Afrocity here reporting from the road. Today I have officially started my “tour Americana”. I am on a quest to see the Holocaust Museum, the Lincoln Memorial and Monticello. Driving through the mountains to Virginia was beautiful and makes one pause if even for a second to see how beautiful and diverse our great country is. Every state has its own distinct personality or geography. Driving is a great way to travel and I highly recommend it.
As you can guess my posts will be sporadic and perhaps a bit sparse in content.
One thing that struck me as I was driving through Kentucky is the number of Hillary Clinton bumper stickers which were later superseded by a McCain/Palin sticker. Is it possible that PUMA country is alive and well in Kentucky and West Virgina??? Regardless of the reason, it was nice to see that there were others like me out there. You must forgive my enthusiasm for Palin bumper stickers but when you live in “Liberal Obamabot Land” like I do, one has the tendency to overreact with tribal dances of joy upon seeing anything that is anti-Obama.
I would like to call your attention again to a newstory that has received little attention. Several days ago I mentioned that Michelle Obama’s cheif of staff resigned. I also blogged about Obama’s recent firing of Gerald Walpin, a federal Inspector General:
The White House Fires a Watchdog
The curious case of the inspector general and a Presidential ally.
President Obama swept to office on the promise of a new kind of politics, but then how do you explain last week’s dismissal of federal Inspector General Gerald Walpin for the crime of trying to protect taxpayer dollars? This is a case that smells of political favoritism and Chicago rules.
A George W. Bush appointee, Mr. Walpin has since 2007 been the inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees such subsidized volunteer programs as AmeriCorps. In April 2008 the Corporation asked Mr. Walpin to investigate reports of irregularities at St. HOPE, a California nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson. St. HOPE had received an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant, which was supposed to go for three purposes: tutoring for Sacramento-area students; the redevelopment of several buildings; and theater and art programs.
Mr. Walpin’s investigators discovered that the money had been used instead to pad staff salaries, meddle politically in a school-board election, and have AmeriCorps members perform personal services for Mr. Johnson, including washing his car…
Mr. Walpin brought his concerns to the Corporation’s board, but some board members were angry over a separate Walpin investigation into the wrongful disbursement of $80 million to the City University of New York. Concerned about the St. HOPE mess, Mr. Walpin wrote a 29-page report, signed by two other senior members of his office, and submitted it in April to Congress. Last Wednesday, he got a phone call from a White House lawyer telling him to resign within an hour or be fired.
We’ve long disliked the position of inspectors general, on grounds that they are creatures of Congress designed to torment the executive. Yet this case appears to be one in which an IG was fired because he criticized a favorite Congressional and executive project (AmeriCorps), and refused to bend to political pressure to let the Sacramento mayor have his stimulus dollars.
There’s also the question of how Mr. Walpin was terminated. He says the phone call came from Norman Eisen, the Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, who said the President felt it was time for Mr. Walpin to “move on,” and that it was “pure coincidence” he was asked to leave during the St. HOPE controversy. Yet the Administration has already had to walk back that claim.
That’s because last year Congress passed the Inspectors General Reform Act, which requires the President to give Congress 30 days notice, plus a reason, before firing an inspector general. A co-sponsor of that bill was none other than Senator Obama. Having failed to pressure Mr. Walpin into resigning (which in itself might violate the law), the Administration was forced to say he’d be terminated in 30 days, and to tell Congress its reasons.
While the WSJ is publishing this story just TODAY. It was actually only FOX News and a couple of other newspapers like the Chicago Tribune that ran the story first.
Please look at this story and LISTEN. Glen Beck also ran a piece on it yesterday. This may become a Waterloo for the “changeling”. ACORN may be involved in this one too.
Autographed Letter Signed,