Archive for ‘campaign promises’

February 6, 2009

Charges against Cole terrorists dropped

by thoughtfulconservative

A possible fight between the Pentagon and Obama was averted as Cole charges dropped

President Obama will meet with the families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and of the USS Cole bombing on Friday, a day after the judge charged with convening the military trials at Guantanamo ordered charges withdrawn against Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is accused of being the former Persian Gulf Operations Chief for al Qaeda and the mastermind of the attack on the Cole.

One important note on the charges,

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Crawford dismissed the charges against al-Nashiri without prejudice. That means new charges can be brought again later. He will remain in prison for the time being.

It may not be any consolation to the families. I’m not too excited either.

But this was a pretty prominent part of Obama’s platform, and it’s one promise he was going to do his best to keep.

The best thing from this is that he remains at Guantanamo.

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February 6, 2009

Obama breaks a promise – again

by thoughtfulconservative

Sadly, Obama broke one of his promises again. As you can see, the SCHIP bill was posted Feb. 1 and signed Feb. 4.

Why is he doing this? John McCormick at The Weekly Standard has an opinion,

Why do I have the feeling that the White House’s pledge to implement the policy “soon” means “after we ram the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ bill through Congress”? Public opinion has now turned against the “stimulus” bill as it stands. Maybe Obama thinks the public will more easily swallow billions of dollars in pork and social welfare spending if they don’t have a chance to look at the text of the bill online. But breaking a promise about transparency on a more controversial measure like the “stimulus” will surely create problems of its own.

Maybe, maybe not. But with all the talk of urgency, one can bet that the stimulus bill, once passed won’t get the five day wait either.

Sticking with the breaking promises, the Senate Armed Services Committee Approves Lynn Nomination

The Senate Armed Services Committee “has voted in favor of William Lynn, a Raytheon lobbyist, to become the next deputy defense secretary,” the AP reports.

This was covered here.

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January 29, 2009

“Obama breaks promise on ‘sunlight before signing'”

by thoughtfulconservative

I was going to mention this but PolitiFact beat me to it.

Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on Jan. 29, 2009, keeping a longstanding promise to counter a Supreme Court decision that limited workers’ ability to sue for pay discrimination. We moved the Obameter and gave him a Promise Kept.

But we also had to give him his first Promise Broken for the same signing. As part of his agenda to bring more transparency to government, Obama said he would institute “sunlight before signing” — posting laws to the White House Web site for five days of public comment before he signed off on them. [Ed. – I added the links]

More here.

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January 27, 2009

More lobbyist problems for Obama?

by thoughtfulconservative

First, William Lynn, now New Intel Director Blair Resigns Defense Company Post

Before taking his new job as head of U.S. intelligence, retired Adm. Dennis Blair has to resign lucrative directorships on the boards of two companies that do tens of millions of dollars of business with the Defense Department.

Blair, who two years ago ran afoul of Pentagon conflict-of-interest rules, has already resigned a $100,000-a-year post with Iridium Satellite LLC, according to company spokeswoman Liz DeCastro.

This guy has already had problems with conflict of interest. And he’s going to run U.S. intelligence? This is almost as good as Tim “Turbo Tax” Geithner.

Speaking of our new Secretary of the Treasury,

Newly installed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner issued new rules Tuesday restricting contacts with lobbyists – and then hired one to be his top aide.

Patterson’s appointment marks the second time in President Barack Obama’s first week in office that the administration has had to explain how it’s complying with its own ethics rules as it hires a bevy of Washington insiders for administration jobs.

The exceptions and “special cases” are coming fast and furious. These appointments also were, no doubt, “vital” and “in the public interest,” just as Lynn is.

Oh, yeah, and there’s still the Clintons.

Bill Clinton pulled down $5.7 million in speaking fees last year – almost entirely from foreign sources, including nearly $2.1 million after news circulated that Hillary Clinton was in line for Secretary of State.

Former President Clinton’s globetrotting speaking tours and charitable activities were considered the major impediment to his wife’s confirmation. The Senate approved her nomination only after he agreed to voluntarily dial back his activities, partly by alerting ethics officials to any proposed foreign speaking arrangements.

A disclosure statement filed by Secretary Clinton highlights the tricky spot in which she may find herself going forward if her husband keeps up his money-making international travels.

[NOTE: All emphases in the above quotes are mine.]

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January 25, 2009

What happened to Promise No. 13?

by thoughtfulconservative

Once again we wonder at PoliFact. From knoxnews.com via the one and only Instapundit, we discover another campaign promise from Obama that gets dubious treatment.

If you look at the front page of The Obameter, you will find that promise 13 is no longer there. Here’s the explanation.

The rating was unusual because Congress actually passed it before he was elected. Our reasoning was that as the nominee of the Democratic Party at the time, he was effectively the leader of the party and it seemed reasonable for him to share in the credit.

This is all well and good, but it was a promise, wasn’t it? And as such, shouldn’t it be dealt with in some way? And not just ignored?

That will temporarily reduce our total to 509 campaign promises. But we expect to add several new ones that we’ve discovered in the next week or two.

So who knows how many we’ll have in a couple of weeks.

In the comments to another post Todd mentions he has a spread sheet with 895 promises. It requires registration to the website.

Numbers may vary. Opinions as to whether the promise was kept or not may vary a little less.

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January 23, 2009

“Tracking Barack Obama’s Campaign Promises”

by thoughtfulconservative

PolitiFact, the political fact checking site run by the St. Petersburg Times, is keeping track of all 500+ of Barack Obama’s campaign promises.

Recently they had to pull back from one.

When we launched the Obameter a week ago, we said we would periodically revisit our rulings on President Obama’s campaign promises to see if an item needed to be updated. We figured that occasionally we’d even have to change a Promise Kept to a Compromise or a Promise Broken because of new information. That’s what we’re doing today.

Here’s the promise as documented by PolitiFact,

“No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.”

He signed the order, for which I give him credit. Too long I’ve been concerned about the so-called revolving door where government employees leave to become lobbyist. But then he wants exceptions for a couple of appointees, most notable of which is William Lynn, appointed to be a deputy to the Secretary of Defense.

Puzzling is PoliFact’s moving the needle back to “Compromise.”

But we’ve since learned new information that is prompting us to keep a closer eye Promise No. 240 and move the needle to Compromise.

Now a compromise to me means, at least in politics,

something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different thing.

Usually that involves two parties, but the only one Obama compromised with was himself.

But the administration changed the rules to ease Lynn’s nomination on Friday.

Back to the PolitiFact assessment,

The executive order Obama signed includes a waiver clause. The executive order says a waiver may be granted if “the literal application of the restriction is inconsistent with the purposes of the restriction” or “it is in the public interest …. The public interest shall include, but not be limited to, exigent circumstances relating to national security or to the economy.”

Since there’s only one or two right now,

Since there’s only talk of one or two waivers now, we’re going to drop the Obameter rating a notch to Compromise. But we’ll be keeping a close eye to see if Obama seeks many waivers and we might have to revisit our rating.

Why was the waiver necessary? Secretary Robert Gates

requested Lynn as his deputy and did not want Lynn to have to recuse himself outright from all decisions involving Raytheon because it would severely limit his ability to do his job.

It looks pretty bad when you have an exception so soon after making an executive order that drew so much praise from watchdog groups.

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