The Right Opinion
Fast and Furiously Diverting Attention from the Economy
As I said last week, this administration will do virtually anything to get Americans to take their eyes off the economic ball. That's not to say Mr. Obama invoking executive privilege to help Eric Holder cover up a gunwalking scandal isn't big news. It is, unless you're part of a mainstream media determined to keep this president propped up at all costs.
Two observations before I get to the main point here. First, it is almost beyond belief that anyone in the Democrat party or the mainstream media (forgive me for being redundant) could call a scandal in which hundreds of people were killed, a "witch hunt." Try selling that offal to the parents of slain border agent Brian Terry, or the National Border Patrol Council, whose president called Mr. Holder's stonewalling "a slap in the face to all Border Patrol agents who serve this country" and "an utter failure of leadership at the highest levels of government."
Second, and kudos to former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams for this one: "Pay attention to how often (the media) use the term 'botched' gun running operation. This is government-generated language...there was nothing 'botched' about Fast and Furious except the architecture. The government wants you to think the builders screwed up, not the anti-Second Amendment architects." Adams is referring to the increasingly credible idea that the real motive behind operation Fast and Furious was an attempt to enforce more intrusive gun control policies under the guise of "protecting" Americans.
This scandal has a long way to go. By invoking executive privilege, Mr. Obama has assured that "long way to go" means until after the election. Yet it means something else as well. It means taking the huge political hit that making this deliberately under-reported story a front-page item engenders, is the lesser of two evils.
The greater evil? Something big (incriminating?) enough in the withheld documents that it makes the lesser evil palatable.
But I digress. The real news is just what it's been for the last three and-a-half years, namely the economy -- or lack thereof. Lost in the usual mainstream media shuffle is a plethora of rotten data. Let's being with Europe, where Greece and their problems are so yesterday. The new kids on the bailout block are Spain -- again -- and Italy, to the tune of $760 billion. For those with a good memory, that's about $60 billion more than the TARP bank bailout of 2008. That's the bailout -- coupled with a mind-boggling $7.7 trillion the Fed made available to every bank in the world, unbeknownst to Congress or the American public -- that was supposed to "save" the international banking system. US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said the new deal would help Spain and Italy to borrow money at lower rates -- to pay back the money they've already borrowed at higher rates. What could possibly go wrong?
Here's what: saving the bankers requires kicking national sovereignty to the curb. And not just in Europe, where they at least they have the guts to bring it up. Right here in the United States as well, where the Fed can -- make that has -- operated with the kind of impunity that makes Congress, and in turn the Constitution, irrelevant.
Thus it's no surprise that Ben Bernanke has extended Operation Twist, buying $267 billion of long-term government bonds in another effort to bring down borrowing costs. Just like Spain and Italy are trying to do. The Obama administration undoubtedly loves Operation Twist because, just like everything else the Fed does, it's designed to artificially prop up the stock market, which artificially props up Mr. Obama's re-election chances.
What doesn't prop up Mr. Obama's re-election chances? Moody's downgrading 15 banks, the housing market hitting a 15-year low, US factory output growing at its slowest pace in 11 months, EU business activity shrinking for a fifth straight month, and Chinese manufacturing contracting for the eighth month in a row. And let's not forget unemployment that is "officially" expected to remain above 8 percent right through November, even as most Americans know it's much higher than that, "unofficially." All of it courtesy of the exact same Keynesian stimulus, kick the can down the road b.s., mortgaging the future of the entire world for an utterly false sense of "saving" it today.
Perhaps the president can issue another executive order -- banning the release of economic data until after the election.