— Andrew Johnson (@AndrewE_Johnson) May 3, 2015
“Facts are stubborn things.”
After Carney had offered a favorable take on his former boss’s speech, Senator McCain took issue with Carney’s claim that the moderate Syrian opposition, which the president tonight proposed to arm, is stronger and more easily identifiable than it had been over the past couple years, during which time McCain had called for arming moderate rebel groups but President Obama had refused.
No serious expert on the matter thinks the moderate rebels are stronger now than they were earlier in the war, McCain pointed out. Read the rest of this entry »
I have a theory that a journalist could begin an article, or headline, with “Obama Blames…” and write a new story every week, and never run out of body copy. Andrew Johnson’s headline identifies Obama’s primary target of blame: American citizens. We just don’t get it. So he must act alone, because we’ve failed him. But it goes further than that. Consider this: Every time Obama says the word “Congress”, or “Republicans in Congress”, replace that word with “The American voters”. Members of Congress didn’t get there by accident, they didn’t ascend to power in a bloody coup, or arrive in a spaceship, they got elected.
If Congress is blocking the president’s agenda, pursuing an opposing agenda, ignoring his mocking insults and wounded complaining, or being uncooperative and combative, that’s because they were elected to do exactly that. They represent the people. Elections have consequences.
Don’t like it? Then make your case, Mr. President, and help Democrats win back the House. You tried that, and it failed? That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise. When Obama blames Congress? He’s not talking about his political opponents, he’s talking about you.
New Meet the Press host Chuck Todd pushed back against President Obama’s claims that his decision to delay taking executive action on granting legal status to people in the country illegally wasn’t motivated by the upcoming midterms elections. “It looks like politics, it looks like election-year politics,” Todd interjected at one point.
“But if the public’s not behind you, you’re not taking it? That sounds a little bit — that the public wouldn’t support what you did?”
One of the reasons the president claims he delayed action was to make sure all the “t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted,” but also pointed to the recent surge of unaccompanied children on the border complicated the matter. Read the rest of this entry »
The Corner‘s Andrew Johnson: Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell called the Islamic State’s rapidly growing strength and control of territory in Iraq and Syria “the most complex terrorism problem that I have ever seen.”
While he said “there are no magic bullets” for dealing with the situation, he offered a potential strategy on Face the Nation. First, the United States must work towards taking the controlled territories in Iraq and Syria, which will require a political solution with the former’s government; doing so in Syria will likely be notably more difficult…(more) NRO
“We cannot allow this movement to be destroyed — we’re here for justice.”
From The Corner, Andrew Johnson reports: “Intentional provocateurs” and “outside infiltrators” are responsible for the eruptions of violence during the protests of peaceful marchers in Ferguson, Mo., according to Black Lawyers for Justice president Malik Shabazz.
“I don’t know who he’s planted by, but he’s not with us — he’s here to make this look bad, and we don’t want to make it look bad.”
[VIDEO] Trash-Talkin’ ISIS Punk Bitch-Slaps U.S. Leadership: ‘Don’t Be Cowards and Attack Us With Drones…Send Your Soldiers’Posted: August 8, 2014
“I say to America, that the Islamic Caliphate has been established, and we will not stop. Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq.”
The jihadist group in control of much of northern Iraq right now is confident it can defeat the United States, and eventually take over the White House, but they don’t want the U.S. using any of its advanced military weaponry.
“We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”
The United States began air strikes, using manned fighter-bombers, against the jihadist group this morning…(read more)
“That’s got to change to serve the president better, because right now the communications shop is ill-serving him.”
Disclosure: I had a phone conversation with Lanny Davis during the Clinton years. He was interested in a portrait I’d done of him in the New Republic, and sweet-talked me into giving it to him for next to nothing. I found Mr. Davis to be a disarming, self-deprecating, gently persuasive operator. Davis was viewed by the press at that time, as a ‘master of spin’. He’s well-positioned to make these observations, and I’m sure it gives him no pleasure to see a Democrat in the oval office being ill-served by communications director Dan Pfeiffer.
“It’s the cynical spin that I hear from the White House communications shop rather than constructive, outreach, high-level the way the way the president deserves.”
The strategy of the White House communications wing of “always demonizing the opposition” is not only damaging to the national discourse, but ultimately for President Obama as well, says Democratic adviser and strategist Lanny Davis…(read more)
More from the talking-head shows, from The Corner. Rubio was on the defensive for most of the interview (who wouldn’t be, under the hot lights with interviewer Chris Wallace?) and for good reason: Rubio was a leading proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, until he flamed out in the polls, and is now trying to reinvent his message. Here’s some of Andrew Johnson‘s summary of Rubio’s Fox News Sunday interview:
“We’re not debating what to do — we’re debating how to do it. I’m just telling you we will never have the votes necessary to pass in one bill all of those things — it just won’t happen.”
Though the political class hasn’t caught up with this yet, Americans are rightly skeptical of any public policy package with the word “comprehensive” on it. It’s kryptonite. Don’t open that package. Send it back.
Some of Rubio’s more interesting comments, not included here (I just watched the broadcast of Rubio’s Fox News Sunday interview a moment ago) was not about immigration, but in defense of characterizing Hillary Clinton as a “20th Century candidate“. Chris Wallace noted that some see it as a veiled reference to Hillary’s advanced age. Rubio responded that you can be 40 years old, and be a candidate of the 20th Century. Rubio launched into a fairly typical monologue outlining an entrepreneurial alternative to Hillary’s statism. Some of it was good, not defensive, occasionally colorful and distracting. Here’s a money quote:
“We are going through the equivalent of an industrial revolution every five years.”
True? Not true? Either way, it’s a campaigner’s flourish. Not unlike something an ascendant Newt Gingrich or Bill Clinton would say when they wanted to change the subject with futuristic-sounding language. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Son of Hamas Founder Mosab Hassan Yousef: What Does Hamas Want? Conquest. When Do They Want It? Now.Posted: July 28, 2014
“Hamas is not seeking coexistence and compromise; Hamas is seeking conquest and taking over.”
— Mosab Hassan Yousef
The son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef revealed to CNN that Hamas’s “final destination” goes beyond just the destruction of Israel.
“Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, does not care about the lives of Israelis or Americans.”
“Hamas is not seeking coexistence and compromise; Hamas is seeking conquest and taking over,” said Mosab Hassan Yousef, who has rejected Hamas’s objectives and converted to Christianity. Ultimately, Hamas aims to help create an Islamic caliphate “on the rubble of any other civilization.” Read the rest of this entry »
“obviously was not actually an eyewitness.”
I take my eyes off The Corner for one week day, and this is what happens. (read the whole thing here) From National Review Online‘s Andrew Johnson, this is but one of many of today’s news clusterf*#$!’s :
MSNBC’s The Cycle was apparently pranked today when a supposed expert contributor pretended to be an eyewitness to the downed Malaysia Airlines flight in Ukraine, describing the plane as having been shot down by a…
“The most important thing is this is national-security emergency for the United States.”
For National Review Online, Andrew Johnson writes: Former United States ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey warned that the ongoing crisis in the Middle Eastern country poses a serious threat to the U.S. and its allies.
“It’s a huge terrorist threat, it’s our allies and partners under stress, it’s a possible civil war in the middle of the Middle East, and it’s even an impact on our oil and energy security. We need to act and we need to continue acting very quickly.”
For National Review Online, Andrew Johnson writes: Lois Lerner isn’t to blame for the loss of thousands of emails sent during the period of the IRS’s alleged targeting of conservative groups, according to her attorney…
“The truth is this was one of those things that happened — at the time she did everything she could to retrieve it.”
Appearing on State of the Union, William Taylor explained that Lerner’s computer screen “went blue” one day, and ultimately resulted in her losing all of her emails during a two-year span.
“That’s the story — that’s all there is to it.”
“…the president is taking power for himself that the law didn’t give him — he’s explicitly contradicting it.”
— CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
For NRO, Andrew Johnson: The Obama administration’s failure to notify Congress of the release of five Guantanamo Bay detainees ahead of his exchanging them for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl is a direct violation of the law, according to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
“It matters whether people follow the law or not…I think he clearly broke the law.”
“I think he clearly broke the law,” Toobin said on Monday, adding that the president’s signing statement in which he called the law unconstitutional does not automatically make it so…(read more)
Hillary Clinton has raked in nearly $5 million for her various appearances and speeches since leaving the State Department in February 2013, even though many of her more than 90 appearances have been unpaid. Her usual speaking fee is approximately $200,000 per appearance.
“This is a great way for a company to get access to her, to hear what she’s thinking, to be remembered if and when she does run for office, and to help her grow that nice little nest egg that she and her husband have been intent on building.”
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: “Oregon Spirit” by Lisa Loeb (HBO)
“your passion for cuteness may kill your whole state.”
“That has got to be a bitter pill to swallow for the people of Oregon — or it would be if they could get the pill, which they can’t because their sh***y website is broken”
— greg varner (@varnergreg) April 21, 2014
The Republican lawmaker, who also runs Haynes Street Pawn and Gun Shop in Talladega, has been parading around the giant firearm at local events to get the word out on his campaign, and signal his strong support for the Second Amendment…
…Thus far, the float has been well received and become a popular subject for photos…
And some sass from Gawker:
Are you from Talladega? Do you like guns? But I repeat myself. The point is: Your conservative state representative likes guns. A lot. He’s a big fan of big guns. With big barbecue smokers inside of them. Now, who are you voting for in November?
[AUDIO] NSFW: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Goes Cuckoo-Bananas on Caller, Drops F-Bomb Before Censors Catch ItPosted: April 7, 2014
“I hope that they didn’t go out — did we catch that one? I need some direction! Did we catch that one? Yes or no?”
The fiery caller accused Schultz of “fascism” and for “capitulating” to people who are benefiting from the worsening state of affairs, prompting Schultz to say he hoped that caller didn’t “have a stroke…”(read more)
Too bad the joke is on his youthful audience.
If you’ve seen some of Obama’s speeches in the last week, perhaps you’ve noticed how he’s becoming quite the jokester. Obama’s spiteful sarcasm—disguised as humor, of course—is becoming increasingly hollow, divisive, unseemly. Nobody likes a bully, or a sore winner. I’m surprised he’s not called out more for his overuse of the most un-presidential rhetorical habit: the straw man. It’s one thing for a contender on the campaign trail, trying to climb his way up to an elected job, another for a man already holding the highest office in the land. The way Obama creates an imaginary opponent, then defeats that fictional opponent with zingers, snark, and bluster, is a peculiar thing to watch.
I can imagine a group of actual conservatives watching one of these speeches, finding absolutely nothing they can identify with, then, even agreeing with him about this awful enemy the president is describing. “Wow, who is that guy? He sounds like a real bastard!” “Yeah, let’s go find him and beat the snot out of him!” It’s easy to win an argument when you’re playing both roles in the debate. I’ve been hoping someone smart and entertaining would notice and report on this. Fortunately, Jonah Goldberg is back from vacation, and on the job:
Jonah Goldberg writes:
President Obama was doing his favorite thing this week: talking to crowds of adoring young people who already agree with him while acting like he persuaded them about something.
“…the president is utterly incapable of arguing with anything other than a fictional opponent.”
They also seemed to give Obama the impression that he’s a really funny guy. On Wednesday, he told a crowd of 1,400 at the University of Michigan that he visited a local deli, Zingerman’s. He proceeded to tell a long story about ordering the small Reuben sandwich, which he said was “killer.” That description got a good laugh. Then he explained how he thought the sandwich was too big, so he shared it with his adviser, Valerie Jarrett.
“After I finished [my] half, I wanted [her] half back,” Obama said. “But it was too late, all she had was the pickle – so I took the pickle.”
“Took the pickle” was a huge laugh line.
Pickle is a funny word, but still; when an audience thinks this is a knee-slapper, you know it’s not a rough crowd.
But Obama had a serious point to make as well. Zingerman’s “is a business that treats its workers well and rewards honest work with honest wages. And that’s what I’m here to talk about today.” He then segued into a pitch for raising the minimum wage.
National Review’s Andrew Johnson noted that Zingerman’s is pretty expensive. That small Reuben cost $13.99 – pickle included! (Thank you! I’m here all week. Please tip your servers.) The large goes for nearly $17. The irony might have been lost on the president that Zingerman’s “honest wages” also lead to high prices.
Kaffee: Grave Danger?
Col. Jessep: Is there another kind?
Andrew Johnson reports: One of President Obama’s top former advisers warned Democrats that if they can’t keep the Senate in November, that will effectively be the end of the Obama presidency. “If you lose the Senate, turn out the lights because the party is over,” former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said on Meet the Press.
Kaffee: I said, ”Grave danger?” You said, ”Is there any other kind?”
Col. Jessep: I recall what I said.
Kaffee: I can have it read back to you.
Col. Jessep: I know what I said! I don’t have to have it read back to me.
Gibbs encouraged the president to be more involved in rallying and exciting Democratic voters in the coming months, because otherwise the Senate is “definitely, absolutely” in danger of falling in to Republican control…Read the rest…
White House to Marijuana Advocates: Slow Down, Daddy, Our Official Position on Pot Hasn’t Changed, Dig?Posted: January 22, 2014
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney would have an easier sell if he hadn’t just grown himself a beatnik beard. I bet Carney’s got rolling papers in his pocket. I just know it. He’s holding. For sure.
Andrew Johnson writes: President Obama’s recent comments about marijuana didn’t quite call for the legalization of recreational use, the White House clarified. In a recent interview with The New Yorker, the president made comments that some interpreted as a policy shift on the issue.
Andrew Johnson writes: Dennis Rodman continued to emphasize his bizarre affection for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, even when pressed about the dictator’s atrocities. While in Beijing with seven other former NBA players en route to Pyongyang to take part in an exhibition game for Kim’s birthday, Sky News confronted the Worm about why his “friend for life” has locked up 200,000 people in North Korean prison camps.
Rodman asserted that it wasn’t his “job” to address those concerns with Kim, but hoped that his involvement arranging the game could “open the doors” to negotiations for those in a better position to handle it. He said bringing the subject of prison camps up would infringe on the nature of their friendship.
Andrew Johnson writes: The chairs of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees believe the United States is not safer than it was at the beginning of the Afghanistan war. Representative Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) agreed that the risk of a terrorist attack against the U.S. is not only higher, but also more diverse.
“Al-qaeda as we knew it before is metastasizing into something different — more affiliates than we’ve ever had before” Rogers said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “All have them have at least some aspiration to commit an act of violence in the United States or against western targets all around the world.”
Feinstein warned of enhanced weapons technology among terrorist groups, including state-of-the-art bombs that go undetected and have been attempted on at least four separate occasions in the U.S.
Andrew Johnson reports: Pushing for immigration reform on Tuesday, President Obama said he can spot an immigrant just by looking at him.
“As I was getting a tour of DreamWorks, I didn’t ask, but just looking at faces I could tell there were some folks who are here not because they are born here, but because they want to be here,” he told an audience of the studio’s animation division in Glendale, Calif. “They bring extraordinary talents to the United States, and that’s part of what makes America special.”
Earlier on Tuesday, with the Senate immigration bill stalled, for the moment, in the House, White House refused to rule out taking executive action on the issue of immigration.
Andrew Johnson reports: Debbie Wasserman Schultz revealed that she will not decline pay during the government shutdown as some of her congressional colleagues have opted to do in solidarity with federal employees.
After initially dodging the question, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd pressed the Democratic National Committee chairman again on whether she would accept her salary. “Yes, I’m going to continue to take my salary,” she said.
Since the shutdown began on Tuesday, the Washington Post reports that over 100 Republican and Democratic lawmakers have declined to accept their pay until the government is reopened.
Andrew Johnson reports: Ted Cruz encouraged his Senate colleagues to pass a continuing resolution that would fully fund the federal government’s intelligence-gathering community, which director James Clapper said was at risk amid the shutdown. The Texas senator called on Senate majority leader Harry Reid and President Obama to help pass and sign it into law similar to ensuring funding for payment for those serving in the military.
“If the Senate cooperates, we could get this passed by the end of the day,” Cruz said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday morning. “I hope that issues of partisan politics can be set aside and we can all come together and pass right now, by the end of the day, a continuing resolution to fully fund the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.”
During the hearing, Clapper told the committee that 70 percent of the intelligence-services workforce had been furloughed because of the shutdown.
Companies, workers, retirees, students, and spouses all suffer from the law’s inflexible mandates.
Yet from major corporations to local mom-and-pop shops, from entire states to tiny school districts, a wide range of companies and institutions have seen Obamacare’s negative impact on their workers, budgets, and production. Here are 100 examples of how Obamacare is falling short of what was promised.
Earlier this month, the computer giant, once famed for its paternalism, announced it would remove 110,000 of its Medicare-eligible retirees from the company’s health insurance and give them subsidies to purchase coverage through the Obamacare exchanges. Retirees fear that they will not get the level of coverage they are used to, and that the options will be bewildering.
2. Delta Air Lines
In a letter to employees, Delta Air Lines revealed that the company’s health-care costs will rise about $100 million next year alone, in large part because of Obamacare. The airline said that in addition to several other changes, it would have to drop its specially crafted insurance plans for pilots because the “Cadillac tax” on luxurious health plans has made them too expensive.
Fifteen thousand employees’ spouses will no longer be able to use UPS’s health-care plan because they have access to coverage elsewhere. The “costs associated with the Affordable Care Act have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost,” the delivery giant said in a company memo. The move is expected to save the company $60 million next year. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE: Tune in to Filibuster in progress – Live Video – C-SPAN2 – Butcher
Andrew Johnson reports: UPDATE: 2:48 p.m. “I intend to speak until I can no longer stand,” Cruz said in his opening remarks of his filibuster. Cruz was joined by his partner in his effort to defund Obamacare, Utah senator Mike Lee. Cruz has already played on the theme to “make DC listen” early on in his remarks and his Twitter account has started using the #MakeDCListen hashtag.
A Republican Senate source tells NRO’s Betsy Woodruff that Texas senator Ted Cruz will mount a “talking filibuster” this afternoon to stop a cloture vote on the continuing resolution that would defund Obamacare, which is set to come up for a vote tomorrow. Cruz is expected to begin the filibuster shortly after 2:30 p.m.
Asked how long he’ll keep it up for, Cruz said, “We’ll see.”
Representative Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) just can’t wrap his head around why Apple wouldn’t “step up” to pay more in taxes.
“It seems to me they ought to want to help to pay the expenses of this country, so that everybody can have a fair shot,” Ellison said on MSNBC’s The Ed Show over the weekend.
”I don’t think they’ve got warm blood, I really don’t.”
Ellison found it “really disappointing” that Apple wasn’t willing to pay higher taxes, arguing that it “wouldn’t be a multi-billion-dollar corporation but for the fact that the United States of America made it possible for them to be that successful.”
“Taxes are not a punishment,” he explained, “taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society.”
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook testified before a Senate subcommittee last week over the company’s tax-avoidance practices. Schultz later questioned whether what Apple was engaging in was “morally right,” concluding ”I don’t think they’ve got warm blood, I really don’t.”
On his CNN show last night, Anderson Cooper chronicled the Obama administration’s unfulfilled promises and wasteful spending on high-speed rail projects across the country. Cooper and investigative reporter Drew Griffin reported that, while the administration sold its $12 billion in projects as high-speed rail, the funding has spent has largely been used to make existing trains slightly faster. In Washington State, for instance, $800 million have been used to reduce the length of the trip from Seattle to Portland by 10 minutes.