The money includes $3.8 million to Sharpton and his National Action Network. The money, it's charged, was meant to pay Sharpton to endorse the NBCU deal and divert attention away from discrimination. As for Sharpton's MSNBC gig, the complaint says, "Despite the notoriously low ratings that Sharpton's show generates, Comcast has allowed Sharpton to maintain his hosting position for more than three years in exchange for Sharpton's continued public support for Comcast on issues of diversity."

Sharpton objects that the budget for National Action Network is not even $4 million, and as for his MSNBC show, he believes he has the most successful show in the 6 p.m. hour at MSNBC, that "the numbers speak for themselves."

Let's start at the end.  Here are the cable news ratings for 6:00PM - al Sharpton's time slot - for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week.  See if they coincide with Sharpton's claim of being the most successful show in his time slot:

Tuesday, February 17th:  Fox: 2,213,000 viewers, CNN: 553,000, MSNBC (Sharpton) 502,000

Wednesday, February 18th:  Fox: 2,307,000 viewers, CNN: 499,000, MSNBC (Sharpton) 490,000

Thursday, February 19th:  Fox: 2,136,000 viewers, CNN: 570,000, MSNBC (Sharpton) 352,000

Does that look like sharpton has the most successful show in his time slot to you?  Does he think no one will notice that he is lying about this?

Beyond the lie, how do you think this lawsuit will go? Do you think al sharpton is capable of selling out for personal gain - and, by so doing, screwing over other Black people and apparently not caring about it?

In my opinion that's like asking if you think Rudy Giuliani is capable of saying negative things about Barack Obama.

I'll keep an eye out on this one, and blog about it as things progress.


Ken Berwitz

Of all the foreign policy disasters visited on us hopelessly incompetent, hopelessly outmatched Barack Obama, and his utterly useless Secretary of State John Kerry, this has to be the single worst.

From Bradley Klapper and George Jahn's article for the Associated Press, we now find out that a "deal" is being worked out to allow Iran pursuit of nuclear capabilities, based on Iran's willingness to hold off on a nuclear bomb for "at least a decade".

In other words, Iran - the single most prolific exporter of terrorism in the world, and a country which has continuously lied to us about every element of its nuclear program - is being given a nuclear go-ahead, based on its promise to be nice and peaceful.

Have Obama and Kerry taken leave of their senses?

And, incredibly, this is being cooked up while Obama and a disquieting number of his fellow Democrats are pulling out all stops to prevent Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, from addressing joint session of congress to warn us about the dangers of such a deal. 

What are they afraid of?  That Mr. Netanyahu will make them look beyond ridiculous, simply by providing a dose of reality?

Israel, you may recall, is the country Iran has threatened, in so many words, to "wipe off the face of the map".  Thus Israel is the country at risk of obliteration unless Iran magically becomes a non-terrorist, sincere peace partner -- the odds of which range between zero and below zero.

What do you think Israel is going to do about Iran going nuclear?  Sit back and wait for the next holocaust?  

These two impossibly incompetent fools are putting us all in enormous danger...based on the word of people an average elementary school student would know not to trust.

Asking again:  Have Obama and Kerry taken leave of their senses?

Zeke . . . . . . . ." Have Obama and Kerry taken leave of their senses? " - - - - - Y E S - - - - - - - - - - The End will be Urani-ous - - - - - They will All Go Simultaneous - - - - - They will All Go Together, when they Go - - - - - - - - - - Just sing out 'A Te Deum', - - - - - When you see that I.C.B.M. - - - - - They Will All Go Together, When They Go - - - - - [h/t : Tom Lehrer . . . . . (02/23/15)


Ken Berwitz

Let me start with a conclusion:  if this were happening in a Republican administration do you think months and months would be going by with virtually no coverage, no investigative reports, no cable news panel discussions, no network news "troubling new information" teasers?  Do you think a Republican equivalent of lois lerner would be able to arrogantly take the fifth, then refuse to answer any questions about what she did, without a major skewering by mainstream media...complete with demands that her boss force her to testify or that legal charges be brought against her?

Excerpted from Stephen Dinan's article in today's Washington Times (not the Washington Post - it is too busy doing another hit piece on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker...a laughably weak one that I will discuss in the next blog):

The White House told Congress last week it refused to dig into its computers for emails that could shed light on what kinds of private taxpayer information the IRS shares with President Obama's top aides, assuring Congress that the IRS will address the issue - eventually.

The tax agency has already said it doesn't have the capability to dig out the emails in question, but the White House's chief counsel, W. Neil Eggleston, insisted in a letter last week to House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan that the IRS would try again once it finishes with the tea party-targeting scandal.

"It is my understanding that in May 2014, Commissioner Koskinen responded to this request by indicating that the IRS would be able to address new topics such as these following its completion of document productions already in progress," Mr. Eggleston wrote in a Feb. 17 letter. "To the extent that the committee continues to have an oversight interest in this matter, I encourage you to continue working with the IRS to address those questions."

But IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's letter last year didn't say that. Instead Mr. Koskinen said the IRS was logistically incapable of performing the search because it would have required combing through 90,000 email accounts.

Yep.  Any day now.  Aa-a-a-a-n-n-n-n-ny day now.

What we are seeing is years of lying, years of obstruction....and years of mainstream media collectively looking the other way as it happens right in front of them.  Nothing important here, just the Internal Revenue Service, arguably the most feared non-military instrument of federal government, overtly discriminating based on free speech.

Do you recall mainstream media doing that for the Bush administration?  On anything, big or small?  Me neither.

I talk a lot about media bias in here. This is one of the many reasons why.


Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from bill nye, who touts himself as "Bill Nye, the science guy"

nye was on Bill Maher's Real Time with actor/director Rob Reiner, and the talk turned to whether Israel Jews should consider Israel a "home".

Seems sort of a silly question, doesn't it?  Wouldn't Catholics consider the Vatican a home?  Wouldn't Muslims consider Mecca a home?  Therefore wouldn't Jews consider the one and only Jewish homeland a home?  You'd think so

But then again you and I aren't science guys are we?

Here, pulled from Jack Coleman's blog at, is a part of the "discussion", if you care to call it that, between Maher, Reiner and nye leading to the Quote Of The Day:

MAHER: Speaking of which, you know, what about this anti-Semitism that's going on in Europe?

REINER: It's never gone away, that's the thing. You know, thousands and thousands of years we've had anti-Semitism. It's been lowered, it comes back, we had it, you know, obviously during the Second World War and then all of a sudden we have Germany emerging very liberal and all that.
REINER: But this undercurrent of anti-Semitism has always been there. Just like racism, it's always there and then it just bubbles up to the surface every once in a while. And it's horrible now.

MAHER: Yeah, I mean, Netanyahu is asking European Jews to come to Israel and ...

NYE (wryly): Come home to Israel -- that's what he said, right? 
MAHER: Well, I mean, he is the ...

NYE (interrupting again): But you never, the people have never been there. They live, grew up in whatever, in Germany or France.

MAHER: It's a shame that they should have to move, uh ...

NYE: Well, they probably won't either, 'cause it's not their home, you know.
REINER: But you can understand it. There were German Jews that lived in Germany during the Second World War and that was their home. And, you know, at a certain point, you know, if your life is in danger, you want to go to someplace where you're going to be protected.

And what does nye say to this?  Here's your answer:

NYE: So, what do you do about it? I think you get to know your neighbors. And it's gonna take, what, does it take a century, something like that?

There you go.  The holocaust, the decades of anti-Semitism in countries throughout Europe, is all because.....those damn Joooooz didn't get to know their neighbors.  If only those damn Joooooz were more neighborly this all could have been avoided.  They should just give it a century or so, and things will be much better. Honest.

I award bill nye Quote Of The Day honors for being either the dumbest, most obtuse "scientist" on the planet, a garden variety anti-Semitic horse's ass, or both. 

Help me out: which of these choices is the good one?

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