Exclusive: Oval Office Watch – Wednesday, January 7

by OVAL OFFICE WATCH January 7, 2009

Feinstein rips Obama on Panetta CIA choice

Greg Miller & Christi Parsons, LA Times.com

President-elect Barack Obama has selected Leon E. Panetta, a former California congressman with little experience on intelligence matters, to serve as the next director of the CIA, according to Democratic officials familiar with the decision.
The selection puts the prominent Democrat in charge of an agency that has been at the center of a storm of criticism in recent years, including the intelligence failures leading up to the 9/11 attacks and the aggressive tactics that were embraced in their aftermath.
The former California congressman and Clinton aide has little experience with spy agencies. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, incoming chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, indicates she might oppose the pick. Read article.
Top 10 Political Stories to Watch For In 2009
Rachel Marsden, Townhall.com
Barack Obama and the media:
Israel and Palestine (featuring Hillary Clinton):
Vaclav Klaus does the EU: Read the rest here.
Time Editor: Obama Is Charismatic, Super-Competent, Stupendous Star of the Planet
Tim Graham, NewsBusters.org
In our year-end edition of the Best of Notable Quotables, two of our winners for outrageous liberalism were unloaded on the Charlie Rose show on PBS, a very comfortable TV salon for liberals to speak freely without conservative rebuttal. On December 18, the Rose show was one stop for Time editor Richard Stengel to tout his "titanic" figure Barack Obama as the magazine’s person of the year. Rose played the hype up in the show’s opening:
STENGEL: The story of Barack Obama was the great overarching, titanic narrative of this past year. And so it just -- it would have been pretty much impossible not to select him.
ROSE: And a narrative that had global proportions.
RICK STENGEL: Absolutely. I mean, he was Person of the Year in the most universal sense.
Rose clipped it short, but Stengel’s expression concluded: "I mean, he is the most popular man on the planet, the cynosure of everybody`s attention on the planet. So I think it was just inevitable." Perhaps "cynosure" is even too brainy a word for PBS audiences. But it works for media liberals. Dictionary definitions are "something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc." or "An object that serves as a focal point of attention and admiration."
The interview itself centered on how impossible it was not to offer homage to Obama: Read article.
Most covered-up of 2008: Natural-born citizen: Readers determine the year's top 10
At the end of each year, news organizations typically present their retrospective replays of what they consider to have been the top news stories in the previous 12 months.
WND's editors, however, have long considered it far more newsworthy to publicize the most important unreported or underreported news events of the year – to highlight perhaps for one last time major news stories that were undeservedly "spiked" by the establishment press.
WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah has sponsored "Operation Spike" every year since 1988, and since founding WorldNetDaily in May 1997, he has continued the annual tradition.
Here, with our readers' help, are WorldNetDaily editors' picks for the 10 most underreported stories of 2008: Read article.
The top 10 weirdest moments of 2008
Andy Barr, Politico.com
 The 2008 political year will likely be remembered for its historic firsts, beginning with the election of Barack Obama as president.
But that doesn’t mean the past 12 months have been marked solely by high-minded drama and consequential events. In honor of the less lofty moments, the nutty or flat-out bizarre happenings in the political arena, Politico offers its 10 weirdest moments.
Hillary plays Joe Six-Pack
In an attempt to show her familiarity with working-class custom, Hillary Rodham Clinton stopped by Bronko’s Restaurant and Lounge in northwest Indiana to throw down a few drinks with the locals. But rather than boosting Clinton’s prospects, pictures and video of her downing a shot of Crown Royal whiskey and drinking beers at the bar turned out to be fodder for late-night comics — and for the Obama campaign. Read all top ten here.
What must we face and deal with in 2009?
Dr. Laurie Roth, NWV.com
President elect Obama has promised to get behind the horrifyingly immoral and controversial bill FOCA, Freedom of Choice Act. This is also backed by many leftists and Democrats in our congress. If you recall this is the lovely piece of work that will trump states laws and rights that are currently on the books regarding the outlawing of partial birth abortion and abortion in general. This would force, even Catholic hospitals and Doctors who think abortion is wrong and falls against their Hippocratic oath to provide abortions. If they didn’t the hospital would face enormous fines, suits and consequences and the Doctor could face having his credentials pulled and more!
Other than the egregious violation of individual, state and hospital’s rights, it is the essence of evil and immorality, even looking up to hell! It is the added growth, promotion and organization of the abortion and murder culture which would continue and grow the genocide we already support in parts of our law and country. May God have mercy on us forever even allowing the first abortion!!! It always has been murder and is still is murder, no matter how old the baby is! We must make a societal stand against FOCA! Read article.
Oh, woe is us: A new year ahead
Wesley Pruden, JWR.com
Welcome to 2009, the year when it's suddenly unpatriotic, or at least ill-mannered, to be an optimist. Franklin D. Roosevelt told us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself (cribbing Stonewall Jackson's warning to "never take counsel with your fears"), and Ronald Reagan reassured us that despite discouraging times, it's still "morning in America."
Perhaps Barack Obama will lift the gloom on Inauguration Day, when he walks across the Reflecting Pool without getting his feet wet, and his aides and acolytes walk among the throng with a hot lunch for the multitudes, abundance transformed from five barley loaves and two small fishes just taken from the Potomac. (It's what real Messiahs do.) But if the peddlers of gloom, doom and drear are correct, we expect too much of a mere president, even of Mr. Obama. Underneath that handsome facade he's probably only human. Read article.
Obama Promises Bush III on Iran - The diplomacy he favors is exactly what Condi Rice has been pursuing for years.
John Bolton, Online WSJ.com
"You'd have to be an idiot to trust the North Koreans," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said recently. Apparently unaware of the irony, she then predicted eventual success for the six-party talks on the North's nuclear weapons program.
President-elect Barack Obama has promised major changes in U.S. diplomacy and repeatedly criticized the Bush administration on both substance and style. Mr. Obama has pledged more negotiation and multilateralism -- less saber-rattling and "take it or leave it" unilateralism. While Iraq was Mr. Obama's focal point in the campaign, the biggest problem ahead is countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
But on proliferation, what is striking are the similarities between Mr. Obama and President George W. Bush's second term. Given Mr. Bush's recent record, continuity between the two presidencies is hardly reassuring. And where Mr. Obama differs with Mr. Bush, he is only more accommodating to the intractable rogues running Pyongyang and Tehran. This is decidedly bad news. Read article.
Bursting Obama’s Balloons - Just a few reasons why the president-elect needs to lower expectations.
Howard Fineman, Newsweek.com
I understand why Barack Obama was lingering over the shave ice in Hawaii. Once he hits the ground here in Washington, his famous aloha spirit is going to be tested even before he is inaugurated.
No one has come to Washington draped in loftier expectations—or facing a more challenging and ever-growing to-do list. Obama and his aides are determined to send a jolt of electricity through the city, but the realities get more immobilizing by the minute.
In Washington, Republicans don't want to be viewed as obstructionists, but don't want to be patsies, either. And globally, the drift of events is not necessarily in the president-elect's direction.
If Obama needed to lower expectations—and he does—here are some reasons: Read article.
Health-Care Horror - The Coming Entitlement Crash
George F.Will, NY Post.com
Health care, says the man most concerned with that 17 percent of America's economy, can be "a nation-ruining issue." As Michael Leavitt ends four years as secretary of health and human services, he offers this attention-arresting arithmetic: Absent fundamental reforms, over the next two decades the average American household's health-care spending, including the portion of its taxes that pays for Medicare and Medicaid, will go from 23 percent to 41 percent of average household income.
It is, Leavitt says, "predictable" that today's traumatizing economic turbulence, by heightening Americans' insecurity, will complicate reforming entitlements. This, too, is predictable:
By curtailing revenues, today's recession will bring closer the projected exhaustion of the Medicare Part A trust fund, from early 2019 to perhaps 2016. That should get the president-elect's attention. Read article.
NASA's Hansen to Obama: Use Global Warming to Redistribute Wealth
Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters.org
Climate realists around the world have contended for years that the real goal of alarmists such as Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his followers is to use the fear of man-made global warming to redistribute wealth.
On Monday, one of Gore's leading scientific resources, Goddard Institute for Space Studies chief James Hansen, sent a letter to Barack and Michelle Obama specifically urging the president-elect to enact a tax on carbon emissions that would take money from higher-income Americans and distribute the proceeds to the less fortunate. Read article.
The Triumph of Consensus
Paul Greenberg, Townhall.com
Anyone looking for an example of the genius of American politics, and how Barack Obama exemplifies it, need go no further than the just-announced program for Inauguration Day:
Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul herself, will sing; the Rev. Rick Warren will deliver a surely purpose-driven prayer; Yo-Yo Ma will play the cello and Itzhak Perlman the violin; a certified professor of African American Studies will contribute the inaugural poem ... and so eclectically on.
If any creed, color or assorted national origin has been overlooked, it'll surely be included in some future Inauguration Day as this never finished nation continues to jell, spill over, rock and roll, and even harmonize. Walt Whitman could still hear America singing. Read article.
FNC Censors Itself Ahead Of Obama Presidency
Radio Equalizer.blogspot.com
Confirming the worst fears of millions of dedicated fans, the Fox News Channel really has gone soft on Obama. That's at a time when viewers are counting on it to remain a key opposition voice during a disturbing political shift away from freedom and prosperity.
According to columnists Rush & Malloy of the New York Daily News, Fox has issued a chilling edict to its hosts that they must cease criticism of Obama for the near future:
Fox News boss Roger Ailes doesn't want to spoil Barack Obama's political honeymoon, we hear. A source says Ailes has told prime-time hosts Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren to lay off the President-elect - at least for a while. "We're not going to have any personal attacks on Obama," a network insider says. "The public has spoken - we must treat him with respect."
This confirms an almost-identical account your Radio Equalizer was given Wednesday evening from a key source. That person contends the order came from the top: Rupert Murdoch himself.
"Personal attacks", by the way, can be construed to mean any criticism of Barack Obama whatsoever. Read article.

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