Obama appoints an SEIU man with ties to Blago.
One of Big Labor’s priorities in Washington is to place allies in key government jobs where they can overturn existing labor policy without battles in Congress. This is a very good reason for the Senate to hold a hearing on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Mr. Becker is associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is most recently in the news for its close ties to Acorn, the disgraced housing shakedown operation. President Obama nominated Mr. Becker in April to the five-member NLRB, which has the critical job of supervising union elections, investigating labor practices, and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Mr. Becker argued for rewriting current union-election rules in favor of labor. And he suggested the NLRB could do this by regulatory fiat, without a vote of Congress.
Yet now that he could soon have the power to act on this conviction, Mr. Becker won’t tell Congress if this is what he still believes. In written responses to questions from Republican Orrin Hatch, Mr. Becker promised only to “maintain an open mind about whether [his] suggestions should be implemented in any manner.” That sounds like his mind is made up but he won’t admit it lest it hurt his confirmation.
Mr. Becker also won’t give a clear answer about his role in preparing several pro-labor executive orders issued by President Obama shortly after inauguration. Mr. Becker’s name was found in at least one of the documents, suggesting that he had written it.
When asked by Sen. Hatch if he was “involved or responsible in any way” for these executive orders, Mr. Becker responded: “I was not responsible for [the specific executive orders] except as described below. As a member of the Presidential Transition Team, I was asked to provide advice and information concerning a possible executive order of the sort described. I was involved in researching, analyzing, preliminary drafting, and consulting with other members of the Transition team.” In other words, Mr. Becker was the main author but would rather not say so explicitly.
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‘O’ SAY CAN YOU SEE?
Is Obama’s face on U.S. flag illegal?
President’s mug on more than 20 altered Old Glory banners
By Chelsea Schilling
At least 20 American flags with the stars removed from the blue field and President Barack Obama’s face inserted are still available on numerous eBay auctions – but, according to a state code, the listings may violate the law.
The listings were posted by ucandoit45, mekaitlyn-2008 and jaysterd.
The U.S. flag code does not specify penalties for desecration or misuse of the United States flag, but each state has its own laws for such issues. According to the Revised Code of Washington, the eBay items located in Washington may constitute improper use of an American flag:
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Improper use of flag prohibited.
No person shall, in any manner, for exhibition or display:
(1) Place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, color, ensign or shield of the United States or of this state, or authorized by any law of the United States or of this state; or(2) Expose to public view any such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield upon which shall have been printed, painted or otherwise produced, or to which shall have been attached, appended, affixed or annexed any such word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing or advertisement; or
(3) Expose to public view for sale, manufacture, or otherwise, or to sell, give, or have in possession for sale, for gift or for use for any purpose, any substance, being an article of merchandise, or receptacle, or thing for holding or carrying merchandise, upon or to which shall have been produced or attached any such flag, standard, color, ensign or shield, in order to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark or distinguish such article or substance.
Desecration of flag.
No person shall knowingly cast contempt upon any flag, standard,
color, ensign or shield, as defined in RCW 9.86.010, by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon said flag, standard, color, ensign or shield.Improperly using or desecrating the American flag is considered a gross misdemeanor in the state of Washington.
Read the rest of the story with pictures on WND.com
Okay, Prove You Didn’t Say It! [Mark Steyn]
For some reason, Rush Limbaugh’s mooted purchase of a sports franchise has prompted CNN and others to distribute far and wide what appear to be entirely fabricated racist quotes by Rush. As Tim Blair points out:
Bizarrely, nobody running these career-killing “quotes” seems to question why they weren’t of previous interest.
Just so. What’s the theory here? He said these things on the air in 2006 and nobody noticed? 2001? Maybe 1995, back when Clinton was blaming him for Oklahoma City? Hey, let’s not get hung up on details. Just because nobody can find any evidence anywhere of Rush saying these “quotes” doesn’t mean he didn’t say ’em. As someone called Jason Whitlock says:
Limbaugh doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt on racial matters.
Why not? He does his show every day with an off-mike black sidekick yakking in his ear (Mr. Snerdley) and he has a black guest-host (the great Walter Williams). More to the point, when I began guest-hosting for Rush, I was amazed to discover that George Soros pays a team of stenographers, many of them called Zachary, to work their tippy-tappy fingers to the bone for three hours transcribing everything Rush or his fill-ins say in the hope that their efforts will one day be rewarded and he will deliver the big career-detonating soundbite. Among the afficionados of this service are, as I discovered recently, America’s “newspaper of record,” which faithfully follows the George Soros typing pool and dutifully plasters any potentially damaging bon mot on page one.
And, aside from all that, 20 million people are out there listening.
So where are these racist soundbites? Where’s the audio? Where’s the transcript? Name the year. Heigh-ho, say CNN’s Rick Sanchez and the rest of the basement-ratings crowd. Not our problem: It’s for Limbaugh to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s never said it. We’re too busy fact-checking anti-Obama jokes to fact-check our own reporting . . .
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My syndicated column today follows up on yesterday’s Fox News Derangement Syndrome post. Who has Obama stocked his communications shop with, you ask? Beltway flacks for corruptocrats. Meet some of the key people behind the White House war on Fox News.
Birds of a feather…
Who’s behind the White House war on Fox News?
by Michelle Makin
White House interim communications director Anita Dunn assumed the role of lead Fox News Channel-basher this weekend. The attack was a dud. The left-leaning Nation magazine ridiculed President Obama’s press shop for turning him into the “whiner-in-chief.” AOL media columnist Jeff Bercovici called the war on Fox a “loser’s strategy” that “signals weakness.” And that’s the friendly fire.
Dunn found refuge in rival CNN’s green zone, where she blasted Fox News as a “research arm of the Republican Party.” Unhappy with headline-generating Fox News hosts who have wrested control of the news cycle from Team Obama, Dunn complained about “opinion journalism masquerading as news.”
Well, that is certainly an apt description of an Obama-sympathizing “news” segment on Wolf Blizter’s CNN Politics show, which purported to “fact check” a Saturday Night Live skit mocking the president’s lack of accomplishments. Yes, the “real” news fact-checked the fake news to cover for Obama’s deficiencies. Zero complaints from the White House communications office about that. Or about authentic CNN journalist Anderson Cooper using his prime-time show to make vulgar sexual jokes about Tea Party activists. Or about the joint White House-ABC News health care reform infomercial that aired earlier this summer.
Some “opinion journalism” is more equal than others.
Debates about the blurred lines between opinion and journalism are all well and good. But don’t the talking points-crafters in the Oval Office have something better to do than carp about the talking points they don’t like hearing on the one cable network that hasn’t been completely overrun by Obama sycophants? (Full disclosure: I’ve been a Fox News contributor since 2001.)
Where are the seasoned press gurus to help Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama appear more presidential and less petty and thuggish?
The corruptocrat affiliations of Obama’s communications team are illuminating. His press shop can’t rise above the fray because they’ve been entrenched in the Beltway fray for years. They can’t help themselves.
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I remember the Porpoise Show audience being virtually all teachers and students, and the whole lot of us sitting together shoulder to shoulder like sardines in a can. I remember the porpoise tricks, the leaps, the playing with the ball, and the intentional and playful splashing, all to the delight of the crowd. Most of all, I remember studying the trainer with his voice commands and hand signals to the porpoises awaiting instruction. I remember the trainer’s nearby bucket and the fish chunk rewards he liberally doled out to each porpoise after every trick. “How cool to be a porpoise trainer,” I thought.
When the show was over the crowd filed out, passing near the edge of the pool. As fate would have it, I was able to get the attention of one of the porpoises. I raised my right hand to shoulder height and, pretending I had a piece of fish between my closed fingers, I began a horizontal zigzag motion with my wrist. To my shock and astonishment, the porpoise began vertically rising out of the water. With my classmates screaming and my teacher turning menacingly to see whom it was causing the commotion, I lowered my hand down by my side as quickly as I could and the porpoise correspondingly dropped in the water.
The excitement was over as fast as it had begun. But what I remember most of the incident was the porpoise watching me as I filed out of the complex with the rest of my classmates. I could swear that porpoise was giving me the dirtiest of looks for not having tossed him his duly earned fish chunk.
Looking back at my experience, I see it as a type of metaphor for today’s political situation. I see the porpoise trainer as President Barack Obama, the audience representing the world, and the porpoises in the pool as the American people.
Plucked from the freedom of some vast ocean and to the cheers and delight of the world, President Barack Obama is taking away our liberties and training us to be world pleasers, rather than world leaders. Look how entertaining we can be with every trick he gets us to perform. Through his techniques of behavior modification, look how he weakens our military, takes over our banks, our auto companies, and before you know it, our health care! Watch us jump through his hoops and make a big splash. Do what he says and get your fresh stimulus fish chunk handouts. Be careful though. If you do not perform to his liking or choose to cause trouble, you might just go without.
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by Jill S. Sprik
Despite countless speeches and news conferences, did you ever hear President Obama express the following ideas?
- Not everything is a federal issue; some things are for the states to decide.
- I hear what you’re saying and you have a good point.
- One of the beautiful things about our constitution is the liberty given to individuals to pursue their dreams. There is great opportunity in our country to succeed.
- In an effort to stimulate job growth and despite the objections from my party, I am working with Congress to reduce taxes for small businesses.
- I am saddened by the cycle of poverty that exists in our major cities, and here is a way we can empower the next generation to break the cycle and fulfill their God-given potential….
- The folks at the town hall meetings and those who came to Washington on 9/12 were exercising one of the greatest rights we have as Americans, freedom of speech.
- Stop already with all forms of ‘cult of personality’ behavior. I am a public servant, just like all those who have served before and all who will come after my term is complete. It’s not about me, it’s about the country.
- I heard a great message Sunday morning at church.
- History teaches us that evil exists in the world; for this reason the United States must remain strong, ready to defend itself and its allies.
- I didn’t realize a communist was part of my administration. It won’t happen again.
- The billions siphoned out of health care into lawyers’ pockets never healed a single person.
- No other country on earth offers its citizens the opportunity to pursue life, liberty, and happiness as does the United States of America.
- The experts have looked at the proposed (fill-in-the-blank) program, and when it is extrapolated out beyond just the initial offering there is clear evidence it will cost too much money and will eventually fail.
- I disagree 100% with the Cloward-Piven strategy of increasing the welfare rolls and overwhelming the financial system, and I am not affiliated in any way with the implementation of such an idea.
- I don’t know the answer to your question but I will give it some thought.
- The goal of my presidency is not to implement a political ideology, but to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
- Every person has value regardless of age, gender, color, physical characteristics, or any other factor.
- Any healthcare bill I sign must include a provision to exclude the rationing of care, keep the door open for competition among insurers, and promote the opportunity for our young people to pursue an education in the medical fields to ensure future supply meets future demand.
- It is important for legislators to remember that what helps someone in the short-term may actually hurt them in the long-term, and we must avoid this kind of scenario.
- It has become clear to me after meeting with military experts that their recommendations should be implemented in our current situation; this is not an area in which politics can be allowed to interfere.
by Ed Morrissey
Sources within both the intelligence and military communities tell McClatchy that Barack Obama’s White House has not been honest about the risks of moving away from a robust strategy of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. Obama and his advisers have begun publicly discussing the Taliban as a moderate alternative to al-Qaeda in terms of enemies, but the latest intelligence shows just the opposite. Taliban leadership and AQ have integrated even more tightly than ever since 9/11 and act in concert on strategy and tactics:
As the Obama administration reconsiders its Afghanistan policy, White House officials are minimizing warnings from the intelligence community, the military and the State Department about the risks of adopting a limited strategy focused on al Qaida, U.S. intelligence, diplomatic and military officials told McClatchy.
Recent U.S. intelligence assessments have found that the Taliban and other Pakistan-based groups that are fighting U.S.-led forces have much closer ties to al Qaida now than they did before 9/11, would allow the terrorist network to re-establish bases in Afghanistan and would help Osama bin Laden export his radical brand of Islam to Afghanistan’s neighbors and beyond, the officials said.
McClatchy interviewed more than 15 senior and mid-level U.S. intelligence, military and diplomatic officials, all of whom said they concurred with the assessments. All of them requested anonymity because the assessments are classified and the officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
Bob Kerrey openly wonders why the White House has begun to tread the ground of retreat, in an op-ed for today’s Wall Street Journal:
Yet despite these setbacks, our leaders must remain focused on the fact that success in Afghanistan bolsters our national security and yes, our moral reputation. This war is not Vietnam. The Taliban are not popular and have very little support other than what they secure through terror.
Afghanistan is also not Iraq. No serious leader in Kabul is asking us to leave. Instead we are being asked to withdraw by American leaders who begin their analysis with the presumption that victory is not possible. They seem to want to ensure defeat by leaving at the very moment when our military leader on the ground has laid out a coherent and compelling strategy for victory.
When it comes to foreign policy, almost nothing matters more then your friends and your enemies knowing you will keep your word and follow through on your commitments. This is the real test of presidential leadership. I hope that President Obama—soon to be a Nobel laureate—passes with flying colors
Read the rest at HotAir.com
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In an interview with CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” White House Communications Director Anita Dunn elaborates on comments she made in Time magazine about Fox News, calling the network “opinion journalism masquerading as news.”
During the interview, Dunn admits the White House is punishing Fox News for its “negative” coverage of the president–including the exclusion of Fox during Obama’s weekend media blitz last month. Despite not giving any examples of actual inaccurate reporting on Fox’s part, Dunn whined that “Fox News often operates as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.”
As ridiculous as that sounds, somehow I doubt Fox is losing sleep over the White House’s one-man boycott; the network now claims all top 10 show slots in the cable news ratings race:
Posted by: Meredith Jessup On Townhall.com see video
WASHINGTON — The genius of democracy is the rotation of power, which forces the opposition to be serious — particularly about things like war, about which until Jan. 20 of this year Democrats were decidedly unserious.
When the Iraq War (which a majority of Senate Democrats voted for) ran into trouble and casualties began to mount, Democrats followed the shifting winds of public opinion and turned decidedly anti-war. But needing political cover because of their post-Vietnam reputation for weakness on national defense, they adopted Afghanistan as their pet war.
I was part of the 2004 Kerry campaign, which elevated the idea of Afghanistan as ‘the right war’ to conventional Democratic wisdom,” wrote Democratic consultant Bob Shrum shortly after President Obama was elected. “This was accurate as criticism of the Bush administration, but it was also reflexive and perhaps by now even misleading as policy.”
Which is a clever way to say that championing victory in Afghanistan was a contrived and disingenuous policy in which Democrats never seriously believed, a convenient two-by-four with which to bash George Bush over Iraq — while still appearing warlike enough to fend off the soft-on-defense stereotype.
Brilliantly crafted and perfectly cynical, the “Iraq War bad, Afghan War good” posture worked. Democrats first won Congress, then the White House. But now, unfortunately, they must govern. No more games. No more pretense.
So what does their commander in chief do now with the war he once declared had to be won but had been almost criminally under-resourced by Bush?
Perhaps provide the resources to win it?
You would think so. And that’s exactly what Obama’s handpicked commander requested on Aug. 30 — a surge of 30,000 to 40,000 troops to stabilize a downward spiral and save Afghanistan the way a similar surge saved Iraq.
That was more than five weeks ago. Still no response. Obama agonizes publicly as the world watches. Why? Because, explains national security adviser James Jones, you don’t commit troops before you decide on a strategy.
No strategy? On March 27, flanked by his secretaries of defense and state, the president said this: “Today I’m announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.” He then outlined a civilian-military counterinsurgency campaign to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan.
And to emphasize his seriousness, the president made clear that he had not arrived casually at this decision. The new strategy, he declared, “marks the conclusion of a careful policy review.”
Read the rest on Page 2- Townhall.com
By Michelle Malkin
Isn’t it so fitting?
From community organizer to Illinois state senator (present!) to U.S. Senator for 143 days before moving into the White House…and now, the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize — not for anything he’s actually done, but for the symbolism of what he might possibly accomplish sometime way off in the future:
“President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.
The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama’s name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.”
It’s the final nail in the Nobel Peace Prize Committee’s coffin.
A Chinese dissident and an Afghan women’s rights activist lost out to this:
“The Nobel committee praised Obama’s creation of “a new climate in international politics” and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage. The plaudit appeared to be a slap at President George W. Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama’s predecessor for resorting to largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Rather than recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize appeared intended to support initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.”
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By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent
The U.S. administration is furious over Israeli incitement against President Barack Obama, Democratic congressmen close to Obama told an Israeli source who returned from a visit to Washington this week.
The congressmen even hinted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been personally involved.
The source, who met in Washington with administration officials and members of Congress, told Haaretz he was stunned by the level of anger there over attempts to portray Obama to the American public as an enemy of Israel because of his efforts to restart peace talks and freeze settlement construction.
“There are people here who are playing with fire by damaging our relationship with the U.S.,” the source said.
Last month’s summit in New York between Obama, Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also reduced Washington’s expectations of a speedy resumption of final-status talks between Israel and the PA. While U.S. envoy George Mitchell will meet Netanyahu again Friday, the meeting is not expected to resolve the crisis in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah of Jordan warned Washington recently that Israel’s settlement policy in East Jerusalem is undermining the stability of Israeli-Jordanian relations.
He also ordered the Jordanian embassy in Israel to submit an official protest to the Foreign Ministry over a plan to build a new Jewish neighborhood on lands belonging to the East Jerusalem village of Walaja.
Finally, he warned against opening the Mughrabi Gate leading to the Temple Mount after the Jewish holidays end next week, and against using planned renovations to change the status quo on the site.
A senior official in Amman told Haaretz this week that the clashes between Israel and the Palestinians in Jerusalem are causing unrest throughout Jordan and encouraging extremists. During Israel’s operation in Gaza this January, he said, there were no fewer than 600 anti-Israel demonstrations in Jordan – several times the number registered in the West Bank during those same weeks.
Abdullah himself sought to use his his exclusive interview with Haaretz to rouse Israeli public opinion from its apathy about the freeze in the peace process and the government’s support for rightist groups that seek to deepen Jewish control over Jerusalem’s Old City and its environs. Amman is concerned that Abbas’ growing weakness, along with the lack of progress despite Mitchell’s many visits to the region, will increase pressure on the Arab League to suspend the peace initiative it adopted in March 2002.
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The Nobel Peace Prize Committee “suicide bombed” itself with its continuing leftward tilt in awarding the prize to President Barack Obama, says radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh made the comment in an e-mail to Newsweek’s Gaggle blog and Politico that also said, “The Nobel gang just suicide bombed themselves. Gore, Carter, Obama, soon Bill Clinton. See a pattern here? They are all leftist sell-outs. George Bush liberates 50 million Muslims in Iraq, Reagan liberates hundreds of millions of Europeans and saves parts of Latin America. Any awards?” Limbaugh says “Obama gives speeches trashing his own country and for that gets a prize, which is now worth as much as whatever prizes they are putting in Cracker Jacks these days.”
The award exposes an illusion surrounding Obama, Limbaugh said, adding, “It is a greater embarrassment than losing the Olympics bid. And with this ‘award’ the elites of the world are urging Obama, THE MAN OF PEACE, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States. They love a weakened, neutered U.S, and this is their way of promoting that concept. I think God has a great sense of humor, too.”
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By Michelle Malkin
Here’s the e-mail of the day, from a beleaguered federal employee at the Commerce Department.
Thanks to the e-mailer for giving us a revealing glimpse into the bowels of the spam-happy, appointee-overrun Obama bureaucracy.
I work for the Department of Commerce as a federal employee…and am getting rather fed up with what I have seen since last January…
Over the past couple of weeks, we have received several emails (a couple below, two received within a minute of each other) from the Commerce Secretary, Gary Locke, announcing ANOTHER new White House web site. This web site is where employees can make suggestions for how government can save money……ooooh, and win a trip to see Obama!!
What a joke after all we have seen since Obama was elected! Too bad the general public cannot submit suggestions.
I wonder how many needed items will be cut in favor of more leftist programs?
Somehow I highly doubt the following suggestions would be acceptable to them:
1. Get rid of the numerous and redundant czars.
2. Stop bailing out institutions that should probably fail like banks, car companies, unions, etc., particularly the politically connected.
3. Make Charlie Rangel pay his taxes.
4. Stop funding corrupt organizations immediately like ACORN.
5. Stop flying Air Force One (and the massive entourage) all over the world for personal reasons.
6. Stop flying in sycophantic supporters to promote your socialized health plan.
I could go on and on.
Today, another email was sent out announcing the creation of two new political appointee positions within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Just what we need. More layers of flunkies at the top taking up space.
How about saving money by not creating these positions for political cronies?
The emails follow:
Email 1… Read the rest on Michelle MalkinRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
by Ed Morrissey
While Congress wrestles with various ways to strip ACORN of any remaining federal funding, the White House has somewhat quietly begun to disconnect itself from the community-organizing group. OMB director Peter Orszag yesterday sent the following compliance memo to “all Executive Branch agencies” to meet the requirements of the continuing resolutions that Congress have already passed to keep the government funded in the absence of a budget. Orszag basically says to cut ACORN off immediately:
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
FROM: Peter R. Orszag Director
SUBJECT: Guidance on section 163 of the Continuing Resolution regarding the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)
This memorandum provides guidance to Executive Branch agencies regarding the implementation of section 163 of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2010, Division B of Pub. L. No. 111-68 (CR), which states:
SEC. 163. None of the funds made available by this joint resolution or any prior Act may be provided to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied organizations.
Your agency must immediately commence all necessary and appropriate steps to comply with section 163. This includes the following:
- No future obligations of funds. No agency or department should obligate or award any Federal funds to ACORN or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or allied organizations (collectively “affiliates”) during the period of the CR. To the extent your agency already has determined that funds should be obligated or awarded to ACORN or its affiliates but has not yet entered into any agreement to provide such funds to ACORN or any of its affiliates, your agency should not provide such funds, or enter into any such agreements to do so. As section 163 makes clear, its prohibition applies not only to the funding that is made available by the CR, but also to the funding that was made available by previously enacted statutes. In addition, the text of section 163 is sufficiently broad to cover funding that was made available for fiscal year (FY) 2009 and prior fiscal years, as well as funding that is or will be made available for FY10.
- Suspension of grant and contractual payments. If your agency has an existing contract or grant agreement with ACORN or its affiliates, the agency should: (i) where permissible, immediately suspend performance of any obligations under the contract or agreement, including payment of Federal funds; and (ii) consult promptly with the agency’s general counsel and, if necessary, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of Justice concerning the legal considerations that bear on the performance of such obligations under the existing contract or agreement.
- No funding of ACORN and its affiliates through Federal grantees or contractors. Your agency should take steps so that no Federal funds are awarded or obligated by your grantees or contractors to ACORN or its affiliates as subgrantees, subcontractors, or other subrecipients. Because section 163 states that “[n]one of the funds . . . may be provided,” this prohibition applies not only to a direct recipient of Federal funds but also to a subrecipient (e.g., a subcontractor, subgrantee, or contractor of a grantee). We recommend that your agency:
- notify all Federal grant and contract recipients of the prohibition contained in section 163, and provide them with a copy of this guidance document; and
- advise all Federal grant and contract recipients (a) not to provide Federal funds to ACORN or its affiliates as subgrantees, subcontractors or other subrecipients, consistent with this guidance, and (b) to notify your agency of any existing subgrants, subcontracts or other subrecipient agreements with ACORN or its affiliates and of how the grantee or contractor is planning to comply with the prohibition with respect to those subgrants, subcontracts or subrecipient agreements.
- Read the rest at Hot Air Blog
There was never a single moment when White House staff decided the major media outlets were falling down on the job. There were instead several such moments.
For press secretary Robert Gibbs, the realization came in early September, when the New York Times ran a front-page story about the bubbling parental outrage over President Obama’s plan to address schoolchildren — even though the benign contents of the speech were not yet public. “You had to be like, ‘Wait a minute,'” says Gibbs. “This thing has become a three-ring circus.”
For deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer, the more hyperbolic attacks on health-care reform this summer, which were often covered as a “controversy,” flipped an internal switch. “When you are having a debate about whether or not you want to kill people’s grandmother,” he explains, “the normal rules of engagement don’t apply.”
And for his boss, Anita Dunn, the aha moment came when the Washington Post ran a second op-ed from a Republican politician decrying the “32” alleged czars appointed by the Obama Administration. Nine of those so-called czars, it turned out, were subject to Senate confirmation, making them decidedly unlike the Russian monarchs. “The idea — that the Washington Post didn’t even question it,” Dunn says, still marveling at the decision.
All the criticism, both fair and misleading, took a toll, regularly knocking the White House off message. So a new White House strategy has emerged: rather than just giving reporters ammunition to “fact-check” Obama’s many critics, the White House decided it would become a player, issuing biting attacks on those pundits, politicians and outlets that make what the White House believes to be misleading or simply false claims, like the assertion that health-care reform would establish new “sex clinics” in schools. Obama, fresh from his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, cheered on the effort, telling his aides he wanted to “call ’em out.”
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Chicago and the Olympics weren’t a great mix from the start. Sort of like holding an international gathering of Alcoholics Anonymous in the Guinness St. James’ Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.
The grifters and graft merchants of the Windy City couldn’t have helped themselves, and the results wouldn’t have been pretty. As a lover of the Olympics, I am disappointed, but perhaps we can nominate a less problematic locale for 2020 than Chicago and New York have proved to be in the last two rounds.
The aftermath of the president’s pratfall has been interesting to watch. The first-round knockout was so embarrassing that even the Beltway’s cadre of professional friends of the powerful were eager to telegraph that they were out of the loop and without influence on this one.
Paul Begala, who is beginning to make Brutus look like a paragon of loyalty, rushed to Politico’s Josh Gerstein to reaffirm to the world that he had warned the president not to go.
When the media’s merchants of inside scoop are looking for opportunities to broadcast how little their advice matters, you know the smash-up was pretty bad.
The obvious question: If the president cannot persuade the International Olympic Committee, which is, after all, merely corrupt, to go his way, how will he persuade Iran’s mullahs, who are both corrupt and fanatical, to give up their nukes?
Answer: He won’t, but the legacy media will be able to cover for his failure in that far more significant arena.
The stunned disbelief on the faces of a half-dozen Beltway-Manhattan media elites when the live announcement of the big boot to Chicago’s backside was made could not have been more revealing.
How could this be happening to their most favorite, best prepared and least unilateral president ever? It didn’t take long for the senator from Blagojevich, Roland Burris, to blame George Bush for the catastrophe that befell Chicago’s speculator class, and by Monday morning the momentarily stunned David Axelrod will have worked that line into his explanation.
The usually never-at-a-loss-for-spin Axelrod had sounded bitter on CNN when he rushed out to blame politics for the disaster, an unexpected if refreshing break from the Bush-centric rhetoric of the Obama inner circle.
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Gene Healy: Obama is becoming the omnipresident
“No-drama Obama”? The president’s flight to Copenhagen last week to make a personal pitch for holding the 2016 Olympics in Chicago was an audacious move — and a dramatic failure. “Second City Absorbs Its Latest Defeat,” read the (rather snotty) headline in the New York Times.
But shed no tears for Chicago. As a 2006 report from Europe’s leading tourism trade association concluded, there’s “little evidence of any benefit to tourism from hosting an Olympic Games, and considerable evidence of damage.” With a projected half-billion-dollar deficit next year, the Second City is better off without the Games.
We can’t say the same for Obama’s reputation after his in-person appeal failed to get his adopted hometown past the first round of voting. What new project can the president undertake to save face?
How about … reforming college football? In a post-election “60 Minutes” interview last November, Obama called for selecting the national champion via an eight-team playoff: “I’m going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Perhaps those of us who oppose national health care and cap and trade shouldn’t complain that the president seems so easily distracted. But you have to wonder: Does Obama think there’s anything too frivolous to merit the president’s attention?
Obama’s failed Olympic gambit was dumb politics. But it’s also bad policy for the president to involve himself in nonpresidential issues, reinforcing as it does an infantile and unhealthy view of presidential responsibility.
Obama didn’t invent that view of the presidency, he inherited it. Over the course of the 20th century, the public, conditioned by the media’s relentless focus on presidential action, came to view the chief executive as a national father-protector, with a purview far broader than the limited role the Constitution sets out for him.
Nor is Obama the first president to involve himself in minutia. In his 2004 State of the Union, for example, President George W. Bush urged major-league baseball and football to “get tough, and get rid of steroids now.”
And Bush periodically played the role of national fitness coach, meeting with food company executives to hammer out “a coherent strategy to help folks all throughout our country cope with” childhood obesity.
Faithfully executing the laws, protecting the country from foreign attack — and helping Americans “cope” with their kids’ Dorito cravings — the president’s portfolio is vast indeed.
But Obama has forged new frontiers in triviality. He’s the president of all things great and small: He calls for “a cure for cancer in our time” while also promising to stand behind the warranty on your new Ford Fusion.
With the two wars he’s running and his ceaseless efforts to micromanage the U.S. economy, you’d think he’d have plenty to do. But in his televised speech to America’s schoolchildren last month Obama took time out to urge students “to stand up for kids who are being teased” and “wash your hands a lot.”
He just can’t help himself. Six months into his presidency, the Politico reported, Obama had already “uttered more than half a million words in public.” In one whirlwind week last month, the president made his third appearance on “60 Minutes,” gave a major speech on the financial crisis the next day, and made a record five talk-show appearances the following Sunday. And on the eighth day, he did Letterman.
Obama’s incontinent approach to presidential responsibility doesn’t seem to be helping him politically, however. August was the toughest month of his young presidency, and it began with the ridiculous “beer summit,” in which the president gratuitously injected himself into a disputed arrest by a local cop in Cambridge, Mass.
Given how much bloom has come off the rose since then, Obama’s decision to stake some prestige on securing the Olympics is baffling. What was the point of getting himself into an irrelevant fight that he might well lose?
More importantly, why would Obama go out of his way to encourage the public’s irrationally broad view of presidential responsibility? Isn’t the president’s job hard enough?
Obama has become the omnipresent omnipresident. But a man who is everywhere, promising to do everything, may end up accomplishing very little, and he’s sure to disappoint.
Examiner Columnist Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of “The Cult of the Presidency.”
I continue to be amazed at the naivete of people who keep giving President Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt concerning his radical appointments, saying his administration isn’t doing its job in vetting the appointees. When will they wake up to the reality that Obama is deliberately picking people, such as Kevin Jennings, who share his radical values?
When prescient commentators were warning of Obama’s radical friends and colleagues, such as Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, during the campaign, his apologists diverted proper scrutiny, saying it’s absurd to judge Obama by association. Even flawed cliches can work wonders when you have the entire mainstream media flacking for you.
Then when the radicalism of “green czar” Van Jones came to light, the left’s reflexive reaction was that Jones was being victimized by an extremist element on the right and that the Internet itself had now been exposed as “an open sewer of untreated, unfiltered information.” It was only when Jones’ own extremism became too obvious to deny that the left shifted its line of defense to: Obama’s team let him down by failing to vet Jones.
As I wrote at the time, “It’s not Obama who didn’t vet Jones, but the MSM who have never vetted Obama. Had they vetted Obama, they would have realized that he is Van Jones.”
It seems that if you wait long enough, the Obama administration will get around to vindicating its legitimate critics, such as those of us who warned that Obama was insincere when he pretended that the public option was not an indispensable component of his health care scheme. (We hear that he’s recently conducted a series of secret meetings with members of Congress, trying to cobble together a majority on a bill that includes the public option.)
Indeed, with his appointment of Kevin Jennings to head the Education Department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Obama has vindicated those of us who said that the Jones selection wasn’t a failure of vetting, but about Obama’s appointing a like-minded radical.
Now that Jennings’ radical homosexual activism has been exposed, the Obama administration hasn’t said: “Oh, sorry, another one slipped through our relatively new vetting process. The president will fire him, and we’ll pick someone who reflects the president’s values.”
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As we wend our way through the first year of the Obama administration, it is hard not to notice a stark contrast in style between the American president and another democratic leader who has been in power for almost the same amount of time: Binyamin Netanyahu. The political trajectories of the two men have been almost perfectly opposite. Obama started off his presidency blessed by great popularity only to see his fortunes plummet, while Netanyahu began under a cloud of public uncertainty and suspicion yet today enjoys healthy public-approval numbers. More than anything else, the leadership styles of the two men explain their divergent fortunes.
The most obvious difference between the two is in the level of public exposure that each has pursued. Obama seeks to place himself in the headlines of newspapers and to lead the television news broadcasts on a daily basis, achieving an omnipresence unprecedented in American politics. He has given scores of speeches, each heralded to be of great consequence to the nation and the world. He has staked much of his presidential power on the sheer force of his personality, giving little consideration to the sustainability of such a strategy or whether so much narcissistic pageantry is becoming to a national leader. His public pronouncements are astonishingly self-absorbed: to take one example, in their speeches to the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen, the First Couple used the first-person pronoun 70 times in 89 sentences.
Obama’s permanent publicity blitz has rendered his pronouncements banal and is helping to create an impression that he is all talk, no results. Who can recall with any precision what the president says from one day to the next? Why bother trying when another speech is moments away? CBS News’ White House correspondent noted on July 13 that Obama had already delivered his 200th speech — on his 177th day in office.
Netanyahu has taken a completely different approach. He goes days without making public statements, often only commenting on events at his weekly cabinet meeting, and even so, by making the tersest of remarks. His response to the Goldstone Commission report was delivered without fanfare in a cabinet meeting and consisted in its entirety of a 330-word statement. Netanyahu has given only two major speeches during his premiership: the June address at Bar-Ilan University, where he rebutted Obama’s Cairo speech and laid out Israel’s terms for the peace process; and his UN General Assembly speech, where he shamed the “international community” for its indulgence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
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