January 15, 2014

"Hey, this is kinda like 'Bridgegate,' only national in scale..."

"... and targeted at children."

ADDED: I love Bridgegate. Acknowledge what a terrible thing it was to do. Don't back off. Welcome it. Lay it down as foundational: This is exactly what politicians should not do with the power we've trusted them with. Hardcore. Stick to it. No excuses.

Now, what can be built on that foundation? What else is like Bridgegate?


RecChief said...

The IRS targeting people with different ideas than the current potentate is like Bridgegate.

Oh, except the FBI says no criminal charges are warranted, without contacting any of those who perceive themselves as wronged. Even though it has been 250+ days since it came to light.

And an Obama donor, with clear eyes, will determine that there was no wrongdoing.

And no one has been fired.

Never mind, it's nothing like Bridgegate

RecChief said...

PS it came to light because the IRS admitted, clumsily, that conservative groups had been targeted for their political views.

Mark O said...

What else is like Bridgegate?

Easy. Nothing a Democrat does.

Matthew Sablan said...

... Uhm, wow. People need to be, at minimum, fired.

traditionalguy said...

The Mafia tradition from ChiTown and Jersey is a Roman Empire tradition redux. Americans never saw it in action in DC and the coming world Govt

Real American said...

closing down national monuments and memorials

Ann Althouse said...

"Uhm, wow. People need to be, at minimum, fired."

Right. You need to go at least as far: 1. Fire the main person responsible, and 2. Submit to a press conference that goes on as long as there are questions.

Let's see this for the IRS scandal, for Sequestergate, everything!

Matthew Sablan said...

"However, the report notes, none of the responses from OMB or USDA on the incident 'included internal emails or other documents that would shed light on the inner workings of the Obama Administration or how the decision to apply the sequester was made or how it was implemented.'"

-- Sounds like someone should be drafting a subpoena or whatever.

MadisonMan said...

We can now watch the National Media Look The Other Way.

Minutes this will garner on CNN: Zero.

Jane the Actuary said...

Rule of law? what on earth makes you think that you'll see any of that until 2017? Obama has his pen, you see. . .

Christy said...

Wow! Can you imagine President McCain being so vile?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Wow! Can you imagine President McCain being so vile?"

-- I can. But I can also imagine him riding a mechanized steggadon while raining orbital death lasers on Spain.

I'm just imaginative.

Russell said...

Thought experiment: what is fundamentally different about Bridgegate and, say, a president spending money and resources to baricade national parks, then blaming Republicans, when the government shut down (aka, didn't actually shut down).

Thorley Winston said...

How about the Obama administration ordering the closing of open air monuments during the partial government shutdown at taxpayer expense to put pressure on Republicans to cave on the debt ceiling?

Or the executive branch ordering that the sequester cuts be made as painful as possible to put pressure on the public to demand that the spending caps be lifted?

Or the way that school districts supported by local property taxes will threaten to cut busing and music programs if voters don’t approve a levy increase?

I don’t disagree that what Governor Christie’s people are implicated in by shutting down a bridge/road to allegedly pressure someone to support the governor is bad, it’s just that we’ve seen substantially the same tactics being done by for years now by people who control how public services are delivered to pressure the rest of us to pay more that it’s hard to gin up any “outrage” over something that has been ignored, excused or even cheered by the left for years.

FleetUSA said...

This Administration (especially BH0) will ignore any law as they seem fit.

Thorley Winston said...

Right. You need to go at least as far: 1. Fire the main person responsible, and 2. Submit to a press conference that goes on as long as there are questions.

The difference between Chris Christie and Barack Obama is that while both men have had wrong doing committed by people who work for them, only one has taken any kind of responsibility and accountability for trying to fix things.

Roost on the Moon said...

"People need to be, at minimum, fired."

"Right. You need to go at least as far: 1. Fire the main person responsible, and 2. Submit to a press conference that goes on as long as there are questions."

For what, now?

I read that PJ media story, that "painful as possible" quote was speculation from a partisan congressman- not an internal communication, like Bridgegate's "traffic problems".

You can't use the power of the purse to cut off spending and then cry when spending is cut off. The sequestration was bad law, the USDA recommended that rural schools be shielded from its effects, and the OMB said no. Why is this scandalous?

Roost on the Moon said...

This Administration (especially BH0) will ignore any law as they seem fit.

But this post is mad at him because he didn't ignore the law!

Matthew Sablan said...

"You can't use the power of the purse to cut off spending and then cry when spending is cut off."

-- Read it again; the executive branch went back and retroactively applied the law. You don't even have to read very far, the problem with the president's actions [or, those acting under his authority] are made clear in the first two paragraphs.

Beorn said...

The only thing this exposes is the flaming hypocrisy within the MSM.

They have moved past the tipping point of simple bias into the territory of naked partisanship.

At this point, a news story tells me very little about the events purportedly covered, and volumes about the worldviews of those trying to persuade me with their "facts."

Matthew Sablan said...

Further in, is the crux of the problem: "But two months later, after sequestration went into effect, the Obama administration announced it wanted $17.9 million back — prompting bipartisan backlash from governors and congressional representatives of the affected states."

In short, this isn't about money NOT getting spent. This is about money that went out, BEFORE sequester, that the government then tried to claw back.

The sequester should never have impacted this money.

Will said...

What else is like Bridgegate in betraying public stewardship?

1) Instructing Park Service to maximize "pain" of government shutdown by closing open air public property to make a political point
2) instructing all government agencies to be stupid and sloppy with sequester cuts to again maximize pain and politicize the good faith effort to dig out of a 17 trillion foot deep hole our politicians of both parties have dug us in to

3) politicize the IRS to suppress opposing views and suppress turnout in advance of an election
4) grant government loan guarantees to companies run by your big campaign contributors and marshalled by your interest-conflicted Bundlers (over objections of sane underwriters) that result in outcomes like the $535 million Solyndra writeoff. Allow the loan guarantee to be restructured, when in obvious peril, to put your Campaign Contributor first in line before taxpayers. Then sell the "assets" including intellectual property to our Chinese competitors for literally pennies on dollar.
5) Fail to meet the basic obligations of your Office like delivering a budget on time or making a decision on Keystone XL
6) decline to provide requested Security to diplomatic outposts then head off to a campaign event while people die. Then lie about your knowledge repeatedly in advance of an election
7) throw out the Rule of Law by making repeated unconstutional executive orders that change the actual healthcare law as passed by Congress into a sham, thereby diminishing your moral authority and increasing cynicism in the electorate. Included in the Exec Orders are directives that expressly contradict the Legislative Intent of Congress that would have made congress experience the law the way the public must.
8) both a 3 year implementation of your signature legislation. Hide the truth by forcing a rollout you know will be a disaster and where your chief IT refuse to sign-off on Security of website
9) run guns to Mexico that later prove to have killed Mexicans and US citizens
10) increase income inequality by printing QE funny money that swells financial assets. Do nothing to address the jobs situation in 5 years other than freeze risk-taking entrepreneurs confused by your executive orders
11) Put your "boot on the neck" of CEOs at GM and BP so both are fired, but tolerate rank incompetence from Sebelius and Holder and Chu and Geithner
12) Set a poor Stewardship example by using Air Force One as a toy. Fly on personal business Fundraisers) all over US but bill it to taxpayers.
13) Take trips that cost $100 million to Africa that result in no discernible US diplomatic benefit. Travel like a Czar with hospital ships offshore, 24/7 military flyover, dozens of Limos. Other than family selfies in Mandela's cell no other benefit is apparent
14) Send your daughter on Spring Break to a dangerous Mexico requiring $120,000 in Secret Service.
15) Continuously data-mine to divide the country against itself

These are just a few points that put Bridgegate in perspective. This is how you become the worst US President ever.

Roost on the Moon said...

The sequester should never have impacted this money.

Seems like were pretending to have knowledge about federal budgeting that we don't have.

I don't know how it works. It seems like if it had been wholly unprecedented, absurd, and unbounded, it wouldn't have been possible. If this money was outside the bounds laid out by the congress, why wouldn't the states refuse?

Don't answer if you don't know.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If this money was outside the bounds laid out by the congress, why wouldn't the states refuse?"

-- Some DID: "He said that 19 states weren’t able to give back the funds as requested under sequestration, with half a dozen in the administrative appeals process. They could get docked for “outstanding debt” in the distribution of fiscal year 2014 funds."

So, the government is just not giving them money in the future: "“One option is to withhold dollars from Secure Rural Schools in F.Y. ’14. A second option is to withhold it through the departmental funds that may go to states. A third option is to refer to Treasury,” Bonnie said."

So, the government is blackmailing schools to give money back they were already awarded after it had been assigned.

Honest question: Did you READ the article? I'm getting the sense you did not.

RecChief said...

@Roost on the Moon

Read the article. The states have refused. So the administration is planning to withhold funds in FY 14.

Matthew Sablan said...

For anyone who wants to read the original report.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, remember that the city of D.C. was able to avoid the sequester by noting the money was needed for emergency personnel: "Congress has approved SRS payments to provide rural counties with funds for teachers, schools, police officers, emergency services and infrastructure."

In short, even if the money went out AFTER the sequester, there was still a reason to pay it in full. The complaint is not partisan, either. The letter also had angry Democrats.

So: Again, before Roost says anything else, I need to know: Have you actually done your homework?

LarsPorsena said...

Obama knew that those yokels wouldn't miss the money.

traditionalguy said...

Marxist tyrants always act this way. Punishing innocent people is their real show of toughness...they don't see citizens, they see disposable non-persons.

Look up Stalin's tenderness to Leningrad civilian non-persons in WWII. He showed off by intentionally starving them to death. Obama has that model to follow which all his Marxist mentors applauded.

jacksonjay said...

President I Gotta Pen and I Gotta Phone is about to go show you crackers what he is made of!

In the words of Chris Rock, “I’m like everybody, I want more action. But I understand that he’s trying not to piss off a lot of people. But I believe wholeheartedly if he’s back in, he’s going to do some gangsta sh—.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/67980.html#ixzz2qUQAXQXf

Roost on the Moon said...

Have you actually done your homework?

I read the article. Beyond that, I pretend no expertise.

Read the article. The states have refused. So the administration is planning to withhold funds in FY 14.

Yep, I saw that- seems consistent with what I've been saying. (I meant refused the debt, not refused the repayment, which may well be impossible).

In short, even if the money went out AFTER the sequester, there was still a reason to pay it in full.

I don't doubt that the administration could have shielded this or other programs. (Although, again, encouraging them to do so while at the same time yelling about the rule of law seems odd.) That they didn't, even though they could have, doesn't seem scandalous.

These actions are all above-board; whether the states need to repay the money is a legal question with a legal answer. There is zero evidence that anyone has done anything wrong.

Mr. Forward said...

What else is like Bridgegate?

Justin Bieber throwing eggs.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I don't doubt that the administration could have shielded this or other programs."

-- It didn't need to shield it. The money was ALREADY given. This is like dragging a victim back into a burning building then saying, "Well, we couldn't save him in time."

You're just not getting the central reason people are upset.

Bob Ellison said...

"I love Bridgegate. ...what can be built on that foundation?"

If your love is for the scandalous action, then probably not much. They're trying to find someone who died in Bridgegate, and that search seems to have failed so far.

If your love is for silly controversy, then yay! But this is not a foundation. Once Christie is destroyed, we will move on.

There needs a better foundation to destroy, something that will take them down for a while. We have to think outside the box here. Maybe there's a major Republican who has fun with goats, and other Republicans will back him up, so to speak. That's the ticket!

Ann Althouse said...

What I love -- which should be obvious if you read the post -- is a specific, memorable incident about which all should agree that govt officials should not do that. Then, going forward, it serves as the basis for analogy. Whatever is like Bridgegate cannot get a pass.

n.n said...

Of all the governments' obstructions, Bridgegate is an amateurish attempt at mimicry.

mccullough said...

Back in 1993, Clinton stalled the plane traffic at LAX for a few hours while he was getting a haircut. I suppose it wasn't intentional but was so careless as to be pretty bad.