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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Monday, December 2, 2013

An Obama renaissance of crony capitalism -- By David Keene, The Washington Times

Competence matters little as the president rewards his loyalists

During his initial 2008 run for the presidency, Barack Obama attacked no-bid and sole-source federal contracting as wasteful and at least marginally corrupt. He promised that when elected, he would end “the abuse of no-bid contracting once and for all.” His administration, he said, would be the most transparent in history and would do away with the cronyism that plagued his predecessors.

President Obama repeated his promise just after being sworn in, issuing a memorandum to federal agencies ordering them to minimize resorting to such contracts, which he claimed were inherently “wasteful, inefficient, subject to abuse.”

He was right, of course, but then, he was making many promises back in those days that he would later ignore and which are now coming back to haunt him.

No president in recent times has done more to channel contracts, subsidies, grants and other taxpayer-funded goodies to his friends and political allies than Mr. Obama, and none since Warren Harding appears to be facing a bigger cost for having done so. All presidents reward their friends and supporters, but most are wise enough to play favorites in ways that do little harm to the economy or to their own political prospects.

Thus, big givers are often rewarded with comfortable ambassadorships to countries that aren’t crucial to U.S. security and intelligence interests. During the Cold War, for example, presidents resisted the temptation to send their buddies to Moscow, but rather to London and other capitals where they could acts as social ambassadors while the real work of the embassy was being handled by career Foreign Service and intelligence personnel.

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