Saturday, January 24, 2009

President Obama scores series of hits/ Media Confused Without Cheney's Directives & Fox News Attacks Obama

UPDATE: Jan. 24, 2009 at 1:15 PM.
Anyway Obama is off to an auspicious start and scores series of hits during first few days in office. So let's take a moment to look at the good start that Obama has made.

closing Gitmo
ending torture of detainees
Support of Geneva Conventions
Exiting Iraq
Reproductive Rights
a more open government
Protecting the environment

But let's begin with a bit from Jon Stewart on FOX NEWS already attacking President Obama and that they are hoping will fail. What Jon Stewart points out that when Bush was in power FOX NEWS claimed criticisms of Bush in a time of war was tantamount to treason. But now that Obama is president he is fair game. So the media bias continues in favor of Bush and the Republicans becuse the Media see President Obama and the democrats as the "Enemy " and so the conservatives are going into "attack mode" but haven't they been doing this since the first day Obama began running as Party leader and then as a presidential candidate.

Stewart: Limbaugh's desire for Obama to 'fail' is 'arguably treasonous'

After only a few days, Fox News does its "duty," and, of course, all the while, remaining "fair and balanced," finds reasons Americans should fear the Obama administration.

As Comedy Central's Jon Stewart shows, the attacks on Obama - some that even the Fox hosts themselves considered ridiculous but still decided to air to sound off on - began in the first twenty-four hours of his presidency.

and more insanity from FOX NEWS - The Anti-Obama Network
One question for President Obama does he really expect to be able to deal with these Ultraconservitives in a rational manner. Remember these are the Journalists and their loopy followers who trashed Obama for over two years. They act as if Obama was not legally elected as President.

Not Only Is Fox's Glenn Beck a Bigot, He's Also a Lunatic- from ThinkProgress.

So not only is Glenn Beck a bigot, but he's also a raving lunatic. On his Fox News show, Beck freaked out because President Obama didn't place his hand on a Bible while retaking the oath of office. The best part was Beck pretended he "checked" and found that no President has been sworn in without a Bible. That, of course, is FALSE. As Think Progress points out, Teddy Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and John Quincy Adams didn't use Bibles when they were sworn into office.

But hey, why should Beck let a little thing like the facts get in the way of marginalizing Obama at all costs? Isn't that what all the redo complaints really boil down to -- the true Fox mission? I mean, Fox simply gave the Bush administration a pass for eight painfully long years of blatant lies and illicitness. Now, however, they're suddenly so concerned about strictly adhering to the law, criticizing Obama over something that was actually the fault of Chief Justice Roberts.

But some in the US Media in Senate & Congress still enthralled by Bush & co. are hostile to Obama's policies turn to fear mongering and propaganda. Are they still taking their marching orders from Cheney and Karl Rove. Are they still hoping to rein in Obama so that he will pay tribute to the Neoconservatives the Religious Right and various far-right organizations.

What they fail to accept is that the election of President Obama was a repudiation of much of the Ideology and policies of the Bush Regime. For instance the abuse and torture of detainees did not make the world safer and only hurt America's reputation. The War in Iraq was unnecessary and has led to the deaths of over 4,000 Americans.It also has cost over 600 billion dollars and counting. The American people also rejected Bush's rationalizations for stripping Americans of one right after another. The American voters also realized that all of Bush's talk about a healthy economy was a pack of lies.

People for the American Way proclaim that Obama's first few days in office is a Great Start!

In President Obama's first few days in office, he has already undone some serious damage from the previous administration with the stroke of a pen. He signed orders to close Guantanamo and the CIA's network of secret foreign prisons. And he repealed the global gag rule prohibiting U.S. dollars and contraceptive supplies from going to any international family planning program that provides abortions or counsels women about their reproductive health options. He's nominated stellar candidates to run the government, many of whom have been confirmed and started their work.

Great start!

President Obama's inauguration this week was enthusiastically celebrated by Americans of all political stripes. Even many former Bush supporters have embraced President Obama and agree that the country needs to move beyond partisanship and division. President Obama's high approval ratings are a clear indication that Americans are willing and ready to do what's needed to heal our economy, restore our good standing in the world and meet the enormous challenges we face.

and from Planned Parenthood

Overturns Gag Rule - Planned Parenthood

President Obama: Thank you for overturning the global gag rule! Jan.23, 2009

... As one of his first official acts in office, President Obama has overturned the global gag rule...

By overturning the global gag rule, President Obama has taken a tremendous first step toward promoting women's health around the world. Overseas health care providers will now be able to offer counseling, referrals, and services for the full range of reproductive health options to women without fear that the U.S. government will strip them of their funding.

I'm sending our new president a message of thanks on behalf of these providers, the women they serve, and those of us here in the U.S. who have been protesting the global gag rule since the day President Ronald Reagan first implemented it.

and see:

" Obama Reverses Global Gag " Rule by Suzanne Malveaux CNN Jan 23, 2009

WASHINGTON - President Obama signed an executive order Friday striking down a rule prohibiting U.S. money from funding international family planning groups that promote abortion or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion services.

The order comes the day after the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States.

It reverses the "Mexico City policy," initiated by President Reagan in 1984, canceled by President Clinton and reinstated by President George W. Bush in 2001.

The policy, referred to by critics as "the global gag rule," was initially announced at a population conference in Mexico City.

Reversing the previous administrations' stance on the policy was one of Clinton's first acts as president in January 1993 and the very first executive order issued by Bush on January 22, 2001, the 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Critics, including Planned Parenthood, called Bush's move a "legislative ambush."

He defended his action, saying, "It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortion or actively promote abortion."

The group Population Action International praised Obama's move, saying in a statement that it will "save women's lives around the world."

also see: "Obama lifts restrictions on abortion funding" Reuters, Jan 23 2009

On Bush's Midnight changes in regulations:

Obama Moves to Block Bush's 'Midnight' attempts to Relax Green Rules" Jan. 23, 2009 from

New administration moves quickly to undo "midnight regulations" designed to relax environmental rules

by Danny Bradbury

WAHINGTON - In a traditional game of political whack-a-mole, the Obama White House has moved quickly to freeze all pending regulations proposed by the former president's administration, including president Bush's attempts to roll back large swathes of environmental legislation.

President Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel issued a memo on inauguration day warning federal agencies not to send proposed or final regulations to the Office of the Federal Register for publication. The Oval Office is to review each of them first.

The White House memo also gives the president's designates the chance to re-evaluate rules that have already been published in the federal register, but which agencies have not yet brought into effect.

Last-minute rules, known as midnight regulations, are common when one administration leaves office. The Bush administration was working on a swathe of regulations in the run-up to the transition, many of which carried an environmental impact.

and William Rivers Pitt comments that these are "First Steps on a Long Road" , Jan. 23, 2009

...President Obama's first official act in office was to repair the damage done by the Bush administration's wildly devious and dishonest practices. As Dan Froomkin reported in The Washington Post on Thursday, "Obama issued three memos: one establishes bold new rules regarding transparency and open government; another instructs executive-branch officials who enforce the Freedom of Information Act to err on the side of making materials public rather than looking for reasons to legally withhold them; and the third freezes pay of White House staffers making over $100,000. He also signed two executive orders: one establishing strict ethics rules for his political appointees and another making presidential records more accessible."

President Obama has ordered the closing of America's detention center in Guantanamo Bay, and has ordered the end of the use of torture against detainees. As Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball reported in Time on Thursday, "In perhaps his most far-reaching and potentially controversial move, Obama ordered that the CIA immediately cease using any interrogation techniques that are not already authorized in the Army Field Manual. He also ordered the CIA to close, 'as expeditiously as possible,' any secret detention facilities overseas and begin immediate compliance with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits 'humiliating and degrading' treatment of prisoners."

The import of these latest moves by President Obama was best detailed by Glenn Greenwald, who wrote, "Barack Obama will have spent his first several days in office issuing a series of executive orders which, some quibbling and important caveats aside, meet or actually exceed even the most optimistic expectations of civil libertarians - everything from ordering the closing of Guantanamo to suspending military commissions to compelling CIA interrogators to adhere to the Army Field Manual to banning CIA "black sites" and, perhaps most encouragingly (in my view): severely restricting his own power and the power of former presidents to withhold documents on the basis of secrecy, which has been the prime corrosive agent of the Bush era."

Finally, science has been rescued from the dungeon of Bush administration idiocy. The Financial Times reported on Friday that, "US regulators have approved the first use of embryonic stem cells in humans. The move raises the prospect of a groundbreaking approach to medical treatment that had been blocked since 2001 by George W. Bush as president. Just two days after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, who opposed his predecessor's ban on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, the Food & Drug Administration authorised Geron, a US biotech company, to begin clinical trials for patients with severe spinal cord injuries." For millions of Americans who suffer from diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating maladies, the promise of stem cell research cannot be overstated...


" Obama Moves to Start Iraq Pullout " by By Peter Baker /Thom Shanker/ International Herald Tribune Jan. 22, 2009

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has given his national security team a new mission to end the war in Iraq, nearly six years after U.S.-led forces invaded, but he held off ordering a troop withdrawal right away to hear concerns and options from his military commanders.

[Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets with U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus in Kabul, January 20, 2009.(Presidential Palace/Handout/Reuters)]Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets with U.S. Central Command chief General David Petraeus in Kabul, January 20, 2009.(Presidential Palace/Handout/Reuters)
On his first full day in office, Obama summoned senior civilian and uniformed officials to the White House on Wednesday to begin fulfilling his campaign promise to pull combat forces out of Iraq in 16 months. Among those meeting with Obama was General David Petraeus, who had not seen him since the Nov. 4 election.

"I asked the military leadership to engage in additional planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq," Obama said in a written statement after the meeting. He added that he planned to "undertake a full review of the situation in Afghanistan in order to develop a comprehensive policy for the entire region."

Obama orders CIA to stop torturing terror suspects" By Leonard Doyle in Washington The Jan. 23, 2009

President continues reversal of Bush policies by confirming Guantanamo closure

Barack Obama has ordered the CIA to cease the torture and mistreatment of terrorist suspects and to shut down its notorious network of secret prisons around the world. As anticipated, he signed an order yesterday which means the Guantanamo Bay jail in Cuba will be closed within a year.

Mr Obama said at the State Department that in this "twilight struggle" he wanted to send, "an unmistakable signal that our actions in defence of liberty will be (as) just as our cause". The directive said it "shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order".

The US is still holding 245 suspects in Guantanamo, only a handful of whom are believed to be senior members of al-Qai'da. Many are ordinary Arabs who were caught up in security sweeps in Afghanistan and Pakistan and have been left stateless. But it is not known how many suspects captured by the CIA were sent off to be interrogated in secret prisons.

The outgoing CIA chief, Michael Hayden, says it is "fewer than 100". Because some of the interrogators fear they could be prosecuted for war crimes, video tapes of interrogations and other records have also disappeared. The existence of a secret CIA prisons network and the policy of "rendition" – secretly removing suspects to countries where torture is practised – has caused international outrage. Decisions must now be made on whether inmates should be transferred, released or prosecuted in the US.

and still the Mainstream Media is spewing lies propaganda and fear as if the Bush Regime were still controlling them
maybe these journalists are just a little confused or discombobulated having not received their weekly Talking Points Memo from Dick Cheney or Karl Rove. So maybe it will take time for them to once again what it means to be a journalist in a non-Bush World.

" The Newest Fear-Mongering Campaign From the Right and the Media "by Glenn Greenwald, Jan. 23, 2009

The latest fear-mongering campaign in the U.S. -- this one devoted to scaring Americans that they will be slaughtered if Guantanamo is closed and Terrorism suspects are brought into the U.S. for real trials -- is now in full swing. The New York Times today prints a front-page article, based entirely on an anonymous source, claiming that a detainee released from Guantanamo last year has now become "the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch" (it's always amazing how bureaucratically structured Al Qaeda is alleged to be and how well we can discern the structure: "Deputy Leader, Yemen Branch"; do they have business cards and organizational charts?).

But the real fear-mongering is focused on all of the attacks that American communities will suffer if we imprison dangerous Terrorists inside the U.S. rather than in Guantanamo. House Majority Leader John Boehner wants you to be frightened: "I think the first thing we have to remember is that we're talking about terrorists here. Do we bring them into our borders?" GOP House Minority Whip Eric Cantor warned: "Actively moving terrorists inside our borders weakens our security. Most families neither want nor need hundreds of terrorists seeking to kill Americans in their communities." The always frightened Wall St. Journal Editorial Page shrieks that any place that houses Al Qaeda Terrorists will become a "target" for attack:

The military base [at Ft. Leavenworth] is integrated into the community and, lacking Guantanamo's isolation and defense capacities, would instantly become a potential terror target. Expect similar protests from other states that are involuntarily entered in this sweepstakes.

National Review's Jim Geraghaty spent all day yesterday fantasizing about all the scary things that could happen if we have Al-Qaeda Terrorists in our communities (near nuclear facilities and airports!). Former Bush aide and chief speechwriter Marc Thiessen warned yesterday in The Washington Post that if there is a Terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Americans will blame Obama because he stopped torturing and closed Guantanamo, and Democrats will be "unelectable for a generation." Today, at National Review, Thiessen, citing yesterday's Executive Orders, declared Obama "to be the most dangerous man ever to occupy the Oval Office." And yesterday, of course, The Washington Post's Fred Hiatt echoed the standard claim that our regular federal courts were inadequate to try dangerous Terrorists.

All of this is pure fear-mongering -- the 2009 version of Condoleezza Rice's mushroom cloud and Jay Rockefeller's "we'll-lose-our-eavesdropping-capabilities" cries. Both before and after 9/11, the U.S. has repeatedly and successfully tried alleged high-level Al Qaeda operatives and other accused Islamic Terrorists in our normal federal courts -- in fact, the record is far more successful than the series of debacles that has taken place in the military commissions system at Guantanamo. Moreover, those convicted Terrorists have been housed in U.S. prisons, inside the U.S., for years without a hint of a problem. Here is but a partial list of the accused Muslim Terrorists who have been successfully tried and convicted in U.S. civilians courts and who remain imprisoned inside the U.S.:

Media Fudge Numbers on Guantánamo Detainees CommonDreams .org WASHINGTON - January 23

- In recent days many media figures and outlets -- including CNN's Campbell Brown and Kyra Phillips, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Fox News' Sean Hannity, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Associated Press, and -- have repeated or failed to challenge the claim that 61 former detainees held at Guantánamo Bay have returned to the battlefield. Hannity, the Globe, and the Los Angeles Times, in particular, falsely asserted that the Pentagon has confirmed this figure.

In fact, the Pentagon says it has confirmed that 18 Guantánamo detainees -- not 61 -- have returned to the fight. During a January 13 press conference, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell stated: "The new numbers are, we believe, 18 confirmed and 43 suspected of returning to the fight. So 61 in all former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight."

As Media Matters has repeatedly noted, the Pentagon's claim to having confirmed that 18 have returned to the fight has itself been called into question. Indeed, Seton Hall University School of Law professor Mark Denbeaux has disputed the Pentagon's figures, asserting: "Once again, they've failed to identify names, numbers, dates, times, places, or acts upon which their report relies. Every time they have been required to identify the parties, the DOD [Department of Defense] has been forced to retract their false IDs and their numbers."

"It is reckless for members of the media to misrepresent what the Pentagon said and to compound the misinformation by not reporting that even the lower Pentagon number that it actually claims to have confirmed has been questioned." said Karl Frisch, a Senior Fellow at Media Matters. He added, "The media should be ashamed for using these numbers without noting they have been called into question by experts. The American people deserve an honest assessment of our Guantanamo policy -- on that front they have been failed by the media."

and so it goes,

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