Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Sequester Reaps Exposure of False Claims and a Petulant Obama

I have long held the opinion that President Obama is a very small man.  A man accustomed to a life of privilege and affirmative action, President Obama has little experience handling the word "no" from those who would oppose his agenda.  A curtain of secrecy surrounds him.  Whether it is closed school records, closed medical records or dealings in the White House, President Obama has failed miserably to uphold his boastful pledge to be at the helm of the most transparent administration ever.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Even the White House press corps - who were determined that Barack Obama be re-elected - has noticed his lack of respect for transparency.  On the last weekend before the Sequester deadline, Obama enjoyed a guys' weekend in Florida.  During a golf game with Tiger Woods and two big oil executives, no press was allowed to report on the outing. Finally a protest was made.  It did no good and only produced mocking responses from the Press Secretary but the protest made headlines.

As the Sequester approached, Team Obama was giving lots of interviews stating with confidence that life as we know it was ending. We'd have no more food inspections, firefighters and policemen on the job, teachers in the classrooms, national parks open, trains running, and on and on.

A funny thing happened, though. This time around, the press actually began to do its job and look into some of these wild predictions.  Even the Washington Post awarded Four Pinocchios for a claim that the Capitol janitors would not be able to put food on their tables without the overtime earned on the job. 

At a news conference last Friday, President Obama claimed that, “starting tomorrow,” the “folks cleaning the floors at the Capitol” had “just got a pay cut” because of the automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester.The president very quickly earned Four Pinocchios for that statement, especially after senior officials at the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the federal agency that employ janitors on the House side, and the office of the Sergeant at Arms (SAA), which employs janitors on the Senate side, issued statements saying the president’s comments were not true.Still, the White House has kept up its spin offensive, claiming that a cut in “overtime” was a de facto pay cut and thus the president was right — or at least not wrong.
Agency heads were told to make the cuts as painful as possible, as it turns out, so that the administration would not be embarrassed by their outright lying about the effects of Sequester.

The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester’s effects, with an email this week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”
About three weeks ahead of the Sequester, the Department of Homeland Security released thousands of illegal immigrants detained in federal facilities.  Allegedly this was the best option available due to cuts in spending. Allegedly all of the ones released were low risk detainees.

Team Obama is fundraising off this, too.  

And now, to further punish the average Jane and Joe, President Obama has stopped White House tours.  The Peoples' House is no longer the Peoples' House. It is Obama's house, make no mistake about that. Apparently there were absolutely no other ways President Obama could figure out to save some money so he shut down the tours taken by families and school children on vacations and field trips from around the nation.  So, schools that raised money the last year in order to be able to send a class of students to Washington, D.C. and families who scrimped and saved for however long the family budget needed, will now have to swallow the disappointment of not touring the White House. Their House.

President Obama is a very small, vindictive man.  He will act as a petulant teenager rather than strike a compromise between the political parties to solve the nation's financial woes.  


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