Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Al-Jazeera TV on Your Tax Dollars; Sharpton Vs. Limbaugh; More ObamaCare Waivers; Republicans Are Hostage Takers; Ethanol Credits on Chopping Block; WikiLeaks Shows US Lack of Security

Floyd Reports writes: One of the Obama administration’s top priorities is “diversifying” the nation’s airwaves. Its commitment to public broadcasting and outreach to Muslims has made the unthinkable possible: This week, publicly funded Pacifica Radio will begin airing an hour of “news” from the radio affiliate of Al-Jazeera television. AJE news will be heard early in the morning in three of the network’s five markets — including New York City. The network’s remaining two affiliates — including WPFW in Washington, D.C.– will pick up the AJE broadcast early next year.
By 2011, the voice of Osama bin Laden’s preferred network will be heard in two of the three 9/11 attack sites at taxpayer expense.
According to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s 2009 Annual Report, taxpayers gave Pacifica Radio’s five stations nearly $1.6 million last year alone, down slightly from $1.75 million in 2008. The station-by-station-breakdown is as follows:
Floyd Reports reports: Al Sharpton told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz he has scheduled “a series of meetings next week” with federal officials to discuss kicking Rush Limbaugh off the airwaves. Rush’s rhetoric, Sharpton claims, is racist. However, this time the FCC is headed by an Obama appointee equally committed to removing conservative ideas from the airwaves.
The good reverend said he has been “talking with all the civil rights groups” about joiningthe anti-Limbaugh purge, saying, “We’re not going to stand by and let publicly regulated radio and television just go for marketing and promoting this kind of racism.” As examples of Limbaugh’s alleged racism, Sharpton cited Paul Shanklin’s satirical song “Barack the Magic Negro” (a term first coined by the Los Angeles Times) and his use of the phrase “Driving Miss Nancy” (which Limbaugh uttered while bashing “the white racist leadership of the Democratic Party”).
News from Atlanta: The Obama Administration has quietly granted even more waivers to one provision of the new federal health reform law, doubling the number in just the last three weeks to a new total of 222.

One of the more recognizable business names included on the newly-expanded list of waivers issued by the feds is that of Waffle House, which received a waiver on November 23 for health coverage that covers 3,947 enrollees. Another familiar name was that of Universal Orlando, which runs a variety of very popular resorts in the Orlando, Florida area.  Universal was given a waiver for plans that cover 668 workers.

These waivers deal with limited health benefit plans, sometimes referred to as "mini-med" policies, which companies as large as McDonald's use for some its employees.
Real Clear Politics quotes Obama at yesterday press conference about the "deal" he is promoting on the bush Tax Cuts: "It's tempting not to negoitate with hostage takers unless the hostage gets harmed," President Obama said at his Tuesday press conference.

"In this case, the hostage was the American people," Obama said.  [Can any of you remember any other President who has denigrated in such terrible ways those who disagree with him?  It is common practice for this one, I'm sorry to say.  He is just un-Presidential.]
The Wall St. Journal adds: Does President Obama like or loathe the two-year tax deal he has struck with Republicans? It was hard to tell from his grudging, testy remarks Monday and yesterday, but perhaps that's because he realizes he is repudiating the heart and soul of Obamanomics as the price of giving himself a chance at a second term.
The Washington Post writes: President Obama, long criticized by many in his own party for lacking appropriate passion, delivered a blunt and confrontational message to his liberal critics during a press conference today. Faced with increasing criticism from liberals over his decision to compromise with Republicans on a two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts, Obama openly chastised the party's base -- warning them of being "sanctimonious" and reminding them that "this country was founded on compromise". He also rejected the idea that he had failed to make good on a series of promises he made to the left (and the country) during the 2008 campaign. "There is not a single thing that I said I would do that I have not done or tried to do," Obama asserted. Obama, to be fair, didn't only single out Democrats for criticism. He compared negotiating with Republicans to negotiating with hostage takers and said he only did so because of the danger that the hostage -- aka the American public -- would be harmed.
National Review Online writes: After more than three decades, the U.S. ethanol blenders’ tax credit and the ethanol-import tariff that was put in place to offset it are set to expire at the end of the year. The way things are looking, we may finally be rid of these indefensible and parochial market distortions. The ethanol tax credit alone costs taxpayers over $6 billion per year.
ABC News reports: The Australian government Wednesday blamed the United States, not the WikiLeaks founder, for the unauthorized release of about 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables and said those who originally leaked the documents were legally liable. Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd also said the leaks raised questions over the "adequacy" of U.S. security over the cables. "Mr (Julian) Assange is not himself responsible for the unauthorized release of 250,000 documents from the U.S. diplomatic communications network,"

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