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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUST-US: PEACE BY CENSORSHIP

Ken Berwitz

I just read Trymaine Lee's article at MSNBC's web site about the upcoming town hall meetings in Ferguson, Missouri, which I am excerpting below. 

See if you find it as utterly ridiculous as I do:

To keep peace in Ferguson, DOJ bars media from town hall meetings

City leaders in Ferguson, Missouri, have billed a series of upcoming town hall meetings beginning Monday night as a way to continue dialogue with members of the beleaguered community and an opportunity to clear up misconceptions still swirling a month after Ferguson police shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

In a statement that went out late last week, Mayor James Knowles said that he wanted use the meetings as a way to assure people that the city was operating with full transparency.

Knowles said that he wanted residents of Ferguson to "know exactly where we stand on things with full transparency."

But at some point between then and now, the Community Relations Service, a little-known agency within the Department of Justice that is working behind the scenes to cool racial tensions in the city, stepped in and closed off the meetings to the media and non-residents.

"The idea about no media came from the Department of Justice - not the city," Devin James, a spokesman for the city told msnbc on Monday. "I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that they believe that the presence of media hinders and disrupts the conversation so that it is no longer productive and does not fulfill the purpose for which it was intended."

James went on to write in an email that "I do not know what the DOJ representatives will do or say to you if you show up."

If this weren't the Obama administration, and Attorney General eric holder's Department of Just-Us, I would not believe it.

But it is, so I do. 

Does anyone believe that censoring these "public" town hall meetings by disallowing the press from attending, is being done to prevent hindering and disrupting?  Even if you did believe that absolute BS, the solution would be to disallow any questions from the media, not to bar them from entering the premises.

Does anyone believe that there is a reason for this other than the fact that the DOJ - and its ultimate boss at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - do not want the press to report what will be said in these meetings? 

What are they afraid of?  That media might hear - and possibly report about - the ad hominem comments some residents are likely to be making?  Are they afraid such comments might change the narrative?  Cast the Michael Brown/Darren Wilson situation in a different light than the one Obama, holder & Co. prefer? 

What other reason could there be?

Over in Russia, Vladimir Putin must be smiling at this, thinking "Way to go, Obama administration.  Just like the good old USSR days, when me and my KGB buddies did this kind of stuff all the time".

Back here, by contrast, people like me (and, I hope, you) may not be smiling.  They may be saying "Isn't this what we fought wars to prevent from happening?".

And if Obama's Accomplice Media are not screaming bloody murder to their readers/viewers/listeners about this USSR-like tactic, specifically designed to silence them, they are beyond all hope.

Keep your fingers crossed that an audio tape of the goings-on is somehow created (I'm betting the Department of Just-Us is going to try to prevent any from being made - even though taping the proceedings would not "hinder" or "disrupt" anything).

And, if they do, let's hope media collectively grow a conscience and make it available - along with a full transcript.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 15:38 PM   1 comment

CNN'S TAKE ON ARAB PARTICIPATION

Ken Berwitz

In the previous blog we learned just how thin the "coalition" of Arab countries is for President Obama's air strikes on Syria.

Well, here, excerpted from its current lead article, is a very different story - a much improved one - about Arab participation:

Obama: Syria strikes show \'this is not America's fight alone'

The coalition that attacked ISIS in Syria overnight "makes it clear to the world that this is not America's fight alone," U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

Noting that he had "made clear that America would act as part of a broad coalition," the President declared at the White House: "That's exactly what we've done."

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Qatar all participated in the operation, the U.S. military said. Bahrain, Jordan, and the UAE all said they took part in the airstrikes. Saudi Arabia did as well, the U.S. military said, and Qatar played a supporting role.

Bahrain's state-run media said the country's air force "carried out earlier this morning along with the air forces of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), allied and friendly countries, air strikes against a number of selected targets of terrorist groups and organisations, and destroyed them, an authorised source at the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF)'s General Headquarters said."

The UAE air force "launched its first strikes against ISIL targets last evening," the Foreign Ministry said.

Jordan's official news agency, Petra, said the country carried out airstrikes against terrorist groups in Syria. It cited an unnamed military official as explaining the strikes were needed due to increased incidents and infiltrations along the border in the past two months. The report said Jordan will carry out further strikes if border attacks keep up.

Now I'm confused. 

How many air strikes did Bahrain, UAE and Jordan rain on ISIS?  How many more will there be?  Is this for real (always an issue when the Obama administration is involved)?  

And, most importantly, will any of these countries put even one soldier on the ground....because without them the air strikes are little more than target practice, and won't do away with ISIS or even come close.

Waiting for more information.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 14:49 PM   Add Comment

THE AIR STRIKES ON SYRIA

Ken Berwitz

President Obama has ordered the commencement of air strikes on presumed ISIS targets in Syria.

First things first:  whatever I think of this as a strategy, I hope it works, and works fantastically well.  The objective is to minimize the world of murdering fanatics, and if Mr. Obama's way of doing it works, my imaginary (I rarely wear them) hat will be off to him - heck, I'll even put a hat on do it.

That said, however, I see no realistic way this can achieve anything remotely close to that objective. 

How many military people have to tell us that, without significant ground troops, you cannot stop these people, before it sinks in? 

My expectation is that, day after day, Mr. Obama's accomplice media will regale us with stories about "23 ISIS members killed", "storage depot successfully hit", etc.  Just like we heard about every great air strike success in Libya - which, once the bombing was over, immediately became what it is now: a lawless terrorist hellhole and breeding ground for these lunatics.

In fact, it's already started.  On this morning's Today Show, Andrea Mitchell informed us that President Obama would be "thanking the Arab Allies"....which sounds pretty impressive.  Hey, there's that broad coalition, right? 

Except then, after setting the table, she follows up by admitting there are only 5.  And that the extent of their participation was "some only by bases" - in other words, no soldiers, no planes, no bombs.  Tell us, Andrea:  if you subtract "some" from 5 what do you wind up with?   

Helluva coalition.

Maybe part of the problem is that, for years, Barack Obama did nothing as ISIS, once little more than an al-qaeda offshoot even more brutal than the parent organization,  grew exponentially into a mass-murder machine, currently in control of something like 75,000 square miles of Iraq and Syria.  And - let's be entirely honest here - his sudden interest in hitting ISIS targets comes quickly on the heels of several new polls showing that voters' opinion of how he handles foreign policy in general and the terrorist threat in particular have fallen off the end of the earth.

If you were a potential coalition member, would you be impressed?  And would you be impressed with his telling ISIS in so many words that we would put no boots on the ground - i.e. that you were expected to do all the ground fighting and dying while the Americans watched on TV, and from planes, high above the carnage?

Let me end with the political component of this action.

Do Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats think these attacks will turn that around?  I suppose it is possible, in the sense that anything is possible.  But to me:

-Republicans, for the most part, have derided his lack of action for years.  This will be seen as too-little-too-late.

-Democrats, certainly the Democrats' hard-left base (and it is substantial) will hate the fact that he is doing anything at all.

In other words, it looks like a loser - not only in terms of what he is doing, but in terms of how it will play out politically as well.

Time will tell.  And I doubt we'll have to wait very long to find out.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 09:15 AM   1 comment

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Ken Berwitz

We all know the old saying "birds of a feather flock together".

Well, a good example of how this works will occur in Florida, where, according to Maggie Haberman of politico.com, Hillary Clinton will be campaigning for "Democratic" gubernatorial candidate Charlie Christ in October - headlining a dinner for him in Miami, on October 2 (the same day she is doing a book-signing there:  no time wasted when there is potential money to be made).

It stands to reason that Ms. Clinton would be attracted to the Crist candidacy...given that both of them are opportunistic chameleons who are perfectly willing to say whatever you want to hear, and be whatever you want to be, if there are votes in it.

Crist, in actuality, is even better at this than Hillary.  As a Republican, he served in a succession of state positions, culminating in his election as Governor in 2006.  But, in 2010, he ran for the U.S. Senate and was defeated in the primary by Marco Rubio.

Instead of accepting the defeat and supporting fellow Republican Rubio, however, Crist quickly left the party and ran as an independent against him and Democrat nominee Kendrick Meeks. 

That didn't work out, to say the least.  Rubio drubbed him, winning by 19%. 

Since the Republican thing didn't happen, and the independent thing didn't happen?  Presto-change-o again.  Crist became a Democrat.

If, next year, Zoroastrians are big vote-getters in Florida, there's a good bet he'll change his name to Charlie Zoroaster, and run on that too.

Regarding Ms. Clinton, I assume the idea is that, since she is certainly the most visible, and currently*, most preferred, Democrat presidential aspirant for 2016, her support is expected to solidify Mr. Crist's Democrat credentials and give him a boost over incumbent Rick Scott.  Who knows, it might work too.

This is a very hotly contested election, and it will be more than a little interesting to see how it all pans out. 

Keep watching.

===========================================

*This was just as true of Ms. Clinton before the 2008 election.  How'd that work out?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:23 AM   Add Comment

Monday, 22 September 2014

THE REAL HAMAS

Ken Berwitz

It troubles me that this is even an issue anymore.

But since it is, here are some quotes collected from Gazans - very, very brave ones - collected by Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian from Jordan* who fled to the UK so he could dare to write the material that would get him a summary execution if hamas got their hands on him:

"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." - A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." - T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." - D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." - K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." - E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation... We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." - S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.

Can I vouch for the veracity of these quotes?  Nope.  I wasn't there and didn't hear them.

But, knowing what I do about hamas - including video of hamas "leaders" telling people to stay in their homes - is it likely that they are?  You bet it is.

These are the facts that the Israel/Jew haters prefer not to deal with....and the Useless Neutered UN wouldn't recognize in, oh, 5,775 years.

==============================================================

* Of course he is Palestinian.  How could he not be?  Jordan, like Israel, Gaza and Judea/Samaria (aka the west bank) is all part of the land area of Palestine.  Everyone living in those places, regardless of their ancestry, religion or culture, is a Palestinian.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 17:45 PM   Add Comment

A QUICK QUESTION ABOUT OUR ISIS (OR IS IT ISIL) STRATEGY

Ken Berwitz

Since the basic element of our strategy to fight ISIS (as virtually the entire world refers to it) or ISIL (as President Barack "Tahl EE Bohn", "Pahk EE stohn" superiorly corrects us) is to arm the moderate Syrian rebels so they can fight everyone else there....

....can someone tell me who the moderate Syrian rebels are?  Because I would bet the house, the car and the first-born that neither President Obama nor Secretary of State Kerry can.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 16:25 PM   1 comment

SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER.....FOR REAL

Ken Berwitz

Mel Brooks, in "The Producers", featured an uproariously funny musical-within-the-musical, titled "Springtime For hitler".  The premise was that the show would be so outrageous, so beyond the pale, in such astonishingly bad taste, that it would close in one day, and they'd be able to keep all the funds collected to stage it.

That was for laughs. 

But this is not.

Excerpted from Tianna DeMartino's article at newsbusters.org:

In a disgusting move, New York City's Metropolitan Opera is staging a highly anti-Semitic, controversial opera composed by John Adams, "The Death of Klinghoffer," based on the 1985 Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro. During the ordeal, the terrorists shot and killed Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly, wheelchair-bound American Jew, before tossing him and his wheelchair overboard.

Adams argued that he didn't write The Death of Klinghoffer to be controversial or provocative and was "appalled at how hot some of the response was" to the opera. He felt he was trying to show the humanity in the civilians and Jewish family on board as well as the terrorists and wasn't picking sides.

You read this imbecile's "explanation", and - assuming you take it seriously at all instead of just as a smart-ass comment from an anti-Semitic scumbag (which is where I come out), you have to think "This can't be real.  Mel Brooks must have written this as a sequel to 'The Producers'". 

Jew-hating terrorists commandeer a cruise ship, take an elderly, disabled Jewish man in a wheelchair, kill him in the presence of his family, toss him and his wheelchair overboard....and john adams is telling us the idea is to show the terrorists' humanity - that he's not "picking sides"?  Not picking sides?

That is the answer of either an absolute idiot, a brain dead vegetable, or someone looking to qualify for lifetime membership in the American nazi Party.

And what about the equally moronic jerks at the Metropolitan Opera, who decided to stage this colostomy bag of an "opera"?  What are their names?  And would they be at all surprised to see Jewish contributors decide their money would be better spent somewhere else?  ANYWHERE else?

If you read Ms. DeMartino's entire blog (as I hope you will) you'll find that there will be a demonstration in front of the Met at 4:30 this afternoon.  Maybe that will provide a wakeup call for the moronic jerks noted above......but I doubt it. 

People who would OK something like this can't be real smart.  And can't care very much about whether they offend Jews...or people of any other faith who care about elemental decency.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 14:05 PM   2 comments

THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today's quote - and it is a pretty remarkable one - comes to us from lois lerner, who formerly headed the IRS Tax Exempt division. - during the time it ran roughshod over hundreds of 501(c)4 applicants with names that sounded like they opposed President Obama and his agenda.

lerner granted a two hour interview to politico.com - and during this interview she actually said:

"I didn't do anything wrong.  I'm proud of my career and the job I did for this country."

Did I say that was pretty remarkable? Let me amend: it is pretty astonishing.

Isn't this the same lois lerner:

-who ran that division  during the time it ran roughshod over hundreds of 501(c)4 applicants with names that sounded like they opposed President Obama and his agenda? 

-who then refused to answer questions from the house committee investigating her activities by pleading the fifth amendment - the one which says you can avoid incriminating yourself?  Just like mafia hood?

-who then claimed her email records, along with those of something like a dozen other people who worked with her, magically were erased and were irretrievable - even the backups?

-who also claimed the same thing happened to the emails on her cell phone?

People who did nothing wrong and are proud of their career, do not cower behind the fifth amendment.

People who did plenty wrong and are afraid what they did will land them in jail do cower behind the fifth amendment.

And people who, having watched mainstream media do its very best to bury the IRS scandal for over a year, making them feel immune to the consequences of their actions?  They say things like "I didn't do anything wrong.  I'm proud of my career and the job I did for my country".

I have spent the last year referring to this sorry excuse for a partisan hack  as lois "liar" lerner.  I award her Quote Of The Day honors for - again - demonstrating so clearly why that name fits.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:46 AM   1 comment

THE ISIS FAUXALITION

Ken Berwitz

How I wish this were otherwise....

....but evidence continues to mount that President Obama's "broad coalition" to fight ISIS is, in actuality, a fauxalition - i.e. a phony coalition, concocted to fool the public into thinking a President who has little or no juice with the international community is on top of things.

Excerpted from an article at the Lebanese web site almanar.com:

Turkey refused on Thursday US permission for combat missions against the Takfiri group operating in neighboring Iraq and Syria.

A government official said Ankara will not allow a US-led coalition to attack ISIL from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against the Takfiri militants.

"Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operations," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Incirlik (air base) will be used only for logistical purposes and humanitarian assistance", the source, referring to a southern air base used for US and NATO operations in Iraq.

"Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages," the official told AFP.

"Turkey will not take part in any combat mission, nor supply weapons."

Though Turkey will refuse use of Incirlik Air Base for lethal air attacks in any US-led operation, it can be used for logistical and humanitarian operations, the official said.

Is this true? So far, no denials.  Not from Turkey, not from Kerry (aka our turkey).

Wow. Great "coalition member".  Air attacks or any other military operation are out.  But here's a meeting room for logistics discussions, and if you want to pass out humanitarian goods - that you supply, not us - we're right there with you.

Coalition?  What coalition.  Do you see one?  I don't.

How can anyone believe a word that emanates from this administration?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 09:10 AM   Add Comment

HOMELAND SECURITY IN THE OBAMA ERA

Ken Berwitz

How bad is it at the Department of Homeland Security?

Read the following excerpts from Jerry Markon, Ellen Nakashima and Alice Crites' article for the Washington Post - including their lame attempt to somehow pin this on President Bush - and see for yourself:

An exodus of top-level officials from the Department of Homeland Security is undercutting the agency's ability to stay ahead of a range of emerging threats, including potential terrorist strikes and cyberattacks, according to interviews with current and former officials.

The departures are a result of what employees widely describe as a dysfunctional work environment, abysmal morale, and the lure of private security companies paying top dollar that have proliferated in Washington since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The department's terrorism intelligence arm, for example, has cycled through six directors during the Obama administration, decimating morale and contributing to months-long delays in releasing intelligence reports, according to interviews and government reports.

Can you possibly be surprised by this?  How can morale at the Department of Homeland Security be anything but abysmal in an administration so unconcerned with homeland security?

But, of course, there has to be some way of laying off the blame - which inherently means it goes to George Bush, who established the Department of Homeland Security, thus is the only other President available for this purpose.  Here is how they try - and then how facts immediately make their effort look ridiculous:

The department's woes date to the George W. Bush administration. Within a few years after DHS began operations in 2003, senior-level vacancy rates were already high and many top officials were leaving the fledgling department for jobs with private security companies. Among the most prominent is the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm led by former DHS secretary Michael Chertoff, which employs so many former officials it is known in homeland

During the Obama years, the outflow of personnel has accelerated, according to the FedScope database of federal employees maintained by the Office of Personnel Management. Between 2010 and 2013, the number of annual departures of permanent employees from DHS increased 31 percent, compared with a 17 percent increase for the government overall.

Got that?  The high turnover level started with George Bush (how could it not, since he was the only President in history with the Homeland Security department)...except it accelerated to almost double the number of vacancies under President Obama (the only other President with Homeland Security, thus the only comparative).

Here's a thought for Mr. Markon, Ms. Nakashima and Ms. Crites: maybe turnover is always going to be high in this area...but when it doubles from one President to the next, the issue isn't high turnover, it is the quality of the administration. 

Call me a dreamer, but I've always thought that dysfunctional work environments and abysmal morale might have a tendency to cause turnover.  Maybe you should think about that too.

Oh, and in case you think it is only at Homeland Security...

And at the Transportation Security Administration, a DHS agency created after 9/11 to enhance airport security, the hemorrhaging of both senior and junior personnel has "had a tremendous effect,"’ said Kenneth Kasprisin, a former acting TSA head who left the agency in May.

"You cannot sustain a high level of security operations when you have that kind of turnover,"’ he said, attributing the defections to "a toxic culture" and "terrible" morale.

Let's see:  the same issue (a huge level of turnover) for the same reason (horrible work environment, horrible morale) passed right along to TSA.  Is that some kind of coincidence?  Or is it a consequence of how Obama & Co. operates?  You tell me.

I count the seconds until this inept, incompetent, grotesquely damaging administration is over.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:41 AM   Add Comment

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