Barack Obama Hoisted By His Own Petard

Barack Obama is kicking off yet another much-needed vacation, following the debacle that was his Midwest bus tour, wherein he beclowned himself a great many times — for example, when he told an Illinois farmer, who was rightly concerned about the glut of government regulations, to just believe in bureaucracy:

“Folks in Washington,” Obama said, “like to get all ginned up [about things that aren’t necessarily happening]. Look what’s coming down the pipe!”

Here was Obama’s timeless advice to the concerned farmer:

“Contact the USDA. Talk to them directly. Find out what it is that you’re concerned about. My suspicion is a lot of times they’re going to be able to answer your questions and it will turn out that some of your fears are unfounded.”

Not really.

In fact, Obama and his unwavering belief in bureaucracy were put to the test by Politico journalist MJ Lee, who reported the results in an article entitled “Obama’s Unhelpful Advice.” Thus:

Here’s a rundown of what happened when I started by calling USDA’s general hotline to inquire about information related to the effects of noise and dust pollution rules on Illinois farmers:

Wednesday, 2:40 p.m. ET: After calling the USDA’s main line, I am told to call the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Here, I am patched through to a man who is identified as being in charge of “support services.” I leave a message.

3:53 p.m.: The man calls me back and recommends in a voicemail message that I call the Illinois Farm Bureau — a non-governmental organization.

4:02 p.m.: A woman at the Illinois Farm Bureau connects me to someone in the organization’s government affairs department. That person tells me they “don’t quite know who to refer you to.”

4:06 p.m.: I call the Illinois Department of Agriculture again, letting the person I spoke with earlier know that calling the Illinois Farm Bureau had not been fruitful. He says “those are the kinds of groups that are kind of on top of this or kind of follow things like this. We deal with pesticide here in our bureau.”

“You only deal with pesticides?” I ask.

“We deal with other things … but we mainly deal with pesticides here,” he said, and gives me the phone number for the office of the department’s director, where he says there are “policy people” as well as the director’s staff.

4:10 p.m.: Someone at the director’s office transfers me to the agriculture products inspection department, where a woman says their branch deals with things like animal feed, seed and fertilizer.

“I’m going to transfer you to one of the guys at environmental programs.”

4:15 p.m.: I reach the answering machine at the environmental programs department, and leave a message.

4:57 p.m.: A man from the environmental programs department gets back to me: “I hate to be the regular state worker that’s always accused of passing the buck, but noise and dust regulation would be under our environmental protection agency, rather than the Agriculture Department,” he says, adding that he has forwarded my name and number to the agriculture adviser at IEPA.

On Thursday morning, POLITICO started the hunt for an answer again, this time calling the USDA’s local office in Henry County, Ill., where the town hall took place.

9:42 a.m.: Asked if someone at the office might be able to provide me with the information I requested, the woman on the phone responds, “Not right now. We may have to actually look that up — did you Google this or anything?”

When I say that I’m a reporter and would like to discuss my experience with someone who handles media relations there, I am referred to the USDA’s state office in Champaign. I leave a message there.

10:40 a.m.: A spokeswoman for the Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service calls me, to whom I explain my multiple attempts on Wednesday and Thursday to retrieve the information I was looking for.

“What I can tell you is our particular agency does not deal with regulations,” she tells me. “We deal with volunteers who voluntarily want to do things. I think the reason you got that response from the Cambridge office is because in regard to noise and dust regulation, we don’t have anything to do with that.”

She adds that the EPA would be more capable of answering questions regarding regulations.

Finally, I call the USDA’s main media relations department, based here in Washington, where I explain to a spokesperson about my failed attempts to obtain an answer to the Illinois farmer’s question. This was their response, via email:

“Secretary Vilsack continues to work closely with members of the Cabinet to help them engage with the agricultural community to ensure that we are separating fact from fiction on regulations because the Administration is committed to providing greater certainty for farmers and ranchers. Because the question that was posed did not fall within USDA jurisdiction, it does not provide a fair representation of USDA’s robust efforts to get the right information to our producers throughout the country.”

So, still no answer to the farmer’s question.

And still no answer to the question I’ve been asking left-wingers for years: where derives your great confidence in bureaucrats and government bureaucracy?


15 Comments

  • Catch Her in the Wry

    August 19, 2011

    The clip shows just how clueless Obama is about his own government agencies. He should know that the EPA is the agency coming down on farmers about dust and odor “pollution” not the Dept of Ag.

    These bureaucrats are so citified and out of the loop, they think they can regulate dust in the air and manure odors, as they are making it tougher for farmers to feed the world. Illinois EPA is one of the most difficult State EPA offices in the country to deal with.

  • Dale

    August 19, 2011

    Another front in the assault on American farmers by the Torpedo is the new requirement that farmers comply with regulations designed for truckers when using equipment on the roads.
    The day of the farmer’s kid running the tractor are over; our vaunted ruler has decried by bureaucracy that what American farmers have done since there were tractors is now illegal and requires enormously expensive government certification and approval.
    I do not respect those who are guilty of this treachery designed to harm us at every turn, but I will respect Ray and delete explicatives you can surely insinuate.

  • Dave Cochrane, UK

    August 20, 2011
  • Dave Cochrane, UK

    August 20, 2011

    OK, let’s see if it works this time (my last attempt at embedding failed).

  • Dave Cochrane, UK

    August 20, 2011

    OK, that didn’t work either. Anyhoo, just a link to a scene in Kurosawa’s Ikiru (1952) that I was reminded of.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFvNvUVF-NI

  • Ray

    August 20, 2011

    Jesus, Mr. Cochrane, it took you long enough.

  • Ray

    August 20, 2011

    Hi Dale. I don’t, for the record, mind expletives. What I was referring to when I mentioned how rough the language was getting in the comments of this blog was the glut of cunts and cocks and cocksuckers, all the dicks, the dykes, the dick-sticks and dick-suckers that were cropping up — so much so that one of my youngish readers asked me about it in a private email.

  • Ray

    August 20, 2011

    Hi Catch Her In The Wry. I’ve heard that about Illinois. In fact, Eric Odom, one of the original tea party founders, told me that a couple of years ago. He lives in Illinois — or at least he did at that time.

    “Citified.” I like that.

    Thank you for dropping by.

  • Micky

    August 20, 2011

    Whoever constructed the PR campaign on this little “listening tour” should be fired and get back to Sesame St..
    What is this crap hes doing on his bus tour ?
    Every speech/photo shoot is designed to look like hes some Mayberry RFD country bumpkin with barns, farm animals and little corner stores behind him everytime he opens his yap ?

    I feel like Mr. Rogers is running for president.
    He should be leaning against a dirty gray building in Chicago smokin a cigarette.
    This would be more fitting

    “Lets see… I’ll ditch the tie, throw on my dockers, roll up my sleeves, lose the jacket, and do my best not to look like the elite snob I am so ordinary heartland Americans will think I’m just like them.”

    “A listening tour”
    Everyone you’ve thrown under that bus are making a terrible scraping noise

    The man should listen to himself outside of his catchy platitude sound bites that stroke his ego like great stop frame photos

  • Dale

    August 21, 2011

    Hey Ray. You know I prefer the upper end of the vocabulary, using the lower end not my wont in postings.
    Sometimes, however, one must stoop to the most brazen foul words in contemporary speech, e.g. “Pelosi” or “Reid”.
    I mean, who gives a shit if we swear a little, but to be the name of those who deliberately wreak havoc on capitalist prosperity in the name of liberal moralizing and class warfare judgmentalism? Does it get any worse?
    Let me be explicit. Harry Reid has failed to meet the obligations of his station and pass a budget in over 800 days. He tables without debate legislation passed by the House without making a counter. I consider this deliberate failure an act of treason against the U.S., because it is deliberate and for political power, not the good of America.
    To Harry Reid, lowering the rate of growth of spending is a “cut”. This is a brazen lie. Harry Reid, and his ilk, who use this language are liars, would do it under oath, often say it on the floor of the House and Senate. I consider this criminal, to deliberately use deceptive language in a formal legal setting.
    Sorry, Harry prick, to use only your name. Every single stinking Democrat in elected office that I have heard on the subject say the same thing. You are all brazen liars, and I think you should burn in hell.
    So there.
    I am avoiding the lower end of the vocabulary right now.

  • Micky

    August 24, 2011

    Yeah Dale, as much as I love my profanity if guys like Ray didnt hold our standards a little higher the messages would tend to weaken.
    That said, no one can help their name but I do find it frustrating that people can lie their stinking asses off all day long and then those same exact people talk down to you over a couple expletives for impact.
    The crap I’ve heard out of some people could ruin lives if it reached the right ears and in my neck of the woods can get your ass re-arraigned and buried real quick.
    To me it doesnt matter who you’re misrepresenting. Be it the POTUS or your cell mate.
    If you run around saying someones a child molester or lied to start a war and you bring no evidence backing it, as far as I’m concerned you get the lower end of the stick.
    But, since we cant run around killing everyone who lies with contempt and prejudice the best we can do is what the MSM wont… and blog our asses off in order to clarify

  • Dale

    August 24, 2011

    Ryan’s legendary “plan” is contemptible and dishonest in the sense they say it “cuts” $6 trillion. Lie!
    Truth: Ryan’s plan spends $6 trillion less than they would have given automatic 10% unjustified increases every year. It still spends more every year.

    In contrast, the so-called “Penny Plan” would freeze spending at 2011 levels, then actually reduce from that level one penny of every dollar for six years.
    Truth (as it is represented): “Freeze” means spending the same amount, and “reduce” means spending less.
    Aye, but watch the stinking lying Democrats, screech this is a Draconian cut, decry Republicans are racists out to murder old people, same old effete lying garbage from brazen liars unwilling to have an honest discourse.

    Yea, those of Democrat persuasion, especially those who refer to Tea Party Americans as “the real enemy”, would gleefully toss aside the protections of our Constitution and replace it with Plato’s Utopia.

    It is liberal Democrats that are the aggressors in this conflict. We want to be free, raise our families, get paid for what we earn. We ask nothing of them except to leave us in peace. This is not aggressive.
    Ah, but liberal Democrats have high moral judgment, need to make “progress”, shape society into their sick utopian dreams, where they can wield aristocratic discrimination at will, unchallenged by disgusting things like a rule of law to protect the individual and his or her property.
    Liberal Democrats want to judge us, discriminate against us, seize our property to feed their corrupt institutions and increase their ever-stronger grip on our throats. This is aggressive. Liberal Democrats want to use the force of government to intimidate and coerce.

    You know, Micky, those in the media that ignore the LIE that is baseline budgeting, being sycophants and lackeys for brazen lying scum, stain the fabric of our society for their own selfish enrichment, while perpetuating lies and distortions about the American people in their lapdog roles. Chicken shit comes to mind.

  • Micky

    August 24, 2011

    Anyone see that 2008 speech they dug up where Obamas saying Bushs debt was irresponsible,unpatriotic ?
    As his is already triple in 1/4th the time ?

    I’ve only seen it on one major media outlet so far

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/08/24/flashback-obama-calls-adding-4-trillion-to-national-debt-unpatriotic/

    When is the free press going to start preserving freedom ?

  • Dale

    August 25, 2011

    “Free press!?” What a joke!
    The liberal media’s primary goal is to protect Democrats and advance the notion that they are of high moral character, worthy to be our masters and discriminate as they see fit.
    Pretend, just for a second, that the GREAT LIE OF BASELINE BUDGETING was a Republican idea that the “free press” didn’t like.
    They would do constant stories exposing the FACT that increasing spending by 8% is an INCREASE not a CUT, and that anyone saying otherwise is a LIAR.

    I have to produce to justify my continued employment. Liberals think that $100 worth of government this year is worth $110 next year, no questions asked.
    Idiots. Economic pedophiles.

  • Micky

    August 26, 2011

    Actually the question should of been “when is the free press going to be free” ?
    On one hand its a freedom to have your writings subjected to your bias, but it also can be a restraint on that freedom if you’re totally immersed. Of course the press is as free today as its ever been its actually the market thats been taken hostage by a market that cant stand the truth and sponsors who will back the flavor that sells regardless of substance
    We love blood n guts to sensationalize our news but when those blood n guts become too real we want it candy coated and buffered so we dont freak.
    We the people are also free to do something about this daily barrage of BS but we just let it slide day after day thinking that because we know its BS everyone else knows it is as well.
    Before we know it we look around and were surrounded by lies that have been said over and over again going uncontested til its become common knowledge like some truth.
    Seems like the little guy on the soap box and the blogger are the last great hope to get any decent message out. That in itself is not free from ideological bigotry but at least you’re given some kind of a heads up and full disclosure if the blog uses that discrimination as its selling point.
    But a little hope is on the horizon if places like MSNBC and Air America see the struggles they’ve seen in staying afloat.
    In other news…

    The administration has been hard at work spending our money asking our Marines to please not fart.

    “Pentagon says the marines can’t fart ………..”

    http://www.forumsforums.com/3_9/showthread.php?t=49641

    Stay Back 300 Feet! My Quaser’s Set On Stunk! Let The Fireworks Begin.
    I love the smell of Napalm in the morning…

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