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President Barack Obama listens to comments while meeting with healthcare stakeholders in the Roosevelt Room at White House May 11, 2009. At right is Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Yeah, this is getting kind of old.
The Republican all-scandal-all-the-time agenda is flopping. Benghazi has always been a nothingburger, and the IRS scandal blowing up in Rep. Darrell Issa's face. Since Republicans don't think an NSA running wild with secret and probably unconstitutional interpretations of the law to spy on Americans is actually a scandal, they have to cook up something else. And what's a better target than Obamacare? In this case, it's Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's work with Enroll America in soliciting funding from the industry and private organizations to fund public education efforts.
Republican lawmakers are demanding that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary fulfill a request for documents about her fundraising efforts on behalf of Enroll America.

In a letter to Sebelius, 28 GOP senators expressed suspicions about Enroll America, which was created to promote ObamaCare, and its ties to the administration. [...]

On Thursday, lawmakers criticized the HHS secretary for failing to answer "specific questions" about her efforts to raise money for the enrollment group.

"We urge HHS to immediately stop its solicitation for, and coordination with, Enroll America until these questions have been answered," the senators wrote.

Sebelius has had to solicit this funding, by the way, because the GOP House has steadfastly refused her requests for funding for the effort. The GOP's "questions" have all been answered already by the fact that the Public Health Services Act has a provision that allows secretaries of HHS to do exactly what Sebelius has done: work with outside entities to raise money to promote government health programs. It was done under George W. Bush for the Medicare Part D program and under Clinton for the Childrens' Health Insurance Program.

And it was also done by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), one of Sebelius's most rabid critics. And when Alexander was doing it, as the first President Bush's education secretary, it wasn't even under the Public Health Services Act.

It's going to take a lot for Republicans to gin this up into a real scandal, but that's not going to stop them from continuing to try it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (37+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:37:41 AM PDT

  •  Yawn. (14+ / 0-)

    When are these clowns actually going to do something productive?

    Oh right — never.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

    by anastasia p on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:46:09 AM PDT

    •  Exactly. So the only solution is to vote them out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Unfortunately, the Supreme Court makes it harder all the time.  

      At the start of WWII, a British politician lamented (approx.) that the lights were going out all over Europe and doubted he'd see them re-lit in his lifetime.  That's roughly how I feel watching you guys.  You seem to fixate on presidential politics and say "It's all good." while ignoring the carnage down ballot all the way to the school board level.  A president with hardly anyone at his back has a tough row to hoe, esp. when his "supporters" blame him for not focusing like a laser beam on each of their pet issues.  

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:52:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Funny how they've got one (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, ER Doc, Dallasdoc, quill

    in their fucking laps and they won't do anything with it. It's called the #NSA.

    Oh, wait...nevermind...

    •  That's not an Obama scandal (4+ / 0-)

      It has to do with the way government is structured, and it would lead back to Bush and Cheney.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:16:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uhm, they're not in office anymore (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rolfyboy6, lunachickie, midwesterner

        Domestic spying used to be a Republican scandal.  It's bipartisan now.

        It would be nice if the Republicans made themselves useful for once and treated this like the scandal it is.  Doesn't seem like elected Democrats are going to do anything meaningful to change it.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:39:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It most certainly is, given the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        insane number of "whistleblower" prosecutions from this Administration--more than any other, if I remember reading correctly.

        Bush and Cheney absolutely "structured" this shit, but President Obama did not have to embrace it. But he did and he continues to do so, despite his many promises of "transparency in Government".

        Please. The reason the GOP won't go after him on this is because they want that power as well.

  •  Too bad we elected a President who (10+ / 0-)

    adores his wife and daughters.  Sex scandals are the best ones when aimed at Democrats.  

    I'd love to see an outraged investigation of the Patriot Act, but that ship has sailed, too.  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:51:20 AM PDT

    •  ...due to Republican Rank Hypocrisy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, RichM, I love OCD
      Sex scandals are the best ones when aimed at Democrats.  

      Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

      by ROGNM on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:58:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Didn't work out too well last time (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, HugoDog, I love OCD

      The more they flogged the Lewinsky thing, the more Clinton's popularity rose. If he could have run for a third term, he would easily have beaten Bush.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:17:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, but it sure split our party, (0+ / 0-)

        and took away the booming economy as Gore's best argument for keeping Dems in the WH.  

        They were aiming for Democrats to repudiate Clinton.  They all knew they had Monicas of their own.  

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:35:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The scandal didn't take away the economy. Al (0+ / 0-)

          Gore was so intent on running away from Pres. Clinton (to the extent of picking Joe Lieberman as a running mate) that he dumped it overboard with everything else.  

          We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

          by Observerinvancouver on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:57:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The point was Gore's best arguments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for electing him were nullified by his need to run without Clinton's name coming up, and if you read the pundits and check the headlines you'll see that Dems in Congress and Dems on the street created that need.  This place didn't exist and you can easily find Kossaks blaming Clinton for Bush's non-win win.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 03:09:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  He would win if he ran TODAY (0+ / 0-)

        And any other Presidential election since he left office.

        Know who wanted to keep Presidents from running for office to TWO terms? Know who's idea it was? Know when it was passed? It's one of the major US political parties. I'll give you ONE GUESS...and extra credit if you can name the suicidally-inclined opposition Party that WENT ALONG WITH THE IDEA.

        And THAT is why Hillary will win, has already won 2016...and why she SHOULD have won in 2008. But she's a racist, and so is they lost to Obama.

        That Obama! Man, can he WIN ELECTIONS...governing? Uh...well...look who he KEPT OUT of the White House...THAT counts, too. For something.

        "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

        by DaddyO on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:36:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If they would devote 1/100,000 of the effort (9+ / 0-)

    They've spent on making up fake scandals, to actually creating ideas and governing... they might actually have made themselves into a viable political party.

    It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now? - Guerilla Radio, Rage Against The Machine.

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:06:36 AM PDT

  •  Doesn't matter if it's real or imagined (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Norton, kenwards, jan4insight

    if it can dominate the Media space for a couple weeks. The GOP's ranks will only remember that Sebelius was involved in some scandal or other and that proves how corrupt this administration is.
    And that fits the rest of the bogus "knowledge" in re: Obama and the Dems. More bias confirmation.
    Meanwhile it serves as a distraction from the rest of the bullsh!t they are trying to pull.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:12:11 AM PDT

    •  The Clinton years proved (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that if they keep acting like there is a scandal then people will naturally start to think "where there is smoke, there is fire".

      “Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid.” ― Upton Sinclair

      by gjohnsit on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:23:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Clinton years also proved (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, jan4insight, DaddyO

        it backfires. Clinton only became more popular as people rolled their eyes in disgust at GOP antics. If Gore had nor distanced himself from Clinton and not picked that pompous, moralizing scold Lie-berman as his running mate, he would have been president.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:19:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Amen, Anastasia, a-MEN (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          We are far, far behind where we should be as a nation. Al Gore's appearance on SNL should NOT have been parody, but REALITY. All those energy companies needing bailouts because nobody's buying gasoline any more...the mere idea is enough to make a Teabagger weep uncontrollably.

          The Nissan Leaf is now affordable, around 23K. A plug-in hybrid that needs little, if ANY gasoline when driven around town. THAT is the future of automobiles, and THAT one example is enough to prove where we should be as a nation and why we are not, only because two Texas oil men stole the Presidency from Al Gore.

          Don't even get me started on Lieberman. The feeling of satisfaction that he is no longer in public life is lessened identically when I think of George W. Bush painting his naked body...the damage is done, and the country is COMPLACENT about UNDOING that damage.

          "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

          by DaddyO on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:32:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately the real scandal - that NSA thingie (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, RichM, Dallasdoc, midwesterner

    - involves both parties, so I don't expect anything on that front.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:12:57 AM PDT

  •  Has any president from either party... (8+ / 0-)

    ever done a better job of making the opposition party look more unhinged and unfit to govern than Barack Obama has done to the GOP?

    He's taken up permanent residence inside their skulls.

    I thought Dan Burton shooting bullets at a honeydew during the Clinton years would be the height of insanity, but, as usual, I underestimated the GOP and its tenuous grip on reality.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:16:21 AM PDT

  •  Can't she just tell them no and refer them (0+ / 0-)

    to the PHSA?

    Screw them guys.

    "A different world cannot be built by indifferent people." Anon from a fortune cookie I got.

    by coloradocomet on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:17:41 AM PDT

    •  Not so far (0+ / 0-)

      I think she should just keep responding with that, and maybe she will, but they haven't accepted it as an answer yet. Because they have to have something.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 12:59:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If only Obama would have sex with an intern (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, DaddyO

    then their prayers would be answered.

    “Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid.” ― Upton Sinclair

    by gjohnsit on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:21:32 AM PDT

  •  Scandals?!?! What about.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaddyO, Mr MadAsHell

    Whoa, whoa!!!

    There's a couple gazillion Obama scandals needing investigation.  What about:

    That one where Obama invades a foreign country to stop them from building a nuke and it turns out there are no nukes?

    Or the one where Obama's family turns out to be friends and business partners with Bin Laden's family (and may have helps some of them get out of the country right after 9/11).

    Or the one where Obama totally dissappears for a few days, supposedly hiking or something, and then is seen in S. America with his latino mistress.

    Or the one where Obama smokes meth and has sex with a young male prostitute (Obama says he never inhaled).

    That's just the tip of the iceberg.


    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:22:01 AM PDT

  •  Isn't it obvious? Think Blazing Saddles.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Everyone is crying out for peace; no one's crying out for justice...

    by mojave mike on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:26:04 AM PDT

  •  Wait wait wait, but what about (5+ / 0-)

    He was born in Kenya?  And Benghazi? Hellooooo?  Can anybody hear me?

  •  The Socialist health-care Boogie-man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet sooo scary.

    They got nothin'

    ..and they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:30:22 AM PDT

  •  Well two things remain constant... (4+ / 0-)

    1) The President is still black.
    2) Nobody as of yet has come forward with a blue dress 'stained' by him.

    'Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost' - Ronald Reagan, Communist

    by RichM on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:43:19 AM PDT

  •  Another shiny object for the Beltway media (0+ / 0-)

    So the Secretary of HHS is doing something explicitly allowed by the law, something done by past Administrations, Republican and Democratic, even a Republican Senator when he served in a previous Cabinet, and they are going to profess shock and outrage and pretend this is something new, sinister and unprecedented.
    The GOP in Washington checked their consciences at the Capitol door decades ago.
    And of course the media will play along, or at best ignore the hypocrisy.
    After all, scandal = ratings = Pulitzer!

    Democrats have to start taking the gloves off and calling out the GOP for being either batshit crazy or hypocritical - or as is often the case - both!

    Of course then the media will criticize the Democrats for not playing nice, being too partisan, etc.

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:08:08 AM PDT

  •  Yup, they're looking HARD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And they won't stop until they FIND ONE.

    ha ha

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:25:41 AM PDT

  •  Joan's signature highlights the real scandal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that no-one in Washington has any interest in examining.

    "There's a conceptual zone within which the romanticized historical past and the immanentizing historical future converge in a swamp of misapprehension and misstep. It's called 'the present'." - David Beige

    by Superskepticalman on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:26:25 AM PDT

  •  What if we got (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joan McCarter

    Rep Issa to simply go to each Secretary and asked them, pretty please, to tell him what they think is most scandalous in their departments and the "scandals" for which they have the most paperwork readily available that they could submit to him?

    Oh, there would still be no more actual scandals. But perhaps we could inadvertently get something accomplished. Perhaps we could get HIS staff to process FEMA claims thinking they were investigating whether FEMA claims were accurately calculated.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:29:45 AM PDT

    •  Issa would then publicly declare (0+ / 0-)

      that he asked for the files and documents behind the scandals and the various departments either withheld or were slow to respond. He would then demand to know what they are hiding.

      "Labor was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things" -- Adam Smith

      by HugoDog on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:44:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They have their scandal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Bush war crimes campaign against Iraq, trials therefore

    The Bush Stellar Wind Writ of Assistance, trials therefore

    The Bush torture war crimes campaign, trials therefore

    The Bush kidnapping "rendition" campaign, trials therefore

    Readers may deduce why the Republicans are not pursuing something that past generations would have viewed as scandalous, namely all the missing criminal trials.

    Restore the Fourth! Save America!

    by phillies on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:30:54 AM PDT

  •  Seems like... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...there's never a semen stained blue dress around when you really need one.

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

    by itsjim on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:31:03 AM PDT

  •  Does Bo the Dog have immunity? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joan McCarter
  •  At what point (0+ / 0-)

    does President Obama tell his people to tell these miscreants to take a flying fuck and let SCROTUS sort it out? Of course he'd have to tell SCROTUS to go screw as well, I don't think that's a step he'd be willing to take if he can't take it over the VRA.

  •  kind of ike the military... (0+ / 0-)

    helmets that charity had to assist with because Congress wouldn't...

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:42:26 AM PDT

  •  It's really about the worst I've seen it (0+ / 0-)

    The new crop of republicans were sent to Washington to basically try to remove and obstruct anything that would move the country forward or give the dems a victory.

    I think they have the districts gerrymandered to the point that they are going to be tough to remove.

    In the Clinton years, heck even in the NIXON years they still got business done, but now the agenda is to almost sort of stage a coup or destroy the opposition, not to propose a different strategy of governing.

    It's sad. The public has caught on. That is why Obama won again but the districts are so manipulated they have safe crazy seats.

  •  The lack of any real scandal... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot

    is a scandal unto itself.

  •  Gotta have something to distract from their (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    abysmal record at governing.  The biggest scandal of all is that they still collect salaries and benefits from the taxpayers.

    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    by SottoVoce on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:44:48 AM PDT

  •  Like pack of stray dogs chasing every passing car (0+ / 0-)

    biting at their tires.

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:50:01 AM PDT

  •  There is plenty of scandal, but it's the kind the (0+ / 0-)

    GOP agrees with.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:52:30 AM PDT

  •  grrr.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, Mr MadAsHell

    patient bear is tired

  •  Fucking seditious scumbags. (0+ / 0-)

    They deserve no better from us.

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 12:02:46 PM PDT

  •  I got some for them. (0+ / 0-)

    How about failure to prosecute torturers?
    How about harboring war criminals?
    How about failure to pursue anything remotely resembling justice when it comes to the fraud of too-big-to-fail banks and banksters?
    How about unprecedentedly using the Espionage Act to prosecute government whistleblowers?

    I could go on. Hell, there are plenty of scandals just sitting there right in the open, waiting for them to pounce. Their problem is that they're looking in the wrong places.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 12:12:31 PM PDT

  •  Only a $6,500 Rolex??? Must be a Knockoff. (0+ / 0-)

    No self respecting politician should sell out for less than a $50,000 Rolex.

    Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

    by olo on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 12:17:51 PM PDT

  •  (Deep Sigh) (0+ / 0-)

    Please proceed, GOP.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 12:39:19 PM PDT

  •  Once again.... (0+ / 0-)

    Do everything that you can to defund something, just so you can complain about how it doesn't work. I wish Dems would call them out every time and publicly. Maybe then after Benghazi the Repubs would have clammed up about wanting to defund government.

  •  and when GOP/wingnuts criticize the POTUS, (0+ / 0-)

    all they'll do is list all the (failed) scandals they tried to gin up as if they had any truth, relevance or actual scandal, without mentioning they did not pan out.

    And those who are ignorant, willfully or otherwise, will take up the list and repeat it ad nauseum. Because reality does not matter in rightwing thought.

    Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Gentle Giant on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 02:00:41 PM PDT

  •  We know their tired game now, so let me tell you (0+ / 0-)

    this:  once you spit in my soup it tastes aweful.  The GOP keeps passing me that bowl of soup and I just push it back.  They got nothin', 'cause they are nothin' and I might add; Obama looks like a living, breathing saint next to these dirty, political players, who need to be spin dried after they wash up in TIDE, the TIDE that is about to engulf them in the reality of  the assertion of the American soul which favors fairness and human dignity.  There are not enough hospital beds open in the country for the people who now  suffer from severe anxiety about the multi-faceted, multi-racial, multi-diversity that encompasses these  Amercan shores.   Let us welcome July 4, 2013 with the splendor of our Republic:  the land of the free and the home of the brave:   everyday people,  in every day places, laying waste to human suffering by enlarging freedom for all, everywhere, with free speech and press, freedom of religion, and freedom to assemble in all our public places.

    I humbly pray like Abraham Lincoln that I am on God's side for I know I can not know God's will.  

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