The White House is collecting and storing comments and videos placed on its social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube without notifying or asking the consent of the site users, a failure that appears to run counter to President Obama's promise of a transparent government and his pledge to protect privacy on the Internet.
Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the White House signaled that it would insist on open dealings with Internet users and, in fact, should feel obliged to disclose that it is collecting such information.
President Barack Obama's most recent weekly job approval rating is 52% for the seven-day period ending on Sunday, similar to the 54% reading from the previous week but down significantly from 59% a month ago. His average disapproval rating during the past week is 41%.
Video: Big Brother 11's Jordan & Jeff Receive Their Checks
Senate Democrats are going to have to move forward on healthcare without a single Republican supporter after Sen. Olympia Snowe said Tuesday she could not back the Finance Committeeâ€™s bill.
Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) failed to win any Republican backer despite weeks of intense negotiations behind closed doors to strike a deal.
Snowe (Maine), who was one of three Republicans who backed the $787 billion economic stimulus package, was being lobbied heavily by the White House, and some centrists view her refusal to strike a deal with Baucus as troubling. But concerns about how the plan would be paid for prompted her to back away in the hours before its release.
On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 to strip Acorn, the premier community organizing group on the left, of more than $1.6 million in federal housing money meant to assist low-income people obtain loans and prepare tax forms. This dramatic step followed last Friday's decision by the U.S. Census Bureau to sever its ties with the organization, one of several community groups it was partnering with to conduct the nation's head count.
Both of these actions came after secretly recorded videos involving employees in Acorn's Brooklyn, N.Y., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md. and San Bernardino, Calif. offices were televised on Fox News. The videos were recorded by two independent filmmakers who posed as a prostitute and a pimp and said they were planning to import underage women from El Salvador for the sex trade. They asked for and received advice on getting a housing loan and evading federal taxes.
The Obama administration supports extending three key provisions of the Patriot Act that are due to expire at the end of the year, the Justice Department told Congress in a letter made public Tuesday.
Lawmakers and civil rights groups had been pressing the Democratic administration to say whether it wants to preserve the post-Sept. 11 law's authority to access business records, as well as monitor so-called "lone wolf" terrorists and conduct roving wiretaps.
The provision on business records was long criticized by rights groups as giving the government access to citizens' library records, and a coalition of liberal and conservative groups complained that the Patriot Act gives the government too much authority to snoop into Americans' private lives.
Quote of the day so far comes from Mark Steyn on Bill Bennett's radio show this morning: "dissent is the highest form of racism."
Just as long as Democrats are in the White House. When Republicans are back, the then-again tyrannical Patriot Act will be used to suppress it.
Former President Jimmy Carter yesterday told NBC, "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American."
Wilson, responding to Jimmy Carter this morning on the Washington Times radio show:
Wilson: "That is such a distraction and a diversion from the issues that we should be discussing. That's why I really want to take the request, advice of President Obama, that that's that we should be discussing the issues. And that's what I intend to do and I've always done it that way. It's not the person I'm objecting to, it's the issues.
It's not every day that you hear a Democratic senator charge that a fellow Democrat is proposing to raise taxes on the middle class, but that is what happened on Tuesday when Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., ripped into the health-care bill developed by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mt., the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
The Baucus proposal would impose, starting in 2013, a 35 percent excise tax on insurance companies for "high-cost plans" — defined as those above $8,000 for individuals and $21,000 for family plans.
Health economists believe a tax on high-priced benefits could help slow the growth of health costs by making consumers more sensitive to prices.
The tax contemplated by Baucus is also a big revenue raiser. It is expected to raise $200 billion, money that Baucus is hoping to use to pay for subsidies for the uninsured.
According to reliable sources, Obama administration officials are on their way to Poland and the Czech Republic to deliver very bad news. The administration intends to cancel completely the missile defense sites that had been promised to these governments by the previous administration. This represents a complete capitulation to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who had demanded that the proposed deployments be halted as a price for improved relations. Ironically, the Obama administration, which is appeasing Russia in the hopes that Moscow will help put pressure on Iran, has made this mammoth concession just a few days after Moscow declared that it had no intention of supporting sanctions against Iran.
The consequences of this action in Eastern Europe, especially in Ukraine and in other countries that feel vulnerable to Russian power, will be disastrous. It is a major American retreat in the face of Russian bullying. And we will get absolutely nothing for it.
So, now wait a minute. Iran is developing a nuclear weapon and has advanced missile technology to soon be able to deliver a nuclear warhead.
Thus, because of Obama’s RESET of Russia relations he imperils American cities from nuclear attack or blackmail from Iran?
Looks like a one term President to this observer.
Technorati Tags: Missile Defense, Barack Obama
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Childrenâ€™s Health Fund co-founder and singer/songwriter Paul Simon take part in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009, to raise awareness of the children who will benefit from President Obamaâ€™s proposed health care plan
This is Harry Reid to the national press corps:
I appreciate Chairman Baucus’ hard work over the past several months. His proposal is another important piece to the puzzle and brings us a step closer to having a comprehensive health insurance reform bill on the Senate floor. There will be a healthy and vigorous debate in the Finance Committee as Senators work to strengthen this proposal. I look forward to working with Chairman Baucus and Senator Dodd as well as the White House in the coming weeks to forge a final Senate bill that lowers costs, improves quality, preserves choice and creates competition.
Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement regarding the draft health insurance reform proposal released by the Senate Finance Committee chairman this morning. The proposal in its current form would require Nevada to increase Medicaid spending by more than five percent at a time when the stateâ€™s budget is suffering. Committee Chair, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana committed to Reid that the formula will be changed before the bill is marked up in committee.
â€œWhile this draft bill is a good starting point, it needs improvement before it will work for Nevada. During this time of economic crisis, our state cannot afford to shoulder the second highest increase in Medicaid funding. I spoke to the Chair of the Finance Committee and he assured me that this bill will be improved for Nevada before he takes it to the committee for final mark-up next week. Let me be very clear, I will not bring a health insurance reform bill to the Senate floor that is not good for Nevada.â€
Good ol’ Harry Reid, running for re-election trying to have it BOTH ways.
Technorati Tags: Harry Reid
Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez
Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.
The poll contradicts the claims of not only the White House, but also doctors’ own lobby â€” the powerful American Medical Association â€” both of which suggest the medical profession is behind the proposed overhaul.
It also calls into question whether an overhaul is even doable; 72% of the doctors polled disagree with the administration’s claim that the government can cover 47 million more people with better-quality care at lower cost.
Baby boom aged doctors WILL retire rather than practice under Obamacare. Why bother?
Technorati Tags: Obamacare, polling