A“war on Fox” that is executed by 90 staff members and a $10 million yearly budget,

By Kirsten Powers

This latest volley from the president is just one in a long line of comments from his White House as part of their campaign to silence any dissent they detect in the press corps.

There is no war on terror for the Obama White House, but there is one on Fox News.
Recently, the White House has kept Fox News off of conference calls dealing with the Benghazi attack, despite Fox News being the only outlet that was regularly reporting on it and despite Fox having top notch foreign policy reporters.

 

They have left Chris Wallace’s “Fox News Sunday” out of a round of interviews that included CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS for not being part of a “legitimate” news network

. In October 2009, as part of an Obama administration onslaught against Fox News,White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week” that the Fox News Channel is “not really a news station” and that much of the programming is “not really news.” WHAT!!!!!!

Whether you are liberal or conservative, libertarian, moderate or politically agnostic, everyone should be concerned when leaders of our government believe they can intentionally try to delegitimize a news organization they don’t like.

In fact, if you are a liberal – as I am – you should be the most offended, as liberalism is founded on the idea of cherishing dissent and an inviolable right to freedom of expression.

That more liberals aren’t calling out the White House for this outrageous behavior tells you something about the state of liberalism in America today.

Sure, everyone understands how some of Fox’s opinion programming would get under President Obama’s skin, the same way MSNBC from 4pm until closing time is not the favorite stop for Republicans. But it’s not okay — or presidential — to continue smearing an entire network of hard working journalists because you are mad at Sean Hannity.

During the initial launch of the war on Fox News in October 2009, then-White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told the New York Times of Fox News, “[W]e don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.” On CNN, she declared that Fox was a “wing of the Republican Party.” Then: “let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”

Gosh, this sounds so familiar. In fact, it’s exactly the line that Media Matters used in a 2010 memo to donors: “Fox News is not a news organization. It is the de facto leader of the GOP, and it is long past time that it is treated as such by the media, elected officials and the public.”

In fact, this is the signature line of Media Matters in discussing Fox News, which they say they exist to destroy. Their CEO, David Brock told Politico in 2011 that their strategy was a “war on Fox” that is executed by 90 staff members and a $10 million yearly budget, gratis liberal donors.

Can someone explain to me how it’s “liberal” to try and shut down a media organization? What the Obama administration is doing, and what liberals are funding at MMFA is beyond chilling – it’s a deep freeze.

On the heels of Dunn’s attack on Fox, Brock wrote a letter to progressive organizations bragging about the U.S. government trashing a news organization: “In recent days, a new level of scrutiny has been directed toward Fox News, in no small part due to statements from the White House, and from Media Matters, challenging its standing as a news organization.” Point of order: who put Media Matters in charge of determining what is and isn’t a news operation?

A Media Matters memo found its way into the public domain and if you care at all about decency and freedom of the press, it will make you throw up. If you like McCarthyism, it’s right up your alley. It details to liberal donors how they have plans to assemble opposition research on Fox News employees.

It complains of the “pervasive unwillingness among members of the media to officially kick Fox News to the curb of the press club” and outlines how they are going to change that through targeting elite media figures and turning them against Fox. They say they want to set up a legal fund to sue (harass) conservatives for any “slanderous” comments they make about progressives on air. They actually cite one of the best journalists around, Jake Tapper, as a problem because he questioned the White House about calling a news outlet “illegitimate.” Tapper can see the obvious: if the White House can call one news outlet illegitimate for asking tough questions, then guess who is next? Anyone.

We defend freedom of the press because of the principle, not because we like everything the press does. For example, I defend MSNBC’s right to run liberal programming to their hearts content.

Monitoring the media is actually a good thing; the media should be held accountable, including Fox News. When MMFA began I was supportive of their endeavor and even used some of their research. They seemed a counterbalance to conservative media monitoring organizations.

But now the mask is off. They make no bones about their intentions, and it’s not a fair media. It is clear now that the idea of freedom of the press actually offends Media Matters. In their memo, they complain about “an expansive view of legal precedent protecting the freedom of the press, and the progressive movement’s own commitment to the First Amendment” as an impediment to be overcome or changed. They say they are “consider[ing] pushing prominent progressives to stop appearing on Fox News.” For those who defy the order, they threaten to start daily publishing the names of Democrats who appear in order to shame them. If that doesn’t work, presumably they will just shave our heads and march us down Constitution Avenue.

When Anita Dunn was informing America – as a senior government official – which news organizations were “legitimate,” she conveniently deemed CNN, which rarely challenges the White House, as a “real” network. Presumably she believes MSNBC is “legitimate” also, despite their undisguised disgust of the GOP and hagiography of the president, not to mention more opinion programming than any cable outlet.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume she thinks CBS is “legitimate” after they just ran what amounted to a 2016 ad for Hillary Clinton on “60 Minutes.” CBS is the same place that has a political director who also writes for one of the most liberal outlets in the country, Slate. Who also just wrote in that publication that the president should “pulverize” the GOP. Imagine a political director at CBS hired away from the Weekly Standard who then wrote an article about “pulverizing” Democrats. I know, I lost you at the part where CBS hired a political director from a conservative outlet.

Last week Rolling Stone editor Michael Hastings – who is a liberal and said recently, “most journalists I know are liberal” – discussed his time covering Obama on the campaign trail. Among the things he witnessed was a reporter trying to interview Obama using a sock puppet.

He told MSNBCs Martin Bashir, “That’s the presence of Obama, even on the press corps, even on the people who follow him every day. When they are near him, they lose their mind sometimes. They start behaving in ways, you know,that are juvenileand they swoon.”Hastings admitted that the presence of Obama made him go gooey too. “Did I ask about drones, did I ask about civil liberties? No, I did not.”

I guess this is what the White House and their friends at Media Matters call the “legitimate” media.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/01/29/obama-vs-fox-news-behind-white-house-strategy-to-delegitimize-news-organization/?intcmp=obnetwork#ixzz2JQF0X6Es

 

 

Beginning Sunday, merchants will be allowed to charge a fee for accepting MasterCard and Visa. It remains to be seen if they will.

This post comes from Beverly Harzog at partner blog

Wise Bread.

Would you pay a fee to use your credit card? I don’t even need a nanosecond to answer this. My response is: No freakin’ way.

Here’s why I’m asking the question. Last summer, there was an antitrust settlement between merchants and Visa, MasterCard and big banks about credit card interchange fees. These are the “swipe” fees merchants pay to the networks (like Visa) to process your payments when you use your card.

The settlement called for merchants to receive $7.2 billion in cash and temporary reductions in interchange fees. This settlement also gave merchants the legal right to add a “checkout fee” when you use a credit card to pay for purchases. These fees could start popping up as soon as Sunday.

How to know if a checkout fee will be charged

Merchants can’t sneak in the fee without telling you upfront. They have to disclose that you’ll pay more for using a credit card. So if you’re in a store, look for notification at the entrance or at the register. When buying an item online, look for the checkout fee to be disclosed on the homepage of the business.

Retailers are allowed to charge a fee that’s the equivalent of what they pay for the interchange fee, which is between 1.5% and 4%. I was kind of surprised to find out that merchants can add a surcharge of up to 4%. You know, that’s a lot.

Competition is your friend

OK, so the settlement gave merchants the right to ask customers to pay a surcharge if they use a credit card. So they have the right to do it, but does it make business sense for retailers to charge a checkout fee?

I say no, it doesn’t. I’m pretty sure a minority will try it out and see how it goes. If you use your credit card to pay for a $200 purchase, you could pay up to $8 just for the privilege of using a credit card. And if you’re using a rewards card, paying an extra fee lowers the value of the rewards.

At the end of the day, we’re all smart enough to do the math and choose the retailer that gives us the best deal. So I think competition is one of the reasons we won’t see widespread checkout fees, at least not right away.

Also, other than price, customer service is often the best way for competitors to differentiate themselves. Retailers that don’t charge their customers a checkout fee will look more consumer-oriented.

If you think about it, the only retailer that can probably get away with it easily is a store that offers something so unique that there’s limited competition. Maybe if that were the case, you wouldn’t even care because, for whatever reason, you really needed that specific, unique product.

Reasons why this isn’t over

The agreement between merchants and the different payment networks is inconsistent (I almost used “convoluted,” which also seems accurate). Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express all have rules that merchants have to follow.

Even though merchants can now charge a checkout fee for Visa and MasterCard credit cards, there’s a problem if they also take American Express cards. American Express’ agreement does not allow merchants to add a checkout fee, and they aren’t part of the settlement.

Another reason it’s way too soon to predict the future is because the merchants themselves aren’t happy with the settlement. Big-time retailers such as Target and Home Depot aren’t on board with the settlement. There are many details to the agreement that go way beyond the interchange fees, and this is why the outcome could remain up in the air for a while.

Just say no to checkout fees

The credit card checkout fee is actually banned in these 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. If you’re not in one of these states, keep an eye out for this fee when you buy something. And if you’re faced with a checkout fee, simply vote with your wallet. Spend your money with a vendor that isn’t charging this fee.

And keep in mind that, according to Consumer Action, checkout fees are only allowed for credit cards and charge cards. You cannot be asked to pay a checkout fee for using a debit card.

Obama Seeks to Knock US Down a Peg

By Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Much puzzling behavior by Barack Obama falls into place when we go behind the image that he projects (“Obama 1”) to the factual reality of the man’s whole life and thrust (“Obama 2”).
Many of Barack Obama’s actions as president of the United States reflect neither political expediency nor an attempt to promote the best interests of the American people. Take, for example, his bowing low from the waist to foreign leaders.

No president of the United States had ever done that before. It gained Obama nothing with the voters, nor was there any reason to think that he expected it to. Why then did he do it?
What did it accomplish? It brought the United States down a peg, in the eyes of the world, something that he has sought to do in many other ways.

These bows were perfectly consistent with his view of a maldistribution of power and prestige internationally, just as his domestic agenda reflects a felt need for a redistribution of wealth and power within American society.

obama bows to saudi king best

It is not just the United States, but the Western world in general, including Israel, that needs to be brought down a peg, from the standpoint of the ideology prevalent among the people with whom Barack Obama has allied himself consistently for decades.

Against that background, it is not at all puzzling that President Obama has clamped down on offshore oil drilling by Americans in the Gulf of Mexico, but has actually encouraged and subsidized offshore oil drilling by Brazil with our tax dollars.

Nor is it surprising that he imposes draconian restrictions on industrial activities in the United States, in the name of fighting “global warming,” while accepting the fact that Third World nations that are beginning to industrialize will generate far more pollution than any restrictions in America can possibly offset.

That is another example of international redistribution — and payback for perceived past oppressions or exploitation of the West against the non-West. So is replacing pro-Western governments in the Middle East with Islamic extremist governments.

Some people may have gotten focused on the issue of Barack Obama’s birth certificate because so much of what he has done seems foreign to American ideals, traditions, and interests. But birth tells us nothing about loyalty. One-time American Communist leader Earl Browder was descended from the Pilgrims.

Those who have questioned whether Barack Obama is really a citizen of the United States have missed the larger question: Whether he considers himself a citizen of the world. Think about this remarkable statement by Obama during the 2008 campaign: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that every other country is going to say, ‘OK.'”

**Are Americans supposed to let foreigners tell them how to live their lives? The implied answer is clearly “Yes!” When President Obama went to the United Nations for authority to take military action and ignored the Congress of the United States, that was all consistent with his vision of the way the world should be.

How has Obama gotten away with so many things that are foreign to American beliefs and traditions? Partly it is because of a quiescent media, sharing many of his ideological views and/or focused on the symbolism of his being “the first black president.” But part of his success must be credited — if that is the word — to his own rhetorical talents and his ability to project an image that many people accept and welcome.

The role of a confidence man is not to convince skeptics, but to help the gullible believe what they want to believe. Most of what Barack Obama says sounds very persuasive if you don’t know the facts — and often sounds like sheer nonsense if you do. But he is not trying to convince skeptics, nor worried about looking ridiculous to informed people who won’t vote for him anyway.

This is a source of much polarization between those who see and accept Obama 1 and those who see through that facade to Obama 2.

But part of his success must be credited — if that is the word — to his own rhetorical talents and his ability to project an image that many people accept and welcome.
An 18th century philosopher put the matter bluntly: “When I speak, I put on a mask. When I act, I am forced to take it off.”
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Read more reports from Thomas Sowell — Click Here Now.

How does it feel to “pay just a little more,” middle class?

By: John Hayward  
1/4/2013 10:22 AM

The first paychecks of 2013 are going out this week.  Many more will be issued next week.  Low-information voters who think the big news from New Years’ Day consisted of President Obama saving them from tax increases are gaping at their diminished paychecks in stunned disbelief.

They’re not as stunned as they should be – Obama has a lot more direct and indirect taxation aimed at them – but the immediate loss of money from their paychecks is a slap of cold water into their data-drained faces.  “My paycheck just went down by an amount that I don’t feel comfortable with,” moaned a poster at Democratic Underground.  That’s the weak-willed serf’s melancholy rendition of “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

It’s sad to think that for a large group of Americans – enough to form a winning political coalition, as we just saw last November – absolutely nothing matters except the number printed under “net pay” on their weekly checks.  All this talk of government dependency, unsustainable debt, and even the comical level of corruption in Obama’s “crony capitalism” is abstract to them, a political football game they occasionally watch on TV.  They think declaring “all politicians are crooks!” is the height of world-weary sophistication… but the attitude leads them to the decidedly unsophisticated view of major elections as popularity contests.  The incomprehensible size, complexity, and fraudulence of Big Government thus becomes a nutrient for its continued growth, as the public essentially gives up all hope of understanding it, much less controlling it.

What are all you folks with smaller paychecks complaining about, anyway?  You’ve just re-elected a President who insisted that some Americans needed to “pay just a little bit more.”  You didn’t care that his numbers didn’t add up.  You didn’t laugh him off the stage when he told you that a trillion dollars of tax increases over ten years would make a real difference to a government that spends a trillion more than it has, every single year.  Well, it turns out that you are among the people who get to “pay just a little bit more.”  Something like 80 percent of American households will lose more of their income to the government because of the fiscal cliff bill.  Why was that confiscation of wealth only acceptable when you thought Obama was talking about other people?

“But I need the money more than those rich guys do!” you wail.  “2 percent of my income means more to me than it does to them!”  Says who?  The increase of 3.6 percent in the top marginal rate for people earning over $450,000 works out to a lot more money than the $1000 or $15000 that middle class workers are giving up, following the conclusion of a temporary 2 percent Social Security tax cut.  The sizable cohort of Americans who don’t pay taxes at all could not care less, because they’re not losing anything… but touch their Food Stamp Nation benefits, and you’ll have a war on your hands.  The political class has claimed the power to decide how much of its property each group of Americans “deserves.”  It’s all fun and games until they decide someone else “deserves” your property more than you do, isn’t it?

And this will never cease to be a source of political control over the electorate, because there’s no precise mathematical formula for “fairness.”  One percent of the population pays nearly 40 percent of income taxes, while earning only 17 percent of the nation’s income – but that still isn’t “fair.”  In fact, you middle-class voters have allowed the ruling political party to portray those people as thieves.  That process will never end, no matter how far it pushes America into confiscation and ruin.  And by focusing upon what it gives and takes, we allow ourselves to be distracted from a proper focus upon what government controls.  That’s what really needs to be reduced.  Unsustainable budget deficits are a symptom of that problem.

Are you starting to appreciate how envy-based, welfare-dependent, “progressive” class warrior nations really work… especially when they approach the point where they stop working?  The signature features of this system are short-sightedness, gullibility, and greed.  You indulged the boundless hunger for power by politicians, which none dare call by its proper name of “greed.”  They are very happy for you to believe that no dollar matters until it comes out of your pocket.  They love it when their subjects feel that way.  The blind are much easier to herd.

It is natural for everyone to want the best for themselves and their families.  It’s natural for people to feel entitled to their own income and property.  But when you assert those ambitions for yourself while denying them to others, you follow the path of greed and envy, rather than the pursuit of liberty.  That’s what it means when you spend December shouting that other people should pay more, then burst into tears when your own paycheck gets a bit smaller in January.  You shouldn’t be surprised to find yourself serving the interests of those who have mastered the forces of greed and envy for their own profit.  It’s their full-time job, and they make a great living at it.  You will never be more than an amateur, dabbling in arts they have perfected.

You’re losing that money from your paychecks now because you allowed Washington to control you with two “temporary tax cuts.”  One of them originated in the Bush presidency; the other was Obama’s “stimulus” cut to Social Security taxes.  The latter is the one that just died in miserable silence, even though at the beginning of the presidential election, Obama portrayed it as the most important thing in the world, saying only people who refused to put “country before party” would fail to extend it.  He even encouraged people to bombard Washington with complaints about what losing $40 per paycheck would mean to them.  Funny how he doesn’t want to hear about your forty dollars any more, isn’t it?  He just blew north of $10 million in taxpayer money on his luxury Hawaiian vacation, counting the extra travel required for his participation in the fiscal cliff drama… which he very much knew was coming when he decided to schedule a vacation in Hawaii.  That’s equal to the extra money coming out of about 7,000 middle-class paychecks this year.

You only got to keep your “temporary tax cut” as long as you fell into line behind political masters who whipped you into a frenzy.  A “temporary tax cut” is something you must perpetually exhaust yourself fighting to keep, forgetting all other considerations while you struggle.  In the end, you lost one of your temporary tax cuts, while barely managing to hang on to the other.  The “victorious”

Barack Obama immediately vowed to seize even more power: more spending, more taxes, more debt.  He didn’t “defeat” the Republicans, my unhappy middle-class readerHe defeated you.

http://www.humanevents.com/2013/01/04/how-does-it-feel-to-pay-just-…

 

Obama may try abusing the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling

The 14th amendment option is gaining popularity among Democrats on the Hill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) urged the president to deploy it when the two were contemplating the contours of the just-completed fiscal cliff debate.The White House, however, has resisted the option, arguing that they don’t have the legal power to do so (Raise the debt ceiling by executive order, bypassing Congress)and that, even if they did, the fact that they had to resort to it would still send terrible economic signals.

“This administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling — period,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said early in December.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged the president on Sunday to drop his resistance to the idea and simply bypass the upcoming debate over raising the debt ceiling by deeming the entire cap unconstitutional.

Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Pelosi offered her strongest endorsement to-date of the 14th Amendment option, holds that Congress doesn’t have the power to use the debt ceiling as a hostage-taking device because the validity of the debt “shall not be questioned.”Bob Schieffer: You would just go ahead and do it, you wouldn’t wait for the Congress?Nancy Pelosi: I would just go do it.

Obama got the taxes he wanted and is now going for more.

 

 

 

VIDEO Fraud: Gore takes $100m in oil money in Current TV sale to al Jazera

Reclaim Our Republic

Thursday, Jan 3, 2013

More details on TheBlaze’s efforts to purchase Current TV were revealed in the opening moments of the radio show.

In a stunning development yesterday Al Gore sold his TV network, Current, to Osama bin Laden mouthpiece Al Jazeera. TheBlaze TV actually inquired when Current went up for sale but were rejected by Gore because he wanted to sell Current to someone ‘aligned’ with his values. Naturally Gore felt totally comfortable with the terror tape network that is Al Jazeera.

“I want to talk about Al Gore here for a second, a guy who was 537 votes away from being the president of the United States during September 11th, has just sold Current TV to Al‑Jazeera. And I want to quote directly from the Wall Street Journal story. ‘Mr. Hyatt’ ‑‑ that’s Al Gore’s partner ‑‑ ‘agreed to sell Al‑Jazeera in part because, quote, Al‑Jazeera was founded…

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