Obama Continues His Effort to Eliminate All Political Opposition

RUSH: The White House’s Dan Pfeiffer, spokesman for the White House, is complaining again about the Drudge Report and chastising reporters for using it and then asking him about things on the Drudge Report. It’s been a horrible thing to happen to news, the White House says, in America. Yep.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The White House goes after Fox News by name, and the White House goes after me by name, because what the White House wants is to eliminate any opposition –political, media, wherever it is. That is the modus operandi of the president, rather than debate people and win in a contest of hearts and minds. They don’t want to do that, no, no, just eliminate the opposition. It’s been the way Obama has approached politics since his first days in it.

Read more here.

New Threats to Riot if Obama Loses Election

Despite the issue receiving national media attention, Obama supporters continue to threaten to riot if Mitt Romney wins the presidential election, raising the prospect of civil unrest if Obama fails to secure a second term.

The new threats continue to dominate Twitter and the vast majority make no reference to press coverage of the issue over the last week, illustrating the fact that they are a legitimate expression of how many Obama voters plan to respond if Romney comes out on top, and not merely a reaction to media hype.
An Infowars.com story written by Michael Snyder which was picked up by the Drudge Report over the weekend and has since gone viral documented how Twitter was flooded with messages from Obama supporters threatening to riot, a sign that “whichever side loses this election will accuse the other side of stealing the election.”
The story was subsequently picked up by innumerable media outlets. Highly respected economist and philosopherThomas Sowell also voiced his concerns that race riots could ensue if Obama is not re-elected.
Checking Twitter feeds this morning, we discovered that threats to riot on behalf of Obama supporters are still flooding in, with the users seemingly unaware of the fact that the media has now picked up on the buzz.
We checked the Twitter accounts and virtually all of them are owned by people who have made hundreds or thousands of previous tweets, proving they are genuine accounts and not fakes.
Examples of what people are saying include the following;

Read more here.

Germany proposes a Drudge Tax

European politicians are on the hunt for new sources of revenue as the continent’s fiscal situation worsens. The level of desperation is clear in the latest move from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government to tap into the cash reserves of Internet search engine giant Google to bolster that country’s ailing publishing industry.

The second item on the coalition’s list of priorities released last week was a proposal to slap online news aggregators with a tax. “Online commercial vendors, such as search engines and news aggregators, should in the future pay a fee to publishers for the distribution of press products (such as news articles) on the Internet,” the document explains. Any business that links to a news article with a brief excerpt is subject to the scheme.

This action has far more to do with protectionism than protecting intellectual property rights. Websites such as the indispensable Drudge Report, Times 24/7, Real Clear Politics, Digg, Fark and Reddit collect news from sources spread across the Web. These sites are wildly popular because they draw the important stories together in one convenient place, fulfilling a very specific need among a news-hungry public.

Far from leeching off newspapers and print journalists, aggregators are essential to spreading the word about important stories. They drive significant traffic, which in turn generates revenue for content providers. It’s a win for both sides. For publishers that disagree, Google already includes a simple mechanism for websites to exclude themselves from search results. If the purported theft of content were truly the issue, that would end the discussion.

That it doesn’t shows this tax is not a matter of principle, but of old-fashioned crony capitalism. The new economy will be used to bail out the old economy simply because the new economy’s lobbyists aren’t as well-connected.

Read more here.

Homeland Security Is Monitoring The Drudge Report

It’s unclear exactly why, but the Department of Homeland has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” program to monitor the top blogs, forums and social networks online for at least the past 18 months. Based on a privacy compliance review from last November recently obtained by Reuters, the purpose of the project is to “collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture.” Whatever that means. Either way, the list of sites reported by Reuters reveals in a Wednesday afternoon exclusive is pretty intriguing:

Read more here.

The “Rally ‘Round One Conservative” Movement

RUSH: I’ll tell you something else is going on out there, and I didn’t see this in time. I got a note from Jonathan Martin who is a political reporter. I left Hawaii before Obama did. I think I beat Obama to Hawaii, but I left before he did. Yeah. I didn’t print anything out. I paid scant attention. I read the news, Drudge Report, but I didn’t absorb anything. I didn’t dig deep. I just tried to turn the mind off.

As such, I didn’t read nearly every e-mail, until yesterday — and I put that off until late in the afternoon when the Steelers game got boring. There was a note from Jonathan Martin of Politico. He said, “I want to get your take on something.” I didn’t respond to it because I got it too late for his deadline. I don’t know that I would have responded anyway. He said, “Look, there’s a movement going on out there that by the name of the Republicans get to South Carolina they want to have chosen one conservative to go up against Romney rather than split the conservative vote. What is your thought on this? What do you know about it? Were you involved? Do you have anybody that you prefer?” This was the e-mail with the questions that Mr. Martin wanted my answers to.

Then shortly after that that’s when I saw Sarah Palin say,”This is not Michele Bachmann’s time,” and Sarah Palin said, it’s time that we coalesce behind one conservative, have us all agree — candidates and voters agree — on one conservative to go up against Romney, after New Hampshire winning employing into South Carolina and be done with this. I said, “Okay, well, I understand that. But who’s gonna tell Newt to pack it in? And who’s gonna tell Ron Paul to pack it in, and who’s gonna tell Santorum to pack it in and who’s gonna tell Rick Perry to pack it in?” How are we gonna choose this one conservative? Is it going to be the winner of the Hawkeye Cauci? Is it gonna be the winner of New Hampshire? Who is this conservative that we’re all going to coalesce behind? Who’s it going to be? There is this strategery. There is this thought that’s percolating out there.

I don’t know if it’s just right now an imagination, an item of imagination the media’s had or if it’s actually happened. When Sarah Palin said, “Ahhhh, Michele Bachmann, maybe not be her time;” well, um, you could say that that’s a bit of a kiss of death. Sarah Palin is highly respected. A lot of people wish that she were running. So she says it’s not Michele Bachmann’s time. I’m sure Michele Bachmann would have preferred that Sarah Palin not say that. So there’s all kinds of stuff happening out there.

Obama Allows Americans to have Christmas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is going to delay implementation and revisit a proposed new 15 cent fee on fresh-cut Christmas trees, sources tell ABC News. The fee, requested by the National Christmas Tree Association in 2009, was first announced in the Federal Registry yesterday and has generated criticism of President Obama from conservative media outlets.

The well-trafficked Drudge Report is leading with the story, linking to a blog by David Addington, a former top aide to then-Vice President Dick Cheney, at the conservative Heritage Foundation assailing the president thus: “The economy is barely growing and nine percent of the American people have no jobs. Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do? And, by the way, the American Christmas tree has a great image that doesn’t need any help from the government.”

The National Christmas Tree Association says the fee would fund a program “designed to benefit the industry and will be funded by the growers” and is “not expected to have any impact on the final price consumers pay for their Christmas tree.” According to the Federal Registry, the proposed Christmas Tree Promotion Board, which would be funded by the new fee, would launch a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” and to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States.”

White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told ABC News that despite some media coverage, “I can tell you unequivocally that the Obama Administration is not taxing Christmas trees. What’s being talked about here is an industry group deciding to impose fees on itself to fund a promotional campaign, similar to how the dairy producers have created the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign.”

Nonetheless, the criticisms have apparently had an impact as the program is now being delayed.

“USDA is going to delay implementation and revisit this action,” Lehrich said.

Bah, humbug?

Janet Napolitano: Drudge is ‘just wrong’ on privacy

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is calling out web news aggregator Matt Drudge for suggesting that she’s an ogre eager to invade the privacy of Americans and in particular those who travel by air.

“I think my nickname is ‘Big Sis.’ I don’t think he means it kindly, actually,” Napolitano said Tuesday, accurately recalling the moniker that often accompanies scary-looking photos of her on Drudge’s popular news site.

“I think that what he means is we are watching too much—kind of an Orwellian view. He’s just wrong. I mean, he’s just wrong,” Napolitano declared during a POLITICO Playbook breakfast at the Newseum. She said the privacy impact of new airport screening technology and similar programs are thoroughly vetted before they are implemented.

“We want to be conscious of civil liberties and civil rights protections—and we are,” Napolitano insisted. “We don’t do anything without kind of running it through our own civil rights and privacy office. We’re one of only two departments in the federal government that actually has a presidentially-appointed privacy office and officer.”

(While Obama did name a privacy officer for the Department of Homeland Security, the president has so far failed to nominate a quorum for a Congressionally-mandated oversight board to track civil liberties issues government-wide.)

“We run all of our programs our technology buys all of those kinds of things we think about privacy and when too much is too much, but on the other hand our responsibility is to maximize our ability to prevent something violent from being successful. So we’re always striking that balance but we think we’ve hit it pretty right,” she said.

Read more here.

FTC floats Drudge tax

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking ways to “reinvent” journalism, and that’s a cause for concern. According to a May 24 draft proposal, the agency thinks government should be at the center of a media overhaul. The bureaucracy sees it as a problem that the Internet has introduced a wealth of information options to consumers, forcing media companies to adapt and experiment to meet changing market needs. FTC’s policy staff fears this new reality.

“There are reasons for concern that experimentation may not produce a robust and sustainable business model for commercial journalism,” the report states. With no faith that the market will work things out for the better, government thinks it must come to the rescue.

The ideas being batted around to save the industry share a common theme: They are designed to empower bureaucrats, not consumers. For instance, one proposal would, “Allow news organizations to agree jointly on a mechanism to require news aggregators and others to pay for the use of online content, perhaps through the use of copyright licenses.”

In other words, government policy would encourage a tax on websites like the Drudge Report, a must-read source for the news links of the day, so that the agency can redistribute the funds collected to various newspapers. Such a tax would hit other news aggregators, such as Digg, Fark and Reddit, which not only gather links, but provide a forum for a lively and entertaining discussion of the issues raised by the stories. Fostering a robust public-policy debate, not saving a particular business model, should be the goal of journalism in the first place.

The report also discusses the possibility of offering tax exemptions to news organizations, establishing an AmeriCorps for reporters and creating a national fund for local news organizations. The money for those benefits would come from a suite of new taxes. A 5 percent tax on consumer electronic devices such as iPads, Kindles and laptops that let consumers read the news could be used to encourage people to keep reading the dead-tree version of the news. Other taxes might be levied on the radio and television spectrum, advertising and cell phones.

The conflict of interest in having the government pay or contribute to a newsman’s salary could not be more obvious. Reporters and columnists would have little incentive to offer critical analyses of tax increases that might mean a boost in the pocketbook. Once Congress has the power to fund the news, it can at any time attach “strings” designed to promote certain viewpoints – in the name of fairness, of course. Each year at budget time, the Fourth Estate would scramble to be worthy in the eyes of Capitol Hill for increased support. It is hardly a surprise that the heavily subsidized National Public Radio frequently presents issues in a way favorable to Washington’s tax-and-spend agenda.

Self-respecting journalists must reject this tempting government bribe as the FTC brings its proposals to a round-table discussion scheduled for June 15. When it comes to the media, consumers lose most when government suppresses innovation in the name of “saving” old business models.

From the Washington Times