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Friday, 24 October 2014

THE PARTY OF THE RICH IS.......???

Ken Berwitz

We all know that Republicans are where all those rich guys are.  You know, the Koch Brothers and all those others that Democrats endlessly invoke when describing the terrible funding disadvantage they are laboring under. 

Or do we?

Excerpted from Fred Barnes' highly illuminating article at weeklystandard.com:

The Democratic edge in spending, especially in key Senate races, belies one of the party's prominent campaign themes: that Charles and David Koch are corrupting politics by their funding in support of Republicans. It turns out liberal billionaire Tom Steyer is the biggest single political donor in 2014 at $58 million, at least in terms of publicly disclosed funding. The Kochs back several "issue" groups that are not required to reveal either their spending or their donors.

In Alaska, Democratic senator Mark Begich has raised $275,000 less than Republican Dan Sullivan. But he has a $3.9 million edge in outside spending. In Colorado, the situation is similar. Democratic senator Mark Udall has outraised Republican Cory Gardner $10.4 million to $9.3 million. And Udall has gotten nearly $2 million more in outside aid.

Still sure that all the rich ones are Republicans? Still sure that Republicans are running roughshod over Democrats in midterm election spending?

I didn't think so.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 17:21 PM   Add Comment

ILLEGAL VOTES AND DEMOCRAT VICTORIES

Ken Berwitz

This will be an easy blog to write...because all I'm doing is pulling two paragraphs from an article.

First the paragraphs, then the source:

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama's 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina's adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin

 Damn those right wingnuts.  Can you believe them putting out garbage like this?

Except.....

This did not come from a right wing site. This, folks came from Jesse Richman and David Earnest's article for the Washington Post.

Yes, that Washington Post.  

And if this doesn't tell you that voter fraud not only exists, but is changing the results of elections, I don't know how to get through to you.

Would requiring a valid ID have prevented these illegal voters from registering?  Probably not all of them; some voter fraud is inevitable.  But maybe most.  And any level of voter fraud prevention is a good thing.

And who is perpetrating the fraud?

To answer that, I will end by repeating part of a blog I wrote yesterday:

When we talk about corruption, what is the operative recommendation?  "Follow the money". 

When we talk about voter fraud, it seems to me the operative recommendation is "See who fights against voter IDs".  Keep that in mind and the answer becomes simple to determine:

-Show me a political party which demands people identify themselves before voting, and I will show you a party that wants only legal voters to cast ballots. 

-Show me a political party which demands people not identify themselves before voting, so there is no way to check that they have a right to do so, and I will show you a party that wants an open door for non-legal voters to cast ballots.

Do we have two such political parties right now?  I doubt you need me to tell you.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 16:39 PM   Add Comment

WHO'S NEXT? BETTY FRIEDAN'S GHOST?

Ken Berwitz

You're not going to believe this.

In an effort to attract women - and by women, I mean young, unmarried and/or Black women, because married White women mostly vote Republican -  the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has called upon....

...wait.  Tell you what.  First let me show you her pitch, then I'll tell you who it is:

The outcome of this election will be determined by one factor.  Women.

And that scares the Republicans half to death ... but not enough to make them actually change their anti-women policies. They still refuse to pass Equal Pay laws. And they're still perfectly comfortable denying women their basic human right to make decisions about their own bodies.

Instead they're relying on tired, sexist tropes to appeal to us. Women will only vote if voting is like dating, getting married, or breaking up. At least that's what Republicans seem to think.

This election is our chance to show them that their relentless sexism will not stand -- in fact, it will cost them their seats in Congress.

That's why I'm emailing you today. I need you to step up right now and make sure that Republicans who rely on sexism will lose on November 4th.

Are you in?

Sorry for boring you with what might just possibly be the single most overused mantra in political history:  the "war on women".  But that is what she signed her name to, and that, therefore, is what I am reporting to you.

And who, pray tell, is the signee?  Who does the DCCC think is going to rope in all those unmarried young women?

It is....(fanfare please)....

Gloria Steinem.

That's right, Gloria Steinem. 

Did you even know she was still alive? 

Ms Steinem, who celebrated her 80th birthday this year, is old enough to be the grandmother of the people this appeal is aimed at.  Call me a pessimist, but somehow I don't think that her dialogue about "decisions about their own bodies" is going to resonate with the 18 - 25 crowd.  They'd probably be more comfortable with her telling them about a Colonial Penn insurance policy, or maybe Fixodent.

This is roughly the equivalent of the RCCC getting a court order to exhume Harold Stassen, and putting up a commentary in his name.

But, hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.  Any port in a storm.

I wonder who they're going to try next.  Maybe the ghost of Betty Freidan? 

Hopelessly Partisan @ 14:55 PM   1 comment

TWO FAMILY FIGHTS & MEDIA BIAS

Ken Berwitz

I am reasonably certain you are aware that there was a fight earlier this month involving members of Sarah Palin's family.

The initial reports - and, even now, some accounts - make it seem as though the Palins were fighting each other. 

In fact that was not so.  Based on Bristol Palin's (exceedingly profane) contemporaneous description of what happened, a woman pushed her sister and a man attacked her - neither being members of the Palin family.  No member of the family disputed a word of what was said at that time - which, if they were fighting among themselves, you would have expected immediately after it occurred, before tempers had cooled down.

But don't take my word for it.  Click here for an audio of the police interviewing the Palins, and accompanying pictures.

OK, that's one.

Now let's go to the other - which I am reasonably certain you are not aware of.

There was a brawl between members of Michael Brown's family over who would be selling t-shirts featuring their dead relative.

Last Saturday, October 18th, there was a brawl between Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden and his aunt (Pearlie Gordon) and cousin (Tony Petty) over who should be profiting from their dead relative.

According to fox2now.com:

Police sources tell us Brown's Grandmother, Pearlie Gordon, along with Brown's Cousin Tony Petty, were selling t-shirts and other Michael Brown merchandise.

A police report describes a car pulling up and several people getting out.  One of those people, was reported to be Michael Brown's Mom, Lesley McSpadden.  A witness described McSpadden yelling "You can't sell this s%$&"  One of the relatives, who was selling, reportedly demanded McSpadden show a document proving she had a patent.

The police report says that's when an unidentified person with McSpadden assaulted Petty so violently that it resulted in a 911 call.  A witness tells Fox 2 that the weapon was a metal pipe or pole.  The suspect reportedly struck Petty in the face.  Medics then took him to Christian Northeast Hospital.  The witness said the assault suspect grabbed merchandise and a box of cash believed to contain about $1,400.

So there you are. Two brawls involving famous families.

-One involves Sarah Palin, a former politician who has been out of office and has not run for any position in 6 years, and apparently was brought on not by family members, but by people instigating a fight with them.  That has been plastered everywhere, with no shortage of smirking insinuations about the Palins.

-The other involves Michael Brown, whose shooting death at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson and its aftermath are still entirely current news.  It directly involved family members at each other and resulted in an assault and a robbery.  There is virtually no mainstream media news of this fight at all, anywhere.

Media bias anyone?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 12:45 PM   Add Comment

A NEW YORK STATE OF DENIAL

Ken Berwitz

Yesterday, in Jamaica, Queens, a "man " named zale thompson ran at four cops with a hatchet. 

He managed to critically injure one of them with a blow to the head and slice a second cop's arm, before he was shot dead.

thompson's facebook page had a passage from the Koran,. a picture of an armed jihadist, and called for violent revolution in the United States. 

But, knowing this, what did Police Chief Bratton have to say?

"There's nothing we know at this time that would indicate that [Islamic terrorism] is the case. That's what the investigation will attempt to determine."

Nope, nothing at all to indicate Islamic terrorism had a thing to do with it.  How could anyone possibly think otherwise?

Take your time, commissioner.  Be sure to fully investigate what zale thompson's facebook content might tell you about his motives.  I'm sure we all eagerly await this apparently difficult-to-figure-out conclusion.

Just how far in denial are we? 

When do we start to wake up?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:46 AM   1 comment

FRACKING & OUR ECONOMY

Ken Berwitz

Fracking (or, more exactly, hydraulic fracturing).  We've all heard about how terrible fracking is. 

Our media, always happy to pass along the latest leftward meme has told us over and over again how it destroys the environment - with the other side (and be assured that there is one), which claims there is little in the way of negative environmental impact, relegated to right wing web sites -- where it can be dismissed on the grounds that it is only on right wing web sites.

At this point I will post a short defense of fracking from David Simmons, Director of State Affairs for the Institute of Energy Research - an advocacy group which supports the procedure (you can read his entire piece by clicking here).  I do this not to sway your opinion, but just so you have some idea of what the other side of the argument is - which, it is entirely likely, you have never seen before:

Since 1947, hydraulic fracturing has been used to extract more than 7 billion barrels of oil and 600 trillion feet of natural gas from deep underground shale formations.

The recent combination of fracturing technology with directional drilling—meaning six to eight horizontal wells drilled from only one well pad—can produce the same volume as 16 vertical wells. This has decreased the surface impact of drilling operations while growing our domestic reserves substantially. In...just one year's time, we expanded our access to domestic natural gas by 66 percent.

The economic benefits of the shale gas boom have been similarly great. In 2008, after the innovation gave way to a surge in resources, the wellhead price of natural gas plummeted from nearly $8 per thousand cubic feet to $3.67 per thousand cubic feet. Additionally, the advent of shale gas has given rise to enormous economic opportunities in places like Pennsylvania, where development of the Marcellus Shale is projected to create more than 111,000 jobs in 2011 with $10 billion added to the state's economy.

Despite the fact that hydraulic fracturing has been employed for half a century at comparable depths of thousands of feet, opponents of natural gas insist that groundwater is now being contaminated. This claim, no matter how many times it is repeated, lacks substantive data to support its conclusions as both the national association of state groundwater agencies and the multistate governmental agency representing states' oil and gas interests have found no evidence of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing fluids.

And, in the interests of fairness, you can click here for an impassioned argument against fracking, presented by Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Here is the key part of her argument:

A recognized problem this poses is that each fracked well produces millions of gallons of highly contaminated wastewater, yet there are no currently operating facilities that remove all of these pollutants. Less understood is that fracking is destroying our groundwater, and there is no way to prevent it. Drilled wells provide pathways for these contaminants to rise under pressure and mix with freshwater aquifers, causing these deep geology pollutants to mingle with shallow groundwater. The cement and steel casings used and the plugging methods for post-production gas wells do not isolate methane, other dangerous gases, and pressure-driven contaminated fluids from the aquifer. The zonal isolation will be breached either instantly due to poor construction; in a period of years, due to harsh downhole conditions eating away the cement and steel; or, if best available technology is employed, within 80 to 100 years--it is not a question of "if," it is a question of "when." The industry is well aware of this, as are regulators. Apparently, they have decided to sacrifice our groundwater.

Ok. So we know that opponents claim fracking causes godawful environmental damage, and proponents say there is no substantial proof of that, and fracking has a huge economic benefit.  I'll leave it to you to decide which argument makes more sense.

But, with both on the table, I would also like you to think about what the enormous increase in energy production from fracking has meant to us:

-Natural gas prices have dropped by more than 50% - a huge boon to consumers;

-It has created a great many new jobs - estimates range to over 100,000;

-We are that much less energy-dependent on other countries, including countries which make it plain they hate our guts;

-The drop in energy prices has significantly affected revenues of those countries - which, since far too much of those revenues goes into the pockets of a fabulously rich few, and far too little goes toward improving the lives of their people, is not at all a bad thing;

-Russia, in particular, is slowed down because about 2/3 of its total exports is energy-related.  This significant drop in energy revenues might force Putin to rein in his attempts to recreate the USSR (which is certainly more than President Obama has been able to do).

Is that enough information about fracking for the day?  I hope so, because this blog is now finished.

All I ask is you think about all sides before coming to any conclusions. 

Hopelessly Partisan @ 09:27 AM   Add Comment

DEROY MURDOCK ON COLORADO VOTER FRAUD

Ken Berwitz

Syndicated columnist/commentator Deroy Murdock has written an excellent analysis of how Colorado's "mail-in ballot" fiasco may well take a loss for Democrat incumbent Senator Mark Udall, and turn it into a win over Republican challenger Cory Gardner. 

I am not going to put up any excerpts, because I instead hope you will use this link to read the entire piece (at a cost of maybe two minutes of your time - two of the best minutes you will spend today).

Mr. Murdock's column is not the only one out there which exposes how easily voter fraud can take place in Colorado (among other states), but it is a particularly good one. 

Please read it - then despair along with me for what is happening to honest voting.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:44 AM   Add Comment

Thursday, 23 October 2014

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T LISTEN

Ken Berwitz

I just caught the tail end of an interview Bill O'Reilly conducted with two Black clergyman from the Saint Louis area. 

One of them said that there was a narrative about the Michael Brown incident being a race crime. 

O'Reilly told him - several times - that he had called the incident a race crime. 

The clergyman, tried to tell O'Reilly that he was talking about coverage of the incident, and was not making his own judgment.  But O'Reilly kept talking over him, telling him he was wrong, and snarkily advising him to check the tape. 

I can only hope O'Reilly takes his own advice and checks that tape himself -- then issues the apology which should be forthcoming.  Because he was dead, 100%, wrong.

This is what happens when someone talks over people and does not listen to what they say.  

It is why I find it harder and harder to watch Bill O'Reilly.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 20:45 PM   Add Comment

JOHN FUND EXPLAINS VOTER FRAUD

Ken Berwitz

Earlier today I showed a number of examples which should convince just about any reasonable person that voter fraud, far from being non-existent, is alive, well....and thriving in these midterm elections.

John Fund's latest column for nationalreview.com talks about one of the examples I featured - a video from James O'Keefe's Project Veritas, in which several Democrat campaign workers in Colorado provide chapter and verse of how it is done.

He goes into far greater detail than I did, and I strongly recommend you use this link and read his entire commentary.

But, for the meanwhile, here are two particularly important paragraphs:

(Colorado's) Secretary of State Gessler had futile arguments with Democratic state legislators last year who insisted on ramming a bill through that mandated Colorado become the only state in the nation with both all-mail balloting and same-day registration. Under same-day registration someone can register to vote online, have a mail ballot sent to them, and never physically show up to register or vote. Other places that use same-day registration treat the vote as a provisional ballot pending verification. Colorado immediately counts the vote and there is no way to separate it out if the person who votes is later found ineligible. "We know people in other states with better integrity safeguards have cheated using the cover of these methods," Gessler told me. A decade ago, Melody Rose, then a liberal professor at Oregon State University, concluded that state's vote-by-mail system "brings a perpetual risk of systemic fraud" in elections with razor-thin margins.

"Voter fraud is incredibly difficult to detect and prosecute, absent a direct confession," Gessler says as he notes that in other areas of law-breaking, we do not judge how much of it there is merely by the number of related prosecutions. But he also notes there is evidence of just how easy voter fraud is to commit. Last December, New York City's Department of Investigation detailed how its undercover agents claimed at 63 polling places to be individuals who were in fact dead, had moved out of town, or who were in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, they were allowed to vote. (To avoid skewing results, they voted only for nonexistent write-in candidates.) How did the city's Board of Elections respond? Did it immediately probe and reform their sloppy procedures? Not at all. It instead demanded that the investigators be prosecuted. Most officials are loath to admit how vulnerable election systems are, but privately many express worry that close elections could be flipped by fraud.

Based on this account, and many others I have put up over over the past several years, I know with absolute certainty that voter fraud exists.  In some places, I suspect it not only exists but is rampant.

And who is perpetrating the fraud? 

Well, when we talk about corruption, what is the operative recommendation?  "Follow the money". 

When we talk about voter fraud, it seems to me the operative recommendation is "See who fights against voter IDs".  Keep that in mind and the answer becomes simple to determine:

-Show me a political party which demands people identify themselves before voting, and I will show you a party that wants only legal voters to cast ballots. 

-Show me a political party which demands people not identify themselves before voting, so there is no way to check that they have a right to do so, and I will show you a party that wants an open door for non-legal voters to cast ballots.

Do we have two such political parties right now?  I doubt you need me to tell you.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 18:27 PM   Add Comment

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