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Laura Meckler writes in the Wall Street Journal: "A prominent gay-rights organization, long supportive of President Barack Obama, sent him a scathing letter Monday to protest the administration's recent legal backing of the Defense of Marriage Act. The frustration, expressed in an emotional letter by the president of the Human Rights Campaign, also stems from Mr. Obama's reluctance to move on other issues on its agenda, such as allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military."

David Cho, Brady Dennis and Karl Vick write in The Washington Post: "The Obama administration has turned back pleas for emergency aid from one of the biggest remaining threats to the economy -- the state of California.... After a series of meetings, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, top White House economists Lawrence Summers and Christina Romer, and other senior officials have decided that California could hold on a little longer and should get its budget in order rather than rely on a federal bailout.... [F]ederal officials are worried that a bailout of California would set off a cascade of demands from other states."

In the Los Angeles Times, Jim Puzzanghera has more details on Obama's imminent announcement of "the most significant new regulation of the financial industry since the Great Depression, including a new watchdog agency to look out for consumers' interests."

Suzanne Goldenberg writes in the Guardian: "The Obama administration is poised for its most forceful confrontation with the American public on the sweeping and life-altering consequences of a failure to act on global warming with the release today of a long-awaited scientific report on climate change. The report, produced by more than 30 scientists at 13 government agencies dealing with climate change, provides the most detailed picture to date of the worst case scenarios of rising sea levels and extreme weather events: floods in lower Manhattan; a quadrupling of heat waves deaths in Chicago; withering on the vineyards of California; the disappearance of wildflowers from the slopes of the Rockies; and the extinction of Alaska's wild polar bears in the next 75 years. Today's release is part of a carefully crafted strategy by the White House to help build public support for Obama's agenda and boost the prospects of a climate change bill now making its way through Congress."

Bill Dedman writes for msnbc.com: "The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn't have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions. Despite President Barack Obama's pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com's request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies.... Groups that advocate open government have argued that it's vital to know the names of White House visitors, who may have an outsized influence on policy matters."

Steven Aftergood blogs for Secrecy News: "President Obama has still not appointed anyone to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board... The PIAB has broad responsibility for conducting internal executive branch oversight of intelligence, and it is specifically charged with alerting the President to intelligence activities that may be unlawful or contrary to executive order or presidential directive."

Drudge Report has a fiery letter from Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay to ABC News complaining that a prime-time special to be broadcast from the White House next week -- titled "Questions for the President: Prescription for America" -- will "exclude opposing voices" and "become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat [sic] agenda." But according to ABC's original press release, Obama "will answer questions from an audience made up of Americans selected by ABC News who have divergent opinions in this historic debate." ABCNews.com will also "invite viewers to join the discussion and share their questions about health care reform" and "will also be working with Digg.com to select popular questions voted on by online users."

By Dan Froomkin  |  June 16, 2009; 12:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

President George W. Obama.

Posted by: dickdata | June 16, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

In regard to ABC presenting: "Questions for the President: Prescription for America", since when is it appropriate to present any issue to the public as fact and without any debate. I suspect those "questions" will simply be "cherry picked" to agree with Obama's position.

I have been disgusted with our American media for years. Their bias to the left has long been obvious so I have a suggestion for ABC, re-name yourself the "All Barack Channel" and while you are at it call the heads of your competing networks and suggest that they re-name themselves as well. NBC can be Naturally Barack Channel and CBS might be called Continual Barack Speak. Then an agency could be established to oversee all three, called GBS, Government Broadcast System.

For some time I have been searching Google News for American political issues as reported by the British news media since their coverage at least attempts to show both sides of an issue, unless of course, it is so totally, patently ridiculous as to be laughable and then they parody it, something at which those in the UK are particularly adept!!

Posted by: OregonStorm | June 16, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

AMERICA’S NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY!

It’s official. America and the World are now in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. A World EPIDEMIC with potential catastrophic consequences for ALL of the American people. The first PANDEMIC in 41 years. And WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES will have to face this PANDEMIC with the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed World.

STAND READY AMERICA TO SEIZE CONTROL OF YOUR NATIONAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

We spend over twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as any other country in the World. And Individual American spend about ten times as much out of pocket on healthcare as any other people in the World. All because of GREED! And the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare system in America.

And while all this is going on, some members of congress seem mostly concern about how to protect the corporate PROFITS! of our GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT NATIONAL DISGRACE. A PRIVATE FOR PROFIT DISGRACE that is in fact, totally valueless to the public health. And a detriment to national security, public safety, and the public health.

Progressive democrats and others should stand firm in their demand for a robust public option for all Americans, with all of the minimum requirements progressive democrats demanded. If congress can not pass a robust public option with at least 51 votes and all robust minimum requirements, congress should immediately move to scrap healthcare reform and demand that President Obama declare a state of NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY! Seizing and replacing all PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance plans with the immediate implementation of National Healthcare for all Americans under the provisions of HR676 (A Single-payer National Healthcare Plan For All).

Coverage can begin immediately through our current medicare system. With immediate expansion through recruitment of displaced workers from the canceled private sector insurance industry. Funding can also begin immediately by substitution of payroll deductions for private insurance plans with payroll deductions for the national healthcare plan. This is what the vast majority of the American people want. And this is what all objective experts unanimously agree would be the best, and most cost effective for the American people and our economy.

In Mexico on average people who received medical care for A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) with in 3 days survived. People who did not receive medical care until 7 days or more died. This has been the same results in the US. But 50 million Americans don’t even have any healthcare coverage. And at least 200 million of you with insurance could not get in to see your private insurance plans doctors in 2 or 3 days, even if your life depended on it. WHICH IT DOES!

Contact congress and your representatives NOW! AND SPREAD THE WORD!

God Bless You

Jacksmith – WORKING CLASS

Posted by: JackSmith1 | June 16, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Not so much, dickdata. Aside from a few details like White House logs and torture evidence, Obama's moved in a different direction from the cokehead poser already. For one, Obama's opened up anti-terror policies to public debate, going so far as to say how he'll break with or continue the previous administration's policies. The difference you've missed? Obama's stated what he's going to do, as opposed to cloaking everything in secrecy. (And if you haven't figured it out yet, merely pulling the cloak off makes some changes inevitable.)

The there's the health-care thing. I seem to recall the cokehead opposing extended insurance for children on philosophical grounds.

Oh, and now there's the financial regulatory thing. The Texas con man liked regulation almost as much as he likes an enema. Unless you care to insist that Obama and Geithner's proposal is just a sham. You can do that, but you'd have no evidence.

Besides, it merits noting that the worst policies of the Bush years belonged to Cheney. I think Bush himself was more or lesss along for the ride, without serious convictions on most issues. And that's certainly as different from Obama as a person can be.

Posted by: whizbang9a | June 16, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Oregon Storm, you're missing the point in so many ways. The news media are entirely owned by giant corporations, and advance
their agenda. Check the politics of media owners, Rupert Murdock on down, and almost every one of them will be Republican. As far as not "allowing ideas from the other side," the other side has no ideas except, keep everything the way it is, only more so. You only grow if you change, and if you don't change, you wither and decline. So the very word conservative is on the wrong side of history.

Posted by: shaman7214 | June 16, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

"I have been disgusted with our American media for years. Their bias to the left has long been obvious"

No kidding, remember how they did so much in-depth investigating and covered the antiwar movement so thoroughly that they almost derailed the Iraq invasion? I guess the joke's on them, huh?

Posted by: BigTunaTim | June 17, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

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