President ignores Court, Congress and us

immigration (APJacquelyn Martin photo)

Speaking in the Rose Garden on Monday, President Obama threatened to go around Congress on immigration reform. He brought Vice President Biden along for moral support. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin photo)

President Obama went back before the microphones in the Rose Garden today to berate Republicans over their lack of support for a comprehensive immigration bill, and threatened again to use his executive power to move the ball.

He singled out House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the Tea Party for holding up immigration reform.  Boehner had reiterated that “the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him (Obama) to enforce the law as written.”

Ironically, the president’s threat came on the day after the Supreme Court unanimously decided he had exceeded his authority when he made appointments while the Senate was in session.  And it came just three days after a Gallup poll revealed that fewer than one in four Americans favor increased immigration levels.

The survey showed that more Americans think immigration should be decreased than increased, by a nearly two-to-one margin, 41 percent vs 22 percent.  A third in the U.S. is satisfied with the level as it is.

Our imperial, out-of-touch president never seems to remember the promises he makes.  Here are a few immigration promises for the record:

“(We need) to put an end to the petty partisanship that passes for politics in Washington and enact comprehensive immigration reform once and for all.  That’s the commitment I’m making to you.  And, I will make it a top priority in my first year as President …”  – Candidate Barack Obama, July 8, 2008, LULAC

Two months later, speaking to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, he said. “I think it’s time for a president who won’t walk away from comprehensive immigration reform when it becomes politically unpopular.”

Shortly after his inauguration in January 2009, White House staffer Cecilia Munoz told the New York Times that the president “intends to start the debate this year,” while other staffers indicated “it would not take precedence over health care and energy priorities.”

Fourteen months into his presidency, the president said “immigration reform will have to wait … immigration will be addressed, but not just yet.  Am I going to be able to snap my finger and get this done? No.”

Pledging to push immigration while wooing the Hispanic vote in 2012, he said, “This (immigration reform) is something I care deeply about.”  Though that was hardly a commitment, Hispanics again helped him win reelection.

He can no longer blame Bush, so he attacks Boehner and the Tea Party for his inability to bring the country together on this issue.

Every day that goes by our inexperienced president must see the handwriting on the wall for the remaining years of his administration.  Other countries see him as weak and the majority of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction.

 Quote of the day

Taking questions from the White House press corps regarding the Supreme Court decision favoring Hobby Lobby, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “We disagree and the constitutional lawyer in the Oval Office disagrees with the conclusion from the Supreme Court …”

What energy policy?

untitled (talkingbiznews.com)

Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money (talkingbiznews.com)

A friend recently sent me a copy of a piece written by Jim Cramer on what he calls, the velocity of change in the energy revolution we are experiencing in this country.  In it he writes about the oil boom in North Dakota that has made it one of the richest states in the union.

Personally, I am not a fan of Cramer’s, but he makes a number of points that I, too, have made in recent op-eds regarding the lack of a real energy policy.  In past commentaries, I have criticized the Obama administration’s rush to renewables, like wind and solar power and the electric car.  In addition, I have written about the government’s ill-advised Café standards that have brought about minimal results in miles per gallon since its inception in 1975.

I was particularly disappointed when George W. Bush signed the Energy Independent Security Act in 2007, with a target of increasing mpg to 35 by 2020. Not to be outdone, in 2011 President Obama announced a deal with automakers to have 54.5 mpg vehicles by model year 2025.

Cramer writes about the jobs provided by the industry and mentions the three percent unemployment and the average $90,000 salaries in North Dakota. If the president would approve the Keystone XL pipeline, we would see similar jobs improvement in flyover country.

He correctly explained the dangers posed by shipping oil by rail over movement by pipeline, but the Obama administration answer to that is to hit railroads with costly new rules for shipping shale oil rather than approve the pipeline.

“The energy situation in North Dakota shows you how truly screwed up things are as 79 percent of its power comes from coal,” writes Cramer.  And what is our president doing – slapping more regulations on the coal industry.  It was Obama who said in 2008, “If someone wants to build a new coal-fired plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gases that’s being emitted.”  In addition, more than 100 coal power generating units will be shutting down in the next few years.

While Cramer wrote of the “hands-off policy” by the administration in North Dakota, he presumes readers know that the government cannot touch discovery on state land.  And while President Obama likes to quote how he has increased drilling, he had no control over it.  Meanwhile drilling on federal lands, where he could expand drilling, none has been approved.

With the situation in Iraq, fear of gas price increases mount, giving our inexperienced president another problem to dither over.

“Phony scandals, Mr. President? Really?

Over the years since Barrack Obama was elected president and the press almost totally signed on to his agenda, I have been writing about news that isn’t getting reported by the so-called mainstream media.

If it wasn’t for Fox News, conservative publications, blogs and radio talk shows, most of us wouldn’t know about the culture of corruption in the Obama administration.

Obama in Minneapolis (dailycaller.com)

President Obama tells liberal supporters in Minneapolis’ Minihaha Park that dealing with those “phony scandals” is frustrating. (dailycaller.com)

In the liberal haven of Minneapolis this week, the president continued to refer to stories about Benghazi, the IRS and VA as “phony scandals,” but a few reporters are beginning to recall the old saying “fish smell from the head down.”  ABC’s Jonathan Karl recently tangled with former White House press secretary Jay Carney over White House transparency.

Years ago, Sean Hannity signaled the end of true journalism in this country, and a number of people have asked where Woodward and Bernstein are these days.

Sharyl Attkisson, an award-winning investigative reporter at CBS, resigned in March after citing her inability to get her stories on line.  She’s currently writing a book due out later this year, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.  The title says it all.

Attkisson (breitbart.com)

Sharyl Attkisson, who resigned as an award-winning investigative reporter at CBS, is writing a book about dealing with the stonewalling Obama administration. (Breitbrt.com)

Appearing on C-SPAN Q&A last week, Attkisson said the Obama administration has created “the worst atmosphere” journalists have ever faced and called the Freedom of Information Act “a joke.”  She’s been waiting since 2012 for a response to her FOIA on Benghazi.

The recent announcement that Diane Sawyer will be leaving ABC came just days after her testy interview with Hillary Clinton.  It surfaced rumors that network management was unhappy with her questioning.  (See my June 27, 2014 post, So she wants to be president, Part 2.)

Now that the terrorist tied to the Benghazi attack has arrived in the U.S., you can look for the administration spinmeisters to tell us “case closed.” Meanwhile, the misdeeds at the VA and the drip, drip, drip of corruption at the IRS continues.

So, Mr. President, you can continue to talk about “phony scandals,” but we remember the old Mark Twain saying, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

And she wants to be president, Part 3

 “The most important thing I did was to help restore America’s leadership in the world.  And I think that was a very important accomplishment.  We were flat on our back when I walked in there (the State Department) the first time.   We were viewed as being untrustworthy, as violating our moral rules and values.”  – Hillary Clinton, June 10, 2014

Renee-Montagne-NPR-photo

During her interview with Renee Montagne, Host of NPR’s Morning Edition (above), Hillary Clinton said her greatest achievement as secretary of state was that she helped restore America’s leadership in the world. Another myth. (npr photo)

Hillary Clinton would have you believe that the U.S. image in the world was left in shambles when George W. Bush left office.  “That was my biggest challenge.  It was why the president asked me to be secretary of state,” she boasted in her book tour interview with Renee Montagne, co-host of NPR’s Morning Edition.

It certainly didn’t help matters that immediately after his election in 2008, President Obama went on his now infamous apology tour, during which time his comments about America had the overall effect of weakening the view of America on the world stage.

“In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world,” he told an audience in Strasbourg, France on April 3, 2009. “Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges,” he said, “there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

“We have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms,” President Obama said at the April 17, 2009 Summit of the Americas, Port of Spain.  He explained there would be no senior and junior partnerships in our future relations, and added the U.S. would be willing to acknowledge past errors.

“I would like to think that my election and the early decisions that were made, that you’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world.” President Obama, April 2, 2009, press conference at the G-20 Summit of World Leaders, London.

Continue reading

And she wants to be president, Part 2

“I’m not equipped to sit and look at blueprints to determine where the blast walls need to be, where the reinforcements need to be.  That’s why we hire people who have that expertise.” – Hillary Clinton, June 10, 2014

abc_diane_sawyer_hilary_clinton_dr_110322_wmain (abcnews.go.com)

ABC’s Diane Sawyer was particularly strong in her interview of Hillary Clinton. (abcnews.go.com photo)

I’d like to say I was shocked when I heard this response from Hillary Clinton during her book tour interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, who pressed the former secretary of state over the preparedness of the U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi for a terrorist attack.  But I wasn’t.  It was what I would expect from a government bureaucrat.

Sawyer cited the Accountability Review Board report, stating “the mission was far short of standards; weak perimeter; incomplete fence; video surveillance needed repair; and a systemic failure.”  She asked Clinton, “whether the people might be seeking from her a sentence that begins with, ‘I should have …’” Clinton ducked that one, stating, “I take responsibility, but I was not making security decisions.”

When I heard her quote above, not being equipped to sit and look at blueprints, I was again reminded how different CEOs or other heads of business regard their facility responsibilities.

In my forty some years in the aerospace business, I saw business presidents take a major role in new facility construction projects, from blueprint, brick and mortar through move–in.  In one instance it was providing a new facility for a division supporting the space program that required a vibration-proof lab floor.  Another was the establishment of a new defense systems facility in another state. In each instance, the business president was always engaged in the project even though he had a facilities director to walk him through the various stages.

“Did you miss it?  Did you miss the moment to prevent this (Benghazi) from happening?” Sawyer asked.  Obviously she did.  She failed to participate in security plan discussions for the compound.  She then ignored five months of terrorist warnings.  Finally, she failed to appropriately respond to the “3 a.m. call.”

Further examples of Hillary Clinton’s lack of qualifications for the presidency.

Take IRS scandals seriously

I hope you are as outraged as I am over the IRS “loss” of e-mails in the Lois Lerner scandal over the targeting of conservative organizations. Keep in mind that this is the result of big government’s culture of corruption conceived by bureaucrats who think we taxpayers aren’t paying attention.

I’m sorry to say many are not, or don’t see how it affects them.  I would wager that many didn’t take the time to watch the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the IRS scandal held during prime time Monday night, let alone have awareness that it was being broadcast.

IRS Director John Koskinen displayed an arrogance I haven’t seen by someone who should have been contrite, except perhaps Attorney General Eric Holder.  A number of Republicans, however, stood firm.  Representatives Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Michael Turner (R-OH) were particularly firm.

On the Democrat side, no member could top Rep. Gerry Connolly‘s (D-VA) embarrassing example of carrying his party’s water for the IRS and the administration.  Surely the director knew Connolly’s questions in advance.

If you were otherwise occupied Monday evening, please take the time to click on the highlights above to hear their questioning.

If this IRS scandal isn’t enough to make you sit and up and take notice, remember that just two months ago, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration  found that some 2,800 of disciplined employees of the IRS received $2.8 million in monetary awards.  Violations included late payment or nonpayment of federal taxes (yes, you read that correctly), government travel card misuse, misconduct and fraud.

Then there was the report last October that some 700 IRS contract workers owe $5.4 million in back taxes.  In its annual reports, the IRS has revealed that federal employees across the board owe some $4 billion in unpaid taxes.  Unbelievably, “The IRS takes tax compliance for taxpayers and those who work for the IRS very seriously,” wrote J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Wait until the horror stories of IRS enforcement of ObamaCare regulations hit main street.  Stay informed.

In pursuit of the “there there”

It’s getting tiresome watching Democrats stand before phalanx of microphones spouting the party line about the thousands of pages of IRS documents supplied to a half dozen or so  House and Senate committees and, enough already, there’s no “there there.”

No “there there” means, you’re not going to tie the scandal to anyone in the White House, especially the president.  They usually follow with a reference to a Republican “witch hunt” or a “fishing expedition.”  This is serious.  We cannot give up.

As I pointed out in Part 1 of my blog series, Understanding the IRS scandal, March 10, 2014, the president used his bully pulpit during the State of the Union Address on January 2010 to publically chastise members of the Supreme Court for their decision on Citizens United.  A host of Democrat senators, led by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), got the message and sent letters to the IRS to tighten the rules.

It’s the way President Obama works.  He tells us what he’s going to do, as when he told us he had a pen and a phone, and if Congress stood in his way, he’d find a way to get something done. Continue reading

Obama and Biden, foreign policy failures

I’ve written many blog posts, op-eds, and letters to editors critical of President Obama’s foreign policy, or lack thereof.  With only his experience as a community organizer and two idle years in the Senate, I’m sure he thought Joe Biden, with his foreign relations committee experience, would help fill this void. Wrong.

Clearly, the current crisis in Iraq reflects their inexperience.

“I am very optimistic about Iraq.  I think it’s gonna be one of the great achievements of this administration.  You’re gonna see 90,000 troops come marching home by the end of summer.  You’re gonna see a stable Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.  I’ve been impressed by how they’ve been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.” – Vice President Biden, Feb. 11, 2010

01biden-articleLarge (NY Times.com)

Vice President Biden displayed a lack of experience when he agreed with Nouri al-Maliki that Iraq had worked its way through the travails and are expressing its peoples’ wills during the Nov. 30, 2011 U.S. – Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee meeting in Baghdad. (Davis Turner/Getty Images)

I was also reminded how Biden failed to get a status of forces agreement there.  On Nov. 30, 2011, speaking before Iraqi and American representatives in Baghdad, Biden talked of its importance. Later he said,  “I will bet you my vice presidency, Maliki (Nouri al-Maliki), the Iraqi prime minister will extend the status of forces agreement.”  I guess nobody took that bet.

During Obama’s campaign against Mitt Romney, he denied his interest in getting the agreement.  Following the 2008 Obama-Biden victory, however, a transition team document on Iraq stated, “Obama-Biden believe it is vital that Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) be reached so our troops have the legal protections and immunities they need.”  It went on to cite that it be subject to Congressional review to ensure it would have bipartisan support here at home. Continue reading

And she wants to be president, Part 1

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Hillary Clinton during her interview by NBC’s Cynthia Mc Fadden. (TodayShow photo)

“These five guys are not a threat to the United States. “ – Hillary Clinton. Today Show, June 12, 2014

Most clear-headed people know Hillary Clinton isn’t qualified to be president, but then many of us knew that about our current president in 2007, so it’s imperative that her failings continue to be brought forth.

In previous posts I have cited her failure to handle that “3 a.m. call” when our consulate in Benghazi was attacked.  She disregarded five months of terrorist warnings prior to the attack and perpetuated the myth that an anti-Muslim video was behind the attack.

Since she has begun her book tour, further statements call into question her inability to convince me that she is presidential material.  And, no, it isn’t because she is a woman.  Let’s set that straight up front.

Her quote at the top of this post is not only another example of her callousness as in her “what difference does it make” statement during the Senate Benghazi hearing, it indicates the lack of depth in understanding the terrorist threat.

While she added that “They are a threat to the safety and security of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” and that it was “up to those two countries to make the decision once and for all that these are threats to them,” she fails to realize that “the five” are dedicated to killing Americans anywhere they can.  Does anyone doubt their ability to direct attacks from Qatar?

Read my June 19, 2014 post, Check the spelling, regarding the so-called “house arrest” of the “Guantanamo Five” and you will see how easy it will be for them to plan.  How many years did Osama bin Laden operate right under our noses?

 

 

 

A world less violent, more tolerant?

Ambassador Stevens

LESS VIOLENT, MR. PRESIDENT? – Ambassador Chris Stevens shown during the attack on our Benghazi compound. We must not forget.

“If you had to choose any moment to be born in human history, knowing what your position was going to be, who you were going to be, you’d choose this time.  The world is less violent than it has ever been.  It is healthier than it has ever been.  It is more tolerant than it has ever been.  It is better fed than it’s ever been.  It is more educated than it has ever been.”  –  President Obama, June 10, 2014

In my June 6, 2014 post, I wrote of how inept the president and his staff are regarding matters foreign and domestic, highlighting his less than uplifting speech to graduating cadets at West Point and his outrageous decision to make a Rose Garden appearance with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s parents.

Just four days later, during a social media Q&A hosted by Tumblr CEO David Karp, the president meandered into the above quote during one of his lengthy responses.  He must actually believe what he said, because even his amateur staffers would have advised against making the statement.

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A WORLD LESS VIOLENT? – Militants of the Al Qaeda-inspired ISIS prepare to kill Iraqi police officers dressed in civilian clothes. (AP photo)

In addition to being inept, I wonder about his mind.  Healthier, better fed (food stamps?) and more educated – perhaps, but a world less violent and more tolerant – is this  a world he viewed in a science-fiction movie?

Surely the president isn’t oblivious to what’s going on in the real world.

Could it be his focus is on his next golf game or fundraiser?