- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

OBAMA’S ‘POSSE’

“Free Barack!” Camille Paglia writes at www.salon.com

“Yes, free the president from his flacks, fixers and goons - his posse of smirky smart alecks and provincial rubes, who were shrewd enough to beat the slow, pompous Clintons in the mano-a-mano primaries, but who seem like dazed lost lambs in the brave new world of federal legislation and global statesmanship,” Miss Paglia said.

“Heads should be rolling at the White House for the embarrassing series of flubs that have overshadowed President Obama’s first seven weeks in office and given the scattered, demoralized Republicans a huge boost toward regrouping and resurrection. (Michelle, please use those fabulous toned arms to butt some heads!)

“First it was that chaotic … stimulus package, which let House Democrats throw a thousand crazy kitchen sinks into what should have been a focused blueprint for economic recovery. Then it was the stunt of unnerving Wall Street by sending out a shrill duo of slick geeks (Timothy Geithner and Peter Orszag) as the administration’s weirdly adolescent spokesmen on economics. Who could ever have confidence in that sorry pair?



“And then there was the fiasco of the ham-handed White House reception for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which was evidently lacking the most basic elements of ceremony and protocol.”

WHOSE IDEOLOGY?

“In America, 2009, things happen that you once wouldn’t have thought would happen, such as deference toward human life smacked down as outworn ideology. By the president of the United States, no less. So it goes in the Age of Obama,” William Murchison writes at townhall.com.

” ‘Promoting science,’ said our new chief executive, in overturning a George W. Bush executive order limiting stem-cell research on embryos, is ‘about letting scientists … do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion. … It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda - and that we would make scientific decisions based on facts, not ldeology.’

“The ‘ideology’ of human life - life as good, valuable, worthy of protection from unprovoked violence - underlay the Bush policy of ruling out experimentation on new embryos to find, supposedly, new ways of combating diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and other physical disorders. Now an ideology isn’t the same as a philosophy: It’s a structure of pure ideas that someone or other has concocted out of thin air to suit himself. Lenin was an ideologue. Hitler was an ideologue. Get the idea? …

“The president has things precisely backwards. In a stem-cell context, the ‘ideology’ is that Science, the great abstraction that only really smart people understand, trumps competing considerations. What Science wants, Science deserves - didn’t you know?”

END OF STORY I

“I’m glad to see the back of the Saudi shill Chas Freeman, but I wonder what Mr. and Mrs. America will make of it [Wednesday] morning, reading for the very first time how the ‘Outspoken Former Ambassador’ (as the AP’s headline has it) was scuttled by a controversy their newspaper saw fit not to utter a word about,” Mark Steyn writes in a blog at www.nationalreview.com.

“As far as I can tell, the only papers in America to so much as mention the Freeman story were the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, The Washington Times, the New York Post, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Augusta Chronicle, and the Press Enterprise of Riverside, Calif.,” Mr. Steyn said.

“But if you rely for your news on the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Detroit News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Miami Herald, or the Minneapolis Star-Tribune - just to name a random selection of American dailies currently sliding off the cliff - the end of the story will be the first time you’ve heard of it.”

DODGING DEBATE

“Once again Al Gore has ducked the chance to debate critics of his global warming doomsday predictions,” John Fund writes at www.opinionjournal.com.

“The former vice president loves to lecture others on the need to address global warming, but usually insists on appearing alone and largely unchallenged at conferences,” Mr. Fund said.

“At the Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, Calif., Mr. Gore was initially scheduled to appear with Czech President Vaclav Klaus, a noted skeptic on global warming. Mr. Gore changed his schedule so he could appear the previous day. President Klaus told me this week that the major reason he agreed to travel from Europe was the chance to interact with Mr. Gore. ‘I don’t understand all of this reluctance to engage with others,’ he told me.

“Sounds to me like a case of bologna rejecting the grinder. Mr. Gore knows that the science backing up his calls for dramatic reduction of carbon emissions is increasingly shaky and that even adopting the Kyoto targets for such reductions would do little to address the accumulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

“Several other critics of Mr. Gore also tried to interact with him at the conference - with little success. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at Harvard, asked Mr. Gore during the Q-and-A period what exactly he was trying to accomplish in practical terms with his proposals. Mr. Gore ignored the substance of the question and snidely said he was trying to save humanity.”

END OF STORY II

Speaking of lack of coverage, Michelle Malkin took the Los Angeles Times to task for ignoring a weekend “Tea Party” rally in Fullerton, Calif., against proposed state government tax increases that drew several thousand people (estimates ran from 3,000 to 15,000).

“Why did the newspaper look the other way?” Mrs. Malkin asks rhetorically. “Because they don’t cover citizen rallies … unless they agree with them.”

She linked to the conservative blog Patterico’s Pontifications giving the Times’ stated reason from political editor David Lauter that the while the paper will cover the issues surrounding the ballot initiatives, “What we’re not likely to do is cover a lot of individual rallies - from either side. That’s not a political thing. We don’t cover a lot of government-worker rallies in favor of tax hikes, either.”

At which Patterico scoffed: “Does the L.A. Times cover rallies? You bet it does! And they don’t have to have 15,000 people, either - as long as the issue is one near and dear to the hearts of Times editors. The Times has covered protests and rallies with crowds similar in size. … Examples include the teachers’ rally in Pershing Square with a crowd of around 10,000, or an immigrants’ rights march in L.A. with [n]early 5,000 immigrants and their supporters - or the immigrants’ rights march with 3,000 attendees … in Norcross, Georgia.”

• Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or e-mail Greg Pierce.

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