Not that I would ever say Democrats are disingenuous, but when they were looking to wrest control of Congress from Republicans way back in 2006 on a pledge to “drain the swamp,” a reference to political corruption, something just didn’t add up. It’s not as though Democrats have the moral high-ground on ethics in a historical context.
Now we know why there was good reason to be more than skeptical. According to Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan over at Politico, the Congressional Black Caucus (not a single Republican is a member of the Caucus) is looking to strip power away from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The OCE was “created by House Resolution 895 of the 110th Congress in March 2008” and is governed by “private citizens” to act as a watchdog over Congress.
Yesterday, the “U.N. Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions in as many years on a defiant Iran” in hopes of keeping the Islamic Republic from “developing atomic weapons.” President Barack Obama trumpeted the new sanctions as an “unmistakable message about the international community’s commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.”
Two questions: 1. what exactly is the “unmistakable message” and 2. what good will a “fourth round of sanctions in as many years achieve?”
The answer to the first question is that Iran and other countries seeking nuclear weapons can continue in their quest so long as they can ride out sanctions that do nothing more than hurt the citizens who reside under the boot heels of despotic regimes and military juntas. It's plainly obvious there is no will to truly stop Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.
President Obama Called New U.N. Sanctions On Iran An “Unmistakable Message.” “The U.N. Security Council’s vote Wednesday ‘will put in place the toughest sanctions ever faced by the Iranian government and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community’s commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons,’ Obama said after the vote.” (“Obama: Sanctions ‘Send Message’ To Iran,” UPI, 6/9/10)
In February 2009, on a party line vote, Democrats passed that massive boondoggle of a so-called stimulus bill. You know the one I’m talking about? It’s the one that Vice President Joe Biden said would keep unemployment from peaking at higher than 7% with the stimulus and would shoot to 8.8% without it.
“As Figure 1 shows, even with the large prototypical package, the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0%, which is well below the approximately 8.8% that would result in the absence of a plan.” (Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, “The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan,” Office of the Vice President Elect Joe Biden, 1/9/09)
There’s an old saying: what you don’t know can’t hurt you. When it comes to the blood sport of politics, nothing could be further from the truth.
Democrats have found that lesson out the hard way twice now in the past five months. First there was the Democrat Primary Election for Lieutenant Governor in Illinois where political neophyte Scott Lee Cohen, a pawnbroker, won the primary. Only after the nomination was secure did accusations of anabolic steroid abuse and domestic violence with a convicted prostitute come to light. Runner-up Art Turner wasn’t doing his homework – neither was the State Party for that matter – and now Cohen’s campaign is defunct. In his wake is an embarrassment for the Democrat Party.
Over the weekend it was reported that President Barack Obama “hasn’t spoken directly to” BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward. Amazingly, two days after it was reported Obama has never spoken to Hayward, Obama said that if Hayward was working for him he’d be fired even though he wasn’t interested in talking to him.
Okay and so days before the story broke about the lack of communication, President Obama said he was “fully engaged,” that the government was “in charge of the response effort” and that “BP is operating” at the “discretion” of his Administration.
So the President is fully engaged in the worst environmental disaster to ever hit the United States, but hasn’t ever talked to the CEO of BP and would fire Hayward if he worked for Obama?
It struck an odd chord last week when President Barack Obama took time out of his busy schedule of fundraising, vacationing and theater-going and visited the Gulf Coast to see for himself the oil catastrophe. What was strange wasn’t that the President showed up (he had to, his image was taking a hit), or that he was critical of BP’s effort to contain and cleanup the oil. It was that he took the opportunity to blast BP for launching a public relations campaign and pay dividends to their shareholders.
Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Senator Lisa Murkowski and others held a press availability after the weekly Republican Policy Lunch. In the presser, McConnell, Kyl and Murkowski pointed out that Democrats are using a bait and switch scheme in the tax extenders bill – a so-called jobs bill according to Democrats – to raid the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
McConnell: “So in effect they're raiding the oil cleanup trust fund in order to try to reduce -- in order to try to pay for the extender package which is on the floor this week. I think the American people think the oil cleanup trust fund ought to be used to clean up oil spills.”
Kyl: “But instead of using it for that purpose, the money then will be used to offset expenses of the so-called extender bill that's on the floor today. That's wrong and all of you, I hope, will help to make it clear that that's exactly what's happening here, so the American people can understand the duplicity of this approach.”