Federal IGs object to attack on independence

posted at 4:26 pm on July 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Promotions always sound terrific, except for the Inspectors General in the federal government.  Currently, they report to both Congress and the executive branch, which creates a check and balance that helps preserve their independence.  Now Congress apparently wants to give an ex post facto grant of legitimacy to Barack Obama’s attack on IG Gerald Walpin by making all IGs report only to the executive:

Inspectors general at five financial regulatory agencies are objecting to legislation that would elevate their positions to the presidential-appointment level, arguing that the move would compromise their ability to conduct independent investigations.

The bill would elevate the five officials at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. …

The bill, passed last month by the House and awaiting Senate consideration, comes amid a period of increased tension for the government watchdog community, which has seen the departure or dismissal of three inspectors general in recent weeks.

Last month, the International Trade Commission dismissed its inspector general and President Obama fired Gerald Walpin, inspector general at the Corporation for National and Community Service. Also, Amtrak’s inspector general retired suddenly after delivering to leadership of the federally backed corporation an independent audit alleging interference with his probes. Amtrak said retirement arrangements had been made before the analysis was delivered.

Federal watchdogs and their investigative and auditing staffs are tasked with rooting out government corruption or investigating sensitive personnel matters. According to the Government Accountability Office, there are at least 69 inspector general offices across the federal government, with new ones established as the need arises. The president appoints approximately 30 IGs, while the remainder are appointed directly by agency leadership. Rules and reporting structures vary.

Democrats and the White House claim that the changes provide better accountability, but their track record on Gerald Walpin says otherwise.  They went after Walpin hard, accusing him of mental instability, when he objected to a ludicrously easy deal to let Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson — an Obama supporter — off the hook.   In doing so, White House counsel Norman Eisen initially bypassed required Congressional participation by attempting to intimidate Walpin out of his job, and then in firing him outright.

This comes as a piece with the explosion of “czars” in the Obama administration.  Obama has appointed more than a dozen people with plenary powers over the federal bureaucracy, outside of Congressional oversight.  Obama claims that several “emergency” situations demands dictatorial strength in White House aides, which is why we now have an auto-industry czar and a “pay czar,” among others, imposing federal control over private-sector decisions outside the purview of the legislative branch.

The bill to surrender the IGs to the White House is a dereliction of duty by Congress.  It threatens to remove accountability in the system just as the executive branch attempts to take unprecedented control over the federal bureaucracy.  We need a strong Congress to counter a runaway executive, not a supine body that allows an executive to trample over its prerogatives.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Cloward Piven Strategy in effect, yo!

NTWR on July 6, 2009 at 5:22 PM

P.S. I’ve emailed lots of people about how Obama is implementing a variation on the Cloward-Piven strategy, but the only person (I know of) who has even explained it was Glenn Beck. And he didn’t connect it to what Obama is doing (yet).

I even sent an email to Michelle, but she probably thinks it sounds too much like a wacko conspiracy theory.

That’s what I’m afraid of, that people will see it as a wacko conspiracy theory until it’s too late, and then it’ll be nearly impossible to dig our way out. I really don’t want to say, “I told you so.” I don’t want it to happen.

Daggett on July 6, 2009 at 5:34 PM

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Would they like it? No. If we kept it peaceful, but a large group showed up each day we just might get through to them.

chemman on July 6, 2009 at 5:34 PM

This is getting even more scary.

Torch on July 6, 2009 at 5:37 PM

My sympathies, Susanboo. That’s a tough place for you to be in. Not so uncommon, but really tough.

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:25 PM

He doesn’t like Obama either, but I think he is still acquiescing to a Democratic family unit who live nearby and are very politically outspoken. He never votes for the Dems, but still has some of their tendencies in his thought processes. Thank God his two best friends and brother are strong Conservatives, so he gets an ear full from them on an almost constant basis. Between the four of us, we are gradually turning him away from the evil empire!

Susanboo on July 6, 2009 at 5:38 PM

I’ve seen Michelle report on Cloward-Piven. At least I think so.

The American Thinker article about Cloward-Piven went into specifics of how Obama fit into the plan. And when you investigate the people who set up ACORN, The New Party, welfare and illegal immigration inundation, etc… it connects the radical ties Obama’s had in the past with his most recent contemporaries.

IOW, there’s a continuous point of contact between Obama and the communist plans of the past 40 years.

I hardly think that’s a wacko conspiracy theory, especially since Cloward and Piven were so kind as to spell out their plans for us in plain sight, and everything they talked about has been done by Obama and his contemporaries.

But then, people are paranoid of believing in conspiracies, even when the conspirators openly boast of it.

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Never thought I would see such a thing in my lifetime in this nation.

Bishop on July 6, 2009 at 4:50 PM

3-6 months is all it took to start the nightmare rolling. And we all know what’s very likely happening behind the scenes already that Obama wants IG’s to steer clear of in the future. He’s pulling together the technological infrastructure of the post 9/11 years to “accidentally” focus on the conservatives Obama sees as threatening his power. Here’s the vision explained by a friend of Barack:

Brzezinski, in his ‘Between Two Ages : America’s Role in the Technetronic Era’ (1970), put forward the concept of a future ‘technotronic era’ whereby a more controlled society would gradually emerge, dominated by an elite unrestrained by traditional values. Brzezinski wrote that ‘Power will gravitate into the hands of those who control information’ (Brzezinski, 1970: 1), adding that surveillance and data mining will encourage ‘tendencies through the next several decades toward a technocratic era, a dictatorship leaving even less room for political procedures as we know them’ (Brzezinski, 1970: 12). By gaining control over informational technological communications Brzezinski outlined how this could help achieve control and order over the public:

“Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control.” (Brzezinski, 1970: 252)

econavenger on July 6, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Wow, econoavenger. Makes the whole technology czar and information czar paranoia seem downright reasonable, doesn’t it?

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Presidents never give up power. Congress does, though.

AnninCA on July 6, 2009 at 4:57 PM

It could be argued that 2 Presidents did give up power. One chose not to run for re-election, and his successor eventually resigned.

Del Dolemonte on July 6, 2009 at 5:43 PM

You know what we need to do? We need to have our Congress critters sit down at a computer for a couple days and just listen to what is being said by the grassroots. They have to see how they appear to the rest of us and what facts we are responding to, how we get our facts, etc.

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:44 PM

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Where was the tea party? Dallas? I love Dallas, went to college in Denton, graduated, and then lived in Dallas for a couple of years. You guys are so lucky to be somewhere that has enough conservative thinkers to hold events like that. We are 620 miles from Big D, in “lib land” on the border of Texas, very few Republicans or people calling themselves Conservatives here. It is tough to not be an Obama supporter here.

Susanboo on July 6, 2009 at 5:45 PM

econavenger on July 6, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Ah, yes. I believe that has created the need for a full glass of Maker’s Mark, here.

a capella on July 6, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Lincoln, NE. There were about 200 of us at the State Capitol.

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:46 PM

That’s what I’m afraid of, that people will see it as a wacko conspiracy theory until it’s too late, and then it’ll be nearly impossible to dig our way out. I really don’t want to say, “I told you so.” I don’t want it to happen.

Daggett on July 6, 2009 at 5:34 PM

I’m starting to embrace my wacko, conspiracy theorist label. Just as I now embrace my Right Wing Extremist (per DHS) label. By calmly explaining to my very liberal friends what is going to happen a month or two before it happens, they’ve now started asking me what I think will happen as if I’m in on some secret. Truth is, it’s all going exactly according to their strategy and even my friends are acknowledging that it’s getting “troubling”.

Hopefully they’ll become “gravely concerned” sometime soon. Keep up your nattering, Daggett, it’s good to see a fellow awake American around.

NTWR on July 6, 2009 at 5:48 PM

A capella, somebody on another thread said that fear isn’t good. I’d say fear of something that is going to annihilate you and your family is not only good – it’s necessary. There are some things that only a fool would not be afraid of.

But in America there’s this attitude that the bad stuff we see could never happen here. Having the OAS and UN trying to take over the sovereign nation of Honduras – pretty darn close to our shores – has been eye-opening.

It’s hard to know what to tell the kids. Don’t want them to be petrified but I do want them to know that freedom is always just a generation away from extinction. The baby boomers may well be the generation that ends it here, if we don’t do something.

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Lincoln, NE. There were about 200 of us at the State Capitol.

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:46 PM

I would have loved to have been there, one of these days I’ll make it to one! Michelle Malcolm has tea party posts on her blog, and she says there were 37,000 in Dallas, but apparently they were all over the Country.

Susanboo on July 6, 2009 at 5:57 PM

By calmly explaining to my very liberal friends what is going to happen a month or two before it happens, they’ve now started asking me what I think will happen as if I’m in on some secret. Truth is, it’s all going exactly according to their strategy and even my friends are acknowledging that it’s getting “troubling”.

NTWR on July 6, 2009 at 5:48 PM

My family and I went to Denver to visit some friends recently, and one of them voted for Obama. We tried not to push her too hard, but she is an Independent and seems to be changing her tune pretty quickly about this president. I believe most “logical” people, are starting to see through this administration and their power grabbing policies.

Susanboo on July 6, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Der Fuhrer speaks, we must follow. Wonder what Congress will do when Barry decides that, in order to increase efficiency, he’ll do away with them.

GarandFan on July 6, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Um… question I heard yesterday… but its a good one…

Just who pays these Czars salaries? They seem to sit outside of the normal Chain of command for the various Departments…

Is Obama misappropriating money to create Non Constitutional positions?

Romeo13 on July 6, 2009 at 4:49 PM

You are paying them and you’re damn generous too!

I was wondering this too until the white house released its list of salaries. The czars are officially known as Special Assistant to the President of ___, Assistant to the President of ___ or Deputy Assistant to the President of___. Most of them make $172,000 but some make less. They serve at the pleasure of the Pres and you are paying their salaries and fabulous benefits.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/July1Report-Draft12.pdf

Monica on July 6, 2009 at 6:12 PM

I guess they want all IG’s to report to Obama so he can bury what ever he wants.
What happened to all that transparency?

Hobbes on July 6, 2009 at 6:56 PM

I’ve seen Michelle report on Cloward-Piven. At least I think so.

I haven’t seen it. It was one of her reports on ACORN that tipped me off to the Piven connection, after which I found a few articles published BEFORE Obama got elected. That was before he went on a rampage destroying the economy way more than anyone had anticipated, thus making it even more obvious he’s doing it on purpose.

The American Thinker article about Cloward-Piven went into specifics of how Obama fit into the plan. And when you investigate the people who set up ACORN, The New Party, welfare and illegal immigration inundation, etc… it connects the radical ties Obama’s had in the past with his most recent contemporaries.

Yeah, that’s one of the articles before he was elected.

IOW, there’s a continuous point of contact between Obama and the communist plans of the past 40 years.

Absolutely. I wish the MSM would report that.

But then, people are paranoid of believing in conspiracies, even when the conspirators openly boast of it.

justincase on July 6, 2009 at 5:38 PM

That’s what makes it a bigger crime if he actually goes through with it. Nobody can say they weren’t warned.

Daggett on July 6, 2009 at 6:59 PM

We need a strong Congress to counter a runaway executive, not a supine body that allows an executive to trample over its prerogatives.

Absolutely true. However, it’s been true for the last 8 years as well. Have you been saying it that whole time?

orange on July 6, 2009 at 7:05 PM

“…deriliction of duty by Congress.”
Well, duh!
Of course it’s no surprise that Congress is derelict in their duty. It’s so common as to not be very distressing anymore. What is distressing is how, even when the electorate is aware of that dereliction, they will vote to keep the scum in office. They all hate Congress but they love their Congressman. Then they wonder where the corruption comes from. Idiots.

SKYFOX on July 6, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Have seen little of the total number that was at all tea parties this time. Proud to say we had a reasonable turn out in Wheeling, WV.
Unless a politician can show a record of conservatism and can agree to the fundamental provisions of our constitution, none should be returned to office. That should be our goal. However, I am still pessimistic that waiting ’til elections may be toooo late.

hillbilly on July 6, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Who authored/sponsored this bill?

onlineanalyst on July 6, 2009 at 7:32 PM

Shouldn’t the IGs report to the public? Why does Colonel Obama think he should appoint a czar to oversee this.

I am about all czar-ed out … The whole concept has this Hugo Chavez bypass the laws ring to it.

tarpon on July 6, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Obama does not believe in accountability and he may not even believe in democracy. Having won the Presidency, he now expects to rule. Any criticism violates the “will of the people”.

If you prevent Obama from doing whatever he wants, be prepared to feel the full force of his worshippers, both in the administration and in the lapdog media. Inspectors General tend to criticize, it’s their job. In Obama’s America, this is seen as open rebellion. It will not be tolerated.

kghahn on July 6, 2009 at 9:22 PM

I. Hate. Democrats. Esp. those in the House and Senate. What a bunch of absolute, 100% POS’s.

Just when ya think they can’t stoop any lower, they prove ya WRONG. Seems lately that they never disappoint.

Phone your Senators and help Kill this Bill.

TennDon on July 6, 2009 at 10:07 PM

Gerald Walpin was terminated b/c Kevin Johnson misused Stimulus money and Mr. Walpin investigated it. Kevin Johnson should be sent to jail……….

BigMike252 on July 7, 2009 at 2:01 AM

Susanboo on July 6, 2009 at 5:57 PM

It’s Michelle Malkin, btw. She owns this site, as well. :o)

***

This story had me up pretty late last night…I really cannot believe that this is even happening. Someone said that in a post above, that most Americans do not believe it could happen here. Somehow Reagan was under no illusion that we could lose our freedom at any point.

I think Congress does not speak because it has skeletons…they know full well that they hold onto their jobs by one thread and plenty of them will not say anything for fear of becoming a target. CAN YOU BELIEVE WE ARE EVEN TALKING LIKE THIS HERE IN THE US? Oh my gosh…

I get the whole C/P strategy and have thought that we would be (very soon) a surveillance society very soon, but, this is all nightmarishly true, RIGHT NOW. Where is the opposition to this assault on checks and balances? Where is the objectivity? Where are the leaders? WE NEED ALL OF THEM, not just one. What can be done?

Mommypundit on July 7, 2009 at 5:15 AM

This story had me up pretty late last night…I really cannot believe that this is even happening. Someone said that in a post above, that most Americans do not believe it could happen here.

Including AllahP. He trashed Rush last week for suggesting Obama may be planning to pull a Zelaya and toss the 22nd Amendment by Executive Order. The number of smug conservatives that can’t see what’s happening right before there eyes is astounding to me.

The Democrat Party is clearly working to dismantle the honesty of our elections, the independence of State government, and the balance of power between the branches. They were a constant watchdog against executive abuse while Bush was in office but they’re surrendering the rights of the peoples’ representatives to the Executive without question. Only Sen. Byrd of all the Democrats seems to remember his oath.

If this keeps up past 2012 I’m not sure we’ll be able to get back our democracy through the ballot because the fix will be in.

rcl on July 7, 2009 at 7:21 AM

rcl, I don’t know if we even have until 2012. Obama is deliberately moving fast. I think he knows it’s only a matter of time before he’s proven to be ineligible to be president. He’s using lawyers to stall for time so he can do as much irreversible damage as possible before the big confrontation between law and lawlessness comes.

The challenge for us is to bring as many people as possible to see what a corrupt communist he is before the confrontation so we can avert the riots and martial law that will surely come. And we need to win the hearts and minds of the rank and file military people, because ultimately – as always – they will be the ones who can save this country, but only if they have the courage and vision to obey the Constitution rather than the illegal head of their chain of command.

justincase on July 7, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Comment pages: 1 2