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Friday, 12 February 2016


Ken Berwitz

Very little time to blog until mid afternoon.

But I have to take a moment to note that, on the Today Show, I just heard from Savannah Guthrie that John Lewis is "not just a Black Icon but an American icon", and from Peter Alexander that Marco Rubio "cracked under pressure" during the last debate

For the record:

-I have lived in a mostly Democrat/liberal neighborhood for decades. And I have had more conversations, political and otherwise, with Black people than I can count.  Not once do I remember John Lewis's name ever being mentioned in any context.  Not good, not bad.  Mr. Lewis was at one time, long ago, a well known civil rights leader.  Now, other than among long time civil rights activists and older leftists, he is an anonymous congressperson.  John Lewis is about as much of an Americsn icon as that Waldo guy no one can find.

-Marco Rubio did not "crack under pressure", he kept answering the same question with the same expression, instead of changing a couple of words each time (which, from a political point of view, he should have done).  Giving the same answer to the same question is not "crackintg under pressure", it is being consistent.

Are Savannah Guthrie and Peter Alexander journalists?  Or are they propagandists?  You tell me.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 07:24 AM   Add Comment

Thursday, 11 February 2016


Ken Berwitz

Is it just me, or does Hillary Clinton look like she came to this debate wearing a rain slicker?

Hopelessly Partisan @ 21:49 PM   1 comment


Ken Berwitz

Today's paragraphs come to us from Jazz Shaw, writing for  They concern the Flint, Michigan water scandal - a scandal which is 99% Democrat, but, with copious media complicity, has been contorted into a Republican scandal created by Governor Rick Snyder instead.

Here, from his latest blog entry, is what Mr. Shaw has to say:

If the Democrats at the federal level get involved in this circus the results are easy to predict. Snyder was on Morning Joe today talking about all of the proposals currently on the table to clean this up, and when he was asked where the initial fault would be found he correctly identified the state Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA. Unfortunately for those looking to make political hay out of this, the EPA is the province of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton (currently holding onto the Obama legacy like a lifesaver) certainly doesn't want any aspersions cast in that direction.

If the Democrats and their celebrity allies like Michael Moore manage to hang this around Snyder's neck without holding the true stakeholders accountable it will be the political coup of a lifetime. It will also represent a monumental failure of the American justice system.

Well said, Jazz......though you forgot to mention Democrat-owned Detroit, which charged Flint so much for the water that it had to go elsewhere, and Flint's Democrat Emergency Manager, Darnell Earley, and Flint's Democrat Mayor, Karen Weaver, and Flint's Democrat City Council, which voted 7-1 to use the Flint river for its water supply.

Hey, credit where credit's due.

Jazz Shaw wins Paragraphs Of The Day honors for pointing out what a travesty this is, and what a pathetic joke it would be if Rick Snyder, rather than the Democrats at all levels who perpetrated Flint's horror show, are let off the hook.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 18:11 PM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

As you no doubt remember, a 12 year old boy named Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer, after he pointed what turned out to be a toy gun at the officer.

We can rehash the particulars of this case and argue over whether the shooting was or was not justified.  But let's save it for another day. 

Today can we all marvel at the astonishing level of obtuseness and insensitivity necessary for what you are about to read to have have happened?

Excerpted from Dylan Stableford's article at

The city of Cleveland wants the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by police 15 months ago, to pay for his ambulance ride. 

According to a creditor's claim filed Wednesday in Cuyahoga County Probate Court, the city is asking to be reimbursed $500 "for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent's last dying expense." An itemized bill from Cleveland EMS includes $450 for "ambulance advance life support" and $50 for mileage, according to an invoice filed with the claim. 

"The callousness, insensitivity, and poor judgment required for the city to send a bill - its own police officers having slain 12-year-old Tamir - is breathtaking," Subodh Chandra, an attorney for the family, said in a statement to NBC's WKYC-TV affiliate. "This adds insult to homicide." 

The family, Chandra added, "considers this a form of harassment."

Have the powers that be in Cleveland taken leave of their senses?

You may agree with the Rice family and their lawyers that this was a homicide (Tamir Rice was a child, and quite possibly "pointed" the gun at the police to show them it was a toy).  You may agree with the police that it was a justifiable shooting (Rice, though 12 years old, was 5' 7" tall and weighed almost 200 pounds, thus may have looked like an adult, and the toy markings were removed from the gun).

But either way, the Rice family lost an innocent 12 year old child.  Can Cleveland's authorities possibly need $500 so badly that they would send this kind of a bill to young Tamir's still-grieving parents?

In the name of basic decency, I would hope that sanity prevails...that the bill for $500 will be rescinded, and apology - a profuse one - will be offered instead.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 13:37 PM   1 comment


Ken Berwitz

This latest installment of Academic Brownshirts On Parade comes to us from Rutgers University - a school I am currently about ten minutes from (I'm in between training sessions).  Here, via excerpts from Allum Bokhari's article at is what happened when a political conservative - a gay political conservative at that - dared to try and speak on campus:

Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos' tour of U.S. university campuses has started off with a bang. His first event, at Rutgers University in New Jersey, was disrupted by feminists and Black Lives Matter protesters, who chanted slogans and smeared fake blood on their faces before storming out of the auditorium.

Yiannopoulos had been invited by the Young Americans For Liberty at Rutgers to speak on "How the Progressive Left Is Destroying Education." The event drew a huge crowd, with the line of students waiting to enter the venue stretching around campus. It's the first stage of Yiannopoulos "Dangerous Faggot Tour," a series of speeches by the Breitbart Tech editor on U.S campuses, which have become hotbeds of regressive-left radicalism in recent months.

Midway through his speech, Yiannopoulos faced disruption from a number of progressive activists on campus, who smeared fake blood on their faces and chanted "Black Lives Matter." However, their chants were drowned out by Milo's supporters, who fought back with their own chant: "TRUMP, TRUMP, TRUMP."

After their two minutes of fame, the progressives stormed out of the auditorium, leaving a trail of red paint for the janitors to clean up.

Walls, seats, and doors were also vandalised by the protesters. Peaceful attendees who had come to hear a speech instead found themselves splashed with the fake blood. At least one attendee was allegedly assaulted by a protester, who covered him in red paint.

The protests continued outside.

Personally, I could live quite well without the provocative name of Mr. Yianjopoulos' event.  And I certainly could live without Donald Trump being invoked.

But what gives me great pleasure here is that the protesters behaved in a way that usually results in a college or university declaring things "unsafe" and closing down the conservative voice these academic brownshirts cannot stand being heard.  When that didn't happen, and the students there to hear what Milo Yiannopoulos had to say were encouraged to out-chant the disrupters, they skulked off, leaving nothing but a trail of anger and vandalism - which seems to be far more important to them than exposure to diverse points of view.

But that does not mean they won't try again at Rutgers and it doesn't mean they won't be successful again.  They certainly have been in the past.

Academic Brownshirts:  I have to admit it is harder and harder not to remove that second "r".

Hopelessly Partisan @ 10:42 AM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

I don't often agree with pretty much every word of a Washington Post editorial.  But today's editorial, which talks about the undesirability of both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump - especially Donald Trump - as presidential material, is spot on.

Here are a few salient excerpts:

Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders offer convenient scapegoats and simple-sounding solutions. For Mr. Sanders, the "greed" of the "billionaire class" has rigged the system against working people. Tax the 1 percent, and everyone else can have free college and free health care. Political obstacles can be swept away by a "political revolution." America's enemies will be fought by a mythical Sunni Muslim coalition. The villains for Mr. Trump are "stupid" people running the government who allow foreigners to take advantage of the United States. The solution - well, his solution - is to elect Mr. Trump. 

We think both men are dangerously if seductively wrong in their facile diagnoses and prescriptions. But Mr. Sanders's platform is at least well-meaning. We think forcing working people to subsidize, through their taxes, the college tuition of wealthier Americans is not a progressive policy; we believe Mr. Sanders has not leveled with Americans about the true costs of single-payer health care. But few would object in theory to more widely available education and health care.

By contrast, Mr. Trump's proposals are pernicious as well as preposterous. There is no way to round up 11 million illegal immigrants and deport them - but no one should want to live in a nation that would attempt such a thing. Nor would most Americans want a government that deliberately kills the innocent relatives of terrorists.

Mr. Trump is mocking the democratic process, not engaging in it. He feels no obligation to explain how he would implement his ideas, and he does not care whether his statements are true. 

I cannot find a word to argue with there - not even the comment about celebrations over 9/11 (they did occur, but Trump has the number of celebrants wrong).

Can we possibly be ready to make 2016 the year of either a Sanders or Trump presidency?  I hope for the sake of our country that the answer is a resounding no.

Congratulations to the Washington Post for laying the reasons out so clearly and so correctly.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 08:13 AM   3 comments

Wednesday, 10 February 2016


Ken Berwitz

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's presidential run is over.

Getting 8% of the vote in New Hampshire, a state where he needed to finish at least in the top 3, has told Christie, loud and clear, that there is no point in going on.  He has suspended operations and is dropping out.

Ben Carson is staying in - at least for now - though it is hard to see why.

The herd continues to thin...

Hopelessly Partisan @ 22:00 PM   1 comment


Ken Berwitz

Today's paragraphs come to us from Michelle Alexander, writing for The Nation. The title of her piece?  "Why Hillary Clinton Doesn't Deserve the Black Vote"

And if there is room for any more nails on the coffin waiting for Hillary Clinton's presidential hopes, this is going to contribute a few.

Read this and see why:

Black voters have been remarkably loyal to the Clintons for more than 25 years. It's true that we eventually lined up behind Barack Obama in 2008, but it's a measure of the Clinton allure that Hillary led Obama among black voters until he started winning caucuses and primaries. Now Hillary is running again. This time she's facing a democratic socialist who promises a political revolution that will bring universal healthcare, a living wage, an end to rampant Wall Street greed, and the dismantling of the vast prison state-many of the same goals that Martin Luther King Jr. championed at the end of his life. Even so, black folks are sticking with the Clinton brand.

What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work?

No. Quite the opposite.

When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, urban black communities across America were suffering from economic collapse. Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs had vanished as factories moved overseas in search of cheaper labor, a new plantation. Globalization and deindustrialization affected workers of all colors but hit African Americans particularly hard. Unemployment rates among young black men had quadrupled as the rate of industrial employment plummeted. Crime rates spiked in inner-city communities that had been dependent on factory jobs, while hopelessness, despair, and crack addiction swept neighborhoods that had once been solidly working-class. Millions of black folks-many of whom had fled Jim Crow segregation in the South with the hope of obtaining decent work in Northern factories-were suddenly trapped in racially segregated, jobless ghettos.

On the campaign trail, Bill Clinton made the economy his top priority and argued persuasively that conservatives were using race to divide the nation and divert attention from the failed economy. In practice, however, he capitulated entirely to the right-wing backlash against the civil-rights movement and embraced former president Ronald Reagan's agenda on race, crime, welfare, and taxes-ultimately doing more harm to black communities than Reagan ever did.

Michelle Alexander is an accomplished writer who teaches law at Ohio State University.  She is well known and well respected. 
You may or may not agree with Ms. Alexander's points.  You may or may not think her dump-job on Hillary Clinton is fair.  But, regardless, you can bet that Bernie Sanders and his people are going to be using her words to persuade Black voters that they have no friend in either Hillary or Hubby Bubba.  If I were him, I would do the same thing.

Will it turn a lot of Black voters against the Clintons?  Probably not, given the extended love affair Black America has had with them.  

But you can bet it will turn some voters, not all of them Black either.  And it will make some of her supporters less enthusiastic about showing up on election day.  These factors can be the difference between a decisive victory and a tight race that shows vulnerability. They can even change a win into a loss.  Both prospects are devastating to the Clinton candidacy.

Michelle Alexander wins Paragraphs Of The Day honors for bringing home the reasons this might happen so well.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 16:56 PM   Add Comment


Ken Berwitz

Carly Fiorina has acknowledged her lack of voter support by dropping out of the Republican presidential race.  Logic would dictate that others (Christie, Carson, Gilmore) will quickly follow....which, the coordination of logic and politics being what it is, means, of course, that it might not happen.

We'll see.

Hopelessly Partisan @ 15:27 PM   Add Comment

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