Sunday, August 9, 2009
By Kelli Krauss
I can‘t believe that we actually have a program in Congress to be voted on that is called “cash-for-clunkers.” When I first heard it, I thought maybe it was an early retirement plan for some in Congress, but we shall not be so lucky. The continuation of this program is the latest evidence of the Obama Administration’s promised “transparency.”
Once again, we find our leaders getting ready to vote and spend more money on something that hasn’t been competently reported on. Harry Reid is confident that they will vote on this “cash-for-clunkers” program before they break for their August recess even though the Obama Administration has not yet given the proper reports to show whether the program is or can be successful.
The White House has refused to release documents containing information on the program and the Transportation Department has said it will release its findings, but it may be after the Senate votes to sink another $2 billion into the program.
This has been the course of the Obama Administration for the last eight months. Apparently in the dictionary that Obama and his staffers refer to, the definition for transparency and ambiguity has been conveniently reversed. It is mind boggling to me how a man can campaign nationally on his dedication to transparency and honesty as well as his promise to the American people of having 5 days to review bills before they are signed and then clearly not do it. The list of campaign promises broken and inconsistencies in his statements is growing longer by the day.
Shouldn’t we have some transparency on why the Obama Justice Department dropped all charges against the New Black Panther Party and the three members that were intimidating voters in Philadelphia on Election Day? Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the number three man in the Obama Justice Department, approved a decision in May to drop the charges even though the lawyers in the department’s Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division recommended that the Justice Department seek sanctions against the organization and the three individuals. The government had already won a default judgment in federal court against the three men. But, it is okay for Obama to have Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano monitor "right-wing extremists" who are those concerned about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion, as well as returning war veterans. Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia is not letting this go and has asked for an explanation on why the Justice Department dropped all charges against the New Black Panthers.
How about some transparency on health care reform? After all, Barack Obama said this during his Presidential campaign, "People say, 'Well, you have this great health care plan, but how are you going to pass it? You know, it failed in '93’, and what I've said is, I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process."
Did I miss this negotiation on C-SPAN? There is now video that shows Obama in 2003 and 2007 talking about his intention to have a single-payer government run health system and how many years he thinks it will take to phase out employer-provided health insurance. Yet he is actively campaigning and insisting that the American people not believe the claims that his health care push is a “Trojan horse” for a single-payer system.
If this is the transparency and honesty that we can expect from President Obama and his administration in leading this country, it is no wonder that the term “Chicago politics” has been used to describe their methods.