Obama’s Delusions of Competence

Posted on September 30th, 2015

Obama Dishonesty and Incompetence from http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.comBy Jack Kelly

Government works better now than probably it ever has,” President Barack Obama told the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart last month. A partial list:

– Atrocious security at the Office of Personnel Management permitted the Chinese to acquire personal data on more than 21 million federal workers, most of them applicants for security clearances. The theft of background investigation data has created a massive threat to U.S. national security that will last for decades and cost billions to mitigate.

The Chinese didn’t even need to hack into OPM’s poorly secured database to get the info, because some Chinese nationals help manage it.

– The private email server Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used, possibly illegally, to conduct official business, probably was hacked by hostile foreign intelligence services, said former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morrell.

– One central task of the Department of Homeland Security is to secure our borders. DHS isn’t doing it. Illegal immigrants comprise 3 percent of the population and, by some counts, 30 percent of the federal prison population. We spent $1.87 billion to incarcerate violent illegal immigrant felons last year, according to freelance researcher Jay Bates.

Last year, DHS released into the general population 30,558 criminal aliens who among them had almost 80,000 convictions — including 250 homicides, 386 kidnappings, 373 sexual assaults, 994 aggravated assaults. Violent felons released by DHS in 2013 committed 1,000 additional crimes. Read More..

News Media Have Become ‘Radicalized’ and ‘Marginalized’

Posted on May 28th, 2015

Media Explains by Eric Allie, CaglecartoonsBy Brent Bozell

Appearing on FBN’s Cavuto Friday night, MRC President Brent Bozell argued that the news media are losing the trust of the American public because they’ve become more “marginalized” and “radicalized” during the Obama years, deliberately ignoring news “if it harms the narrative of the left.”

Host Neil Cavuto began the segment, part of an hour-long look at the issue of trust in America, by pointing out that “the media itself is one of the least-trusted institutions, second only to Congress,” and yet many in the media continue to champion government action as a cure to social ills.

Both MRC’s Bozell and The Hill‘s Lauren Ashburn agreed that the media were too infatuated with government to act as an effective watchdog. But when Ashburn disagreed that journalists were ignoring liberal scandals, pointing to recent coverage of the Clinton Foundation scandal, Bozell called that “nonsense.”

They have not gotten to the bottom of a single one of the Obama scandals….Look at the IRS, look at Benghazi, look at the VA, look at so many scandals — they’ve been dropped. This one, this Clinton one, will be dropped as well. Read More..

Could an Energy Bust Trigger QE4?

Posted on January 7th, 2015

Oil down graphic - Catastrophic drop in oil prices

By Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital

In a normal economic times falling energy costs would be considered unadulterated good news. The facts are simple. No one buys a barrel of oil to display above the mantle. No one derives happiness from a lump of coal. Energy is simply a means to do or get the things that we want. We use it to stay warm, to move from Point A to Point B, to transport our goods, to cook our food, and to power our homes, factories, theaters, offices, and stadiums. If we could do all these things without energy, we would happily never drill a well or build a windmill. The lower the cost of energy, the cheaper and more abundant all the things we want become.

This is not economics, it is basic common sense. But these are not normal economic times, and the mathematics, at least for the United States, have become more complicated.

Most economists agree that the bright spot for the U.S. over the past few years has been the surge in energy production, which some have even called the “American Energy Revolution”. The stunning improvements in drilling and recovery technologies has led to a dramatic 45% increase in U.S. energy production since 2007, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). And while some suggest that the change was motivated by our lingering frustration over foreign energy dependence, it really comes down to dollars and cents. The dramatic increase in the price of oil over the last seven or eight years, completely changed the investment dynamics of the domestic industry and made profitable many types of formerly unappealing drilling sites, thereby increasing job creation in the industry. What’s more, the jobs created by the boom were generally high paying and full time, thereby bucking the broader employment trend of low paying part time work.

The big question that most investors and drillers should have been asking, but never really did, was why oil rocketed up from $20 a barrel in 2001 to more than $150 barrel in 2007, before stabilizing at around $100 a barrel for much of the past five years. Was oil five times more needed in 2012 than it was in 2002? See my commentary last week on this subject.

Despite the analysts’ recent discovery of a largely mythical supply/demand imbalance, the numbers do not explain the rapid and dramatic decrease in price. Yes, supply is up, but so is demand. And these trends have been ongoing for quite some time, so why the sudden sell off now? Instead, I believe that oil prices over the last decade has been driven by the same monetary dynamics that pushed up the prices of other commodities, like gold, or of financial assets, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. I believe that oil headed higher because the Fed was printing money, and everyone thought that the Fed would keep printing. But now we have reached a point where the majority of analysts believe that the era of easy money is coming to an end. And while I do not believe that we are about to turn that monetary page, my view is decidedly in the minority. Could it be a coincidence that oil started falling when the mass of analysts came to believe the Fed would finally tighten?

If I am wrong and the Fed actually begins a sustained increase in rates starting in 2015, oil prices may very well stay low for a long time. But apart from the fact that our broad economy can’t tolerate higher interest rates, an extended drop in oil prices may create conditions that further force the Fed’s hand to reverse course.

If prices stay low for very long, many of the domestic drilling projects that have been undertaken over the past few years could become unprofitable, and plans for further investment into the sector would be shelved. Evidence suggests that this is already happening. Reuters recently reported a drop of almost 40 percent in new well permits issued across the United States in November (this was before the major oil price drops seen in December).

This huge negative impact on the primary growth driver of U.S. economy may be enough in the short-run to overwhelm the other long-term benefits that cheap energy offers. If prices stabilize at current levels, then the era of triple digit oil may, in retrospect, be looked back on as just another imploded bubble. And like the other burst bubbles in tech stocks and real estate, its demise will make a major impact on the broader economy. But there is a crucial difference this time around.

When the dot-com companies flamed out in 2000, most of the losses were seen in the equity markets. Dot-coms either raised money either through venture capitalists or the stock markets. They rarely issued debt. The trillions of dollars of notional shareholder value wiped out by the Nasdaq crash had been largely paper wealth that had been created by the sharp run up in the prior two years. As a result, the damage was primarily contained to the investor class and to the relatively few number of highly paid tech workers and entrepreneurs that rode the boom up and then rode it down. In any event, the Fed was able to cushion the blow of the ensuing recession by dropping rates from 6% all the way down to 1%.

The real estate and credit crash of 2008 was a much different animal. Despite the benefits that lower home prices may have brought to many would be home-buyers who had been priced out of an overheated market, the losses generated by defaulting mortgages quickly pushed lending institutions into insolvency and threatened a complete collapse of the U.S. financial system. Unlike the dot-com crash, the bursting of the housing bubble posed an existential threat to the country. The construction workers, mortgage brokers, landscapers, real estate agents, and loan officers who were displaced by the bust represented a significant portion of the economy. To prevent the bubble from fully deflating, the Fed bought hundreds of billions of toxic sub-prime debt (that no one else would touch) and dropped interest rates from 5% all the way down to zero.

I believe, a bust in the oil industry will likely play out somewhere between these two prior episodes. As was the case with falling house prices, while low prices offer benefits to consumers, the credit and job losses related to unwinding the malinvestments, made by those who believed prices would not drop, can impose severe short-term problems that the Fed will be unwilling to tolerate. Of course, long-term it’s always good when a bubble pops, it’s just that politicians and bankers are never prepare to endure the short-term pain necessary for long-term gain when they do.

A good portion of the money used to finance the fracking boom was raised by relatively small drillers in the debt market from banks, institutional investors, pension funds, hedge funds, and high net worth wildcatters. Public involvement has been involved primarily in the high yield debt market where energy companies have issued hundreds of billions of “junk” bonds in recent years. In 2010, energy and materials companies made up just 18% of the US high-yield index but today they account for 29%.

But many of the financing projections that these bond investors assumed will fall apart if oil stays below $60. Although the junk bond market is nowhere near as large as the home mortgage market, widespread defaults from energy-related debt could cause a crisis, which could make wider ripples throughout the financial edifice. Bernstein estimates that sustained $50 oil could result in investment in the sector to fall by as much as 75%. According to the Department of Labor, oil and gas workers as a percentage of the total labor force has doubled over the past decade, and have accounted for a very large portion of the high-paying jobs created during the current “recovery.” As a result a bust in the oil patch will result in a very big hit to American labor, causing ripple effects throughout the economy.

But we are far less able to deal with the fallout now of another burst bubble than we were in 1999 or 2007 (the years before the two prior crashes). I believe it will take much less of a shock to tip us into recession. But I don’t even believe that a burst energy bubble is even our biggest worry.Much greater and more fragile bubbles likely exist in the stock, bond and real estate markets, which have also been inflated by the easiest monetary policy in history. More importantly at present the Fed lacks the firepower to fight a new recession that a bursting of any of these bubbles could create. Since interest rates are already at zero, it has no ability to aggressively cut rates now in the face of a weakening economy. All it can do is go back to the well of quantitative easing, which is exactly what I think they will do.

Despite the widely held belief that 2015 will be the year in which a patient Fed finally begins to normalize rate policy, I believe the Fed has no possibility of withdrawing the stimulus to which it has addicted us. QE4 was always much more probable than anyone in government or on Wall Street cares to admit. A recession and a financial panic caused by sub $60 oil will significantly quicken the timetable by which the Fed cranks up the presses. When it does, oil could once again increase in price, along with all the other things we need on a daily basis. That should finally dispel any remaining illusions that the Fed could successfully land the metaphorical plane. More QE may minimize the damage in the short-term, but I believe it will keep us trapped in our current cocoon of endless stimulus, where we will slowly suffocate to death.    (my emphasis)

By Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital

www.europac.net

Best Selling author Peter Schiff is the CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital.

The Reasons Behind Obama’s Failures

Posted on December 30th, 2014

Obama Failures

By Ted Bromund

In early October, President Obama warned his supporters to “make no mistake: these policies [of mine] are on the ballot. Every single one of them”. After the November elections, he probably wishes he hadn’t said that: the scale of the liberal defeat is remarkable, as are its causes.

In 2008, Obama had long coat-tails: when he took office in 2009, the House of Representatives had 256 Democrats. In 2015, it will probably have 188.

But the underlying reasons for Obama’s failure run deeper than the normal swings of the political pendulum. Four of them are vital. The first is that a good part of Obama’s appeal in 2008 was that he was, supposedly, a man above mere politics. He was compared to Abraham Lincoln, a canny politician we now misremember as being above the partisan fray.

This was nonsense. If you want to get anywhere in politics, you have to be a politician. And the essence of politics has not changed since Aristotle’s time. That doesn’t mean that politicians are all liars. But it does mean that anyone who looks for salvation in a politician is going to be disappointed. Obama was hyped so high in 2008 that he had nowhere to go but down.

Another reason for Obama’s failure was that he sought, in his words, to begin “the work of remaking America”. The entire American political system was designed by the Founding Fathers to frustrate his plans. The Constitution, with its checks and balances and its separation of powers, was intended to limit the government and prevent transient majorities from having their way.

Within those limits, Obama has actually – and from a conservative perspective, regrettably – done a lot: Obamacare itself is proof of that. But inevitably, having set out his stall on the claim that he would fundamentally transform the United States, Obama has come up short. He has increasingly resorted to unilateral executive actions precisely because he resents the system’s constraints, but that just feeds the narrative that he’s more emperor than president.

The third reason for Obama’s failure is that most of his ideas were wrong. There were no shovel-ready jobs waiting for the stimulus spending. Fixing health care did not require ripping apart the insurance market. The answer to a weak economy was not expensive green energy.

Iran was not waiting for an outstretched hand of friendship. Russia wanted a reset for malicious reasons of its own, not because it wanted to be our friend. Al-Qaida was not on the run. The Arab Spring was not a new democratic dawn. The European Union was not a force for prosperity. Israel was not the reason the Middle East is so troubled.

Everyone makes mistakes. But it’s hard to bounce back from so many fundamental errors, especially when – and this was Obama’s fourth error – the administration has been terrible at the boring business of being competent.

The fiasco of Obamacare was bad enough. But then there was the Veterans Administration scandal, the Secret Service’s prostitute parties, the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups, Ebola and the Justice Department’s gun-running into Mexico, to name only a few of the screw-ups that have tainted the administration.

We should never attribute to malice what can plausibly be explained by incompetence. And conservatives aren’t shocked when governments make mistakes: it’s what we expect them to do. But incompetence wears more heavily on liberals, because they are the ones who always want government to do more. The evidence is overwhelming that government can’t do it well.

Obama came into office wanting, in his words, to make government cool again. But as respected U.S. political analyst Michael Barone points out, since Watergate and with the exception of the 9/11 aftermath, trust in government peaked under Ronald Reagan, precisely because Reagan sought to limit government. Under Obama, it has fallen to near-historic lows.

The conservative triumphs in 2010 and 2014 have not irrevocably set America’s destiny: there are no permanent victories in politics. But there was a fundamental contradiction between the apolitical fantasy that Obama embodied, and the real-world desire of the American people to support liberal policies, especially when incompetently administered.

Once the fantasy wore off, reality set in. And for liberals, reality is often bad news.     (my emphasis)

By Ted Bromund for The Daily Signal

By permission The Daily Signal

http://dailysignal.com

http://dailysignal.com/2014/12/21/the-reasons-behind-obamas-failures/

Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D., is the Margaret Thatcher senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

Progressives in the Dock. Why America Has Soured on Obama.

Posted on November 4th, 2014

Costume Ball Tricked Obama

By Jeffrey Lord

As always, the progressive utopia sounds just ducky. Utopia arrives. And then…shocker!…it doesn’t work. Now? Americans have soured on President Obama — and progressives are in the dock.

One poll after another says Americans are a pretty unhappy lot this election year, and are set Tuesday to deliver a smackdown of some considerable size to the president’s party. But why? Let’s review, beginning with this famous passage from Obama’s speech the night in 2008 that he clinched the Democratic nomination:

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Well. How has this worked out? Let’s go through ten events from the last six years:

1. Obamacare: After failing to get 60 votes in the Senate to pass a government takeover of the health care system, the progressives resorted to a parliamentary ruse and passed it in a budget reconciliation bill. Obamacare became the law of the land. And the results? Millions of Americans in the individual insurance market had their plans canceled, and costs are skyrocketing. As noted in U.S. News and World Report just last month, “if you like your plan you still can’t keep it”:

There’s a bizarre reason why millions of Americans saw their health insurance plans cancelled in 2013 — and as explained in a new video put out by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, millions more will lose their plans in years to come. 

Insurance coverage for Americans will remain in permanent turmoil because the Affordable Care Act requires all plans to fit within four cookie-cutter designs called “metallic tiers.” (The tiers — bronze, silver, gold and platinum — refer to the percentage of medical expenses a particular plan pays.) The video also notes that families may have to change plans repeatedly because, as circumstances change, a plan that fits within a tier one year may not fit in any tier a later year.

2. Immigration: Last week two California sheriff’s deputies were shot to death by an illegal immigrant who had previously been deported — twice. In a Mexican jail sits Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, imprisoned for months for making a wrong turn into Mexico. Illegal immigrants continue to pour across a virtually unguarded open border, and thousands of children who here illegally were distributed throughout the country. The president is potentially poised, according to the head of the union for border patrol agents, to issue an executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegals.

3. The IRS: Congressional investigations have revealed that IRS official Lois Lerner — who has pleaded the Fifth Amendment — was spearheading an IRS effort to attack and harass conservative Tea Party groups and their organizers. Now comes the revelation that the IRS has been confiscating the bank accounts of small businesses with no evidence of a crime having been committed under civil asset forfeiture laws.

4. Veterans Administration: As widely reported — here at CNN — as many as 1,000 veterans may have died from receiving bad care, no care, or late care in the hopelessly bureaucratic VA. Reports CNN:

The report aggregates government investigations and media reports to trace a history of fraudulent scheduling practices, budget mismanagement, insufficient oversight and lack of accountability that have led to the current controversy plaguing the VA.

The VA has admitted that 23 patients have died because of delayed care in recent years, but the report, titled “Friendly Fire: Death, Delay, and Dismay at the VA,” shows many more patient deaths have been linked to systemic issues affecting VA hospitals and clinics throughout the U.S.

5. Stimulus: As always with progressives, the solution to all things economic is more government spending. Thus the $800 billion “stimulus” — aka the “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” As noted in the New York Post in 2012 by Michael Grabell, a reporter for ProPublica and author of Money Well Spent? The Truth Behind the Trillion-Dollar Stimulus, the Biggest Economic Recovery Plan in History:

[T]he stimulus ultimately failed to do what America expected it to do — bring about a strong, sustainable recovery. The drop kick was shanked.

The stimulus was supposed to work like this: First, a flood of money in tax cuts, food stamps and unemployment checks would get consumers spending. A deluge of education and health-care money would stanch the bleeding in state budgets.

Then, a wave of “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects would kick in, creating new jobs repaving roads and making homes more energy efficient. As the economy got churning again, new investments in wind farms, solar panel factories, electric cars, broadband and high-speed rail would lead America out of the recession and into a 21st century economy competitive with the rest of the world.

But it didn’t happen like that.

6. The National Debt: When President Obama was sworn in — after a campaign in which he attacked George Bush as “unpatriotic” and “irresponsible” for adding $4 trillion to the debt in eight years — the nation’s debt stood at $10,626,877,048,913.08. As reported by CNS news: “As of Jan. 31, 2014, the latest day reported, the debt was $17,293,019,654,983.61an increase of $6,666,142,606,070.53 since Obama’s first inauguration.” No word on whether the Obama White House considers this “unpatriotic” or “irresponsible.”

7. Jobs: The October jobs report from the Department of Labor showed the lowest labor participation rate since 1978. When, not coincidentally, Jimmy Carter’s progressive economics held the nation in its grips.

8. Ebola: On September 16, 2014, President Obama told the nation:

First and foremost, I want the American people to know that our experts, here at the CDC and across our government, agree that the chances of an Ebola outbreak here in the United States are extremely low. We’ve been taking the necessary precautions, including working with countries in West Africa to increase screening at airports so that someone with the virus doesn’t get on a plane for the United States. In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home. We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus. We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely.

Not a word of this turned out to be true.

9. ISIS: Obama Secretary of Defense and ex-CIA Director Leon Panetta says the President rejected the advice of his national security team to deal quickly with the Islamic State — ISIS. As noted here in the Daily Mail:

Obama now stands widely accused of standing by while ISIS, the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, established a base of operations in eastern Syria and threatened to overthrow Assad, while simultaneously marching across more than half of Iraq.

10. Iraq: Panetta also said Obama ignored advice from his military advisers to leave a sizable bloc of U.S. troops in Iraq to prevent exactly what has now occurred — the appearance of Islamic fundamentalists intent on setting up an Islamic state.

There’s more here. The Fast and Furious gun running scandal that wound up taking the life of U.S. Border Patrol officer Brian Terry. The refusal to confront the reality of Islamic radicalism, terming the mass shootings of Major Nidal Hassan at Ft. Hood as “work place violence” and renaming the war on terror a “overseas contingency operation.” The repeated playing of the race card, from refusing to investigate the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation to making it difficult for the Hispanic George Zimmerman to receive a fair trial in the Trayvon Martin case or playing to the race-baiting Al Sharpton. And don’t forget the “red line” in Syria. Or the Ukraine, where Vladimir Putin ignored Obama’s warnings that “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.” Putin invaded the Crimea and is still there. All of this before we get to climate change, the EPA and the “war on coal” — not to mention the bogus “war on women.”

The latest national experiment with progressivism has been tried — again — and it has produced the inevitable failures. The president’s ratings are in the toilet, Democrats across the country have so soured on him they are fleeing any identification with him as if he were Ebola personified, some refusing to even say they once voted for the man. 

But this next election will be about much more than the persona of Barack Obama. It will be a verdict on the progressive experiment. Are Americans getting it yet? Do they understand the connection between progressive beliefs and the rise in their health care costs and the loss of their insurance policies? Do they understand why exactly so many millions of Americans are not participating in the economy? Or what happens when you waste $800 billion and raise the debt by over $6 trillion?

Come this Tuesday, to borrow a legal expression, Barack Obama and the policies of the progressive movement are in the dock. The results of those policies are in. What’s the verdict? Stay tuned.

By Jeffrey Lord for The American Spectator

By permission The American Spectator

http://spectator.org

http://spectator.org/articles/60821/progressives-dock

Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author.

VA Hospital Lacks PJ’s, Sheets and Toothbrushes, Yet Spends Millions on New Furniture, TVs and Solar

Posted on October 29th, 2014

WAIMH Red ArrowBy Tori Richards

MORE BIG GOVERNMENT INEFFICIENCY!

Veterans at the Shreveport, La., Veterans Administration hospital have been going without toothbrushes, toothpaste, pajamas, sheets and blankets while department officials spend money on new Canadian-made furniture, televisions to run public service announcements and solar panels, a Watchdog investigation has revealed.

Sources inside the hospital told Watchdog.org that patients also have had to contend with substandard care, as many nurses spend less time on work than on cell phones, iPods or accessing personal data on hospital computers.

It shouldn’t be like this. These are our veterans,” one employee said. “When I saw those solar panels out there and they waste money on things like new TVs that just play (public service) announcements, it really made me angry.”

According to the VA, the department spent $74,412 on 24 flat screen TVs for “patient/employee information” — one 50 inches wide and the others 42 inches. The furniture cost $134,082 and the solar project was approximately $3 million.

VA Overton Brooks Veterans Administration Medical Center

Photo courtesy of the VA Overton Brooks Veterans Administration Medical Center

Shreveport’s Overton Brooks VA Medical Center was built in 1950 and its linens look like they’ve been around just as long. Sheets and blankets often have holes or are threadbare. Pajamas are missing buttons or snaps and are ripped. But patients who get even these items are the lucky ones.

By the weekend, the hospital runs out while waiting for its supply of laundry to arrive from 125 miles away, where it was cleaned at another VA hospital in Pineville, La.

The VA said it doesn’t contract with a local vendor because the employees in Pineville are veterans, but it did not address why it would spend $3 million on solar panels to help the environment yet condone burning millions of gallons of gasoline.

“The patients don’t complain, they are wonderful,” the employee said regarding the lack of resources. “They are so appreciative of the care. That’s the least of their problems, these ratty, torn pajamas.”

The VA said in a statement that laundry is inspected before it is delivered. To this, the employee laughed in amazement.

“I can’t tell you how many times a blanket will be opened and there will still be the electrode pads stuck to it from the last patient,” he said. “And the pajamas still have tape on them from the last person’s IV.”

Hospital Elevators Doors

The employee asked not to be identified because he feared repercussions. However, a second employee who quit her job over a climate of substandard care did not wish to hide her identity.

Kathy Scott, a former nurse at the facility, echoed the first employee’s complaints. She recalled, “I know there were times when we didn’t have any sheets and we would put a pillowcase over the patient.”

The scarcity of supplies drives nurses to hoard. Toiletries are kept in a locked cabinet on another floor, accessible by an employee who works the day shift. Scott worked nights, so she purchased items with her own money and kept them in her own locker for her patients.

The VA “does not furnish those. Volunteers come through and drop off toothbrushes, deodorant, mouthwash and combs,” the first employee said. “We run out, so all we have available are pre-moistened sponges for oral care.”

Overton Brooks has “volunteers who pass out comfort-item kits daily to newly admitted veterans,” and after hours a supervisor can unlock the cabinet, the VA noted. The first employee disputed this.

“This is the first I’ve heard of that,” the employee said. “Volunteers only come by a certain number of days to stock the drawer with toothbrushes,” the employee said. “When it runs out, it’s out. Nurses call around to other floors looking for some but it’s the same situation with everyone else.”

The employee said it’s also common knowledge that several nurses and aides will bring their own toiletries for patients.

Overton Brooks, a 10-story, 111 hospital-bed facility, serves about 37,000 veterans each year and another 462,000 outpatients.

Scott said she left her job in December 2012, afraid that “something bad would eventually happen to one of the patients and I could be implicated” just by merely working the same shift as some of her inattentive colleagues.

“Nurse assistants were allowed to sit around and disappear and talk on the phone or listen to headphones,” she said. “Supervisors never supervised and didn’t know what was going on the floor and didn’t want to hear about it. If I wanted something done, I had to do it myself.

“I didn’t want to lose my license I’ve had all these years,” Scott said. “If you can’t trust people you work with, you are in a bad situation.”

She recalled some nurses sitting at a computer doing personal business for an entire eight-hour shift while aides refused to bathe patients.

Scott said aides complained that patients often waited hours to be bathed. She said one aide complained that it was useless to keep patients clean early in a shift. The aide told her, “If I have to do it now, I will just have to do it again before the end of my shift.”

A third employee confirmed the lack of nursing oversight. She recalled a patient who was left unattended in a room for nearly 24 hours, wishing to take a shower but unable to make the trek alone to the hallway where the facilities were located.

Instead, a nurse merely dropped towels onto his in-room sink, and told the patient to wash himself.

“Nobody paid attention to him,” the third employee said. “Nurses just shrugged their shoulders.”

The VA health care system has come under fire as whistleblowers have detailed secret lists of veterans waiting — and dying — to receive care. The VA Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) has had its hands full looking into claims of lax supervision and falsified records to cover up lengthy waits at many of the nation’s 1,700 facilities.

The inspector general included Overton Brooks on a list of 110 hospitals requiring investigation.

Fallout over the scandal cost VA Secretary Eric Shinseki his job, while his replacement, Bob McDonald, has vowed to right the numerous wrongs. McDonald did not respond to repeated requests for comment regarding the issues at Overton Brooks.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.,chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, told Watchdog.org: These are disturbing allegations that, if true, constitute a serious disregard for the well-being of patients and an organizational climate that puts employees — rather than veterans — first.”

“VA continues to assert that once a veteran has access to care it is excellent,” Miller said. “I want to believe that. But these allegations do not represent quality care, and I expect VA leadership to not only investigate but immediately correct and hold accountable anyone who does not embrace a culture of service toward veterans.”

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the ranking member on the Senate’s Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, had no comment. However, his spokesperson Rachael Hicks said: “As this is the first Sen. Burr’s office has heard of these allegations, we have reached out to the VA Inspector General to look into it.”

A report was issued on March 31 by the VA OIG outlining several deficiencies at Overton Brooks encountered during a routine audit, but nothing unearthed in Watchdog.org’s investigation was discussed. VA OIG spokesperson Cathy Gromek said the agency’s focus was determined before they arrived. She was unaware of the employees’ complaints and said anyone can anonymously call the OIG hotline at 800-488-8244.

“If they have concerns about the quality of care for the veterans, of course we want to hear about them,” Gromek said.

Standard of care aside, the question remains whether hard-earned tax dollars should be funding new furniture, televisions and solar panels at the expense of veteran care, the employees said.

“They put those flat-screen TVs all over the hospital at every elevator in the east wing and we have 10 floors,” one employee said. All it has is the weather and then it has these uplifting sayings by Martin Luther King and Maya Angelou and advice by Michelle Obama. Like ‘Be safe,’ ‘Move,’ ‘Eat Less’ and ‘Exercise.’”

None of the televisions were used to upgrade the rooms of patients, which have 24-inch televisions. Rather, their purpose is to serve as an electronic bulletin board that “offers an easy way to spread information to a wide audience in a short amount of time. It also provides a way to inform … (about) Medical Center activities, future events and specific health-related topics,” according to a VA statement.

The furniture purchases include new seating arrangements for lobby areas outside the elevators and upgrades to existing chairs in patient rooms. The tags say “Made in Canada,” the employee said.

“I felt like it was a waste of money,” he said. “A lot of our furniture was still in great condition.”

The VA confirmed that some of the furniture was made in Canada, but defended its purchase by saying the manufacturer was an American company and the contract went to a minority, female, disabled veteran-owned vendor. Part of the purchase was used to furnish a new wing.

As for the solar panels, the price tag was $9.25 million for Overton Brooks and two other VA hospitals. This is part of a nationwide solar push to make federal buildings more environmentally friendly, as required by a 2009 presidential order.

The solar contract was signed in 2010, construction was completed in June and the panels were hooked up and operational on Aug. 22. It will save $119,000 a year on electricity, the VA said. However, solar systems still require maintenance and pricey parts can start failing after five years, experts say.

In response to allegations regarding lack of care, the VA said in a statement: “Each veteran has an assigned registered nurse to ensure he/she receives appropriate and timely care. In addition, nursing staff conduct veteran care rounds on all inpatient units at designated intervals to ensure needed care is provided.”

U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-La., whose district includes Shreveport, said, “The care of our veterans is crucial and has been under an intense microscope since reports of veterans dying while waiting for care.”

Fleming said he has “engaged with” the hospital’s interim director about “concerns” at Overton Brooks.

“It is the sad reality that patients are often the ones who fare the worst under government-run health care, as is the case with the VA system,” Fleming said.    (my emphasis)

By Toni Richards for Watchdog.org

By permission watchdog.org and the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity

http://watchdog.org

http://watchdog.org/174330/va-hospital-lacks-pjs-sheets/

Tori Richards is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter who has covered some of the biggest news in the world during her 25 years in the business. She has also won a dozen national and local writing awards for her coverage of the judicial system. Richards has worked for CBS News, Bloomberg, Reuters. Agence-France Presse, the NY Post, the NY Times and The Daily among others. Her work has also appeared on CNN.com, FoxNews.com and US News & World Report. Some of her biggest stories included the cases of OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, the Aryan Brotherhood and the Night Stalker.

Do We Have a Sociopath in the White House?

Posted on September 8th, 2014

Marthas Fiddler While Zero Fiddles by A F Branco of Branco Cartoons

By Wayne Allyn Root

Things aren’t going so well for America. There was major rioting recently in Ferguson, Missouri…there are still no jobs for middle class Americans…our Southern border is still under siege…Obamacare is a disaster…our veterans are dying at the hands of the incompetent VA…ISIS threatens to create a radical Muslim empire in the Middle East…and the world (from Israel to Ukraine to Syria to Iraq) is literally on fire.

This time even the media is whispering. “Where is Obama? Isn’t his indifference to the problems of America and disconnect from reality, strange?” The simple answer is, “No.” This is how he’s been his entire adult life. It all started at Columbia University.

I believe we have a President who is an arrogant, egomaniacal sociopath.

The definition of a “sociopath” is a person with an antisocial personality disorder. They are often well liked because of their charm and high charisma, but they do not usually care about other people. They think mainly of themselves and often blame others for the things that they do. They have a complete disregard for rules and lie constantly. They seldom feel guilt or learn from punishments.

My new book “The Murder of the Middle Class” presents the story in vivid detail. I was Obama’s college classmate at Columbia University, Class of 1983. I’ve been trying to tell America about Obama’s “problem” for seven long years now.

By college, a person’s personality, attitude and behavior is fairly well set. That’s why Obama’s Columbia days tell us so much about his behavior as President today. Where was he? Why does virtually no one from Columbia remember the future President of the United States? Why did the future president make an impression on none of his classmates?

Things rarely change. 30 years ago, my classmate was rarely seen. 30 years later, he is rarely seen conducting the business of the presidency. No one should be surprised.

What do I know about Obama at Columbia? Nothing. I had never met him. As I’ve reported countless times to the media, Obama and I shared the same major— Political Science. We were both Pre-Law. It was a small class (about 700 students). The Political Science department was even smaller (maybe 150 students) and was a close-knit group. I thought I knew or had at least met everyone in this department.

But I never met Obama. Never even heard of him. What’s worse, neither did anyone I knew at Columbia. Think about that. Our classmate is President of the United States. Yet he didn’t leave a footprint.

In all my years of publicly questioning Obama’s absence at Columbia, I know of only two possible sightings. Two people called me claiming to be classmates.  One caller claimed that he thinks he saw Obama once in a bar across from Columbia blowing smoke rings. Another called to say he thinks he saw Obama in the cafeteria at Barnard (our sister school for women only).

Two possible Obama sightings in 30 years—one smoking in a bar, the other at a women’s cafeteria. Isn’t that the perfect guy to run your country?

Obama defenders and the media (I know, they’re the same) misinterpreted what I said. I never said Obama didn’t attend Columbia. I said he was never in class—perpetually absent, missing in action. Sound familiar?

Obama acts exactly the same today as President, as he did as a student at Columbia. Obama has always believed himself to be brilliant and better than the rest of us. He’s arrogant and detached. He thinks he’s too smart to have to actually do the work the rest of us do. He’s above it all.  Why attend class? “What could someone as smart as me possibly learn in class?”

It’s the same story today. Obama rarely attends meetings, even with his cabinet. He’s too busy playing golf, taking vacations, or attending fundraisers.

This past February Obama skipped two national security meetings focused on Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine. He was too busy to attend a meeting about a crisis that could lead to World War III.  (National Security Aides Discuss Ukraine)

Even if Obama wasn’t concerned about Russia invading Ukraine, certainly he finds America’s jobs crisis important, right? Wrong. Obama never bothered to convene one meeting of his own Jobs Council in a full year, even with unemployment and under-employment at crisis levels. (Jobs Council Hits Year Without Official Meeting)

Even more remarkable, within 2 weeks of that story, Obama closed down his Jobs Council—with 12 million Americans still counted officially as unemployed. Jobs Council Shutting Down

So what is so important in Obama’s life? Golf and fundraisers. PolitiFact.com, the non-partisan fact checker, confirmed our President golfed often and attended 106 fundraisers during just a 6 month period where he could find no time, or interest, to attend even one meeting of his own Jobs Council.(100 Plus Fundraisers, Jobs Council Rarely Met)

And, where was Obama the night of the Benghazi attack? Both Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey testified Obama was absent that night. (Obama Talks Only Once Night of Benghazi Attack)

Four brave Americans died while Obama was “absent.” What could be so important that Obama never checked in to ask a question, or discuss a rescue attempt from 5:30 PM ET until the next morning (when everyone was dead)? (Obama Absent Night of Benghazi)

The track record is consistent. Just like his college days, Obama believes he’s too gifted to do the actual work of President. He’s just too busy to have to worry about the plight of unemployed Americans. He’s even too important to worry about young black males killing each other in Chicago, or being shot by police, or serious unrest, rioting and looting in Ferguson, Missouri. He’s got more important things to do than stay in touch as a U.S. Embassy is under attack. Hamas is lobbing missiles into Israel. Who cares? “I’ve got a golf game in the morning.”

To be exact, Obama has played 186 rounds of golf and counting versus Bush’s 24. (Obama: 186 Rounds of Golf)

Does Obama ever work? Sure. Every once in a while he throws a “Beer Summit.”

Nothing much has changed since Columbia University. Not Obama’s personality, not his attitude, not his behavior. Either Obama is detached and just couldn’t care less…or he just doesn’t like America very much, so he’s purposely fiddling while Rome burns. Or, like O.J. Simpson, maybe he’s searching for the answers to all of these terrible crises in the holes and sand traps of America’s greatest golf courses.

This is most certainly “The Murder of the Middle Class.” And the death of America.

I believe we have a sociopath in the White House.  (my emphasis)

By Wayne Allyn Root

By permission Wayne Allyn Root

www.rootforamerica.com

http://www.rootforamerica.com/webroot/blog/2014/08/18/2486/

Wayne’s latest book is: “The Murder of the Middle Class.” Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee, successful entrepreneur, small business defender, business speaker, Capital Evangelist, and media personality – appearing on over 5,000 interviews in the past five years.

Wall Street Admits That A Cyberattack Could Crash Our Banking System At Any Time

Posted on September 5th, 2014

CyberattackBy Michael Snyder

Wall Street banks are getting hit by cyber attacks every single minute of every single day.  It is a massive onslaught that is not highly publicized because the bankers do not want to alarm the public.  But as you will see below, one big Wall Street bank is spending 250 million dollars a year just by themselves to combat this growing problem.  The truth is that our financial system is not nearly as stable as most Americans think that it is.  We have become more dependent on technology than ever before, and that comes with a potentially huge downsideAn electromagnetic pulse weapon or an incredibly massive cyberattack could conceivably take down part or all of our banking system at any time.

This week, the mainstream news is reporting on an attack on our major banks that was so massive that the FBI and the Secret Service have decided to get involved.  The following is how Forbes described what is going on…

The FBI and the Secret Service are investigating a huge wave of cyber attacks on Wall Street banks, reportedly including JP Morgan Chase, that took place in recent weeks.

The attacks may have involved the theft of multiple gigabytes of sensitive data, according to reports. Joshua Campbell, supervisory special agent at the FBI, tells Forbes: “We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyber attacks against several American financial institutions.”

When most people think of “cyber attacks”, they think of a handful of hackers working out of lonely apartments or the basements of their parents.  But that is not primarily what we are dealing with anymore.  Today, big banks are dealing with cyberattackers that are extremely organized and that are incredibly sophisticated.

The threat grows with each passing day, and that is why JPMorgan Chase says that “not every battle will be won” even though it is spending 250 million dollars a year in a relentless fight against cyberattacks…

JPMorgan Chase this year will spend $250 million and dedicate 1,000 people to protecting itself from cybercrime — and it still might not be completely successful, CEO Jamie Dimon warned in April.

Cyberattacks are growing every day in strength and velocity across the globe. It is going to be continual and likely never-ending battle to stay ahead of it — and, unfortunately, not every battle will be won,” Dimon said in his annual letter to shareholders.

Other big Wall Street banks have a similar perspective.  Just consider the following two quotes from a recent USA Today article

Bank of America: “Although to date we have not experienced any material losses relating to cyber attacks or other information security breaches, there can be no assurance that we will not suffer such losses in the future.”

Citigroup: “Citi has been subject to intentional cyber incidents from external sources, including (i) denial of service attacks, which attempted to interrupt service to clients and customers; (ii) data breaches, which aimed to obtain unauthorized access to customer account data; and (iii) malicious software attacks on client systems, which attempted to allow unauthorized entrance to Citi’s systems under the guise of a client and the extraction of client data. For example, in 2013 Citi and other U.S. financial institutions experienced distributed denial of service attacks which were intended to disrupt consumer online banking services. …

“… because the methods used to cause cyber attacks change frequently or, in some cases, are not recognized until launched, Citi may be unable to implement effective preventive measures or proactively address these methods.”

I don’t know about you, but those quotes do not exactly fill me with confidence.

Another potential threat that banking executives lose sleep over is the threat of electromagnetic pulse weapons.  The technology of these weapons has advanced so much that they can fit inside a briefcase now.  Just consider the following excerpt from an article that was posted on an engineering website entitled “Electromagnetic Warfare Is Here“…

The problem is growing because the technology available to attackers has improved even as the technology being attacked has become more vulnerable. Our infrastructure increasingly depends on closely integrated, high-speed electronic systems operating at low internal voltages. That means they can be laid low by short, sharp pulses high in voltage but low in energy—output that can now be generated by a machine the size of a suitcase, batteries included.

Electromagnetic (EM) attacks are not only possible—they are happening. One may be under way as you read this. Even so, you would probably never hear of it: These stories are typically hushed up, for the sake of security or the victims’ reputation.

That same article described how an attack might possibly happen…

An attack might be staged as follows. A larger electromagnetic weapon could be hidden in a small van with side panels made of fiberglass, which is transparent to EM radiation. If the van is parked about 5 to 10 meters away from the target, the EM fields propagating to the wall of the building can be very high. If, as is usually the case, the walls are mere masonry, without metal shielding, the fields will attenuate only slightly. You can tell just how well shielded a building is by a simple test: If your cellphone works well when you’re inside, then you are probably wide open to attack.

And with electromagnetic pulse weapons, terrorists or cyberattackers can try again and again until they finally get it right

And, unlike other means of attack, EM weapons can be used without much risk. A terrorist gang can be caught at the gates, and a hacker may raise alarms while attempting to slip through the firewalls, but an EM attacker can try and try again, and no one will notice until computer systems begin to fail (and even then the victims may still not know why).

Never before have our financial institutions faced potential threats on this scale.

According to the Telegraph, our banks are under assault from cyberattacks “every minute of every day”, and these attacks are continually growing in size and scope…

Every minute, of every hour, of every day, a major financial institution is under attack.

Threats range from teenagers in their bedrooms engaging in adolescent “hacktivism”, to sophisticated criminal gangs and state-sponsored terrorists attempting everything from extortion to industrial espionage. Though the details of these crimes remain scant, cyber security experts are clear that behind-the-scenes online attacks have already had far reaching consequences for banks and the financial markets.

In the end, it is probably only a matter of time until we experience a technological 9/11.

When that day arrives, will your money be safe?    (my emphasis)

By Michael Snyder for Economic Collapse

By permission Economic Collapse Blog

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/wall-street-admits-that-a-cyberattack-could-crash-our-banking-system-at-any-time

Iraq Is an American War

Posted on August 19th, 2014

Imagine A World Without IslamEDITOR’S COMMENT: I must admit that I have some mixed feelings about Alan Caruba’s main sentiment here. Like most Americans, I would prefer to be removed from both Iraq and Afghanistan, because I’m not sure what we can accomplish in either country, or, if we should even be trying. On the other hand, I do believe the ISIS terrorists, when they proclaim that they want to kill and slaughter the ‘infidels’, which certainly would include us. Their extreme ideology and overall worldview would attempt to establish a Caliphate, which would clearly be a threat to modern democratic societies. Thus, it seems reasonable that the U.S. needs to step up and play a significant role in stopping this threat now before it expands even further. I will be curious to see and hear how you feel about this!

By Alan Caruba

Like many Americans I advocated ending our participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I was wrong. Being war-weary is no excuse for not realizing that we are in a very long war with the enemies of civilization and reluctant to being fully engaged in it.

Last Monday, President Obama had to take a break from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation to make a short televised statement that, as far as he’s concerned, this is Iraq’s war and, though he did not mention him by name, Iraq’s former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has got to get out of the way of the newly constituted Iraqi government.

You could see how unhappy Obama was when he had to authorize U.S. forces to engage again in Iraq, this time to slow the advance of the Islamic State’s (IS) forces on Erbil using air power while declaring that there would be “no boots on the ground.” He only took action when it was clear that an IS genocide was in the making. Only the U.S., England and France had the capacity to drop food and water, and provide aid to the refugees.

Both the President’s and his press secretary’s earlier statements emphasized the need for “Iraqi forces” to take the lead in opposing the IS, but unmentioned was the way two divisions of Iraqi forces fled from combat with them and left a treasure trove of U.S. weaponry, tanks, and vehicles. Those who did not escape fast enough were taken prisoner and killed. Crucifixions and beheadings are favored by IS along with killing Christian women and children, reportedly by burying them alive.

The Iraqi government is barely functional. Its military, despite years of equipping and training by U.S. advisors, were clearly reluctant to die for Iraq. Maliki had replaced many of the seasoned officers with political appointees.  If there is anything left of the Iraqi military, there is little mention of it.

The military of the Kurds, one of America’s best allies in Iraq, has been begging the U.S. for military equipment, but the Obama administration waited to provide any until there was no other option. The government of Maliki—if it still is under his control—has denied the Kurds military aid and funds due them. If they survive IS, the Kurds have every right to declare themselves an independent state. Of strategic importance is an airfield that U.S. planes could use to attack IS, but Obama doesn’t want to do that in a way that will destroy them.

So that makes what is occurring there our war, an American war, just as the decision to respond in Afghanistan after 9/11 was an American war and the decision to depose Saddam Hussein as Iraq’s dictator was an American war. In both cases Americans learned that there was no real government to take charge if they left, so they stayed. Most Arab nations were and are run by monarchs or men who seized power. They have little experience with democracy and the divisions between Sunni and Shiites work against cooperation.

American forces stayed in Iraq until President Obama pulled them out. They are, as least in the skies above Iraq, back and there is a small contingent of “boots on the ground.” We have forces in Afghanistan, but as Obama told a West Point class, he will take them out in 2015. Telling the enemy when you’re going to leave is not taught to West Pointers any more than telling the enemy when and where you intend to attack.

Future Belong to Those Who Slander the Prophen Islam Obama QuoteObama’s disdain for our nation’s military is rivaled only by his devotion to Islam.

We have a President so lacking in any military experience or desire to use our military that he has been more than happy to let “sequestration” reduce our forces to the pre-World War Two level. That was a bad idea back then and is a worse idea today. Another bad idea is the reduction of captains and majors—some in war zones—that is being implemented. These are the leadership corps to whom non-commissioned officers respond.

His lack of regard for our nation’s military contributed to the neglect of the problems that were revealed in the Veterans Administration; problems Obama was aware of as a U.S. Senator before he ran for office declaring the conflict in Iraq “a dumb war.”

On August 12 The Washington Times reported “The president who spent years touting the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq suddenly has had to distance himself from that action. At the White House on Saturday morning — less than 48 hours after authorizing airstrikes against Islamist militants and humanitarian air drops to save the lives of trapped Iraqi civilians — President Obama blamed his predecessor, George W. Bush, for the absence of American troops in Iraq and rejected the assertion that he could have left a small peacekeeping force in the war-torn nation.” How pathetic is that?

In the real world there are real enemies and using force to repel and destroy them is the essence of history. I doubt Obama has the character or the wisdom to engage the Islamic State with sufficient force to destroy it.

Attacking the Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria is an act of self-defense for America in the same way the attacks on al Qaeda were and are self-defense. Better to do it in Iraq, Syria and anywhere else we must than to have to do it here.

With the anniversary of 9/11 just weeks away, it behooves us all to remember we were attacked on our homeland and a far more barbaric entity, the Islamic State, will surely attack us if we do not kill them first.  (my emphasis)

By Alan Caruba for Facts Not Fantasy

By permission Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Obama Encounters an Apex of Anger

Posted on July 21st, 2014

Evolution of the Lame Duck

By Alan Caruba

Barack Obama has managed to do something one would hardly imagine a President could achieve by the midpoint of his second term. He has managed to anger most segments of the American populace, including those to the far Left who constitute a significant part of his base.  It has taken time for most people to reach this point.

Americans are amazingly patient with their presidents, but Obama has pushed them beyond scandal fatigue. The “final straw” appears to be the illegal alien invasion masterminded by Obama.

What they are seeing and hearing is not what they were sold; a charming man of allegedly extraordinary intelligence. Friday’s press conference regarding the shoot down of the Malaysian commercial aircraft showed us a man utterly lacking any moral outrage and, as always, “leading from behind” by insisting this was Europe’s problem, not one that would be addressed by an America doing anything more than applying a few economic sanctions.

He looked and sounded bored, annoyed that he had to utter a bunch of empty platitudes about Russia; the same Russia with which he and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had declared a “reset” from previous administrations’ relations. Putin took his measure and saw weakness.

Obama’s response to the Middle East was to pull out all our troops from Iraq and a muddled series of actions in Afghanistan topped by the announcement of when troops there would leave, always a very bad idea when the enemy is still in the field. The “Arab Spring” became another Obama nightmare of bad decisions.

Lies, Lies, and More LiesNot a Smidgen

It took years, but it eventually became clear to most paying any attention that Obama has told so many lies that whatever he says now is deemed worthless. Then, too, his administration is now subject to congressional investigations that include the Internal Revenue Service and the Veterans Administration.

The Attorney General was slapped with contempt of Congress. A key figure in the IRS scandal, Lois Lerner, has pled the Fifth.

The House of Representatives is getting ready to sue Obama for failing to obey the Constitution’s separation of powers. The President’s efforts to ignore the Constitution have been met with an extraordinary number of Supreme Court rebuffs, many of which were unanimous.

How bad is Obama’s situation at present? One indication is the way the news media has been slowly, but steadily falling out of love with him. As Paul Bedard noted recently in the Washington Examiner, “In unprecedented criticism of the White House 38 journalism groups have assailed the president’s team for censoring media coverage, limiting access to top officials, and overall ‘politically-driven suppression of the news.”

David Cuiller, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, said, “It is up to journalists—and citizens—to push back against this force. Hard!” As a member of the SPJ since the 1970s this is a welcome expression of indignation, but it is also been occurring across a full spectrum of Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters as various Obama policies have negatively affected them.

No President has ever much liked the news media. This one, though, took them from adoration to distrust. With the exception of the network news shows and steadfast liberal newspapers, Obama’s news coverage is going to become increasingly harsh. Or should we say “accurate”?

The illegal alien immigration issue has enraged average Americans and Obama is not helped when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claims that “the borders are secure” or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi makes some equally absurd and moronic claim.

In the six years since Obama took office in 2009, Americans have encountered a succession of scandals that began with Operation Fast and Furious when a scheme to transfer arms to Mexican cartels was covered up by the assertion of executive privilege. The Obamacare lies were followed by administration efforts to force corporations and religious organizations to forego their faith-based beliefs. Millions of Americans lost their healthcare insurance plans, only to have them replaced for far more expensive ones.

On top of the problems Americans encountered with the implementation of Obamacare, along came revelations that the Department of Veterans Affairs was letting some veterans seeking healthcare die by falsifying treatment records.

While this was occurring the nation’s debt rose to a historic high of $17 trillion, causing its credit rating to be reduced for the first time. There has been no budget during his first and second terms. There are still more than 90 million Americans out of work and the prices of food and gasoline are rising.

Following the Benghazi attack, the scandal was the lies told by Obama and Hillary Clinton, then the Secretary of State, describing it as a random attack despite the fact it occurred on the anniversary of 9/11. When the administration released five high ranking Taliban leaders at the same time we continue to be engaged in a war against them in Afghanistan, the public really began to take notice. It angered veterans and others.

No one in Congress believes a word Obama says and the House of Representatives is getting ready to sue him for his failure to enforce the laws Congress has passed and his usurpation of unconstitutional power to alter laws whenever he wants. This is unprecedented in the history of the nation.

And the scandals noted are only a small number of the actions Obama and his administration have taken that have finally combined to create a body of evidence that he has been acting against the interest and welfare of Americans he took an oath to protect. How does he expect to do that as he reduces the nation’s military strength to pre-WWII levels?

Obama’s response to the growing level of anger has been to concentrate on fund raising for the Democratic Party, but even those benefitting from it do not want to be seen with him.

In August he will take a long vacation in the ultra-rich environs of Martha’s Vineyard while thousands of illegal aliens continue to stream in and his only “solution” is to ask Congress for billions to care for them. And to blame Congress—Republicans—for failing to pass an immigration bill that amounts to an amnesty no one wants.

The anger that has been building is likely to be expressed on November 4 when Americans go to the polls to clean house and, by that, I mean ridding Congress of as many Democrats as possible and replacing them with openly avowed conservatives. That’s just over a hundred days from now.

The cliché is that “the fish stinks from the head” and it is clear now that the Obama administration reflects the corruption and incompetence of Barack Obama, a Chicago politician who leapt to power despite not even having served a full term as a U.S. Senator. He was elected to be the first black President of the United States and it is no small irony that even African-Americans know he has done little or nothing to address their needs and concerns.

He will not be impeached as he should be, but he will increasingly lack any power other than executive orders. The constitutional system will work, but it will take decades to repair the damage.   (my emphasis)

By Alan Caruba for Facts Not Fantasy

By permission Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com

© Alan Caruba, 2014

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