Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse: The most ethical Administration EVER!

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." George Washington

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse, America!!

By Nicholas Meyeres

Barack Obama campaigned on promising the American people the most ethical, open and transparent Administration ever if elected. Really? Because from where I sit, it sure doesn’t look like it so far!

Let’s start with Uncle Joe Biden’s comments early on in the campaign, shall we? "Paying taxes is a patriotic duty," he said. Father Joe even made it a religious experience by making it a duty — as a Catholic:

“Catholic social doctrine as I was taught it is, you take care of people who need the help the most,” he said. “Now it’d be different if you could make the case to me that by giving this tax cut to the very wealthy, everybody else was going to be better off. We saw what happened the last eight years when we gave that tax cut.”

I’m really beginning to believe that the VP got his Catholic instruction by mail.

Leaving aside the ridiculous notion that a politician poses as a Catholic on social issues and still supports abortion, Catholics are taught to act as individuals to assist the poor. Nowhere in Catholic doctrine (the catechism) can one find the notion that taxes are required for this purpose.

But still, glad to hear it, Joe! Especially since you also hammered into us all that the "rich" would be the most patriotic of us all, and pay even more than the rest. Like, let’s say, wealthy politicians for example. They should be the first in line to lead the charge for higher taxes, and propel us into this prosperous, and most ethical Administration ever!

Uh, but no. Instead they evade their "patriotic duty" every chance they get, and expect the rest of us to not notice.

The list of excuses offered by Rep. Charles Rangel for failing to pay taxes on at least $75,000 in rental income from his luxury beachfront villa in the Caribbean grows longer and longer and longer. Now, the Associated Press takes the Harlem Democrat, who is chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, to task for inaccuracies in his personal financial disclosures to Congress. "I personally feel that I have done nothing morally wrong," he said.

Well, in that case, we forgive you, Chuck!

And who could forget, Barack’s cute and cuddly pick for Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, who didn't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for several years while he worked for the International Monetary Fund? Oh, and he employed an immigrant housekeeper who briefly lacked proper work papers.

Those issues, and a series of other tax matters were washed away when Geithner was picked as Obama's Treasury Secretary. I mean he will only oversee the freeking IRS, for crying out loud! He then flubbed his own tax returns – some of which he had personally prepared – to the tune of $42,700 in back taxes and penalties. And then, Geithner decided to pay more than half that amount— $26,000— only AFTER Obama decided to nominate him. Obama’s team calls them all “honest mistakes”.

Of course they are. And in that case, Timmah, we forgive you, too.

But then there was Daschle. Tom Daschle says he's "deeply embarrassed and disappointed" about his failure to pay more than $120,000 in taxes. This is the guy Barack picked to head the Health and Human Services Department.

"I deeply apologize to President Obama, to my colleagues and to the American people," Tommy-Boy said recently. Oh, well that makes it all better then, doesn’t it?! "Nobody's perfect," added press secretary Robert Gibbs.

Ain’t that the truth! I know I’m sure not perfect. So, I can see that, too! But why did you "bow out" so quickly, Tom-Tom? You already apologized.

But hold on, there’s more! Nancy Killefer, failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, and then withdrew her candidacy to be the Chief Performance Officer for the federal government.

And of course, there was Obama's first choice for Commerce Secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who took his name out of consideration when his confirmation appeared headed toward complications because of a grand jury investigation over how state contracts were issued to political donors.

And then as his second pic for the post that Richardson had left vacant, Sen. Judd Gregg, became President Obama's new candidate to run the Commerce Department. The problem is, he voted in favor of abolishing that very agency as a member of the Budget Committee while on the Senate floor in 1995.

Oh…. well, I am sure they ALL really did nothing wrong in the first place. I mean just because I would be hunted down and likely imprisoned by the IRS if I "forgot" to pay even a fraction of those kinds of back taxes still doesn’t mean the new "ethical" Administration should be held accountable for their obvious lack of a moral compass. They are under such stress as it is to deliver on "the change we all need", after all, and I am sure every single one of them made actual honest mistakes… and thus, should all be forgiven.

And so should "sniper-fire" Hill for her wrong-doings- all of which I highly doubt I need to go into right here and now.

But there was SOME welcome news when another Cabinet choice, Eric Holder, was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as the first African-American U.S. attorney general!

.... But wait, Holder's nomination initially had been viewed as problematic because of questions over his role in controversial pardons when he was the No. 2 Justice Department official under President Bill Clinton. But because of that, and just because he was also the guy that defended the extraction of Cuban refugee Elian Gonzales at gun point from his family in Miami and his return to Cuba with his father doesn’t make him a bad guy.

And come on. Even though Holder was the Deputy Attorney General who encountered controversy when, during the closing days of the Clinton Administration, he vetted Marc Rich as a candidate for a Presidential pardon, shouldn’t mean we can’t still respect the guy.

You’ll recall, Marc Rich was a fugitive from justice who had been indicted for tax evasion and illegal trading with Iran in 1983… wait. Tax evasion? Now come on! This is just getting ridiculous, now!!!

And now Holder will be the country's chief law enforcement official as head of the Justice Department.

But, at least he’s black! That counts for something, right?

…. I mean it’s not like Barack has ever lied to us. We have every reason to trust him.

Alright, enough of the sarcasm. As Barack Obama conveniently hid in Hawaii his staff released their internal investigation into the Blagojevich scandal. What does the investigation show us? It shows us that Barack Obama lied to the American people when he claimed that nobody on his staff had any conversations with Blagojevich. HE L-I-E-D! Plain and simple. Although he still claims that none of the conversations were about a pay to play deal the report does state that Obama gave Rahm Emanuel a list of acceptable replacements for Blagojevich to consider.

In later telephone conversations, Rahmbo- also with the Obama’s approval- presented other names of "qualified" candidates including Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Ms. Cheryle Jackson.

While it is entirely likely that St. Emanuel never discussed a deal with Blago and hence there was no wrong-doing, the bottom line is that Obama’s first reaction to the story was to lie about his staff’s involvement. That is just too hard to overlook. Obama’s first “crisis” or controversy and his initial reaction to it was to lie about it. If he had just come clean in the beginning it would have looked a hell of a lot better.

By lying about Emanuel’s involvement it makes him look like he was hiding something. Perhaps he is— only time will tell.

And we have PLENTY of time; we’re only into the first 2 weeks of his new and improved, most ethical Administration ever! …. My ass!
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