The Friday Afternoon News Dump is a tradition in politics. The point is to get uncomfortable or damaging news out into the public at a time when people are tuning out, and with the hope that it will be "old news" by Monday morning.
Again, everyone does it. But that doesn't mean we should expect it from a President who campaigned on -- and still brags of -- unprecedented transparency. Last Friday, Obama had an extraordinary afternoon news dump.
1:26 pm, Press release about entering another war: Remember when Presidents used to go before the cameras when announcing U.S. entry into war? Obama sent out a little press release Friday afternoon announcing that 100 U.S. combat troops were being sent into Africa to kill or capture a brutal rogue army.
3 pm, Letter to Boehner announcing abandonment of key Obamacare piece: If you can enter a war with a quiet Friday afternoon letter to John Boehner, why not strip out a huge portion of your landmark legislation with an unpublicized Friday afternoon letter to John Boehner?
The CLASS Act, a longtime priority of Ted Kennedy and the longterm-care industry that would pocket the bill's subsidies, was never much more than an accounting gimmick anyway. It couldn't pay for itself (which is why HHS is scrapping it), but by rigging it so that CLASS was collecting premiums in the first decade while not paying out benefits, Democrats got themselves $74 billion in on-paper deficit reduction -- half the alleged deficit-reduction of ObamaCare
4:50 pm, Campaign releases list of bundlers: When filthy rich Wall Street, Pharma, and K Street types are raising $50,000 to $500,000 for you, it makes it tricky for you to do your whole man-of-the-people-running-against-the-monied-interests schtick. But what about that promise of transparency? Easy, drop your list of bundlers at the last possible moment that's not actualy the weekend.
This is Obama's deal: talk about transparency. Create the vestiges of transparency. Then be as opaque as possible