It Had To Be Said

I’m sorry, but after all of the insults that Republicans have had to take for the past eight months from this man, who even when addressing a joint session of Congress can’t restrain himself from attacking the previous administration, who has the audacity to lecture us about civility after he and his cronies insulted and demeaned protesters for months… it’s just not fair to ask Republicans to sit on their hands and bite their tongues when the President gets in front them and continues to spew out lie after demonstrable lie:

So hurray for Joe Wilson, my new hero:

It was Obama’s idea to hold a joint session of Congress on this very divisive issue, and give his eleventy hundredth speech on the subject. It was his idea to continue trying to sell it by offering pie in the sky solutions with no negative consequences. Americans have been educating themselves on the facts of what’s in these health care bills, and are finding out that just because Obama says something, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Republicans in Congress shouldn’t be expected to put up with it.

If this is the beginning of  UK Parliament style proceedings, with lots of yelling and cat calls, so be it. That can be Barry’s  legacy. The man who promised to end divisiveness will go down as the man whose shameless and audacious lies inspired an uprising not only amongst an alarmed citizenry, but also amongst Washington pols forced to listen to them.

UPDATE:

The apology was almost immediate:

“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the president’s remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill,” Wilson said.

“While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable.  I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

See also:

Drew at AoSHQ

Allahpundit, who isn’t in the mood to make nice, either.

Gateway Pundit

Sharp Right Turn

Cuffy Meigs

Ed Driscoll

NEA Appointees Hiding From The Press

Big Hollywood’s Patrick Courrielche reports that  a second conference call has taken place between the art community and Americans for Arts, a non-profit arts organization that has received substantial grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA and NEH were supposed to be in on the call, as well, but had bowed out at the last minute, perhaps, all too aware of the controversy swirling around the first conference call.

Lee Rosenbaum, a blogger for Artsjournal.com, posted her experience with a meeting that occurred on August 27th and confessed that she also felt “uneasy” about the government’s arts effort.  The meeting invitation (viewable here) went out to all “member local, state, and regional arts agencies, community-based arts organizations, and national partners of Americans for Arts.” Americans for Arts is a non-profit arts organization that has received substantial grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

As with my conference call, the art group was invited to the meeting to work together to “tackle some of the nation’s toughest issues: education; health; energy and the environment; community renewal; and safety and security.” Also like my call, it included a private citizen moderating the phone call with key White House representatives participating. Kalpen Modi, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, was to represent the White House and key representatives from the National Endowment for the Arts were also to participate.

Even more disturbing than learning that the White House and NEA are using the arts to address specific issues, is to learn what was discussed on this new conference call. Rosenbaum mentions that there was much talk of “leveraging federal dollars” to get artists and cultural organizations involved in social-service projects.

Leveraging federal dollars? This is the problem with marrying issue specific topics, like health care and energy, with a group that is funded by tax dollars; it increases the potential of taxpayer-funded propaganda.

Several news outlets have unsuccessfully tried to get a hold of  of the NEA to answer some questions:

With the building evidence of bad behavior by the NEA, you’d think this federal agency would have issued a statement explaining their position on this “brand new” direction for the arts. But as the cliché goes, the silence has been deafening. This taxpayer funded agency and their civil servants haven’t even returned phone calls from legitimate press outlets such as the Boston Globe, Foxnews.com, or the Washington Times.

Even more deafening is the silence on the part of the mainstream media. Documented dishonesty by White House appointed officials should easily draw the ire of our media watchdogs. But the liberal media, historically a protector of the arts, has turned its back on the community of which it adores. Like the Van Jones story, it appears that the blogosphere and conservative media are the only two forums that break news anymore. And the news that they break has dire consequences for those involved regardless of the mainstream media’s blind eye.

What, The New York Times hasn’t jumped on this, yet? What if some laws were broken, as George Will believes, and people are sent to jail over this? Might that be worth a story in the NYTs?

Lynne Munson, the former deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities is aghast:

I posted previously on how unethical it is to ask potential grantees to engage in politics. And how outrageous it is to do all of this while sitting in your office at a federal agency? Now, to make things worse, the agency has decided to cut itself off from the press. Not only does this look bad — it is wrong. The appointees who are refusing to explain themselves to the press and the public are public servants. Their $100k+ salaries are paid out of the NEA’s $160+ million budget (up $5 million in Obama’s first year).

Heads should be rolling.

Van Jones Returns to Job At Podesta’s Center for American Progress

Didn’t see this one coming…

For fallen White House aides, the rallying cry apparently is John Podesta to the rescue! The Obama administration’s former green jobs czar Van Jones is headed back to Podesta’s Center for American Progress after stepping down from his White House post four days ago amid controversy over his leftist affiliations, the Daily News has learned.

Tea Party Express Attracting HUGE Crowds

troy1

As the tea party express  makes its way across the country, it is attracting crowds of thousands everywhere it goes; crowds of citizens who will tell you they have never gone out and protested anything in their lives – “Virgin protesters” as the Fox affiliate in Detroit called them. Look at the size of this crowd in the Detroit area, yesterday, despite several rounds of heavy downpours.

WJBK-Detroit

A crowd of 10,000 attended their rally in New Lenox/Joliet, IL on the 7th:

newlenoxgoodpicblog

The express rolled into Canton, OH, to another big crowd, today:

canton1

Check out the Tea Party Express blog for constant updates of the tour. I think it’s safe to say that  there are huge numbers of Americans who have had enough of the “hope and change”, and they want their dissenting voices to be heard.

UPDATE:

Lucky Bridgeport!

Conservative author and pundit, Ann Coulter, has confirmed her participation at the Tea Party Express rally in Bridgeport, CT this Friday, September 11, 2001 at 1:30pm.  The rally will be held at Baldwin Plaza (behind the courthouse) located at 1061 Main Street in Bridgeport, CT.

Is Obama Creating A Shadow Government?

czarsVia: Redstate

Mark Rudd is a former SDS/Weather Underground member who’s friendly with many of Obama’s radical friends from Chicago. He currently serves on the board of the Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS), the parent body of Progressives For Obama, a leading far left umbrella group that supported Obama’s presidential campaign, and continues to support his Presidency.

Last December,  Trevor Loudon, (the NZ blogger who nailed Van jones) noticed a compelling entry from Rudd’s blog:

Our job now is to organize both inside and outside the Demo party. There’s already a big battle in the Demo party at every level. Here in the New Mexico State Legislature, the progressives are challenging the conservative Dems for leadership; the same is true in Congress. If you can’t stand to work in the party, work on putting mass pressure on issues such as healthcare and jobs and the war from outside.

Here’s my mantra: “Let’s put this country on our shoulders and get to work.”

***

…Leave the military alone because they’re way too powerful. For now, until enough momentum is raised…you have to be able to look like you’re doing one thing but do another. That’s why all these conservative appointments are important: the strategy is feint to the right, move left…Look to the second level appointments. There’s a whole govt. in waiting that Podesta has at the Center for American Progress. They’re mostly progressives…”

Andrew McCarthy had predicted the same thing back in November about Obama’s 2nd level appointments:

I expect the Obama appointment strategy to be two-fold . . . and clever. Step One: Establish the precedent for easy confirmations with ostensibly moderate, center-left nominees who are popular enough in the senate that the RINO bloc will quickly get on board. This would establish a working coalition for Obama in the upper chamber (not just on nominations but on legislation) and discourage the remaining GOP ranks from using the filibuster or other procedural stalls.

Step Two: Obama will move the country leftward with the appointments that really matter in government: the hundreds of second- and third-tier (and below) executive agency appointments — the deputy-secretaries, under-secretaries, and associate-this or -that for policy, etc., who work where the rubber of big government meets the road. They are the ones who implement policy, who have a huge hidden role in making policy, and who control the hiring of the thousands of federal employees who do not require confirmation.

Who could have predicted that Obama’s lurch to the left would go far beyond filling low level cabinet positions with far lefties. Obama has gone over the heads of his Cabinet, and created dozens of new positions, known as czars, creating positions that already have counterparts in the Cabinet…positions that some are saying make up a “shadow government”.

He’s created anywhere from 29 (according to the Politico) to 32 (Glenn Beck) to 44 (American daughter) Czar positions.

One reason for the discrepancy is because of the unclear definition of “Czar”.   Ed Morrissey, argues that a Czar does not have to go through a Senate confirmation, so someone like Cass Sunstein who is currently going through the confirmation process is considered a special adviser to the President, not a Czar. On the other hand, Michelle Malkin has called him a “Czar nominee (who is subject to confirmation hearings)”.

At any rate, there has been an unprecedentedly large number of folks appointed to positions in the executive branch, who do not have any Congressional oversight whatsoever, in Obama’s first nine months as President. So what the heck is going on here?

Anthony Martin of the Examiner believes this “bodes ill for citizens who value liberty and the Constitution”:

I postulated a theory yesterday that maintains Obama is forming a ‘shadow government’ that could, at any moment, replace the Cabinet, Congress, and the Supreme Court.  The sheer number of these shadow government officials strongly suggests that their presence in the White House is more than just a casual, friendly ‘advisory’ relationship with the President.  Rather, the scenario that is developing indicates the attempt by an American President to pull an ‘end-run’ around the legislative and judicial branches of government.

Glenn Beck has hinted at something similarly nefarious on his show.

Michelle Malkin calls them “Czars of Obama’s underworld”,

The Obama administration has created a two-tiered government—fronted by Cabinet secretaries able to withstand public scrutiny (some of them, just barely) and then managed behind the scenes by shadow secretaries with broad powers beyond congressional reach. Bureaucratic chaos serves as a useful smokescreen to obscure the true source of policy decision-making.

She reports today, that a Democrat Rep opposes the Czar system, and has in fact called for their dismissals:

U.S. Rep. Dan Boren said Congress should use the power of the purse to push the Obama administration to remove so-called czars that do not go through a confirmation process.

Responding to questions during a telephonic town hall, the Oklahoma Democrat said he was glad Van Jones, who resigned over the weekend as controversy continued to build over past statements, has left his post.

Senator Byrd came out early against the Czars, writing a letter to Obama, back in February:

In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd, a Democrat, said that the czar system “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances,” Politico reported. Byrd added that oversight of federal agencies is the responsibility of officials approved by the Senate.

“As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, or to virtually anyone but the president,” Byrd wrote. “They rarely testify before congressional committees, and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability.”

A couple of Republicans jumped on board the anti-Green Czar bandwagon at the last minute to call for Van Jones’ resignation. Maybe some Republican leaders (hello Michael Steele?) could be so bold as to ask for all of their resignations?

Of course, there’s always plan B, as posited by Clarice Feldman at The American Thinker:

Since it appears Congress is yet unwilling to insist on the preservation of its Constitutional prerogatives and the White House unlikely to change course on its own, I take it it’s up to what we call the alternative media to keep plodding ahead and picking off  one by one those Czars who are manifestly unsuitable for these posts. < blockquote>

MORE:

Perhaps it’s wrong to say that Obama is forming a shadow government. As Jackstraw suggests, perhaps the person responsible is a puppetmaster with deep pockets, shaping the agenda from behind the scenes.