Posts Tagged ‘Obama Administration’
July 5th, 2011 at 1:47 pm
ATF’s Gunrunner Program Worked in Theory…

The family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is urging federal officials to accept “responsibility” but not be criminally prosecuted for a horribly bad program to sell guns to drug dealers.  Terry’s cousin, Robert Heyer, tells The Hill that the family doesn’t want government agents (or their Washington superiors) to be indicted for crimes, just for them to take responsibility for being (criminally) stupid.

While it’s a noble sentiment for the Terry family to train its attention on the drug dealers who killed their son and cousin, killing Terry with guns intentionally sold to those drug dealers was a decision deliberately made by ATF officials.  Therefore, it’s arguable that members of the Obama Administration were criminally negligent.

As if to underscore the impossibility of separating responsibility for this fiasco from its criminal consequences, The Hill’s interview with Heyer concludes with a paragraph stating that (in theory) Project Gunrunner worked as planned:

One of the main ways agents would be able to partially track a gun’s path under the operation was if it was found at the scene of a crime and officials were able to trace it back to the original federally authorized purchase, as was the case with the guns found at Terry’s murder scene. It remains unclear whether the guns found at the scene that were linked to the operation were actually used to kill Terry.

Here’s betting that Attorney General Eric Holder and his subordinates responsible for ATF’s policies won’t be using this as a defense.

January 14th, 2011 at 10:42 am
Video: End Run Around the Consent of the Governed
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The election of a Republican majority in the House was supposed to stop the power grabs that were so frequent in the last Congress. But instead, all they have done is moved them out of reach of the voters. In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses how liberals are now trying to advance their agenda through the unelected, unaccountable federal bureaucracy.


October 4th, 2010 at 11:22 am
Video: The Duty to Remain Silent – Liberals Stifle Free Speech on ObamaCare
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With the numerous negative consequences of ObamaCare starting to materialize, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses efforts by the administration and the Left to muzzle the bill’s opponents and victims.


August 24th, 2010 at 4:49 pm
The Real Deficit in D.C.

It’s hard to appreciate the consequences of government policies when you’ve never had to make a payroll.  Noting that the Obama Administration has no person in senior management with business experience, AOL contributor Marty Robins says the most troubling deficit in Washington, D.C. is a lack of ideas from people who’ve actually had to work in a free market economy.

What we need more of in Washington are those who combine a broad understanding of the nuances and “macro” implications of public policy with an appreciation of what makes the private sector tick on a “micro” level, and what constitutes good and bad assistance and incentives.

We need those who have successfully built or built up businesses and been personally invested — in a financial and an emotional sense — in such efforts, so that they can appreciate what government can and cannot do.

June 18th, 2010 at 10:30 am
Video: The Green Bailout
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In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino lambasts the Obama Administration and Congressional leadership for their shameless exploitation of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf to advance Cap-and-Trade:  their devastating plan to send energy prices skyrocketing.


December 28th, 2009 at 11:27 pm
Lockheed Crosses the Delaware
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In this, the hair of the dog week of the holiday season, there’s cause for good cheer on the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border. That’s where Lockheed Martin pledged $400,000 to keep alive the state park commemorating George Washington’s daring 1776 Christmas crossing of the Delaware River — a bold act that led to the colonies’ victories in the battles of Trenton and Princeton, and breathed life into what looked like a losing American cause.

I have to admit an emotional attachment to this issue. A year ago, in the waning days of the Bush Administration, I used the Christmas version of the President’s radio address to tout the amazing story of Washington’s Crossing to the American people. With the holiday weekend allowing a rare respite from the White House’s around-the-clock schedule, I spent a Saturday making the drive from my home in Alexandria, Virginia, to the banks of the Delaware River that the father of our country had crossed 232 years earlier.   It was a sight at once inspiring and tragic.

On those shores, where the dreams of an independent republic could well have foundered, is an aging and dilapidated visitor center that looks like it hasn’t been updated or improved for 30 years. Emanuel Leutze’s famous painting of the crossing (which at the time was hanging in the lobby of the West Wing) was replicated on a grand scale — but in an empty auditorium with buckets to catch the leaks from the roof and seating that looked like it had been pried from a condemned elementary school.

The center was reportedly facing closure because of cuts in the Pennsylvania state budget. That’s a shame. If conservatives and liberals can agree to spend money on anything, it ought to be on commemorating the great moments and great men in American history. And frankly (my only call for greater federal power in 2009 is coming in three … two …), as a place of national significance, there’s no reason that the federal government shouldn’t be picking up this ball if Pennsylvania is intent on dropping it.  In the meantime, thanks be to Lockheed. And if you’d like to lend your support, you can do so here.

November 23rd, 2009 at 12:04 pm
New Application for Counterinsurgency in California?

The California city of Salinas is ready to give counterinsurgency a try because the gang problem is out of control.

In the space of 11 days this year, seven people were murdered in Salinas. Each killing, like the record 25 homicides the previous year, spilled from the gang warfare that this summer pushed the homicide rate in the city of 140,000 to three times that of Los Angeles. Residents retreated indoors at night, and Mayor Dennis Donohue affirmed his decision to seek help from an unlikely source: the U.S. military.

Since February, combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been advising Salinas police on counterinsurgency strategy, bringing lessons from the battlefield to the meanest streets in an American city.

“This is our surge,” said Donohue, who solicited the assistance from the elite Naval Postgraduate School, 20 miles and a world away in Monterey. “When the public heard about this, they thought we were going to send the Navy SEALs into Salinas.”

Not quite. But the lessons learned from General David Petraeus’ successful counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq include the importance of creating trust between citizens and law enforcement. As in Iraq, the people most affected by the violence are suspicious of those charged with protecting them. Changing that dynamic is essential in order to achieve victory. And in order to change the dynamic, Salinas is going to need more boots on the ground so that police can cover more ground while building stronger relationships in the community.

Who knows; maybe if this domestic surge works as well as the one in Iraq, the Obama Administration might stop dithering and go for the win in Afghanistan.

November 11th, 2009 at 1:16 pm
When the Media, Majorities in Both Houses of Congress, and Liberal Activist Groups Aren’t Enough…

…turn a taxpayer-funded federal website into a self-serving online petition! That’s exactly what Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has done with the front page of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Between links to and another to Stop Medicare Fraud, there is an icon under HealthReform.Gov where a visitor can “State Your Support” for health reform this year.

According to Connie Hair at Human Events, HHS’s solicitation of support for Democratic health reform is likely in violation of federal law because it spends money for a purpose other than what Congress intended. In a legal opinion requested by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and written by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), CRS points out that:

Under the United States Constitution, no funds may be expended by federal agencies, or their officers or employees in the executive branch, except by way of an appropriation made by an act of Congress. The “Appropriations Clause” of the Constitution is not only an express assignment of appropriations authority to the Congress, but has also, as explained by a unanimous Supreme Court, been long understood “as a restriction upon the disbursing authority of the Executive department…”

Hair reports further that:

Congress has made it clear that federal agencies are not to use public funds to finance campaign tactics and grassroots propaganda. By law, official HHS funds cannot be used “for publicity or propaganda purposes … designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress … ,” according to and Section 503(a) of Division F and Section 717 of Division D of the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act or for “printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner … an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy … ,” according to 18 U.S.C. § 1913.”

In other words, HHS can’t spend taxpayer money to solicit support for partisan legislation. Although there’s little chance of mounting a successful lawsuit against the “State Your Support” link, signers of the petition should be aware that they are doing much more than giving their name. They’re also permitting the Obama Administration to retain their email and postal addresses for future contacts and solicitations, perhaps even for financial contributions. Of course, we can be sure that none of the names and numbers given will be misused or passed along to third parties, right?

November 5th, 2009 at 4:42 pm
Delay in Climate Change Treaty Creates Campaign Opportunity for 2010

With all the focus this week on off-year elections and the impending House healthcare vote this Saturday, it would be easy to miss the steady progress of two “climate change” proposals. The first is a bill approved today by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. If signed into law it would require industry to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels. As usual, the committee’s Chairwoman, Barbara Boxer (D-CA), thinks “this is a great signal for Copenhagen that there’s a will to do what it takes to advance this issue.”

Why does Senator Boxer care about Copenhagen? Because that’s the next destination on the U.N.’s perpetual climate change treaty writing circuit. For months, supporters of creating an internationally binding treaty to enforce hard caps on emissions and “carbon reparations” payments from rich to poor countries have seen the December meeting in Copenhagen as the moment when the Al Gore-negotiated Kyoto Protocol could become global. Boxer, with the help of the Obama Administration, is ready to put taxpayer money where the Environmental Left’s mouth is.

One snag though. Apparently, the global economic recession is putting the brakes on countries’ ability to raise taxes without creating jobs or improving infrastructure. How odd. Now the treaty’s negotiators are talking as if it may take another year to get an agreement signed. Thankfully, such a timetable puts any ratification decision by the U.S. Senate after next year’s mid-term elections. As the 2010 campaign issues continue to pile up, people looking to rebuke Obama & Co. for healthcare reform can also send a message that higher taxes, greater wealth redistribution, and lower productivity are as unpopular when imposed by foreign powers as they are when mandated domestically.

October 28th, 2009 at 11:38 am
Net Neutrality – Merely a Trick on Internet Users or Just a Treat for Google?

As President Obama’s FCC moves forward to impose burdensome Net Neutrality regulations on the Internet and just in time for Halloween, CFIF this week released the following illustration highlighting the intricate web between the Obama Administration and Google, a leading supporter of Net Neutrality.  The illustration raises the question: Is Net Neutrality merely a trick on Internet users or just a treat for Google’s welfare?