The President’s New Policy – A Fable of the Modern Age

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Gather round, children, and I will tell you the story of the President’s New Policy.

Once upon a time, there was a vain president in far off Washington whose only worry in life was to make grand pronouncements and dress in elegant clothes and have parties. He began by making grab bag policy speeches and then holding weekly soiree’s, and then twice per week, and then three times per week. And at each event he loved to show off his new clothes and played with the presidential Teleprompter telling ever more outrageous stories.

His consort, Princess Shopping Cart, would also dress up in the most expensive and outrageous outfits, which disturbed the common folk to no end while the sycophants and hangers-on all cried with joy at her inventiveness. The plebes, however, began to call her Princess Gaga.

The President and his Princess had the most wonderful times eating cake and spending the plebe’s money with their rich liberal friends, who all professed their solidarity with the plebes as they ate cake.

One day, two clever economists from far off Italy named Dolci and Gabbano heard of the vain president and decided to take advantage of him.

They went to the President’s gate dressed in the finest clothes and said to the guards “We are two very fine economists who also happen to moonlight as tailors, and can not only fix your economy, but also weave a policy of whole cloth so light and fine that it looks invisible. We’ll even throw in an extra pair of pants for free.”

The head guard heard the strange story, but did not know what to make of the two outrageously dressed strangers. He summoned the Chamberlain of the Economic Policy Council. The Chamberlain notified the Chief of Staff, who ran to the President and disclosed the incredible news.

The President’s curiosity got the better of him, and he immediately summoned the two economists to his throne room.

“We have done many years of research, and can not only fix your economy, but we have also invented an extraordinary method to weave a policy so light and fine that it looks invisible. As a matter of fact, the policy is so fine and incredible that it is invisible to anyone who is too stupid and incompetent to appreciate its quality.” And we will throw in the pants for free.”

The President gave the two scoundrels a large sack of TARP funds, and said “Just tell me what you need and I shall give it to you”.

They asked for a loom, silk, an Apple MacBook Pro and 100 kilograms of the finest gold thread, and began to pretend to work. They promptly converted the TARP funds into RMB Yuan and transferred them to an untraceable bank account in Austria, which everyone knows is much more secure than Switzerland these days. The gold thread was melted down into bar and hidden in a safe place in case of hyperinflation.

The President thought he had spent his money quite well. He would fix his economy, get a new policy, and find out which of his plebes were ignorant and incompetent, along with an extra pair of pants.

He promptly held another soirée, where the clothing was the most outrageous yet and the cake was made of the finest ingredients. He invited Princess Oprah and Lord Harry and Nancy of Marin and Princess Shopping Cart outdid herself in a dress made of environmentally sustainable materials including dixie cups and duct tape and lawn clippings and tinfoil.

Once the door closed behind them, the two economists chortled with glee. “Whadda Maroon” said Dolci. “whattan embezzle!” said Gabanno. For days they pretended to work deep into the night at the loom, but in fact were listening to iTunes on their Bluetooth headsets.

Several days later when he had heard nothing from the economists, the President said “I would really like to know how they are coming along with my policy and my extra pair of pants.” But he was a bit uneasy when he recalled that anyone who was unfit for his position would not be able to see the policy or the material. Of course he himself had nothing to fear, but still he decided to send someone else in order to follow White House protocol.

“I’ll send my honest old Treasury Secretary to the economists” thought the President. He’s the best one to see how the policy is coming along and knows good clothing. He is very sensible and no one is more worthy of his position than he. So the honest old Treasury Secretary went into the hall where the two economists sat busily working their empty looms and typing on the computer. They had printed out 1,000 pages of incomprehensible gobbledegook, but the loom seemed empty.

“Goodness, thought the Treasury Secretary, I cannot understand a single phase of this policy and I cannot see a thing.” But he did not say so.

The two swindlers invited him to step closer, asking him if wasn’t the most beautifully elegant policy and if the colors of the pants were not the most magnificent he had seen. They pointed to the empty loom and the thousand pages of gobbledygook and the poor old Treasury Secretary opened his eyes wider and wider. He still could see nothing for nothing was tthere. “Gracious, he thought. Is it possible that I am stupid? I have never thought so. Am I unfit for my position? No one must know this.  No, it would never do for me to say that I am unable to understand the policy or see the extra pair of pants. ”

“You aren’t saying anything!” said one of the economists.

“Oh! The policy is magnificent! It will solve all of our problems and will only penalize those with incomes over $250,000 dollars, depending upon how we define it. Peering through his glasses, the Treasury Secretary said ” The patterns and colors of the extra pair of pants are magnificent! Yes, I will tell the president that it is beyond our greatest expectations!”

“That makes us very happy!” said the two economists, and they called the policy and the colors and the pattern by name. The old Treasury Secretary listened very closely so that he would know exactly which words to say when he reported back to the President, and that is exactly what he did.

The swindlers now asked for more money and silk and gold and shares in Exchange Traded Funds, all of which were immediately granted and all of which were immediately laundered. They then continued to weave on empty looms as before and download Latvian folk poetry translated through babelfish and parsed through Lexis/Nexis.

The President then sent other officials as well to observe the economists progress. They too were startled when they saw nothing and they too reported back to the president how wonderful the policy was and how beautiful the extra pair of pants were, advising him to carry the policy and wear the pants in a grand procession. The entire city was alive with praise of the policy and of the pants. “Magnifique!!,  Prima!!!,  Nysseligt!!, Incredible!!” they said in all languages. The President awarded the economists with medals of Nobel, bestowing on each of them the title of Senior Policy Advisor and Master Weaver.

The swindlers stayed up the entire night before the procession was to take place, burning more than 16 compact fluorescent lamps. Everyone could see they were in a great rush to finish the policy and the extra pair of pants. They pretended to take the material from the looms and ordered 3 extra printers and a collating machine in order to print the new policy. They cut the air with large scissors, and bound the policy with the most exquisite bindings of fine Corinthian leather. They sewed the air with needles without any thread. Finally, they said “Behold!

The President’s policy is completed! And while we ran 3,000% over budget, behold the extra pair of pants, along with a frock coat and vest, are finished!”

The President came to them with his most trusted advisors, Congressmen, Senators, and Princess Shopping Cart. The two economists handed the President the exquisitely bound new policy, which he promptly passed to a page as he strode forward to see the new clothes. The two swindlers raised their arms as if they were holding something and said ” Just look at this extra set of pants! Here is the jacket! This is the vest!!” and so forth. “They are light as spider webs! You might think you didn’t have a thing on, but that is the good thing about them!”

“Yes!” said the advisers and Congressmen and Senators and Princess Shopping Cart, but they couldn’t see a thing because nothing was there.

“Would your Presidentness, if it pleases, kindly remove your clothes so that we may dress you?” asked the swindlers. “We will then fit you perfectly with the new ones, in front of this mirror.”

The president took off all of his clothes, and the economists pretended to dress him, piece by piece with the new ones that were to be fitted. They took hold of his waist and pretended to tie something around it. They pretended to tie his tie in an exquisitely formed knot just so. Then the president turned and faced the mirror.

“Goodness! Don’t the clothes fit you well! What a wonderful fit!” everyone said. “What a pattern! What colors! Such luxurious clothes!”

“The canopy to be carried above Your Presidentness awaits outside” said the Director of Protocol.

“Yes! I am ready!” said the President. “Don’t they fit well?” Princess Shopping Cart could only smoulder at all of the attention he was getting.

The chamberlains who were to carry the train held their hands just above the floor as if they were picking up the train. As they walked, they pretended to carry the train high. For they could not let anyone notice they could see nothing.

The President walked beneath the beautiful canopy in the procession, the new policy symbolically carried by two carefully chosen members of special interest groups, and all of the people on the street and in their windows said ” Goodness!! The new policy will save us all (except those with incomes over $250,000), and the President’s new clothes are incomparable. What a beautiful jacket! What an exquisite pair of spare pants!” Scribes Krugman and Sullivan and Friedman and Robinson all praised the policy as they were told to do by Journo List. No one wanted to admit that they had not read the policy nor that they could see the President’s new clothes, for then it would be said they were unfit for their position or that they were stupid. None of the President’s clothes or policies had ever received such praise.

“But he doesn’t have anything on,” said a small child in a wondering voice.

“Good Lord! Let us hear the voice of an innocent child!” said the father, and whispered to a reporter what the child had said.

” A small child has said the President doesn’t have anything on!” said the reporter. “And having seen a copy of the policy it seems to be nothing but Latvian folk poetry!” he continued.

Finally, everyone was saying “He doesn’t have anything on! The policy is gobbledygook!”

The President shuddered, for he knew that they were right, but he thought “The procession must go on!” He carried himself even more proudly as the pages of the policy began to come loose from their bindings and dance in the breeze, and the chamberlains carried the train that wasn’t there.

The two Italian economists, Dolci and Gabbano, crept softly into the night onto a G5 bound for the Cayman Islands, where they could not be extradited, and were warmly greeted by Angelo Mozillo, Lloyd Blankfein, Jack Lew, Jon Corzine and George Soros.

The End

All due respect to Hans Christian Andersen.

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Dereliction of Duty on Benghazi

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Look at last week’s  New York Times or Washington Post or Los Angeles Times or even the Wall Street Journal, and it is hard to find any mention of the Congressional hearings that took place on the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in Benghazi  last September 11. In less than 24 hours and it had already disappeared down the mainstream media’s memory hole. It is a non-story just like they used to do in bad old Russia.

But what did we learn? Secretary of Defense Panetta testified that in a 30 minute teleconference with the President he informed Mr. Obama of the situation in Benghazi.

“By our best estimate, the incident at the Temporary Mission Facility in Benghazi began at 3:42 p.m. eastern daylight time on September 11th”. The conversation took place at approximately 5:00pm, one and a half hours after the attack had begun.

“AFRICOM directed that an unarmed, unmanned, surveillance aircraft that was nearby to reposition overhead the Benghazi facility.” We watched the attack unfold in real time.

“Soon after the initial reports about the attack on Benghazi, General Dempsey and I met with President Obama and he ordered all available DoD assets to respond to the attack in Libya and to protect U.S. personnel and interests in the region.”  The President asked to remain informed, and then disappeared from the scene.

Panetta then describes the assets tasked to support the Americans under assault in Benghazi. FAST Teams and Special Operations Forces are mentioned, but then no air assets could be tasked because they were “9 – 12 hours away”.  Within hours, a response team from the Embassy in Tripoli was dispatched. And only 12 hours after the attack began, all American personnel were evacuated.

The battle at the Consulate lasted at least 5 hours. In that time the personnel on the ground brought down a world of hurt on the terrorists.

General Carter Ham, the head of Africom, had the same real time drone feeds and radio communications from the Benghazi team that the DoD had, the White House had, the Department of State had, and the NSC had. Apparently, General Ham had a response team ready to lift off almost immediately after the data came streaming in. Apparently, General Ham was ordered not to proceed. Who gave that order?

The Administration knew immediately that this was not a protest of an obscure video on the internet, but an honest to goodness terrorist attack.

Prior to this, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified that the State Department had not interviewed the surviving employees at the consulate afterwards. It took the FBI weeks to get agents on the ground, and the press had a field day photographing secret documents in the days immediately following the attack. Since the attack, no one has been brought to justice.

On November 16, outgoing CIA Director David Petraeus admitted that “the CIA knew within minutes that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was a terrorist act planned in advance.” Mr. Petraeus also stated that the CIA report was later altered by another Federal agency.

On September 12, the day after the attack, First, the New York Times offered a remarkably accurate report of the attack on September 12. A report that surely came from inside sources.

We had the President and Secretary of State implying on September 12 that it was the video and not a terrorist attack. The State Department could not move fast enough to produce and air advertisements on Pakistani Television apologizing for the video.

On September 14, the Libyan government had four men in custody according to Al Jazeera. On the 19th, the president of Libya laid out the details to that same network.

On September 24, the President appeared on “The View” and said the investigation was continuing, and did the same on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly on the 25th, the President stated “If we are serious about these ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis”. And yet he knew the deeper causes and did not say a word. He continued with the lie.

The Daily Beast had the president dead to rights on September 26.

In her testimony before Congress on January 24th, Secretary Clinton was unapologetic. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk last night who decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”

In his testimony on the 7th, Secretary Panetta said “The United States military is not and should not be a global 911 service capable of arriving on the scene within minutes to every possible contingency around the world.” And yet with all of the military units scattered around Europe, he claimed that no one was available over a 5 hour firefight and that no one was sent until after the fighting had ended.

In the reportage surrounding the firefight, the calls by the personnel defending the embassy were clear, including one that indicated that the mortar teams bombarding the compound were being “lased” , or targeted for any airborne assistance that could remove the threat. But there was none of that either. With U.S. fighter squadrons based in southern Italy and allies close by, no one was available.

The defenders of the consulate fought to the last bullet and then died and the response by our leaders was “what difference does it make?” and “the United States military is not and should not be a global 911 service.”

All of this of course in the aftermath of Ambassador Stevens repeated warnings and requests for more security support. On December 19, four senior State Department employees resigned after the publication of a report by a committee headed by former JCS Chairman Mullen , who stated

“We did conclude that certain State Department bureau level senior officials in critical levels of authority and responsibility in Washington demonstrated a lack of leadership and management ability appropriate for senior ranks in their responses to security concerns posed by the special mission.”

The President was AWOL. No one can seem to remember who was responsible for what, and the response by two Cabinet level officials was basically “What, me worry?”

In the meantime on Feb 10, the Mail in the UK reported a claim by two authors, both of them former special operations experts that  “John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, had been authorizing ‘unilateral operations in North Africa outside of the traditional command structure,”

With Special Operations Command; the CIA, and a plethora of other secret organization all linked together in the black operations world, it seems that the Deputy National Security Advisor may have been directly tasking his own private army. This in itself is a bombshell. It clearly violates the chain of command and also the scrutiny of Congress if true.

What we know to be true is that the Ambassador to the United Nations lied. The President lied. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied.  The question is whether it is gross incompetence or something darker.Regardless, it was clearly a dereliction of duty by our highest officials.