Richard Milhous Obama
The Obama White House has done something no one, not even its worst critics, could have accomplished. The administration of Barack Obama is being compared to the administration of … Richard Nixon.
Well, well, well. Here we are. March first. Sequester Day. America Held Hostage; Day One.
President Obama has been criss-crossing the country proclaiming the dire effects of March 1 if the Republicans in the House didn't bow to his demands. We don't know what his demands are, but he spent a lot of money accusing the GOP of not caving into them.
The Department of Homeland Security is made up, apparently, of the only group of people in America that believed Obama. A division of DHS got a jump on Sequester Day by letting "several hundred" illegal aliens who were in jail, out of jail and into what a spokesperson called "placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release."
Putting aside the fact that if this more cost-effective form of supervised release were available before the sequester, why didn't DHS take advantage of this money-saving capacity?
Maybe using NON cost-effective, NON appropriate forms of keeping track of illegal aliens awaiting - whatever they have been awaiting - is yet another example of worthless Federal programs that, when added together, lead to a $16.5 billion national debt.
The guy from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) organization who is in charge of making those kinds of decisions announced his retirement on the same day his organization announced the release of the illegal aliens.
The Associated Press - a known mouthpiece for the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives - put two and two together and got: Fall guy. DHS denied he was resigning because of the illegal alien release but that "he had told his bosses weeks ago that he planned to retire."
If nothing else DHS should be sent to the Cabinet Penalty Box for astonishing stupidity in the face of a growing public relations crisis by announcing his long-planned retirement on the same day as the prisoner release.
Speaking of public relations crises, the Obama White House has done something no one - not even its worst critics - could have accomplished. The administration of Barack Obama is being compared to the administration of … Richard Nixon.
No. No. I'm serious about this.
During the whole Watergate thing back in the early 1970s, Richard Nixon had his staff compile (and keep up-to-date) what became known as an "enemies list." These were people that Nixon thought were a danger to his Presidency, if not the nation.
Who would do that? Who would use the power of the White House to threaten and intimidate Americans - including reporters - for speaking ill of the President?
Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.
Bob Woodward who, along with his partner Carl Bernstein, discovered the scope of Watergate, is back in hot water with a President.
Woodward, whose reporting on meetings that were supposed to be secret over the past 40 years, has been unassailable took issue with Obama's holding Congressional Republicans responsible for sequester.
Woodward reported that Obama had "moved the goal posts" when it came to revenue and spending and, in fact, the idea of a sequester as a stick to make all sides come together on a debt reduction plan originated in the White House.
Woodward, writing in the Washington Post, reminded everyone that in the third debate between Obama and Mitt Romney last fall, Obama said, "The sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed."
It turns out it was the brainchild of former White House chief of staff (and new Treasury Secretary) Jack Lew. Not only did Woodward point out the guilty party, he nailed the date and time (2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011) when Lew and the Legislative Affairs director for the White House brought the idea to Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
They did that, Woodward maintains, with the specific approval of Obama.
The White House attempted to deny the sequester was their idea to the point that a senior White House staffer emailed Woodward saying he "would regret" sticking to his story.
Nixon and Obama, tied together by their anger with a reporter - the same reporter - Bob Woodward.
The senior White House official in question is Gene Sperling, director of Obama's economic council.
The White House is now trying to tamp things down by re-defining the meaning of "regret."
According to Scott Neuman on the NBP website, the White House responded that it was all a big misunderstanding and "you will regret doing this," really meant "of course no threat was intended."
Richard Milhous Obama.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the illegal prisoner release story, to the history of Watergate, to Woodward's column in the Washington Post, and to the NPR piece. Also a license plate that made me smile on the way into work yesterday.