Tuesday, 03 March 2015

BILL O'REILLY AT HIS UNWATCHABLE WORST

Ken Berwitz

The headline is the post. O'Reilly has Kristin Powers and Monica Crowley on to discuss the Netanyahu speech and Iran strategy.  And neither is being allowed to finish a thought...Crowley is not being allowed to so much as finish a sentence.

It is more and more amazing to me that this guy predominates in prime time cable news programming.  Personally I find him borderline unwatchable....and, today, he crossed the border.

@ 20:20 PM   Add Comment

SHEIKING WITH THE ENEMY

Ken Berwitz

What do you do when you're stuck with an ally you detest?  You note that the ally is terrible....and then agree with the position it takes.

That is the situation Saudi Arabia's Sheiks are faced with. 

See, they fear Iran's nuclear progress every bit as much as Israel does. Therefore, preventing a nuclear Iran has, however improbably, brought them together. 

Which is why the Saudi-backed Al Arabiya's Editor in Chief of its English-language arm, Faisal J. Abbas, put out an article today, which says this:

"It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does.  However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.

"What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World's biggest terrorist regime: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Although, the latter never seems to write back!)."

Yes, it is true.  I am not on the Kickapoo joy juice or LSD.  A Saudi Arab actually wrote that in a Saudi Newspaper.

And in case you think it is the only one, here is what Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj, a columnist for the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, has written about the Netanyahu speech and Barack Obama's disdain for it:

"I will conclude by saying the following: Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the US's longtime allies in the Gulf.

"I am very glad of Netanyahu's firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration's anger and fury.

"I believe that Netanyahu's conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf, much more than the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents."

We understand, don't we, that these words would not - could not - ever be written without the approval of the powers that be in Riyadh.

So we now know the Saudi position is that Barack Obama is blowing this so badly that the hated Israel and its hated Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, look good by comparison.

And don't doubt that this feeling is shared by other Arab states in the Middle East, which are just as threatened by Iran as the Saudis are. 

I wonder when - if ever - this reality will dawn on some of Mr. Obama's fellow Democrats...and some of my fellow "Lost Tribe" Jews.

@ 19:59 PM   Add Comment

NANCY PELOSI'S STATEMENT

Ken Berwitz

With a special shout-out to my Lost Tribe friends....

....here is the statement house minority leader Nancy Pelosi just issued regarding Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech - in rust, with my comments in blue.

"The unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel are rooted in our shared values, our common ideals and mutual interests.  Ours is a deep and abiding friendship that will always reach beyond party. Americans stand shoulder to shoulder with the Israeli people.  The state of Israel stands as the greatest political achievement of the 20th century, and the United States will always have an unshakable commitment to Israel's security. Then, of course, you have the greatest of respect for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the congress, in which he reiterates that bond, and explains why he feels a bad deal with Iran is so dangerous to Israel, the overall Middle East (Israel is by no means the only country fearful of its consequences) and the rest of the world - very much including the USA. Right?
"That is why, as one who values the U.S. - Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister's speech - saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation. Huh??????? You were near tears that Mr. Netanyahu articulated the threat you agree exists, and explained his position on what a deal which allowed Iran to go nuclear would mean to his country and all the others? What are you talking about?
"Today, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated something we all agree upon: a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable to both our countries.  We have all said that a bad deal is worse than no deal, and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons is the bedrock of our foreign policy and national security.  As President Obama has said consistently, all options are on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran." In other words, you are saying that, in terms of our goals, Mr. Netanyahu is on the same page with Mr. Obama. So what the eff was your problem with the fact that he said it in front of congress?

Based on that statement, I have one question for Ms. Pelosi - the same one Judge Chamberlain (Fred Gwynne) asked Vincent Gambini (Joe Pesci)  in "My Cousin Vinny"

Are you on drugs? 

@ 15:02 PM   Add Comment

THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote comes to us from Mr. Unconditional Amnesty For All Mexican Illegals himself, Rep. Luis Guittierez (D-IL).

Guitierrez was one of the 40 - 60 (depending on who you listen to) Democrats who boycotted Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech.  His comment about it?

"What did he say today that he couldn't have said in two weeks?"

You mean after the deal with Iran was completed, and it wouldn't have mattered at all? 

Brilliant, Luis.  You win Quote Of The Day honors for demonstrating either hall-of-fame quality obtuseness, or showing that you think your constituents are ignoramuses who can't figure out how ridiculous that comment was.  Maybe both.

An "honor" well earned.

@ 12:10 PM   Add Comment

MSNBC'S REACTION

Ken Berwitz

I just put on MSNBC for a minute...and heard Chris Matthews desperately trying to put a bad face on Netanyahu's words....and now is interviewing one of the Democrats who boycotted the speech.

Pathetic?  Nah, just MSNBC being MSNBC.

@ 11:55 AM   Add Comment

THE NETANYAHU SPEECH

Ken Berwitz

I'll try to do this in real time, as best I can.

11:08:  Netanyahu enters the chamber to thunderous applause and cheers.  Hugely positive reception.

11:11 Boehner formally introduces Netanyahu.  More enthusiastic applause.

Netanyahu acknowledges Harry Reid and notes that it's good to see him on his feet again.  Very wise move, giving a nod to the top Senate Democrat.

First words - never his attention for this to be political, and then a thank you to the USA for its "year after year, decade after decade" support of Israel.  Big applause, and a cheering, standing ovation.

11:15 Netanyahu mentions support of Israel from Harry Truman (the President when modern Israel came into existence) to Barack Obama.  And now he is extolling President Obama for the things he has done on Israel's behalf.  Very very smart.  Makes this bipartisan...and makes it that much harder for Obama to slam Netanyahu after the speech is made (not that he won't do it).

11:17 Thanks America for working with Israel on its Iron Dome defense system.

Now reminding chamber of Iran's overt threats to annihilate Israel and all Jews.

11:22 Reminding chamber that Iran is exporting terrorism to state after state in the middle east.

11:24 States that Iran's subjugation and terror must be stopped.  Extended applause.

11:25 Reminds the chamber that ISIS and Iran are fighting to be the king of militant Islam, that whomever wins we lose.  "THe enemy of your enemy, is your enemy".

11:27 To defeat ISIS but let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle but lose the war.  We can't let that happen. Big applause.

11:28 Now Netanyahu is citing parts of the deal that are public record.  The deal has wo major concessions -  one:  leaves Iran with vast nuclear capability and short breakout time to achieve a bomb.  No removal of nuclear facilities in the deal.  Two - the deal would be overseen by inspectors, but that would not stop Iran - they could just kick out the inspectors, like North Korea did.  And he is reminding the chamber that Iran has denied inspectors access in the past, and played a game of "hide and cheat" with them.

11:32 Reminds chamber that the nuclear inhibitions in the deal, even if they were kept to, are only for 10 years, which is "the blink of an eye for a nation".

11:34 Reminds chamber that Iran is not putting its missile capabilities on the table at all, and that would enable it to hit any part of the United States.

The deal assumes that Iran will change for the better, or an alternative deal is worse.  Netanyahu disagrees with both.  He points out that this regime has been in place for 36 years and has not gotten any better in this time.  "This is not a farewell to arms, it is a farewell to arms control"  "If anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again"

We can insist that retrictions remain as long as Iran continues its aggression in the world.  Extended applause.

11:38 - Iran must do three things:  stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East, second, stop supporting terrorism around the world, "and third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state"  Extended applause.

"If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country"  Extended applause.

11:40 What about the argument that there is no alternative to this deal?  Nuclear know-how without nuclear material cannot result in making nuclear weapons.  If they threaten to walk out, call their bluff.  They'll be back.  They need the deal more than you do.

11:42 No deal is better than a bad deal.  This is a very bad deal.  We're better off without it.  Extended applause and cheers.

The alternative to a bad deal is not war.  The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal. One which does not leave Iran with a vast nuclear capability, no easy path to the bomb.

11:44 we are at a fateful crossroads.  There are two paths.  One leads to a bad deal, a nuclear armed Iran that will lead to war.  The second path, however, difficult, would prevent a nuclearized Iran, a nuclearized Middle east and the horrendous consequences.  The difficult path is the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference......for the peace we all desire.  Extended applause.

11:46 Introduces Elie Weisel to extended applause.  Tells the chamber Weisel's life and work give meaning to the words "Never Again" - again to big applause.  Netanyahu guarantees to Weisel (and the chamber) that the days of Jews passively accepting genocidal peace "are over" - huge applause and cheers.

11:48:  We, the Jewish people can defend ourselves (big ovation).  "Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand".  But I know that America stands with Israel, you stand with Israel.  Major applause.

You stand with Israel because it is the story of the human spirit that refuses, again and again to succumb to history's horrors.

Ends with Moses's message:  to be strong and resolute without fear. 

11:51 Final words:  "May God bless the state of Israel, and may God bless the United States of America - thunderous applause, standing ovation.

Tremendous speech.  Hugely important, hugely successful. Not political at all.  Not vindictive toward Obama or Kerry at all.  I doubt it could have been done better.

UPDATE: 

I now know there was a standing-room only audience for Mr. Netanyahu's speech - no problem at all finding asses (reference to the body part) to replace the asses (reference to the house members - every one a Democrat) who gave them up. 

And, it is being reported, there were 15 standing ovations - not the BS kind you see at State Of The Union speeches, when the President's party is duty bound to bounce up and down like a bunch of NASCAR pistons, but real ones.

Click here for a complete transcript. 

@ 11:08 AM   2 comments

MICHAEL RAMIREZ EXPLAINS OBAMA'S "DEAL" WITH IRAN

Ken Berwitz

Here, from the great Michael Ramirez, is a cartoon which explains the parameters of President Obama's "deal" with Iran just about perfectly:


Michael Ramirez Cartoon enlarge picture

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, this cartoon is worth 1,000,000.  Thank you, Mr. Ramirez, for laying it out so well.

@ 10:07 AM   Add Comment

HILLARY CLINTON'S EMAILS

Ken Berwitz

This story is so big that even the usually Hillary-loving New York Times, and the Today Show - which usually does just about everything short of picking out furniture with Hillary Clinton - had to make it a lead story today.

Here are the first two paragraphs of Michael S. Schmidt's Page 1 article:

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials' correspondence be retained as part of the agency's record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

"It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario - short of nuclear winter - where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business," said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

Amazing, isn't it?  Even with this overtly damning evidence, the first paragraph says Clinton "may have" violated federal requirements ---- before the second paragraph tells us that preserving emails on department servers is "required by the Federal Records Act.

Note to writer Schmidt and the Times editors - if federal law requires her to do it, and she didn't do it, that's not a "may have violated federal requirements", that's a DID violate them.

Now: why would Hillary Clinton do this?  When I think of what possible reasons there are, only three words come to mind:  ignorant, stupid and nefarious.

I certainly do not consider Hillary Clinton an ignoramus.

I certainly do not think she is stupid.

That leaves nefarious:  as in what was on those emails that she intended to hide from scrutiny?

The big question:  will the Times, Today and other usually Hillary-fawning venues pursue this story?  Or will they give her the lois lerner treatment and, after a day or two of going through the motions, pretend it doesn't exist/doesn't matter?

I'll be very interested to see, one way or the other.  You should be too. 

Because if mainstream media bails, even somewhat, on Hillary Clinton, what does she have left?  Her accomplishments?  Like which ones?

See my point?

@ 09:09 AM   2 comments

ANOTHER HEADS-UP FOR THE LOST TRIBE

Ken Berwitz

Ever the optimist, I am putting up another demonstration of why the Lost Tribe (i.e. Jews, and non-Jews who support Israel, but reflexively support Obama and Democrats anyway) should start making demands that their party of choice go back to what it was, or they will move on.

The latest evidence?  A CBS News poll that was conducted in late February, in which respondents were asked if they consider Israel an ally - not just a friendly country, but an ally. 

The findings:  

-64% of Republicans consider Israel an ally.  47% of Democrats do. 

-When you add in "friendly country", the Republican level goes to 88%...and Democrats to 80%.  In other words, one in five Democrats consider it either an unfriendly country or an enemy of the USA. 

And that is clearly reflected in the congress as well.  Even the most cursory examination of Republican and Democrat votes regarding Israel will show this divide.

To my Lost Tribe friends:  Could it possibly be clearer that this is not the Democrat party you cast your lot with all those years ago?

Ronald Reagan, a former Democrat who became a Republican, famously said "I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me".  That is exactly what has happened to you.

Some of you, I am sure, just don't realize as much. Which is sad.  But, even sadder, I am sure a great many of you do know...but avoid that knowledge because it is much easier, much more comfortable to stay "in uniform", pump out a few negative comments about Republicans, and nod agreement with each other.

The truth is, there are plenty of negative things you can say about both parties.  But that leads to the conclusion that neither should be your unconditional, unthinking, second-nature selection in the voting booth - which is precisely the point I am trying to make.

Time to start considering all your options, Lost Tribers.  Long past time, actually.  I hope you start doing just that. 

And today, as you watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to a joint session of congress and notice how many Democrats are boycotting/refusing to hear what he has to say about the enormous danger of allowing Iran to become a nuclear power, would be a very good time to start.

@ 08:36 AM   Add Comment

Monday, 02 March 2015

IRAN AND NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION

Ken Berwitz

A quick point to be made here:

Now we are getting indications from Arab states, which are - understandably - scared excrement-less of Iran going nuclear, indicating that if a "deal" is cut which allows Iran to continue its nuclear program, they will assume Iran is moving ahead with nuclear weapon capability...and quickly start nuclear programs of their own.

Maybe Barack Obama can be duped into thinking that's not how it will go down but, apparently, others are seeing what is right in front of their eyes.

The answer here is a simple, straightforward one.  No to Iran. 

You don't allow the single most prolific backer of terrorism in the world, and one specifically commited to obliterating Israel, to create the means by which it can be done. 

The Arab gulf states know that, although Israel is Iran's prime target, it is far from the only one.  Even if the hapless, hopeless Obama/Kerry tandem can't figure it out.

I wish Benjamin Netanyahu every success in his attempt to make this clear to the U.S. congress tomorrow -- and marvel at the improbable group of supporters he inherently will be speaking for.

@ 21:14 PM   Add Comment

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