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May 14, 2013

Obama Scandal Scorecard

Well, this all escalated quickly.

In case you’re having trouble keeping up here’s a quick rundown of the scandals engulfing the beleaguered Obama administration. I’ve put them in order of what I think is their seriousness.

1) Obama Sics IRS On Conservatives and Jews

You heard about the Jewish angle, right?

This is the most serious of scandals because it’s an abuse of power that clearly crossing any concept of decency and legality. The idea of using one of the most powerful domestic agencies to deter political activities is such a clear abuse of power, it was once included in an Article of Impeachment.

It’s also the easiest scandal to explain to people. The first reaction of many idiots, er, low information voters is, “they all do it”. Well, they don’t and people know this because unless you’re a left wing loon, everyone hates/fears the IRS. Even idiots, er, low information voters, would remember if this type of police state activity were “business as usual”.

It’s also damning because the scandal has blown up from “some idiots in Cincinnati” to “top officials in DC” and from “giving some groups a hard time” to “illegally sharing information with liberal activists groups”.

One thing to keep in mind…liberals keep saying that the IRS is in a tough spot with enforcing the rules as written. Bull. Nothing about the “rules” made them focus only on political opponents of the administration or leak confidential documents to leftwing groups. Don’t buy the spin.

2) Obama’s Health And Human Services Secretary Is Extorting Money From HealthCare Industry To Support ObamaCare

This is a little bit of a dark horse but I think it ranks higher than most people seem to at the moment.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is hitting up companies she has tremendous control over in order to circumvent the will of Congress.

Sure some of these companies are willing co-conspirators because contrary to the image Obama is trying to portray, ObamaCare is a boon for health insurance companies. But there are other health care stakeholders, like hospitals and medical device manufacturers who aren’t as fond of ObamaCare but might be able to trade of a few bucks for a favorable waiver or ruling from…Kathleen Sebelius.

The Obama administration says they need the money because Congress won’t give them more. Well…tough. Inaction is a policy choice as much as action is. Congress doesn’t want HHS to have money to do certain things. That’s not something Obama gets to decide to ignore by selling government favors for private money.

3) Super-Scandal Obama

I making this one up because Obama ‘s IRS and HHS scandals are connected through ObamaCare. Like Super Storm Sandy was a big storm that combined with other elements (location, tides, etc0 to magnify it’s effects, the nexus of the IRS and ObamaCare mean that when these two scandals interact, they have more power than either alone.

ObamaCare is still unpopular, well over budget and pretty much doomed to failure. Add in a corrupt and political active IRS getting involved in people’s health care and (at least the appearance) of HHS selling ObamaCare indulgences, you have a powerful Super Scandal that a smart opposition party could use to do real damage to ObamaCare.


4) Benghazi Cover-Up

I know it’s odd to push this one so far down the list since it has a body count but ultimately, Benghazi is a political scandal that lacks the legal jeopardy of the IRS and HHS scandals.

To me the biggest issues in Benghazi are:

A-The incompetence of not only failing to increase protection for our facility (despite numerous requests from those on the ground) as the security environment deteriorated during the summer of 2012 but the positive decision to reduce security assets available.

B-The “Talking Points” cover-up. Four Americans died not because of what the military did or didn’t do that night but because Hillary Clinton refused to properly manage her department in the months leading up to that night. She then had her hatchet woman ensure that the public was lied to about the information she had available to her in making those decisions.

Worst of all, she sold out a key concept of America…freedom of speech. She did this by knowingly lying about the role a “Youtube video” in the attack. By throwing an American’s right to produce and disseminate political thought, she took the tyrants way out to save her ass.

C-The lack of foresight by policy makers to have assets on standby on the anniversary of 9/11 is unforgivable. Why was the EuroCom special ops force on a training mission in Croatia and not on a heightened state of alert at a base more conducive to covering a known hot spot like North Africa? Could no one in the White House or the Pentagon look at a calendar, read the news and put 2 and 2 together?

Clinton’s actions clearly render her unfit for the Presidency and Obama should be held to account for the actions of his handpicked Secretary of State and for not ensuring that the Department of Defense was ready to go.

All of that said, Benghazi as bad a failure as it was, is a political scandal lacking the abuse of law the other two have.

5) AP Phone Records

Honestly at this point I’m not even sure it’s a scandal. There’s no doubt that someone leaked the interception of a new type of “underwear bomb” to the AP. James Brennan may have made things worse (we don’t know for sure) by telling selected commentators that we had an inside man on the job but that was secondary to the leaking of the operation itself (which was plenty damaging alone).

Why the administration should not investigate who the source of the leak to the AP was is beyond me. I want people who are sworn to keep sensitive secrets to keep them.

There’s been a lot of claims the administration “spied” on the AP or that they “bugged” them but that’s not the claim the AP makes. They said their phone records were accessed (probably via subpoenas) . Well, investigators issue subpoenas for such records every day. The First Amendment protects the rights of news organizations to publish material; it’s not a blanket exemption from all laws.

Keep in mind, it doesn’t appear that the AP is the subject of the investigation. What the DoJ knows is someone leaked information to the AP. The number of people who had access to that information may be relatively large but it’s not infinite. By taking the AP’s phone records and matching them to the list of people who called them with the list of people who had access to the information, you can develop a universe of potential suspects.

The AP says it’s a “roadmap” to their reporting operations. I’m more worried about people who leak a “road map” to intelligence operations.

Politically this could be a loser. People tend to not like the press and they do like catching terrorists. When people find out this is about getting to the bottom of who leaked damaging national security information to the press, I think most people we say, “go get the bastards”.

One caveat…we know this administration is power hungry and doesn’t recognize any legal or traditional limits on its powers. Might they have abused the information they gathered? Obviously. So this could turn out to be a bigger deal. But based on what we know now, it’s only a big deal because the press loves to protect themselves and their assumed privileges more than anything. Even more than they love Obama.


Dishonorable mentions:
Fast and Furious/Pigford

They should be bigger deals but for various reasons they simply aren’t.

Maybe now the floodgates are breaking open these two scandals will get a second look.

digg this
posted by DrewM. at 10:19 AM

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