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Kent Conwell: A Rose is a Rose is a Lie


Last updated 3/28/2012 at Noon

Even if you think our president is doing a lousy job, there is one quality about him in which you must admit he excels–perhaps more than any other president.

His eloquence.

The president or perhaps I should add, and his speech writers do a superb job in leading the listening public along the rosy red paths down which he says he is taking them.

As you are well aware after three years, some of these primrose paths have led us into a jungle of poison ivy and stinging nettles.

You’ve heard the old saying, “a rose is a rose is a rose.” Sometimes, the rose turns out to be a lie, which brings us to an important topic, one of which every American should be aware.

Our president is not always forthright with the truth. His passion overwhelms his common sense and logic.

In some of his recent fund-raising speeches around the country, he claimed that under his watch, drilling permits have increased.

Now, here’s the point I’m making. Let’s examine those last four words, “drilling permits have increased.”

On the surface, he is saying that his administration has sped up the granting of permits to drill for oil and gas. That is where his rhetoric is misleading, where he is not being up-front with the citizenry. Drilling permits are up, but not on federal lands. They’re up on private lands on which the government has nothing to say.

On federal lands, drilling permits are down. His energy czar slipped up when he admitted they wanted gas prices to soar.

The president has a history of promising what he must to get what he wants. Once he’s achieved his goal, the promises become nothing more than fodder for the sheep who believed him.

We all remember how he used his mother’s illness in his 2008 campaign, leading us to believe she had no insurance when her insurance did indeed pay for her chronic illness. That political technique is the cornerstone that he stills uses.

Just last week at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland, he stated there had always been “naysayers” who don’t believe in the future and don’t want to try to do things differently. “One of my predecessors,” he said, “Rutherford B. Hayes reportedly said about the telephone it’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?”

The crowd laughed, and he added. “That’s why he’s not on Mount Rushmore. Because he’s looking backwards. He’s not looking forwards.”

The point he’s making here is that his ideas are the ones of the future.

Trouble is, he is lying about Hayes.

After this speech, several national magazines quickly pointed out that President Hays never made that remark, and he was the first president to have a telephone in the White House. In fact, when he first saw the technology, he exclaimed, “This is wonderful.” According to the White House Historical Association, the phone was installed in 1879, and the number was “1.”

Unless you believe this was only an isolated situation, remember his campaign promise to “prevent brand-name drug companies from blocking generic drugs?” According to Louis Jacobson, this refers to curbing alleged anti-competitive practices between brand manufacturers and generic drug makers.

Another lie. In the four years since the promise, nothing has been done, nor has an effort been made to curb generic blocking.

Another promise broken was to create a $10 billion fund to help homeowners refinance or sell their homes. It is not for speculators, people who bought vacation homes, or people who falsely represented their incomes.

Three long years later, Angie Holan of PolitFact wrote “When it comes to President Obama’s promise to create a foreclosure prevention fund, he’s kept to the letter of the law, but his administration has completely failed to meet its spirit”

The news website, ProPublica extensively investigated the program and reached several disheartening conclusions.

With millions of homeowners struggling to stay in their homes, the Obama administration’s foreclosed program has been weakened by lax oversight and a posture of cooperation instead of enforcement with the nation’s biggest banks, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Citibank.

The special inspector general for the program, Neil M. Barofsky, wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times that the housing program was “a colossal failure.” He blamed the lack of enforcement on the U.S. Treasury Department.

When questioned, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledged the program “won’t come close to fulfilling its original expectations; that its incentives are not powerful enough; and the mortgage services are doing a terribly inadequate job. Barofsky went on to write that the ‘Treasury officials refused to address these shortfalls. Instead, they continue to stubbornly maintain the program is a success and needs no material change.”

You remember Timothy Geithner, Obama’s handpicked Secretary of the Treasury, the guy whose returns had tax accountants debating back in 2009 whether the missteps were the result of cheating or of the overly complicated tax code?

He’s still the Secretary, but given the tenor of this administrations politics, I can’t help wondering if the tax accountants were provided some higher-level assistance.

And then, who doesn’t remember the promise to eliminate all income taxation on seniors making less than $50,000 a year. That, Obama said, will eliminate taxes for seven million seniors, saving them an average of $1,400 a year and will mean 27 million seniors will not have to file tax returns.

Have any of you seniors out there seen anything that looks like a tax break? The idea was not even part of the tax cuts in the economic stimulus bill, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; it was not in Obama’s first budget outline either, which Congress approved on April 2, 2009; and it is not part of any proposed tax cuts on the board.

These are only a few of the multitude of unkept promises the man made. There are more, enough to fill; a book, and all packed with similar promises he never intended to keep.

I mentioned earlier just how eloquent the man is. And to be honest, when I listen to him, I can see how easy it is for the poorly informed to be swept up in his flowery rhetoric, enthralled by the promises of a government that will clothe and feed you, tuck you into bed, and then laugh behind your back at just how stupid you really are.


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