Every day we wake up to some new junk being foisted our way about this President Elect.
Piece by Debbie Schlussel:
Did President-elect Barack Hussein Obama commit a federal crime in September of this year? Or did he never actually register and, instead, did friends of his in the Chicago federal records center, which maintains the official copy of his alleged Selective Service registration commit the crime for him?
It’s either one or the other, as indicated by the release of Barack Obama’s official Selective Service registration for the draft. A friend of mine, who is a retired federal agent, spent almost a year trying to obtain this document through a Freedom of Information Act request, and, after much stonewalling, finally received it and released it to me.
But the release of Obama’s draft registration and an accompanying document, posted below, raises more questions than it answers. And it shows many signs of fraud, not to mention putting the lie to Obama’s claim
The official campaign for President may be over. But Barack Obama’s Selective Service registration card and accompanying documents show that questions about him are not only NOT over, but if the signature on the document is in fact his, our next Commander-in-Chief may have committed a federal crime in 2008, well within the statute of limitations on the matter. If it is not his, then it’s proof positive that our next Commander-in-Chief never registered with the Selective Service as required by law. By law, he was required to register and was legally able to do so until the age of 26.
But the Selective Service System registration (”SSS Form 1“) and accompanying computer print-out (”SSS Print-out), below, released by the Selective Service show the following oddities and irregularities, all of which indicate the document was created in 2008 and backdated:
* Document Location Number Indicates Obama Selective Service Form was Created in 2008
First, there is the Document Location Number (DLN) on the form. In the upper right hand corner of the Selective Service form SSS Form 1, there is the standard Bates-stamped DLN, in this case “0897080632,” which I’ve labeled as “A” on both the SSS Form and the computer printout document. On the form, it reflects a 2008 creation.
As the retired federal agent notes:
Having worked for the Federal Government for several decades, I know that the standardization of DLNs have the first two digits of the DLN representing the year of issue. That would mean that this DLN was issued in 2008. The DLN on the computer screen printout is the exact same number, except the 0 and 8 have changed positions making it a 1980 DLN number. And 1980 is the year Senator/President Elect Obama is said to have timely registered. So, why does the machine-stamped DLN reflect this year (2008) and the DLN in the database (which was manually input) reflect a “corrected” DLN year of 1980? Were all the DLNs issued in 1980 erroneously marked with a 2008 DLN year or does the Selective Service use a different DLN system then the rest of the Federal Government? Or was the SSS Form 1 actually processed in 2008 and not 1980?
It’s quite a “coincidence” . . . that is, if you believe in coincidences, especially in this case.
Far more likely is that someone made up a fake Selective Service registration to cover Obama’s lack of having done so, and that the person stamping the form forgot (or was unable to) change the year to “80″ instead of the current “80″. They either forgot to fake the DLN number or couldn’t do so.
And guess where the Selective Service registrations are marked and recorded? Lucky for Obama, it’s his native Chicago. From an article entitled, “Post Office Registration Process”, on the Selective Service website:
When a young man reaches 18 he can go to any of the 35,000 post offices nationwide to register with Selective Service. There he completes a simple registration card and mails it to the Selective Service System. This begins a multi-step process which results in the man’s registration.
Each week approximately 6,000 completed registration cards are sent to the Selective Service System’s Data Management System (DMC) near Chicago, Ill. At the DMC these cards are grouped into manageable quantities. Each card is then microfilmed and stamped with a sequential document locator number. The processed microfilm is reviewed to account for all documents and to ensure that the film quality is within strict standards. After microfilming, the cards are keyed and then verified by a different data transcriber.
The Document Locator Number (DLN) is an automatic function (Selective Service record-keeping, specifically the DLN is described on pages 7-8 of this Federal Register document), with the first two digits comprising the year, and it was not changed to “08″ in error. So if the form was filed and processed in 1980, how did it get a 2008 DLN?!
* Obama’s Selective Service Registration Form is Apparently 1990 Form Altered to Appear Like 1980 Form
On the SSS Form 1, in the lower left hand corner is the form number (SSS Form 1) and the month and year version of the form, labeled as “B”. On this particular Form 1, it clearly shows the month as “FEB” (February), and the year is either “80″ or “90″. The retired federal agent investigated further:
Magnification of the form both physically (with a 10x glass) or with different image software does not reflect a clear cut result of either a “80″ or a “90″.
But, checking the history of SSS Form 1 (see http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=198002-3240-001#), it’s apparent that in February 1980, the Selective Service agency withdrew a “Request for a new OMB control number” for SSS Form 1 (see also, here)–meaning the agency canceled its previous request for a new form, and one was never issued in “FEB 1980″.
Since under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-511, 94 Stat. 2812 (Dec. 11, 1980), codified in part at Subchapter I of Chapter 35 of Title 44 a federal agency can not use a form not approved by OMB (Office of Management and Budget), it’s nearly impossible for Senator/President-Elect Obama’s SSS Form 1 to be dated “Feb 1980.” And since that makes it almost certainly dated “Feb 1990,” then how could Barack Obama sign it and the postal clerk stamp it almost ten (10) years before its issue?! Simply not possible.
The lower right hand corner reflects that the Obama SSS form 1 was approved by OMB with an approval number of 19??0002, labeled as “C”. The double question marks (??) reflect digits that are not completely clear.
* Barack Obama’s Signature is Dated After Postal Stamp Certifying His Signature
Barack H. Obama signed the SSS Form 1’s “Today’s date” as July 30, 1980, labeled “D”. But the Postal Stamp reflects the PREVIOUS day’s date of July 29, 1980, labeled “E”. Yes, Obama could have mistakenly written the wrong date, but it is rare and much more unlikely for someone to put a future date than a past date. (Also note how Barry made such a “cute” peace sign with the “b” inside the “O” of his signature. Touching.)
* Postal Stamp is Incorrect, Discontinued in 1970
Then, there is the question as to whether the Postal Stamp is real. The “postmark” stamp–labeled “E”–is hard to read, but it is clear that at the bottom is “USPO” which stands typically for United States Post Office. However, current “postmark” validator, registry, or round dater stamps (item 570 per the Postal Operations Manual) shows “USPS” for United States Postal Service. The change from Post Office to Postal Service occurred on August 12, 1970, when President Nixon signed into law the most comprehensive postal legislation since the founding of the Republic–Public Law 91-375. The new Postal Service officially began operations on July 1, 1971.
Why was an old, obsolete postmark round dater stamp used almost ten (10) years after the fact to validate a legal document . . . that just happened to be Barack Obama’s suspicious Selective Service registration form?
* Form Shows Barack Obama didn’t have ID
The SSS Form 1 states “NO ID”, labeled “F”. Since that’s the case, then how did the Hawaiian postal clerk know that the submitter was really Barack H. Obama, who may have been on summer break from attending Occidental College in California. How would they determine whether the registrant was truly registering and not a relative, friend, or other imposter?
* The Selective Service Data Mgt. Center Stonewalled for Almost a Year on Obama Registration, Until Right Before the Election.
The retired federal agent who FOIA’d Barack Obama’s Selective Service Registration Form notes:
Early this year, when I first started questioning whether Obama registered I was told:
Sir: There may be an error in his file or many other reasons why his registration cannot be confirmed on-line. However, I did confirm with our Data Management Center that he is, indeed, registered with the Selective Service System, in compliance with Federal law.
Janice L. Hughes/SSS
Then, they suddenly found the record on September 9, 2008 (prior to my October 13, 2008 request), and stated that his record was filed on September 4, 1980. Did they temporarily change the date on the computer database?
On the previous FOIA response, they stated that it was filed on September 4, 1980. In my second request I mentioned that Obama could not have filed it in Hawaii on September 4, 1980 as he was attending Occidental College in California, the classes of which commenced August 24, 1980.
* Other Questions: Missing Selective Service Number, FOIA Response Dated Prior to FOIA Request, Missing Printout Page
Where is Obama’s Selective Service number (61-1125539-1) on the card?
And the retired federal agent notes that the Selective Service Data Management Center prepared its response to his FOIA request prior to the request having been made:
The last transaction date is 09/04/80 [DS: labeled “G”], but the date of the printout is 09/09/08 [DS: labeled “H”]. My FOIA was dated October 13 so why did they prepare the printout BEFORE I submitted my FOIA? I gave them no “heads up” that I was sending it. In fact it was not mailed until late October–around the 25th.
Also, notice the printout was page 1 of 2 [DS: labeled “I”].
Hmmm . . . where is the other page, and what’s on it?
A lot of questions here. And a lot of huge hints that this government-released, official Barack Obama Selective Service registration was faked. Either he signed the fake backdated document, or someone else faked his signature and he never registered for the draft (and lied about it).
Which is it?
It’s incredible that our impending Commander-in-Chief either didn’t register for the draft or did so belatedly and fraudulently.
The documents indicate it’s one or the other.
*** UPDATE: Here’s another irregularity that points to fraud, as spotted by reader Joyce:
My husband printed the information provided on your web site regarding Barack Obama’s Selective Service registration discrepancies. I noticed that the DLN number in upper right corner (labeled “A”) has only ten (10) digits with the first two being 08 , but the DLN number shown on the computer screen printout has eleven (11) digits with the first two being 80. It clearly indicates that the “8″ was added at the beginning of the DLN number, in order to appear that it was issued in 1980 and wasn’t simply a reversal of the first two digits as the retired federal agent noted. This in itself appears questionable. I would think there is a standard number of digits in all DLN numbers.
**** UPDATE #2, 11/14/08: Retired Federal Agent Source Reveals Himself:
The recently retired federal agent has requested that I disclose his identity so that there is no question as to the source of the information.
His name is Stephen Coffman. He retired last year from the position of the Resident Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Galveston, Texas office. He has over 32 years of government service and has held a Secret or higher security clearance for the majority of those years.
He filed the FOIA with Selective Service and has the original letter and the attachments. He first notified the Selective Service of his findings and they ignored the questions.
He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE #3, 11/17/08: Some Obamapologists are claiming this is a fake and want to see evidence that retired agent Coffman actually got these documents from the Selective Service System Data Management Center. Below are scans of the letter and envelope that accompanied Barack Obama’s fraudulent registration for the draft (I’ve cropped the blank white space):
Reprinted with Permission of Debbie Schlussel
For continued UPDATES:strong>
One of the things that drives me crazy is watching the tremendous amount of ignorance the public has about taxes. I have seen politicians, media, private foundations and my own relatives state as absolute fact things I know the be absolutely false. I try to explain in a rational manner what the truth is and it’s useless. People think “logically.” As one who has had years of math classes I and anyone else in that situation quickly gets burned and receives an “F” for thinking “logically.” It is best to pause and think about things a little more thoroughly.
And so it is in public life. We have so many examples of herd mentality. Herd mentality based on emotion. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were inspired by the feeling that all people should be given a chance at the American dream. Emotionally it really makes sense. Why not? Yes we can! But hundreds of thousands of defaulted mortgages later we all realize, even the most ardent supporter of Fannie and Freddie, that maybe more thought should have went into regulation and oversight.
And so it is with taxes. We now owe 10 trillion in debt. Hell, even I don’t know what that is. $40,000 per man, woman and child? Somewhere around there. And if you look at the direction of the bail outs and congress this total will soon reach $18 trillion. We got to $10 trillion with Republicans. Nancy Pelosi gives every indication that is nowhere near enough.
So if we all acknowledge the problem and want to pay the money back what is the best way to do it? The emotional knee jerk reaction is to raise taxes. Seems logical. Raise taxes and more money will come into the federal treasury. Right? Wrong.
Since classical economic theory back in the early part of the 20th century economist have always known about money circulation. What is referred to as velocity. The faster money goes through the economy the more money people make and the more taxes are collected. Since then the equations have gotten a lot more complex with partial differentials, regression analysis and other mathematics. The principals are the same. The faster the economic activity the more jobs, income and taxes.
So how do we get a faster economy? There has to be some tax rate that allows maximum tax collections right? Yes there is. Arthur Laffer took a simple business principal studied by millions of business
majors the world over. The maximum profit point or maximum revenue point. It the point where the price of your Chevy trucks makes you the most profit. Charge too much and you lose customers. Charge to little and you lose money. It’s not that complex. Disney does it for ticket prices. Walmart does it for their store pricing policies. All business does it. So why when Arthur Laffer does this same thing for government maximum revenues is he ridiculed for “trickle down,” “Voodoo” and other names too discredit his theory?
Because he discovered that the maximum revenue point for tax collections for a economy was about 27% to 30%. That would be federal, state and local taxes combined. He looked at all taxes because that is what we all pay. State income tax, sales, property, sewer, telephone, federal, social security, Medicaid, Medicare, gas, cable, the whole picture. And the picture wasn’t pretty. Currently we pay around 44% of our earnings in taxes. Now it’s easy to see why politicians react stridently against Laffer and his “trickle down” or supply side economics. We are taxed too much and it hurts our economy. It would be a similar reaction if a medical doctor walked into the village hospital and told the witch doctor his method of using leeches to bleed patients was causing infection and anemia. The witch doctor would not be very pleased to hear this news. Politicians don’t want to hear that taxes are too high. And so we get the disinformation and smears.
What is the best tax system? As a Libertarian I support the fair tax for several reasons. First a simple explanation of what the fair tax is. Skip ahead if you are familiar with it. The Fair Tax would eliminate all federal taxes. No payroll, social security, Medicaid, Medicare or corporate taxes. They would all be replaces with a 23% retail sales tax. No IRS, no April 15th, no corporate taxes. This alone would save billions in accounting and compliance cost. Billions that could be spend on more productive uses.
First a sales tax would shift taxes from income to spending. A very critical point for a nation 10 trillion in debt. If people saved they would pay no tax. If they spent they would be taxed. Guess which direction people would go? Savings and investment are more critical now than ever before. Soon our debt will exceed what we owed during the darkest days of WWII as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Without dramatically increased domestic savings and investment we will be subject to the whims of foreign power that may or may not be friendly to our interest. What would happen if we get in an international dispute with China? China could tank our economy overnight that’s what would happen. Taxing spending instead of income is a no-brainer for the situation we are in today.
Second a sales tax would eliminate the IRS. Why pray tell does the government need to know what every worker makes? What business is it of theirs? Are we free men? Not in today’s society. Think about it. The government can investigate you for political beliefs or whatever they choose to and all they have to do is make a phone call to the IRS and they know what you are doing 2,080 hours of your life a year. Probe a little further and voilà, tax filing mistakes! Getting rid of the IRS would be the biggest transfer of power from the government to the people since the Declaration of Independence. Politicians cringe at the prospect of this.
Third no corporate taxes. Currently the corporate tax rate is 35%. Now think about it. Who pays that tax? If you ran a business and had to charge 35% for the government what would you do? Raise prices as much as possible. Lay off workers or buy less equipment. Pay fewer dividends or do less research and development. All pretty damaging to your company and to the overall economy. To put it simply corporate taxes are nothing more than additional taxes on you. You pay with lower wages because there is less demand for workers. You pay higher prices for products. You pay by receiving less dividend income for your savings and retirement. Another no-brainer. Get rid of all corporate taxes.
A couple of interesting observations about corporate taxes. First some big corporations like complex corporate tax systems and draconian accounting rules. Why? It keeps competitors occupied and discourages start up companies. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 should be called the No New Competitors ACT because no new company can afford all the compliance hassles of the Act. And when the complex accounting rules are in place where to the big corporations go to get relief? Why congress of course. Congress uses high tax rates and a complex accounting system as a way of getting donations from companies and industries looking for tax breaks and relief. The typical thought process of a bright financially orientated federal legislator is to raise taxes as high as possible and sell the tax breaks to the highest bidder. What is best for the people or new companies never enters their head.
The second observation I would like to point out is if there were no corporate taxes what would happen to all the lobbyist on K Street? 90% of them would pack up and go home. The only remaining lobbyist in Washington would be the ones trying to win government contracts. Anyone want restrictions on lobbyist? Why not get rid of them. Seems like the best solution. Adios Senor Corruption.
For more information please go to fairtax.org.
The second type of tax is the flat income tax. Just like the one Ronald Reagan had in 1986. It was great. It was great for about 2 weeks until the lobbyist started getting tax breaks and rewriting the tax code to its current 66,000 page bible-times-four thing. Does anyone understand it? Flat tax systems work when you keep the tax flat which will never happen in the United States. Russia has a 13% flat tax system. Good luck Russia keeping it that way. We wish you all the best. Something tells me in 10 years it may not be so flat anymore.
And finally we have our whatever you call it tax everything policies. All the levels of government
have taxes for everything. Very inefficient and very damaging to the economy. Anyone run a corporation lately? State taxes, workers compensation, federal taxes, forms, paperwork, accountants, and lawyers. Oh what fun and joy! Not. Makes me want to kick the dog and commit various other acts of violence. Get rid of the layers and layers of useless time consuming work and let business sell whatever it wants to sell. Wow! The economy would be on steroids. Unemployment would be 3% to 4%. The recession would end almost overnight.
In a perfect world all states would have a sales tax like we enjoy in Florida. This is very critical for Florida because we have such a huge “mail box” and billionaire economy. Essentially retires move her and earn low incomes mostly through pensions and social security. Yet a lot of these retires have amassed
substantial wealth through the years. A state income tax would fail to tax most of this wealth. But when Mrs. Retiree goes down to buy her new Lincoln she has to pay sales tax like everyone else. When Mr. Billionaire buys his new yacht he pays the sales tax. This is a tremendous benefit to Florida and has attracted workers to this state ever since I can remember. Generally but not always we have a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the country. Currently the loss of construction jobs has put Florida about even with the rest of the nation.
So when the politicians tell you we need to raise taxes they are either ignorant, stupid or devious jerks who have no compassion for their fellow men and women. Most likely the latter. Most of the idiots get the fisheries and FEMA committee assignments. The game plan is simple for these maniacal power hungry predators. Enslave the people with debt and taxes. Pass out tax breaks to the highest bidder. Get that account in the Grand Caymans. Live well and keep the peasants fighting for the scraps.
Update from the AP on today’s ongoing outcry for “ousting” the Bad Boy Governor of Illinois.
CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich kissed his wife, rode in his state SUV to the office and sat down at his desk Thursday in front of a bust of Lincoln and an American flag to portray “a return to normalcy.” It was anything but. An extraordinary drama built through the day in Chicago as the political establishment of Illinois and the nation lined up against him.
Blagojevich’s approval rating dropped to an all-time low of 8 percent, and friends and foes alike feared if they don’t act swiftly to get rid of him, he might commit some kind of political mischief.
“The governor is in office, and he needs to be removed from office,” Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn said. “It is an urgent matter. Illinois is in crisis.”
The governor showed no signs of buckling to growing demands that he quit or be removed after his arrest Tuesday on corruption charges alleging that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama‘s Senate seat to the highest bidder.
While the governor was working — his spokesman would not say on exactly what — President-elect Obama told a news conference just a couple of blocks away that Blagojevich should go.
At the same time, Illinois lawmakers were organizing impeachment efforts, and the state attorney general said that if the governor were not impeached, she would seek a court order finding him unfit to serve.
Obama, speaking directly for the first time on the scandal that has distracted from his otherwise smooth transition, said he was “appalled” by the allegations.
“What I’m absolutely certain about is that our office had no involvement in any dealmaking around my Senate seat. That I’m absolutely certain of,” he said. “That would be a violation of everything that this campaign has been about. And that’s not how we do business.”
The governor spent the day at his wooden desk, reviewing budget issues and talking to his closest aides.
Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero described the governor’s mood as “upbeat” and “positive” and said “there’s a sense of trying to return to normalcy.” He said he knew of no decision about Blagojevich’s political future or what the governor might do with the Obama seat.
Blagojevich’s next move was the subject of great speculation in Illinois and around the country. Some observers wondered whether he might be seeking a deal with prosecutors to use the governor’s office as a bargaining chip, possibly agreeing to step down in exchange for leniency.
But there was also worry that the governor might still pick a senator.
His refusal to step down has struck some as odd given the fact that wiretaps portrayed him as bored with his job, saying he was “struggling financially” and did “not want to be governor for the next two years.”
But staying in office provides a financial benefit amid the turmoil: He continues to draw a $177,000-a-year salary.
Also Thursday, the criminal complaint that outlined the charges against Blagojevich yielded new details. The Associated Press learned that Senate Candidate 4 in the complaint is Illinois Deputy Gov. Louanner Peters. The source was not authorized to speak publicly about the complaint and spoke on condition of anonymity.
In the complaint, Blagojevich said he would put the deputy governor in the Senate before he gives the seat to another candidate and “don’t get anything.”
The decision to launch impeachment proceedings largely rests with House Speaker Michael Madigan, who, according to several House Democrats, faces a strong desire among his members for quick action. They said voters are demanding it, and lawmakers are transmitting that message to Madigan.
A poll taken since Blagojevich’s arrest shows 73 percent of those surveyed support impeachment, and 70 percent think he should resign.
Chicago-based Glengariff Group surveyed 600 Illinois residents by phone Tuesday and Wednesday, and the results showed Blagojevich’s approval rating at 8 percent. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent.
Four House Democrats sent a letter to their colleagues Thursday seeking support for a motion to impeach Blagojevich. The letter asks members to indicate whether they oppose the idea or support it, or even whether they want to co-sponsor the motion.
Democratic Rep. Jack Franks, one of the governor’s fiercest critics, said he hopes Madigan will soon make clear that the House will launch impeachment proceedings unless Blagojevich resigns.
“It would be music to the ear of everyone in this state,” Franks said.
Franks said he has gotten “a deluge” of calls from lawmakers wanting to be part of any impeachment committee.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the daughter of the House speaker, threatened again Thursday to file a lawsuit asking the state Supreme Court to have Blagojevich declared unfit to hold office if he doesn’t resign soon or get impeached.
“Obviously right now, in the best of all possible worlds, the governor would do what’s right for the people of the state of Illinois. He would resign,” said Madigan, a longtime Blagojevich foe considering a run for governor in 2010.
But “at this point he appears to be staying put,” and Madigan wants a signal from lawmakers about whether they will move quickly on impeachment proceedings.
Legislative leaders planned a special session Monday to strip Blagojevich of his power to pick a new U.S. senator, putting the decision in the hands of Illinois voters instead.
The White House on Thursday said President George Bush finds Blagojevich’s alleged behavior “astounding.”
Quinn said the impeachment process should begin when the Legislature convenes. If lawmakers don’t take action, he would support Madigan going to the Supreme Court.
Quinn strongly criticized the possibility of a special election to fill Obama’s seat, saying it would take too long, leaving Illinois with just one senator in Washington for months. Quinn said he has not spoken to potential Senate appointees and doesn’t have a short list of candidates.
If he becomes governor, Quinn said his “first order of business” will be appointing a senator. He did not flatly rule out choosing a Republican, saying he would pick the most qualified candidate.
Associated Press Writers Adam Goldman in Chicago and Christopher Wills in Springfield, Ill., contributed to this report.
Over the last several days we have heard repeated comments about the PERSONAL SACRIFICES that PUBLIC SERVANTS endure while serving. While there are those who are away from their homes and families for extended times while in Washington or in their states capitols, it appears that the benefits far exceed the alleged personal sacrifices they make.
In fact, SIGN ME UP. Those who know me, know that I am great at making personal sacrifices and putting the interests of others before my own. That fact alone should qualify me for that political appointment that will be converted to a Senior Civil Servant position at the end of “the decider’s administration”. I will then, always, and forever have the most paid vacation days, the best health care benefits, the most paid federal or state holidays, per Diem’s, job security during an economic Armageddon, and the freedom to perform less than stellar job performance because I am forever secure in my Senior Civil Service position.
My future is bright, my financial security guaranteed. I can plan for the future, visualize my retirement and the second home that will be available through the “foreclosure” market. All of which was made possible while I was personally sacrificing as a political appointee and waiting to become a SENIOR CIVIL SERVANT.
I BEG YOU! Please allow me to make this personal sacrifice and become the much envied yet much maligned public servant. It would mean THE WORLD TO ME!
I bring this to your attention, because truth be known that many of these appointees, and civil servant employees would never make it in the private sector. Believe ME. THEY WOULD NOT. I have known many such “servants” and their less than stellar work ethic startles me. I have been honest with them and suggested that many of them and their associates would be fired during a probationary period for a variety of inadequacies if they were employed in the private sector. THEY LAUGH UPROARIOUSLY! (It might just be a defense mechanism)
My point in this while seemingly sarcastic, is a sad truth about some Public Servants. Not ALL, but a prevailing number of them.
For your disgust and reading pleasure is an article from thewashingtonpost.com:
By Juliet Eilperin and Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, November 18, 2008; A01
Just weeks before leaving office, the Interior Department’s top lawyer has shifted half a dozen key deputies — including two former political appointees who have been involved in controversial environmental decisions — into senior civil service posts.
The transfer of political appointees into permanent federal positions, called “burrowing” by career officials, creates security for those employees, and at least initially will deprive the incoming Obama administration of the chance to install its preferred appointees in some key jobs.
Similar efforts are taking place at other agencies. Two political hires at the Labor Department have already secured career posts there, and one at the Department of Housing and Urban Development is trying to make the switch.
Between March 1 and Nov. 3, according to the federal Office of Personnel Management, the Bush administration allowed 20 political appointees to become career civil servants. Six political appointees to the Senior Executive Service, the government’s most prestigious and highly paid employees, have received approval to take career jobs at the same level. Fourteen other political, or “Schedule C,” appointees have also been approved to take career jobs. One candidate was turned down by OPM and two were withdrawn by the submitting agency.
The personnel moves come as Bush administration officials are scrambling to cement in place policy and regulatory initiatives that touch on issues such as federal drinking-water standards, air quality at national parks, mountaintop mining and fisheries limits.
The practice of placing political appointees into permanent civil service posts before an administration ends is not new. In its last 12 months, the Clinton administration approved 47 such moves, including seven at the senior executive level. Federal employees with civil service status receive job protections that make it very difficult for managers to remove them.
Most of the personnel shifts have been done on a case-by-case basis, but Interior Solicitor David L. Bernhardt moved to place six deputies in senior agency positions with one stroke, including two who have repeatedly attracted controversy. Robert D. Comer, who was Rocky Mountain regional solicitor, was named to the civil service post of associate solicitor for mineral resources. Matthew McKeown, who served as deputy associate solicitor for mineral resources, will take Comer’s place in what is also a career post. Both had been converted from political appointees to civil service status.
In a report dated Oct. 13, 2004, Interior’s inspector general singled out Comer in criticizing a grazing agreement that the Bureau of Land Managementhad struck with a Wyoming rancher, saying Comer used “pressure and intimidation” to produce the settlement and pushed it through “with total disregard for the concerns raised by career field personnel.” McKeown — who as Idaho’s deputy attorney general had sued to overturn a Clinton administration rule barring road-building in certain national forests — has been criticized by environmentalists for promoting the cause of private property owners over the public interest on issues such as grazing and logging.
One career Interior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize his position, said McKeown will “have a huge impact on a broad swath of the West” in his new position, advising the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service on “all the programs they implement.” Comer, the official added, will help shape mining policy in his new assignment.
“It is an attempt by the outgoing administration to limit as much as possible [the incoming administration’s] ability to put its policy imprint on the Department of Interior,” the official said.
In a Nov. 13 memo obtained by The Washington Post, Bernhardt wrote that he was reorganizing his division because the associate solicitors’ original status as political appointees undermined the division’s effectiveness.
“This has resulted in frequent turnover in those positions, often with an attendant loss in productivity and management continuity in these Divisions, despite the best efforts of the newly-appointed Associate Solicitors,” he wrote.
But environmental advocates, and some rank-and-file Interior officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of hurting their careers, said the reassignments represent the Bush administration’s effort to leave a lasting imprint on environmental policy.
“What’s clear is they could have done this during the eight years they were in office. Why are they doing it now?” said Robert Irvin, senior vice president for conservation programs at Defenders of Wildlife, an advocacy group. “It’s pretty obvious they’re trying to leave in place some of their loyal foot soldiers in their efforts to reduce environmental protection.”
In an interview yesterday, Bernhardt reiterated that he thinks the move is in the government’s long-term interest.
“I believe these management decisions will strengthen the professionalism of the Office of the Solicitor and result in greater service to the Department of the Interior,” he said. “However, the next solicitor and the department’s management team are free to walk a different path.”
One senior Interior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters, said an incoming interior secretary or solicitor could create new political positions upon taking office and could shift Senior Executive Service officials to comparable jobs within a few months. As a general rule, career SES employees may be reassigned involuntarily within their current commuting area within 15 days, and beyond their commuting area within 60 days, but they retain their lucrative and permanent government posts. When a new agency head is appointed, he or she must wait 120 days before reassigning career SES officials.
Outside groups are trying to monitor these moves but are powerless to reverse them. Alex Bastani, a representative at the Labor Department for the American Federation of Government Employees, said it took months for that agency even to acknowledge that two of its Bush appointees, Carrie Snidar and Brad Mantel, had gotten civil service posts.
“They’re trying to burrow into these career jobs, and we’re very upset,” Bastani said. “Everyone should have an opportunity to apply for these positions. And certainly career people who don’t have partisan bent and have 10 or 15 years in their respective fields should have a shot at these positions.”
Kerry Weems, acting chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said he discourages political staff from moving into career slots. “It typically doesn’t work out for either party,” he said. Even though Weems is a career staffer, he expects to leave the administration when the Obama team takes over.
Alphonso Jackson, who was HUD secretary under President Bush, warned his political appointees not to try to burrow in when the administration changed. But one of his regional directors objected to that flat-out prohibition, according to union leaders at HUD, and has told his colleagues that he has been promised first crack at a career position.
Staff writers Ceci Connolly and Spencer S. Hsu contributed to this report.
Well! It quite simply does not end. So much for “we the people,” who are not connected or can’t “PAY TO PLAY”.
So, all you much maligned “servants”, please give us a thought or two and please list your personal sacrifices. I will be the first to applaud and recognize you for such.