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Why Does the Obama Administration Want to Know Your Political Beliefs Before They Give You a Job? September 22, 2011

Posted by seeineye in : Politics , add a comment

 

While you were watching the political meltdowns…

Say you work hard and take a risk to start a business providing a good or service. The business is going fairly well and you decide to apply to get a federal government contract, because you can provide the result on time and on budget. 

You’re totally qualified and the best person for the job. But, there’s a catch: In the past two years, you’ve given money to an organization that the current administration doesn’t like. You’re never told why, but you don’t get the contract. Was the decision based on merit? Or your donations? 

You’ll probably never know. And what’s more, you probably won’t take the chance again and will stop donating to groups you worry aren’t going to sit well with the current group of government contract decision-makers (to name two opposing groups: National Right to Life or Planned Parenthood).

You’re probably thinking this could not happen in America, right? Wrong.

Here’s what’s happening: The administration is planning to have President Obama sign what’s called an executive order, which is a policy tool that’s used when you don’t need – or don’t want to ask for – congressional approval. 

Presidents have done this for decades, but rarely is an administration so brazen as to use it for purely political reasons. In this case, people will undoubtedly be discouraged from donating to a cause or political organization that they care about if it isn’t in line with the current administration, because getting the contract is much more important to their livelihoods.

And here’s the kicker: the EO would reach back two years. Anyone else think that’s terribly convenient?

First hearing this, I thought, “Surely this can’t be true!” Someone in the government must agree with me, because they leaked the draft document to Congress and the media. 

Now some members, including a bipartisan list of members of Congress, Sens. Collins and McCaskill, and Reps. Issa and Hoyer, are trying to put the brakes on the issuance of the EO.

Some defenders of the EO have said that it’s no big deal because this kind of information is already collected and it would never be used against an application. If the EO isn’t a big deal, why is it even necessary? Why don’t we just agree the EO is unnecessary and therefore won’t be issued? And if they can’t factor this information into their contracting decisions, why ask for it in the first place?

How could they do this? I mean, this IS still America, isn’t it? Where you get to express yourself freely, without worry of your beliefs impacting the way you try to make a living? 

Shouldn’t we guarantee that the best possible person be selected for the job, in the interest of the taxpayers funding this work? Even beyond the contracting and procurement processes, disclosure of this sort could lead to targeted retaliation and harassment. Contracts should be awarded on whether the company or individual is qualified, and if they can deliver — it shouldn’t matter what organization anyone supports – period.

The administration is about to put its heavy thumb on the scale that determines who gets federal contracts – and who doesn’t – based on organizations the applicant and the company’s officers have given money to in the past, even in their personal capacity. Is everybody cool with this? No way, but that’s not stopping them. 

Folks, it’s time to pay attention before hardworking people are forced to choose between causes they believe in, and putting dinner on the table.

Source by Dana Perino

Video: America is gearing up to realize its full energy potential in the West! July 15, 2011

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No … not really…

Fact: America needs access to vast stores of readily-producible energy.  Fact: America has vast reserves of oil and natural gas in the interior West, now accessible at a cost-efficient and environmentally efficient price.  Put these two facts together, and what does Washington do?  Move rapidly to promote exploration, extraction, and distribution, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and keeping hundreds of billions of dollars at home rather than sending them to despots and kleptocrats, right?

You’re new here, aren’t you?

The Western Energy Alliance rolls out its blueprint for a sane energy policy with this short video from our friend Ted Balaker, highlighting what WEA sees as the key obstacle to American energy independence — a meddling and confiscatory federal government that has locked the US away from its own resources.  Why be Brazil’s best customer and create jobs in South America when we could become our own best customer and keep our dollars on our own shore?

American optimism not obsolete yet July 9, 2011

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The indomitable American spirit.

The news was a disheartening humdinger of a jobs report, and I’d rather not worry the entire weekend away with frets and fears about the economy and the ongoing deficit reduction talks (which might or might not net a plan to tackle the nation’s economic problems). So, when I came across this blog post on The Washington Post website, I couldn’t help but smile. The piece, by Post reporter and author Dale Maharidge, captures a few lessons Maharidge learned while traveling the country documenting the plight of the jobless for a number of books, the most recent of which is called “Someplace Like America.”

It’s evident to me that Maharidge and I wouldn’t agree about much in terms of what would help to solve the increasing problem of joblessness in America, but we certainly agree about one thing: The innate and irrepressible optimism that seems to characterize so many Americans across the country is an attitude to celebrate. Maharidge writes:

It’s very American to try to find the bright side. This goes way back in our history. I’m a student of the 1930s’ Depression and its literature. Tom Joad in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” saw a better future in the passage where Tom says he will be “Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy,” and people can build houses and grow the food they eat, and so on – it was an anthem to optimism amid bleakness. …

I’m encouraged by this positive attitude. In reporting our new book, “Someplace Like America,” … [o]ver and over, we found people who are changing their lives in a better direction. The message of “Someplace Like America” is that we all can learn from the people we documented.

As usual, citizens are ahead of politicians.

That last sentence Maharidge seems to write with a tone of lament, as though it would actually enhance American optimism if political activism (of the sort to encourage and solicit government intervention) automatically accompanied it.

But, to me, that last sentence is the capstone. Historically, Americans have rarely been known to wait for the government to give them the go-ahead to improve their lives. The history of the United States is peopled by pioneers, explorers, inventors. Always, the frontier appealed to the American consciousness and, even after we’d settled the vast space between one ocean and another, we found new frontiers — in space, for example, or, now, online.

Certainly, politicians need to catch up to the rest of the country, to recognize that what will spur job creation is, in a nutshell, smaller government — and that’s why countless voices in print, on air and on the Internet have called for action, for cuts, for caps, for general fiscal discipline from the president and Congress. The truth is, American optimism has already found an outlet in political activism, just not of the sort Maharidge would prefer — it’s called the Tea Party.

But until the federal government heeds the call to retrench somewhat, I’m happy to find something to celebrate in those intrepid, entrepreneurial Americans who live out the great experiment of self-government day after day by taking responsibility for their own lives, by living with discipline, by taking worthwhile risks and, above all, by choosing freedom over government favors.

Obama ‘Framework’: An Ideological Line In The Sand April 19, 2011

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by Barry Carr

Loaded with misleading statements, demagoguery, political rhetoric and outright lies, Mr. Obama’s speech announcing his debt reduction plan was no more than the formal start to his re-election campaign with the establishment of a clear ideological line in the sand.  The American people now will begin a long debate on which side of that line they will stand.

On one side is the America that those who came before us worked hard for; sacrificed for; and many died for.  This is the America where individualism and self-reliance is real, not just the throw-away line that Mr. Obama opened his speech with.  This is the America where all are guaranteed equal opportunity, not equal outcome; the America where the efforts of citizens determine the winners and losers; the America where the current generation pays for itself and passes on the freedom to increase prosperity to the next generation.

On the other side stands a perverse vision of our country where the government makes choices for the citizens; determines who the winners are; and pays for all of the current generation’s desires with liens on the labor of future generations.

In his own words, Mr. Obama declared, “This is not about debt reduction; this is about what kind of country we want to be.” However if we don’t begin to focus on the run-a-way spending of the federal government, our national debt will exceed our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before the end of this year and will double over the next ten years.  Our economy will collapse under the weight of that debt and the only kind of country we will be, is a failed one.

Just before the terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001, our nation was prospering with total federal spending of $1.8 trillion per year.  Since Mr. Obama took office, we have been spending $3.8 trillion per year.  What have we bought for that?  Unemployment is twice what it was back in 2001, more people have dropped out of the work force, fuel prices are twice what they were before Mr. Obama took office and more American’s believe that we are declining as a nation then believe we are advancing.  Spending the wealth of future generations is simply not working.

“We can no longer afford to give a trillion dollar tax break to millionaires and billionaires” Mr. Obama stated and went on to call for increasing taxes on those making more than $250,000 per year.  Aside from his numbers making no sense and unable to be tracked to any real facts, we already know that we could double the federal taxes on all Americans and we would still have an annual deficit in excess of $400 billion.  We clearly have a spending problem.

Mr. Obama also attacked the Paul Ryan budget, not with the civil language of a statesman but with the political rhetoric of a campaigner.  “His approach would take away health insurance from 50 million Americans” Mr. Obama declared.  Does he really think the American people are going to accept that one of six citizens will lose health insurance if we make logical and financially prudent changes to Medicare and Medicaid over the next decade?

The important issue here is not the specifics of Mr. Obama’s plan, nor is it about how he presented the plan.  What is important is the clear choice that the American people will have to make over the next eighteen months leading up to the 2012 Presidential Election and then with their vote in that election.  It is the choice of which vision of America we will embrace.

Mr. Obama clearly believes that the United States of America would be better off as a socialist democracy, where the government reigns supreme over the people and decisions for every major aspect of a citizen’s life are made by an elite ruling class.  In this America, citizens exchange their freedom and the freedom of future generations for a government guaranteed safety net.  The trouble is that even if we made the false assumption that this safety net would be effective and fair, the truth is that it would only exist until the economy collapses due to lack of incentive, the death of innovative spirit and a collectivist economic model that has never worked for any length of time in history.

Hopefully, the majority of Americans still believe in the America that has become the greatest nation in the history of man in just 234 years; a country where the citizens reign supreme over the government: and where the only ruling class is – the people.  This is the America where individual drive, innovative thinking and a capitalistic economic model can do anything.

So the line has been drawn.  Lift yourself above the falsehoods, misleading statements and political rhetoric.  Think of what you want for your children, for their children and for future generations of Americans.  If all citizens look past themselves, the right choice will be made.  The world will continue to be blessed by an America with the freedom and prosperity that all other nations aspire to.

House passes Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget, 235-193 April 15, 2011

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by Barry Carr

Commitment.

It wasn’t quite party-line — four Republicans (Ron Paul among them) joined the Democrats in opposition — but it was awfully close, an amazing achievement for the House GOP given the potential toxicity of this vote. DCCC chief Steve Israel is already chortling that today’s roll will return Democrats to the majority, a distinct possibility once The One hones his Mediscaring technique on the stump. But that’s beside the point: This debate has to happen and there’s no other way to force it. Obama’s perfectly content to let the country’s finances continue to melt down as long as he gets reelected, something even his pal Alan Simpson now seems to recognize, so unless the “Gang of Six” pulls a rabbit out of its hat, this is it. If doing nothing to reduce the country’s catastrophic debt except lying about the rich’s capacity to pay it down turns out to be a big political winner for Democrats, then good luck to them. I’m sure they’ll do a fine job implementing America’s emergency austerity plan a few years from now.

Philip Klein gives credit where it’s due:

Traditionally, the obstacle to getting either party to embrace entitlement reform was that there was a risk to going on record as wanting to change these popular programs , while doing nothing was safe. However, at least for Republicans, that dynamic has shifted, and doing nothing is politically risky. And the credit for that development goes to the Tea Parties for putting pressure on Republicans to get serious about spending.

The Ryan budget will not become law in its current state as long as Obama is president. While the prevailing wisdom is that this vote could make Republicans more vulnerable in 2012, the flip side is that if Democrats pull out all the stops to demagogue the issue, and House Republicans hang on and the GOP even gains Senate seats, it will end the third-rail status of these entitlement programs that, if unchanged, will rob future generations of the American Dream.

There will be a lot of opportunities to criticize GOP leaders going forward, but today, they deserve a pat on the back.

I’d kill to know what serious centrist Democrats like Hoyer and Shuler and Mark Warner really think of Ryan’s plan. No doubt they have earnest concerns about parts of it — so do conservatives, frankly — but they also know the fiscal stakes and surely realize that the Lightbringer will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table to get him to act. Even the Gang of Six can’t believe that his response to the failure of the Deficit Commission is to … appoint another commission. But that’s what we elected. And given the tidal wave of demagoguery to come, he’s probably the guy we’ll elect again. Good luck, America.

Here’s Ryan’s floor speech today. The Democrats had some fun with him on an earlier vote by almost letting the Republican Study Committee’s even more conservative budget pass instead.