Trying to count the lies in an Obama speech is like trying to count feathers in a windy hen-house. You’re bound to miss more than a few feathers in the count.
Mickey Kaus buried the lede in his analysis of last night’s bamboozlepalooza but at least he grabbed the one must-be-counted feather. Kaus quoted Obama: “In the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America. I will submit that proposal to Congress for a vote – and we will push to get it passed.” Kaus then exposed the purpose of last night’s sewage overflow of words:
“Here is a sponge that can soak up Washington’s excess legislative energy while the Administration in effect marks time as it waits for the employment rate to rise and the health care law to take effect. It seems like stall tactic—hard to believe the Obama White House really cares about reorganization. But it’s a peculiar kind of stall tactic, since it’s also what we Californians call a “juice bill,” highly effective at squeezing campaign donations from every corporation or interest group that might be threatened if its pet agency gets reorganized. And that’s a lot of interest groups. Maybe contributing to Obama’s reelection campaign—or not contributing to one of the Republicans’ new independent expenditure campaigns—will encourage the Obamans to look after you! In short, this seems like Kabuki legislation for a post-Citizens United world, in which Democrats need to deter and intimidate the businesses who otherwise might spend money opposing them. It doesn’t really matter if the reorganization bill will pass—and Obama’s last line (“we will push”) suggests it won’t. The threat is what will get the juice flowing, and employ half of K-Street. Then Obama is happy and the lobbyists are happy. Win-win. But maybe I’m too cynical.”
Not cynical at all. Kaus is re-writing what we wrote in May of 2009:
“Why won’t the Dimocrats do what they have been saying they would do for decades? Because the fundraising must go on. The money must flow. The promises must be broken.
Dimocrats also understand that accomplishments must meet expectations and that trying sometimes means failure – which could cost them at the ballot box.
Dimocrats also understand that fulfilling a promise to a constituency means that constituency might become satisfied and walk away to other pursuits and other fundraisers.
Dimocrats also understand that fulfilling a promise to one constituency often means angering another constituency. Money might then flow to opponents.
Dimocrats also understand that they didn’t really mean all that stuff they said – that was only meant for the gullible.“
It is all a big scam. Instead of improved health care, there is merely access to unaffordable and useless insurance from Big Insurance; instead of real cost cutting there was a deal with Big PhaRma – all intended to prevent money from flowing to the opposition. It was a scam designed to get money and cut the flow of money to the opposition.
Earmark reform? That was a big Obama promise. The reality was earmarks to get garbage like the “stimulus” which was itself a 2010 reelection slush fund for Obama Dimocrats. That ploy did not go so well. All the slush money did was get us deeper into debt and the country deeper into the politically Red.
And remember all that talk against lobbyists? Last night we heard the same old flim-flam song:
“We’ll put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We’ll make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based [on] what’s best for the economy, not politicians. [snip]
All these investments — in innovation, education, and infrastructure — will make America a better place to do business and create jobs. But to help our companies compete, we also have to knock down barriers that stand in the way of their success.
For example, over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries. Those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and it has to change. (Applause.)
So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years — without adding to our deficit. It can be done. (Applause.)”
Translation: it’s all about what is best for politicians up for reelection and how to raise a billion dollars. “Yes, We Can Flim-Flam Again and Again.”
The “review of government regulations” is a ploy to gin up campaign contributions and bundling efforts. Nothing will be done, but money will be raised. It’s “How To Succeed In
Business Politics Without Really Trying”. The more dead on arrival proposals proposed, the more lobbyists will contribute. It’s a slush fund by another name. “Deficit reduction” to Obama is an R.S.V.P. invitation for lobbyists to an Obama contribution party.
Obama simply cannot be trusted. Obama cannot be trusted on any issue. Obama cannot be trusted by his friends. Obama cannot be trusted by his enemies. Obama cannot be trusted.
To its credit Politico noted the Obama lies about lobbyists in January of 2009:
“President Obama promised during his campaign that lobbyists “won’t find a job in my White House.”
So far, though, at least a dozen former lobbyists have found top jobs in his administration, according to an analysis done by Republican sources and corroborated by Politico.
Obama aides did not challenge the the list of lobbyists appointed to administration jobs, but they stressed that former lobbyists comprise a fraction of the more than 8,000 employees who will be hired by the new administration. And they pointed out that before Obama made his campaign-trail promise, he issued a more complete – and more nuanced – policy on former lobbyists.
Formalized in a recent presidential executive order, it forbids executive branch employees from working in an agency, or on a program, for which they have lobbied in the last two years.
Yet in the past few days, a number of exceptions have been granted, with the administration conceding at least two waivers and that a handful of other appointees will recuse themselves from dealing with matters on which they lobbied within the two-year window.”
Among the lobbyists Obama appointed: Eric Holder (Global Crossing), Tom Vilsack (NEA), William Lynn (Raytheon), William Corr (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids), David Hayes (San Diego Gas & Electric), Mark Patterson (Goldman Sachs), Ron Klain (Coalition for Asbestos Resolution, U.S. Airways, Airborne Express and drug-maker ImClone), Mona Sutphen (Angliss International), Melody Barnes (American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the American Constitution Society and the Center for Reproductive Rights), Cecilia Munoz (National Council of La Raza), Patrick Gaspard (SEIU), Michael Strautmanis (American Association of Justice). Lobbyists are not necessarily “evil” and many work for worthwhile causes – but when Hillary Clinton said this Obama and his thugs jumped up and down and attacked.
Likewise, Hillary Clinton was attacked by Obama thugs and Big Media JournoListers for her (to our eyes exemplary) work with Wal-Mart. Now Michelle Obama chortles because she has worked a deal with Wal-Mart on a project she likes. Now Michelle Obama brags that so powerful is Wal-Mart that it will exert a monopoly style effect on pricing schemes of other retailers. The hypocrisy is staggering.
A few days ago Politico did a follow-up article on Obama and lobbyists. The article was called Obama administration’s revolving door:
“Candidate Barack Obama repeatedly pledged on the campaign trail that working in his administration would not be “about serving your former employer, your future employer or your bank account.”
But with his administration at its midpoint, a traditional time for personnel turnover, it’s clear that despite Obama’s avowals, a longtime truism of Washington life — that a prestigious-sounding administration post can be a lucrative career enhancer — remains unchanged.
In recent months, officials have quietly left the White House, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Highway Administration and the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security for high-paying gigs on K Street and Wall Street, for top PR firms including the Glover Park Group and VOX Global and to work or lobby for powerful media and telecom companies including Facebook, Comcast, Bloomberg L.P., DirecTV, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile.”
Peter Orszag, the Budget Director who got so much money to banks is now raking in that cash at Citigroup. The hypocrisy is staggering:
“On his first day in the White House, Obama announced that all his appointees would be required to sign an ethics pledge barring those who become lobbyists from “lobby[ing] my administration for as long as I am president” and — more broadly, for all former employees, not just lobbyists — “from any attempt to influence your former government colleagues for two years after you leave.”
The pledge, he boasted, “represents a clean break from business as usual” and will “help restore that faith in government” by “clos[ing] the revolving door that lets lobbyists come into government freely and lets them use their time in public service as a way to promote their own interests over the interests of the American people when they leave.” [snip]
The pledge doesn’t bar outgoing Obama aides from lobbying Congress or from helping employers or clients influence the administration by charting strategy or even supervising lobbyists. [snip]
Feinberg, whose husband is White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer, joined Bloomberg in June, charged with boosting the company’s Washington profile. She wouldn’t comment on her salary.
Colin Crowell, who in June stepped aside as a top aide to Obama FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, entertained offers with salaries as high as $1 million a year from leading telecommunications companies and lobbying firms seeking to tap the connections and expertise he developed at the FCC and, before that, in 21 years as a congressional staffer.
Though Crowell turned down those offers and, instead, started his own consulting and lobbying shop, he’s still likely to earn substantially more money than he did in his years in government, while leaning on the expertise he developed there.
Since December, he’s registered to lobby for T-Mobile, Cablevision, DirecTV, Earthlink, the Consumer Electronics Association and modem-maker Zoom Telephonics. [snip]
Early last year, for example, Damon Munchus left his post as one of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s top liaisons to Congress and in March joined the Cypress Group, a financial services lobbying and consulting firm, as an executive. [snip]
At Cypress, he registered to lobby Congress on behalf of firms affected by the financial regulatory overhaul on which he worked at Treasury. Lobbying disclosure forms show he’s been part of teams paid at least $470,000 to lobby the Treasury, the White House, Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission by clients including Citigroup, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Advantage Capital Partners, offshore credit derivative company Primus Guaranty Ltd. and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. [snip]
No former official’s new job has generated as much controversy as former Office of Management and Budget Director Orszag’s move to Citigroup, which The New York Times Dealbook reported could pay him as much as $3 million a year to “draw on his deep knowledge of public-sector financial issues and his experience overseeing the federal budget to counsel Citi’s clients on various policy actions” and “be something of a corporate rainmaker.” [snip]
When lobbyist Kevin Joseph in September hired Chani Wiggins, formerly Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s top liaison to Congress, he declared that Wiggins’s “experience as head of congressional affairs at one of the largest departments in the federal government has given her the breadth and depth that few in Washington ever achieve.”
Exhausted with the staggering hypocrisy? There’s more:
“Then there are others who left prominent jobs in the Obama administration for big-time consulting, public relations or law firms that advise clients on how to navigate Washington and its press corps, without necessarily directly lobbying the government on their behalf.
Corey Ealons and Christina Reynolds, longtime Democratic strategists who handled communications both on the Obama campaign and in the White House, left last year for executive positions with PR firms VOX Global and Glover Park Group (which also lobbies), respectively.
Cliff Rothenstein, a veteran government environmental staffer who took over as the Federal Highway Administration’s top congressional liaison in the early days of the Obama administration, stepped down in October to become a “government affairs adviser” focusing on environmental issues at the massive K & L Gates law and lobbying firm.
Mark Seifert, who last year was a senior adviser at the Department of Commerce, in November left to become a partner in the Washington office of the consulting firm Brunswick Group.[snip]
But Seifert, who was detailed to Commerce from the FCC, crafted the Obama administration’s plan for dispensing $4.7 billion in stimulus money for broadband projects across the country, and he advises Brunswick’s clients on telecomm issues, including broadband.[snip]
“We’re Democrats. We don’t have as many places to go,” quipped Richardson, who stepped down late last year as director of public affairs at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and accepted an executive post at R&R Partners, a lobbying and public relations firm.”
And let”s not forget MSNBC and parent company GE boss Jeffrey Immelt:
“Obama Unveils GE CEO as Top Economic Adviser
President Obama has publicly introduced General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt as his new top economic adviser. Immelt will head the newly formed President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which takes the place of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board led by Paul Volcker. On Friday, Obama said Immelt would drive the administration’s stated goal of creating jobs.
President Obama: “Our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root and folks can find good jobs and America is leading the global competition that will determine our success in the 21st century. And so now, to help fulfill this new mission, I’m assembling a new group of business leaders and outside advisers. And I am so proud and pleased that Jeff has agreed to chair this panel, my Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, because we think GE has something to teach businesses all across America.”
Immelt’s appointment has come under scrutiny on multiple fronts. He’ll retain his position at the helm of GE, creating a potential conflict of interest. As one of the nation’s largest corporations, GE has a variety of business and issues before the federal government, including media mergers, military sales, environmental cleanup, and a $16.1 billion bailout in 2008. And while Obama has touted Immelt’s mission to create jobs, the United Electrical Workers Union says GE has closed 29 plants in the United States in the past two years, laying off around 3,000 workers.”
Immelt will be working to benefit GE, himself, and Barack Obama – not the American people. But Obama does not care – he wants the money that Immelt will squeeze out for the fundraising effort to come. It’s all about the money.
It’s all about proposing ideas that will not happen but will squeeze the juice Obama loves to lap up. It’s all about the “juice” and the guys Obama wants “juice” from.
Forget the “Sputnik” fear-mongering pretense. The fear-mongering “Sputnik moment” ain’t gonna happen and a trip to the moon or Mars ain’t gonna happen either. Ain’t gonna happen and Obama knows it. Forget the shiny object called “high speed railroads”. Ain’t gonna happen.
Ain’t gonna happen because as the Associated Press writes, there’s no money and what little numbers we have don’t add up. Ain’t gonna happen because the deficit for this year alone is $1.48 trillion and the dollar is crumbling. Ain’t gonna happen because housing is possibly going to double dip down.
There’s no money for any of these audacious Dreams from a flim-flam man. But that is not the point.
Barack Obama does not care for any of these schemes (it showed last night as he snored through his presentation). What he wants is money – for himself – a billion dollars worth.