Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Skewed priorities

Investors Business Daily provides a cogent perspective on the recently released White House visitors log:

Leadership: What are we to make of a White House visitors list that includes 22 swiftly scheduled appointments with a union boss at a time when Gen. Stanley McChrystal can't get face time with the commander in chief?

Late Friday during the idle hours of the news cycle, the administration released the names of 100 White House visitors in 481 visits. It wasn't exactly the transparency the president promised. It was simply in compliance with two court rulings that ordered the names to be made public record. Unable to admit misconduct, the White House insisted its disclosure was voluntary.
Most disturbing, though not surprising, is the pervasive presence of union bosses in the White House.  More from IBD:
The list reveals visits from activists, left-wing foundations, the feminist lobby, union bosses and noted anti-capitalists whose ideas would put the U.S. economy into the ground. The list also shows the White House had little exposure to policymakers on the frontlines of some of the most important decisions the president must make.

In the former category, there's Service Employees International Union boss Andy Stern, who told the Wall Street Journal that if the power of persuasion didn't work, then the persuasion of power would have to do. The records show Stern had 22 meetings, many face-to-face with the president, more than anyone else known so far. Stern might as well borrow a White House bedroom.

And that may be why the president has been so solicitous of union demands at the expense of the economy. As the jobless rate hits 9.8%, unions have managed to persuade the president to impose tire tariffs, violate the NAFTA treaty with Mexican truck restrictions, place protectionist "Buy American" limitations on federal contracts, and ice Colombian, Panamanian and Korean free trade treaties. Stern's union has also harassed banks that took bailouts, making one wonder if a sort of Cuban or Venezuelan revolutionary mob activity against business has the White House imprimatur.
So, SEIU boss, Andy Stern, can visit the White House any time the spirit moves him, but General McChrystal has only had an audience with the President twice in nine months?  It is clear to me that this president has been bought and paid for.

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