The Press Endures Obama’s Unrequited Love





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Some years ago, Bernard Goldberg wrote a book, “A Slobbering Love Affair With Obama”, about the way the press treated his 2007-2008 campaign and election as President. The mainstream press continues to protect Obama, often rather blatantly. The curious thing about this is that it is not reciprocated. More and more, the press acts and sounds like an abused wife.

A case in point is the way the networks-ABC, NBC, and CBS-covered the government shutdown. A new report from the Media Research Center analyzed the coverage, finding 41 stories that blamed the Republican Party and zero-none-that blamed the Democrats. There were 17 stories that blamed both sides. Recall, please, that the shutdown continued because the President refused to negotiate, and the Democrat-controlled Senate refused to vote on any bills sent over from the House.

A recent, glaring example of how some of today’s journalists have debased their profession was the decision by Paul Thornton, editor of The Los Angeles Times letter’s section, to openly refuse to publish any letters from skeptics about the global warming hoax that blames “climate change” on human activity, not the Sun, oceans, and other natural factors.

The cover of the September/October edition of The Quill, the membership magazine of the 8.000-member Society of Professional Journalists, featured an article by Kara Hackett, “There Goes the Sun”, referring to the metaphorical sunlight that is supposed to shine on government activities. The subtitle said, “President Obama has had successes and failures in changing the way Washington works. When it comes to his transparency promises, there’s not much to cheer. His 2008 campaign talked the talk, but nine months into his second term, where’s the walk?”

Journalists pride themselves for being on the cutting edge of events and trends, but they have been slow to realize or to admit that they have been instrumental in electing a pathological liar to the highest office in the land. “Now, after a turbulent start to Obama’s second term in office, his administration’s 2009 promise to be ‘the most open and transparent in history’ is another liability,” lamented Hackett.

Another liability…like an Obamacare from which Congress is exempt, the Benghazi attack last year, the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, the revelations about the National Security Agency, and the fact that the IRS no longer can be trusted with your private and personal information? And that’s the short list.

The Quill devoted six pages to Hackett’s article as she carefully detailed the many measures that seemed to offer a new era in openness. Many reporters chafed at difficulties they encountered during George W. Bush’s two terms, but the hostility to Bush 43 was no secret. All administrations are reluctant to share information that might not make them look good. This is a description of the adversarial relationship that has existed since the days of George Washington.

The complaints are old and common, so Obama’s 2009 instruction to agencies and departments to “adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure” when responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) inquiries was music to their ears. In December 2009, the White House issued an Open Government Directive, “ordering agencies to publish at least three high-value data sets on Data.gov and create an open government Web page to update citizens about its progress.”

Like the proverbial frog in a pot of water being slowly brought to a boil, it took reporters a while to get beyond the glow emanating from the administration’s directives to the reality of dealing with government agencies and departments.

New York Times reporter Sarah Cohen is quoted as saying that the “information agencies provide is often an extension of their public relations arms to help them enlist support rather than to help the public understand what is really going on.” Well, duh!

What was going on was a variety of government policies that turned out to be duds. A case in point was the billions in loans to “clean energy” companies that frequently declared bankruptcy before the first term ended. Another was the “stimulus.”

More blatant was the way the administration twisted arms and offered bribes to some members of Congress to get the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) enacted. Not one Republican voted for it, so they needed every Democrat vote.

Virtually every promise Obama made about the bill has turned out to be a lie.

Within the press community, groups devoted to more open government began to take notice, from the Open the Government Coalition to the National Freedom of Information Coalition, Investigative Reporters and Editors, to the Project on Government Oversight.

The Obama administration became obsessed with secrecy to identify and prosecute “whistleblowers.”

Hackett noted that “The Obama administration has used the Espionage Act of 1917 seven times, more than all previous presidents combined, to prosecute federal employees who expose government waste, fraud and abuse”, adding that “These are the same employees the president once pledged to support.”

Even after signing the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act in November 2012, the administrative created a loophole big enough to drive a tank through. Hackett interviewed Jesselyn Radack, the national security and human rights director for the Government Accountability Project, who noted that “whistleblowers who go through the internal channels to report wrongdoing used to suffer workplace reprisals. But now, under Obama, they’re facing the rest of their lives in prison.”

When the Justice Department subpoenaed 21 Associated Press phone lines and accused Fox News reporter James Rosen of being a possible “co-conspirator” in a leak investigation, it was impossible for the press to ignore the thuggish efforts of the administration to shut down any “leaks” in a way that put a big chill on relations between contacts within the administration and reporters.

A recent report by The Committee to Protect Journalists on “The Obama Administration and the Press Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America” spelled out the assault on U.S. and foreign journalists, saying that “the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press.”

What this means is that the Obama administration has a lot to hide; and the front line of defense against its machinations, the press, continues to protect it despite having become a target for oppression. You’re next.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

This piece appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission. 

 

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Seven Days In Hell With John Boehner

Obama Boehner Meetings Unproductive SC Seven Days in Hell With John Boehner

The next seven days will likely be the most difficult of the 113th Congress. You see, before the new fiscal year starts on October 1, the behemoth that is the U.S. government needs money so that its agencies can operate.

Congress’ most significant purpose is to prepare the annual budget. But as the government has exploded in size and complexity, it’s become increasingly difficult to manage. And, in fact, much of the government isn’t managed at all… It lives on because of inertia.

As a result of the increasing complexity, Congress has thrown all of the appropriations bills into a big pot called the Continuing Resolution (CR). The CR is so big that nobody reads it. Instead, members are briefed by their staff and told whether anything controversial is included.

This year, the opponents of Obamacare have amended the CR to prohibit any funds from being spent on the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. This has the leadership that jammed Obamacare through Congress – Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Harry Reid – in an uproar.

Since the CR has been passed by the House of Representatives, it now must go to the U.S. Senate for a vote. Majority Leader Reid has declared the bill “DOA,” or Dead on Arrival. Obama added that even if it passes the Senate, he won’t sign it.

In the next seven days, this very significant disagreement must be resolved, or the government shuts down. If it shuts down, the financial markets react badly, confidence in the United States erodes, and the economy (which is already struggling) will likely take a renewed downturn.

Or so common wisdom from the mainstream media tells us. But I don’t buy it.

The problem is that John Boehner does. He’s preparing to cave. Let me explain why this is bad for America.

Can Boehner Stand Up to Obama?

Since the financial crisis of 2008, monetary policy has been easy.  In normal times, easy money gooses bank lending and leads to a recovery. But in 2009, something very damaging happened that stalled the recovery in its tracks…the inauguration of Barack Obama and the election of a far left, anti-business Congress led by Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid.

The confluence of these two historic occurrences gave us two years of power grabs and a legacy of terrible legislation that’s an immense drag on economic recovery. First, there was the $800 billion stimulus bill. The bill borrowed 100% of the money and spent it on crony capitalism, grants to left-leaning institutions, and big government growth.

Next, the banks and financial firms were socked in the gut by the Dodd-Frank bill. It allowed the “too big to fail” banks to continue their bad behavior, and it also over-regulated them so they couldn’t even misbehave well. Our banks will likely never start lending again until they’re cut down to size and then given freedom to die. Free enterprise only works when management that fails goes out of business.

After these two major mistakes, Obamacare was forced down the throat of the country; and we’ve been captured in the Obama malaise (or the twilight zone) ever since. On top of all this are business-killing regulations from the EPA, Labor Department, and Energy Department that are the icing on the cake of this current disaster.

America reacted to the Pelosi, Reid, and Obama triumvirate by throwing Pelosi out of the Speaker’s job and replacing her with John Boehner. But since the change happened, Boehner has been reticent to fight.

So here we stand at a crossroads of history. Will America adopt the socialism of Obama? Or will we move back toward the free enterprise of Ronald Reagan? This is a historic week. It’s an inflection point in history.

History is never easy. John Boehner is going to experience hell. But he has a caucus that backs getting rid of Obamacare; and if he stands like “Horatio at the Bridge,” he can defund and end Obamacare. But to do it, he’ll need to shut down government. He’ll need the Obama constituencies to feel the pain of losing their money. Once they feel the pain, Obama will relent and come to the table to compromise.

Currently, Obama says, “I won’t negotiate.” Well, democracy is all about negotiating. He’ll need to quit throwing tantrums and engage his opponents in the House of Representatives. In the end, history will judge if John Boehner is enough of a man to force Obama’s hand.

 

This commentary originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

 

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America’s Way Back: Reclaiming Freedom, Tradition, And Constitution

congress hall house of reps 5x7 300x235 America’s Way Back: Reclaiming Freedom, Tradition, and Constitution

Book Review

When I first heard Dr. Don Devine speak at a seminar for undergraduate students some decades ago, he was explaining the tremendous influence of British philosopher John Locke on the Framers of the U. S. Constitution. In his intellectual yet highly readable opus, America’s Way Back, Dr. Devine argues for a new framework for the nation, and especially political conservatives, to recapture the ideals of those Framers and to redirect our national government. And yes, he draws on the wisdom of Locke and Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Jefferson, Adams and Washington, as well as the other great minds that influenced them.
For too long an underappreciated intellectual, Don Devine is a bonafide son of New York. Born in the suburbs but raised mostly in Flatbush, he took his B. A. at St. John’s (then in Brooklyn), his M.A. at CUNY’s Brooklyn College, and his PhD at Syracuse University, then moving south after his education. During his career as a professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Don ran as an unsuccessful candidate for comptroller of the State of Maryland in 1978. He soon played an influential role in Ronald Reagan’s successful run for the White House in 1980, and the new President recognized Devine’s intellect and embrace of conservative principles. Reagan named Devine to be his first Director of the Office of Personnel Management, the top public administration job in the nation.
Devine did not disappoint as a top Reagan official. He advised President Reagan during the air traffic controllers’ illegal strike, and embarked on efforts to reform the civil service system that had stymied so many presidents and Federal administrators, to say nothing of the general public. Dr. Devine introduced and implemented a highly successful system of Merit Pay for Federal executives and managers, improving not only performance in the government workforce, but enhancing harmony within the ranks.
In America’s Way Back, Don Devine draws upon his first-hand knowledge of government’s failures and successes to lay out a plan for a leaner, more effective and democratically-based state. Not surprisingly, Devine’s goals for governmental structure are in line with the Framers, citing Locke, Madison and others that he rightly admires.
There are three primary themes that recur throughout Devine’s book:
First, that the political philosophy of “progressivism” has corrupted both major parties over the years. Dr. Devine points to Woodrow Wilson’s writings, where decades before his presidency, he argued for centralized “scientific” management of government by “experts” who need pay little heed to elections and the will of the people. Wilson, an admirer of Prussia’s centralized programs, including the first large national health insurance plan, complained that the “Federal government lacks strength because its powers are divided.”
As Devine eloquently counters, that is precisely the point. The authors of the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers and our U. S. Constitution were reacting to the centralized powers of a king by creating a government wherein the powers of one individual or faction would always be checked by another.
Still today, Dr. Devine says, too many Republicans join Democrats in supporting Federal bloat, expensive programs at odds with Constitutional intent, and creeping debt to be paid off by future generations.
Second, the author documents how overreach by the Federal government has not only been expensive, but that Federal programs and intervention have largely been counterproductive. One persuasive example developed by Devine relates to the response to economic depressions and recessions. Presidents Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt and Obama all opted for expensive “stimulus” programs, resulting in lots of spending, yet only more misery for the American people. In contrast, Presidents Harding and Reagan, in response to deep recessions, rejected stimulus schemes. In fact, they headed in the opposite direction, reducing taxes and excess regulation. The results: Harding’s policies led to the “Roaring Twenties,” while Reagan’s led to the greatest economic boom in world history.
Devine has plenty of such instructive analysis and anecdotes to bolster his points.
Third, the author argues for a renewed appreciation of “fusionism” as the philosophy to transport us to the responsive, limited, properly-ordered government we want and need.
To New Yorkers long used to a multi-party system, “fusionism” conjures up the old Fusion Party that helped to catapult Fiorello LaGuardia into City Hall, over the strenuous opposition of Tammany Hall. The Republican Party in Ohio was originally called the Fusion Party, in 1854. The term still suggests to New Yorkers that a candidate is endorsed by more than one party in a “fusion,” or marriage of interests.
But the national understanding of fusionism as a political philosophy calls up the Framers of the republic, who created a tension between the traditions of society and exigencies of government on the one hand, which were sometimes at odds with libertarian, checks-and-balances means of addressing problems and issues on the other. The 20th century’s notable proponents of fusionism included National Review’s William F. Buckley Jr. and fellow editor Frank S. Meyer, a one-time Communist who came to embrace the American cause. Devine’s book was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Meyer’s greatest work, the book In Defense of Freedom.
The libertarianism vs. traditionalism debate is as robust as ever in 2013. When it was revealed that the National Security Agency has been maintaining an immense catalogue of phone numbers called and e-mails sent, we saw libertarian US Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) oppose virtually all such surveillance as violative of individual freedom. Critical of Paul, however, was security-oriented Governor Chris Christie (R-New Jersey), who argued that muscular intelligence operations are needed to keep Americans safe in the post 9-11 world.
The debate hearkens back to the founding of the republic, and while fusionism is the effort to unite two major wings of the Republican Party, it’s worth noting that in a recent Congressional vote, significant numbers of Democrats voted with Republicans to support the NSA, while a different coalition of Democrats and Republicans opposed them, voting to stop perceived unreasonable surveillance.
The modern political leader who most successfully blended the libertarian and traditionalist wings of the Republican party into a cohesive governing coalition was Ronald Reagan. He campaigned and ran the government with the principles of one of his favorite economists, Nobel laureate Dr. Friedrich Hayek, in mind: “A successful free society will always in large measure be a tradition-bound society.” Adam Smith himself suggested that freedom and capitalism would flourish best in a virtuous, Christian (in his time) society.
Devine capsulizes the fusionist philosophy as “…a synthesis of traditional Western values and the need for individual human freedom to achieve them.”
Can “fusionism,” a concept know mostly to Constitutional scholars and “inside-baseball” debaters within the Republican party, capture large swaths of the American public and electorate, influencing or even winning upcoming elections? Devine challenges leaders reading his book to step up to make the case for more limited, less expensive, unobtrusive government.
This book is, indeed, for leaders. Readers will come upon terms like positivism, secular rationality, cosmological unity and others not covered in sophomore political science, or even in most graduate courses. But hang in there with Dr. Devine. You will learn about concepts your university should have introduced to you, only now via Devine’s graceful writing, incisive analysis, instructive anecdotes, and a plan to restore America’s greatness, with your assistance.
Herbert W. Stupp served in the Reagan, Bush 41, and Giuliani administrations.
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Video: Obama And Larry Summers Are Laughing All The Way To The Bank

Investigative journalist Greg Palast has uncovered a secret memo sent from Timothy Geithner to Larry Summers in 1997, which spelled out how the banksters would gut the world’s economy and lead to an eventual global meltdown.

No one saw the 2008 global meltdown coming, right? It was just a coincidence that Obama’s “economic team,” including Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, had a trillion dollar “Stimulus” bill already written and the financial apparatus already in place to “bail out” the so-called “too-big-to-fail” banks.

And if you believe that, I’ve got some swampland in Florida I’d like to sell you.

In 1997, Timothy Geithner was the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury working for his boss Larry Summers, then Deputy Secretary, soon to take the helm of the Treasury under Bill Clinton.

The secret memo—now referred to as the “End Game” memo because it begins with Geithner’s words “As we enter the end game…”—included the direct, private phone numbers of the world’s bankers, including billion dollar embezzler Jon Corzine, then head of Goldman Sachs, along with the heads of the other megabanks.

And what was to come? Figuring out how to create a derivatives market with unlimited returns.  By the year 2000, Geithner and Summers’ back room deals had grown the derivatives market from a few hundred billion to a a staggering $100 trillion, just for one of the megabanks.

How did the Geithner-Summers dream team go about gutting the world economy?

Two things: The first was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a Depression-era law forbidding financial institutions from engaging in both commercial banking and trading in securities. Glass-Steagall was replaced in 1999 by the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, signed by the bankster-in-chief at the time, Bill Clinton.

But that just took care of how to gut the United States of its money. Step two was figuring out how to also gut the world’s banks.  According to investigative journalist Greg Palast, the World Trade Organization, at the instigation of the Geithner-Summers dream team, rewrote the financial services agreements with the world’s banks to allow derivatives trading. Some nations, not wanting to destroy their economies with the toxic derivatives sold by the megabanks, weren’t so happy about this and fought back. The World Trade Organization (WTO)–like a mafia shakedown—forced the world’s banks to accept derivatives trading or face a worldwide embargo of their country’s exports. One by one, they all agreed to the shakedown.

Who was the face of the WTO shakedown? Timothy Geithner, who, in addition to his duties at the Treasury, became what was secretly called the “Ambassador to the World Trade Organization.” Geithner strong-armed a staggering 155 countries with membership in the the World Trade Organization to accept a global version of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act.

What is the derivatives market now worth? Hold on to your wallet: one thousand trillion dollars, all made by gutting the world economy.

But gutting of the world’s economy couldn’t go on forever. Collapse would come and did come in the form of the world-wide 2008 economic collapse, just as the economic collapse came in 1929 as the result of the Fed gutting the economies of the world.

But this time, the banksters got smart: getting the American taxpayers to cover their losses. According to a class action lawsuit—Starr International v. United States of Americanow winding its way through federal court with Ben Bernanke subpoenaed to testify–during the so-called bank bailouts after the economic crisis, Bernanke’s Federal Reserve funneled hundreds of billions of dollars to the megabanks—including foreign banks—all in the name of saving the world’s economy. And all paid for by the American taxpayer.

But the lawsuit only scratches the surface. According to one estimate, the Federal Reserve’s so-called “bailout” of the world’s megabanks amounted to sixteen trillion dollars.

And the man who laid the plans for the raping of America, Larry Summers—what’s he been up to?

He’s about to be appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Obama To Americans: “I Adore Incompetent People!”

Obama Bloom Off Rose SC Obama to Americans: I Adore Incompetent People!

As a candidate, Barack Obama offered to govern as the most “open and honest” administration in history. Sadly, we’ve learned at great expense that these empty words are just another example of the corruption of Obama’s tenure.

I was reminded again of Obama’s dishonest and fraudulent conduct last week when the Justice Department released details of its case against John C. Beale.

Beale is the disgraced deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation at the EPA. He stands accused of stealing $886,186 between 2000 and 2013. You see, Beale had schemed a way to pay himself the nearly one million he stole in the form of salary bonuses.

Beale most recently worked for Gina McCarthy as her top deputy. This is the same Gina McCarthy who was recently promoted by Obama to run the entire EPA.

But you have to ask yourself why McCarthy wasn’t held accountable for her subordinate’s criminal activity. Is it now standard operating procedure to promote managers who can’t spot theft and crime right under their noses?

I’m old enough to remember a time when the top boss was held accountable for corruption within his or her team.

A Long, Dark History

Now, the Beale corruption is really small potatoes compared to other government corruption. In fact, I’m beginning to believe the Obama administration is so corrupt that it’s impossible to keep track of it all. So I decided to reflect a little.

Right out of the gate, Barack Obama nominated a tax cheater to be Treasury Secretary. That’s right… Obama actually put Timothy Geithner in charge of the agency he attempted to defraud. When you reflect on the chutzpah of this appointment, it’s easy to see how the IRS has become a rogue agency that targets Obama’s political opponents with audits, penalties, and litigation.

Next came the outrageous $825 billion stimulus bill. It was supposedly going to create jobs and get the economy moving. Instead, it was a maze of profiteering and crony capitalism. Obama swore the “green economy” would produce no less than millions of jobs and one million electric vehicles. The Energy Department alone dished out $35.2 billion in stimulus money. But then Solyndra went bankrupt, and taxpayers lost nearly half a billion dollars on that swindle alone.

And let’s not forget Operation Fast and Furious, when the U.S. Justice Department lawlessly placed thousands of guns in the hands of criminals in Mexico. The Obama administration actually ordered gun storeowners to illegally sell thousands of guns to known criminals.

During the Chrysler and GM bankruptcy, Obama bagged the Fifth Amendment along with well-established bankruptcy law by illegally stripping secured bondholders of their rights. These bondholders consisted of pension funds for retired teachers and policemen. In fact, there’s a word for this lawless behavior: theft.

Or how about the military action in Libya? Obama had no congressional approval to carry out this unlawful intervention. Even George W. Bush didn’t overthrow Saddam Hussein until he asked Congress for permission.

Then Obama had four U.S. citizens obliterated by drones without legal due process. Ron Paul, who was then in Congress, said Obama’s actions might be impeachable offenses. This led to a chorus in Congress that accused Obama of violating the U.S. Constitution; yet no follow-up has occurred.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it shows that the corruption is neither recent nor isolated. Maybe we were naïve to have expected a politician from Chicago, infamous as a corrupt and crony-governed city, to be a fair and honest man.

But now that we know his administration is riddled with corruption, we have to ask a deeper question about the rule of law. If Obama and his underlings can engage in this much criminal activity with no accountability, has the culture of honest governing permanently come to an end?

 

This article originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.