Barack Obama's roadblocked info highway

Traffic is still backed up on Civics 101. What was touted in the web's early days as the "information highway" has become too cluttered with political billboards.

This is not a vast right-wing conspiracy. The blizzard of b.s. is from Barack Obama's embryonic regime.

It's not really a shock. Liberals work just as hard — usually harder — at social-engineering projects, as part of their well-meaning if often misguided attempts to improve people's lives.

There's reason to assume that, in many respects, the new administration will be more open than the Bush-Cheney regime, which, after all, did hatch all sorts of secretive plots and strategies of lies and agitprop, particularly about the Iraq invasion.

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But in one basic area, the road from D.C. to the rest of the country, there are so many Obama ads that you can't see the countryside whizzing past, and the view was actually less cluttered by presidential propaganda during the Bush Daze.

I noted this last week, and I'll keep harping on it until the new administration takes down some of its self-promoting signage about "transparent government" and actually delivers transparency.

OK, it's still early days for the Obama regime. But when the Bush regime took over for the Clintonians, there were changes to the whitehouse.gov site, but its core job of providing basic information remained intact.

Yes, you had to cut through the propaganda, but the transcripts, official White House photos of various events, videos of speeches to even nut groups were all there. And, yes, George W. Bush's malaprops were rarely expunged.

Eight years ago, of course, there was no YouTube. Now, government operatives are really into trying to bend the technology and are much more sophisticated about trying to give you what they want you to think you need. That must be why the Obama White House is — so far — less forthcoming with info about the prez's activities than the Bush White House was.

And it's apparently why the new administration is getting all creepy-crawly friendly on us by titling Obama's regular weekly speech "Your Weekly Address."

No, pal, it's yours. Do you have to put a marketing spin on everything?

The country gave it up for you, Obama. Now give it up to us.

Meanwhile, here's some other clutter to click on...

NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

N.Y. Post: '"FARE SHARE" TAXIS: CITY EYES SPLIT RIDES'

Bloomberg: '"Fear" Signals U.S. Jobless Rolls to Swell in Recession'

What's shaping up to be the longest and deepest U.S. recession in at least a quarter century may swell the number of Americans collecting jobless benefits by half this year.

Forbes: 'The Incendiary IDF: The Israel Defense Forces use phosphorous shells -- and forfeit credibility' (Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch)

Forbes: 'Bank Bonuses Should Make You Mad'

Taxpayer money is what's lining the pockets of Wall Street executives. How can this happen and what can we do?

Wall Street Journal: 'Lending Drops at Big U.S. Banks'

Lending at many of the nation's largest banks fell in recent months, even after they received $148 billion in taxpayer capital that was intended to help the economy by making loans more readily available.

N.Y. Daily News: 'Teen sex rap for principal of Bensonhurst private school'

...the latest blow to Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community. Since October, at least four Orthodox Jewish men in the borough have been charged with sexually abusing children.

Wall Street Journal: 'Obama Moves to Change Emissions Rules'

N.Y. Times: 'Obama's Order Is Likely to Tighten Auto Standards'

N.Y. Times: 'From Here to Retirement'

The wipeout in 401(k)'s has made it clear that there needs to be a better way to ensure that a lifetime of savings can't be undone by forces beyond one's control.

N.Y. Daily News: 'Cop shoots man with 17 bags of cocaine -- but no gun'

Bloomberg: 'Geithner's Treasury Bonds Abetted by Paulson Failure to Restore Confidence'

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's inability to restore confidence in the financial system is creating unprecedented demand for U.S. debt as his successor prepares to sell the most bonds in history.

N.Y. Times: 'Counting the Walking Wounded'

The military estimates of the mental damage from war are too low because the method used to determine the count is flawed.

N.Y. Post: 'INTRIGUE AS FULD SELLS $13M HOUSE TO WIFE FOR $100'

N.Y. Daily News: 'Radomski covers all 'Bases' in new book'

Bloomberg: 'Baboon's Blood Offers Davos Chiefs Macbeth Magic to Cool Bewitched Market'

That old black magic has even the World Economic Forum in its spell.

N.Y. Times: 'From Hospital, Afghans Rebut U.S. Account'

N.Y. Daily News: 'Brazilian amputee beauty queen dies'

N.Y. Times: 'Melding Obama's Web to a YouTube Presidency'

N.Y. Times: 'Republicans Are Resistant to Obama's Stimulus Plan'

N.Y. Post: 'REVOLTIN' JOE'S WHINE TURNS BITTER'

N.Y. Times: 'Tenants Encouraged to Socialize, but Not Criticize'

Forbes: 'Land Of The Free Speakers: Intellectual exiles come from democracies, too.'

...Consider Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It. Israeli-born and resident in New York, Ehrenfeld has made a career of following money trails to their murkiest sources and been threatened and sued multiple times for her efforts.

Most recently she became a victim of so-called libel tourism. In Funding Evil, she wrote that a wealthy Saudi Arabian, Khalid bin Mahfouz, had financed terrorist activities. Under U.S. law her well-documented accusation doesn't qualify as libel, so bin Mahfouz sued her in Great Britain.

The book had never been published in Britain or sold in book stores there, but a few copies had been obtained via online sellers. A British judge imposed a fine on Ehrenfeld and said her book should be destroyed.

N.Y. Times: 'Infomercials Find Their Way to Television's Prime Time'

A sign of the ailing economy, infomercials are now filling television slots that traditional advertisers like banks and automakers once owned.

Forbes: 'This Bear Buys Stocks'

Jeremy Grantham, the bear who called the tech bubble and stayed out of stocks while the credit bubble inflated, finally sees opportunities in U.S. stocks.

'When your husband is in jail, or heading to jail...'

Tips from Divorce Saloon:

Ruth Madoff and Michelle Schrenker are two lovely women whose husbands have done not so lovely things. As a result, both men are facing federal prison. Bernie Madoff, husband of Ruth Madoff, is facing prison for pulling off the biggest Ponzi heist in Wall Street history. Marcus Schrenker is facing prison for leaving his private plane unmanned and calling in a fake distress signal after defrauding his clients of millions.

Most women's husbands who are facing jail or already in jail, probably haven't done anything quite as exciting as these two particular husbands. But the concerns are the same. What now? Where does she go from there?

Well, all I can say is that in New York, if your husband is going to be incarcerated for more than 3 consecutive years, you can get a divorce on that basis and he does not have to agree to the divorce.

Palm Beach Post: 'Trust fund teens take credit for decorating Madoff mansion, in toilet paper'

...Some teenage boys called The Palm Beach Post newsroom Sunday evening to take credit for the prank - one they said was sanctioned by their parents.

They said they were acting in retaliation after they lost their trust funds to the accused swindler.

bloggingstocks.com: 'Is Madoff a psychopath?'

Israel Opportunity Investor: 'Whatever Happened to Madoff's List of Assets?'

Wall Street Journal: 'Sons' Roles in Spotlight: Madoff Siblings' Contacts With Investment Arm Scrutinized'


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