The Obama Administration-Culture of Incompetence

By Richard H. Frank

As a young boy I saw World War II through the “Eyes and Ears of the World” a weekly newsreel run each Saturday at the local movie theatre.   Each week Americans were brought up to date on progress of the war and the actions of many of our government’s leaders were highlighted. The entire focus of this nation was to support our troops and preserve our freedom from fascist Germany and imperial Japan. The news media remained much the same throughout the Korean conflict with the exception that the growing threat of nuclear war loomed higher and was present in daily newsprint. Beyond the actions taken by the President and the Secretary of State individual Cabinet members and governmental agency heads did not occupy much media attention.

Beginning in the 1960’s, due to the advent of television being available in most American homes,  network news organizations became equal to, or more prominent than the printed media. Vietnam was brought into our homes each evening along with comment by proponents and opponents of the war. This coverage led to the public loss of support of the and ultimately the withdrawal of forces from Vietnam.

Today we live with a 24 hour 7-day live news cycle available to Americans through cable news and the internet. We are better informed than any time in history as to events in the World and their impact upon our lives.  It seems ironic that with these great technological advances the media is still able to manipulate the news in favor of a particular Political Ideology. Personality, real or created, has taken preciident over principle, experience and judgment. Campaign slogans and hollow promises reject reality and any ability to deliver on those promises. What is most disturbing is how supporters of a political ideology are rewarded with appointment to high government office. Thanks to the “new media” we are able to expose political payoff for what it really has created. In the case of the Obama administration it is showing itself as a culture of incompetence.

Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, was confirmed by the Senate due to her alleged knowledge of immigration, border security measures and homeland security matters all springing from her two term tenure as Governor of Arizona. Since being confirmed she has denied the threat from “terrorism” and referred to “man made disasters” as the focus for homeland security. She has had to apologies for her agency’s allegation that a threat to the nation’s security is more likely to come from returning veterans than from foreign sources. Most recently, in light of the bombing attempt upon flight 253, she asserted that the “system worked,” a statement she had to retract. In the retraction she asserted that the failure was due to out of date procedures from prior administrations which were under investigation for correction. These same procedures kept America safe for eight years but are now inadequate according to Napolitano and the President. Her supporters contend that she has forged new partnerships with international allies and expanded the information sharing between federal, local and state law enforcement in order to detect and disrupt potential threats.

If the record is examined the facts paint a different picture. Preceding the Fort Hood massacre the signs that Major Nidal Malik Hasan posed a threat were evident but either not shared or ignored due to political correctness and resulted in the death of twelve unarmed American soldiers.

The latest evidence concerning flight 253 shows a total breakdown of information sharing that could have prevented the unsuccessful attempt to blow up the aircraft, extending from the State department granting a visa, to Homeland Security and the TSA not responding to obvious signs that the individual should have been subjected to advanced screening methods.

President Obama sets the priority for these agencies and it is obvious that national security takes a back seat to forwarding his socialist agenda to fundamentally change America. Janet Napolitano needs to resign and the President must replace her with an experienced individual capable of overseeing the nation’s security and not someone who just shares his political ideology.

Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy F Geithner, was touted as the only individual that could oversee the economic recovery of America’s financial system following passage of the TARP legislation late in the Bush administration in the fall of 2008. Since that time we have seen a 787 Billion dollar stimulus, unlimited government guarantees to Freddie Mac and Fanny May, nationalization of two major automotive companies and the list goes on. The national debt has now exceeded twelve trillion dollars and is expected to rise to fourteen trillion dollars before the end to this term of the Obama administration.

So let’s examine what we have received for mortgaging our children’s future:

The Stimulus was supposed to halt the increase in unemployment and hold it below 8.5%. We now know that the level is expected to remain at 10% or higher well into 2010. The real level is more like 16% but who is counting as long as congress continues to extend unemployment benefits and do nothing to increase investment in the private sector. Moreover as the banks paid back stimulus funds the government was supposed to use those funds to reduce the debt but now wants to expend that money for further social programs. Additional proof that once government gets their hands on our money they have no compulsion to control their spending.

The automotive company bailouts were 12.5 Billion for Chrysler and an initial 13.5 Billion to General Motors pending government takeover upon emerging from bankruptcy. The Chrysler 12.5 billion is gone forever, and although the company assets were largely given to FIAT, analysts expect they will not survive. General Motors on the other hand has managed to burn through 50 billion since being taken over by Obama. We the taxpaying public have coughed up 32 billion for operating expenses over the last 9 months with the company continuing losses exceeding one billion each quarter.

Cash for Clunkers was initially to cost the tax paying public $4500.00 per car sold however the latest estimate is that the real number is $60,000.00. The homeowner mortgage assistance program of 27 billion dollars was created to assist troubled families in amending their mortgages in order to make payments more affordable and save their homes. As of this writing only 31,000 mortgages have been processed which equates to $877,000.00 per mortgage. Where has this money been spent? The banks have our borrowed money from the TARP program but are not lending to the private sector. Timothy Geithner, if you are such a financial genius where are you now?

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, was sworn in on April 28th 2009. Her claim to fame seems to be that she was the first Democrat to be elected Kansas Insurance Commissioner from 1995 t0 2003. She is an advocate of government sponsored health insurance reform and the Obama political agenda. The H1N1 flu pandemic and inoculation program has been the centerpiece of her activity since assuming office. Unfortunately, her efforts to oversee the production of a vaccine for the disease has been less than successful, coupled with an obvious attempt to exploit the pandemic, which has yet to materialize, in favor of health insurance reform have been met with skepticism. Additionally, releases of findings that place mammagrams and prostate cancer screening in question as to accuracy have raised the issue of her qualifications to administer such a large organization such as HHS. She as with our Homeland Security Secretary, have had to repudiate these releases and embark with damage control for the administration.

Our Attorney General, Eric Holder, as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer has probably presented the most confusing and constitutionally challenging decisions of any the Obama appointees. The decision to move some of the Gitmo detainees to jurisdiction of U.S. federal Court, and thus receive rights afforded to American citizens, while others will be tried by military tribunals is viewed as incongruent. His position that the attack by Nidal Malik Hasan, which killed twelve and wounded 31 others on the grounds at Fort Hood, is a criminal act and not terrorism is ludicrous.  Once again political ideology seems to take precidence over the law.

I can not believe that these individuals are the best available to fill these critical Cabinet positions. When we have a President lacking any executive experience, and relying on his academic and community organizing credentials to aspire to his office, we can not expect better in his nominations. The Senate, however, represents our voice in the process of “advise and consent” for presidential nominations.  They have failed the electorate in discharge of their responsibility. Let us, “We the People” make our voices heard in the coming 2010 elections.