Throughout his tenure, there have been several facets in which President Obama has been demonstrably weak on leadership, with the debt debate coming to the forefront in recent months. Now however, lost in that news cycle has been another failure of leadership for the President – his own request to tone down violent rhetoric in this country. For it was mere months ago that Obama stood in front of a crowd in Tucson that had anxiously sought leadership amidst the chaos of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting; a teachable moment that had The Guardiangushing about how the President had delivered “calm amid the toxic rhetoric.”
That moment of calm has long since dissipated. Where once the President had denounced discourse that places “the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do”, we hear Republicans blamed for holding the American people hostage to their economic policies. Where once we were urged to talk “with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds”, we now hear Tea Party members being denounced as terrorists.
Make no mistake, this ratcheting up of terrorism and hostage-taking discourse directly coincides with recent events in Norway. The instant that Oslo terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, was labeled as a ‘right-wing Christian’, liberals finally had their moment to seize upon - not just a chance to label conservatives as extreme ideologues but a chance to label them as violent ideologues. This message has been a coordinated and vicious attack amongst the media, the Democrats, and most assuredly, the President.
Perhaps using a preemptive strike to help combat the May jobs report to be released on Friday, MSNBC has already found an excuse for lost jobs, and an increased unemployment rate – storms, tornadoes and flooding. According to a business report:
“…homes or places of business have been destroyed in this year's wave of storms, tornadoes and flooding. That means thousands of workers in the South and Midwest could be out of work for some time, potentially pushing up the nation's jobless rate and further taxing financially strapped state unemployment funds.”
Yet in 2004, when reporting on an October jobs report in which hiring had increased at the fastest pace in seven months, MSNBC somehow managed to find analysts who said the jump in hiring was due mainly to another form of natural disaster – hurricanes. The business report at that time read:
“Some analysts were skeptical about the latest surge of hiring, pointing out that much of the unusually large jump in October stemmed from cleanup and rebuilding in Florida and other states that were ravaged by four hurricanes…”
That assessment is buoyed by an accompanying CNBC video (seen below) in which Senior Economics Reporter, Steve Liesman, asks President Bush’s economic advisor, Gregory Mankiw, about the ‘Hurricane Effect’ on a jobs report.
A news article written by a reporter at AFP and reproduced at such news sites as Google, Yahoo, NPR, the Dallas Morning News, and others, might qualify as an example of what happens when one allows opinion to seep into reporting. Despite a mission statement involving claims that AFP coverage is balanced, accurate, and includes the other side of the story, this piece makes no secret of where the reporter’s bias lies.
The article features such gems as:
A strong yet hyperbolic opening statement – “President Barack Obama, once a fresh faced prophet of hope…”
Comedy – “Obama will … brandish a record as a genuine reformer…”
Labeling of the President’s opposition – “…a Republican Party dragged right of the crucial political center ground by the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement” – with no labeling of his own liberal policies or base.
Most interesting was the inclusion of this possible 2012 campaign slogan: “Though many of America's problems predated his presidency…”
Here is a short list of American problems since Obama took office:
Excerpts from a new book have revealed that President Obama once laid claim to building ‘a race-neutral administration’. When asked whether race drives decision-making in the White House, the President responded, “You just don’t think about it, you really don’t.” Shortly thereafter, he thought about it, telling guests at a private White House function that race was likely a key component of rising opposition from conservatives – particularly the Tea Party movement – calling it a ‘subterranean agenda’.
Far from being race-neutral, the Obama administration has been race-driven, ushering in an era of unprecedented prejudiced rhetoric and actions. The most recent example of this being Attorney General Eric Holder, a man assigned with representing the people, defending the Justice Department’s weak efforts in the voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party, claiming that the pursuit of justice would be “a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line… for my people.”
Equal Opportunity statements prohibit organizations from discriminating based on such factors as race, religion, and national origin, among other things. But one could submit that Barack Obama and his administration have made a career of governing with those factors specifically driving the decision making process. Could anything less have been expected from a man who spent over two decades listening to the sermons of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a man who once decried a world ‘where white folk’s greed runs a world in need’?
A man is arrested and detained for months without any charges being brought against him. He is being held in deplorable conditions, forced to endure extreme physical and mental distress. He is exposed to the same ‘torture’ tactics that other enemies of the United States have allegedly suffered through.
So why isn’t the Commander-in-Chief taking heat for this travesty of justice?
Because this isn’t the Bush administration.
Firedoglake blogger, David House, has been detailing a recent visit with Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, at a military prison at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia (h/t Weasel Zippers). Of course, House bemoaned the ‘inhumane’ treatment of Manning, describing the toll that months of solitary confinement have taken on his physical and mental well-being.
AFP ran with the story and made it clear that they had no intention of offering a balanced report. In fact, viewing the headline, one would never know that the story came from an extremely liberal website, reading more as fact than a slanted accusation.
For all of the bluster and glory, for all of the pomp and circumstance and yes, for all of the anticipated hope and the promised change, the whirlwind of hype and expectation surrounding the President a mere two years earlier has virtually dissolved, and Barack Obama has set a course that will leave his legacy as no more than a footnote in American Presidential history.
From the same organization that gave us the ‘lives touched’ method for calculating stimulus job creation, the Department of Energy (DOE) has now stumbled upon a whole new way to increase employment.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced that they are investigating ‘an uncontrolled spread of radioactive material’ at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, New York. Elevated radiation levels have been confirmed in the air surrounding the site, as well as the Mohawk River which was deluged with over 600 gallons of radioactive water. The radiation stemmed from an incident in late September when workers attempted to take down a building – building H2 - at the site.
Worse, the DOE failed to notify local officials of the spill, leaving those who rely on their water supply from the Mohawk completely oblivious to the potential health and safety issues.
The Albany Times Union obtained a copy of a report filed by investigators for the DOE, which cited “an atmosphere of fear among the work force not to speak up about issues of concern”. The report reveals the main reason that workers for the Washington Group International (WGI), a private company contracted to clean up the Cold War-era facility, felt pressured to ignore safety issues:
The company was pushing to finish work three months earlier than first planned -- by September 2011 rather than December 2011 -- in order to receive an extra $32 million in federal stimulus funding awarded for the cleanup in April 2009.
This past election cycle, the American people marched to the polls with a clear-cut message for their officials in Washington - stop. Stop the rise of massive government. Stop developing policy behind closed doors, through backroom deals. And stop this anti-American agenda. The results were a ‘shellacking’ for the party in power.
Despite the clarity of voice with which the people spoke on November 2nd, the Democrat response indicates that they did not get the message. Despite troubling job uncertainty, and an extension of the Bush tax cuts on the table, Democrats are pushing what would seemingly be a low-priority issue – immigration legislation.
President Obama recently met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, discussing passage of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors). The Act, which Investor’s Business Daily describes quite simply as ‘an amnesty bill,’ would open a path to citizenship for illegal immigrant students depending on certain criteria. Worse, the Act is being viewed as a ‘down payment’ to more widespread amnesty measures.
CNN has been airing a video clip today of the President and First Lady trying out some folk dance moves on their trip to India. The scene isn’t necessarily newsworthy, nor does it stand out. The President should be commended for at least trying to entertain the children and performers at a Mumbai high school. It was a fun moment. But McClatchy reporters went a little over the top with their personal dance review (clip below the jump).
They have dubbed it "the Obama Indian Tango."
It might be better known as "How Barack's Wife Got the President's Groove Back."
One of the biggest questions facing President Barack Obama in the wake of the Democrats' Election Day "shellacking" was whether he'd still have that "Yes We Can" charisma that energized people around the world. Apparently, in India, the answer is yes.
If only he had pulled out these dance moves prior to the election, perhaps the Democratic base would have been equally as energized.
Forced movie references aside, the gushing review doesn’t end there…
Those are the two most prevalent words uttered or typed on this tragically historic day.
For many, September 11, 2001, was a day that will forever be seared into the minds of those who were witness. On that day, the nation was awoken by a harsh reality that some people want nothing more than to destroy our freedom, our way of life. It was a day that 19 hijackers, four airplanes, two towers, and one deranged ideology brought the threat of terrorism to the forefront in our country.
But a mere nine years after 9/11, has the leadership of this nation, both administrative and media related, already forgotten?
Yesterday, on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11, the President of the United States of America had the tone deaf audacity to ignore the concept of time and place, choosing to defend the building of the Ground Zero victory mosque. In his news conference, President Obama said that the proposed New York City mosque has run up against the "extraordinary sensitivities around 9/11." In other words, he hears the sensitivities, he simply does not care.
(Update: Reuters quietly improves statement by eliminating the word 'often'. Thank you Reuters, for being forthright in the error, er, slipping this in, in the hopes that your readers won't notice. We're certain that all of the Tea Party Patriots being wrongfully portrayed as racist appreciate the effort.)
Reuters recently ran a piece that analyzed persistent race issues amidst the Obama presidency, and managed to take a racial swipe at the Tea Party in the process.
As always, the piece diverts attention away from the President and toward conservatives. Any controversy involving the administration is portrayed as a mere distraction for the President in his alleged post-racial presidency. The analysis draws a conclusion that the ‘right-wing noise machine', conservative groups, conservative media, and the Tea Party/NAACP debate are all implicit in creating this racial distraction - and ultimately taking the spotlight off of Obama and his ‘biggest achievements'. (Is consistently usurping the will of the American people an achievement?)
But what stands out in the article (h/t NewsBuster reader Texndoc) is an obvious misstatement of facts. An implication that racist imagery at Tea Party rallies is prevalent, has been presented as truth. Patricia Zengerle, the White House correspondent at Reuters, writes (emphasis mine), "Images such as Obama with a bone through his nose and the White House with a lawn full of watermelons are often displayed at Tea Party rallies."
Reuters and Zengerle were contacted via e-mail several times for clarification on the statement, but the only response thus far has been ...
Memo to media members wishing to invite the Tea Party Founder on your show, or use him as a source for your biased reports: He isn't exactly who you think he is.
Since the NAACP voted to condemn extremist elements in the Tea Party, news networks, sites, and liberal blogs have rushed to include ‘Tea Party Founder', Dale Robertson, in their reports. Problem being, Dale Robertson as Tea Party anything has frequently and thoroughly been, um ... ‘refudiated'.
Despite this, the media has a history of holding Robertson up as a shining example of Tea Party racism. Why? Robertson once demonstrated a level of ignorance that boggles the mind by holding a sign reading "Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = (N-Word)", at a Houston Tea Party Society (TPS) event.
The reality however, is that Robertson has predominantly self-described, if any, links to the Tea Party movement, while legitimate factions of the movement have had to repeatedly distance themselves from the man. Robertson was expelled from the event at which he was holding the aforementioned sign on the very same day. He was formally denounced in a statement released by the Houston TPS. He was called ‘no friend' of the Tea Party at Pajamas Media, and mocked at RedState. He was shown to be for his infamous sign, before he was against it.
So logically, the media has decided to help further the cause of the NAACP by bringing Robertson back out of the shadows. Since word of the the NAACP resolution got out, Robertson's name has appeared at...
Reporting Thursday from Capitol Hill, MSNBC congressional correspondent Luke Russert touted a likely win for Senate Democrats on the Financial Reform Bill, saying it would be a "huge victory."
"Obviously, [President Obama] ran on the slogan 'Change you can believe in,' with health care reform and financial regulatory reform," Russert commented, thus tying the passage of the financial reform bill with success of Obama's message of "change."
Seems the only thing gushing more than the BP oil spill these days is the disaster brewing in Paul McCartney's mouth. In an exclusive interview with The Sun, McCartney takes a major swipe at global warming realists, er, deniers, by stating (emphasis mine):
"Sadly we need disasters like this to show people. Some people don't believe in climate warming - like those who don't believe there was a Holocaust."
Well that's putting things in perspective. I'm not sure global warming has been proven to have caused the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. Missed that report. Regardless, it remains unclear how the theory of global warming is in any way similar to the reality of the Holocaust.
McCartney goes on to defend President Obama from any and all criticism concerning the Gulf disaster, culminating with the revelation that he "really love(s) him."
MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews felt a "thrill" up his leg when Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. Keith Olbermann's leftist bias was great enough to merit a Saturday Night Live parody of his show "Countdown With Keith Olbermann."
And yet both trashed President Obama's Oval Office speech on Tuesday. "Maybe I missed something. I thought it was a great speech if you've been on another planet for the last 57 days," Olbermann remarked. Matthews said that he didn't "sense executive command."
But Joe Scarborough, who has repeatedly thrown his support behind President Obama's handling of the crisis, thought the speech "struck all the right notes," and was in disbelief on his morning show over the media's general distaste for the speech. Scarborough then hosted David Axelrod for an interview that can only be described as a barrage of softballs.
"I just wonder if this is a season, that, no matter what the President's doing, he is going to get hit by both sides right now?" Scarborough asked Axelrod, senior advisor to President Obama.
After wondering on Friday if President Obama should help push energy legislation through Congress, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell continued her cheerleading for a new energy agenda on Monday. On her afternoon show "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Mitchell downplayed the cost of last summer's Cap and Trade bill, and opined that solar energy should be a part of the American energy future.
"Ed Markey's bill–the Markey-Waxman bill–was a year ago, but it is a Cap and Trade bill, as you were pointing out," Mitchell said to guest Ron Brownstein of Atlantic Media. "It doesn't really require us to eat our spinach," she added.
Mitchell introduced the segment by referencing the Oval Office address that President Obama will be delivering Tuesday. "How hard will [President Obama] press BP, and just how far will he go in proposing new energy legislation?" Mitchell asked.
After introducing Brownstein to the segment, Mitchell pitched the question she had asked of New York Magazine columnist John Heilemann on Friday: is now the time for sweeping energy legislation?
A recent blog post from Earl Devaney seeks to dispel several so-called myths involving the Recovery Board, but does little to dispel the notion that those operating the Recovery.gov Web site are woefully inept.
In fact, Devaney's defense for the ‘phantom' congressional districts (clerical errors), the claims that he reports to the Obama administration (they simply listen and adjust their thinking), and the complaint that Recovery.gov itself cost $18 million to overhaul (it might cost up to $18 million), make the operation look amateurish at best.
Couple all of this with stories of overly complicated systems involved in the stimulus application process, and inaccuracies in the reporting of supposed ‘two-time losers' - an error that prompted a statement of apology from the board -, and one can only envision those CareerBuilder monkey commercials from years past.
More troubling is Recovery.gov's insistence on using the phrase ‘jobs created' when tracking stimulus funds - as can be seen here on a report designed to show the viewer the ‘Most Jobs Created by State'. This comes nearly three months after Ed Pound, Spokesman for the Recovery Board, told ABC News that, "...since OMB is not going to use ‘jobs created or jobs saved' anymore, we're not going to use it either."
The reason the Office of Management and Budget was distancing itself from the phrase?
Rochelle Riley of the Detroit Free Press recently penned a column so wrought with falsehoods that it is difficult to navigate the ensuing minefield of absurdity.
But navigate we shall...
Riley sets out with a fully sarcastic, yet hearty, thank you to John Boehner, alleging that his fiery speech to the House had contributed to the Democrat's healthcare victory.
"Boehner and many of his supporters - as well as some extremists the party hasn't decided how to handle - faced off against the American people and lost."
It is difficult to comprehend the unmitigated arrogance of liberals as they repeatedly voice that talking point: The healthcare reform legislation is a victory for the American people.
This simply is not so. As recently as Sunday, Americans were staunchly opposed to Obamacare by a 54-41% margin according to a Rasmussen poll. The veracity of their opposition was also overwhelming, with 45% who strongly oppose the plan, and 26% who strongly favor the plan. If this were an election, we'd be speaking in terms of a landslide. In reality, it is a landslide defeat for the American people. For Obama, Pelosi, and their liberal media cohorts to define going against the will of the governed as a victory for the people, is to essentially spit directly into the collective face of this nation.
The White House continues to throw out random numbers in their quest to convince the public that their behemoth stimulus bill is saving jobs at a massive rate. The confusion has even seeped into the President's biggest support group - the media.
CNN recently announced how the stimulus plan funded nearly 600,000 jobs this past quarter. In their article, which parrots the numbers provided by the administration's Recovery.gov Web site, CNN hints that these figures may actually be low, in that they do not include jobs created 'indirectly' (emphasis mine throughout):
"It does not tally jobs created indirectly through companies buying supplies for stimulus projects, people spending their tax cuts, increased unemployment benefits and the like."
Would adding the number of indirect jobs have provided a boost to the stimulus numbers?
Not quite, according to a source CNN can likely trust - themselves...
Watching the media's inability to find relevant investigative news during the Obama era is like watching a bald-headed fellow named Fudd hunting for ‘wabbit'.
Such is the case of the main stream media's complete and utter ignorance involving the administration recently steering a $25 million no-bid contract to a Democratic campaign contributor.
While Fox News reporter James Rosen did an in-depth investigative report (and follow up) on the deal with Checchi & Company - despite working for what the administration considers a non-news network - the entire media establishment had ignored a significant reneging of campaign promises, right up until that deal was canceled.
Doing his best impersonation of a crystal ball, NewsBuster Tom Blumer correctly foretold the future when he questioned the media response to the story:
"Will the rest of the establishment press risk the tattered remnants of its credibility, follow the White House's suggestion, and ignore the story because it's coming from Fox?"
The left has gotten a lot of "giggles" over the term "teabaggers" in describing Americans who attend the tea parties. For those of you who don't know, teabagging is a perverse sexual term. It is interesting to me that the left not only knew the term, but seemed very comfortable using it. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.
That's right. In a four page report from ABC News titled, "Tens of Thousands Celebrate 20th Anniversary of Berlin Wall's Collapse," Ronald Reagan is not even mentioned. Not once. And from what I have read, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't mention President Reagan, and neither did President Obama in his taped message. I hope I end up being wrong about that, but I kind of doubt that I am.
IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW! (Kansas City Star and Abouhalkah recognize their own ignorance, change title of post and disable old link).
Numerous reasons to oppose the ludicrous Obama health care plan aside, Yael T. Abouhalkah of the Kansas City Star has cut through to the real reason for dissent - Americans are ignorant.
While Abouhalkah will undoubtedly argue that the message was meant to apply merely to the aspect of health care knowledge, he is quite unsuccessful at holding back his overall disdain for the way American's have responded to the plan.
The title of his most recent blog post says it all. In referring to an NBC poll about the health care plan, one in which MSNBC titles Doubts About Obama's Plans, Abouhalkah titles his post - Poll: Ignorance abounds among Americans on health care plan.
The message? If you're not down with the President's plan, then you can only be classified as ignorant.
But what examples of ignorance does the author specifically cite?
In a clear attempt to smear Miss California Carrie Prejean for promoting traditional marriage, a photo hardly as suggestive as many lingerie ads was released on the Internet on May 4. The caption for the picture that appeared on The Dirty.com clearly showed that the intent was to embarrass and discredit Prejean for her view on the issue of same-sex marriage:
"Exclusive: Self-proclaimed bible thumper Miss California, Carrie Prejean, should start pointing the finger at herself for her own indiscretions. TheDirty.com has received exclusive images of the homophobic debutante that would clearly strip her of her Miss California crown. So much for being a good role model for the state of California Carrie. Looks like your Dirty photo shoot makes you a sinner too. I decided."
Celebrity blogger and gay activist Perez Hilton, who precipitated the controversy by questioning Prejean about gay marriage while he was judging last month's Miss USA pageant, also posted the photo on his blog and taunting: "The Lord works in mysterious ways! Opposite marriage advocate Miss California, Carrie Prejean, topless and in some cute pink panties. Is that biblically correct????"
Prejean responded in a statement released to the media on May 4:
"I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos. Recently, photos taken of me as a teenager have been released surreptitiously to a tabloid Web site that openly mocks me for my Christian faith. I am not perfect, and I will never claim to be."