Obama Lies On Torture And State Secrets

Obama lied last night repeatedly and often. Obama’s biggest lies regarded his answers to the torture and state secrets questions. If Obama did not lie then he is missing a great deal of information from his education.

Why Obama lied is a mystery because Big Media was content to ask “difficult” questions which bordered on ‘This is a very difficult question because you risk being immodest, but why, oh why, are you so wonderful?’

* * * * *

On torture Obama wrapped himself around a non-existent Winston Churchill [Hint: Winston Churchill tortured]. After misrepresenting Churchill, Obama begged the question of whether torture should be used. Obama wants Americans to believe there is an easy way out on torture. We stated why the torture question is not an easy one in HELP! We’re Being Tortured! We wrote:

Torture works. The current debate on torture has to start off from that simple premise. If torture does not work then we merely have a simple argument about governments and their “intelligence” agencies doing something stupid which they can stop doing without harm to the national interests. But the reason “torture” is torture to figure out is because it does work.

Did our British cousins torture? You betcha!

Kensington Palace Gardens is one of the most exclusive, and expensive, addresses in the world: its stately row of 160-year-old mansions, built on land owned by the crown, is home to ambassadors, billionaires and princes. [snip]

Between July 1940 and September 1948, however, these three magnificent houses were home to one of the country’s most secret military establishments: the London office of the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre, known colloquially as the London Cage.

The London Cage was run by MI19, the section of the War Office responsible for gleaning information from enemy prisoners of war, and few outside this organisation knew exactly what went on beyond the single barbed-wire fence that separated the three houses from the busy streets and grand parks of west London.[snip]

The London Cage was used partly as a torture centre, inside which large numbers of German officers and soldiers were subjected to systematic ill-treatment. In total 3,573 men passed through the Cage, and more than 1,000 were persuaded to give statements about war crimes. The brutality did not end with the war, moreover: a number of German civilians joined the servicemen who were interrogated there up to 1948.[snip]

Among the documents stored at the National Archives at Kew is the manuscript of Scotland’s memoirs. In his first draft he recalled how he would muse, on arriving at the Cage each morning: “‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here.’ For if any German had any information we wanted, it was invariably extracted from him in the long run.” [snip]

An assessment by MI5 pointed out that Scotland had detailed repeated breaches of the Geneva convention, with his admissions that prisoners had been forced to kneel while being beaten about the head; forced to stand to attention for up to 26 hours; threatened with execution; or threatened with “an unnecessary operation”.[snip]

Within the National Archives are documents from two official inquiries into the methods employed at the Cage, one which heard evidence that guards were under orders to knock on some prisoners’ cell doors every 15 minutes, depriving them of sleep, and another which concluded with “the possibility that violence was used” during interrogations.

There is also a long and detailed letter of complaint from one SS captain, Fritz Knoechlein, who describes his treatment after being taken to the Cage in October 1946. Knoechlein alleges that because he was “unable to make the desired confession” he was stripped, given only a pair of pyjama trousers, deprived of sleep for four days and nights, and starved.

The guards kicked him each time he passed, he alleges, while his interrogators boasted that they were “much better” than the “Gestapo in Alexanderplatz”. After being forced to perform rigorous exercises until he collapsed, he says he was compelled to walk in a tight circle for four hours. On complaining to Scotland that he was being kicked even “by ordinary soldiers without a rank”, Knoechlein alleges that he was doused in cold water, pushed down stairs, and beaten with a cudgel. Later, he says, he was forced to stand beside a large gas stove with all its rings lit before being confined in a shower which sprayed extremely cold water from the sides as well as from above. Finally, the SS man says, he and another prisoner were taken into the gardens behind the mansions, where they were forced to run in circles while carrying heavy logs.

The Red Cross knew of “The Cage” but was not allowed to inspect as required by the Geneva Conventions. The wardens of “The Cage” had “secret gear” they did not want the Red Cross to see. The interrogations in other camps was “far worse”. There is testimony that treatment at “The Cage” was worse there than at similar guest facilities run by the Gestapo.

Obama however ran for cover with ahistorical answers on torture which appear to admit that torture works. Here is an extended excerpt from last night’s press conference (the first question is from ABC’s Jake Tapper, the second question is from CBS’ Mark Knoller):

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve said in the past that waterboarding, in your opinion, is torture. Torture is a violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions. Do you believe that the previous administration sanctioned torture?

OBAMA: What I’ve said — and I will repeat — is that waterboarding violates our ideals and our values. I do believe that it is torture. I don’t think that’s just my opinion; that’s the opinion of many who’ve examined the topic. And that’s why I put an end to these practices.

I am absolutely convinced it was the right thing to do, not because there might not have been information that was yielded by these various detainees who were subjected to this treatment, but because we could have gotten this information in other ways, in ways that were consistent with our values, in ways that were consistent with who we are.

I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, “We don’t torture,” when the entire British — all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat.

And then the reason was that Churchill understood, you start taking short-cuts, over time, that corrodes what’s — what’s best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country.

And — and so I strongly believed that the steps that we’ve taken to prevent these kinds of enhanced interrogation techniques will make us stronger over the long term and make us safer over the long term because it will put us in a — in a position where we can still get information.

In some cases, it may be harder, but part of what makes us, I think, still a beacon to the world is that we are willing to hold true to our ideals even when it’s hard, not just when it’s easy.

At the same time, it takes away a critical recruitment tool that Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations have used to try to demonize the United States and justify the killing of civilians.

And it makes us — it puts us in a much stronger position to work with our allies in the kind of international, coordinated intelligence activity that can shut down these networks.

So this is a decision that I’m very comfortable with. And I think the American people over time will recognize that it is better for us to stick to who we are, even when we’re taking on an unscrupulous enemy.

OK?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) sanctioned torture?

OBAMA: I believe that waterboarding was torture. And I think that the — whatever legal rationales were used, it was a mistake.

OBAMA: Mark Knoller?

QUESTION: Thank you, sir. Let me follow up, if I may, on Jake’s question. Did you read the documents recently referred to by former Vice President Cheney and others saying that the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” not only protected the nation but saved lives?

And if part of the United States were under imminent threat, could you envision yourself ever authorizing the use of those enhanced interrogation techniques?

OBAMA: I have read the documents. Now they have not been officially declassified and released. And so I don’t want to go to the details of them. But here’s what I can tell you, that the public reports and the public justifications for these techniques, which is that we got information from these individuals that were subjected to these techniques, doesn’t answer the core question.

Which is, could we have gotten that same information without resorting to these techniques? And it doesn’t answer the broader question, are we safer as a consequence of having used these techniques?

So when I made the decision to release these memos and when I made the decision to bar these practices, this was based on consultation with my entire national security team, and based on my understanding that ultimately I will be judged as commander-in-chief on how safe I’m keeping the American people.

That’s the responsibility I wake up with and it’s the responsibility I go to sleep with. And so I will do whatever is required to keep the American people safe. But I am absolutely convinced that the best way I can do that is to make sure that we are not taking short cuts that undermine who we are.

And there have been no circumstances during the course of this first 100 days in which I have seen information that would make me second guess the decision that I have made. OK?

Mark Knoller’s question was excellent. Obama responded with the naive ponder “could we have gotten that same information without resorting to these techniques?” Obama would not answer the original Knoller question: what if the only way to get the information, which will save many lives, is by using torture “techniques”. That’s the rub.

Would Khalid Shaikh Mohammed have “cooperated” without the “good cop, bad cop” beatings alternated with sweet talk? Doubtful. He is a tough man undoubtedly trained to withstand less harsh interrogation. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, according to the 9/11 Commission Report was “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks”. He is also thought to have had, or has confessed to, a role in many of the most significant terrorist plots over the last twenty years, including the World Trade Center 1993 bombings, the Operation Bojinka plot, an aborted 2002 attack on Los Angeles’ U.S. Bank Tower, the Bali nightclub bombings, the failed bombing of American Airlines Flight 63, the Millennium Plot, and the murder of Daniel Pearl.

* * * * *

Michael Scherer, a journalist we increasingly respect for his non-fawning appearances regarding Obama, asked a good question too:

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. During the campaign, you criticized President Bush’s use of the state secrets privilege, but U.S. attorneys have continued to argue the Bush position in three cases in court. How exactly does your view of state secrets differ from President Bush’s? And do you believe presidents should be able to derail entire lawsuits about warrantless wiretapping or rendition if classified information is involved?

OBAMA: I actually think that the state secret doctrine should be modified. I think right now it’s overbroad.

But keep in mind what happens, is we come in to office. We’re in for a week, and suddenly we’ve got a court filing that’s coming up. And so we don’t have the time to effectively think through, what exactly should an overarching reform of that doctrine take? We’ve got to respond to the immediate case in front of us.

There — I think it is appropriate to say that there are going to be cases in which national security interests are genuinely at stake and that you can’t litigate without revealing covert activities or classified information that would genuinely compromise our safety.

But searching for ways to redact, to carve out certain cases, to see what can be done so that a judge in chambers can review information without it being in open court, you know, there should be some additional tools so that it’s not such a blunt instrument.

And we’re interested in pursuing that. I know that Eric Holder and Greg Craig, my White House counsel, and others are working on that as we speak.

Obama was surprised and did not think things through – that is his defense. We here at Big Pink were not surprised, nor should anyone with access to the court docket (meaning everybody with internet access) be surprised this issue would require a court filing early in the year. We wrote about this issue on February 10 and cited the remarkable quote from an U.S. Courthouse. Judge: “The change in administration has no bearing?” Obama lawyer: “No, your honor.”

The Obama campaign website addressed the issue which later surprised Obama. Obama says the issue was a surprise and he was unprepared and therefore invoked the state secrets priviledge as sort of a quickie response. A problem with that Obama rubbish is that the lawyers for the plaintiffs’ had agreed to extend the time for the Obama lawyers to respond. It was the Obama lawyers who stated they did not need an extension of time because they wanted to brief their ugly position in court. According to the Obama worshipping Huffington Post, Obama was asked whether he agreed with his own lawyers and whether Obama knew what his lawyers were briefing in these cases and the answer was “Absolutely, absolutely he does“.

Scherer’s question was a good one and Obama’s answer was a series of lies and rubbish. The New York Times editorialized regarding the Obama/Bush garbage:

Of the many ways that the Bush administration sought to evade accountability for its violations of the law and the Constitution under the cover of battling terrorism, one of the most appalling was its attempt to use inflated claims of state secrecy to slam shut the doors of the nation’s courthouses.

Sadly, the Obama administration also embraced this tactic, even though President Obama criticized the cult of secrecy while running for office, leaving it to the courts to stand up for transparency and accountability.

And that is just what a panel of the federal appeals court in San Francisco did on Tuesday by firmly rejecting the claim that the government can prevent a judge from even hearing those who say they were hurt by federal polices and actions.

Barack Obama and his supporters are the mirror image of George W. Bush and his supporters. If George W. Bush had said in a press conference what Obama said last night Democrats would be outraged and Big Media would be outraged.

Instead, Big Media and Dimocrats applaud as Obama Lies On Torture And State Secrets.

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83 thoughts on “Obama Lies On Torture And State Secrets

  1. I continue to be amazed at how people are mezmerized by his teleprompter presentation, or even a contrary opinion, which they shut out.

    A democracy deserves what it will not defend.

  2. ‘Barack Obama and his supporters are the mirror image of George W. Bush and his supporters. If George W. Bush had said in a press conference what Obama said last night Democrats would be outraged and Big Media would be outraged.
    Instead, Big Media and Dimocrats applaud as Obama Lies On Torture And State Secrets.’

    Admin,
    How DO you keep track of this stuff? I confess my head really hurts today trying to decipher what’s real and what’s not. I’m especially confused about the12 pm presser when BO took credit for the GM bankruptcy. I don’t get it. i thought that would be seen as a DEFEAT for him after all the billions in bailout money. Instead it’s spun as a victory. Can you explain? Am I missing something, too dumb to comprehend the intricacies of WH policy – what?

    It seems like one has to be a genius (like you and some of the amazing posters here) to follow this stuff. 😳

  3. “Obama was surprised and did not think things through?”

    —————————————-

    and this is the person running the show?

  4. For anyone who needs some hope and inspiration about HRC’s future, here’s a terrific blog from our buddies over at hillbuzz laying out the way HRC could run again in 2012.

    May my day!

    hillbuzz.org/2009/04/30/something-interesting-for-the-conspiracy-crowd-out-there/#comment-53682

  5. Jan,

    Why should you feel ‘old’ by references to 1984?

    Classics are timeless and so are those who read, play (musicallY) or view them.

    wbboei,

    i LOVE the name Squealer. We gotta come up with someone to pin that name on.

  6. basil,

    I felt old because I was remembering the first time I read this classic and it was many moons ago.

  7. But it’s just as relevant, if not more so, all these years later! So don’t feel old! Feel proud!

    I’m a big fan of the real ‘masters,’ literary, musical, philosophical,etc.

    Their works are timeless.

  8. I’m a big fan of the real ‘masters,’ literary, musical, philosophical,etc.

    Their works are timeless.

    —————————–

    Ditto!

  9. Roundup: Hillary Clinton’s first 100 days

    Thu, 04/30/2009

    A cursory Internet search finds these views of Secretary Clinton’s first 100 days:

    For his list of 100-days winners, Chris Cillizza at The Fix (a Washington Post blog) selected Clinton:

    Who would have thought that in less than one year Clinton would go from a defeated presidential candidate to the country’s top diplomat? Clinton[‘s] decision to leave politics (forever?) has paid off as her approval number[s] are through the roof. (A mid-March CNN poll showed 71 percent of Americans approved of the job she was doing as secretary of state.) Clinton has been measured [as] effective as an advocate for the president’s policies and has shown an amazing adaptability as she moves from political circles to diplomatic ones.

    Charles Wolfson, State Department reporter for CBS News, writes:

    For those who forecast that Hillary Clinton would have trouble playing second fiddle to her former political foe, senior officials who have watched the two say she knows who the boss is and has had no problem accommodating herself to her new role.

    Over at Politico, David Cloud writes:

    In less than 100 days, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did something that neither Colin Powell nor Condoleezza Rice was able to accomplish in their entire tenures: She restored the State Department to the central place in U.S. foreign policy.

    “What Clinton has done and the president has done is to say clearly that diplomacy is a national security tool of the United States,” said Marc Grossman, a career foreign service officer who served as undersecretary of state during the Bush administration. “The only tool is no longer just the military.”

    Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the BBC seems to concur about placing diplomacy center stage (it does need to update Clinton’s mileage to 74,107, however):

    By the president’s side is a straight-talking secretary of state with her own star-power and some 60,000 air miles already under her belt – Hillary Clinton.

    The administration’s new emphasis on diplomacy means the state department is squarely back at the heart of America’s efforts to engage with the world, from allies to rivals.

    ————————

    there are a few negatives. if you want to read them, go here and scroll down:

    hillary.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/04/30/roundup_hillary_clintons_first_100_days

  10. Gates, Clinton make case for war funding bill

    By William Matthews
    Thursday Apr 30, 2009

    Even as President Barack Obama sends more troops to Afghanistan, his administration is beefing up the role and funding for diplomacy and nonmilitary development in the battles against the Taliban and al-Qaida.

    The administration wants $83.4 billion in emergency funding to cover the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the second half of 2009, and it sent Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Capitol Hill to make the case for that request. “Our joint appearance symbolizes the continuing improvement in relationships and close collaboration between the departments of State and Defense,” Gates told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee April 30.

    The Defense Department would get the lion’s share of the money, $76 billion, and the State Department would get $7.4 billion. Gates stressed — as he has before — that “the challenges confronting our nation cannot be dealt with by military means alone.” They require “whole-of-government approaches, … but that can only be done if the State Department is given resources befitting the scope of its mission across the globe,” he said. The war-funding request may fall short on that account. “Our investment in diplomacy and development is only about 6 percent of our total national security budget,” Clinton told the senators.

    Senators seemed enthusiastic about the new emphasis on nonmilitary aid to Afghanistan, calling for more food aid and agricultural assistance, and expressing concern about the oppression of girls and women in that country.

    Gates cautioned against sending too much U.S. military force to Afghanistan. Obama plans to increase U.S. troop strength there to 68,000, he said, and U.S. commanders have asked for 10,000 more. Gates said he opposes sending the extra troops until he has time to see how well a force of 68,000 fares there. “The Soviets were in there with 110,000; they didn’t care about civilian casualties and they still couldn’t win,” he said. Between NATO troops and the U.S. contingent, about 100,000 allied troops will be in Afghanistan, he said. “We want to be careful about adding” to that number.

    Clinton stressed the need to deploy civilian experts to Afghanistan, particularly in agriculture. Thirty or 40 years ago, Afghanistan was “the garden of central Asia” but now is “eroded and denuded,” she said. U.S. agriculture efforts have focused on eradicating poppy crops to disrupt heroin production, but little has been done to restore food production, she said, adding that she planned to change that and recruit agriculture experts for service in Afghanistan.

    Gates and Clinton said the $83.4 billion supplemental will be the last separate war-funding request, with future funding for overseas contingencies folded into the regular annual defense budget request.

    armytimes.com/news/2009/04/military_gates_supplemental_043009w/

  11. Would Khalid Shaikh Mohammed have “cooperated” without the “good cop, bad cop” beatings alternated with sweet talk? Doubtful.
    ************
    The FBI agent who was involved with the initial interrogation of KSM disputes that conclusion. Once the torture began, the FBI was prohibited from participating. Until the “memos” were released, the FBI agents couldn’t give their side of the story.

  12. salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/30/ownership/ Durbin says the banks own the Congress…

    …and why is it we hear nothing when Durbin flatly states that the Banks own the Congress…and by association…the banks are the Treasury…the same people just keep going from the Treasury to the banks and back and forth along with all their aides…Greenwald cites some interesting info on how unbelievably incestous the relationship is between the congress…like everyone else he does not focus on how much worse the incest is between our Treasury and the banksters…

    where are the progressive voices on this? hardly a peep…O has carte blanche to continue with the same theft the bush people pulled off…

    massive legal corruption and hardly anyone bats an eye…not even a mention at the press conference…

  13. Gates cautioned against sending too much U.S. military force to Afghanistan. Obama plans to increase U.S. troop strength there to 68,000, he said, and U.S. commanders have asked for 10,000 more. Gates said he opposes sending the extra troops until he has time to see how well a force of 68,000 fares there. “The Soviets were in there with 110,000; they didn’t care about civilian casualties and they still couldn’t win,” he said. Between NATO troops and the U.S. contingent, about 100,000 allied troops will be in Afghanistan, he said. “We want to be careful about adding” to that number.
    **********
    The British had the same result. The Russians had no problem trying to kill anything that moved and they still had their asses handed to them (also their genitals after the Afghani women finished with them). Maybe Obama should read Kipling. Gates description of the Soviets experience is the reason why Afghanistan will be his Vietnam. If he sends 30,000+ more troops to Afghanistan, his ODD personality will force him to send more, if 30k aren’t enough.

  14. The British had the same result. The Russians had no problem trying to kill anything that moved and they still had their asses handed to them (also their genitals after the Afghani women finished with them). Maybe Obama should read Kipling. Gates description of the Soviets experience is the reason why Afghanistan will be his Vietnam. If he sends 30,000+ more troops to Afghanistan, his ODD personality will force him to send more, if 30k aren’t enough.
    ————————-
    It is a bottomless pit alright and his pathology will compel him to keep feeding it. Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it–or however that old saying goes.

  15. JanH Says:

    April 30th, 2009 at 11:26 am
    Obama to name SC regulator to FCC seat

    April 30, 2009

    President Barack Obama intends to nominate Mignon Clyburn, a utility regulator and former newspaper executive from South Carolina, to the Federal Communications Commission.

    The five-member FCC has three vacancies. The president has announced his intent to nominate Julius Genachowski to fill the chairman’s seat.

    The White House announced the president’s decision on Clyburn late Wednesday. FCC nominees need to be confirmed by the Senate.

    Clyburn is the daughter of the House majority whip, Rep. James Clyburn. She has been a member of the Public Service Commission of South Carolina since 1998. Before that, she spent 14 years as the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times, a weekly newspaper in Charleston, S.C.
    ********************************

    That article is hilarious. I would imagine that maybe a few thousand people read the weekly that this “newspaper executive” or should I say “community organizer” was in charger of. Ahhh, payback…

  16. i LOVE the name Squealer. We gotta come up with someone to pin that name on.
    —————————————————–
    Then give me some options. I would say bitchel but emaciated dwarf is more descriptive. If pumpkin head were not burning in the fires of hell right now hopefully he would be a promising candidate. How about that worthless screed Huffington. Candy Crowley would be divine. How about Oprah, or McCaskill, or fatso Brazille. With so many worthy recipients I for one am hardpressed to decide. Or how about Rollie Martin, Chuck Todd, or Eugene Williams. Or maybe Frank Rich, or modo.

  17. Jan-I notice how with rare exceptions the articles you post which are favorable to Hillary come from obscure sources like the Army Times, sometimes Reuters and UPI or the Foreign Press, but never–or hardly ever from Main Stream Media. That is a clear case of journalistic malpractice.

  18. “That is a clear case of journalistic malpractice.”

    —————————

    Yes indeed! But I still persevere. I look at Main Stream as much as the rest. Their continued lovefest for the idiot still shines through.

    By the way, why not go right to the top and can bambi the “squealer.”?

  19. That article is hilarious. I would imagine that maybe a few thousand people read the weekly that this “newspaper executive”
    **********
    From a quick search, the Coastal Times was a weekly AA newspaper and essentially a one person operation. Peak circulation 5,500 free and paid.

  20. wbboei Says:

    April 30th, 2009 at 6:21 pm
    i LOVE the name Squealer. We gotta come up with someone to pin that name on.
    —————————————————–
    How about Botox nancy

  21. SHV Says:

    April 30th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    ******************************************

    Just as suspected!

  22. from another blog…Biden, loose lips sink ships…

    From WH presser:

    Tapper asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs about Joe Biden’s crazy panic-inducing call for Americans to save themselves by withdrawing from society on the Today Show.

    Gibbs stammered and blinked a lot and reformulated Biden’s comments into his dreamworld version in which they were totally anodyne.

    With all due respect, and I sympathize with you trying to explain the vice president’s comments, but that’s not even remotely close to what he said.

    Gibbs countered with, “Jake, I understand what he said. And I’m telling you what he meant to say.” Everyone in the room laughed at him.

    gawker.com/5234705/the-time-and-place-for-being-a-dick

    ONE MORE TIME loud as ya can:

    Jake, I understand what he said. And I’m telling you what he meant to say.

  23. MSNBC, CNN Ratings Plunge as O’Reilly Reigns

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 11:30 AM

    By: Jim Meyers Article Font Size

    MSNBC and CNN’s primetime news programs have suffered an incredible nosedive in ratings since Barack Obama was elected president, Newsmax has learned.

    Ratings for “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” on MSNBC at 8 p.m. have plunged a dizzying 42 percent since October, shortly before the election. CNN’s 8 p.m. show, now being hosted by Roland Martin, has seen a 49 percent plunge over that time period, while “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News has dipped only 15 percent, according to Nielsen Media Research.

    Bill O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. show remains the top-rated cable news program, averaging 2,650,000 million households per night in April, more than the combined totals for Olbermann’s program (938,000) and CNN’s 8 p.m. offering (613,000) — with more than a million households to spare.

    In the key demographic of viewers 25 to 54 years old, Olbermann has lost 53 percent of his average nightly audience, a precipitous plunge. Rachel Maddow, who follows him at 9 p.m. on MSNBC, has lost an astounding 65 percent of her 25-to-54 audience since October, and her 819,000 households in April compare poorly to Sean Hannity’s 1,953,000 households on Fox.

    O’Reilly has also trounced Olbermann among viewers aged 35 to 64 in April, with 1,724,000 viewers, down 19 percent since October. Olbermann suffered a 49 percent drop in that demographic and had 1,151,000 viewers.

    The solid showing of “The O’Reilly Factor” and the plunging numbers for Keith Olbermann further belie Olbermann and MSNBC’s occasional claim that he is winning the ratings war in his time slot.

    MSNBC took out a full-page ad in The New York Times last November proclaiming “A Sweeping Victory” for its ratings and declaring “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” the No. 1 cable news program.

    But fine print at the bottom of the ad acknowledged that the “victory” referred only to the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. time slot for the dates Oct. 27 through Oct. 31, for viewers between 25 and 54 years of age.

    Overall, however, O’Reilly’s show averaged twice as many viewers as Olbermann’s.

    Earlier last year, the liberal press crowed loudly when Olbermann narrowly beat out O’Reilly in the 25 to 54 demographic one week in June. But the rating results were misleading. On Tuesday of that week, the cable stations covered that day’s primaries, and on Friday, O’Reilly was on vacation, with Laura Ingraham filling in. Ratings for “The Factor” dip when O’Reilly is not the host.

    On the three days when O’Reilly and Olbermann went head to head, O’Reilly won the 25 to 54 demographic. And he trounced Olbermann in total viewers, with 2,193,000 per night to Olbermann’s 1,031,000.

    The O’Reilly-Olbermann feud has been ongoing for years. O’Reilly denies that there is a feud, and says he won’t even mention Olbermann by name. But Olbermann for his part has made O’Reilly the frequent recipient of his nightly “Worst Person in the World” award.

    In a recent interview with Broadcasting & Cable magazine, O’Reilly said “The O’Reilly Factor” has fared well since Obama entered the White House because CNN and MSNBC comprise the “Obama cheerleading crew,” and viewers are tuning in to Fox because it is “more skeptical of the president.”

    And Newsmax reported earlier that Obama’s win on Election Day “may be a Pyrrhic victory” for Olbermann, who “had positioned himself as the anti-Bush, anti-Republican news source on MSNBC. With Democrats firmly in control of the White House and Congress, it’s questionable that his audience will grow.”

  24. Jan–I think Bambi is more like Napoleon Pig–who invokes the memory of Lincoln with snarling bots at his side just as Napoleon invoked the memory of Major Pig with snarling dogs at his side. The role of the bots is to intimidate people like Tapper who are willing to confront the pathetic bumbling gibbs, but too cowardly to confront his master.

    “By standing where Old Major has given his speech that started the revolution, Napoleon is both evoking Old Major’s memory and associating himself with Old Major. He is, in essence, trying to take the place of Old Major and make himself just as revered as the old boar was. The difference is that Napoleon has the dogs beside him. Old Major was alone on the floor and his presence alone was enough to demand respect. By using the dogs, Napoleon is coercing the animals to follow him and basically communicating the message that if the animals don’t follow and respect him as they did Old Major, he will have the dogs attack them.”

    Mr. Obama is right out of Animal Farm.

  25. Some people are going to be mad.

    Stimulus

    finance.yahoo.com/news/INSIDE-WASHINGTON-Rude-apf-15091434.html?.v=1

  26. INSIDE WASHINGTON: Taxpayers to get rude surprise
    INSIDE WASHINGTON: Millions of couples, retirees may have to repay some of Obama tax credit
    Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer
    On Thursday April 30, 2009, 6:55 pm EDT
    Buzz up! Print WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Americans enjoying their small windfall from President Barack Obama’s “Making Work Pay” tax credit are in for an unpleasant surprise next spring.

    The government is going to want some of that money back.

    The tax credit is supposed to provide up to $400 to individuals and $800 to married couples as part of the massive economic recovery package enacted in February. Most workers started receiving the credit through small increases in their paychecks in the past month.

    But new tax withholding tables issued by the IRS could cause millions of taxpayers to get hundreds of dollars more than they are entitled to under the credit, money that will have to be repaid at tax time.

    At-risk taxpayers include a broad swath of the public: married couples in which both spouses work; workers with more than one job; retirees who have federal income taxes withheld from their pension payments and Social Security recipients with jobs that provide taxable income.

    The Internal Revenue Service acknowledges problems with the withholding tables but has done little to warn average taxpayers.

    “They need to get the Goodyear blimp out there on this,” said Tom Ochsenschlager, vice president of taxation for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    For many, the new tax tables will simply mean smaller-than-expected tax refunds next year, IRS spokesman Terry Lemons said. The average refund was nearly $2,700 this year.

    But taxpayers who calculate their withholding so they get only small refunds could face an unwelcome tax bill next April, said Jackie Perlman, an analyst with the Tax Institute at H&R Block.

    “They are going to get a surprise,” she said.

    Perlman’s advice: check your federal withholding to make sure sufficient taxes are being taken out of your pay. If you are married and both spouses work, you might consider having taxes withheld at the higher rate for single filers. If you have multiple jobs, you might consider having extra taxes withheld by one of your employers. You can make that request with a Form W-4.

    The IRS has a calculator on its Web site to help taxpayers figure withholding. So do many private tax preparers.

    Obama has touted the tax credit as one of the big achievements of his first 100 days in office, boasting that 95 percent of working families will qualify in 2009 and 2010.

    The credit pays workers 6.2 percent of their earned income, up to a maximum of $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples who file jointly. Individuals making more $95,000 and couples making more than $190,000 are ineligible.

    The tax credit was designed to help boost the economy by getting more money to consumers in their regular paychecks. Employers were required to start using the new withholding tables by April 1.

    The tables, however, don’t take into account several common categories of taxpayers, experts said.

    For example:

    –A single worker with two jobs making $20,000 a year at each job will get a $400 boost in take-home pay at each of them, for a total of $800. That worker, however, is eligible for a maximum credit of $400, so the remaining $400 will have to be paid back at tax time — either through a smaller refund or a payment to the IRS.

    The IRS recognized there could be a similar problem for married couples if both spouses work, so it adjusted the withholding tables. The fix, however, was imperfect.

    — A married couple with a combined income of $50,000 is eligible for an $800 credit. However, if both spouses work and make more than $13,000, the new withholding tables give them each a $600 boost — for a total of $1,200.

    There were 33 million married couples in 2008 in which both spouses worked. That’s 55 percent of all married couples, according to the Census Bureau.

    — A single college student with a part-time job making $10,000 would get a $400 boost in pay. However, if that student is claimed as a dependent on a parent’s tax return, she doesn’t qualify for the credit and would have to repay it when she files next year.

    Some retirees face even bigger headaches.

    The Social Security Administration is sending out $250 payments to more than 50 million retirees in May as part of the economic stimulus package. The payments will go to people who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, railroad retirement benefits or veteran’s disability benefits.

    The payments are meant to provide a boost for people who don’t qualify for the tax credit. However, they will go to retirees even if they have earned income and receive the credit. Those retirees will have the $250 payment deducted from their tax credit — but not until they file their tax returns next year, long after the money may have been spent.

    Retirees who have federal income taxes withheld from pension benefits also are getting an income boost as a result of the new withholding tables. However, pension benefits are not earned income, so they don’t qualify for the tax credit. That money will have to paid back next year when tax returns are filed.

    More than 20 million retirees and survivors receive payments from defined benefit pension plans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. However, it is unclear how many have federal taxes withheld from their payments.

    The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union raised concerns about the effect of the tax credit on pension payments in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in March.

    Geithner responded that Treasury and IRS understood the concerns and were “exploring ways to mitigate that effect.”

    Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said Geithner has yet to respond to concerns raised by committee members.

    “So far we’ve got the, ‘If we don’t address this maybe it will go away’ approach,” Camp said.

    IRS withholding calculator:

  27. Thanks, Neetabug. His first 100 days have been stuffed full of showy acts, those things easy to reverse, or those whom the media are telling us he has reverse, when in fact he has not really.

    One thing Americans do understand is taxes, and how much they pay.

  28. The British had the same result. The Russians had no problem trying to kill anything that moved and they still had their asses handed to them (also their genitals after the Afghani women finished with them).
    ————————————————————-
    Sounds like a job for Olberman.

  29. Wbboei, thanks for the good laugh (“job for Olbermann”).

    Neetabug, you’re a good tax consultant. Hope those effected read the article on taxes you provided.

  30. How about Botox nancy
    ———————-
    Gonzo, I am not sure. I think botox nancy or tales from the crypt may work better for poopsie.

    Can you think of anyone in the Washington Press Corps who is the most shameless Obamashill. Certainly Elenor Cliff should seriously be considered. So for that matter should Michael Goodwin and bordering on the obscene Johnathon Alter–or anyone else at newsweek. Gerghen should at least get honorable mention.

  31. JEEEZZZZUUSSSSS!

    ABC news outs 2 men they claim are the waterboarder masterminds and shows their faces.
    abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=7471217&page=1

    Isn’t that treason against the US? I mean, how many US citizens were kept safe by them?

    Talk about torture. These guys are dead-men-walking.

    And on another topic, why is Mexico closing everything down for 5 days if the ‘horse is already out of the bar?” What do they know that the US (DHS) refuses to acknowledge?????

  32. mean, how many US citizens were kept safe by them?
    **, **********
    If you can believe the FBI interrogators who can now talk about the subject, the answer would be zero. By using torture, the CIA shut out all of the expertise of the FBI terror experts and interrogators. From what I am now reading, the CIA sub-contracted the torture to civilian sub-contractors. I am conservative and believe in the rule of law and under US law, a US citizen who is found guily of torture can receive the death penalty. The Republican Congress that passed that law took torture very seriously. That included people like Jesse Helms who spoke in the Senate for passage of Title 18..2441.

  33. CNN and MSNBC are unbearable to watch…anything…an informercial is better than watching either one of them…CNN has hit the bottom with Roland Martin and Maddow and Olbermann are drama queens…terrible tv…awful…the worst…

  34. Wess says he’s had conversations with people who know what they are talking about, and that HRC wanted out of the Senate so she would not be tied to any of the nonsensical and damaging things this current administration and our current Democrat-controlled Congress is up to. Instead, Hillary Clinton gets to travel the world as Secretary of State, not only removing herself from any connection to the domestic mess, but also removing any foreign policy criticisms opponents can throw at her in years ahead.
    ———————————–
    Basil: this is part accurate. This guy knows whereof he speaks. I believe Hillary would have pursued some of these same policies Obama is but not all at the same time and not in a way that will widen and deepen the economic crisis.

    She wanted out of Congress for that reason and because she did not want to be relegated to a subcommittee position after all she had done for the party in the primary and in the general election. I do not think there was any succession deal however. In addition to what Wess believes I would cite the fact that her campaign debt has now been paid off.

    The real question for me is not whether bambi will be toxic waste by 2012–that will occur as a matter of course when the bill for his improvident policies hits the public pocket book, we encounter hyper inflation and the L shaped recession drags on.

    If that scenario unfolds then he could step down and the party would have no one else to turn to other than Hillary. In that case, this would be the second time she would have saved the party. Whether she could win at that point however is an imponderable because the concommitant risk of this scenario is that the party brand will be as tarnished then as the Republican brand is now. The one encouraging thing is the power of the press would be at its lowest ebb.

  35. From the front page of Drudge: Justice Souter is going to retire–for a while Drudge had an absolutely goofy pic of Obama as the main photo for the story–I see it is now replaced it with a photo of the supreme court.

    It might be my imagination but it seems like Drudge is really going at Obama these days.

    As to the Souter story…isn’t another justice ill and likely to retire as well? How will two appointments by Obama affect the court…

  36. I do not think the loss of Souter is anything to worry about. He was on the wrong side of many issues. Stevens will step down shortly as well. Again, nothing to worry about–for the same reason. Neither one of them are first rate Supreme Court Justices in my opinion. Just court men, as Griffin Bell once put it.

  37. I think I am going to open a bottle of wine–Ripple, Nightrain, something with a screw off cap–corks can get stuck in your throat, and drink a toast to Honest Joe Biden. His candor is refreshing and who else do you know who can shut down the economy with one improvident remark. He is alot of fun when he is not channeling Bush or getting drunk at the gridiron club. It is a tribute to the people of Deleware that they keep electing a man of this calibre. And to think he could have had any job he wanted in the Administration. Press secretary would have been ideal and far better than what they have now. Watching Gibbs and Tapper match wits is a game with no clear winner.

  38. We gotta save ’squealer’ for just the right one
    ——————————————–
    Basil, this decision is way above my paygrade. I aint going this one alone. So here is the proposal: if you see a prominent journalist who is really a propagnadist and shameless butboy or butgirl for Bambi, then I would encourage you to make the proposal, I will second it and we will dispose of the entire matter in conformity with Roberts Rules of Order.

  39. Mr Tapper
    Mr Tappi Tappi Toes
    Mr Tapper
    Your fear of Bwak it really shows

    Writin up your line
    Puttn bullshit in the news
    Figured how you cannot lose
    Mr Tapper
    Kiss’n Bambi’s ass again
    Mr Tapper
    Hid’n from the truth again
    Mr Tapper
    We can all see through you.

  40. The Real Culture War Is Over Capitalism
    Tea parties, ‘ethical populism,’ and the moral case against redistribution.Article By ARTHUR C. BROOKS
    There is a major cultural schism developing in America. But it’s not over abortion, same-sex marriage or home schooling, as important as these issues are. The new divide centers on free enterprise — the principle at the core of American culture.

    Despite Barack Obama’s early personal popularity, we can see the beginnings of this schism in the “tea parties” that have sprung up around the country. In these grass-roots protests, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans have joined together to make public their opposition to government deficits, unaccountable bureaucratic power, and a sense that the government is too willing to prop up those who engaged in corporate malfeasance and mortgage fraud.

    The data support the protesters’ concerns. In a publication with the ironic title, “A New Era of Responsibility,” the president’s budget office reveals average deficits of 4.7% in the five years after this recession is over. The Congressional Budget Office predicts $9.3 trillion in new debt over the coming decade.

    And what investments justify our leaving this gargantuan bill for our children and grandchildren to pay? Absurdities, in the view of many — from bailing out General Motors and the United Auto Workers to building an environmentally friendly Frisbee golf course in Austin, Texas. On behalf of corporate welfare, political largess and powerful special interests, government spending will grow continuously in the coming years as a percentage of the economy — as will tax collections.

    Still, the tea parties are not based on the cold wonkery of budget data. They are based on an “ethical populism.” The protesters are homeowners who didn’t walk away from their mortgages, small business owners who don’t want corporate welfare and bankers who kept their heads during the frenzy and don’t need bailouts. They were the people who were doing the important things right — and who are now watching elected politicians reward those who did the important things wrong.

    Voices in the media, academia, and the government will dismiss this ethical populism as a fringe movement — maybe even dangerous extremism. In truth, free markets, limited government, and entrepreneurship are still a majoritarian taste. In March 2009, the Pew Research Center asked people if we are better off “in a free market economy even though there may be severe ups and downs from time to time.” Fully 70% agreed, versus 20% who disagreed.

    Free enterprise is culturally mainstream, for the moment. Asked in a Rasmussen poll conducted this month to choose the better system between capitalism and socialism, 13% of respondents over 40 chose socialism. For those under 30, this percentage rose to 33%. (Republicans were 11 times more likely to prefer capitalism than socialism; Democrats were almost evenly split between the two systems.)

    The government has been abetting this trend for years by exempting an increasing number of Americans from federal taxation. My colleague Adam Lerrick showed in these pages last year that the percentage of American adults who have no federal income-tax liability will rise to 49% from 40% under Mr. Obama’s tax plan. Another 11% will pay less than 5% of their income in federal income taxes and less than $1,000 in total.

    To put a modern twist on the old axiom, a man who is not a socialist at 20 has no heart; a man who is still a socialist at 40 either has no head, or pays no taxes. Social Democrats are working to create a society where the majority are net recipients of the “sharing economy.” They are fighting a culture war of attrition with economic tools. Defenders of capitalism risk getting caught flat-footed with increasingly antiquated arguments that free enterprise is a Main Street pocketbook issue. Progressives are working relentlessly to see that it is not.

    Advocates of free enterprise must learn from the growing grass-roots protests, and make the moral case for freedom and entrepreneurship. They have to declare that it is a moral issue to confiscate more income from the minority simply because the government can. It’s also a moral issue to lower the rewards for entrepreneurial success, and to spend what we don’t have without regard for our children’s future.

    Enterprise defenders also have to define “fairness” as protecting merit and freedom. This is more intuitively appealing to Americans than anything involving forced redistribution. Take public attitudes toward the estate tax, which only a few (who leave estates in the millions of dollars) will ever pay, but which two-thirds of Americans believe is “not fair at all,” according to a 2009 Harris poll. Millions of ordinary citizens believe it is unfair for the government to be predatory — even if the prey are wealthy.

    Political strategy aside, intellectual organizations like my own have a constructive role in the coming cultural conflict. As policymakers offer a redistributionist future to a fearful nation and a new culture war simmers, we must respond with tangible, enterprise-oriented policy alternatives. For example, it is not enough to point out that nationalized health care will make going to the doctor about as much fun as a trip to the department of motor vehicles. We need to offer specific, market-based reform solutions.

    This is an exhilarating time for proponents of freedom and individual opportunity. The last several years have brought malaise, in which the “conservative” politicians in power paid little more than lip service to free enterprise. Today, as in the late 1970s, we have an administration, Congress and media-academic complex openly working to change American culture in ways that most mainstream Americans will not like. Like the Carter era, this adversity offers the first opportunity in years for true cultural renewal.

    Mr. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute.

  41. We Will Regret ‘Post-American’ Outcome
    By Mark Davis

    One generation never knows exactly what world it will pass to the next. But there is an alarming term making the rounds these days that seems a likely adjective for the era we are being guided toward:

    “Post-American.”

    This is to be distinguished, I suppose, from “un-American,” indicative of actual loathing of the substance and behaviors of our nation. “Post-American” is pitched as the attitude that accepts and may even embrace the passing of America’s era of global leadership.

    I would hope it is impossible to be ambivalent about such a monumental global moment. Surely there are only those people who cheer this development as refreshing and timely and those who dread it for the certain dangers it poses.

    Count me among the second group, and I would like a word with the first.

    I have always believed that there are many ways to love America. Sharing my politics is not a precondition. But I have watched elected officials denigrate a war in progress (that we are now winning), soften borders that once protected us, erode cultural standards that once united us, and now attack an economic crisis not with an energizing call to boldness and courage but with astonishing spending designed to spawn dependency and thus political obedience.

    Is it any wonder that the America my father handed to me seems nearly extinct?

    President Barack Obama is not the cause of this disease, but he is a carrier. His words and actions reveal that he considers the United States to be an important nation but not the singular land every generation since America’s birth has been taught about. That teaching, of course, changed a long time ago. For almost a half-century, schoolchildren have digested thick units that make sure to scold us for slavery, Jim Crow laws, Japanese internment camps and other sins.

    Where is the curriculum that teaches that beyond our flaws, we have been the greatest society the world has known? We have built that legacy with a devotion to liberty and leadership unmatched in modern times. Yet we are led today by people who see the United States as merely the name between Ukraine and Uruguay on the United Nations lobby directory.

    What we used to widely feel has been given a fitting name: American exceptionalism. It does not teach that we are without sin or that we cannot learn. It teaches that against the backdrop of history, no country has freed, fed or inspired more people than the United States. No nation has contributed more to science, culture or enlightened thought.

    Today, that magnificent view is dismissed as tired jingoism. This new era requires America be brought down several notches, laid low by the frustrations and envies of rivals, taught a lesson about excessive pride. Our president is more than glad to direct us to this new humility. It is evident in his economic strategies, which liquefy wealth in a blender of socialism and environmental extremism. It is evident in his foreign policy, which kowtows to tyrants and comforts terrorists with the assurance of an America ready to step down as alpha male to become just another animal in the pack.

    This is supposed to make the world like us better. It may, in the short term, until the dictators given room to breathe by an enfeebled America choose to broaden their adventures.

    And when that time comes – and the world turns to America, as it has for centuries, only to find that we are no longer a superpower but just an ordinary neighbor – I hope those who favored and helped raise the curtain on the “post-American” world are stricken with a horror and regret that only the great tragedies of history can impart.

    Mark Davis is a columnist for the Dallas Morning News. The Mark Davis Show is heard weekdays nationwide on the ABC Radio Network. His e-mail address is mdavis@wbap.com.

  42. This is what is happening. The press is too lazy to do anything but reprint whatever this absurd administration sends them. 12 emails a day full of lies and self promotion gimicks.
    ————————————–
    WH Press Office: 12 Emails a Day to Reporters
    Posted by Tom Bevan | Email This | Permalink | Email Author

    Here’s another obscure fact from the first 100 days of the Obama
    administation as of this moment the White House press office has sent out 1,222 emails to reporters over the first hundred days. (That number is bound to go up at least a couple more with Obama’s prime time news conference tonight).

    Obviously, that’s an average of more than 12 emails a day, which include everything from statements and transcripts of speeches to daily schedules and travel advisories. Still, the sheer volume of digital information flowing out of the White House press office is enormous.

    The very first email from the Obama White House, which arrived at 9:45am on the morning of January 21st, read as follows:

    THE WHITE HOUSE
    Office of the Press Secretary

    ________________________________________________

    For Immediate Release January 21, 2009

    Below is a statement from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

    At 8:35 AM, the President arrived in the Oval Office and spent 10 minutes alone in the office. He read the note left to him by President Bush that was in an envelope marked “To: #44, From: #43”. At 8:45 AM, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel came in to discuss the schedule of today’s events. The First Lady came into the Oval Office at 9:10 AM. We will release a picture shortly.

  43. OMG!
    Is that for real?
    It sounds like the minutes of the monthly town hall’s i cover! YIKES!

    Here’s a chuckle for everyone.
    My marvelous inadvertent Gov Paterson has been sued for reverse racism and the guy WON!
    He was WAY ahead of his time, no? The suit was filed in 2005 after an incident in 2003.
    Rather than go to trial the state is settling at $300G.

    “In the lawsuit, Maioriello claimed he was told by John McPadden, then Paterson’s chief of staff, that he was being fired because a number of minority senators wanted to replace him with “a minority photographer, a black photographer.”

    He said he was also told, “You got to remember who Sen. Paterson is. Sen. Paterson is black.”

  44. Another nail in the journalism coffin.

    Chicago Tribune accused of soliciting reader input on which stories to run.

    “CHICAGO (AP) – Reporters at the Chicago Tribune say they believe the marketing department in recent weeks solicited subscribers’ opinions on stories before they were published, a practice they said raises ethical questions, as well as legal and competitive issues.

    An e-mail signed by 55 reporters and editors, sent Wednesday to Editor Gerould Kern and Managing Editor Jane Hirt and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, questions why the newspaper was conducting the surveys and what stories were used. They also wanted to know which readers were surveyed and whether any story had been altered as a result of reader comment.

    “It is a fundamental principle of journalism that we do not give people outside the newspaper the option of deciding whether or not we should publish a story, whether they be advertisers, politicians or just regular readers,” the e-mail read. “Focus grouping as done in the past is one thing. But this appears to break the bond between reporters and editors in a fundamental way.”

    The reporters and editors also said many have become uncomfortable that the marketing department appeared to be playing an undefined role in the newsroom.

    No member of the news staff would comment on the issue.

  45. Cue the fanfare: State trumpets Clinton’s 100 days

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i3lo9ZiurdkCO71rltILaTOuEZzAD97T0JLO4

  46. April 30, 2009
    Obama’s ratings slide: press conference down 29%

    Obama44 Audience interest in Barack Obama’s news conferences seems to be falling, with Wednesday’s press event drawing the president’s smallest primetime audience since his inauguration.

    The telecast to mark Obama’s 100th day in office was viewed by 28.8 million people, according to Nielsen. That’s a 29% drop from the president’s last press conference, on March 24, and a 42% fall since his first, on Feb. 9.

    Ten networks carried the telecast, which is one less than last time since Fox elected to run its detective drama Lie to Me (7.8 million, 2.3 national adults 18-49 rating) instead. Airing its regular entertainment programming saved Fox ad dollars but didn’t help the show much. Lie pulled the same rating it did last week. Yet, like last week, it won the 8 p.m. hour.

    Here’s the president’s last three primetime news events:

    Feb: 9: 49.5 million
    March 24: 40.4 million
    April 29: 28.8 million

    PREVIOUS: FOX REJECTS OBAMA’S REQUEST FOR AIRTIME

    thrfeed.com/2009/04/obama-press-conference-draws-288-million-viewers.html

  47. Djia, a follow-up item to you comment:

    http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/politics/lie_to_me_tops_obama_news_conference_115408.asp

    Just In: FOX, the only one of the Big Four networks that did not carry Pres. Obama’s news conference last night, finished first in the 8pmET hour with a new episode of “Lie to Me.” The drama averaged 7.9 million Total Viewers, according to Nielsen overnights.

    NBC’s coverage of the Obama newser came in second with 6.7 million Total Viewers.

    Overall, Obama’s news conference was seen by nearly 19 million viewers across NBC, ABC, CBS according to the early numbers. (Reminder: fast nationals measure only timeslot and not actual program data). Final ratings will be released later today.

  48. NEWS OF THE WEIRD……..

    First Lady Michelle Obama steps out in Lanvin sneakers and they’re only $540!

    BY Amy Diluna
    DAILY NEWS FASHION EDITOR

    Friday, May 1st 2009, 4:00 AM

    Michelle Obama has taken casual to a haute new level.

    While volunteering Wednesday at a D.C. food bank, the First Lady sported her usual J.Crew cardigan, a pair of utilitarian capri pants and, on her feet, a sneaky splurge: trainers that go for $540.

    nydailynews.com/lifestyle/fashion/2009/05/01/2009-05-01_first_lady_michelle_obama_kicks_in_own_foot_feat_for_fashionistas_lanvin.html
    ****************************************************
    Good closeup photo of $540 sneakers (and they are the ugliest POS i have ever seen!!) (on MO’s HUGE feet).
    At her rate of spending, it shouldn’t take long to make the RNC’s supposedly $150,000 spent on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe seem meager.

    here are some of my fav comments found on this article:

    Did someone not tell her that we are in a recession?? 540 dollar shoes at a food bank? That is a way to slap the hungry in the face while smiling the whole time.

    “They’re shoes,” the First Lady’s reps sniffed when curious reporters inquired about the fancy footwear.
    ‘they’re shoes’…Is that French for ‘let them eat cake?’

    Am I missing something about Michelle Obama’s wonderful sense of style and great beauty? Her clothes are just plain ugly and every time I see her I think of a younger version of Fred Sanford’s Aunt Esther.

    The first thing an african-American Harlem pimp does with his ill gotten cash is buy overpriced gaudy clothes.

  49. Admin

    At this rate of loss of interest (3 months= 40% drop) by Aug 1st he will only get 20% of the viewers he had in January 09!

  50. Basil9, here’s a corollary article to your comment wrt the Chicago Tribune:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/05012009/business/global_stakes_for_ny_times_167023.htm

    Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger faces the uncomfortable task of having to shut down the Boston Globe today if holdout employees refuse to fork over $20 million in savings to his family.

    If the Sulzberger family carries out its threatened shutdown by today’s deadline, it would be an admission that they wasted $1.1 billion in buying the paper in the first place.

    But if they back down, it would show a weakness of will that Wall Street investors who hold big stakes — particularly hard-nosed billionaire Carlos Slim — might turn against the family to wrest away its control of the enterprise.

    Another widely discussed option — selling the 137-year-old Boston paper — seemed less likely as potential buyers waved off any thoughts of owning the admired money-pit.

    “It’s like trying to catch a falling knife,” said Jack Connors, the former head of Boston ad agency Hill Holliday, who was part of an attempt to buy the paper several years ago.

    “I’m not a buyer” because of the Globe’s uncertain future, he added. “I don’t know whether there’s an economic reason to own it.”

    The Globe was on track to lose $85 million this year unless changes are made, The Times said. That follows losses of $50 million last year.

    The Times itself is struggling against a $1.1 billion debt load, which coincidentally is what the Times paid for the Globe’s assets in 1993, then a record price. The Globe was profitable for more than a decade before it hit bottom last year.

  51. Thanks admin.

    Pretty soon the only papers in existence will be the small dailies like the one where I’m a stringer. We have a circulation of 50,000 and partner with another county with a slightly larger market.

    But even this small business has money problems. A month ago we went to 5 day a week print publishing with only online versions available on weekends.

    Still, I have ENORMOUS respect for the way the paper operates, covering events the public wants to know about and not inserting a political agenda. I guess that’s why it’s been around, in one format or another, for 2 centuries.

  52. Jan: the above article by Matt Lee makes reference to a memo issued by the State Department recounting Hillary accomplishments in the first 100 days. Notice the skeptical tone–“what the state department considers”, and “the report contends”. This is not the tone he assumes when talking about Bambis purported accomplishment. In that case they are not skeptical but delusional–he and his peers. Also, it makes no reference to the fact that he accompanied her on these trips, and no effort to confirm or deny what is said. Knowing his pre existing bias, one can safely assume that if he did not agree with it he would say so, such that his silence equates to assent. However to know that you would have to know something about him, specifically that he is a biased little rodent bot working in the employ of biggie rat from the NYY who runs the uber corrupt AP, and then you can accept his report for what it really is–a subtle attempt at propanda.

  53. wbboei,

    I meant to add a side comment when I posted that article but had to leave for work. I wanted to show the different styles in how bambi’s 100 days of nothing was written in a gush and messiah-like manner but this one is written in at best a begrudging style as if they hate to say something nice.

  54. djia Says:

    May 1st, 2009 at 8:36 am
    April 30, 2009
    Obama’s ratings slide: press conference down 29%

    —————————————

    Well if he will give an insipid election speech every five minutes then what does he expect? And if he will only select specific journalists for soft ball questions, then I hope he continues to flop in the ratings.

    In hindsight, maybe he should have auditioned for television instead of the White House. He would be much more suited to guest starring on “Lie to Me” than what he is pretending to do now.

  55. Admin and DIJA: you light up my life. It is important that Bambis viewereship declined 29%. It is important that in these uncertain times and this early in his presidency only 18 million people bothered to tune in. This coincides with the number who voted for him in the primary, and is nowhere near what he rececived in the General Election. And, it is noteworthy that FOX was the only major network that did not push aside normal business programming to carry yet another speech–and in not carrying his speech received the highest viewership for that time slot. In other words, pushing aside normal programming during prime time–something the major networks have been complaining about for some time is proving to be a losing business proposition at a time when all the major networks are in trouble. This increases his incenctive to rob the taxpayers with a big media bailout. If that happens the people of this country should take to the streets. We are not inclined to subsidize a propaganda ministery worthy of Joseph Goebbels when we have lost our jobs, seen our own economic fortunes decline.

  56. FACT CHECK: Obama disowns deficit he helped shape

    By CALVIN WOODWARD

    WASHINGTON (AP) — “That wasn’t me,” President Barack Obama said on his 100th day in office, disclaiming responsibility for the huge budget deficit waiting for him on Day One. It actually was him — and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years — who shaped a budget so out of balance. And as a presidential candidate and president-elect, he backed the twilight Bush-era stimulus plan that made the deficit deeper, all before he took over and promoted spending plans that have made it much deeper still.

    Obama met citizens at an Arnold, Mo., high school Wednesday in advance of his prime-time news conference. Both forums were a platform to review his progress at the 100-day mark and look ahead. At various times, he brought an air of certainty to ambitions that are far from cast in stone. His assertion that his proposed budget “will cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term” is an eyeball-roller among many economists, given the uncharted terrain of trillion-dollar deficits and economic calamity that the government is negotiating. He promised vast savings from increased spending on preventive health care in the face of doubts that such an effort, however laudable it might be for public welfare, can pay for itself, let alone yield huge savings.

    A look at some of his claims Wednesday:

    OBAMA: “Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit…. That wasn’t me. Number two, there is almost uniform consensus among economists that in the middle of the biggest crisis, financial crisis, since the Great Depression, we had to take extraordinary steps. So you’ve got a lot of Republican economists who agree that we had to do a stimulus package and we had to do something about the banks. Those are one-time charges, and they’re big, and they’ll make our deficits go up over the next two years.” — in Missouri.

    THE FACTS:

    Congress controls the purse strings, not the president, and it was under Democratic control for Obama’s last two years as Illinois senator. Obama supported the emergency bailout package in President George W. Bush’s final months — a package Democratic leaders wanted to make bigger. To be sure, Obama opposed the Iraq war, a drain on federal coffers for six years before he became president. But with one major exception, he voted in support of Iraq war spending. The economy has worsened under Obama, though from forces surely in play before he became president, and he can credibly claim to have inherited a grim situation. Still, his response to the crisis goes well beyond “one-time charges.”

    He’s persuaded Congress to expand children’s health insurance, education spending, health information technology and more. He’s moving ahead on a variety of big-ticket items on health care, the environment, energy and transportation that, if achieved, will be more enduring than bank bailouts and aid for homeowners. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated his policy proposals would add a net $428 billion to the deficit over four years, even accounting for his spending reduction goals. Now, the deficit is nearly quadrupling to $1.75 trillion.

    ___

    OBAMA: “I think one basic principle that we know is that the more we do on the (disease) prevention side, the more we can obtain serious savings down the road. … If we’re making those investments, we will save huge amounts of money in the long term.” — in Missouri.

    THE FACTS: It sounds believable that preventing illness should be cheaper than treating it, and indeed that’s the case with steps like preventing smoking and improving diets and exercise. But during the 2008 campaign, when Obama and other presidential candidates were touting a focus on preventive care, the New England Journal of Medicine cautioned that “sweeping statements about the cost-saving potential of prevention, however, are overreaching.” It said that “although some preventive measures do save money, the vast majority reviewed in the health economics literature do not.” And a study released in December by the Congressional Budget Office found that increasing preventive care “could improve people’s health but would probably generate either modest reductions in the overall costs of health care or increases in such spending within a 10-year budgetary time frame.”

    ___

    OBAMA: “You could cut (Social Security) benefits. You could raise the tax on everybody so everybody’s payroll tax goes up a little bit. Or you can do what I think is probably the best solution, which is you can raise the cap on the payroll tax.” — in Missouri.

    THE FACTS: Obama’s proposal would reduce the Social Security trust fund’s deficit by less than half, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. That means he would still have to cut benefits, raise the payroll tax rate, raise the retirement age or some combination to deal with the program’s long-term imbalance. Workers currently pay 6.2 percent and their employers pay an equal rate — for a total of 12.4 percent — on annual wages of up to $106,800, after which no more payroll tax is collected. Obama wants workers making more than $250,000 to pay payroll tax on their income over that amount. That would still protect workers making under $250,000 from an additional burden. But it would raise much less money than removing the cap completely.

    ___

    OBAMA: “My hope is that working in a bipartisan fashion we are going to be able to get a health care reform bill on my desk before the end of the year that we’ll start seeing in the kinds of investments that will make everybody healthier.”

    THE FACTS: Obama has indeed expressed hope for a health care plan that has support from Democrats and Republicans. But his Democratic allies in Congress have just made that harder. The budget plan written by the Democrats gives them the option of denying Republicans the normal right to block health care with a Senate filibuster. The filibuster tactic requires 60 votes to overcome, making it the GOP’s main weapon to ensure a bipartisan outcome. The rules set by the budget mean that majority Democrats could potentially pass health care legislation without any Republican votes, sacrificing bipartisanship to achieve their goals.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hVDM6gIFrIJToDItFq9wLaJ0OtygD97SE1RO4

  57. DRUDGE HAPPY TO POINT OUT THE LET-THEM-EAT-CAKE FIRST LADY IN HER $540 SNEAKERS

    Barf alert:

    nydailynews.com/lifestyle/fashion/2009/05/01/2009-05-01_first_lady_michelle_obama_kicks_in_own_foot_feat_for_fashionistas_lanvin.html

    First Lady Michelle Obama steps out in Lanvin sneakers and they’re only $540!
    BY Amy Diluna
    DAILY NEWS FASHION EDITOR

    Friday, May 1st 2009, 9:25 AM

  58. Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger faces the uncomfortable task of having to shut down the Boston Globe today if holdout employees refuse to fork over $20 million in savings to his family
    ———————————–
    I am guessin its a bluff and the timeline will be extended or carried out in stages or something. But the truth is when all that talent hits the street (frankly it could be replaced by high school journalists) there will be no going back. And Sulzberger will have to spend some of that money he had set aside to pay alimony to pay severance.

    It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what the decline of the newspaper industry means. It will expedite the transition to the internet and that will further erode the position of broadcast journalism and their biased little soundbites. In depth programs like The News Hour will survive but who needs a chipmunk like Katie Couric who helped do in Palin and conducted schmarmy interviews with Hillary. Same deal with Charlie Gibson who betrayed the cannons of honest journalism in this last election.

  59. Quite frankly, given the deplorable state of the Media, and the capabilities of the internet, now might be an excellent time for the foreign press to enter the US market, and do a better job at half the price than journalists like the malignant dwarf, matt lee and all the rest. Why pay top dollar for bad talent. It makes no sense, when there is a world of applicants who would love to have those jobs. In that case, the globalism which these media hacks have promoted and pushed down the throats of blue collar people in this country would come back to bite them in the ass.

  60. wbboei,

    the foreign press has it’s share of “bad” journalists. I think this malignant disease is a worldwide one.

  61. Wbboei, in 2003, to counter Big Media support of Bush, The Guardian was going to publish in the U.S. http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/media/columns/medialife/n_8938/

    The Guardian made some moves to this effect on June 2006.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/jun/06/theguardian.usnews

    Not much has come of any of this.

    You are right however. The United States needs a free press and it is clear the domestic companies are a waste of time. Perhaps as Basil9 wrote, the smaller newspapers will begin to exploit the opening provided by the lack of journalism or journalistic standards in the U.S.

  62. admin Says:

    May 1st, 2009 at 8:56 am
    Djia, a follow-up item to you comment:

    http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/politics/lie_to_me_tops_obama_news_conference_115408.asp

    Just In: FOX, the only one of the Big Four networks that did not carry Pres. Obama’s news conference last night, finished first in the 8pmET hour with a new episode of “Lie to Me.” The drama averaged 7.9 million Total Viewers, according to Nielsen overnights.

    NBC’s coverage of the Obama newser came in second with 6.7 million Total Viewers.
    &&&&&&&&&

    Funny, Obama’s news coverage was also called “Lie to Me”.

  63. the foreign press has it’s share of “bad” journalists. I think this malignant disease is a worldwide one.
    ———————————–
    Jan–I am sure that is true. But the difference is they are not standing in line for bailouts, are less affected by access and influence, and do not have editors like they have at NYT and AP who are censoring contrary evidence on Bambi in furtherance of a discrete business plan as NBC clearly is. You need not be a conspiracy buff to see the motive there. It is all about a failed business plan and a future income stream derived thorough government investment in their industry. Finally, the foreign press is apt to reflect to some degree the interests of their own country which will be at cross purposes with those of the United States which will provide further incentive to illuminate all the dark areas of Bambi and his benighted policies.

  64. Thanks admin. I wish they had followed through on this.

    The question you raise is a good one: who will fill the gap and by implication restore the standards of objective jouranlism. The honest answer is I do not know.

    I am sure that there are journalists out there who are just as frustrated as we are with the corruption in their industry. It is no different with doctors who are so driven by schedules and deadlines that they cannot spend the time they need to with their patients–which was the reason why they entered the profession in the first place.

    It is so easy and so cost efficient to take what is served up by organizations like Associated Press. The trouble is that AP is infected with the journalistic equivalent of the AIDs virus, and it corrupts the quality of your own newspaper to accept their twistifications as if they were truth. It is a bad organization and there is no other way to put it.

    I am not speaking soley for myself when I say that about AP. It is a widely held view among a number of people. As noted before, I have friends who at one time ran what was generally regarded as the best small town newspaper in the country. That was thirty years ago, the paper has been sold and today it is a shadow of what it once was.

    What made them a great newspaper was their editor who was someone who embodied the journalistic standards which are conspicuously absent today. Also, they were excellent investigative reporters. If they had a lead on an important story they would turn loose a couple reporters sometimes for months to do nothing but follow that story. And if at the end of the process they could not verify all the sources and connect the dots, they would not publish. In other words, it cost them money.

    The ability of small newpapers to fill the void it therefore limited both for than reason, and because they do not have the assets that AP does around the world. That is what makes their editor so pernicious–the power that he has to mislead world wide audiences–a real live example of Citizen Kane.

    They say you find love sometimes in the stangest places and the same goes for truth. Quite frankly, I was struck by the fact check which Jan posted above wherein one AP reporter had the courage to step up to the plate and show that Mr. Obama is in effect a liar, but I am quite sure he would not put it that way.

    This in turn points to the larger truth which is that nobody can control the universe, and the forces in play are much more powerful than any ideolgue in journalistic grab can control. At some point the question for them will be whether to make provision or go down with the ship. The policies which Bambi has implemented will backfire. No doubt about that. And when that happens, and too much familiarity breeds contempt people will see him not as the solution but the problem.

    At that point, those members of the press who inserted caveats about him in their stories, will be glad they did. Others, who swallowed his bullshit hook line and sinker will be in trouble. It may or may not end their careers. It will however render them irrelevant in the future debate over how to dig the country out of the hole which Bush began and Bambi dug deeper in service of the same masters.

    who have no honor, no decency and no integrity, than it is to engage in the arduous task of investigative journalism.The question where small newspapers are concerned is whether they have the scope and the resources to take on an issue this large. It is far more econonomical for them to take the crap which AP puts out and run with that. And that is what is driving things these days. I am quite sure that a real fear is rippling through newsrooms across the country. It is not just the layoffs themselves but the fear of them that is felt. Will I be next, etc. In the broadest context, the companies who are cash rich are the ones that will survive. The comPAN

  65. Admin: discount the last paragraph above. I thought I deleted it. As long as I said it let me clarify. What I meant to say was this:

    The company I spent most of my career working for was a wonderful organization and it did what most companies cannot do. It competed against two giants that had superior name recognition and economies of scale. Its success was in part niche driven. But the key element was as simple as this: it was the low cost operator. Ultimatley it was bought out by the largest company in the world in that industry and it failed spectacularly. They did not understand the importance of low cost. I would go so far as to say any company that can provide a quality good or service at the lowest price will always win and always survive. That is the core problem the newspaper industry is struggling with now and they have not found the right answer. The product they produce today is pure crap, and there are cheaper ways to get if if that is what you want. Low cost and cash rich is the key to it. FOX will own the market if it can keep its costs in line.

  66. The same thing goes for Detroit. As IBD said the other day, when it costs you $100 dollars to produce a widget which you can only sell for $80 you know you are in trouble.

  67. Time Magazine has a video out on their picks for most influential leaders. If you click on the link below, the first two shown are Hillary and Sarah Palin.

    time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1894410_1894780_1895199,00.html

  68. Swine Flu cases up to 141 with still only 1 death.

    I know in New Mexico they have 4 in for testing, so we might pop up on the table shortly.

    States # of laboratory confirmed cases Deaths
    Arizona 4
    California 13
    Colorado 2
    Delaware 4
    Illinois 3
    Indiana 3
    Kansas 2
    Kentucky 1
    Massachusetts 2
    Michigan 2
    Minnesota 1
    Nebraska 1
    Nevada 1
    New Jersey 5
    New York 50
    Ohio 1
    South Carolina 16
    Texas 28 1
    Virginia 2
    TOTAL COUNTS 141 cases 1 death
    International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
    See: World Health Organization

  69. And the third person shown on the Time web page is Paul Krugman holding a Persian cat (or something very fluffy). Krug was identified as a “leading liberal critic of the Obama administration”, who don’t think Obama is doing enough to respond to the problems in the financial sector.

    And yes, the video was positive on HRC and Sarah.

    Gee, whatever happened to that Obama fella? Oh, that’s right, it was picks for “influential LEADERS”.

    Obama is a fake leader. He has a podium. He has an adoring media. But he’s never lead, has no idea where to lead, he’s just a quiltwork of fuzzy ideals that can be repeated for commercials and speeches.

  70. NewMexicoFan Says:

    May 1st, 2009 at 2:03 pm
    Swine Flu cases up to 141 with still only 1 death.
    &&&&&&&&

    Please, Obama and the pork industry would prefer that term be dropped in favor of “H1N1”, lest pork sales decline.

    From wiki:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H1N1

    Influenza A virus strains are categorized according to two viral proteins, hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). All influenza A viruses contain hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, but the structure of these proteins differs from strain to strain due to rapid genetic mutation in the viral genome. Influenza A virus strains are assigned an H number and an N number based on which forms of these two proteins the strain contains.

    The Spanish flu, also known as La Gripe Española, or La Pesadilla, was an unusually severe and deadly strain of avian influenza, a viral infectious disease, that killed some 50 million to 100 million people worldwide over about a year in 1918 and 1919. It is thought to be one of the most deadly pandemics in human history. It was caused by the H1N1 type of influenza virus.[4]

    [snip]

  71. I went out and bought two boxes of face masks today. I had to try 3 pharmacies before I found one that wasn’t sold out.

  72. They were all over Edwards for his expensive hair cuts, but MO;s $540 sneakers get rave reviews!!! How did she go from such an unpopular figure in the campaign to such a beloved first lady so quickly???

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