“I” conflicted

The Obama administration is headed for a big showdown with judicial accountability next year. Let’s look at the dance list thus far:

1. The “Fast and Furious” gunwalker scandal, involving potential collusion from the top of our government to funnel automatic weapons and explosives to drug cartels operating within and actively undermining a friendly government. Democrats lied, people died.

2. Solyndra: potential crony capitalism whereby more-than half a billion dollars of public monies disappeared and remain unaccounted for within a private company, actively supported by Obama administration officials, that went bankrupt. Who benefited? Where did that money go?

3. Lightsquared: a privately held company in which the President of the United States was a shareholder, that potentially benefited from tainted government testimony to implement a technology that may have put our defense systems at great risk.

Something tells me there will be other scandals to surface as well.

Put it all together and the Obama Administration may find itself in a maelstrom next year… just before election time.

As even major media outlets are acknowledging, this reeks of crony capitalism and the “Chicago Way”. Unfortunately, I fear that the details will go over the heads of most Americans, many of whom would prefer to avoid the facts altogether and worry about their personal economic lives.

Here’s my dilemma: if real crimes were committed, there has to be accountability. If not, crony capitalism and 3rd world corruption will become the new norm and, as Bookworm pointed out, we will inevitably evolve into a fascist state. However, to have accountability, we would need impeachment hearings to get out the truth.

The atmospherics for this would be terrible.

I suspect that most Americans are still emotionally and mentally exhausted from the Clinton impeachment hearings. Now, in the midst of a depression (let’s not kid ourselves otherwise) and a world spiraling into a new round of economic disasters and global conflicts, the American electorate would again be subjected to the divisive, gut-wrenching politics of impeachment hearings involving America’s first black president and attorney general.

Whether or not the Obama administration skates or we engage in impeachment hearings, I see either scenario as lose-lose-lose: for the Democrats, for the Republicans and for the country. We would end up at each others throats and it could tear our country apart.

Does anyone else see it differently? If so, please enlighten me, because I find this prospect to be so very depressing…either way.

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Comments

  1. says

    I suspect that most Americans are still emotionally and mentally exhausted from the Clinton impeachment hearings.

    Exhausted by so little?  What luxury people live in that they can be fat and happy with so little.

     When every single member of their family is tortured and killed in front of their eyes, then… maybe they can claim the justice of being emotionally and mentally exhausted.

  2. Mike Devx says

    I don’t see anything (yet) that the Obama Admin has done as illegal.  Just incredibly, profoundly stupid and harmful to Americans, causing more and more of us to live lives of misery.  But that’s not illegal.  That’s just Keynesian economics.

    And bad choices.

    For example: Obama wants to focus on jobs?  Free up the oil, gas and coal industries.  Crank em up!  You want infrastructure, how about pipelines, refineries, etc?  But to do this, he’d have to go to all-out war against his Left, and they would go to war against him.

    And of course, it’s a pipe dream.  To do that, Obama would actually have to declare war on himself, since he is a committed idealogue who, actually, has no real interest in lessening the misery nor in actually creating jobs.  He’ll graciously allow you to take a job, but only a job that he prefers.  If one such ever appears.

    Meanwhile, we all suffer.  Worse and worse.
     

  3. SADIE says

    It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t quandary. The scandals and the level of corruption is embedded and has been bred into the system for decades.  Why do we have to reach the level of impeach or not to impeach – why aren’t the existing rules/laws enforced. Where are the oversight committees/members, why are we always at the precipice? There are a lot of very dirty hands in the pot – they all don’t belong to one party but they all belong to one mindset.
     
    We would end up at each others throats and it could tear our country apart. 
     
    Danny, in case your keeping score – we’re already there and Europe isn’t far behind. Even if conservatives make a clean sweep in November 2012, the work of the people will not be done. As Malkin refers to it all – the culture of corruption… it needs to be dismembered. 
     

  4. gpc31 says

    Danny,

    I respectfully disagree about the lose-lose-lose outcome.

    The Solyndra and LightSquared scandals are easily understood as abuses of public trust and money, and are not dismissible in the way that “lying about sex” is/was.  Gunwalker is simply too explosive to treat, if you will excuse the pun.

    The second factor is that these burgeoning scandals will give Democrats an excuse to nudge Obama aside.  The party’s survival instinct will kick in as things get worse.  Granted, it won’t be *easy* in absolute terms for Obama to withdraw/be challenged/or defeated, not least because if that happens then the  Democrats can kiss the Black vote goodbye for a few cycles, and if so, there goes their franchise.

    Watch for the scapegoats.  Here are a couple to watch:

    First, will the worm turn on Phil Falcone, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has bet the farm on LightSquared?  Will the DNC and media make him a the fall guy?  He’s vulnerable on several counts.  First, as a high profile guy who cleaned up on the housing bust.  Second, he pulled some hanky-panky on his taxes vis a vis his funds two years ago.  Third, his performance since the bust has been volatile and marginally profitable.  Fourth, institutional investors are not happy with him for his recent performance, his tax maneuvers, preventing redemptions, and changing his mandate from a hedge to venture capital fund.

    Second, and more importantly, watch the fate of Eric Holder. He’s Obama’s John Mitchell, a pure enabler.  I’m amazed that Holder’s brazen idiocy and moral turpitude haven’t attracted more Congressional fire to date.  If Obama throws him under the bus, you will know that things are really, really bad.  (Friedman Alert:  I’m going to mix metaphors here!)  The smart rats have already left the ship.  Holder is a bitter clinger.  If he goes down, Obama is defenseless.  So, if I were Daryl Issa, I would concentrate on taking down Holder as a proxy fight.

    The scandals are for public consumption.  Taking down Holder is the inside game.

     

  5. SADIE says

    gpc31
     
    While it’s possible and probably that scapegoats will be banished one way or the other (some have jumped the ship, others will walk the plank) it is the residual, the deeply embedded corruption that lingers and will continue to choke the system. We need an army of Issas.
     
    Case in point:
     
    It’s one of those mind-numbing news items on hybrids and high shenanigans and how the 2007 Congress still controls the DOE.
     
    Fisker/Telsa has received another $529 million US government load from the DOE. The $529 million is on top of a $465 million dollar loan. Reads a lot like a billion dollars to me. 
     
    It only gets worse…the $529 million is to help Finland build a $89,000 hybrid sports car.
     
    Fisker said most of its DOE loan will be used to finance U.S. production of a $40,000 family sedan that has yet to be designed. DID YOU READ THAT – YET TO BE DESIGNED! OMG, I am having a Mike Devx moment.
     
    AND WORSE…
     
    Fisker’s top investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a veteran Silicon Valley venture-capital firm of which Gore is a partner. Employees of KPCB have donated more than $2.2 million to political campaigns, mostly for Democrats, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign contributions.
     
    AND WORSE….
     
    Scott Redmond, CEO of XP Vehicles Inc., said he met with DOE officials twice in Washington after applying for a $40 million loan to develop a $15,000 to $25,000 hybrid, and that both times he was told his application looked good. Since receiving a rejection letter from DOE in August, Redmond said, he has been unable to get a full explanation as to why his request was turned down.
    Mr. Rogers said he was not at liberty to discuss individual applications that had been turned down, but said the process has been handled fairly and objectively.
     
     
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125383160812639013.html
     
     

  6. gpc31 says

    Sadie,

    I agree that the corruption is deeply embedded in our system.

    We need radical changes, such as:

    *Abolishing entire cabinet departments.

    *Changing our system of representation to prevent logrolling.  For instance, citizens could be allowed to vote for their geographic representatives per normal, but also have one at large “Negative” vote to be used against any national representative or senator.  Wouldn’t that be interesting!?  Barney Frank would instantly go down in flames.

    I am perfectly aware of the tyranny of the status quo and like a true New Englander, see no way to get to theah from heah, short of a cataclysmic event.  Or am I wrong and are there incremental changes?  The Tea Party is certainly promising.

    Cheers. 

  7. gpc31 says

    I will also add that the old saying of Tacitus is certainly true:  “the more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”  Today’s targeted stimulus is tomorrow’s tax loophole.

    Our Federal Register is an obscenity in search of a new Justinian.

    Philip Howard and the inestimable Richard Epstein have done the best work on the subject; their writings are at once both theoretical and practical.

    BW, I am certainly no lawyer.  How do you radically simplify the law?  Are there any mechanisms?  How do you minimize the uncertainty and resulting fallout? Or does this presume a common societal ethos that has been lost?

  8. Spartacus says

    For better and worse, I believe events will overtake us, and these questions will be moot.
     
    Barring insanely bad luck and a conservative third-party challenger in the general election and vote fraud way beyond the usual percentages, Barack is toast.  Just on economics alone, he would need to navigate an increasingly crowded minefield of potential poicy mistakes brilliantly in order to keep things from getting significantly worse, and brilliant he ain’t — “stuck on stoopid” is more like it.  Butter, jam or peanut butter?  Not sure.  But count on the toast.
     
    And as profoundly odd as it is for me to be the optimist in the room, I am cautiously hopeful that this will be part of the solution to the corruption problem:  the greater the landslide, the greater the mandate for cleaning house.  We’ve had no shortage of corruption before, but it has ebbed as it has flowed.
     
    The other part?  We’re beyond broke.  “Broke” would be a wonderful improvement.  The Treasury Secretary has no clothes, and people are beginning to whisper to each other that maybe someone should look up and check.  Now, the whole thing may devolve gently in some sort of velvet revolution; or maybe someday someone will try to pay for something in a 7-11 with a $20 bill, and it will be rejected on the grounds that they no longer accept US dollars, and then four horsemen will come riding down the aisle from the freezer section.  Now, that latter scenario is bad.  But in the former scenario, the political will may well develop to cut a few costs: HUD, HHS, Energy, Education, EPA, etc..  Not a complete panacea, but a drastically downsized government is easier for government watchdogs to watch.
     
    Speaking of political will, the 90’s convinced me that impeachment is an entirely political question, not a legal one, and that the people must lead on that one.  If there enough votes to impeach and convict (and conviction is the sticky part, having to go through that country club, before the club receives the benefit of a cleansing next November), and The People really want a President Biden for a few months, then so be it, but it should be gently resisted until and unless that will very plainly exists.  I know that sounds terrible, but it’s just reality.  None of this prevents us from making very good and visible use of Solyndra, LightSquared, and Fast & Furious, and allowing The People to convict or acquit in the court of public opinion.

  9. Danny Lemieux says

    I left out one other item on my list, which I do believe breaks the law: the divestment of GM bondholders in the bail-out/takeover. Sadly, nobody seems to be talking about this any more.

    Spartacus, I wish that I could be as sanguine as you with regard to Obama’s reelection chances. As others have pointed out, the country can survive Obama, but it can’t survive an electorate that put him there in the first place. The demagoguing of the Republican opposition has only just begun and there are far too many credulous people that will fall for it. Ditto for peoples’ perceptions of the economic collapse, legal transgressions and foreign policy failures.

    I talk day-in, day-out with people who complain bitterly about their economic situation but would rather obsess over the Cubs’ or Bears’ player statistics than read a news blog. I have neighbors that live in an imaginary cloud cuckoo world, one in  which all of life’s travails have been neatly excised out of their comfortable upper-middle class, suburban bubbles…or so they think. I have family members that can barely justify their economic existence and whose intellectual limits are defined by reflexively mouthing union slogans. I see too many college graduates bursting with self esteem that can barely read, write or do simple mathematical computations, with moral cores that are either absent or, shall we say, highly fungible. They, I believe, would easily reelect an Obama.

    Call it a total failure of the eduction system, if you will, but we have become a nation with far too many morons that vote based on emotion rather than reason.

    That being said, I hope that you are right and that I am totally, totally wrong.

  10. Libby says

    I wouldn’t relish impeachment hearings, but the crony capitalism and the illegal Fast & Furious activities that appear to have been engineered to provide justification for restricting US citizens’ 2nd amendment rights  (and has been linked to 200+ deaths) are serious business. Our scandal fatigue should have no bearing on this. Part of the reason we’re so tired of scandals is because the MSM worked overtime to make everything that happened during Bush’s presidency a scandal, including hurricanes.

  11. suek says

    There’s no way Obama could be impeached. Or rather, I guess, convicted. That is, I think he could be impeached by the House, but the Senate would absolutely not finish the job.

    What about Holder? Can he be impeached? If so, I think that would be the key – because I think a lot about Obama would come out during such an impeachment…

    But I’m wondering about such things as that National Labor Board…I hear that it’s “independent”…that Obama just can’t do a thing about it. Yet he appoints the members. Apparently they have to be approved by Congress – he had to do a recess appointment to get “his” man in…so…can _those_ guys be impeached? Does the Board answer to anybody? How many other “Boards” are there out there that are “independent” – and how do we make them answerable?

    But on the NLRB…suppose Boeing just goes ahead and opens it’s plant in NC..(SC?)…what happens? do their rulings have the weight of law? How do you enforce a law that isn’t a law?

    There was an interesting incident in NM last week – the Feds have prohibited cutting trees without permission of the Forestry regulators (or whatever they’re called). The regulations are very prohibitive, and the State foresters were concerned that the policies were going to result in massive fires, among other problems (growth was too dense, required too much ground water). A local board decided to log local forests to reduce the dangerous conditions. The Feds forbade. The local sheriff told the Feds that if they attempted to arrest, he would throw them in jail for kidnapping. Feds faded away.

    So when does a regulation have the weight of a law? If they take you to court, is there any consideration of whether the agency has the right to make their regulations, or is it simply cut and dried “these are the rules…were they broken?” decision?

    if the latter, what recourse do citizens have? who is ultimately answerable? President? Congress? Buehler?? _anybody_???

  12. Charles Martel says

    suek, that forestry incident you reported may have been one of the opening rounds of stiffening resistance against federal authority. It is becoming more and more apparent that there is a significant amount of corruption on top of the vast incompetence in the federal government, so we can expect to see more push back by patriotic Americans.

    Like some others on this board, I fear that the left is trying to set up some sort of Reichstag incident that will allow it to “temporarily” impose sweeping regulation on us all (for our own good, of course). The question for both sides, of course, is whether the dimwits who now run the goverment are canny enough to pull off a mass repression without inciting a second revolution. These folks can barely barely read or understand a logical argument, so how are they going to figure out a way to manipulate a heavily armed, vastly spread out citizenry?  

  13. suek says

    >>…so we can expect to see more push back by patriotic Americans.>>

    And if the Feds can’t enforce? I’m thinking “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” situation.

    What happens if the courts have no effective authority? “The Court has made their ruling, now let them enforce it”?

    Except today, with so many computer traceable transactions and accounts, and with the new regulations that require that the Feds have access to your banking numbers – enforcement may be as simple as raiding your accounts and leaving you with no resources.

  14. SADIE says

    ….enforcement may be as simple as raiding your accounts and leaving you with no resources.
     
    Time to buy a new mattress and a cash box. A dear friend of mine has become so cautious lately, that she is socking away cash in her safety deposit box – it’s not as though money in the bank earns interest anymore.

  15. Charles Martel says

    I would not sock anything away in a safe deposit box. It’s just as easy to raid one of those as it is to raid an electronic account. Who knows how much cash the feds could raise selling jewelry and antique coins on the world market?

  16. Spartacus says

    Danny,
     
    Whatever happens, we are obviously in for a fascinating and difficult decade.
     
    But I have faith that Reality is inescapable and that the Truth ultimately wins (although it can take its sweet time in doing so).  On the voting part, this time around, I am inarguably banking on aggregate opinion, especially from the red and purple states.  And that whereas previous charlatans were able to coast to victory on the inertia of a well-engineered socioeconomic vehicle, the wheels are now coming off of that vehicle, and the clowns at the wheel don’t even know how to change the oil.

  17. suek says

    By the way…they’re starting to track gold purchases. It starts at $10K if you purchase in cash. Otherwise, it’s just the usual follow the transaction info data.

    To me, this is just like the gun licensing info – if they know who you are, they know where to come collect it. Back to the Hitler comparison – after taking power, he required licensing “to make us all safe”, then sent the polizei out to collect all the guns. Of course, if you have one/some and don’t register them – and somehow they find out – then you’re in trouble as well.

    Also a by the way – I asked a Mexican friend about gun regulations in Mexico (due to all the violence down there). He said that some time ago (I think within the last 10 years or so), the same thing happened. They were required to register all their guns, then the military came in and took all of them that were registered, leaving villages/towns without any protection against the drug lords and their henchmen.

    I agree with Charles on the safe deposit thing. A couple of years ago there was an article about the government raiding and “inspecting” deposit boxes in England. I don’t remember the justification, but it had to do with crime and cash transactions for drugs. A number of the boxes belonged to families who were Jewish and had converted all possessions to gold/jewelry during WWII in order to flee Europe, and that’s what they had in their boxes. They were required to supply some verification of their sources. No verification, too bad. Stuff was seized.

    There’s also the possibility of banks simply closing down. I remember my Mom telling me about rushing to the bank to deposit a pay check, and barely making it in time before they closed the doors – for the last time! Maybe there are some sources to clarify what happened to safe deposit boxes after a bank was shut down, but I don’t remember hearing what happened to them. Not that I don’t trust the bank owners/managers, or the government…but…!!!

  18. jj says

    There won’t be any impeachment proceedings – because democrats are not creatures possessed of a sense of anything that resembles honor, Boehner knows it; so it’s not going to happen.  The democraps will not value the country above their own little laddie, so forget it.  Boehner won’t bother.  When Nixon was impeached it was Howard Baker who posed the unanswerable questions, and led the republicans in a genuine hunt for the facts, and no BS.  Nixon left without a fight because the republicans put the country first, and set out to really find out what happened.  Democraps don’t do that.  When Clinton was impeached their reaction was to walk out of the congress, not participate, and obstruct at every turn – they didn’t give a f*** about the country.  They don’t now, either.
     
    But it’s getting interesting.  Bill Clinton was – except in his own mind – cut from exactly the same piece of offal as Obama.  Left to his own devices he would have done exactly the same – with results no better or smarter.  Ironically, the republican majorities saved him from that by taking over in 1994 and forcing him to make some sense.  So we confront the economic disaster now instead of in 1997, and Clinton comes off looking like his head was somewhere other than up his ass when he was in the White House.  Hell – this piece of garbage is regarded (by the witless – but that’s a big number in this country) as an elder statesman, for God’s sweet sake!
     
    But I sense there’s trouble in River City.  The Obama presidency is now officially a shambles, and I think even the democraps are beginning to sense something must be done.  They don’t have any people who have any more sand or stature than they do honor, so it’ll be interesting to see who goes to the White House and says, “sonny – no.  Go home.  You’re done,” but I think Clinton’s fired the first shot.  He’s out bragging about his own economic rescue – forced on him by the republicans, though that part isn’t mentioned – and comparing Obama unfavorably to himself.  Just a little while ago he said raising taxes will not work.  (He said it just as though he knew something about it, too – he is a pretty good BS-er – give him his due.)  But the point is he’s out there announcing to one and all that what Obama’s doing won’t work. 
     
    This is interesting, and I think it may well be seen as the first shot from inside the tent.  I think there’s some money to be made in taking the bet that Obama won’t be the nominee.  It’s a long shot at this point – a very long shot – and it’s made longer by the fact that the democraps have no one of probity or stature to go tell him not to run.  But I’m beginning to sense that there are a lot of people, and the number is growing, who would like to tell him that. 
     
    Their problem is, replace him with whom?  The obvious answer is Hillary, but she blew it once already, and she’s as offensive to that portion of the country that’s non-committed democrap as he is.  She has all of her husband’s sleaze – cleverly disguised to look like she’s a long-suffering, endlessly patient, virtual martyr to the idea of holding the marriage together; while at the same time spending no more than fifteen minutes a year on the same continent as Bill – and just about none of his political ability.  But he will work for her, so she’ll get the benefit of that – but she had that before, and lost to a zero.  She’d be a real tough sell to the rest of the country: she and Bill are the precise same as Obama, a republicans pretty much know it.
     
    But I’m thinking there’s a sizable group inside the tent that wants him gone.  He’s a mess at this point, they know it, and it’s time for the Amateur Hour to go away.  I think his internal support’s crumbling.  I really do wonder if he’ll be the nominee.  Wouldn’t be shocked if he’s not – though how the leaderless, gutless, stature-free zone that is the democraps will get it done will make entertaining reading in the coming months. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  19. says

    You all should just pipe down and wait for Obama to fix all the problems caused by Republicans. He just hasn’t had enough time to fix all that Republican corruption, waste, debt spending, and economic crony capitalism yet. Just wait. You’ll see.

    I agree, for similar reasons, with JJ that they will not impeach or abandon Obama until the final, final deadline of 2013 January at least.

    Sadie, tell your friend to buy silver and gold at 9 to 1 ratio from the website I linked before, and either deposit it at the Zurich vault service provided by goldmoney.com  So long as China doesn’t collapse or go to war, Hong Kong should be safe for now. Zurich, however, has 2 thousand years of independence and is historically safe not just relatively safe. Or if she doesn’t want to pay the vault fee, she can build a vault in her home and deposit it there. She will have to arm her home with modern security and firearm defenses, however. Because… you’re a big target if anyone knows you have gold or silver in your premises.

    What good is cash, Sadie, when the feds are going to depreciate its value by printing more money? Investment in precious metals is the only thing that won’t blow up during inflationary events. As witnessed by individuals in Chile and other countries who experienced hyperinflation.

    Until you have physical ownership of your metals, you don’t own it. A vault in Zurich will only release the metals to you. And sellers are required by law to report more than 10k in cash transfers in the US, which is why these services only accept wired transfers from actual bank accounts. 

    Additionally, another trick hyper rich people sometimes use is to setup their own bank account in Zurich, hire a Zurich attorney, and have the ZUrich attorney authorize deposits into your bank account/deposit. With the stipulation that unless you counter sign, that attorney cannot withdraw or transfer or do anything with your money/assets. This prevents things like people running off with your money to Malaysia. Because the accountant is not American, Zurich is not required by international law to REPORT ANYTHING you do with them to the United States of America. Due to Zurich’s neutrality position, they don’t have to report anything a CITIZEN does, but they might if you had hired an American attorney. You also don’t report taxes or capital gains because the feds don’t know about it and can’t know about it… Ever wonder why so many rich blokes have accounts in foreign countries? Not only is it convenient and more secure to transfer funds from there to use in the world, it’s also something the US federal government finds it hard to know about. What they don’t know ,they can’t regulate. What’s the trick to this? Knowledge. And money. You need both to start doing these things, which is why they say you have to have money, to make money.

     It makes sense to report people buying precious metals with a suitcase of 10k in cash after all. Drug dealers and terrorists usually roll like that. They’re fine with electronic transfers because the US can more or less use their power to obtain electronic record transfers. Except… from neutral countries like Switzerland.

    Irregardless, by storing precious metals overseas in safe vaults, the US feds cannot confiscate it. And by using foreign banks and attorneys, they are not required, by their own law, to report any transaction to the US. So they can’t report you “withdrawing funds” to the US government so that they can come and “confiscate” it from you.

    Anything involved with a bank, that you don’t own or that is not your own personal bank, can be confiscated or liquidated by the bank/government whenever they feel like it. This applies to safety deposit boxes, bank accounts, and anything else. The reason why, probably, the federal government will not be reduced to the need to confiscate metals is because they’re too cheap. Metals are too cheap. Compared to the trillions they can just print out, printing more money is a lot more cost effective in the short term than seizing jewellry and gold. I mean, if Weimar Germany just kept printing more money… which is what they did. But of course, just because this is not likely to happen, doesn’t mean the superrich haven’t prepared for it by transfering their assets overseas or into their own personal homes.

     

  20. says

    Btw, gold and silver should be bought as close to raw materials price as you can get. Getting “collector’s items” is too risky. Having a single coin worth 10,000 is less safe than having thousands of silver coins worth 10,000.

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