What is Obama Hiding? Is he Gay?
By Ed Lasky
There has been plenty of conjecture regarding Obama’s biography. Clearly, he has a penchant for fiction and does not care to fact-check his own life. Nor does he care for others to fact-check or scrutinize what he has been doing as president. Has this been why he has been decimating the taxpayers’ best friends in Washington: the inspectors general?
Inspectors general are investigative officials charged with monitoring government programs for waste, fraud, incompetency, corruption, and the like. They are the taxpayers’ first line of defense against a rampaging, out-of-control, and corrupt government. Unlike many if not most government programs,inspector general programs have a sterling return on investment. For example, Daniel Levinson, inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department, has been an unheralded hero for taxpayers. Since he took his job a few years ago, his investigations have led to more charges for health care fraud than ever before, and his office has returned about $11 billion to the Medicare Trust Fund (see this glowing profile in Business Week). Even in Obama’s Washington, that is serious money: those billions that will be available to care for our nation’s seniors. Levinson certainly is as deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom as Bob Dylan.
Inspectors general are a natural enemy of, let’s say, a politician who hails from Cook County and who likes to spend with abandon. This is particularly true when the beneficiaries of the spending are donors and supporters who can be paid back for their support with other people’s money. Didn’t Barack Obama define politics as a way to punish enemies and reward friends? Such is politics done the Chicago Way.
Looking at the past three years of Barack Obama’s presidency, there appears to have been a plan all along to blunt the effectiveness of inspectors general. This has been done by a variety of ways: by trying to force through Congress new and richly funded programs akin to “slush funds” without providing for the oversight that comes from the inspector general program; by stonewalling and attacking Darrell Issa, who as chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee (the two words “reform” and “oversight” are anathema to Barack Obama) has called for expanding the power of inspectors general; brutal public personal attacks on various inspectors general that are meant to drive them from office and chill the investigative efforts of others; and by deliberately failing to fill vacancies in the ranks of inspectors general — a dereliction of duty on the part of Barack Obama that earned the president a stinging rebuke in a recent Washington Post editorial (“Where are the inspectors general?”).
When Democrats were in control of Congress, President Obama was on a rampage: pushing through various programs that have gone down the memory hole because they have been judged failures and have become unpopular. Foremost among these have been the stimulus boondoggle and ObamaCare.
Another program Obama attempted to get passed was a $30-billion small business lending program,shielded from being subject to oversight by inspectors general. The inspector general who would have overseen the spending noted that this would leave the program “vulnerable to potential fraud.” Republicans, led by Darrell Issa, were outraged. Small business lending programs have been a big loser for the federal government over the years, and the potential for this program to dole out dollars under a friends and family program was self-evident. This program never made it, but the agenda was clear.
Few congressmen have been as diligent in defending the taxpayer and ensuring the integrity and efficiency of the federal government as has been Congressman Issa. He has bedeviled President Obama’s administration by launching hearings on a wide variety of government operations –foremost among them are his investigations involving Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice and the scandalous Fast and Furious program.
But that is just one high-profile investigation he has launched. Issa has been looking into spending under the stimulus program, uncovering waste and fraud. Once he assumed the chairmanship after GOP victories in 2010, Issa called for expanding the power of inspectors general by granting them expanded subpoena powers. He has been leading the criticism by House Republicans of Barack Obama’s failure to staff inspector general posts. He most assuredly has earned a place on Barack Obama’s enemies list.
Since Issa has been a thorn in Obama’s side, the Democrats have not only stonewalled his inquiries, but also maneuvered to have Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) win the election as the ranking minority member on his committee — a result that surprised other Democrats, as the spot normally would have gone to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Political pros realized what had happened. There was a belief that Cummings would be far more effective in blocking Issa’s investigations into the Obama White House than Maloney would. Cummings has been running interference for Barack Obama.
But those have not been the only attempts to derail Issa. He has been subject to fierce attacks in the media in liberal outlets such as The New Yorker and the New York Times — obvious attempts to intimidate him into silence.
However, Darrell Issa is unlikely to fold; he has a safe seat and is one of the wealthiest members of Congress (he was a very successful entrepreneur). He can brush these politically motivated attacks away. This is not true, however, when the administration tries to bully inspectors general or outright fires them for doing their jobs all too well.
When one inspector general, Gerald Walpin, found that a political ally and basketball-playing friend of Barack Obama’s, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, was abusing federal funds meant for a charity for political and personal uses, the White House shifted into its favorite mode: attack.
Not only was Walpin fired, but when he tried to alert the media to the scandal, various figures from the administration attacked him in the most personally destructive way — all but publicly accusing him of mental illness.
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