Thou shalt not question The One, peasant!

January 22, 2009

President Obama’s honeymoon with the press is going to be darned short if he keeps this up:

[He] made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.

Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can’t end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I’m going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter’s shoulder and staring him in the eye.

"Alright, come on" he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys – that’s all I was trying to do."

The president was quickly saved by a cameraman in the room who called out: “I’d like to say it one more time: ‘Mr. President.’ ”

Whew! That was close. Whew

Good thing there was a sycophant handy, or the President might have had to face that ultimate indignity, answering a question! Here’s the video — roll tape, Tito. (Ladies, avert your eyes. Tito, stop rolling yours.)


I mean, who does that reporter think he is, Joe the Plumber? Hey! Someone find out if that clown has any tax liens!

Jokes aside, the president was able to mostly glide through the campaign because the press treated him as if he were their client and they were his publicists. I say "mostly," because there were a couple of telling incidents that show he doesn’t like to be questioned: once when he walked out of a press conference in March, 2008, after whining that he "just answered, like, eight questions." The following April, he complained when reporters had the temerity to ask him questions during a stop at a diner:

Asked by a reporter if he had heard that Carter reported a positive outcome from the meeting, Obama looked sternly at the reporter in question and said, "Why can’t I just eat my waffle?"

Asked again by the reporter, Obama bit — not at the question but into a butter covered bite of Glider’s specialty over-size Belgian waffles. With a wink this time he said, "Just let me eat my waffle."

(Thus the origin of our Public Secrets motto: "Hope, Change, Waffles!")

But now he’s president, and at least some members* of the press that helped get him that job are going to expect answers to questions. And it was surely a reasonable occasion: Obama walked into the White House press room, for pity’s sake. It’s not as if they interrupted him in the shower.

*(Those with a shred of professional integrity left.)

Maybe things are different in Chicago. Maybe he expected the same reception he got at the Washington Post. Maybe he’s just plain arrogant. Regardless, he had better get used to this. When the President interacts with reporters, they are going to ask questions, and some will press if they don’t get answers. Right now, the mainstream media adores him and is doing all it can to cover for him. But, if President Obama keeps treating journalists like misbehaving poodles, that will quickly end and they will make him live to regret it.

Doubt me? Just look at what they did to his predecessor.

LINKS: More at Hot Air. Sister Toldjah notes another episode of growing media irritation with this new, more "transparent" administration, including an example of pay-for-play in action.



Defend Geert Wilders

January 22, 2009

You don’t have to like Mr. Wilders or his positions to recognize that the Dutch action against him is an assault on the inalienable right to free speech. A new blog has been founded to collate links to articles and blog posts about the Wilders case: Defend Geert Wilders. I’ve added it to my feed reader; you should, too.

RELATED: I wrote about the decision to investigate Geert Wilders: Freedom of speech death watch.


Twice is a habit

January 22, 2009

President Obama snubs Medal of Honor winners, skipping their ball on Inauguration Night.

Whether it was an intentional slight or the product of callow indifference, it was disgraceful.

RELATED: The first time.


Fair and balanced

January 22, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson on criticizing Israel in Gaza while ignoring far worse:

5. If you are outraged at Israel, really mad at the violence in Gaza and the tactics of the IDF and the killing of civilians, and if you have felt real anger at the Jews for their treatment of the Palestinians, then, please, one additional word of rebuke for the killers within Hamas, who are scouring Gaza for suspected Fatah and Palestinian Authority members—torturing, maiming, and shooting them without trials and often without cause. Just one picture of an IDF conscript pulling out a Palestinian and kneecapping him would bring global outrage, in a way an Hamas killer doing the same to a fellow Palestinian does not. And if that makes no impression, then please post outrage about Grozny or occupied Tibet or divided Cyprus, and do so with a simple rule: each time I curse Israeli for killing hundreds, I curse Russia for killing thousands of Muslims in Chechnya; each time I damn Israel for taking land, I damn China for swallowing an entire Tibet; and each time I say no to occupation, I say no to the Turks who gobbled up so much of Cyprus in 1974.

Read the whole thing; it’s worth it.


The ‘Cuda speaks!

January 22, 2009

Or writes, in this case. From a short piece Sarah Palin wrote for The Wall Street Journal, part of a larger article collecting thoughts from various writers on Hopes for the Obama Presidency:

Especially evident in these trying economic times is America’s need for affordable, abundant and secure energy. This means American energy resources developed through American ingenuity and produced by American workers. I applaud President Obama’s focus on alternative and renewable energy, and here in Alaska we’ve joined the effort: I have asked Alaskans to focus on obtaining 50% of our electric generation from renewables by 2025. In the meantime, we must not abandon oil and gas exploration and development. In fact, Americans should demand the cooperation of the major oil producers so that Alaska’s vast supply of clean natural gas can be brought to market. Alaska stands ready to positively contribute to the nation’s markets and energy needs.

Another step on the path to economic recovery is to let Americans keep more of their income. Mr. Obama and Congress could make this happen with permanent tax cuts and by adhering to a path of fiscal discipline. When congressional appropriation trains run too hastily, they accumulate excess baggage, spending more taxpayer money. Leaving more money in American pockets through tax cuts and fiscal discipline stimulates the business-investment and job-creation climate — the climate for economic recovery.

My candidate for 2012. Love Struck

I haven’t looked into the details, but I suspect her energy plan for Alaska is more intelligently designed than Governor Schwarzenegger’s plan for California, which seems likely to increase an already heavy tax burden on businesses. And, needless to say, I think her tax and fiscal priorities are spot on.

Meanwhile, also check out African-American conservative Shelby Steele’s thoughts, just below Governor Palin’s.

(hat tip: Pink Elephant Pundit)


Is there life on Mars?

January 22, 2009

That’s a definite maybe.

On the other hand, I’m still trying to figure out if there’s intelligent life in the US Senate. Thinking


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