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Friday, 28 August 2015

A GORGEOUS BEACH DAY

Ken Berwitz

What gorgeous, perfect beach day this is.  

My beautiful bride and I are taking full advantage of it, here on the sands of Avon By The Sea, down the Jersey Shore.  (For you non-Jerseyites, that's Ah-von, not Ay-von.) 

Okay, enough of this chit chat. Time to head for the water. Political blogging re-commences later in the day.

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We finished by having wine and nachos with spinach and artichoke dip at Sunsets in Neptune. What a nice way to end the day!

Hopelessly Partisan @ 12:13 PM   Add Comment

THE WASHINGTON POST AND ANTI-TRUMP MEDIA BIAS

Ken Berwitz

As anyone knows, I am, to say the least, no fan of Donald Trump's.

But I know a hit job when I see one.  And the Washington Post published a hit job on Trump that I feel compelled to call it out on.

Here is the description, in Philip Rucker and Robert Costa's article, for the Washington Post, of Univision anchor Jorge Ramos's confrontation with Donald Trump at an Iowa press conference earlier this week:

Trump booted the nation’s top Latino newsman out of his press conference, but moments later he let Univision’s Jorge Ramos reclaim his seat in the front row and the two men sparred passionately about illegal immigration.

To read this, you would swear that Trump noticed a Latino newsperson in the room and had him tossed out. 

But what actually happened was that Ramos was welcome in the room until, clearly intending to force a confrontation, he stood up and started asking questions after Trump had called on a different newsperson.  And he continued talking over the person who was called on until he was removed.  In other words, the incident was 100% created by Ramos, not Trump.

Somehow Rucker and Costa forgot to mention this....

...folks, literally as I was typing this, the story was updated.  Here is what it says now:

Two minutes into Donald Trump's news conference here Tuesday night came the question he tried to silence.

"Mr. Trump, I have a question," said Jorge Ramos, the top news anchor at Univision and one of the country's most recognizable Mexican-Americans, as he stood up in the front row of journalists.

"Excuse me," the Republican presidential front-runner told Ramos. "Sit down. You weren't called. Sit down."

Ramos, holding a piece of paper, calmly tried to ask Trump about his plan to combat illegal immigration. "I'm a reporter, an immigrant, a senior citizen," he said. "I have the right to ask a question."

Trump interrupted him. "Go back to Univision," he said. Then the billionaire businessman motioned to one of his bodyguards, who walked across the room and physically removed Ramos from the room.

Got it?  Trump tried to "silence" a question - the implication being that he was fearful of answering it - from a top Mexican-American news anchor who was calmly asking it - the implication being that this was an uncalled for action against a reporter simply attempting to get an answer to a question.

That is an even bigger fraud, even more of a journalistic disgrace, than the first version of the story.

Here's the news:  Jorge Ramos may wow 'em at Univision, but he is about as much of a "newsman" as al sharpton is. 

Ramos is a hardline advocate for unlimited access to the USA by Mexican nationals, who doesn't even try to hide his bias. 

Maybe that works on Univision, but some of us are still under the impression that journalism is when you comport yourself in something remotely approaching a neutral manner. 

Shame on Rucker and Costa for so completely misrepresenting what happened at that press conference.  And shame on the Washington Post for publishing it.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:56 AM   1 comment

WHY CAN'T NPR FIND PRO-LIFE PEOPLE?

Ken Berwitz

Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) has a problem.  It can only find people on one side of a controversial issue.

Yesterday, pro-choice Diane Rehm's show spent an hour called "New Tactics In the Anti-Abortion Movement",  which discussed the series of grisly, devastating Planned Parenthood videos issued by the Center for Medical Progress (with more to come).  It had a panel comprised of two pro-choice and one pro-life participant (counting Rehm, that is a 3-1 majority for pro-choice...obviously unfair, but better than for some panels on NPR).  And they took callers.

But, according to Tim Graham's blog at newsbusters.com, "Diane Rehm's producers couldn't find one pro-life caller in the entire hour".

How realistic is this as a reflection of current sentiment on abortion?  Well here are the historic Gallup poll data, including the latest poll, conducted just three months ago:

Trend: U.S. Adults' Self-Identified Position on the Abortion Issue

As you can see, there currently is more pro-choice sentiment in this country than pro-life.  But 44%  says pro-life, and not one voice in that direction on the entire show.**

Is that because NPR has become so complete a repository for one sidedness that the other side doesn't even bother to tune in?

That's a real possibility.

And if it is true, then why is that so?  Why does NPR not have a range of thinking from left to right on its shows?

And if it doesn't, why are taxpayers - all taxpayers - expected to fund it?

That's worth thinking about.

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**In my haste to put this blog up, I misread the poll originally and it is now fixed.  Thanks to commenter "free" for pointing this out to me.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 07:40 AM   1 comment

"ICING" JOE BIDEN?

Ken Berwitz

Does Hillary Clinton really think she can "ice" Joe Biden - i.e. scare off big donors and, by so doing, scare off Biden too?

Evidently so.

From Gabriel Debenedetti's article at politico.com:

Hillary Clinton's team is getting tired of the Joe Biden talk. And this week, they want to kill it.

From a sprint through Iowa that deflected attention from the email saga to her first stop in the swing state of Ohio and now the Democratic National Committee cattle call in Minneapolis, Clinton's operation knows it needs to both flex its political muscles and prove it can keep its nose to the grindstone to score a controversy-free week.

The workmanlike stretch is meant to convince Democratic power brokers and big-money donors that they don't need to place side bets on the vice president - and to suggest to Biden himself that there’s no role for him here; there’s no race to save.

Who does Ms. Clinton think she is dealing with?  Some second-term senator from a small state that no one ever heard of?

We're talking about a six term senator who has been the Vice President of the United States for the past 6 1/2 years. Someone who, whatever you think of him politically, has never, to my knowledge, run away from a fight.

Do the Hillary Clinton people actually believe that if they "score a controversy-free week" (which, by the way, they can't do), they will somehow prove that the Clinton campaign is rolling along without any major problems?

That is delusional. 

I am guessing that Joe Biden, who has aspired to the presidency for decades and, at 72 years of age, has his final chance in 2016, will jump in. 

I am also guessing that when he does, he will immediately pull significant votes from both Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy is, with very good reason, scaring the excrement out of Democrats, and Bernie Sanders, who derives a great deal of support because Hillary Clinton's candidacy is scaring the excrement out of Democrats.

If it happens, it will happen within the next two weeks - probably within a few days of Labor Day, either before or after.

And it is an excellent bet that if Biden takes the plunge, he will immediately leapfrog Bernie Sanders and be a competitive second-place to Clinton.  Just like that. Baddabing baddaboom. 

In other words, on day one Biden will be in roughly the same position as Clinton, after 4 1/2 months of her intense campaigning.  And he will have upward momentum - in sharp contrast to her downward spiral.

Then watch the fireworks begin. 

How much fireworks?  Let's just say that Donald Trump will finally have some competition for the lead political story.

Fasten your seatbelts.....

Hopelessly Partisan @ 07:23 AM   Add Comment

Thursday, 27 August 2015

MISHEARD LYRICS

Ken Berwitz

Ever hear of Stevie Riks?  I didn't until ten minutes ago.  But I just watched/listened to his "Misheard Lyrics" routine on various rock songs, and I laughed out loud - partly at what he was doing and partly on how unbelievably silly the presentation is.

Click here and see what I'm talking about.

After that, we'll go back to politics, where most of what is done is laughable, and the presentation, often, is even sillier.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 18:19 PM   Add Comment

THE MOST IDIOTIC HEADLINE OF THE YEAR: COMPETITION

Ken Berwitz

In the previous blog I put up what I thought was the most idiotic headline of the year.

I still do, but this one is definitely competitive....and, incredibly, it comes from the same web site.

Here is how cbsnews.com headlined Donald Trump's rejection of a potential endorsement from career racist/anti-Semite David Duke - who complimented Trump earlier this week:

Donald Trump:  "I don't need" David Duke's Endorsement

What does that headline communicate to you?  That Trump has enough endorsements without Duke's - no judgment at all of whether it was wanted?  I know that's what it communicates to me.

But here is what Trump actually said - which I pulled from the body of the article: 

"I don't need his endorsement; I certainly wouldn't want his endorsement"

Does that read the same way to you?  Me neither.

So in one place, at one time, CBS News has managed to produce headlines which tell us that if you want gun control of any kind, Hillary Clinton is your only candidate, and that Donald Trump - her major competition if you believe the polls -  doesn't reject the endorsement of a racist anti-Semitic pig, he just doesn't need it.

Who the hell is writing headlines over at CBS News?  Lanny Davis, James Carville or Hubby Bubba?

Y'know, I'm calling these headlines idiotic.  But maybe I have this all wrong.  Maybe they are anything but. Maybe they are purposeful.  When two headlines like these run simultaneously....

....that's worth thinking about.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 16:44 PM   2 comments

THE MOST IDIOTIC HEADLINE OF THE YEAR (SO FAR)

Ken Berwitz

Did you know that no presidential candidate of either party supports gun control?

Neither did I.

But here is the headline currently being used for Rebecca Kaplan's article at cbsnews.com:

"After Roanoke, Hillary Clinton is the lone 2016 voice for gun control"

Please note that this does not say Clinton is the lone voice for additional or more stringent gun control laws.  It says she is "the lone 2016 voice for gun control". 

And that, in so many words, is what every person who logs on and goes no further than the headline is being told.

If what you just read is not the most idiotic headline of the year, please show me what is.  This I've got to see.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 15:12 PM   Add Comment

THE ONE WORD THAT DESCRIBES HILLARY CLINTON (AND DONALD TRUMP)

Ken Berwitz

In the just-released Quinnipiac poll, referenced in the previous blog, respondents were asked "What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Hillary Clinton?"

Here is every answer that received 10 or more mentions:

Liar: 178, Dishonest: 123, Untrustworthy: 93, Experience: 82, Strong: 59, Bill: 56, Woman: 47, Smart: 31, Crook: 21, Untruthful: 19, Criminal: 18, Deceitful: 18, Democrat: 16, Intelligent: 15, Email: 14, Politician: 13, Benghazi: 12, Corrupt: 12, Crooked: 11, Capable: 10, Determined: 10, Good: 10

Let's put them in three categories: 

-Positives: Experienced, Strong, Woman (might not always be a positive reference, but I am assuming it is most of the time), Smart, Intelligent, Capable, Determined, Good;

-Negatives:  Liar, Dishonest, Untrustworthy, Crook, Untruthful, Criminal, Deceitful, Corrupt, Crooked.

-Neutral responses:  Bill (a reference to her husband, which can be positive or negative, no way to tell), Democrat (ditto), Email (might simply be knowledge of the issue, not necessarily negative), Politician (would describe any candidate), and Benghazi (as with Email, might simply be knowledge of the issue).

Now, let's add the positives and negatives, to see where Ms. Clinton stands:

-Positive total:   264

-Negative total:  493

Remember, again, that these were not pre-determined answers which respondents picked from, they were answers which respondents came up with entirely on their own.

Assuming the data are accurate, do they make Hillary Clinton look inevitable to you?  Somehow I doubt it.

Oh, and in case you're wondering how Donald Trump makes out in the same question, here are the results (positives are in italics, negatives are underlined, neutrals are left as is): 

Arrogant: 58, Blowhard: 38, Idiot: 35, Businessman: 34, Clown: 34, Honest: 30, Ego: 29, Money: 29, Outspoken: 28, Crazy: 26, Rich: 26, Showman: 23, Strong: 20, Asshole: 18, Joke: 16, Loud: 16, Leader: 15 Pompous: 15, Bombastic: 13, Egomaniac: 13, Loudmouth: 13, Racist: 13, Big-mouth: 12, Aggressive: 11, Buffoon: 11, Unfavorable: 11, Braggart: 10, Brash: 10

That comes to:

-Positive total: 65

-Negative total: 372

Assuming these data are accurate, this shows me, again, that Trump's overall ratings are not because people like him or think he is presidential, they are because people are reacting well to his straight talk; to the fact that he doesn't spend most of the time using weasel words to cover his backside.  For a great many people - probably most, in my opinion - this has almost no likelihood of translating into votes in a general election.

One other thing:  Please use the link I've provided at the beginning of this blog and look at the entire range of findings, very much including the summary, which is shown before the tabular data.  It is well worth your while.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 13:50 PM   Add Comment

HILLARY CLINTON: EVITABLE (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

Among the results of the latest Quinnipiac poll - as reported by Arit John of bloomberg.com:

Here's one more reason to continue speculating about whether Vice President Joe Biden will enter the presidential race: he polls better nationally against the leading three Republican candidates than Hillary Clinton, and has a higher favorability rating, too.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, if Biden was the democratic candidate, he would beat Donald Trump by eight points (48 - 40 percent), former Florida Governor Jeb Bush by six points (45 - 39) and Senator Marco Rubio by three points (44 - 41). Clinton only beats Trump by four points (45 - 41), Bush by two points (42 - 40) and Rubio by one point (44 - 43).

Eighty-three percent of Democrats view Biden favorably, compared to 76 percent and 54 percent who approve of Clinton and Vermont Senator Sanders, respectively. Among all registered voters, Biden has a 48 percent favorability rating, while Clinton came in at 39 percent and Sanders at 32 percent.

Hillary Clinton inevitable?  Believe me, she's evitable.

And my expectation that Joe Biden is going to enter this race and prove it conclusively, is now hovering at about 99.99%.

.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 11:44 AM   Add Comment

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

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