Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This Isn't America, Is It?

The White House wants U.S. citizens to be a snitch, a Senator thinks health care protestors are fake because they dress too well, House orders up two more private jets for themselves, and a tabloid king defends "quality journalism".

GOP Senator: White House Encroaching on First Amendment (8/5/09 ABC News)

"A Republican senator is calling for the White House to suspend a new project that asks members of the public to flag “fishy” claims about President Obama’s health care plans, arguing that it raises privacy concerns and will serve to chill free speech.

"Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is sending a letter to the White House today asking the president to “cease this program immediately” -- or to explain how Americans’ privacy will be protected if e-mails are forwarded to the White House as requested.

"“I am not aware of any precedent for a President asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed ‘fishy’ or otherwise inimical to the White House’s political interests,” Cornyn writes."

Boxer: Protesters too well dressed to be sincere (8/5/09 Hot Air)

"Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) appeared on Hardball last night in support of the Left’s attempt to discredit the people showing up to townhalls in protest of ObamaCare. Boxer says she can tell that they’re fakes, because they’re too well dressed. How does she know that this is a problem? Because well-dressed people apparently told her to get the hell out of Florida in the Bush-Gore recount, too". (The link has the video. See for yourself.)

House Orders Up Three Elite Jets (8/5/09 Roll Call)

"Last year, lawmakers excoriated the CEOs of the Big Three automakers for traveling to Washington, D.C., by private jet to attend a hearing about a possible bailout of their companies.

"But apparently Congress is not philosophically averse to private air travel: At the end of July, the House approved nearly $200 million for the Air Force to buy three elite Gulfstream jets for ferrying top government officials and Members of Congress.

"The Air Force had asked for one Gulfstream 550 jet (price tag: about $65 million) as part of an ongoing upgrade of its passenger air service.

"But the House Appropriations Committee, at its own initiative, added to the 2010 Defense appropriations bill another $132 million for two more airplanes and specified that they be assigned to the D.C.-area units that carry Members of Congress, military brass and top government officials. "

Rupert Murdoch plans charge for all news websites by next summer (8/6/09 Guardian UK)

"The billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch suffered the indignity of seeing his global empire make a huge financial loss yesterday and promptly pledged to shake up the newspaper industry by introducing charges for access to all his news websites, including the Times, the Sun and the News of the World, by next summer.

"Stung by a collapse in advertising revenue as the recession shredded Fleet Street's traditional business model, Murdoch declared that the era of a free-for-all in online news was over.

""Quality journalism is not cheap," said Murdoch."

That's a good one, coming from Mr. Murdoch. I'm sure this was from his sincere effort for "quality journalism": "Murdoch Tabloid Hacked into Cell Phones of "Hundreds of Celebrities and Politicians" (7/9/09 AP, via Huffington Post).


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