Part 1 is my general commentary on the entire situation.
Part 2 is a delineation of the scandals uncovered so far (with commentary thrown in at times; sorry, I couldn't help it).
Part 1 - My Commentary:
When this president was first elected I wished him all the best - the best for his presidency and the best for our country. However, wishes do not equal actual expectaions - mine anyway.
My career was in management with a specific focus on resolving management issues across organizations and ongoing efforts by those organizations. During many years of doing so there evolved a set of warning signs. These warning signs point to where and why to expect problems. I have an eBook on this management problem identification and solving subject. The book has nothing to do with politics; it's all general management stuff - no matter what is being managed.
Based on my experiences I did not have high hopes for this president's success. Just the opposite in fact. And, here's why. The first three of the many offerings in my book are:
1. Never confuse someone's title with experience, ability, talent, or competence.
2. Take blame, give credit.
3. Recognize what you don't know and live by it.
As is well known and documented, the president, prior to his election, had no managerial experience in his "tool kit" - none! This is never a positive sign for anyone assuming a management position, especially as the president of the United States of America.
Often, this situation winds up with the new manager picking his "team" from people with experiences and approaches matching his/her own and, in a short period of time, believing that he/she actually knows what they are doing. A recipe for disaster, this is!
When things start to go in a "not too good" direction, the new manager starts to blame everyone but himself/herself. Almost right off the bat this president started the "blame game" and has continued to this day. "It was Bush's fault." "It is the Republicans fault." It's the fault of the Tea Party." To my knowledge this president has never accepted responsibility for anything negative that has occured on "his watch".
Also, the new manager who finds himself/herself in trouble often starts a downward spiral into misrepresenting facts; misrepresenting facts to mislead people, to make a case for which there is no supporting, truthful evidence, and/or to try and cover up errors committed. This president seems to have fallen into this spiral on a wide variety of subjects, often when there was no apparent reason to misrepresent or exaggerate - Click Here for examples. In fact, with this president it seems as though he will say anything he believes will affect his audience in his direction - independent of how easily an unthruth may be uncovered. It is like a bad habit he can't break. Such a character flaw is not up to the standards of the presidency; and, not in the best interests of our country.
When he came into office I believe he had no idea what he didn't know about management and leadership. He has gathered around him a "like experienced" team who didn't know what they didn't know either. Not one of his chosen team has had any experience in managing anything.
Most of the warning signs in my book may be seen as applicable to this president; I just chose the first three as examples.
As the below delineated scandals unfolded, the president seemed to always say that he only heard about them when he saw them on the news - just like the rest of us. Assuming he is telling the truth, and that is a stretch, that should scare even the most hardy of us. Any manager who knows that little about what his/her organization is doing displays a high degree of incompetence - or, at best, inattentiveness to a fault.
The conservatives are scrambling to find the "smoking gun" that ties the president directly to any or all of these scandals. Their search may be in vain.
Herbert E. Meyer makes a rather interesting observation on this. In summary, he offers that there has never been a single shred of evidence tying Adolph Hitler to the Holocaust. Hitler's people "knew" what he wanted - they were all just like him. Therefore, do not expect to find anything directly linking this president to any scandal. NOTE: Neither Meyer nor I are comparing Hitler to this president. The citation is only to point out that a "paper trail" may not exist.
Another example from history lends credence to not finding a "smoking gun" here. Henry II and Thomas A. Becket (the Archbishop of Canturbury) were, in today's vernacular, "BFFs". Thomas and Henry were at odds with each other over issues of who controlled the Church. At a height of frustration, Henry, at a dinner, blurts out, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!”. Four knights took Henry at his word and killed Thomas. Henry did not want Thomas dead, did not "officially" order the killing, there was no "paper trail", etc. It just got done.
Therefore, do not be surprised if no such "smoking gun" / "paper trail" is ever found.
The reason these scandals are getting a lot of attention NOW is that the main news outlets (usually "covering for" and "protecting" the president) are finally, actually reporting "news". All of these "scandals" have been known and reported on by the conservative side of the media for a very long time.
Before looking at the individual scandals, a point to consider: Any one of these issues, perhaps, could be "written off" to "a screw up" of some sort. But, when all of these are taken together it tells a different story. A story that is not very flattering to our current government or to the president. The story seems to imply a well planned and orchestrated move against those who would possibly threaten the president's positions and his view for America's future - or, a move toward totalitarianism the likes of which this country has never seen. And, in my opinion, there is no way to lay all the blame for all of this on the president. Such things have been going on long before he took office. But, he is the current president and the "buck" stops with him.
Part 2: The Scandals:
Below the identified scandals thus far is an article describing but one situation (actually a subset of the IRS scandal) I feel embodies the obama's administration's entire approach to running our country; "The End Justifies The Means" - Or, "Obviate Your Enemies and Ignore The Law For Your Friends".
If you think I am over stating the case here, watch this 30 second video; Then, come back here. This video should strike concern and fear into all of us.
With the growing number and scope of these scandals, one has to ask if the president, as he states, was not aware of these scandals before they broke in the news OR did he really know about them. If he truly did not know, then his level of incompetence as a leader is at the "n-th" degree. If he did know, then he has repeatedly lied to the American people.
Before the article, here is a short summary of what has been uncovered so far:
- The "Benghazi" scandal (lots available, but here are two)- Click Here and Click Here and Click Here.
- The "IRS" scandal - There are far too many news accounts of this to capture here; but, here are a few: Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here.
----For the Inspector General's (IG) report on this issue, Click Here.
- The "AP Phone Tapping" scandal - Click Here.
----For the Attorney General's response to questions on this subject, Click Here.
- The "EPA" scandals - Click Here and Click Here.
- The "FOX News Email Tapping" scandal - Click Here.
- The GSA scandal - Click Here.
- The HHS scandal - Click Here.
- The FCC scandal - Click Here.
- On Losing Terrorists - Click Here.
- Update on the "Fast & Furious" Gun Running Scandal - Click Here.
- The obamaphone Scandal - Click Here.
- The NSA's Tracing/Capturing of Americans' Private Information & Communications- Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here.
----The president, himself, made statements on such obviation of our privacy and liberties when he was running for president. To see his statements, Click Here.
----As a slight aside here, there are emerging technologies, almost behind the scenes in a seemingly benign fashion, which could be used to further the erosion of our privacy and liberties? Click Here to have a look.
----The president finally acknowledged this set of activities. To see his statement and a position on his statement's veracity, Click Here.
----But, it seems that not everyone is subject to being spied on. Click Here to see who is immune.
----The president may not want certain people aware of this news item. Click Here to see just who these people are. To be fair here, the orders are not that USAF personnel may not view the articles; rather, they may not view them on the USAF internet access. Of course for many, that access medium is the only one available.
----One final point on this one before the promised article: This goes back to the main news outlets "covering" for the president. Back in February of 2013, Congresswoman (D - CA) Maxine Waters, a very strong obama supporter, was interviewed. What she offered was amazing in context with the facts of this specific scandal. NO MAIN NEWS OUTLET COVERED IT! Now, she is well known for not being "the sharpest knife in the drawer" and she was embroiled in an ethics issue of her own a while back. However, neither of these attributes of hers means she is either wrong or even delusional on this. While watching her interview, keep in mind this specific scandal (i.e., NSA capturing Americans' information) and the fact that if SHE knew, then how could the president not have known. Her words here betray very scary modi operandi of the president. To watch her interview, Click Here.
According to the organization’s filings, Lerner approved the foundation’s tax status within a month of filing, an unprecedented timeline that stands in stark contrast to conservative organizations that have been waiting for more than three years, in some cases, for approval.
Lerner also appears to have broken with the norms of tax-exemption approval by granting retroactive tax-exempt status to Malik Obama’s organization.
The National Legal and Policy Center filed an official complaint with the IRS in May 2011 asking why the foundation was being allowed to solicit tax-deductible contributions when it had not even applied for an IRS determination. In a New York Post article dated May 8, 2011, an officer of the foundation admitted, “We haven’t been able to find someone with the expertise” to apply for tax-exempt status.
Nevertheless, a month later, the Barack H. Obama Foundation had flown through the grueling application process. Lerner granted the organization a 501(c) determination and even gave it a retroactive tax exemption dating back to December 2008.
The group’s available paperwork suggests an extremely hurried application and approval process. For example, the group’s 990 filings for 2008 and 2009 were submitted to the IRS on May 30, 2011, and its 2010 filing was submitted on May 23, 2011.
It is illegal to operate for longer than 27 months without an IRS determination and solicit tax-deductible contributions.
The ostensibly Arlington, Va.-based charity was not even registered in Virginia despite the foundation’s website including a donation button that claimed tax-exempt status.
Its president and founder, Abon’go “Roy’ Malik Obama, is Barack Obama’s half-brother and was the best man at his wedding, but he has a checkered past. In addition to running his charity, Malik Obama ran unsuccessfully to be the governor of Siaya County in Kenya. He was accused of being a wife beater and seducing the newest of his twelve wives while she was a 17-year-old school girl.
Sensing something wrong when he and a group of Missouri State students visited Kenya in 2009, Ken Rutherford, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on banning landmines, determined that Malik Obama was an “operator” and elected to give a donation of 400 pounds of medical supplies to a local clinic instead.
“We didn’t know what he was going to do with them,” Rutherford told the New York Post in 2011.
It is also not clear what the Barack H. Obama Foundation actually does. Its website claims the organization has built a madrassa and was building a imam’s house but there is no other evidence that the nonprofit was actually helping poor Kenyan children.
“The Obama Foundation raised money on its web page by falsely claiming to be a tax deductible. This bogus charity run by Malik had not even applied and yet subsequently got retroactive tax-deductible status,” Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, told The Daily Caller. Boehm described Malik Obama’s attempt to raise money as constituting “common law fraud and potentially even federal mail fraud.”
Boehm doubted that the charity is doing what it says it’s doing and wondered why the charity was given tax-exempt status so quickly after the evidence of wrongdoing came to light.
“How do you get retroactive tax-exempt status when you haven’t even applied to get it in the first place?” Boehm said.
Lerner continues to draw fire for her handling of the IRS targeting of conservative and citizen groups, but her colleagues have started to defend her, alleging that she behaves “apolitically.”
Larry Noble, who served as general counsel at the FEC from 1987 to 2000, hired and promoted Lerner. “I worked with Lois for a number of years and she is really one of the more apolitical people I’ve met,” Noble told The Daily Beast. “That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have political views, but she really focuses on the job and what the rules are. She doesn’t have an agenda.”
Lerner could not be reached for comment. Calls to the Barack H. Obama Foundation went directly to the organization’s voicemail and were not returned.