Is MSNBC Taking Programming Decisions from the White House?

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

(Was Cenk Uygur purged at the White House’s request?)

After years of mutual courtship, the White House may have consummated its marriage to MSNBC by canceling the program of the network’s most critical host. This unprecedented invasion of journalistic autonomy comes after years of MSNBC’s fawning coverage, promotion of the administration’s objectives, and receiving on-air prompts to guide its coverage to Obama’s greatest benefit.

Now that MSNBC has canceled his short-lived 6 p.m. program, Cenk Uygur is speaking out. Uygur, who continues to host The Young Turks program elsewhere, says the network chief told him in no uncertain terms he had to tailor his program to please “people in Washington.” The executive added MSNBC is composed of “insiders” and plays a vital role in “the Establishment.”

Uygur says at the beginning of his tenure at 6 p.m. — where he replaced Ed Schultz — Uygur “got pulled in” by “the head of MSNBC”:

He said, “I was just in Washington, and people in Washington tell me they’re concerned about your tone.”

…Then he gives me the second part of the speech. He said, “Hey listen, Cenk…I’d love to be an outsider. Outsiders are cool. But we’re not. We’re insiders. We are the Establishment.”

Uygur says the executive concluded by telling….

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Desperate Obama Turns to MediScare

Susan Stamper Brown,

If indeed the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, President Obama and his cohorts in the Democratic Party must be feeling the heat on their backsides after the House voted to pass the Cut, Cap and Balance (CCB) plan.

In response to the GOP’s proposal, it should come as no surprise that White House spokesman Jay Carney would use scare tactics to suggest that the CCB bill would impose egregious cuts to Medicare. Democrats currently engaged in the debt ceiling budget debate refuse to tell the truth about the financial state of our union, and choose to continue down their spendificant pathway — which is expected to dead-end by way of a brick wall in 2019.

Republicans have done their part to sound the warning bell, and offer an alternate route, via Rep. Paul Ryan’s, (R-WI) “Pathway to Prosperity,” and more recently, Cut, Cap and Balance. Both proposals tell the unvarnished truth about America’s date with financial destruction and provide a sensible, alternative.

In April, the Congressional Budget Office produced an analysis showing Ryan’s plan would “reverse the course of fiscal history by lowering federal health care spending from 8 percent to 5 percent by 2050,” as compared to a 14 percent spending hike, should we stay on the current path toward insolvency….

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Issa Asks If Obama Used White House for Illegal Fundraising (Video)

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

As the Obama administration threatens to cut off the meager checks Social Security recipients must live on if Republican leaders do not agree to raise the debt ceiling, one House Republican is exploring the massive campaign checks Democrats may have illegally solicited inside the White House. Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a scathing 10-page letter to Obama counsel Kathryn Ruemmler on Monday demanding materials that help him determine whether Obama has violated campaign finance laws multiple times.

Issa requested four separate categories of information. The president’s “Dinner with Barack and Joe” video shot in the White House. Cleta Mitchell,a member of the American Bar Association’s election law committee, told, “I think this is a violation” of federal law, which prohibits….

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Will Obama Go Fascist on the Debt Ceiling?

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Barack Obama has sometimes been fond of branding his Republican foes “hostage-takers,” but officials in his administration have found a new hostage in their negotiations over raising the debt ceiling: the U.S. Constitution. The president’s advisers and several “unbiased” media outlets are suggesting if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling, Barack Obama can force the nation to continue borrowing money. The Founding Fathers required all expenditures originate in the House of Representatives, but Obama officials are wrapping his actions in the 14th Amendment. For the first time in living memory, the president is threatening to commit an impeachable offense if he does not get his way.

CBS News has reported the debt ceiling impasse leaves “the option of a congressional end-run by President Obama a possibility.” Reporter Whit Johnson said, “The stalemate in Washington has some asking if President Obama could simply bypass Congress and order the Treasury to keep borrowing.” Obama or his spokesman Jay Carney has been asked twice about the possibility and, despite an incredibly misleading headline from the Associated Press, neither rejected the possibility. (Carney merely said, “I don’t think that I want to get into speculation about what might happen if something does or doesn’t happen”; Obama replied, “I don’t think we should even get to the constitutional issue.”) MSNBC’s Powerwall dared the president to carry it out, claiming it would be smart politically.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has never shown much regard for financial laws, claims the president has this power under the Fourteenth Amendment. The fourth clause states:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

Geither made his comments at….

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Obama: The Lester Maddox of Gay Marriage

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Although he has grown Washington more than any president in a generation, Barack Obama is talking like a Jeffersonian states rights champion — in the one night, in the one state, on the one issue that would promote his top-down rejection of traditional morality. As Barack Obama prepares to attend a sold out, $1,250-per-plate campaign fundraiser before a large homosexual group in New York (the “Gala with the Gay Community”), the state legislature in Albany seems poised to pass a bill approving same-sex marriage. Some speculate this evening Obama will endorse marriage destruction. But Obama’s handlers are rolling out a new and, for him, novel tactic: wrap himself in states rights. An unnamed White House official told The Huffington Post, “Although the president believes that this is an issue best addressed by the states, he also firmly believes that committed gay and lesbian couples should receive equal protection under the law.” (Emphasis added.)

(Update: Here’s video of the speech. Obama has done precisely as I reported. Story continues following the video.)

At last, Barack Obama has discovered states rights, which constitutes a significant act of rhetorical hypocrisy even by his standards. Obama’s left-wing allies have equated a belief in the Founders’ view of government with “racism” and derided those who believe in states’ rights as “Tenthers.”

The Obama administration is suing Indiana on behalf of Planned Parenthood, since that state prohibited tax dollars from funding abortion providers. The showdown could cost the state $4.3 billion. Obama not only sued but hauled the state of Arizona before the UN Human Rights Council over its immigration law. He sent 400 federal agents to harass poll watchers enforcing state election laws during the 2010 midterms. (It didn’t help, much.) His National Labor Relations Board is suing (see a trend?) Boeing, because it planned to build one plant in South Carolina, a state that has chosen to adopt “Right to Work” laws. ObamaCare marks his largest legislative trampling of states rights. Now that Republicans control the House, Obama is increasingly ruling by executive fiat.

But allow a blue state to consider redefining the fundamental building block of society, and suddenly Barack Obama is the Lester Maddox of gay marriage. (Both constituencies have significant experience bicycling backwards.)

The move is a down payment on the debt Obama owes this voting bloc. The LGBT lobby has been a pillar of his re-election fundraising. As 2012 draws closer, Obama has hinted his views on same-sex marriage will “evolve.” White House spokesman Jay Carney followed this line when pressed for clarification on Monday. Obama “was very clear in the campaign,” when he claimed to oppose it, Carney said. “He’s very clear about the fact that his position is evolving.”

For those who are confused, Obama’s position on same-sex marriage is simple….

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