Archive for the ‘Free Speech’ Category

Obama’s First 100 days: Gag bill for ministers? “God damn America” is O.K., Literal reading of the bible may not be….

April 29, 2009

The House is expected to act on hate crimes legislation Wednesday.

Opponents spoke out against the bill, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill calling it a “gag bill for ministers.”

The legislation adds gay and transgender people to the list of federally protected classes for hate crimes.

Texas congressman Louie Gohmert is a former judge. He says the law already punishes people who commit terrible crimes for any reason.
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 hate crimes law, he said, would add nothing but punishment for pastors who preach biblically held beliefs against homosexuality.

“It would not take too many arrests to have an extraordinary chilling affect on some religious teachings with regard to sexual immorality,” Gohmert claimed.

Congressman Clyburn says the law is only meant to keep gay people from being targeted because of their sexuality.

“Nothing in this legislation will stymie the free expression of any religion,” he said.

Opponents are working to amend the legislation to protect pastors.

From CBN News

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
4/29/100-days-of-the-poser-presid
ency/

NBC’s Leftward Tilt, Fued With Fox Boils Into Shareholders Meeting

April 23, 2009

The hostility between Fox News Channel and MSNBC reached a fever pitch Wednesday when a Fox producer infiltrated the GE shareholders meeting.

Just before GE re-elected board members, company brass were hit with questions from shareholders critical of an alleged leftward political slant at MSNBC.

But one of those questions came from Jesse Waters, a producer on “The O’Reilly Factor” whose criticisms were cut short when his microphone was cut off, according to several attendees. Waters apparently did not publicly identify himself as a Fox employee.

Waters has built a reputation as an ambush interviewer, specializing in on-the-street confrontations. But this is arguably the boldest move by a Fox newsie to utilize the tactic inside their chief rival’s tent, as it were.

From The Hollywood Reporter

Related:
NBC Decides It Is All Obama All The Time (That Includes CNBC, MSNBC, GE…..Miss USA…Gay Marriage)

O’Reilly and MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann have been involved in a running feud for several years, but the pissing match between the two has of late started to envelope other parts of the News Corp. and GE empires.

GE pointed out that Waters had Fox News cameras waiting outside the Orlando meeting.

Attendees who spoke to THR said shareholders asked about 10 politically charged questions concerning MSNBC as well as one about CNBC.

First up was a woman asking about a reported meeting in which Immelt and NBC Uni CEO Jeff Zucker supposedly told top CNBC executives and talent to be less critical of President Obama and his policies.

Immelt acknowledged a meeting took place but said no one at CNBC was told what to say or not to say about politics.

During the woman’s follow-up question, her microphone was apparently cut off. A short time later, Waters asked a question and his mic was cut, too.

“The crowd was very upset with MSNBC because of its leftward tilt,” one attendee said. “Some former employees said they were embarrassed by it.”

When he got the floor, Waters focused his question about MSNBC on Olbermann’s interview of actress Janeane Garofalo, who likened conservatives to racists and spoke of “the limbic brain inside a right-winger.”

“He (Waters) was complaining that Olbermann didn’t bother to challenge her,” another GE shareholder said.

Immelt told the assembled he takes a hands-off approach to what is reported on the company’s news networks, which prompted a shareholder to criticize him for not managing NBC Uni more effectively.

Read the rest:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/con
tent_display/news/e3i888016761f9ec8
24f862a5c265de605c

Pentagon Cyber-Command Is in the Works

April 22, 2009

The Obama administration is finalizing plans for a new Pentagon command to coordinate the security of military computer networks and to develop new offensive cyber-weapons, sources said last night.

Planning for the reorganization of Defense Department and intelligence agencies is underway, and a decision is imminent, according to a person familiar with the White House plans.

The new command would affect U.S. Strategic Command, whose mission includes ensuring U.S. “freedom of action” in space and cyberspace, and the National Security Agency, which shares Pentagon cybersecurity responsibilities with the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The Pentagon plans do not involve the Department of Homeland Security, which has responsibility for securing the government’s non-military computer domain.

But President Obama must approve the changes and Congress must be notified of them before they can be implemented, said this source, who has spoken with several White House and military officials. This individual spoke on the condition of anonymity because the process is still “in motion.”

Read the rest fromThe Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/cont
ent/article/2009/04/22/AR2009042
200029.html?hpid=topnews

Senate Proposal Could Put Heavy Restrictions on Internet Freedoms

April 22, 2009

A proposed bill that would give the president widespread power to shut down the Internet in the event of a cyberattack could have sweeping implications on civil liberties.

By James Osborne

Fox News

The days of an open, largely unregulated Internet may soon come to an end.

A bill making its way through Congress proposes to give the U.S. government authority over all networks considered part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Under the proposed Cybersecurity Act of 2009, the president would have the authority to shut down Internet traffic to protect national security.

The government also would have access to digital data from a vast array of industries including banking, telecommunications and energy. A second bill, meanwhile, would create a national cybersecurity adviser — commonly referred to as the cybersecurity czar — within the White House to coordinate strategy with a wide range of federal agencies involved.

Related:
Obama’s Plan: Shut Off Free Speech by Shutting Off Internet, Talk Radio and Fox News

The need for greater cybersecurity is obvious:

– Canadian researchers recently discovered that computers in 103 countries, including those in facilities such as embassies and news media offices, were infected with software designed to steal network data.

– A Seattle security analyst warned last month that the advancement of digital communication within the electrical grid, as promoted under President Obama’s stimulus plan, would leave the nation’s electrical supply dangerously vulnerable to hackers.

– And on Tuesday the Wall Street Journal reported that computer spies had broken into the Pentagon’s $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project and had breached the Air Force’s air-traffic-control system.

Nonetheless, the proposal to give the U.S. government the authority to regulate the Internet is sounding alarms among critics who say it’s another case of big government getting bigger and more intrusive.

Silicon Valley executives are calling the bill vague and overly intrusive, and they are rebelling at the thought of increased and costly government regulations amid the global economic crisis.

Others are concerned about the potential erosion of civil liberties. “I’m scared of it,” said Lee Tien, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based group.

“It’s really broad, and there are plenty of laws right now designed to prevent the government getting access to that kind of data. It’s the same stuff we’ve been fighting on the warrantless wiretapping.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va, who introduced the bill earlier this month with bipartisan support, is casting the legislation as critical to protecting everything from our water and electricity to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records.

“I know the threats we face.” Rockefeller said in a prepared statement when the legislation was introduced. “Our enemies are real. They are sophisticated, they are determined and they will not rest.”

The bill would allow the government to create a detailed set of standards for cybersecurity, as well as take over the process of certifying IT technicians. But many in the technology sector say the government is simply ill-equipped to get involved at the technical level, said Franck Journoud, a policy analyst with the Business Software Alliance.

“Simply put, who has the expertise?” he said. “It’s the industry, not the government. We have a responsibility to increase and improve security. That responsibility cannot be captured in a government standard.”

A spokeswoman from Rockefeller’s office said neither he nor the two senators who co-sponsored the bill, Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., will answer questions on cybersecurity at a later date.

Obama, meanwhile, is considering his own strategy on cybersecurity. On Friday, the White House completed a lengthy review of the nation’s computer networks and their vulnerability to attack. An announcement is expected as early as this week.

“I kind of view [the Rockefeller bill] as an opening shot,” said Tien. “The concept is cybersecurity. There’s this 60-day review underway, and some people wanted to get in there and make their mark on the White House policy development.”

IT leaders hope the president will consider their argument that their business is not only incredibly complex and static, but that it also spreads over the entire globe.

If the United States was to set its own standard for cybersecurity, they say, it would create a host of logistical challenges for technology companies, virtually all of which operate internationally.

“Any standards have to be set at an international level and be industry led,” said Dale Curtis, a spokesman for the Software Business Alliance. “This industry moves so fast, and government just doesn’t move that fast.”

Many Silicon Valley executives remain hopeful that the White House’s recommendations will be more industry-friendly, following what Journoud said was a good dialogue with former Bush administration official Melissa Hathaway, who is leading the White House review and is considered a likely candidate for cybersecurity czar.

Bush, In China, Gets Laughs; Talks Freedom of Religion

April 19, 2009

Former President George W. Bush cracked jokes about how he scoops up after his dog on neighborhood walks and then turned to more serious subjects like terrorism and the financial crisis Saturday during his first overseas trip since leaving office.

Bush — in China for the Boao Forum — also shared some of his most unusual moments with leaders, including the time he listened to former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sing “Hound Dog” while visiting Graceland mansion, home to the late Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee.

The stories drew laughter and applause from the audience in a huge banquet hall at the forum, an annual conference where executives hobnob with global leaders at a resort on China’s southern tropical island province of Hainan. Security was tight and there were no protests.

Bush said after he left the White House and moved into his new home in Dallas, Texas, he decided to take his Scottish terrier Barney for a walk. To be a good neighbor, he said he carried a plastic bag so he could clean up his dog’s droppings. The task seemed ironic to him, he said.

“I was picking up what I had been dodging for eight years,” Bush said.

The former president said after he left the presidency in January, he plopped down on the couch and said, “Free at last.”

But his wife, Laura, piped in: “You’re free to do the dishes,” he said.

After a few other jokes, Bush shifted to more serious topics. Although this was his first trip overseas since leaving office, it was his second speech in a foreign country. Last month, Bush spoke in Calgary, Canada.

On Saturday, he said he would not criticize Barack Obama and wished his successor all the best.

“He was not my first choice, but now that this election was made, it speaks volumes about the United States of America,” Bush said.

He recalled that when the financial crisis began hitting America, he accused Wall Street of getting drunk and giving the country a hangover. Bush said he hoped a more sober economic order would emerge from the global slump.

“Maybe the next time around, there won’t be enough booze,” he said.

The crisis gives the world an opportunity to modernize financial systems, craft smarter regulations for complex financial instruments, create better banking standards and enact more efficient warning systems, Bush said.

“Our economy has been hit hard, but we have the resources and resilience to recover,” he added.

Bush also urged global leaders to continue the struggle against terrorism and to support the young democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But he said the economic center of the world was shifting to Asia, which accounts for 55 percent of the global economy. China will continue to be of high importance to the U.S., he said.

“It’s just mind boggling how this country has changed,” he added.

During past visits to China, Bush urged Chinese leaders to expand religious freedom in the country. He mentioned the issue again Saturday in a low-key, oblique way.

“People who are allowed to worship freely in society,” he said, “are people who are going to be peaceful citizens.”

Fox News

Obama First 100 Days: What’s Been Lost and What’s Been Gained?

April 19, 2009

We are almost at the end of the first three months of the Obama Administration and it is getting time to ask what may have been gained and lost thus far.

As Mr. Obama is particularly active in his agenda, and he enjoys great popularity and a Democrat controlled congress, he may have more dramatic changes at this early stage in his presidency than in that of say Millard Fillmore.

From the L.A. Times:
Obama’s First 100 Days

Much of what has been gained and lost was on display this last week.

It seems that trust from a segment of the voting population was lost, as exhibited both by protesters in the streets at Tea Parties and the release of the Administration’s memo condemning them as right wing extremists.

Mr. Obama is a polarizing president — perhaps the most polarizing ever.

It seems to us that Pakistan may have been lost or is on a slippery slope and Isreal is not yet lost but certainly is showing signs of concern.

Many years of negotiating with North Korea has been lost….

But just think of all the new allies gained: Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, the Taliban, Iran’s Ahmadinejad (maybe) and perhaps others.

Obama, Chavez 
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President Obama talks with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Photo: Alfonso Ocando / EPA

Mexico has been lost along with gun control….

But Latinos have been gained…..

We’d have to guess that Mr. Obama has lost at least some trust among his intelligence and military professionals…..

Bush was lost (but often mentioned) and Rush was gained….

Rush Limbaugh: Whether or not you agree with him he's something to hear.

Anti-abortion folks have lost trust entirely if they ever had any but pro abortion and stem cell research advocates are delighted with the new president.

The religious right has lost interest but they don’t matter much anymore anyway….

Catholics seem happy with President Obama as he has already spoken at one great Catholic College, Georgetown, that was even kind enough to remove symbols of Jesus Christ from the president’s speech venue….

Notre Dame is next but some of the Catholic heirarchy have already said they’ll boycott Obama events ….but who cares….

The University of Notre Dame says its invitation doesn't mean the university agrees with all of Obama's positions.

The University of Notre Dame says its invitation doesn’t mean the university agrees with all of Obama’s positions.

People interested in the national debt and how their children will possibly pay it off are lost but the message to all interested in children and grandchildren is clear anyway: get an abortion and chip in for the cure to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s….

We suffered an economic meltdown but thaks to Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank; evil like this will never happen again….

Local governments are happy and growing and thriving thanks to the stimulus.

Which reminds me: in California last year only two segments of the economy “grew”: government and health care.
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Obama has been short on symbolism with unneeded allies like Britain but long on bowing to others…..

The President of the United States Barack Obama greets King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

The President of the United States Barack Obama greets King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.Photo: Getty Images

We have a new corps of young Obamaites: Americorps….so that’s a gain….

“Lawmakers” are gained and gaining as government is sure to grow.  In Congress people are delighted by the fact that they don’t have to read those long spending bills before they vote on them any more….

Obama has just about guaranteed this as a national trend….

Education will grow but not necessarily get better as Mr. Obama is killing vouchers and there is no data to show that more education spending leads to more academic achievement, according to Ben Stein and others…..

Environmentalists are gaining big time but in Spain, for every climate change technology job gained two other jobs in the economy were lost….

Immigrants of all kinds are overjoyed that Nancy Pelosi called border agents and others enforcing immigration law “un-American,” except maybe my wife from Vietnam.  She’s legal and it took her 12 years to become a citizen.  She thinks Pelosi and Obama are the un-American ones….but who cares….

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures during a news ...

The media is overjoyed at all this.  I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.  But there seems a lot of Obama fawning and unnecessary ugly attacks upon “the other side”….or just snide remarks and sexual inuendo…..

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With a few reserences….

We are almost at the end of the first three months of the Obama Administration and it is getting time to ask what may have been gained and lost thus far.

As Mr. Obama is particularly active in his agenda, and he enjoys great popularity and a Democrat controlled congress, he may have more dramatic changes at this early stage in his presidency than in that of say Millard Fillmore.

Much of what has been gained and lost was on display this last week.

It seems that trust from a segment of the voting population was lost, as exhibited both by protesters in the streets at Tea Parties and the release of the Administration’s memo condemning them as right wing extremists.
Napolitano, Homeland Security Join Parts of the American Government That Can’t Be Trusted
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DHS Calls Veterans, Tea Party Members “Dangerous,” But Others Aren’t So Sure: Maybe They’re Patriots

Mr. Obama is a polarizing president — perhaps the most polarizing ever.
Obama polarizes most in history, 43% disapproval rating; media whitewashes

It seems to us that Pakistan may have been lost or is on a slippery slope and Isreal is not yet lost but certainly is showing signs of concern.
Israel Worries Obama “Cannot be Relied Upon”
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 Pakistan on course to become Islamist state, U.S. experts say

Many years of negotiating with North Korea have been lost….
 North Korea Again Talks of War, Resists Pressure, Talks

But just think of all the new allies gained: Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, the Taliban, Iran’s Ahmadinejad (maybe) and perhaps others.
 Obama Loses Photo Op War To Chavez (and the Saudi King, and….): Call Oprah!

China and Russia are rearming…or resetting…The U.S. is cutting the defense budget…..
China: Military Modernization Continues
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Russia Rearms


Above: Russia’s Medvedev

The rest button was Biden’s major contribution so far…..
 Biden’s Best Political Blunders (So Far)
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button marked "reset" in English and "overload" in Russian.
Coffrini/GettyMexico has been lost along with gun control….
Obama in Mexico, Trinidad to Achieve What? Nothing, Next To Nothing and Status Quo

But Latinos have been gained…..right across the border….And perhaps a new language as well: Spanish.  Some of our federal education money may go to teaching Spanish to teachers as the Spanish speaking immigrants don’t snuggle up to the English language as quickly as some others…..
Obama, Pelosi, Democrats Woo Spanish Speaking Voters

We’d have to guess that Mr. Obama has lost at least some trust among his intelligence and military professionals…..
 Sharing Intelligence Relies Upon Trust: Obama Has Given That Away, Called an End To Terror War

Anti-abortion folks have lost trust entirely if they ever had any but pro abortion and stem cell research advocates are delighted with the new president.
Discussion of Abortion Heats Up
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Obama Causing Huge Boost for Anti-Abortion Groups

The religious right has lost interest but they don’t matter much anymore anyway….
In Obama We Trust: God Has Left The Building (and the Nation)

Catholics seem happy with President Obama as he has already spoken at one great Catholic College, Georgetown, that was even kind enough to remove symbols of Jesus Christ from the president’s speech venue….
 Georgetown Honors Obama, Not Jesus (There Can Only Be One Messiah….)

Notre Dame is next but some of the Catholic heirarchy have already said they’ll boycott Obama events ….but who cares….
American Social Discourse and Political Correctness: It’s O.K. To Insult the Gracious and Polite, Just Leave the Vocal Alone

People interested in the national debt and how their children will possibly pay it off are lost but the message to all interested in children and grandchildren is clear anyway: get an abortion and chip in for the cure to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s….
Brit View: Obama Still Expects To Borrow $2.562 Trillion Before October 1st; $6 to $10 Billion per Day

Obama’s Nightmare: Economic Signs Chilling; World’s 8th Largest Economy Tops 11% Unemployed: California

 Obama’s Suicide Machine: Economy, Spending, Debt (Education, Climate, Health Care)

We suffered an economic meltdown but thaks to Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank; evil like this will never happen again….
Pelosi Got It Dead Wrong: Congress Ignored Regulators’ Repeated Warnings on Fannie, Freddie

Local governments are happy and growing and thriving thanks to the stimulus.
 Hopeful cities, towns find limits on stimulus cash
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Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

Which reminds me: in California last year only two segments of the economy “grew”: government and health care.

Obama has been short on symbolism with unneeded allies like Britain but long on bowing to others…..
Obama First President Ever To Shoot Three Juveniles in Head During “Negotiation”

We have a new corps of young Obamaites: Americorps….so that’s a gain….
Forget ACORN, Obama’s Americorps Has “strong odor of creepy authoritarianism”
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Obama’s Americorps: Hitler Youth Or Putin’s Nashi

“Lawmakers” are gained and gaining as government is sure to grow.  In Congress people are delighted by the fact that they don’t have to read those long spending bills before they vote on them any more….

Obama has just about guaranteed this as a national trend….
The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

Education will grow but not necessarily get better as Mr. Obama is killing vouchers and there is no data to show that more education spending leads to more academic achievement, according to Ben Stein and others…..
 Better Education? Obama Kills Nation’s “Best” Voucher Program

Teaching the leftist agenda in school

Environmentalists are gaining big time but in Spain, for every climate change technology job gained two other jobs in the economy were lost….

Immigrants of all kinds are overjoyed that Nancy Pelosi called border agents and others enforcing immigration law “un-American,” except maybe my wife from Vietnam.  She’s a real rarity: a legal immigrant.  It took her 12 years to become a citizen.  She thinks Pelosi and Obama are the un-American ones….but who cares….
I Wonder What Illegal Immigrants Cost?

Vice President Joe Biden reacts to the audience after making ...

The New York Times probably won’t see all this the way we do here….

 Why is Obama’s Left so Angry? Attacking Moderate Journalists….

Tea Parties Must Be Important: NYT Continues Snide Comments On Saturday

Obama Supporters, Left Using Intimidation to Silence “The Other Side”

 Obama Already Running for Next Term As “Better Than Bush”
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Obama The All Knowing, All Present is All Over The Media
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 Independent Media Would Disappear Under Obama Appointee Plan

Obama Is President Disorder, Irony and Non Sequitur

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Jackie Chan Urges China To Remain its Restrictive, Controlling, Communist Self: “Freedom is Too Chaotic”

April 18, 2009

BOAO, China —  Action star Jackie Chan said Saturday he’s not sure if a free society is a good thing for China and that he’s starting to think “we Chinese need to be controlled.” 

Chan’s comments drew applause from a predominantly Chinese audience of business leaders in China’s southern island province of Hainan.

By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press Writer

The 55-year-old Hong Kong actor was participating in a panel at the annual Boao Forum when he was asked to discuss censorship and restrictions on filmmakers in China. He expanded his comments to include society.

“I’m not sure if it’s good to have freedom or not,” Chan said. “I’m really confused now. If you’re too free, you’re like the way Hong Kong is now. It’s very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic.”

Chan added: “I’m gradually beginning to feel that we Chinese need to be controlled. If we’re not being controlled, we’ll just do what we want.”

The kung fu star has not been a vocal supporter of the pro-democracy movement in his hometown of Hong Kong. Since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, voters have not been allowed to directly elect their leader. Several massive street protests have been held to demand full democracy, but Beijing has repeatedly said Hong Kong isn’t ready for it.

The theme at Saturday’s panel discussion was “Tapping into Asia’s Creative Industry Potential,” and Chan had several opinions about innovation in China.

He said that early in his career, he lived in the shadow of the late martial arts star Bruce Lee. He said that during his first foray into Hollywood, he struggled to establish his own identity, so he returned to Hong Kong. After spending 15 years building his reputation in Asia, Chan finally got rediscovered by Hollywood, he said.

Chan said the problem with Chinese youth is that “they like other people’s things. They don’t like their own things.” Young people need to spend more time developing their own style, he added.

The action hero complained that Chinese goods still have too many quality problems. He became emotional when discussing contaminated milk powder that sickened tens of thousands of Chinese babies in the past year.

Speaking fast with his voice rising, Chan said, “If I need to buy a TV, I’ll definitely buy a Japanese TV. A Chinese TV might explode.”

Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, right, gestures as he speak while ... 
Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, right, gestures as he speak while Chinese actress Lin Peng look on during a news conference to promote his new film ‘Big Soldier’ in Beijing, China, Thursday, April 2, 2009.(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

He Ordered The Execution of Three Somali Teens But Iran and North Korea Get A Pass? Where’s Obama’s Backbone?

April 15, 2009

Figuring out Barack Obama is still the game of the globe this year.  He talks a good game but is he game for real confrontation?  It seems not but then again….

His economic speech at Georgetown yesterday was a dusted off campaign talk with biblical references and today’s urging to take the sting out of tax day fell on the deaf ears of thousands of protesters nobody would have believed they’d ever see marching with signs: conservatives…..

Barack Obama may be popular with some but the bloom is off the rose.  He’s a tax and spend liberal socialist who has removed the word terrorist from the U.S. government lexicon….unless his Department of Homeland Security is talking about veterans and other evil conservatives….

Obama has lost his way …. if he ever had it.  Psst: Mr. President: They don’t speak Austrian in Austria and a Chinese made IPod is not a suitable gift for the Queen of England.  Iran and North Korea are big threats, Mr. President, and don’t expect the U.N. to help you on that….Your pie in the sky is spending my grandchildren to tears, Mr. President, while you goof around with a dog…..

He talks about better education for poor kids but kills the vouchers to pay for that — at the same private school that his kids attend…..

Related:
Sarkozy Calls Barack Obama, His Ideas “Unoriginal, Unsubstantial and Overrated”

 U.S. Didn’t Use All Assets To Monitor North Korean Missile

Obama Hears From Mayor: We Want The Freedom to Better Educate our Youth

 Better Education? Obama Kills Nation’s “Best” Voucher Program

 Obama Talk on Iran and North Korea Not Matched by Action, Reality


Last summer in Europe: the people were at his feet.  Now?

******************

By Ruth Marcus
The Washington Post

When will President Obama fight, and when will he fold? That’s not entirely clear — and I’m beginning to worry that there may be a little too much presidential inclination to crumple. For all the chest-thumping about making hard choices and taking on entrenched interests, there has been disturbingly little evidence of the new president’s willingness to do that when it discomfits his allies.
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“Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed,” Obama proclaimed in his inaugural address.

Well, not exactly. Look at the fate of various proposals in the Obama budget, and the question that arises is not Walter Mondale’s famous “Where’s the beef?” It’s “Where’s the backbone?”

Granted, it’s early — too early to know whether this anxiety is justified. No president gets everything he proposes, in the budget or elsewhere. Picking battles is part of the art of presidential politics.

Just ask Jimmy Carter, who picked the wrong one with Congress, early on, over lawmakers’ cherished water projects — and then blinked on a veto. “That convinced people that he was not willing to stick to tough positions,” Carter adviser Stuart Eizenstat recalled in a 1982 oral history.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp
-dyn/content/article/2009/04/14
/AR2009041402119.html?hpid=o
pinionsbox1

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009
/04/15/massive-tax-day-tea-party-usa/

Un-American Censorship By Mainstream Media?

April 15, 2009

Some are charging the mainstream media with un-American censorship today.  Some say we know more about Obama’s dog than we know about the nearly $1 trillion in stimulus and bailout spending authorized by congress since Obama became president….

US President Barack Obama's choice of a Portuguese water dog, ... 

The tea parties ongoing today are American.  What is un-American is the censorship by the mainstream media and their continued fawning over Barack Obama….

Related:
“Father of Tea Parties” Rick Santelli Calls Them American to the Core

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By Dan Gainor

If you build it, they will come. It’s a truism we’ve believed in for a long, long time. But forget the baseball reference. It is as outdated as the year “Field of Dreams” was released –- 1989.

Tea party tax protesters know why. The metaphor is a lie –- at least as far as the mainstream media are concerned. If you do something of note and the media choose not to cover it –- the issue might just as well not exist.

Such is the fate of Wednesday’s national Tax Day Tea Party. This mega-gathering of tax protesters is scheduled for every single Congressional district in the country.  More than 500 events are planned. And the national news media have either been silent or shown contempt for the effort.

That’s not journalism, its blatant censorship that would amaze even George Orwell.

The Big Three broadcast networks –- ABC, CBS, and NBC –- have only mentioned the tea parties in passing and they’ve only done it three times. This is especially ironic since NBC’s sister network CNBC gave rise to the movement when reporter Rick Santelli ranted about government overspending and talked about having a “Chicago tea party.” Now the other NBC network –- MSNBC -– has been reduced to making juvenile sexual comments about the event.

The Washington Post has been even worse than the networks. The paper has only mentioned the movement once in a news story: in a “brief” that ran in a suburban edition. Two major tea parties are planned for Washington this week and the only Post readers who have a clue about what’s going on live in Prince William County. Or, hopefully, rely on media other than just The Post.

The New York Times tried a different tack. That paper has mentioned tea parties six times -– and five of those have been to disparage and undermine them. The paper questioned Santelli’s involvement and said the rant only “appeared spontaneous.” An April 7 piece by Lawrence Downes mocked a Northport, N.Y. tea party as “a day for brandishing signs, shouting imprecations, and donning silly clothing.” Columnist Frank Rich claimed the Santelli “bonfire fizzled” and columnist Paul Krugman called the tea parties “AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events.”

This tax day, hundreds of thousands of hard-working, taxpaying Americans will prove Krugman and the rest of traditional media wrong. They have had to rely on new technologies like Twitter and Facebook to do something as old as civilization itself –- protest. But they shouldn’t have to do so.

The Times famously claims it publishes “All The News That’s Fit to Print.” In practice, they publish whatever they want or whatever they agree with. Journalists are obligated to cover the news and it’s impossible to argue that nationwide protests are not news.

When California passed Proposition 8, the Times ran 11 stories detailing the pro-gay marriage protests that followed. One Associated Press story it ran was quick to point out that “about 1,000 advocates of equal rights for gay people” attended a protest. A Nov. 16 story emphasized some “4,000 people gathered at City Hall” and took pains to mention that comedian Wanda Sykes “surprised a crowd of more than 1,000.”

The Washington Post did eight stories detailing the Proposition 8 protests. The big networks did 19. Both CBS and NBC mentioned that there were “about 2,000 people” protesting at the Long Beach rally.

By contrast, attendance at the Feb. 27 tea parties was ignored by the networks. Roughly 30,000 people tried to make their voices heard at 50 events around the country. Five thousand people showed their anger over taxes and spending in Orlando and another 5,000 in Cincinnati. “One of the biggest protests so far drew 15,000 on March 8 in Fullerton, Calif.,” according to Investors Business Daily.

The Facebook page devoted to the tea parties alone has more than 30,000 members. Top conservatives on Twitter — one of the event sponsors — has more than 4,000 members. Surely someone at the major networks has a Facebook page or knows a Tweet from a Twit. If not, perhaps they can find an 8-year-old to explain it to them.

While they are at it, have that same 8-year-old go over the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Maybe that’s what it would take to remind journalists one of their primary duties is “providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.” Remember, “comprehensive” means not just the issues you support.

A quick skim of the code shows that journalists are violating several of the guidelines by not covering the tea parties. “Journalists should: Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”

That’s another one of those crazy old-time dreams. The only open exchange of views now occurs despite the national news media –- not because of it.

Fortunately, protest has a way of surviving even in times of media censorship. But the next time you see stories about more media layoffs or newspapers closing down, you, and hundreds of thousands of tax protesters, will know why.

Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and Vice President of the Media Research Center’s Business & Media Institute. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum and he can be seen each Thursday on Foxnews.com’s “Strategy Room.”

Legion to DHS: Standing against “un-American, a menace to our liberties, and destructive to our fundamental law”

April 14, 2009

American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein sent Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano a letter of protest concerning a recent report by the Department of Homeland Security which suggested veterans were more likely to commit terrorist acts than nonveterans. The letter is below.

Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

April 13, 2009
Dear Secretary Napolitano,

On behalf of the 2.6 million-member American Legion, I am stating my concern about your April 7 report, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence and Recruitment.”

First, I want to assure you that The American Legion has long shared your concern about white supremacist and anti-government groups. In 1923, when the Ku Klux Klan still yielded unspeakable influence in this country, The American Legion passed Resolution 407. It resolved, in part, “…we consider any individual, group of individuals or organizations, which creates, or fosters racial, religious or class strife among our people, or which takes into their own hands the enforcement of law, determination of guilt, or infliction of punishment, to be un-American, a menace to our liberties, and destructive to our fundamental law…”

The best that I can say about your recent report is that it is incomplete. The report states, without any statistical evidence, “The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”

The American Legion is well aware and horrified at the pain inflicted during the Oklahoma City bombing, but Timothy McVeigh was only one of more than 42 million veterans who have worn this nation’s uniform during wartime. To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical “disgruntled military veteran” is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam.
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Your report states that “Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages.” Secretary Napolitano, this is more than a perception to those who have lost their job. Would you categorize union members as “Right Wing extremists”?

In spite of this incomplete, and, I fear, politically-biased report, The American Legion and the Department of Homeland Security share many common and crucial interests, such as the Citizen Corps and disaster preparedness. Since you are a graduate of New Mexico Girls State, I trust that you are very familiar with The American Legion. I would be happy to meet with you at a time of mutual convenience to discuss issues such as border security and the war on terrorism. I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are.

Sincerely,

David K. Rehbein
National Commander
The American Legion

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
4/14/american-legion-responds-to-dhs/

U.S. President Barack Obama hugs a service member as he visits ... 
U.S. President Barack Obama hugs a service member as he visits Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, Iraq April 7. REUTERS/Lee Craker/Multi-National Corps Iraq Public Affairs/Handout