They call this “transparent”?
Caught between their boss’ anti-lobbyist rhetoric and the reality of governing, President Barack Obama’s aides often steer meetings with lobbyists to a complex just off the White House grounds — and several of the lobbyists involved say they believe the choice of venue is no accident.
“They’re doing it on the side. It’s better than nothing,” said immigration reform lobbyist Tamar Jacoby, who has attended meetings at the nearby Jackson Place complex and believes the undisclosed gatherings are better than none.
The White House scoffs at the notion of an ulterior motive for scheduling meetings in what are, after all, meeting rooms. But at least four lobbyists who’ve been to the conference rooms just off Lafayette Square tell POLITICO they had the distinct impression they were being shunted off to Jackson Place — and off the books — so their visits wouldn’t later be made public.
Obama and his cronies seem to think that they’re living in the past, when the three big networks and a few huge newspapers controlled the flow of information. Of course, that makes sense, since they are also clearly living in the age when big government was all the rage, and there was a lot of overlap in those two time frames.
And Rep. Darrell Issa (R, CA) starts digging into the sewer that is the Obama Administration:
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) has issued his first subpoenas to the Obama administration, seeking depositions from two Department of Homeland Security employees about their handling of freedom of information requests.
Mr. Issa’s committee has been investigating allegations that DHS sidestepped politically-sensitive requests made by journalists and activists under the Freedom of Information Act. He’s also asked 180 other federal agencies for records of how they responded to requests for information under the act.
Now he is summoning two career officials from Homeland Security’s FOIA office to appear on March 7 and March 8 for depositions about their handling of requests.
It’ll be interesting to see how DHS responds.
I guess someone is already taking Rep. Capuano’s words to heart:
The PJ Tatler has some important details:
The victim of the assault is Tabitha Hale of FreedomWorks, who you will be glad to know is fine. No word yet on whether assault charges are going to be filed. Based on the T-shirt the guy was wearing, he belongs to the Communications Workers of America union.
So, now we have an assault by someone wearing a union shirt, shortly after a Democrat told union folks to “get out on the streets and get a little bloody.” Will the lefty talking heads in the Dinosaur Media now opine about how the Democrats and unions need to practice civil discourse?
Don’t hold your breath.
Now this has gotta be the feel good story of the week, perhaps the month:
“As long as he had a ball and bat in his hand he was a happy kid.” Ellen Rogers talks about her son Ned Sullivan, who five years ago was just like any other college senior.
But that’s when life, just stopped.
“It’s that call every parent dreads,” recalls Ellen.
Ned had a seizure behind the wheel and crashed into a brick wall and broke his neck. He was paralyzed from the neck down. He spent a long year in the hospital getting better, but when he got home, he got worse.
Ned says, “I always felt alone and stuck and depressed.”
But then his sister was invited to a school assembly and the topic? Helping Hands Helper Monkeys. The organization helps people with spinal cord injuries by giving them monkey to help with everyday tasks.
As someone with close friends with disabilities, as well as a hidden disability myself, this kinda story really touches me.
So much for the New Tone in Politics:
A Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts is raising the stakes in the nation’s fight over the future of public employee unions, saying emails aren’t enough to show support and that it is time to “get a little bloody.”
“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Ma.) told a crowd in Boston on Tuesday rallying in solidarity for Wisconsin union members.
Remember after Gabrielle Giffords got shot, we were barraged with a seemingly endless repetition of how violent metaphors cause wackos to go off the deep end… so will those same finger-waggers now wag the finger in the face of Rep. Capuano about his his violent rhetoric? Or will they merely wink and nod?
To ask the question is to answer it.
Okay, now it’s moving out of the midwest:
- On Saturday evening, [Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom] Luna said, he encountered an angry man outside his mother’s house in Nampa. The man reportedly identified himself as a teacher opposed to Luna’s plans to increase class sizes and said he had planned to speak to Luna’s mother. Luna reported the incident to Nampa police.
- Late Monday or early Tuesday, someone slashed two tires on Luna’s vehicle at his Nampa home and spray-painted the word “Luna” with an X through it on the white truck’s passenger door. Nampa police are investigating.
- After Luna reported the vandalism early Tuesday morning, he went to a Downtown Boise coffee shop for an appearance on live morning television. He was approached by a man who loudly called him “a liar and other choice words” before a police officer intervened and calmed the man down, Luna spokeswoman Melissa McGrath said.
Of course, we have no evidence that the teachers or teachers’ unions are behind some of these attacks… except the first one where the miscreant self-identified… but the list of other people that would do this to this particular elected official is pretty darned small.
And the reforms?
Luna’s plan, which is still in the Senate Education Committee, would replace teacher tenure with rolling two-year contracts, force unions to prove they represent 50 percent of the teachers in a district, limit collective bargaining to salaries and benefits and not allow collective bargaining agreements to extend beyond the end of the state fiscal year.
In other words, it’s pretty close to the Wisconsin plan. And for this he–and his mother–get subjected to all this.
At least the Idaho Democrats haven’t snuck across the border to Oregon–the closest Democratic state to Boise–yet.
You can’t make stuff like this up:
Seats on one side of the Indiana House were nearly empty today as House Democrats departed the the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation.
A source tells The Indianapolis Star that Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.
Yeah, that worked really well in Wisconsin, didn’t it?
With incidents like these, 2012 is looking like it’ll be even better than 2010… this shows better than anything else I can think of just what the so-called Democratic Party really thinks of democracy.