published Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Who's responsible? Give us some truth, Mr. President

Chris Devaney

"I've had enough of reading things ... by neurotic, psychotic, pigheaded politicians ... all I want is the truth, just give me some truth." How true those words ring today from the protest song written by John Lennon in the early 1970s. Many of President Obama's supporters probably immersed themselves in those lyrics, not knowing that some day their future hero would be living them.

In the last few days, Americans have been subjected to a torrent of news about various scandals raging in different sectors of the Obama administration. As a whole, these instances reveal a systematic effort to discourage Americans from discovering the truth about our government's activities under President Obama. The question we're all asking: Who's responsible?

Obama playing fast and loose with the facts is not a new revelation. In multiple 2012 campaign speeches, the president promised Americans health care insurance premiums will go down under Obamacare -- a convenient promise made in the heat of a campaign. Sadly, it could not be further from the truth. Recent estimates gathered from the largest health insurance companies find some premiums could rise as much as 400 percent because of the president's health care overhaul.

It seems truth is a subjective term for President Obama, fluctuating based on what fits his political needs of the moment. With that in mind, it is worth recounting a period that has rocked the West Wing to its core.

Last week, with testimony in front of Congress that sharply contrasted the official White House story, Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney responded by calling the Benghazi scandal old news, saying it "happened a long time ago." In fact, the president doubled down saying, "there is no there there." Unfortunately for the administration, which would like to see us all move on, it seems new revelations are coming out every week, making it very relevant in the present.

Separately, details emerged about the IRS targeting conservative groups as far back as 2010. Groups were harassed that "criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the Constitution." If that is the threshold the IRS uses for targeting groups, I would suggest the editors of this newspaper could be next.

While that last line may seem like a joke, it was the next scandal that made it a reality.

The Justice Department secretly seized two months worth of phone calls from reporters and editors of The Associated Press. Credit the head of the AP for calling it what it is, a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into the freedom of the press. At a briefing on Tuesday, the administration said 14 times over it believed in the media's "unfettered" ability to conduct investigative journalism -- apparently only when it doesn't involve questioning Obama's policies, though. The potential ramifications of this scandal alone would make Richard Nixon's administration blush. Alarmingly, President Obama is facing five times that many controversies.

In fact, one-third of all House committees are investigating some aspect of Obama's administration. I haven't even touched on the brewing stories around the illegal fundraising end-run around Congress to implement Obamacare and the Environmental Protection Agency's callous attempts to keep conservative groups from obtaining information.

The bottom line is this: President Obama has been exposed. The onslaught of scandals from all parts of his administration suggests one of two conclusions, both of which raise chilling concerns: Either the president or his staff are orchestrating the heavy hand of government to target his enemies and run roughshod over the Constitution, or the President is just a bumbling manager, more astute at acting like a president than actually serving as one. Both outcomes are unacceptable. Both present a damaging blow to a president who came in riding the promise of hope. President Obama, just give us some truth.

Chris Devaney is chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. He resides in Chattanooga.

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aae1049 said...

To marginalize the actions as "scandals" is absurd language for criminal activity of government. The IRS used taxpayer resources to file build against citizens based upon their political ideology, in the same manner as the old Hoover FBI file building for political purposes and outcomes. The actions of the IRS just cuts to the core of freedom. Crimes are not scandals. The IRS folks need to be criminally indicted for violations of the constitutional rights of citizens. Our political freedom should be protected at all costs, and when the IRS infringes on our freedom with illegal file building against citizens, they are the problem, not the people.

May 21, 2013 at 12:58 a.m.
Facts said...

It's obvious that the denial and the lack of cooperation by the Obama Administration is all about covering up their crimes.

If any individual in a leadership or supervisory capacity ever developed an "enemies' list" and used such tactics, they would face criminal and civil charges.

In the case of the Obama Administration, it's both deliberate targeting and incomeptent management. But both led to the same outcome, harming those who stand in the way of a thug mentality.

Americans deserve to see each one of these folks go to jail and pay restitution. Let's see justice.

May 21, 2013 at 8:35 a.m.
Leaf said...

"One third of all House committees are investigating some aspect of Obama's administration."

That's telling. The Republicans are spending an unprecedented amount of time, money and energy on these witch hunts. I guess when you don't actually govern you have a lot of time on your hands.

May 21, 2013 at 9:21 a.m.
librul said...

The law has always been quite specific about who could legally get tax exemption and who could not. As Lawrence O'Donnell rightly and succinctly pointed out last week, the whole controversy revolves around the change of one word in the interpretation of the tax law pertaining to 501.c(4) non-profit groups.

The statute originally passed by Congress was written to say that groups had to operate "exclusively" to advance social welfare in order to get tax exemption.

It was then screwed up in 1959 when one word of the regs was altered by some pinhead to say groups had to operate "primarily" to advance the social welfare - a change in interpretation of the law that was never authorized by Congress and which allowed the political hounds at the gate a way to skirt the law.

Then, when the right wing Supreme court jesters passed Citizens United, basically subverting our democracy for the benefit of their corporate benefactors, it opened up the floodgates for total corruption of the intent of the law. Every little nest of right wing termites applied for tax exemption. Thousands of applications erupted during the pee party eruption. Any reasonable person could see that the purpose of their existence was to advance their political agenda (or that of their right wingnut-financed corporate puppeteers in FreedomWorks, etc.) so when they were quite properly closely scrutinized, in secret or not, it was their qualification for tax exemption based upon their political focus, hiding behind the word "primarily", that was at the root of the whole thing.

The law should be reinforced to exclude ALL groups - left and right leaning AND religious - from tax exemption, if their activities and operation cannot be totally divorced from advancing an activist political agenda. Anything less spells doom for American democracy - already obviously in its death throes.

People idiotically ranting about how the IRS violated the "constitutional rights of citizens" and kicking up a smokescreen of angry verbage to obfuscate the real issue for their own ends, conveniently ignore the original wording of the law on the books - passed according to the dictates of the Constitution. This simple act would clear the air - if only our dysfunctional, do nothings in Congress would just get off their arses and do it.

May 21, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Left or right, Hoover style file building by government against citizens for their political ideology is wrong every day of the week. The IRS admits to this activity. The fact it does not bother you, is an apathy problem on the left side that is dishonest protectionism of a corrupt government, that looks more and more like organized crime to me.

I guess you are also OK, with the Department of Justice activities concerning journalists. Feel free to insert your head in the sand, but I won't be joining you.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/05/20/Google-And-Verizon-Gave-Government-Reporters-Records

May 21, 2013 at 10:07 a.m.
chatt_man said...

aae1049, of course they're "OK" with it, it benefits "them", or "their side". librul starts off sounding all concerned and impartial, until he writes "People idiotically ranting" and "kicking up a smokescreen of angry verbage to obfuscate the real issue for their own ends" and "Every little nest of right wing termites applied for tax exemption". Both sides would currently do whatever they could do to tarnish the other, but anyone that's looking at what is cuyrrently going on, and can't see a pattern from a horribly corrupt and "pushing the envelope" administration, has their head in the sand for sure.

May 21, 2013 at 4:23 p.m.
John_Proctor said...

You won't get much credibility citing Brietbart to support your arguments. What's next, World Net Daily?

May 21, 2013 at 9:47 p.m.
carlB said...

What ARE The True OBJECTIVES of the ANTI OBAMA AND ANTI GOVERNMENT "GROUPS"?

Do the voters think that it is possible to "fix" our economic crisis conditions without having to go through another great depression?
What conditions do the voters think would have happened if the Republicans were elected back in full control of our government and followed up with their budget cuts, while taking away the roles of our Government to help the people who are forced into poverty and then, not do anything to help recreate private production and manufacturing jobs?
Another question that has to be asked is; Why are the Republicans and other enemies of President Obama going to extreme methods and strategies in trying to convince the voters that they made a mistake in voting him into office instead of putting them back into the office?

We Need to Think About Why There are people so violently against President Obama getting elected and reelected? We know that "bias" and "religion" are two reasons many of the voters are against the President. But why would the voters continue to vote for the political party that has been "Hell Bent" on the destruction of this Republic since FDR's "new deal."

May 21, 2013 at 10:56 p.m.
carlB said...

Whether the IRS WORKERS were attemptingto do their job correctly because of the increased applications from these groups seeking a TAX Free STATUS under fault pretenses, it which do take time to investigate each application. But what if this was a setup by the opponents of President Obama? Tomorrow, during the investigation there is supposed to be the Lady who has promised to take the 5th

May 21, 2013 at 11:22 p.m.
John_Proctor said...

Double post-mea culpa

May 22, 2013 at 7:07 a.m.
fairmon said...

carlB said...

Tomorrow, during the investigation there is supposed to be the Lady who has promised to take the 5th

Does this mean there is at least one amendment someone involved in D.C. politics takes seriously enough to adhere to it?

May 22, 2013 at 8:20 a.m.
chet123 said...

CHRIS.....YOU WOULDNT KNOW THE TRUTH IF IT FELL OUT OF THE SKY ON THAT BIG BALD HEAD OF YOUR.......

May 22, 2013 at 11:10 a.m.
chet123 said...

CHRIS IS JUST ANOTHER BOZO....OWNED PAY PAID FOR BY THE RICH AND GREEDY!!!

May 22, 2013 at 11:13 a.m.
acerigger said...

Since my previous post somehow was deleted(?),I will ask again, after turning over the TFP editorials page to the head of the Republican party of Tn., which Tea-party mouthpiece will get the honors next? Or must we just wait & see 'cause I'm sure it's coming.

May 22, 2013 at 12:17 p.m.
acerigger said...

How do you like the "truth" now Mr.Devaney?

The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that the emails released by the Obama administration reveal a rather shocking surprise. No, the Obama White House did not craft the Benghazi talking points to protect their reputation or that of the State Department. Nor did the State Department protect their image with “changes” to the talking points.

It was Republican hero, General David Petraeus, then the head of the CIA, who sought to burnish his image with demands to change the talking points. In fact, his version put him at “odds” with the State Department, the FBI, and officials within his own agency:

This is the second time today that a Republican has been lurking behind a highly hyped by Republican-alleged “Obama scandal”. Aren’t you glad we spent millions to get to the bottom of this, and aren’t you glad that Republicans are heeding Hertitage’s orders to cease legislating in order to go after Obama with manufactured scandals? It is Republicans patriotic duty, after all, to unwittingly out their own malfeasance repeatedly, until one day they implode, choking on their own hypocrisy and refusal to govern

http://www.politicususa.com/gop-hero-petraeus-obama-changed-benghazi-talking-points.html

May 23, 2013 at 1:09 a.m.
jjmez said...

And here's really a whopper, ace. Truthers believe President Obama caused the Oklahoma Tornado to distract attention away from the recent 3 so-called scandals that really aren't scandals.

Atlantic Wire:

On Sunday, six days after a furious and deadly tornado, President Obama will reportedly head to Moore, Oklahoma. It took less than 48 hours for the truthers to furiously accuse the White House — perhaps by way of George Soros — of creating the tornado itself. If you thought 9/11 conspiracy theorists were bad, or the Sandy Hook and Boston bombing truthers were reckless, Obama's meteorological manipulation — all to distract a country from three Washington scandals — well, that might be a new level of ridiculous.

"Of course there's weather weapon stuff going on — we had floods in Texas like fifteen years ago, killed thirty-something people in one night. Turned out it was the Air Force," Alex Jones said on his radio show Tuesday afternoon, adding he wasn't sure if a government "weather weapon" was used against Moore. And being "unsure" of something is exactly the way conspiracy theories work: It allows people like Jones to sow doubt, float an untrue story — in this case, about the government creating a massive tornado — while at the same time giving truthers a loophole to squeeze through, without being held accountable or stating on the record anything they actually do believe.

These people are a danger, if only to themselves.

Read more:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/05/oklahoma-tornado-conspiracy-theories/65499/

It was Republican leakers who pressured and demanded DOJ take measures, drastic ones if necessary,to stop the leaks to the press.

responding to: I guess you are also OK, with the Department of Justice activities concerning journalists. Feel free to insert your head in the sand, but I won't be joining you.

May 23, 2013 at 2:05 a.m.
acerigger said...

Editors, how long will this Devaney "LOSER" column survive in your archives?

Never fear,the ridicule will last at least as long!

OK,time for the next tea-party op-ed.lol

May 24, 2013 at 2:51 a.m.
joneses said...

It is amazing the fear in liberals eyes when their Messiah (hussein obama) is being held accountable for his hate for America and his dishonesty. I will never understand why these liberals think a dictator run regime is good for America when it has failed everywhere else. But then again when did a liberal want anyone to be held responsible for their actions? The democrat party is the party of enablers.

May 25, 2013 at 8:56 a.m.
joneses said...

leaf said "One third of all House committees are investigating some aspect of Obama's administration."

If hussein obama would stop attacking, persecuting, lying, spreading hate towards those that oppose his regime and violating the oath of office he took these investigations he is creating would not be happening.

May 25, 2013 at 9:01 a.m.
chet123 said...

YEAHHHHHH...INVESTIGATE,INVESTIGATE,INVESTIGATE.....ITS ONLY TAX PAYER MONEY......AND CONGRESS HAVE AN UNLIMITED SUPPLY OF IT..........FORGET ABOUT HIGH UNEMPLOYENT,PUBLIC EDUCATION,THE DEFECIT,HIGH COST OF GAS.......DO YOUR THING REPUBLICAN....WITCH HUNT...WITCHHUNT......AND TELL THE DEMOCRATS TO LEAVE THE RICH AND GREEDY ALONE.......

May 31, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.
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