“It’s beginning to look a lot like … Chicago-style politics in Washington, D.C.”

By Clio

The Bold Pursuit wishes everyone a Joyous Christmas and Happy Chanukah. It is our hope that, like Mr. Obama, Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, you will find your most desired gifts, wrapped in festive paper and adorned with bright ribbons under your trees. Of course, we also hope that you didn’t ask Santa for a horror of a health care plan that will burden your nation with taxes or raise the debt ceiling a few hundred billion dollars…

We found this quote from an article by Martha R. Gore on Suite101.com (full attribution and permission links below). This paragraph seems very apropos considering the man who occupies the Oval Office learned what he knows of politics from a grand city, one our favorite places, albeit one of the most politically corrupt towns in our country:

“Political corruption in Chicago in 1910s and 1920s flourished as organized crime stepped into the mix with payoffs to policemen. It continued under the leadership of Mayor Anton Cermack and then the Kelly-Nash machine that doled out patronage jobs, political appointments, and broad favors to ethnic groups. They kept the city solvent during the New Deal years by obtaining federal funds as well as resources from organized crime…” 1 (Italics added for emphasis by Clio.)

Does the above have a familiar ring? Trading funds for favors? As noted by a recent guest on Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bribes bought enough votes in order to cram through a health care bill that was not thoroughly vetted or debated (the cloture vote last weekend brought that option to a screeching halt), not to mention a bill that the majority of Americans, according to almost every major pollster, do not want. However, the Democrats want to hand Mr. Obama a “win” before Christmas – regardless of the desires or best interests of their constituents. The vote this morning tied a big RED ribbon on this lump of coal. Happy Holidays, Mr. Obama!

According to the Fox News commentator (and I paraphrase), Sen. Bill Nelson’s “sweetheart deal” (NE) or Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (LA) multi-million dollar grab bag, just to name a few of the political profiteers, in any other context would be called bribery; however, in Washington, D.C. this is simply “horse-trading.”

I will refrain from expressing myself on this point, except to say that the first word of my opinion begins with “horse.”

Mr. Obama learned and earned his political stripes in a city that, one could argue, is synonymous with political corruption. Forget former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s wiretaps, Obama and Blago chum, Tony Rezko’s convictions for fraud and money-laundering, or infamous Chicago “boss” Mayor Richard Daley tainted reign of Chi-Town; Chicago’s colorful and crooked political history is so rife with generational lawlessness that it is, by some, considered the norm. Of course, Al Capone, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, earned his reputation as one of America’s most infamous early gangsters in Chicago.

“This source of corruption, alas, is inherent in the democratic system itself, and it can only be controlled, if at all, by finding ways to encourage legislators to subordinate ambition to principle.” James L. Buckley

Honestly, I really don’t care about presenting Mr. Obama with a “win” in order to shore up his weak and ill-defined (but frenetically aggressive) agendas. Mr. Obama was elected to govern the American people and act in their best interests – not indulge his own narcissistic needs. Americans have clearly, loudly and emphatically expressed their disapproval of the federal government taking over health care, as well as the broader ramifications that will accompany acquisition of approximately one-sixth of our economy.

The protests heard in town hall meetings, marches, tea party events, letters and phone calls to elected officials fell on deaf and uncaring ears: the bill was passed, 60 – 39, and now goes to conference in which the committee will attempt to merge or reconcile the Congressional and Senate bills.

As we contemplate this next step, it is fair to ask “Are there problems with the current state of health care in America? Do we need new legislation?” Yes. I know this firsthand as an independent, small business owner.

Many years ago, I was diagnosed with a serious illness just nine months after obtaining an individual health policy. My first claims for diagnostic tests and treatment were denied. I didn’t politely accept the denial; I fired off angry letters and rattled every cage I could find. My claims were, in short order, accepted. I am the proverbial squeaky wheel and know how to throw a first-class, window-rattling, indignant fit in order to get past patronizing gatekeepers.

Health care providers: A friend of mine owns an insurance agency. Every year, the premiums increase at rates that range from 20-35%. My friend must pass on these increases to his clients and many opt to drop certain benefits, change providers or drop coverage for all employees – they simply can’t afford the egregious premiums.

Portability: when I moved from one state to another, I was not allowed to keep my private policy. Since I had a pre-existing condition, the possibility of obtaining an affordable individual policy was unlikely.

“Big Pharma”: my first policy did not, initially, include a pharmacy plan. My out-of-pocket costs for medicine were exorbitant – even in 1992. Years later, when my employer went out of business and all of us lost our medical coverage, I tried to purchase medication and was stunned when charged hundreds of dollars for one month’s supply of medicine.

Tort reform, keeping insurance providers and the pharmaceutical industries in check without restricting free trade, offering portability, as well as affordable plans for the self- or unemployed are a few positive steps that could salvage a premier health care industry. With a few carefully considered legislative acts, we could help keep costs in check, expand coverage availability without burdening Americans with more taxes and prevent chasing away qualified medical personnel who will seek employment elsewhere in order to be able to support their families, pay onerous malpractice insurance and repay their expensive student loans. Medical professionals may even opt to choose another profession.

Of course, all of the above has been suggested by president after president to uncooperative, partisan representatives.

Mr. Obama claims that seven presidents before him tried to enact health care reform … and failed. Why did they fail, Mr. Obama? President Clinton also wanted socialized medicine for America, but America didn’t want ClintonCare.

President George W. Bush pushed for tort reform, portability, health care spending accounts and, facing an uncooperative House and Senate, was unable to pass his legislation.

Mr. Obama will claim his “win” through bribery and deceitful practices, learned from his friends and neighbors in the sullied style of the Chicago political machine. In my opinion, that’s not a win or a victory to trumpet –it’s a buyout.

This country does need health care reform – there is no question on that point. However, we should try to pass health care reform that Americans want and need, not pass out political payouts.

Mr. Obama, find your ego-stroking, big-ticket win by governing this country with integrity and hard work. We know you are inexperienced in Washington politics, having served approximately 150 days in the Senate prior to your election, but no one gets to make excuses in the Oval Office. Isn’t it time, Mr. Obama, that you stopped whining and finger-pointing at the Bush Administration and started acting like a true leader? How does one define that? Consider the following:

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Character matters; leadership descends from character.” Rush Limbaugh

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”
Norman Schwarzkopf

“Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together.” Jesse Jackson

Mr. Obama, Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats in the Senate and House: Back room deals and vote manipulation may foist an unwanted partisan plan on our country, but this “win” may very well become a loss when voters go to the polls in upcoming elections. America will let you know what it thinks of your sweetheart deals, bribery and corruption. Your holiday gift may turn into an “unclean” lump of unburnable coal.

Merry Christmas, America!

1 Permission to quote granted by author, Martha R. Gore, M.L.S.Read more at Suite101: Corruption in American Cities: Chicago: From the Great Fire of 1871 to the 21st Century, Corruption Thrives | Suite101.com http://americanaffairs.suite101.com/article.cfm/corruption_in_amerian_cities_chicago#ixzz0aNU01hOe

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The Hitler/Goebbels Legacy; Mr. Obama and his Thesaurus… Propaganda, Part II

by Clio

Recently, we learned that “stimulus plans” are now “safety nets” – the latest addition to the Obama argot of more palatable phrases. In essence, there is nothing wrong with “stimulus plan,” except that it is now linked, in our collective mindset, with bailouts and trillion-dollar taxpayer debt. “Safety net” makes you feel protected, comfortable and less-stressed about the government incurring an astonishing national debt and that’s the point: safety nets are good things, like money saved for a rainy day, a bulging piggy bank, 401k or a reliable benefactor.

On the other hand, stimulus plans bring to mind Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, AIG, CitiBank, automobile manufacturer bailouts, exorbitant executive severance packages and luxurious corporate spa vacations. All of these issues and catastrophes are fresh in our minds and we remember that stimulus plans were put in place to, supposedly, salvage our economy and restore equilibrium in the marketplace.

Shall I put this language massage in context? It’s called PROPAGANDA.

“Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.” – Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell, “Propaganda and Persuasion”

To be fair, propaganda is a tool that groups and individuals have used since time immemorial; every country has used propaganda at some time, in some way – including the United States.

The current administration uses propaganda in a very traditional manner, much like the Nazi’s did during WWII. Obama propaganda seeks to influence our thoughts, opinions and beliefs by taking seemingly unpleasant facts or words, regardless of proper usage, and replacing them with gentler, less scary or threatening expressions.

The relationships and attitudes of the current administration bring to mind the relationship between Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda architect and head of Nazi Germany’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Hitler valued Goebbels brilliance as a propagandist and installed him in a grand office near his own; they met often to discuss how to present information to the masses in a way that bolstered their political goals.

The purpose of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was to promote the Nazi Party line and control German culture and society through its media and artists. All members of the media, writers, and artists were required to register with the Ministry and obtain permission before publishing or broadcasting their work. The Nazis also produced films, books and posters to support their party, enhance Hitler’s deified public image (courtesy of Goebbels) and propagate Nazi precepts.

One cannot over-emphasize the importance that Hitler, Goebbels and the Nazi party placed on the usefulness of propaganda in their military objectives. The Nazi propaganda campaign was successful in creating a messianic image of its leader and justifying its strategies to the populace, but Germany lost the war due to Hitler’s tactical miscalculations, his narcissism and belief in the infallible “der Fuhrer” persona that Goebbels created. Of course, Germany’s inability to repel the determination and might of Allied Forces also contributed to the Nazi military failure. (That’s my over-simplified recap; I don’t want to write a thesis on WWII.)

It is not truth that matters, but victory” – Adolf Hitler

Can you visualize a similar scenario with Obama and David Axelrod or Rahm Emanuel?

Luckily for Mr. Obama, the mainstream media, including Internet news and blog sites, are already onboard with the administration’s propaganda policies. In fact, they volunteered prior to the election, thus negating the need for our own Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda – for now.

It’s important to note that the Obama White House is currently engaged in a “war” on Fox News, accusing the news organization of being in league with or an arm of the Republican Party, while other conservative broadcasters and writers are routinely denigrated or denied interview requests by this liberal administration.

We know that past presidents had “feuds” with various media due to unflattering reportage, but declaring war on a particular organization is alarming; our First Amendment rights are precious and we cannot be passive as Mr. Obama puts our Bill of Rights in his sights.

Conservative journalists and broadcasters are concerned about attempts by the left-wing to revive the Fairness Doctrine which requires broadcasters to provide opposing views on issues of national importance. Many fear the federal government mandating debate and opposing opinions to views expressed by our media and with good reason; it’s a first step to controlling our freedom of speech.

The Fairness Doctrine was abolished in 1987 during the Reagan administration. Last February, Republican Senator Jim DeMint, South Carolina, proposed the Broadcaster Freedom Act; legislation that prevents the Federal Communications Commission from re-instating the Fairness Doctrine. Sen. DeMint’s bill passed, 87-11. However, Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat, Illinois, countered with an amendment that essentially negates Sen. DeMint’s amendment. Sen. Durbin’s amendment passed, 57-41.

While Mr. Obama professes to oppose the Fairness Doctrine, it has not deterred liberal senators from attempting to revive it through cleverly crafted “stealth” amendments, such as legislation that encourages media diversity. Regardless of Obama’s public position, we must be vigilant and wary of our leaders’ true agendas.

“Great ambition, the desire of real superiority, of leading and directing, seems to be altogether peculiar to man, and speech is the great instrument of ambition.” – Adam Smith

Language management falls in line with message manipulation; when the government takes charge of the media, our First Amendment rights are annulled.

You’ve heard this cliché before: words have power. Under Mr. Obama’s governance, words are manipulated to mislead and mask potential dangers to our lives, economy and our country’s security (see aforementioned blogs). His propaganda is verbal kool-aid for the masses; drink deeply and consume great quantities and you’ll find yourself taxed to financial insolvency and vulnerable to the very real threats our nation faces.

This is my third blog on the topic of our new government’s propaganda/language wrangling; the unapologetic exploitation of information in order to make us acquiesce, accept and agreeable to Mr. Obama’s plans is organically offensive to me.

Those of us who work in communications-related professions understand that words are the proverbial two-edged sword; one can influence, in a positive or negative manner, opinion by the choice and use of vocabulary. We understand and respect language – it is our livelihood, passion and domain. Messing with the message, particularly by politicians and news outlets, is commonplace and it is not harmless. It is a form of brain-washing and in the hands of Obama’s administration, media sycophants and czars; it is dangerous and inexcusable to use liberal newspeak to dupe the American people.

A word of warning for those who will listen: don’t allow yourself to be comforted or misled by some clever lingo legerdemain – demand honesty, in plain, unadulterated expression from the powers that be and always listen between the lines … that is where you may find the truth.

“How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.” – Adolf Hitler