Norm Eisen, the Obamite Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, feels that criticism of the "stimulus" plan is inconceivable. He therefore intends to crush dissent by "all persons...exerting influence on the process." (h/t Ed Morrissey) That means you and me.
The full quote is here. (Did a screen capture in case it gets memory-holed.) Read it and weep, people:
“First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.
“Second, we will focus the restriction on oral communications to target the scenario where concerns about merit-based decision-making are greatest—after competitive grant applications are submitted and before awards are made. Once such applications are on file, the competition should be strictly on the merits. To that end, comments (unless initiated by an agency official) must be in writing and will be posted on the Internet for every American to see.
“Third, we will continue to require immediate internet disclosure of all other communications with registered lobbyists. If registered lobbyists have conversations or meetings before an application is filed, a form must be completed and posted to each agency’s website documenting the contact.”
Next, the Obamites will surely be outlawing other forms of criticism, no matter how well founded. Do you object to cap-n-trade, the abomination that even members of The One Party (uh, I mean Democrats) recognize as a "great big tax" that has already proven ineffective in Europe? Obamite reeducation camp for you.
Norm, be happy! Together with The Telegraph, you're in the running for the 2009 PPPAPP, in the correct speech category!