Matt Damon's True Grit on Obama

Newt In?

That’s what CNN was reporting last week. After weeks of speculation surrounding whether he would form an
exploratory committee for the Republican presidential race next year, Newt Gingrich has reportedly told friends he will definitely seek the nomination after all. Sources close to the former House speaker say he will make an official announcement at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in May

Huckabee Out?

Although numerous polls show Mike Huckabee the front-runner among Republicans for their presidential nomination, there are growing signs that the former Arkansas governor and present “Fox” television host will forgo another White House bid in 2012. In a front-page story in the Washington Post next month, Huckabee spent more time discussing his just-released book and the building of another home in Florida than he did public policy. In addition, Huckabee-watchers point out that many of his ’08 operatives are doing other things. Campaign manager Chip Saltsman is now top aide to freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R.-Tenn.), while Huckabee’s Montana chairman, Steve Daines, is seeking the GOP nomination
for congressman-at-large.

Public Pension Poll

As Republican governors such as Wisconsin’s Scott Walker make news worldwide for their clash with public employee unions over pensions and collective bargaining, it seems as though the unions have not won the backing of the voters. According to a just-completed Rasmussen poll, an overwhelming 71% of voters nationwide feel that government workers get better pensions than private sector workers. Only 14% feel otherwise, while another 15% are not sure. The same survey found that 32% of all voters believe it is somewhat likely their state will be able to afford all pension benefits it has promised state workers, while 56% say it is not likely.

Matt Damon’s True Grit on Obama

One of Barack Obama’s most vigorous backers in Hollywood in 2008 was Matt Damon. The screen star not only campaigned for Obama but denounced Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as “like something out of a bad Disney movie.” But last week, the star of the Bourne and Oceans films revealed he is upset with Obama for agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts for the highest income earners. “They [the Obama Administration] had a chance that they don’t have any more to stand up for things,” Damon told the Associated Press, “They’ll probably just make whatever deals they can to try to get elected again.” Damon also said he was disappointed with Obama on education, saying “they’re trying to get business people to come and manage schools like factories. It’s not going to work.” Now starring as a politician in the thriller The Adjustment Bureau, Damon told AP he admired Bill Clinton and based his portrayal of talkative Ranger LaBoeuf in True Grit on the 42nd President.

White House Still Firm Behind Public Broadcasting

In the wake of the video and resulting resignation that rocked National Public Radio last week (see Page 19), the administration is still standing firm behind tax dollars for public broadcasting. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters last week that “the reality is that the administrations, both Republican and Democratic, have supported public broadcasting in the past, and we think in an era where tough choices have to be made, including the ones that this President laid out in his proposed 2012 budget, that there remains a need to support public broadcasting and NPR.” (NPR gets about 2% of its direct funding from the U.S. government through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. NPR stations in individual states get roughly 10% of their total funding from the CPB, with state and local governments putting in another 6%).

Aspen and Obama

Lost in the coverage of the firing of National Public Radio Foundation head Ron Schiller (of Jews-control-the-media and the Tea Party-is-racist fame)was his relationship with the left-wing Aspen Institute. Three days before before the scandal broke, Aspen chief executive Walter Isaacson announced Schiller would be taking a position at the institute because “Ron Schiller embraces and lives the values that we share as a community.” Later the institute announced Schiller would not be going to work there, and the quotation was removed from the Aspen web site.

Isaacson is the Obama Administration’s chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors which runs U.S. international broadcasting, including the Voice of America.