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Our 'hands-off' POTUS
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:18 pm    Post subject: Our 'hands-off' POTUS Reply with quote

I'd hate to be one of the underlings working for BHO's administration, you'd never know when you will get thrown under the bus.
Is this going to remain his only defense? 'I didn't do it, or know anything about it.'
Obama, the uninterested president

By Dana Milbank
May 15, 2013 12:36 AM EDT
The Washington Post Published: May 14

President Passerby needs urgently to become a participant in his presidency.

Late Monday came the breathtaking news of a full-frontal assault on the First Amendment by his administration: word that the Justice Department had gone on a fishing expedition through months of phone records of Associated Press reporters.

And yet President Obama reacted much as he did to the equally astonishing revelation on Friday that the IRS had targeted conservative groups based on their ideology: He responded as though he were just some bloke on a bar stool, getting his information from the evening news. In the phone-snooping case, Obama didn’t even stir from his stool. Instead, he had his press secretary, former Time magazine journalist Jay Carney, go before an incensed press corps Tuesday afternoon and explain why the president will not be involving himself in his Justice Department’s trampling of press freedoms.

“Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the Associated Press,” Carney announced.
The president “found out about the news reports yesterday on the road,” he added.

And now that Obama has learned about this extraordinary abuse of power, he’s not doing a thing about it. “We are not involved at the White House in any decisions made in connection with ongoing criminal investigations,” Carney argued.
Reuters correspondent Jeff Mason asked how Obama felt about “being compared to President Nixon on this.”
The press secretary laughed. “People who make those kinds of comparisons need to check their history,” he said.
Carney had a point there. Nixon was a control freak. Obama seems to be the opposite: He wants no control over the actions of his administration. As the president distances himself from the actions of “independent” figures within his administration, he’s creating a power vacuum in which lower officials behave as though anything goes. Certainly, a president can’t know what everybody in his administration is up to — but he can take responsibility, he can fire people and he can call a stop to foolish actions such as wholesale snooping into reporters’ phone calls.

At the start of Tuesday’s briefing, the AP’s Jim Kuhnhenn pointed out that in all the controversies of the moment — the Benghazi “talking points,” the IRS targeting and the journalists’ phone records — “you have placed the burden of responsibility someplace else. . . . But it is the president’s administration.”
President Passerby, however, was not joining the fray. Carney repeated Obama’s assertion that the IRS’s actions would be outrageous only “if” they are true. Never mind that the IRS has already admitted the violations and apologized.
The press secretary said repeatedly that “we have to wait” for a formal report by the agency’s inspector general before the most powerful man in the world could take action. By contrast, Carney didn’t think it necessary to wait to assert that nobody in the White House knew about the IRS activities until “a few weeks ago.” (They apparently didn’t tell the boss about the matter until Friday.) Tuesday night, Obama issued a statement saying he had seen the I.G. report and directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew “to hold those responsible for these failures accountable.”
The response to the deep-dive into AP phone records — more than 20 work, home and mobile phone lines in three cities over two months — also got the President Passerby response: “He cannot comment specifically on an ongoing criminal investigation or actions that investigators at the Department of Justice may or may not have taken.”
It didn’t matter to Carney that the Justice Department had already admitted the actions in a letter to the AP. “But we know it happened, just as the IRS admitted what it had done,” Fox News’s Wendell Goler protested.
“Again, it would be inappropriate to comment,” said Carney, one of the 42 times he used the words “appropriate” or “inappropriate” in his hour-long briefing. One of the few things Carney thought it appropriate to say was that Obama thinks the press should be “unfettered.”
NPR’s Ari Shapiro asked Carney to square Obama’s belief in an unfettered press with the fact that he has prosecuted twice as many leakers as all previous administrations combined.
Carney said Obama’s love of press freedom “is backed up by his support for a media shield law.” This would be the shield law that died in Congress in 2010 because of Obama’s objections.

Alexis Simendinger, from RealClearPolitics, challenged Carney to harmonize his refusal to meddle in an “ongoing investigation” with Obama’s comments on the Trayvon Martin case last year, when a Justice Department investigation was ongoing.
“Come on,” Carney replied with scorn, repeating the excuse that “we have no knowledge” of the phone snooping “beyond the press reports that we’ve read.”
And that’s just the problem.
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And who else did Obama's self-righteous, self-denial, whining, angry, lying (yet again) speech yesterday resemble but

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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There will be blood letting. The question is, are we still a free country? There is pervasive hatred of the tea party, conservatives, traditionalists, constitutional lovers, the 2nd amendment and free markets.

In addition, in an unprecedented move the president has removed 3 top generals and an admiral. Why? To replace them with unichs?

The ideology and incompetence of this president is stunning. I know you lefties are going to come back to Bush, but Bush and the neo cons are history. Racism is old history. Big govt is as bad as big business that is not allowed to fail.

This president is ruining small business while the money changers are getting rich again. Grandma is eating dog food while Wall Street and Bankers are ringing the register again. Middle class will continue to pay the price for their savior Barrack Hussain Obama.

Oh wait a this trickle up prosperity?

PS. the only religous group they didn't go after were the Muslims.. Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NW, Bard, can you guys keep your negativity off these pages during a week when California is getting plastered by 25-35 kt winds daily. You're killing my stoke.
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's pretty amusing to watch the right wet their knickers over the IRS scandal. It is a wretched bit of nonsense indeed, and in any prior administration the top political appointee would be handed his or her head and booted out the door. Hard to do that when the political appointee that is the head of the IRS is a Bush holdover because the tea party hates all things Obama and is willing to stop the entire function of government to hate on him.

But didn't the IRS have a better record under Bush, with that same head?
Well, no:

When the IRS Targeted Liberals

By Alex Seitz-Wald, Salon

14 May 13

Under George W. Bush, it went after the NAACP, Greenpeace and even a liberal church.

hile few are defending the Internal Revenue Service for targeting some 300 conservative groups, there are two critical pieces of context missing from the conventional wisdom on the "scandal." First, at least from what we know so far, the groups were not targeted in a political vendetta - but rather were executing a makeshift enforcement test (an ugly one, mind you) for IRS employees tasked with separating political groups not allowed to claim tax-exempt status, from bona fide social welfare organizations. Employees are given almost zero official guidance on how to do that, so they went after Tea Party groups because those seemed like they might be political. Keep in mind, the commissioner of the IRS at the time was a Bush appointee.

The second is that while this is the first time this kind of thing has become a national scandal, it's not the first time such activity has occurred.

"I wish there was more GOP interest when I raised the same issue during the Bush administration, where they audited a progressive church in my district in what look liked a very selective way," California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on MSNBC Monday. "I found only one Republican, [North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones], that would join me in calling for an investigation during the Bush administration. I'm glad now that the GOP has found interest in this issue and it ought to be a bipartisan concern."

The well-known church, All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena, became a bit of a cause célčbre on the left after the IRS threatened to revoke the church's tax-exempt status over an anti-Iraq War sermon the Sunday before the 2004 election. "Jesus [would say], 'Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine,'" rector George Regas said from the dais.

The church, which said progressive activism was in its "DNA," hired a powerful Washington lawyer and enlisted the help of Schiff, who met with the commissioner of the IRS twice and called for a Government Accountability Office investigation, saying the IRS audit violated the First Amendment and was unduly targeting a political opponent of the Bush administration. "My client is very concerned that the close coordination undertaken by the IRS allowed partisan political concerns to direct the course of the All Saints examination," church attorney Marcus Owens, who is widely considered one of the country's leading experts on this area of the law, said at the time. In 2007, the IRS closed the case, decreeing that the church violated rules preventing political intervention, but it did not revoke its nonprofit status.

And while All Saints came under the gun, conservative churches across the country were helping to mobilize voters for Bush with little oversight. In 2006, citing the precedent of All Saints, "a group of religious leaders accused the Internal Revenue Service yesterday of playing politics by ignoring its complaint that two large churches in Ohio are engaging in what it says are political activities, in violation of the tax code," the New York Times reported at the time. The churches essentially campaigned for a Republican gubernatorial candidate, they alleged, and even flew him on one of their planes.

Meanwhile, Citizens for Ethics in Washington filed two ethics complaints against a church in Minnesota. "You know we can't publicly endorse as a church and would not for any candidate, but I can tell you personally that I'm going to vote for Michele Bachmann," pastor Mac Hammond of the Living Word Christian Center in Minnesota said in 2006 before welcoming her to the church. The IRS opened an audit into the church, but it went nowhere after the church appealed the audit on a technicality.

And it wasn't just churches. In 2004, the IRS went after the NAACP, auditing the nation's oldest civil rights group after its chairman criticized President Bush for being the first sitting president since Herbert Hoover not to address the organization. "They are saying if you criticize the president we are going to take your tax exemption away from you," then-chairman Julian Bond said. "It's pretty obvious that the complainant was someone who doesn't believe George Bush should be criticized, and it's obvious of their response that the IRS believes this, too."

In a letter to the IRS, Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel, Pete Stark and John Conyers wrote: "It is obvious that the timing of this IRS examination is nothing more than an effort to intimidate the members of the NAACP, and the communities the organization represents, in their get-out-the-vote effort nationwide."

Then, in 2006, the Wall Street Journal broke the story of a how a little-known pressure group called Public Interest Watch - which received 97 percent of its funds from Exxon Mobile one year - managed to get the IRS to open an investigation into Greenpeace. Greenpeace had labeled Exxon Mobil the "No. 1 climate criminal." The IRS acknowledged its audit was initiated by Public Interest Watch and threatened to revoke Greenpeace's tax-exempt status, but closed the investigation three months later.

As the Journal reporter, Steve Stecklow, later said in an interview, "This comes against a backdrop where a number of conservative groups have been attacking nonprofits and NGOs over their tax-exempt status. There have been hearings on Capitol Hill. There have been a number of conservative groups in Washington who have been quite critical."

So it's the same old same old, but the right wants us to believe that holding Obama to a different standard, and targeting the NAACP has nothing to do with racism. I believe that--the right hates just about everything green and black.
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boggsman1 wrote:
NW, Bard, can you guys keep your negativity off these pages during a week when California is getting plastered by 25-35 kt winds daily. You're killing my stoke.

After I'm done spewing the venom, I've been sailing the 25 knot winds for the last 4 days in a row. Definitely need to put the baseball cap on backwards when I leave the office. Now waiting for a nice swell. Dreaming about Davenport and my local spot. So many choices. I hope they don't bug my phone. They might get some "stoke".. Cool
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
So it's the same old same old, but the right wants us to believe that holding Obama to a different standard, and targeting the NAACP has nothing to do with racism. I believe that--the right hates just about everything green and black.

That's not true, we love green (backs) and black (oil). Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

" The president is ruining small business" I don't think so, and I am about as small as one can get, myselsf and my wife. We are doing much better under Obama compared to bush. i got a tax refund of $600.00 under Bush, and $6000.0 under Obama. Our taxable income has not changed much over the years.

Tax breaks for the rich= wellfare for the wealthy. Only the rich win. "Voodoo economics"

Tax breaks for the middle class= prosperity for all, which, believe it or not, many of us are seeing, myself included. I am way better off under this president, as much as he has dissapointed me and others.

" Without a strong middle class America cannot prosper" Eisenhower understood this, taxing the wealthiest at 90% led to the greatest economic expansion this country has ever seen. Some said he was a commie and should be tried for treason, i.e. John Birch Society. Sound familiar?

Do we need such a drastic tax base now? I don't think so, but a return to what we had under Bill Clinton might help.

The engine of our economy is the middle class, Not the wealthiest 1%!

Obama is trying to play both sides here i think, that is help the middle class through lower taxes, and yet help wall street as well.
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are dead wrong slinky. Small business formation is at an all time low..

The number of publicly held companies has fallen from a high of around 7,000 to 3,600 today. Small and medium size companies are being gobbled up or forced out of business by larger conglomerates. THIS IS HARDLY A GOOD THING FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS IN THE LONG RUN.

PS. I don't know what business you're in, but good luck with the regulations and health care costs. All your hero Obama has done, is enrich the wealthy oligarchs.
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bard, Obama is not my hero, but I am doing much better than under Bush. I am in a healthcare related business, I work for dentists, as a manufacturer of dental appliances. I for one have seen a noticeable increase in my business, and i am not a wealthy oligarch. Now that more people have insurance, maybe I am seeing more business as a result. I'm sure the insurance industry has seen benefits as well. Think of how many people are employed there as well.

I agree that Obama has indeed " enriched the wealthy oligarchs" , but he has also done something to enrich the average Joe, more so than the republicans, who seem to be only focused on themselves, i.e. the wealthiest Americans. Give to the rich, take from everyone else seems to me to be their mantra.

Are you are saying that republicans would never do anything to "enrich wealthy oligarchs"? Of course not! Never in a million years! Laughing The president has to appease both sides. I see evidence of that.
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