Obama attacks Supreme Court Decision

Today in his weekly Saturday radio address, President Obama attacked "special interests" and pointed out how incredibly ethical that he and his administration has been. From the speech:

In my first year in office, we pushed back on that power by implementing historic reforms to get rid of the influence of those special interests. On my first day in office, we closed the revolving door between lobbying firms and the government so that no one in my administration would make decisions based on the interests of former or future employers. . . .

Here are three exceptions that Obama had made by March 17th, 2009.

William Lynn was nominated by Obama to be the deputy secretary for defense; Lynn was a lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon.

Jocelyn Frye, who is now director of policy and projects in the Office of the First Lady. She previously lobbied for National Partnership for Women and Families from 2001 to 2008.

Cecilia Muñoz, now director of intergovernmental affairs in the Executive Office of the President, managing the White House’s relationships with state and local governments. She has also been designated the administration's a principal liaison to the Hispanic community. Muñoz formerly lobbied for National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, between 1998 and 2008.

But it turns out that not all former lobbyists need to get a waiver to work in the Obama administration. Some apparently just need "recusals," where the former lobbyist agrees to simply recuse himself or herself from discussions related to former lobbying interests. How many former lobbyists are operating under recusals? We don't know.

Senator Grassley sent a letter to the Administration's Office of Government Ethics on June 19, 2009 asking for a full accounting of waivers and recusals in the Obama administration, but no response has been provided. That is good for both the ethics, transparency, and working across the isle promises.

Of course, Obama's address attacks corporations and "the health insurance industry" without even it also applies to unions or other organizations such as the Sierra Club that would benefit from the ruling.

As to special interests, note how the President just agreed to give the unions $60 billion in the health care takeover.

Ironically, at the same time that Obama is fighting to be able to censor movies and books, Hugo Chavez has gotten the one news station that disagreed with him removed from cable and satellite.

Venezuelan cable-television providers stopped transmitting a channel critical of President Hugo Chávez on Sunday, after the government cited noncompliance with new regulations requiring the socialist leader's speeches be televised on cable.

Radio Caracas Television, an anti-Chávez channel known as RCTV that switched to cable and satellite television in 2007 after the government refused to renew its over-the-air license, disappeared from TV sets shortly after midnight.

RCTV was yanked from cable and satellite programming just hours after Diosdado Cabello, director of Venezuela's state-run telecommunications agency, said several local channels carried by cable television have breached broadcasting laws and should be removed from the airwaves.

Mr. Cabello warned cable operations on Saturday evening that they could find themselves in jeopardy if they keep showing those channels.

"They must comply with the law, and they cannot have a single channel that violates Venezuelan laws as part of their programming," he said. Several channels haven't shown Mr. Chávez's televised speeches when he orders all media to air them--a requirement under new regulations approved last month by the telecommunications agency, Mr. Cabello said. RCTV didn't broadcast a speech by the president to his political supporters during a rally early on Saturday. . . .

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