Thursday, October 31, 2013

Guest Post: Houdini Faces His Greatest Escape Act

Houdini Faces His Greatest Escape Act
Colonel Donald J. Myers USMC (Ret)
Houdini became famous because of his death defying feats of escape that no one has really been able to duplicate. Technology has provided the latest escape artists and magicians more opportunity to amaze audiences, but they still can not duplicate Houdini and his feats. I think that we are about to see a greater escape artist in the guise of President Obama.

"I did not know" is the excuse that is offered most frequently by this administration. That was a phrase that was totally unacceptable for a Plebe at the United States Naval Academy when asked a question by an upperclassman when I was a plebe. I hope that that remains true because it was a fantastic learning tool. The proper response was, 'I'll find out sir" and the plebe had until the following meal to discover the answer to the question. Our president is not a plebe, but as the head of the nation politically and the Commander in Chief militarily, I would expect him to be in the loop for major actions. That does not seem to be the case in far too many instances as has become evident over the past several years. I understand that staff personnel try to protect their boss from being hurt by poor events, but an effective leader develops a system to insure that this protection does not prevent him from knowing exactly what is happening in the organization. The first step is to place individuals in positions of authority that he trusts and and that they have the expertise to do the job.

The leader must listen and constantly be approachable while he visits sub-organizations and travels throughout the organization while observing what is happening. Unannounced visits provide a great opportunity to determine exactly what is happening rather than what you are told is happening. The people who can solve a problem more often than not are those closest to the problem. Ask them.

No matter how good a leader is, there will be times when things go wrong. The effective leader accepts responsibility, corrects it and then moves on. That is something that has not occurred during the past several years. No one is being held accountable and no one has been fired. Being placed on paid leave is not being held accountable. Pleading the fifth amendment before congress is not being held accountable. 

The media has been very kind to this administration in the past when other setbacks have occurred such as the IRS, Fast and Furious, NSA, Egypt, Syria, and Benghazi. The Syrian debacle was saved by Vladimir Putin and the Russians and very little has been heard since. The president claimed that he and Putin had talked about working together before Putin made his offer to assist in eliminating the Syrian chemical weapons public.

Obamacare touches every American and gives the government control over 1/6 of our economy. That will add tens of thousands of government workers to an already bloated government bureaucracy. For the first time, a huge percentage of Americans are paying attention because healthcare touches everyone. The spin about the president not lying is in full swing. The insurance companies are being blamed for canceling policies. The president stated in Boston on Wednesday that only 5% of Americans who had poor insurance policies would be affected with not being able to keep their policies and they would be able to get better policies.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, appeared before congress on Wednesday and said that she was responsible for the failure of the computer program that has been such a disaster for the past several weeks. That's the first step to protest the president from any blame. She also said that people who had insurance policies in effect before Obamacare could keep them. She failed to announce that her agency wrote new rules that almost guarantees that they will be canceled because of those new rules.

Stay tuned to see how Houdini (President Obama) escapes this latest fiasco.


Donald J. Myers a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at

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