Many people are obsessed with scandals. Actually a heightened interest in shedding light on unscrupulous events may and can be a positive. If you feel like that is one of selective judgments, it is but not of the political sort which some will read into it. It’s a statement based upon perspective because your or my personal feelings about any light shedding or public knowledge will most likely be different if we or someone we know is tied into that scandal.
Often it is difficult to differentiate between a scandal and a mystery. There is that malicious gossip aspect or outrageous event which may also involve something secret or an enigma.
Here, I want to pull all gossip out and just look at events from that curiosity and ability to solve what is unknown.
Nobody really knows how tomorrow’s history texts will present our current events. Personally my prediction is that Barack Obama will ultimately be remembered as a “typical” US President. By “typical” I mean that he is neither the best nor the worst. Some aspects associated with his presidency will be regarded more positively than others while other aspects will be viewed negatively with that 20/20 hindsight.
My prediction is that the 112th and 113th Congresses will be remembered as among the worst in the history of the United States of America. Honestly, I don’t think it makes any difference if one chooses to blame either political party. Regardless of whether you side more with the Republicans or with the Democrats has anything that sincerely addresses today’s issues and looks to building a better future actually been brought to the respective Floors, let alone voted upon?
Now some blame the President for everything bad. I can see the rationale behind that because heck he is the President. Still I tend to give every President more of a break when it comes to domestic problems. I don’t care about their political party when I do that, but I do care about the powers the President has under the Constitution. The position has less authority on domestic issues than many governors have in their states. In foreign affairs the President can have a more direct impact, but Congress holds many of the cards that this and past Presidents have either been credited with or blamed for enacting into policy. Some Presidents have been able to work with Congress to pass their agenda regardless of whether it was good or bad. Other Presidents have been able to dictate their wants to Congress. I don’t think Obama has enjoyed much success with the Congresses during his terms.
Now these scandals of the Obama administration and why they won’t be solved whether a scandal exists or not and regardless of how much money is spent investigating. I’m not going to describe or outline any of these scandals as abundant sources exist. Would I like to know the truth? Certainly. In some cases, however, I think the truth is already known.
Fast and Furious:
On this one I tend to side more with the Obama critics because I’m not accepting much of the information which has been released as being anywhere close to conclusive. Still I doubt if the truth can ever be discovered, and that has nothing at all to do with the administration. It is because of the laws passed by previous Congresses and continued with the current ones. In particular, I’m referencing the Tiahrt Amendments which are now a permanent attachment to appropriations legislation.
These are not amendments by people labeled as gun control freaks. These were amendments pushed by the gun lobby. You can read the NRA-ILA view on their necessity here.
From wanting to protect against dealers having to conduct inventories and the maintaining of records for extended periods, the facts pertaining to Fast and Furious are thus untraceable according to the law and no amount of Congressional investigations or expenditures will change that unless Congress changes the codes.
The IRS Scandal:
I’ve written more about this scandal than any others on this blog. Yes profiling took place. It took place for both so called “conservative” and “liberal” groups. None of that profiling should have been a surprise to Congress because the work level and need to automate many functions of the IRS had been presented to Congress in the reports from the National Taxpayer Advocate. All of those are linked in the previous blogs. Taking the 5th or not, Ms. Lerner isn’t going to say anything that is not in those reports that all Members, not just these committee Members, have been given previously.
To me the solution is to address the tax code. Personally, I oppose these 501(c)(4) designations as I’ve noted many times because in my opinion politics ain’t charity.
The question I pose to everyone is do you support this means of allowing unlimited sums of money to move into the political process anonymously. I don’t see how anyone supports that secrecy.
Also for some the tax exempt status is not about a “public cause,” but a personal cause. A few, generous definition of few, of these organizations spend the smaller donations from working class individuals as high salaries to themselves for the efforts of their volunteers.
Again, people are giving people money to do who knows what and for whom. When you think about it that way, reforming the tax codes to separate legitimate charitable work from personal gain seems more and more reasonable from both sides of the political fence for people like you and me.
Foreign service is high risk. That’s been true since the ratification of the Constitution for the United States. The loss of these individuals, any individuals is tragic.
Personally I believe that investigations that would help improve the safety for those serving abroad would be time and money well spent. That little paper from that Veteran really impacts me because these investigations have not been about protection but merely on the talking points following the attack.
Now we will have the special select House committee investigating. As the Speaker notes, the reason for a new select committee is the information released to Judicial Watch.
Did any of the talking points following the attack cost any lives? They did not, but the investigations have not been as careful. If you think back approximately two years ago, on CSPAN the Oversight and Government Reform Committee “accidentally” released classified information regarding the CIA and Americans still overseas. That “minor” mistake may have resulted in more lives lost than the actual attack.
Could more have been done both before and during the attack? Most probably, but the witnesses testifying have not been privy to the information at the time of the attack. In some ways that may be fortunate for the people overseas today as Congress would most likely put those individuals in additional danger with their public hearings.
Historically I just think about some of the things said during certain events that we later learned were inaccurate or out and out fabrications. I’m not saying that is right or wrong. I’m stating that the goal should be to protect those people there at the time and those who will serve later in the best manner possible. I just do not see that purpose in these hearings, and are they worth the cost of millions and millions to make a solely political point.
I used political point intentionally because I do wonder how much of the investigations are merely for political party purposes. This letter from Heritage Action to the Speaker and Majority Leader approximately 1 year ago, 16 May 2013, still strikes a chord with me.
Is the purpose to discover the truth?
Is the purpose to prevent working on legislation and addressing issues important to people like you and me?
Is it all part of non stop campaigning financed by taxpayer money?