Friday, April 22, 2011

Opaque Obama Discovers Transparency

Barack Obama, like all good "reform" candidates, promised that his administration would be the most transparent in American history. It has turned out to be the murkiest since Richard Nixon's. Ignoring the facts and the evidence (along with ignoring Congress and the Supreme Court), Obama has unofficially decided that he will add a convenient "transparency" to his agenda. "Full disclosure" is the order of the day.

All right, when you compose yourselves and stop laughing, you will find out that he certainly isn't talking about himself, his cabinet, or his czars. He's talking about contractors who do business with the federal government. In addition to the immense paperwork involved in "bids" and accounting, Obama wants the prospective contractors to reveal their campaign contributions. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney neither confirms nor denies that Obama is preparing an executive order requiring these revelations, but admits it could be accomplished by an executive order. That sounds like a confirmation that just such an executive order is being prepared.

A week after announcing his candidacy for re-election (surprise, surprise), Obama has instituted what could be considered a double end-run. The first around the Supreme Court, and the second around Congress. This from the man who claimed he wouldn't be doing any end-runs. During a State of the Union address, he mixed politics and constitutional law and got the holding in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission wrong. But he got the gist of it right--it allowed businesses to participate directly in elections (so long as they remain independent of the campaigns). He didn't like the decision, and has been trying to undo it ever since.

Having failed to win at the Supreme Court, he moved on to Congress. Saying that "it is crucial to allow taxpayers to learn more about contractors who seek federal funds," Obama and his pals in Congress tried to pass the Disclose Act. The Senate killed that one, on the ground that the taxpayer needs to know that the contractor is ready, willing and truly able to perform on the contract, but not where the contractor spends its political funds. At the time, both houses of Congress were still in Democratic hands, and he still couldn't get this scam past them.

The American people still can't get straight answers out of the Prevaricator-in-Chief about his political connections to convicted felon and land speculator Tony Rezko, but he now expects us to believe his motive for requiring contractors to reveal their political contributions is to protect the taxpayer. Aw, horse manure. This is nothing short of political extortion, designed to squelch contracts for those who aren't in the Obama camp. More importantly, it is designed to get campaign money out of those who are willing to sell their souls to the Democrats (like General Electric, for instance).

Stan Soloway, president of the 350 member Professional Services Council, put it very well: "The draft order says it is necessary to ensure that politics are not allowed to impair the integrity of the procurement process. But by force-feeding irrelevant information to government contracting officers, who would otherwise never consider such factors in source selection, the rule would actually do precisely what it is intended to stop: inject politics into the source selection process."

But Press Secretary Carney, who knows every jot and tittle of the draft but won't confirm its existence, says that President Squeaky-Clean believes "very strongly that taxpayers deserve to know how contractors are spending their money, and his goal is transparency and accountability." If you believe that, let me tell you my story about my space alien abduction--soon to be printed in the National Enquirer.

The Washington Post once again editorializes on the news pages by saying: "The move suggests that Democrats are not backing down from their effort to make transparency in elections a priority. During the midterms, Obama and Democratic congressional leaders spoke often about the need to disclose donors' identities to the interest groups, which tended to favor Republican candidates (emphasis added)." You see, unions are not "interest groups." MoveOn.org and George Soros are surely concerned only with the public good.

What really rankles Obama and the socialist cadres of the Democratic Party is that after Citizens United and the defeat of the Disclose Act, Republicans were raising more money than the unions Democrats. And then there was the November 2010 "shellacking" of the Democrats. None of this could be caused by a leveling of the political playing field, so it must be a nefarious plot by Republican plutocrats who are unfairly influencing the elections process.

So once again, The One has decided that he is omniscient. He is both smarter and holier-than-thou, including the Supreme Court and his own Congress. I know I'm just a poor retired country lawyer, but I can't help thinking that such an executive order would violate both the First Amendment and the major holdings in Citizens United. There is absolutely no compelling state interest in revealing the political donors and donations in relation to federal contractors.

But there is certainly a political interest--threatening those who might oppose Obama and rewarding those who support him. And if you think that doesn't work, consider General Electric Chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt. General Electric not only made billions in profits while paying zero taxes on its income (derived in large part from government contracts and stimulus funds), but Immelt was so good at what he does that our grateful President appointed him as head of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Guess which political party and which candidate received the lion's share of GE's political contributions. Transparency and taxpayer protection, my arse.

32 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Great article, Hawk. This administration, worst in the history of the country, or at least Grant (not merely since Nixon) is a master at coming up with names that SOUND good to the masses. This then permits their allies in the media (e.g. WAPO) to write their pious propaganda.

If he were really interested in the good of the country, he and Biden would resign immediately, permitting Speaker Boehner to sign into law the Ryan budget.

LL said...

That's the Chicago ward boss in him talking. And it make perfect sense when you put the proposed move in context.

Mike Kriskey said...

Apropos of nothing, but when you described yourself as "a poor retired country lawyer," I was forced---I say, forced---to reread this entire post in Foghorn Leghorn's voice.

t said...

Hawk
Do you think that next they will require individuals to answer about personal political contributions on the social security application?

T_Rav said...

LawHawk, this sounds like about as logical, relevant, and effective a step to make as his announcement that the DOJ will investigate price manipulation by the gas stations and oil companies. Because that's why gas is so high and everything. I'm sure this transparency announcement will do nearly as much good.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I suspect that if we are successful in ousting The One, there are going to be some stunning revelations about his personal finances and Chicago machine politics. The use of phony public information about donors is a typical bludgeon used by the Democrat machine. But somehow they keep their own sources secret.

LawHawkRFD said...

LL: You're so right. They ooze charm from every pore in public, but behind closed doors, they're just thugs and thieves.

LawHawkRFD said...

Mike: I was just trying to make my father, Henery Hawk, proud. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

T: They'll probably start with driver's licenses and work up to Social Security. Or maybe just job applications.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: This isn't exactly the most consistently logical administration, is it? Why let logic and the Constitution get in the way of liberal dogma (and liberal dogs)?

t said...

Hawk
what I am concerned about is if political donations must be on the social security application will that mean wrong party support results in failure to qualify for what you have earned.

t said...

Hawk
I won't be able to respond for awhile. I have to make a trip to town for some hydraulic oil for the tractor. It is spring time and the plowing is due.

LawHawkRFD said...

I guess we just got proof that Boeing didn't give enough money to the Democrats. The NLRB, under the leadership of socialist/labor lawyer and Obama recess appointee Craig Becker has found Boeing guilty of unfair labor practices for daring to open a non-union plant in South Carolina.

The left is saying that Boeing "threatened" its striking employees in Seattle with moving its facilities to a right-to-work state if they didn't end the strike and come to terms. The facts are quite different. Boeing did indeed inform the union and the union employees that the strike was damaging its financial position. A fact, not a threat. But the South Carolina plant was already part of its long-range business plan before the strike, and Boeing had been touting it very publicly.

Boeing's e-mails and publications to the union bosses and membership could just as easily be read as a plea for reasonableness. It didn't threaten to close its Seattle facilities and replace them with the South Carolina plant. That would have been an unfair labor practice under the NLRA, but in fact, it enlarged them.

So what it really comes down to is that the leftist Obama hacks on the NLRB have ruled that stating facts is an unfair labor practice (no jobs were threatened, which is required by the NLRA) and any company that has a union plant must never open a non-union plant anywhere else in the USA.

With all due modesty (chuckle), I predicted this kind of political shenanigans at the NLRB when Becker was first being touted as an NLRB nominee. He was rejected by the Senate (heavily-Democrat at the time), so Obama made a recess appointment later in the year. Obama and Becker are now paying their debt to the union bosses. I truly hope Boeing heads for federal court.

For background on Becker and his rejection by the Senate in 2010, go here: Scott Brown in Another Race.

LawHawkRFD said...

T: I knew where you were headed with that. I also know you were semi-kidding, but many a true word is said in jest. What was unthinkable a few years ago has become the possible in the Obama administration. Nixon's "enemies list" is beginning to look pretty tame these days.

LawHawkRFD said...

T: A year ago, looking down from my apartment on Nob Hill at the San Francisco urban majesty and the ships on the Bay, I wouldn't have had a clue what you are talking about. Now, I'm looking out my window and realizing the alfalfa has to be mowed soon, and I have to mend that fence on the south side of the property before the cattle make the hole any bigger. Of course I'm trying to keep the cattle out, not in. I'm just not sure I can afford the gas for the trip to Tractor Supply. LOL

Writer X said...

Next to Obama, Richard Nixon looks like a choirboy and Jimmy Carter, a genius.

LawHawkRFD said...

WriterX: And ain't that a deadly combination? Well, at least Obama doesn't wander around on the beach in a dark suit wearing a tie and carrying his patent leather shoes. I suppose that's some improvement. That's the last positive word about Obama that you'll hear from me today.

AndrewPrice said...

Obama is the most transparent president in history, we can all see right through him.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Amen!

Tennessee Jed said...

After viewing the horrible "McDonald's Racial beat down" video via Drudge this morning, it took all my Christian beliefs and the fact it is good Friday to keep from getting myself permenantly kicked off this site by launching into a tirade of vitriol. This one will be ignored by the media and the president (no sweet tea summit on this one.) I only wish I could be more forgiving and wish even more I could not have helped that poor girl.

BevfromNYC said...

I haven't read through all of the comments, but I was just reading an article in the Weekly Standard (which I haven't finished yet)about how the Sect of Labor Hilda Solis has done exactly the opposite with the Unions.

Sect Solis, with the help of the Obama Admin, has rolled back Bush Admin orders for transparecy from the unions on salaries and expenses amd financial disclosures for trusts and strike funds including political contributions. It was reported in the article that the Unions gave over $400million in the 2008 election cycle - almost all to Democrats.

Related?

BevfromNYC said...

TennJ - I saw that too. Of course shocking doesn't begin to describe it. Don't get me started...they should be publically humilated while being sent to jail for years. All of them including the employees. Firing is the least they should get. Grrrrrrr.

T_Rav said...

Jed, just remember that people are capable of extremely evil but also extremely good acts. Happily we worship a God who can see past the former for the sake of the latter.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Sorry to be so long getting back to you. Big computer crash.

To say that video was appalling is an understatement at best. But we can relax. Justice will be done. Eric Holder and the DOJ are undoubtedly already filing a civil rights suit accusing the victim of provoking the attack and denying the innocent women their freedom of mayhem (I'll bet you missed that one in the Bill of Rights).

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: In this case, the left hand does know what the right hand is doing. The left hand is crushing business while the right hand is petting the unions.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: In better times, this would be a slam-dunk for the victim and the police. Full and lengthy video, a clear crime, and plenty of witnesses. The victim would have civil suits against the two gangsta girlz as well as against McDonald's if the state has a "failure to protect" statute or court ruling. The police would have an easy case of identification and prosecution, even if the victim initially provoked the attack.

But these are not better times. If there's a prosecution at all, and knowing that the DOJ is lying in wait, the locals might get a disturbing the peace prosecution. Penalty? Six months probation and probably an anger-management class paid for by the taxpayers.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: I'm like Tennessee--the video is straining whatever Christian charity I might have left in these vicious times. That's why we have the law, the social compact, and the elimination of vendetta. Sadly, this administration is so lawless that the former restraints are showing signs of breaking.

Those of us who have watched (and participated in) the freeing of vicious criminals have a saying: "We can only do that which the law allows. Justice is for a higher authority." As a very imperfect human, I am glad there is that higher authority who is far more forgiving than I.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: In the flurry, I neglected to mention that I wish you and our Christian readers a solemn and thoughtful Good Friday. His sacrifice for us tempers the anger I felt after viewing that video. Without His understanding and ultimate sacrifice for our redemption, I would have only anger to fall back on.

Patti said...

i like how barry is starting to get snippy with even those who used to blindly love him, those who used to believe the deceitful pile of green manure (happy earf day!) coming out of his mouth (i wanted to go to a more southern orifice, but gosh darn it, i'm trying to clean up the joint). yeah, that'll help with the re-election efforts. talk about transparent. (he likes you only if you DO AS HE SAYS...just in case that wasn't transparent enough)

T_Rav said...

LawHawk, well said. Happy Easter weekend to all.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: You noticed that, huh? Take a look at my upcoming Easter Sunday post. I'm normally a bit more reverent on that day, but Satan kept whispering in my ear to do something about the false messiah.

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: Thanks, and the same to you. This is my first Easter weekend in my new home, and it's amazing how much more joyful I'm finding it than I did in San Francisco. After the solemnity of Good Friday I can look forward to the Day of Resurrection and feel a bit of that myself.

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