Peggy Noonan has some bon mots about the Obama adminstration’s incompetence

Obama looking stupidI seldom quote Peggy Noonan here because I think she’s usually a day late and a dollar short when it comes to discussing the current administration. It seems that, just as Baa-baa Waw-waw did, she drank deep of the Obama Kool-Aid.  Noonan is an inside the Beltway gal and, just as David Brooks did, swooned about Obama’s Harvard degree and well-pressed pants.  She had enough conservative in her to criticize him and his administration a bit, but she was also enough of a disciple to dance around her own criticism whenever she could.  And now, just as happened to Baa-Baa Waw-Waw, Noonan is snapping out of the enchantment that gripped her for five long years.  Freed from the Kool-Aid induced hallucinations, Noonan is finally making sense.

Today’s blog post from Noonan has some nice turns of phrase about the Obama administration’s incompetence — an incompetence for which we must all be grateful, because it revealed Obamacare’s failures in such a delightfully spectacular way:

It all looks so lax, so loosey-goosey. In the place of the energy and focus that would go into the running of things, the administering and managing of them, we have the preoccupation with spin, with how things look as opposed to how they are. The odd thing still is that the White House never misses a speech, a list of talking points, an opportunity to shape the argument on TV. They do the talking part, but the doing? They had 3½ years to make sure ObamaCare will work, three years to get it right top to bottom, to rejigger parts of the law that they finally judged wouldn’t work, to make the buying of a policy easy on the website. And they not only couldn’t do that, which itself constitutes an astounding and historic management failure, they make it clear they were taken aback by their failure. They didn’t know it was coming! Or some knew and for some reason couldn’t do anything.

And it’s all going to continue. One reason this scandal isn’t Katrina is that Katrina had a beginning and an end. The storm came, the storm left, the cleanup commenced and failed and then continued and succeeded. At some point it was over. ObamaCare will never be over. It’s going to poison the rest of the administration. It’s the story that won’t go away because it will continue to produce disorder. Wait, for instance, until small businesses realize it will be cheaper to throw their people off their coverage and take the fines than it will be to reinsure them under the new regime.

[snip]

“They mistook the White House for the government,” said an experienced old friend, a journalist and Democratic sympathizer. We were having holiday dinner and the talk turned to White House management. His thesis was that Obama and his staffers thought they could run the government from there, from the White House campus, and make big decisions that would be executed. They thought the White House was the government, but the government is a vast web of executive agencies that have to be run under close scrutiny, and within their campuses, to produce even minimally competent work.

I have come to see this as “West Wing” Disease. Young staffers grew up watching that show and getting a very romantic and specific sense of how government works. “The West Wing” was White House-centric. It never took place at the Agriculture Department. But government takes place at the Agriculture Department.

(Read the rest here.)

Sadly, the only area in which the administration is showing a great deal of competence is when it comes to Israel: in just five years, Obama has managed to back that nation into a corner from which there seems to be no escape, something I’ll discuss in a later post today.

More on the tenant from Hell currently occupying the White House

Obama controls access to the White House

I re-posted the image I put up earlier, because it’s a perfect companion-piece to this Charles C.W. Cooke article:

We are now firmly ensconced in the brutal Age of the Sequester, and things in America are grave. The federal government, we learned on Wednesday, is so strapped for cash that the president has been forced to cut off the People’s access to the home he’s borrowing from them. He didn’t want to have to do this, naturally — “particularly during the popular spring touring season.” But then Congress just had to go and acquiesce in measures that the president himself had suggested and signed into law. How beastly! We axed 2.6 percent from a $44.8 trillion budget, and now the president can’t even afford the $18,000 per week necessary to retain the seven staff members who facilitate citizens’ enjoying self-guided tours around the White House.

The executive mansion is not in that much trouble, of course. It’s certainly not in sufficiently dire straits for Air Force One ($181,757 per hour) to be grounded, or to see the executive chef ($100,000 per year) furloughed, or to cut back on the hours of the three full-time White House calligraphers ($277,050 per year for the trio), or to limit the invaluable work of the chief of staff to the president’s dog ($102,000 per year), or to trim his ridiculous motorcade ($2.2 million). If Ellen DeGeneres wants another dancercize session or Spain holds another clothing sale, the first family will be there before you can say “citizen executive.” Fear ye not, serfs: Austerity may be the word of the week, but the president is by no means in any danger of being forced to live like the president of a republic instead of like a king.

Read the rest of Cooke’s article here.

A picture is worth a thousand words — “Obama controls access to the White House” edition

As you look at this picture, please keep in mind that President Obama is a temporary guest in the White House, living their only because of the American people’s largesse.  He is not a monarch whose family owns the White House.  He is a tenant.  Sadly, slightly more than 50% of those Americans who bothered to vote renewed his lease last November.

Obama controls access to the White House

Monday morning information deluge

There’s a lot of interesting stuff out there that I want to share with you.

First, I have to add myself to the zillion or so conservative commentators who are all over the fact that Barack Obama, showing once again that he has no learning curve, made another Open Mic admission.  As you may remember, the first was his personal dislike for Benjamin Netanyahu.  Now, he’s been caught seeking “space” from the Russians in the lead-up to the election so that, once the election happens, he has more flexibility to give them what they want.  Don’t you just love it when your president enters into secret negotiations with a somewhat hostile foreign power, not for the nation’s benefit, but for his own benefit so that, once he wins the election, he can sell his country down the river.  I actually thought of dropping this one on the “real me” Facebook, and then get all depressed when I realized that the liberals who make up most of my day-to-day life wouldn’t care.  They agree with Obama’s end goals and subscribe to his anything to win philosophy.

Speaking of anything to win philosophy, am I the only one who finds incredibly tacky the way in which the Obama campaign is plumbing sleazy marketing depths in order to encourage donations?  I got this in my email today:

Friend –

You deserve some recognition. And we can’t carve your name into the wall of this thing that we’re building — it’s bigger than that.

Here’s what we want to do:

Make a donation of $3 or more before March 31st, and we’ll put your name in the credits of Davis Guggenheim’s documentary, “The Road We’ve Traveled.”

This film is being used at field offices across the country to fire people up — because we know it’s one of the best tools we have. But grassroots supporters like you are the ones making sure our field offices have the resources they need to get the film out there.

That’s why if you help make that happen, you get the credit — literally.

There’s a huge fundraising deadline on March 31st. So make your donation before this Saturday:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Your-Name-in-the-Credits

As for me, I’m not donating a penny until they throw in a set of genuine Ginzu knives.  More seriously, I guess I should be happy that people aren’t donating to Obama unless they get something back immediately. In other words, the long-term prospect of an Obama in the White House is not sufficient in and of itself to open people’s purses.

The apathy of the average Obama voter is nicely 0ffset by the increased rigor and outspokenness of those whom Obama has in his cross hairs.  At Fund 47, you can see a very inspiring photo essay of protesters taking to the streets of San Francisco (long the domain of the hard Left) to protest the administration’s attacks on religious freedom.

And for the more scholarly attack on ObamaCare (which is, even as we speak, the subject of serious argument in the Supreme Court), National Review has an excellent post on the subject.  It explains, not just why ObamaCare is unconstitutional, but why the entire federal government as it exists now, a government made up of independent fiefdoms called agencies, has become a hydra-headed monster the likes of which the Founders would have considered a constitutional abomination.

Not all current abominations affect the Constitution.  Some are simply an offense to history.  Keith Koffler looks at Michelle Obama’s more creative uses for our (not her, but our) historic White House.  I’m sorry, but you can dress that woman up in all the fine clothes you like.  She’s still the functional equivalent of Hollywood’s idea of trailer trash.  (You’ll notice how carefully I distinguish real Americans whose economic situations see them living in trailers, some of whom are indeed life’s dropouts and some of whom are doing the best they can, from Hollywood’s invariably hostile depictions of these same people.)

On another subject altogether, Heather MacDonald has the courage to state the ugly truth that the race hustlers avoid:  Yes, there is a war on black men, but it’s not whites who are waging that war.

There’s also an internecine war in the Catholic Church, with the Obama party attacking the traditionalists.  Obama may win politically but, within the Church itself, I’d put my money on the traditionalists.

And finally, a real war on fat, and not one that involves desecrating the White House.

If you have anything to add, please do.

The story of Malia Obama’s Mexican vacation reveals double standards and a noodle-spined media

Over the weekend, I got a link to a story about Malia Obama heading off to Mexico for vacation with 12 friends and 25 Secret Service agents.  The story is newsworthy because it implicates taxpayer concerns:  Malia is going to a nation that the State Department warns is dangerous, and Americans are footing the bill for the 25 federal employees who are necessary to offset that danger.  I know that these Secret Service agents are on the payroll regardless, but feeding and lodging them outside of Washington, D.C. becomes the taxpayers’ burden.  (In the same way, Obama’s little basketball jaunt with PM Cameron cost the taxpayers an extra $478,000 over the regular fixed costs in the “taking care of POTUS” budget.)

You’ll notice that I haven’t included the link to the story about Malia Obama’s trip.  That’s because, by the time I received the email with the link to the Malia vacation story, the great white-out had begun.  As I, and every other sentient web-using being had noticed, the story about Malia Obama was melting away as quickly as the wet Wicked Witch of the West.  Those of us trying to find a solid link for the story felt as if we were playing a bizarre version of whack-a-mole.  The links would pop up for a second, only to vanish again.

The big question, of course, was why?  Why is an apparently properly sourced story vanishing?  If it was false, one would expect White House push-back, with the news sources either denying the White House’s arguments or issuing apologies for their error.  A vanishing story, however, has been a first.  And now the truth has come out.  The White House told the news agencies that it’s not fair to report on the kids:

The White House has admitted to telling news agencies to pull stories on Malia Obama visiting the Mexico for spring break, Politico reports.

Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, emailed Dylan Byers:

From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.

There are a couple of problems, however, with the White House’s reasoning and the media’s craven collapse.  First, as I noted in my opening paragraph, it is newsworthy that the White House has opted to impose on taxpayers the very real and high costs of sending the First Daughter to a nation that’s on the State Department’s own warning list (although the region in which Melia is now traveling is not specifically named in that list).

Second, the Obamas routinely trot out the kids to score political points.  The most recent example was the way President Obama used his daughters to justify calling Sandra Fluke to sympathize with her when Rush Limbaugh suggested that spending thousands of dollars on sex aids, and then expecting others to pay for them, suggested that Fluke is not a lady, in the old-fashioned sense of the word.  Bristol Palin sums it up nicely:

You don’t know my telephone number, but I hope your staff is busy trying to find it. Ever since you called Sandra Fluke after Rush Limbaugh called her a slut, I figured I might be next.  You explained to reporters you called her because you were thinking of your two daughters, Malia and Sasha.  After all, you didn’t want them to think it was okay for men to treat them that way:

“One of the things I want them to do as they get older is engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on,” you said.  “I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.”

Most political observers also thought it wasn’t a coincidence that Barack’s and Michelle’s 2011 Christmas card — the last one they’ll be sending out before the election — prominently features their two daughters.  This was a campaign photo and it made the daughters a prop.

I don’t mind that Obama is using his daughters politically.  Politicians do that all the time, and it’s no use pretending that the Obamas don’t have two daughters out there who make perfect photographic and rhetorical props.  What I do mind is that the White House gets to eat its cake and have it.  It announces to the press “We get to use the Obama girls when it’s good for us, but you don’t get to use the Obama girls when it’s bad for us.”  And the press, meekly, goes away.

Rather than collapsing spinelessly, the press, collectively, should have said, “Sorry, but this story is already out there, so you’ll have to deal with the security consequences of sending your daughter off to a dangerous country.  As for future stories, we won’t report on your daughters if you’ll stop using them to score political points.  As long as you keep them in the public eye, however, they’re fair game for honest reporting about their activities.”

I guess, though, that my dream of an upright and honest media is as much a fantasy as that melting Wicked Witch of the West.

UPDATE:  Welcome, Instapundit readers!  The pleasure is all mine.

UPDATE II:  Welcome readers from Michael Savage.com.  I’m delighted to have you visit.

White House takes down petition asking it to stop pretending that Catholic institutions aren’t being forced to pay for ideologically offensive products

This morning, I linked to a very clever post that Bad Catholic put up, chastising the Obama administration for doing a sleight-of-hand, completely fake “compromise” regarding its demand that religious organizations fund birth control, sterilization and abortifacients.  At the end of the post, Bad Catholic invites readers to sign a petition urging the administration not to make an ass of itself with regard to the issue.   If one clicks on that link, one finds oneself on a page that is part of the White House’s own citizen petition website, which it patriotically calls “We the People.”  That is, the White House invites citizens to create and circulate online petitions using the White House’s on server and website as the host:

Welcome to We the People on WhiteHouse.gov. This tool provides you with a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

Well, that’s exactly what Bad Catholic did:  he petitioned “the Obama Administration to take action on [an] . . . important issue[] facing our country” — namely, the issue of religious freedom.  Incidentally, unlike those on the Left, we conservatives define religious freedom, in accordance with the Founder’s understanding and the explicit Constitutional language, to mean that the federal government may not use its coercive powers to interfere with religious doctrine or practice.

The petition which, unfortunately I didn’t copy, was very funny.  The worst word in it was “ass” as in the remonstrance that the federal government “cease being an ass.”  In simple, amusing, non-violent, non-threatening, non-intimidating language, Bad Catholic stated that the so-called “compromise” did not fool Catholics or other pro-Life individuals and organizations, since it still requires all employers to fund insurance that pays for birth control, sterilization, and abortifacients.  Bad Catholic then politely asked that the White House withdraw this mandate.

Well, the White House did withdraw something:

 

Yes, the White House, rather than withdrawing the mandate, withdrew the petition.  Nor did I inadvertently link to the wrong page.  As you can see from my helpfully placed red arrow, I linked over to the correct petition, since the tab and the URL both still refer to a petition entitled “Keep Calm and Cease Being an Ass Towards the Catholic Church.”

That’s Obama democracy in action.  Now we know what happens when we ” petition the Obama Administration to take action on . . . important issues facing our country.”  The White House deliberately deletes and ignores us.

Just to give you a little perspective on this, I feel it’s worthwhile reminding you that, in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith’s job was to engage in historical revisionism.  In other words, Winston erased history, ensuring that the present always comported with the government’s current political needs and posture.

Totalitarian revolutions always end up eating their own *UPDATED*

One of the hallmarks of the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Nazi Revolution (because, although the ballot was used in 1932, it was a revolution), the Hussein Iraq takeover (which was also a form of revolution), and other totalitarian takeovers is that the paranoid leadership style inherent in totalitarianism invariably means that the revolution starts to eat its own.  At a certain point, the person or cabal that scrabbles to power starts fearing the people who created that leadership position, and sets out to destroy them.

Sadie alerted me to the fact that the Obama Administration, which has worked a sea change in government, is beginning to turn against the journalists that put it there.  The story I’m thinking of today is that of Carla Marinucci, a San Francisco Chronicle political reporter.  Both she and the newspaper have been in Obama’s corner from the beginning, and are consistently hostile to (and often, at least through omission) dishonest about Obama’s opponents, both at high political levels and at the grass roots level.

Mere sycophancy, however, isn’t good enough for the new regime.  Keeping in mind the dictum that “I made you and I can break you,” the regime is doing a bit of purging:

The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.

White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.

The Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci – who, like many contemporary reporters, has a phone with video capabilities on her at all times – pulled out a small video camera last week and shot some protesters interrupting an Obama fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel.

She was part of a “print pool” – a limited number of journalists at an event who represent their bigger hoard colleagues – which White House press officials still refer to quaintly as “pen and pad” reporting.

But that’s a pretty Flintstones concept of journalism for an administration that presents itself as the Jetsons. Video is every bit a part of any journalist’s tool kit these days as a functioning pen that doesn’t leak through your pocket.

[snip]

The President and his staffers deftly used social media like Twitter and Facebook in his election campaign and continue to extol the virtues and value. Except, apparently, when it comes to the press.

So what’s up with the White House? We can’t say because neither Press Secretary Jay Carney nor anyone from his staff would speak on the record.

Other sources confirmed that Carla was vanquished, including Chronicle editor Ward Bushee, who said he was “informed that Carla was removed as a pool reporter.” Which shouldn’t be a secret in any case because it’s a fact that affects the newsgathering of our largest regional paper (and sfgate)and how local citizens get their information.

What’s worse: more than a few journalists familiar with this story are aware of some implied threats from the White House of additional and wider punishment if Carla’s spanking became public. Really? That’s a heavy hand usually reserved for places other than the land of the free.

The folks at the Chronicle are very surprised.  I’m not.  I saw this coming a long time ago and suspect (although I’m too lazy to check right now) that I blogged on precisely this same point at some time in the past.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

UPDATE:  Check out Ed Driscoll’s much more complete post on the subject.

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land,
available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon or Smashwords.

Press Secretary Gibbs perfectly exemplifies nanny state thinking

At first, when I watched White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, I thought he was a buffoon. I then began to think that his gibberish was a rather clever approach to hiding unpalatable news.

I’ve now realized that Gibbs is, above all, the perfect symbol of the Nanny State:  he believes that he and his fellow Obama are wise adults, and that all others in the world are children.

“Duh,” I hear you say.  “That’s the nature of Leftism, which is that it believes a wise and powerful government will care for the immature citizen children in its charge.”  True.  But usually the Leftists reserve this attitude for laws that sap individual initiative and freedom.  To our faces, they preserve a simulacrum of respect.  Gibbs is different,because he is so cocky that he has dropped the mask of respect, and actually treats citizens like children to their faces.  I’m aware of three times when Gibbs has done this, although there may well be more.

The first incident concerned cell phones.  A cell phone went off during his press conference.  Gibbs, instead of treating the reporters like adults, and reminding them to turn off their phones, confiscated the phone.  That’s what we do with children and chewing gum, not with adults.  The reporters, predictably, acted like children, with the exception of Jake Tapper, who looked alternately bored and appalled:


Gibbs’ next adventure in infantilizing those around him occurred when he reprimanded a black, female reporter, who was pushing for more information on the White House gate crashers.  Unable to give decent responses to actual questions, Gibbs went on the attack, and expressly compared the reporter to a child:

APRIL RYAN: Was there a concern in this White House that she came out being, some might have called her the ‘belle of the ball,’ overshadowing the first lady at the…

ROBERT GIBBS: I don’t who some are. I’ve never heard that. Again…

RYAN: Well, it’s been bantered around Washington, and it’s been in Democratic circles as well as Republican circles, high-ranking people.

GIBBS: April, I, I, that’s not a station I live in in life.

RYAN: Just answer the question, please.

GIBBS: Are you done speaking so I can?

RYAN: Oh yes, I’m done.

GIBBS: I’ve not heard any of that criticism. I’ve not read any of that criticism. The president, the first lady, and the entire White House staff are grateful for the job that she does. And thinks she has done a terrific and wonderful job pulling off a lot of big and important events here at the White House.

RYAN: Did she invite herself to the state dinner or was she a guest? Did the president invite her or did she put her… No, that’s a real question. Do not fan it off. I’m serious.

GIBBS: I, I, Jonathan-

RYAN: No, no, no. Did she invite herself or did the president ask her? Her name was on that list, and social secretaries are the ones who put the names on the list.

GIBBS: Right. Was she at the dinner? April, April, calm down. Just take a deep breath for one second. Now see? This happens with my son. He does the same thing.

(Here there is an Audible reaction from other reporters as, Ryan mouths, “I’m older than your son.”)

RYAN: Don’t play with me. I’m being serious. Do not blow it off.

GIBBS: I’m not… And I’m giving you a serious answer. Was she at the dinner? Yes. She’s the social secretary.

RYAN: Social secretaries are not guests of the dinner.

GIBBS: She had the primary responsibility for running the dinner. I’m going to get back to weightier topics like 98,000 men and women in Afghanistan.

Here’s the video, so you can watch Gibbs’ condescending attitude in real time:

In the above two incidents, Gibbs reserved his condescension for the press. And perhaps the press deserved that treatment, giving its thoughtless fawning over the Obami since they first appeared on the political scene. If you don’t act like a thinking adult, you don’t get treated like a thinking adult.

But what about the entire American nation? It turns out that Gibbs thinks we’re also pretty dumb in a child-like way:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs scoffed at President Obama’s 47 percent approval rating in the Gallup daily tracking poll, the lowest the firm has recorded at this point in a presidency.

“If I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG, I’d visit my doctor,” Gibbs told reporters in his morning gaggle.

Gibbs said the swing in the poll could be duplicated by a “six-year-old with a crayon” and said he doesn’t put a lot of stake in the daily poll and “never have.”

Gibbs repeatedly reveals himself to be an arrogant man with the utmost disdain for anybody who doesn’t completely agree with him.  Indeed, as he showed to the fawning White House press, he even thinks those who agree with him are pretty damn stupid and need to be controlled.

Gibbs’ attitude is not a coincidence.  That is, it’s not that he’s a perfectly fine Presidential Press Secretary who just happens to have a personal superiority issue.  Instead, he is the living, breathing embodiment of the mind set controlling those at the upper levels of the nanny state.  We, the American citizens, are not intelligent adults who can be charged with the responsibility of guiding our own destiny.  We are, instead, naughty and foolish little children who need to be controlled by those infinitely wiser than we are.

AP catches up with story about WH attempt to exclude Fox from the news cycle — and the nutroots respond accordingly

Twenty-four hours after the fact, the AP finally figured out that, maybe, just maybe, it’s worth reporting that the White House tried to freeze out a news organization that challenges it, and was stopped only because other news organizations realized that, if they let this one pass, they would forever be barred from voicing any hint of criticism of the White House.  While they may not now be able to imagine criticizing their God, they’re not so stupid that they wish to foreclose the possibility.  I’ve already praised them for their wise decision in my earlier post on the subject.  What I wanted to run here were some of the comments I saw at the San Francisco Chronicle, which has published the AP story at its website.

Just as an aside, its interesting that the AP chose to assign this story, not to a political writer, but to their television reporter.  Talk about reluctantly mentioning that your idol has feet of clay.  But anyway, here are some of the comments:

I can’t stand Faux, errr, Fox News, and I do like our president, but the White House better get it together.

In this country, we have freedom of the press and their access to our elected officials is of paramount importance.

***

Fox is a well funded mirror opposite of the Worker’s World. Half-truths, propaganda, and psy-ops. They should get the same “respect” and “certification” that the communist propaganda rags get: none.

***

This is childish behavior… you don’t like me, Fox, so you can’t play with me and my friends! It’s stupid, and only draws needless attention to Fox News.

***

The WH only needs to make itself available to reputable news outlets and not the Republican’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda :Fox.

***

Dude, get with the freedom of speech thing! When it benefits you, you typical dweebs alway cry this and that. Then when people ask a question you don’t like, you want to silence them like passing a law. The city of SF actually presented a law regarding the silencing of opposition from the media, but so much outcry happened even the board of stupidvisors relented. Why are idiots like you so afraid of being asked a pertinent question????

***

The biggest problem I have with Fox News (aside from the relentless stream of hateful invective and hysterical fearmongering) is that they continually present misleading and/or demonstrably false information (otherwise known as lies) as if it were true, wrapped up in the packaging of “news”.
This is highly unethical, it encourages confusion and misunderstanding amongst their audience, and I don’t even think it should be legal, much less profitable.

***

Is Fox News a news organization? Or would it better be called Fox Propaganda?

***

And we know how “fair and balanced” the MSM are:

Campaign donations, 2008
$297,187 was given by people who identified their occupation as “journalist”

$22,076 from 28 people to Republicans.
$275,111 from 312 people to Democrats.

http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?newest=1&type=occ&occ=journalist&search=Search

***

Why back down? Just exclude Faux News. They aren’t journalists, they are far right Republicans.

***

Everybody knows that 99% of Fox News is not news. It’s radical right wing Republican religious nut opinion and propaganda. And, it’s 100% anti-Democrat and anti-Obama. The hacks at Fox are just squawking because somebody finally called them on it. Those nut jobs are the face of the Republican party, and the very reason that only about 20% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans.

What’s so fascinating about those of the above comments that support the White House freeze-out is their absolute disdain for the notion of a free press — meaning free from government interference, control and censorship (and barring a news station from a press event is a form of censorship).  It occurs to none of them that it’s the marketplace of ideas, not the government (and certainly not the White House) that decides what’s news and what’s not.  Like the White House, they fear Fox and they want to destroy it.

I have to admit that I never watch the news on TV (I never get the chance), but I’m inclined to do so now, if only to make a point.  Or better, because watching TV at home is a very silent point, perhaps I’ll go over to the Fox website and click on every single ad, to show that Fox gets the business.

Faith and politics

I was not thrilled by Bush’s Office on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, since I don’t want the White House involved in faith, but I recognized it as a pragmatic means to increasing the effectiveness of existing religious charities.  I also wasn’t too concerned because I did not see it as a government effort to co-opt religion.

I’m much less sanguine about Obama’s getting his hands on and revamping the whole office.  This is a man who sees religion, not as a relationship with God, but as a means to a political end.  Also, to the extent he’s an Ailinsky-ite, whose focus is on the religion of community organizing, I worry about his using his office to subordinate religion to his political goals — which is, of course, exactly what the Founders hoped to prevent.  The details leaking out already show Obama’s attempt to rejigger religion to bring it in line with government:

“The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another — or even religious groups over secular groups,” Obama said. “It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state.”

The most contentious issue surrounding the updated office, potential restrictions on the hiring practices of religious groups that receive taxpayer dollars, will undergo a thorough legal review before Obama makes a decision on hiring guidelines.

The order would also direct White House officials and lawyers to work with the Justice Department to develop a hiring policy, according to a religious leader with knowledge of the plans. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the details have not been released.

The deliberate approach is unlikely to please either conservative religious leaders, who worry they’ll need to compromise their religious beliefs to participate, or liberal religious and secular leaders, who want to quickly undo Bush administration hiring practices.

Obama also misspoke about Islam, although no more than Bush repeatedly did when he tried to jam down our throats the false doctrine the Islam is a religion of peace.  The latter is true, of course, only in the Roman sense of making a desert and calling it peace.  In other words, under Islam, jihad (Holy War) precedes “peace.”  When everyone is dead or enslaved, you’ve got your religious peace.  So I guess it wasn’t any more ludicrous when Obama said

“there is no religion whose central tenet is hate” and all religions teach people to love and care for one another. That is the common ground underlying his faith-based office, he said.

To anyone with the slightest information about religion, the above is manifestly untrue.  The Old Testament was extremely hostile to other religions, a hostility that has vanished with time (and the death of those targeted religions).  Modern Jews are not trained to hate or desire the deaths of people in other faiths.

However, when it comes to islam, a central, vital, and very much practiced tenet of that religion is the death of the Jews.  It’s a commandment from the Prophet and an article of faith that Jews must be killed.  Sounds like hate to me.  Further, given the fact that Islam demands the death of those who convert from Islam to another faith, you seem to have another hate-based tenet.

I understand that the American president has to be inclusive in his speech, but if all you can say to be inclusive is something that’s both stupid and untrue, isn’t it better to keep your mouth shut?