Obama and “The Same Rules?” – Reason #57

Only 114 Days Remaining!

“When Everyone Plays by the Same Rules”

How many times have we heard President Obama say:

“I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren’t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim them.”[i]

It is a fitting illustration of this Administration’s hypocrisy to note that as of September, 2010, Obama and his Administration were “reclaiming” these American values as follows:

41 White House Aides owed $831,000 in back taxes

1,971 members of Holder’s Dept. of Justice, owed $14,350,152 in overdue taxes

4,856 members of the Dept. of Homeland Security, owed $37,012,174 to the IRS

In all, federal employees throughout the U.S. owed one billion dollars in back taxes[ii]

Obama rails against so-called “millionaires and billionaires” (he really means everybody making over $250,000 per year) not paying their fair share.  Obama preaches the need for redistributing America’s wealth, in order to give everyone a fair shot.  But, at the end of the day, it appears that Obama and members of his Administration mean to promote American values only with our money – not theirs.

[i] President Barack Obama, (Dec. 6, 2011), White House web-site, Speeches & Remarks, Remarks by the President on the Economy in Osawatomie, Kansas, retrieved February 6, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/06/remarks-president-economy-osawatomie-kansas

[ii] Andrew Malcolm (Sep. 10, 2010), LA Times Web-site, Political Commentary, Top of the Ticket, 41 Obama White House aides owe the IRS $831,000 in back taxes — and they’re not alone, retrieved February 6, 2012 from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/09/congress-taxes-irs.html

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Say “Hi” To 800 New Friends at IRS – Reason #56

Only 115 Days Remaining!

Takes One to Catch One?

Despite repeated warnings from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), from whom Tim Geithner received income from 2001 to 2004, Geithner reportedly failed to pay $34,000 in payroll taxes.  In response to a 2006 IRS audit, Geithner corrected his payroll tax errors for 2003 and 2004, but continued his withholding of proper payment for 2001 and 2002, until after he was vetted as Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary.[i]

What would happen to the average middle-class American  failing to pay payroll taxes for four years and then continuing to stiff the IRS for an additional four years?

No need to worry about that.  In Obama’s world, that behavior could put you in charge of the entire Treasury Department, including the IRS.  And, who better to hold other Americans accountable?  Incidentally, Geithner – a poster child for tax issues – plans to increase tax evasion prosecutions in 2012 and to aggressively pursue the collection of back taxes.  According to Geithner:

“A total of $332 million would be devoted to new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) enforcement efforts, including $128.1 million to add nearly 800 new IRS employees to combat… tax evasion and improve compliance with tax laws by businesses and high-income individuals.”

Really!  No hypocrisy here.

[i] Jackie Calmes, (Jan. 13, 2009) New York Times web-site, Politics, Geithner Questioned on Tax Returns, retrieved March 6, 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/us/politics/14geithner.html?pagewanted=all

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Who is Peter Dreier?

Only 125 Days Remaining!

Who is Peter Dreier?

Peter Dreier, as described in Radical-in-Chief,  was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America’s National Executive Committee, a frequent contributor to The Nation, a major influence on Community Organizing, “a key strategist” in the development of ACORN’s bank pressuring campaign, and a proponent of a scenario in which the expansion of state spending takes the public sector and – ultimately the entire country – to the brink of financial collapse.  This forces a call for spending cutbacks which, in turn, mobilizes those receiving government entitlements to protest, even to the point of revolution.[i]   Sound familiar?  We need look only to our experience in Wisconsin to see a living albeit minor example.

Dreier reportedly believes that this entitlement crisis may result in violent revolution and lead the country finally into either Fascism or Socialism.  He advocates the use of community organizers to assure that it is the latter and suggests the importance of having “a left wing grassroots movement already in place” to accomplish this.[ii]  Again, we may have current examples under the Obama Administration – the “Occupy” movement, supported by Obama and the membership of Obama’s Organizing for America: a force of unknown size and strength.  Could this be Obama’s Civilian National Defense Force?

Coincidentally, Dreier believes that corporations should be controlled by Labor Unions and community organizations.  According to author Stanley Kurtz, “a 1980 piece in Social Policy” contains a drawing depicting such an organization – oddly enough – called “U.S. Motors.”[iii]

In spite of all these similarities to current events, if it still seems a distant stretch, it is also of interest to note that Dreier served as an Advisor to Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.[iv]

(Excerpt from 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama)

[i] Stanley Kurtz, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, (New York, 2010, Threshold Editions), 43-49

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid, 45

[iv] Ibid, 49

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Reason #41 – Obama’s Pride in America – a Mixed Message

Only 132 Days Remaining!

Reason #41

Obama Finds Pride in America as Election Nears

During an interview with Barbara Walters, aired on ABC Nightline, on December 23, 2011, President Obama said:

“Here in the United States,  everybody’s always talking about China and how they’re rising.  When you’re in Asia, people are still looking to the United States.  They don’t look to China.  They look to the United States for Leadership, for security, on economics, on culture, on politics – not because they think we’re perfect, but because they realize that we are a unique superpower in the sense that we don’t just think about our self interest.  We also think about what’s good for the world.  And, I wouldn’t want us to trade places with anybody – and I want to communicate that more effectively to the American people.”

In October, 2010, he was not quite so happy with America, when he said of China:

“Right now, China’s building hundreds of thousands of miles of new roads. Over the next 10 years, it plans to build dozens of new airports. Over the next 20, it could build as many as 170 new mass transit systems. Everywhere else, they’re thinking big. They’re creating jobs today, but they’re also playing to win tomorrow.”[i]

In August, 2008, then Senator and Presidential Candidate Obama was quick to show the losing role of America – particularly, as compared with China:

“Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now…”[ii]

And, as for receiving the world’s admiration for not just thinking about our self interest, but also thinking about “what’s good for the world,” could Obama have been more supportive than in his 1990 statement that we were “mean-spirited” and ungenerous,[iii] or, in his January, 2009 interview on Al Arabiya TV, when he told their audience that “…all too often, the United States starts by dictating…”[iv] or, in his April 2009 speech at  the Summit of the Americas, where he confessed, “…we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms.”

The contrast of his current statement to his consistent position on these issues is indeed something to behold.  Perhaps, it has something to do with the proximity of the 2012 Presidential elections.

In true keeping with his “No Drama Obama” persona, time and time again, the President  illustrates his rugged ability to stare his own statements in the face and deny them with impunity.  Still, for those who watch and listen, he is indeed transparent.

(Excerpt from 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Obama)

[i] President Barack Obama, (Oct. 11, 2010), White House web-site, Speeches & Remarks, Remarks by President on Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure, retrieved December 26, 2011, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4McJhMjum4

[ii] Senator Barack Obama, (August 21, 2008), quoted in article by Jim Geraghty, (Aug. 22, 2008), National Review Web-site, The Campaign Spot, Obama, Fan of Chinese Ports, Trains, and Airports, retrieved December 28, 2011, from http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/9045/obama-fan-chinese-ports-trains-and-airports

[iii] Allison J. Pugh, Associated Press, (Cambridge, MA 1990), “Law Journal’s Leader Wants to Help Poor,” appearing in National Section of Altoona Mirror, April 16, 1990, p. B7, retrieved from Newspaper Archive.com http://www.newspaperarchive.com

/PdfViewerTags.aspx?img=70515705&firstvisit=true&src=search&currentResult=5&currentPage=0&fpo=False, using search terms “Barack Obama” “between years 1987-1995”, (Retrieved June 8, 2010)

[iv] President Barack Obama, (Jan. 2009), release of President Obama’s interview with Al Arabiya TV by Consulate General of the United States, Dubai-UAE, retrieved December 28, 2011, from http://dubai.usconsulate.gov/obama_arabiya.html

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Reason #35/36 – Obama: Americans Short on Ambition and Imagination/Obama: Ignorance and Arrogance of Americans

Only 136 Days Remaining!

Reason #35

Obama: Americans Short on Ambition and Imagination

A study of Obama’s speeches, fundraisers, press conferences and other interactions – especially with foreign countries and targeted audiences here at home – will lead even the most casual observer to the conclusion that Obama sees a great deal wrong with America.  He has called us “Mean-Spirited,” [i] “manic and self absorbed,” [ii] “soft” [iii] and more.

His Inaugural address seemed to offer a glimmer of decency, when he said:

“Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive…”[iv]

But, he quickly returned to normal.  Speaking at an October, 2011 fundraiser in San Francisco, President Obama couldn’t resist the urge to ring that bell still another time, as he addressed his followers:

“Anybody been to Beijing Airport lately? Or driven on high-speed rail in Asia or Europe? What’s changed? Well, we’ve lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam and unleashed all the potential in this country.”[v]

These are the words of the President of the United States, Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, who sends America’s men and women to war and sometimes death, believing in his heart that they – that we – are without ambition, or imagination.

(Excerpt from 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama)

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Reason #36

Obama: Ignorance and Arrogance of Americans

Obama asserts early in his first book, that while living in Indonesia, he was taught by his mother, Ann Dunham:

“…to disdain” what she saw as  “the blend of ignorance and arrogance that too often characterized Americans abroad.”[vi]

He also found the innocence of German, Japanese, British and American tourists in Kenya, “…vaguely insulting” and was angered by the attention they received from Kenyan waiters in a restaurant. [vii]

Perhaps these feelings account for some of his apologies for our Country – odd that his comments about Americans who cling to their religion and their guns, probably closely mimic the types of elitist condescension about which his mother was talking.

(Excerpt from 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama)

[i] Allison J. Pugh, Associated Press, (Cambridge, MA 1990), “Law Journal’s Leader Wants to Help Poor,” appearing in National Section of Altoona Mirror, April 16, 1990, p. B7, retrieved from Newspaper Archive.com http://www.newspaperarchive.com/PdfViewerTags.aspx?img=70515705&firstvisit=true&src=search&currentResult=5&currentPage=0&fpo=False, using search terms “Barack Obama” “between years 1987-1995”, (Retrieved June 8, 2010)

[ii] Barack Obama, Dreams From my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, 1st pbk Edition, (New York, 2004, Three Rivers Press), 133

[iii] Jake Tapper, (September 29, 2011), ABC News web-site, Obama: U.S. Had “Gotten a Little Soft” in Last Couple Decades, Lost Competitiveness, retrieved December 5, 2011 from http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/09/obama-u-s-had-gotten-a-little-soft-in-last-couple-decades-lost-competitiveness/

[iv] President Barack Obama (Jan 20, 2009), White House web-site, The White House Blog, President Obama’s Inaugural Address, retrieved January 13, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/inaugural-address/

[v] President Barack Obama (Oct. 26, 2011), White House web-site, Speeches & Remarks, Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event at W Hotel, San Francisco, CA, retrieved January 5, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/26/remarks-president-campaign-event-0

[vi] Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, 1st pbk Edition, (New York, 2004, Three Rivers Press), 47

[vii] Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, (New York, 2006, Three Rivers Press), 312

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Reason #33/34 – Obama: Rewriting History/Obama: America has “Gotten a Little Soft”

Only 137 Days Remaining!

Reason #33

Obama: Rewriting History

Speaking before the Cuban American Foundation, then Presidential Candidate Obama once again launched a verbal assault on then President George W. Bush.  Based on Obama’s purported intellect, we can only presume that he knew the first portion of this statement to be  a lie.

“…Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq.  Its policy in the Americas has been negligent towards our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in the peoples’ lives and incapable of advancing our interests in the region.  No wonder then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum.”[i]

“His predictable, yet perilous mix of anti-American rhetoric, authoritarian government, “checkbook diplomacy,” coddling the repressive regime in Cuba, offers the same false promise as the tried and failed ideologies of the past.”[ii]

Hugo Chavez was elected President of Venezuela in 1998.  He “stepped into this vacuum” on Clinton’s – not Bush’s watch!  Here, Obama talks judgmentally about “coddling the repressive regime in Cuba,” when he called for flexibility in dealing with Cuba at the Summit of the Americas.  This might fit the definition of Hypocrisy!

As to the second portion of Obama’s statement, can you tell whether he is speaking about Bush, or Chavez?  Did he know?  Did he care?

(An excerpt from 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama)

Reason #34

Obama:  America has “gotten a little soft”

Apparently, Obama does sometimes consider America to be a decent  country.  On occasion, he has even – as shown in the following quote – called us “Great.”  On September 29, 2011, speaking with Orlando WESH-TV’s Jim Payne, the President noted:

“The way I think about it is, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades.  We need to get back on track.”[iii]

This is probably one of the nicest things Obama has ever said about America – before, or after becoming President.

(An excerpt from 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama)

[i] Barack Obama, quoted in Jack Kelly, (May 27, 2008), Real Clear Politics web-site, Obama Obfuscates on Chavez & FARC, retrieved February 6, 2012 from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/obama_obfuscates_on_chavez_far.html

[ii] Barack Obama, shown on YouTube video posted by “econalc”, (Aug 25, 2008), Obama’s Funniest Bloopers, retrieved February 6, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxXh6ZWfbDg&feature=related

[iii] Jake Tapper, (September 29, 2011), ABC News web-site, Obama: U.S. Had “Gotten a Little Soft” in Last Couple Decades, Lost Competitiveness, retrieved December 5, 2011 from http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/09/obama-u-s-had-gotten-a-little-soft-in-last-couple-decades-lost-competitiveness/

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Reason 19 – Obama: Change We Can Believe In…Just Not Yet!

148 Days Remaining!

Reason #19

Obama: Change We Can Believe in – Just not yet

In 2008, at the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama told throngs of enthusiastic Americans:

“Well it’s time for them [Republicans] to own their failure. It’s time for us to change America.”[i]

But, what did he mean?  After three years of continued high unemployment – with horrific numbers mitigated more by people dropping out of the employment search than by those finding jobs – after an unsuccessful $800 billion dollar stimulus package – after increased divisiveness in the country, failed immigration policies, a health care program rammed down the throats of a resistant America – after all of this and more, Obama’s response is:

“’When I said, Change we can believe in, I didn’t say, Change we can believe in tomorrow, not, Change we can believe in next week.’”[ii]

New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd, in a surprising article, wrote: “The dissonance of his promise and his reality is jarring.” [iii]

[i] Senator Barack Obama, (Aug. 28, 2008), ABC News web-site, Barack Obama Makes History as First African American Nominee of Major Political Party, retrieved January 4, 2012, from http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Conventions/barack-obama-makes-history-african-american-nominee-major/story?id=5680403&singlePage=true

[ii] President Barack Obama, quoted in article by Maureen Dowd, (Aug. 6, 2011), New York Times web-site, Sunday Review, The Opinion Pages, Downgrade Blues, retrieved January 4, 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/Dowd–The-Downgrade-Blues.html?_r=1

[iii] Ibid

Reason 18 – Obama: A Rank Amateur

149 Days Remaining!

Reason #18

Obama: A Rank Amateur

In her book, The Obama’s, author Jodi Kantor states that “…when it was time to order a swing set for the Obama girls, Rear Admiral Stephen Rochon, the chief usher, traveled to the factory in South Dakota where it was being made to inspect it.”[i]

According to media coverage at the time, the Obama’s paid for the swing set.  But, there is more than one kind of extravagance – and this is a particularly ugly and unnecessary one.  A Rear Admiral in the field would likely be in command of thousands of service members.  There are two levels of Rear Admirals, both of which are Flag Officers – a rank level attained by less than 1% of career military officers.[ii]

Sending a Rear Admiral across the country to inspect a child’s swing set – particularly, given current Defense cuts – is an insult and an embarrassment.  If the military was to have any role in this transaction, there are numerous enlisted skilled technicians in all branches who could have done a credible job.  Most probably, there was an Army base far closer to the South Dakota operation than Washington, DC.

How and why did this happen?  Who knows?  What we do know, is that President Obama seems more comfortable with high ranking titles.  The BP “Spill Commission” noted, for example that:

“During the Deepwater Horizon response…inter-agency groups [NRT and RRT] were activated but later marginalized when issues were taken out of their hands and decided by agency heads rather than through the established decision-making structure.  When the first National Response Team conference call was held, instead of the designated team members, the principals of the agencies were on the line and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano chaired the call.” [iii]

In fact, on day two of the BP spill crisis, the Deputy Secretary of Interior was dispatched to the Gulf, in order – not to guide our response, but to provide Washington officials hourly updates on our disaster response.[iv]  Does this sound like a job for the Deputy Interior Secretary?

Are these lessons in applied Elitism?  Or, are they merely the actions of a rank amateur?

[i] Jodi Kantor, The Obama’s, (New York, 2012, Little Brown and Company), Kindle Version, p48

[ii] Pamela Barnett, About.com US Military web-site, Navy Rear Admiral, retrieved February 24, 2012 from http://usmilitary.about.com/od/navy/a/navyradmiral.htm

[iii] Staff, (October 5, 2010*), National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, Staff Working Paper No. 2, Decision-Making Within the Unified Command, p7 – Available at http://www.oilspillcommission.gov/document/decision-making-within-unified-command

[iv] Posted by Heidi Avery, (May 5, 2010), White House Blog, The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill, Retrieved September 23, 2010 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/05/05/ongoing-administration-wide-response-deepwater-bp-oil-spill

Reason 14/15 – Obama “Inherited” – 16,300 Times!/President Won’t Share Keys

151 Days Remaining!

Reason #14

Obama “Inherited” – 16,300 Times

Even today, this President continues to try and distance himself from the economic problems faced by America.  Nothing is his fault.  He bears no responsibility.  He “Inherited” this mess.  In fact, if you had gone to the White House web-site at 10:45am EST, on March 21, 2012, and in the search box, entered the word “inherited.”  This would have been your result:

Results 1-10 of about 16,300 for ‘”inherited”[i]

In his remarks to a Joint Session of Congress on Feb 24, 2009, he used the word three times and those of us who have listened to him, have heard it on many other occasions.  To be fair, these were not all his own speeches, but they all came from the White House.  Since it would take far too long to search each of the 16,300 uses of the word “Inherited,” I’ll stipulate that he could have used the word in other contexts – but, even if we generously allow that this happened in 1,000 cases, that still leaves 15,300 times in which the word was used once or more to describe his plight as the 44th President of the U.S. and his absolute freedom from any responsibility for our current economic conditions.

Although he still uses “inherited,” to point the finger at others, he has also learned to mix it up – now using the equally stunning “…for the last eight years….” and then again, to “….over the last decade.”  Same message, but as he and Duval Patrick say; “Words Matter.”[ii]

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Reason #15

President Won’t Share Keys – Demands others Compromise

Sticking to the same divisive, partisan rhetoric he consistently uses on the American people, President Obama addressed members of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on May 13, 2010, telling them:

“So after they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back.  No!  You can’t drive!  We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch! We just got the car out! We just got the car out!”[iii]

And here at the wheel is the President of “hope and change,” “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”  His inspirational words no doubt enhanced the spirit of bipartisan cooperation – and this was when Democrats controlled both Houses.  Does the President who was ready to meet with Ahmadinejad sound like he was ready to work cooperatively with Republicans?

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[i] Search Results on WH web-site for the word “Inherited.”  Search made on Feb. 2, 2012 at http://search.whitehouse.gov/search?affiliate=wh&query=%22inherited%22&form_id=usasearch_box

[ii] Rachel Sklar,(February 19, 2008), The Huffington Post, Yes, You Can Borrow My Speech: Why Obama’s Lifted Words Matter, retrieved May 25, 2010 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/19/yes-you-can-borrow-my-spe_n_87382.html

[iii] President Barack Obama, (May 13, 2010), White House web-site, Speeches & Remarks, Remarks by the President at DCCC Dinner, St. Regis Hotel, New York, retrieved December 18, 2011, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-dccc-dinner

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