LOL,Obama needs a waiver on his own executive order..

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hippiehillbilly, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. hippiehillbilly

    hippiehillbilly the old asshole

    This guy is a something else..for someone who is all about "transparency",i belive this is the third time ive seen his policy be questioned.the other two were for his refusal to answer reporters questions.

    the video is worth a look.

    Posted January 22, 2009 11:06 AM

    by Frank James
    When is a ban on lobbyists in an administration not a ban on lobbyists in an administration? When you need a lobbyist who knows how the Pentagon works to help run the defense establishment.
    That's the situation the new Obama Administration finds itself in. Obama nominated William J. Lynn III as his Deputy Defense Secretary in a role that would require Lynn to essentially be the chief operations officer in that mammoth bureaucracy.
    But Lynn was among, other things, a lobbyist for Raytheon Co., one of the nation's largest defense contractors.
    To not violate the new executive order the president signed yesterday, Lynn would require a waiver from the new administration.
    That would seem to violate the spirit of Obama's ban, something which numerous people, including the Project on Government Oversight, are now pointing out:
    "POGO believes strongly in the revolving door restrictions President Barack Obama has outlined to restore integrity and ethics to government," said POGO executive director Danielle Brian. "It is because we believe so strongly in the positive impact that such a change will have that we urge the President to withdraw his nomination of William J. Lynn III as Deputy Secretary of Defense. President Obama should not compromise his standards and the effectiveness of the Department of Defense by allowing a top defense industry lobbyist to receive a waiver from these standards. The defense industry is in a class of its own among all of the industries that have had a pervasive stranglehold on public policy to advance their own financial interests."
    In a 2008 lobbying report, Lynn was listed as part of a Raytheon lobbying team on budget and appropriations issues including the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, acquisition policy, missile defense, and Foreign Military Financing. The Obama Administration should not allow its ethics standards to begin with a series of waivers and loopholes which immediately undermine its good intentions.
    Lynn's nomination is clearly contrary to the following excerpt from Obama's executive order:
    "2. Revolving Door Ban All Appointees Entering Government. I will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts.
    "3. Revolving Door Ban Lobbyists Entering Government. If I was a registered lobbyist within the 2 years before the date of my appointment, in addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 2, I will not for a period of 2 years after the date of my appointment:
    (a) participate in any particular matter on which I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment;
    (b) participate in the specific issue area in which that particular matter falls; or
    (c) seek or accept employment with any executive agency that I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment.
    According to the executive order, Lynn shouldn't have accepted the appointment though, of course, the order was only signed yesterday and Lynn presumably accepted the president's offer weeks ago. So he was arguably grandfathered in.
    But because Raytheon is pervasive in defense contracting, it will difficult, to say the least, for Lynn to avoid involvement for two years in Pentagon matters that touch Raytheon.
    An excerpt from a CQ Politics report:
    According to the company's disclosure forms, Lynn was part of a team that lobbied on a wide range of defense issues, including acquisitions policy, force protection, space and intelligence, command and control, simulation and training, missile defense, sensors and radars, and munitions and artillery. The breadth of the work reflects the reach of Raytheon throughout the Defense Department.
    If Lynn had to recuse himself from all these areas, I'm not sure what's left for him to manage. Maybe the Pentagon daycare facilities but that seems about it.
    Here's more from CQ:
    The text of the executive order would require Lynn to recuse himself from any involvement in Raytheon programs for two years after taking his post.
    "I have no reason to impugn Mr. Lynn's integrity, but it's a problem," said Claire McCaskill , a Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee. "You can't just recuse yourself from huge programs at the Pentagon if you're going to do that job."
    Following his Jan. 15 confirmation hearing, McCaskill, of Missouri, said she was considering placing a hold on Lynn's nomination because she doubts Lynn can separate his recent work on behalf of Raytheon from the job of chief operating officer at the Pentagon.
    However, late in the day Wednesday her staff said McCaskill had decided not to put a hold on the nomination, although she has not said how she will vote.
    The new lobbying rules might also give ammunition to Senate Republicans, who could raise ethical objections to the Lynn nomination as they did with the appointment of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton .
    Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the No. 2 Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said he wants clarification from the administration on how the Lynn appointment fits into the new rules.
    "While I announced my support for Mr. Lynn's nomination, the announcement of the new ethics executive order is puzzling," Inhofe said.
    This is what makes purity on Washington lobbying so hard to maintain. Some of the people most knowledgeable about how the nation's capital works are lobbyists. That's what makes them effective.
    Cracking down on lobbyists sounds great in theory. Lord knows, the public loves the concept since citizens are fed up with Washington operators who enrich themselves at the public trough, especially when it leads to extreme forms of the practice i.e. corruption.
    That notwithstanding, lobbyists know intimately how the federal agencies and Congress function. Ban them for a number of years and it's going to prove difficult to fill some of the most important jobs in the bureaucracy. Americans may not want to hear that, but it's the truth.
  2. hippiehillbilly

    hippiehillbilly the old asshole

    yes sirree,looks like you guys elected a winner!!! hes surrounding himself with people of the finest moral character..:rolleyes:

    Mitchell’s Firm Worked for Dubai Ruler in Jockey Case

    an. 27 (Bloomberg) -- George Mitchell, President Barack Obama’s special Middle East troubleshooter, was chairman of a law firm that was paid about $8 million representing Dubai’s ruler in connection with a child-trafficking lawsuit. The DLA Piper law firm did legal and lobbying work on the case, which alleged that Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al- Maktoum and another official used children kidnapped from other countries to ride as jockeys in camel races. The firm lobbied federal agencies, members of the U.S. House and about two dozen Senate offices, including those of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2006 and 2007, according to Justice Department foreign-agent disclosures.
    Mitchell, 75, who isn’t a registered lobbyist, didn’t lobby either on this issue or for Dubai generally. DLA Piper partner Bill Minor said in an e-mail that Mitchell, a former Democratic senator from Maine, mainly focused on growth and management at the firm of almost 4,000 attorneys and 65 offices worldwide, and high-profile projects such as an investigation of steroid use in Major League Baseball.
    Mitchell’s firm had extensive lobbying clients and offices in the Middle East ranging from the leader of Dubai to a Kuwait construction firm contracting in Iraq. The firm also has offices in Egypt, Oman, Qatar and Abu Dhabi and has an affiliation with a law firm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Mitchell traveled to Dubai and spoke to the press there about the issue.
    Suit Thrown Out
    The camel-jockey suit was thrown out after the U.S. Justice Department notified a Miami federal judge that it planned to intervene and argue that al-Maktoum was immune from the suit as a foreign leader.
    “That he was such a key figure in the firm himself certainly gives the appearance that probably any of the clients that solicited help from the firm may have had a business relationship with him as well,” said Craig Holman, who lobbies for tougher governmental ethics rules for Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group.
    In a Jan. 24 telephone interview, Mitchell said he “was generally aware of the case but I had no involvement in it.”
    “I visited Dubai. I did not discuss the case with the Sheikh. I had nothing to do with bringing it in,” Mitchell said. “I was merely chairman when it occurred.”
    Mitchell’s name heads a list on DLA Piper’s Web site of a team advising clients “on opportunities and risks associated with doing business in Iraq and the Middle East generally.” In addition to legal work, the Web site says DLA Piper has “experience working with relevant decision makers in the United States and the region.”
    Dubai Billing
    Altogether, DLA Piper billed Dubai-related entities about $9.5 million on this and other issues while Mitchell was chairman from 2005 through the end of 2008.
    Other lobbying clients located or primarily interested in the Middle East -- and one focused on Iran -- paid DLA Piper an additional $2.29 million.
    Mitchell, who is traveling in the Middle East this week, may need a waiver from Obama’s new policy on ethics and lobbying, which says government officials must wait two years before working on matters “directly and substantially” related to pre-government employers or clients even if they weren’t registered lobbyists, said Stefan Passantino, head of the Washington-based political law group for McKenna Long & Aldridge.
    ‘Perception Dynamic’
    “It is a perception dynamic that has to be managed very carefully,” said Passantino, who helped represent former House Speaker Newt Gingrich during a congressional ethics case.
    Asked if he’s going to have to recuse himself from anything at the State Department, Mitchell said, “I haven’t made any judgment on that.”
    “I have to wait and see,” Mitchell said. “I will be resigning from the firm and terminating all private business activities.”
    White House spokesman Bill Burton referred questions to the State Department, where spokesman Gordon Duguid declined comment and referred questions to Mitchell’s office. A voicemail left at the U.A.E. embassy in Washington wasn’t returned.
    Habib Al-Mulla, a Dubai-based lawyer for Sheikh Mohammad, also said Mitchell “played no role in the litigation or efforts that led to the quashing of the lawsuit.” Al-Mulla said the sheikh was satisfied with the outcome of the case.
    Mitchell, a former U.S. Senate majority leader and onetime federal judge, was quoted by the Emirates News Agency in January 2007 defending the United Arab Emirates’ efforts to rescue “underage camel jockeys.”
    Mitchell led efforts in Northern Ireland that resulted in the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. In 2000 and 2001, he was chairman of a fact-finding panel examining the crisis in the Middle East.
    9/11 Commission
    In 2002, congressional Democrats tapped Mitchell as vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission. Mitchell and Henry Kissinger, then-President George W. Bush’s pick as chairman, quit the commission’s top posts after Congress required members to disclose financial information and suggested Mitchell may have to sever ties to his law firm.
    The camel jockey lawsuit in September 2006, a class-action lawsuit filed by Mount Pleasant, South Carolina-based Motley Rice LLC by the children’s parents, accused al-Maktoum and others of enslaving boys from Africa and South Asia who were brought to Dubai as jockeys for camel racing, a popular sport in some parts of the Arab world.
    DLA Piper picked up the case two weeks after the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. on behalf of underage camel jockeys. It set up meetings with Biden’s Senate staff on Nov. 29, 2006, followed by a Dec. 15 meeting with Obama’s staff. On Jan. 4, 2007, the firm arranged a meeting with Clinton and other senators and their aides, according to Justice Department Foreign Agent Registration Act filings.
    ‘Serious Problem’
    A February 2005 report on the U.S. State Department Web site says that in the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, “trafficking of young, noncitizen boys employed as camel jockeys continued to be a serious problem, although the Government has pledged to eliminate this practice for boys under the age of 15.” The report cited an estimate by the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust International, a Pakistan-based civil rights group, that 5,000 boys were working as camel jockeys.
    The U.A.E. introduced the use of robots as riders on the camels and two years ago set up an $8 million fund to compensate former child jockeys. Human rights organizations have condemned the use of children as camel jockeys, saying the boys, mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh and some as young as 4 years old, are abducted, sexually abused and underfed.
    ‘Remarkable Partnership’
    Mitchell was quoted by the state-owned Emirates News Agency in January 2007 as praising the United Arab Emirates and Dubai for a “remarkable partnership with UNICEF to locate, care for and repatriate underage camel jockeys. This program has been justly praised by the international community as a model solution to a serious problem.”
    DLA Piper billed the Dubai government about $8 million, according to Justice Department filings. This included almost $2.5 million between Aug. 6, 2006, and Feb. 28, 2007. Over the next six months, the firm billed Dubai over $1.2 million, as it held more than 70 meetings with senior officials at the White House, the State and Justice departments, and Congress, seeking a “statement of interest” by the U.S. government for their client.
    The Justice Department on July 26, 2007, informed U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga it would file a motion seeking “head of state immunity” for al-Maktoum. The judge dismissed the case days later, citing other jurisdictional issues.
    A similar case was filed in Kentucky, omitting Dubai’s ruler as a defendant, and was also dismissed in November. John Eubanks, one of the lawyers who filed the cases, said the matter appears to be closed as far as U.S. courts are concerned.
    To contact the reporter on this story: Timothy J. Burger in Washington at
    Last Updated: January 27, 2009 12:08 EST
  3. Aristartle

    Aristartle Snow Falling on Cedars Lifetime Supporter

    I have a headache. I wish I could read all of that.

    Could you perhaps summarize what the waiver entails for me, please Bill? I tried to read some of it, but the format hurts to read. I clicked a few things and I still don't understand why he needs a waiver.

    For ethical reasons?

  4. hippiehillbilly

    hippiehillbilly the old asshole

    sorry ari,i woulda just posted links but i see how you frown on that so i figured id cut and paste.cant help it fucks up the format,i guess when it comes to pleasing you im damned if i do and damned if i dont.. :p

    short version,

    executive order lays out all kind of restrictions on hiring lobbyists..whooopsie,,he wants to hire a lobbyist..:D

    second article short version,
    middle east envoy mitchells law firm just got through defending dubais ruler in a CHILD TRAFFICKING lawsuit..:eek:

    then there is the tax cheat he nominated to be treasury secretary..(nice one obama)

    I mean to me,it looks like ethical standards are very important to obama as long as they dont pertain to him and the people around him..:rolleyes:
  5. Aristartle

    Aristartle Snow Falling on Cedars Lifetime Supporter

    No, it's okay. I just had a bad headache and I think I was being a wimp because the format was hard to read.

    And thanks.
  6. Fawkes

    Fawkes Member

    Yeah, Bill, I am going to agree with Ari, that that was epic. And I am going to agree with you, this guy is a winner.
  7. gardener

    gardener Realistic Humanist

    I've read the stories other places. Have to admit not a glowing start. Makes one wonder why he can find clean appointees? Is all of Washington bought and paid for? Are these the best people for the positions? I know I have all those questions.
  8. hippiehillbilly

    hippiehillbilly the old asshole

    gardener,it seems to me there are qualified people out of the washington loop for those jobs.. i mean he does have a pool of 300 million americans to choose from. granted all are not qualified but one has to believe if he truly believed in "change" he would be looking outside the normal washington channels for his appointees.

    i find it hard to believe that someone who claimed they didnt understand the tax laws is the best person for secratery of treasury..

    no if ya ask me,those that voted for obama were duped and are going to have their faces rubbed in it for the next 4 years.

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