We have seen the missteps and the successes of the Obama administration. We have seen the worst, seemingly having each “accomplishment” being worse and worse than the previous one. The country is now subject to a namesake piece of legislation, in Obamacare, and we have seen Obama’s revolving door of big-government, tax-and-spend Keynesians spin like a dynamo.
We have seen the confident Obama boast that, “We won” when talking about his party, and their misreading of elections results. Most recently, the country has seen the administration’s misunderstanding of the Middle East, and their finger-pointing ability when they sought to make the Benghazi fiasco go away. We were witness to a massive fall in the president’s support among his former voters too (although it was not enough to overcome the lack of support for Mitt Romney among conservatives).
So, how does all this make Obama a hero of the right?
Read the rest, along with my explanation on how the right should take advantage of the left’s frequent missteps and failures, here: Conservative Daily News “Obama, The Gift That Keeps Giving”
For the entirety of his two terms in office, belittling and lampooning by the media and left in general, was the typical reaction of progressives to George W. Bush. He was a buffoon, a cowboy, and an idiot, they would have us believe. Bush was a maverick, willing to start wars and carry out the missions from previous administrations (invading Iraq was to finish his father’s war, many on the left claimed).
It seemed like Bush’s mere existence was enough to make some progressives apoplectic, or send them into an angry, profanity-laden, rant.
Read the full post, here: Conservative Daily News
(This Thanksgiving, much of the country is in a rather depressed and “down” mood, owing primarily to another year of a poorly recovering economy and the lack of recovery President Obama promised. I thought it might be interesting to consider how an “Obama-led” first Thanksgiving might have occurred. So, here is the satirical story of the Obama [and his pals'] Thanksgiving celebration)
On the bitterly cold day, the Pautuxet Tribe and the Obama-Pilgrims decided to hold their feast, the leader of the Pilgrims, Obama, had promised to bring many people with him. Obama assured the Chief that he would bring many good people, with new ideas that would make the Natives’ lives so much better and easier. The Natives would not have to even work any harder, Obama assured them. Pilgrim-Obama could see the distrustful, and incredulous look on Chief Samoset’s face, so he decided to introduce Samoset to his friends.
The first person Obama was going to introduce was his close friend, Joe Biden. Before Obama could even turn and introduce Joe to Samoset, Biden could be seen wearing a squaw’s headdress, grinning from ear-to-ear, and enthusiastically shaking Natives’ hands while saying patronizingly, “How” to each. Samoset could not believe that someone who was a leader could be so ignorant of good manners.
Obama merely smiled, and on seeing the Chief’s disgusted look, just shrugged his shoulders, and chimed, “That Joe – he is incorrigible, eh? Let me show you another one of my favorite friends, Chief. I would like you to meet Pilgrim-Pelosi.”
Obama turned, and gestured to an older lady, who was putting a steaming kettle onto a table. She was having some difficulty with it, but eventually pushed enough other items on the table around, that she made room for the kettle. Getting a whiff of the disgusting dish, it forced Samoset to take a step backward, reeling from the stench. “Ugh, Nancy, what is in that pot?” Samoset inquired.
“Well, now Chief, you are going to have to eat it to find out what is in it…”, and Nancy turned and quickly walked away.
Obama beamed. “Uh, Chief, here is another one of my best associates and important friends – meet Pilgrim-Reid.” Pilgrim-Reid had spent all his time since arriving putting food and other items onto the dining table, whether that was their place or not. The Chief noticed he seemed pre-occupied with just putting things on that table, and doing nothing else. Obama, noticing the Chief’s confused look chimed in, “Yeah, Pilgrim-Reid’s really kept me from having to do a lot of work. He always seems to find more room to push things aside, and it really allows me to focus on my own favorite projects.”
“Now let me go ahead and introduce you to a couple more friends, Chief. That man there,” Obama pointed toward a man with his head in his hands, shaking, “is Pilgrim-John. Say ‘hello’, John.” The man looked up, and the Chief could see the man had been bawling, and that was what was causing the shaking. “Chief, John likes people to think he is tough, but he is really a big pushover…That man there,” Obama pointed toward a rotund man, placing a blueberry pie on the table, “is Pilgrim-Al, Chief.”
Obama pointed at the man, and the man pointed back, smiled, and hollered, “Whoop – there it is! Feast we much – and we will!”
Overhearing this, and chiming in with his two cents, Pilgrim Joe said, “I think this is off. Starvation got us here, and starvation will get us back out again.”
Obama winked at the two, and turned his attention back to Samoset, who at this point, was having trouble believing that this group could even buckle their own shoes. Samoset could think of no reason that this motley crew would ever be successful in anything – they simply acted too preoccupied with their own individual plans and other nonsense. For a people who had just arrived, they had nothing in their talents or abilities that really seemed to stick out to Samoset – they were too sure of themselves, and the plans that Pilgrim-Obama had shared with him? They would never work. Well, Samoset thought, at least the rest of the pilgrims would never support this guy after his big plans were shown to be so divisive and such failures, right? Surely, no tribe with leaders like these is sure to last.
While I recognize that the title seems hyperbolic, I aim to make the case that the Obama administration runs the most anti-life, and pro-death, government that the United States has ever had. I think the government’s last three-plus years, have given rise to the most lackadaisical support of life, we have ever seen. Many times, over and over again, we have seen the president and his sycophants either endorse death, or attempt to excuse away the death of others, both innocents and people who have lost their lives as a direct result of the administration’s policies.
One of the most flagrant disregards for the ultimate sacrifice of others, was the slap in the face delivered to some fallen soldiers’ families. As Commander-in-Chief, and the person who has the ultimate say on military matters, one might think that having a soldier under your command lose their life, one of the very least things you could do would be sign a condolence letter to the soldiers’ families. Not Obama. He has repeatedly been shown to use an auto-pen for form letters of condolence to soldiers’ families.
Obama has also authorized, and carried out, the assassination of an American citizen by drone. Granted, the assassinated had aided and abetted terrorists, but he was still an American citizen, with the supposed rights of a trial by his peers, and due process. Whether or not Obama actually felt bound by these rights, seemed not to matter – he sent the drones anyway, and gave the go ahead to kill, without trial. A step, with which even Salon, taken aback, actually said was a “…step beyond where even George Bush would go”.
Should I bring up the “Fast & Furious” scandal, which the administration is still hoping will somehow, just, go away? Giving his testimony before Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder, bluntly refused to apologize to or to even acknowledge, slain border agent, Brian Terry’s family. As he sat before the House Judiciary Committee, wriggling and struggling for words that would somehow allow him to tell the truth, and avoid any blame, Holder was given an opportunity to provide documents and evidence to the Committee, which it had requested for months, and he repeatedly offered nothing. Even though memos and other documents implicated Holder and his lieutenants in the scandal, instead of finally taking responsibility for the thousands of Mexican deaths and the death of Brian Terry – Holder merely offered excuses.
Sidenote: Holder’s testimony was in the late Spring of 2012, and as of late Summer 2012, there still has not been an apology or acknowledgment of responsibility over the failed gun running operation.
We were witness to one of the most recent, and telling examples of this seeming pre-occupation with death, at the Democratic National Convention. A party platform that relished the thought and promise of widespread, and easy, on-demand abortion was center-stage. While some pundits tried to defend this with the thought that, “Well, the democrats have no record to run on, and the economy is atrocious - let the Democrats turn to social issues…” And so, from all the social issues that the Democrats could have turned to, and supported – from the poor, the homeless, bettering care for returning veterans – the Democrats turned to the snuffing out of lives to build their platform. A spokeswoman from NARAL (Nancy Keenan), Planned Parenthood, and the infamous Sandra Fluke, were only a few of the participants at the DNC, proud to trot out the “right to” abortion, masquerading as a human-right. Maybe we should have expected this when a president who supported infanticide won the last election?
Finally, in the newest flirtation in the left’s macabre and twisted relationship with death, awareness was given to the administration of a threat against embassies and consulates in the Middle East. Approaching the anniversary of September 11th, and with warning of Muslim backlash against a movie about their Prophet – despite as long as a 48-hour window of warning – the Obama Administration did nothing. Rumors of unarmed and massively under-gunned security at the American facilities fell on deaf ears, and led to the deaths of an ambassador (and his body’s subsequent desecration) and deaths of numerous other personnel. Despite the raising of an Arabic-language flag, espousing the aims of the Muslim Brotherhood, over an American embassy in Egypt, and the taking down, ripping apart, and burning of the Stars and Stripes, the administration still insists on continued billions of dollars in aid to the Egyptian government. Obama has issued an apology to anyone upset by Americans exercising their right to free speech, and the American media, still in love with the Obama administration, sought to excoriate Mitt Romney for issuing a presidential statement that Obama would not, or could not, bring himself to issue. A muted response has been the administration’s reaction to spreading violence and breeches at other embassies and consulates. In Libya, the post where murdered ambassador Chris Stevens lost his life, Obama has dispatched the Marines – 50 of them…This, as news sources report an angry crowd of hundreds threatening the American embassy in Yemen, and as warnings go out to other embassies to remain on guard.
So, what should we make of all this? Ordering an executive “hit” on an American citizen, an attempt to excuse away a federal agent’s death without taking any responsibility, a platform leaning heavily on abortion for support, and a very weak response to deaths of State Department personnel – it all points, to this author, to an administration that simply does not value life. This administration seems to use, squelch, or squander lives for whatever purpose, then toss them aside with their roles fulfilled. Life is nothing more than a means to achieve any number of ends. Use it for political gain, use it for votes, use it to send a message to our friends (or our enemies) – it does not really matter what the aim is, because there will always be more life to continuously throw at the problems. It is all so macabre and counter to everything we as Americans value, isn’t it? History books and our teachers tell us American men and women fought noble wars, and freed people from oppressive regimes, so that they could follow their own destinies and achieve what they could. Freed people from oppressive regimes, would no longer would have to worry that their lives would be used up or wasted by regimes who wanted the oppressed people’s’ blood and sweat for their own greedy and destructive purposes. Risking American lives, and losing so many, was ultimately worth it, so that others might enjoy the sanctity of life and personal freedoms that we Americans held in such high esteem. Now, it seems like such a sad day to see so much blood and destruction being wastefully used, for so little to show for it.
Yesterday’s monumental wins by Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch are still being celebrated today by the right, and bitterly bemoaned by the left. As the left put their faith in exit polls shared by media sources MSNBC and others, the races looked like they would be fairly close. Despite the president’s reluctance to show his support for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (until an 11th hour tweet), maybe it was somehow possible Barrett still had a good chance to keep the race close. As it turns out, the race was not really that close at all, and for all their spending, democrats were left with a big bag of nothing, going 0-2 in the recall races.
As an analytical guy, I think that there are some very strong, very significant, takeaways from this special recall election.
- The Wisconsin voters did not buy the rhetoric that having public employees pay a fraction of their own insurance costs would somehow put them into the poor house. The voters, who typically pay more for their own insurance, and had to then pay a lion’s share of public sector employees’ costs had enough. After the past few years of burgeoning governments, and massive spending by both state and federal governments, voters let their votes speak for them: enough is enough. The left would be careful not to neglect the message that progressive policies, and its empty rhetoric, is now at an all-time nadir.
- Despite media sources’ best efforts to sell the president as a friendly every man, and someone who’s infinitely more capable than his administration and his track record shows, he has still only has lukewarm support among some big names, even on the left. The biggest story of this election is the revelation that Bill Clinton, patron saint of democrats, still has a distaste for Obama. In the last presidential election, against Hilary, a shocked Bill Clinton revealed that the Obama campaign “played the race card on me…and they planned to do it all along.” Is it the result of two massive cults of personality, butting heads? The result of the greatest contemporary democratic president (Clinton) and the man who’s billed as the greatest democratic president (Obama)?
- We also learned that state democrats and other Barrett supporters were angry at the Democratic National Committee for not spending any funds against Walker and Kleefisch, but that the DNC helped in other ways. I wonder if the “extensive resources” mentioned in the Kos article is in any way tied to the out-of-state buses taking people to polling places? Could this be a result of the national DNC attempting to save and pool money for the lackluster Obama campaign throughout this summer and fall? Might the national elections this fall mirror these attempts to unfairly sway elections, but on a much, much larger scale?
- Lastly, the distinct lack of enthusiasm on the left may continue to spread as college graduates struggle to find jobs where there are none, and high school students, who will generally do odds jobs or other minimum wage work, see those jobs evaporate as over-qualified adults take the positions. The distinct lack of job creation, coupled with an influx of new workers, added to a stagnant economy overall, does not bode well for Obama’s re-election hopes. As he admitted himself, if he could not turn around the economy, he would be a one-term president.
I was recently reading a book by British author, economist, and historian, Niall Ferguson, called “Colossus“, where he compared the British Empire to the American pseudo-empire. Ferguson made it very clear that the American version was far differing in its outcomes than the British, which had numerous factors working in its favor. One of the most glaring differences was that British citizens were far more willing to move to colonies and conquered areas, both to build and develop a British-style administration and to improve infrastructure over decades, where American citizens would rather simply stay put.
There were a number of factors Ferguson cited, in a list by historian David Landes, that are tactics that second- and third-world countries’ economies and legal systems should use to improve and grow. Upon reading this list, I grew dumbfounded as many of the things enumerated within that list, are the polar opposite of the policies of President Obama and his administration, in the last three years in the United States. Instead of moving “Forward” (if you will forgive the use of the already hackneyed campaign slogan of Obama’s), the president acts in ways that are completely contrary to common sense and pro-American beliefs. I post the list below (also posted in one of Ferguson’s previous works, “Empire“) along with my thoughts as I read the tactics:
1. secure rights of private property, the better to encourage saving and investment
This item put me in mind of the egregious Gibson guitar raids in the summer of 2011. Secure rights of private property? Hardly – the U.S. government twice raided the Gibson factory, citing a law from 1900 (more commonly known as the Lacey Act, found here with amended text), that was originally written to protect the trade of feathers for hats. Amended and broadened in 2008, the law now includes plants. Despite legal sales, approved by Indian and Malagasy authorities, the U.S. Feds raided and seized Gibson wood stocks anyway.
2. secure rights of personal liberty...against both the abuses of tyranny and...crime and corruption
Can we honestly say the administration has done this? My mind goes to the loss of Brian Terry’s life, as a result of the “Fast & Furious” scandal, a flawed, illegal, haphazardly executed gun selling operation. Refusing to apologize to Terry’s family, A.G. Holder still balks at producing the papers Congress is requesting from his D.O.J. Another example that is also connected to this program, is the ongoing scuttlebutt that the program’s design was to negatively effect the power of the 2nd Amendment.
3. enforce rights of contract;
I do not feel like there is much more to say than bringing up the government take over of the student loan program, and its take over of healthcare in the country. The government came in, and while promising one thing, delivered everything but.
4. provide stable government...governed by publicly known rules;
Have we seen a good example of this from Democrats? Between their “deemed to have passed” legislation, and a completely “tabled” Senate (also led by Harry Reid and Democrats) – can we honestly call this a “stable government”? With state Congresses fleeing the states to prevent votes on hotly contested legislation, who needs rules and stability? There are plenty of easily understood rules, but if the people in charge choose to ignore them, what do we have?
5. provide responsible government;
Responsible government? Again, I’d like to bring up “Fast & Furious”. Eric Holder continues to serve as Attorney General, and the threat of contempt of Congress does not seem to phase him. Another thought is the numerous, unanswerable czars of the president’s and the regulatory agencies (think: E.P.A.) that are using their power (with little, if any) oversight and accountability.
6. provide honest government...[with] no rents to favour and position;
How could I not think of the Solyndra mess? Loaning millions of dollars to the business, only to saw it wasted, as the company blew through it, at its (well-known and purposely overlooked) high burn-rate, and where it was later revealed that a big investor was George Kaiser, one of President Obama’s campaign bundlers. As far as no favor to position – how about the benefit of being a Congressional member? Access to a legal way to get in on nearly impossible-to-join IPOs and investments, that normal Americans were held out of?
7. provide moderate, efficient, ungreedy government...to hold taxes down [and] reduce the government's claim on the social surplus
While the cry of the left is ”Well, Bush did it too!”, when they defend Obama’s questionable actions, whatever Bush may have done does not hold a candle to the extent of Obama’s odious actions. Obama has expanded the deficit more than any other president in history. How would he and his party seek to pay for their bills? Taxes, of course. Create some new ones, and expand the old ones – simply tax, tax, tax, then they can spend, spend, spend. The administration raided Medicare Advantage funds to help pay for Obamacare (to the tune of $204 billion).
So, if the list contains directions for a well-maintained and least troublesome government, why would the president do anything otherwise? If I were a cynic, I might offer Rahm Emmanuel’s quip, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Create a crisis, and then ride in to save the day. The only problem is that there are far too many crises, and too many unaccountable people, following their own rules, in Washington.
In a total surprise of yet more media slant, early this week, a Politico blogger by the name Maggie Haberman (@maggiepolitico on Twitter), decided to run background checks on a gentleman featured in a Mitt Romney campaign ad! That is correct – the man was not a money donor or bundler, he merely appeared in an ad. That is the only tie he seems to have to Romney. While some people may think, so what, the guy agreed to appear in the ad, so he gets the fame with the fallout, right? The issue I have is that now instead of trying to show the candidates’ ethics and morality guided by their long-term associations with unrepentant domestic terrorists, that they actually cultivated into close friendships (think Bill Ayers and Barack Obama), the left now the left sees a new tactic to use against candidates.
The left has never seemed to have any ethical hangups about jumping into the business of personal destruction, and the past few years have shown us a couple of good examples. With the aforementioned case with Politico, the “journalist” seemed to relish in the fact the man had a criminal history. The man paid his debt to society and had been a good, law-abiding citizen since the events, but the left saw him tied to Mitt Romney, and so, the man was a fair target for the snarling left’s destruction machine.
This all comes after revelation that the White House’s “Truth Team” shared information on eight donators to the Romney campaign. The men all seemed to have little else in common than donating to the campaign. But, as mentioned before, they showed themselves allied with Romney, and rather than tackle Romney’s message or even dispute their own shortcomings, the left tries to intimidate those who would participate in the democratic process. Is this just another sign that the Obama campaign is in an un-savable nose-dive? The left cannot see the revulsion people feel, seeing under-handed acts like this?
This type of targeting is not the first time the left combed through a private citizen’s past, either. In 2008, Joe Wurzelbacher asked then candidate, Barack Obama, if he believed people were entitled to the fruits of their labor. One embarrassing reply from the candidate later, and the Head of Ohio’s Department of Jobs and Family Services authorized an improper search of Wurzelbacher’s history of unemployment records and child support records. Helen E. Jones-Kelley earned a suspension as a result of the inappropriate inquiries. She was also later reprimanded for using her state email address to solicit donations for the Obama presidential campaign. A Toledo Police Department computer account had also been used to complete a search of Wurzelbacher’s driving history – an action which triggered another investigation.
The governor of the state of Ohio at the time was a Democrat – Ted Strickland, and Toledo is a liberal bastion, presently in Democrat Marcy Kaptur’s Congressional district. I am not saying that the left is the sole monopolizer of this type of destructive dredging up of past misdeeds, presently paid for, but – if the right had done this – the likes of MSNBC and Politico would be going apoplectic trying to “report’ on it. Perhaps instead of running background checks on political opponents and their supporters, Democrats could put those skills to better use vetting their own candidates – then perhaps the nation would not be able to laugh at their choices, like Kwame Kilpatrick, Gary Hart, and Eliot Spitzer.
…then become a progressive Democrat. It is such a simple solution to the trying problems of our times. Imagine being able to revert to a near-childhood state of mind, and a juvenile sense of responsibility! Oh, if only we could – but, those mean old Republicans, with their responsibility, and reality…Darn those buzzkills!
Having a shrinking ability to determine reality from fantasy, the progressive movement has made the most of its past few years in positions of power in the United States government. From the time Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid ran rough-shod over the country in the U.S. Congress, along with Barack Obama’s continuing “leadership”, to the on-going fantastical, fanatical stories reported in the mainstream media, there has not been a story that they have not tried to spin wildly to their own benefits. Even when the progressive politicians have sought to relay a legitimate story, or seemingly valid concern, they seem to be guilty of sins of omission or finger pointing. I am honestly beginning to wonder if progressives either cannot deal with the truth, or if we have reached a point where they are now simply refusing to deal with the truth.
In just the last few years, we have seen a “surprise” healthcare bill. Liberals passed it through various tricks and legislative maneuvers. Giddy with the outcome, Nancy Pelosi, admitted she herself did not know exactly what the bill contained, and that we would find out soon enough. In short order, Americans everywhere tore through the legislation, and found the many problems and sketchy funding mechanisms employed within. The best things that have come from the entire mess are; the humongous amount of political capital wasted by Congressional Democrats and Obama, and how many seats that they lost in the 2010 election, and last, but certainly not least – the creation of a reinvigorated American political force – the Tea Party.
In just the last few months, we have seen a woman, paraded in front of cameras for a hearing in Washington, to gin up support for women’s healthcare. After faulting her Catholic University (Georgetown) for not covering her prophylactics, the mainstream media changed to try to claim she wanted other woman’s reproductive issues and medications covered (despite her repeated testimony referring to “birth control”). More details came out, and it was revealed that she was not the poor, struggling college student that she was billed as by the media, but was in fact, a 30 year old law student, with a long history of activism. Progressives looking for some sympathy, were forced to change their narratives.
In just the last few weeks, we have seen a young man, now in hiding, due to threats on his life, and another associated young man having lost his life. People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were quick to arrive on the scene, and point toward what they were positive were the problems with the case – racist, shoddy police work, and a sociopathic, racist killer. The first stories from the media were that the white man (George Zimmerman) killed the other young man (Trayvon Martin) simply because he was black. They would have us believe it was a simply cut-and-dried case of racism rearing its ugly head. Except, again, the media got it horribly wrong. The white man was actually a Hispanic, and he may have been defending himself – not seeking a certain target to murder, based solely on their race. To try and keep the manufactured narrative alive a little longer, we have seen in the past few days, the explanation that Trayvon may have lost his life because he wore a hoodie, and a Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson explained Trayvon was “executed for WWB in a GC”. Slowly but surely, progressives seeking to cash in on the tragedy are being forced again, to change their narratives.
We have seen GOP legislators chased out of their offices by both their own party, as well as by an opposition, who smelled blood in the water, and thought they could make some political points from the mess – capturing a “soft” seat, or illustrating how terrible the other party is. Not having to follow a pesky code of conduct or code of honor, or not holding many ethical considerations, and barely meeting any legal requirements, must be a very freeing life for progressives. Having media that seeks to exonerate you, rather than hold you responsible for anything you have done, must be nice too.
So, beginning with a CBS, 60 Minutes exposé this past Sunday evening, politicians began scrambling to attempt to explain their habit of using inside information to make themselves rich. So far, the biggest names involved are: former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, Senator Diane Feinstein, current Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and Representative Spencer Bachus. While the posts held by Pelosi and Emmanuel seem to lend the most leverage to playing the market unfairly, Bachus finds himself being held accountable by his own party. His seeming lack of knowledge of the stock market evaporated after he joined the House of Representatives.
Got a hot tip on how a new law’s fine print may affect a company, or how companies may benefit from pending legislation? Call your broker. While you are a member of the U.S. Congress, unbelievably, there is no rule against profiting. CBS.com notes, “Out of 975 federal entities, Congress and the Supreme Court are the only two that have no rules or laws prohibiting them from trading securities based on nonpublic information.” Things that have gotten traders on Wall Street hauled into jail, mean nothing to legislators in the United States. Raj Rajaratnam must be banging his head on his desk, knowing that he could have beat his insider trading case, if only he had run and won a Congressional seat first. For his efforts, Rajaratnam is estimated to have made somewhere around $19.7 million.
The massive amount of backlash against these practices has lead to Rick Perry producing a new advertisement saying legislators guilty of these practices should be thrown into jail. Senators Scott Brown(R-MA) and Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced legislation to prevent Congressman from partaking of the money-making activities. The “Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge” or STOCK Act of 2011, will be introduced today. It bars not only legislative members from profiting on their inside knowledge, but executive employees as well. That would apply to the former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, who made a bundle dumping Fannie Mae stock before the agency crashed and burned during the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
It is far from a partisan issue – everybody, it seems, is taking advantage of the inside info. Spencer Bachus is said to have shorted the market in 2008, just as the entire market fall hard. Andrew Breitbart has both lead the charge, calling for Bachus’ resignation, and closely monitored ongoing information about all the indicated, enriched legislators. Senator Feinstein invested $1 million in a biotech start-up, shortly before the company received a $24 million government grant. The following year, the company held an IPO where they netted $85 million.
Even putting stocks into a blind trust may not be enough of a bulwark against trading on privileged information – all a legislator would have to do is call up the holder of the securities, and tip-toe around subject matter that would affect the portfolio. A sort of “wink-wink, nudge-nudge”, buy or sell signal. Plausible deniability would be the order of the day. In the past, there has been legislation introduced in the House of Representatives attempting to ban Congressional insider trading. It never received more than 14 supporters.
As Occupy Wall Street camps into its second month as a movement, various special interests still seek to pre-empt and quiet the movement. As I mentioned in a previous post, for this movement to have any real shot at creating a change, it should develop and stick to a singular, easily relayed, and cogent message. Another measure necessary to ensure that once a message was adopted, that outside influences would not attach their own concerns to the movement. For anyone who has been watching and kept up with the movement, you should realize by now that both of these fatal actions have taken place.
While conservative and other GOP-members seem to be either disgusted or confused by the protests, I cannot recall any of them whole-heartedly embracing the protests. It is interesting to see them identify with some of the concerns of the protesters though: bailouts were a terrible idea (and that the market should have healed itself), that the politician-bosses of some of these Fortune 500 financial companies do not need a “Golden Parachute” for running their companies into the ground, and to a far lesser extent for the protesters, that the politicians themselves need voted out of office.
Democrats, for their parts, seem to have completely embraced the protests, and started to do so from early in its development. This has led to an embarrassing tendency for the democrats’ support be marred by violence, flagrant drug use, and ties to less than savory agencies and personalities. Even with such dangerous and damaging behaviors, I cannot recall any democrats withdrawing their support, and so, they continue tacitly to approve of the dangerous conduct. This week, it was revealed that a dis-honorably discharged, neo-Nazi, illegally (because of felony convictions) carrying an AR-15 rifle was providing security for the Occupy Phoenix movement. In the case of Tea Party members, who were observed legally openly carrying sidearms, the left and media could not decry it quickly enough.
The left in this country seems to feel as though the movement is a sort of completely grassroots, organic, entity, being driven by concerns of worried young people. This, despite so much evidence to the contrary. Large media companies (Adbusters) and SEIU and ACORN-leftovers have been identified as lending support, both legal and monetary. The pre-emption may not be complete yet, but it appears as though it is too late to save it from special interests, intent on horning in. The same things that drove the Tea Party to become such a success (a firm commitment to message, observing policies of places that they protested, and respectful protest) are the same things that now fatally doom the Occupy Movement.
Despite so much media coverage given to try and gin more support for the Occupy Movement, the fewer, but far more powerful images and stories of illegalities occurring are destructive. Democrats intent on quickly offering uncritical support for selfish reasons are going to be tied to the worst events. It seems almost karmic – using a disenfranchised group of people to gain oneself credibility or support is disgusting. Instead of trying to fix problems, like tackling rampant unemployment, the left embraces tactics like re-writing laws and rules to gather support, and actually demonizing the stalling and blocking of worthless, damaging legislation. The left’s tactics are like giving breadcrumbs to Americans, and expecting them to unquestioningly follow you for your efforts — never mind that the re-written rules will be far more damaging to more Americans than they help. Hey, it sets up the next opportunity for the left to swoop in, and “save the day” again. They really are “Our Worst of Society”.
Way back during the last presidential election season, the country was sold an idealistic, Utopian vision. It would usher in a new age, where the government would be truly responsible to the people, and that same government would be seen as the most open and transparent than any we have ever seen before. The new incoming government would end bureaucratic language and simply legislation to make it understandable and easily understood by the average American. If we only had a crystal ball, eh?
The promise of transparency was that legislation and administration policies would have no hidden agendas, little “fine print”, and would be straightforward. With the induction of President Obama to the Oval Office, both Robert Gibbs and Jay Carney have shown the transparency to be little more than a talking point. It has clearly fallen by the wayside as it appears Washington and its political animals are back to business as usual. Both Gibbs and Carney have had their shares of contentious moments with the White House Press Corps, trading barbs infrequently with Ed Rollins, Major Garrett, and Jake Tapper – who, to their credit, did not allow the Press Secretaries much wiggle room.
The reality of the transparency promise seems to fall far short of the rhetoric, however. The ongoing Obamacare fiasco, passed with a promise of “We have to pass it to see what is in it”, by a smiling, seemingly bemused, Nancy Pelosi is one of the sorest examples of this presidency’s opaque-transparency. After some 1,400 waivers to various groups and even states (benefiting over three million people), the administration finally said that no more waivers were to be granted. If you do not remember hearing this – it is little wonder, as the administration released that information on a Friday. While the waiver-list is easily accessible online, it does seem to be top-heavy with groups and business owners who are cozy with the administration. Is this honest? Is this how the legislative process is supposed to operate? I suppose if one looks past the flagrant waivers, and the irresponsible method the bill flew through Congress, one could smile and try to call it honest. I say the thing stinks to high heaven.
Another measure of transparency in my mind, is the personnel, and types of personnel that the administration has seen fit to employ to work on policy issues. It appears to be a cavalcade of incompetence, special interest leaders, and yes-men. An example is the avowed communist, Van Jones. With the minimal vetting the press did before he joined the administration, it is little wonder that he seemed so extreme once people did start digging into his background. When news of the former “Green Czar’s” ties to a Marxist group and a 9/11 truth group (911Truth.org), he was forced to resign, bemoaning the “smear campaign” and “lies and distortion” used against him. If the allegations were untrue, why hasn’t he sued for slander or libel, or tried to refute them?
Finally, the most appalling lack of transparency (and ultimately, a massive cover-up) is the one that threatens to embroil the entire Department of Justice. “Operation Fast & Furious” was based on an awful plan to provide guns, bought with taxpayer money, to Mexican cartel members. Someone thought this was a simply brilliant idea. Run out of the Phoenix office of the ATF Bureau, its paper trail seems to easily run clear back to Washington D.C., and it has plenty of people involved. Both Lanny Breuer and Eric Holder are listed as recipients of emails detailing the extent and development of the program. Darrell Issa, Chair of the House Oversight Committee, has sought to obtain documents and emails regarding the “Fast & Furious Program”. What he was sent consisted of heavily redacted pages of solid black. Transparency, indeed.
As I sit here, somewhat stuck for a reason to write a post this week, and bemoan the fact our “leaders” in Washington D.C. act so completely inept, I heard an update on the administration’s plan to release an additional $5.5 billion by this time tomorrow, to “green” companies (H/T CNBC). This, despite the previous fiasco with California solar panel manufacturer, Solyndra. The administration continues to spend massive amounts of taxpayer capital as what amounts to venture capital. Of course, as more detail comes out on how the deals and loan rearrangements for Solyndra were handled, it has become apparent that venture capitalists would not have been so careless with funds that were their own. This continued path of carelessness and ineptitude has this blogger wondering – is this administration really that clueless, that they would double down over again on failed policy, not realizing what was happening, all the while building a case for their naysayers to claim there was crony capitalism at play? Or, more frighteningly, the administration does know what is going on, yet does not care?
Examples of Missing Leadership?
Examples of the missing leadership of this administration grow by the day. In my mind, the first failure was failure to seize on the groundswell of the “Green Revolution” in Iran – the president waited and waited. Given the best opportunity the United States has had in some 30 years to press for Iranian regime change, and our president does nothing. The president waited so long to even issue a statement for the Egyptian uprising, that when he did, it amounted to little more than lip service. He refuses to reconsider any of his failed policies, and seems to want to double down on most. He is the poorest example of “out of sight, out of mind” we have ever seen in the Oval Office.
He finally decided to commit NATO aircraft to the Libyan cause after Gaddafi threatened to blow up Tripoli and resist any threat to his despotic regime. While this seems like the president has finally made a tough decision to commit military power where he thought it was needed, in doing so, it resulted in two serious consequences: he broke the War Powers Act, having not gotten Congressional approval for the military action. Another, very serious problem, is that some 20,000 missiles may be missing from Libyan stockpiles. These missiles are the ground-to-air variety, that can be used to bring down passenger aircraft by terrorists, or perhaps even converted for use as IEDs in other theaters.
As a result of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms’ “Operation Fast & Furious”, one Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was gunned down in Mexico, and a United States Border Agent was gunned down in Arizona. The brilliant idea behind the plan was to arm Mexican drug and gun smugglers, and then somehow track those guns via serial number. As of today, the only actions taken against the implicated parties in the administration have been some resignations, and reshuffling of the same personnel responsible for this plan. When Congress (Darrell Issa) tried to obtain documents to investigate the scandal, they were redacted to the point of appearing like a piece of black construction paper.
Finally, the president continually touted the benefits of green technologies, and how it would build the future, and raise us out of the economic downturn we are in. After being closely connected to the principal private investor of Solyndra, and even holding a press conference at the factory, he has high-tailed it away from ties to the company. Perhaps even more telling, is that he has now chosen a completely different tack, and is touting petroleum and chemical based solutions – that is, paving new roads (with asphalt and tars, of course), and rebuilding bridges (with various weatherproofing chemicals/paints).
With all this occurring, the president now attacks his own base – “Take your slippers off…put your boots on…”, and for their part, they attacked him back (Maxine Waters said she did not know who he was talking to). It seems like the left is bordering on mutiny, and it’s little surprise to me. After all, they have been without a leader of any sort for nearly three years now…