Dave Boyer reports: When President Obama signs into law the new two-year budget deal Monday, his action will bring into sharper focus a part of his legacy that he doesn’t like to talk about: He is the $20 trillion man.
“The Boehner-Obama spending agreement would allow for unlimited borrowing by the Treasury until March 2017. This deal piles on billions of dollars to the national debt by increasing spending over the next three years and then not paying for it for a decade — with half of the offsets not occurring until 2025.”
— Paul Winfree, director of economic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation
Mr. Obama’s spending agreement with Congress will suspend the nation’s debt limit and allow the Treasury to borrow another $1.5 trillion or so by the end of his presidency in 2017. Added to the current total national debt of more than $18.15 trillion, the red ink will likely be crowding the $20 trillion mark right around the time Mr. Obama leaves the White House.
“Of this $154 billion, about $78 billion is paid for honestly. The remaining $56 billion of the legislation — mostly the war spending increase and interest costs — is not paid for at all.”
When Mr. Obama took over in January 2009, the total national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. That means the debt will have very nearly doubled during his eight years in office, and there is much more debt ahead with the abandonment of “sequestration” spending caps enacted in 2011.
“When Mr. Obama took over in January 2009, the total national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. That means the debt will have very nearly doubled during his eight years in office, and there is much more debt ahead with the abandonment of “sequestration” spending caps enacted in 2011.”
“Congress and the president have just agreed to undo one of the only successful fiscal restraint mechanisms in a generation,” said Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union. “The progress on reducing spending and the deficit has just become much more problematic.”
“We will be raising the debt ceiling in an unlimited fashion. We will be giving President Obama a free pass to borrow as much money as he can borrow in the last year of his office. No limit, no dollar limit. Here you go, President Obama. Spend what you want.”
— Sen. Rand Paul
Some budget analysts scoff at the claim made by the administration and by House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, that the budget agreement’s $112 billion in spending increases is fully funded by cuts elsewhere. Mr. Boehner left Congress last week.
“The Boehner-Obama spending agreement would allow for unlimited borrowing by the Treasury until March 2017,” said Paul Winfree, director of economic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation. “This deal piles on billions of dollars to the national debt by increasing spending over the next three years and then not paying for it for a decade — with half of the offsets not occurring until 2025.” Read the rest of this entry »
Elaina Plott reports: House Freedom Caucus members confirmed that they were not able to reach the 80% threshold required to endorse Paul Ryan for Speaker.
“Paul is a policy entrepreneur who has developed conservative reforms dealing with a wide variety of subjects, and he has promised to be an ideas-focused speaker who will advance limited-government principles and devolve power to the membership.”
— the caucus said in its statement
Representative Raul Labrador called it a “supermajority support” for Ryan. “We were not able to reach a consensus” on an official endorsement, he told reporters, but added that “two thirds of the caucus will be voting” for a Ryan speakership….(read more)
...The Freedom Caucus met with Ryan for an hour in the Capitol earlier in the day. Many of its members had balked at the conditions Ryan attached to his decision to serve as speaker, and the meeting represented their first chance to question him directly on his intentions.
The meeting broke up without resolution, setting up a high-stakes decision for a group that played a key role in easing the current speaker, John A. Boehner, into retirement and blocking Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to succeed him….(read more)
The Wall Street Journal reports:
…Members of the Freedom Caucus said their offer of support—less-resounding than what Mr. Ryan had sought—thrusts the decision back on Mr. Ryan, who has been publicly reluctant to take the job.
“Paul Ryan needs to decide now what he’s going to do,” Mr. Labrador said. “He’s got to decide whether that’s sufficient for him.”
Mr. Labrador also noted that the caucus had not agreed to a series of conditions Mr. Ryan had set, but declined to say which of the Wisconsin Republican’s demands had triggered the most concern.
In a statement released Wednesday night, the group praised Mr. Ryan, who met with them earlier Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »
Ryan has given the Republican Study Committee, the Freedom Caucus and a moderate group until Friday to voice their support.
The Wisconsin Republican, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, had been pressured by members to consider a bid after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race to take over from Boehner several weeks ago….(read more)
Source: ABC News
Robert Tracinski writes:
….Here’s how the shutdown weapon works. The president and his Democratic allies in Congress dictate their priorities on the budget and spending. If Republicans don’t go along, if they pass a budget that doesn’t spend as much as the president wants, Democrats use the filibuster and the veto to block the budget and shut down government. They then use “shutdown theater”—things like erecting barriers around public monuments that require no federal money to stay open—to make this seem like a bigger crisis than it is, and they depend on the press to put all the blame on Republicans. The House GOP, seeing the public approval of Republicans taking a hit, backs down. That’s how the last two Democratic presidents have used the shutdown to beat a hostile Congress into submission.
So long as Obama and the Democrats can use a government shutdown as a credible threat, they neutralize House Republicans’ power of the purse. And so long as that’s the case, the House GOP can’t do anything substantial. They’re reduced to pleading, “We can’t do anything until we have the Senate,” and then, “We can’t do anything until we have the presidency.” And eventually the Republican base and the Tea Party types get fed up and conclude that Republican leaders never really wanted to do anything in the first place, that they’re just marking time before they can go to K Street or Wall Street and cash out. (Which is partly correct.)
The House GOP needed to find a good opportunity to go to the matt on the government shutdown and force Democrats to compromise. If they had done that, they could have used budget negotiations to get at least some of what the base wanted, instead of caving in all the time…(read more)
The only Republican who does not want Paul Ryan to become the next House speaker, it seems, is Paul Ryan.
But the former vice-presidential nominee and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee may be changing his mind. After issuing a statement immediately following House majority leader Kevin McCarthy’s withdrawal from the race reiterating that he will not seek the job, multiple sources tell National Review that Ryan is, at the very least, considering a change of heart.
“I’m told he’ll sleep on it,” says a source close to Ryan.
Two additional Republican sources say Ryan has in fact already made up his mind to jump in the race.
One House GOP source says they are hearing Ryan first needs to get his wife on board. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON — Kristina Peterson and Siobhan Hughes report: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to win House Republicans’ internal election Thursday to be the next speaker. Then his high-stakes audition begins.
The California Republican will have three weeks to try to tame the conservative opposition threatening to block his Oct. 29 election on the House floor. The timing is tough. Congress this month could consider a rush of contentious legislation—including a possible two-year budget deal and a debt-ceiling increase—likely to spark some GOP opposition.
Conservatives have made clear they will be weighing how Mr. McCarthy acts as they decide whether to stage an insurrection on the House floor. On Wednesday, the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 conservatives, said at least 30 of its members would vote for Rep. Daniel Webster (R., Fla.) as speaker on Thursday and later on the House floor, unless Mr. McCarthy pledges to overhaul how the chamber is run.
“Whoever wins tomorrow has three weeks to make those changes,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R., Idaho) said Wednesday. This week’s vote, he said, “won’t settle anything.”
Mr. McCarthy, expected to easily win a majority of votes in the House Republicans’ secret-ballot election on Thursday, faces a higher hurdle at month’s end. To be elected speaker, a candidate must win a majority of all votes cast for individuals on the House floor, and almost all Democrats are expected to vote for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) as speaker.
Mr. McCarthy therefore can only afford to lose 28 Republicans, assuming all members vote, excluding departing Speaker John Boehner. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) is also running for speaker. If no one wins a majority, the House repeats the roll-call vote.
“You’re much more likely to get some changes in how things operate in this place when people are trying to get votes,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio.), chairman of the Freedom Caucus. Read the rest of this entry »
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has pulled out of the race for House Speaker, NBC News confirmed Thursday.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has pulled out of the race for House Speaker, throwing further doubt on congressional leadership ahead of crucial budget negotiations, NBC News confirmed Thursday.
House Republicans said that the party’s leadership election would be pushed to a later date. The California Republican had been considered the frontrunner to replace John Boehner after he surprisingly announced he would leave at the end of October….
Michael Barone writes: Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics provides more detail and argument in support of the proposition, advanced in my own initial reflections, that John Boehner was an effective speaker of the House — from a conservative point of view. First, Trende shows that federal spending has been held down more sharply during Boehner’s tenure as speaker than at just about any other time since World War II. That five-year tenure included five years of a Democratic president and four years of a Democratic-majority Senate.
Second, Trende shows that the October 2013 government shutdown, a model admired by many and perhaps all of Boehner’s critics, was electorally disastrous for Republicans.
I suspect many of Boehner’s critics are simply unfamiliar with these numbers, just like the great majority of citizens. The hold-down of federal spending was accomplished by the sequester procedure which has stayed in place now for four years. It’s not the optimal way to form a budget. But if your goal is holding down spending — and reducing spending from 25 percent of GDP to 20 percent — then the sequester has been very effective, and so has Boehner.
In listening to Boehner critics, I have the sense they do not understand or appreciate this at all. Similarly, on the shutdown I hear from them a bland assurance that Republicans won a House majority in November 2014, so the shutdown in October 2013 was not a political liability. Take a look at the chart Trende presents, and see if you don’t conclude, as I do, that that’s political wishful thinking. Read the rest of this entry »
John Boehner’s successor inherits a diminished role.
Kevin D. Williamson writes:
…The plot of the Shakespearean succession drama is fixed as the stars: The entertainment wing of the conservative movement prepares to rain brimstone upon Republican whip Kevin McCarthy, the presumptive front-runner among House leaders, or Paul Ryan, a conservative hero until the day before yesterday now cast into the outer darkness for various heresies related to his being an elected lawmaker rather than the host of a radio program.
“Due in part to the massive shift in power away from the most accountable representatives of the people to a president and five judges, we have needed leadership with vision for the future that did not continue the downhill slide.”
— Representative Louie Gohmert
Expect Louie Gohmert or another conservative standard-bearer to shine for a moment before opinion settles on some disappointment or another, and expect the vast majority of the American electorate to go on not knowing who the speaker is or what he does regardless of who is elected.
“The waxing of the president and the consequent waning of Congress is a result of the deep psychological structure of mass democracy on the American scale, probably an inevitable one.”
On the subject of Representative Gohmert, his statement following the speaker’s resignation is on point: “Due in part to the massive shift in power away from the most accountable representatives of the people to a president and five judges, we have needed leadership with vision for the future that did not continue the downhill slide.”
“…these United States are in the process of transforming the form of their union government from that of a democratic republic to that of a unitary autocratic administrative state. Barack Obama and other progressives have hastened that transformation in no small part because they consider the American constitutional order in purely instrumental terms rather than as a good in and of itself.”
As Gohmert notes without quite saying so, these United States are in the process of transforming the form of their union government from that of a democratic republic to that of a unitary autocratic administrative state. Barack Obama and other progressives have hastened that transformation in no small part because they consider the American constitutional order in purely instrumental terms rather than as a good in and of itself. Sometimes the constitutional order serves progressive ends and sometimes it constrains them, which is why President Wilson despised the Constitution and President Obama simply ignores it when he believes it necessary, adopting as he has — with rather less fuss than one might have expected — a Gaullist rule-by-decree model.
“Sometimes the constitutional order serves progressive ends and sometimes it constrains them, which is why President Wilson despised the Constitution and President Obama simply ignores it when he believes it necessary, adopting as he has — with rather less fuss than one might have expected — a Gaullist rule-by-decree model.”
The familiar ratchet effect is in operation: The Left in power expands the state, particularly the executive, and the Right in power does not reverse the turn, in part because conservative politicians like power, too, in part because reversing those expansions is difficult, and in part because even if conservatives win the fight there’s not much juice in it.
As my colleague Charles C. W. Cooke points out, the lack of an American king and an American prime minister has not prevented the traditional English contest between crown and parliament from sneaking into American politics. And the crown is winning.
“The familiar ratchet effect is in operation: The Left in power expands the state, particularly the executive, and the Right in power does not reverse the turn, in part because conservative politicians like power, too, in part because reversing those expansions is difficult, and in part because even if conservatives win the fight there’s not much juice in it.”
This isn’t only a matter of executive opportunism and legislative sloth. The waxing of the president and the consequent waning of Congress is a result of the deep psychological structure of mass democracy on the American scale, probably an inevitable one. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Standing Ovation: Values Voters Summit Attendees Respond to John Boehner’s Resignation AnnouncementPosted: September 25, 2015
Marco Rubio announced Speaker John Boehner‘s upcoming resignation at the Values Voter Summit, the crowd erupted into a standing ovation. Rubio, one of the many speakers invited to the 10th annual VVS in Washington, paused from discussing his paid family leave plan to mention Boehner’s resignation: “Just a few minutes ago, Speaker Boehner announced that he will be resigning.”
Needless to say, the audience’s reaction to the news was everything but silent. “With all due respect to people who serve in government,” Rubio continued, “it is important at this moment, with respect to him and the service he has provided to our country, it’s not about him, and I’m not here today to bash anyone, but the time has come to turn the page.” Initial reports described the VVS crowd’s response as a “standing ovation,” a choice of phrase that could be interpreted one of two ways. The audience was either (a) applauding Boehner’s service as speaker with a salutatory round of clapping and standing, or (b) expressing a wild excitement akin to “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead!” in The Wizard of Oz.
The New York Times broke the news Friday morning, citing aides in his office…Boehner has served as a Congressman from Ohio since 1991. He was elected House Majority Leader in 2006, and became House Minority Leader in 2007 after Republicans lost control of the House. He became Speaker of the House in 2011 after the Tea Party resurgence saw massive Republican sgains in the House and Senate. from mediaite…..Religious conservatives broke into a rowdy and prolonged cheer when they learned House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) would resign from Congress. Read the rest of this entry »
“Boehner resigning at end of October,” a Republican representative texted National Review from the House conference meeting. A second congressman confirmed the news.
Boehner has been under pressure from a group of rank-and-file conservatives for months, culminating in the House Freedom Caucus vowing not to vote for any continuing resolution to fund the government that contains money for Planned Parenthood. That pledge came after an HFC member, North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows, filed a motion to vacate the chair — that is, depose the speaker — in August.
Boehner considered holding a vote on the motion, according to one House Republican familiar with his thinking, but did not do so out of concern that he would not have the support needed to defeat the motion outright.
Edward-Isaac Dovere writes: President Barack Obama and his aides launched a full-court press to save his trade package on Thursday, as House Democrats’ internal struggles pushed Obama’s top legislative priority perilously close to defeat.
As Obama made phone calls to reluctant Democrats from the White House, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Labor Secretary Tom Perez went face-to-face with trade opponents including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a testy closed meeting on Capitol Hill…(read more)
Ben Kamisar reports: Capitol Police officers misplaced their loaded guns in plain sight on at least three separate occasions, including once when a small child found the weapon, according to a Roll Call analysis of a Capitol Police Board report.
“The Department takes very seriously all breaches of Department rules and has established policies that address such matters.”
— Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman
One officer assigned to protect Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) left his gun in a toilet seat cover holder in a bathroom stall in the Capitol Visitor Center in January, according to the paper.
Another assigned to the detail of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) left a firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker’s suite, where a 7- or 8-year-old visiting child discovered the gun. The Glock pistol left by Boehner’s detail does not have a traditional locking mechanism and could still be fired when left out, Roll Call reported.
“Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these matters. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee’s record, and other required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment.”
A janitor found the third pistol out in the Capitol Police headquarters, according to the paper.
The report on the January incident reportedly shows that police brass recommended a six-day suspension without pay for the officer from McConnell’s detail as punishment, but Roll Call reports that the other two incidents are still under investigation.
“As a matter of policy, the Department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the Department.”
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment on the incidents, referring questions to Capitol Police. Read the rest of this entry »
(WASHINGTON)— Matthew Daly reports: The chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, has called former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to testify next month, setting up a high-profile showdown over Clinton’s use of a private email account and server while she was secretary of state.
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina says he wants Clinton to testify the week of May 18 and again before June 18. The first hearing would focus on Clinton’s use of private emails; the second on the September 2012 attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Gowdy’s action comes a day after the GOP-led panel signaled its final report could slip to next year, just months before the presidential election. Clinton is the leading Democratic candidate.
The Obama administration refuses to negotiate openly, lest the extent of its diplomatic surrender to Iran be prematurely and fatally exposed.
“We know they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful program,” Mr. Obama said of the Iranians in an interview with Haim Saban, the Israeli-American billionaire philanthropist. “They certainly don’t need a heavy-water reactor at Arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program. They don’t need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program.”
Hardly more than a year later, on the eve of what might be deal-day, here is where those promises stand:
Fordo: “The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites.”—Associated Press, March 26.
Arak: “Today, the six powers negotiating with Iran . . . want the reactor at Arak, still under construction, reconfigured to produce less plutonium, the other bomb fuel.”—The New York Times, March 7.
Advanced centrifuges: “Iran is building about 3,000 advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges, the Iranian news media reported Sunday, a development likely to add to Western concerns about Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.”—Reuters, March 3.
But the president and his administration made other promises, too. Consider a partial list:
Possible military dimensions: In September 2009 Mr. Obama warned Iran that it was “on notice” that it would have to “come clean” on all of its nuclear secrets. Now the administration is prepared to let it slide.
“It was never especially probable that a detailed, satisfactory verification regime would be included in the sort of substantive framework agreement that the Americans have been working for.”
— The Economist
“Under the new plan,” The Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon and Laurence Norman reported last week, “Tehran wouldn’t be expected to immediately clarify all the outstanding questions raised by the IAEA in a 2011 report on Iran’s alleged secretive work. A full reckoning of Iran’s past activities would be demanded in later years as part of a nuclear deal that is expected to last at least 15 years.”
Verification: Another thing the president said in that interview with Mr. Saban is that any deal would involve “extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections.”
Iran isn’t playing ball on this one, either. Read the rest of this entry »
Losing Ground on the Foreign Policy, Reeling from Failures at Home and Abroad, the President Pivots to Waging an Empty Rhetorical War Against His True Enemy – The GOP – and Finds Comfort in Familiar Territory
During a speech to the City Club of Cleveland, the President said though the success of his plan to expand “middle-class economics” proves that “trickle-down economics” don’t work, Republicans’ budget proposal—which would balance the budget within 10 years—doesn’t reflect that.
“Sadly this is just the latest example of President Obama putting campaign-style events and partisan politics above governing. And it’s all a ruse designed to distract from the president’s own problems.“
— House Speaker John Boehner
“We know now that the doom and gloom predictions that justified this [type of] budget in the past were wrong,” Obama said. “Despite the new evidence, their approach hasn’t changed. “
Since the House budget was released on Tuesday the Obama administration has come out swinging, using it as a convenient foil against his own budget ideas. Republicans suggest cutting $5.5 trillion from the budget over the next ten years, mainly by pulling back investments in domestic programs. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner says former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton must turn over her computer server to a neutral third party.
The Ohio Republican told reporters on Tuesday that Clinton surrender all of her emails so an independent party can decide what was personal and what was government-related.
Boehner said there are no changes in the House investigations. A special select committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. The panel’s chairman says he wants Clinton, a potential presidential candidate, to testify twice. Read the rest of this entry »
During a news conference last week, Clinton did not go into the details of how the review of her email was conducted, but said it was “thorough” and that she went “above and beyond” what she was required to do in turning over many of her emails to the State Department.
“We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department,” she said, adding that all other emails were personal and pertained to matters such as “yoga routines,” “family vacations,” and “planning Chelsea’s wedding.”
After the news conference, Clinton’s team distributed a lengthy question-and-answer document that detailed the “multi-step” process. The process appeared to have included an extensive, nuanced search of Clinton’s inbox, but the document did not make clear how many of the emails were opened and read in the review.
On Sunday, Clinton’s spokesman clarified that “every email was read” and that the steps they outlined in the document “were in addition to reading them all, not in lieu of reading them all.”
According to the document, here is a summary of how Clinton’s attorneys, who were tasked with the job, said they sorted through her emails:
First, a search was done of all emails Clinton received from a .gov or state.gov account during the period she was secretary of state — from 2009 to 2013.
Then, with the remaining emails, a search was done for names of 100 State Department and other U.S. government officials who Clinton may have had correspondence with during her tenure. Read the rest of this entry »
Peggy Noonan: ‘It’s Not Really Hunger That’s Propelling Hillary Now, it’s Newton’s 1st law: Objects in Motion Tend to Stay in Motion’Posted: March 14, 2015
Hillary Seems Tired, Not Hungry
For a while I’ve assumed Hillary Clinton would run for her party’s nomination and be a formidable candidate in the general election. After Tuesday’s news conference I’m not so sure.
Did she seem to you a happy, hungry warrior? She couldn’t make eye contact with her questioners, and when she did she couldn’t sustain it. She looked at the ceiling and down at notes, trying, it seemed, to stick to or remember scripted arguments. She was shaky. She couldn’t fake good cheer and confidence. It is seven years since she ran for office. You could see it.
“This wasn’t the work of a national, high-grade political-response team, it was the thrown-together mess of someone who knew she was guilty of self-serving actions, who didn’t herself believe what she was saying, who didn’t think the press would swallow it, and who didn’t appear to care.”
Her claims—she stayed off the State Department email system for “convenience,” she thought “it would be easier to carry just one device,” her server “contains personal communications from my husband and me”—were so transparent, so quickly disprovable. Minutes later journalists were posting earlier statements in which she said she carries two devices, and The Wall Street Journal’s report saying Bill has sent only two emails in his life.
“She didn’t look hungry for the battle, she looked tired of the battle.”
This wasn’t high-class spin. These were not respectable dodges. They didn’t make you grudgingly tip your hat at a gift for duplicity. I could almost feel an army of oppo people of both parties saying, “You can do better than that, Hillary!”
This wasn’t the work of a national, high-grade political-response team, it was the thrown-together mess of someone who knew she was guilty of self-serving actions, who didn’t herself believe what she was saying, who didn’t think the press would swallow it, and who didn’t appear to care.
She didn’t look hungry for the battle, she looked tired of the battle.
“Defenses of Mrs. Clinton were ad hoc, improvised, flat-footed. It all looks disorderly, as if no one’s in charge, no one has drawn clear lines of responsibility or authority. We hear about loyalists, intimates, allies, pals, hangers-on, Friends of Hill. People buzz around her like bees on random paths to the queen.”
Everyone knows what the scandal is. She didn’t want a paper trail of her decisions and actions as secretary of state. She didn’t want to be questioned about them, ever. So she didn’t join the government’s paper-trail system, in this case the State Department’s official email system, which retains and archives records. She built her own private system and got to keep complete control of everything she’d done or written. She no doubt assumed no one outside would ask and no one inside would insist—she’s Hillary, don’t mess with her.
“Is this thing really happening? Is the much-vaunted campaign coming together?”
She knew the story might blow but maybe it wouldn’t, worth the chance considering the payoff: secrecy. If what she did became public she’d deal with it then. When this week she was forced to, she stonewalled: “The server will remain private.”
Is it outrageous? Of course. Those are U.S. government documents she concealed and destroyed. The press is not covering for her and hard questions are being asked because everyone knows what the story is. It speaks of who she is and how she will govern. Everyone knows it.
She knows it too. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING: Chinese Hackers Reveal They Have Archive of Hillary’s State Department Emails, Offer them to GOP in Rare DealPosted: March 12, 2015
Chinese hackers offer Clinton Archive in Exchange for Exclusive Access to Future Celebrity Porn Leaks
HONG KONG – Chinese hackers contacted John Boehner‘s office this week, offering their archived record of Hillary Clinton’s email database, in exchange for a guarantee of exclusive access to future leaks of celebrity nude images and videos, sources inside the capitol have confirmed. The Department of Homeland security, however, denies any knowledge of a deal being offered by the Chinese, and authorities in Beijing decline to comment. “This is either a rogue operation, or a prank”, said Eric Holder, when contacted for comment. “There’s no evidence the emails they claim to have are authentic.”
Other officials disagreed, conceding that military and non-military hackers inside Chinese have long held copies of every email written and received by cabinet officers in the U.S. “We know they keep records of our correspondence, probably even more complete ones than we do”, said one official. “There’s really not a lot we can do about it. We might as well benefit from it.” Boehner agreed, and suggested that negotiations with A-list actresses are already underway.
“I’d do my part, if it meant this scandal could be neutralized”, said actress Kirsten Dunst, “but only if other actresses do it, too, and only if the images don’t appear outside China.” A spokesperson for Jennifer Lawrence said that under certain conditions she might allow personal photographs to be shared among Chinese hackers, but declined to say what those conditions are. “Jennifer is a patriot,” her spokesperson said. “But she’s also a realist. She doesn’t necessarily trust the Chinese to honor non-disclosure agreements. Another actress, Kate Upton, declined to participate, “If they wanted picture of me, they’d have them by now. Everyone else does”, she said. Read the rest of this entry »
Natalie Andrews reports: Here is the list of lawmakers who say they won’t attend, which has been updated as more lawmakers issue statements. Republican Senator Roy Blunt is also not attending, but not for political reasons. He is at a funeral for Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich, who died Thursday.
Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.)
Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D., N.M.)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)
Sen. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.)
Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.)
Rep. Corrine Brown (D., Fla.)
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.)
Rep. André Carson (D., Ind.)
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D., Texas)
Rep. Katherine Clark (D., Mass.)
Rep. Lois Capps (D., Calif.)
Rep. Lacy Clay (D., Mo.)
Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.)
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D., N.J.)
Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.)
Rep. Danny K. Davis (D., Ill.)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D., Ore.)
Rep. Diana DeGette (D., Colo.)
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D., Texas)
Rep. Donna Edwards (D., Md.)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.)
Rep. Martha Fudge (D., Ohio)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D., Ariz.)
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D., Ill.)
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D., D.C.)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D., Texas)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Ohio)
Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif)
Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D., Calif.)
Rep. Betty McCollum (D., Minn.)
Rep. Jim McDermott (D., Wash.)
Rep. Jim McGovern (D., Mass.)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (D., Calif.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.)
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D., Maine)
Rep. David E. Price (D., N.C.)
Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.)
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.)
Rep. John Yarmouth (D., Ky.)
“We’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”
David Rutz writes: In a speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out the perils of a potentially “very bad” nuclear deal with Iran and called for the U.S. to work toward a better one for the sake of Israel and the entire world’s security.
Netanyahu spoke strongly about the threat of Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, calling the new supposedly moderate regime “as radical as ever” and still bent on the destruction of Israel. He also laid out the connections between Iran and the Islamic State terrorist group, saying that despite their differences they were both still dangerous enemies of the U.S.
“First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East,” he said. “Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world. And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country Israel, the one and only Jewish state!”
The deal that could be struck between Iran and the U.S. would at best curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions but would do nothing to end them, and it would create a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, Netanyahu said.
“Not a single nuclear facility would be demolished,” he said. “Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning.”
“The greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. We can’t let that happen. But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran.”
Even before it began, Netanyahu’s speech infuriated the White House. Obama has long been at odds with him, and more than 50 Democrats boycottedNetanyahu’s speech. Netanyahu used his prominent platform Tuesday to demonstrate why Obama’s second-term goal would have the unintended effect of further endangering the Jewish state.
Two key concessions to Iran made the deal “so bad,” Netanyahu said. Read the rest of this entry »
Israel’s prime minister delivered a sober reminder of the risks of dealing with Iran—and painted Obama as naïve in the process
James Oliphant writes: Congressional Republicans haven’t had many victories in their lasting conflict with President Obama, but Tuesday brought one. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s somber, provocative speech to Congress checked all the boxes.
“If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country. This is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”
— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
It called into question the efficacy of any deal the Obama administration might strike with Iran over its nuclear program, it likely renewed momentum for another round of Iranian sanctions on the Hill, it positioned the GOP politically as the party more worried about Israeli security, and, despite the White House’s best efforts, made the president appear petty and churlish.
“Obama, in an interview with Reuters, had dismissed the speech as a ‘distraction,’ and aides made sure everyone knew he would be too busy to watch it. But if the president didn’t cast an eye at a TV, he might have been the only person in Washington not to. And that’s the problem.”
Obama, in an interview with Reuters, had dismissed the speech as a “distraction,” and aides made sure everyone knew he would be too busy to watch it. But if the president didn’t cast an eye at a TV, he might have been the only person in Washington not to. And that’s the problem.
For weeks, the White House has worked steadily to write the speech off as a thinly veiled Republican ploy to undermine the delicate negotiations with Iran. But network coverage treated it for what it was: the head of state of a critical ally delivering a controversial address on American soil. That served the interests of both House Speaker John Boehner, who was the impetus behind the speech, and Netanyahu, elevating both of them while key Democrats such as Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren stayed offstage.
Netanyahu was hailed in the House chamber like a conquering hero. The moment felt, well, presidential. Read the rest of this entry »
“We have a community organizer dealing with a commando; they’re not on the same wavelength. There’s a kind of culture clash between this administration and the administration of a country that lives in a dangerous neighborhood.”
Will said the Obama administration….(read more)
At The Corner, Ian Tuttle writes: Why did House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) not mention his invitation to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House? “Because I wanted to make sure that there was no interference,” the Speaker told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.
“There’s no secret here in Washington about the animosity that this White House has for Prime Minister Netanyahu. And I, frankly, didn’t want them getting in the way and quashing what I thought was a real opportunity.”
Boehner said elsewhere in the interview that inviting Netanyahu was apposite…(read more)
Never miss an opportunity to indict the West, to ignore the current threat to Western civilization or to smear Americans who rightly see themselves as the defenders of decency and humanity against the barbarism of Islamic fundamentalists
Jennifer Rubin writes: The confluence of events is striking. The president is capitulating in slow motion to the demands of Iran at the P5+1 talks. With regard to the Islamic State, which just this week burned alive a Jordanian pilot (a Muslim, remember), the president has empty words. Yemen, which was held up as a great success story, is now being taken over by Iranian-supported rebels with nary a peep from the president. Iran is effectively absorbing Iraq’s army. Iran continues to back terrorist groups throughout the region, including Hezbollah, which is increasingly more aggressive in attacking Israel.
“No, he is not a Manchurian candidate nor a Muslim. He is, however, entirely in over his head in a world fraught with jihadist violence and completely blinded by the left-wing dogma that declares the West to be not so civilized at all and the United States in particular to be the cause of many of the world’s problems.”
All that is happening while President Obama throws a fit when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gets an invite to speak to Congress. And he lectures the country that Christianity is rotten, too — don’t you remember the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition?
“This is not an academic oddity or a harmless quirk. It is of grave consequence when the leader of the free world is unable and unwilling to defend it rhetorically, diplomatically or militarily.”
His remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast may be the most memorable of his presidency for they so completely express his moral vacuity and personal arrogance: “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
“The president’s thinking manifests itself in the desperation for a deal with the Islamic fundamentalist Iranian state, the biggest supporter of terrorism in the region.”
Never miss an opportunity to indict the West, to ignore the current threat to Western civilization or to smear Americans who rightly see themselves as the defenders of decency and humanity against the barbarism of Islamic fundamentalists. The egregious comments and the thinking behind them was denounced not only by right-wing critics but also by thinking liberals, a variety of Christian leaders and centrists such as Joe Scarborough.
“This is not trivial matter. It is the central dilemma of time: How do we defend Western civilization when the leader of the free world won’t, and doesn’t even like it all that much?”
No, he is not a Manchurian candidate nor a Muslim. He is, however, entirely in over his head in a world fraught with jihadist violence and completely blinded by the left-wing dogma that declares the West to be not so civilized at all and the United States in particular to be the cause of many of the world’s problems. Read the rest of this entry »
In making the announcement, the White House also said it will “keep an expanded tuition tax credit at the center of his college access plan.”
The decision came just hours after Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio demanded that the proposal be withdrawn from the president’s budget, due out Monday, “for the sake of middle-class families.” But the call for the White House to relent also came from top Democrats, including Representatives Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking member of the Budget Committee.
While the WH sought to portray the initial plan as taxing the wealthy to benefit the middle class, analysis indicated that a large number people who are far from “wealthy” were benefiting from the ability to put money away for their children’s higher education without fear of it being taxed. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON—House Republicans re-elected John Boehner (R., Ohio) for a third term as House speaker on Tuesday over the objections of a band of frustrated conservatives lobbying for a new leader.
Senior Republicans expressed some frustration that internal GOP dissent was grabbing the headlines on the first day of the 114th Congress.
Mr. Boehner, 65 years old, faced more opposition from his party’s right flank than in years past, but not enough to oust him from the House’s top post. After being selected among House Republicans for the post in November, he was officially re-elected in a floor roll-call vote, as the new Congress—now fully controlled by Republicans—convened on Tuesday.
Conservatives defecting from Mr. Boehner said they objected to how he ran the House, faulting him for hashing out too many deals behind closed doors and not giving lawmakers enough time to read legislation before voting.
Even some of the most conservative House Republicans voted for Mr. Boehner, citing the party’s victories in last fall’s midterm election that gave the GOP control of the Senate and expanded the House’s Republican majority.
“I’ve had my differences with the speaker, but I plan to support him,” Rep. John Fleming (R., La.) said before the vote. “He led us through a period where we’ve increased our majority, substantially.”
In November’s midterm election, House Republicans won 247 seats, their largest majority in decades. After the resignation of Rep. Michael Grimm (R., N.Y.), effective Monday, Republicans control 246 of the chamber’s 435 seats. Read the rest of this entry »
“I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”
At The Corner, Brendan Bordelon writes: President Obama is planning to enact executive amnesty any day, despite a chorus of voices urging him to reconsider. House Speaker John Boehner warns that the White House will “poison the well,” while incoming Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell cautions against “waving a red flag in front of a bull.” Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley even laments that the move will “tear the very fabric of our Constitution.”
But perhaps the most convincing statements against the legalization of millions without congressional action? They’ve come from the president himself. Read the rest of this entry »
Crushed by Massive Congressional Election Losses, Enraged, Isolated President Moves Forward with Plan to Punish NationPosted: November 19, 2014
Paying taxes, obeying the law, and playing by the rules is for suckers. America deserves to be punished
President Obama will announce Thursday that he will use his executive authority to expand temporary protections to millions of undocumented immigrants, according to several individuals who have been briefed on the decision. Obama will travel to Las Vegas on the heels of that announcement to rally support for his initiative on Friday.
“If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for Congressional action on this issue – and many others.”
— Michael Steel
Congress will receive official details on the move Thursday, according to a senior Democratic Party official.
Even before final confirmation of the president’s plans, outside advocates began readying events to promote the administration’s immigration policy.
“We hear there will be a prime time Thursday evening announcement (to preview) and full unveiling in Vegas on Friday,” immigration advocate Dawn Le wrote in an email to other activists, which was later inadvertently sent to a group of reporters Wednesday morning. “Can folks begin to work and plan watch parties for Thursday and/or Friday? Unclear whether Thursday night content will be what is “celebratory”, but Friday will be where we need a lot of energy guaranteed.”
So, just asking, what happens if Ferguson Grand Jury announces during Obama’s amnesty speech?
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) November 19, 2014
Obama launched his push for immigration reform in January 2013 in Las Vegas, outlining a plan that would allow many of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship.
The president’s decision to speak at the city’s Del Sol High School highlights the administration’s intensified push to convince Latinos that the Democratic Party is committed to addressing the dilemma of millions of undocumented immigrants. The president is preparing to use his executive authority to expand temporary protections to millions of these individuals, as well as to broaden visa programs for highly-skilled technology workers and perhaps also stiffen security along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Brendan Bordelon writes: House majority leader John Boehner struck his most aggressive tone yet against President Obama’s promised executive amnesty for illegal immigrants, vowing to fight the White House “tooth and nail” and threatening to throw a wrench in the president’s plans for the next two years.
“I’ll just say this. We are going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path. This is the wrong way to govern. This is exactly what the American people said on Election Day they didn’t want!”
Boehner couldn’t say how congressional Republicans will fight the expected executive actions, but promised that “all actions are on the table…(read more)
Democrats’ policies have been pillaging their own political base
No. 1: It’s not us; it’s what’s his name, the unpopular president. (And that awful Valerie Jarrett. )
No. 2: It was a midterm election with a bad map; we’ll be back in 2016. Hillary to the rescue.
Official Obama Explanation : My ideas and policies are fine; I just have a messaging problem.
USS Democrat Captain Nancy Pelosi : “There was an ebbing, an ebb tide, for us.”
This all reminds me of the classic film satire, “I’m All Right, Jack,” about the dying days of the British trade-union movement. When an idealistic young factory worker shows the efficiency gains possible from actually using a forklift, the union steward calls a strike. Three guesses which Democrats in the U.S. version would play the roles of Peter Sellers, Terry-Thomas and Margaret Rutherford.
“The Democratic Party has become the Nickel-and-Dime Empire. Their compulsion to chisel money out of the population is collapsing the empire from within.”
A few Democratic voices, mostly party professionals whose job is winning elections, have said the donkey herd that just ran off the cliff needs to rethink its sense of direction. No one is listening to them. Most Democrats, especially the left that took control of the party in 2008, deny any problem. And well they might. There is no Plan B.
The Democrats’ standard political model is generally attributed to FDR confidante Harry Hopkins : “We will spend and spend, and tax and tax, and elect and elect.” Hopkins denied ever using these words, but the formula lived on.
Tax, spend and elect just slammed into the mountain.
In Wisconsin, the party’s armies not only lost to Scott Walker (twice!) but watched Republicans gain the most seats in the state’s legislature in 50 years. Read the rest of this entry »
Neil Munro reports: Eighty percent of voters polled on Election Day say new jobs should go to Americans and legal immigrants, not to illegal immigrants, including the potential beneficiaries of President Barack Obama’s planned executive amnesty, says an election-day poll of 806 voters.
“Voters overwhelmingly prefer an immigration system that protects American workers,” says a memo released with the poll by Kellyanne Conway, founder of the polling company.
“Members of Congress should feel confident that voters will support actions using the power of the purse to protect American workers from Obama’s executive amnesty threat.”
“The question of fairness is usually about ‘what’s fair to the illegal immigrants.”
“Now people are asking ‘What’s fair to the rest of us? What’s fair to the high school graduates and college students who is looking for a job? What is fair to the union guy who can’t find unemployment? What’s fair to the business owners?”
— Kellyanne Conway, founder of the polling company
The new telephone survey of 806 voters matches other data showing that most Americans strongly oppose Obama immigration policies, and that many members of his base and that many Latinos also oppose his immigration policies. Read the rest of this entry »
The Hammer: Immigration Executive Action ‘a Loser from Beginning to End’ for Obama, but Concedes Obama is Impeachment-ProofPosted: August 14, 2014
From The Corner:
…The “calculation” that this executive action could be “impeachment bait,” “a way to make the Republicans do the one that could save [the Democrats] in this election,” seems to have failed, says Krauthammer…
“I do think that if the president were to legalize 5 million illegal immigrants by fiat, that is a violation of the constitution that I think would reach the level of impeachable…”
“ …Nonetheless, it would be insane for Republicans to go ahead and do that.”
FLASHBACK: June 10, 2008: ‘Impeaching George W. Bush, president of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors’Posted: August 3, 2014
For RealClearPolitics, Carl M. Cannon writes: One disconcerting feature of modern liberalism is that so many Democrats consider it reasonable to judge the Republican Party by its most rhetorically untethered adherents: Sarah Palin, for one. Or Rush Limbaugh. Texas Congressman Steve Stockman is another example.
Those three have been trying to nudge their fellow conservatives in the direction of impeaching President Obama. This suicidal idea has been duly ignored by the Senate Republican leadership, the House leadership, and every potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate.
“The sponsors of the Bush impeachment bill were congressional liberals in good standing with the Democratic leadership in the House, and most of them are still there, including—yes, you guessed it—Sheila Jackson Lee.”
It has been rejected out of hand, really, by almost every prominent Republican in the country, including the never-shy Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Limbaugh is a famous talk radio provocateur; Palin a failed vice president candidate who resigned from Alaska’s governorship after less than one full term to cash in as an author and Fox News talking head. Stockman is a fringe character departing the House after losing a Republican senatorial primary in landslide. In other words, these are not people in positions of authority or responsibility within the Republican Party.
The actual officeholders and party professionals stoking impeachment talk are all Democrats. This is disquieting for several reasons. For starters, having White House officials and leading congressional Democrats claim with straight faces that impeachment is a serious threat is cynical and dishonest. Its purpose is to frighten liberals into donating money to Democrats, a tactic that is working. But it suggests a political party that is out of gas and out of ideas.
Speaking in Kansas City last week, Obama sounded more Valley Girl than presidential. “We could do so much more if Congress would just come on and help out a little bit,” he complained. “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time.”
On Capitol Hill, Democrats deliberately conflated the loose talk of impeachment with the House Republicans’ pending lawsuit against Obama over a series of executive orders and administrative waivers regarding the Affordable Care Act. This, too, is a nasty little ploy: Impeachment is a right-wing fantasy. Going to court over the separation of powers disputes is a way to address constitutional disputes. Read the rest of this entry »
“This business about a lawsuit and talk of impeachment is pathetic.”
On ABC’s This Week, apparently having dipped into the NYT’s cannabis stash before going on the air, continues.
“It is a very sad spectacle, and history will look back on this Congress with a very, very critical eye.”
History will look back on which branch of the government with a very, very critical eye?
Later in the show, Remnick insisted that it was shameful that a majority of the Republican party was in favor of impeachment.
Really. A majority of the Republican party?
There you have it. If the editor of The New Yorker says it on ABC’s This Week, it must be true.
Eric Cantor delivered his final remarks as the House majority leader in front of a full chamber on Tuesday, thanking his colleagues for their service and urging them not to take their positions for granted.
Although “too many are left wondering if we can be an America that works, an America that leads,” Cantor remained confident that Congress and the nation as a whole would continue to be a shining light in the world, pointing to some of his legislative accomplishments as examples…(read more)
[Below is a video of Cantor’s speech, before he put on the costume and performed the sentimental farewell song.]