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Obama's $3.7B request: More incompetence?
The Lowell Sun

Doesn't President Barack Obama even care about America anymore? Published reports, including a new insider book, question Obama's level of engagement in the affairs of state. He's more inclined to go his own way, taking advice from White House ideologues who see America as nothing exceptional on the world stage.

Even members of his own Democrat party are sensing discomfort. Last week, while the southern border crisis spun out of control and Israel and Hamas drew closer to a Mideast conflagration, Obama took two fundraising trips to Texas and Colorado where the candidates didn't show up.

Obama has made 393 fundraising trips in his 5 1/2 years as president; George W. Bush made 216 in his entire eight years.

Clearly, Obama's not one to sit home doing the people's work.
As things are running amok -- IRS scandal, NSA scandal, Benghazi scandal, Obamacare scandal -- Democrats remain blind to the commander-in-chief's lack of commitment. They blame Republicans for all the administration's problems yet watch as America burns. Sure, the GOP deserves its share of the blame, but it doesn't mean Democrats can bury their heads in the sand. A Quinnipiac College poll released last week revealed shockingly that 54 percent of Americans feel Obama isn't competent to deal with the government's problems. That's 54 percent!

Maybe if more Democrats started speaking up like California Senator Diane Feinstein -- instead of making bobblehead statements like California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi -- they can get Obama back on the leadership track.

If U.S. Reps. John Tierney and Niki Tsongas trust giving Obama $3.7 billion of taxpayers' money to fix the border crisis, they've lost their scruples. An open checkbook isn't the answer; fixing a loophole in the U.S. sex-trafficking law, approved by Congress in 2008, is. It will immediately stop the flow of thousands of parentless, undocumented children arriving at the southern border.

On Sunday, Feinstein said the law allows the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to write regulations that would allow officials to return the children more quickly to their home countries.

President Obama can order the changes with a stroke of his pen -- without adding $3.7 billion to the national debt. He can also order the U.S. National Guard to take up posts along the 1,200 mile U.S.-Mexico border to aid overwhelmed federal and local agents. Secure the border first, Mr. President. Show us that you mean it. Show us that you care.

Obama’s Scandal Playbook
by Katie Pavlich

Despite President Obama’s promise of an “unprecedented level of openness in government,” the American people have unfortunately become accustomed to a new normal over the past six years: incompetence, scandal, and misconduct. When news breaks about freshly exposed corruption, the reaction of far too many is, “Unbelievable, but I’m not surprised.”

Since Obama took office in 2009, we’ve witnessed Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Department of Justice spying on reporters and their families, IRS targeting of conservatives, the debacle, the GSA conference scandal, Solyndra, veterans dying as a result of secret wait lists within the Department of Veterans Affairs, and many, many more.

As a result of Fast and Furious, hundreds of Mexican citizens and U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry are dead. Benghazi left four Americans, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, and Information Officer Sean Smith, dead. And at the VA, at least 40 veterans have died waiting for medical care.

Obama’s White House has not weathered these storms through luck alone. They have a well-thought-out, well-used playbook designed to lie to the American people, protect administration officials, and to avoid accountability or criminal prosecution.

Step 1: Play Dumb

The president and his political appointees knew nothing about what happened while it was happening and only learned about (insert scandal here) for the first time in the newspaper or on cable television. The president is mad as hell if the allegations are true and promises to hold someone accountable.

“I heard on the news about this story,” Obama told CNN in March 2011, “that— Fast and Furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico, and ATF knew about it, but didn’t apprehend those who had sent [the guns].”

Step 2: Investigate Yourself

The president is deeply angry about the misconduct/incompetence demonstrated in (insert scandal here) and he will work hard to investigate what happened and hold those responsible accountable.

“The inspector general at the VA has launched investigations into the Phoenix VA and other facilities,” Obama announced in May, “I know that people are angry and want a swift reckoning. I sympathize with that. But we have to let the investigators do their job and get to the bottom of what happened. Our veterans deserve to know the facts. Their families deserve to know the facts. And once we know the facts, I assure you—if there is misconduct, it will be punished.”

Step 3: Blame Two-Bit Bureaucrats

The president is in no way responsible or in any way connected to those responsible for (insert scandal here). The culpable parties are just low-level employees in a small office far, far away from the White House and nobody in Washington knew anything about what happened. The federal government is really big and Obama can’t be expected to be held accountable for everything that goes wrong.

“Well, look, it’s an interesting case study, right, because if you look at the Inspector General’s report, apparently some folks down in the, bureaucracy, ya know—we have a large government—took it upon themselves to shorthand these applications for tax exempt status in a way that, as I said, was idiotic,” David Axelrod, former-senior adviser to the president, told MSNBC about the IRS scandal. “Part of being president is, there is so much beneath you that you can’t know, because the government is so vast.”

Step 4: Attack the Investigation

The president is trying really hard to work with Congress to get to the bottom of (insert scandal here). But those evil Republicans in Congress are not interested in good governance or the truth. We can’t possibly comply with their subpoenas.

When the House Energy and Commerce Committee subpoenaed the White House for documents relating to the al- most $400 million in taxpayer money lost on Solyndra, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler refused, writing, “The committee’s extremely broad request for documents—now a subpoena— is a significant intrusion on executive branch interests.” Ruemmler added that the investigation “was driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation.”

Step 5: Pretend the Scandal Never Existed

The president is trying to move on and do the business of the American people, but these pesky Republicans keep focusing on a fake scandal that is now old news.

“Dude, this was like two years ago,” former-White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Fox News’ Bret Baier when pressed to explain his involvement in the Benghazi cover-up. “We’re talking about the process of editing talking points. That’s what bureaucrats do all day long.”

Obama has used this playbook with ruthless precision. As time goes by, the scandals go away. Nobody is fired and questions remain unanswered.

Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals” may have inspired a generation of progressives, but Obama and his administration have clearly added a chapter of their own. •

Holder: Obama and I are being criticized because we're black
by Ben Smith

In a stunning statement, Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC News over the weekend:

“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Mr. Holder told ABC News. “You know, people talking about taking their country back.… There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some, there’s a racial animus.”

Eric Holder is the first black attorney general serving under the first black president. He went on to defend controversial remarks he made in a speech during his first year in that position:

Mr. Holder also dug down in his comments he made years ago when he called the United States a “nation of cowards” on race, The Hill reported.

“I wouldn’t walk away from that speech,” he said, referring to his remarks during Mr. Obama’s first year in office. “I think we are still a nation that is too afraid to confront racial issues.”

Since then Holder and the DOJ have been involved in plenty of scandals, many of which have angered conservatives and the mainstream media. Three of the most notable ones are the the DOJ's gathering information on AP reporters, the DOJ's targeting of Fox News's James Rosen, and the “Fast and Furious” scandal.

In the AP scandal, the DOJ admitted to obtaining two months of telephone records from reporters' personal and work phones. The numbers monitored appear to be the Associated Press's headquarters in D.C. and New Haven, Connecticut. In addition, one of the numbers listed was the AP line at the House of Representatives.

The James Rosen scandal also has drawn the ire of many. The DOJ targeted Rosen specifically and called him a co-conspirator in a leak case linked to North Korean intelligence.

Lastly and most damning to Holder’s legacy is Operation: Fast and Furious, in which the DOJ intentionally sent guns over the Mexican border. After the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, investigators found that guns linked to the operation were the cause of Terry’s death. The slain agent’s family even testified before Congress about his death.

Scandals aside, the DOJ's priorities have also been skewed. Instead of looking into alleged wrongdoing by a countless number of agencies, including the EPA, VA, and IRS, the DOJ has instead invested taxpayer money looking into an anti-Obama parade float that some deemed offensive.

So no, Mr. Attorney General, it is not your race, but your complete incompetence and refusal to confront your own administrative issues. Race has little to do with that.
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