TV Networks Will Be Asked to Boost ObamaCare In Plots of Their Top Shows

Abby Goodnough of The New York Times is reporting as the California state government is setting up its ObamaCare exchange, the exchange has hired a PR firm (with federal government money).

“Realizing that much of the battle will be in the public relations realm, the exchange has poured significant resources into a detailed marketing plan — developed not by state health bureaucrats but by the global marketing powerhouse Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, which has an initial $900,000 contract with the exchange,” she wrote. Ogilvy’s plan is to tap major network TV shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Modern Family” to sell Americans on the health care law:

Hollywood, an industry whose major players have been supportive of President Obama and his agenda, will be tapped. Plans are being discussed to pitch a reality television show about “the trials and tribulations of families living without medical coverage,” according to the Ogilvy plan. The exchange will also seek to have prime-time television shows, like “Modern Family,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and Univision telenovelas, weave the health care law into their plots.

“I’d like to see 10 of the major TV shows, or telenovelas, have people talking about ‘that health insurance thing,’ ” said Peter V. Lee, the exchange’s executive director. “There are good story lines here.”

Although the exchange will not start advertising until next year, the California Endowment, a foundation that has spent $15 million promoting the law, is running newspaper and television ads, including one in which the television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz exhorts viewers to “get educated, get engaged, get enrolled.” That campaign has targeted Hispanics, who make up more than half of the state’s uninsured population.

Read more here.

With Obama policy crumbling, White House blames movie for Mideast unrest

With anti-American demonstrations exploding across the Muslim world, the White House is insisting that the deadly attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya and violent protests targeting U.S. facilities in Egypt and several other countries are entirely the result of an anti-Islamic video on YouTube.

“This is a fairly volatile situation and it is in response not to United States policy, not to obviously the administration, not to the American people,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday. “It is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it, but this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.”

Questioned at length about the causes of the anti-American violence, Carney insisted it was all about the movie. “The reason why there is unrest is because of the film,” he said at one point. “This is in response to the film.” At another moment, he said, “The cause of the unrest was a video.” At yet another, “These protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region.”

Despite Carney’s confident assertions, it became clear in the briefing that the administration does not really know that the most serious incident by far, the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, was in fact the result of the video. (And it’s not at all clear that a full-length version of the film actually exists.) When ABC’s Jake Tapper pressed Carney on whether the Benghazi attack specifically was sparked by the movie, Carney responded, “We don’t know otherwise.”

It is one thing to say an event was caused by factor A, and it is another to say that you don’t know that the event was not caused by factor A. And the latter is the White House position on whether the video caused the Benghazi attack.

Read more here.

Out of the pews and into the streets

Just 17 days before Election Day, American voters of all faiths will take to the streets in the name of religious freedom and in protest of the Obamacare contraception mandate – with one of the major protests unfolding on President Obama’s doorstep.

On Oct. 20 at 12 p.m., more than 100 “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rallies sponsored by the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Coalition will take place in cities coast to coast, including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Minneapolis and others.

The White House protest, which is sponsored by the Christian Defense Coalition and Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, is scheduled for Sept. 30 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“I think the Obama administration really awakened a sleeping giant with this thing,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League and co-director of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies.

According to the group, tens of thousands of citizens are expected to rally in peaceful, non-partisan demonstrations at local federal buildings, court houses, congressional offices, city parks and churches. The organization notes that at least 300 “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rallies took place in March and June, drawing more than 125,000 participants.

“People have been feeling like their faith is being treated shoddily by the government, by much of the culture and by the mainstream media,” Scheidler told WND. “They’ve been feeling it for years, in terms of being marginalized and being made to feel their faith is unwelcome in the public square.”

Under Obamacare’s contraception mandate, all employers – even religious institutions – must offer contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs to employees.

According to the Congressional Research Service, companies that do not comply may be hit with a federal tax of $100 per day for each employee.

Just three months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obama’s massive health reform law in a 5-4 decision.

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Gay Rights Activists Storm Values Voter Summit

Several gay rights protesters stormed the Washington, D.C. hotel hosting the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit on Saturday, shouting, “Your values are killing us!”

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had just concluded his speech in the ballroom when roughly six protesters unraveled a large rainbow-colored American flag outside in the lobby and began chanting. Almost immediately several security guards grabbed the protesters to drag them outside. One protester in particular resisted, causing him and some of the security guards to fall to the floor.

TheBlaze spoke with one of the activists afterward who identified himself as Charles Butler with the gay rights organization Get Equal.

“The first guy put me in a headlock and I was losing consciousness. That’s why I fell the first time,” Butler said.

Asked whether he felt Get Equal had accomplished anything, Butler said, “I think it’s too early to tell. … We‘re trying to call into question the organizers of this summit’s values and how they affect LGBT people,” he said. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

“A lot of people don’t know about all of the stuff [Family Research Council President] Tony Perkins says about us. Calling us pedophiles,” Butler said, referring to a 2010 interview in which Perkins called pedophilia a “homosexual problem.”

See more here.

Bill Maher Makes Anti-Semitic Joke About Producers of Anti-Muslim Film

HBO’s Bill Maher on Friday made an anti-Semitic joke about the producers of the anti-Muslim film some are claiming is responsible for anti-American uprisings around the world.

This hysterically came moments after the Real Time host criticized Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for politicizing the violence.

BILL MAHER: Apparently the person who made this movie originally claimed he was Jewish and got the funding by raising $5 million from a hundred Jews, not one of whom has come forward to ask for a producer credit. So we know that’s bulls–t.

Are anti-Semitic jokes actually still acceptable in 2012?

President Obama, stop blaming the victim for Mideast violence

“Disgusting and reprehensible.” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Truly abhorrent,” an outraged White House official told an international conference. Were they talking about the murder of four Americans in Libya? Or perhaps the hoisting of an Islamist flag over the U.S. Embassy in Cairo?

No. For that they stuck to diplomatic speak. For the president, the harshest language was: “I strongly condemn the outrageous attack.” For Clinton it was that the US is heartbroken and she condemned “this senseless act of violence.” But “disgusting and reprehensible” and “truly abhorrent ” were reserved for an amateurish and silly film by someone nobody has ever heard of.

In fact, what is “disgusting and reprehensible” is that there are people in the world who think they are justified in attacking and killing people because someone hurt their feelings or offended their sensibilities. The US government should not act as a validator or enabler of this upside down worldview, which is exactly what the Obama administration has done repeatedly as they have responded to these abhorrent attacks against the United States.

I have defended the Obama administration against the complaints from the right that they have run an “apology tour” in the Middle East because I believe the US should admit when we make mistakes, such as the accidental burning of Korans. But what we shouldn’t do is affirm the wrongheaded view that people should be protected from the free speech of others.

Worse, our leaders shouldn’t let our enemies know that when they kill our people and attack our embassies that the US Government will act like a battered wife making excuses for her psychotic husband. Wake up: we weren’t attacked because of a movie made by an American. We were attacked because there are crazy religious fanatics who hate the United States. We didn’t ask for it.

Egypt’s President Morsi reportedly asked Obama “to put an end to such behavior”—presumably freedom, constitutional rights and the like — as it led to the making of, in his eyes, the offensive movie.

Read more here.

Gasoline Prices More than Double Under Obama: $1.84 to $3.85

Average retail gasoline prices have more than doubled under President Obama, according to government statistics, rising from $1.84 per gallon to $3.85 per gallon.

The average gasoline price is calculated by the Energy Information Agency, and shows that over the past 43 months of President Obama’s term retail gasoline prices have more than doubled, rising from an average of $1.84 per gallon to $3.85 per gallon.

Rising gasoline prices were particularly prevalent in August, which saw a 9.0 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for gasoline, a rise that almost entirely accounts for the general increase in prices seen by families across the country over the past month.

In other words, the recent spike in prices for all goods – tracked by the government’s Consumer Price Index – can be almost entirely accounted for by the rise in gasoline prices. Prices in the economy rose by 0.6 percent overall in August.

Read more here.

Al Qaeda in Yemen urges Muslims to kill U.S. diplomats

The Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda urged Muslims to step up protests and kill more U.S. diplomats in Muslim countries after a U.S.-made film mocking the Prophet Mohammad which it said was another chapter in the “crusader wars” against Islam.

“Whoever comes across America’s ambassadors or emissaries should follow the example of Omar al-Mukhtar’s descendants (Libyans), who killed the American ambassador,” the group said, referring to Tuesday’s attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

“Let the step of kicking out the embassies be a step towards liberating Muslim countries from the American hegemony,” a statement posted on an Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) website on Saturday said.

Fury about the film swept across the Middle East after Friday prayers, with protesters attacking U.S. embassies and in protests that killed at least seven people and prompted Washington to send troops to bolster security at its missions.

“The film published in America which insults our Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, comes as part of the continuing crusader wars against Islam,” AQAP’s statement said, referring to European wars in the region some 1,000 years ago.

“The incident is so huge that the resources of the nation should be pooled together to kick out the embassies of America from Muslim lands,” it said.

Read more here.

Virginia Elementary School Rejects Michelle Obama Request To Speak

A Chesterfield County elementary school in Virginia rejected First Lady Michelle Obama’s request to speak on Thursday, citing school policy.

Tim Bullis, the school division’s community relations director, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that School Board policy 6100 prohibits “the use of school facilities during the school day for political purposes.”

Jim Holland, the only Democrat on the school board, said the school board’s denial would be appropriate if the Obama campaign’s request was for a political event, but the board could have allowed Michelle Obama to speak if the request had been for an event designated as “non-political” or “official.”

The Obama campaign said “any time the campaign looks at venues for events, we consider a range of options” and “the school was only one of several options being considered in the greater Richmond area …”

Read more here.

Obama Admin. Argues Suspending NDAA‘s ’Indefinite Detention’ Provision Does Irreparable Harm to U.S.

Less than 24 hours after a federal judge in New York ruled the federal government could not indefinitely detain “suspected” terrorists, the Obama administration asked a court to suspend the ruling.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest on Wednesday struck down the anti-terrorism law, passed as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012, that she called unconstitutional in its provisions for indefinite military detention.

The law allows detention of people suspected of “substantially” or “directly” providing support to groups such as al-Qaida or the Taliban. A group of political activists, journalists and scholars took the federal government to court over the law, citing concerns they could end up being held for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Government lawyers called such concerns unfounded, but Forrest said in her ruling Wednesday that she found them legitimate.

In court papers filed Friday, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan asked for a stay of the decision while the government appeals.

The law concerns “the president’s exercise of his commander-in-chief power in the context of the United States’ current combat operations against al-Qaida, the Taliban and their associated forces,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Torrance and Christopher Harwood wrote. “The court’s injunction against the exercise of those war powers … should be stayed.”

Read more here.