Wanted: Oil Spill Czar

Wanted: Oil Spill Czar

Posted By Michelle Malkin On June 18, 2010 @ 12:03 am In FrontPage | 7 Comments

Here is the Obama Disaster Management Theory: In times of crisis, you can never have enough unelected, un-vetted political appointees hanging around. Nearly two months after the BP oil spill, the White House will now name an oil spill restoration point person to oversee recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. Too many czars have already spoiled this administration’s credibility. Might as well pile on another.

The new oil spill czar is not to be mistaken for the old oil spill czar, U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who was officially designated the “National Incident Commander of the Unified Command for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico” on April 30. Allen was appointed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano 10 days after the disaster, which Napolitano claimed the administration had been on top of since, um, “Day One.”

Fifty-six days later, President Obama has deemed the leadership skills of Allen, Napolitano, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, environmental czar Carol Browner, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the rest of his self-declared “all hands on deck” crew insufficient. The new disaster czar also comes on top of the “National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling,” created by executive order on May 22 and “tasked with providing recommendations on how we can prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills that result from offshore drilling.”

As I’ve noted before regarding Obama’s czar-mania, this White House has bypassed the Senate advise-and-consent role and unilaterally created a two-tiered government. It’s fronted by cabinet secretaries able to withstand public scrutiny (some of them just barely) and then managed behind the scenes by shadow secretaries with broad powers beyond congressional reach. Bureaucratic chaos serves as a useful smokescreen to obscure the true source of policy decision-making. While past administrations dating back to the Nixon era have designated such “superaides,” none has exploited and extended the concept as widely as Obama has (we’re up to the 40th appointed czar, by Washington-based watchdog group Judicial Watch’s count).

It’s government by proxy and government by press release all rolled into one.

According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, the latest commissar will have the power to oversee government efforts “to increase the health and the vitality of the species there, the wildlife and the natural beauty that we all know is the Gulf of Mexico.” This will make the power-grabbing environmental lobby happy. And the new czar appointment will feed the photo-op-hungry news cycle. But instead of rushing to move “past the cleanup and response phase of this disaster,” shouldn’t this czar-crazy regime concentrate on the immediate mitigation tasks at hand?

Folks in the Gulf don’t need any more Romanov-style apparatchiks or blue-ribbon crony panels to show them the way toward relief. Florida public officials and foreign shippers say the protectionist Jones Act is preventing vessels from abroad from providing cleanup aid. And Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal has exposed White House obstructionism and delays in approving the construction of barrier walls to stop the oil spread.

After waiting weeks for approval, Jindal received a green light from the White House to put up just five barrier islands — a minuscule amount of his plan. Tired of waiting for approval of the rest of his plan, Jindal this week ordered the National Guard to circumvent the Beltway foot-dragging and start building the walls immediately.

Executive leadership doesn’t need to be outsourced when the executive in office knows how to lead. While Obama squawks, Jindal acts. While Washington appoints more gasbags, the National Guard is dropping sandbags.

The president’s czar fetish is his crisis crutch — a desperate, public relations habit that he can’t break. What 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue needs is a visit from retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the Hurricane Katrina military relief coordinator who offered timeless and timely advice for the disaster-stricken: Don’t get stuck on stupid.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

A Mom Asks: Should We Care What’s Wrong with Obama?

A Mom Asks: Should We Care What’s Wrong with Obama?

By Kyle-Anne Shiver

Robin of Berkeley has provided a great summary of psychological speculation to answer a question now in the minds of some Americans: “What’s wrong with Obama?” 
I suppose a few among us are still asking this question, as though the answer will undo a whit of the damage done. As a full-time mom, with 36 years of experience under my belt and a couple of model American adults now on my resume, I’ve stopped asking that question, however. In fact, from a mom’s point of view, I’m much more prone, at this point, to be asking, “Should we care what’s wrong with Obama?”
From the Dr. Mom perspective, as opposed to the therapist’s paradigm, it’s not hard to surmise that the boy, Barry Obama, was victimized by Murphy’s Law of Character Development. Every single thing that could go wrong in the development of strong and upright character quite obviously did go wrong in Obama’s childhood. To which, I might add, so what? He’s a grown-up now. He ain’t twelve anymore. And he has more than three hundred million real people to whom he owes a good day’s work for a good day’s pay. 
We did not go out and recruit Barack Obama to be our president. We did not find him by searching the country over for the most qualified man for this job. No, it was Barack Obama, owing to a character flaw the size of California — a blaring lack of humility — who put up his own name in contention for the presidency, when he had never held an executive position (not even a paper route, for crying out loud!) of any kind whatsoever, in the public or private sector. In fact, as I’ve said before, Barack Obama had a resume that would fit handily upon the back of a postage stamp, and it was pure, unbridled arrogance that prompted his candidacy. Sure, there were lots of giddy sycophants who egged him on, but at the end of the day, Barack Obama should have known better, should have given far more weight to the responsibility he was assuming. And the fact that he didn’t know any better is owing to his own lack of character, which he has had every possible opportunity to develop in the years since he left home. 
It is Barack Obama, not his momma or his daddy or his grand-momma or his grand-daddy, who has to answer for the job he is doing now that he has secured the position he sought. 
While it is virtually impossible for anyone — other than God — to answer the question, “What’s wrong with Obama?”, it is completely within the realm of human observance to see that no matter where he came from or what kind of parents he had, Barack Obama’s character is nothing short of reprehensible. 
Where he ought to be hardworking and industrious to the nth degree, he shows himself to be lazy. When he ought to be knuckling under, hard at work at his desk, hammering out decent solutions to the vast array of problems before him, he is partying hardy, having a merry ole time, trotting around the globe, playing golf, shooting backyard hoops, and opining on the latest controversial umpire’s call in a baseball game. When it comes to actual governance, the only word this president knows is “delegate.” When he ought to be consumed with fixing a national disaster in federal waters, which occurred in a federally regulated industry, the best he can come up with to even feign an I-do-really-give-a-darn work ethic is an emotionally contrived use of the A-word. 
Oh, please.  This is the kind of lazy, no-account attitude demonstrated by every panhandling bum on any street corner. His GQ dress code notwithstanding, Barack Obama has the work ethic of the welfare moms for whom he has shown his only real empathy to date. In a president, this character deficit is not only pitiful, but it is also downright despicable.
Does President Obama evince bedrock honesty, integrity, and a moral compass with all-American-value bearings? From every possible ordinary-citizen vantage point, Barack Obama appears to possess character deficits — again, the size of California — in every one of these essential-in-a-president qualities. And I’m so sorry for the bad hand Barry Obama was dealt in childhood, but that makes no difference now that he is an adult with the same accountability as every other adult on the planet.      
None of us get to choose our parents. None of us get the perfect childhood to which we all feel somehow entitled. None of us start adult life with all the tools we might wish to have in our little box of life skills. And none of us get to hand over a therapist’s excuse-card when we inevitably meet the Big Guy and must account for how we have used the hand we were dealt and made the most of it on earth. 
None of what happened to the president in childhood, in my opinion, lets Barry off the accountability-hook as an adult. Because in spite of anyone’s claim to the contrary, human beings do have free will; they can and do change all the time. 
For every therapist’s doomsday prediction based on a model that claims some hurdles simply cannot be jumped, there are an infinite number of human beings who somehow do manage to not only jump those horrible-hand-in-life hurdles, but veritably speed to the finish line of life as though it were a walk in the park. History is replete with the inspiring stories of such individuals. We know such people, work with them, sup with them, worship with them. Some of us are those very exceptions to the rule. Many a would-be bum or serial killer or bomb-thrower has become a person of such outstanding character and achievement that it behooves all of us to humble ourselves before the indomitable human spirit. We are endowed by our Creator with abilities so profound that they remain as yet uncharted by modern mankind.
When Robin of Berkeley opines that the president will not change because he is incapable of change, owing to the truly horrible things that probably happened to him in childhood, she is not only ignoring the millions of exceptions to the arbitrary rules of therapists’ expectations, but she is also diverting attention from the very real American calamity of this presidency. 
For the past forty years, America has gotten little more than hippie psychiatry from the mental health profession. The tired old flower-child mantras — “If it feels good, do it,” “Our hope is in dope,” “All the world needs now is love,” and “He just can’t help himself” — simply have not lived up to their cultural hype any more than Barack Obama has lived up to his. Trying to figure out — from a distance, no less — what is wrong with Obama is a fool’s errand. Can the president change himself?  Of course he can. But we certainly cannot change him. The only person I can change is myself; that’s human nature axiom #1. 
On the other hand, we are the parents in this governmental paradigm. We, the voters, hold all the authority under our Constitution. We may not be able to change Obama’s character, but we can certainly hold him accountable for what happens on his watch. We can apply a great deal of parental pressure in the form of public demonstrations, letters, phone calls, and hounding the press for more accountability, and in this fashion, we can provide an incentive for the president to change his behavior. President Obama ought to be getting the message about now that he has fooled far too many for far too long, but that the accountability-buck has now landed squarely in his lap. Barack Obama is now beholden to three hundred million Americans, each of us holding an IOU for diligent service — whether little Barry feels up to the job he took or not.
If Obama voters have any question now, the only one they should be asking is, “What’s the matter with me?” Now, that is a question which lies within the power-province of every single man and woman who pulled the lever for this man. As the crises mount, as the president continues to preen and play, as the livelihoods of more and more Americans go up in economic smoke (or oil, as the case may be), I predict that even many liberals will rediscover their collective common sense and take much greater care the next time they cast a vote. 
No, we’ll never know all that may be wrong with Obama or what caused his stubborn, willful refusal to acquire the strong character denied him in childhood. But I, for one, have begun to ask my Obama-voter acquaintances, even strangers who admit their vote and want to talk about it, “What were you thinking?” Civil confrontation is one of the best tools, available to every one of us, in helping Obama voters to come to grips with the enormity of their decision in the 2008 election.
Upon such idiotic decisions, great civilizations do indeed fall.
And in this Dr. Mom’s opinion, that is the truly consequential lesson of the Obama presidency.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at www.kyleanneshiver.com.

Obama’s Treachery

Obama’s Treachery

By Geoffrey P. Hunt

Obama’s White  House stands accused of tampering with U.S. Senate primary elections involving Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania and Andrew Romanoff in Colorado. Both Democratic primary challengers apparently were urged to drop out of their races by White House operatives in exchange for a job. The details remain murky as storylines from White House officials, along with Sestak and Romanoff  themselves, are both evasive and implausible. But this much is clear: Election tampering by Obama treads upon the very foundation of American exceptionalism — free elections in a representative democracy. 
Cynics and apologists alike brush aside this scandal. It’s business as usual, both political parties do it, you have to be naïve to believe this kind of electioneering is rare. In fact, Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania, on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, had the gall to assert that this kind of election manipulation shows presidential leadership in getting things done.
Well, election tampering and transparent corruption are not business as usual unless you’re a Democrat. Whether it be suppression of the black vote in the south for a hundred years after the Civil War, Tammany Hall politics at the turn of the 20th century in New York, machine politics in Chicago, or bribes and payoffs for votes on health care and stimulus funding, the failure to prosecute polling place intimidation by the Black Panthers in Philadelphia or Acorn voter registration fraud, this is the Democratic Party Way, the Obama Way.
In a quote attributed to Robert Gibbs, Obama’s mouthpiece, “The White House has a legitimate interest in avoiding messy Democratic Party primaries. … Presidents, as leaders of their parties, have long had an interest in ensuring that supporters didn’t run against each other in contested elections.” Oh really? Should presidents bribe rivals to get them out of the way?
Indeed, free elections are messy. President Obama himself said so in his commencement address this year at the University of Michigan: “U.S. politics long has been noisy and messy, contentious, complicated” — a repeat of lines in his 2010 State of the Union, “Democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That’s just how it is.” 
Apparently it’s too messy, excessively contentious, and inconveniently complicated for Obama and his operatives to honor the bedrock principle in American governance.
The Founders, especially James Madison, had great difficulty with direct democracy for good reason. Representative democracy instead offered stability and a check against mob rule. And a greater number of representatives would be an inoculation against corruption by the cabal of too few. But a reliance on representative democracy placed a heavy burden on the process of electing those representatives. “[S]uffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters” (From the Federalist No. 10).
The symbolism of free elections in a representative democracy is best depicted in the 1851 painting The County Election by Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham, now owned by and displayed in the St. Louis Art Museum.

 
Bingham, who painted a series of mid-19th-century political scenes, shows a typical small-town election somewhere in rural America. This painting evokes the characteristic ritual of American representative democracy, free exercise of suffrage. Of course, in 1851, universal suffrage was not yet the norm. Yet the scene evokes a “noisy, messy, contentious, and complicated process,” as Obama would say. Simultaneously subtle and athletic — with suasion and vote-prodding from a snort of hard cider, heated words, raised voices, muscular posturing, and even a newspaper editor’s rant. 
And despite the sweaty, dusty, and strong breath elements of electioneering, the sacred ritual of a fully accessible process — even Election Day mischief-making and influence-peddling, but all in the open, where voters can actually cast a ballot for their choices — is at the heart of the American system of governance.
Obama, riding the wave of a popular coronation, has been imposing governance through the raw power of an unbridled majority and has little patience for this sort of pluralism, especially when it interferes with his agenda. It’s hard to imagine Obama endorsing Bingham’s brand of representative democracy.
Obama’s hollow complaints against assaults on democracy, notably his condemnation of the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United vs FEC during his State of the Union address, are hailed by his Democratic Party bedfellows. Yet how easy it is for these same party hacks and shameless partisans to either ignore or rationalize Obama’s own assault on democracy when he manipulates federal election primaries.
Since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed — and, by the way, was enabled by a far greater proportion of Republican than Democrat U.S. senators — Democrats and liberals have been grandstanding self-promoters decrying voter disenfranchisement. But where is this purity of process when it comes to arriving at the actual names on the ballot?
And who are now the champions of suppressing free speech through revival of the Fairness Doctrine and eliminating the U.S. Senate rules on the filibuster and cloture? The Democrats. Who are now advocating the regulation of journalism through the Federal Trade Commission? The Democrats.
Obama and his operatives cannot escape the stench from their wholesale corruption of American governance. And their amateurish bungling is neither amusing nor defensible. Tampering with federal elections is only the latest in long line of brazen, cynical manipulations. Only a few among today’s political class, notably Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), have the courage to call out such treachery by demanding an independent inquiry. How long will their courage hold out?

Cited: ‘Prima facie’ evidence of White House violations

Cited: ‘Prima facie’ evidence of White House violations

June 11th, 2010

By Bob Unruh, WND

 Rahm and Obama most likely broke some law

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and one of his top aides, Jim Messina, have been referred to the government’s Office of Special Counsel for an investigation into whether they violated the Hatch Act by offering administration jobs to two political candidates in exchange for dropping out of their races.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, wrote in letters to William Reukauf, the acting U.S. special counsel, that the statements by the White House and the two candidates involved – Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., and former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff – are “prima facie” evidence of violations.

The act prohibits “the use of official authority or influence by federal employees for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election,” Issa’s letters dated yesterday – one referring Emanuel and one referring Messina – explained.

“In the White House’s June 3, 2010, public statement, Mr. [Robert] Gibbs claimed that clearing the field for a candidate preferred by the White House was not problematic because ‘there was no offer of a job.’ There is evidence to the contrary,” wrote Issa.

Read More:

Sarah Palin on Obama II: “It Sounds Like the Inner Circle He Has Are Some Chicago Thugs & That’s Not Doing Our Country Much Good” (Video)

 

Posted by Jim Hoft on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, 8:38 PM

Sarah Palin was at her best tonight on Hannity.
She dropped the “community organizer” tag and “Chicago thug” line all in the same answer .
It was music to the ears.

Sarah Palin on Obama’s Top Advisors:
“It sounds like the inner circle he has around him are some Chicago thugs… And, that’s not doing our country that much good.”
True.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfoHcr2gDDo&feature=player_embedded

Call for Obama’s resignation cites ‘deceit, fraud, dishonesty’

Call for Obama’s resignation cites ‘deceit, fraud, dishonesty’

June 9th, 2010

By Bob Unruh, WND

 Maj. Gen. Paul Valley calls for Obama to resign

A retired U.S. military leader who now is a presence on the Internet with his Stand Up For America and Veterans Defenders websites has issued a call for President Obama’s resignation and a new election to replace him.

The call comes from Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, who served in Vietnam and retired in 1991 from the U.S. Army as deputy commanding general for the Pacific.

“We now must call for the immediate resignation of Barry Soetero (AKA President Barack Hussein Obama) … based on incompetence, deceit, fraud, corruption, dishonesty and violation of the U.S. oath of office and the Constitution,” he said in remarks delivered to a Lincoln Reagan dinner in Virginia City, Mont., last week and published today on the Stand Up America website.

“And a call for a national petition for new elections to select the next president of the United States of America must be initiated,” he continued. “We can wait no longer for a traditional change of power and new government.”

A number of retired military members have sought the removal of Obama from office. They mostly have tried to utilize the courts to challenge his eligibility based on claims he fails to meet the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a president be a “natural born citizen.” Few have asserted Obama needs to walk away from the Oval Office for the best of the nation.

Read More:

Obama’s Summer of Corruption

Obama’s Summer of Corruption

Posted By Michelle Malkin On June 9, 2010 @ 12:03 am In FrontPage |

In Chicago politics, there’s an old term for the publicly subsidized pay-offs and positions meted out to the corruptocrats’ friends and special interests: boodle.

In the age of Obama, Hope and Change is all about the boodle. So it was with the stimulus. And the massive national service expansion. And the health care bill. And the financial reform bill. And the blossoming job-trading scandals engulfing the White House.

There’s always been an ageless, interdependent relationship between Windy City politicos and “goo-goos” (the cynical Chicago term for good government reformers). Chicago-style “reform” has always entailed the redistribution of wealth and power under the guise of public service. And it has inevitably led to more corruption.

In March 2010, this column first took note of allegations by Democrats Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff that the White House had offered them jobs in exchange for dropping their respective bids against Obama-favored incumbent Sens. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania and Michael Bennet in Colorado. White House legal counsel Bob “The Fixer” Bauer’s attempt to bury questions about the Sestak affair with a Memorial Day weekend document dump failed. So has the attempt to make Rahm Emanuel-enlisted former president Bill Clinton the sole scapegoat.

Bauer’s memo mentions “efforts” (plural, not singular) to woo Sestak. But the White House refuses to divulge what offers besides Clinton’s were extended to Sestak. Moreover, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has now denied that Team Obama was involved in the one Clinton offer that has been publicized — an unpaid appointment on an intelligence board for which Sestak was ineligible.

After months of silence, Romanoff finally stepped forward last week to acknowledge that the White House had dangled several positions before him, too. He released e-mails detailing not one, not two, but three different paid positions offered by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina — whose boss, Emanuel, was subpoenaed this week by impeached former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois to testify in his Senate pay-for-play corruption trial.

So, can I say “I told you so” now?

In July 2009, when “Culture of Corruption” was first released, liberal critics scoffed:

How could you possibly write a 400-page book about Barack Obama’s rotten administration when he’s only been in office six months?!

When I proceeded to rattle off case after case of Chicago-style back-scratching, transparency-trampling and crooked special interest-dealing in the new White House, liberal critics such as “The View’s” Joy Behar interjected:

B-b-b-but what about Bush? Why don’t you write a book about Bush? Wha-’bout-Bush? Wha-’bout-Bush? Wha-’bout-Bush?

When I pointed out that I had reported extensively on cronyism in the Bush era (see Harriet Miers, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security), and when I further pointed out that while the Bush-bashing market overflowed, there remained a massive vacuum of critical analysis of Obama, liberal critics sputtered:

So what? Doesn’t every administration have corruption?

When I patiently explained that no other administration in modern American history had set itself up as loftily as the Hope and Change reformers had done, or when I cited endless examples of Obama’s broken promises on everything from lobbyists to transparency to Washington business as usual, liberal critics changed the subject again:

RACIST FASCIST EVIL FOX NEWS RIGHT-WING HATE MONGER!

Two major job-trading scandals plus the start of the Blago trial this past week — on top of a year’s worth of uninhibited White House wheeling and dealing, broken transparency pledges, Justice Department stonewalling and brass knuckle-bullying of political opponents — have finally turned the once-derided thesis of my book “Culture of Corruption” into conventional wisdom.

Obama sold America a Chicago-tainted bill of goods. A nation of slow learners is finally figuring it out.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com

Misdemeanors – or crimes?

Misdemeanors – or crimes?

June 8th, 2010

By Patrick Buchanan, WND

 

On this matter of offering federal jobs to potential candidates to induce them not to run against Senate Democratic incumbents, this White House is drifting dangerously close to the falls.

Colorado’s Andrew Romanoff has now confirmed that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina trolled three federal jobs in front of him, if he would desist and not run against incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet.

And Romanoff has produced an e-mail where Messina presents the three-job menu, one of which might be his if he passed up the Senate run. Two were with the Agency for International Development. The third was director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

All three are juicy plums.

Romanoff and Messina both say no hard offer was made. And Robert Gibbs has assured the press the president had no idea Messina was talking to Romanoff about federal jobs that only Obama can fill.

But if Obama knew nothing of the Messina-Romanoff talks, who did? For Messina cannot appoint anyone to anything. Has Messina’s boss, Rahm Emanuel, been given the franchise to offer a dessert tray of federal jobs to people he wants to keep out of Democratic primaries?

An independent investigation needs to be conducted to determine whether Chicago-style politics has been introduced into the West Wing.

Read More:

Remember That ‘Culture of Corruption’? It’s back!

Remember That ‘Culture of Corruption’?

Posted on | April 19, 2010 | No Comments

It’s back!

Politically connected staffers in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department twisted arms to steer a $5.4 million contract for crystal stemware to a tiny interior-design firm without putting it out for bid . . .
Two senior State Department contracting officials, Randolph Bennett and Tandra Jones, successfully pushed for the contract to go to a firm run by Denise Mathis-Gardner as a no-bid minority “8(a)” contract, the source said — an action that one shut-out competitor complained cost taxpayers an extra $1 million.
The contracted firm, Systems Design Inc., based in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, had no experience making glassware, and its owner had only recently emerged from bankruptcy proceedings, the source said. . . .
“These two [Bennett and Jones] went down to the small-business office and insisted that we have an 8(a) company — have this company SDI do our contract,” the source said.
“They [SDI] don’t know how to make glass. The glassware is being made in Sweden.” . . .
Records show Bennett gave $1,000 to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, $2,000 to the Obama Victory Fund and $2,300 to the Democratic National Committee for the inauguration.

The Obama administration: Transparent as Swedish crystal!