It’s long overdue (as in, “I haven’t mentioned it in at least 72 hours”) for another round of Obama Scandals Updates!
First up, the bad news. No silver bullets here. No smoking guns. Nothing that is guaranteed to bring down at least several major figures, just more piling on. But just because it ain’t happened yet doesn’t mean it ain’t coming. In fact, it’s growing more likely.
Operation Fast And Furious: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms scam to aid and abet Mexican drug cartels in obtaining weapons here in the US and smuggle them back into Mexico is continuing to unravel. The most significant development is news that other parts of the Justice Department were involved in the coverup. It turns out that more Fast and Furious guns were recovered at a murder scene by the FBI — which promptly disappeared said guns and tried to keep their existence a secret.
What makes this critically significant is one blatantly obvious point — the FBI is not part of the BATF. What makes that important is that it proves that Fast And Furious wasn’t simply a matter of one rogue BATF office — a significant part of the Justice Department was both aware of and involved in the coverup of the whole mess. That would be the Justice Department headed up by Attorney General Eric Holder, hand-picked by President Obama.
Solyndra Greenscam: Solyndra is… er, was… the solar energy company that President Obama singled out for praise as an exemplar of how “green jobs” would be the wave of the future. But Solyndra’s business plan was seriously flawed — it was going to go up against its main competitors with a product that was not only significantly more expensive, but offered no real competitive advantages. Most business analysts said it was doomed to fail. Regardless, the Obama administration issued them over half a billion dollars in loan guarantees. And when the regulators whose job it was to issue those guarantees pointed out that it was a really bad investment, the White House specifically ordered them to give the guarantees — which were promptly snatched up by a major Obama financial backer. Which means that Mr. Kaiser will get back his investment in Solyndra — even if it means that we, the taxpayers, have to pony up whatever he can’t get out of Solyndra’s corpse.
Gibson Guitars: This one is a new one, and seems pretty piddling — but it’s quite telling. Gibson imports some of the wood it uses in its very high-quality guitars. Someone seems to think that the woods it imports are harvested and exported in violation of local laws, which under US law makes them illegal. The FBI conducted a very high-profile raid on Gibson, seizing a lot of the wood and shutting down their production lines.
On the surface, nothing exceptional. Laws alleged broken, illegal material imported, the feds get involved. All fairly simple and logical.
Where it gets complicated is when you start poking into the details. The wood in question might or might not have been illegal — it was imported from Madagascar, and Madagascar has said that it doesn’t think its laws were violated. Further, the wood in question — a high-quality ebony — is imported and used by a lot of other companies, who have not been raided by federal agents armed with fully-automatic weapons. And one of Gibson’s biggest competitors, C. F. Martin & Company, makes quite similar guitars with exactly the same wood for its fingerboards.
So, what makes Gibson so worthy of attention? What makes them different enough from Martin to draw the attention of the feds? Well, there are two differences that shouldn’t make a difference — but very well might. Gibson’s CEO is a big donor to Republicans, and Gibson is not a union shop. Martin’s CEO backs Democrats, and his workers are unionized. We know that the Obama administration likes unions and Democratic donors; I’d be fascinated to hear how that doesn’t matter, that there were other factors involved in singling out Gibson over any and all other importers of Ebony.
Another disturbing element is Gibson’s claim that since it was the importation of the wood in unfinished form, they could have avoided the problems by having workers in Madagascar work the wood, and not workers in their American plant. The message seems to be that the Obama administration wants to work the laws to export American jobs abroad. This ties in with their praising of General Electric, which is shipping jobs to China, and their blocking of Boeing’s opening their already-built $2-billion plant in South Carolina — in Boeing’s case, they were told they couldn’t create a couple thousand high-paying jobs there, but had to bring them back to Washington — or overseas.
The unifying theme behind Solyndra, Gibson, and Boeing is that the government seems to be getting in the business of picking winners and losers in the business world — and demonstrating the customary ineptitude one has come to expect from this administration. The “Obama Death Touch” seems to be holding strong, as yet once again it shows clearly that whenever President Obama expresses his support for in individual, organization, or company, they’re doomed to fail.
Anyway, none of these scandals seem likely to bring down Obama himself, let alone any high-ranking officials (with the possible exception of Fast & Furious, which could bring down Attorney General Holder). But they do put the lie to the “most open and ethical administration” and “hope and change,” and show that the Obama administration is, by and large, simply an expansion of the Chicago Democratic Political Machine system on a national scale.
As I said, it’s a bit early to draw any conclusions. (Well, apart from “Obama is a SCOAMF,” but that’s a given.) But we definitely need to keep digging.