Sarah Palin may be talking; but it sounds like she doesn't want the media to hear her.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Palin is banning all video and sound recordings at two high-profile, big-ticket speeches in Florida in the next month.
Sponsors of these speeches say the rules for the events are set by Palin's agents. Members of the media can buy a ticket like anyone else – for a couple hundred bucks, that is. But no pictures, audio or video recording allowed. Also, Palin has banned media in most cases at her book signings – except for brief photo-ops.
You'd think someone considering a run for the White House in 2012 would want as much media coverage as possible. Which is what happens whenever the former VP candidate opens her mouth. The media just eat it up.
But that may be part of the problem too: Take Palin's widely covered Tea Party speech for example, where media coverage was allowed: While the base loves what she's selling, Palin has come under lots of criticism for the crib notes she had scribbled on her hand.
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As President Obama marks his first anniversary in the White House and the State of the Union approaches, there's criticism coming at him from all corners.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes that doubts he had about the president – since the primaries – have been realized... including that Mr. Obama may not be ready to fight for what his supporters want.
In a piece called "he wasn't the one we've been waiting for," Krugman describes the president talking about health care... saying lawmakers should "try to move quickly to coalesce" around elements of the bill that people agree on. Krugman mocks the message – saying it's like the president is telling lawmakers to "run away."
And When Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about Krugman's critique – he ducked the question.
Meanwhile from the right, Pat Buchanan suggests that white voters are one group that might be of particular concern to the president.
In a column called "Has Obama lost white America?"... Buchanan explains how the racial breakdown of the vote in recent elections in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia could spell trouble for the president.
The Pentagon report into the massacre at Fort Hood that left 13 dead is a joke. There is no mention of the suspect's views of Islam. None.
In fact, the 86-page report doesn't even once mention Major Nidal Hasan by name. It lumps in radical Islam with other fundamentalist religious beliefs... and instead focuses on things like military personnel policies and the emergency response to the Nov. shootings.
This despite the fact that Hasan made no secret of his radical Islamic faith. He allegedly proselytized to his fellow service members and spoke out against the wars the U.S. military is waging in Muslim counties.
John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, tells Time magazine the Pentagon's silence on Islamic extremism "shows you how deeply entrenched the values of political correctness have become." The Texas Congressman whose district includes Fort Hood says this report "ignores the elephant in the room – radical Islamic terrorism is the enemy."
The Pentagon acknowledges it didn't focus so much on Hasan's motives as on "actions and effects." They say they didn't want to interfere with the criminal probe into Hasan. Garbage.
Times are tough – very tough – for millions of Americans... but you could never tell by watching the way Congress spends our tax dollars on themselves.
CBS News has a stunning report on the all-expense paid trip at least 20 members of Congress made to the Copenhagen climate summit last month.
The bipartisan delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was so large – it needed three military jets – two 737s and a Gulfstream Five. Some members brought along their spouses, children... plus there were also senators and staff members who made the trip to Denmark – most of them flying commercial.
Pelosi wouldn't answer any questions about costs or where they all stayed – even though she was the one who decided who went. Her office says only that it will "comply with disclosure requirements."
When Democrats swept into power in Congress and the White House last year – a big part of their message was running against the record of the Bush administration.
And some are hoping that strategy works for them again in the 2010 midterm elections.
The web site Talking Points Memo reports Democrats plan to tell voters that Republicans only want to turn back the clock to the Bush era. They say the Republican Party in Washington today is no different than the one that ran Congress before.
Also Democrats insist the party won't take the same kind of beating at the hands of Republicans that it did back in 1994. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they "fully intend to be in the majority" after November – and other party leaders say they're more prepared this time.
They better hope they are, considering poll numbers that show support for the Democratic Party slumping. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll shows only 35-percent of voters have positive feelings for the Democratic party – that's down 14-points since February.
Here we go again... Five Transportation Security Administration employees are now on "administrative leave" after a sensitive airport security manual was posted on the Internet.
Here's some of what was revealed:
This comes weeks after three Secret Service officers were put on leave while that agency investigates how it allowed those two morons to crash a White House State Dinner.
Government employees who are found compromising national security are placed on "administrative leave." Gee... give me some of that. They sit home and do nothing while they continue to collect their paychecks. That's some "punishment." We have 10-percent unemployment in this country – yet try firing a government employee for anything short of a felony conviction. Can't be done.
Majority Leader Harry Reid is the top cheerleader for health care reform in the Senate... and this support for the bill might just wind up costing him his Nevada Senate seat.
That's because a growing number of Nevadans don't support health care reform...
A Las Vegas Review-Journal poll shows 53 percent of registered voters oppose the president's health care plan while only 39 percent approve of it.
Majorities of Nevadans are also opposed to a public option, believe that the reform plan would raise taxes, and that it would lead to the rationing of health care. Worse yet – ahead of his re-election bid next year, only 39 percent approve of Reid's efforts to get a bill though the Senate.
Evidence suggests that although most Democrats support Reid's efforts... that probably won't be enough to outweigh the disapproval of most independents and Republicans. One pollster says Reid is carrying the flag for this reform and "You remember what happened historically to flag bearers in war. The flag bearer gets shot first."
When it comes to Afghanistan, President Obama better be right. After months of meetings and criticism that he was "dithering" and "weak" on Afghanistan – he finally made what may be the most important decision of his presidency.
But the announcement to deploy 30,000 additional troops is cloaked in contradiction. We're going to rush more troops in so we can begin to rush them out in 18 months. The Taliban and al Qaeda will probably make a note of this timetable.
You don't suppose the decision to withdraw in July of 2011 would have anything to do with the President's 2012 re-election campaign do you?
There was no mention of how we're going to pay for this. The 30,000 additional troops will cost an additional $30 billion in the first year.
Where's that money going to come from? Some Democrats are calling for a so-called "war surtax." But With a fragile U.S. economy, an unemployment rate topping 10-percent, and a costly health care reform plan on the table – there may not be much appetite for that.
It's an idea that's long past due and it will probably never happen...
A group of Republican senators is proposing a Constitutional amendment to set congressional term limits – 12 years for the Senate and six years for the House.
Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina says real change will never happen in Washington until there's an end to the era of permanent politicians. DeMint says lawmakers have been re-elected about 90 percent of the time over the last 20 years – because the system favors incumbents.
We all know the drill: Some spend decades in Washington, get into bed with the special interest groups that feed their campaign coffers and forget all about the people they're supposed to represent.
And we've heard this before... Republicans who gained control of the House in 1994 promised to pass congressional term limits, but once they were in power, they failed to deliver. The Supreme Court later ruled term limits were unconstitutional – which is why this group of senators is trying to change the Constitution.
In order to pass, two-thirds of the House and Senate would have to approve the amendment – along with three-fourths of the 50 states.
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Call it CBS News versus the White House.
CBS reports that President Obama intends to give General Stanley McChrystal most – if not all – of the 40,000 troops he's asking for in Afghanistan. They say the president has tentatively decided to send four combat brigades plus thousands of more support troops.
According to CBS, the troop buildup would last for about four years – until the Afghan military doubles in size. This surge would mean the number of U.S. troops would grow from the current 68,000 to about 100,000 by the end of the president's first term.
But the White House insists the CBS story is false. They call reports that the president has made a decision about Afghanistan "absolutely false." They say Mr. Obama still hasn't received or reviewed "final options" with his national security team.
So – who's telling the truth here? It comes down to the word of the Obama White House against the network of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite.
Of course... CBS News also saw Dan Rather step down in 2005 after apologizing for a report that questioned President George W. Bush's National Guard service. Rather said the report was based on false documents.