It wouldn't be Joseph Farah if he wasn't playing the victim and engaging in baseless conspiracy-mongering, and that's what Farah does in his Oct. 11 column:
Here we go again.
I've been through this nightmare before.
Any day now, you can expect to begin hearing that dozens of groups and individuals critical of Barack Obama and his policies have been subjected to Internal Revenue Service audits.
That's the way it happened during the last Democratic presidential administration. And this one is, if anything, more desperate, more ruthless and more cunning that the one run by Bill Clinton.
The evidence for my prediction is this: Administration officials, political appointees, are already accessing confidential tax information on Obama's critics.
In a late August conference call with reporters, Austan Goolsbee, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, let it slip that he knew more than he should about the tax structure of Koch Industries, one of the primary funders of tea-party activity, including Dick Armey's FreedomWorks.
As a result, the treasury inspector general for tax administration plans to review what Goolsbee knew and how he knew it.
With a Republican midterm election landslide in the making, Democratic lawmakers are already demanding the IRS crack down on those paying for ads attacking them.
This is the way it starts.
I know because I've been there.
Farah has let his darkly vivid imagination run away with him yet again. In fact, Goolsbee did not "know more than he should about the tax structure of Koch Industries"; as Politico notes, all the information about Koch's tax structure was taken from publicly available sources, including Koch's own website.
Nevertheless, this gives Farah an opportunity to play his victim card and whine yet again how his Western Journalism Center was the subject of an IRS audit in the 1990s, just like "Every group and individual that made it onto Bill Clinton's radar screen by being critical of his administration." To do so, of course, Farah has to ignore the fact that, as we noted, a joint congressional committee in 2000 found no credible evidence that the IRS was biased against anti-Clinton groups.
Farah then asserted: "Obama is a true disciple of Saul Alinsky, and he won't hesitate to use quasi-legal and extra-legal means to go after his enemies. Apparently he's already begun putting together the enemies list."
Farah really wishes there was an Obama enemies list, and that he was on it -- that way he could sell more birther crap.
MRC Offended That NY Times Published Criticism of Geller Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 11 MRC TimesWatch post by Clay Waters critiques the New York Times' profile of anti-Islam blogger (and former Newsmax columnist) Pam Geller by complaining that the article quoted a former Geller ally, Little Green Footballs blogger Charles Johnson.
After noting Johnson's statement in the article that Geller is "enabling a real bigotry" through her venomous screeds, Waters writes: "Times Watch isn’t sure the point of the above, given that blogger Charles Johnson has washed his hands of the right and has no allies or credibility among conservatives."
Why does it matter what other conservatives think of Johnson? Is his opinion any less valid now that he's no longer as extreme as Geller? Waters doesn't explain.
Waters concluded by touting how Geller issued a "typically take-no-prisoners response" to the Times article on her blog.
And the MRC proves once again that it has exempted itself from its own "Tell the Truth!" campaign.
Janet Porter's Back, And More Hateful Than Ever Topic: WorldNetDaily
A while back, we were wondering what happened to Janet Porter, who had stopped writing her WorldNetDaily column and suspended other activities as well. Well, Porter has returned to her WND column, and she has not mellowed in the least. She brings the vicious Obama smears in her Oct. 12 column:
It just dawned on me: The Obama mob wasn't cheering when the Berlin wall came down – they were actually rooting for communism! Yes, they must have been devastated when freedom beat communism because Obama and his junior tyrants have been building a wall of communism to match their beloved East German model since they took office.
The good news is this is still America – and on Nov. 2, America is going to tear down that wall.
Welcome back, Janet -- we missed your unhinged Obama-hate.
Caruba: Obama's Not Hitler, But ... Topic: Accuracy in Media
In his Oct. 11 Accuracy in Media column, Alan Caruba plays the game of likening the Obama administration to the Nazis while denying he's doing any such thing:
Time and again in these troubled and troubling times people make reference to Germany in the 1930s, the rise of the Third Reich, and to Hitler as they express their fears regarding the Obama administration.
It is an interesting comparison if only because it reveals a sense that an authoritarian government is poised to impose its dictates. This is highly unlikely if only because the forthcoming midterm elections give every indication of overturning any such ambitions by the present administration.
It is, for example, bleeding its top economic advisors, the former chief of staff to the President, the sudden resignation of the president’s national security advisor, and, most tellingly, virtually every Democrat running for office is running away from Obama’s legislative agenda.
Obama is hardly a Hitler and the Democrats are hardly Nazis. It’s a bad comparison.
I think what is at the heart of the comparison is the way, in just under two years, Americans witnessed the government takeover of the healthcare sector, one sixth of the economy, the takeover of General Motors and Chrysler to the benefit of the United Auto Workers and the loss of their creditors and bondholders, and a so-called stimulus package that by most accounts has wasted billions.
The general anxiety is bolstered by the stagnation of the job market and a widespread belief that Obama, Pelosi and Reid, along with the Democrats in Congress, have taken the nation in the wrong direction. Those familiar with history see the kind of conditions that existed in Germany in the 1930s that were the background for the rise of the Hitler and the Nazi Party. Hitler, however, was not massively abandoned by his supporters as Obama as been.
It took twelve years of Nazi rule and the reduction of Berlin to rubble for the usurpation of power to end on May 9, 1945. Compare that, then, with the Obama administration that began on January 20, 2009 followed by a swift loss of public support because of, not despite, its thuggish political effort to reshape the American model into a European socialist one.
Americans are just weeks away from “taking back” their nation from a man who hid or denied his real life from the voters to get elected on the basis of his oratorical skills and the stage managing of mass gatherings that were curiously reminiscent of Nazi rallies.
You gotta love how Caruba so blatantly contradicts himself. He's too consumed with Obama-hate to take much care in keeping up the pretense.
MRC Misleads on Unemployment Numbers Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 8 MRC Business & Media Institute article by Julia Seymour promoted how the latest government numbers show "a loss of 95,000 jobs in September, and an additional 15,000 losses in July and August and an unemployment rate still at 9.6 percent." But Seymour obscures the facts behind those numbers.
While Seymour noted that 64,000 private sector jobs were added in September, she didn't mention one number that you'd think would please the anti-government types at the MRC: As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, government jobs were reduced by 159,000, half of those temporary Census workers.
Are Seymour and her BMI overlords suddenly big fans of government employment now that it can be used as a cudgel against a Democratic president? It appears so.
Seymour also reported that according to Gallup, "the unemployment rate is actually much higher at 10.1 percent." Near as we can tell, this is the first time BMI has embraced the Gallup number.
Why? Because as Media Matters details, for most of the summer, Gallup's unemployment rate was actually lower than the government number -- as low as 8.9 pecent at the beginning of August. Reporting that would have interfered with BMI's anti-Obama narrative.
A Noel Sheppard Smackdown That Wasn't Topic: NewsBusters
Among the many, many invocations of purported "smackdowns" detailed by NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard over the past month, the most recent was an Oct. 10 post headlined "George Will Smacks Down Paul Krugman With Simple Reaganomics." In it, Sheppard gloated over how "Will smacked a monster drive down the middle of the fairway that would make Tiger Woods proud" in responding to Krugman's assertion that claims that no further stimulus is needed "which bears no relationship to what's actually happening" by asserting that "when the Reagan tax cuts kicked in, we had a booming job creation which, relative to the size of this economy, would translate to 7 million new jobs."
When Krugman responded to that by saying, "that boom in federal spending never happened. Once you take out the stuff -- the special emergency spending, it just never happened. And, you know, Reagan had the help of a huge cut in interest rates," Sheppard himself went off:
The ignorance and/or dishonesty on display here was astonishing. To claim there has been no boom in federal spending in the past two years requires what Hillary Clinton would call a willing suspension of disbelief.
George W. Bush's fiscal ’09 budget originally called for outlays of $3.1 trillion. This indeed ballooned to $3.52 trillion.
However, if such an increase was just “special emergency spending” as Krugman claimed, we should have seen a decrease in expenditures after the financial crisis ended.
As for Reagan having “the help of a huge cut in interest rates,” Krugman just moments before said, “Interest rates are at near record lows in all of the G-7 countries.”
Indeed. The current federal funds rate is basically zero, and is therefore far lower than when Reagan was president making it quite fascinating to see a Nobel Prize winner in economics contradict himself in roughly sixty seconds.
Sheppard manages to misfire on both of his attacks. As to the first, Krugman clarified himself in a column the next day:
Here’s the narrative you hear everywhere: President Obama has presided over a huge expansion of government, but unemployment has remained high. And this proves that government spending can’t create jobs.
Here’s what you need to know: The whole story is a myth. There never was a big expansion of government spending. In fact, that has been the key problem with economic policy in the Obama years: we never had the kind of fiscal expansion that might have created the millions of jobs we need.
Ask yourself: What major new federal programs have started up since Mr. Obama took office? Health care reform, for the most part, hasn’t kicked in yet, so that can’t be it. So are there giant infrastructure projects under way? No. Are there huge new benefits for low-income workers or the poor? No. Where’s all that spending we keep hearing about? It never happened.
Of the roughly $600 billion cost of the Recovery Act in 2009 and 2010, more than 40 percent came from tax cuts, while another large chunk consisted of aid to state and local governments. Only the remainder involved direct federal spending.
So, contrary to what Sheppard claimed, Krugman was not denying that increased federal spending occured; he was trying to point out that it resulted in a larger federal government.
As for Sheppard's other attack: Media Matters states that economists generally attribute the "Reagan recovery" to the lowering of interest rates from 13 percent to 7 percent. Since interest rates are already near zero, Obama does not have that available to him for a stimulus tool, as Reagan did.
it seems that the smackdowner has become the smackdowned.
AFA's News Operation A Hellish Place to Work Topic: The ConWeb
We generally don't monitor OneNewsNow, the American Family Association's "news" operation, because it makes no pretense to be a fair news website, as the ConWeb components like Newsmax, CNS, WorldNetDaily, et al., do. Plus, there isn't enough time in the day to take down all the bias and falsehoods there.
It turns out things there are worse than even we imagined. Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches has an article detailing the hellish work envionment at the AFA that also confirms everything we presumed about OneNewsNow:
The AFA's radio and news division, in particular, said Martin, had become a place where authority could not be questioned, and where the "news" was nothing more than a mouthpiece for conservative "sources" whose views were portrayed as fact. (The Values Voter Summit award citation to Wildmon described One News Now as a "respected online news service.")
And those views were extreme, even by Martin’s standards of conservative evangelicalism. He said that the director of the news service, Fred Jackson, had a "hateful, hateful attitude" that "carried over" into stories. Martin described editorial meetings in which "liberals were accused of hating their kids," while Chad Groening, who covers immigration, described gay people as "degenerates" and "reprobates."
In the newsroom, said [former AFA news reporter Allie] Martin, "I saw the tone of stories develop in a way I thought was disturbing."
"They get people as news sources to say what they want to say but can't say," he added.
After Obama got elected, said Martin, "this went up to a whole new level, we have to vilify this man."
Questioning Authority="Attitude Problems"
In 2008, Jackson sent Martin an email with the subject line "attitude problems," citing scripture he said governed "a worker's attitude toward their [sic] superiors." The verses he cited included Ephesians 6:5-8 ("Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, singleness of your heart, as unto Christ") and Colossians 3:22-25 ("Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.") He closed the email with a "final warning" that "any further breaches in this area will be turned over to Brother Don."
Among the topics about which Martin had raised concerns was the news room's approach to immigration. Martin said that Groening has, for example, called undocumented immigrants "stupid," "scumbag lawbreakers" and "freeloaders." Groening believed that illegal immigration would "destroy" the country, and that "we have the best way of life, and if our borders aren't secured, this country would be destroyed."
Martin also noted that Groening had referred to Muslims as "raghead scumbag terrorists" and referred to Allah as "Satan."
According to him, Groening received a subscription to American Renaissance magazine at the office. American Renaissance is published by white nationalist Jared Taylor, and, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the magazine and website "regularly feature proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black racists." Taylor's New Century Foundation, which runs the magazine, "also sponsors American Renaissance conferences every other year where racist 'intellectuals' rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists."
WND Still Peddling Bias, Falsehoods About 'Nutrition Ministry' Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's reporting on the battle between the Federal Trade Commission and the so-called "nutrition ministry" Daniel Chapter has apparently passed from the heavilybiased Bob Unruh to Brian Fitzpatrick, but the reporting isn't getting any better.
An Oct. 9 WND article by Fitzpatrick screamed that "Two federal agencies, backed up by state and local police, have swooped down on a peaceful Portsmouth, R.I., ministry like Eliot Ness busting up one of Al Capone's Prohibition-era breweries." Fitzpatrick interviews only Daniel Chapter One representatives and makes no apparent attempt to verify the information they gave him; there's no indication in the article that Fitzpatrick even bothered to contact any federal officials for their side of the story.
Thus, Fitzpatrick shovels out horsepuckey like this:
The FTC alleges that Daniel Chapter One falsely claims its products can cure cancer.
"We never said that," said Tricia Feijo. "They took a few words from one paragraph, some words from another paragraph, put them together, and said we implied we could cure cancer … their biggest complaint was testimonies of people saying they were healed of cancer."
If Fitzpatrick had bothered to read the FTC's administrative complaint against Daniel Chapter One -- again, there's no indication he did even that level of rudimentary research or his article -- he would have know that the FTC specifically laid out several instances in which Daniel Chapter One did just that. It claimed one product "inhibits angiogenesis -- the formation of new blood vessels" which "can stop tumor growth," that another product "battles cancer," and that yet another product can serve "as an adjunct to cancer therapy."
Rather than providing coherent defense of the idea that products that make such claims should have scientific backing for their claims, Fitzpatrick allowed the owners to blather on about faith and the evils of medicine:
"The position for the FDA is only drugs can treat illness. We believe drugs don't treat anything. Fifteen years on the radio, no one's ever complained, no one's ever been harmed, we haven't been sued, but 106,000 people will die this year from FDA-approved drugs," said Jim Feijo.
"They ordered [us] to tell our customers there is no science behind our products, that only conventional medical treatment has been proven safe and effective in humans. We know from experience that chemotherapy and radiation are not safe," said Jim Feijo.
"We told them we can't comply, because there is scientific evidence in favor of our products. They wanted us to give in to their position of scientism and deny our religion of faith in the Lord Jesus.
"They acknowledged that we are a ministry, but then they denied all our rights as a ministry, all our constitutional rights," Feijo added. "We are a corporate soul, a 508 corporate soul. We have same legal status as the Roman Catholic and Mormon churches.
"We told the IRS during the raid they have no legal right to do what they did because of our 508 status. We're immune to filing papers and so forth because we're a 508 corporate soul. They've gone against their own laws."
Fitzpatrick even botches the name of one of the agencies allegedly involved in the raid, referring to the "Federal Drug Administration." That, presumably, is the Food and Drug Administration.
Fitzpatrick has reporting for WND for a couple months now. Between his shoddy reporting and his obvious right-wing, anti-gay bias -- an old Townhall bio shows he once served on the board of directors of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality and is a former senior editor for the professional prudes at the MRC's Culture & Media Institute -- he's fitting right in at his new employer.
Kessler's Favorite Push-Poller Complains About Supposedly Bogus Polls Topic: Newsmax
Ronald Kessler's Oct. 11 Newsmax column repeats unsubstantiated claims by pollster Gabriel Joseph of ccAdvertising that "pollsters find respondents are reluctant to identify themselves as Democrats" and that any poll sampling registered voters instead of likely voters is "biased" because it oversamples Democrats.
What Kessler doesn't tell you -- which he didn't the last time he featured Joseph in his column -- is that Joseph is a Republican pollster who's notorious for push-polling, which makes his complaints about the veracity of others' polls seem more than a tad disingenuous in comparison. Instead, Kessler benignly describes Joseph as running a company that "conducts polls for a range of candidates, interest groups, and members of Congress."
Kessler had been doing so well last week by properly identifying Brad Blakeman as a conservative whose attacks on Democrats should be dismissed as partisan hackery.
WND Paints Parents As Victim, Glosses Over Abuse Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 8 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh claims that an hours-old baby "was snatched from her parents by authorities in Concord, N.H., after social services workers alleged the father is a member of Oath Keepers." Unruh continues:
The father, Johnathon Irish, told WND that the affidavit signed by Child Protective Service worker Dana Bicford seeking government custody of newborn Cheyenne said the agency "became aware and confirmed that Mr. Irish associated with a militia known as the 'Oath Keepers.'"
Irish, in an interview with WND, said officers and other social services workers ordered him to stand with his hands behind his back, frisked him and then took his daughter from him and his fiancé at Concord Hospital where the baby had been born.
The facts show, however, that this isn't exactly the case. The Manchester Union Leader reports that there's much more to this story:
In court paperwork, the state alleges the health and safety of the infant, named Cheyenne, was in "imminent danger" if she was left with her parents because of "a lengthy history of domestic violence" between them.
DCYF asked for the case to be moved from family court in Concord to the family court in Dover, citing that court's familiarity with the family involved. Their battle with DCYF dates back to January of last year, Taylor said, when the state welfare agency took her other two children, boys who are now 2 and 3, for alleged abuse and neglect.
The boys currently live with a foster family, and Irish said he was told baby Cheyenne will go to live with the same family for now.
DCYF is legally prohibited from discussing child welfare cases. A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said it can't even confirm a child was taken into custody at Concord Hospital.
But Concord police Lt. Keith Mitchell confirmed officers from his department were asked by both DCYF and Concord Hospital security to "stand by" during a "custody issue" on Thursday and again yesterday.
"We were there just to keep the peace, to make sure there were no issues between the parties involved," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said there are no criminal charges pending in the case from his department.
[Mother Stephanie] Taylor said she is seeking a divorce from her sons' father, who lives in Seabrook. But because she is still married to him, DCYF considers her husband to be the "legal father" of baby Cheyenne, according to the affidavit.
In its affidavit, DCYF cites "significant mental health and safety concerns" involving "all parents" that remain unaddressed. It also states that a termination of parental rights hearing was held on Sept. 14 in Rochester Family Court involving Taylor's other two children; a decision is pending.
DCYF says Taylor "has failed to recognize the impact of domestic violence in her life and the potential danger it poses to a newborn baby."
And it states that Irish "has not acknowledged any responsibility to date and remains a significant safety risk to an infant in his care."
The agency concluded that "the infant's health and safety is in imminent danger if left in the care of" either Taylor or Irish.
The Union Leader also notes that the DCYF also noted Irish's purchase of "several different types of weapons including a rifle, handgun and Taser."
Unruh doesn't mention Irish's cache of weapons, let alone explain why he feels the need to have a Taser. Unruh also doesn't mention the name of the infant's mother.
Most disturbingly, Unruh plays down the abuse allegations, uncritically repeating Irish's claim that it presumably "pertained to an incident weeks earlier in which one of his fiance's older sons allegedly was struck by a babysitter."
WND has a sad history of burying the background of abusive parents who serve as symbols of WND's far-right agenda. As we've detailed, WND -- based on reporting by Unruh -- promoted a family as role models for homeschooling while burying the family's history of a controlling and abusive father (who wouldn't even allow his children to have birth certificates), a meek and acquiescent mother, sexual abuse by a family friend, deplorable living conditions, and a substandard homeschool education.
A follow-up Oct. 11 article by Unruh concedes in the first paragraph that this is an "abuse case" -- but then never mentions it again, trying to change the subject by making the Oath Keepers mention the issue, not the abuse. Unruh does note Irish's weapons cache this time but offers no explanation of why Irish needs a Taser.
Unruh also quotes the local Oath Keepers guy as calling for a "peaceful gathering in support of both the due process rights of the parents," but he doesn't mention that the day after the baby was taken, the FBI reported threats against the hospital where the baby was born.
Face it: Condoning child abuse is just something WorldNetDaily does. Is that because many of its staffers, Unruh included, homeschool their children?
Newsmax has been touting Sarah Palin's appearance in an Obama-bashing video series for a couple weeks now, and now that the appointed day is almost here, the hype machine has been cranked up.
An Oct. 7 article touted Palin's appearance at Newsmax's offices for the taping of her segment, with more than a bit of sycophancy on both ends:
The charismatic Palin toured the Newsmax headquarters, taking time to shake hands and visit with Newsmax employees. Staffers were impressed that she wanted to know the name of each person she greeted. She also acknowledged personal touches, commenting, “Look at all those kids,” as she surveyed the collection of family photos on one worker’s desk.
Palin also appreciated Newsmax staffers' shout-outs of encouragement for one of her own kids: Bristol, in her quest to the win the "Dancing with the Stars" competition on ABC-TV. Palin, who calls her daughter "Bristol the Pistol," said the contest is providing a "sweet diversion."
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy meets with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in his office. Stopping for a TV interview outside the Newsmax building, Palin said, “It’s great to be here at Newsmax, I’m a big fan of this publication. But Florida — beautiful, wonderful, politics so interesting in this part of the country. You know, it’s never boring to tune in and find out what’s going on in Florida.”
It's no secret that Palin is an avid Newsmax reader. In November, she told Fox News host Sean Hannity that Newsmax is one of her primary sources for online news. On Wednesday, she again praised Newsmax and said she has the site bookmarked as one of her favorites.
This generated a similarly sycophantic article from U.S. & World Report's Paul Bedard, who portrayed the visit as "the latest and clearest example of her plans" to run for president in 2012.
Newsmax followed up with an even more sycophantic teaser of what Palin said in her webcast (which airs later today):
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in an exclusive interview airing at 1 p.m. Tuesday on Newsmax.com, discusses her staunch opposition to President Barack Obama's healthcare plans and socialistic policies, and reveals new details about a possible presidential run in 2012.
She also warns that allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons may "lead to Armageddon" — a scenario that could lead to the deaths of millions in a Third World War.
Palin's comments came as Newsmax launched a special series of online webcasts entitled "Make America Great Again" — a title taken from Ronald Reagan’s campaign slogan when he was elected president in 1980.
Though the Newsmax interview has yet to be released, some of Palin’s revelations during the discussion already have made major headlines in the national media.
U.S. News & World Report reported that Palin’s visit to Newsmax last week for the show’s taping was the clearest sign yet that she is seriously contemplating a presidential bid for 2012. Newsmax is the most-read website for conservatives in the nation, U.S. News noted.
Sycophancy, ho! The actual interview, we suspect, couldn't possibly be as exciting as Newsmax has made it, regardless of its desire to make money off Palin's name.
UPDATE: We've watched Palin's webcast, and it pretty closely echoes attacks on Obama by her fellow right-wingers. Our account is posted at Media Matters.
Meanwhile ... Topic: Horowitz
Media Matters, as part of its examination of Byron Williams, who got into a firefight with police as he was headed to shoot up the offices of the Tides Foundation and the ACLU in San Francisco after claiming inspiration from Glenn Beck, has a sidebar on Discover the Networks, the David Horowitz website purporting to be a "Guide to the Political Left." Turns out Williams drew some inspiration from DTN's conspiratorial musings as well.
WND's Klein Misleads About Lessig, Al Jazeera Topic: WorldNetDaily
Another day, another bogus attack by Aaron Klein on another Obama official.
An Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily article by Klein makes the misleading accusation that Obama adviser Lawrence Lessig has "mass marketed" video footage created by Al Jazeera:
In 2001, Lessig founded Creative Commons, a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.
In January 2009, Creative Commons launched a massive repository of broadcast-quality video footage, working with Al Jazeera to make the Arab network's video footage available for free downloading. Lessig's group mass marketed Al Jazeera's footage of Israel's December 2008 war in Gaza targeting Hamas.
Al Jazeera has been widely criticized for disseminating Hamas propaganda, including claims civilians were targeted in Israeli operations.
During the time it worked with Lessig's group, Al Jazeera said its online broadcasts increased by over 500 percent, while views of videos on its YouTube channel increased by more than 150 percent.
Klein appears to be seriously overstating what Lessig did with Al Jazeera. There's no evidence Lessig "mass marketed" Al Jazeera's videos, and Creative Commons does not operate Al Jazeera's video archive. Rather, Al Jazeera operates a video archive from which others can use video under a Creative Commons license, which according to a Creative Commons press release makes that video "available for free to be downloaded, shared, remixed, subtitled and eventually rebroadcasted by users and TV stations across the world with acknowledgement to Al Jazeera." It seems that at most, all Lessig did was help facilitate the license.
Further, as a non-profit group, Creative Commons doesn't really do any "mass marketing" beyond promoting that the video was available under a Creative Commons license.
The Declaration of Independence is America's birth certificate. It is the document that explains why each of us is eligible for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" – because we were created by God in His own image.
Obama doesn't like it. He no more wants Americans reading the Declaration of Independence than he wants them seeing his own birth certificate. He prefers distributing edited versions of both documents.
There is no process for amending the Declaration, as there is with the Constitution. The Declaration is different. It's an oath. It's a creed. It's a vow. It's the basis for who we are as a people. If some prefer to live under tyranny of one sort or another, there are more than enough nations in the world willing to accommodate them.
But there is only one United States of America and one Declaration of Independence.
Who endowed Obama with the right to tamper with it?
Can someone in the White House press corps please ask him that question?
Communism's resurgence under the Obama/Ayers nexus was nothing short of spectacular! The manmade pandemic that had murdered 60 million of its own countrymen, for the crime of disbelief, returned to repeat its murderous tenure through a series of "czars" imported from Russia's authoritarian government to Washington, D.C. Democratic "representatives" looked America in the eye and told us we would have to pass their bills to find out what was in them. And Obama, channeling Ayers, signed them into law. A man with no past – and no future – intent on destroying the present. America's throat had been slit by its sworn protector, its pockets emptied and the body left in the smoke-filled back rooms where deals are done in Chicago.
The stimulus didn't "trickle down." Instead, it went into the pockets of Obama's bankers and backers – where it was sure to re-emerge and grease the palms of congressional Democrats and their media cheerleaders in the midterm elections.
I also just can't help but be amazed that Obama has done nothing personally to help his destitute relatives in Kenya or here. I'm glad that he feels a sense of compassion for them. But doesn't he have the material wealth to aid them himself? Has he done so? Can he show us through that example how transferring wealth results in long-term success? If it doesn't work on a personal basis – family member to family member – why does he expect it to work through the coercive power of government?
I think you know where I'm going: He doesn't expect it to raise the standard of living in those foreign countries. That's not even the point. The point of these programs is to lower the standard of living right here in the U.S. That's his goal.
Far be it from me to rain on the patriotic parade that the media is throwing for this president. Why let the facts distort the delusions the media hold about their savior?
They helped package, polish and promote Mr. Obama, who is a borrow-and-spend liberal, as a visionary politician of hope and change. The media made sure the masses would vote for Mr. Obama when they refused to do even an ounce of investigation into the background of a man we now know to be a big government socialist with some very strange approaches to leadership.
Mr. Obama is not only promising a chicken in every pot for those who take from the federal trough, but he is throwing in the stove and house to cook it in. Now 41.8 million Americans receive food stamps, 58 percent of households receive some form of government assistance and millions collect years of unemployment checks. That dependence must make Mr. Obama and his czars extremely happy.
I hope this media "patriotism" will not run out when everyone finally realizes we need a grown-up with the experience and wisdom to know that less government, lower taxes and less burdens on businesses and individuals are what is needed to save this nation.