Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) has hired a new-media strategist to help with a vigorous defense launched after heckling the president.
David All, who bills his firm as the first conservative Web 2.0 agency, was retained Thursday afternoon amid the media storm surrounding Wilsonâ€™s â€œYou lie!â€ outburst. Since then, All has been busy writing Twitter updates and reaching out to conservative blogs on Wilson's behalf.
This is part of a broader defense strategy that Wilson is undertaking after facing strong criticism despite apologizing to President Barack Obama for interrupting his speech.
Democrats on Friday announced that they would bring forward a â€œresolution of disapprovalâ€ if Wilson does not apologize to his colleagues on the House floor.
The South Carolina Republicanâ€™s defense is focused on social media, including a taped YouTube video message to supporters, a flurry of Twitter messages, numerous interviews with bloggers and an ad on the Drudge Report.
The presidentâ€™s chief economic adviser warned Friday that the nationâ€™s unemployment rate could stay â€œunacceptably highâ€ for years to come â€” a situation that would seriously complicate Barack Obamaâ€™s ability to convince Americans that heâ€™s beating back the recession.
â€œThe level of unemployment is unacceptably high,â€ National Economic Council Director Larry Summers said Friday. â€œAnd will, by all forecasts, remain unacceptably high for a number of years.â€
Summersâ€™ comments came in a briefing with reporters ahead of Obamaâ€™s speech in New York City on Monday, marking the one-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, an event widely regarded as having created a panic that caused the global economic meltdown.
So Andrew Sullivan gets caught for possession on park service grounds. The penalty is a $125 fine. But because he's Andrew Sullivan, the State quickly decides to drop the charges "in the interest of justice." The interests of justice seem to be that this $125 fine would create a record which would hinder Sullivan's immigration status.
The unequal treatment prompted Judge Robert Collings to write that fantastic memorandum. But Collings only briefly touches on what looks like the most grotesque part of the episode:
Sullivan and his attorney claim that paying the $125 fine would create a record of his being charged with possession of a controlled substance. Collings notes that whether or not Sullivan ever paid the fine, "if asked by immigration authorities, [he] would have to answer truthfully that he had been charged with a crime involving controlled substances." So why would it matter whether or not Sullivan just pays the $125? Because if he doesn't pay it, it makes it easier for him
A Massachusetts legal blog called The Docket carries an odd story: a federal judge wanted to hold Sullivan to account for marijuana possession on a national seashore, which after all is only a misdemeanor and $125 fine, and other people are prosecuted for it all the time in his very court. But the U.S. Attorney's Office insisted on dropping the charges, to keep Sullivan's record clean so his immigration can go through.
Are bloggers getting VIP treatment at the federal level now? The magistrate hearing the case, Robert Collings, certainly thought Sullivan was:
Thought Americans had equal treatment under the law. Oh snap – Andrew Sullivan is NOT even an American citizen.
Deport the bastard
Political commentator, author and writer for The Atlantic magazine Andrew M. Sullivan wonâ€™t have to face charges stemming from a recent pot bust at the Cape Cod National Seashore â€” but a federal judge isnâ€™t happy about it.
U. S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings says in his decision that the case is an example of how sometimes â€œsmall cases raise issues of fundamental importance in our system of justice.â€
While marijuana possession may have been decriminalized, Sullivan, who owns a home in Provincetown, made the mistake of being caught by a park ranger with a controlled substance on National Park Service lands, a federal misdemeanor.
The ranger issued Sullivan a citation, which required him either to appear in U.S. District Court or, in essence, pay a $125 fine.
But the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office sought to dismiss the case.
Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivanâ€™s attorney said it would have resulted in an â€œadverse effectâ€ on an unspecified â€œimmigration statusâ€
Less than a day after Rep. Joe Wilson formally apologized to President Obama over his "you lie" outburst, a campaign aide confirms to CNN the South Carolina Republican has raised "more than $200,000â€³ in the wake of the now-infamous moment.
News of that cash haul comes after Wilson directly asked in a Web video for campaign cash to fend off attacks from political opponents and said he's standing by his opposition to Democratic efforts at health care reform.
"On these issues, I will not be muzzled, I will speak up and speak loudly against this risky plan," Wilson said in a YouTube video released Thursday evening. "The supporters of the government takeover of health care and the liberals who want to give health care to illegals are using my opposition as an excuse to distract from the critical questions being raised about this poorly conceived plan."
The proposals, aimed at ending the impasse over Iran's nuclear ambitions, were submitted to a group of six global powers on Wednesday.
The US State Department said the proposals fell short of satisfying international demands.
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said they contained something to work with.
"Based on a brief review of the Iranian papers my impression is there is something there to use," Mr Lavrov said in Moscow.
"The most important thing is (that) Iran is ready for a comprehensive discussion of the situation, what positive role it can play in Iraq, Afghanistan and the region."
In an interview with the Yale Daily News, former prime minsiter Tony Blair, who is teaching a course at Yale this year, has come out supporting Yale's censorship of historical depictions of Muhammad as well as the Danish cartoons, in a Yale University Press book about the Danish cartoon controversy:
Actually, the book is an original piece of research and by Blair's yardstick, all illustrations could therefore be suppressed. It really is troubling that avoiding controversy trumps the principle of free speech in Tony Blair's mind, and in Yale's policy.
Hereâ€™s my July 22 column on Obamacare for illegal aliens, which spotlights how the S-CHIP expansionâ€™s loosened verification standards open the barn door.
Hereâ€™s my August 17 blog post on how hospitals are buckling under the weight of illegal alien care costs â€” and why itâ€™s time to ration health care for illegal aliens.
Hereâ€™s my August 26 blog post on the Congressional Research Service report that exposed immigration loopholes in the Democrat health care takeover plan.
On September 9, GOP Rep. Joe Wilson called out President Obama on his false assertions that illegal aliens will be denied care under the Democratsâ€™ proposals.
And today? Today, the Democrats squabbled over how to craft language to prevent illegal aliens from taking advantage of a public option program.
Research conducted with 49 voters in Tempe, Arizona by David Binder, who was Obama's campaign focus group guru, suggests to Democrats that the speech was "effective at alleviating concerns of voters and impressing upon them that the President has a strong plan to reform health care," the memo says. "Even among those voters who held neutral or negative opinions of the President, substantial positive movement was shown as the proportion of these participants supporting the President's plan increased by nearly 40% after the speech.
According to Binder, the most highly rated section of the speech was Obama's description of new regulations on the insurance industry.
Special teams of Texas Rangers will be deployed to the Texas-Mexico border to deal with increasing violence because the federal government has failed to address growing problems there, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday.
"It is an expansive effort with the Rangers playing a more high-profile role than they've ever played before," Perry said of the Department of Public Safety's elite investigative unit.
The forces, dubbed "Ranger recon" teams, are the latest effort "to fill the gap that's been left by the federal government's ongoing failure to adequately secure our international border with Mexico," he said.
President Barack Obama this week has been laying the foundation for Senate Democrats to use a controversial budget maneuver to pass healthcare reform.
By offering Republicans olive branches during his address to Congress on Wednesday, Obama has set up a win-win situation. If GOP lawmakers embrace compromise, a healthcare bill would pass Congress easily. But the more likely scenario is that Republicans will continue to oppose Obamaâ€™s plan, and the president later this fall will be able to note he tried to strike a deal with the GOP but could not.