Where was the October Surprise?
Almost everyone anticipated this year’s “October Surprise” — some last-minute, unexpected, shocking scandal to rock the presidential election and derail one of the candidates. But it never appeared. In an era of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink gutterball politics, this mysterious absence of any major scandal was itself noteworthy. How could nothing have happened?
Sure, there was Hurricane Sandy. But that doesn’t count. Sandy was a natural disaster that dominated the headlines for a few days, but it wasn’t a scandal. And yes, there was Benghazi. But that happened in early September, and it wasn’t so much a political scandal uncovered by partisan operatives as it was the umpteenth example of Obama’s incompetence. Whatever Benghazi blowback he’s gotten damaging his election chances are entirely his own responsibility for bungling an international crisis. So, no, neither one of those counted as an October Surprise.
Which left many people scratching their heads. Why wasn’t there one? For either candidate?
In Mitt Romney’s case, the answer is pretty obvious: He’s squeaky clean. His entire adult life has been like a boring treatise on Mormon moral rectitude. His political career has long been an open book — moderate, bipartisan, essentially uneventful. The Democrats have tried to squeeze some droplets of outrage over Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, but those attacks came earlier in the summer and turned out to be extremely slim pickin’s. There are no skeletons in Romney’s closet, otherwise we would have heard about them.
But in Barack Obama’s case, the situation is reversed: Everything he’s ever done is scandalous. The reason there was no October Surprise for Obama is that we’re all scandaled out. Anyone’s who been paying attention since 2008 has literally been in paralytic shock every single day. We spent October 2012 exactly as we’ve spent every month of the last four years: Our jaws on the floor, aghast, stupefied, unable to breathe. Almost every single thing Obama has done since he’s been in the national spotlight could have been and should have been a career-ending October Surprise. But the mainstream media, as we all know, has devoted itself to protecting him.
Not a day has gone by since Obama took office when I didn’t learn of some fresh outrage and say Oh. My. God. But we’ve been traumatized so often that over time the scandals have all blurred together and fused into a single red-hot thought: Please let this nightmare end.
A complete recounting of Obama’s shoulda-been October Surprises would fill a book, an encyclopedia, an entire library. But I think this is a good time to initiate a crowd-sourced list of everything Obama has done since 2008 (and every fact about his earlier life that emerged since 2008) which you thought was scandalous, shocking or outrageous. Just for the record, let’s remind the world that every freakin’ day for the last four years has been an October Surprise.
I’ll get the ball rolling with a few scandalous deeds and facts which occur to me at the moment, but this list will primarily come from you, the readers. In the comments section below, mention anything and everything that you believe should have ruined Obama politically (if the media had been doing its job). From the big to the small, from the recent to the distant, dig deep in your memory and just let it all out, like political primal scream therapy.
I’ll continuously update the list as best as I can to include whatever gets mentioned by the commenters.
Ready? Let the collective scream begin!
The Complete List of Barack Obama’s Scandals, Misdeeds, Crimes and Blunders
• $6 trillion in new national debt under Obama…after he promised to decrease the deficit.
• Obamacare — A massive and incredibly convoluted bill which exponentially increases the federal government’s control over our personal lives…which neither Obama nor a single Democrat even read before passing, and which will likely bankrupt the nation.
• In both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, the Obama campaign purposely disabled the credit card verification system for its Web site donations, allowing anyone from any foreign country to donate with no limit and no proof of identity; in both elections it was demonstrated that people overseas and people with obviously false identities were able to donate to Obama campaign, in direct violation of several laws. To this day it is not known what percentage of Obama’s campaign funds are illegally obtained, since there is no documentation.
• Billions of taxpayer dollars gambled on “green” companies like Solyndra, NextEra, Ener1, Solar Trust and many others — all of which went bankrupt.
• An intentional refusal to enforce federal immigration laws.
• Unemployment at or above 8% for almost his entire term in office (which was actually closer to 15% actual unemployment).
• Operation Fast & Furious — a government-sponsored illegal gun-running scheme designed to purposely go awry so as to induce public outcry for gun control.
• Spent 20 years listening to a racist anti-American pastor (Rev. Jeremiah Wright), whom Obama described as a mentor. On March 18, 2008, Obama gave a speech in which he said “I could no more disown Jeremiah Wright than I could disown my own grandmother” and “[Wright's church, Trinity United] embodies the black community in its entirety.” Now Obama tries to pretend that Jeremiah Wright doesn’t exist, and that his extremist anti-white philosophy didn’t influence Obama’s worldview.
• Increased the percentage of Americans dependent on food stamps to unprecedented levels (now over 15% of the nation’s population).
• Militarily intervened in Libya in 2011 without the Congressional approval required by the War Powers Act — technically an impeachable offense.
• Before he entered politics, Obama worked as a lawyer suing banks in landmark cases, forcing them to give home loans to unqualified minority borrowers — a practice now understood as one of the primary initial causes of the eventual housing bubble and market collapse.
• Handed out over 1,200 waivers to politically connected donors exempting them from the onerous requirements of Obamacare.
• Greatly expanding the number of unaccountable “czars,” which essentially amounts to unilaterally adding new federal departments with no congressional oversight — leading to a true “bureaucracy” in the original sense (rule by unelected bureaucrats).
• Using taxpayer dollars to bail out the private pension funds of autoworkers’ unions at GM & Chrysler.
• Illegally ending the welfare-to-work requirements passed by Congress.
• Doling out $800 billion in stimulus cash for “shovel-ready” jobs that didn’t exist — the money just evaporated with no measurable economic benefit.
• Alienating and isolating Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East.
• Apologizing to Islamists and terrorists for offending them.
• Under Obama’s watch, for the first time in history America’s credit rating was downgraded, due to his poor economic policies.
• Stopped American oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing other nations with worse environmental records to drill instead — thereby managing to both weaken our economy and damage the environment simultaneously.
• Proposed in 2008 to intentionally bankrupt the coal industry — and now lies to voters and workers in coal-producing regions about his true intent.
• Pretends to be concerned about skyrocketing energy prices, when in fact he vowed to increase them on purpose (so as to make alternative energy schemes more competitive.)
• In a primary debate against Hillary Clinton in 2008, Obama said he would never force people to buy health insurance, since those without it couldn’t afford to buy it. Less than two years later, he rammed through Obamacare, which does indeed force people to buy health insurance.
• During the 2008 campaign, Obama repeatedly promised that if he was elected “No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase.” This promise was broken over and over again once he was elected.
• In 2008 Obama vowed if elected to increase security along the U.S.-Mexican border — and then in 2010 stopped construction of a “virtual fence” on the border and re-routed money earmarked for border security to other projects.
• Cash for Clunkers, which doled out taxpayer money to anyone who wanted to replace their old cars, but which mostly only ended up subsidizing the puchase of foreign-made cars by people who could have afforded them on their own anyway; meanwhile, the traded-in cars were all destroyed, creating a shortage and thereby increasing the cost of used cars, hurting the pocketbooks of poor people.
• Violated the U.S. Constitution by authorizing assassinations and drone strikes to kill American citizens abroad — without due process.
• Was caught on a “hot mike” promising the President of Russia that he would cave in to their demands for a weaker missile shield — after he was re-elected and no longer had to keep up the pretense that he sought to defend America.
• Appointed Van Jones, a former avowed communist who supported a “9/11 Truth” petition, to be “Green Jobs Czar.”
• Appointed Anita Dunn, who said Chairman Mao was her “favorite philosopher,” to be White House Communications Director.
• Appointed John Holdren, who perviously entertained the notion of forced mass sterilzation to stop overpopulation, to be Science Czar.
• Appointed Steven Chu, who openly advocated an artificial increase in gasoline prices to $10/gallon (and similar increases in other energy prices) to be Secretary of Energy.
• Appointed Kevin Jennings, who led a group that promoted X-rated “sex-positive” textbooks for 13-year-olds, instructed teenagers at a conference how to perform “fisting” (anal penetration by fists), who refused to report instances of statutory rape, and who expressed admiration for a member of NAMBLA, to be America’s “Safe School’s Czar.”
• When states voted to enforce the federal immigration laws which the federal government refused to enforced, Obama sued to stop them.
• Blocked continued construction of the Keystone Pipeline, thereby intentionally reducing energy resources for the US and forcing Canada to sell more of its oil to China.
• Repeatedly changed his position on gay marriage over the years, depending on what was politically expedient at the moment and which intended audience he was addressing.
• Before he was president, Obama staunchly opposed raising the national debt limit — but once elected, he insisted that it be raised.
• When giving a 2009 speech in France that he must have assumed Americans would never hear, he described the United States as “arrogant” and “dismissive” (while also criticizing Europe elsewhere in the speech).
• When states tried to stop election fraud with voter ID laws, Obama sued to prevent them from doing so.
• Instructed Attorney General Eric Holder to stonewall any investigation into the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers.
• Promised in 2008 that once elected he would officially recognize the Armenian Genocide; but to this date he has still failed to do so, caving in to threats and pressure from Turkey.
• Vowed to end the influence of lobbyists in Washington, but under Obama’s watch their influence has only increased.
• When he was first running for President, Obama promised, “I will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.” Needless to say, he has broken that promise with almost every bill he has signed since.
• Aided and abetted the “Arab Spring” which deposed existing secular governments across North Africa, leading to a regional power vacuum which was filled by Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other hardline Islamists.
• Refused to provide assistance or support the the earlier secular Iranian democracy uprising, allowing them to be crushed by the Islamic fundamentalist Iranian regime.
• In his first months in office, Obama bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia, the president of China, the Emperor of Japan, and President of Mexico, among others.
• Ordered NASA to make one of its top priorities not space exploration or scientific research but “Muslim outreach.”
• Used Obamacare as a pretext to greatly increase the size and power of the IRS (which was given 16,000 new agents and additional mandates to penalize taxpayers for noncompliance).
• Used the IRS to harass conservative businesses.
• In the GM bailout, he illegally shortchanged investors who according to bankruptcy laws were first in line to be recompensed; instead, he gave their share to the unions.
• Shut down oil drilling in the US, but then turned around and lent $2 billion to Brazil to support their government-controlled oil-drilling effort — and then promised the US would become one of Brazil’s biggest oil customers.
• Sued Boeing in an effort to control where businesses could locate, kowtow to the unions, and block the creation of 1,000 jobs in South Carolina, a right-to-work (i.e. no forced unionization) state.
• Adopted a longstanding Socialist political slogan, “Forward!”, as his 2012 campaign motto.
• Sent insulting form letters to the familes of dead SEALs.
• Neither disavowed nor distanced himself from anti-Romney campaign ads which threatened or implied violence against Republicans.
• Shortly after the recent eruption of anti-American violence in North Africa, Obama went to Las Vegas to do his debate preparation in a hotel…with a romanticized North Africa theme.
• Said in an interview that the Muslim call to prayer was “one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset.”
• Union boss and far-left activist Andy Stern has visitied Obama in the White House at least 53 times, at last count — greater access than any other private citizen.
• Hosted at the White House many Islamist members of groups associated with Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc.
• Sponsored performances by and attended fundraisers with radical rappers like Michael Franti and Common, both of whose lyrics have in some cases been anti-police, anti-white, and anti-America.
• Hired Timothy Geithner, who is documented as cheating on his own personal taxes, to be Secretary of the Treasury.
• Told Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher that it was good to “spread the wealth around.”
• Told small business owners nationwide in a 2012 speech that “you didn’t build that” — implying that they should not claim credit for their own success, since taxpayers (i.e. themselves and other business owners) had funded the national infrastructure.
• Insulted the British people by rudely returning to them a bust of Churchill which previously had been a ceremonial gift on display at the White House; when later confronted on this inexplicable action, he lied about it.
• Canceled plans to complete a missile defense shield in Poland, a move which was highly praised by Russia — the very nation whose missile threat would have been neutralized if the shield had been completed.
• By loudly publicizing (for personal political gain) the identity of exact SEAL teams who had killed Osama bin Laden, Obama made them a target for reprisals by Islamists; a short time later 22 SEALS were shot down and killed in Afghanistan, their worst loss of life ever.
• Established an extra-Constitutional top secret “kill list” of people (including Americans) Obama claims the right to kill on sight, and then bragged about it publicly.
• Set up a special email account, “Flag@Whitehouse.gov,” to which Americans were supposed to inform the government of anyone they heard spreading “disinformation” about Obama’s health care overhaul. (This was the first of three different “spy on your friends and neighbors” programs.)
• “Attack Watch” was Obama’s second Big Brother attempt, a Web site on which you would report “attacks” on Obama’s proposals and ideology; it was quickly shut down due to outrage and mockery.
• Finally, Obama set up the “Truth Team” program which encouraged citizens to report to the government any friends or relatives they hear repeating “lies” about Obama. The Truth Team site still exists.
• Twisted the arms of defense contractors to not issue layoff notices in early November, so as to avoid causing bad news for Obama right before the election — even though federal law (the “WARN Act”) requires such notices.
• After the attacks on American interests in North Africa on September 11, 2012, Obama gave a speech to the U.N. and declared “The future must not belong to those who slander The Prophet of Islam” — transferring the blame from the attackers onto the makers of a film trailer that supposedly “offended” the Islamists.
• Repeatedly snubbed and got into public tiffs with Benjamin Netanyahu, who as the leader of Israel is supposed to be Obama’s closest colleague in international affairs.
• On May 19, 2011, Obama told Israel they must return to the 1967 borders as a pre-condition for continuing talks with the Palestinians — even though the status of the borders was the main issue the talks were supposed to address.
• Encouraged politically biased hiring practices in the Justice Department.
• Soon after taking office, Obama rescinded the “Mexico City Policy,” which previously had banned NGOs which are supported by American taxpayer funds from using those funds to perform abortions in foreign countries.
• Attempted to force returning veterans to pay huge increases for their health coverage…as a way to generate more funding for his Obamacare provisions.
• In June of 2011, he anointed his own underage daughters as “senior staff members” so that their vacation to Africa would be paid for with taxpayer money.
• Interviews with high school classmates revealed that Obama was a heavy and frequent user of marijuana in his teenage years (not to mention his self-admitted cocaine use in college).
• Played over 100 rounds of golf during his first three years in office, meaning that he was on the links close to 10% of the days he has been president.
• Voted to allow post-birth abortions (i.e. facilitating the deaths of babies who survive late-term abortions) not just once but three times in a row as an Illinois state senator.
• The pastor whom Obama selected to give the national benediction at his 2009 inauguration recently declared that “all white people are going to Hell.”
• Sided with Hugo Chavez and the Castro regime regarding the Honduran Constitutional Crisis of 2009, the first time ever that the U.S. formed a political alliance with socialist governments in Latin America.
• Obama Administration OKed the nomination of Chas Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council (which coordinates intelligence reports from all government agencies), despite the fact that he was openly hostile to Israel and strongly favored Arabist goals. (He later withdrew under pressure.)
• Chinese pianist Lang Lang played an offensively anti-American song at a 2011 White House dinner where Obama hosted Chinese president Hu Jintao, to the delight and amazement of the communist Chinese visitors, while Obama just sat there and smiled (the song’s Chinese lyrics describe Americans as “warmongering jackals”).
• There was a great deal of (still unverified) suspicion that the company LightSquared received favorable treatment from the Obama administration for approval of its broadband technology which interfered with the GPS system; an Air Force general claimed he was pressured by the Obama administration to downplay his criticism of LightSquared’s technology in sworn testimony.
• Obama’s Department of Energy awarded $529 million to Fisker Automotive to build their Karma hybrid electric cars — even though they are manufactured in Finland, cost over $100,000 each, and tend to explode.
• When Inspector General Gerald Walpin discovered during a 2009 investigation that one of Obama’s political allies (the mayor of Sacramento) was misusing government funds for personal gain, Obama unceremoniously fired Walpin — even though rooting out fraud was the job description of the Inspector General.
• More than once Obama made so-called “recess appointments” when the Senate was not actually in recess, which directly violates Constitutional rules about how appointments must be made; in each case it was his way of getting his political allies into certain key positions without them being vetted or approved by the Senate, as required.
• After Nidal Malik Hasan massacred 13 people at Fort Hood while shouting “Allahu Akbar” so as to become a martyr for Islam, the Obama administration refused to classify his action as “terrorism” and instead deemed it merely “workplace violence.”
• Despite the fact that the Falkland Islands have been part of Great Britain since 1833 and that Great Britain is supposed to be our strongest ally, Obama essentially sided with Argentina in its new claim on the Falklands, not only by adopting the Argentine position that their status is open to negotiation, but even by (attempting to) refer to the islands by their Spanish name (Malvinas).
• Convened the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (a.k.a. the Simpson-Bowles commission) in order to address a major economic crisis…and then summarily dismissed and ignored their recommendations.
• Criticized the Supreme Court’s legal reasoning (about the Citizen’s United decision) during a State of the Union address, which many considered a dangerous precedent as it appeared to place political pressure on the court, violating the Constitution’s separation of powers; but his bullying seems to have later paid off, when the Supreme Court apparently altered its Obamacare decision so as to not ruffle any political feathers.
• On April 27, 2009, Obama’s staff (possibly at his direction) ordered Air Force One to make an unnecessary very low flight over part of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, which many residents mistakenly assumed must be a second 9/11 attack in progress; turned out that it was just a stunt to get a photo op of Obama’s plane next to the Statue of Liberty.
• Obama somehow managed to insert mentions of himself into the official biographies of earlier presidents on the White House Web site — even presidents from the 19th century. After public outcry, the narcissistic Obama mentions were quietly removed without comment.
• Intentionally misquotes the Declaration of Independence in speeches, often leaving out the words “by their Creator” in the famous passage “…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” which Obama instead has recited as “…are endowed with certain unalienable rights.”
• In June of 2009, Obama’s Solicitor General (and now Supreme Court Justice) Elena Kagan filed a legal brief to prevent the families of 9/11 victims from appealing their lawsuits against the Saudi royal family for financing the 9/11 attacks.
• The 2009 National Christmas Tree in the White House was decorated with ornaments depicting Chairman Mao, a drag queen, and a picture of Mount Rushmore that included Obama’s own head next to George Washington’s.
• Compelled Catholic and other religious organizations to provide health plans with free contraception, even though such requirements violate their rights of religious freedom and conscience.
• It was revealed only after Obama became president that during the 1990s he was a leading member of the “New Party,” a socialist-aligned far-left radical group in Chicago.
• Lied about his close associations with former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers; pretended the two barely knew each other, when multiple sources document they were friends and close colleagues for years.
• When Obama was inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009, he at first flubbed the oath of office, so he had to re-take it behind closed doors for his inauguration to be valid. He did so, but during this second, true inauguration in private, he purposely failed to place his hand on a Bible, as is traditional — the first president ever to not swear the oath of office on the Bible.
• Obama’s own author bio in his literary agent’s catalog and on their Web site stated for 17 consecutive years that he was born in Kenya; this claim remained intact despite other portions of the bio being altered and updated repeatedly. It was only in 2007 after he decided to run for the presidency that the “born in Kenya” claim was taken down. The original info must necessarily have come from Obama himself; some theorize he likely falsely claimed foreign birth in order to gain admission or scholarships in college, and never bothered to fix his lie.
• After winning the 2008 election but before being sworn in, Obama bombastically concocted the official-seeming “Office of the President-Elect” as if it was some kind of real government department; in fact, it was just a self-congratulatory title he made up to look important before he actually became president.
• Obama administration came up with the bizarre euphemism “man-caused disasters” to describe acts of terrorism — because he wants to downplay terrorism as a significant political issue.
• For three years in a row his official budget proposals to Congress received exactly zero votes — not even a single vote from Democrats.
• Relied on an Islamic fundamentalist militia group called “The Martyrs of the February the 17th Revolution Brigade” to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi — and they not only failed to prevent the attack but perhaps even joined in on it.
• During the debate over Obamacare in 2009, Obama bluntly stated that doctors like to perform amputations rather than practice preventive medicine for no other reason than that they make a greater profit from amputations. The American College of Surgeons demanded an apology, which never arrived.
• Since 2008 the Los Angeles Times has been in possession of a videotape showing Obama honoring and praising anti-Western anti-Israel academic Edward Said, but they have steadfastly refused to release it to this day, for no discernible reason other than their belief it would damage Obama’s reputation.
• When the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe recently held a conference on human rights, Obama sent an American representative — Salam al-Marayati, a Truther who blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks and who also praises Hezbollah and Hamas. To the nations of Europe, al-Marayati spoke for all Americans on the topic of human rights.
• Obama’s Department of Homeland Security specifically warned that Americans who are “dedicated to a
single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” are potential terrorists, as are libertarian-minded voters who “favor of state or local authority” over centralized power. These “rightwing extremists” (who hold political beliefs shared by a majority of Americans) are deemed a greater threat to the nation than actual revolutionaries or jihadists.
• While campaigning in 2008 Obama declared that it was “unpatriotic” that Bush had increased the national debt at a rate of half a trillion dollars per year; but under Obama the rate of national debt increase has accelerated to almost three times the Bush rate ($6 trillion in new debt in under four years) — yet Obama has never apologized nor declared himself unpatriotic.
• For decades, every president has attended a “daily intelligence briefing” which updates him on critical world events each morning. Obama has skipped 60% of his daily intelligence briefings, including the ones leading up to the attack in Benghazi.
[...Much more to come soon! This is a work in progress that will be added to throughout the day. Keep refreshing the page for updates...]
• President Barack Obama’s Complete List of Historic Firsts
• The Complete List of Obama Statement Expiration Dates
• A Chronic Case of Obamnesia: Obama’s Long Trail of Flip-Flops
• List of Obama’s Lies
• Obama’s Marxist Associations and Policies
(Remember an Obama misdeed not listed here? Mention it in the comments section below! Eventually
all many suggestions will be incorporated into the list. [Update: There simply aren’t enough hours between now and November 6 to add the hundreds of great suggestions rolling it; I’ll do as many as I can, but the list will inevitably be incomplete. Read the comments themselves below for many more Obama misdeeds that won’t make it onto the list.)