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Obama Facing Hurdles to Nuclear Disarmament Goals

Five months after President Barack Obama, with great fanfare, called for a world free of nuclear weapons, a crucial step toward that goal is running into resistance.
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Boston’s Roman Catholic Cardinal Says He Confronted Obama about Abortion in Health Care Plan at Ted Kennedy’s Funeral

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston, wrote on Thursday that he confronted President Obama on the question of abortion in the health care reform plan when he spoke to Obama in a Boston church at Sen. Ted Kennedy’s funeral.
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Obama School Talk Push Back Framed Around Exasperation Over ‘Hyper-Partisan Era’

The ABC and NBC anchors on Thursday night framed stories, on the controversy over President Obama’s upcoming Tuesday address to the nations’ schoolchildren accompanied by a Department of Education recommendation that teachers have their students “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President,” through the prism of Obama as a victim of unfair presumptions.

“It seemed like a simple idea,” fill-in ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos sighed in offering the most benign description of how Obama’s “going to kick off the school year next week by speaking directly to America’s classrooms, the kind of pep talk to encourage kids to do their best.” But, Stephanopoulos noted, “the idea ran into a storm of protests. School districts across the country are fielding calls from angry parents. Some fear their kids will be forced to hear a partisan message.”

On NBC, Brian Williams declared Obama’s “message will be about the importance of working hard and staying in school” and though “Presidents have done this type of thing before,” those occurred, he rued, before “this hyper-partisan era of instant and vocal outrage immediately on both the right and the left.”

(“Hyper-partisan instant and vocal outrage immediately” sounds like a perfect description for much of what’s delivered by Williams’ NBC colleagues at MSNBC.)

In the subsequent reports, both ABC’s Jake Tapper and NBC’s Kevin Tibbles pointed out the controversy was fueled by a classroom guide that originally suggested pre-K through 6th grade teachers have their kids “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President,” but that was changed to recommending students “write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.” (Screen shot is from the NBC Nightly News.)

PDF of the revised “Menu of Classroom Activities; President Obama’s Address to Students Across America (PreK-6)” from the Department of Education. The item in question is under “After the Speech.”

Story from the MRC’s, “Revision: Education Dept. Changes Suggested Classroom Activities for Students Who Watch Obama’s Speech.” The Washington Times broke the story.

(Only Stephanopoulos on Thursday night mentioned the “finger” incident: “The fight over health care reform has gotten physical. If you thought the stories out of some of those town hall meetings couldn’t get any stranger, get this. At a demonstration in Thousand Oaks, California, one reform supporter bit off half the finger of a man standing with opponents. According to the victim, he was just passing by.”)

The CBS Evening News didn’t mention that event and also had nothing on the controversy over the speech to schoolchildren.

How the ABC and NBC anchors framed the speech to school kids stories on Thursday night, September 3:

George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s World News:

Good evening. It seemed like a simple idea. President Obama was going to kick off the school year next week by speaking directly to America’s classrooms, the kind of pep talk to encourage kids to do their best. But the idea ran into a storm of protests. School districts across the country are fielding calls from angry parents. Some fear their kids will be forced to hear a partisan message. Others are threatening to keep their children home.

Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News:

President Obama, as you may know, is scheduled to talk to American school kids next week in a speech to be carried on the White House Web site and on C-SPAN. His message will be about the importance of working hard and staying in school. Presidents have done this type of thing before, not, however in this hyper-partisan era of instant and vocal outrage immediately on both the right and the left.

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Morning Bell: President Obama’s Failed Stimulus

When President Barack Obama sold his $787 billion stimulus package to the American people, he set one metric for success: jobs. Specifically, President Obama promised the American people he would create 4.1 million jobs by the end of 2010. According to the President’s plan, the stimulus should have lowered the nation’s unemployment rate below 8% by this August. That is the objective standard the President set for himself.

And according to objective data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning, President Obama’s policies, and his stimulus package, have been complete failures. BLS reports that the number of unemployed persons increased by 466,000 in August raising the nation’s unemployment to 9.7% … the highest it has been in 26 years.

Faced with the failure of their signature economic policy, the Obama administration trotted out Vice President Joe Biden to defend the stimulus yesterday in a speech to the Brookings Institute. Biden claimed that the stimulus bill created or saved between 500,000 and 750,000 jobs. This is demonstrably false. Job creation has fallen since the stimulus became law. When Congress passed the stimulus in February the new hire rate had fallen to 3.2%. The most recent data, from June 2009, shows that after the stimulus passed, job creation fell even further to 2.9%. Employers are creating fewer jobs than they did before the stimulus was passed.

Other data also shows that job creation has fallen sharply. Gallup surveys show that far fewer Americans report that their companies are hiring than a year ago. Last August 37% of Americans reported their companies were hiring. That figure has now fallen to 24%. Lower job creation accounts for roughly two-thirds of the increase in unemployment since the recession began.

Why has private-sector job creation fallen so sharply? The obvious and broad answer is the recession. A more precise answer is that business owners have grown wary about the future of the economy and consequently business investment has fallen sharply since the recession began. As businesses cut investments in new projects they have less need to hire, and job creation falls. As long as business investment remains low and entrepreneurs hold back from starting new enterprises, job creation will remain low–and unemployment, high.

Yesterday Vice President Biden said the stimulus “doesn’t reflect a lack of design; that was the design.” This is exactly why the stimulus has failed to reduce unemployment. Congress spending tens of billions of dollars on highway projects does nothing to encourage any business owners who do not build highways that potential investments will succeed. Spending tens of billions more to bail out state governments does not encourage an entrepreneur to take the risk of starting a small business. Government spending programs do not encourage the risk taking and innovation and investment needed to spur lasting job creation.

Who creates jobs? Employers with profitable businesses, investing and creating wealth. The stimulus bill was a grab bag of traditional liberal priorities that did nothing to encourage private sector employers to invest or create jobs. If anything the stimulus discourages investment and job creation. The enormous increase in federal spending that President Obama has undertaken raise the prospects of vastly higher taxes or rapidly rising inflation.

The federal deficit is expected to approach $2 trillion this year, and to remain well above $1 trillion for many years to come, doubling the national debt in just five years. This situation is not sustainable, but businesses can only guess how the federal government will restore order to its fiscal house, knowing full well that successful businesses make an attractive tax target. In the face of such a threatening environment, it is not surprising that job creation has fallen since President Obama signed the stimulus.

Quick Hits:

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Democrats’ 9/11 plan:Blast ‘right-wing’ terror

Suggested campaign paintsObama critics as enemies
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Crossing the Rhetorical Line: An Update

Earlier this week, The Heritage Foundation uncovered a disturbing posting on President Barack Obama’s perpetual campaign website, Under the Organizing for America (OFA) banner, a user of the site had created an event urging fellow Obama supporters to use 9/11 as a day of action for Obamacare. The message urged Americans to call their U.S. Senators and “fight back against our own Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped to a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly re-seizing power for their treacherous leaders.” It went on to call conservatives the heirs to Bin Laden.

Since then, liberals have defended the post as merely the work of one person who had no connection the White House or the DNC. DNC Spokewoman Hari Sevugan said: “I’m sure the Heritage Foundation or Fox don’t agree or condone some of the things posted in sections of their website open to the public.” Comments on our blog, The Foundry, have also likened the post to nothing more than a posting. Yesterday on the O’Reilly Factor, Newsday columnist Ellis Henican referred to the poster as “some dope” and said the minute the “grown-ups” saw it, they took it down…”what’s the problem?” We’re happy to address this confusion.

User Generated: It appears that this post was generated by a registered user of, however their identity remains unclear. If this were simply some salty language on a blog post, we would not have spent five minutes addressing it. However, this was an event that was organized, and then distributed to members of OFA in Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina and possibly other states. If Heritage took comments from our blog and distributed them en masse to our members, we believe we should be held accountable for the content as well.

Grown-Ups: Many commenters, as did Ellis Henican, credited the site with cancelling the event once it was discovered. However, it must to be noted that they only did so after The Foundry brought light to it. Without this intervention, were there sufficient filters to keep this hateful language out of the mainstream, and if not, was this event simply scrubbed to prevent a public relations disaster?

The OFA Banner: Here in The Foundry, we take special pride in our forums for reader feedback. We do our best to moderate a thoughtful and deliberate discussion on issues, but there is no mistaking that emotions do sometimes get the better of folks, and when reader comments go too far, there is no mistaking whose voice they represent…their own. This event listing was distributed under the Organizing for America banner with official tone and language without disclaimers.

Organizing: Soccer Moms, Nascar Dads and Senior Citizens have spent four weeks being assaulted by liberals for ‘organizing’ against Obamacare. They have been likened to brown shirts by Congressman Baird (D-WA), called un-American by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and called fascists by former White House Chief of Staff Lanny Davis. The reality was that this was a bottom-up organization rooted at dinner tables across the nation. But when the President’s campaign arm distributes this call for mobilization on 9/11, there is no such condemnation.

Perpetual Campaign: This episode is the result of the President choosing to run a perpetual campaign rather than lead the nation through difficult economic and geo-political times. There is a time for campaigning, and now is not that time. By embracing as his method of interaction with the American public he continues to divide the nation in a way that makes this rhetoric flourish. He needs to immediately put to rest the OFA website and leave the campaigning to political parties.

The President has a tough road ahead. He cannot continue to bring us together in one speech, and divide us in the next. By organizing his campaign volunteers into a frenzy and orchestrating them to act out on his behalf, he ensures that no consensus will be possible on health care reform. We want to work together on real solutions for American’s health care needs, but when is creating this toxic environment, no winners emerge.

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Essay: The President Without a Country

“We’re no longer a Christian nation.” – President Barack Obama, June 2007

“America has been arrogant.” – President Barack Obama

“After 9/11, America didn’t always live up to her ideals.”- President Barack Obama

“You might say that America is a Muslim nation.”- President Barack Obama, Egypt 2009

Thinking about these and other statements made by the man who wears the title of president. I keep wondering what country he believes he’s president of.

In one of my very favorite stories, Edward Everett Hale’s “The Man without a Country,” a young Army lieutenant named Philip Nolan stands condemned for treason during the Revolutionary War, having come under the influence of Aaron Burr. When the judge asks him if he wishes to say anything before sentence is passed, young Nolan defiantly exclaims, “Damn the United States ! I wish I might never hear of the United States again!”

The stunned silence in the courtroom is palpable, pulsing. After a long pause, the judge soberly says to the angry lieutenant: “You have just pronounced your own sentence. You will never hear of the United States again.. I sentence you to spend the rest of your life at sea, on one or another of this country’s naval vessels – under strict orders that no one will ever speak to you again about the country you have just cursed.”

And so it was. Philip Nolan was taken away and spent the next 40 years at sea, never hearing anything but an occasional slip of the tongue about America. The last few pages of the story, recounting Nolan’s dying hours in his small stateroom – now turned into a shrine to the country he fore swore – never fail to bring me to tears. And I find my own love for this dream, this miracle called America , refreshed and renewed. I know how blessed and unique we are.

But reading and hearing the audacious, shocking statements of the man who was recently elected our president – a young black man living the impossible dream of millions of young Americans, past and present, black and white – I want to ask him, “Just what country do you think you’re president of?”

You surely can’t be referring to the United States of America , can you? America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception! Seventy percent of her citizens identify themselves as Christian. The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were framed, written and ratified by Christians. It’s because this was, and is, a nation built on and guided by Judeo-Christian biblical principles that you, sir, have had the inestimable privilege of being elected her president.

You studied law at Harvard, didn’t you, sir? You taught constitutional law in Chicago ? Did you not ever read the statement of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and an author of the landmark “Federalist Papers”: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers – and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation – to select and prefer Christians for their rulers”?

In your studies, you surely must have read the decision of the Supreme Court in 1892: “Our lives and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”

Did your professors have you skip over all the high-court decisions right up till the mid 1900’s that echoed and reinforced these views and intentions? Did you pick up the history of American jurisprudence only in 1947, when for the first time a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson about a “wall of separation between church and state” was used to deny some specific religious expression – contrary to Jefferson’ s intent with that statement?

Or, wait a minute . were your ideas about America ‘s Christianity formed during the 20 years you were a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under your pastor, Jeremiah Wright? Is that where you got the idea that ” America is no longer a Christian nation”? Is this where you, even as you came to call yourself a Christian, formed the belief that ” America has been arrogant”?

Even if that’s the understandable explanation of your damning of your country and accusing the whole nation (not just a few military officials trying their best to keep more Americans from being murdered by jihadists) of “not always living up to her ideals,” how did you come up with the ridiculous, alarming notion that we might be “considered a Muslim nation”?

Is it because there are some 2 million or more Muslims living here, trying to be good Americans? Out of a current population of over 300 million, 70 percent of whom are Christians? Does that make us, by any rational definition, a “Muslim nation”?

Why are we not, then, a “Chinese nation”? A “Korean nation”? Even a “Vietnamese nation”? There are even more of these distinct groups in America than Muslims. And if the distinction you’re trying to make is a religious one, why is America not “a Jewish nation”? There’s actually a case to be made for the latter, because our Constitution – and the success of our Revolution and founding – owe a deep debt to our Jewish brothers.

Have you stopped to think what an actual Muslim America would be like? Have you ever really spent much time in Iran? Even in Egypt? You, having been instructed in Islam as a kid at a Muslim school in Indonesia and saying you still love the call to evening prayers, can surely picture our nation founded on the Quran, not the Judeo-Christian Bible, and living under Shariah law. Can’t you? You do recall Muhammad’s directives [Surah 9:5,73] to “break the cross” and “kill the infidel”?

It seems increasingly and painfully obvious that you are more influenced by your upbringing and questionable education than most suspected. If you consider yourself the president of a people who are “no longer Christian,” who have “failed to live up to our ideals,” who “have been arrogant,” and might even be “considered Muslim” – you are president of a country most Americans don’t recognize.

Could it be you are a president without a country?

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IRS would become Obamacare’s enforcer…

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