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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA

Ken Berwitz

If I am hearing President Obama's speech correctly, congratulations are in order.

In an effort to force vladmir putin to stop his war against The Ukraine, Mr. Obama is announcing major sanctions against Russia - with the European Union on board, implementing sanctions of their own. 

That is exactly what is needed. 

I am sorry Mr. Obama did not act sooner.  But I won't carp on the timing right now.  No one can go back in time, and - at this moment, it seems clear that the necessary stringent steps are being taken. 

Good job, Mr. President!  May this be the start of a winning streak for you - and therefore for us.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 15:49 PM   Add Comment

GETTING PAST BENJAMIN CARSON

Ken Berwitz

STEVE MALZBERG, NEWSMAX TV: I saw a story the other day that now you're inclined to run for president. Where are you? Because last time we talked you said it would be up to God, and even if God decided you should run you wouldn't want to run. So tell me where you are.

DR. BEN CARSON: Well, I'm listening. I'm in the listening process.

MALZBERG: So would you say that's a step closer than where you were the last time we talked?

CARSON: It is a step closer. I have to consider what's going on, and I have to consider the enormous crowds that I encounter every place I go, and the level of enthusiasm, and what I'm hearing.

Let's put this one to rest right now.

I don't know what you think of Dr. Benjamin Carson's political positions.  But, regardless of whether you love, like, dislike or hate them, the fact remains that Mr. Carson has no Presidential qualifications whatsoever.  What are Dr. Ben Carson's qualifications to be President of the United States?  None whatsoever.

Being a brilliant neurosurgeon does not qualify Mr. Carson to be President any more than being a President qualifies someone to perform neurosurgery.

We are already living with the consequences of an unqualified person in the Oval Office.  Can we please not do it again?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 15:13 PM   Add Comment

DAVID HARSANYI DECONSTRUCTS JOHN KERRY

Ken Berwitz

If you click here, you can read columnist/author David Harsanyi's absolutely superb explanation of what a complete, unadulterated mess Secretary of State John Kerry - and therefore President Barack Obama, who must approve Kerry's actions - have made of their attempts to create some kind of ceasefire between Israel and hamas.

But if you're strapped for time, here is the key part of Mr. Harsanyi's analysis:

It seems like a rather big deal when Egypt, Israel, Fatah, Jordan, Saudi Arabia - ostensibly, all allies of ours - agree on anything. This development, one imagines, would be something the United States would be interested in fostering rather than destroying. Certainly, the idea that Hamas' power should be neutralized and the influence of the "moderate" Palestinian authority expanded, sounds like a plan worth pursuing.

You would think. But instead, Kerry basically ignored an Egyptian-led ceasefire effort to do just that, and handed Israelis a document that offered them this:

  •  Rather than empowering Fatah, it recognizes Hamas as the legitimate authority in the Gaza Strip, though it is considered a terrorist organization by the Justice Department and an entity that's founding principle and driving purpose is to eliminate Israel and replace it with an Islamic state.

  • Rather than choking off this organization's lifeline, it would have allowed them to collect billions in 'charity' that would be been able to use to rearm, retrench and reengage in hostilities.

  • And all the while, it would not have made no demands on Hamas to get rid of its rockets, or its tunnels and other weaponry used to instigate war - while at the same it would have limited Israel's ability to take them out. (Update: This final point is disputed by U.S. officials.)

Hamas would have conceded nothing. No nation would have accepted such terms, not after what's transpired, and naturally it was rejected unanimously by an Israeli cabinet that includes the ideological left, center and right. Not only did the proposal irritate Israel -  a nation often accused of warmongering for kicks - but it also upset Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.

At the end of his piece, Harsanyi concludes "we either have an incompetent Secretary of State or a momentous shift in Middle East policy. Either way, Kerry's actions have created a bigger mess."

My one disagreement with Harsanyi is here:  why does he assume it is an either/or situation?  Why can't it be imcompetence and a momentous shift in our Middle East policy?  .

That's certainly the way I see it.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 14:04 PM   Add Comment

THE REPUBLICAN = STUPID ROUTINE. AGAIN

Ken Berwitz

Is there a Republican who achieves national recognition of any kind that the left does not immediately tag as being stupid?

You probably could come up with one or two, but they are rarities.  The left's de rigueur attack on Republicans almost always is that they are brain-deficient.

The latest target?  Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Now you may or may not like what Mr. Cruz has to say (I can find plenty of both).  But stupid is a little tough to buy, given that he is a cum laude graduate of Princeton, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, and was considered possibly the single most capable college debater in the country.  Hardly the earmarks of stupidity.

Yet, today, we have smug leftist Nathan Robinson who writes for the left wing web site slate.com, assuring us that people who think Mr. Cruz is smart are as un-smart as he is.

A sampling of Mr. Robinson's "logic":

For one thing, it doesn't seem especially true. It can't really be that we think Cruz has a sophisticated mind, given that the only thoughts he produces are angry pants-on-fire platitudinous drivel. Even those who lavish praise on his oratory seem to agree that his heat-to-light ratio nears the infinite, and that "thoughtfulness" and Ted Cruz cannot exist in the same room. His only memorable quotes appear to be cheap jokes, and the most notable speech of his entire career is not his own, but Dr. Seuss'. Nobody who has witnessed a few minutes of Cruz's piece of senatorial performance art would have thought to label him a thinker, were it not for the preexisting consensus that he is one.

Cruz has become notorious for using distortive, misleading rhetoric that no sober-minded individual could apply. Cruz says Obamacare‚Äôs "intent is to destroy the private insurance business," despite the fact that the whole progressive complaint about Obamacare is that it is a massive windfall to insurers. He says a campaign finance amendment attempting to rein in spending literally "repeals the First Amendment." But even more alarming are the straightforward factual errors. He has mistakenly claimed that most premiums have risen under the Affordable Care Act and that states with gun control have the highest murder rates, among other elementary blunders that earned him a rating on PolitiFact of 10 falsehoods for every one truth.

One may respond that Cruz is shrewd and knows better, that these are calculated political lies by a devious plotter. But for a savant merely playing an imbecile on television, Cruz is strangely inept when it comes to policymaking.

I especially like that second paragraph, in which Mr. Robinson feels that "no sober-minded individual" could agree ObamaCare will destroy private insurance, and there is no merit to the position that limiting campaign spending is an attack on free speech.  Personally I can make an argument supporting both sides of both issues. Which, to me, proves that this is a difference of opinion - not that it shows either side to be mentally challenged. 

And, of the two issues explored by PolitiFact (which, itself, has been accused of pro-Democrat bias for years), the "false" rating regarding premium rate rises for ObamaCare is based on an interpretation of words (did Cruz mean all ObamaCare policies or all policies regardless of how they were obtained), and, on gun control, PolitiFact acknowledges that Cruz's conclusion has merit depending on how the data are read...but it is "false" since the data can be read more than one way (which, where I come from, means Cruz is stating a valid opinion).

That's pretty thin gruel for calling out Ted Cruz's intelligence.  But, if you are hard left, and your panacea for every Republican who gets a little press is that he/she must be stupid, you do what you have to do.

Me? I'll continue to either agree or disagree with Ted Cruz on issues. And, until he gives me reasons which go beyond what Nathan Robinson is dishing out, I'll continue to think of him as being a pretty smart guy. 

To Mr. Robinson:  Can't you find something fresher to attack your Republican bogeymen with?  This "Republican = stupid" act is as tired as a vaudeville song-and-dance routine. 

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:00 AM   Add Comment

THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from Ron Prosor, Israel's Ambassador to the UN:


"The equation is simple.  When it is quiet in Israel, it will be quiet in Gaza."


Mr. Prosor wins Quote Of The Day honors for stating, so clearly and succinctly, what much of the world either is incapable of grasping or, for its own reasons, does not want to know.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 09:07 AM   Add Comment

TEACH THE CHILDREN WELL....

Ken Berwitz

In case you are wondering what those wonderful, peace-desiring folks over at hamas are teaching their children....

....here, from the invaluable MEMRI.org web site, are clips from a children's show on al-aqsa (hamas) TV:



Can anyone show me similar children's programming in Israel?  Nope, because it isn't there.  

Can anyone show me any statement from Barack Obama, or John Kerry, demanding that hateful filth like this not be spoon-fed to toddlers by hamas?   Nope, because that also isn't there.

Can anyone, therefore, possibly believe that Barack Obama and John Kerry are seriously seeking a pathway to peace between Israel and hamas?  Nope, because that isn't there either.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:48 AM   Add Comment

Monday, 28 July 2014

JEW WISH TO CONTRIBUTE TO MICHELLE NUNN?

Ken Berwitz

If I told you that Michelle Nunn, the Democrat candidate for US Senate in Georgia, ran an organization which contributed to hamas, and that an email just surfaced in which her campaign was deciding on what position she should take on the Israel/Hamas conflict that would extract the most money out of Jews, do you think she'd have a problem?

If so, then we agree.  Michelle Nunn has a problem.  Because that appears to be exactly her situation.

Excerpted from Eliana Johnson's article at nationalreview.com:

Michelle Nunn can come across as a "lightweight," "too liberal," not a "real Georgian." While she served as CEO for the Points of Light Foundation, the organization gave grants to "inmates" and "terrorists." And her Senate campaign must feature images of her and her family "in rural settings with rural-oriented imagery" because the Atlanta-based candidate will struggle to connect with rural voters.

These may sound like attacks from the Senate candidate's Republican rival, but in fact, those are a few of the concerns expressed in her own campaign plan, which sources say was posted online briefly in December and appears to have been drafted earlier that month. Drawing on the insights of Democratic pollsters, strategists, fundraisers, and consultants, the document contains a series of memos addressed to Nunn and her senior advisers.

The campaign's finance plan draws attention to the "tremendous financial opportunity" in the Jewish community and identifies Jews as key fundraisers. It notes, however, that "Michelle's position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here." That's a position she has yet to articulate - her message on the subject is marked "TBD" in the document - and Israel goes unmentioned on her campaign website.


According to the IRS Form 990s that Points of Light filed in 2008 and 2011, the organization gave a grant of over $33,000 to Islamic Relief USA, a charity that says it strives to alleviate "hunger, illiteracy, and diseases worldwide."Islamic Relief USA is part of a global network of charities that operate under the umbrella of Islamic Relief Worldwide. Islamic Relief USA says on its website that it is a legally separate entity from its parent organization, but that they share "a common vision, mission, and family identity."

Islamic Relief Worldwide has ties to Hamas, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization. In June, Israel banned the charity from operating in the country because, according to Israeli officials, it was funneling cash to Hamas. In 2006, Israelis arrested Islamic Relief Worldwide's Gaza coordinator, Ayaz Ali. They said he was working to "transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations." Ali admitted to cooperating with local Hamas operatives while working in Jordan and, on his computer, Israeli officials found photographs of "swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols," and of Nazi officials, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

And if you read Ms. Johnson's entire article - which I urge you to use my link and do - you'll find plenty more just like it relating to how Michelle Nunn would also juggle White, Black and Asian voters.

Is it possible - even likely - that other politicians are this duplicitous, this insincere, this cynical?  Yep.  I'm sure there's no shortage at all.

But in Michelle Nunn's case, this transcends "possible" and goes straight to "definite".

The scariest part?  I have no doubt that there are plenty of people who should be massively offended by this, but who will figure out a way to somehow pretend it isn't there and vote for her anyway.  I guarantee there are "Lost Tribers" among Jews - i.e. supporters of Israel - who will rationalize why making sure they vote Democrat is more important than reacting to the fact that her organization gave tens of thousands of dollars to a nazi-sympathetic hamas front group.

God I pity them.  Every bit as much as Ms. Nunn and her people look forward to counting their votes.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 17:42 PM   Add Comment

THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from Mark Halperin, a reliably Democrat regular on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show.

First let me show you what Mr. Halperin was commenting on.  It was an amazingly arrogant, obtuse, obnoxious comment by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, regarding the fact that he shut down an ethics committee when it started looking into people close to his own administration.  Cuomo actually said this:

"It's my commission. My subpoena power, my Moreland Commission. I can appoint it, I can disband it. I appoint you, I can un-appoint you tomorrow...It's my commission. I can't 'interfere' with it, because it is mine. It is controlled by me."

All hail Emperor Andrew!! 

Uh, no, Governor Cuomo.  It is not your commission - unless you put it together privately and are paying each of its members out of your own pocket.  It is a commission of the people, whom you have been elected to govern.  There are no personal fiefdoms in the New York State constitution. 

But, amazing as that comment is, it is not the quote of the day.  The quote of the day goes to Mr. Halperin, for his reaction to it:

"I'm not stunned because this is largely the way his office has operated, known to insiders in Albany -  Albany is a black hole of political coverage and I think he thought he could get away with this as his office has gotten away with other attempts to intimidate the press, intimidate political people in both parties. And he has miscalculated here. I think the worst news for him in some ways besides the U.S. attorney investigation is, this suggests people don't take him all that seriously as a national figure. Because if this level of facts existed about say, a Chris Christie, this would be on the network evening newscasts every night. It's a huge controversy, a huge scandal. Maybe he'll talk about it today but I don't know how he explains the things they are admitting to. He is spinning them. But the facts as already known are just horrible. Not because he ran on it. Because of the underlying things they did to protect himself and his political allies."

I award Mr. Halperin Quote Of The Day honors for two very different reasons.

One is his 100% correct comment that if this were Chris Christie it would be on the network evening newscasts (and morning shows, and Sunday shows) ever night (and day, for weeks and months).  We already know this is true based on the tsunami of coverage Christie got over "Bridgegate - a minor scandal (a few lanes closed on the George Washington Bridge for a few days) which, to this moment, there is no evidence he had any personal involvement in.

The other is his 100% incorrect comment that the lack of almost any coverage by national media proves Andrew Cuomo is not taken seriously as a national figure.  Not at all so, Mark.  What it proves is that a Democrat is not held to the same standard as a Republican - even if he is guilty of something ten times more significant than what the Republican is only accused of.

Congratulations to Mark Halperin.  Shame on Andrew Cuomo - a Democrat whom I have written about positively in the recent past.  And Congratulations to Chris Christie for moving past "Bridgegate" even though the same media which skewered you for months about it have not pointed out since that the lack of any evidence just might show they were wrong.


Hopelessly Partisan @ 14:37 PM   Add Comment

EBOLA AND REALITY

Ken Berwitz

Several weeks ago I blogged about Laurie Garrett, a Senior Fellow on global health at the Council of Foreign Relations, who was a guest on Melissa Harris-Perry show.  At that time, she sneeringly disdained the idea that the current outbreak of ebola, which for the first time had spread from rural African areas into cities, might pose a health threat in the USA.

In part, she said this:

"I think the last thing we need to be concerned about is 'oh, will ebola come to America'. So let's just take that off the table for now and get real.

At that time, I wrote that I could not understand her comment, given that once it was found in cities, there was an obviously increased likelihood this horrible, almost-always-fatal condition could infect people who might subsequently come to the states.

Well, now CNN is reporting that two Americans in Liberia's capital city of Monrovia - a doctor and an aid worker - have been diagnosed with ebola.

Do we know how many more Americans it has affected?  Whether any have made it back to the states before the condition was discovered?

It seems to me that, since she was the one who disdained this possibility, Ms. Garrett should be quickly, loudly warn the public ... preferably starting with Melissa Harris-Perry's show, so as many of the people who heard her initial comments earlier in the month would know better now. 

And if Ms. Garrett - out of pride or orneriness - will not do so, it seems to me that Ms. Harris-Perry should, so her viewers will be aware of this grim reality. 

I wonder if she will.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 12:30 PM   Add Comment

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At "Hopelessly Partisan" we discuss all issues, big and small. Such as:

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