Tag Archives: press conference

President Obama's Remarks About Cambridge Incident: Far, Far More Than a 'Boo-Boo'

bandaid

This has not been a great week for our President, it would seem. In addition to hitting some apparent speed bumps on the road to socialized medicine, there was a ruckus that erupted as a result of particular comments he made during his Wednesday evening press conference.

President Obama caused controversy  with an answer to a reporter regarding the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at his Cambridge home.

So much controversy, in fact, he appeared at the daily White House Press Briefing in Robert Gibbs’ place on Friday to make a statement about it.

Professor Gates, a friend of the President’s, was unable to get into his home in Cambridge, so as he was leaning and pushing on the front door, a neighbor called the police, believing that she was observing an attempted break in.

According the police report (click here to read it [1]), Prof. Gates initially and intermittently refused to cooperate, made accusations of racism from the first point of contact (Gates to officer: “Why? Because I’m a black man in America?”), followed the officer out of the house, was yelling and waving his arms, and would not calm down despite a number of warnings.

Ultimately, Sgt. James Crowley placed Prof. Gates under arrest.

When commenting on the matter at the July 22 press conference, President Obama noted that he was not on the scene of the arrest, then labeled the Cambridge police as having behaved “stupidly”.

There are a number of ways to look at this little sidetrack from the health care debate, I suppose.  I happen to believe the whole episode is the perfect study in why this country is in such a sorry state and example of why its high time for Americans to wake up, yesterday.

The subject of Wednesday’s press conference was health care. The final question of the evening, seemingly unrelated.

The question from the reporter was apparently supposed to be spontaneous. NONSENSE. There is plenty of reason to believe that nothing that happens at a President Barack Obama press conference is spontaneous.

The daily White House press briefing on July 1 provides some evidence. Chip Reid first grilled and then Helen Thomas laid flat, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs over both the Administrations’ control over the Health Care Town Hall and the “shocking”, to quote Thomas, control of the press by the Obama Administration.

Concerns about orchestrated media events arose from the beginning of Barack Obama’s Presidency, as alluded to by Thomas’ remarks.

But there is a longer history, particularly as the election drew near. In addition to complaints from reporters regarding general lack of access to Candidate Obama, three newspaper reporters were removed from the campaign plane; The New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, and The Washington Times. All three had endorsed opponent John McCain.

The bottom line? Again, anyone believing the question about Henry Louis Gates “spontaneous” better scratch their heads and think if that word as a descriptor for a Pres. Obama press conference could be in any way accurate.

If one accepts the premise that the question was orchestrated, the natural question that follows is why?

Recognizing the question and answer were no accident means there is an agenda at work, so it is only left to determine what that agenda might be.

I believe the President played the race card from the bottom of a very stacked deck, purposefully, because for him, it is very much related to his agenda, and therefore, his push for health care “reform”.

Whether or not he “muffed” handling it is of no moment. At this stage, perpetuating division of all kinds, including by income and by race come with “benefits”. Many public relations “experts” have noted that any publicity is good publicity.

Stir up the question of racism, get the ever helpful media to assist you in asking, “What is the state of race relations in America?” And many have already been happy to oblige, such as CNN, who ran the story, complete with a “Nation Divided” graphic:

Nation Divided

Perhaps the country may not be so divided if so many, including politicians, the media, and pundits didn’t keep telling us we are. Villains are isolated and targeted, victims held up and put on display.

At first, I thought the whole question was a distraction technique with the simple bonus of division as the “kicker”. President Obama’s health care agenda is in trouble, at least for the moment. Hurry! Time for a distraction.

I also wondered if he was simply trying to throw a bone to what the political hacks would call “his base”.

Then I recalled the audio from 2001 of then State Senator Obama discussing civil rights and the subject of “redistributive change” (reparations) on Chicago Public Radio.

Although there are oh-so-many issues in the audio to be bothered about, here I’ll stick to “redistributive change”.

Over the last forty-eight hours, I’ve been mulling through all I’ve noted so far, seeking for a reason, beyond generally dividing the country continuously, for a further explanation for this Cambridge arrest issue being inserted into the press conference.

I’ve been aware of the 2001 audio for about a year, in conjunction with a number of other pieces of evidence. So I’m very clear regarding what President Obama’s goals are, including redistribution of wealth, particularly to the black population of the country through such policies as “health care reform”. I understood what he meant when he talked about “fundamental change” during his campaign.

I discovered I wasn’t the only one thinking along these lines when I was catching up on my podcasts of Glenn Beck’s radio shows. When I listened to the last couple of days’ shows, Glenn articulated the same theories and in addition, laid out a number of pieces of evidence that support it. Of particular interest is a number of administrative aspects recently put in place by the Stimulus bill, through executive order, and those proposed by health care bills and HR 2454 “Cap & Trade”.  Glenn believes that the administrative apparatus for carrying out “redistributive” or “reparative” change are being implemented by the Obama Administration. (See the bottom of this post for references to transcripts.)

I said that this whole episode provides clear evidence that America needs to wake up, now. Our country is being fundamentally changed, as the man who intends to implement those changes clearly stated before he was elected to office. Whenever an incident such as the one at the press conference on July 22 occur, they are occur for a reason.

The reasons for waking up, now, are clear. But I also noted that the whole episode is an example of why we are in such a sorry state. Besides the obvious problems of the complicity of the media, those we would like to think are on “our side” have also gotten us to where we are today.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared on the Friday, July 24 edition of Fox News Channel’s  Hannity to state his opinions regarding the President’s handling of the whole affair.

A choreographed question and answer during an event to which it bears no relation goes far beyond being a “boo – boo”. It is not, as Newt Gingrich stated, the mistake of a young president in a new administration.

But the whole episode provided Gingrich with the opportunity to look statesman-like, give examples of how clear the problem, how actually expected it all is, and in fact, how he made those mistakes during the Reagan administration.

The subtext: President Barack Obama is not ready for prime time. He’s making amateur mistakes as President of the United States.

To be sure, an excellent opportunity all around for Newt Gingrich.

The July 22 press conference was on the subject of health care, not the naming of a post office, or what Pres. Obama and family thinks of their new family pet. The bill in question is serious business, it will impact all Americans.

Politicians and media personalities continue to treat all things public policy like some sort of game.

It is gamesmanship to invite the former Speaker of the House on your show to provide him with the opportunity to appear wise, learned, and more experienced in contrast to the President.

Notice how Gingrich side-stepped the whole race issue entirely. Notice how he didn’t address the obvious issue of orchestrated questions and answers. Notice how he ignored how out of place the question was. Notice how he he took no notice of any of the core issues the whole matter presented.

It’s simply enough already!

I am personally tired of Newt Gingrich mentioning the name Reagan every time he appears in public. I don’t think Ronald Reagan would be trying to decide between bigger and gigantic government at this stage. I also think Mr. Reagan would recognize a Marxist when he saw one. Clearly, Newt Gingrich does not or he doesn’t care.

But the issues aren’t the issue, apparently, its the political mileage. We are not playing a game, this is for keeps. It’s because people like Gingrich, facilliated by people like Sean Hannity play games that we are in the mess we are in.

Rome is burning. Gingrich and Hannity are among the many fiddlers.

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REFERENCES

Larry Elder wrote this piece before Pres. Obama’s press conference:

Click the image to read full "HWB: Home While Black" by Larry Elder
Click the image to read full “HWB: Home While Black” by Larry Elder

1 (Police report link obtained from THIS Newsbusters article.)

2 Thank you to Conservative American for sharing the video of the July 1, 2009 White House Press Briefing.

3 Although you have to be a subscriber to listen to Glenn’s archived shows, some of his reasoning can be read through the selected transcripts available below:

July 23 Is Massive Health Care Plan Reparations?

July 24 What’s Driving President Obama’s Agenda?

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Turning Our Attention Where it REALLY Belongs: State Capitols

May 13 Press Conference, Capitol Rotunda, Photo by P. Carlson

Living in State Capitol has advantages, most of which I haven’t even begun to personally explore. But I realized, if I have to deal with the higher taxes and fees of living in one of Nebraska’s most liberal localities, I might as well make the most of being here.

State government is where it’s at right now, period.

While we’ve all been continuously distracted by the chattering classes and talking heads with our attention focused on Washington, D.C.,  plenty of nonsense has been going on at all other levels of government. In many ways, the local, county, and state nonsense affects our lives even more than the national nonsense does.

Of course, an ever-expanding Federal government is a serious problem and we should definitely be very persistent about keeping pressure on our Congressional representatives. But there are things we can do at the State level to mitigate Federal intervention.

In fact, considering the balance of power in the U.S. Congress and clear ineptitude of the the “opposition”, the only avenue we may have to oppose continuing encroachment by Feds is at the state level.

Those of use who have begun working together here in Nebraska following the April Tea Parties, have been considering taking on the project of pushing for a Tenth Amendment Resolution.

While we hope to bring this about through a sponsored bill, we knew we may face a ballot initiative process. Nebraska is a Unicameral, meaning it only has one house. The citizens of the state are supposed to constitute the second house. That means that the process is supposed to be as open as possible to us.

Unfortunately, one of key point in this process has been made exceedingly more difficult for citizens to undertake. A 1994 Nebraska Supreme Court Case, Duggan v Beerman, doubled the number of signatures required to get an initiative on the ballot.

In addition, recent laws have been passed that prohibit anyone not a citizen of the state of Nebraska from circulating petitions or for workers to be paid for gathering signatures.

A number of people feel that the barriers now in existence prohibit the average citizen, “the second house” of the legislative body, from carrying out the initiative and resolution process.

Nebraska Businessman Kent Bernbeck Speaks About the Ballot Initiative Process
Nebraska Businessman Kent Bernbeck Speaks About the Ballot Initiative Process

This Wednesday, May 13, Nebraska businessman, Kent Bernbeck, held a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda to announce that he is challenging the restrictions.

Bernbeck’s strategy includes potential court challenges and a ballot initiative on an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Nebraska.

The group of Nebraskans with whom I’ve become involved have begun a project to study the possibilities of assisting Mr. Bernbeck in reaching his goal.  The current focus is on carefully examining the proposals Mr. Bernbeck has put forward.

Those of us interested in supporting a more open, accessible process for the average citizen do have concerns about the paid circulators issue. Visions of ACORN flash through our heads. If previous levels of signatures required were restored, I would questions the necessity of allowing this potentially troublesome practice.

This post will be updated as further work is done on the project.

Kent Bernbeck’s statement at the Press Conference, two versions of the proposed amendment, and the results of a 1997 survey of registered Nebraska voters on the issue are available for download and / or printing, by clicking on the images below:

Press Conference statement of Kent Bernbeck May 13, 2009

Legislative Resolution Proposed Constitutional Amendment pg. 1

Legislative Resolution Proposed Constitutional Amendment pg. 2

Legislative Resolution Proposed Constitutional Amendment pg. 3

Maricopa Research Survey of Nebraska Voters 1997 pg. 1

Maricopa Research Survey of Nebraska Voters 1997 pg. 2

Maricopa Research Survey of Nebraska Voters 1997 pg. 3

Maricopa Research Survey of Nebraska Voters 1997 pg. 4

Maricopa Research Survey of Nebraska Voters 1997 pg. 5

Maricopa Research Survey of Nebraska Voters 1997 pg. 6

Map of Nebraska Supreme Court of Appeals and Judicial Districts