- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Not on radar

Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign manager sent out an e-mail on behalf of the Democrats’ grass-roots fundraising operation Tuesday outlining the administration’s major goals for 2010.

And no … security issues were on the list.

Such concerns have dominated the news coverage over the holiday season — an attempt was made to blow up a flight headed for Detroit on Christmas Day, and seven CIA agents were killed in a bombing in Afghanistan. But none of that was mentioned in the e-mail to Democratic supporters. Neither were the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“2010 will be a year of new, exciting challenges. We’ll be working hard with President Obama to finish the fight for health insurance reform, put more Americans back to work, and get our economy running strong,” the e-mail from former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said on behalf of Organizing for America. “We’ll fight to protect consumers and our economy from Wall Street abuses, improve transparency in Washington to elevate the voices of the American people, and create a vibrant, clean energy economy. And we’ll stand up for the President’s allies at the ballot box.”

The e-mail linked to a survey asking supporters how interested they were, on a scale from “very interested” to “less interested” in jobs, health care, energy, financial reform, education and immigration. One blank “optional” box was included for supporters to type in their own issue for submission to Organizing for America.

The survey also asked supporters whether they would be voting in the upcoming 2010 local and federal elections and if they were willing to volunteer with OFA, which is inside the Democratic National Committee.

Again, no mention was made in the survey of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or recent attempted acts of terrorism.

Liberal perspective

Mayhill Fowler, a liberal blogger for the Huffington Post who made waves in the 2008 election by secretly recording candidate Barack Obama making disparaging comments about “bitter” Pennsylvania voters at a San Francisco fundraiser, is raising eyebrows again.

In a new opinion piece for the Huffington Post, she questioned whether Mr. Obama was taking current threats to national security as seriously as he should.

Ms. Fowler criticized the president for not having a secure telecommunications center at his beachfront rental property in Hawaii, calling it “surreal,” and for telling Americans in his latest radio address that “our adversaries are those who would attack our country, not our fellow Americans, not each other.”

“Maj. Nidal Hasan, from Virginia?” she reminded. “Najibullah Zazi, of Denver and New York? David Coleman Headley, in Chicago? Bryant Neal Vines, the Long Island convert to Islam? The young Somali-Americans from Minnesota who have joined the terrorist group Al Shabab in Somalia? The five Virginia would-be jihadists whom Pakistan decided to prosecute, making that announcement during Obama’s Hawaiian holiday? Even Yemeni Imam Anwar al Awlaki, inspiration for many of these men, grew up in New Mexico. Increasingly, one has to wonder if President Obama and his inner circle understand Islamic fundamentalism.”

C-SPAN’s request

C-SPAN’s management is reminding President Obama of his vow increase transparency in the Democratic process as some of his party’s leadership has talked about keeping the last stages of health care negotiations behind closed doors.

The private, nonprofit company that was created by cable television as a public service sent letters to Mr. Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, expressing its willingness to cover the talks and citing past promises.

During the reconciliation process, the House and Senate will need to smooth out the many differences between their respective health care bills, which C-SPAN is arguing should be done in a public manner.

“President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system,” C-SPAN Chief Executive Officer Brian P. Lamb wrote. “Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, the legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.”

C-SPAN also posted the letter prominently on its Web page, which was linked to the heavily trafficked Drudge Report, as well as many other outlets, on Tuesday morning.

Yon ‘arrested’

War journalist Michael Yon posted an alarming note on his Facebook page on Tuesday, saying he had been “arrested” at a Seattle airport because he would not declare his income.

“Got arrested at the Seattle airport for refusing to say how much money I make,” he wrote. “(The uniformed ones say I was not ‘arrested,’ but they definitely handcuffed me.) Their videos and audios should show that I was polite, but simply refused questions that had nothing to do with national security. Port authority police eventually came — they were professionals — and rescued me from the border bullies.

“When they handcuffed me, I said that no country has ever treated me so badly,” he added. “Not China. Not Vietnam. Not Afghanistan. Definitely not Singapore or India or Nepal or Germany, not Brunei, not Indonesia, or Malaysia, or Kuwait or Qatar or United Arab Emirates. No county has treated me with the disrespect that can be expected from our border bullies.”

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at [email protected]

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