WASHINGTON – Real Clear Politics describes David Brooks as the “conservative New York Times opinion writer.”
This is what Brooks said on Friday on “PBS NewsHour”:
“President Obama has run an amazingly scandal-free administration, not only he, himself, but the people around him. He’s chosen people who have been pretty scandal-free.”
Reaction was fast and furious from someone widely regarded as a bona-fide conservative.
Referring to Benghazi, former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told WND, “Apparently, dead Americans don’t count. Apparently, the senseless killing of four innocent Americans, due to Secretary Clinton’s negligent incompetence was no scandal.”
She added, “Nor was the Obama administration spying on U.S. journalists, the IRS denying tax status to conservatives, the DOJ targeting Obama political opponents, the VA delaying and denying care to veterans, or putting dangerous weapons in the hands of terrorists.”
Bachmann also put the remarks it in the context of presidential politics.
“That David Brooks and the leftist mouthpiece New York Times see none of these as scandals indicates the high bar a conservative candidate for president will have trying to get a message of truth to the American people in the 2016 election. Spinmeisters like Brock and the Times continually tell us, ‘The emperor has clothes!'”
Sitting GOP lawmakers appeared reluctant to comment, but one well-placed Capitol Hill source did quip, “It would be fun to spend a day in David Brooks’ imaginary world.”
And former Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, told WND, “Obviously, he meant to say this to (the satirical website) The Onion. As well as, ‘I’m a size 2 and off to ballet class.'”
On a somewhat more serious note, the Texan added, “If I listed all of the scandals involving this administration, you wouldn’t have room for an article.”
Indeed, a survey reveals the Obama administration, in fact, appears to have far more scandals than any other in U.S. history.
WND counted more than three-dozen scandals, many of which are considered impeachable offenses by constitutional scholars and numerous lawmakers.
- Supplying ISIS
- Blaming the video
- Veterans Administration
- Executive orders
- Executive amnesty
- Spying on reporters
- Fast & Furious
- Hillary Clinton’s emails
- Losing Iraq
- Syria Red Line
- Muslim Brotherhood ties
- Apology tours
- The bow
- Iran treaty
- Supporting Netanyahu opposition
- Investigating Ferguson
- New Black Panthers
- Secret Service
- EPA puddles
- Suing Arizona
- Cap & Trade
- Unapproved czars
- GSA training conference
- IRS parties
- Biden harasses reporters
- Birth certificate
- Extortion 17
- HSBC / Lynch
- Miriam Carey
Politifact rated President Obama’s promise, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it,” as its “Lie of the Year” in 2013. Obama repeated the claim dozens of times, as well as promising, “If you like your doctor, you can keep him,” which also turned out to be untrue.
Obamacare was supposed to cut costs and insure more people. Instead, premiums skyrocketed and more than five million people lost their heath insurance coverage.
While the uninsured were forced to sign up for Obamacare or face a tax penalty, House Speaker John Boehner has said he believes there are actually fewer people insured than before Obamacare took effect, despite the fact the Congressional Budget Office estimates the law will cost taxpayers $1.207 trillion between now and 2025.
The roll-out of the Obamacare website was a legendary disaster. Only a handful of people were even able to access the website after its debut, despite an estimated $2.1 billion spent on it, as of last September.
The IRS admitted targeting Americans for their political beliefs, but no criminal charges have ever arisen. Incriminating evidence is hard to come by because the Department of Justice appears unwilling to investigate. Key figure Lois Lerner, the former chief of the IRS tax-exempt division, refused to answer questions to Congress.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Lerner lost her right to assert her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination when she made a statement declaring her innocence to a congressional committee before taking the fifth. Congress held her in contempt for refusing to testify but the Obama administration’s Justice Department has refused to prosecute Lerner.
The IRS asked members of organizations seeking tax-exempt status the contents of their: prayers, website postings, blog posts, bulletins, flyers, newsletters, training material, contacts, meetings, seminars and protest signs. The IRS also asked what books they were reading.
The IRS delayed the processing of applications from conservative groups for years, effectively denying them a role in the 2012 presidential campaign.
When the scandal broke in May 2013, Obama called it “outrageous,” pledging, “I will not tolerate it, and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.”
After it became known the targeting was not done by rogue agents but was directed from Washington, Obama declared there was, “Not even a smidgeon of corruption” in the IRS scandal, during a Super Bowl interview in February 2014.
The fact that an American ambassador, and three other Americans, were killed by terrorists on U.S. soil at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, would appear to be a scandal all by itself.
But key questions are still unanswered. Why did the president not order a military response while American personnel remained under fire for hours in Benghazi? And what was Ambassador Chris Stevens doing in Benghazi?
WND has reported evidence shows Stevens was coordinating the transfer of arms from Libya to rebels in Syria.
That same evidence shows those rebels in Syria would later morph into ISIS. The documents were recently obtained from the State and Defense Departments by Judicial Watch.
Blaming the video
Those documents also show Obama, Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew that the Benghazi attack was an al-Qaida terrorist attack from the beginning, and yet lied and covered it up.
Right after the terror attack on Benghazi, the administration sent National Security adviser Susan Rice to appear on five Sunday talk shows to claim the attack was caused by a spontaneous protest against an amateur anti-Islamic Youtube video, even though the administration knew it was planned in advance and well-coordinated.
Even many left-leaning critics consider the military attack on Libya that removed from power, and led to the killing of, former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi unconstitutional because it was done without the authorization of Congress.
Many also consider it to have been a strategic blunder, because Obama apparently gambled that, as part of the so-called Arab Spring, the power vacuum following Gadhafi would be filled by a democracy instead of plunging Libya into civil war, with ISIS now poised to take over the country.
In April 2014, CNN reported at least 40 veterans had died in Phoenix while waiting for care at VA facilities. An investigation revealed similar problems at scores of VA hospitals around the country. An internal VA audit showed 120,000 veterans were ignored or given insufficient care. The FBI opened a criminal investigation in June 2014.
5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl
In May 2014, the Obama administration swapped five Taliban commanders previously detained in Guantanamo Bay for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has since been charged with desertion and could face a life sentence.
The five were to be held in Qatar for a year before being set free. But, due to pressure on the administration, the travel ban was extended indefinitely on Monday, as the administration negotiates the five’s fate with Qatar and Afghanistan.
Constitutional expert and self-described liberal professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University said Obama’s penchant for using executive orders to circumvent the will of Congress has caused a constitutional crisis.
“This is, I think, the most important … moment … in the last I don’t even know how many years. This is the American crisis. … This is beyond the constitutional crisis. This is a constitutional tipping point,” said Turley.
“And the most serious violations, in my view, are various cases when he went to Congress, as in the immigration field, as in the healthcare field, as for very specific things, and was rejected, and then decided just to order those on his own.”
Turley also strongly criticized Obama’s granting of amnesty to more than five million illegal immigrants by executive order.
He said, “It’s becoming a particularly dangerous moment if the president is going to go forward, particularly after this election, to defy the will of Congress yet again.”
Congress has been reluctant to forcefully oppose Obama’s executive orders, but in June 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the president’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was in session in 2012.
In June 2013, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the U.S. government was collecting an enormous amount of data on millions of Americans with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments.
The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, had testified to Congress just the opposite, the year before. When Snowden’s revelations became public, Clapper said he had misspoken, not lied.
Obama claimed laws and safeguards prevent the NSA from collecting information without a warrant, but WND has reported many sources, including a Democrat congressman, said that is not true.
While the administration claimed the data collected is limited to phone calls and email records, so-called metadata, and not the content of those transmissions, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said he was “startled” to learn in a secret congressional briefing how NSA analysts can decide for themselves whether to access the content of a domestic phone call.
The Washington Post, the Guardian and CNET all reported the NSA is collecting content of phone calls and emails without obtaining warrants.
Spying on reporters
The Justice Department seized telephone records of 20 AP reporters during a two-month period in 2012, without saying why.
It was believed to involve an AP story about a CIA effort to prevent a Yemeni terrorist from bombing a commercial flight
AP’s CEO Gary Pruitt called the move a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into news-gathering operations.
“These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”
James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, had his movements tracked and private emails, documents and attachments seized by the government, as it looked into possible leaks of classified information about North Korea in 2009.
Fast & Furious
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives devised the “Fast and Furious” scheme that gave firearms to Mexican drug lords, then planned to track the weapons. Instead, the ATF lost track of hundreds of firearms. Many of the weapons were used in crimes, including the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents on Fast and Furious and failing to cooperate with a congressional investigation.
Holder became the only sitting cabinet member ever found in contempt of Congress.
Hillary Clinton’s emails
Former Secretary of State Clinton used a secret, unsecured email server and private email accounts to conduct State Department business, and has claimed the system was secure, even though government servers have been under constant attack from hackers.
Clinton and her advisers decided which emails were official government business and returned 55,000 emails to the State Department in December 2014. She claimed just 30,000 of those emails should be made public. Clinton also admitted deleting 30,000 emails she deemed private.
The House committee investigating Benghazi wants to see her emails, and the government activist group Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry to force him to turn them over.
The Obama administration is accused of losing Iraq after the war was won by failing to keep U.S. forces in the country and insufficiently supporting the Iraqi military.
Obama told the troops at Fort Bragg on Dec. 14, 2011, “We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.” He called it a “moment of success.”
“Which Obama proceeded to fully squander,” according to Charles Krauthammer .
“With the 2012 election approaching, he chose to liquidate our military presence in Iraq. We didn’t just withdraw our forces. We abandoned, destroyed or turned over our equipment, stores, installations and bases. We surrendered our most valuable strategic assets, such as control of Iraqi airspace.”
As of now, Iraq looks to fall under the control of either Iran or Isis, as Iranian militias fight for the Iraqi government against the terrorist army.
Syria Red Line
Obama vowed in August 2012 to take military action against the government of Syria if it crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons in its civil war.
Syria used chemical weapons but the British Parliament, NATO and Congress all declined to support action against Syria, so Obama did nothing.
After the Obama administration backed the Arab Spring uprising that deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the radical jihadist organization the Muslim Brotherhood promised it would not participate in presidential elections.
When the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi won the Egyptian presidency, he was fully supported by the Obama administration.
When Morsi was deposed by Egyptian defense minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for human-rights violations, including the killing of protesters, the Obama administration demanded a return to “civilian” government.
Muslim Brotherhood ties
Andrew McCarthy has reported extensively on the Muslim Brotherhood ties to Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s top adviser and trusted confidant at the State Department.
Aside from extensive family ties to the Brotherhood, including strong support by her parents, “Ms. Abedin was a member of the executive board of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at George Washington University, heading its ‘Social Committee.’ The MSA, which has a vast network of chapters at universities across North America, is the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s infrastructure in the United States.”
“When a handful of House conservatives tried to draw the attention of the State Department’s inspector general to some of these matters – wondering how on earth someone with Ms. Abdein’s background could have qualified for a top-secret security clearance – they were castigated by the Obama White House and the Beltway Republican establishment.”
In February, Obama hosted Muslim leaders in the White House including a number with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
President Obama has been roundly criticized for repeatedly apologizing for alleged American transgressions.
In January 2009, he told the Muslim world, “We have not been perfect.”
In April 2009, he told Europe, “America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”
That same month, he told the Summit of the Americas, “The United States will be willing to acknowledge past errors where those errors have been made.”
Also that month, he told the G-20 Summit of World leaders, “I would like to think that with my election and the early decisions that we’ve made, that you’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world.”
That April, he also told the Turkish parliament, “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history.”
And, in May 2009, he apologized for the war on terror, saying, “We went off course.”
Newly elected President Obama inexplicably felt compelled to bow to Saudi King Abdullah at a G-20 meeting in London in 2009.
An Obama aide explained the bizarre breach of protocol by simply denying it was a bow.
U.S. citizen hit list
A confidential Justice Department “white paper,” which is not an official legal memo, released just to NBC News in February 2013, stated that the U.S. government can order targeted killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force.”
Obama has conceded that the treaty he seeks with Iran would not prevent the jihadist theocracy from obtaining nuclear weapons, but says it would delay that by 10 to 15 years.
Supporting Netanyahu opposition
The Senate is investigating reports the White House funded a group in Israel that campaigned against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The State Department reportedly gave $350,00 worth of grants to the OneVoice Movement.
The Justice Department investigated the Ferguson, Missouri, police department after Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, but that was before a grand jury refused to indict the officer, and before the accusation that Brown had his hands up at the time turned out to be a lie.
New Black Panthers
The Justice Department dismissed charges against members of the New Black Panthers, after a video showed then intimidating voters outside a polling station in Philadelphia.
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned in October 2014, after a series of departmental scandals and serious security breaches at the White House.
An intruder armed with a knife jumped a fence, raced across the White House lawn and made it several hundred feet inside the executive mansion in September.
A Secret Service agent was discovered passed out inside the hallway of a hotel in the Netherlands in March 2014.
And in April 2012, Secret Service officers were accused of soliciting and partying with prostitutes in Colombia before a presidential visit.
Pierson’s replacement, Joseph Clancy, admitted to Congress in March that Secret Service agents often turn to alcohol to cope with stress.
The Guardian reported the agency was “struggling to address alcohol dependency among the nation’s top security detail – and a culture of hiding information instead of sharing it.”
In 2009, solar panel manufacturer Solyndra received a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy.
In 2010, Obama claimed Solyndra was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.”
Solyndra shut down in August 2011, leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers on the hook for the $535 million.
ABC News reported, “The deal later came under scrutiny from independent government watch dogs and members of Congress, which said the administration had bypassed key taxpayer protections in a rush to approve the funds — claims the administration has denied.”
The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to implement a regulation that will gives it authority over all American waterways, including streams, creeks and even backyard puddles.
EPA head Gina McCarthy told reporters, “This rule is based on science.”
The Obama administration sued Arizona for enforcing federal law.
In April 2010, Arizona adopted an immigration law designed to discourage illegal aliens from entering the state. The law, known as S.B. 1070, authorized state police officers to verify a person’s immigration status with federal authorities and detain individuals suspected of being in the country illegally.
When the state senate passed the bill, the Obama’s administration immediately sued and enjoined the state from enforcing portions of the state’s legislation.
The Constitution does not prohibit states from supporting enforcement of federal laws. The 10th Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Cap & Trade
When the Obama could not get so-called “cap-and-trade” legislation passed in Congress, the administration simply used regulations to put its key parts into effect.
In April 2010, the U.S. Senate rejected the “cap-and-trade” bill, which created a carbon-tax system and amplified federal power over the energy industry.
Nonetheless, Obama EPA administrator Lisa Jackson declared carbon dioxide a pollutant. Before Congress had voted on the matter, on Dec. 7, 2009, Jackson signed an “endangerment finding” labeling CO2 and five other gases – methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6 ) – threats to human health.
That step provided the EPA with the authority to regulate the gases in the absence of congressional approval, and the federal agency rolled out new rules.
Obama appointed more than 30 unelected “czars” to positions in federal agencies while the Constitution requires that such appointments be vetted by Congress.
Article II, Section 2, allows the president to appoint ambassadors, judges and other officers “with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.”
GSA training conference
General Services Administration chief Martha N. Johnson resigned, two of her top deputies were fired and four managers were placed on leave in April 2012 after the scandal caused by a $823,000 training conference, held at a lavish hotel near Las Vegas.
That didn’t include $130,000 in travel expenses for six scouting trips.
The conference featured a clown, a mind reader and a $31,208 reception.
The IRS spent $49 million on 225 conferences from 2010 through 2012 that Inspector General J. Russell George said “do not appear to be a good use of taxpayer funds.”
In one instance, the IRS spent $4.1 million to fly 2,609 managers to Anaheim, California, for a three-day conference on “Leading Into the Future,” with gifts including briefcases, engraved pens and Los Angeles Angels baseball tickets.
Some were put up in in two-bedroom presidential suites at the Anaheim Hilton.
One speaker was paid $27,000 and given a $2,500 for a first-class plane ticket to give two one-hour speeches on innovation.
Another speaker earned $11,430 for workshops on how to increase the happiness of IRS managers at work.
Biden harasses reporters
President Obama finally released a birth certificate after years of questions, but no one was allowed to test its authenticity, other than NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, who claimed she “felt the raised seal” on the document.
But questions persist and Lord Christopher Monckton, a former policy adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, called it “plainly a forgery.”
“It appears in layers on the screen in such a way you can remove quite separately each of the individual dates,” Monckton said. “You use Adobe Illustrator and each of the individual dates is in its own separate layer. This thing has been fabricated.”
President Obama announced in 2011 that his administration believed the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, to be unconstitutional and instructed the Justice Department to no longer defend it in court.
After the Obama administration refused to defend the law, House leaders instructed the House general counsel to take up the case. Because the Justice Department won’t be doing it, taxpayers have already paid as much as $1.7 million for the legal work.
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., raised the possibility of impeaching Obama over his refusal to defend DOMA.
Extortion 17 was the call sign for a helicopter shot down by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.
Thirty U.S. Special Forces soldiers were among those killed, including members of SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden.
Family members of the deceased believe the Obama administration put a target on the back of SEAL Team 6, and the deaths were payback for the killing of bin Laden.
They blame the Obama administration for recklessly identifying who killed the famous terrorist leader.
“American warrior blood is pooling in the Oval Office,” said Billy Vaughn, whose son Aaron was killed in the crash.
HSBC and Loretta Lynch
WND chronicled in great detail charges that Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in her capacity as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York in 2012, arranged a mere slap-on-the-wrist settlement with the world’s second-largest bank, HSBC, for laundering billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels and Middle Eastern terrorists.
The $1.9 billion fine paid to the U.S. government, and an admission of “willful criminal conduct,” allowed HSBC to enter into a “deferred prosecution” settlement, which ended the investigation and stopped the filing of criminal charges.
Whistleblower and former HSBC Vice President John Cruz told WND he believes the laundering is still continuing due to the lack of oversight by Lynch.
WND has reported in depth the stonewall by the Department of Justice, which refuses to release the report containing reasons it chose not prosecute federal officers in the shooting death of an unarmed suburban mother.
Miriam Carey, 34, did little more than apparently make a mistaken turn into a White House security post and immediately try to leave, but she was chased by Secret Service and Capitol Police officers, and shot dead in broad daylight, two blocks from the Capitol, on Oct. 3, 2013.
Scandal-free ‘chosen people’
As for Brooks’ assertion that Obama has “chosen people who have been pretty scandal-free,” he appeared to overlook the fact Hillary Clinton is currently trying to stay afloat above a tsunami of scandals involving her destroying emails, using a private email server for official State Department business, and fending off accusations that she sold government influence in exchange for millions of dollars in donations to her Clinton Foundation. (WND has compiled a list of Hillary Clinton’s 22 biggest scandals ever.)
He also neglected to mention that green-jobs czar Van jones, resigned in 2009 after his history came to light.
The self-described “communist” had previously worked with a group following Marxist and Leninist philosophies. He had blamed “white polluters and white environmentalists” for “steering poison” to minority communities.
He was compelled to apologize for calling Republicans “a–holes” and for signing a petition in 2004 blaming the Bush administration for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Anita Dunn didn’t last long as White House communications director after it was revealed she told a group of high-school students that mass murderer Mao Tse-tung was one of her “favorite political philosophers”
After Fox revealed that information, Dunn countered, “What I think is fair to say about Fox – and certainly it’s the way we view it – is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party.” Dunn added, “They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.”
Follow Garth Kant @DCGarth