A Cabinet of Dunces – Tea Party Nation

A Cabinet of Dunces – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

A President reveals a lot about himself by his choices of his cabinet members to head various government departments and agencies. Some choices turn out to be historically significant such as Truman’s Secretary of State, George Marshall or Nixon’s choice of Henry Kissinger, but since the President sets policy, the blame or approval belongs to him.

Nor is it unusual for cabinet members to leave after a first term if a President is reelected. What has been unusual for President Obama’s first term has been the appointment of an entire shadow government of advisors known as his “czars”; people who functioned behind the scenes with unknown levels of power to influence and even determine policy.

One, Van Jones, was an avowed Communist and, when that became known, he resigned. The obvious problem with the czars is the total lack of transparency they represent and the fact that their appointments—not being cabinet-level, but deemed to be only advisory—by-passed the requirement of Congressional approval.

As of this writing, his most famous appointment, Hillary Clinton, has stepped down as Obama’s Secretary of State to be replaced by one of the greatest dunces to serve in the Senate, John Kerry. He began his career in politics as a Vietnam veteran who testified before Congress that his fellow veterans had engaged in acts that violated the Geneva Convention. When he ran for President, his fellow Swift Boat veterans revealed the scope of his lies about his own service. Kerry’s judgment has proven wrong on so many foreign policy issues it would take a book to chronicle them. In his first two days in office he saw the delivery of fighter jets to an Egypt that is no longer an ally and now in the hands of avowed enemies, the Muslim Brotherhood. Hillary traveled incessantly, but Obama’s foreign policy—mostly isolationist—concluded with the cover-up of the Benghazi attack that got a U.S. ambassador killed.

Most certainly, the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel has raised the issue of competency to a whole new level. It is hard to imagine a nominee less capable of running the Pentagon and less in tune with events in a very dangerous world. Given his past votes and statements, he reflects the President’s views. It’s bad news for Israel and good news for our adversaries. Watch now as the Democrats, despite misgivings and doubts, once again line up with the President to impose another bad decision on the nation.

Among those leaving his cabinet is Dr. Steven Chu, who actually wanted the price of a gallon of gasoline to rise to those in Europe in order to curb American’s desire to hop in the car for any reason. He will be best remembered for having swiftly ushered a $528 million loan to Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer whose company just as swiftly went bankrupt, sticking the taxpayers with the loss. Other similar “investments” also failed. Ignoring America’s vast reserves of coal, natural gas and oil—enough to make the nation energy independent—Chu favored the expansion of solar and wind energy, lavishing millions on its producers even though it provides barely three percent of the electricity Americans use to function.

Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, is also departing and he never saw a square inch of the nation’s landmass that he did not want to acquire as property of the federal government. Salazar, so green that he glows in the dark, was a tree-hugger deluxe. While touting the expansion of oil drilling and the extraction of natural gas, he conveniently neglected to mention that most of it occurred on privately held land and his department did what it could to delay or simply not issue the leases necessary to extract oil, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. Together with Dr. Chu, these two did more to interdict or retard the provision of energy to the nation than any of their predecessors.

Departing as well is Ray LaHood as Transportation Secretary. A Wall Street Journal editorial noting his departure said he is likely to be remembered “for presiding over a transportation policy predicated on the best the 19th century had to offer: railroads and bicycles.” Railroads served well in the 1800s and early 1900s. The federally owned Amtrak has never turned a profit. As for cars and trucks, in 2010 he wrote “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.” It doesn’t get more stupid than that and his department shelled out $8 billion in grants to support this stupidity including the San Francisco-to-Anaheim bullet train whose first leg will connect Merced to Bakersfield in the sparsely populated Central Valley.

The worst of the President’s appointments was Lisa Jackson who has resigned from her position as director of the Environmental Protection Agency in the wake of revelations that she used a phony name for emails with which she conducted agency business. Transparency, let alone adherence to the law that forbids this practice, was not favored by Ms. Jackson, nor by her predecessor, Carol Browner, one of Obama’s czars. Browner had served as a commissioner of the Socialist International, an umbrella group for 170 social democratic, socialist, and labor parties in 55 countries. Under Ms. Jackson, the EPA has issued a mountain of regulations, some of which forced utilities around the nation to shut their doors and coal mining companies to cease production. The total number of jobs lost is still being calculated.

The decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline has not only cost 20,000 jobs at a time when millions of Americans have dropped out of the labor market was also supported by the Interior Department and the EPA. The pipeline, by the way, would not have cost taxpayers a dime as it is privately financed and would be just one of a huge network of pipelines that serve America’s energy needs.

Janet Napolitano—Big Sis—remains on at Homeland Security, possibly the most under-reported department, despite occasional reports that it appears to be arming itself for an insurrection purchasing lots of ammunition and a lot of rapid-fire rifles.

Still presiding at the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius, is the Cruella de Ville who oversaw the passage of Obamacare and its implementation. She will have blood on her hands as senior citizens in particular are denied vital medical care and will be vilified by Americans who discover that their insurance rates have skyrocketed. Many companies are either not hiring or laying off employees, putting some on a part-time status to avoid its strictures and fines. Others are just shutting their doors.

The departing Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geithner, presided with the President over the greatest accumulation of debt in the nation’s history, as well as its first credit rating reduction. Jack Lew who will replace him holds no promise of slowing this process toward the destruction of the value of the dollar and the continuation of the Great Recession.

This deliberate destruction of jobs, delaying access to traditional sources of energy, resistance to the actual transportation needs of the nation, a failed foreign policy, and panoply of other policies pursued by the out-going cabinet members will be continued by President Obama’s new choices to replace them.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

» Malkin: Obama’s Interior Department Still Going Rogue » Commentary — GOPUSA

» Malkin: Obama’s Interior Department Still Going Rogue » Commentary — GOPUSA.

The Obama administration’s loathsome cowboy, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, won’t take no for an answer. He’s been smacked down repeatedly by federal courts for imposing a draconian, junk science-based moratorium on the oil and gas industry. Yet, the job-killing zealot and his boss just introduced another ruinous offshore drilling ban two weeks ago.

The White House rationale for the renewed crackdown? Because we said so.

Thomas Pyle of the D.C.-based Institute for Energy Research reports that the Salazar scheme “reinstitutes a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration that will keep our most promising resources locked away until long after President Obama begins plans for his presidential library.” Instead of working to enhance our energy independence and free up abundant natural resources, the Obama administration has worked tirelessly to close off access to nearly 86 billion barrels of oil on America’s Outer Continental Shelf alone.

The latest plan involves the interior secretary’s authority to auction oil and gas leases and to oversee oil and gas research and exploration on the OCS. Pyle explains that the “2012-17 plan leaves out the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the vast majority of OCS areas off Alaska. It cuts in half the average number of lease sales per year, requires higher minimum bids and shorter lease periods, and dramatically reduces lease terms.”

The official Obama for America slogan may be “Forward,” but the Salazar-Obama anti-drilling regime leaves America behind. National Ocean Industries Association President Randall B. Luthi told the Oil and Gas Journal (an industry publication): “This deeply disappointing ‘no new access’ plan does not reflect the comprehensive, ‘all of the above’ energy policy touted by the administration, nor does it keep pace with the energy policies of foreign nations that are expanding their offshore access to develop badly needed oil and gas.”

No surprise. Salazar is an unrepentant glutton for punishment — of America’s energy producers. He’s had the unwavering support of President Obama ever since the aftermath of the BP oil spill in 2010, when the administration implemented a radical six-month freeze on America’s entire deepwater drilling industry. Republicans must forcefully counter the campaign fables being spun by Team Obama with the truth about these rogue overlords.

When the president’s Chicago flacks boast of their noble commitment to transparency, remember: The overbroad drilling ban was stuffed into a technical safety document in the middle of the night by Obama’s unaccountable green extremists.

When White House operatives tout their miraculous economics, remind them: The cost of the original Obama-Salazar edict is an estimated 19,000 jobs and $1.1 billion in lost wages. The new ban takes both coasts off the table and throws Alaska oil and gas sales into uncertain delay.

When Democrats tout their adherence to sound science, don’t forget: The administration’s own expert panel disavowed Salazar and former eco-czar Carol Browner‘s claims that they had secured a scientific consensus for the drilling ban. In fact, Salazar and Browner completely perverted the experts’ consensus against the sweeping offshore drilling ban.

When Vice President Joe Biden takes to the stump to tout the “character of his (boss’s) convictions,” make it known: Louisiana federal judge Martin Feldman rebuked the Obama Interior Department for its “determined disregard” for the law.

And the stench deepens. In May, the House Natural Resources Committee released e-mails quoting a senior whistleblower who directly contradicted Salazar’s claim that doctored support for the ban was unintentional. Where is the Interior Department inspector general to look out for taxpayers’ best interests? She’s knee-deep in ethics problems herself.

A federal panel that oversees government watchdogs took up a conflict-of-interest complaint against Interior Department Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall this week. USA Today first reported in May “that Kendall had attended meetings where top Interior officials discussed drafts of a peer-reviewed report on deepwater drilling.” Later, she was enlisted to investigate how White House officials cooked up the scientifically manufactured report that resulted from those very meetings.

Instead of haranguing GOP opponent Mitt Romney with questions about his offshore bank accounts, this search-and-destroy White House should start accounting for its offshore drilling obstructionism. Salazar’s reign has been a shady, secretive and rotten deal for America.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010).

The Utter Desperation of Global Warmists – Tea Party Nation

The Utter Desperation of Global Warmists – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

The Utter Desperation of Global Warmists - Tea Party NationIn the “glory years” of the global warming hoax, you had Al Gore picking up Oscars and Nobel Prizes (shared with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and government employees like James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies were picking up wads of cash as awards, speech fees, and grants.

The folks who conjured up the computer models featured in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports also did quite well for themselves, along with all the others who climbed on the gravy train of global warming grants.

And then in 1998 a cooling cycle set in. It was hard to hide because the weather satellite data was indisputable, but try to hide it they did. Even then, however, there was a handful of outspoken meteorologists and climatologists who were trying hard to get out the message that the perfectly natural warming cycle was over and had been replaced, thanks to—guess what?—a lower output of solar radiation by the SUN.

Still the warmists persisted, infiltrating school systems to frighten children, brainwashing students in colleges, and coercing the public through apocalyptic books, through magazine and newspaper articles, and on television and the Internet.

In 2009, the release of a huge cache of emails between the IPCC global warming perpetrators instantly became known as “Climategate” as the world learned that it was all a scam, a hoax, a fraud based on deliberately falsified computer models, and force fed to the public.

The desperation of the warmists was palpable.

In 2006, Grist, an eco-magazine, called for Nurenberg-style trials for skeptics. By 2007, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. had called any doubts about global warming treason. “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors.” Two years later in 2009, Kennedy called coal companies “criminal enterprises”, declaring that their CEO’s “should be in jail…for all of eternity.” In 2008 NASA’s Hansen was calling for trials of climate skeptics for “high crimes against humanity.”

Didn’t like the warmist’s bogus science? A former member of the Clinton administration, Joe Romm, defended a comment on his Climate Progress website that warned that a generation of brain-washed youth would see to it that skeptics would “be strangled in their beds.”

Today, another Clinton appointee, Carol Browner, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator is one of Obama’s “czars” and the unseen specter whispering in the ear of Lisa Jackson, the current EPA administrator. She is joined by John Holden, an Obama science advisor, and Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu.
Prof. Kari Norgaard
If threats of jail and murder couldn’t shut up the skeptics, then Professor Kari Marie Norgaard, speaking at a warmist confab, “Planet Under Pressure”, put forth the notion that any science-based skepticism—based on actual, not fictional data—should be “recognized and treated” as some sort of aberrant behavior.

Doubt global warming? Well, you must be nuts!

Norgaard is a professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of Oregon. As she put it, “Climate change poses a massive threat to our present social, economic and political order. From a sociological perspective, resistance to change is to be expected. People are individually and collectively habituated to the ways we act and think. That habituation must be recognized and simultaneously addressed at the individual, cultural and societal level—how we think the world works and how we think it should work.”

“Should work”? The Earth—the oceans, the clouds, and its entire eco-system—doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about how warmists and other weather crazies think it “should work.” All that intellectual claptrap adds up to a totalitarian belief that people who disagree with global warming should be jailed or killed.

And in true totalitarian fashion reminiscent of the Stalin era when people simply disappeared from public records and reports, on April 2nd Norgaard’s bio for Whitman College could no longer to be found on the its website. True to the eco-fascist approach, she had become a liability, a non-person for having revealed their plans for humanity.

Regular people who actually do something useful with their lives know that intellectuals like Norgaard hold them in utter contempt, but it is those who profess belief in global warming that should be regarded with grave and serious suspicion.

Those who use global warming, i.e., the assertion that carbon dioxide emissions should be restricted and controlled, are the true enemies of progress, of freedom, and of humanity.

In the twentieth century intellectuals foisted Communism on the world, thus ensuring that millions of Russians, Chinese, Cambodians and others would be killed for their dissent. Intellectuals are always the first to embrace every dictator and to excuse their methods.

The warmists are increasingly desperate as their dreams of global domination are falling apart.

In Europe and here in America all their schemes to replace the real production of electricity with solar panels and wind turbines are being rejected. Their plans for herding populations into cities and onto mass transit meet with resistance. Parents are objecting to their eco-curricula in schools. Al Gore has become a joke.

Consider this, if they were in charge, anyone who voiced dissent from their global warming-climate change lies would be in concentration camps, undergoing “re-education”, being “treated” with mind-altering drugs, or dead.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

The Year in Obama Scandals — and Scandal Deniers – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative

The Year in Obama Scandals — and Scandal Deniers – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative.

With 2011 drawing to a close, it is time to account. As an early-and-often chronicler of Chicago-on-the-Potomac, I am amazed at the stubborn and clingy persistence of President Barack Obama’s snowblowers in the media. See no scandal, hear no scandal, speak no scandal.

Dartmouth College professor Brendan Nyhan asserted in May — while Operation Fast and Furious subpoenas were flying on Capitol Hill — that “one of the least remarked upon aspects of the Obama presidency has been the lack of scandals.” Conveniently, he defines scandal as a “widespread elite perception of wrongdoing.”

So as long as left-wing Ivy League scribes refuse to perceive something to be a scandal — never mind the actual suffering endured by the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, whose death came at the hands of a Mexican cartel thug wielding a Fast and Furious gun walked across the southern border under Attorney General Eric Holder’s watch — there is no scandal!

Self-serving much?

Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum likewise proclaimed: “Obama’s presidency has so far been almost completely free of scandal.”

This after the year kicked off in January with the departure of lying eco-radical czar Carol Browner. In backroom negotiations, she infamously bullied auto execs to “put nothing in writing, ever.” The previous fall, the White House‘s own oil spill panel had singled out Browner for misleading the public about the scientific evidence for the administration’s Draconian drilling moratorium and “contributing to the perception that the government’s findings were more exact than they actually were.”

The Interior Department inspector general and federal judges likewise blasted drilling ban book-cooking by Browner and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who falsely rewrote the White House drilling ban report to doctor the Obama-appointed panel’s own overwhelming scientific objections to the job-killing edict.

In February, federal judge Martin Feldman in Louisiana excoriated the Obama Interior Department for defying his May 2010 order to lift its fraudulent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Gulf. He called out the administration’s culture of contempt and “determined disregard” for the law.

This spring saw rising public anger over the preferential Obamacare waiver process (which I first reported on in September 2010). Some 2,000 lucky golden ticket winners were freed from the costly federal mandates — including a handful of fancy restaurants in Aloha Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district, the entire state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Nevada, and scores of local, state and national Big Labor organizations, from the Service Employees International Union and Teamsters on down. Meanwhile, as The Hill newspaper reported last month, other not-so-lucky Republican-led states seeking waivers, such as Indiana and Louisiana, were rejected.

But it wasn’t just Republicans objecting to the president’s arbitrary Obamacare fiats. In July, congressional Democrats turned on the monstrous federal health bureaucracy known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The constitutionally suspect panel — freed from normal public notice, public comment and public review rules — would have unprecedented authority over health care spending and an expanding jurisdiction of private health care payment rates.

Obama’s health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, faced separate legal questions over her overseer role in a hair-raising document-shredding case when she served as governor of Kansas. In October, a district judge in the Sunflower State suspended court proceedings in a high-profile criminal case against the abortion racketeers of Planned Parenthood. Bombshell court filings showed that Kansas health officials “shredded documents related to felony charges the abortion giant faces” and failed to disclose it for six years.

That same month, Bloomberg News columnist Jonathan Alter gushed: “There is zero evidence … of corruption. Where is it?”

Alter’s declaration of the “Obama Miracle” came just weeks after the politically driven half-billion-dollar Solyndra stimulus “investment” went bankrupt, prompting an FBI raid and ongoing criminal and congressional probes of the solar company funded by top White House bundler and visitor George Kaiser.

As Solyndra and an avalanche of other ongoing green subsidy scams erupted, so did the LightSquared debacle — a federal broadband boondoggle involving billionaire hedge fund managers and Obama donors Philip Falcone and George Soros. In September, two high-ranking witnesses — William Shelton, the four-star general who heads the Air Force Space Command, and National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Director Anthony Russo — exposed how the White House had pressured them to alter their congressional testimony and play down concerns about LightSquared’s interference threat to military communications.

The White House continues to block efforts to gain information about the Federal Communications Commission’s approval of a special waiver for the company, even as new government tests this month showed that the company’s “signals caused harmful interference to the majority of … general purpose GPS receivers.”

The Obama White House closed out the year with Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri demanding a probe of the smelly $443 million no-bid smallpox antiviral pill contract with Siga Technologies — controlled by big lefty donor Ron Perelman. Then there was the small matter of massive voter fraud in Indiana, where a Democratic official resigned amid allegations that “dozens, if not hundreds,” of signatures were faked to get Obama on the state primary ballot in 2008. And while Americans busied themselves with the holidays, White House and Democratic campaign officials were dumping more than $70,000 in contributions from another deep-pocketed contributor — scandal-plagued pal and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who oversaw the collapse of MF Global.

All this — and so much more — yet erstwhile “conservative” journalist Andrew Sullivan of Newsweek/The Daily Beast scoffed, “Where are all the scandals promised by Michelle Malkin?”

There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

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