In listening to the State of The Union Address, and other recent pondering of President Obama, I am constantly amazed at his ability to say things that he knows can be fact checked. Let me give you a few examples.
President Obama promised during his campaign that lobbyists “won’t find a job in my White House.”
Then, once he was in, and hired a lobbyist a day for several weeks, he explained that there had to be exceptions.
In the State of the Union Address, he nuanced it further.
“That’s why we’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs, or seats on federal boards and commissions.”
Now, I grant that he may have many lobbyists in non policy making positions, but here are a few that definitely DO make policy.
Eric Holder, Attorney General, lobbied for Global Crossing, a telecommunications firm.
Tom Vilsack, secretary of agriculture, lobbyist for the National Education Association.
William Lynn, deputy defense secretary, was registered to lobby as recently as last year for defense contractor Raytheon where he was a top executive.
Trying not to lose readers with mind numbing detail, here is a list of names, and you can google them if you want, but the one thing that they all have in common, is that they are all in policy making positions.
William Corr, David Hayes, Mark Patterson, Ron Klain, Mona Sutphen, Melody Barnes, Cecilia Munoz, Patrick Gaspard, Michael Strautmanis, and there’s more. This isn’t counting the ones that didn’t take the job, or the ones who couldn’t pass muster. Tom Daschle comes to mind.
Hiring the very type of people that he swore not hire, and do it from the very first day of his presidency, is the epitome of brazen.
Did he think that no one would notice?
In regard to the Stimulus Bill, the President said, ”Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped save jobs and avert disaster.”
Then, two paragraphs later, he says ”That is why jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that’s why I’m calling for a new jobs bill tonight.”
Most of the time, he waits at least 24 hours before contradicting himself. In this case, the contradictory statement out of his mouth while the echo’s of the first statement could still be heard bouncing around the chamber.
Is that brazen, or what?
My question is, which time was he telling the truth?
And, in my opinion, the President, through words and deeds, has demonstrated that he believes that prosperity comes from the government.
Maybe in some other dimension of time and space, this would be true, but in this universe, prosperity comes from the private sector.
In the campaign, the President said that he would outlaw the practice of earmark spending. That was his word. Outlaw. I’m not making this up.
Then, when the stimulus bill came to him for his signature, it was full of earmark requests. He signed it, rationalizing that some earmarks are good.
Does that make him an outlaw?
In the State of the Union Address, he called on the House and Senate to control their earmark requests, but no mention of outlawing them.
How can he say some many different things about the same subject, and not expect to be caught?
Oh, I forgot for a moment. He is brazen.
The President, using a verbal baseball bat, lambasted the Supreme Court for its recent ruling on campaign finance, uttered, “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.”
I don’t want to debate the wisdom the ruling here, knowing that there are plenty of good arguments on both sides. But I do want to address the last two words of that sentence. Foreign entities.
Regardless of your opinion of allowing corporations to donate to campaigns, there is, and always has been, a law that prohibits foreign interests contributing to them, directly or indirectly.
The President was a professor at WHAT university?
He graduated from WHERE?
He passed the bar exam HOW?
Was it a snow day on the day that his teacher was going to cover that?
To be fair, I don’t think that the President is ignorant of this law. I just think he is brazen enough to believe that he can say anything, and the people who like him will believe him, and the people who don’t like him won’t be taken seriously when they speak out.
Has any other President bashed the Supreme Court like this in a State of the Union Address? I haven’t heard or read all of them, but, I’ve skimmed the text of all of them that happened in my lifetime, and I can’t find any evidence of it.
Final note on campaign finance.
This is from a man who promised to accept, and abide by the rules of, public financing, so as to keep the playing field level. Then a few weeks later, upon discovering that he could raise more money, with less accountability, using the internet, he did an abrupt about face, describing the public finance system as “broken”. This allowed him to outspend McCain by a very large margin. A cynic might say that he bought the election.
What’s the word to describe this type of behavior? Lemme think. Starts with B, and rhymes with raven.
I’m going to get down on my knees and pray, “Lord, in order to help the struggling people of America, please arrange for them to get a dime every time the President uses the phrases, ”....the last eight years…”, “we inherited….”, “we walked into a mess…...”, or any other phrase that puts the blames for the problems of the country on the last administration, or tries to excuse his failure by pointing out what a hard job he walked into.
I’m going to run for President one day, but only if I can follow an administration that did everything perfect from the point of view of both democrats and republicans, so that I don’t inherit any problems.
If this were an email or facebook post, I would end the previous remark with an LOL.
Here is a quote from George Bush’s State of The Union Address from January, 2008.
“And Congress can help even more. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, modernize the Federal Housing Administration, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. These are difficult times for many American families, and by taking these steps, we can help more of them keep their homes.”
And if he had been successful in persuading the democrat controlled Congress to go along with him, we might have averted the crisis, or at least blunted it.
Bush didn’t cause the economic collapse. That was in motion long he was sworn in. Mortgage companies were passing around bad paper for decades. Many of the mortgages that went bad were written in the 90’s. Many others were written under policies that began in the 90’s.
I remember reading of a family that obtained a $720,000 mortgage, based on a combined income of under $15,000 dollars, that they earned by picking strawberries. You can find their story here.
In 2004, House Republicans tried to bring more regulation to mortgage lending, but the Dems fought against it tooth and nail. Said Barney Frank: “But I have seen nothing in here that suggest that the safety and soundness (of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are at issue. I think it serves us badly to raise safety and soundness as kind of a general shibboleth when it does not seem to me to be an issue.”
There is a video that can be found here, showing some house deliberations, that pretty well destroys that argument the President uses. It shows republicans trying to put the brakes on Fannie Mae and Freddie, and how they are ridiculed by democrats for even suggesting such thing.
I dare anyone to invest 7 minutes of their life to look at this video, and then put the blame for the mortgage crisis anywhere but in the laps of Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Lacy Clay, Maxine Waters, Gregory Meeks, Franklin Raines, Arthur Davis, and the Community Reinvestment Act.
In another matter concerning the last eight years, how many close calls have we had in the way of terrorist attacks in the past year, compared to Bush administration after 9/11?
I’ve lost count.
Now, I don’t believe for one second that the President isn’t aware of this. He’s not a stupid man.
I just believe that he is brazen enough to say things like that, regardless of whether they have any foundation in truth.
So, in answer to the question I started this essay with, here is how I spell “brazen”.
I spell it O. B. A. M. A.
That’s the way I see it.
Neill Arnhart lives in Southern Indiana with his wife, step daughter, two dachshunds named Ricky and Lucy, an Australian Cattle dog named Indiana (Indy for short) an inside cat named Elphaba, and about a dozen barn cats. Aside from living in the US, he has lived on the island of Trinidad, and in Venezuela, back when it was nice place.
When not rousing the rabble with sarcastic essay’s, he hides behind the secret identity of a mild mannered insurance agent, specializing in Medicare, and other matters concerning senior citizens.
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