Real Scandals, Legitimate Investigations

Economic SpeechThe Obama administration has found its latest theme. We’re hearing it from spokesperson Jay Carney and the president himself. Carney dismisses all questions about the plethora of scandals plaguing the administration, saying they are “fake” and “phony” scandals generated by the Republicans. President Obama yesterday, in what he billed as a major economic speech, but which most viewed as his typical campaign speech, belittled Republicans for standing in the way of economic progress and wasting the country’s time with all the attention on make-believe scandals. His exact words were “With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing, and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.”

Well, first of all, Mr. President, you are Washington. You have been the chief executive for nearly five years; for the first two years of your presidency, you had control of both houses of Congress. What did you do with that advantage? Obamacare, which is a wholesale disaster, and a massive stimulus bill that only stimulated government spending. The American workforce, during your tenure, has lost 7.8 million people (those are the ones who couldn’t find jobs and gave up); new workforce dropouts have outnumbered new employees by 237 to 1. Most of the new jobs added have been part-time, not full-time.

And you blame the Republicans?

About those “phony” scandals: let’s look at the facts.

Benghazi

It’s been nearly a year since that horrible event. Testimony has shown massive incompetence and an equally massive coverup connected with that incident. We now also know that survivors of the attack have been coerced into signing nondisclosure agreements and bullied into not testifying before Congress. What is the administration trying to hide? Calls for a special committee to deal with it exclusively are rising, and justly so.

IRS

Evidence is now overwhelming that the intensive investigation of conservative groups and stalling on their tax-exempt statuses was politically motivated. No longer is there any credibility that this was the work of a few rogue agents in Cincinnati. Testimony has established that it was directed from the top of the IRS in Washington, and that a political appointee, William Wilkins, who is chief counsel for the agency, was intimately involved. This same man met with the president on April 23, 2012; his boss, then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, met with administration officials on April 24. The next day, April 25, Wilkins sent out more guidelines for how to handle tax-exempt applications from conservative groups. While this is still not absolute proof of collusion with the Oval Office, it comes awfully close. It’s hardly a “phony” investigation, particularly since it affected the operation of these groups in the 2012 campaign and provided a boost to Obama’s reelection bid.

There’s also the absurd waste of money on parties, etc. It’s a culture of corruption.

This Just In

DOJ

Where to start? Fast and Furious? Failure to prosecute Black Panthers who intimidated voters at a polling place? Confiscation of reporters’ phone records? Accusing James Rosen of Fox of being a criminal co-conspirator for asking questions? Funding protests against George Zimmerman? Overall racial bias in its operations? Eric Holder should be terminated as attorney general.

NSA

This one’s a little more nuanced. We do need, in my opinion, a capability to track terrorists that includes spying on their phone calls. However, what we don’t need is a blanket coverage of all American citizens, even if it’s only storage of records and nobody sees them right now. The potential for tyranny is blatant. This can become a mechanism for unprincipled politicians to get back at those who disagree with them. The NSA’s program must be limited to finding genuine threats against the nation. The House yesterday considered a bill that would have guaranteed those limits; it just barely failed to pass, and may be revisited in the near future. Above all, we must be sure our rights, as enunciated in the Bill of Rights, are not abridged.

Patriotism

So, in summary, these are not “fake” or “phony” scandals pursued for purely partisan purposes. The investigations are legitimate. The administration knows they are legitimate; they are the ones creating the distractions they so piously bemoan. They know where these investigations will lead, and they fear the backlash. As they should.

Racism vs. Truth-Telling

I guess he can’t help himself. He’s driven ideologically. He seeks to continue to make a point that is no point at all. Yes, I’m talking about Barack Obama. Now it’s not just “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin,” but “Trayvon Martin could have been me thirty-five years ago.” Even though there’s no evidence of racial bias in the Zimmerman-Martin incident, the president refuses to let the matter drop. Tenaciously, he clings to the fiction that this was all about race.

As do Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and their devotees. For them, nothing is outside the racial zone; race is the explanation for everything. The big protest day on Saturday that was supposed to overwhelm the nation was something less. Even in the largest cities, the number of protesters was in the hundreds, not the many thousands they hoped for. Newport News, Virginia, had a grand total of twenty-five show up.

Take one isolated personal conflict between two individuals and make it into a national race issue—that’s the media’s goal. But what about the fact that 93% of all black homicides are committed by blacks? What is the media doing to highlight this problem?

Never Mind

And of course there’s the prime example of this in the city of Chicago, Obama’s latest hometown, and the one run by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, an Obama acolyte.

Proportionality

It’s not racism to point out these problems. It’s truth-telling.

There’s another possible reason why Obama wants to keep the focus on George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. It’s a wonderful diversion from genuine problems he would rather people forget: the scandalous behavior of Benghazi, the IRS, the NSA, and the DOJ. One humorous picture making the rounds currently does a good job of pointing out this possibility:

Zimmerman-Ben Ghazi

Journalists, for the sake of your profession, it’s time to turn back to real news that affects everyone—news based on facts, not fiction—events that will have a lasting impact on the future of this nation.

Please Tell Me I’m Wrong

It just keeps getting better and better. Well, what I really mean is worse and worse. Did you catch the latest with the IRS? Despite all the furor over that agency’s actions, it goes ahead with plans to give bonuses to its employees.

Bonuses

Is it possible to be more out of touch with the anger and resentment boiling among the populace? Have the key players there even considered how to change their ways?

Back to Work

And where is the Obama administration in all this? What kind of leading role is the president taking to tackle the problems? Has anyone seen him lately, other than giving a lackluster speech in Berlin or talking about how divisive Christian schools are? Where is true leadership? What about the pledge to be transparent? Some would say he’s kept that pledge, only not in the way everyone expected:

 Most Transparent Administration

And what difference will this make when the next election comes around? Here’s what I fear:

Mr. Low-Info Voter

Tell me I’m wrong. Please.

The Face Behind It All

As more facts emerge about the NSA’s program of collecting all the info it can in an effort to stop terrorism, I remain firmly where I was when this revelation occurred: it is important to have access to records that might thwart terrorist activity, yet caution must prevail with regard to how wide the net is cast. Searches must be limited to individuals who have had contact with terrorists or organizations known to have terrorist connections. The Fourth Amendment still exists.

Share Everything Plan

While I’m disturbed by the possibilities of abuse, especially under an administration like the current one, I nevertheless agree that finding out who is wanting to attack you, and being able to stop it, is a legitimate government action. I am not in agreement with the perspective that says we inherently have more to fear from our own government than from those who seek to destroy us through terrorism. That doesn’t mean, though, that the threat from our own government is to be ignored; I write often enough about the threat to religious liberty via Obamacare and other pernicious acts. Yet we’re not Communist China or North Korea. Not yet. Edward Snowden doesn’t seem to understand that distinction. Fleeing to a Chinese-ruled city betrays a certain foolishness and/or lack of understanding on his part:

Count On Us

To me, the scandal that is the most dangerous to American liberty is the IRS’s attempt to stifle conservative groups’ political speech. I don’t watch a lot of news from the usual suspects—CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC—but I’ve followed the analysis of their coverage of this scandal. The bottom line seems to be “what coverage?” After an initial burst of interest, they have gone on to other, more important, things. You know, like the baby born to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Now there’s real news of the highest significance for every American.

In my opinion, the mainstream media doesn’t want to dig deeper; they’re afraid they may find that this scandal goes to the very top:

Use the IRS

In fact, I think they’re concerned that if they do their job well, they may topple an entire regime, one to which they are committed ideologically:

Drip

Perhaps they fear the picture will become increasingly clear:

Obama Face

If that were to happen, they would be forced to admit they’ve been wrong all along:

Shocking Turnaround

The truth can be hard to face, particularly when you place all your hopes on a false political messiah.

Bill Clinton & the Collective Amnesia

Bill Clinton is going to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention. The leaders of the party have concluded that he is the man to inspire the minions. They believe he is popular enough in the country at large to draw significant numbers to their side. If that last assumption is true, we are a country that is suffering collective amnesia. Somehow we have forgotten this man’s arrogance, his attempt to radicalize policy (until he realized it wasn’t working), and his moral degeneracy that brought the presidency to a new low. The Clinton years, in the haze of our lack of historical scrutiny, now seem to be a time of peace and prosperity. A wave of nostalgia appears to have overtaken the reality of those years. It’s time for a reminder.

First, the only reason he won the highest office in the land was because of Ross Perot, who, as a third-party candidate in 1992, siphoned off 19% of the popular vote—most agree that the overwhelming percentage of his vote would have gone to the reelection of the first President Bush. Perot’s strength allowed Clinton to take the prize with only 43% of the overall vote.

Second, he ran as a flaming moderate, hiding well his true agenda. Many who voted for him believed they were getting a president who would ensure basic cultural values. They soon discovered they had been duped. On policy, he immediately reversed his moderate image with the following actions:

  • He attempted to repeal the ban on homosexuals in the military. This shocked most people at the time; the military itself protested and he had to settle for a compromised “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. This attempt to normalize homosexuality set the stage for Obama two decades later.
  • He tasked Hillary with overhauling the healthcare system in the nation. She set up a secret committee that unleashed upon the populace a massive government bureaucracy that threatened to stifle the private medical establishment. Again, he was rebuffed, and the plan was scrapped. However, this also prepared the way for Obamacare. Clinton dreamed the dream; Obama forced it into reality.
  • In the campaign, he said he would give the middle class a tax break. Two weeks into his first term, he “sadly” announced that even though he had never worked harder for anything in his life, it wasn’t going to happen. The financial mess he inherited was just too great. No tax break would occur; in fact, he pushed through a tax increase.

Actions like these led to this political cartoon:

Then, of course, there were the scandals and investigations that began in the first term and never let up throughout his presidency:

  • Whitewater—a land deal in Arkansas that bilked a lot of investors; a governor of Arkansas and others went to prison for their roles, but the Clintons escaped. Certain documents needed by the investigators mysteriously disappeared and then were just as mysteriously “discovered” after sufficient time had elapsed to “cleanse” them of any indication of Clintonian involvement.
  • The death of Vincent Foster, the personal lawyer for the Clintons. This was ruled a suicide. I’m not a conspiracy theorist by trade, but I’ve never understood how a man who committed suicide could be found lying flat on his back with both arms down at his side and the gun still in one hand. An amazingly neat trick.
  • The firing of the White House Travel Office staff and the prosecution of the head man on the staff. They brought in their Arkansas cronies to fill the spots. When the trial of the head man was over, the evidence of wrongdoing against him was so flimsy, the jury acquitted him with almost no discussion.
  • The presence of raw FBI files in the White House, contrary to the law. Strangely, all the files were on Republicans, and ripe for being used to carry out smear campaigns against them. The man whose job it was to rummage through these files was hired by Hillary.
  • Then there was the tackiness of using the Lincoln bedroom in the White House as a bed and breakfast for donors. All it cost them was $50,000, and they could spend a night in that famed room.
  • And of course the myriad tales of Bill Clinton’s sexual dalliances, which led to the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit and the revelations concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. When the special prosecutor, Ken Starr, took his job seriously, he, not Bill Clinton, was the subject of ridicule and innuendo from the national press. He was made into the “heavy” in the court of public opinion.

To top it all off, his actions, particularly perjury and obstruction of justice, led to his impeachment by the House and a trial in the Senate for removal from office. Those were brave House Managers who pled the case for his removal, having to weather the disdain of the media and public opinion polls that showed 2/3 of the people didn’t want him forced out. In the Senate, not even one Democrat could bring himself or herself to vote in favor of removal, even though his own VP, Al Gore, would have taken over. And what was Clinton’s attitude during the hearings and trial?

Was there prosperity during the Clinton years? Yes, but keep in mind the voters threw out Democrat control of Congress in the 1994 elections and Republicans ruled both the House and Senate for the first time in forty years. The one signature piece of legislation from the Clinton years, the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, was a Republican measure—vetoed twice by Clinton until he signed it just prior to the 1996 election when he could take credit for it. It’s that very act that President Obama has moved to gut by liberalizing the work requirements to the point of silliness.

This is the man the Democrats have chosen to lead the charge this year. It’s time to rip away the fog of forgetfulness and come to grips with the folly and embarrassment of those years. I’m not nostalgic for Bill Clinton. Not one little bit.