Obama's Contradictions Part II: The Messiah Strikes Back  

Posted by Rob Barton in , , , , , ,

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When Obama was inaugurated, I kind of just watched with amusement when Dianne Feinstein introduced the "Oaf of Office". Chuckled when the "Oaf" was messed up, thinking it was Obama, then chuckling again when it turned out to be Roberts who flubbed. Anything that anyone considers funny is because of someone else's misfortune. Seeing someone fall down, step on a rake, take a pie in the face, or get nailed in the jewels by a kid with a pinata stick are hallmarks of comedy.

Well, I guess Obama is laughing his ass off right now as he has just kicked us all in the balls. The really bad thing, though, is that, right before he did it, he looked at us and said, "Don't worry, I'm not going to kick you in the balls. Just relax."

On Obama's first day, he brought with him new, tighter ethics rules. He put a salary freeze on high paid employees, saving the economy a few bucks. Kind of weak really, when you consider the task at hand, but the move is just dripping with symbolism, and the folks love their symbolism. How can anyone argue with tighter ethics rules and the symbolism of our beloved government making a sacrifice for the sake of its poor people, who have suffered for eight long years under the tyranny of George Bush. The kind of thing I would imagine a benevolent dictator doing after a successful coup.

Part of the tighter, and I use the word loosely, ethics rules was that people who have lobbied a particular interest within the government cannot work in the Obama administration for that particular department.

Obama called the rules tighter "than under any other administration in history." They followed pledges during his campaign to be strict about the influence of lobbyists in his White House.

He had to realize that this would rule out a lot of qualified people. The people who lobby for companies like Raytheon are experts in weaponry, aeronautics, and a whole range of other military technologies. This experience makes them extremely qualified for positions at the Pentagon. So Obama built in a waiver system to his executive order allowing for exceptions when it is best for national interests. The thing about making a rule, especially an ethics rule, is that you don't just turn around and break it yourself, not once but twice, two days later.

Bring in William Lynn, the top lobbyist for Raytheon. Despite his position, he has been tapped to take the number two spot at the Pentagon. It's okay, though. Obama has issued him an "Ethics Waiver" so that he can break his own rule.
Meanwhile, Obama's nomination for the No. 2 official at the Pentagon slowed as lawmakers considered whether William J. Lynn III might require an exemption from the administration's own lobbying rules. Lynn, who has broad support in Congress, had been considered a shoo-in for deputy defense secretary.

Then there is William V. Coor, who used to lobby the government on behalf of the Campaign for Tobacco Free kids. Obama tapped him to be the number two at the Department of Health and Human Services.

And don't forget about Tom Vilsak.

If we could charge money for these ethics waivers we could get the budget balanced and have economic growth for at least the next eight years. We could sell them to Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Tim Geithner, Rod Blagojevich, Bill Richardson, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and I'm sure that the Clintons would want to pick up a Family Four Pack.