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Monday, 26 January 2015


Ken Berwitz

Marc Thiessen, former Republican speechwriter and currently a Washington Post columnist (among other things), has written an excellent, compelling piece on why Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, should ignore the threat and insults emanating from the Obama administration - undoubtedly with Barack Obama's personal imprimatur - and follow through on John Boehner's offer to speak before a joint session of congress.

I urge you to read every word of Mr. Thiessen's commentary.  But let me whet your appetite with the first few paragraphs - paying special attention to the last one, which I've put in bold print:

Do they talk this way about Iranian President Hassan Rouhani?

After learning that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted an invitation to address a joint session of Congress about the need for new sanctions to stop Iran's nuclear program, the Obama administration went ... well, nuclear.

One "senior American official" threatened Netanyahu, telling the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that "Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price." Meanwhile a "source close to [Secretary of State John] Kerry" told The Post that the "secretary's patience is not infinite" and that "playing politics with that relationship could blunt Secretary Kerry's enthusiasm for being Israel's primary defender."

Oh, please. No wonder Netanyahu is going around these people to Congress for support. Is Kerry defending Israel as a favor to Netanyahu, or because it is in the United States' vital interests to stand with our closest ally in the Middle East? Just the threat of withdrawing that support validates Netanyahu's suspicion that the Obama administration does not have Israel's back in its negotiations with Iran.

Mr. Thiessen goes on to list out a number of the personal insults thrown Netanyahu's way from members of the administration - who would never have done so without an understanding, tacit or overt, that it was perfectly ok with President Obama.

That makes Mr. Netanyahu look like an adult and Mr. Obama look like a petulant child.  Which, sad to say, pretty much sums up the way things really are. 

With an ego as big as the sky and an Accomplice media ready, willing and able to cover for him at every turn, Barack Obama has essentially given Israel the back of his hand for 6 years....while playing footsie with some of Israel's most dangerous enemies, most notably Iran. 

Netanyahu knows it. Israel knows it (read the polls of how Israelis feel about Obama).  Marc Thiessen knows it.  And I know it.

I hope you do too.

Almost two more years of this nightmare to go.  Is there any way to move up time?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 20:37 PM   1 comment


Ken Berwitz

I just got this from our pal Baby Sitter Jeena.  I have no idea whether it is true.  But it gave me a much-needed laugh.

Maybe it will do the same for you:

Fascinating facts! ~ Stephanie


UPDATE:  To any disappointed females of my acquaintance:  Please keep in mind that Jews do not circumcise their thumbs.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 14:06 PM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

As we approach midday, I note that less than one inch of snow has fallen in our part of central New Jersey and, currently, it is not snowing at all.

I would call that good news, were it not for the fact that it is pretty much exactly what the weather service is telling us would happen....before we get nailed with 18" - 24" yet to come.

God I hope they're wrong.


UPDATE:  The temperature has dropped at least five degrees in the past half hour, the wind has kicked up significantly, and suddenly there is a driving snow:  tiny flakes that aren't floating around, but going straight down to the ground...the fastest-accumulating kind. 

I had hoped the forecast might be wrong. But it looks more and more like the real deal.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 11:51 AM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

As the Obama administration unloads on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin does New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin unload on the Obama administration. 

And no administration ever deserved it more.

Here is the beginning of Mr. Goodwin's latest column*:

Thou shall not cross Dear Leader

With their guttersniping failing to stop Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned March speech before Congress, White House aides are unloading their full arsenal of bile.

"He spat in our face publicly, and that's no way to behave," one Obama aide told an Israeli newspaper. "Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price."

It is pointless to say petty threats do not become the Oval Office. Trying to instruct this White House on manners recalls what Mark Twain said about trying to teach a pig to sing: It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Still, the fury is telling. It reminds, as if we could forget, that everything is always about Obama.

How dare Israel be more concerned with the existential threat of Iranian nukes than with Obama's feelings? And what do members of Congress think they are, a separate branch of government or something?

Yes, the presidency deserves respect, even when the president doesn't. Although Obama routinely ignores lawmakers and their role in our constitutional system of checks and balances, there is an argument afoot that Congress should have taken the high road and consulted him before inviting Netanyahu.

Thanks, Michael. We needed that.

Too bad this woebegotten administration will learn nothing from your words.


*After Mr. Goodwin is finished with the Obama administration, he goes after Andrew Cuomo on Moreland-gate (a term media would already be using if Cuomo were a Republican).  Do yourself a favor and read it too.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:33 AM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

This horrific list of puns comes to us from my sister....whose familial association is the only thing saving her from a firing squad.

Enjoy the groan-fest.  And remember:  things could be worse, you could be reading a political speech instead.

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking
Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
Shotgun wedding - A case of wife or death.
A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
What's the definition of a will?  (It's a dead give away.)
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
In democracy your vote counts.
In feudalism your count votes.
She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you'll get repossessed.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia - the LAN down under.
Every calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted - taint yours and taint mine.
A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.
Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture is a jab well done.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 09:24 AM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

The beginning of the end for 21 year Speaker of the New York State Assembly, (and, arguably, the single most powerful man in the state) Sheldon Silver, was last week, when he was arrested and charged with taking almost $4 million dollars in bribes.

On Saturday, I blogged that this could be the beginning of the end of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's presidential aspirations as well. 

The reason?  Because it appears - we don't know for sure, but it appears - Cuomo summarily shut down the Moreland Commission, which he himself set up to find government corruption in, just after Silver agreed to budgetary concessions he would not otherwise have been granted; presumably in return for Cuomo deep-sixing Moreland before the investigation got to where Silver would be taken down.

Again, I emphasize that we don't know any of this to be true.  No charges have been brought and no evidence has been presented.  But that is the way it looks and smells.

And now we have this, excerpted from article in the New York Post:

Facing intense pressure to step down, Sheldon Silver has agreed to relinquish his enormous powers as Assembly Speaker to a 5-man committee.

Under a deal being finalized last night, Silver will become a virtual figure head on Monday, as he cedes the iron control he has held over legislative matters in the State Capitol for the past 21 years.

It is not clear if he will actually give up the title of Speaker, and sources said the deal to cede control will be declared "temporary," meant to only last while he fights charges of kickbacks and corruption filed last week.

If there is any validity to the look and smell of what happened with the Moreland Commission, this could be huge trouble for Cuomo. Because it means the guy he put himself out on a limb to protect, will not have the power to return the favor.

Personally, I think of Governor Cuomo as an arrogant, nasty character.... but one who gets things done, and who is not afraid to cross ideological party lines for legislation he believes in.   I might not like him personally, but the presidency is not a congeniality contest.  I respect Governor Cuomo's capabilities and admire his ability to get results.

Put another way, if I were voting in New York's Democrat primary, and my choice were Andrew Cuomo or the accomplishment-less Hillary Clinton, Cuomo would get my vote 100 times out of 100.  As an independent (which is what I have always been),  he would stand a good chance of getting my vote in the general election

But none of this changes the fact that, if the Sheldon Silver story blows up into a national one (which, if we had anything remotely approaching a neutral media, it would have already have done), Silver's downfall could end things for Cuomo right there.

Stay tuned.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 09:04 AM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

As you may have heard - and it is no joke at all - a drone actually breached security at the White House yesterday.  It apparently landed on the White House grounds during the night.

Today's quote: 

"In my life... It wasn't safe for him to go to France? He was safer there than he is here."

And the speaker of that quote?  My wife - who, FYI, is a lifelong Democrat and voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

You're right, hon (that should keep me safe, at least for one day).

My beautiful bride of 45 years...whom I married when she was 6 (that might buy me another day or two) is awarded Quote Of The Day honors for the quality of her rueful, spontaneous reaction to this story.

Well, at least now we know why they call it the Secret Service.  Because, these days, if they're effectively protecting anyone it certainly is a secret.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:25 AM   Add Comment

Sunday, 25 January 2015


Ken Berwitz

If you live in the New York/tri-state area, and have any age on you, it will be sad news to learn that Joe Franklin, one of the true pioneers of talk radio (he was at it for over 60 years, right up to the last week or two) - and a born-and-bred Bronx native - has died at the age of 88.  The death appeared to be sudden, and the exact cause has not yet been made public.

I remember his show as "Joe Franklin's Memory Lane", with the theme song an upbeat version of "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover".  I also remember him interviewing a virtual who's-who of entertainment personalities, usually starting before they were famous and then continuing long afterwards. 

Mr. Franklin was a very engaging man and, even though he never went national, consistently drew the highest-level talent to his microphone.  They liked him and he liked them.

Anyone who heard Mr. Franklin, or saw him in one or another of the movies he played himself in, or laughed at Billy Crystal's imitations of him on Saturday Night Live, will miss him.  And that is a lot of people, believe me.

May Joe Franklin Rest In Peace....or spend eternity trading stories with some of the countless stars he interviewed in the past, whom he is no-doubt reacquainting himself with now.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 13:46 PM   1 comment


Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from North Korea's deranged man-child lunatic kim jung-un - or, more exactly, a spokesperson for him, which is exactly the same thing.

It seems little kimmy, the jung-un who took over when daddy went to that big worker's paradise in the sky, was upset when President Obama mentioned his country during the State Of The Union speech, by noting that "We will keep on ratcheting the pressure, but part of what's happening is... the Internet over time is going to be penetrating this country...Over time you will see a regime like this collapse".

His response?

"The recent wild remarks made by Obama are nothing but a poor grumble of a loser driven into a tight corner in the all-out standoff with the (North).  We cannot but be shocked to find that Obama... is so preoccupied with the inveterate repugnancy and hostility toward a sovereign state."

All-out standoff?  inveterate repugnancy?  Hooboy, them's fightin' words.

Allow me to post a satellite picture, taken one year ago, of the Korean peninsula and China at night.  Take a good look and tell me if you think the USA is engaged in some standoff - the term suggesting equality between the two countries - with this wonderfully advanced nation:

The Koreas at Night

Let's just say that if this was an x-ray of your mouth, and North Korea was where a tooth should be, you'd need a bridge or an implant...almost as much as kim jung-un needs a new barber.

But, his derangement notwithstanding, I award kim Quote Of The Day honors for shedding some light on what he is thinking...which, apparently, is more light than is shed on his country when the sun goes down.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 12:29 PM   2 comments

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