The Politico reports on a flap between His Majesty King Barack I, and the impudent peasants in the press corps who dare to annoy him by shouting questions:
Obama chafes at the time-honored practice of answering questions shouted at him during pooled, non-press conference events — and his staff has often opted for “stills sprays,” excluding print reporters or TV cameras who might capture Obama in the less than flattering non-act of snubbing a query.
When asked today why TV crews and print reporters were barred from the pool covering the White House meeting with congressional leaders on the deficit, Carney responded by pointing out that the administration has held two press conferences in the past two weeks and allowed TV cameras into the spray earlier this week.
“People shouted questions at him,” Carney added
The poor man. It must have been just awful.
Chip Reid of CBS shot back, “It’s an absurd reason to say that because we asked questions you’re not going to allow cameras in there. He’s capable of ignoring our questions. He does it all the time.” Good one, Mr. Reid!
Obama generally dislikes questions, such as “Why is unemployment so much higher than you said it would be without your trillion-dollar stimulus?” or “Why is ObamaCare not ‘on the table’ during debt negotiations, but Social Security checks for seniors are?”
As Number Six was told in The Prisoner, “questions are a burden to others, answers a prison for oneself.” You’re going to be devoured by an angry white ball if you try to escape from Obama’s thousands of pages of regulations and mandates, but don’t even dream of trying to cage Obama’s massive intellect by asking him impertinent questions.
He’s no better at answering them in writing. The White House lawn is littered with the corpses of ignored FOIA requests and Congressional inquiries.
For example, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering a subpoena to obtain requested documents concerning the Energy Department’s massive loan guarantee to Solyndra, Inc. They requested these documents 120 days ago, but so far they’ve got nothing.
Solyndra is one of the great failures of the Obama Administration, the paramount example of his “clean energy” crony capitalism. They got a $535 million loan from the “stimulus” plan, to manufacture solar panels and create “green” jobs, but the American taxpayer has nothing to show for it.
The House Energy Committee paints a bleak picture of Solyndra’s performance:
Since the loan guarantee was closed in September 2009, Solyndra has suffered a number of financial setbacks, including the cancellation of a planned public offering in June 2010 and repeated problems with cash flow. The firm has closed one of its factories, laid off workers, and postponed the expansion of the plant that had received the loan guarantee, resulting in the cancellation of a planned hiring spree that had been touted to include as many as 1,000 additional workers. The week of March 7, [the Department of Energy] modified Solyndra’s loan guarantee and Solyndra announced a new $75 million loan from its existing investors in an effort to save the company by restructuring its outstanding debts and reducing costs.
Solyndra secured its vast pile of federal loot with the assistance of “green super-lobbyist” Steve McBee, who became fantastically wealthy by steering the fire hose of corporate welfare to his top clients. House investigators would like to know more about how the Energy Department decided where to aim that fire hose.
So far, they’ve gotten nothing but chips off the old Obama stone wall. Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), along with Oversight and Investigations subcommittee chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), issued a statement expressing their exasperation with the Office of Management and Budget:
After two years of zero oversight of the Obama clean energy programs, our investigation has been an exercise in good government to ensure that billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent wisely. Yet OMB has sought to delay and put off this investigation at every step of the way. Subpoenas would not be necessary if OMB had lived up to its agreement and produced the documents as requested.
In the 120 days since our formal request to OMB for documents, the administration has repeatedly rebuffed this Committee’s efforts to get answers about how this program worked – promises to produce documents have been broken, documents continue to be withheld, and the Deputy Director was a no show at our hearing. We now have no choice but to pursue a subpoena so that we can move forward with our investigation and ensure the public’s best interests are protected. No administration is exempt from thoughtful and diligent oversight and it is not for OMB to dictate the terms of the investigation and what documents this committee can see. The legislative branch has broad constitutional authority to conduct oversight of the executive branch, and we fully intend to meet this obligation.
As the late, great Patrick Swayze put it in Road House: “Be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.” Being nice and asking the Obama Administration questions usually gets you nowhere, but subpoenas have been known to produce results.
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