20 August 2009

passing the smell test

Earlier this week, American Thinker’s Rick Moran highlighted the Obama Administration’s decision to invest $2 billion to finance offshore drilling in Brazil. Many good questions there, including the pertinent question of why offshore drilling is okay for Brazil, but not for the U.S.

Bloomberg reported last August that billionaire Democratic donor George Soros acquired over $800 million in Petrobas stock during the second quarter of 2008. Since the offshore drilling investment story broke, it was reported that Soros sold 22 million common shares and acquiring 5.8 million preferred (read “dividend paying”) shares recently.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air asks all of the salient questions, including this one:

Is it a coincidence that Obama backer George Soros repositioned himself in Petrobas to get dividends just a few days before Obama committed $2 billion in loans and guarantees for Petrobras’ (sic) offshore operations? Hmmmmmmmmmm.
I don’t have a smoking gun, but I do have the good sense to recognize when something doesn’t pass the smell test. It might well be happenstance that Soros’ “repositioning” was completely unrelated to the decision to invest American dollars in Petrobas, but there are too many dots that have at least a tenuous connection to assume that it’s a completely innocent coincidence.

Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long string of issues emanating from the White House that cause Americans to question the integrity and good sense of the Campaigner in Chief’s administration. Consider what we’ve learned in just the past several days.

Senior adviser David Axelrod is still owed $2 million by the advertising firm he ran until leaving after Obama’s election. This firm, now run by Axelrod’s son, is a key player in the healthcare reform advertising effort.

The administration, which Obama promised would be the most bipartisan ever, has floated a trial balloon to gauge reaction to achieving healthcare reform with only Democrat votes. This came after significant backtracking on the so-called “public option” deemed essential by the far left.

Many Americans are still furious about being spammed by Axelrod with a message about healthcare reform, and the dirty tactics of those opposed to the president’s plan. Many are also still incensed about the fact that the White House set up a snitch email account and actively encouraged Americans to report any “disinformation” they heard from others regarding healthcare reform.

The list could go on ad infinitum (the Beer Summit and police “acting stupidly,” the push for cap-and-trade, and many more), but the point is made: In less than eight months, the Obama administration already has a well-established track record that stands in opposition to the promises of transparency and the highest ethics. I don’t think it stems from ignorance, but instead from Obama’s trademark hubris. He knows the smell test exists; he simply thinks he is smart and clever enough to beat it, or, if he’s caught, to contort his way out of the consequences.

In over their heads, trying to flood the system by pushing huge reform after huge reform through the system in the best Alinsky style, and severely underestimating the American public’s ability to connect dots, Obama et al. have burned through copious amounts of political capital and public goodwill by trying to beat the smell test instead of working with it.

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