CNN's Cafferty Slams Obama for 'Lie' on Healthcare Talks

Sunday, 17 Jan 2010 05:33 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. CNN’s Cafferty Slams Obama for ‘Lie’ on Healthcare Talks
2. ADL: American Muslim Extremists a Growing Threat
3. Recent Setbacks Called ‘Traumatic’ for Democrats
4. CNN Kicks Rush Limbaugh ‘When He’s Down’
5. AFL-CIO Leader: Democrats Risk Repeat of ’94
6. We Heard: Ron Paul, IRS, Lenny Dykstra, Reader’s Digest, Cyril Wecht
 


1. CNN’s Cafferty Slams Obama for ‘Lie’ on Healthcare Talks

Is CNN going rogue on President Obama?

Commentator Jack Cafferty — who has been outspoken in his praise of Obama in the past — launched a blistering attack on Obama and the Democrats over the closed-door negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of healthcare reform legislation.

“How dare they!” he began on a recent edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

“President Obama and Democratic leaders have decided to bypass a formal House and Senate conference committee in order to reconcile those two healthcare bills. Instead, White House and Democratic leaders will hold informal — that’s another word for secret — negotiations meant to shut Republicans and the public out of the process.

“What a far cry from the election, when candidate Obama pledged to ‘broadcast healthcare negotiations on C-SPAN so the American people can see what the choices are.’

“President Obama hasn’t even made a token effort to keep his campaign promises of more openness and transparency in government. It was all just another lie that was told in order to get elected.”

C-SPAN Chief Executive Brian Lamb sent a letter to House and Senate leaders on Jan. 5 asking that the negotiations be televised, saying healthcare reform “will affect the lives of every single American.” The request was rebuffed.

“The Democrats insist this is all on the up and up,” Cafferty continued, “with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying ‘there’s never been a more open process for any legislation.’ Really?

“This is the same Nancy Pelosi who, you may recall after becoming speaker in 2006, promised the Democrats would have the ‘most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.’

“Here’s hoping the voters remember some of this crap when the midterm elections roll around later this year.”

The blast was a sharp turnaround for Cafferty, who in March rhapsodized about the “bright” and “terrific” Barack Obama in an interview with Media Bistro.

Asked whether he thought the president could turn things around, Cafferty described himself as "hopeful" and gushed, "I like him a lot. I think he's a bright guy.”

Then in a statement that now appears strikingly ironic, he added: “I like the fact that he's visible and that, you know, he's attempting to bring some transparency and some legitimacy and honesty to the office, which has been missing for a while."

Editor's Note:



2. ADL: American Muslim Extremists a Growing Threat

In the past two years, more than 30 American Muslim extremists have been arrested on various terror-related charges including providing material support to terrorists and plotting to plant bombs in the U.S., the Anti-Defamation League reports.

The organization’s magazine, ADL on the Frontline, warns in its Winter 2010 issue that these extremists, “who have domestic addresses and U.S. passports, constitute a growing terrorist threat in the United States.”

That threat came into focus in November when authorities say Virginia-born Muslim Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, leaving 13 people dead and 29 wounded.

Two months earlier, American Muslim convert Michael Finton was charged with attempting to bomb the federal courthouse in Springfield, Ill.

That same month, Najibullah Zazi, a U.S. permanent resident, was charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the U.S. Officials believe he was plotting to blow up commuter trains.

“An alarming number of recent plots and conspiracies have involved, or been led by, American Muslim extremists,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman.

“It is a troubling reminder of the broad problem of increased radicalization among a small subset of the domestic Muslim population. Many of these extremists are fueled by hatred of Jews, Israel, and America, and have been influenced, to some degree, by the ideologies of extreme intolerance propagated by terrorist movements overseas,” he added. 

Most Muslim extremists in the U.S. are American-born converts to Islam, first-generation Americans, or naturalized U.S. citizens or permanent residents, according to the ADL.

They share the belief that they are fighting against a Western enemy that victimizes Muslims around the world.

One factor fueling the threat is the increased availability on the Internet of extremist propaganda in English. This material, previously available largely in Arabic, might include instructions for carrying out suicide bombings.

Al-Qaida has an American spokesman, Adam Yahiye Gadahn, who converted to Islam and creates English-language videos inviting others to join the movement. One of his videos called America and Israel “forces of evil.”

Terrorist organizations also publish online magazines in English, the ADL noted. Last year the Al Mosul Islamic Network released what it called an “English jihad magazine,” which called for Allah to “destroy the enemies of Islam . . . the Jews, Christians, atheists, and the betraying criminals.”

Oren Segal, the ADL’s director of Islamic affairs, said ominously: “There are several Muslim extremist groups trying to raise their profile in America. The more support these groups get, the more influential they can become.

“We’ve got a serious problem that’s growing, and promises to keep growing.”

Editor's Note:



3. Recent Setbacks Called ‘Traumatic’ for Democrats

Political analyst Charlie Cook says the terms “gruesome” and “psychologically devastating” come to mind when he considers the political developments for Democrats over the last few weeks.

In his “Off to the Races” column for National Journal’s CongressDaily site, Cook points to these developments:

  • Within a matter of hours on Jan. 5, Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, both Democrats, announced that they would not seek re-election in November.

  • The same day, Michigan Lt. Gov. John Cherry, the all-but-certain Democratic pick for governor, “decided his party’s nomination wasn’t worth having” and withdrew from the race.

  • Then came revelations about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s 2008 comments about candidate Barack Obama, referring to him as “light-skinned” with “no Negro dialect.”

  • These setbacks followed the announcements in December that Democratic Reps. Dennis Moore of Kansas, Brian Baird of Washington, and Bart Gordon and John Tanner of Tennessee would not seek re-election.

  • And on Dec. 22, Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama announced that he had switched from Democrat to Republican.

Each post that was Democratic will not necessarily be Republican after November, Cook observes.

But “it’s the collective traumatic impact of these Democratic setbacks that causes the most damage, potentially moving other incumbents to decide to retire, undermining recruiting and chilling party fundraising, which until now has gone quite well.”

Cook predicted that Democrats will lose from 20 to 30 House seats in November, not the 40 the GOP needs for a majority.

In the Senate, Democrats will likely lose from four to six seats, including the one left open by Dorgan, according to Cook.

He said the most vulnerable senators, in addition to Reid, are Michael Bennet in Colorado, Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, and Barbara Boxer in California.

Editor's Note:



4. CNN Kicks Rush Limbaugh ‘When He’s Down’

New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick has attacked the “human insensitivity” of the far left displayed by CNN’s treatment of conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh’s recent hospitalization.

The headline of Mushnick’s column: “CNN to Rush: Drop Dead.”

On Dec. 30, vacationing Limbaugh was rushed to a hospital in Hawaii, where it was determined that his chest pains were not caused by a heart attack.

On CNN, the breaking news of his hospitalization was delivered by anchor Rick Sanchez “as he wore a slightly bemused expression and spoke in a slightly lighthearted manner,” Mushnick observed. “It was as if Limbaugh’s potentially fatal episode should strike us as welcomed news.”

CNN went on to post viewer e-mails that “trashed” Limbaugh, Mushnick said, including one that wished him a speedy recovery — over 40 years.

CNN’s coverage and the e-mail responses were “an exercise in social decay,” Mushnick wrote. “The human insensitivity that the far left claims is the greatest failing in the far right was met, if not surpassed . . .

“Even when one of the opposition is rushed to the hospital, don’t allow such breaking news to pass as mere breaking news. Seize it as an opportunity to kick a man when he’s down.

“It’s one thing to shout ‘Drop dead!’ to an opponent when he’s reasonably healthy and standing before you. But to shout ‘Drop dead!’ at the man as he’s being loaded into the ambulance, well, that’s worse than low.”

CNN was not alone in “trashing” Rush after news of his hospitalization broke, Newsmax.com reported last week.

A number of posts on the left-wing site Daily Kos spewed venom against Limbaugh, with offerings such as: “If he gets well, so be it. If he gets worse, be it paralyzed, comatose, or dead, he’s earned it.”

This vile offering appeared on TMZ.com: “Oh, please let him die! Preferably quickly and very painfully.”

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia even updated his page and pronounced him dead:

“Rush Hudson Limbaugh III (born January 12, 1951, died December 30, 2009) is an American radio host and conservative political commentator. He is the host of The Rush Limbaugh Show, the highest-rated talk-radio program in the United States.”

The lie was quickly removed from the Web site.

Editor's Note:



5. AFL-CIO Leader: Democrats Risk Repeat of '94

The Democratic Party needs to dramatically change its economic policy or it could face a repeat of its crushing electoral defeat in 1994, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka declared.

Trumka told the National Press Club on Jan. 11 that the Democrats must end their coziness with the financial sector and minister to the needs of working Americans or they could lose control of the House this November as they did in 1994, when Republicans were energized by their “Contract with America.”

“In 1992, workers voted for Democrats who promised action on jobs, who talked about reigning in corporate greed, and who promised healthcare reform,” Trumka said in remarks reported by The Hill newspaper.

“Instead we got NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], an emboldened Wall Street — and not much more.”

Union leaders did back the Democrats in 1994, but “there was no way to persuade enough working Americans to go to the poll when they couldn’t tell the difference between the two parties,” Trumka said.

“Politicians who think that working people have it too good — too much healthcare, too much Social Security and Medicare, too much power on the job — are inviting a repeat of 1994.”

Trumka criticized the Senate healthcare reform bill, in particular the proposed tax on high-cost insurance plans included in the legislation.

He said the tax would cut into benefits workers have obtained through negotiations with employers.

He concluded, “Too many people in Washington seem to think that now that we have bailed out the banks, everything will be OK.

“In 2010, our elected leaders must choose between continuing the policies of the past or striking out on a new economic course for America — a course that will reverse the damaging trend toward greater inequality that is crippling our nation.”

Editor's Note:



6. We Heard . . .

THAT Rep. Ron Paul said the tea party movement is not likely to revive the Republican Party.

“I don’t think you can talk about the tea party as a party,” the Texas Republican and former presidential candidate told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

“It’s made up of a lot of different people. And I don’t even see them as being Republicans.

“I think they’re unhappy. They’re unhappy with the Establishment party. And that’s made up of the Republicans and the Democrats.”

Paul also said Republicans should be wary of aligning themselves too closely with protesters who could be unpredictable in their actions.

THAT the U.S. tax code is so complex, even Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman does not fill out his own tax forms.

He told C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program last week that he uses a tax preparer for his returns.

“I’ve used one for years,” he said. “I find it convenient. I find the tax code so complex, so I use a preparer.”

Asked how he would simplify the tax code, Shulman responded: “I don’t write the tax laws. Congress writes the tax laws so that’s a whole different discussion.”

THAT former Major League baseball player Lenny Dykstra has been sued by an airline leasing company that is trying to force him out of his latest lodgings — a small office space in their hangar in Camarillo, Calif.

Dykstra moved his Players Club magazine into the office back in 2008, but the publication folded and he filed for bankruptcy last July with debts estimated at around $50 million.

A bankruptcy judge has barred him from the estate in Thousand Oaks, Calif., that he bought from hockey legend Wayne Gretsky for $18 million, Keith Kelly reports in his New York Post “Media Ink” column.

The leasing company, Avantair, has already had Dykstra’s sublease voided because he hasn’t paid any rent since September 2008.

THAT the Reader’s Digest Association (RDA) is battling in court with a group of retirees over the payout they will receive as the company reorganizes and emerges from bankruptcy, Keith Kelly also reports.

The 300-strong group of former senior executives objects to the plan to give them only $4 million. They say they expected to receive more than $100 million after they left the firm.

RDA is trimming its $2.2 billion in bank debt and handing over control of the company to bondholders.

THAT prominent forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht has confirmed that he is considering a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in Pennsylvania.

Wecht, a former commissioner and coroner in the state, has served as a consultant or media commentator on a number of high-profile cases, including the deaths of Robert Kennedy, Elvis Presley, JonBenet Ramsey and Anna Nicole Smith.

Last May, after a years-long battle, Wecht was cleared of federal charges that he used public resources for his private work.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the prosecutor in the case, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, is considering a bid for Congress as a Republican.

Editor's Note:



Editor's Notes:

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