Obama administration tries to keep all Democrats off of Fox to make the channel appear more partisan

From the LA Times:

At least one Democratic political strategist has gotten a blunt warning from the White House to never appear on Fox News Channel, an outlet that presidential aides have depicted as not so much a news-gathering operation as a political opponent bent on damaging the Obama administration.

Political consultants are a staple of cable television talk shows, analyzing current events based on their own experiences working on campaigns or in government.

One Democratic strategist said that shortly after an appearance on Fox, he got a phone call from a White House official telling him not to be a guest on the show again. The call had an intimidating tone, he said.

The message was, " 'We better not see you on again,' " said the strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to run afoul of the White House. An implicit suggestion, he said, was that "clients might stop using you if you continue."

In urging Democratic consultants to spurn Fox, White House officials might be trying to isolate the network and make it appear more partisan. . . . .

But Patrick Caddell, a Fox News contributor and a former pollster for President Carter, said he has spoken to Democratic consultants who have been told by the White House to avoid appearances on Fox. He declined to give their names.

Caddell said he had not gotten that message himself from the White House. "They know better than to tell me anything like that," he said.

Caddell added: "I have heard that they've done that to others in not-too-subtle ways. I find it appalling. When the White House gets in the business of suppressing dissent and comment, particularly from its own party, it hurts itself." . . .

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Democrats want even more government spending

Given all the problems created with the initial government spending explosion, all we need is more spending.

Democrats seized on Friday's report that the nation's unemployment rate has reached a 26-year high of 10.2 percent to call for further tax and spending measures to bolster the economy.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) said the unemployment news was confirmation that February's $787 billion fiscal stimulus was not big enough.

“The bottom line is that additional action is required," Obey said. "An effective short term boost would mean a stronger economy, less unemployment and ultimately lower deficits.”

Liberal Democrats, including Obey, have said for months additional stimulus efforts are needed.

President Barack Obama signed a bill into law on Friday that extends unemployment benefits and a homebuyer tax credit, while also giving a tax break to businesses. The tax break aims to give companies a $33 billion benefit in 2010.

The administration has taken pains to emphasize that the Friday bill does not amount to a second stimulus package. Republicans responded to the economic news by criticizing the Obama administration for pursuing policies in 2009 that they believe have cost jobs. . . . .

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Nidal Malik Hasan and Islam

Multiple comments by and about Nidal Malik Hasan are very disturbing. If these are remotely true (and they surely look like they are), it is not obvious how one can claim that this isn't religiously motivated. Take this:

A recent classmate said Hasan once gave a jarring presentation to students in which he argued the war on terrorism was a war against Islam, and "made himself a lightning rod for things" when he felt his religious beliefs were challenged. . . .


Soldiers reported that the gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar!" — an Arabic phrase for "God is great!" — before opening fire Thursday, said Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the base commander.


"He said, precisely, that maybe the Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor."


Danquah assumed the military's chain of command knew about Hasan's doubts, which had been known for more than a year to classmates at the Maryland graduate military medical program. His fellow students complained to the faculty about Hasan's "anti-American propaganda," but said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim student kept officers from filing a formal complaint. . . .


Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 at the Fort Hood, Texas, Army base, communicated 10 to 20 times with a radical Islamic cleric in Yemen who on Monday called Maj. Hasan a "hero" and criticized U.S. Muslim groups that condemned the killing spree. . . . . Mr. Awlaki was once the imam, or spiritual leader, at a Virginia mosque frequented by Maj. Hasan and his family.


The Army psychiatrist believed to have killed 13 people at Fort Hood warned a roomful of senior Army physicians a year and a half ago that to avoid "adverse events," the military should allow Muslim soldiers to be released as conscientious objectors instead of fighting in wars against other Muslims. . . .

A copy of his presentation is here.

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Disarmed soldiers not much of a deterrence

From ABC News.

Cone said that a gunman entered a facility known as the Soldier Readiness Facility, where soldiers who are preparing to deploy go for last minute medical check ups and dental treatment. Sources told ABC News that the soldiers gathered there were getting ready to deploy to Iraq.

The gunman used two handguns, Cone said. He wasn't sure if the shooter reloaded the weapons during the attack.

"The gunman opened fire and essentially due to the quick respond of the police forces was killed," said Cone.

The shooter was killed by civilian law enforcement and one police officer died in the shootout, Cone said. . . . .



Democrats think these benefits come for free

If you pay more in this way, why don't Democrats understand that this will reduce the amount that firms will otherwise pay workers?

U.S. employers who tell workers to stay home when they are sick will have to give them paid time off for up to five days under new federal legislation proposed on Tuesday.

The emergency law would cover pandemic H1N1 flu or any other infectious disease, said California Representative George Miller, a Democrat who chairs the House Education and Labor Committee and who introduced the bill. . . .

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Fortunately, it wasn't a close election in New Jersey

ACORN seems to be up to their old bad habits.

A New Jersey hospital is denying accusations that ACORN workers have been inside collecting absentee ballots for the state's gubernatorial race.

East Orange General Hospital CEO Kevin Slavin said Tuesday that "all proper protocols" were followed as part of its program to allow patients to vote via absentee ballot, and that no third-party groups were signing up patients.

"Other than the specifically designated and trained staff to hand out and collect these ballots, no advocacy groups were authorized nor allowed access to the hospital to hand out absentee ballots to patients as has been recently reported in unsubstantiated blogs and on political talk shows," he said in a written statement.

Slavin was referring to reports that claimed people wearing ACORN shirts were spotted distributing and collecting absentee ballots at a hospital in the area. The Wall Street Journal reported this Monday, as did BigGovernment.com -- the Web site that publicized recent undercover operations in which ACORN workers were filmed giving tax advice to two activists posing as a pimp and prostitute. . . . .

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Ex-con charged in 4 murders in North Carolina Town

This attack on Sunday looks like a possible multiple victim public shooting.  From Fox News:
Marcos Chavez Gonzalez was charged with four counts of murder in the slayings late Sunday outside Woods TV in Mount Airy, about 100 miles north of Charlotte, police said. . . . 
Police do not believe the shootings were random, but Mount Airy Police Chief Dale Watson said they did not plan to release a motive. . . . 
"I'm not sure it's totally sunk in because it's so unusual. On any given Sunday there is nothing here in this parking lot. There's nothing here at all," he said. "My biggest question is why in this parking lot at all. Why Woods TV parking lot?"
UPDATE (11/11/2009): Apparently, this attack may be somewhat more complicated than it first appeared.  The involvement of two other individuals, who probably knew of the crime and Gonzalez's involvement given all the media attention, may suggest that this may be some type of criminal enterprise.
Police in North Carolina say two more suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of four people in the town used as the model for Mayberry in "The Andy Griffith Show."
Mount Airy police say 56-year-old Kathy Young Barnette and her son, 34-year-old Gregory Brandon Holt, were arrested Tuesday in Patrick County, Va. Authorities said Barnette and Holt live in Claudeville, Va.
The suspects will be extradited to North Carolina, if needed, where they will face charges of accessory after the fact to murder. Police in Mount Airy said four men were killed Nov. 1 when someone opened fire at a television store there. Police do not believe the shootings were random, but Mount Airy Police Chief Dale Watson said they did not plan to release a motive. . . .
Gonzalez's past criminal history that appears to go well beyond his past conviction for kidnapping (felony kidnapping of a minor and his listing as a sex offender), a probation violation, and his previous deportation is also consistent with a criminal enterprise.  Most importantly, it also does not appear as if Gonzalez had any legitimate form of employment at the time of the attack.  At this point, it is too early to tell what exactly happened here.

Note if this is indeed the case, that the attack was part of gang or drug activity, it would be excluded from the instances that Bill Landes and I have collected.  From our paper:
We excluded multiple shootings that were byproducts of other crimes (e.g., a robbery or drug deal) or that involved gang activity (e.g., drive by shootings), professional hits or organized crime. We also did not count as a multiple shooting serial killings or killings that took place over the span of more than one day.  There are two reasons for excluding these types of multiple shootings.   
First, since shall issue laws permit law-abiding citizens to carry guns, they should have little impact on killings related to gang activity, drug deals and organized crime. Putting to one side, injuries to bystanders, individuals involved in gangs, drugs and organized crime are already engaged in unlawful activities that often require them to carry guns.  Their behavior will be largely independent of whether a law on the books permits or prohibits citizens from carrying concealed handguns. Hence a “right-to-carry” law should not impact whether gang members or drug dealers are armed or kill each other. . . . 
UPDATE: The attack was apparently part of some gang or other crime activity: press conference two months after attack discusses this:  "a 'contract killing,' or whether it was gang- or drug-related."