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September 4th, 2009
06:33 AM ET

Avlon: 'Wingnuts' try to politicize president's talk to kids

Editor’s note: John P. Avlon is the author of Independent Nation: How Centrists Can Change American Politics and writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast. Previously, he served as Chief Speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was a columnist and associate editor for The New York Sun.

Rep. Pete Stark (L) and Jim Greer (R).

Rep. Pete Stark (L) and Jim Greer (R).

As a heated wingnut summer heads to a close, we look at a new GOP “socialist” attack on President Obama for speaking to school children, a ‘brain dead’ attack on Democratic centrists and, in a bonus round, a callous conspiracy theory just in time for the 8th anniversary of 9/11.

President Obama is slated to give a speech to America’s school children next Tuesday on the subject of taking personal responsibility for their success in school.

Last time I checked, personal responsibility and socialism were opposite concepts, but that didn’t stop Florida GOP Chair Jim Greer from firing off an unhinged press release. Here’s an excerpt:

“As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology … I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. The address scheduled for September 8, 2009, does not allow for healthy debate on the President's agenda, but rather obligates the youngest children in our public school system to agree with our President's initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates…Now that school is back in session, President Obama has turned to American's children to spread his liberal lies, indoctrinating American's youngest children before they have a chance to decide for themselves."

Greer accused the president of using the speech to promote his political agenda – though the speech was never slated to cover policy. The Department of Education did change language in a lesson plan that suggested students write a letter about how they would help the president after hearing him speak. PolitiFact’s Truth-o-Meter did a rundown on the ‘controversy’ and published its results with a “Pants on Fire” ruling.

This knee-jerk name-calling and hyper-partisan hysteria is the latest sign that things have become completely unhinged inside the hotbox of the GOP. Accusing the president of having a “socialist ideology” and spreading “liberal lies” and “propaganda” don’t even raise common sense – or common decency – concerns.

Wingnuts live in a world without perspective, and those on the right are trying to turn the President of the United States into a fearful figure in order to score partisan points with their base. Only the far, far left fringe would have accused President Bush of having a ‘fascist ideology” – and they would have rightly been laughed off the stage. These statements are coming from GOP party officials – politicizing a talk to school kids by the President of the United States. Stay classy, GOP.

But liberals have showed plenty of their own wingnuttery in recent weeks, wrestling among themselves over the anger at town hall protests and asking whether compromise is courageous or cowardice. Liberal Democrat Rep. Pete Stark, who heads the health subcommittee on the Ways and Means Committee, took aim at the centrist Blue Dog Democrats on a conference call with reporters, saying they “just want to cause trouble” and that they are "brain dead.” Here’s the full quote:

"They're for the most part, I hate to say, brain dead, but they're just looking to raise money from insurance companies and promote a right-wing agenda that is not really very useful in this whole process."

Lyndon Johnson once famously said that the difference between liberals and cannibals is that cannibals don’t eat their friends and family members. The idea that the Blue Dog Democrats – who have been trying to rein-in spending and fighting to preserve the possibility of a bipartisan bill – are promoting a "right-wing agenda" is evidence of a creeping intolerance on the part of liberal congressional leaders. They are starting to look like mirror images of the play-to-the-base partisanship they rightly decried during the Tom DeLay era.

Finally, in an off-the-grid bonus round that hits a new low, former CIA analyst and conspiracy theorist Michael Scheuer lobbed another offensive claim just in time for the 8th anniversary of the attacks of September 11th – asserting that the Obama administration wants America to be attacked by terrorists:

"Oh sure we're going to be attacked … and, you know, Rahm Emanuel wants an attack. He loves crisis, and crisis, the Democrats, he says, can get all of their programs through. These people simply do not care."

A few months ago, Scheuer hit on a variation of the same ugly theme, this time almost cheerleading for an attack: "The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States ... Because it's going to take a grassroots, bottom up pressure, because these politicians prize their office, prize the praise of the media and the Europeans. It's an absurd situation, again. Only Osama can execute an attack that will force Americans to demand a government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary."

It’s hard to imagine an uglier or more offensive accusation, especially on the approaching anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in history. It’s shameless and a shameful new low in the wingnut ring of dishonor.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Avlon.


Filed under: Wingnuts of the week
soundoff (449 Responses)
  1. Lil Jimmy

    Van Jones believes that the Bush administration had a roll in 9/11. Nobody has a problem with this? Van Jones cried White polluters are hurting this country. Is that a racist statement? Oh that's right, only the left and people that aren't white can cry racism. The race card has been used so much it is now a useless term. If you don't agree with Obama it's because you are a racist. This country is doomed. Nobody can have a different opinion or they are vilified by the side they oppose ,BOTH SIDES. Having opinions is a good thing. That's how this country was built. Why is it people can't be civil? Why must it always be name calling ?

    BTW, the only problem with Obamas speech to the kids was the material that was a REQUIREMENT in some states that kids had to complete along with the speech. I don't need my children taught to agree with opinions or be ostracized by their classmates by teachers. My kids are taught that the person in the White House is the President and that alone is a position of respect whether you agree with them or not.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  2. Rick

    If George W. Bush, yes I'm looking "backwards" GOP, walked into a school tomorrow and decided to lecture the kids on how responsibility works, not only would it be funny, but the Republicans would boast how they are preparing our future leaders for success. America, I love her to death, but it's getting too much about politics and not enough about what is good for the people. There are a lot of old people trying to tell lead the youth of a country. And is I know anything about old people, it's that they are set in their ways.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  3. Ben in Texas

    When people talk about helping the poor and needy, they're called Christians.

    When they actually help the poor and needy, they're called Socialsts.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  4. Loren, Chicago, Illinois

    The focus of the "wingnuts" as Mr. Avlon so graciously describes them is not on the fact of the President's speech, but rather the Department of Education's accompanying teaching materials. Mr. Avlon does nothing to raise the temper of the discussion by calling persons with legitimate concerns about how our children are beng taught "wingnuts". What has happened is that people who were "objective" about the idiocyncracies of George Bush (and he had lots), are now closing their eyes to the questionable judgment of President Obama. Remember, President Obama was not elected by a super-majority of the American people and those that didn't vote for him have a right to have their voice heard in the debates concerning American policy. Attempts to marginalize them feed into their perhaps legitimate fears that their rights will be trampled on by a minority controlling the ear of the President. Stop the name-calling.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  5. mr. dr. professor ghost suit

    top notch journalism! "wingnuttery"? that sound like a delicious peanut butter stuffed re-hydrated chicken flavored treat. straight from the food storage of the paranoid. I HUNGER!!! (is anyone else hungry?)

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  6. Me

    I find it funny that people are using the Racism Card whenever its convenient. Democrats have done a could job for all those that believe that any opposition that they met is because of racism. Hmm, America has a population of over 300,000,000 and within that number there are approximately 16, 000,000 Black Americans. So how was it that Obama became President of the United States...That's right because white people looked at his message and like what he had to say. Only the ignorant continue to use racism as an excuse for lower approval ratings. I pay taxes for my children to attend public school and to get an education, not to have politics, one side or another, thrown at them with book essays, letters, and time devoted for political agendas. I would not support a Republican doing nor do i support a Democrat doing it. Now that's fair and balanced!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  7. Jane

    S. Watt is way off base. It is soley the parents responsibility to educate their children on how to be responsible citizens. Please stop making this a black vs. white issue, it is not! This is not the role of our President should be taking. We should be the ones to teach our children. If he had any kind of respect for his constiuents he wouldn't interfere. If he truly felt he was guiding our children towards responsibility, then why did he change the wording of the questions being used by teachers, etc.? That's why we question intent. Everyone should question it.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  8. worriedmom

    Look I have no problem with the President encouraging our children to do well in school, get an education, etc. However my issue is what the outline plan is to do after the speech. Make posters on some of Obama's famous quotes during his campaign, write on how you can help Obama, etc.
    This is ridiculous! Obama seems to be ate up with himself. This is not Obama's world, this is the American people!!
    CNN and all the other Liberal media leaves out the part about the outline that is being sent to schools to do after his speech. Comeon if you are gonna tell the story, tell the whole story, not just the way you want to spin it!!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  9. sir christopher

    it sure seems like the writer of this article is as liberal or more so then obama.
    it is a shame so many seem to keep trying to change this great country into a socialistic society .
    i fear for all of us and especially for our children's future if it comes to be!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  10. Scott

    The Replublican party has become a haven for all the toothless, racist, redneck white trash in this country. They're truly a global embarassment. The President is asking kids how they can help them and then they're being held accountable for what they write. You're telling me that some of those redneck, racist white trash parents won't have their kids write stuff like, "Work on GOP stuff to get rid of Obama"? I think he's giving them a chance to do something they think would work and then acutally do it. This isn't a nazi oath to the Fueher.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  11. Jim Plinkett

    I think the libs realized they would have tumble weeds running through the schools, mass withdrawls to private schools, ect. I know at least 5 public school teachers, all of whom put in for leave from this mandated critical day to be in with medical notes and almost 25% of other teaches in this almost all BLACK school are doing the same

    There will not be enough subs to come in, oh, and this in now way contributes to the learning agenda of any class in K-12. Why doesn't he go preach about himself in the mirror or to people who want to listen like Van Jones, ect. Bow to him all inexperienced and impotent.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  12. Edward

    Does not the GOP and Mr Greer remember Sept 17th 1991 when President Bush addressed the schools and students on science and contiued education. I do believe the GOP leadership is grabbing straws and should be concerned about an agenda to run with and sling mud. GOP has been a long favorite of mine but is now turning the attention away from what needs to be done. In fact Mr Greer most likely applauded President Bush's very good comments and speech.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  13. cathyinaz

    To those of you who believe the CRAP Greer and his ilk are spreading – read the material! The president's speech is to encourage kids to stay in school, do their homework and take responsibility for themeselves! The lesson plan sent to educators has been totally misrepresented. One question, for example, "How did President Obama inspire us"? Answer, President Obama inspired us to stay in school (for example) or he did not inspire us.
    The lunatic fringe has taken over! There were calls to the AZ Board of Education stating "That N*&^% will not speak to my children" That is beyond reprehensible. This is pure racisim!
    Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michele Malkin etc – these are the people you are listening to?
    Appalling!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  14. Cindy

    As a former elementary school teacher, I object to ANY president giving a speech that elementary students listen at a prescribed time not planned by the teacher.
    At a time when we are concerned about the poor performance of students in general, it is imperative that we give all of our primary grades the opportunity to practice on the "3 R's".
    Let the speech be seen in civics classes or in auditoriums throughout high schools in this nation. This is the age in which youth need to become involved in ways that make this nation theirs. But to include 5-11 year olds in the discussion is to "dummy down" the true effect of any president's speech.
    It is time to place responsibility for teaching younger children about patriotism, and what it means to be a good , productive member of society, back where it belongs. Parents are the ones with the responsibilty to teach good social behavior. Schools can only reinforce what is taught at home. Those that do will always be more important to younger children than those who talk.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  15. Minh

    Our elected President speaking of personal responsibility towards school children = good. Health care for those who can't afford it = good. Al Queda attack against Americans = bad. Rightwing Americans (read Republicans) = greedy, corrupt, racist, and stupid.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  16. Rommel

    Comments here are moderated by CNN? Comments are reviewed by CNN and due to volume all comments may not be posted? USA Today web site does not have this problem. Let's have real dialog not CNN censored dialog!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  17. Peggy

    Everyone focuses on the President's speech, but I want to know why an American citizen hopes that a terrorist attack happens in the U.S.? Especially a former government employee. This is treasonous talk.
    Why isn't he being investigated.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  18. Aaron

    Also, Robert, as you decry racism once more – so you know it was a black man a few weeks ago that showed up to the town hall meeting with a gun excercising his constitutional rights. MSNBC only focused on his back to avoid showing that inconvenient fact for the racism argument. Please, please, please be honest with yourself and stop blaming racism for everything – there are serious policy problems with everything going on right now that get to the very core of the US as a nation. They have nothing to do with racism but if you keep stuck on that old record nothing will ever change.

    People need to understand that the constitutional freedoms that we were all granted as members of this nation are under siege. If they are to be retained, we must continue the opposition.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  19. Adam Bryan

    "This knee-jerk name-calling and hyper-partisan hysteria is the latest sign that things have become completely unhinged inside the hotbox of the GOP"

    Referring to the President's agenda as Socialism is not name-calling. Referring to another person as a 'wingnut', however different their philosophy may be from your own, is name-calling and bullying.

    Here's another one, hypocrite.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  20. James B.

    I am completely ashamed of what the republican party has become.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  21. Cude

    To S. Watt: really, you think this is a racial issue? What's next, are you going to blame Bush for Afghanistan? The issue is not really that he's speaking to the kids, it's a fine idea to encourage kids to stay in school. The problem that caused all of the uproar was the associated lesson plans that asked kids how they can help the president and what does the president want us (the kids) to do? The lesson plans have since been changed (thankfully) to actually be on topic, not about the president. My kids don't go to school to figure out how they can help out top "public servant", the president. Our local school is going to broadcast the message and I'm fine with that, even as an Asian – imagine that, but even the school principal has stated that they will cut the broadcast if it even remotely gets into political or policy issues. Way to keep the racial ignorance stirring.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  22. kam

    I want to know why I am a wingnut for not wanting politics in the classroom. I have a 1st grader and do not want her to come home from school thinking that Our President is the best thing since sliced bread because she was told to think that. I want her to come to that opinion on her own and because she has been given both sides a topic.

    The fact is that we do not know for certain what Obama is going to say...If a teacher wants to show it and it fits into the curriculum, it should be reviewed first and definitely not shown live.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  23. John

    Let me ask you this, what if former VP Cheney was scheduled to make a similar speech. Would that make anyone feel uncomfortable?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  24. JD

    And like it or not, liberals, everyone today could care less about 0bama's skin color. It's 0bama's National Socialist agenda that's got people riled up.

    I'm not surprised to see the liberals playing the Race Card again. Seems these days that a bigot is defined as anyone beating a liberal in an argument.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  25. MsMHS

    There is no reason for the taxpayers' dollars to be spent on such nonsense. Children in sixth grade or under do not need to be reminded or told of "goals." Goals are for older children - high school and college age. Let these children remain children, please!!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  26. Ann Lord

    Once again, the white cloth is slowing being pulled from the face of the Republican party by their own hands. The truth is clear for all to see. Their hearts and souls are dark and evil. And they call themselves patriots. Oh my....................

    September 4, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  27. Chris

    A lot of you are saying the people are racists. Why can't they just be politically opposed to the action being taken by the department of education in conjunction with the president's speech? THAT is the key factor. No other president attempted to control curriculum prior to, during or after their speech to the nation's school children. As for those who think it the opposers don't want a black man in office, remember that Obama is in office not because of theblack vote. If every eligible black voter voted for Obama and no one else did, Obama would never have made it out of the primaries. Get real, this is a political move and our system is working to vent anger through words rather than through violence that rips apart countries such as Darfur, Sudan, Chad, Mexico, Irag and Afghanistan.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  28. Sharon

    For me, it is not the President's speech at all that is making me uncomfortable. If schools just wanted to show the speech, which I am sure would be encouraging, and would inspire children to try hard...fine. However, it is the suggested classroom discussion questions put out by the Department of Education that have me feeling uncomfortable. They can be viewed here: http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html . The questions seem to center more on listening to the president, and doing what you can to follow through on what he said BECAUSE he is the president - not just because what he is saying is something you can agree with and be inspired by. I feel like it puts too much emphasis on the president as the all important. So, that is my objection. Not the speech. American children should be taught to respect the President, and support the USA, of course. I felt that the emphasis was wrong - our kids should know that they can, and often should, disagree with public office holders (including in the president, if necessary), as they are servants of the people (or should be). So, if the Department of Education had not steered their suggested discussion in such a strange direction, I would have had no objection.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  29. Jim Plinkett

    I think the libs realized they would have tumble weeds running through the schools, mass withdrawls to private schools, ect. I know at least 5 public school teachers, all of whom put in for leave from this mandated critical day to be in. There will not be enough subs to come in, oh, and this in now way contributes to the learning agenda of any class in K-12. Why doesn't he go preach about himself in the mirror or to people who want to listen like Van Jones, ect. Bow to him all impotent.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  30. LP

    This is ridiculous. The rightwing agenda is spreading like a virus to all facets of daily life and it's appalling that they would choose to attack the Presidents education speech to children. President Obama is not the first to make this presidential talk, but it seems to be highly objectionable this go around because the education values will be more fair sided that probably most children in America have ever heard before. I have never heard of this much angry rhetoric against a president ever before. It's unprecedented. Let's face facts America; no one would be this confrontation against the president if he was a Caucasian. This all stems from racist rightwing Republicans who think that America is in 1909 and should remain there. Respect the office of the President of the United States, honor his enthusiasm for change and his desire to engage all of America in constructive dialogue, in essence – build a bridge and get over it!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  31. daisy

    I'm not a person that plays the race card. I'm not a person that is blindly loyal to anything or anyone. I try to keep things in perspective by flipping between news channels and internet sites.

    That being said, the opposition to Obama and Health Care reform are generally ridiculous! It seems there's no logic here, and they're not even sure what they're fighting anymore. A lot of people at Tea Parties and Rallies are covered by some form of socialized health care already...why in the world aren't they on board with reform?

    It seems that everything has switched from the last administration, and things that were okay under Bush are suddenly not okay under Obama. This opposition has so little faith in the democratic process that they only believe in it when the votes swing their way. Pretty disgusting.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  32. matt

    Mr. Avlon wishes he was a centrist. He clearly has a liberal agenda. Why has he not even mentioned Van Jones? 'markp' does, but he's so close minded as to avoid fact because he hates the messenger and the truth goes agaisnt his preconceived ideas.

    "Only the far, far left fringe..." THAT HAPPEN TO BE IN THE US CONGRESS! Nacy Pelosi? Harry Reid? Charlie Rangle? Barney Frank? How can you miss these people?

    "President Obama is slated to give a speech to America’s school children next Tuesday on the subject of taking personal responsibility for their success in school. " Great, but Obama has lied more often about more subjects than any other president in my life time. And you assume he's going to tell the truth on this?

    Please Mr. Avlon, admit your liberal bias. Then I could at least respect you for your honesty.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  33. James

    The difference between Bush and Obama addressing students is there was no cult of personality around Bush. That and Obama's Education Dept. also sent out a lesson plan that encourages students to read books about Obama and to write that letter about how they can help him succeed. Bush just gave a speech encouraging the students to stay in school and study. The Dems were saying much the same about Bush as the Repubs are saying now about pushing politics into the classroom.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  34. Dave

    People need to download the new wingnut talking points. The writing assignments have been changed to reduce your paranoia.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  35. JD

    What a load of pure partisan bull. If President Bush had attempted to have a direct telecon with our nation's children and the kids were given an assignment on "How I can help President Bush," the liberals would be screaming bloody murder and sending the ACLU lawyers en masse to stop it.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is liberal!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  36. Dave

    It is written...Man cannot succeed without God. Man pushing their own agenda will fail. Give it time, all men will fail without a foundation. And those of you who think otherwise...look at all the kingdoms of man...they have all failed.

    America is failing because we think we can fix all things. If we would all learn about God and the love he has for us we can move mountains and peace will be with all the world.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  37. BARCO

    It's race – America is still afraid of a black man.

    The republicans should just shut up – I think Mr. Bus addresses The Chidren – The GOP screwed this country over the last 8 years. We democrates can't re-build it in less than a year – it's going to take sometime!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  38. Tom

    The people opposing this speech are either anti-establishment, bigots, or both.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  39. David W. Reid

    Schools are missing an opportunity to educate young citizens by allowing parents to interject politics into President Obama’s televised speech. If they intend to educate students to participate in a democratic society, the decision by schools to allow any student to opt out of the president’s address is inexcusable. Students need to know that when someone requests in a reasonable way to talk with you about an important issue, the only honorable action is to listen. Then you may choose to agree or disagree. That is what people in a democratic society do. Democracies value all voices and allow all opinions to be heard.

    The district to which I pay taxes, Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colo., is offering a model of fear and disrespect. It would be better that the district present an additional speech by someone opposed to education than to allow the president to be preempted. Only through hearing multiple perspectives can people think critically about the issues.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  40. B in Pittsburgh

    This is disgusting. Past Presidents have all spoken to school children, I remember the President giving talks to kids when I was a kid. There is nothing wrong with the President speaking to school children, and I think it is a great thing to have the President do so. This should be a non-issue.

    Right now, Pres. Obama can't sneeze without some right wing wackjob finding issue with it. Pathetic.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  41. John

    It's about trust. Right now about half of the country doesn't trust the president. And because we are in the middle of various arguments (healthcare, economy, wars, etc.) people are uncertain of what he might say to try to bolster his position. Maybe if he were to release a full copy of the speech to be sent home with students prior to the broadcast then he could put peoples' minds at ease. I personally was a little taken aback by the followup question (which they have since removed) asking students how they might help the president. Help him do what? How about being more 'Kennedyesque' and asking what they can do for the country? And NO, it's not always about the man's race.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  42. Scott in Atlanta

    Finally some balance in reporting. All we seem to hear are the talking heads, "Rush, Hannity, Levin..blah, blah, blah..." I was starting to think that America really follows their lead.

    We need more people to speak up instead of just hoping the rightwingnuts will loose steam, and just go away. Time for some common sense to speak up consistantly.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  43. Liz Gonda

    I am appalled that people are against the President encouraging our children to strive for a better future, to go to school, to aim high. He is the best example of these goals. It is the Republicans who are setting a bad example with their narrow minded views! They should be ashamed of themselves!!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  44. Ken

    "Accusing the president of having a “socialist ideology” and spreading “liberal lies” and “propaganda” don’t even raise common sense – or common decency – concerns"

    Lets see .. Obama is giving a speech to all school childern on 9/8. Since he's not going to give a talk on stamp collecting, he will speak to his beliefs and his vision for the country. Many conservatives view him and his views as socialist, and he definately gives only his sides of any views when speaking (liberal lies). And, the opposition will not have any opportunity to provide a counter-point to Obama's speech. In essence, the kids listen to Obama, and him alone. SO they get a one sided speech from a person who consevatives view as being socialist and willing to omit facts (lie) to support his agenda, and are not allowed any opportunity to hear anything opposite to that speech. That seems to meet the definition of propaganda to me.

    It's quite clear that Obama wants to indocrinate kids to his beliefs. If they hear one side of the story and nothing else, that's what they will believe. Goebel in Nazi Germany used to arrange radio addresses for the Furher to speak to the youth of Germany. For anyone to claim this is other than a mass propaganda attempt by Obama is them merely admitting their own stupidity and lack of grasp of history.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  45. Todd

    The worst part of this topic is the fact this is a pep rally talk to kids from the President. I will be more than upset if there is anything political oriented in this speech.

    Kids look at the President as almost a mythical figure, regardless of who is in office. The role of President of The United States is much bigger than any one person or party that occupies the office at that time.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  46. mbluesky

    As a former (until about 8 years ago) stalwart Republican voter, I now count myself independent, but have been voting mostly Democratic. I tend to be a fiscal conservative, live a socially conservative lifestyle, but support socially liberal public policies. And I want the entire Republican party to know, from the lowest local elected official, to our state officials, to national Republicans, that I am more disgusted and appalled by the lack of serious Republican repudiation of the ridiculous lies that are being flung about than I am by the wingnuts lying. Either the Republican party publicly and forcefully repudiates these partisan, untrue, malicious attacks or I promise that I will NEVER again vote for any Republican candidate for any office at any level. I won't support a party that engages in this nuttery. And I'll encourage others to take the same pledge.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  47. Fairfax Voter

    Lyndon Johnson hit the nail on the head with that one.

    My own views are liberal and progressive. But I am deeply ashamed of the absolutist, line-in-the-sand statements being made by liberal opinion leaders like Rachel Maddow, some of the unions, and now this guy. Stop it. Stop doing the Republicans' work for them by destroying our party. Just stop it.

    (And oh, by the way, you might cover some different stories now and again, like the Republican running for governor in Virginia this fall who's ahead in the polls and may or may not believe working women are detrimental to society.)

    I am honestly finding it hard to watch MSNBC any more. I support President Obama. I worked hard to put him into office. He has exceeded my expectations. I want him to succeed. I wish there were cable talking heads who could get on board with that too.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  48. Aaron

    Read your history folks. There is nothing even remotely prejudiced about these objections. Everyone carps on race because they think it is a debate silencer but you are just hiding behind reality. Grow up and confront the issues – not your conspiracies and OWN prejudices.

    When George H.W. Bush gave an address to kids on the same topic, the liberal congress and media went bezerk. To echo some other commenters as well, it is not the content of the proposed speech, but the manner it is being done and the positively fascist original homework assignment. Way too many echos in there of youth brigades, etc.

    Also, as a point of simple honesty, what was that reader thinking writing that polls show that 77% of "Americans" want a public option? Was that poll taken in Berkeley, California or Manhattan? Look around my friend.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  49. Dorsey Wilmarth

    Obama's Republican critics are having success slapping the "socialist" label on the president. The word scares many people, especially their constituents, and we all know that if a word is used often enough by enough people, perception becomes people's reality. Unfortunately, Americans are confusing their ideology with moral "right" and "wrong." Furthermore, they aren't willing to do the research or debate their differences intelligently. It's much easier to be spoon-fed their beliefs than it is to forge them in the fires of learning and experience. It happens on both sides of the political spectrum. I'm really concerned about the direction our country has been heading for the last 20 years.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  50. Kathy

    It's funny how freedom of speech only applies to the democrats. Personally, I feel It's the parents and teachers job to tell children the importance of staying in school and the value of education. President Obama appears to be focusing on everything but what he should be. Maybe there are parents who don't want him addressing their children – that should be a choice. However, it appears that the real issue is the president himself and how people are losing faith in his ability to run the country. It's not just GOPs – there are those within his own party who are questioning his ability. His priorities are not where they should be. All this apologizing and digging up skeletons – enough is enough – get on with business.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  51. Brandon in Dallas

    Isn't it the parents' duty to talk to their children about the importance of education? Shouldn't kids be listening to their parents rather than the President? Whether the President is right or wrong, there's an element of common sense missing from this discussion. Am I the only person asking these questions?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  52. KJohnson

    OMG....lesson plans asking kids to help the President, talk about him, read about him, and learn what he's all about? Egads....the horror of all horrors. Um...does anyone watch Jay Leno's Jaywalking???? Most young adults can't even pick their President out of a lineup let alone discuss any of his policies. We are raising generations of complete idiots when it comes to history and govt. They know how to hack into your computer, but ask them who wrote the Constitution and they'll give you a blank stare....and ask when the pizza rolls will be ready. LOL I'm 49 years old and I remember the days when the President...no matter what his party...was to be respected. He was elected by majority and stood as the leader of our country. RESPECT.......you GOP/Christians/Conservatives are always bemoaning the loss of respect in our youth....and now you know why, don't you???? But then again....maybe it's just the color that shall not be respected....hmmmmm????

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  53. Bill (Houston)

    Anyone who rationally disagrees with the President's radical, socialist agenda is: 1) RACIST, 2) UNEDUCATED, AND 3) OBVIOUSLY A REDNECK. Is that the best liberals in this country can do? It is obvious even to a simpleton like me that the country is center right and soundly rejecting these policies.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  54. PeteM

    on2u wrote:
    “It could be a blatantly political move,” he said. “Nobody knows for sure, but it gives that impression.”
    -----–
    Space aliens could have landed in my backyard last night. Nobody knows for sure.
    on2u's post shows how out of gas and out of ideas the republican'ts really are.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  55. Tod

    I don't have a problem with the President addressing our schoolchildren. But if people have an objection to this, that's OK too – it's their right to state their object. What I do have a problem with is people labeling those who object as 'racists' or 'prejudice' because they disagree with the president. This is ridiculous – you are saying that people can't disagree with the president because of the color of his skin? It seems in this country we can no longer have civilized debates on issues. Instead, the first thing either side does is attack the credibility of those on the other side, by labeling them as 'racists' or 'nazis' or 'extremists'.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  56. Laura Bourg

    STOP ALREADY!!
    What is wrong with these people? Since when did promoting education and self-sufficiency become an evil plot to indoctrinate our youth into blind governmental obedience. Don't we want our young people to grow up into intelligent, thinking, capable adults who can work and earn without having to rely on the government dole?! And if your kids can be reprogrammed through an hour long speech and associated lesson plans then there is something else wrong at home. Lively discussions and exposure to varied opinions make a young person prepared to face the diversity of the world he/she will soon inherit. Give it a rest. PLEASE! !

    September 4, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  57. Sniffit

    There is some truth to the comment that Dems/liberals are getting a little reactionary and, as a result, retreating towards the kind of intolerance we are complaining about from the GOP...in fact doing so in response to it. This isn't really the time to fight fire with fire. Sure, lambaste the silly demogogues and their nonsensical commentary on blogs or the Ticker or whatever, but that's just good fun while pretending to be busy at work. Our elected officials, however, should be rising above it, just like Obama did during the campaign...he set the example and they should be following suit.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  58. Rommel

    Here's the problem Mr. Avlon and it's in your own article.

    "The Department of Education did change language in a lesson plan that suggested students write a letter about how they would help the president after hearing him speak. "

    Has there not been some concern here; would my child be required to write an essay on how she is going to help Mr. Obama succeed?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  59. William P

    Mr. Avlon,
    You want us to learn from the lessons of the past, yet you cannot seem to grasp, apparently due to a lack of historical knowledge, that we are dealing with an essentially socialist president. The word "socialist" is not used to stir animus among the GOP base per se, and to the extent it does, it is because people reject socialism in all forms.
    This comes down to honest reporting. You have the ideological opponents of the current president giving him an accurate description – he did, after all, take equity controlling positions in the banks, fire GM's CEO, look to nationalize energy production vis-a-vis cap and trade, and now wants the healthcare sector en total – and yet you call anyone who used a completely valid and scholarly term a "wingnut." Centrism is not a set of ideas, is not a virtue in itself. Centrism is what emerges from any compromise. "Centrism" is no basis for rational discussion because it implies that logical discourse is inherently extreme.
    Note to CNN: this is why conservatives do not trust your reporting. It's apparently not conducted by learned or sensible people.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  60. Chris

    I was considering becoming a Republican but it turns out that I don't have enough hair to cover the scar the lobotomy would cause.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  61. Rachel Gingras

    I think these extremists do not want their kids to be told to behave and be good by a black man who happens to be president. Americans have to stop this "tail wagging the dog" attitude. If these people were objecting teaching their kids that the earth is indeed round the school would just go ahead and teach . The school districts who are not letting the kids hear the speech or those that are giving an option to keep the kids home are spineless amibas that are letting the minority rule. They are the ones injecting politics in the debate. Having the president tell your kids to stay in school and asking them to write to him is a good thing. No one objected GW Bush doing the same !

    September 4, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  62. keith drake

    W. was reading to school kids (mind you the book was upside down) when on that murderous day happen in 200, Americans seem to forget it happened on his watch, and he was not watching. Sending thousands to their deaths and americans in debt that could have fix the health care system, social security ect..

    September 4, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  63. MD

    When Obama comes to school, my kids will be absent that day!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  64. Randall

    The anger and wignuts did force one needed change: The recommended lesson plans no longer say "students should write a letter about how the can help the President" or "how the President inspired them."

    Now it's less pro-Obama and more politically neutral

    September 4, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  65. Michele

    " Mike Armstrong TX. September 4th, 2009 8:38 am ET
    How silly whats he going to do bribe them with gummy bears these are kids not old enough to vote when the kids go home the parents can set them straight . All i see here is our president barking up the wrong tree for health care ."

    This speech has nothing to do with health care! Do you think school kids give a thought to health care? Obama can actually think about more than one issue at once. Imagine!
    President Obama wants students to work hard and be responsible for their education. Sounds pretty Republican to me. Actually, it sounds like an American talking to Americans about their futures. And the parents that have bought into the right rant about indoctrination should go back and read about the REPUBLICAN messages to kids...but I guess whatever indoctrination they receive from Republicans is OK, huh? I prefer that we teach children to be self-reliant, work hard, and go to college so they can support their families. If that is indoctrination, it worked in my house. Two kids, three degrees, two grandchildren, everybody working.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  66. wbn

    Yes, in a public speech Bush appealed to kids to give to needy children in another country; Obama wants to beam himself into every classroom of America during school, encouraging them to help HIM! Maybe it wouldn't be so controlling and Kafkaesque if the President hadn't already taken control of large banks and car manufacturers, and is trying to nationalize health care. This man is on TV pontificating about everything from college sports to radio talk show hosts to local police action. He really thinks he knows best about anybody and everything. What tranquilizers are the mainstream media taking? Will they ever wake up and talk about how creepy this is?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  67. Dan, CA

    markp, I enjoyed your sarcasm . Quality sarcasm – Thanks.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  68. Dan

    markp, your hysteria is showing...

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  69. Laurie

    I swear if President Obama were white, the lunacy in this country would not be what it is. It is so hard for the wingnuts to admit it but they simply cannot stand the president and it is more racial than most think. We should embrace the fact that The President of the US, the greatest nation on earth will address our school children. The whackos are reaching paranoid state, they probably don't think twice about letting their children listen to TV when Beck and Hannity and the rest of the gang is on.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  70. Lewis

    The right wing is deathly afraid the President might say something about white women...this is akin to watching Blazing Saddles all over again. Who knew Mel Brooks would turn out to be a prophet?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  71. CR

    The venom spewing wingnuts are a sign it's over for the GOP. Real conservatism is in hibernation until a credible replacement emerges for the Republican Party. Until then reasonable people will have nothing more to do with them.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  72. justbcos

    To Cynthia W. -
    "Presently, the media is acting as “Useful Idiots” while most of us are asking “What is the President’s agenda? Who are the people advising him? Why are so many in the media not investigating these things? Why is any dissent or question met with scorn? Why is it okay to even consider passing a health bill, or cap and trade bill without READING it? Where has all the stimulus money gone? Why isn’t there a full accounting? Why is Charlie Rangel still chair of the House, Ways & Means Committee with repeated tax violations?"

    Thanks for Fox News's talking points. Do you have any ideas not fed to you by your own "useful idiots"?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  73. Lee Olivas

    I am one American who is getting tired of the Tabloid Mentality of the Republican party. It is why I changed my vote this past election. They need to get back to business of thier own plan and stop with the kindergarten attacks on Obama.
    Lets see thier plan.
    And as far as the school speech: I think it is great to allow children the opportunity to write the President of the United States and voice thier thoughts.
    President Kennedy opened such a door when he said: "Seek Not what your Country can do for YOU, but what YOU can do for your Country"! How is this different when Obama wants American participation. Maybe many are angry he is demanding participation rather than being armchair critics?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  74. Ilene

    CNN, PLEASE PRINT THIS FOR ME…I WANT MY VOICE TO BE HEARD BECAUSE THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!!!!!

    Republicans are trying every angle to beat down this president and all of his ideas. For example, I've never in my life heard of such backlash over a school speech to kids before. Wonder if these people would still be critical if it was a President McCain instead of a President Obama. Wonder if they would be so critical if it was about their conservative ideals.

    In the AJC, here is a quote to show that this is not the first time. And not only that Bush DID CRITICIZE DEMOCRATS in his speech — where was the outrage then.

    Anyway, here is the quote, "Obama’s speech won’t mark the first time a president has spoken directly to students. In October 1991, President George H.W. Bush urged students to hit the books harder in a speech televised on CNN. In June 1985, President Ronald Reagan told students at the former Northside High School in Atlanta about his tax reform plan."

    September 4, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  75. Dan

    Listening to a speech obligates them to agree?

    These right-wing nutcases are doing their party no favors. If the moderates in the Republican party don't start stepping up and countering ridiculous screeds like this, their party is history.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  76. AJ

    wingnut? cnn is a left wingnut...

    September 4, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  77. Jake

    I find it comical that right-wingnuts always criticize Obama supporters for thinking that he's the ALMIGHTY or the MESSIAH, when they're the ones pulling their kids out of school over concerns that Obama will work magic voodoo on their children. I mean, you folks are mind-numbingly, galactically stupid.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  78. Mike S., New Orleans

    The wingnuts will rise again, and they will finish the job that George W. Bush Jr. started: total destruction of the American economy and foreign policy.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  79. Right wing nut job

    Uh- The anger is not about the speech you morons- It's about the pre and post work!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  80. Barbara Metcalfe

    Remember when William F. Buckley referred to the "lunatic fringe" of the Republican party? I'm reminded of it when I hear this story. There was a time when the Republican party offered a different point of view, but one worth listening to. They can't command respect with campaigns like this one.

    September 4, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  81. Mary

    CNN and other news organizations have failed to mention the presentation Ronald Reagan made to schools in November, 1988. Talk about brainwashing and propaganda! Go and do a little research and look at what he said and how this was used in schools. I remember it well, as my kids were in school at the time. WHY are news anchors and news organizations so ignorant about the past and WHY don't they do some research and present the facts instead of putting the talking heads with an agenda on to discuss everything and spin it? Isn't "reporting the news" built on telling the truth , giving us background and not just presenting a bunch of opposing arguments by people who have an agenda? Real journalists do that hard work and research but CNN anchors don't seem to be anything close to "real journalists" any more than the airheads on Fox.

    September 4, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  82. jim vicalvi

    Another one sided story by the media. Nothing about the lesson plans that were to be distributed to the children with blatantly political views. Yes, other President's made speeches to our children but not in such a political way. And Shag, you better get your facts right. 77% of the dems. might want socialized medicine but over 50% of the TOTAL American population is against it. You sound like you work for cnn. Taking things out of context is paramount to work there.

    September 4, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  83. mike-sey

    Everbody knows that Republicans dont put much stock in book-larnin unless its the bible. Isn't it time that the white House and school authorities told them to piss off instead of accomodating their paranoias?

    September 4, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  84. Robert

    I think it is really sad even when the media is afraid to call this atmosphere in the United States of America right now just plain old RACISIM. Now African Americans has never been fooled we’ve always known that white people really have dismissed people of color in leadership positions as a quota. The only reason of this kind of behavior is the color of our skin; I mean President Obama has all the pedigree one can hope for as it relates to education yes he’s young but America has tried 50 plus the last twelve years and we can all see where it has gotten us as a country.
    The media had no problem character assonating Rev. Jeremiah Wright when he showed his miss use of the pulpit. But the same media watered down the same miss use of the pulpit by Pastor John Haggee and Pastor Ron Parsley behavior. Even in the sports spectrum a former NFL three time super bowl team member Daniel Villa of the New England Patriots pleaded guilty to multiple counts of rape to a fifteen year old girl and Mr. Daniel Villa was sentence to two years and not one morning, noon or evening media outlet reported this crime and by the way Mr. Daniel was a teacher at the school where the young female student attended, no coverage!
    So you see the media, Senators, and Governors along with the sick minded racist individuals who hides behind the so call right wing GOP are just SICK and RACIST that’s what going on. The Media and Washington are afraid to report what is, because if a black man would have shown up at rally or town meeting with a gun when Former President Bush was in office the black man most certainly would have been apprehended and probably been charged with the crime of terrorism.

    September 4, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  85. Mike Armstrong TX.

    How silly whats he going to do bribe them with gummy bears these are kids not old enough to vote when the kids go home the parents can set them straight . All i see here is our president barking up the wrong tree for health care .

    September 4, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  86. Bernadette Loesch

    I guess that Mr. Greer would rather the brainwashing he subjects his children to is better than anything President Obama could say! Mr. Greer should be ashamed of himself. He uses the 'socialism' word as if it's dirty. He needs to study the meaning of the word and concept. He is meanspirited and misguided to say the very least. He is the leader of the GOP in FL. Is that not a political bent? Mr. Greer, let your children listen to the President, then have a discussion with them at home about what was said. You might learn something from your children.

    September 4, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  87. markp

    Speaking of conspiracy theorist, FOX is trying to say that the ALMIGHTY ONE, PRES. OBAMA appointed a 911 truther to his staff, and that the same person is a self evowed communist. If there was any truth to that CNN would have been all over that story. It is unthinkable that THE ALMIGHTY ONE would try to indoctrinate our children, I mean what would he do have a bunch of celebrities pledge aleigence to OBAMA in a made for school film, that would never happen without CNN'S take no prisoners hard hitting (news agency) being all over that..

    September 4, 2009 at 8:07 am |
  88. ms.c

    These people should admit that they are racists. One day there will be Presidents from the rainbow of ethnicities of second generations Americans and women. We have a bi-racial president now, what will they do with a woman president? Blame it on her menstrual cycle? this country is rising kicking and screaming from the rule of old white men. Look who is scaring Americans, angry white men with a smattering of blacks who I say look into a mirror every morning and hate their own race. And that's because for some it is better to go along with the majority than to go it alone or with the weaker group of people. Better to sit with the popular people at the lunch table.

    September 4, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  89. Mark

    OK, so here is the way it is now for single payers like myself.
    Health insurance is for the people who are not sick and don't use it.
    When you do get sick the insurance companies don't want us, they know how high to raise the rates to make us drop out. They been doing this for a long, long, time and are very good at it. In order to get a rate we can afford they will tack on exclusions for everything that shows up in our medical records.
    These people are apparently under the believe that it is cheaper to dig graves than to insure those who are not.
    They rubber stamped two wars we are fighting now. Once again its OK to kill our own people and people in other countries but no way can we take care of our own. The money we spend on these wars can insure the uninsured. What happened to these so call religious people, have they no compassion for anyone but themselves.

    September 4, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  90. on2u

    Why doesn't CNN give a balanced view – giving all information pertaining to a story. It was not mentioned what the lessons were to be.Writing a letter to themselves that was to be collected and then opened at a later date to hold K -6 age students accountable for their promises to Obama not themselves, not family, not community but to Obama. Too Kim Jong Li for me. Bush read a story and personally visited schools – huge difference. The bias is glaring. This why your ratings are so far behind other networks. Obama is on TV so often giving infomercials I feel like I live in Venezuela.

    September 4, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  91. Mark

    I can see how prejudice these people are and I'm a 62 year old white male.

    September 4, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  92. on2u

    There is nothing wrong with a president addressing school children to stay in school, getting good grades that sort of thing. There is a problem with the president himself being the focus of the lessons or assignments.

    "Students in grades pre-K-6, for example, are encouraged to "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals."

    Teachers are also given guidance to tell students to "build background knowledge about the president of the United States by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama."

    During the speech, "teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful...Kinney said suggestions like asking students to recall "other historic moments" when the president spoke to the nation and to hone their listening skills by taking notes during the address are useful."

    After reading the Department of Education lesson plans for the speech, McCluskey said he noticed several passages that should set off "alarm bells," including language that attempts to "glorify President Obama" in the minds of young students."

    "It could be a blatantly political move," he said. "Nobody knows for sure, but it gives that impression."

    https://dailymotion.com/video/x6y1xz

    September 4, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  93. Mark

    I think the people who are against President Obama speaking to school kids are prejudice. They never had a problem with any other President speaking to school children.

    September 4, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  94. Anthony D.

    Don't you guys find it funny, that the people who are saying Obama wants to brainwash their children, are themselves brainwashed?

    September 4, 2009 at 7:12 am |
  95. Mark

    Maybe we should spend less on bridges to nowhere and wars in countries and spend some of our money on a health insurance option and take care of sick and dying people here. We need to wake up and get our heads out of the sand, the insurance companies will never insure sick people.

    September 4, 2009 at 7:05 am |
  96. Cynthia W.

    There is no problem with the President addressing children of the United States with a positive message to work hard and stay in school. The problem is with the accompanying materials from the Department of Education which Avlon conveniently failed to mention. Teachers would ask kids to ask themselves what they could do to help "President Obama". Not themselves, their families or their country. What is this? Pres. Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I do believe that the media is failing us in a huge way, reporting bits, and not the big picture. The big picture is this administration's policies, "czars" and advisors to the president, are far to the left of what even most Democrats would be comfortable with if you would only do your job and report on it. Presently, the media is acting as "Useful Idiots" while most of us are asking "What is the President's agenda? Who are the people advising him? Why are so many in the media not investigating these things? Why is any dissent or question met with scorn? Why is it okay to even consider passing a health bill, or cap and trade bill without READING it? Where has all the stimulus money gone? Why isn't there a full accounting? Why is Charlie Rangel still chair of the House, Ways & Means Committee with repeated tax violations?

    September 4, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  97. ronvan

    Mr. Greer, (R), is another example of why we are so screwed up. He wants to rant & rave about the President addressing school kids. Has anyone seen this new TV add, the one where "school children", in a classroom, using the pledge of allegence, but with the words changed to address the national budget. Now this, to me, is disgusting!

    September 4, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  98. S. Watt

    I think that America should be ashamed. The point of the uproar is not President's Obama's views, its that "White America" does not want a Black man adivising their children on personal responsibilty. Let's be honest.

    September 4, 2009 at 6:44 am |
  99. Shag

    John Avalon, like most in the media, ignored the fact that the polls have been consistently shown that, 77% of Americans want a public option. So for him to say that Pete Stark is just a "far left" ideolouge, who is out of touch with reality is just wrong.
    Stark is correct in speaking about the money the Blue Dogs are getting from the insurance industry. It's well documented that the insurance lobby is spending 1.4 million a day to defeat any reform. They don't care about the people, they want things to remain as they are.

    September 4, 2009 at 6:41 am |
  100. Jack, Montauk, NY

    Today the firestorm about President Obama's upcoming speech to America's school children continues; the poltical pundits seem to have forgotten about this one: "During his first prime time press conference, President George W. Bush made a call for all American children to send one dollar to be used to help the children of Afghanistan who are in dire need of food and medicine."Read More

    September 4, 2009 at 6:34 am |
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