Gunwalker and the budget: Crises in the integrity of government


The mainstream media are failing to address two central truths about key domestic issues for America this summer.

1.  Agencies of the US federal government created the “Gunwalker” problem.

2.  President Obama is the one who will decide who gets paid after 2 August, if there is no budget deal.

The two issues are largely unrelated, except through the principles on which the Obama administration has handled them and the MSM are dealing with them.  The latter principle is one of slavishly repeating the talking points put out by the Obama administration.  In both Gunwalker and the budget stand-off, the administration has relied on obfuscation and unrealistic narratives to frame the public discussion.  And the MSM are largely acting as a giant repeater, propagating the original signal without modification or loss of fidelity.

In the wake of Gunwalker, a false premise is in full swing and is already shaping policy.  Pajamas Media has thoroughly documented the inane credulity of theWashington Post and other news outlets regarding the administration’s press releases on the Gunwalker scandal.  But I was amazed on Friday to see A.B. Stoddard chirp out (on Fox) the administration talking point about new gun-sale reporting requirements.  (Video here; the title says “”Libyan Rebel Recognition” but the first topic is Gunwalker.)

Granted, A.B. Stoddard is on the left side of the political spectrum.  But it doesn’t require any particular ideological posture to recognize that increasing restrictionson the people is not a method of “repairing” (her verb) the damage done by a rogue federal agency operation.  Nothing about the revelations from Gunwalker justifies changing gun-enforcement measures that affect the people.  It was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) that directed licensed gun dealers and local agents to ignore activity they would otherwise have pursued as suspicious, under existing law and existing enforcement standards.  The problem in this situation is not current law or enforcement standards; it’s BATFE.

The outcome of the operation clearly doesn’t justify increasing gun restrictions on the people.   The falsity of the premise articulated by Ms. Stoddard is so laughably obvious, it can’t help evoking the propaganda campaigns of Soviet-era Pravda.  Government creates a problem, the media talk it up, and then government increases restrictions on the people to “fix” it.

If Obama presides over a sea of unsent Social Security checks in August, that too will be a problem of his administration’s making.  As confirmed in Congressional hearings this week, there will be plenty of funds to service the debt and meet Social Security and defense obligations after 2 August.  Choosing not to meet them – choosing instead to pay, for example, the salaries of union workers in the non-defense civil service – will be up to Obama.

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For all their laughing at President Bush’s ”compassionate conversatism,” it is the Dems, especially this Obama Administration who are throwing gramma into a tizzy.

Last week Obama, himself, refused to assure America that our senior’s Social Security checks would go out on time.
Later Timmy G. had to be lectured by Sen Moran and Sen Manchin.
Still later, CNN’s Candy Crowley tried to get any reassurance out of White House Budget Director Jacob Lew….to no avail.

It seems as though this Obama White House likes to scare the old folks.

So, it falls on the Congress to LEAD because Obama et al refuse to.
First there is the “cut, cap and balance” plan that would cut spending immediately and cap future spending as a percentage of GDP, while requiring Congress to pass a balanced-budget amendment as a condition for raising the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion.
Unlikely to get to Obama’s desk.

Then there is the McConnell Plan.
CNN says of the McConnell Plan:

Obama would be required to submit three requests for debt ceiling hikes — a $700 billion increase and two $900 billion increases. Along with each request, the president would have to submit a list of recommended spending cuts exceeding the debt ceiling increase. The cuts would not need to be enacted in order to the ceiling to rise.

Congress would vote on — and presumably pass — “resolutions of disapproval” for each request. Obama would likely veto each resolution. Unless Congress manages to override the president’s vetoes — considered highly unlikely — the debt ceiling would increase.

The unusual scheme would allow most Republicans and some more conservative Democrats to vote against any debt ceiling hike while still allowing it to clear.

Can you say…..CYA?

@Nan G:

Can you say…..CYA?

I believe that is the name of the game in DC for most of the politicians, no matter what party they “represent”. No one wants to be the one left “holding the bag”, so to speak, when the imminent pain is revealed. This explains why Obama, and the Dems, have not put out any sort of plan other than calling for tax hikes on the evil rich. It also explains such an outrageous idea by McConnell, and no real hard talk by the GOP on what, exactly, is at stake.

RINO/establishment Republicans have an inbred ability to capitulate no matter what the situation. Thus, they find it impossible to actually lead, but must reach across the aisle to form a grand compromise with their colleagues and “grow” in office. They are temporarily discombobulated because a few principled TEA party intruders are refusing to “go along to get along” and don’t really care if they miss the next in inside the beltway dinner party.

And on the debt issue, who does the press demonize? Not Establishment Washington which got us into this mess, but the Tea Party elected Republicans who were put into office to fight this “business as usual crowd.” They warn about the credit agencies announcement about what will happen if America defaults, but they ignore the rest of what the agencies say which is that America Must reduce it’s debt. Even FOX’s Bill O’Rielly, which simply continues to verify to me that he is an establishment Republican man.

I finally saw CNN mention Fast and Furious, but they underplayed it as disturbing rather than giving it the full “National Scandal” treatment. What is worse, they actually reported Democratic Rep Elijah Cumming’s (D-Maryland) idiotic statement which claimed that this asinine action by the ATF & DOJ was ‘because of lax or nonexistent gun laws.’ as if it was a logically legitimate argument. Sometime I wish TV was interactive, where you could just reach through the screen and slap these pompous asses.