Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Body of Lies - President Obama is Just Getting Started

Remember the DTV Delay Act? No? It's not man-code for that stunt your husband pulls to avoid taking out the garbage or fixing the flickering light bulb that gives your basement that "insane asylum chic" look. The DTV Delay Act allowed for an extension to those who had not yet switched over to the soon to be mandatory digital converter box. This may surprise you, but this specific piece of legislation falls under the category of an emergency in Obamaland.

Why? Because of the "Five Days of Sunlight" act. President Obama promised to post all legislation online for public review and scrutiny a full five days before signing any bill into law. It was a big deal at the time. It resonated with voters. Here was a guy that was going to bring transparency and "CHANGE" to the White House. He was going to be accountable to the voters, and restore integrity in Washington. He not only fooled a gullible public, he also conned many conservatives - like Christopher Buckley and others - who thought this serpent-tongued charmer was the right man for the job.

Back on the campaign trail, the Obama/Biden website made the following boast;

“Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.”
President Obama had barely been sworn into office when he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act followed by the re-authorization (with changes) to SCHIP legislation only a few days later. Obama is not the first President to break a campaign promise, but he most certainly holds the record for wasting no time in casting aside all those silly commitments he made to voters on the campaign trail. As of late June, The Cato institute documented almost 45 separate pieces of legislation and amendments that never saw the metaphorical light of day that candidate Obama considered a matter of the utmost principal and ethics. On February 5th, the administration quickly ran some political interference, issuing the following statement; "We will be implementing this policy in full soon...currently we are working through implementation procedures". For those of you unfamiliar with Washington beltway spin, that's Obama-speak for "don't hold your breath".

Wise advice, considering that if you have been withholding any oxygen waiting for this ground breaking new policy initiative, we are rapidly approaching the 7 month mark, and the President has all but abandoned this foolish promise that he must have surely known was impractical and unworkable - but we'll get back to that later.

How about his campaign pledge that there would be no new taxes imposed on the middle class to fulfill his myriad of FDR style social engineering projects? Nope. It seems that has fallen by the wayside as well. After the Congressional Budget Office warned House Democrats and Republicans that the President's plan to pay for his massive socialized health care scam by heavily taxing those who made above $250,000 would not even begin to cover the enormous expenditures required to fund such a program, President Obama hinted that the wallets of the middle class were exactly where the government's hands would be reaching. During his July 22nd infomercial on his new health care proposal, the President said;

"The one commitment that I've been clear about is, I don't want that final one-third of the cost of health care to be completely shouldered on the backs of middle-class families who are already struggling in a difficult economy."

....not "completely shouldered"? President Obama promised that the middle class would not be further taxed to trim the federal budget, pay for his health care initiative, or foot the bill for anything else cooked up by he and Nancy Pelosi. Perhaps he misspoke. Remember candidate Obama trekking across the country in rolled up shirt sleeves, chowing down waffles and cheese burgers at local diners in a bid to convince folks that he wasn't some ivy-league leftist going after the hard earned money of middle class America? I remember. I remember his countless promises and pledges to steer clear of any middle class tax increases.

This whip-lash inducing turn around should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention. As far back as late June 28th, cracks in the administration's no tax pledge started to show when senior advisor David Axelrod was pinned into a corner by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, making the bizarre admission that; "One of the problems we've had in this town is that people draw lines in the sand and they stop talking to each other. And you don't get anything done. That's not the way the president approaches this.” - Translation? -"It's kind of stupid to expect us to keep promises. We just promised stuff to get elected. President Obama can't get anything done without taxing the holy hell out of everyone. Don't you know that?"

The administration even boasted about how fear mongering was a delightful way to pass legislation without proper reflection or debate. Back in November, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel confided to The New York Times that “Rule #1 (is) never allow a crisis to go to waste." Hillary Clinton and the President himself have often times repeated this little "joke", prompting NRO's Jonah Goldberg to sagely note that;

"...the White House tactic isn’t funny at all. It’s scary. Its amorality is outweighed only by the grotesque and astoundingly naked cynicism of it all."

We all know the media is asleep at the wheel when it comes to the Obama administration...wait, scratch that - that's way too charitable. I think asleep in the rumpled sheets of the White House bed while waiting for room service is far more accurate. Why haven't any of the political intelligentsia at CNN or MSNBC bothered to point out the glaring disingenuousness of the President's call for a "second stimulus"? Second stimulus? You would think that amongst the combined intellectual fire power of the John King's, Chris Matthews' , David Gergen's and Candi Crowley's of the world, someone would have pointed out that February's 787 billion dollar package was the second stimulus. The first stimulus package of $168 billion passed in the last year of the Bush administration. A new stimulus package would be the third. The first two failed at creating or sustaining new jobs, but that's not the issue. To call for a second stimulus is a flat out distortion of the truth. We already had a second stimulus. President Obama claimed that if it didn't pass, unemployment would soar to 9%. As we go to print, the unemployment numbers have already surpassed the double digits and are fast approaching 14%. Maybe the Count from Sesame street was drunk the day young Barack was watching.


We could fill several blogs with the trail of broken campaign promises and abandoned pledges that went by the wayside under the Obama administration. I'm sure hundreds of other bloggers have done so already. But let's get back to why "The Five Days of Sunlight" act should bother you more than any other. On June 26th, the House passed the Waxman/Markey "cap and trade" bill. An amendment to the original bill was introduced at 3am on the day of passage and was over 300 pages long. If 3am legislative trickery doesn't disturb you enough, this should - Not a single written copy of the amendment existed when the legislation was passed, meaning that not a single member of the House of Representatives could have read the amendment even if they cared to. 219 of your elected officials voted for it anyway. As Mark Steyn wondered, "Is that even legal"?

I guess that's the transparency President Obama promised to bring to Washington - long winded, bureaucracy-laden legislation introduced in the dead of night with not a single copy to be found. How can you post a bill for even 5 minutes on the White House website when a written copy of the bill doesn't exist in the first place?

President Obama may have promised a government filled with sunshine, but so far, all he's delivering is 4 years of cloudy skies.



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