Rearranging The Deck Chairs On The Titanic

USA Today is reporting today that President Obama has accepted the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Fox News is reporting today that the President has also accepted the resignation of Jay Carney as White House press secretary.

USA Today reports:

Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson will take temporary charge of the department, Obama said, adding that he will nominate a new permanent secretary soon.

Obama began what he called a “serious conversation” with Shinseki Friday just hours after the VA secretary apologized to all veterans and the nation for scandal involving the systemic delay of health care to veterans.

While accepting Shinseki’s resignation, Obama went out of his way to praise the retired four-star general.

“He is a very good man,” Obama said. “He’s been an outstanding soldier. He’s a good person who’s done exemplary work.”

Secretary Shinseki is an outstanding soldier, but he obviously did not have the management skills to solve the problem at the VA. It is questionable if any person alive has those management skills. I suspect Mitt Romney does, but obviously, his talents will not be tapped.

Fox News reports:

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is stepping down, ending a lengthy term in what is considered one of Washington’s toughest jobs. 

Carney has served as President Obama’s lead spokesman since 2011. The president interrupted Carney’s daily press briefing to announce his departure, calling him one of his “closest friends” and a trusted adviser. 

Noting Carney’s background as a reporter, Obama said: “I actually think he will miss hanging out with all of you.”

Jay Carney used to be a reporter. I wish him well in future endeavors, but I have to admit that I will never again believe anything he reports.

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Hoping That The American Voters Are Either Stupid Or Forgetful

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a story about the interview that Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly did with President Obama.

The interview included the following exchange:

The president also refused to acknowledge that the IRS illegally targeted tea party groups in the run-up to the 2012 election. “Absolutely wrong,” he said when O’Reilly broached the subject. “These kinds of things keep on surfacing, in part, because you and your TV station will promote them… We’ve had multiple hearings on it!”

“So you’re saying there was no corruption there at all?” O’Reilly asked.

“Absolutely not,” the president replied. “There were some bone-headed decisions out of a local office.”

“But no mass corruption?” O’Reilly persisted.

“Not even mass corruption,” a visibly-annoyed Obama replied. “Not even a smidgen of corruption.”

This is a very interesting contrast to a story filed by NBC News on May 13, 2013, which stated:

A partial draft report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration — obtained by NBC News — shows that top officials knew about the targeting nearly a year before then-IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, testified to Congress in March 2012 that no singling out of conservative groups ever occurred.

The House Ways and Means Committee announced after the president’s remarks that it will hold a hearing on the alleged targeting on Friday, May 17. Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller and J. Russell George, the Inspector General who headed up the IRS report, are expected to testify.

And the IRS confirmed Monday night that Miller was informed in May of last year that “some specific applications were improperly identified by name and sent to the [IRS] Exempt Organizations centralized processing unit for further review.”

In a statement earlier Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president is “concerned” about the reported conduct of “a small number of Internal Revenue Service employees.”

The investigation into the IRS is being done by a major Democrat party campaign donor.

On January 17 2014, Fox News reported:

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI did not expect to file any criminal charges in connection with the IRS’s admitted, systemic, multi-year targeting of conservative nonprofits for improper scrutiny.

To be clear, the FBI made this decision without interviewing even a single one of the American Center for Law and Justice’s 41 targeted clients. And we’re not alone. Other Tea Party attorneys report their clients weren’t interviewed either.

Put simply, the FBI leaked its conclusions in a criminal investigation without even interviewing the victims of the potential crime.

So there was no crime. That conclusion was reached without interviewing any of the people who were targeted. This is the equivalent of refusing to interview a robbery victim and then claiming that since you did not interview the victim, there was no robbery.

Is the American voter that stupid? We will find out in November.

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Is This The Beginning Of The End?

Breitbart.com is reporting tonight that the White House has granted a six-week extension for Americans to sign up for health care. The new deadline will be March 31, 2014.

The article reports:

Monday’s move had been expected since White House spokesman Jay Carney promised quick action last week to resolve a “disconnect” in the implementation of the law. Technical problems continue to trouble the website that’s supposed to be the main enrollment vehicle for people who don’t get health care at work.

Under the new policy, people who sign up by the end of open enrollment season won’t face a penalty.

Previously you had to sign up by the middle of February, so your coverage would take effect March 1.

It will be interesting to see if the Obama Administration can design a secure, user-friendly website in time for that deadline.

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Ignoring The Facts In Order To Pursue A Political Agenda

Yesterday’s shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. was a tragedy. It was an incident of a mentally ill person who had anger issues who went berserk. So what happens next? Democrats in Washington start calling for gun control. Somehow they seem to have forgotten that this shooting occurred in Washington, D. C., a gun-free zone, inside the Navy Yard, also a gun-free zone. The problem was not the laws–the problem was that the laws were broken. Based on the background of the killer released by the press, this man should never had been allowed to own a gun. Two stories illustrate the fact that politicians are overlooking the fact that these murders happened in a gun-free zone.

Politico posted an article yesterday quoting Senator Dianne Feinstein:

She (Dianne Feinstein) added: “Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life.”

Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have spoken about trying to revive the background checks measure from Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), but that effort has yet to come to fruition.

Feinstein was the first prominent politician to draw a bright line from the shooting to the congressional gun debate on Monday, though Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) also made a less direct reference to the subject that afternoon.

CBS DC reported:

In the wake of the shooting at the Navy Yard, Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president is implementing executive actions and reiterated his commitment to strengthening gun laws, including expanding background checks to sales online and at gun shows.

“The president supports, as do an overwhelming majority of Americans, common-sense measures to reduce gun violence,” Carney said.

Even as it was unfolding, the Washington shooting was reigniting talk about guns. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a leading advocate of gun control legislation, mourned “the litany of massacres” the country has suffered in the form of mass shootings.

There is no point in talking about changing the gun laws until we know how this killer obtained his weapons. A background check should have prevented him from obtaining guns, but the fact remains that these killings took place in a gun-free zone. If he ignored the gun-free zone, do we really believe that the killer would have had a problem obtaining the guns illegally?

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Fireworks on Morning Joe

The Daily Caller reported today on Jay Carney‘s appearance on the Morning Joe Show with Joe Scarborough. Evidently Joe Scarborough was actually looking for information from Jay Carney, and Jay Carney was not willing to be forthcoming.

The article at the Daily Caller posted some of the exchange between the two men:

“At the beginning, you said it was just the Cincinnati office,” Scarborough said. “And then we find out more people in Washington are involved. And then this past week we found out, despite what any of us think of the investigations on Capitol Hill — and I see you smiling, I don’t know that there’s anything to smile about, that it wasn’t a couple of crazy people in Cincinnati, that this information actually went up to the Chief Counsel of the IRS, which was one of two political appointees by the president of the United States and the entire IRS. So it doesn’t sound phony to me, Jay.”

CARNEY: I greatly appreciate that that is the line pushed by Republicans who want Washington to be focused on scandals instead of the economy —
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no, no, no, no, Jay — is that the truth or not? Don’t give me talking points! That doesn’t work on this show. So answer my question, and then let’s talk about the economy.
CARNEY: When you get to the question I’ll answer it—

Looks like some of the Jay Carney charm took a slight vacation. The only involvement by the Republicans in the IRS scandal is that they were the targets of the illegal activity.

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Sometimes A “Preposterous Assertion” Leads To The Truth

On Sunday Kimberly Strassel posted an article at the Wall Street Journal detailing some aspects of the current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal. Ms. Strassel reminds us that leadership comes from the top. President Obama didn’t have to be directly involved in the increased IRS scrutiny of conservative groups–he simply had to set the tone.

The article states:

Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.

One of the Democrat talking point on this scandal is that it is the result of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court in 2010. What that decision did was to allow corporations, associations, and political groups the same privileges in election campaigns that unions had enjoyed for years. The decision essentially leveled the playing field. Unions had been legally pouring money into campaigns for years whether their members supported the candidates they were supporting or not. The Citizens United decision meant that corporations would also have that right. It is interesting to note that corporations generally have a Board of Directors they have to answer to–unions are answerable only to their own leadership–the ones making the donations.

Ms. Strassel reminds us how the Obama campaign treated Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot:

Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Other donors were described as having been “on the wrong side of the law.”

This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.

Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.

This leads me back to the title of this article and to Ms. Stassel’s conclusion:

The IRS is easy to demonize, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It got its heading from a president, and his party, who did in fact send it orders—openly, for the world to see. In his Tuesday press grilling, no question agitated White House Press Secretary Jay Carney more than the one that got to the heart of the matter: Given the president’s “animosity” toward Citizens United, might he have “appreciated or wanted the IRS to be looking and scrutinizing those . . .” Mr. Carney cut off the reporter with “That’s a preposterous assertion.”

Preposterous because, according to Mr. Obama, he is “outraged” and “angry” that the IRS looked into the very groups and individuals that he spent years claiming were shady, undemocratic, even lawbreaking. After all, he expects the IRS to “operate with absolute integrity.” Even when he does not.

I need to go on the record again as saying that I do not believe President Obama should be impeached. I believe that he has encouraged overreach by government agencies and misdeeds by supporters, but I don’t believe he should be impeached. President Obama has had enough Chicago experience to know how to avoid leaving his fingerprints on any questionable activity–an impeachment would simply divide the country and accomplish nothing.

So what do we need to do? If the mounting scandals bother you, get involved–in either party. There are good men in both parties–find one you can support and get to work. Every candidate needs people to mail things, hold signs, make phone calls, or simply show up at rallies. If you want to see integrity brought to Washington, become part of the process.

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Leadership Comes From The Top

Andrew C. McCarthy posted a very interesting article at National Review today about the investigations into the attack in Benghazi. Mr. McCarthy is the former federal prosecutor who prosecuted the Blind Sheik after the World Trade Center bombing. He is one of the most authoritative writers anywhere on the dangers of Jihad. During the time he was building the case against the Blind Sheik, he did extensive research on the teachings on Islam and is a very reliable source on terrorism.

Mr. McCarthy has a rather unique take on the investigation surrounding Benghazi:

All of that being the case, I am puzzled why so little attention has been paid to the Obama-Clinton phone call at 10 p.m. on the night of September 11.

Mr. McCarthy reports:

We have heard almost nothing about what Obama was doing that night. Back in February, though, CNS News did manage to pry one grudging disclosure out of White House mendacity mogul Jay Carney: “At about 10 p.m., the president called Secretary Clinton to get an update on the situation.”

Obviously, it is not a detail Carney was anxious to share. Indeed, it contradicted an earlier White House account that claimed the president had not spoken with Clinton or other top administration officials that night.

The article reminds us of the timing of that call and the subsequent statements regarding the source and cause of the attack:

We do not have a recording of this call, and neither Clinton nor the White House has described it beyond noting that it happened. But we do know that, just a few minutes after Obama called Clinton, the Washington press began reporting that the State Department had issued a statement by Clinton regarding the Benghazi attack. In it, she asserted:

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.

Gee, what do you suppose Obama and Clinton talked about in that 10 p.m. call?

Mr. McCarthy notes that CNS News asked Jay Carney if Mrs. Clinton’s statement was discussed during the call, and Jay Carney declined to answer.

It seems as if the 10 pm phone call would be the ‘smoking gun’ everyone seems to have successfully avoided finding.

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Quote Of The Week

From George Will at the Washington Post on May 13:

Jay Carney, whose unenviable job is not to explain but to explain away what his employers say, calls the IRS’s behavior “inappropriate.” No, using the salad fork for the entree is inappropriate. Using the Internal Revenue Service for political purposes is a criminal offense.

Will The Person Who Actually Cancelled The White House Tours Please Stand Up

The Weekly Standard posted two articles today about the cancellation of the White House tours. One article quotes President Obama stating that he did not cancel the White House tours, and one article quotes Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary, stating that the White House cancelled the tours. Would you people please get your stories straight.

 

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Trying To Make A Difference When You Really Don’t Have The Power

Admittedly there are some squishy Republicans who are part of the problem and not part of the solution in Washington, but there is also reality. Even if every Republican were on board, there would still be limits on what the House of Representatives could do to stop the runaway spending in Washington. Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall.com today outlining the current Republican strategy for dealing with the excessive spending of the Obama Administration.

The bottom line here is simple–as long as the 2009 budget is used as a baseline (because the Senate has not passed a budget since then), America will continue to have trillion dollar deficits every year. Logically, part of the solution is to change the baseline. The way to do that is to pass a new budget. Now for the strategy.

The article at Townhall.com reports:

House leaders on Monday unveiled legislation to permit the government to continue borrowing money through May 18 in order to stave off a first-ever default on U.S. obligations. It is slated for a vote on Wednesday.  

Although President Obama is getting a temporary break from the debt ceiling fight as a result of this latest move by Republicans, he’ll be anything but satisfied. After all, President Obama wants the debt ceiling completely eliminated and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has repeatedly said a short term increase isn’t acceptable. On the other hand, Carney also refused last week to explain how much of an increase in the debt ceiling Obama is looking for.

There is a very interesting item in the Republican proposal:

The measure also contains a “no budget, no pay” provision that withholds pay for lawmakers if the chamber in which they serve fails to pass a congressional budget resolution by April 15. That’s a provision designed to press the Senate to pass a budget.

I cannot imagine the Senate agreeing to that, but it is an interesting proposal. The vote is expected tomorrow despite the fact that no one is saying how high the debt ceiling should be raised. Does anyone want to try to run their household finances this way?

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Don’t Mess With The State Department

The State Department has an interesting history. They selectively leaked information during the Bush Administration to undermine the Bush presidency. From the beginning of the Benghazi attack, Hillary Clinton (and the State Department) took responsibility for not providing accurate security in Benghazi. President Obama has said in multiple news conferences and campaign appearances that his claim that the attack on the Embassy Annex was caused by a video was based on information he received from the State Department. Well, the truth is starting to come out.

This article is based on three sources–an article posted by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air today, an ABC News story posted last night and a Fox News story posted today.

Hot Air reports:

If the scoop from Reuters last night surprised Americans with the knowledge that the intel community knew that the Benghazi attack was not a spontaneous demonstration that spun out of control, no one was more surprised than Senate Intelligence Committee vice chair Saxby Chambliss.  His committee has been requesting those e-mails for weeks, and Chambliss to Fox and Friends that the information in them shows why they demanded them in the first place.

…Finally, we have last night’s revelation that the Situation Room got e-mails from the intel community while the attack was underway that clearly gave evidence that this was no spontaneous demonstration gone amok. They had plenty of evidence — “concrete evidence,” to use Jay Carney’s terminology — that the sacking of the consulate and assassination of our Ambassador was a planned terrorist attack.

ABC News reports:

A series of email alerts sent as Obama administration officials monitored the attack on the U.S consulate in Benghazi last month are the latest to shine light on the chaotic events that culminated in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The names of the individual recipients of the emails, first reported by CBS News but independently obtained by ABC News Tuesday evening, are redacted. A source who requested anonymity said it appears they are sent by the State Department Operations Center to distribution lists and email accounts for the top national security officials at the State Department, Pentagon, the FBI, the White House Situation Room and the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Fox News reports:

A series of internal State Department emails obtained by Fox News shows that officials reported within hours of last month’s deadly consulate attack in Libya that Al Qaeda-tied group Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility.

The emails provide some of the most detailed information yet about what officials knew in the initial hours after the attack. And it again raises questions about why U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, apparently based on intelligence assessments, would claim five days after the attack that it was a “spontaneous” reaction to protests over an anti-Islam film.

First of all, if anyone in the White House was aware of this attack in real time, why didn’t they send help? Second of all, why the rush to blame the video? Third, why is the man responsible for the video being kept in jail until after the election?

The attack in Benghazi was an indication of the fact that the Arab Spring has not brought democracy–it has brought persecution of Christians, Sharia Law, and chaos. These are not the results of a successful foreign policy. We have been lied to from the start of the reporting on this attack, and it is time to vote the liars out of office.

 

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Twisted Logic

I have wondered why news reports keep referring to a video Muslims didn’t like rather than the date of 9/11. I think I have it figured out.

Today’s Washington Free Beacon provided the answer. A statement by Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney gave me the clue:

CARNEY: We also need to understand that this is a fairly volatile situation and it is in response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration, or the American people, but it is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be be reprehensible and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it, but this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy, this is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.

This is very simple–if the protests are about the movie and not about American policy, there is no criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy.

The article also reports:

According to a page on the State Department’s website describing what an embassy is, an attack on an embassy is considered an attack on that country.

“Because an embassy represents a sovereign state, any attack on an embassy is considered an attack on the country it represents,” the page reads.

The logical twists and turns that are taken by the mainstream media to avoid the truth in this situation is amazing.

If you want the full story of what actually happened in Libya (caution: graphic pictures), I would recommend yesterday’s U.K. Daily Mail. Don’t look for the American media to tell the whole story.

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Where You Meet Actually Matters

Politico posted an article yesterday showing how the Obama Administration is claiming to be transparent while holding meetings outside the White House so that those meetings will not appear on the released White House visitor records. There are also private email accounts used to keep the emails out of the public record.

The article reports:

A House Energy and Commerce Committee report out Tuesday is stocked with emails sent from private addresses and meetings scheduled away from the building to avoid official record. Among these are several sent to a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist by Messina, then President Barack Obama’s then-deputy White House chief of staff, making promises about language for the health care reforms despite the resistance of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the measure.

The article cites an email from a private account of Jeff Smith, a senior adviser to the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, to Jim Kirkland, an executive from the GPS industry, which involved an invitation to meet away from the White House:

“Jim – coffee at Caribou Coffee – across the corner from the WH – would work at 11:30 a.m. on Friday…plus getting you through the new WH security rules these days almost takes an act of Congress almost (and you know how well that’s going these days),” Smith wrote. “[P]lus you’d appear on an official WH Visitor List which is maybe not want [sic] you want at this stage …”

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, said in a statement accompanying the report that he isn’t alleging illegal activity — just that the administration’s actions has fallen far short of its transparency promises.

I might be more tolerant of these meetings if they hadn’t involved under-the-table deals which impacted legislation under consideration.

The article points out:

Rick Weiss, the director of strategic communications for the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said in a statement that “Jeff Smith played no role in the LightSquared-GPS process.”

After POLITICO published a story in February 2011 on meetings arranged at offices on Jackson Place near the White House, White House press secretary Jay Carney said “the guiding principle here is transparency, and we believe that — nobody is, that I’m aware of, is hiding where they’re meeting.”

“It is routine for the White House officials to meet with all types of people, including lobbyists, and frequently here,” Carney said. “The suggestion that we’re not being transparent is laughable given the unbelievable precedent this administration has set in its — closing the door, the revolving door, and releasing these records.”

It really is time for these people to go back to Chicago.

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Confusing Giving With Taking

Investors.com posted an article yesterday which clearly shows a basic difference in philosophy between Governor Romney and President Obama. The article deals with the current debate over extending the tax rates put into place by President Bush about ten years ago. The Democrats are still fighting the battle to raise those taxes.

The article reports:

Speaking last Wednesday in New Orleans at a campaign event, Obama talked about “another trillion-dollar giveaway for millionaires” in reference to an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

A day later, White House spokesman Jay Carney did the same thing. He called the extension “another $1 trillion giveaway to the wealthiest Americans.”

What they are talking about is the House Republicans’ opposition to legislation approved in the Senate that would raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year, a sum less than the president makes yet is somehow considered to be the mark of wealth.

ABC’s Jake Tapper questioned Jay Carney about the idea that tax-cuts are the same as giveaways:

ABC’s Jake Tapper wanted to know what he would “say to a small-business owner who says that’s not a giveaway, that’s my money, and by the way, I’m going to need some of that money in order to help pay the health care of individuals that I’m now mandated to do?”

Tapper further said, “It’s not giving anything away; it’s allowing me to keep my money.”

Needless to say, Jay Carney never directly answered the question.

The article concludes:

Americans should be deeply offended that anyone would categorize the act of keeping one’s own money as a giveaway. And they should be profoundly alarmed when policymakers and their aides hold that view because they can turn their beliefs into oppressive law.

Remember, government creates neither wealth nor jobs. It has to take everything that it owns, and that requires force — real or implied.

Obama was elected in 2008 on a platform of hope and change. The promises sounded good to many even if they were not defined.

Now those terms have taken shape — unmistakably and unsettlingly.

If a government that owns all is the change Obama promised in 2008, and it becomes the dominant governing philosophy of this country, then there’s not much hope left.

That pretty much says it all.

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Not-So-Transparent Transparency

The Washington Examiner posted an article yesterday about the White House’s attempt to spin the “working wives vs non-working wives” dust-up. It seems that when President Obama took office, in a move toward historic transparency, he opened up the White House visitor logs to the public. That really is nice–I think Americans have a right to know who their President is talking to. However, there seems to be a slight snag in the process.

The article reports some dodging and weaving by Press Secretary Jay Carney:

“The point I was making yesterday is that often when we get inquiries about the visitor list, the WAVES list, just based on names, it turns out that people with common names appear  . . .  sometimes there are other people with the same names,” Carney told reporters today. “So all I was simply saying is that at that point, we had no way of verifying that this was one person.”

Carney was explaining why he responded, “I know three, personally, women named Hilary Rosen. So I’m not sure that those represent the person we’re talking about necessarily,” when he was asked about Rosen’s many trips to the White House. (Obama was exposed to embarrassment when Rosen, a Democratic strategist and familiar figure in the White House, said that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life.”)

The article then asks, “If the White House visitor logs can’t be used for “verifying” the identity of White House visitors, are the logs “still providing the American people with an unprecedented amount of information about their government” as promised?” That is a very good question. 

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The Politics Of Scheduling

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

Image via Wikipedia

I haven’t mentioned the dust-up about the scheduling of the President’s speech on the economy because I really wasn’t too impressed by all the ruckus. Frankly I thought the whole discussion was dumb. However, Michael Barone, who is considerably smarter than I am, posted a very interesting article about the kerfuffle at the Washington Examiner website tonight.

It is naive (at best) to believe that President Obama was unaware that the Republican presidential candidates were having a debate on the night that he first suggested making a speech about the economy to a joint session of Congress. I think it is also a safe guess that he knew this would be Rick Perry’s first appearance as a candidate and that Rick Perry is a definite threat to President Obama’s desire to serve two terms. I also expect that President Obama also assumed that someone would actually watch his speech (or the Republican debate).

Michael Barone points out that the request to give a speech before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday showed a lack of respect for the Constitution. Congress is a separate branch of government and is not subject to Presidential dictates. Mr. Barone points out that in the past when a joint session of Congress was requested by the President, the arrangements were made privately, then announced.

The original plan of a Wednesday night debate also showed a contempt for public opinion.

The article reports:

White House press secretary Jay Carney said it was just “coincidental” that the president wanted to speak at the same time as the Reagan Library debate. It was just “one debate that’s one of many on one channel.”

Wow. The article points out that in the past President Obama has tried to upstage opposition with scheduling.

The article lists some other weaknesses of the Obama Presidency that are becoming very apparent. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article. This is a difficult time for the President–the economy is not doing well and his poll numbers are falling–I expect we will see him play some serious hardball in the coming months.

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