Many of President Obama’s fervent devotees are young enough not to have much memory of the political world before the arrival of The One. Coincidentally, Obama himself feels the same way—and the White House’s official website reflects that.
The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper tweeted that Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reagan’s official biography onwww.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Reagan’s tax reform advocacy with his “Buffett Rule” gimmick. My first thought was, he must be joking. But he wasn’t—it turns out Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford). Here are a few examples:
On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+,LinkedIn, etc.
In a 1946 letter to the National Urban League, President Truman wrote that the government has “an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected.” He ended racial segregation in civil service and the armed forces in 1948. Today the Obama administration continues to strive toward upholding the civil rights of its citizens, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing people of all sexual orientations to serve openly in our armed forces.
President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare signed (sic) into law in 1965—providing millions of elderly healthcare stability. President Obama’s historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the “donut hole.”
Ashley Parker of the New York Times has a statement from the family of John Lauber, the man theWashington Post claimed Mitt Romney bullied in high school. She tweets:
From John Lauber’s family, the bullied victim in WaPo story: “We are aggrieved that John would be used to further a political agenda.”
Also from John Lauber’s family: “The portrayal of John is factually incorrect,” but they would not elaborate on how it was inaccurate.
This comes after one source for the story, a man the Washington Post says has “long been bothered” by the incident, said he wasn’t even present and had no idea it had happened until thePost contacted him.
The media has lied, is lying and will lie again to see their man win re-election.
"Whatever people think about this issue, we know it's controversial, there's no denying when a president speaks out for the first time like that, it is history," co-host of ABC's "Good Morning America" George Stephanopoulos said to Robin Roberts.
And let me tell you, George, I'm getting chills again," "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts said about her interview with Obama.
"When you sit in that room and you hear him say those historic words. It was not lost on anyone in there right there. You never know what he's going to say until you ask him," she added.
There's video at the link if you're into watching this sort of thing.
Former president Bill Clinton just appeared in a reelection television commercial for President Barack Obama. At one point, Clinton weighs in on the potential consequences of Obama’s decision to go ahead with the planned assassination of Osama bin Laden. He smiles and then pontificates, “Suppose the Navy SEALs had gone in there . . . suppose they had been captured or killed. The downside would have been horrible for him [Obama].”
There is a lot that is disturbing about Clinton’s commentary — and about the fact that such an embarrassment was not deleted by the Obama campaign. Clinton offers unintended self-incrimination as to why in the 1990s he did not order the capture of bin Laden when it might well have been in his power to do so — was it fear of something “horrible” that might have happened to his fortunes rather than to our troops? And, of course, such crass politicization of national security and the war on terror is exactly what Barack Obama accused the two Clintons of in the 2008 Democratic primaries. We also remember that Obama on several occasions chastised George W. Bush for supposedly making reference to the war on terror for political advantage, though he never did so in as creepy a fashion as Clinton. And aside from the fact that Barack Obama promised never to “spike the football” by using the SEAL mission to score campaign points, only a narcissistic Bill Clinton could have envisioned the death or capture of Navy SEALs not in terms of those men’s own horrible fates, but only as political “downside” for an equally narcissistic Barack Obama.
In Clinton’s defense, he spoke not just from his own selfish instinct to see presidential survival as more important than the fates of those who actually took the physical risk. Rather, a year ago Obama himself had already hijacked the mission with a flurry of self-referential pronouns: “Tonight, I can report . . . And so, shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta . . . I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . Idetermined that we had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . . I’ve made clear . . . Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear . . . Tonight, I called President Zardari . . . and my team has also spoken . . .These efforts weigh on me every time I, as commander-in-chief . . . Finally, let me say to the families . . . I know that it has, at times, frayed . . .”
As for the civilian responsibility for approving such hazardous missions for our intelligence and military communities, Obama has never confessed, then or now, that most of the anti-terrorism protocols that led to critical intelligence about the probable whereabouts of bin Laden had been strongly opposed by Obama himself. Indeed, almost every Bush-Cheney policy that President Obama eventually embraced — renditions, tribunals, Guantanamo, the Patriot Act — was opposed by Obama as a state legislator, a U.S. senator, and a presidential candidate. Apparently, there is no loudly announced “reset” when it comes to the war on terror.
He's got more and it's damning, especially for those who continue to refuse to see or who purposely ignore who this President truly is and what he stands for.
Read it. Pass it on.
May it become additional fodder to vote for anyone but Obama in November.
Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday pinned the country’s rocky negotiations with Iran on the Bush administration, saying only after President Obama took office and made “good faith” efforts toward dealing with the rogue nation did the world realize Iran is the problem.
“By going the extra diplomatic mile, presenting Iran with a clear choice, we demonstrated to the region and the world that Iran is the problem, not the United States,” Biden said at the Rabbinical Assembly's annual convention in Atlanta.
“When we took office, let me remind you, there was virtually no international pressure on Iran,” Biden continued. “We were the problem, we were diplomatically isolated in the world, in the region, in Europe. We were neither fully respected by our friends nor feared by our opponents. Today it is starkly, starkly different.”
"This President has brought us out of the dark and into the light," she said. "But we need each and every one of you as fired up as you’ve been."
The first lady made roughly the same stump speech of recent weeks, chronicling the acomplishments of her husband's first term, from the auto industry rescue to health care reform, ending the war in Iraq and the killing of Osama bin Laden. In a roughly 26-minute speech to a crowd of about 450, she also appealed to women voters, highlighting her husband's signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
"That’s the first thing your president did," she said. "He did this because he knows what it means when women aren’t treated fairly in the workplace."
Referencing the struggles of the president's grandmother against men climbing the corporate ladder faster despite not being more qualified, she said, "...believe me, for Barack, this issue is not an abstraction."
Tune in next week when Barack walks on water and then turns that water into wine.
A suicide bomber has killed at least two Afghan civilians and wounded four others after detonating explosives at the gates of the U.S. military base at Bagram, just north of Kabul.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it was revenge for the burning of Qurans several weeks ago at the Bagram Air Base.
NATO officials said no coalition troops were harmed in the attack and that the bomber did not breach the base.
In eastern Afghanistan, authorities say a suicide bomber killed a member of the Afghan security forces and wounded 11 others in an attack on a police checkpoint in the city of Jalalabad. No one immediately claimed responsibility for Monday's bombing.
Two World War II-era cemeteries that were vandalized over the weekend by armed men in Benghazi will be restored, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said in a posting on its website.
Hundreds of gravestones marking the bodies of Christian and Jewish soldiers were kicked from their locations, many of them broken, in the Benghazi War Cemetery and the Benghazi British Military Cemetery, the CWGC said. "Both cemeteries will be restored to a standard befitting the sacrifice of those commemorated at Benghazi, but this could take some time because we will need to source replacement stones," the organization said.
"We will also need to be sure that it's safe for the detailed work to be carried out, but in the meantime we will ensure that temporary markers are erected over the graves. We have no reports of any maintenance staff being injured in the attack."
Britain urged Libya's new leadership Sunday to investigate the desecration of the more than 200 Commonwealth war graves that were vandalized, acts filmed and posted on YouTube.
Libya's National Transitional Council said Sunday it regrets what happened, calling it "unethical, irresponsible and criminal," and promised to prosecute those responsible.
"We strongly reject these acts that are rejected by the Islamic faith," the NTC said in a statement. "Such practices do not represent at all the local public opinion and they contradict the Islamic principles that emphasize and urge the respect of religions and beliefs."
In the YouTube video, a group of men is seen walking around the graves, kicking down headstones and using sledgehammers to chip away at a cross at the front of the cemetery.
A voice off camera says, "Destroy the cross, these filthy dogs." Other voices mock inscriptions on the gravestones, including one engraved with the Star of David.
The description of the video says it is a response to the recent burnings of Qurans by U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but CNN cannot independently confirm that.
With the effectiveness of the Obama policy of strategic apologizing, I'm sure we'll be seeing more his sorriness in the days to come and if it continues to garner the kind of success we've been seeing of late, I could see Obama cutting the military even more as he obsoletes so much of what it is they're purposed in doing.
Founded by [David] Brock in 2004 as a liberal counterweight to “conservative misinformation” in the press, Media Matters has in less than a decade become a powerful player in Democratic politics. The group operates in regular coordination with the highest levels of the Obama White House, as well as with members of Congress and progressive groups around the country. Brock, who collected over $250,000 in salary from Media Matters in 2010, has himself become a major fundraiser on the left. According to an internal memo obtained by TheDC, Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.
Donors have every reason to expect success, as the group’s effect on many news organizations has already been profound. “We were pretty much writing their prime time,” a former Media Matters employee said of the cable channel MSNBC. “But then virtually all the mainstream media was using our stuff.”
High profile though these victories against conservatives were, Media Matters has perhaps achieved more influence simply by putting its talking points into the willing hands of liberal journalists. “In ‘08 it became pretty apparent MSNBC was going left,” says one source. “They were using our research to write their stories. They were eager to use our stuff.” Media Matters staff had the direct line of MSNBC president Phil Griffin, and used it. Griffin took their calls.
Stories about Fox News were especially well received by MSNBC anchors and executives: “If we published something about Fox in the morning, they’d have it on the air that night verbatim.”
But MSNBC executives weren’t the only ones talking regularly to Media Matters.
“The entire progressive blogosphere picked up our stuff,” says a Media Matters source, “from Daily Kos to Salon. Greg Sargent [of the Washington Post] will write anything you give him. He was the go-to guy to leak stuff.”
“If you can’t get it anywhere else, Greg Sargent’s always game,” agreed another source with firsthand knowledge.
Reached by phone, Sargent declined to comment.
“The HuffPo guys were good, Sam Stein and Nico [Pitney],” remembered one former staffer. “The people at Huffington Post were always eager to cooperate, which is no surprise given David’s long history with Arianna [Huffington].”
“Jim Rainey at the LA Times took a lot of our stuff,” the staffer continued. “So did Joe Garofoli at the San Francisco Chronicle. We’ve pushed stories to Eugene Robinson and E.J. Dionne [at the Washington Post]. Brian Stelter at the New York Times was helpful.”
“Ben Smith [formerly of Politico, now at BuzzFeed.com] will take stories and write what you want him to write,” explained the former employee, whose account was confirmed by other sources. Staffers at Media Matters “knew they could dump stuff to Ben Smith, they knew they could dump it at Plum Line [Greg Sargent’s Washington Post blog], so that’s where they sent it.”
Smith, who refused to comment on the substance of these claims, later took to Twitter to say that he has been critical of Media Matters.
Reporters who weren’t cooperative might feel the sting of a Media Matters campaign against them. “If you hit a reporter, say a beat reporter at a regional newspaper,” a Media Matters source said, “all of a sudden they’d get a thousand hostile emails. Sometimes they’d melt down. It had a real effect on reporters who weren’t used to that kind of scrutiny.”
A group with the ability to shape news coverage is of incalculable value to the politicians it supports, so it’s no surprise that Media Matters has been in regular contact with political operatives in the Obama administration. According to visitor logs, on June 16, 2010, Brock and then-Media Matters president Eric Burns traveled to the White House for a meeting with Valerie Jarrett, arguably the president’s closest adviser. Recently departed Obama communications director Anita Dunn returned to the White House for the meeting as well.
It’s not clear what the four spoke about — no one in the meeting returned repeated calls for comment — but the apparent coordination continued. “Anita Dunn became a regular presence at the office,” says someone who worked there. Then-president of Media Matters, Eric Burns, “lunched with her, met with her and chatted with her frequently on any number of matters.”
Media Matters also began a weekly strategy call with the White House, which continues, joined by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. Jen Psaki, Obama’s deputy communications director, was a frequent participant before she left for the private sector in October 2011.
Every Tuesday evening, meanwhile, a representative from Media Matters attends the Common Purpose Project meeting at the Capitol Hilton on 16th Street in Washington, where dozens of progressive organizations formulate strategy, often with a representative from the Obama White House.
In the past several years, Media Matters has focused much of its considerable energy on the Fox News Channel. The network, declares one internal memo, “is the de facto leader of the GOP and it is long past time that it was treated as such by the media, elected officials, and the public.” At the end of September 2009, Burns made the case publicly in an interview on MSNBC.
Fox, he said, “is a political organization, and their aim is to destroy a progressive policy agenda.”
Less than a month later, in language that could have been copied directly from a Media Matters press release, White House communications director Anita Dunn leveled almost precisely the same charge, dismissing Fox as “more a wing of the Republican Party.”
Were the lines of attack coordinated? “To my knowledge, there wasn’t coordination,” says a source. But at times there has seemed to be a kind of mind meld between the Obama political team and Media Matters.
There's tons more, all of it damning, all of it pointing to what many of us already knew.
We are reaching a point, and in all honesty, we're probably already past it, where we can't trust a damned thing coming from mainstream media outlets, especially if it's got a political slant to it.