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Politics, Obama style...

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Balladeer
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0 posted 06-20-2009 09:44 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Senator Obama  voted for the legislation requiring specific notification to Congress of the reasons to dismiss an inspector general. Any move to fire an inspector general requires 30-days notice. Obama voted for the law to strengthen the independence of inspectors general.

President Obama fired the inspector general of AmeriCorp, Gerald Halpin, without the 30 day notice and no reason, which was also required by the law Obama  voted on.  Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, criticized Obama for failing to specify why he fired Walpin. "The White House has failed to follow the proper procedure in notifying Congress as to the removal of the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service," McCaskill said in a statement. "The legislation which was passed last year requires that the president give a reason for the removal. 'Loss of confidence' is not a sufficient reason. I'm hopeful the White House will provide a more substantive rationale, in writing, as quickly as possible."

Obama claimed that Walpin was removed  after unanimous request from the AmeriCorps board of directors when it appeared that Walpin appeared to be "confused and disoriented" at a meeting.  Quite a reason for immediate dismissal, no? They cited his age, 77, and hinted of senility. When he was hired, at 75, he seemed to be ok so what happened in the meantime? Let's see....

Walpin led a 2008 investigation into allegations of misused taxpayer funds distributed by AmeriCorps to the St. HOPE Academy of Sacramento, founded in 1989 by Obama supporter and former NBA player Kevin Johnson. Walpin said Johnson, now mayor of Sacramento, misused roughly $850,000 in AmeriCorps funds. His referral to the U.S. Attorney's Office did not result in the filing of criminal charges. But St. HOPE officials agreed, via a settlement, to repay half of its AmeriCorps grants. Mr. Walpin's investigators discovered that the money had been used instead to pad staff salaries, meddle politically in a school-board election, and have AmeriCorps members perform personal services for Mr. Johnson, including washing his car. At the end of May, Mr. Walpin's office recommended that Mr. Johnson, an assistant and St. HOPE itself be "suspended" from receiving federal funds. The Corporation's official charged with suspensions agreed, and in September the suspension letters went out. Mr. Walpin's office also sent a civil and/or criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.

Hmm...well, if that happened in 2008 why didn't Obama fire him until now and, after all, wasn't it the board of directors who put in the request that Halpin be fired? Good questions. Want answers?

Kevin Johnson was elected mayor of Sacramento. News of the suspension had become public, and President Obama began to discuss his federal stimulus spending. A city-hired attorney pronounced in March that Sacramento might be barred from receiving stimulus funds because of Mr. Johnson's suspension.

The news caused a public uproar. The U.S. Attorney's office, which since January has been headed by Lawrence Brown -- a career prosecutor who took over when the Bush-appointed Attorney left -- had already decided not to pursue criminal charges. Media and political pressure then mounted for the office to settle the issue and lift Mr. Johnson's suspension. Mr. Walpin agreed Mr. Johnson should pay back money but objected to lifting the suspension. He noted that Mr. Johnson has never officially responded to the Corporation's findings and that the entire point of suspension is to keep federal funds from individuals shown to have misused them.

Mr. Brown's office responded by cutting off contact with Mr. Walpin's office and began working directly with the Corporation, the board of which is now chaired by one of Mr. Obama's top campaign fundraisers, Alan Solomont. A few days later, Mr. Brown's office produced a settlement draft that significantly watered down any financial repayment and cleared Mr. Johnson. Mr. Walpin told us that in all his time working with U.S. Attorneys on cases he'd referred, he'd never been cut out in such fashion.

Mr. Walpin brought his concerns to the Corporation's board, but some board members were angry over a separate Walpin investigation into the wrongful disbursement of $80 million to the City University of New York. Concerned about the St. HOPE mess, Mr. Walpin wrote a 29-page report, signed by two other senior members of his office, and submitted it in April to Congress. Last Wednesday, he got a phone call from a White House lawyer telling him to resign within an hour or be fired.

So that's the way it works with the Obama administration. Mess with him or his friends or supporters and you're gone, even if it takes him completely reversing his position on a law he helped pass. It's Chicago politics, by the book. Why should anyone be surprised over that?

parts reprinted from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124511811033017539.html

Someone said we should be proud of this president? You feeling pride yet, Denise???

Denise
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2 posted 06-21-2009 02:51 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

You got that right, Michael. Don't mess with O or his friends! Chicago and Kenyan style politics through and through.

He only gave the 30 Day notice letter to Congress after Walpin refused the night before to resign within the hour or be fired, with no reason given, and then only came up with the confused and disoriented excuse after he was called on it for not offering specific reasons for the firing in his letter to Congress.

I also read somewhere that two other IG's got the boot. I don't remember the specifics though or where I read it.

It is surprising isn't it, after all the furor over three at-will attorneys being fired under Bush, that the media isn't all over this? NOT!

L.R., if Joe Biden is in the habit of writing letters to the President, signed by the President, maybe he is the one who should be fired for confusion and disorientation!
Balladeer
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3 posted 06-21-2009 08:56 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, LR. Unfortunately, 3 of the 4 come up on my computer as missing links but I don't see that as any loss since they come from ABC news, that Obama infomercial organization. I did read one article from them on the subject which somehow left out that Obama was violating the law he helped pass, the fact that Johnson bypassed Halpin to go directly to the board, which just happened to be headed by Solomon, a major Obama fund-raiser, or any other of that silliness which would just confuse their readers.

The message in this whole thing is clear...don't mess with the big O or you get the big boot.
Grinch
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4 posted 06-21-2009 10:58 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Thank you, LR. Unfortunately, 3 of the 4 come up on my computer as missing links but I don't see that as any loss since they come from ABC news


It’s a shame you can’t view them Mike, they’re scanned letters from Obama giving 30 days notice of the intention to fire the Inspector General.

Thanks for the doing the leg work LR – saved me a lot of time.

Denise
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5 posted 06-21-2009 11:01 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Letters that were written after the fact, Grinch, of O trying to get him to resign "within the hour", under threat of being fired, trying to do an end run around the law of the 30 day notice to Congress.

Another outrage is that Eric Holder dropped all charges against those New Black Panther thugs who intimidated voters and poll workers in Philadelphia, despite videotape evidence and eyewitness testimony. No reason, just dropped. No explanation. No outrage in the MSM. Could lead one to believe that perhaps they are some of O's friends that he is looking out for also.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/29/career-lawyers-overruled-on-voting-case/?feat=home_cube_position1
Balladeer
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6 posted 06-21-2009 11:22 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks, Denise...saved me a lot of time
Grinch
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7 posted 06-21-2009 12:01 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Letters that were written after the fact, Grinch, of O trying to get him to resign "within the hour", under threat of being fired, trying to do an end run around the law of the 30 day notice to Congress.


Ah, I think I get it now. Obama gave him the option to resign and when he refused Obama issued the letters with 30 days notice. Presumably your point is he shouldn’t have given him the option to resign.

Thanks for clearing that up, you’ve saved me even more time.

Denise
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8 posted 06-21-2009 12:14 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

You're welcome, Michael!

It was so kind of Obama to threaten to fire him if he didn't resign immediately, wasn't it? I'm sure he only had Walpin's best interests at heart. Yeah, sure he did.

If Walpin caved and resigned it would certainly have saved Obama the trouble of writing the 30 day notice letter outlining the specific reasons to Congress, designed to prevent IG's from being dismissed for political reasons. Even at that his letter lacked specific reasons, and then his clarification, when called on it, were lame at best.
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It's a real shame, I think, when the facts muddy the waters on a perfectly good conspiracy theory.
Grinch
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I would have resigned in a second in his position, which was clearly untenable, and I’d have thanked Obama for giving me the option before the inevitable boot hove into view.

Resigning looks so much better on a résumé than being fired, I guess the fact that he didn’t take that option given the circumstances adds weight to the claim that he was "confused and disoriented".

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11 posted 06-21-2009 03:24 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Which facts would those be Ron?
Local Rebel
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12 posted 06-21-2009 05:08 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

L.R., if Joe Biden is in the habit of writing letters to the President, signed by the President, maybe he is the one who should be fired for confusion and disorientation!



Um..  Okay... the President of the United States wrote a letter to the President of the Senate -- Joe Biden, and to Nancy Pelosi -- the Speaker of the House.

quote:

I did read one article from them on the subject which somehow left out that Obama was violating the law he helped pass, the fact that Johnson bypassed Halpin to go directly to the board, which just happened to be headed by Solomon, a major Obama fund-raiser, or any other of that silliness which would just confuse their readers.



How odd -- ABC News also failed to report on my recent marriage to former super-model Cindy Crawford, my recent development of cold fusion in my garage, and my discovery of the method to turn lead into gold.

If you would actually read the links Denise you would see the facts to which Ron refers.
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I did read the letters in the links, L.R., I didn't know that the President addressed the Vice-President as President. Seems strange to me. And the name of the link is Biden letter to Obama. Weird.

And if Walpin ruffled feathers by overstepping his bounds according to Brown, why was that not mentioned in Obama's original 30 day letter, or in his clarification remarks?

Balladeer
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14 posted 06-21-2009 07:04 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

But, of course, LR. Why muddy a good news report with facts that pertain to it? Certainly the fact that Obama violated the law he voted for bears no more importance than your marriage to Cindy....congrats, by the way.

Ron, you surprise me. I expect the hard-line defense from the others but I always considered you a little more objective. The IG conducts an investigation which nets one of Obama's friends and prevents him from receiving stimulus money, the man with caught fingers in the cookie jar bypasses the IG and goes to the chairman of the board who happens to be one of Obama's major fund raisers, who goes to Obama which causes Obama to disregard the law and give the IG an hour or so to resign or be fired.....and you see a frivolous Obama conspiracy? As I said, you surprise me.
Ron
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15 posted 06-21-2009 07:40 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
....and you see a frivolous Obama conspiracy?

Mike, I didn't try to investigate why Walpin was fired. I read the letter (and attachments) from Brown, a lawyer for the Department of Justice, and can sort of see why people would be upset with Walpin. He works for the Department of Justice, after all, not the Sacramental Bee. Those might be justifications, not reasons, I don't know.

Here's what I think I do know.

Walpin was given the option to resign or be fired, something pretty common in any high-level position, and when he chose to not resign, a 30 day notice of termination was sent to the appropriate offices. Some apparently believe the reasons for termination were insufficient or vague, but that's subjective and certainly not part of the law. More reasons were given as clarification.

So, here's the thing, Mike.

It's very clear from the links Reb provided that Obama did NOT break the law, either in spirit or letter. Your originating post said, and you seem to still maintain, that Obama did break the law. Is it any surprise that anything you said after that is going to be suspect? When the boy cried wolf and got it wrong, people stopped listening.

Maybe there really is something suspect going on. When I see a report from a less biased source, from someone who isn't yelling wolf at every turn, I'm just liable to get as concerned as you appear to be. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time (or the inclination, to be honest) to go chasing every rumor I hear.

If it's any consolation, I generally don't listen too closely to any overtly biased source, not those for Obama and not those against. Writers who make no effort to be fair aren't going to convince anyone except those already convinced. They're preaching to the choir, and that ain't me.


Local Rebel
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16 posted 06-21-2009 08:29 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

I did read the letters in the links, L.R., I didn't know that the President addressed the Vice-President as President. Seems strange to me. And the name of the link is Biden letter to Obama. Weird.



Okay, I understand your confusion there -- apparently the tech who posted the letter at ABC was equally confused and transposed the names when posting the letter and naming the link.

quote:

And if Walpin ruffled feathers by overstepping his bounds according to Brown, why was that not mentioned in Obama's original 30 day letter, or in his clarification remarks?



I would suggest reading the Lieberman-Collins letter again then Denise and pay particular attention to all the answers to those questions that are contained therein.  

quote:

But, of course, LR. Why muddy a good news report with facts that pertain to it? Certainly the fact that Obama violated the law he voted for bears no more importance than your marriage to Cindy....congrats, by the way.



I think I need to enlist you to help me convince Cindy that she and I are, indeed, married.     If we say it enough times it has to be true.  
Balladeer
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17 posted 06-21-2009 08:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It's very clear from the links Reb provided that Obama did NOT break the law, either in spirit or letter.

Oh, really, Ron?

Inspector General for Americorp Gerald Walpin was fired by the White House with only an hour notice to resign or be fired and a White House Lawyer called it an act of political courage. Walpin not being a cowered would not resign. According to a bill that Senator Obama co sponsored, 30 days notice and a reason for the firing must be given to congress. The most ethical White House in history didn’t even notify congress until after the fact and gave no cause until Democrat senator Claire McCaskill raised the issue that the proper procedure was not followed. http://www.examiner.com/x-4291-Baltimore-Christian-Conservative-Examiner~y2009m6d19-Inspector-General-fired-illegally-by-most-ethical-White-House-ever

I haven't cried wolf. I cry foul. Of course I have come to  see that anything Obama does difficult to defend becomes something "not worth discussing" or "too unimportant to think about" or "not worth chasing rumors" or something equally evasive and that's fine. That in itself says quite a bit.

If everyone in Congress were given an hour's notice to resign or be fired from showing "senility traits", we would be a monarchy.
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18 posted 06-21-2009 08:48 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I'm not feeling the love yet Mike (from Cindy).  I think it's going to take more than an editorial (poorly written or vetted) to convince her.

The point keeps being made that he was only given an hour to resign too.  I'm trying to figure out the significance of that.  How much time is one legally required to receive to make that decision?  Is there some sort of standard protocol?

And -- should the Obama administration have issued the letters of their intent to terminate in 30 days BEFORE he made the decision?  I'm just not getting it.

He was given the choice.  He chose to be fired.  The White House sent the 30 day notification to the Congress as required by Law.  
Balladeer
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19 posted 06-21-2009 09:40 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

should the Obama administration have issued the letters of their intent to terminate in 30 days BEFORE he made the decision?

Nope, but they should have notified Congress of the reasons at the time they gave the 30 days notice. They didn't. They didn't until they were called on it and then played CYA.

Obama's friend caught misappropriating funds. Obama's major fundraiser pushing for the firing after being contacted by the misappropriator. Obama doing the deed. If you don't get anything there, it's only because you don't want to.....no problem.
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quote:
Inspector General for Americorp Gerald Walpin was fired by the White House with only an hour notice ...

Question, Mike: Is Walpin still drawing a pay check? Is he still doing the job? Unless you can answer no, he clearly wasn't fired.

quote:
Nope, but they should have notified Congress of the reasons at the time they gave the 30 days notice. They didn't.

Sure they did, Mike. It's in the letter.

"As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as President, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General. That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General."

You don't like their reason? Please, show me where that is part of the law you claim Obama broke.

quote:
If everyone in Congress were given an hour's notice to resign or be fired from showing "senility traits", we would be a monarchy.

LOL. Not quite, Mike. We would be a democracy where the elected officials decided who worked for them. How many top commanders did Bush go through in Iraq? For that matter, how many Secretaries of Defense?
Balladeer
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21 posted 06-21-2009 10:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Inspector General for Americorp Gerald Walpin was fired by the White House with only an hour notice ...

you are right, Ron. I stated that incorrectly. He was given an hour to resign or else be fired.

No, they didn't give reason at the time they gave the notice. That's why they were admonished for not doing so by the republicans and followed with the cya letters.

I repeat...if you want to hold your nose over this garbage can and state you don't smell anything, that's up to you. No problem.
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Dear Mike,

          I just got back from an extended trip.  I'm encouraged to hear you sounding crusty as ever, and in fine fettle.  I hope the pain is gone....

     I'd like to comment on your response to Ron, above.

     "Oh, really, Ron," doesn't respond to Ron's comment; it is a comment on Ron.

     I followed up your quotation from the the "article"  
http://www.examiner.com/x-4291-Baltimore-Christian-Conservative-Examiner~y2009m6d19-Inspector-General-fired-illegally-by-most-ethical-White-House-ever.  

I read the whole article and I encourage everybody else to do so as well, and to decide what stock they wish to place in this source.  As for your comments about ABC, I believe I've seen you quote them once or twice — perhaps I'm mistaken on this.  A news source that uses the noun Democrat as an adjective is, in my experience, unlikely to be objective.

     I disagree that President Obama's actions shouldn't be discussed.  I was upset with him about some human rights issues not too long ago, and said so.  I said that I was uncertain about the bailout plan; I am still uncertain about the bailout plan.  I am also still an Obama supporter.  I don't believe that there are very many people who believe that Obama is perfect and that he has no flaws, and your comments that appear to be trying to put Democrats into that position are a continuing puzzle to me.

     Near as I can tell, we are pretty much all Bozos here on the bus, pretty much going the same direction, and nobody gets out alive.  To quote Auden, "We must love one another or die."  Even if he was wrong, the thought isn't a bad one.

All my best,  Bob Kaven

Denise
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23 posted 06-22-2009 07:50 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I heard an interview with Walpin and he said that after refusing to resign he was placed on a 30 day suspension without pay. So, no, he doesn't have a job, and he isn't getting paid.

Welcome back Bob. I'll have to read your article later Bob. I'm pressed for time right now.
rwood
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24 posted 06-22-2009 12:45 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Mornin', Mike.

I have to disagree that the politics involved in Walpin's dismissal are altogether "stylistic" of Obama.

I've seen such happen so much in the corporate world (and since our gov is basically an uber corporation) It's all too typical of business. I believe the Military specifically operates thru a "Chain of Command."

According to the reports: Walpin repeatedly "overstepped," his bounds and got the boot.

Walpin had no clearance to report any findings to the media. He sought to have an organization debarred from receiving funds without following proper protocol or policy.
In the least he was insubordinate and leaky with info, which  imho, is highly unprofessional of his rank & material for his dismissal. He achieved a high role in office as an inspector. How could he miss the details of his job description, policy and protocol, and his superiors' orders? Naw. I don't think so. If he had no clue he was steppin' on toes, then maybe the allegations of disorientation have some merit?

Or are yall sayin' they changed his job description and clocked-up some bogus charges about his performance so they could hide what he was uncovering??

I think senility is a cheap shot at his age. I would attribute his actions more to ego and/or a last grandstanding job hoo rah? Which is not dependent on age or gender.

But What's Up With This Woman???

Does she not seem completely disoriented???

The Federal Reserve Inspector General, Elizabeth Coleman states:

"We do not have jurisdiction to directly go out and audit reserve bank activity, specifically."

Ok. So who does?

She can't respond and she doesn't know about the Fed's expansions and balance sheets. So what is she getting paid for..again, oh yeah, to Inspect???

Could she be the next victim of the "firing squad,"?? Probably not because she didn't/couldn't disclose anything.

My inquiring mind would really love to know why Americans are predominantly concerned with peanut money funds when our Fed Reserve can't account for "$9 TRILLION in off-balance sheet transactions + another $1 Trillion in expansions since last Sept."

our machine is trooked & broked.

 
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