That’s the nicest thing I could call him for his present actions. What actions? President Obama is deliberately orchestrating the partial shutdown of the government in such a way as to inconvenience the greatest number of Americans possible. Read this article from the Daily Caller.
Although President Obama claims that he can’t avoid shutting down public sites and monuments, war memorials were in fact kept open during the 1995/1996 government shutdowns. The administration’s decision to barricade the Lincoln Memorial marks the first time in its history the memorial has been totally off limits to visitors during a shutdown.
But during the Clinton-era shutdown, World War II veterans kept the Pearl Harbor memorial open.
“Despite the federal government shutdown and an unrepaired sign that reads ‘Arizona Memorial closed,’ tourists are still getting expert commentary about the World War II memorial at Pearl Harbor,” wrote the Associated Press on January 1, 1996.
“It’s our way of helping to preserve the history of this place,” Bob Kinzler, president of the Aloha Chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors, told the AP.
Barricades went up in national parks across Washington, D.C. Wednesday, including the Lincoln Memorial. This, too, was unprecedented.
It is not clear how much taxpayer money the Obama administration is paying to ensure that government sites and services remain shuttered to taxpayers. Popular Washington spots such as the World War II memorial are now guarded by more security personnel than they are during normal operations, while federal employees have been dispatched to put up barricades on capital bike paths and other public grounds that are not usually patrolled at all.
Obama’s team has also been caught deliberately punishing World War II veterans trying to visit their own memorial, with one administration official telling a veteran’s supporter, “It’s a government shutdown, what do you expect?” (Related: Obama admin. knew about WWII veterans’ request and rejected it)
The American people are currently paying for eight mounted cops to keep people out of the World War II memorial.
Daniel Burnett, a volunteer with Honor Flight, sent The Daily Caller FOAIed documents showing how much the Park Service is spending on the mounted police. To house, feed, and care for the horses it costs more than $41,000 year. Park police starting salary is $52,020, according to their website.
Another unprecedented aspect of the current shutdown is that the president has until Wednesday evening refused any discussions with the opposition leadership. In 1995 and 1996 President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich negotiated vigorously and struck several compromises, such as 75-percent funding plan that lasted more than a month. (Related: US economy boomed during 1995/1996 shutdown)
I am positive that enough non-essential functions of government could be suspended in such a way that the average person might not even be aware of any shutdown at all. Instead, President Obama has decided to spend more money to make sure the public suffers from his tantrum.
Most of the news about the “Shutdown Theater” — unnecessary closures ordered by the Obama administration to purposely maximize the pain of the government shutdown — has focused on the Washington, DC area, but the epidemic of artificial Potemkin Suffering has now struck the West Coast as well.
San Francisco’s Cliff House, a privately owned and very profitable restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean, was suddenly and unexpectedly ordered closed today, “because” the building sits on federal land. This, despite the fact that the Cliff House racks up $11.5 million in annual sales and is one of the most profitable independent restaurants in the nation.
How does the government save money by shuttering a profitable business? And a private one at that?
There are no federal employees at the Cliff House restaurant; a receptionist still manning the phones there today confirmed that all employees are paid by the restaurant’s owners, not by the government. As the Cliff House’s own Web site notes today, the restaurant is a “concessionaire” operating a business on Federal land — in this case, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which encompasses much of the Pacific shoreline along San Francisco and Marin counties — which means it is a private business which pays a fee to operate on government property:
Proof that this forced closure is only for political “optics” in an attempt by Obama to arouse public anger at the Republican controlled House of Representatives: While the waitresses and chefs were sent home today without paychecks, the restaurant’s managers continue to get paid as normal:
During the hiatus, servers and cooks will not get paid, according to a receptionist at the restaurant, though managers and receptionists — who will still be working — will continue to get paid.
If the restaurant was being closed because there was no money to pay employees due to the shutdown, then obviously everybody would get sent home. But no — as we have seen at various facilities around the country, only the employees who directly serve the public are being furloughed, because their absence causes inconvenience — while the behind-the-scenes managers and executives (and politicians) continue to draw their salaries as normal.
The absurdity is becoming more and more apparent every day as we learn that none of the closures are actually necessary at all, and didn’t happen during previous shutdowns.
The fact that the federal government twisted the arm of a private business to intentionally and unnecessarily inconvenience its customers (and lose money while doing so) proves that the Obama administration will stop at nothing to maximize the drama of its political brinksmanship.
I wish I could say this behavior was unexpected.
- RNC: We’ll pay to keep WWII Memorial open (theblaze.com)
- How The National Park Service Became Obama’s Shutdown ‘Shock Troops’ (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Open WWII memorial or be sued, Obama told (mobile.wnd.com)
- ‘This image is pretty striking’: An eerie snapshot of ‘Obama’s America’ (twitchy.com)
- Monuments and Memorials Remained Open During Previous Shutdown (joemiller.us)
- Obama behind ‘barrycades’ at WWII monument (wnd.com)