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White House: About that Free Speech Thing. It doesn't Apply if You Question the Stimulus.

This is how it goes in collectives. You're allowed the freedom of speech, but only when you agree with the collective. This is the position the White House is taking regarding stimulus projects. Mark Tapscott at the Washington Examiner has the details on today's editorial page:

A new White House policy on permissible lobbying on economic recovery and stimulus project has taken a decidedly anti-First Amendment turn. It's a classic illustration of Big Government trying to control every aspect of a particular activity and in the process running up against civil liberty.

Check out this passage from a post on the White House blog by Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President on Ethics and Government Reform (emphasis added):

"First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.

"Second, we will focus the restriction on oral communications to target the scenario where concerns about merit-based decision-making are greatest -after competitive grant applications are submitted and before awards are made. Once such applications are on file, the competition should be strictly on the merits. To that end, comments (unless initiated by an agency official) must be in writing and will be posted on the Internet for every American to see.

"Third, we will continue to require immediate internet disclosure of all other communications with registered lobbyists. If registered lobbyists have conversations or meetings before an application is filed, a form must be completed and posted to each agency's website documenting the contact."

As the editorial notes, this is the first movement toward suppression of political expression. Here the White House justifies it because of what it calls "unique circumstances." But just wait. Soon this administration will begin to label more and more of its policies and actions as "unique circumstances" that require suppression of political dissent.

When it comes to free speech, it's not the right to agree that's crucial. It's the right to disagree that is so important. Remember when those of the left were up in arms about the war in Iraq? They called that dissent patriotic, but it seems the only time this appears to be the case is when dissent is expressed by a liberal about a Republican president's policies.

What is even more depressing is that the American people don't see what is happening here in America as Obama's approval ratings are still in the 60's. But Pravda has taken notice and has published an obituary announcing the death of American capitalism:

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

[...]

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

Does Obama's ability to suppress criticism reach as far as Russia?


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Comments (19)

I'm sure he'll put a call i... (Below threshold)
epador:

I'm sure he'll put a call into Moscow right away.

"First, we will expand the ... (Below threshold)

"First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons...as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program."

yup, if you or we "exert influence on the process" then our communications will be "restricted"! The key is to be INconsequential.

Luckily, this is only "temporary" due to the "unique circumstances of the stimulus program".

Whew!

Their first movement toward... (Below threshold)
davidt:

Their first movement toward suppression of political expression?

It says WAY TOO MUCH about ... (Below threshold)
Codekeyguy Author Profile Page:

It says WAY TOO MUCH about the American people and their ability to critically evaluate when PRAVDA sees the problem and the general population doesn't. I truly fear for my liberty.

To sum up PRAVDA, progressi... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

To sum up PRAVDA, progressive liberalism is self-limiting in that it destroys the environment it flourishes in. The United States constitution wasn't intended to govern a godless people and is insufficient to do so. Human nature being what it is, conservatives can only impede the putrefaction of the United States.

When Der Fuhrer speaks, we ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

When Der Fuhrer speaks, we must obey. And forget all that pesky confusing 1st Amendment stuff. It's all so distracting.

Is this idiot for real? </p... (Below threshold)
914:

Is this idiot for real?

This is why I am a little c... (Below threshold)
MPR:

This is why I am a little concerned about this Internet Security guy, person, Czar, whatever, that Obamalala has appointed. I cannot even imagine where this will go. Obamalala has succeeded in one way. And that is, that he has gone even father than I thought he would. History books will write about how quickly we went from a republic democracy to dictatorship.

Peggy Noonan, Christopher B... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Peggy Noonan, Christopher Buckley, et al should take some editorial writing lessons from Pravda. It sickens me to have to say the Russian newspaper is spot on.

It's pretty bad when Pravda... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

It's pretty bad when Pravda will recognize things that the MSM won't. (Not saying that Pravda's totally right - but they're at least noticing some of the things Obama's doing and interpreting in their ideological contex.)

Next three years are going to be long-ass ones... Anyone want to make a bet on whether there will be some sort of 'emergency' that'll justify suspending elections? I realize this is tin-foil hat BDS territory, but if you look on all the stuff the really rabid left-wingers were spouting as a case of projection - that it's stuff THEY would do if they had the power - then it becomes somewhat more likely, I think.

"As the editorial notes,... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

"As the editorial notes, this is the first movement toward suppression of political expression."

The first step was extreme demonization, marginalization and effective control of the press. The oppression to follow is a given. This has been coming for a long time.

***************

I like coming up with nicknames for Obama. I just arrived at my favorite so far. The Black Hole. There is no sexual connotation intended so let's dispense with that right away. I refer to that celestial phenomenon with a gravitational field so strong that nothing can escape - not even light.

The appellation holds true on many counts. First, the "O" in Obama resembles a hole, as does the weird salute created by his followers. Second, his "field" pulls everything into the hole overcoming all resistance (personal freedom.) Name anything you like - it goes into the hole. Taxpayer dollars, freedom, self-determination, dissent, corporations, prosperity, the Constitution, etc. The gravitational pull is the force of the state. Anything going into to hole is on a one-way trip. There is no return, only the absence of the good thing that was.

I like it. Feel free to use it.

Careful Jeff, we've already... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Careful Jeff, we've already had a local pol here in Dallas raise a ruckus over using "black hole".

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/07/11/texas-county-official-sees-race-term-black-hole/

BVO, If it raises a ruckus,... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

BVO, If it raises a ruckus, then my work is done. :)

Be careful. You might be p... (Below threshold)
epador:

Be careful. You might be perceived as creating a "foreseeable risk of substantial disruption" and require preventive detention. Don't bother to take the issue to Judge SotoM's Court.

Dear Leader needs to hear t... (Below threshold)
JJ:

Dear Leader needs to hear that tape of Hillary screeching about the right to question "this and any administration" every.single.day.

"This is how it goes in col... (Below threshold)

"This is how it goes in collectives. You're allowed the freedom of speech, but only when you agree with the collective."

Actually, as with most things he's doing, it fits in nicely with Mussolini's description of fascism:

"The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone...."

See, you get to keep your 'free speech' to march in favor of abortion and undefining marriage, but "possibly harmful freedom", like interfering with the stimulus, which we all know will solve all economic problems the US does now or will ever face, that cannot be tolerated, it is "possibly harmful"...like being able to get a credit card. Sure some people can get one, that's a right, but it could be "possibly harmful" if a 20 year old gets one...so, no dice. And, after all, with Uncle Obama there to meet your cradle-to-grave needs, having a credit card in college is pretty much a "useless" freedom, isn't it?

A people that fears its gov... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

A people that fears its government is experiencing tyrany. A people who's government fears the people have liberty. 2010 is the time to send a message to Washington. A Republican congress can impeach this want to be tyrant.

I have some experience with... (Below threshold)
tyree:

I have some experience with million dollar contracts and this section:

"Second, we will focus the restriction on oral communications to target the scenario where concerns about merit-based decision-making are greatest -after competitive grant applications are submitted and before awards are made. Once such applications are on file, the competition should be strictly on the merits. To that end, comments (unless initiated by an agency official) must be in writing and will be posted on the Internet for every American to see."

Seems pretty standard to me. In our department all contract communication needs to be done in writing and it is all public. This is to preclude secret negotiations.

Here we go!!!!!!!!Th... (Below threshold)
Glenn Cassel AMH1(AW) USN Retired:

Here we go!!!!!!!!
The stimulus is nothing but a method to subjegate the ordinary working people who are the major part of the population.
In sailor terms, Fuck him and the stimulus!




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