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The Obama Timeline: Part II

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Harconen
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« Reply #75 on: July 31, 2009, 05:25:58 pm »



The media, in its ceaseless search to suck up to Obama, reports his fly-swatting skills. During an interview with CNBC, Obama swats a fly that ands on his leg. ABC, CBS, and NBC all report the “news” of the event. David Gregory of NBC states, “You just have to appreciate the, the concentration and the precision! Just a few things going on in the world but it’s as if everything was stopped and at a standstill for the President to lower the boom.” CBS’s Chris Wagge remarks, “We’ve also just confirmed the President is a Ninja.” ABC’s Chris Cuomo reviews the presidential kill in play-by-play slow-motion, saying “You see? He stares at the fly. How many times have each of us tried to do this? Look at the hand coming up. The poise. The cupping. And the quick slap...Just knocked it away, very rare.” NBC’s Meredith Viera comments, “But I thought (Obama) was the kind of guy who would never hurt a fly.” Gregory responds that Obama “…wanted to shore up his, his credentials of being a tight guy there.” (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-Il, and Hugo Chavez are no doubt shaking in their boots and re-thinking their world domination tactics.) [3397, 3448]

 

It is reported that a Department of Defense training document labels protestors “low-level terrorists.” The “Annual Level 1 Antiterrorism Awareness Training for 2009” asks the multiple choice question, “Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism activity?” and gives as possible answers, “Attacking the Pentagon,” “IEDs,” Hate Crimes against racial groups,” and “Protests.” The “correct answer,” according to the government, is “Protests.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reacts by correctly pointing out that “Peaceful protest is not terrorist activity, it is protected by the First Amendment and is one of the cornerstones of our democratic society. The fact that the views espoused may be unpopular or may be critical of the government is hardly a reason to treat engaging in dissent as a suspect activity.” [3398]

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is reported to be reviewing the circumstances of Obama’s firing of Gerald Walpin, an Inspector General (IG) who blew the whistle on federal fund abuse in the AmeriCorps program by Obama pal, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Of particular interest to the FBI is the intentional destruction of e-mails relating to Johnson’s activities. Obama has accused Walpin of being “unduly disruptive.” In firing Walpin, Obama violated the Inspector General Reform Act of 2009; the statute requires that the president give Congress 30 days notice of any IG dismissal. [3399, 3417, 3578]

 

Muslim Obama supporter, Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), refuses to answer questions about his 2008 pilgrimage to Mecca, which was allegedly paid for by the Muslim American Society (MAS) of Minnesota—an organization with ties to Islamic extremists. It is illegal for a Congressman to accept gifts in excess of $50. An Ellison spokesman told the Minnesota Star Tribune that the Congressman paid for his own trip, but an annual congressional disclosure form filed by his office shows that his November 29–December 14 trip was paid for by MAS-Minnesota. Ellison’s office defends the MAS, even though its official publication, The American Muslim,” has defended Palestinian “martyrdom operations” (suicide attacks against Jews and other non-Muslims). [665, 721, 1362, 3400]

 

Treasury Secretary Geithner asks Congress for fast approval of Obama’s proposals for regulatory reform, which would give him unprecedented powers to regulate and control the financial industry. Geithner tells the Senate Banking Committee that “…now is the time to pursue the essential reforms, those that address the core causes of the current crisis; and that will help to prevent or contain future crises.” Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) grills Geithner with tough questions and tells him he has a “grossly inflated view” of the Federal Reserve Board’s skills. Even Democrat Senator Christopher Dodd is skeptical, arguing that the “track record” of the Fed has been less than spectacular. Geithner—not considering free enterprise worthy of consideration—argues that Obama’s plan is the best option. [3403]

 

Obama fires Amtrak’s Inspector General (IG), veteran Fred Weiderhold—as continuing reports surface of irregularities in the nationalized rail service. Amtrak’s vice president and general counsel is Eleanor Acheson; her office has been accused of interfering with IG operations. Acheson is a friend of Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden. Biden’s son Hunter is on the Amtrak board of directors. Weiderhold’s replacement will be Lorraine Green, a Democrat donor who has no IG experience. The situation prompts columnist Michelle Malkin to comment, “Can someone open a window? The fetid odor of Hope and Change is really starting to stink up the joint.” [3665]

 

A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows 56 per cent of Americans opposed to Obama’s takeover of General Motors, and 69 per cent concerned “a great deal” about it. Fifty-two per cent oppose Obama’s plan to close the terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo. Obama’s job approval rating has fallen five points since April, from 61 per cent to 56 per cent. [3405]

 

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) backs down on its decision to end all religious programming. PBS will allow existing programs to remain on the air, but will allow new programs only if they do not place “one religion above all others.” New programs are therefore essentially prohibited, because a program could not offer a Christian or Jewish prayer without also accommodating Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and all the other religions. [3409, 3532]

 
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« Reply #76 on: July 31, 2009, 05:34:01 pm »



Obama, advisor Valerie Jarrett, and chief of staff Rahm Emanuel meet with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to discuss the possibility of her running for his former Senate seat. A spokesman for Madigan says that she “is still considering all of her options. She is trying to figure out how she can best serve the public, and talking to the president is an important part of that process.” Some believe that Obama will run for governor, but with Illinois’ significant budget problems she may feel that is a financial mess she does not want to inherit. The meeting suggests that whichever Democrat runs for the Senate seat, it will be someone with the blessings of “higher ups”—not necessarily the choice of the voters of Illinois. [3411]

 

On June 19, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states that the Iranian election was not rigged, called Ahmadinejad’s win a “definitive victory,” and warned that demonstrators must stop protesting in the streets. “If the difference (in votes) was 100,000 or 200,000 or one million, one may say fraud could happen. But how can one rig 11 million votes?” said Khamenei. He warns the protestors, “It must be determined at the ballot box what the people want and what they don't want, not in the streets. I call on all to put an end to this method… If they don’t, they will be held responsible for the chaos and the consequences.” Although Obama has tried to “avoid meddling” in the Iranian situation, Khamenei says, “The American president was quoted as saying that he expected the people of Iran to take to the streets.” (Obama did not in fact say that.) “On the one hand, they (the Obama administration) write a letter to us to express their respect for the Islamic Republic and for re-establishment of ties, and on the other hand they make these remarks. Which one of these remarks are we supposed to believe? Inside the country, their agents were activated. Vandalism started. Sabotaging and setting fires on the streets started. Some shops were looted. They wanted to create chaos. Public security was violated. The violators are not the public or the supporters of the candidates. They are the ill-wishers, mercenaries and agents of the Western intelligence services and the Zionists.” Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, says “any talk of engagement” with Iran should be avoided by the Obama administration until the political unrest in Tehran subsides. “The fact is,” says Haass, “we will by necessity engage, but not at the moment. I don’t think we want to suggest it will be business as usual, regardless of the outcome.” [3424, 3547]

 

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) states that he supports legislation requiring a formal procedure for establishing that future presidential candidates are in fact qualified to serve if elected. Coburn would support a Senate bill similar to the one proposed in the House buy Congressman Posey. In Coburn’s home state of Oklahoma, a bill has been proposed that requires “any candidate filing with the Oklahoma State Election Board to provide proof of citizenship by providing a state government-issued birth certificate with a raised seal.’” [3425]

 

A June 19 ABC promotional ad for its Obama health care infomercial states, “What’s more important than having good health care when you need it? Nothing. That’s why Wednesday at 10 on ABC Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer take you inside his house: the White House, for a television event as President Obama answers all of your tough questions about your health care.” ABC’s questions are unlikely to be tough, and the network also refuses to give or sell broadcast time to opponents who wish to challenge Obama’s scheme to take over the nation’s health care system. AtlasShrugs.com points out that “Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients Rights, submitted an ad to ABC that offers a free-market alternative to President Obama’s $1 trillion plus health care reform plan, but the ad was rejected. A spokesperson for ABC said the ad was rejected because the network does not accept ‘advocacy advertising.’ This is absurd, as ABC is itself advocating state-run health care.” [3472, 3494]

 
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« Reply #77 on: July 31, 2009, 05:35:05 pm »



Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) chairperson Sheila Bair tells Forbes magazine there will be “many more bank failures… I think there are still some challenges, I think we need to be realistic. There are still some troubled assets on the books, and we still have an economy that's under significant stress” and “we still don’t know how deep the recession is going to be.” Although Obama and Secretary Treasurer want more power for the Federal Reserve, Bair is skeptical of their plan and says, “No other developed country gives their central bank the kind of power we give our central bank.” [3429]

 

Thomas Hoenig, president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, tells CNBC that inflation may be a problem in the future. “We have put an enormous amount of liquidity into the system,” says Hoenig. “If it is allowed to remain indefinitely, and we keep a very low (interest) rate for an extended period of time, then we do risk an inflationary outbreak.” The Obama administration and the Federal Reserve Board are engaged in those policies: printing money and keeping interest rate artificially low. [3430]

 

Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) warns that the “public option” in Obama’s proposed health care plan will lead to businesses dropping their insurance coverage and dumping employees into the federal plan. “What I’m afraid and fearful will happen,” says Roe, “is that more and more businesses, as private health insurance becomes more unaffordable, (will) drop it—and we’ll end up with a single-payer system such as England or Canada has now. Now these (proposed Democrat) plans have been scored as inexpensively as a trillion dollars to $1.5 trillion—and I’ll guarantee you that's not all the costs yet. This is on top of a budget that’s already $1.8 trillion out of balance. And I don’t know where the money is coming from—I mean, we look at it and I have no earthly idea where we’re going to find the money.” (Obama says his plan will save the taxpayers money.) [3431]

 

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CN), who has served in the Senate long enough to know how things work, is upset that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the Kennedy-Dodd health care legislation would cost upwards of $1 trillion and still leave 36 million people uninsured. “I have great respect for the Congressional Budget Office. But this is not Mount Olympus,” he said. “Their numbers are helpful, but I'm not going to write a bill only because it has to pass some unnamed people down at CBO.” Dodd cannot ignore CBO numbers because of Obama’s demand that the bill be “revenue neutral.” (It will of course be no such thing, unless one believes that a massive federal program can cost less than originally estimated.) Dodd, acting chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is attempting to ram the health care bill through as quickly as possible, with as little input from Republicans as possible. Accusing the Republicans of delaying the process, Dodd states, “Certainly, stalling it is not helping it at this point. My job is to be fair and to keep the process moving forward. I’d love to have bipartisan support on the committee… but my goal here is to write a good bill.” (By bipartisan, Dodd means Republicans should give unquestioned support to everything the Democrats demand in the legislation.) [3434]

 

In a June 19 editorial on immigration, the New York Times writes, “The American people have been far out front of the politicians on this issue, overwhelmingly supporting comprehensive reform. Washington can still catch up. There’s still time. And the country is waiting.” It is unclear where the Times gets the idea that Americans “overwhelmingly” support immigration reform. Americans want stronger border enforcement and oppose easing restrictions on illegal immigrants, and certainly do not favor easing citizenship requirements. An April 2009 ABC News/Washington Post Poll reports that 74 per cent of Americans believe the U.S. government is not doing enough to stop illegals from crossing the border. (The result was 67 per cent in a 2007 poll.) A late 2007 Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll reported that 60 per cent of Americans allow citizenship for illegals, provided they “have been living and working in the United States for a number of years… do not have a criminal record,” and “…start on a path to citizenship by registering that they are in the country, paying a fine, getting fingerprinted, and learning English, among other requirements.” [3435, 3436]

 

On June 19, Obama attends the 65th Annual Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner. With jokes that are more truthful than humorous, Obama tells the black-tie audience, “Why bother hanging out with celebrities when I can spend time with the people who made me one? I know where my bread is buttered.” He comments, “I have to admit though, it wasn’t easy coming up with fresh material for this dinner. A few nights ago, I was up tossing and turning trying to figure out exactly what to say. Finally, when I couldn’t get back to sleep, I rolled over and asked Brian Williams what he thought.” (The joke is a reference to the recent NBC “suck-up” special with Brian Williams interviewing Obama at the White House. At the conclusion of the report, Williams bows slightly as he says goodnight to Obama.) Remarks Noel Sheppard, associate editor of NewsBusters, “Although this is a funny joke, it’s actually sad because the joke’s really on us, for the underlying truth is that Williams and NBC are indeed in bed with the new administration, and everybody present including the guest speaker knows it… Not only does Obama clearly understand who got him elected with their disgraceful abdication of journalistic integrity, but they also know it, and rather than be embarrassed by it, they’re proud of it.” [3478]

 
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« Reply #78 on: July 31, 2009, 05:36:16 pm »



It is reported that Obama has fired another Inspector General (IG). Judith Gwynn, IG for the United States International Trade Commission (USITC), was told her contract would not be renewed. In an April 2009 report to Congress, Gwynn complained that USITC audit files had been taken from the IG office by an employee of the trade commission. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) attempts to uncover more information about the incident, as well as learn why the IG had been given a six-month employment contract. Grassley notes, “I am unaware of any other agency Inspector General that serves under such a constraint and am curious to learn what statutory authority gives the USITC the ability to make a limited term appointment.” [3437]

 

The Obama administration orders the Census Bureau to change its forms and computer software for the 2010 census to allow four counting of same-sex marriage couples and gay partnerships. [3438]

 

The Washington Times reports on June 19 that employees of ABC gave the Obama campaign 80 times as much in donations as they gave to the McCain campaign. The disclosure adds to the controversy over ABC’s decision to give Obama one hour of free network time on June 24 to push his health care agenda. ABC is refusing to give (or even sell) opponents of Obama’s plans any time to present their arguments. The Business & Media Institute’s Dan Gainor charges “ABC is in bed with their source, so to speak. ABC is supposed to be a news organization, not a producer of infomercials for national health care. And I wonder what they would have done if the Bush administration had asked for positive programming to support the war on terror or Social Security initiatives.” [3439, 3440]

 

NPR’s Juan Williams states on Fox News, “We are going towards a weekend of high tide for kowtowing to the Obama administration. He’s all over CBS this weekend and then he's going to be all over ABC. I don’t know what's going on with big media in this country.” [3473]

 

David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun writes that it is “time for TV press to quit being used by Obama.” Zurawik states that the Obama administration”…is better at manipulating the medium of TV than any White House since that of John Kennedy, and that was a media universe so different in the early 1960s as to make comparisons almost meaningless.” Zurawik charges that NBC’s Brian Williams interview with Obama “…really did look and feel like a campaign commercial for Obama, especially when he took Williams out for mid-day hamburgers, but any embarrassment the network felt was probably forgotten once the ratings came in showing that more than 9 million people watched each of the two nights.” He warns that “ABC will be using its White House exclusivity next Wednesday to try and boost all its broadcasts—from Good Morning America to Nightline. From the network's point of view, why not? NBC News cashed in, why not ABC?” [3441]

 

Democrats, desperate for a way to pay for Obama’s health care plan, consider new ways to collect an additional $1 trillion in revenue. Under consideration are a tax on soft drinks (10 cents per can); increased taxes on alcohol; an increase the payroll deduction for Medicare; a value-added-tax (a national sales tax) of 1.5 per cent or more; a two per cent surcharge on single taxpayers earning more than $200,000 and couples earning ore than $250,000; and a tax on employer-provided health insurance. [3444]

 

Impeached former judge and now Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) introduces an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill. Hastings’ amendment prohibits “A person associated or affiliated with a group associated with hate-related violence against groups or person of the United States Government” from serving in the Armed Forces. The bill includes as hate groups “Other groups or organizations that are determined by the Attorney General to be of a violent, extremist nature,” and cites as “evidence” of membership “possessing tattoos” and having “attended meetings, rallies, conferences, or other activities sponsored by a hate group.” Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) comments, “While the amendment seeks to keep gang members and members of violent groups out of the military, the amendment by its language is much more broad. Specifically, it confers upon the Attorney General the ability to categorize groups as hate groups, and this sounds an alarm for many of us because of the recent shocking and offensive report released by the Department of Homeland Security which labeled, arguably, a majority of Americans as ‘extremists.’” [3743, 3744]

 
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« Reply #79 on: July 31, 2009, 05:36:57 pm »



North Korea’s government controlled media charge that Obama and South Korea “are trying to ignite a nuclear war. The US-touted provision of ‘extended deterrence, including a nuclear umbrella’ (for South Korea) is nothing but ‘a nuclear war plan.’” [3476]

To bolster support for its “cap-and-trade” energy tax, Democrats reference a “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States” report called by Obama’s science advisor John Holdren the “most up-to-date, authoritative, comprehensive” analysis ever conducted on man-caused global warming. The report is more nonsense than science, blaming humans for natural forces that have been present for eons. Joseph D’Aleo, former chairman of the American Meteorology Society’s Weather Analysis and Forecasting Committee, says the report is “wrong on many of its claims,” is “an embarrassing episode for the authors and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration),” and ignores information present in earlier drafts that conflicted with the outcome the government desired. [3447]

 

On June 21, after more than a week of criticism, Obama toughens his rhetoric against Iran. He calls on “the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.” His words are likely too little and too late to give much support to the Iranian protestors, and certainly insufficient to encourage Iran to cancel its nuclear plans. [3488]

 

A Rasmussen poll shows Obama’s Presidential Approval Index at -2 on June 21, 2009, his lowest rating so far. The figure represents the percentage of people polled who “strongly approve” of his performance (32 per cent) minus the percentage who strongly disapprove (34 per cent). [3449, 3469]

 

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) introduces an introduces an amendment to stop the Census Bureau from using ACORN members or employees in the 2010 census operation. King states, “It is time for every member of this Congress to go on record in support of or opposition to ACORN. ACORN and its estimated 270 corporate affiliates comprise a complex organizational and financial spider web with all the appearance of a criminal enterprise. ACORN is facing charges of voter fraud and tax violations, yet it has received over $53 million in taxpayer funds. Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank and his liberal friends have opened the taxpayers’ wallet to as much as an additional $8.5 billion that could be accessed by ACORN. ACORN could soon be running the 2010 census if President Obama, a former ACORN employee, follows through on plans to have ACORN ‘partner’ with the Census Bureau. It is time to cut off ACORN’s access to taxpayer dollars and put an end to ACORN’s involvement in the 2010 census.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats pass a “gag rule” to block King’s amendment and prevent discussion of his measure. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) states she and her family will not fill out the census forms in full. “I know for my family the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” says Bachmann. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that

because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.” [3450]

 

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) says Obama is a “cream puff” with regard to foreign policy. “Already the North Koreans have challenged him and realized that he’s a cream puff, if that’s what indeed he’s going to be as a president.” With regard to Iran, the Congressman charges, “The strongest thing the president was able to say was the world is watching. Well, what the heck does that mean? That we’re going to watch and do nothing.” [3450]

 

The New York Times reports on the continuing demonstrations in Iran, stating out that it is women who seem to be the main drivers of the protests. Roger Cohen writes, “I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. ‘Why are you sitting there?’ one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. ‘Get up! Get up!’” Blogger Pamela Geller states at AtlasShrugs.com points out, “I do not believe that people are dying in the streets for this Islamist Mousavi. He sounds like Ahmadinejad. It’s like switching your panties that say ‘Monday’ for the ones that say ‘Tuesday.’ Why bother?” and “The election was the catalyst, but it has become much bigger than Mousavi. I do not believe Iranians are taking bullets for more of the same. Women have been on the forefront of this revolution, they are not fighting for the misogyny of Islam.” The protestors are opposed to both Ahmadinejad and Mousavi—but primarily they are opposed to the mullahs who run the nation with an iron fist, depriving women of their rights. Obama is fearful of upsetting whoever was elected president or the ayatollahs running the show; he is not lifting a finger or giving one word of encouragement to the protestors—who are courageous enough to shout “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” Obama is standing against liberty in their fight, naively believing that deferentially referring to the Ayatollah as Iran’s “Supreme Leader” will cause him to order a stop to the arrest of journalists and the killing and wounding of unarmed demonstrators. [3451, 3452, 3489]


Neda Agha Soltan (or Soltani), a 26-year-old woman walking with her music teacher in a crowd of protestors in Iran, is shot in the heart by Basij militiamen. (The Basij are plainclothes militia under the control of the Iran’s brutal Revolutionary Guard. A sniper on a rooftop may have done the shooting, and at least nine other protestors are killed the same day. Many Basij are Lebanese and Palestinian “hired guns” who were brought in by the thousands to attack and terrorize the demonstrators—who realize they are outsiders because they speak Arabic, rather than Persian.) The name Neda means “the calling” or “the voice,” and within hours the young philosophy student becomes the face of the revolution. She is nicknamed the “Angel of Freedom,” and the blood-filled photographs of Soltan’s death in the streets of Tehran are seen worldwide. (The Iranian government orders the family not to hold any memorial services for the young woman, threatening them with severe penalties if they gather to mourn. They are also evicted from their home.) Demonstrators chant, “Death to Khamenei” and “Down with Khamenei.” Columnist Kathleen parker writes, “Symbolically, Neda’s death isn’t about voting irregularities, but about the clash between superstitions that justify men’s dominion over women and the universal yearning for freedom.” (In his June 23 news conference, Obama refers to Neda Soltan’s death as “a problem.” Neither Obama nor the media report that Soltan was a Christian, not a Muslim. A widely-circulated photograph of the woman has the image of her cross necklace removed.) [3490, 3491, 3492, 3511, 3533, 3537, 3755]

 
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« Reply #80 on: July 31, 2009, 05:37:30 pm »



Columnist Charles Krauthammer writes, “Millions of Iranians take to the streets to defy a theocratic dictatorship that, among its other finer qualities, is a self-declared enemy of America and the tolerance and liberties it represents. The demonstrators are fighting on their own, but they await just a word that America is on their side. And what do they hear from the president of the United States? Silence. Then, worse. Three days in, the president makes clear his policy: continued ‘dialogue’ with their clerical masters.” The regime is “…breaking heads, shooting demonstrators, expelling journalists, arresting activists” and Obama speaks of “some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election.” Krauthammer properly points out that “Obama totally misses the point. The election allowed the political space and provided the spark for the eruption of anti-regime fervor that has been simmering for years and awaiting its moment. But people aren’t dying in the street because they want a recount of hanging chads in suburban Isfahan.” They are dying for liberty—and Obama is afraid to take the side of the oppressed. As of January 20, estimates of demonstrators killed by Iranian security forces are as high as 150. Foreign reporters have been banned from reporting the events. Without journalists to report on activities, Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollahs can increases the level of their brutality. Jean-Francois Julliard, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, warns, “If… no journalists are able to testify on what is happening in Iran, it will pave the way for all sorts of abuses.” The Iranian government has intermittently shut down cell phone service, text messaging, and many web sites to prevent eyewitnesses from letting the rest of the world what is happening. Obama tells CBS “If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion”—as if his words would mean anything to Ahmadinejad or the Ayatollahs. (Iran’s leaders have not cared about the “respect of the international community” during the last 30 years, and Obama’s presence on the world stage is unlikely to change that attitude.) Some protestors in Tehran have carried signs written in English pleading for the United States to support them by increasing sanctions on the regime. [3453, 3456, 3459, 3537]

 

Yet another Obama pick for a top spot in the administration has tax problems. Capricia Penavic, nominated by Obama to be the State Department’s chief of protocol, filed to file tax returns for 2005 and 2006. Penavic blames the U.S. Postal Service, her husband, and her accountant. [3454]

 

Obama’s pledge of “transparency” in his administration shows no sign of being honored, as Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff points out in a column called “Obama Closes Door on Openness.” Attorney and Freedom of Information Act expert David Sobel says that “nothing has changed,” and “For a president who said he was going to bring unprecedented transparency to government, you would certainly expect more than the recycling of old Bush secrecy policies.” According to Isikoff, Obama’s lawyers intentionally included “loopholes” in Obama’s January 21 Executive Order 13489. Obama’s order revoked a prior order relating to the privacy of presidential records. The new order describes rules defining executive privilege, control of records in the National Archives, and the release of records under the Freedom of Information Act. The changes will make it more difficult to obtain access to records of the self-described “most transparent administration in history.” (As an example, Obama refused to release White House visitor logs. In his view, the American public is not entitled to know who meets with him in the Oval Office.) [2641, 3455]

 

Obama works to “open dialogue” with Hamas by sending the terrorist group a message via former president Jimmy Carter. In the past, Hamas has first been expected to renounce violence and recognize Israel as a legitimate state. Hamas spokesman and parliament member Mushir al-Masri states, “In any response to Carter we will reject the (past) conditions of the (Mideast) Quartet (the United States, the United Nations, Russia, and the European Union), specifically the recognition of Israel.” Carter is considered by Hamas and the Palestinians an acceptable negotiator for the United States because he sides with them and against Israel. Hamas political advisor Ahmed Yousef confirms, “If we have anything to communicate, Carter will be the right person to convey messages from the movement (Hamas) to this (Obama) administration or from the administration to the movement.” [3457]

 

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmonds bans members of the Arabic Christian Perspective, an organization of Christians that ministers to Muslims, from passing out Christian literature on public sidewalks near the Arab International Festival in Dearborn, Michigan. (Approximately 30 per cent of Dearborn’s 100,000 residents are Muslim.) The group has handed out the literature without incident for the five prior years the event has been held. (One might assume that the Muslim event organizers feel emboldened with Obama in the White House, and pressured the city to prevent the Christians from assembling.) Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More law Center, comments, “It’s ironic that while Americans are applauding the free speech exercised by hundreds of thousands of Muslims on the streets of Iran, the city of Dearborn is restricting free speech rights Christians are attempting to exercise on the city’s public sidewalks.” [3458, 3463]

 
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« Reply #81 on: July 31, 2009, 05:38:15 pm »



The office of Mir Hussein Mousavi, who was defeated (either legitimately or by fraud) by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the Iranian presidential elections, allegedly sends a letter to Obama criticizing him for referring to him and Ahmadinejad as “two of a kind.” The letter calls Obama’s remark “…a grave and deep insult, not just to Mr. Mousavi but especially against the judgment of the Iranian people, against our moral conviction and intelligence, especially those of the young generation that comprises a population of 31 million. It is a specially grave insult for those who are now fighting for democracy and freedom, and an unwarranted gift and even praise for (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei, whose security forces are now killing peaceful Iranians in the streets of every major city in the country. Your statement misled the people of the world.” Obama also takes heat within the United States for his lack of support for the Iranian protestors. On the June 21 broadcast of ABC’s This Week, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says, “The president of the United States is supposed to lead the free world, not follow it. He’s been timid and passive, more than I would like.” On the same program, Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CN) covers for Obama, saying, “He’s got a very delicate path to walk here. You don’t want to take ownership of this. The worst thing we could do at this moment for these reformers, these protesters, these courageous people in Tehran, is allow the government there to claim that this is a U.S.-led opposition, a U.S.-led demonstration.” (Dodd does not realize that the Iranian leaders will blame the United States regardless of whether it gives moral—or any other—support to the demonstrators.) On CNN’s State of the Union, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) states, “If America stands for democracy and all of these demonstrations are going on… obviously they (the Iranian demonstrators) are going to ask, do we really care about our principles?” Also on CNN, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) argues, “We should not politicize this issue here in the United States. The biggest threat down the road… is Iran’s nuclear program.” (Casey apparently does not realize that Obama has essentially already given Iran a green light to continue its nuclear program.) [3460, 3461]

 

With Obama merely saying he was “deeply troubled” by the situation in Iran and press secretary Robert Gibbs announcing, “This is a debate inside Iran for Iranians,” the leadership vacuum is filled by Great Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Unlike Obama, Brown is not afraid to “meddle,” and states, “We are with others, including the whole of the European Union unanimously today, in condemning the use of violence, in condemning media suppression. It is for Iran now to show the world that the elections have been fair… that the repression and the brutality that we have seen in these last few days is not something that is going to be repeated. We want Iran to be part of the international community and not to be isolated. But it is for Iran to prove… that they can respect these basic rights.” Senator John McCain (R-AZ) says of Obama’s tepid response to the unfolding events in Iran, “He should speak out that this is a corrupt, flawed sham of an election and that the Iranian people have been deprived of their rights.” Political commentators Dick Morris and Eileen McGann write, “The transparent appeasement of Iran’s government—and its obvious lack of reciprocation—make Obama look ridiculous. Long after the mullahs have suppressed what limited democracy they once allowed, Obama’s image problems will persist.” [3462, 3535]

 

Sherman Frederick, publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, announces that he is switching from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party. In a June 21 editorial, Frederick writes, “Republicans offer our only hope in slowing the Obama ‘change’ juggernaut before the America of unbridled optimism and opportunity goes the way of the buffalo. I don't want my great-grandchildren growing up in cradle-to-grave government care, where only the privileged few may afford a car, or own a home, or get non-rationed health care.” He adds, “A fiscal conservative such as myself is treated by Obamaniacs like a ringing cell phone in church. ‘Shhhh!’ they say. The only debate among Democrats is how fast and how deeply to run up the national debt. Any Democrat who questions deficit spending or a limit to federal power is simply not invited to the party.” [3465]

 

According to Steen Advertising, Nancy Fletcher, CEO of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, purportedly has been telling billboard companies (like Steen) not to accept the “Where’s the Birth certificate?” ads. The organization’s web site includes a statement from Fletcher, which reads in part, “For more than two centuries, the American republic has drawn strength from its Bill of Rights and the Constitution. The Founding Fathers put a premium on freedom as they wrote clear safeguards against an overbearing government. In particular, the First Amendment protects free speech and the Fifth Amendment protects property rights. Debate is honored and encouraged in a free society. Indeed, people have debated outdoor advertising regulation since the first postings, and debate will continue. As the world changes around us—in ways we perhaps cannot contemplate—we know Americans share deep respect for free expression and for private property.” (Apparently Fletcher’s words do not apply to anyone who dares to be critical of Obama.) Steen Advertising’s Candice Berju states, “We are not going through with the deal (to post a “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” billboard)… The OAAA has advised companies not to run this campaign.” When later questioned about Steen’s decision, Berju responded, “I’ve no comment on this. Sorry, I’m not answering anything.” After being asked to speak with her superior, she answered, “No, I can’t help you with that. I’m not commenting on anything. Have a good day.” The OAAA has almost one thousand member advertising companies, and has had no problems with “Yes, we can” billboards. [3466, 3467]

 
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« Reply #82 on: July 31, 2009, 05:39:03 pm »



Not surprisingly—despite Obama’s efforts to avoid the issue of the Iranian protests and his stated intentions not to interfere—Iran’s leaders blame the United States anyway. Sayyid Mojtaba al-Hosseini, Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative to Syria, states, “The countries that have opposed Iran, whether openly or not, like the Western countries, led by the U.S., are the ones who are now inciting and talking about the Iranian elections.” [3468]

 

AtlasShrugs.com becomes the source for up to date reports of the activities in Iran. Pamela Geller’s site consistently reports the stories and the details the mainstream media neglects (or refuses) to broadcast.

 

On the June 21 edition of ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopolous comments, “I’ve always been struck by how—and it’s not too strong a word, how obsessed the president and White House are, with Fox News.” Columnist George Will responds, “Well, it’s the discordant note in an otherwise harmonious chorus, that’s why. Look, three love affairs in history, are Abelard and Eloise, Romeo and Juliet and the American media and this President at the moment. But this doesn’t matter over time. Reality will impinge. If his programs work, he’s fine. If it doesn’t work, all of the adulation of journalists in the world won’t matter.” [3474]

 

On CBS’s June 21 Sunday Morning program, Harry Smith conducts an incredibly smarmy interview of Obama and asks, “In this fatherless world, where did you learn to love?” [3551]

 

Obama writes a column, “We Need Fathers to Step Up,” for a Father’s Day article on Parade magazine’s web site. He states, “That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.” The statement is valid but at odds with Obama’s lifelong pro-abortion stance, which argues that human life does not begin until birth. Fox News’ Glenn Beck asks, “Hmmm. Mr. President, if the baby is not a baby at conception, how can a father be a father at conception? It’s a brainteaser, I know. I know, oh, I know. It’s probably a little above your pay grade but let me know if you get a raise and can figure that one out.” [3517, 3518]

 

Billionaire investor and early Obama supporter George Soros says, “Decidedly the worst (of the financial crisis) is already behind us. This is not like previous crises but marks the end of an era. The system to date had been based on the false assumption that markets can independently regain their equilibrium and that the system is self-correcting.” (Soros—and Obama—clearly do not understand that the system (free enterprise capitalism) is in fact “self-correcting” when business “cycles” are experienced. The cycles themselves are usually caused by government interference in the economy. The markets function despite, not because of, the government.) Soros, a supporter of global socialism, predictably asks for more government involvement in the world’s economies. “We need international regulations to retain international markets. This won’t be easy… If we won’t be able to do this… than globalization, as we now know it, will fall apart. The state must step in, give guarantees to financial institutions and increase government spending.” (By manipulating interest rates and inflating the money supply, government caused the housing bubble that eventually had to burst. Soros and Obama now want an even larger government role in the economy.) [3475]

 

With the British media increasingly becoming the source of objective reporting and opinion with regard to the actions of Obama administration, the Telegraph writes, “Ten days on from the fraudulent Iranian election, President Obama still looks like a deer in the headlights without a coherent strategy. His response has been weak-kneed and utterly lacking in conviction. When faced with his first real test as a world leader Barack Obama decided to press the snooze button rather than take decisive action.” The op-ed continues, “It is hard to imagine Ronald Reagan sitting on the fence while a revolution took place before the eyes of the world against one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet,” but “As far as the Obama team is concerned, the demonstrations are an annoying inconvenience getting in the way of the new policy of ‘engagement’ with rogue regimes, also known more commonly as ‘appeasement.’ Every impression is given that the Obama White House is largely indifferent to the plight of the Iranian people and their suffering.” The Telegraph then makes the statement the American media is afraid to acknowledge: “As a world leader Obama is already looking like the Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century, passive in the face of an array of adversaries, and actively weakening America’s defences by cutting defence spending while adopting an apologetic tone for his country’s past. In his first six months President Obama cannot point to a single foreign policy success. He should though acknowledge that the Obama doctrine of reaching out to America’s enemies, including Iran and North Korea, has been a spectacular failure.” (Obama’s ability to vote “present” in the Illinois state legislature clearly left him ill prepared for the White House, where one is expected to make difficult decisions.) [3477]

 

Al-Qaeda states it would use nuclear weapons it might capture in Pakistan against the United States. Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, al-Qaeda’s leader in Afghanistan, states in an Al Jazeera television interview, “God willing, the nuclear weapons will not fall into the hands of the Americans and the mujahadeen would take them and use them against the Americans,” and “The strategy of the (al-Qaeda ) organization in the coming period is the same as in the previous period: to hit the head of the snake, the head of tyranny: the United States.” [3484]

 

Senator John Thune (R-SD) proposes an “exit strategy” for the federal government’s ownership of private enterprises (such as General Motors and various financial institutions). Thune’s Government Ownership Exit Plan calls for a July 2010 deadline for ending public ownership of private businesses. Thune believes that the Obama administration views the ownership as “…being a long-term endeavor,” and states, “You substitute political judgment, political decision making for what should be good business decisions. You’re going to have every politician saying, ‘Don’t close the plant in my district, or don’t close this dealership or that dealership.’” Most Democrats are unwilling to support Thune’s legislation. [3485]

 
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« Reply #83 on: July 31, 2009, 05:40:56 pm »



The U.S. Navy follows a North Korean ship as it heads toward Burma. The ship, which may be carrying weapons in defiance of U.N. sanctions, can legally be boarded by U.S. Navy personnel. North Korea states that it will consider a forced inspection an act of war. It remains to be seen whether the Obama administration will act—or choose to do nothing. Acting in defense of U.N. sanctions and resolutions against Iraq led to U.S. forces invading the nation, eliminating Saddam Hussein, and establishing a democracy. Doing nothing in Southeast Asia may prompt North Korea to become even more aggressive, at least as far as selling weapons systems to nations that are less than friendly to the United States. [3488]

 

When the parents of Kavah Alipour, a 19-year-old who was killed by Iranian security forces during the demonstrations, arrive to pick up their son’s body, they are told they will first have to pay a $3,000 “bullet fee”—a fee for the bullets used to kill him. Meanwhile, Obama plays golf with Joe Biden at the Fort Belvoir Golf Club, reluctant to comment on the protests out of fear of upsetting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs who control him. Obama’s initial failure to comment on the situation and then issue only weak statements, followed by his willingness to appease the Iranian leaders who have authorized the killing of unarmed protestors, angers the Iranian demonstrators. There are reports of as many as 5,000 Hamas and Hizbullah members helping the Iranian authorities terrorize the Iranian protestors—at the same time Obama has Jimmy Carter negotiating with the two terrorist groups against Israel. An Iranian source says the government will come down hard if the protests continue. “The Islamist regime cannot afford for the protests to be successful. They know the world is watching, but they are still preparing for a bloodbath of proportions that we have yet to witness if it comes to that.” [3503, 3505, 3506, 3507, 3510, 3511]

 

On June 21, AtlasShrugs.com reports that “ObamaCare specifically exempts members of Congress along with federal employees; the exemptions are in section 3116.” The site’s Pamela Geller writes, “If Obama and his goons are going to destroy the best healthcare system in the world, they should be first on line for dirty scalpels and euthanasia. Or perhaps the left wing mainstream media should be first, as they are an embarrassing shill for dear leader.” An amendment to the bill proposed by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) would exempt union members from taxes on employer-provided health insurance; employees who are not union members would be taxed for their insurance benefits. (Clearly, the unions expected a generous payback from the Obama administration for the tens of millions they spent helping to elect him.) [3493, 3494, 3495, 3496]

 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a June 22 speech, criticizes the head-to-toe covering of Muslim women. “In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity. The burqa is not a religious sign, it's a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement—I want to say it solemnly, it will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.” In his Cairo speech, Obama ludicrously “bragged” that “…the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it. I know there is debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal.” He added, “It is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit—for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear.” Obama is inordinately uninformed if he does not realize that millions of Muslim women are not clamoring for the “right” to wear the hijab—they are forced to wear it by their husbands and they would likely suffer beatings if they chose not to wear it. A women’s rights group in France, “Ni Putes Ni Soumises” (“Neither whores nor submissives”) criticized Obama’s remarks, stating, “Reducing the dialogue between civilizations to a dialogue between religions is once again to instrumentalize women. By attacking secularism and defending the veil, the President of the United States… has hurt the struggle of millions of women, some of whom pay with their lives every day to escape fundamentalist violence.” The president of the International Women’s Rights League, Anne Saugier, charged that Obama was seeking to improve U.S. relations with the Muslim world “on the backs of women.” Saugier stated, “What a slap in the face for those women in Algeria, Iran and Afghanistan who died in atrocious conditions for having refused to wear what they consider the most radical sign of their oppression and segregation.” [3497, 3498, 3499, 3500, 3529, 3530]

 

While Obama is eager to mention a woman’s “right to wear the hijab,” he does not consider important to recognize a woman’s right not to wear the headgear and not be treated as subservient to her husband. In Saudi Arabia, for example, women are not allowed to work, attend school, or travel without written permission from a male guardian (father, brother, uncle, son). Many girls are forced to endure genital mutilation, and as early as age nine may be coerced into marriage with a stranger. One might assume that more than a few American women would not welcome the idea of requiring their husband’s (or even their son’s) permission to go to school, travel, or get a job—but Obama thinks they should be impressed by his distress over a woman’s “right” to wear a head-to-toe black garment in a 120-degree desert environment, while their husbands wear heat-reflecting white. (The “burqa” or “burqua” covers the entire body, with only a mesh screen covering the eyes; a “niqab” is similar, with slits for the eyes; the “hajib” is the head covering. Obama’s Justice Department has sued Essex County, New Jersey for terminating a corrections officer for her refusal to remove a Muslim headscarf while on duty; off duty she is free to dress as she chooses.) [3497, 3498, 3499, 3500, 3429, 3530]

 
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« Reply #84 on: July 31, 2009, 05:41:54 pm »



Obama signs into law legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) additional authority to regulate cigarette and tobacco manufacturing and marketing. [3524]

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) says in a June 22 radio address, “An economic collapse seems to be the goal of Congress and this administration. Washington spends with impunity, domestically bailing and nationalizing basically everything they can get their hands on.” At a time when the United States government cannot pay its own bill, Paul is angered that the Obama administration is giving $108 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so that other nations can pay theirs. “These new loan guarantees will allow that destructive organization to continue spending taxpayer money to prop up corrupt leaders and promote harmful economic policies overseas,” says Paul. “Not only does sending American taxpayer money to the IMF hurt citizens here, evidence shows that it even hurts those it pretends to help… We are buying nothing but evil and global oppression by sending (our) taxpayer dollars to the IMF—not to mention there is no constitutional authority to do so.” [3558]

 

The Obama administration sends out hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of e-mails seeking volunteers for its United We Serve program. The “invitation” from Obama reads, “Last week, I announced United We Serve—a nationwide call to service challenging you and all Americans to volunteer this summer and be part of building a new foundation for America. And when I say ‘all,’ I mean everyone—young and old, from every background, all across the country. We need individuals, community organizations, corporations, foundations, and our government to be part of this effort.” The provided Internet links take the reader to web sites that list “openings.” Many of the “positions” appear to be jobs without pay that involve leftist propagandizing. (Americans who sincerely wish to perform volunteer work certainly do not need an Obama web site to find churches, synagogues, hospitals, and charity organizations that need help.) [3501, 3502]

 

Jennifer Rubin reports on Pajamasmedia.com about a Justice Department email sent to employees asking for volunteers for an information booth at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention over the Fourth of July weekend. According to the email, “The ISNA convention expects 35,000 to 40,000 visitors and is a huge annual cultural event in the muslim community.” The ISNA was formed in 1981 by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood jihad movement, and (along with the Council on Islamic-American Relations) was an unindicted co-conspirator of the case against the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) for directing charitable donations to the terrorist group Hamas. (Five HLF officials were indicted on 108 counts.) Republicans in the Senate have attempted to stop the Justice Department from dealing with the ISNA. A 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document called the “General Strategic Goal for the Group In North America” calls for “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” Among those affiliated with the ISNA or the Muslim Brotherhood are Mahdi Bray and Esam S. Omeish. (Bray organized a 2000 rally outside the White House at which the crowd chanted in Arabic, “"Khaybar, Khaybar oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad is coming for you!” and carried “Death to Israel” placards. According to AtlasShrugs.com’s Pamela Geller, Omeish “…is an Islamist tied to an al-Qaeda fund raiser and the spiritual adviser to the 9/11 hijackers.” It is unclear why Obama’s Justice Department feels obligated to engage in an “outreach” program for the ISNA. [3683, 3684]

 

Congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) and Anthony Weiner (D-NY) ask Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to “make appropriate adjustments” to their condominium underwriting practices. In other words, the two Democrats want to loosen requirements—despite the taxpayers having already paid billions to bail out the two mortgage guarantors for the trouble they got into with previous loose standards. [3555, 3587]

 

U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter selects July 13 for a hearing in a lawsuit challenging Obama’s eligibility to serve as president. The case was filed on behalf of former presidential candidate Alan Keyes and several other plaintiffs by attorney Dr. Orly Taitz. Taitz served notice to Obama while he was still a private citizen, before he was sworn in as president, thus making him ineligible to use federal funds for his defense; he has to pay his attorneys out of his own pocket. By refusing the original filing from the process server Obama defaulted, thus allowing Taitz to demand documents to show eligibility to serve as president. [3504, 3652]

 
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« Reply #85 on: July 31, 2009, 05:44:21 pm »



Joseph Farah, editor and CEO of WorldNetDaily, offers a $10,000 reward to anyone who can prove he or she was present at Obama’s birth. Farah asks for donations to increase the reward to make it impossible to turn down. [3508]

 

Former Inspector General Gerald Walpin asks for a Congressional hearing to investigate his unjustifiable firing by Obama. Walpin, who is one of three inspector generals fired by Obama, states “I certainly don’t know the facts about any of the other IGs, but I don’t think you can find in the history of IGs such an administration attack on and terminating of IGs (as was done in) the last few weeks.” [3509, 3578]

 

Members of the U.S. Senate are bombarded with more than 700,000 letters demanding that they vote against the so-called “hate crimes” legislation (S. 909). [3512]

 

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tells reporters “I think the president has said this, and I would certainly say this, I think you’re likely to see unemployment at 10 percent within the next couple of months.” (In January, Obama stated that if his stimulus package were passed, the unemployment rate might reach 8 per cent and then start moving downward.) [3034, 3513]

 

On CBS’ Early Show on June 23, host Harry Smith continues his ingratiating interview with Obama, lobbing softball questions at him to allow him to comment about his golf game and his new dog. Smith says, “When you’re President of the United States, you must be prepared for any question. People in the mainstream media have been accused of being afraid to speak truth to power and I’ve got… I’ve got some truth to power for you right now.” Obama tells Smith to go ahead with his question, which turns out to be nothing more than the comment, “I’ve been observing, your dog looks like he’s out of control.” On his program the day before, Smith gushed, “In the White House now, you can just feel the drama of every single second.” Co-host Lara Spencer added, “I can’t imagine the pressure,” and Smith responded, “And his focus—his focus is just phenomenal.” (The media continues to argue that its reporting is objective.) [3552]

 

Also on June 23, ABC serves up two toadying interviews with Michelle Obama, complimenting her on her physique and healthy diet, and how she works in the White House vegetable garden. (Viewers learn that Obama’s daughter “Sasha likes peas” and “Malia’s a pretty big broccoli fan.”) [3553]

 

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), visits the White House on June 23, after which Obama decides it is necessary to create “a new office that is responsible for outreach with Muslims around the world. The new position, a “special representative to Muslim communities,” is filled by Farah Pandith; there is no public announcement. (The OIC is an organization of 57 predominately Muslim nations, which some say was on Obama’s mind when he remarked that he had campaigned in “57 states.”) [842, p. 263; 855, 2665, 3625, 3626]

 

The CBS Evening News introduces a note of objectivity in its Obama reporting when anchor Katie Couric reports that “…72 percent of Americans say they favor a government plan that would compete with private insurers,” while “at the same time, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) are concerned that would reduce the quality of their own health care. And some experts believe they’re right to be worried.” Michael Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, states in the segment, “Employer premiums will go up and employers might respond by dropping coverage entirely. So if you’re one of those unfortunate workers, then it will be a government policy that ousted you from your health plan.” Reporter Sharyl Attkisson notes, “…if you do choose a public plan, you may want to keep your favorite doctors, but they may not want to keep you. Under government health care, they could be paid 20 to 30 percent less. Today Mr. Obama also scoffed at claims that a public plan would put private insurers out of business… The answer, say critics, is that the government has many tools to get an unfair advantage and undercut private companies.” Cannon points out that “The government can subsidize its plan with tax revenue from other taxpayers. The government can enact regulations that favor its plan over other private insurers.” [3554]

 

Obama holds a press conference on June 23 and states, “I’ve made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering with Iran’s affairs.” Obama calls on HuffingtonPost.com’s Nico Pitney. Obama says, “Nico, I know you and all across the Internet, we’ve been seeing a lot of reports coming out of Iran. I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating through the Internet. Do you have a question?”  Pitney responds, “Yes, I did, but I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian. We solicited questions on [sic] tonight from people who are still courageous enough to be communicating online. And one of them wanted to ask you this: ‘Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn’t that a betrayal of—of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?’” It is obvious to everyone present that a “deal” was arranged beforehand; Obama would call on Pitney, knowing what he was going to be asked. Immediately before the start of the press conference, White House deputy press secretary John Earnest intentionally moved Pitney close to the front of the group of reporters. [3520, 3523, 3526, 3580, 3647]

 
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« Reply #86 on: July 31, 2009, 05:48:52 pm »



Reporters are incensed at Obama’s move. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank later notes that “Reporters looked at one another in amazement at the stagecraft they were witnessing. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel grinned at the surprised TV correspondents in the first row. The use of planted questioners is a no-no at presidential news conferences, because it sends a message to the world—Iran included—that the American press isn’t as free as advertised.” Another staged question allegedly came when Obama called on Macarena Vidal of the Spanish-language news network, EFE. The next day, veteran WND reporter Les Kinsolving asks press secretary Robert Gibbs, “I’ve got a procedural question about yesterday’s news conference. What led to your decision to plant a designated hitter right here to ask the president a question? And what kind of a message do you think that sends to the American people and to the world about the kind of free-flow and pure questioning that's been expected at presidential news conferences?” and “Aren’t you—you and the president aware that this cast suspicion that all of such questions may be presidentially planted?” Another reporter asks, “Is this going to become a regular feature of President Obama’s news conference, that you all are going to bring people in here that you select to ask questions?” Gibbs responds, “I don’t have any… I won’t make any apologies for that.” [3520, 3523, 3526, 3580, 3629]

 

Obama’s response to Pitney’s question is, “Well, look, we didn’t have international observers on the ground. We can’t say definitively what exactly happened at polling places throughout the country. What we know is that a sizable percentage of the Iranian people themselves, spanning Iranian society, consider this election illegitimate. It’s not an isolated instance, a little grumbling here or there. There is [sic] significant questions about the legitimacy of the election. And so ultimately, the most important thing for the Iranian government to consider is legitimacy in the eyes of its own people, not in the eyes of the United States. And that’s why I’ve been very clear… ultimately, this is up to the Iranian people to decide who their leadership is going to be and the structure of their government. What we can do is to say, unequivocally, that there are sets of international norms and principles about violence, about dealing with the peaceful dissent, that… that spans cultures, spans borders. And what we’ve been seeing over the Internet and what we’ve been seeing in news reports violates those norms and violates those principles. I think it is not too late for the Iranian government to recognize that… that there is a peaceful path that will lead to stability and legitimacy and prosperity for the Iranian people. We hope they take it.” (Obama’s press conference was announced only the day before, probably in an effort to control the Iran story.) [3520, 3523, 3526]

 

During the press conference, Obama promotes his health care program and the “public plan” option for providing insurance. He states, “Now the public plan, I think, is an important tool to discipline insurance companies.” (Obama’s use of the word “discipline” clearly illustrates his socialist upbringing and disdain for the capitalist system that made America the most prosperous nation in history.) “What we’ve said is, under our proposal, let's have a system, the same way that federal employees do, same way that members of Congress do, where we call it an exchange, but you can call it a marketplace, where, essentially, you've got a whole bunch of different plans… As one of those options, for us to be able to say, here’s a public option that’s not profit-driven, that can keep down administrative costs, and that provides you good, quality care for a reasonable price as one of the options for you to choose, I think that makes sense.” A reporter asks Obama, “Wouldn’t that (public option) drive private insurance out of business?” He responds, “Why would it drive private insurance out of business? If… if private… if private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care, if they tell us that they’re offering a good deal, then why is it that the government, which they say can’t run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That’s not logical… But just conceptually, the notion that all these insurance companies who say they’re giving consumers the best possible deal, if they can’t compete against a public plan as one option, with consumers making the decision what’s the best deal, that defies logic, which is why I think you’ve seen in the polling data overwhelming support for a public plan.” Unless he is a total idiot, Obama certainly knows his “public plan” option will drive private insurers out of business, because they must earn a profit or go bankrupt. Obama’s public plan will be subsidized with tax dollars—hence his use of the phrase “that’s not profit-driven”—and will thus be able to remain “in business” even if it loses money (which it undoubtedly will). There are perhaps 1,600 health insurers operating in the United States. For Obama to argue that adding carrier number 1,601 will somehow “improve competition” is ludicrous—there is already competition. But Obama will price the “public option” lower than the premiums of the other 1,600 plans, thus encouraging everyone to switch to “Obamacare.” (There is obviously no point in pricing the government plan higher than the private plans, because it would then serve no purpose.) [3523, 3538]

 
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« Reply #87 on: July 31, 2009, 05:49:29 pm »



It is reported that the CBS Evening News set an all-time low for ratings, with an average of only 4.89 million viewers for the five days of June 15–19. ABC’s World News averaged 6.42 million viewers per broadcast. Some of the drop is likely the result of more Americans getting their news from the Internet, while other viewers have switched to Fox News to avoid the consistently sycophantic Obama coverage on the three major networks. [3521, 3522]

 

Political leaders from Puerto Rico head to Washington, D.C. on June 24 to push for approval of the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009. The legislation calls for a referendum on the island to determine whether its residents want Puerto Rico to have full independence, independence with a “special association with the United States,” or become the 51st state. Opponents say the bill is stacked in favor of making Puerto Rico a state. If that happens quickly enough, there may be hundreds of thousands of new Democrats voting in the 2012 election, and the state would be sending one new Congressman and two new Senators to Washington—who would most certainly be Democrats supporting Obama’s socialist agenda. [3525]

 

Organizers of a July 4 tea party tax and spending protest in Atlanta have to cancel the event after a last minute refusal by the property owner to allow the gathering. In March, event organizers had secured an agreement to use a large parking lot at the former Macy’s building at Gwinnett Place Mall. With less than two weeks to the event, the property owner, Simon Property, cancels the agreement. (The owners of Simon Properties, Melvin and Bren Simon, are liberal Democrats who contributed heavily to Obama’s inaugural committee.) The original agreement was made prior to the successful April 15 tea party that drew an estimated crowd of 20,000. The last minute termination of the July 4 agreement may have been intentional, to prevent organizers from having enough time to arrange a new location. The termination also meant no fireworks for the residents of the Gwinnett area on Independence Day; a display had been planned immediately after the tea party event. (Disappointed tea party organizers urge supporters to boycott Simon properties.) [3527, 3549, 3556, 3603, 3608]

 

Iranian opposition activist Mohsen Sazegara, who fled the country after being jailed, tells Newsmax, “I was hoping President Obama would lead the world and start a boycott of Iranian oil. This is the best way to save the lives of the Iranian people.” Sazegara was disappointed by Obama’s weak words and lack of support for the protestors when he said in his June 23 news conference that it is “not too late for the Iranian government to see there is a peaceful path that leads to legitimacy in the eyes of the Iranian people.” Sazegara states, “I never expected President Obama to say something like that. I had been expecting Obama to say we promise the people of Iran we won’t deal or negotiate with any government that does not represent the majority of the people in Iran. I had expected him to be very clear.” Sazegara, who has a weekly program on the Persian Service of Voice of America (VOA), has been receiving more than one thousand e-mails from within Iran every day. He states, “Obama claims to be like President Lincoln. Then he should uphold the principles of Lincoln.” (It is worth noting that words can make a difference. In 1983, leftists and appeasers roundly criticized President Ronald Reagan for calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” But Lech Walesa, leader of Poland’s Solidarity movement and the nation’s president (1990–1995), has stated that Reagan “…could not have helped us better. I don’t think any missiles or any army could have been more effective.” Reagan uttered two words that helped bring down an evil communist regime, but Obama does not want to “meddle” in the affairs of Iran—the world’s primary sponsor of terrorism. (Obama is, however, more than willing to “meddle” in Israel’s affairs, telling it where it can and cannot build homes and businesses.) [3537]

 

In a discussion of Obama’s proposed health care plan, CNN’s Campbell Brown says, “I mean, it’s clear the current system isn’t working, so why not be open to trying this (“Obamacare”)?” For the vast majority of Americans, of course the current system is working. Brown’s question is akin to “Why not try socialism?” [3550]

 

To help boost his chances of getting his national health care plan approved by Congress, Obama solicits “scare stories” to make Americans believe their health care system is atrocious and in need of his cure. A web page on barackobama.com asks people to “share your story” to “put a face on the health care crisis.” The web page also requests donations to help in the lobbying efforts. [3540, 3541]

 

Anita Moncrief, a former ACORN employee who “blew the whistle” on the organization by reporting its fraudulent practices, is being sued by Project Vote (an ACORN affiliate). The lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages for “trademark infringement” and dilution, conspiracy, theft of trade secrets, and fraud. Clearly, ACORN and Project Vote are playing hardball to discourage anyone else from exposing their corrupt activities. Columnist Michelle Malkin writes, “You don’t have to be a lawyer to see that this is a blatant act of retaliation… The real reason they are going after her is because she poses a fundamental threat to ACORN’s criminal racket.” The mainstream media has generally not reported Moncrief’s story because it discredits ACORN and Project Vote, both of which have had long associations with Obama. (Obama was named the Illinois head of Project Vote in 1991, and worked with and for ACORN on numerous occasions over the years.) [45, 55, 227, 240, 283, 322, 324, 3542, 3543]

 

A group of 40 Congressmen send a letter of protest to ABC for the its planned coverage to push Obama’s national health care plan. The letter states, “The decision by ABC News officials to devote an entire day, June 24, to the “President’s health care agenda” culminating with a primetime healthcare “town hall” gives the American people a slanted view of an important subject.” Because Obama will be allowed a chance to advocate his plan without opposition, the Congressmen charge, “It’s as if ABC News is providing in-kind free advertising for President Obama,” and “It all gives the appearance of a state-run television network.” [3544, 3544]

 

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) introduces a bill that would “…prohibit the use of stimulus funds for signage indicating that a project is being carried out using those funds.” The administration is planning on installing a sign at the site of each “stimulus project” to remind Americans that the “Project (is) Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” The cost of the signs is estimated to be at least $6 million. States Gregg, “To spend taxpayer dollars on signs touting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at each and every project does nothing for households who are struggling to get by or for those who’ve lost their jobs during the economic downturn. These signs are simply for political self-interest, and it’s about time they stop so that stimulus dollars can be put to better use.” [3546]

 
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« Reply #88 on: July 31, 2009, 05:50:17 pm »



Although Obama may have promised 95 per cent of all Americans that only the other 5 per cent would see tax increases if he became president, a Rasmussen poll shows that 39 per cent of likely voters expect their taxes to go up. The same percentage believes that Obama’s policies are hurting, not helping, the economy. [3548]

 

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) suggests using postal workers to go door-to-door to conduct the census in 2010—rather than wasting taxpayer dollars to hire 750,000 people to count Americans. Chaffetz tells Fox News’ Glenn Beck that there are already “760,000 postal employees who are already charged with going to every home in America. So why would we be going out and getting, engaging ourselves with the likes of ACORN when we already have federal workers who already go to all these homes?” Chaffetz’s idea is so logical that it will get nowhere in Congress—because the postal workers will not inflate the numbers for Obama as will ACORN workers hired by the census. [3557]

Stephen Moore, author and member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, states that much of what the Obama administration is doing will make the economy worse. “All of the policies we’ve put in place since the housing bubble burst and the stock market crashed, I really believe everything we’ve done in Washington has made the crisis worse,” Moore told Moneynews.com. ““Every policy they’ve (Bush and Obama) put in place has made things worse. That includes the bailout packages for the banks, for auto companies and insurance companies.” Moore warns, “Now there’s a lot of talk about raising those tax rates back up… When you’re looking at a situation right now where you have declining asset values and a falling stock market, the idea of raising taxes on stock ownership is very dangerous. We should be cutting tax rates on investments and savings and small business creation, not raising them. I think these are very misguided ideas. If you look around the rest of the world, you see a lot of countries talking about cutting their tax rates, not raising them. It’s very difficult for American industry to compete… when we’re imposing higher tax rates (35 per cent) on our firms than the Europeans and Japanese and Chinese are.” Moore cautions, “I’m really worried that the economy will improve in the summer and fall but will crash again, very much like shoving sugar down the throat of a five-year-old. These policies are very detrimental to the long-term economic health of the country, even though they may provide a short-term stimulus to growth.” [3559]

 

The Obama administration works to throw out a lawsuit filed by 7,600 relatives of people killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Debra Burlingame, co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, states, “Physically, President Obama has done what previous presidents have done for a long time, which is bow down (to Saudi leaders).” The lawsuit involves allegations of financial support from Saudi princes or Saudi charities to the terrorists. The families claim they have thousands of pages of documents linking Saudi money with al-Qaeda and the Taliban; attorneys for the Saudis deny any connections. The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on whether the lawsuit can proceed. (Lower courts have ruled that the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act of 1976 prevents U.S. citizens from suing other nations. Obama’s Justice Department is siding with the Saudis.) [3563, 3584]

 

On June 24, North Korea’s Central News Agency warns, “If the U.S. imperialists start another war, the army and people of Korea will… wipe out the aggressors on the globe once and for all.” North Korea is clearly incapable of doing so, but has the capacity to lob missiles at South Korea and Japan. The statement is likely prompted by a U.S. Navy destroyer shadowing a North Korean ship suspected of transporting weapons in violations of United Nations sanctions. [3568]

 

George Mitchell, Obama’s envoy to the Middle East, again expresses opposition to Israeli settlement expansion in Judea and Samaria, even if it is limited to “natural growth.” Mitchell states that “the number of Jewish births” is the issue. (Obama has the audacity to tell Israel its citizens are having “too many children,” while being afraid to talk tough to Iran while its militia is, according to one witness, “chopping people like meat” and the interrogation of arrested demonstrators is headed by Saaed Mortazavi—known throughout Iran as “the butcher of the press.”) [3569, 3570]

 

Andrew C. McCarthy writes in NationalReview.com, “Why won’t (Obama) condemn the mullahs? Is he daft enough to believe he can charm the regime into abandoning its nuclear ambitions? Does the self-described realist so prize stability that he thinks it’s worth abandoning the cause of freedom—and the best chance in 30 years of dislodging an implacable American enemy?” [3571]

 

After substantial criticism for having invited them in the first place, the White House rescinds its invitations to Iran diplomats from American Embassy July 4 celebrations. Press secretary Robert Gibbs tells reporters, “those invitations will no longer be extended.” [3572, 3594]

 

The Obama administration resumes diplomatic ties with Syria, even though it is on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. (Syria has not had a U.S. ambassador since 2005, when it was blamed for the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Along with Iran, Syria funds the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hizbullah.) States Obama, “It’s in our interests to have an ambassador in Syria. We’ve been having more and more discussions, and we need to have someone there to engage.” Sensing Obama’s weakness and naiveté, Syrian leaders can now be expected to take a hard line on dissidents, knowing that the Obama administration will barely criticize their actions—if at all. The same is true in other Middle East countries. AtlasShrugs.com’s Pamela Geller reports an Egyptian source as saying, “Any kind of democratic reform in the country (Egypt) for the past 3 years has been rolled back specifically because there is no more pressure coming from Washington anymore,” and “You know what happened to the pressure in Washington. The Democrats won the Congress. There is no more pressure coming from Bush…  So suddenly the Egyptian government is not afraid of the American pressure. They are doing whatever they want to do. They are beating up demonstrators, they are cracking down on activists, they are changing the constitution, and eroding civil liberties once and for all and they are using proxies to take down bloggers.” The source notes that after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Syria in April (which the U.S. State Department advised against) “there were immediate arrests of Syrian activists. That was the fruit she yielded. Oh, the Americans (Obama’s people) came over and they said they have a different foreign policy and they’re more interested in placating (Syrian president) Bashar’s (Bashar al-Assad) ego. And he went out and got (arrested) everyone he wanted because he knew he had an ally in Washington that wouldn’t pressure him as much.” [1232, 3573, 3598, 3599, 3600]

 
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« Reply #89 on: July 31, 2009, 05:51:02 pm »



AtlasShrugs.com continues to be one of the few sources for current information on terrorism and plots against the United States and Israel, and the Iranian government’s continuing attacks on demonstrators in Tehran. Reports one of blogger Pamela Geller’s sources, “A gruesome observation: The sniper victims are being shot in the high upper torso just below the neck so as to increase visible blood flow. The trachea and esophagus are smashed, the vein and artery burst causing maximal blood flow from the nose and mouth. Death is not immediate and is more akin to drowning as blood is inhaled into the lungs. These sniper shots are meant to be as gruesome, frightening, and graphic as possible; it is intimidation and emotional torture, as well as cold blooded murder.” Geller also reports that “At last count, (Hassan) Abbasi’s group had signed up ’40,000’ Iranians to wage final jihad against America.” (Abbasi is an “Iranian political analyst” who has said, “Our youths who are ready for self-sacrifice will be more effective in striking an enemy than any missiles system,” and America means enemy, and enemy means Satan.”) An officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard warns, “There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them. Iran’s missiles are now ready to strike at Western targets, and as soon as the instructions arrive from Ali Khamenei, we will launch our missiles at their cities and installations.” Iran is busy smuggling Hizbullah terrorists into the United States via the Mexican border, Iranians are mapping 29 American targets—and Obama is afraid to upset the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad with harsh words. [3574, 3575, 3576]

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bars a research study by a senior operations research analyst, Alan Carlin, because he dared to criticize the EPA’s plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Carlin’s study was not allowed to be circulated within the EPA or disclosed to the public. An EPA official states that Carlin’s study would have “a very negative impact on our office.” An e-mail to Carlin from his superiors ordered him not to have “any direct communication with anyone outside NCEE (National Center for Environmental Economics) on endangerment… There should be no meetings, e-mails, written statements, phone calls, etc.” Prior to being confirmed for her position Obama’s EPA chief, Lisa Jackson, stated, “As Administrator, I will ensure EPA’s efforts to address the environmental crises of today are rooted in three fundamental values: science-based policies and programs, adherence to the rule of law, and overwhelming transparency.” Obama had said on April 27, “Under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over.” It appears that both Jackson and Obama were lying; Carlin’s study was not distributed for review or comment, it was simply banned—likely because the administration wanted nothing to interfere with its plan to impose a massive cap-and-trade global warming tax. The EPA now argues that Carlin’s study cannot be taken seriously because he “is an individual who is not a scientist.” As columnist Michelle Malkin points out, “Neither is Al Gore. Nor is energy czar Carol Browner. Nor is cap-and-trade shepherd Nancy Pelosi.” (Carlin’s degree is in physics, and he has worked for the agency for 35 years.) [3577, 3591]

 

On June 24, Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina, admits to an extra-marital affair with a woman in Argentina. Sanford resigns as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, but apparently will not resign from his position as governor. The incident removes Sanford from consideration as a possible opponent against Obama in 2012. Political analyst Bill Sammon remarks, “Somewhere right now Mitt Romney is smiling,” Sanford “has damaged himself now. I’d be surprised to see him come back from this.” (The media is also smiling, as it has another chance to be critical of a Republican leader. The Obama administration is smiling because it knows the media will spend an inordinate amount of time covering the Sanford story… and every minute spent in Sanford is a minute the public’s attention is diverted form the passage of cap-and-trade legislation—the largest tax increases in American history.) [3579]

 

MarketWatch reports a rumor that “Some U.S. embassies worldwide are being advised to purchase massive amounts of local currencies; enough to last them a year. Some embassies are being sent enormous amounts of U.S. cash to purchase currencies from those governments, quietly. But not (British) pound sterling. Inside the State Department, there is a sense of sadness and foreboding that ‘something’ is about to happen… within 180 days, but could be 120-150 days.” [3597]

 

Leading up to the evening “town hall meeting” on health care of June 24, Obama is interviewed by ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Sawyer poses several moderately tough questions, but allows Obama’s responses to go unchallenged. Sawyer states, “People have been hearing you say these words about, if you like your doctor, you’ll keep your doctor, period. If you like your health plan, you’ll keep your health plan, period. Yet, I thought today in the press conference, I heard you amend it to say, if your employer decides to change it, we don’t have control over that.” Obama responds, “Well, but, of course, that’s the case whether we pass health care (legislation) or not. I can’t pass a law that says, ‘I’m sorry, employers, you can never make changes to the health care plans you provide your employees.’ What I can say is, that the government is not going to force you to… your employer or you to join a government plan, for example, if you’re happy with it and your employer’s happy with it. Keep it. If your employer is not providing you the health care that you need, then we’re going to give you a set of options to make sure that you continue to have health care.” Obama avoids the issue; the point is not that private carriers will change their plan, the point is that Obama’s federal plan will undercut their prices with unfair tax subsidies and put them out of business. Sawyer in effect allows Obama to answer a different question, by phrasing her question improperly in the first place. Sawyer also wastes time asking Obama several questions about his difficulty stopping smoking. [3581]

 
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