You might have read my post the other day outlining a few sore spots that were rearing their heads in Obama’s transition.
Well, it’s starting to look like every time the President-elect and his team douse one fire, two or more flare up in its place. He managed to dodge, at least for the time being, the bullet with scandals involving Bill Richardson and his buddy Blago. Since then though, it’s been anything but smooth sailing.
You might recall one of Obama’s oft repeated campaign promises was to close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo). I mean, it was just plain awful that bloodthirsty terrorists were locked up in a place so dismal! Today, CNN reports Obama plans to issue the order to close the detention center as early as his first week in office. We still don’t know what will happen to the current residents, but they’re not being treated as the President-elect believes Allah-fearing bloodthirsty killers should be so he’s going to close it down.
Not long after the Obama camp reiterated its intentions to close the facility, the Pentagon released a report showing at least 61 former residents (who seem to have the President-elect’s sympathy) have returned to terrorism since their release.
Not good news for The Smooth Talker from Chicago/Hawaii/Kenya/?????. He may have pinned himself in a corner on this one. He’ll infuriate his liberal supporters who feel sorry for murderous savages intent on our country’s destruction if he doesn’t close it, but if he does and one of them is released and straps a bomb to himself and kills a bunch of innocents everyone else will be madder than Hell.
That’s not the only trouble he has in the making.
His buddy Blago put him in another tight spot by defying Obama and other Democratic leader when he appointed Roland Burris to fill Illinois’ vacant Senate seat. The President-elect came out against seating Burris, but later changed his mind when it looked like other alternatives might lead to the seat being filled by a Republican. He then twisted the arm of other Dems who had stated early on that any appointment by Blago “would not stand.”
Then today, it’s reported that Burris may have himself taken more than a million dollars in illegal campaign contributions in his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. Putting his neck on the line (or trying to implement Chicago style politics in DC?) to keep this seat may prove to be a huge mistake if anything comes of this.
Not finished yet. There’s still more trouble brewing in Obamatopia.
Now even Congressional Democrats aren’t so sure they trust Obama with the last $350 billion from TARP, the huge bailout passed by the Democratic Congress to help big banks, other financial companies, and the auto industry. With bipartisan support to block the issuing of this gigantic bundle of money after the first $350 billion has done virtually nothing to turn the economy around, Obama’s first move as President may be to use his veto power against members of his own party (you remember, all those who honored him as if he were a God the last couple of months.)
That should set a great tone for this Democratic President to work with both houses of Congress in the hands of his own party.
Surely that’s all the troubles he has, right? Not quite.
It was also reported today that Obama’s pick to lead the Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner, thought he could get away without paying self-employment taxes for a few years. Of course the Obama team and Geithner explain it as a misunderstanding, but that’s just as bad. Do we really want someone who doesn’t know if he has to pay self-employment tax running the Treasury Department? That wasn’t Geithner’s only lapse, though. Apparently he also employed a housekeeper who was here illegally for a few months. (Wait a minute, isn’t that what forced Linda Chavez and Zoe Baird to withdraw their names from consideration for a Cabinet post?)
It appears that Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) isn’t happy at all with President-elect Barack Hussein Obama’s choice to head the CIA. CNN’s headline reads Feinstein slams Obama CIA head pick. Perhaps she thought Obama’s campaign promises of “change” were more than just so much hot air. Instead, we keep getting more DC insiders.
What experience qualifies Leon Panetta to head the agency tasked with gathering intelligence on international terrorists? None, in the intelligence field. But, Mr. Panetta is steeped in experience rubbing elbows inside the beltway. From 1966 to 1971 he served as an assistant to various politicians and bureaucrats, then returned to California to practice law until he was elected to Congress in 1977. He left that position in 1993 to take a job in the Clinton administration and became Clinton’s chief of staff in 1994. He and his wife now run the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy.
Could the appointment of one with no experience in intelligence be a signal of Obama’s disdain for the agency? If so, we’d better be ready for trouble. The Clinton CIA budget cuts led to serious repercussions. If we start down that path again while the War on Terror is ongoing, the effects could be disastrous. But hey, any good lawyer should be able to run a spy network, right?
I rarely agree with Feinstein, but this time she’s right to question the intelligence of BO’s choice.
Finally, we might be getting a glimpse of the long-awaited “change” we’ve heard about for the last couple of years. Obama wants to take the “intelligence” out of the CIA!
Sleep tight America, a lawyer/politician will be watching over you for a few years!
As he stands on the sidelines, seemingly oblivious to what’s going on in the world, President-elect Barack Obama opts out of the game by proclaiming that there’s only one president at a time.
That’s another way of saying, “Let George do it,” when the Middle East erupts in violence, the economy continues to slump, and the governor of his state defies demands that he step down.
His almost nonchalant approach to the turmoil around him has thus far protected him from adverse reactions from his real base — the media — but that immunity from harsh criticism has not extended to his political base, the far left. They are after him hammer and tongs.
Caught this month with his hand in the cookie jar on the FBI wiretaps swearing like a sailor and seeking to line his pockets soliciting prospects for the President-elect’s vacated Senate seat, today he’s crowing about his duty and responsibility to the people of Illinois in a press conference to appoint another old friend, old buddy, old pal, former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris.
Too bad for him he wasn’t thinking about his duties and responsibilities when the FBI had his phones tapped. Of course he claims he did nothing wrong as his attorney is seeking to have the evidence collected in the surveillance thrown out on a technicality. Blago insists a political lynch mob is trying to force him from his job and he’ll fight them “until I take my last breath.”
This lynch mob he references includes the President-elect, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and virtually every other politician who’s made a statement on Blago’s predicament. Obama has called on the Democratic governor to resign. Reid says the Senate won’t seat any appointee of Blagojevich. But the corrupt Democratic governor charged forward in defiance of them and so many others.
Blago stated in his news conference that this could have been appointed had the Illinois legislature called for a special election to fill the seat earlier this month. But, the Democratic controlled legislature feared the Democratic governor’s criminal activity might have so angered the good people of the Land of Lincoln they would vote for a Republican to fill the seat of Blago’s old buddy, old friend, old pal Obama.
State law requires Blago to set a date for a special election to fill Rahm Emanuel’s vacated House seat. Why not vote to fill Obama’s seat at the same time? Rhetorical question. We all know the answer. God forbid an honest Republican might be afforded the opportunity to represent the state of Illinois in the Senate!
Maybe, just maybe…if Reid stands tall (which is a big if) and refuses to seat Burris, the Democrats in the Illinois state legislature will decide to do the right thing and give the good people who hail from the home state of Honest Abe the right to fill Obama’s Senate seat in an honest and upfront manner by calling for a special election.