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White House Cheat Sheet: Swine Flu Snafu?

President Obama's efforts to control the message around his 100th day in office is complicated by the swine flu. AP Photo/Rodolfo Gonzalez

With less than 24 hours before President Obama celebrates his 100th day in office, the wall-to-wall coverage of the swine flu threatens to swamp efforts out of the White House to frame the president's accomplishments.

Cable television talked of little else than the swine flu on Monday and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was barraged during the daily press briefing with questions about the disease and government reaction to it. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano held a press conference of her own to further explain how the government was handling the swine flu. Heck, even the Washington Post launched an entire page dedicated to flu coverage.

While the White House has argued for much of the last several weeks that they pay little attention to phony measuring sticks like the 100 days -- White House senior adviser David Axelrod famously referred to Wednesday as a "Hallmark holiday" -- there is clear evidence that the administration is seeking to capitalize on the attention being paid to the day by the media.

Obama is scheduled to attend a town hall meeting in St. Louis, Mo. (a critical swing state in 2008 and likely again in 2012) Wednesday morning and then jet back to Washington that evening for the third prime-time press conference of his presidency.

All of that activity is aimed at one thing: ensuring that the White House's preferred message on what the first 100 days means is the one that most Americans consume on Wednesday.

That message? That the reforms put in place in the early days of the Obama presidency are already helping to stem the financial crisis in the country and that Americans are, more broadly, reacting extremely favorably to the way the administration is handling the economy.

Given the attention being paid to the swine flu, it's hard to imagine that by Wednesday the nation will be interested in anything else but whether there are any more than the 40 known cases of the disease in the United States and what if anything can be done to stop is spread.

The White House said that both Wednesday's town hall meeting and the prime-time press conference are still on but, of course, that plan could change depending on the severity of the swine flu and the public's reaction to it.

All of that is not to say that the swine flu has destroyed what would have been a banner week for the Obama administration. In every crisis there is opportunity -- to paraphrase White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel -- and that is of course true with the swine flu.

If you accept the premise that every presidency operates in reaction to the presidency that preceded it, then one of the pillars of Obama's appeal is his competence; his readiness to deal with whatever crisis comes his way by listening to his advisers but also doing his own research and arriving at a reasoned conclusion.

The swine flu offers Obama and his senior team the chance to prove that even amid an economic recession, two foreign wars and a debate over whether to prosecute CIA officials involved in harsh interrogation practices, he (and they) can handle a worldwide heath crisis.

"I don't think it hurts at all," said Democratic consultant Phil Singer of the swine flu. "Instead of being a retrospective on the last 100 days, the President can use the milestone to demonstrate his leadership skills in real time."

What To Watch For:

Tuesday's Fix Picks:

1. Kathleen Sebelius likely to be confirmed at HHS today. Just in time.
2. Low-flying government jet panics some New Yorkers.
3. A great fact sheet from the Senate historian's office on contested Senate elections.
4. Querry "Q" Robinson (of "Hardball" fame) gets a much-deserved profile.
5. The swine flu has gone too far: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" premiere in Mexico is canceled.

2012 Like It's Tomorrow: Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. continues to act like a presidential candidate -- stopping in three critical counties in Michigan over the next five days. Huntsman will be in Oakland County today and then Muskegon and Kalamazoo counties on Saturday. He was also supposed to make a fourth appearance but Kent County Chairwoman Joanne Voorhees canceled the event on Monday. "After conducting further research on the Governor and his change in position on issues, we feel it is best to cancel our event," wrote Vorhees in an email obtained by the Fix. She added that "voters want and expect us to stand on principle and return to our roots . . . unfortunately, by holding an event with Governor Huntsman, we would be doing the exact opposite." Voorhees never makes the "why" of the cancellation totally clear in the email but it's not hard to assume the Huntsman's recently announced support for civil unions for gay couples is at the heart of her opposition. Advisers to Huntsman cast the Kent County decision as typifying the divide the wrongheaded attitude of some within the party who believe the GOP most grow more conservative in order to prosper. Worth noting: the trend for Republicans in Kent is not promising; former president George W. Bush carried it by 55,000 votes in 2004 but last November President Barack Obama won it by 1,600 votes.

A Kennedy for (Illinois) Senate? Chris Kennedy, the son of late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is seriously considering entering the Illinois Senate race in 2010 -- a move that would have a significant impact on the field. Chris Kennedy is the head of Merchandise Mart Properties, a commercial real estate venture and would bring not only his famous last name but also considerable wealth to the race. The news of Kennedy's interest, which was first reported by Michael Sneed in the Chicago Sun-Times, comes on the same day that Rep. Jan Schakowsky sent out an email to her backers touting a poll she conducted that shows her leading the Senate race with 24 percent followed by state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias at 22 percent and appointed Sen. Roland Burris at 18 percent. (Kennedy was not tested.) Schakowsky will announce whether or not she will run on June 8th -- allowing her another month or so to judge how the field will shake out. A decision by Rep. Mark Kirk, widely seen as the lone Republican who could keep the race close, is expected sooner -- perhaps by the end of this week.

Steelman Hires Campaign Manager: Providing further evidence that she is going to run for the open U.S. Senate seat in Missouri, former state treasurer Sarah Steelman has hired Gregg Keller, a veteran of Show Me State political races, to manage the effort. The news, which was first reported by the irreplaceable Steve Kraske of the Kansas City Star, comes less than a week after Steelman announced the formation of an exploratory committee overseen by John Weaver, a former political aide to Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Ben Ginsberg, a leading Republican election attorney. Keller is currently a vice president at Total Spectrum, a consulting firm run by veteran GOP operative Steve Gordon. Keller got his start in Missouri politics as a traveling aide for Sen. Jim Talent in 2000 and then joined Talent's staff as political director following the Republican's victory. Keller served as an adviser to the McCain presidential effort in Missouri last fall.

Click It!: An exclusive photo of a joint project between the Fix and the Post's Dana Milbank. The super-secret project debuts in six days time. Stay tuned in this space for more details.

C-Span Innovates on Twitter: The rapid embrace of Twitter by politicians and media types alike generally amounts to sound and fury signifying nothing -- a few intermittent tweets about what kind of sandwich they had for lunch or what committee hearing they are attending: exciting stuff. But, C-SPAN (the Fix's favorite network) is doing something very interesting (and innovative) with Twitter -- incorporating reader questions submitted via the micro-blogging site into its "Washington Journal" program every morning. "Twitter is now another platform by which our audience gets to ask questions of our guests," said C-SPAN's Howard Mortman. "It's another way for our audience to show quick bursts of attitude."

Speaking of Twittering Politicians. . .: As part of the kickoff for his 2010 reelection campaign, New York Gov. David Paterson (D) is launching his very own Twitter feed. (It's hip! The young people dig it!) Paterson faces a very tough road to winning a full term in 2010 with polling that shows voters unhappy with his performance and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo beating him soundly in hypothetical primary matchups. Paterson's slow starting Twitter feed got us to thinking -- what politicians have worthwhile Twitter feeds? We know about Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) but who are the other Twitter star performers? Feel free to email us or post to "TheFix" Twitter feed.

Best iPhone apps: Today's trio of recommendations: MLB At Bat, Air Sharing, Wolfgang's Vault.

Say What?: "He'll reach out to Republicans, but he's not the sort of guy who will let people jack you around." -- former president Bill Clinton on former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe during an appearance in Richmond, Va. to tout McAuliffe's candidacy for governor.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 28, 2009; 5:45 AM ET
Categories:  Cheat Sheet Share This:  E-Mail | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Digg | Stumble Previous: The Republican Shrinkage Problem
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Ummm hmmmm I suppose I want to bloviate here on the article written by MR Cillizza?", instead I'll waste a few moments to comments on some of the most ignorant rants to grace this blog I've seen in a while, of course I don't hang out here 24/7. So it might be just an abberation to see so much mutual ignorance practiced in one place, of course I could be mistaken but some of the names are quite familiar to this poster.
It would be redundant to castigate their ignorance, but why throw gas on a fire that is self consuming?
It is apparent they don't get it and never will, fear is something you step through not immolate your self with, as we did during the past Administration.
The practical thing to do is just get over it, your party lost and it will again, as it was just demonstrated recently in New York.

But hang in there the year 2020 is "right" around the corner, perhaps Palin can package that you betcha into a Theocratic Plutocracy yet.

Posted by: nightslider | April 30, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

China has shown more leadership on the flu issue than our leader. Too little and too late will anything be done as it would interupt the flow of illegal voters and drugs. He needs the adoration of these groups.

Posted by: leapin | April 28, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse


Team Obama is MISSING all key health safety positions.

The Wash Po notes:

“Noticeably absent on stage was a fully confirmed federal health care official: There was no health and human services secretary (Kathleen Sebelius 1. could be confirmed as early as tomorrow), no surgeon general (no new candidate has emerged since Dr. Sanjay Gupta dropped out) and no fully confirmed director of CDC (though Besser deftly handled a series of morning show interviews earlier today).(Federal Eye, Wash Po 4-27-2009)

RESPONSE: Obama has placed the health of the entire USA at risk solely for appointment of political abortion hacks to Health Safety positions.

The administration incredibly claims not having any top health officials does NOT impair their response.

Thats like arguing that it doesn’t mattter if you wait till your house is burning down, THEN hire and train firefighters.

This should be called the “Obama Flu”.

Poor Obama, his Pandemic incompetence interrupted the 100 day Media Worship ceremony.

Posted by: JaxMax | April 28, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

If you keep on with your baby.. I'm going to call you Nancy Grace.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 28, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

for me--
even President Bush, a republican, with questionable tactics....etc. etc.

from me...gets respect
-the worst name i have called him in 8 years is Baby Bush
-i stand in my living room when any president talks, even on the tv--and I did for Baby Bush.
---he was the 9-11 president and respect is due to him no matter.

to show disrespect to the highest institution of the land, the Presidency is a disgrace.
Everyone....and yes, I am talking to anyone and everyone ON THIS EARTH...
via this Information Superhighway...
world wide web.

Have some fricking respect you dumb A$$$$
(((and that is PLURAL )

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

i just commented
but WaPO held it.
too many characters...
i will do 2 entries in about 20 minutes or so....

armpeg.....you do know that news accounts mean nothing..
and that you are a prejudice racist.

you do know that don't you?

what would you do if a brother or sister moved into your neighborhood armpeg?
uh, tell the truth now.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

exactly RickJ, what is up with the headline of this blog? What SNAFU chris? As your buddy called him, Barack the Magic Negro could care less about what the media gives him as a mark for the 100 day thingee. The health of the citizens is alot more important to him then some stupid mark, he's thinking about what to do, not about reelection in 3 years. Could you be anymore cynical, Chris? Is this posting going to get the "you have submitted too many posts in a small amount of time to the FIX" page even though it's my first today? And yet posts it anyways?

Posted by: katem1 | April 28, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

To The Babbelemo who want's me to 'elaborate' on what I wrote.

I already did, all you have to do is read the rest of what I wrote. I gave facts that were all true and taken from news accounts. The rest was an account of Bozo Obama's sordit and vile racist white and America--hating 20 year past with his membership and support of the black version of the KKK's Trinity UFC Church, that none can deny, because it's on record. Want proof? Just listen to the ACTUAL SERMONS OF JERIMIAH WRIGHT JR.'s, AS SOLD AT THE DOOR OF TRINITY UNITED FOR CHRIST CHURCH, THAT BOTH MICHELLE AND BARACK SAT THROUGH FOR 20 YEARS WITHOUT A WORD OF PROTEST!!! NOBODY, BUT NOBODY STAYS IN A CHURCH, GROUP, CLUB, ETC. LIKE THAT UNLESS THEY BELIEVE IN WHAT'S GOING ON, AND AGREE'S WITH WHAT'S BEING SAID!!!

Posted by: armpeg | April 28, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Chris, stop covering the swine flu, then. I love it when the news becomes the news because the news analyzes the news coverage.

Posted by: observer23 | April 28, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh My God! I just read about Arlen Specter. My this is excellent news. and I doubt he will be the last to switch. I hope the Snowe switches too.

Filibuster-proof majority. What a great week.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 28, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

hey armpeg:
care to elaborate and write me some factual data on the following comment?
just tell me the how. Prove some of these allegations please. Thanks

"Bozo Obama's only "accomplishments" so far is to prove that he's a bumbling idiot, a kow-towing groveling apologist who blames America for every problem that's ever happened around the world to appease every world leader and terrorist enemy of the USA, and he's made himself and our country into the laughingstock of the world" .........

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Angry, defensive, rebellious, obstreperous, and lacking any clue, the GOP hardens its conservatism and hangs on to a shrinking base of malcontents who can't come up with a single worthwhile issue.

Hey, 21-percenter trolls, we get it, you don't like the "community organizer." Problem is, that's all you've got.

Opposition, rage, bared teeth, tea-bag parties, signs with swastikas and hammer-and-sickles .. but not a single noteworthy idea, not a one.

Just more of the same tired BS about tax cuts, abortion, and Obama's letting slide opportunities to be a loudmouth boor like Bush was.

Poor 21-percenters, lost in the wilderness and too mad to think their way home. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of cretins.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 28, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse


We are taking over the world!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

mark, you feel "slighted"? That was supposed to be a COMPLIMENT!

PC, dude, I've been waiting my whole life. I'm pretty sure we're in the same coalition. I'm just trying to clear the brush here. There are principled conservatives, to whom we owe some measure of interaction (if only to keep us honest), and then there are the frothing-at-the-mouth crazies, to whom we owe nothing more than our kissable backsides. We need to be clear which is which.

And if the news about Specter is true, we just got one step closer to making some headway here. Say Hallelujah!

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | April 28, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse


• Arlen Specter joins the Democratic Party; PA GOP Shocked and Awed!

Senator Specter,

I am inspired by the courage of your convictions. You are also a very wise politician.

Now, please help take down the "extrajudicial punishment network"spawned or expanded during the Bush-Cheney years -- a government-enabled American Gestapo that has made a mockery of the rule of law, in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation.

When you've done that, perhaps you can help clear up one of history's most troublesome mysteries.

Again, thank you for your courage, and savvy.



Posted by: scrivener50 | April 28, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse


We've got 60 seats in the Senate.

Republicans are history.

It couldn't happen to a more deserving group of folks.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

mr. cillizza:
(hearty smiles)
"If you accept the premise that every presidency operates in reaction to the presidency that preceded it..."


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 28, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Chris --

Now that we have 60 votes what are planning to do.

I'm planning to help pass universal health care and then I'm going to Disneyland.

What about you?

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Is this a joke Chris? Bozo Obama's only "accomplishments" so far is to prove that he's a bumbling idiot, a kow-towing ...."


and blah blah blah. Yeah this kind of BS will win independents back to the GOP.

Go punch a wall, junior. Your side lost.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 28, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

mark --

Not very honest, are you?

Hillary's orignal plan was Single Payer.

But it doesn't matter now, anyhow.

Republicans are toast.

They're in a jam.

They land buttered side up.

But you sure wouldn't want to eat it.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Godot --

Keep waiting, fella.

Arlen Spector just joined the good guys.

60 is the new 50 -- Majority rules.

Republicans, don't let the door slam your butt on the way out.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Waiting, thank you for the kind words, although I did feel a bit slighted by your suggestion that I am not a wing nut in comparison to real wing nuts! :-)

For anyone who cares, the 1993 HRC universal health care bill [not single payer but employer based, mandatory, through regulated competing HMOs] is here:


I probably can find Cooper's bipartisan bill, too. BHO's plan reminds me of it.
Thanks, Mnteng, for the good advice from a research scientist.
Waiting, you suggested that PC is a Californian. Is he another "nom de plume" for "svreader"?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 28, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

re. Bozo Obama's supposed "accomplishments" after 100 days.

Is this a joke Chris? Bozo Obama's only "accomplishments" so far is to prove that he's a bumbling idiot, a kow-towing groveling apologist who blames America for every problem that's ever happened around the world to appease every world leader and terrorist enemy of the USA, and he's made himself and our country into the laughingstock of the world. He set in motion turning our free country into a Socialist, Facist, and Marxist one that Joe Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Fidel Castro, and Kim Jong-ll would be proud. He embarassed himself and our country and proved that he was a spineless fool when he bowed to the waist and grovelled before the King of Saud; when he sat for 50 minutes, smiling from ear to ear, listening to a anti--America speech by Marxist thug Daniel Ortega, and when Hugo Chavez (who called him an 'ignoramus' just a week before) embarrassed him further by hugging him and giving him a anti--American book "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent". This book given Bozo Obama--which the Democrap Socialist Party--controlled Main Stream Media "forgot" to describe to their readers, surprise, surprise--is a long tirade of anti--Americanism and racist anti--white European failures that blames everything wrong in Latin America on them. As an example, it opens with this line: "Renaissance Europeans ventured across the oceans and burried their teeth in the throats of the Indian civilizations,...." and on, and on. Bozo Obama--who probably believes all this stuff himself consitering his 20 year membership in that white-and America--hating cult that he once belonged to TUFC Church--accepted this book as if it where mana from heaven smiling like the clown he is.

Posted by: armpeg | April 28, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"a few intermittent tweets about what kind of sandwich they had for lunch or what committee hearing they are attending: exciting stuff."

Now if you would only realize that this clearly refers to your twittering too, and just please focus on the much more readable and informative Fix blog!

Posted by: kdemko | April 28, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RealCalGal | April 28, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

How could those nasty ole piggies do this, they are making the Messiah look bad, he just loves BBQ ribs too

Posted by: theidahokid | April 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link to the Senate's history of contested elections. Fascinating reading.

Posted by: RealCalGal | April 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hugely enjoying the futile attempts by the 21-percenters to shape perceptions of Obama; all the "radical leftist" and "socialist" and "far left" and "Messiah" BS, over and over .. meanwhile the GOP now enjoys the national esteem of a venereal disease or perhaps pedophilia.

Twenty-one percent, guys.

Please, by all means, keep it up. Keep on spraying your monitors with spit, keep on screaming about birth certificates and ACORN, keep on bringing up Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright, keep on screeching about how awful and unfair it was to fire an incompetent CEO.

I want you guys entirely out of power for the rest of my life. Don't let me down.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | April 28, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"At this point, preventing transmission is the most important thing. Wash your hands frequently and go to the doctor if you feel you have flu-like symptoms. Don't take Benadryl or use an EpiPen."

Yeah, whoever said to do that is pretty disgusting.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 28, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Govenor Rick Perry Of Texas who 2 weeks ago was throwing a tea party now wants money from the government. He makes me sick! A month ago he was a major critic of Prsident Obama and the stimulus bill for Americans and funding for flue vacinations. Now he is asking the white house for money for the state of Texas.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | April 28, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse


We know exactly the strain of swine H1N1 flu that is now circulating. The CDC deposited the sequences for 5 or 6 isolates into GenBank yesterday. And we don't know why it is killing young healthy adults in Mexico but not in the US. The 1918 flu caused an overactive innate immune response, leading to the cytokine storm that ended up killing people, but there's no evidence that this swine flu strain does the same thing.

At this point, preventing transmission is the most important thing. Wash your hands frequently and go to the doctor if you feel you have flu-like symptoms. Don't take Benadryl or use an EpiPen.

Posted by: mnteng | April 28, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

This is so interesting that this is all happing now. THE NASTY REPUBLICANS DID NOT WANT FUNDING IN THE STIMULUS BILL for flu studies and federal money going for preventing an out break. Once Again the Republicans screwed up VIEWS failed.
I still can not believe 10 years ago they put then Pesident Clinton through all that nonsense over Monica Lawensky, stole the 2000 election from Gore and they are still critics of President Obama.
The out spoken Republicans are SORRY, SICK RACIST LOOSERS. Even Captain Richard who was rescued from the pirates praised President OBAMA and said that Rush Limbaugh was a crazy nut!

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | April 28, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Hoo-boy, where to start?

mark_in_austin, that's a pretty concise wrap-up of the HRC '93 debacle. And yes, she did back away slowly from that mess by '08 (not that it did her much good in the end....)

PC, calling out m_i_a as a "wingnut" is neither fair nor accurate. For God's sake, just look at some of the mouth-breathers who are posting along this very thread (including right after your sonnet to the French) C'mon, dude, you're making us Californians look bad.

And, in what is almost the only time I can imagine even coming close to agreeing with vbhoomes, yeah, there is always a distinct possibility of a 1918-like event every flu season -- it's the nature of the bug to mutate, and every so often it mutates in a gigantically lethal fashion. Could this be such an event? Maybe.

But I see no benefit in getting the population whipped up into a panic when we DON'T really know what we're dealing with yet, we have only the inadequate Mexican data set to work with so far, and we have determined we have effective retrovirals to mitigate the worst effects.

Should we be concerned? Hell, yes. But is it time to push the panic button? Not yet. Let's see what this thing does in First World health systems before we decide we have another Spanish flu on our hands.

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | April 28, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Chris: I'm concerned. What will happen here when the Obama administration finds out certain government agencies may be spending taxpayer dollars to "mob" political blog sites -- polluting the discourse while they troll for "dissidents"?





Can't seem to access, or post to, certain web sites -- especially, political sites?

Do cookie "blocks" show up in your "preferences" list, even though you didn't request a block, thus preventing you from access?

Are the functions of your computer "hijacked" by third-party remote computing software?

Are you prevented from fully viewing government public documents downloaded from the internet?

Are you blocked from making posts to certain web sites -- seemingly based on the content of your post, receiving messages like "you must be logged on to leave a comment" when the screen shows you've already logged on?

When you post, do typos, spelling errors and other anomalies appear in your comments -- even though you carefully proofread the submission?

You could be the unwitting victim of government "fusion centers" that apparently are using internet "filtering" and realtime remote computing surveillance to censor and maliciously interfere with the telecommunications of American citizens.

Please see this running account of an apparently "targeted" journalist and his quest to exercise his First Amendment right of free speech, and his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of telecommunications.


Then demand that American Civil Liberties Union renew its fight against warrantless government spying by filing a class-action suit against unconstitutional surveillance and malicious interference with personal and business telecommunications.

Recently, while reading the ACLU blog, this reporter learned of the Bush-Cheney "doctrine" of "ideological exclusion" -- apparently used to bar political "activists" from abroad from visiting the United States.

Could authoritarian bureaucrats be using this doctrine as a justification to censor political speech in this country?

If you suspect the answer is "yes," please add your account to the free speech thread cited above!


OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | April 28, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Chris Chiz --

Please check out what I'm about to tell you with your MD.

If the problem with the swine flu is your body's allergic reaction there's a very good chance that benadryl could prevent/treat that symptom and geld the swine flu.

If benadryl doesn't work, anybody who has an epi-injector should try that.

This is not medical advice.

Consult with your MD.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I do not know how you can view this White House as compentent after approving the AF One flyover. Who was on board for the junket? I am currently half way through reading a book on the 1918 flu. It is a balancing act as far as reporting this in a responsible manner, but so far MSM has failed in letting americans think is just another flu that can be treated. At this time, we DO NOT KNOW the strain. It is a hybrid just like 1918 and just like 1918 it strikes the healthiest people because their immune system is strong and it throws everything at it, killing the virus along with the human. At this time in 1918,it was also very mild, it wasn't until the normal flu season that this turned into such a killer. We will not know until this fall whether or not this is 1918 again. Kudo' to the acting head of the CDC so far. He's the only who is really saying, you better be scared.

Posted by: vbhoomes | April 28, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

mark --

Maybe you dropped in from a parallel universe?

America, Hillary and Bill, got the shaft from Harriet, Louise, the Insurance Industry and the Republican Party.

Hillary's plan was "single payer"

Insurance companies lied, cheated, stole and did every slimy thing in the book in order to tank universal health care because it would have put them out of business.

The Republican Party lied, cheated, stole and did every slimy thing in the book to try to take down Bill Clinton by making Him and America fail.

Repubicans love killing and death.

Democrats love life and America.

The only life-positive position the Republicans have is their anti-abortion one, but its hypocritical, because Republicans are against contracteption,
against giving one penny to a child once its been born, against abortion in cases where the mother's life is at risk, and against a woman's right to choose what she does with her own body.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

PC - Are we talking past each other? Are you characterizing HRC's 2008 campaign plank, and not her actual 1993 legislation, which is the subject of my posts?

If you are talking about the '08 campaign plank, I will not spend any time discussing it - suffice to say it was similar to Edwards proposal and created mandates for universal coverage, but that it was NOT "single payer".

Here is a New Yorker article with some interesting global comparisons and history.


Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 28, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Poor messiah. still can't fit in, still not liked. Must be something from his childhood. cue the adoring Germans, rev up the teleprompters. time for another head fake, I mean press conference.

""five presidents rated higher than Mr. Obama after 100 days in office. Ronald Reagan topped the charts in April 1981 with 67 percent approval. Following the Gipper, in order of popularity, were: Jimmy Carter with 63 percent in 1977; George W. Bush with 62 percent in 2001; Richard Nixon with 61 percent in 1969; and George H.W. Bush with 58 percent in 1989.

It's no surprise the liberal media aren't anxious to point out that their darling is less popular than George W. Bush. But given the Gallup numbers, their hurrahs could be more subdued. USA Today's front page touted the April poll results as positive, with the headline: "Public thinks highly of Obama." The current cover of Newsweek magazine ponders "The Secret of His [Mr. Obama's] Success." The comparison with previous presidents is useful because they are usually popular during their first few months in office - and most presidents have been more popular than Mr. Obama.

The explanation for Mr. Obama's low approval is that he ran as a moderate but has governed from the far left. The fawning and self-deceiving press won't go there. On Sunday's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory asked a panel about critics who "would say one of the things that he's done in 100 days already is expand the role of government, the size of government." Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin claimed, "That's what he ran for the presidency in the first place for."

Perplexed about complaints over Mr. Obama's expansion of government, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham asked: "does no one listen during campaigns?"

It was these pundits who weren't paying attention during last year's campaign. In all three presidential debates, Mr. Obama promised to cut government spending and reduce the size of the deficit. He blamed the economic crisis on excessive deficits. At no time did candidate Barack Obama say that more deficit-spending was the solution.

Mr. Obama's popularity after 100 days is the second-lowest for a simple reason: He is more partisan and divisive than his predecessors - including Richard Nixon. ""

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 28, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Look out Libs. Truth ahead:

President Obama's media cheerleaders are hailing how loved he is. But at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years. According to Gallup's April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969. The only new president less popular was Bill Clinton

Heh, heh , heh: ''Nixon was more popular than 0bama at this point in office.'' We know the truth about the manipulated polls by high Democrat content and push questions but the truth is 0bama is a polarizing leftist. All he is doing is destroying the middle ground

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 28, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

No other American president in modern memory has faced a learning curve as steep as the one Barack Obama has encountered. When he began his quest for the Democratic nomination three years ago, the Dow Jones industrial average was 14,000, and the world was in the midst of a great economic boom.

Simple cause and effect.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 28, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

PC - Name calling is no substitute for facts.

I actually read her plan. I was and still am an attorney representing a large Head Start Program and I was tasked to critique it by my client.

The core element of the proposed plan was an enforced mandate for employers to provide health insurance coverage to all of their employees through competitive but closely-regulated health maintenance organizations.

It was not single payer. It was the precursor to private HMOs.

I am not making this up.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 28, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait for government run health care. I love standing in line, paying double, being told "NO", waiting in line again, having my options curtailed, and on and on.

there has not been a single thing ever that government ran properly. they either bust the budget or provide incompetent service, or both. except maybe the Coast Guard.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 28, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

mark --

Sigh. Where do all you wing nuts come from?

Hillary wanted to do "single payer"

Its the right solution.

Its what the people with the best health care in the world right now have.

France has the right solution in heatlh care.

Just like they do in food, wine and hot women.

We have better ones in California, but that's another story.

The French have "single-payer" with private doctors and hospitals.

Both my kids are doctors and they, their friends, and everybody who's looked at this feels this way.

Except for the Republicans and the Insurance Companies.

Surprise, Surprise.

But back to the French.

So what if they can't fight wars.

We'll protect them from the Germans.

The can send us hot women, great food and good ideas for better health care.

Look what they did for the kiss.

Just think of what they could do for health care.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

When PC finally was published, it was anticlimactic for me. PC said:

"Its sad Hillary isn't head of health care.
She's kick ass, take names, and get the job done, fast."

I was alive and well in 1993 when HRC refused to negotiate her health care plan with the medical profession, refused to work with Cong. Cooper, D-TN; refused any compromises, and by maintaining "kick-ass" against friends as well as foes doomed health care for 16 years - although it is fair to say that the insurance industry stole HMO from her 1200 page mess of "kick-ass". HRC has apparently mellowed enough to play well with others, since - but a former insurance commissioner and governor who was successful at the state level is a better bet for HHS. Heck, I would be a better bet based on HRC's record on health care.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 28, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I have the same question RickJ had -- why is the headline referring to a "snafu" when this crisis was neither created, or mismanaged by the President?

So far, so good. I hope this doesn't turn out to be a big deal for us as a country. And I don't see where the Administration has dropped the ball.

Of course, it would be helpful if the loons in the Senate would quit screwing around, and confirm Sebelius for HHS. They had their fun, and now they need to knock it off, and let the woman get to work.

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | April 28, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

That's some cute baby, Chris. What's she pouting about?

Posted by: MadAsHell3 | April 28, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

mark --

I had another account.

When I made comments from that one, they showed to me on WP comment pages when I logged was logged into my account, but they didn't show up on the browsers of friends that had been following my posts.

We'll see if the same thing happens with this one.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Its sad Hillary isn't head of health care.
She's kick ass, take names, and get the job done, fast.

I'm glad President Obama is President.

He's great.

But we also need to fix the health crisis.

And its multi-dimesional.

To make an omlette, you need to break a few eggs.

Alexander the Great sliced through the knot -- he didn't sit down and try to untie it.

Americans are dying because of lack of proper health care and because of the lack of modern public health infrastructure in much of America compared to the best of the world.

America is the greatest country in the world and we should act like it.

American Citizens have the right to "life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness."

We can't do that if we're sick or dead.

We need to ramp up health care and ramp down defense.

That's the best way there is to save American lives.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Another day, another arrogant slip from former community boy. Hey homies, how you like my jet? Are there any Libs out there with even a smidgeoen of class?

Meanwhile, the teleprompter goes down and the puppet of the left finds himself speechless. Kos.... Moveon. ...
What was I supposed to say again?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 28, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

W, yeah, W did it. Oh, wait a minute he's no longer prez. Obama, yeah, Obama created the swine flu "epidemic."

Posted by: flintston | April 28, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

PC, I have read three of your comments so far. All claimed that you were being censored or spoofed. Are you Scrivener posting from an undisclosed location? Seriously, what have you wanted to post that has been censored?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 28, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Who cares!? Obama is widely viewed as a success right now. The only people who think otherwise are the right wing lunatards who account for 20% of voters and who still think little Dick Cheney was the second coming of Ghandi. If the press is focused on informing the public of a burgeoning health crisis, rather than focusing on presidential performance at the 100 day mark, than for once it sounds like the press is doing their job well.

Posted by: hiberniantears | April 28, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Chris writes about Huntsman's challenge:

... Kent County Chairwoman Joanne Voorhees canceled the event on Monday. "After conducting further research on the Governor and his change in position on issues, we feel it is best to cancel our event," ... "voters want and expect us to stand on principle and return to our roots . . . ."

Opinions turn on a few months' worth of news. McC, in retrospect, probably lost votes in the GE by pandering to the far right of the Rs when his instincts were both pragmatic and historically had been right-center.

The Rs took the wrong lesson from McC's relatively close loss. Huntsman, however, reads this correctly. So does Crist. If some other Rs come along on trying to seize the center-right back from the bluedogs who have given the Ds a large but fragile majority, for now, then the Rs can be back in the game by 2010.

Huntsman is going to try to seize the center-right, and it will be interesting to watch whether many Rs follow.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 28, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Re "What to Watch For" video: Is that your editor there with you?

Posted by: Garak | April 28, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Wait...I've seen this movie! on DIM BULB: http://tinyurl.com/c6bqdn

Posted by: jonathansalembaskin | April 28, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse



Think about it: "Terrorists" hijack the backup Air Force One. It's flown into a lower Manhattan office tower. Thousands perish. When it is revealed that Al Qaeda has struck again, the global war on terror resumes with a vengeance -- with the President who hoped to bring world peace unwittingly cast as the new "W."

But what if word of the "plot" leaked out?

Well... revert to the cover story. Go through with the fly-over (after giving local law enforcement a secret heads-up). When terrorized New Yorkers cry foul, claim it was just an ill-advised photo shoot. Make the "fall guy" a former secretary of the Army, the first Hispanic to serve in that capacity. Get him to "admit" culpability, and hope no one questions the irrationality of the explanation.

Of course, we all know that this is America, and something so Machiavellian, so malevolent, could never happen here. Never.



Bush-Cheney- spawned torture is NOT just a foreign affair.

The "Extrajudicial Punishment Network" it created or expanded enables citizen vigilantes affiliated with federally-funded volunteer community policing and public safety groups to stalk, harass, terrorize -- and YES, torture.

With microwave radiation "directed energy weapons" -- apparently OK'ed for use on detainees AND U.S. citizens by still-secret Bush "torture memos."

This "American Gestapo" has co-opted and corrupted local law enforcement nationwide -- a grassroots-based authoritarian apparatus "hiding in plain sight."

Please, White House staff, read this. Your Bush holdovers already know all about it.

What have they told YOU?


OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):


Posted by: scrivener50 | April 28, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

BTW, with regard to the swine flu outbreak (it is not a pandemic and probably not even an epidemic) let us not forget that at least 36,000 people (CDC data) die in the United States every year from the flu. Where is the media reporting on this story? Where is the hysteria over all these deaths? Why doesn't cable news and other media venues spend hours and hours reporting about it, creating unnecessary fear and hysteria?

Posted by: JPDupre | April 28, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Can someone tell me if they can read this comment?

It turns out that the WP generates fake versions of their comment pages to intenionally mislead readers who's comments they don't like or don't agree with into thinking their comments have been posted when they actually haven't.

Its quite a scam.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I'd say the swine flu mania is a good thing for the White House. It gets to portray Obama as an apolitical protecting figure and allows the media to publicize the GOP's reckless delay tactics used against Sebelius for HHS.


Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 28, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if this comment will be posted or not.

Apparently the WP posts fake versions of their user comment sections that prevent comments from readers who's opinions that they don't like from being posted, while fooling the reader into thinking they are.

Its quite a scam.

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Hi Chris,

Why does the Washington Post post fake versions of reader response sections that make it look like readers comments are being posted when they are not?

Does the word "fraud" mean anything to you guys?

Posted by: PoliticalCommentator | April 28, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the O's created the virus in a secret laboratory from pig stem cells and loosed it on the world as a great opportunity to show that they need Kathleen Sebelius to be immediately approved by congress.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 28, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Not sure what you mean by 'snafu' as the Obama team did not create the swine flu pandemic....

Obama would probably need to speak to the public at some point soon about this pandemic so I don't see what problem this causes if it has to be on his 100th day. At least he's out there speaking to the public and not acting like we're a major inconvenience like W, Cheney and Rumsfeld did....

Posted by: RickJ | April 28, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

This admin. is even smarmier and more arrogant than the bushies.. I thought they would overturn Rove v. World.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 28, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

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