2012, 2012 Election, Barack Obama, Carney, FOX News, Jay, judicial watch, lobbyists, Mitt Romney, NYT, Obama, Politico, Politics, real clear politics, Timothy, transparency, Wall Street Journal, WAPO, Washington Examiner, white house
Polling at “Real Clear Politics” is showing that Romney is closing in on Obama’s lead. On the 15th of May, FOX showed Obama leading by 7 points. The “RCP” average for May 21st shows Obama leading by a mere 1.9 points. It is a pleasant surprise that more people are expressing buyer’s remorse when it comes to the election of Barack Obama. One can only wonder why the change in opinion.
Some think the disappointment being expressed for the Obama Administration can be credited to Obama’s declaration that he was in support of gay marriage. More than likely, there is a combination of reasons.
There is no doubt that Obama has failed to meet numerous campaign promises. And admittedly, many of them were contingent on other things that affected their outcomes. Nevertheless, one thing that Obama promised, that did not hinge on anything else, was transparency and an open government.
According to Politico, President Barack Obama set a high bar for open government, and he set it quickly. A minute after he took office, the White House website declared his administration would become “the most open and transparent in history.” By the end of his first full day on the job, Obama had issued high-profile orders pledging “a new era” and “an unprecedented level of openness” across the massive federal government.
In spite of their claims, the Obama Administration has not been as transparent as they claimed they would be. People are clamoring for clarity in government; it is a major sore spot with a good number of people on both sides of the aisle. These days, Obama’s Presidential Memorandum that promised transparency, is more like an invisibility clause.
Remember when Obama was trying to differentiate himself from Bush? Back then the ol’e mantra was . . .
. . . Let me say it as simply as I can: transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency”
Well, he isn’t looking down his nose so stringently now that he is in the White House. And a lot like Bush, he doesn’t seem to give a horse’s croup what the people think of his propensity to sweep stuff under the rug. Despite all the promises for transparency that Obama made during his first campaign, the internet is teeming with instances of the Obama Administration’s indiscretions.
As per the Wall Street Journal, Republican Cliff Stearns of Florida, who heads the oversight subcommittee at House Energy and Commerce, hosted a hearing on White House openness
Damning criticism came from some of the outside groups called to testify. Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton, a frequent critic of Bush administration policies (it pushed for Bush visitor logs related to convicted felon Jack Abramoff), said the Obama administration had been even worse.
To be clear, the Obama administration is less transparent than the Bush administration ~ Fitton
Fitton noted that his group had filed more than 325 Freedom of Information Act requests, and some 45 FOIA lawsuits in federal court. Even Anne Weismann of the Center for Responsibility for Ethics in Washington—a left-leaning group that tends to assault Republicans while ignoring ethics-tarred Democrats—was forced to acknowledge that the White House hasn’t kept its word. “The policies for disclosure are in place, but the applications of the policies do not exist,: she said.
Democrats groused that this hearing was unfair since no one from the White House testified. Mr. Stearns noted that the administration had been invited but refused to send anyone, leading him to quip:
The failure to send any witness to a hearing about White House transparency . . . is revealing in its own way about the administration’s true attitudes.”
It is sad that traditional sources of news, specifically radio, television, and newspapers are not more critical of the Obama administration, as it would encourage them to be more honest. The lobbying efforts going on in our nation’s capital deserve more press than they have been getting. After all, many of the actions taken in DC are affected by industries and businesses who want to manipulate policy in the US in one way or another.
During the left’s engagement and honeymoon with Barack Obama, we heard things like:
Our whole philosophy is one of transparency ~ Valerie Jarrett
And then we had Nasty Pelosi, who stated . . .
In our recovery package we put new standards of accountability and transparency, which we hope will now apply.
Valerie Jarrett handily showed her true stripes in the Solyndra affair. The New York Times said that while there is no evidence of political favoritism, that Gregory Nelson, an aide to Jarrett, met with lobbyists from Solyndra at least three times.
The company’s failure could cost taxpayers more than a half-billion dollars, and the clarity of the lobbying efforts to attain the loan are more than just questionable.
More blatantly, when she shut out the press when she partook in the famous Energy Department conference call she outright snubbed the press. The Energy Department sent out advisory of a conference call . . . with Jarrett and other officials “for an update on . . . inter-agency collaboration [for] small business procurement and exciting announcements on . . . events around the country.” It was blatantly noted in the email . . .
Note: Please note that this call is off-the-record and is not for press purposes.”
And though Nancy P Lousy isn’t exactly a part of the Obama Administration, who could forget when she declared, in regards to the healthcare law that . . .
You’ll just have to pass it to know what is in it.
One would suppose that the hypocrisy doesn’t get much more blatant than that . . . then again there is the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder.
At the beginning of his period with the Department of Justice, Holder was instructed to issue new “Freedom of Information Act” guidelines that reaffirm the government’s commitment to accountability and transparency.
Among other criticisms, Holder is currently being accused of contempt by members of congress for his refusal to comply with a subpoena for the records surrounding the gun walking scandal referred to as “fast and furious.”
In another instance, requests for data under the FOIA, in regards to costs associated with travel expenses incurred by the USAF, for trips abroad by Michelle Obama were ignored. In the end the group seeking the information had to file a subpoena to gain access to the data.
Regardless of their words, the actions of the Obama Administration are, by far, louder. The lack of transparency in regards to the lobbyists traipsing through the west wing of our nation’s presidential palace is brazen.
The Washington Post’s T.W. Farnam searched the West Wing’s visitor logs and wrote a comprehensive article spotlighting the accessibility of the White House for Lobbyists. The article, in the aforementioned link, also showcased the lengths that the Obama Administration has gone to when protecting their interests.
It appears that either the cleaning staff got tired of cleaning up after the lobbyists and forced them to go to the Blair House and the local cafe across the street; or the Obama Administration intentionally enacted the policy that lobbyists must now gather elsewhere.
The outcome is that they wouldn’t have to disclose the visit in the White House’s visitor log. Then, those seeking favors from the Obama Administration in lieu of campaign contributions are no longer transparent to the electorate.
According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, to date only 1% of 500,000 meetings from the president’s first eight months have been released, and thousands of known visitors (including lobbyists) are missing from the lists.
Timothy P Carney, a writer from Beltway Confidential & the Washington Examiner, has brought down the wrath of the 1st Amendment on the Obama Administration as well. Previously, he offered up a scathing review of the Obama Administration’s lack of transparency when Obama banished “ethics czar” Norm Eisen to the Czech Republic to serve as U.S. Ambassador.
Carney claimed, and rightfully so, that . . .
President Obama has abolished the position in his White House dedicated to transparency and shunted those duties into the portfolio of a partisan ex-lobbyist who is openly antagonistic to the notion of disclosure by government and politicians.
And more recently Carney claimed:
Obama seems to be running out of folks who believe he is waging a war against lobbyists.
One may be tempted to think it is getting better; but the Obama Administration is not the reason. Most recently, the indiscretions of the GSA and the scandal surrounding the secret service’s involvement with prostitutes have been brought to light. Still, it was the prostitute that came forward to publicize the secret servicemen’s indiscretion, not the press. And though it was reported on after the fact, the Obama Administration knew about the GSA spending for quite some time.
Who knows? Perhaps, like the fine young Marine, Gary Stein, who got the boot from the USMC for disrespecting the authority of Obama, more bureaucrats and civil servants will get the boot too. More than likely though, one can expect that if Barack’s underlings are acting at his behest, it is unlikely they’ll incur any punishment for their discretions unless they are ousted by outsiders. Eric Holder is proof positive.
We can only hope that voters remember the fifty plus broken campaign promises, listed at politifact.com, that Obama failed to bring to fruition. With any luck the voters will awaken from the slumber of the last three years and vote with their heads and not their hearts. Just the same, maybe the press will show some chutzpah and call him out too.
*Note* that the original link to Carney’s previous article is no longer active. And though I try to refrain from doing it, it appears the Stuttering Messiah, another Word-Press blogger, has the article in its entirety posted on his blog with the original source cited. Feel free to read the whole article there.*