Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Journalist Bob Woodward gets e-mail threat from senior person in the White House

That video is from left-leaning CNN.

Here is Newsbusters with the transcript.

Excerpt:

Tonight, Washington Post’s Bob Woodward alleged that because he is sticking to his guns in insisting that sequestration was the brainchild of the Obama White House, that it was personally approved by Obama, and that bringing up tax increases now to try to resolve the current sequestration impasse is “moving the goalposts,” he has been threatened by “a very senior person” in the White House. Woodward said so on CNN’s Situation Room earlier today. What’s even more troubling is that Woodward told two Politico reporters the same thing yesterday, and that they appear to have sat on the revelation until this evening when the CNN interview forced their hand. Relevant portions of the CNN transcript and Politico column follow the jump.

This is from a rush transcript at CNN. Woodward was interviewed by the network’s Wolf Blitzer and Kate Bolduan (I checked the first portion of it against the video; there was no supporting video for the last line quoted below; bolds are mine throughout this post):

BOLDUAN: What do you make of the White House’s response to your article?

WOODWARD: Well, I think they’re confused. I think they’ve got this idea. I mean, they put out these long talking points and said, see, even Woodward’s book reports that Speaker Boehner said, let’s get $600 billion over ten years in revenue in the super committee. That’s exactly right. That’s not the sequester. And they’ve said – they have,as you know, I said, get somebody from the White House here, and we’ll debate.

BLITZER: We invited the White House to send someone here, to debate this issue with you, and they declined.

WOODWARD: Why? Why? Because it’s irrefutable; that’s exactly what happened. I’m not saying this is a moving of the goalposts that was some criminal act or something like that, I’m just saying, that’s –

… BLITZER: You’re used to this kind of stuff, but share with our viewers what’s going on between you and the White House.

WOODWARD: Well, they’re not happy at all, and some people kind of, you know, said, look, we don’t see eye to eye on this. They never really said, though – afterwards, they’ve said that this is factually wrong, and they – and it was said to me in an e-mail by a top –

BLITZER: What was said? Yes.

WOODWARD: It was said very clearly, you will regret doing this.

BLITZER: Who sent that e-mail to you?

WOODWARD: Well, I’m not going to say.

BLITZER: Was it a senior person at the White House?

WOODWARD: A very senior person. And just as a matter – I mean, it makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in. And even though we don’t look at it that way, you do look at it that way. And I think if Barack Obama knew that was part of the communication’s strategy – let’s hope it’s not a strategy, but it’s a tactic that somebody’s employed, and said, look, we don’t go around trying to say to reporters, if you, in an honest way, present something we don’t like, that, you know, you’re going to regret this. And just – it’s Mickey Mouse.

… BOLDUAN: That line clearly has touched a nerve with folks at the White House. There’s no question about that.

Why would anyone think that the tactics of this socialist, big-government regime would be any different than other socialist, big-government regimes? They don’t like criticism. They don’t like questions. They don’t like being held accountable.

You can find a list of some of the previous acts of thuggish intimidation against journalists here:

Hey, Bob, you can’t say we didn’t warn you.  We knew this White House was capable of attacking even the great Bob Woodward for telling the truth.

You could have listened to Michael Barone.  He saw it coming even before Barack Obama was elected. In October 2008, he penned “The Coming Obama Thugocracy.”

I experienced it when DOJ press harpy Tracy Schmaler yelled at a half dozen reporters, as the White House official did to you, about my under-oath testimony involving the New Black Panther dismissal.  Her victims included Pete Williams, Quin Hillyer, and Shayrl Attkisson.  After Schmaler’s thug tendencies were well known, she was nurtured and promoted within the Thugocracy instead of being canned as any administration before this one would have done to her — Republican or Democrat.

Schmaler has since been appointed a Made Man of sorts, entering the rarefied private sector air of David Axelrod’s shop.

Schmaler’s story is typical of this gang.  Her shouting, threats, and rants at reporters would have rendered her unqualified to serve in the press shop of a state department of agriculture.

Leftists have always been like this – the sense of moral superiority, and the dismissal of critics as immoral. The thuggishness is natural because they believe that their plans can never fail because of their innate moral superiority. If their plans do fail, (e.g. – high minimum wage produces higher unemployment), it must be because some group of people is undermining them, and those people must be purged. It can never be that their plans are wrong and don’t produce the results they want. They have good intentions, and how could that not produce good results? Leftists are the same everywhere.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UK government: Christians do not have right to wear a cross at work

Tom sent me this article from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Christians do not have a right to wear a cross or crucifix openly at work, the Government is to argue in a landmark court case.

In a highly significant move, ministers will fight a case at the European Court of Human Rights in which two British women will seek to establish their right to display the cross.

It is the first time that the Government has been forced to state whether it backs the right of Christians to wear the symbol at work.

A document seen by The Sunday Telegraph discloses that ministers will argue that because it is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, employers can ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so.

[...]The Government’s refusal to say that Christians have a right to display the symbol of their faith at work emerged after its plans to legalise same-sex marriages were attacked by the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain.

A poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph shows that the country is split on the issue.

Overall, 45 per cent of voters support moves to allow gay marriage, with 36 per cent against, while 19 per cent say they do not know.

However, the Prime Minister is out of step with his own party.

Exactly half of Conservative voters oppose same-sex marriage in principle and only 35 per cent back it.

There is no public appetite to change the law urgently, with more than three quarters of people polled saying it was wrong to fast-track the plan before 2015 and only 14 per cent saying it was right.

The Strasbourg case hinges on whether human rights laws protect the right to wear a cross or crucifix at work under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

It states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”

The Christian women bringing the case, Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin, claim that they were discriminated against when their employers barred them from wearing the symbols.

They want the European Court to rule that this breached their human right to manifest their religion.

The Government’s official response states that wearing the cross is not a “requirement of the faith” and therefore does not fall under the remit of Article 9.

Lawyers for the two women claim that the Government is setting the bar too high and that “manifesting” religion includes doing things that are not a “requirement of the faith”, and that they are therefore protected by human rights.

They say that Christians are given less protection than members of other religions who have been granted special status for garments or symbols such as the Sikh turban and kara bracelet, or the Muslim hijab.

I think that many of the people in the UK who push for the marginalization of religion from society are probably the same people who decry the decline of moral standards. It is a secularist fantasy that people will act as they ought to act when people think that there is no way that the universe ought to be. The UK is self-destructing because they are cutting themselves off from the ground of morality, and one of the pillars of Western Civilization.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A great article that explains what is at stake with “net neutrality”

From the American Spectator. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Yet, without compelling reason, law or even politics on their side, on December 21, on a 3-2 party line vote, the FCC voted to impose its “net neutrality” rules on the Internet. What net neutrality means is that the government now has the power to decide how ISPs and broadband operators manage the access they provide to the Internet. It is as if the government decided to regulate how FedEx delivers its overnight mail, and what routes and what vehicles they use.

The FCC starts out by proclaiming that its net neutrality rules are just meant to ensure equal access by all to the Web. But as George Orwell showed us, that is how socialism started out too, until we later discovered that some were more equal than others. Once the founding principle is laid for government regulation and control, then that power can be used to regulate and control access to the Internet “in the public interest.” In English translation, that means in the special interest of the Ruling Class. There are precedents in China and Iran for how that has worked out in practice.

Dissenting FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell explained further in the Wall Street Journal on December 20 why the FCC’s net neutrality regulation makes no sense:

Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.

But what I have learned in life is that when something doesn’t make sense, that means there is something else behind it that people are trying to hide.

And that is exactly what we have here. For what is behind the FCC’s net neutrality crusade is reflected by an organization calling itself Free Press. That is an Orwellian title in this case, because what Free Press is for is the opposite of a free press. Free Press is one of those pseudo-Marxist front groups that Barack Obama has always traveled with so easily throughout his life. It is a grown-up, slick, sophisticated version of those campus radicals who shout down college speakers with whom they don’t agree.

That is what Free Press is after with its “net neutrality” regulation. It is laying the groundwork for government control of the Internet. Once that it is established, it will be able to shout down websites with which it doesn’t agree, if not shut them out altogether.

The entering wedge for net neutrality so far is not public freedom to access and navigate the Internet, which no one can credibly claim is not currently as free as could be. The entering wedge for now is use of Internet access and broadband services by competing commercial concerns like Netflix and YouTube, which consume huge proportions of bandwidth that can consequently interfere with use by consumers and others.

The problem has not become unmanageable yet, but threatens to be. The concern is that broadband operators will limit use of their service by other commercial operations that are effectively bandwidth hogs, to preserve the viability of their service for the general public, which is exactly what they should do. The supposed purpose of net neutrality regulation so far is to prevent broadband operators from doing this.

The solution is for broadband operators to charge heavier commercial users of their service heavier fees to cover the costs. Those heavier fees can then be used to build even bigger and better broadband and Cyberspace access, sufficient to fully accommodate even the heaviest commercial broadband users.

But that [solution] doesn’t involve the expanded government power that Obama’s FCC and net neut advocates like Free Press are after. So it is not on the table as the answer. Government takeover is the only answer they will consider, just as in health care. But if the government is going to take control over the big investment bucks broadband providers put in the ground or into orbit, America is not going to get the Internet investment and access it needs. That is why America’s Internet access is already lagging behind other countries.

[...]This FCC episode raises a broader question about the Obama Administration in the next two years. Because what we see here is what we are already seeing elsewhere in the Administration as well, from HHS Secretary Sebelius’s takeover of health insurance, to the EPA’s takeover of the economy based on global warming fantasies. That broader question is: Are we going to be governed by democracy and the rule of law in America, or not?

Worth reading. I am trying to write about the problems in Obamacare and with the EPA raising energy costs on American consumers and businesses. But taking over the Internet could be an even bigger disaster if the government can prevent the truth about what they are doing from being reported.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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