Even though the Republican party is on track to take both the Senate and increase its hold on the House, not many believe government will subsequently improve. Expectations for both parties are low. “Faith in the president, and in government, is slip-sliding away,” writes the Chicago Tribune. Gallup, reviewing responses over nearly 2 decades, concludes that it’s been declining for some time.
None of this is news. Bureaucrats aren’t even bothering to pretend they’re faithful public servants. They’re more interested in shopping. NBC says that bureaucrats have been giving themselves taxpayer-funded credit cards to buy what they please. One investigation alone showed that $20 billion had been spent in this way.
Thousands of federal workers are issued taxpayer-funded credit cards, and as long as they buy items that cost less than $3,000 — or “micropurchases” — they can simply swipe and buy and it’s possible no one outside of some agency bookkeepers will ever know what they bought.
Lois Lerner is the face of the new mandarin. She has “so what” written all over her. What really matters is the drapery allowance and the perks. The Washington Post relates that president Obama lied (or misspoke) on camera to CSPAN about plans to renovate the Oval Office. He was all humble on camera even though plans were afoot for an expensive make-over. When caught out, Obama simply tried to suppress it.
As Attkisson tells the story, C-SPAN eminence Brian Lamb interviewed President Obama on Aug. 12, 2010, for a documentary on the White House. In the session, Lamb asks Obama about the Oval Office: “What have you changed in this room?”
The president responds, “We have not yet redecorated this room . . . Given that we are in the midst of some very difficult economic times, we decided to hold off last year in terms of making some changes.”
Two weeks later, reports Attkisson in the book, a White House official contacts C-SPAN to say, “the Washington Post will be breaking the story of the President’s reported multi-million dollar renovation of the Oval Office,” reads “Stonewalled.” According to the author, the White House official, then-TV liaison Dag Vega, wanted to “make sure” that C-SPAN didn’t run its Obama interview snippet after the story in The Post surfaced. …
On Aug. 31, 2010, The Post drops its story on the Oval Office makeover, much of which took place while the Obama family had been on vacation (between the time of the Lamb interview and the story in The Post).
C-SPAN blows off the White House fussiness and publishes its interview. That very night, Josh Earnest, then the White House deputy press secretary, sends a tough e-mail to C-SPAN accusing the outlet of “being egregiously unethical and of violating terms of the interview. Though there’s no evidence of the existence of any prior agreement, he continues to insist the White House would not and did not agree to an interview with the president without specifying the terms under which it would air,” writes Attkisson, adding that the White House official threatened to “withhold future access.”
You don’t have to know. You don’t wanna know.
Between rigged voting machines and implicitly exhorting illegal aliens to vote, to redacting the news in real time, it seems that government doesn’t care about appearances any more. It’s all Happy Days are Here Again. Some may fatalistically reply: so what? In their minds government misbehavior is like the weather: everybody talks about it but no one can change it.
But that has never been true. Historically people have circumvented failing government by establishing parallel systems. Take money. To the present generation, money is something only Obama can print. During the Great Depression local communities printed their own money because they didn’t trust or couldn’t get the regular kind. Even though it could be spent only within an affinity group, this quasi-money or scrip had the virtue of being more honest than the banknote. Nor was the practice limited to America, as illustrated by the contemporaneous Worgl experiment, where an Austrian town did the same thing.