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June 1, 2009

White House Moves to Regulate Speech Regarding "Stimulus" Looting Spree

In case anyone thought this was still America, have a look at the official White House blog of Norm Eisen, special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, who addresses the problem of people exercising their First Amendment rights and speaking up against the way the government has been wasting our money under the guise of "stimulus":

First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.

As the Washington Examiner observes:

This is the Camel's nose under the tent, being poked because of special circumstances. Let government restrict political expression — i.e. lobbying of government officials regarding policy — in one small, supposedly specialized area and not long after the specialized area starts expanding. Eventually, all political expression regarding all policy will become subject to government regulation.

The regime of Hope and Change will not stop helping itself to power at the expense of our Constitutional liberties so long as a peep of opposition can be heard. That must be what Obamamites had in mind when they dreamily promised that the Anointed One would unite us.

Norm-Eisen.jpg
Norm Eisen, special counsel to the president for suppression of free speech.

On tips from V the K and Kevin R.

Posted by Van Helsing at June 1, 2009 9:02 AM

Comments

Wow, I'm feeling so much more UNITED already! Hey, could you move that boot, you're getting it close to my face, man.

Posted by: Mr Evilwrench at June 1, 2009 9:16 AM

I hate to say this, but it looks like the quote was taken out of context. Believe me, I am not a BHO supporter, but the "restriction" that they are talking about is really a requirement that that all communications be in writing, and posted to the internet. As I read it, this requirement was placed on registered lobbyists only at first. Then, apparently, someone realized that there was nothing preventing an unregistered "lobbyist" from making a pitch behind closed doors. Thus, the change. If I have missed something here, please correct me. Again, I have been extrememly displeased with BHO's performance so far, but this one instance sounds like a good decision.

Here is the first part of the blog:

"I am writing with an update on the President’s March 20, 2009 Memorandum on Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds. Section 3 of the Memorandum required all oral communications between federally registered lobbyists and government officials concerning Recovery Act policy to be disclosed on the Internet; barred registered lobbyists from having oral communications with government officials about specific Recovery Act projects or applications and instead required those communications to be in writing; and also required those written communications to be posted on the Internet. That Memorandum instructed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review the initial 60 days of implementation of the stimulus lobbying restrictions, to evaluate the data, and to recommend modifications.

Following OMB’s review, the Administration has decided to make a number of changes to the rules that we think make them even tougher on special interests and more focused on merits-based decision making."

Posted by: JohnEE at June 1, 2009 9:25 AM

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at June 1, 2009 9:26 AM

The Postal Services created a stamp with a picture of President Obama. The stamp was not sticking to envelopes. This enraged the President, who demanded a full investigation. After a month of testing and $1.73 million in congress spending, a special Presidential commission presented the following findings: The stamp is in perfect order. There is nothing wrong with he adhesive. People are spitting on the wrong side.

Posted by: blue at June 1, 2009 9:37 AM

I say we should gag the silly SOB.

What goes around...

Posted by: Jimbo at June 1, 2009 10:12 AM

More unaccoutible pork spending from the porkers in washington D.C. the DITRICT of CRINIMALS

Posted by: SPURWING PLOVER at June 1, 2009 11:22 AM

Good catch, JohnEE. The main point here isn't First Amendment curtailment, but rather the government's inappropriate involvement in business decisions. That shifts the criterion for decision from economics to political juice, which raises the need for some effort to control corruption. The amazing thing is that they did something that hinders corruption a bit.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at June 1, 2009 12:20 PM

On a lighter note, That is 1 job "Saved or Created and 3,499,999 to go"

Posted by: Sean G at June 1, 2009 4:45 PM

How soon will we see the red star over the whitehouse?

Posted by: Flu-Bird at June 2, 2009 8:17 AM

Mr Evilwrench, you are wrong.


"First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program."


That does not JUST say unregistered lobbyists, it also says YOU, calling your representatives on the telephone. Note: unregistered lobbyist = concerned citizen. The "unique circumstances" of course, being that nobody wants the Marxist in Chief to spend OUR GRANDCHILDRENS' MONEY the way he is.

Posted by: Vote For David at June 2, 2009 10:58 AM

How does anyone think this is a good idea, let alone constitutional?

Posted by: DavidD at June 2, 2009 7:28 PM