“The executive branch of this government never has, nor will suffer, while I preside, any improper conduct of its officers to escape with impunity.” –George Washington
The Bigger They Czar, the Harder They Fall
Van Jones, White House adviser on Environmental Quality, or according to the prevailing trend of labeling bureaucrats, the “green jobs czar,” resigned over the Labor Day holiday. For those who had never heard of Jones before last weekend, his job in the administration was to act as an adviser to the president on making America’s commercial and industrial economy more “environmentally friendly.” Jones has a public background as an activist and writer for environmental causes and he is a darling among Hollywood and Washington liberal elites. Oh, and he was also a “community organizer.” But there was more to Jones’s background than was made public when he took the White House job. For example, Jones has two prior arrests on his record for participating in riots, he has numerous admitted associations with communists and other radicals and he was a supporter of the 9/11 “truthers.”
Fox News’s Glenn Beck broke the story that led to the czar’s deposing — Jones’s name appeared on a petition stating that the Bush administration deliberately brought about the 9/11 terrorist attacks to have an excuse to go to war. Jones would only say that he did not review the language of the petition carefully. How complicated must a petition be for a Yale man like Jones not to understand?
The mainstream media, again acting as President Obama’s public relations firm, spent little ink or airtime on the story. (In fact, The New York Times reported for duty only after Jones had submitted his resignation.) Beck and others kept up the pressure, though, and interesting tidbits from Jones’s past continued surfacing, including information about his arrests in the Rodney King and Seattle World Trade Organization riots and a video of Jones making speeches in which he tossed out epithets about Republicans which we can’t reprint.
Jones made some feeble apologies in hopes of sweeping the growing furor under the rug, but eventually the White House realized that they couldn’t defend Jones’s radicalism and ObamaCare at the same time. Consequently, while the country was off celebrating the holiday weekend, Jones tendered his resignation at midnight on Saturday, claiming all the while that he was the victim of right-wing character assassination. So much for apologies. While this is a skirmish victory in our efforts to restore Constitutional Rule of Law, rest assured that he’ll likely be back, albeit in a less visible position.
How is it that someone like Jones could rise to such a level of responsibility in the White House? Unless one is on a tightly grouped public tour, citizens can’t even enter the building without a Secret Service background check. Job applicants are required to fill out a 60-page questionnaire that past applicants have described as a most comprehensive review. Someone with Jones’s background never would have been cleared by the Secret Service. The only way Jones could have been approved for the job, as American Spectator columnist Jeffrey Lord points out, is if someone high up in the administration overruled the Secret Service — someone like the lead rabble-rouser himself.
The White House hopes that this business will end with Jones’s resignation. But there are at least 30 (some count over 60) additional so-called czars in the White House who also could use a little public scrutiny. There already exist cabinet positions and executive offices for all the tasks that these new apparatchiks manage, but Obama brought them on board as “advisers” to circumvent the checks and balances of presidential appointments. He knew that radical activists like Jones, et al would not pass muster with the Senate, and certainly not with the American public. So, he created a new office to find a place for Jones in his administration.
Unfortunately, Jones isn’t the only radical in Obama’s crew. Regulation Czar Cass Sunstein advocates changing the organ donor rules to a system whereby people have to opt out of donating their organs rather than opting in. Sunstein believes that the government should manipulate choices to “make life easier for people and by gently nudging them in directions that will make their lives better.” And then there’s Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren, who once floated ideas like forced abortions and compulsory sterilization to help control human population levels. How many other people like Sunstein and Holdren are there in the White House? As they say, “Inquiring minds want to know.”
Obama Addresses Joint Session of Congress
Chairman Obama declared in his latest speech to Wednesday’s joint session of Congress that the time for debate about the government takeover of health care is over. Not only that, but he’s done “wasting time” with opponents’ criticisms. “I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it,” he huffed. “If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out. And I will not accept the status quo as a solution, not this time, not now.” Left unexplained is why Obama thinks it is his place to declare the debate over.
Obama claimed his reforms will eliminate massive fraud from public and private health care (which leads us to wonder why the federal government has failed to act against such massive fraud over the last 45 years), will cut large amounts of money from Medicare while forcing physicians to provide additional care to more people amid plummeting reimbursement rates, will eliminate denials due to pre-existing conditions, will cap out-of-pocket expenses, will drive down premium rates, and, finally and most reassuringly, will create rainbows for unicorns — all for just $900 billion over 10 years. Talk about fantasy.
Of course, Obama also claimed that government will “keep insurance companies honest.” Politicians keeping anyone honest? And he wonders why we’re skeptical. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) is also skeptical. He yelled, “You lie!” after Obama told Congress that illegal aliens will not be covered by ObamaCare. In its current form, the legislation does say coverage does not apply to illegals, but it also doesn’t require citizenship verification. Apparently, it’s on the honor system — and Wilson was right.
Through massive tax hikes on all aspects of our economy and a little accounting jujitsu, the public option supposedly will pay for itself. All that the federal government has to do is quickly learn how to operate as a break-even, self-funded, non-profit insurance company, while preventing insurers from canceling anyone’s coverage due to high claims (already illegal under federal HIPAA laws and laws in all 50 states) or fraud. The federal government would also act as a large insurance agent, working hard to match Americans with insurance coverage based on their needs — as pre-determined by Washington bureaucrats, of course.
Chillingly, the latest Democrat proposal also calls for mandating Americans carry health insurance or face yearly fines up to $3,800, which Obama stated was similar to the fines for driving a car without insurance. Apparently, in the Twilight Zone of Democrat “thinking,” making people pay for not having something they don’t want or can’t afford will encourage them to somehow acquire said thing.
Demanding health care for all Americans is a sweet-sounding sentiment, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Another vacuous Obama speech hasn’t solved anything, hasn’t brought the country together to sing Kum Ba Ya, and hasn’t conjured up enough leprechaun gold to keep the country solvent.