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Friday, 25 July 2014


Ken Berwitz

In case you're wondering what President Obama's priorities are (what they continue to be, actually)... is the latest answer. from Seema Mehta and Cathleen Decker's piece for the Los Angeles Times:

On his regularly scheduled visits to rake up campaign cash from the salons of Los Angeles' upper-crust neighborhoods, President Obama just as regularly drops into locales meant to emphasize that he is more man-of-the-people than man-of-the-moneyed.

On Thursday that locale was Canter's Deli, the venerable Fairfax district eating spot, where Obama struck up conversations with diners about basketball, his failing jump shot and other regular-guy concerns.

Fresh from a morning fundraiser at the Pacific Palisades home of Live Nation Chief Executive and President Michael Rapino - the bookend to a Wednesday night fundraiser at the Hancock Park home of television impresario Shonda Rhimes - Obama strode into the deli and shook hands with line cooks, who snapped pictures and fist-bumped the president.

Then he moved to the dining room, where he engaged in a little reverse trash talk, impugning his own basketball skills.

After one man asked him about his game, Obama replied, "My shot's broke."

"It's my elbow. It's my age," he said, holding his arm up in the air. "I get the chicken wing."

The diner asked how many shots he could sink out of 10, and Obama said eight. "But that's not during a game."

There's your answer.  Hit the rich Democrats up for tons of $$$ -while suckering the low-information crowd that Republicans are the ones with all the money - and then slumming with the suckers to talk about his basketball game.

The Middle East?  The Ukraine?  The border?  Hey, he's got a phone and pen, doesn't he?

Two and a half years until this nightmare ends.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 12:30 PM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

For the first time in months (and maybe the 2nd or 3rd time overall), I watched a small portion of Chuck Todd's "The Daily Rundown" show on (where else?) MSNBC.

Those few moments vividly reminded me of why I have so little regard for Chuck Todd.

Todd was doing a segment on the flood of illegal aliens coming across our borders from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and who knows where else (we certainly don't).

During that report, what he did not do was refer to the illegals as illegals - an intentional deception which Todd and, more generally, NBC News is far from alone in perpetuating.  

What he did do, however, was discuss the difficulty in amending the 2008 legislation which requires that illegals from countries other than Mexico and Canada be given a judicial hearing rather than simply being deported --- which he referred to as "The Bush legislation". 

This, of course, directly suggests that our border crisis is the fault of that terrible George Bush - who, in the eyes of MSNBC is responsible for everything else that went wrong in the past, is going wrong mow, and presumably will go wrong in the future...probably until another Republican President takes office, at which time it will again be the responsibility of the guy in charge.

Why do I have a problem with Todd's issuance of sole responsibility to George Bush?  After all, Mr. Bush did propose the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2007 (that's the legislation's formal name)? 

Because when that act was put before the House of Representatives, it passed by a vote of 405 - 2.  Then, when it was put before the US Senate, it passed by unanimous consent.  And, to put a little icing on the cake, the two "No" votes in the house were Republicans, not Democrats, along with 14 of the 25 who declined to vote at all.

This means if every Republican in both houses decided not to show up for work the day those votes took place, so only Democrats voted, the legislation would have passed unanimously.   And if President Bush decided this act, in its final form, was not acceptable and vetoed it, Democrats would have overridden his veto with loads of room to spare.

How, then, does George Bush and George Bush alone become responsible for this legislation?  Only in the "minds", such as they are, of partisans-posing-as-neutral-correspondents like Chuck Todd.

Thank you, Chuck, for again reminding me why you are not worth paying attention to.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:46 AM   2 comments


Ken Berwitz

Ted Cruz is a United States Senator.  While at Princeton University, he won a raft of awards for his debating talents.  Mr. Cruz graduated Princeton cum laude, and then graduated Harvard Law School magna cum laude.  Alan Dershowitz - certainly no fan of Mr. Cruz's politics - characterized him as "off the charts brilliant".

So why would I ask if he is a blithering idiot? 

Because that is what he was called by advertising executive Donny Deutch, during today's "Morning Joe" show on (where else?) MSNBC - with no argument at all from any of the other four of five people sitting around the table.

And why was he called a "blithering idiot"?  Because he said this about the FAA's suspension of flights into/out of Tel Aviv, reported by Kevin Robillard of

"The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands," Cruz said in a statement Wednesday, pointing to earlier comments from Secretary of State John Kerry implying Israel's economy would suffer it the country's occupation of Palestine

"This FAA flight ban may well represent a crippling blow to a key economic sector through both security concerns and worries that additional bans will down more flights and strand more passengers," he said. "It hardly matters if or when the ban is lifted. At this point, the damage may already be done."

Is Mr. Cruz correct in his assessment (and let's remember that it is not an accusation, it is an assessment - a speculation he says is suggested by the facts)?  I don't know.

But is it reasonable to speculate that a President who has been completely immersed in the political part of his office since becoming President - who vindictively closed WWII monuments to veterans along with Mt. Rushmore - including the lookout points on the roads near it - during that bogus government shutdown, who decided it wasn't worth going to the border while in Texas last week, and who has spent the last two days running from one fundraiser to another on the west coast while the world is exploding - might have had a hand in the FAA's shutdown?

Sure it is.

Mr. Cruz also pointed out that the FAA suspended flights into/out of Israel based on one rocket that landed a mile from the airport, but  did not suspend flights into/out  of the Ukraine, even after a commercial plane was downed by a missile, killing all 300 passengers.

Asking again:  is it reasonable for Ted Cruz  to speculate that politics may have had a hand in the FAA decision?

And, if the answer is yes, who is the "blithering idiot" here - or, maybe, just someone so partisan and full of hate for conservatives that he would make an imbecilic comment like that?

Looked in the mirror recently, Donny?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:24 AM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

Last week I blogged about a New York Times editorial which, unlike its strongly slanted coverage of the Israel-hamas conflict, provided an honest assessment of how the conflict came to be and who was doing what.

Here is its last paragraph:

Can we possibly hope that, after many years of being far more critical of Israel than of the people who are committed, in writing, to vaporize the country and kill every Jew there (and elsewhere as well), a page has been turned?  Or is this a momentary ideological lapse, to be followed by the Times' usual anti-Israel bias?

And here is the answer to that question - in the form of the first two paragraphs of today's article on the conflict - in rust - with my comments in blue.

As Israel's incursion into Gaza enters its third week and Palestinian civilian deaths mount, reaction in the United States has been muted, with polls through last weekend showing most Americans still supportive - in part, analysts say, because of the failures of the Arab Spring to spread democracy in the Middle East. Which analysts said that? How about considering the possibility that Americans still support Israel simply because we still believe Israel is on the right side of this conflict? But in a situation long familiar, Israel is losing the public relations war outside the United States. Do you think this might have something to do with the fact that there is one Jewish state, versus almost 60 Islamic states, and much of the rest of the world reliant on them for oil?  Just asking....

On Wednesday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to authorize a commission of inquiry into alleged war crimes in Gaza. (The United States was the sole "no" vote.) Uh, you somehow forgot to mention that virtually every European country abstained, and that the remaining UNHRC membership is loaded with countries - such as Cuba, Russia, China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc. - which have absolutely no business judging anyone else's human rights.  The United Nations' top human rights official raised what she called the "strong possibility" that Israel and Hamas have committed war crimes with indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and the drumbeat from world leaders and demonstrators pointed to the lopsided number of Palestinian casualties - more than 650, most of them civilians - versus 35 on the Israeli side, 32 of them soldiers. For the umpteenth time, that "lopsided" number is due to the fact that hamas - a terrorist organization - not only does not protect its citizens (virtually no bomb shelters or warning systems) but has a rich history of placing its launch sites at or near civilian facilities which, if hit, would cause the most civilian casualties - like the two schools the UN itself found with missiles hidden in them (and who knows how many more yet to be found).  Israel builds an Iron Dome defense system to protect its citizens.  hamas uses its own women and children as human shields, while spending money which could have built protection for them, or infrastructure that might improve their lives, to construct an elaborate system of underground tunnels for transporting missiles and terrorists into Israel.

Remember, that's just the first two paragraphs.  There's more - a lot more.

Last week's editorial could have been a turning point for the Times - a chance to honestly talk about what Israel deals with on a daily basis with a terrorist organization on its border.  But, apparently, it wasn't. 

I wish I were surprised.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 07:47 AM   Add Comment

Thursday, 24 July 2014


Ken Berwitz

Last week I blogged about a Philadelphia woman named Shaneen Allen, and the fact that she was facing years in prison for making an honest, unintended mistake - being in possesion of a gun she legally obtained in Pennsylvania when driving in New Jersey which, unbeknownst to her, does not recognize the Pennsylvania license. 

To refresh your memory, when Ms. Allen, a single mother who works at two jobs, travels to and from work at night, and has been robbed while doing so, was pulled over for a minor traffic infraction, she voluntarily advised the police officer she was legally carrying the gun - to avoid any issue if he saw it.  And this is what she got for doing so.

In my blog, I issued a plea for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to step in and prevent this ridiculously overblown situation to play out.

Well, now I have further information on what is happening with Shaneen Allen - and it is even worse than I thought.

Excerpted from an article at - and please pay special attention to the part I've put in bold print:

After two robberies made her aware of her vulnerability, she became convinced that she should be prepared to defend herself and her family, and resolved to do something about it. Which is to say that Allen bought her firearm, and obtained her concealed-carry permit, not to commit crimes but to prevent them. This has failed to move the prosecutor, Jim McClain, an overzealous man who has routinely declined to use the considerable latitude with which he has been entrusted by the state.

Under New Jersey's rules, McClain could have declined to press any charges against Allen, recognizing that she was guilty of little more than an innocent mistake. He could have treated it as merely a misdemeanor and sent her to municipal court. He could have permitted her to enroll in one of the diversionary programs that New Jersey has established for peaceful first-time offenders, thereby sparing her both the prison time that will take her away from her children and the felony conviction that will almost certainly destroy her career in medical work. Instead, he has sought punishment to the fullest extent of the law: in this instance, a three-year mandatory minimum jail sentence for illegal possession of a firearm, and an extra year or more for possession of illegal ammunition. This is a travesty of justice.

Is this prosecutor out of his mind?

Someone - I'm voting for Governor Christie, either directly or through an intermediary-  has to take jim mcclain aside and read him the riot act. Tell him that what he is doing to Shaneen Allen does not come within 1,000,000 miles of actual justice.  Tell him that he had damn well better run, not walk, back to his office and make these charges go away.

For my part, I promise to keep on top of the story, keep writing on Ms. Allen's behalf, and let you know if/when this Torquemada-wannabe's sick, mindless assault on her is reversed.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 20:57 PM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

Today's quote - and if he really said this, it is beyond incredible - comes to us from Secretary Of State John Kerry.

Kerry made a shiva (condolence) call on the family of Max Steinberg, a 24 year old Woodland Hills, California native who joined the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and was killed in action last week. 

According to the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, when Kerry met Steinberg's mother, Evie, this is what he is reported as having said:

"How's your day?"

How the eff do you think the mother of a just-killed 24 year old was, John?

I would very much like to think that this is not being reported accurately.  But I am reasonably certain it is.  On that basis, I award John Kerry Quote Of The Day honors for setting a new world standard for tone-deaf idiocy.

Maybe one day someone will surpass it.  But, to tell you the truth, I can't think of how.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 20:27 PM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

I dedicate this post to the "Lost Tribers" who support Israel, but nevertheless reflexively vote Democrat every time anyway:

Here, based on the latest CNN poll, is who you are standing with:

-I'd like your overall opinion of some foreign countries. Is your overall opinion of (ISRAEL) very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable or very unfavorable? 

Very/mostly favorable:     Total: 60%   Republicans: 67%    Democrats: 39%

Very/mostly unfavorable: Total: 38%   Republicans: 31%    Democrats:  48%

-Do you think Israel was justified or unjustified in taking military action against Hamas and the Palestinians in the area known as Gaza?

Yes, justified:                     Total: 57%  Republicans: 73%    Democrats: 45%

No, not justified:                Total: 34%  Republicans: 19%    Democrats: 42%

No opinion:                        Total:   9%  Republicans:   8%    Democrats: 12%

Any questions.....other than "Who the hell have I been hanging out with"?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 16:48 PM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

There is a terrific editorial about the Israel-hamas conflict in today's Washington Post. 

I usually would post key excerpts and a link...but since I cannot find even one word to leave out, here it is in its entirety:

The U.S. should push for the disarming of Hamas in Gaza-Israel cease-fire

THE DISTINGUISHING feature of the latest war between Israel and Hamas is "offensive tunnels," as the Israeli army calls them. As of early Wednesday, 28 had been uncovered in Gaza, and nearly half extend into Israel, according to Israeli officials. The tunnels are the reason that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu decided last weekend to launch a ground invasion of Gaza, and they explain why that operation has strong support from Israelis in spite of the relatively heavy casualties it has inflicted. Most significantly, the tunnels show why it has been difficult to reach a cease-fire and why any accord must forge a new political and security order in Gaza.

Hamas's offensive tunnels should not be confused with the burrows it has dug under Gaza's border with Egypt to smuggle money, consumer goods and military equipment. The newly discovered structures have only one conceivable purpose: to launch attacks inside Israel. Three times in recent days, Hamas fighters emerged from the tunnels in the vicinity of Israeli civilian communities, which they clearly aimed to attack. The ­concrete-lined structures are stocked with materials, such as handcuffs and tranquilizers, that could be used on hostages. Other tunnels in northern Gaza are designed for the storage and firing of missiles at Israeli cities.

The resources devoted by Hamas to this project are staggering, particularly in view of Gaza's extreme poverty. By one Israeli account, the typical tunnel cost $1 million to build over the course of several years, using tons of concrete desperately needed for civilian housing. By design, many of the tunnels have entrances in the heavily populated Shijaiyah district, where the Israeli offensive has been concentrated. One was found underneath al-Wafa hospital, where Hamas also located a command post and stored weapons, according to Israeli officials.

The depravity of Hamas's strategy seems lost on much of the outside world, which - following the terrorists' script - blames Israel for the civilian casualties it inflicts while attempting to destroy the tunnels. While children die in strikes against the military infrastructure that Hamas's leaders deliberately placed in and among homes, those leaders remain safe in their own tunnels. There they continue to reject cease-fire proposals, instead outlining a long list of unacceptable demands.

One of those demands is for a full reopening of Gaza's land and sea borders. While this would allow relief and economic development for the territory's population, it would also allow Hamas to import more missiles and concrete for new tunnels. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, the Egyptian government and other would-be brokers are right to seek a cease-fire, but they should reject Hamas's agenda. Instead, any political accord should come after a cease-fire and be negotiated with the Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas. It should link opening of the borders and other economic concessions to the return to Gaza of the security forces of the Palestinian Authority, the disarmament of Hamas and elections for a new government.

In setting such conditions, international mediators will likely have the quiet support of most of Gaza's population. Polls show that they are fed up with Hamas's rule and with its use of women and children as cannon fodder in unwinnable wars with Israel. The next government of Gaza should be one that invests in schools, health clinics and houses, not in tunnels.

Other than my expectation that it probably will not be any more productive to negotiate with abbas than with hamas (which I would strongly hope to be wrong about), I can't find a thing to disagree with.

Regarding a potential ending of the blockade, it is a conveniently forgotten fact that when Israel handed Gaza over to Palestinian Arabs, lock, stock and barrel, there was no blockade at all.  It was hoped that Israel and Gaza would engage in peaceful, mutually beneficial co-existence.  The blockade was imposed only after Gaza, instead, turned into little more than a staging area for attacks on sovereign Israeli territory.

I fervently wish for the day that the blockade will become unnecessary - even as I understand that, as things now stand, that day is not in the forseeable future.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 15:09 PM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

In 2009, when hundreds of thousands were marching for freedom in Tehran and other Iranian cities, President Obama declined to speak out, on the grounds that it was another country's internal affairs - a position which reversed 180 degrees when Israel announced it was building a few hundred residential housing units in Jerusalem (if you're wondering how, at this point, anyone who supported Israel could support Obama, welcome to my world).

Then, last year, when it became so clear Iran was developing a nuclear arsenal that even the Obama administration could not fake ignorance, President Obama and, presumably, Secretary Of State Kerry, cut a deal in which there was a significant lifting of sanctions against the country in return for a series of promises that its nuclear program would be ended - none of which have been kept (a reality which any average 5th grader could have predicted, but which Mr. Obama, but either could not, or did not want to).

But we must have gotten something for letting Iran off the nuclear hook, right?  Something for Iran's continued ability to mortally threaten Israel, our staunchest ally in the Middle East (at least until this administration took office, that is) and, more generally, world peace.

Well, yes.  We did.  And here it is, courtesy of excerpts from Reza Kahlili's article at

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated on Wednesday that the only solution for the region is the destruction of Israel, and that the armed confrontation must expand beyond Gaza.

Meanwhile, revolutionary guards announced new missiles which could destroy Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.

Fars News Agency, a media outlet run by the Iranian state, reported today that Khamenei addressed the conflict in Gaza in a meeting with Iranian college students.

"These crimes which are beyond imagination and show the true nature of the wolfish and child killer regime, which the only solution is its destruction," the ayatollah declared to his audience. "However, until that time, the expansion of the armed resistance of the Palestinians of the West Bank is the only way to confront this wild regime."

Khamenei then criticized America, claiming its defense of Israel is "shameful," and suggested that its support affects Iran's behavior towards America.

There you have it, folks. There's our reward. A statement that the only solution to the Middle East is not peaceful co-existence, but the obliteration of the Jewish state - and an attack on the USA for its "shameful" defense of Israel...which is currently engaged in the crime of responding to unending attack from a terrorist organization committed, in writing, to its destruction.

Personally, I feel that the scariest part of this is not what khamenei said; it is what I would expect from a hate-filled exporter of world terrorism. 

The scariest part is that I don't know for sure whether he has a receptive audience in the White House.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 12:29 PM   1 comment


Ken Berwitz

Remember Meriam Ibrahim?  She was the Sudanese woman who converted to Chrstianity, married a Christian man.....and was sentenced to death for adultery based on it being illegal for her to have converted.

Last month I blogged about Ms. Ibrahim's situation.  At that time, I lamented the fact that it went virtually unreported by our mainstream media.

Let's see if they bother to report this:  that it took a lot of doing, but the Ibrahim family, which eventually was given refuge in the US Embassy, has finally, at long last, been able to leave that horrific hellhole of a country with her family.  

Ms. Ibrahim, whose situation turned her into something of an international celebrity, was flown, with her husband and two children, to Italy - where she was met by the country's President and then given an audience with the Pope.  

Excerpted from Leon Watson and Daniel Bates' article in London's Daily Mail:

'Thank you for your faith and courage': Sudanese mother put on death row for marrying a Christian is praised by Pope Francis as she has 'very affectionate' meeting after travelling to Rome

·         Vatican said Pope had 'a very affectionate' meeting with Meriam Ibrahim, 27

·         Her stay in Italian was organised by the Italian government

·         Meriam and her family were living in the US embassy in Khartoum

·         They are said to be in good health and will stay in Italy for a few days 

·         Meriam gave birth to two-month-old Maya chained up in prison


Ms. Ibrahim says she will stay in Italy a few days, and then migrate to the United States.  

I'm sure you join me in wishing the Ibrahim family every happiness in their new country.  And that someday - in the very near future - Sudan's government will join the human race and allow its citizens, at very least, the most basic freedoms.  It is long overdue there (and Sudan is far from the only country I could say that about).

Here's an idea:  maybe the United Nations can get invol....oh, wait.  Never mind.  Those folks are too busy going after Israel for defending itself against a terrorist organization to bother with trifles like a woman being sentenced to death for daring to have the wrong religious faith. 

Hopelessly Partisan @ 11:03 AM   1 comment

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