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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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