Tag archives: Obama

Quick Take on State of the Union

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 28, 2010

There were times during last night’s speech when reality seemed suspended: The President’s evident sincerity and earnestness were undermined by the caustic laughter that occasionally greeted his comments. At other times, silence met his words. And, in media theory courses across the land, analyses will be done of the number of times he looked to the Republican side of the aisle - he seemed far more concerned with the GOP responses to his remarks than those of his own party. Maybe the spectre of another Joe Wilson moment (“You lie!”) had him jumpy.

More seriously, I wonder if his desperation to be liked is compelling him to try to woo his skeptics. Of course, he won’t succeed.

It is hard not to like President Obama, at least the persona he projects in such settings as the State of the Union Address. He seems so reasonable.

Yet his policies are those of a man of the Left. It is as though he believes empathy is a substitute for substantive compromise, or that by virtue of patiently listening he can lull his opponents into political somnolence.

The speech, like the Obama presidency, was interwoven with unintended ironies:

** Mr. Obama calls for unity and patriotic oneness but simultaneously calls for open homosexuality in the military in a time of war. He knows this will go nowhere, but throws the political bone to the homosexual lobby anyway. Why? Because he can say he tried (placating a key part of his base) while bearing no real consequence (the measure lifting the ban on gays in the military won’t succeed and so, given the relative inattention of the American people to this issue in a time of economic

crisis, there will little political price to pay for Democrats in November).

** He insists on taxpayer-subsidized abortion, resists litigation limits against health care providers and persists on wanting to micro-manage Americans’ medical care but urges Republicans to share with him their ideas about health reform - as though they have not already done so myriad times!

** He is all over the map on taxes, calls for yet another commission on entitlement reform (as if the several essential steps were not obvious, especially after many other such reform bills, panels, studies, commissions, select committees, etc.) and rewrites the economic history of the past decade —- and does so with such seeming intensity that one wants to join him in the land of political make-believe.

The President needs to come to terms with some basic realities: People aren’t stupid. Politicians aren’t children. Civility doesn’t mean acquiescence. And facts are stubborn things.

Massachusetts, Senator-elect Brown, and Jack Bauers War

by Chris Gacek

January 26, 2010

Last week I wrote a blog post on Barack Obamas conduct in what I called Jack Bauers War. That is the war being conducted directly against the jihadists. In the week since then we have discovered more disturbing information about the Obama administrations performance in this conflict. For example, Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Times asserted on his weekday radio show that it is now well-known that the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was questioned for only 50 minutes before he was read his Miranda rights. This is true. See the Wall Street Journal article affirming these facts.

I argued that these Jack Bauer war issues are a political acid that are badly damaging Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

The national security issue has been mentioned as one that Scott Brown ran on but MSM reporting has not placed it as a first-tier issue in Massachusetts. However, in Jamie Glazovs interview with national security attorney and former prosecutor, Andy McCarthy, in Frontpage Magazine, we read the following (my emphasis):

McCarthy: …. The Brown campaigns internal polling told them something very interesting. While its true that healthcare is what nationalized the election and riveted everyones attention to it, it was the national security issues that put real distance between the two candidates in the mind of the electoratein blue Massachusetts of all places. Sen.-elect Brown was able to speak forcefully and convincingly on issues like treating our jihadist enemies as combatants rather than mere defendants, about killing terrorists and preventing terrorism rather than contenting ourselves with prosecutions after Americans have been killed, about tough interrogation when necessary to save innocent lives. Martha Coakley, by contrast, had to try to defend the indefensible, which is Obama-style counterterrorism. It evidently made a huge difference to voters.

Similarly, the brilliant American-Israeli columnist for the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick, picked up on this as well. She made note of Robert Costas National Review interview (1/19/2010) with Eric Fehrnstrom, the Brown campaigns senior strategist. Fehrnstrom made the following points about the national security issue:

On the issues, people talk about the potency of the health-care issue, but from our own internal polling, the more potent issue here in Massachusetts was terrorism and the treatment of enemy combatants, says Fehrnstrom. Health care, he says, was helpful in fundraising, but it was the campaigns focus on national security in the final week that he believes helped to give voters another issue to associate with Brown…. (2nd paragraph from bottom)

Wow. KSMs trial in NYC; the undie bomber trial’s in Detroit; moving / releasing Gitmo prisoners. These are wounds that wont stop bleeding.

Mr. President, Leadership is Not an Option

by Rob Schwarzwalder

January 5, 2010

Franklin Roosevelt is not a hero of mine. Arguably the father of today’s big government and a president who never let the Constitution get in the way of his political agenda, FDR summoned a weird confection of Leftists, liberals and disaffected, vulnerable citizens to obtain election to the presidency no less than four times.

His legacy has led to serious problems in the courts, the economy and the way Americans understand their federal government. Yet there is still much to admire about the Democratic Roosevelt - the way he heartened Americans with his optimism, the masterful manner in which he spoke to the hopes and fears of ordinary people, and even his unabashed invocation of the God of the Bible in times of national need.

FDR was also nothing if not decisive. He did not dawdle in times of crisis. For better or ill, he acted. People knew that they had a leader in the White House.

Knowing he was nearing death, he jettisoned starry-eyed Vice President Henry Wallace for sharp, crisp and purposeful Harry Truman. When we entered World War II, he shelved the New Deal and put his full energies into winning the conflict, even appointing Republicans as secretaries of War and Navy. And when eight German spies were found in the U.S., they were not tried in civil court. They were taken before a military tribunal appointed by FDR himself; six were hung, one imprisoned for life, and the eighth sentenced to 30 years. The time between when the spies landed and the hangings: less than two months.

Mr. Roosevelt’s most recent successor could learn a thing or two from him. Barack Obama took three months to decide on adding to America’s troop level in Afghanistan. It took him three days to reassure a shaken public that his national security team would work to better safeguard the country from terrorist attacks.

On health care, the President seems content with getting something —- anything —- as long as it is slapped with rubric of reform and contains federal funding for abortion. He has not led in crafting the legislation. He has led only in demanding a finished product, and then too often, and when legislative deadlines have been missed, he has done nothing about it.

There have been moments when Mr. Obama seems to understand he is not a global citizen or a national academic-in-chief. When, early last year, he ordered American sharpshooters to kill the pirates who had seized U.S. sailors, he rightly won plaudits, including from my organization, the Family Research Council. But these moments have been more incidental and dramatic than consistent and dependable.

In the name of caution, he dallies. For the sake of consideration, he procrastinates. On behalf of prudence, he dissolves into quietude.

One thing is sure,” said FDR. “We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment.” Is this a perfect way of addressing crises? Certainly not, especially if the “something” that is done is animated by emotion and directed by panic. But upon obtaining the best counsel possible, the job of a President is to act quickly and firmly when urgency requires it.

Time is a luxury upon which the security of the United States cannot wait. Al-Qaeda, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the tyrants of North Korea and their assorted allies in the international fellowship of evil know this. Do you, Mr. President?

Obama Is A Vulcan, Only Hes Tuvok not Spock

by Chris Gacek

December 3, 2009

Imagine my surprise, amusement and satisfaction upon reading an Associated Press story in the Tuesday (12/1/2009) Washington Times entitled Obama seen not unlike Mr. Spock. You see I had been claiming that President Obama resembled a Vulcan for about a year-and-a-half that is long before he was elected president.

The only problem with the A.P. story is that the president doesnt resemble Spock he resembles the Vulcan Tuvok from a later iteration of the show. (Yes, that would be the indescribably terrible Voyager. The show with Captain Janeway and Neelix — the most P.C. of all. The one with the Indian shaman. Didnt the men wear dresses? Hide the razor blades. The memories of it are returning.)

Well, Tuvok was played by an African-American actor, Tim Russ, and Russ bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Obama. One eco-Trekkie agrees; go here and see Obama in Tuvoks uniform. Or this on Facebook (Barack Obama Is Actually Tuvok. Yes, we have never seen both of them at the same time.)

Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live, give Tim Russs agent a call and sign him to a three-year two-month contract with a renewal option. Russ is your dead-ringer Obama impersonator, but he needs to wear the Vulcan ears when playing the President or the gag wont work. (Lorne, it shouldnt have taken this long to figure this one out.)

+ + +

On a more serious note, this Vulcan thing is now having political implications. So says A.P.s Seth Borenstein who writes, President Obama’s Spock-like qualities have started to cause him political problems in real-world Washington. Critics see him as too technocratic, too deliberative, too lacking in emotion. No kidding. (The A.P. article appears to be an attempt to spin Obamas bloodlessness to be a positive a nerdy love for science. It isnt.)

Obamas Vulcanism seemed completely obvious to me. Hes a great orator, but he has none of the warmth of a Ronald Reagan or a Bill Clinton. They would light up a room when they entered. Obamas different. I was always struck by images of Obama sitting next to some poor shlub in an Iowa diner at breakfast with the other guy looking like he wanted to take his pancakes and run away. No one-on-one rapport. None.

That doesnt make someone a Vulcan, however. Unfortunately, Obama has a detached, rationalism that is incapable of projecting any empathy. Combine that with his general demeanor, and you start getting a Vulcan. Even the patrician Bush the Elder could shed a tear occasionally. One doesnt have to go Dick Vermeil to beat the Vulcan tag, but I dont think I have ever seen Obama come close to choking up.

The greatest example of Obamas Vulcanism occurred when the president hosted ABCs propagandistic Health Care Day at the White House. He told a woman whose 100+ year-old mother had a pacemaker that under his scheme her mothers zest for life wouldnt have gotten her the device that kept her alive. You could almost hear the utilitarian Vulcan maxim: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Your mothers Death Panel does not approve of pacemakers for 100 year-olds. So, well give your mother some painkillers and send her on her way to go die in Vulcan Valhalla. (Actually, thats a pretty close approximation of what Obama did say.)

Who knows how this will all end up, but articles like this one in the Washington Times demonstrate that the public is starting to look at Mr. Obama much differently. And the media spins on.

Obamas Abasement

by Robert Morrison

November 19, 2009

Once again, the Internet is alive with pictures of the President of the United States bowing low before some foreign monarch. Barack Obama first showed the world his behind as he bowed before the odious King of Saudi Arabia at a London summit last winter. That was bad. The king of Saudi Arabia rules a desert fiefdom where those who convert to Christianity are beheaded while the regime looks the other way. Bibles are banned. Jews are not allowed even to enter the country.

That bow was atrocious. But Obamas low bow before the Emperor of Japan over the past weekend was bad enough. Barack Obama apparently never memorized the Pledge of Allegiance as a boy. He has told us many times of his grade school education in Indonesia and how his devoted mother taught him U.S. constitutional law before dawn. Apparently, he never learned …and to the republic for which it stands…

To secure our Independence and to found a new republic, a country where We the people ruled, was the Glorious Cause for which the Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. How actually to be republicans with a small r was not easy.

George Washington helped in countless ways to teach us patriotism, republicanism, and self-government. He is justly revered as the Father of our Country. But he wasnt right in every detail. When the new federal government commenced in New York City in 1789, the President and Lady Washington—as his devoted wife was called—held regular public levees. At these receptions, the ladies and gentlemen of New York society would enter and bow before the President and the First Lady. President and Mrs. Washington would bow to their guests.

Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Representative James Madison were horrified by this ceremony. Didnt we just fight and win a revolution to be rid of such trappings of monarchy, they fretted.

Twelve years later, Mr. Jefferson walked to his own inauguration as our third President in the newly constructed Capitol in Washington, D.C. After that ceremony, he walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to the freshly painted Presidents House. It was this First Citizens walk that the newly inaugurated Jimmy Carter re-enacted in 1977. That was the last of President Carters actions I could praise.

From Jefferson on, no bowing to Presidents. Andrew Jackson introduced a fascinating new chapter in the history of Presidential bows. At his raucous inauguration on March 4, 1829, the newly widowed Jackson bowed low before the assembled multitude. Clad all in black, his bow was dignified and stately. It confirmed the arrival of Jacksonian democracy.

Abraham Lincoln fought a long and desperate Civil War defending the idea that government of the people, by the people and for the people should not perish from the earth. When he visited Richmond, Virginia, in April, 1865, just days after Confederate leader Jefferson Davis fled the city, an old man rushed up to the President and bowed before him. This former slave saw Master Lincoln as his Moses. Lincoln gently admonished the old man: You must not bow to me. It is not right. Bow only to God, Lincoln said.

That was a good rule for Americans for more than a century. Prime Minister Winston Churchill met President Franklin D. Roosevelt aboard the USS Augusta off Newfoundland in August, 1941. Churchill called the United States the Great Republic. When he approached the Commander-in-Chief, he bowed and handed FDR a letter of introduction from King George VI. Churchill hardly needed this. As a lifelong monarchist, however, he recognized that he was only the head of the government in Britain—the Kings first minister—whereas Roosevelt was Chief of State as well as head of government.

Churchill the half-American Briton understood the differences between republics and monarchies better than Barack Obama does.

When Churchill came to visit FDR in the White House in those stern days after Pearl Harbor, he was taken to worship at Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia. It was there, on New Years Day 1942, that he first heard The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Churchill loved the hymn so much that he decreed it should be played at his own funeral. It was. There, in St. Pauls Cathedral in 1965, Britains monarch stood and listened with thousands of mourners to hear the greatest of her subjects eulogized with a hymn to a republic.

Obviously, the President of the United States must deal at the highest levels with monarchs. No one expects our President to treat allies Chiefs of State with disrespect. Japan, unlike the tyrannical Saudi Arabia, has been a true and loyal U.S. ally since World War II.

The problem is that Barack Obama seems not to understand what a republic is and how the President of the United States should conduct himself when traveling abroad. This is not surprising. He thinks American history began with his election. He said his election would mark the time when the oceans ceased to rise. King Canute, a Danish king of England known for his wisdom, famously went to the seaside and commanded the tide not to rise. And laughed at his toady advisers when they and he got soaked. The problem today with Obamas abasement is that he degrades all of us and we all get soaked.

Explaining the Inexplicable

by Robert Morrison

November 11, 2009

President Obama spoke to an interviewer about the Ft. Hood shootings. He had just come from the Memorial Service for the fourteen people whose lives were taken by the terrorist, Nidal Hasan:

OBAMA: In a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable, even within the extraordinary military that we have. I think everybody understands how outstanding the young men and women in uniform are under the most severe stress. There are going to instances, in which an individual cracks.

Forget, for the moment, this confused part of the statement that seems to psychologize the killers actions. I want to focus on the inexplicable part.

This is a serious problem for liberals. They are forever finding such murderous acts inexplicable. They often employ words like random and senseless acts of violence. One of their favorite bumper stickers is Practice random acts of kindness. Random is okay if its kind. But if kindness and terror are truly random, whats the moral difference?

Whatever.

Historian John Lukacs can help these confused people. Lukacs has developed deep insight into the mind and character of Adolf Hitler. In books like The Duel and The Hitler of History, Lukacs enables us to understand some of what is inexplicable to President Obama.

Hitler, Lukacs writes, was not a monster. He certainly did monstrous things. Think of all those childrens shoes in the Holocaust Museum. Thats enough to appreciate monstrous acts. But if we think of Hitler as a monster, then there really is no lesson to be drawn from his life. Monsters are like aliens. Theyre inhuman. They are not like us.

Nor was Hitler insane. It may seem insane to us for anyone to plan to murder all the Jewish people, enslave all the Poles, and sterilize all the Ukrainians. Simply to dream that anyone could invade Russia and give orders to shoot millions on sight partakes of madness. But if Hitler was insane, Lukacs teaches us, then he is not morally responsible.

We do not hold even mass murderers responsible for the actions. He was not mad.

No, Hitler was evil. Not a monster, not a madman, but a very, very evil man. We need to understand mans capacity for evil. Didnt the Twentieth Century teach us anything? Lets all take time off and read Dostoevskys Crime and Punishment.

This week, weve seen another great public ceremony, the celebration of the anniversary of Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Retired NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw managed to hold forth for 1 12 hours at the Newseum last week about the great events of that November evening. He never mentioned Reagan. Well, we understand why. Nor did he mention Communism. Or the KGB. Nor did he use the word evil.

Similarly, President Obama hailed the coming down of the Wall. But his remarks seemed more to be commemorating the removal of an architectural barrier than the end of something cruel and unjust. After all, the Soviet puppet regime in East Germany managed over twenty-eight years to shoot 136 people who tried to escape. Is it somehow more explicable to kill ten times as many innocent people as the Ft. Hood shooter if we stretch out the killings over three decades?

According to the Zentrum fur Zeithistorische Forschung (ZZF) (Center for Research on Contemporary History) in Potsdam, East German border guards were given these inhuman orders: Do not hesitate to use your firearm, not even when the border is breached in the company of women and children, which is a tactic the traitors have often used.

Germany has worked hard to reconcile its people, or peoples. But avoiding mention of the evil implicit in orders given to armed young men to shoot women and children will not help national reunification.

What happened at Ft. Hood was evil. What happened at the Wall was evil. We need to face reality. It is especially important that our President understand reality. Three hundred million lives depend upon it.

Eleven Days that Shook the World

by Robert Morrison

October 12, 2009

President Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for 2009. His nomination had to have been entered by February 1st of this year. At that point, as many incredulous pundits have noted, he had been President for just eleven days. Fast work.

Many commentators have ridiculed the choice. Gobsmacked, wrote the Washington Posts serious liberal foreign policy columnist, Jim Hoagland. He employed a British slang term for slack-jawed in utter amazement. Liberal writer Ruth Marcus likened the award to Pee-Wee Soccer, where every child gets a trophy just for playing. The New York Times house conservative, David Brooks, jeered that Obama should have won all of this years prizes, including those for economics and literature. Even for chemistry. After all, Obamas personal chemistry may be his greatest contribution to the world.

Newsweeks Howard Fineman called Obama President of the Earth and said he would accept in Oslo in December. Even long-time Obama promoters were hard-pressed to see the award as anything but miraculous—an effort, perhaps, by the Nobel Prize selection committee—Norwegian Leftists all—to create their own version of the Burning Bush. Saturday Night Live had fun. Their Obama lookalike noted that he had only nine months of experience not being George Bush.

The idea behind all the jokes seems to be that the award was premature. Most Obama supporters think hes headed in the right direction. Their Left-wing predecessors used to describe communists as liberals in a hurry. Behind the guffaws and the gasps—the press claque in Oslo audibly gasped when the name was announced—is the shared view that Obamas new emphasis on the UN, on multi-lateralism, on disarmament, on an open hand instead of a clenched fist, on bowing before Saudi despots and on accepting mash notes from Latin American dictators, that Obama is taking the world where it truly wants to go. That road, that well-trod path, is being paved with their good intentions.

But eleven days is enough to shake the world. Ten days was once enough. In 1919, an American book appeared. Ten Days that Shook the World was the breathless chronicle of the Bolshevik Revolution written by John Reed. Young Jack Reed was a Leftist journalist, a 1910 graduate of Harvard, and a passionate supporter of the communists in Petrograd. Reed was on scene in Russias capital for some of the most important events of that bloody century. When John Reed died, Lenin ordered that his body be buried inside the Kremlin, the only American so honored.

Reed did not live to see what became of his Ten Days that Shook the World. The Bolshevik Revolution resulted in the greatest tyranny the world has ever known. The Heritage Foundation is currently showing a series of fifty paintings by Nikolai Getman. Getman was a Ukrainian prisoner who served eight years in the Gulag. Gulag is not a word that President Barack Obama has ever used in public. It is a Russian acronym for state administration for camps.

These camps, however, were not just summer camps. They were summer-fall-winter-spring camps. Some of them, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explained in his majesterial Gulag Archipelago, were like islands within Lenins and Stalins Soviet Union, islands as big as France. Others were as small as a telephone booth. All of them had one thing in common: In the Gulag, a person was swallowed up whole. Tens of millions of people disappeared into the Gulag during the life of the Soviet Union.

Barack Obama is not the only one who has never mentioned the Gulag. The UN has never mentioned it. Nor has Hollywood.

The Heritage Foundations exhibit is stunning. Visitors can see the luminous painting of the artists brother, Alexander Getman, being led down the last mile by two NKVD officers. Young Alexander was shot on 1 December 1934. In his brothers depiction, young Alexanders eyes stare at the viewer, accusingly. He is barefooted, his white prison clothes glow as if Alexander is headed for his own Transfiguration. He is.

Some paintings depict diamond miners and gold miners. They are zeks, slaving away in sub-zero cold. Uranium mining, one of the captions tells us, is a death sentence. Those zeks will be killed by radiation. Zek is short for zaklucheniye—the locked up ones.

Waiting to be shot is another jarring painting. The zeks huddled in the prison yard are emaciated but show no panic. It is dark. We see only the back of the NKVD officer with the gun. The only spot of color in the painting is the incongruous sky-blue cap the killer wears.

It is not all horror. A young Chukchi prisoner must just have been sentenced. He is cheerful, smoking a cigarette, and warming himself by a camp fire. Chukchis are Asian tribesmen. This smiling lad has gotten ten years for saying Yankee is good. They may be the only Russian words this Siberian native knows. Were still waiting for Barack Obama to say Yankee is good.

The Nobel Committee has occasionally recognized men and women who stood up against Soviet tyranny. They gave Solzhenitsyn the 1970 Nobel Prize for Literature—and may have thereby saved the dissident writers life. They awarded the Peace Prize to Andrei Sakharov, the Russian human rights advocate and to Lech Walesa, the leader of Polands first free labor union, Solidarity.

Too often, however, the Nobel Committee has dishonored itself by giving Peace Prizes to politically correct figures. Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam got it for a peace agreement that was being massively violated before the ink was dry. Tens of thousands of boat people were forced to leave Vietnam, willing to face death on the high seas rather than live under Le Duc Thos brutal communist masters. They would doubtless have filed a minority report on that Nobel vote.

The Nobel Committee also gave a Peace Prize to Yassir Arafat. Arafats citation fails to mention that he invented airline hijacking for terrorism, or that he personally ordered the murder of U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel. Ambassador Noel was not finished off with a quick shot to the head, either. Arafats henchman shot him in the legs, the groin, the gut, the chest, all the way up his body. There is some justice in the world. though. When Hamas terrorists overran Arafats home in Gaza, several years after his death, they stole his Nobel Peace Prize. They probably melted down the gold medal for guns.

Against all this terror and tyranny, murder and oppression, the UN has had little to say. The Nobel Prize Committee, at a loss, gave a Peace Prize to the UN and to Kofi Annan, who did nothing to stop genocide in Rwanda, who presided over the biggest money scandal in history, the infamous oil for food ripoff. At least they were not George Bush.

Barack Obamas first eleven days in January were not uneventful. He ordered U.S. taxpayers to subsidize International Planned Parenthood Federation, the worlds largest trafficker in abortion. Obama also ordered U.S. taxpayers to back the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). This outfit helps Chinas rulers to enforce their one-child policy. Throughout the world each year, fifty million abortions take place, with Planned Parenthood beating the drums. And in China since the 1970s, fifty million abortions have been done forcibly.

When you read what the UN has done, what the Soviet Union did, what the Nobel Prize Committee has honored, Barack Obamas Nobel Peace Prize does not seem so out of place. His eleven days were not so unproductive. It remains to be seen who will chronicle the rest of his rule.

Id like to take President Obama on a tour of the Gulag Collection at the Heritage Foundation.

Its just down the street from the White House and it might be the best thing he could do for peace.

Will Obama Bail Out Gray Ladies of the Press?

by Robert Morrison

September 24, 2009

I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.

Those were President Obamas words in an interview with editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade. The President was explaining his openness to a federal bailout of struggling big-city daily newspapers. For that reason, Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) have introduced S. 673, their so-called Newspaper Revitalization Act.

These two very liberal senators should have acted even sooner. They should have sponsored the Manual Typewriter Preservation Act. You see, the computer revolution put great pressure on Royal, Underwood, and Olivetti. Those companies represented thousands of jobs. We cant just let the free market run rampant. Save typewriter ribbons! Save white-out! Save carbon paper! Theres no telling how much damage these new-fangled computers might do.

The President is concerned that the Internet will not provide the kind of fact-checking and balance that was once provided for us by, say, the New York Times. Remember Jason Blair? In firing the 27-year old reporter, the Gray Lady had to confess: [He] committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud while covering significant news events in recent months, an investigation by Times journalists has found. The widespread fabrication and plagiarism represent a profound betrayal of trust and a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.

Or what about the care taken by Dan Rather of CBS News? Shall we recall Rathers careful fact-checking in 2004 of the letters purportedly written by 1/Lt. George W. Bushs commanding officer in 1972 and 1973? Those letters, it was quickly revealed, were typed in a Microsoft Word computer typeface. This was most interesting, since Word hadnt even been invented in 1973.

It was the blogosphere that provided the fact-checking that exposed Dan Rathers trafficking in clearly demonstrated forgeries. It was intrepid bloggers who put a stop to Dan Rathers long-running career in gonzo journalism.

Dan Rather was typical of the liberal journalists who reigned unchallenged on the airwaves for decades until Ronald Reagans FCC appointees in 1987 abolished the so-called Fairness Doctrine. Id prefer to call it the Furnace Doctrine, since thats where it consigned our First Amendment guarantees of free speech and free press. After that, radio talkers rose up to challenge the liberal medias monopoly. The Internet quickly followed. Then, along came FOX.

Obviously, President Obama would prefer town hall meetings where 9-year olds read scripted questions. Real town hall meetings do sometimes get rowdy. So do tea parties.

And so does a truly free press.

If someone today alleges that some of the 53 government bureaucracies to be established by ObamaCare are death panels, there are many voices prepared to debate that, voices left and right. Isnt this vigorous debate preferable for a free people to federal government bailouts? These newspapers are declining because their readers have either fled their decaying cities or have opted instead for Internet sites and talk radio.

Presidents have historically been unhappy with negative coverage in the press. President George Washington was enraged by that rascal Freneau, a caustic anti-Washington propagandist who was secretly on the payroll of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. John Adams actually had opposition editors imprisoned under the Alien & Sedition Acts. Lincoln closed down a number of newspapers he charged were inciting rebellion. In modern times, JFK famously threw across the Oval Office a crumpled up editorial page of the Herald Tribune.

But none of these Presidents past actually tried to bail out failing newspapers. They had too much respect for a free press, free markets and the free exchange of ideas, and for the American people, whose resources should not be employed by the federal government to prop-up industries that, due to innovation and creativity of our fellow citizens, are less and less needed as means of communication.

We dont need another industry bailout. If we bail out failing newspapers, whats next, a government bailout of MSNBC? This bailout would result inevitably in a government-controlled press. We dont need President Obama to issue us our mutual understandings.

You may have noticed: I wrote this without capital letters and without exclamation points. See? No shouting at all.

For President Obama, The Devil is in the Details

by Tony Perkins

September 12, 2009

[Script follows after the jump]

President Barack Obama spoke to the nation by way of a speech to a special Joint Session of Congress. The purpose: to resuscitate his health care takeover plan that suffered a major setback during the bruising Congressional recess. Opposition to the Presidents efforts has steadily increased as the details of the plan have been publicly examined.

In the message that sounded more like a campaign stump speech than a concrete policy explanation, the President accused critics of the government takeover of using scare tactics and spreading misinformation. But he also said this:

[President Obama clip: “…there remain some significant details to be ironed out…”]

Never has the old adage; the devil is in the details had more meaning.

The President said he wanted to clear up the misunderstanding that under his plan no federal dollars would be used to fund abortions.

Allow me to address one of the details

The healthcare bills will fund abortion unless it is explicitly excluded, and the Capps amendment explicitly included government funding of abortion. To resolve this detail the President could simply tell his Partys leaders in Congress to accept one of the nearly dozen amendments, like the Stupak-Pitts amendment that will exclude abortion funding?

The President also said that the federal conscience laws will remain in place.

Here is an important detail. The regulations that would enforce the current conscience laws were suspended by President Obama just days after he took office. To take care of this detail the President should again tell his partys leaders to accept one of the amendments, like Sen. Coburns or Rep. Stupaks which would protect the conscience rights of health care workers.

The president said his plan would not increase deficits and that reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid would pay for most of this almost $1 trillion dollar plan.

Mr. President, this really isnt a detail, it is more of a question. If there is this much waste and inefficiency in the governments present health care system, why do you need to create another government health care program to clean up the current one? Show us first, that the government can manage its money or rather our money then we can talk about creating another program that could potential takeover nearly 16% of the nations economy.

Back to School with President Obama

by Tony Perkins

September 6, 2009

In his inaugural speech in 1961 President John F. Kennedy delivered this memorable line

[“Ask not…” clip]

Fast forward nearly 50 years and President Barack Obama was poised to ask the nations elementary school students not what they could do for their country but what they could do for their President.

The White House announced that the President would be speaking live to the nations K-6th graders. The Department of Education had prepared a work sheet to accompany the speech in which the children were instructed to engage in several exercises including writing a letter about how they could help the president.

After a fire storm of opposition erupted the White House changed lesson plans and now the youngsters will be asked to consider how they can help themselves achieve their educational goals. Certainly a more appropriate question, but one that is probably more suited for middle and high school students.

However, parents remain concerned. Some are keeping their kids home from school on the day of the speech. Over 95% of parents who responded to an FRC survey said the President should not be speaking to children during classroom hours.

Some in the media have decried the parental opposition as partisan. But it is really?

Consider that this speech is being made during one of the most controversial public policy debates in years in which the president has been steadily losing public support for his health care plan.

But even if the speech does not interject policy into the class room of 6 & 7 year old children, when parents consider the agenda of this administration as represented by the presidents appointments to the education department parents have a right to be concerned.

The Secretary of the department, Arne Duncan, has promoted some pretty controversial ideas, like special schools for homosexual students when he was head of the Chicago school system. Even more concerning is Kevin Jennings who is supposedly in charge of the Safe and Drug Free School Program for the Department of Education.

Jennings is the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Network, an organization that promotes homosexuality in the public schools, he also wrote the forward to a book entitled Queering Elementary Education.

This Administration has given parents plenty of reason to be concern over what is piped into the classroom. For more visit FRC.org

Archives