Paul Bedard writes: A leading House Republican charges that President Obama is implementing a “scorched earth” exit strategy aimed at undermining President-elect Trump first months while cementing his own legacy through a frenzy of midnight regulations.
“I do believe that the retaliation if you will with Russia was appropriate for conduct, but it was appropriate for conduct going back weeks, months, or even years. And that’s one of the challenges is, the Russians see this as the desperate act of a dying administration, not as a measured response to their misconduct.”
California Rep. Darrell Issa also hit Obama’s post-campaign effort to blame Russia for the outcome of the election, which has sparked some Democrats to suggest that the results are illegitimate.
“That’s where President Obama is going to come up with shortages in his legacy because there’s going to be an asterisk saying, basically President Obama had questionable actions during the transition.”
— Rep. Darrell Issa
“President Obama is not going softly into the night. He very clearly wants to leave what some call scorched earth, or at least troubled waters,” said Issa on this weekend’s Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.
The show, titled “Exit Strategy,” focuses on Obama’s last minute moves, including the wave of regulations being flushed through the a government. Read the rest of this entry »
Source: Washington Examiner
Byron York writes:
…In the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 73 percent of registered voters said the country is on the wrong track, while just 18 percent said it is headed in the right direction. The 73 percent figure is the second-highest in the president’s nearly eight years in office.
The poll was no outlier. These are the wrong-track numbers for the last ten polls in the RealClearPolitics average of polls: 67, 70, 67, 71, 73, 69, 79, 68, 60 and 66.
And yet, in spite of clear evidence that a majority of Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, the president exhorted the nation, “Thank you for this incredible journey — let’s keep it going.”
Obama spoke as if broad areas of American life are better than ever, even if there remains work to be done. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Divisive, Angry, Racial Fear-Stoking Left-Wing President Accuses ‘Right-Wing’ Radio and Cable of Stoking Racial FearsPosted: June 2, 2016
T. Becket Adams reports: “Right-wing radio” and “some cable news stations” are actively stoking racial fears among white Americans, President Obama warned Wednesday.
“I have been listening to the stuff for a while now,” he told a crowd of supporters in Elkhart, Ind. “I’m concerned when I watch the direction of our politics. We have been hearing this story for decades: Tales about welfare queens, talking about ‘takers,’ talking about the 47 percent.”
“It is the story that is broadcast every day on some cable news stations, on right-wing radio. It is pumped into cars and bars and VFW halls all across America,” he added.
If you repeat a lie enough times, people start to believe it, Obama explained. Read the rest of this entry »
When it was revealed that the video had been edited to remove those comments, the State Department quickly restored the entire video, and blamed the missing video on a ‘glitch.’
Pete Kasperowicz reports: The State Department admitted Wednesday that a 2013 press briefing video was purposefully altered to remove a portion of a discussion about the Iran nuclear talks, after an unknown State Department official asked that it be edited out.
“James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.”
— Psaki to Fox News reporter James Rosen
Spokesman John Kirby’s announcement contradicted the position held by the department for the last three weeks, during which officials said the video was missing because of a “glitch.”
“The missing video clip was revealed more than three weeks ago, and it involves then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who was asked in 2013 whether officials ever lie to the public to protect national security interests.”
But Kirby said officials didn’t know who asked for the video to be edited, and said the department is unlikely to investigate further into who wanted the video to be edited.
Kirby said he asked the Office of the Legal Adviser to look into the issue, and that officials “learned that a specific request was made to excise that portion of the briefing. We do not know who made the request to edit the video, or why it was made.”
Kirby insisted that the person who made the edit only remembers that he or she got a call from someone at the State Department, who was passing on a request from the departments’ Public Affairs Bureau. But he said the person who received the call didn’t remember who the caller was, and doesn’t know who in that bureau made the request. Read the rest of this entry »
NARRATIVE, INTERRUPTED: U.S. Becoming Safer Compared to Europe in Both Fatalities and Frequency of Mass Public ShootingsPosted: January 8, 2016
US Now Ranks 11th in Fatalities and 12th in Frequency.
“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.”
– President Obama, announcing his new executive orders on guns, January 7, 2016
This claim is simply not true. Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, and 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.
Indeed, over that same period of time, the European Union (EU) suffered 303 deaths from mass public shootings, while the US had 199. In terms of injuries from these attacks the gap was even much greater, with EU countries facing 680 versus just 197 for the US. However, given the EU’s larger population, the per million people fatality rate for the US and the EU as a whole are virtually identical (0.62 for the US and 0.60 for the EU). By contrast, the injury rate in the EU is much higher (0.61 for the US and 1.34 for the EU).
This past year was a particularly bad one for Europe, with 8 Mass Public Shootings versus only 4 for the United States. Indeed, these 8 Mass Public Shootings for Europe in 2015 count for one-third of all their attacks over the entire seven year period of time…(read more)
Even if one puts it in terms of frequency, the president’s statement is still false, with the US ranking 12th compared to European countries.
Click on tables to enlarge them.
Michael Barone writes: What influence does a front-page editorial in The New York Times have on public opinion? A strong negative influence, judging from the only two examples from the last 95 years. The Times famously ran a front-page editorial Dec. 4 calling for drastic gun control measures, including confiscation of weapons. The response: No. The latest CBS/New York Times poll reports that 50 percent oppose “a nationwide ban on assault weapons,” while only 44 percent support it.
That’s a sharp reversal of trend: In January 2011, 63 percent supported the ban on “assault weapons” — a vague term that invites agreement, even though any gun, even a toy pistol, can be used to assault someone (consult your law dictionary) and the 1990s legislation banning “assault weapons” distinguished them from other guns by purely cosmetic criteria.
The Times’ second-most recent front-page editorial, published in June 1920, had a similar effect. It criticized the Republican National Conventions‘ nomination of Warren G. Harding as that of “a candidate whose nomination will be received with astonishment and dismay by the party whose suffrages he invites.” Voters took a different view that fall….(read more)
Source: Washington Examiner
He could have acknowledged people’s qualms as legitimate and argued at greater length…But that would have meant not taking cheap shots against the political opposition at home — the people who really make him angry.
Michael Barone writes: Three days after the Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris, Americans were primed to hear their president express heartfelt anger, which he did in his press conference in Antalya, Turkey, at the end of the G-20 Conference. And they did hear him describe the Islamic State as “this barbaric terrorist organization” and acknowledge that “the terrible events in Paris were a terrible and sickening setback.”
“What really got him angry, as the transcript and videotape make clear, were reporters’ repeated questions about the minimal success of his strategy against the Islamic State and Republicans’ proposals for more active engagement in Syria and Iraq.”
But what really got him angry, as the transcript and videotape make clear, were reporters’ repeated questions about the minimal success of his strategy against the Islamic State and Republicans’ proposals for more active engagement in Syria and Iraq. As well as critics of his decision to allow 10,000 Syrians into the United States.
“The reporters did not seem this time to be absorbing his patient instruction.”
The reporters did not seem this time to be absorbing his patient instruction. The Islamic State “controls less territory than it did before,” he stated — but not much less, and is still holding Iraq’s second largest city and a huge swath of Iraqi and Syrian desert. Our bombs did pulverize the British-born Islamic State beheader. “We’ve been coordinating internationally to reduce their financing capabilities.
“Most Americans want people who behead Americans destroyed considerably sooner than that. They wonder why the world’s greatest military can’t do that.”
But in his self-described goal, “to degrade and ultimately destroy,” the word “ultimately” looms uncomfortable large. Most Americans want people who behead Americans destroyed considerably sooner than that. They wonder why the world’s greatest military can’t do that.
Such action, Obama suggested, might be bad public relations. The Islamic State has “a twisted ideology,” and we play into its “narrative” by treating it as a state and using “routine military tactics.” Read the rest of this entry »
The top 10: Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Jordan, Ireland, Canada, with the United Kingdom and Chile tied at 10.
“The United States, once considered a bastion of economic freedom, now ranks 16th in the world after being as high as second in 2000.”
Paul Bedard reports: The United States, ranked second in worldwide economic freedom as recently as 2000, has plummeted to 16th, according to a new report of world economies.
“A weakened rule of law, the so-called wars on terrorism and drugs, and a confused regulatory environment have helped erode economic freedom in the United States, which remains behind Canada and other more economically free countries such as Qatar, Jordan and the U.A.E.”
— Fred McMahon, Fraser Institute
The Fraser Institute’s annual report, Economic Freedom of the World, showed that the country’s drop started in 2010, the second year of the Obama administration.
“Economic freedom breeds prosperity and economically free countries like Canada offer the highest quality of life while the lowest-ranked countries are usually burdened by oppressive regimes that limit the freedom and opportunity of their citizens.”
— Fred McMahon, Fraser Institute
The world-recognized report showed that the U.S. fell in several areas, including legal and property rights and regulation.
“The United States, once considered a bastion of economic freedom, now ranks 16th in the world after being as high as second in 2000,” said the report issued Monday morning. Read the rest of this entry »
Ryan Lovelace reports: Two top Clinton aides, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan, will appear before the House Select Committee on Benghazi next month, but when will the committee interview several other top Obama administration officials and Clinton allies?
“What can I do to make the Department of State produce Jake Sullivan’s emails to me? I’ve asked. I’ve sent a subpoena. I don’t know what else I can do. I can’t send the FBI to get him.”
House Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., described how the committee intends to finish its work before the calendar year 2015 ends, in an exclusive interview with the Washington Examiner.
“I have a freshman in college who could go pull up all of her emails and have them printed off by this afternoon. I don’t know what takes so long, but it’s been months and months and months. And we still don’t have all the documents we’ve asked for.”
Gowdy discussed his desire to interview key Obama and Clinton operatives, including former State Department deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin, State Department undersecretary for management Patrick Kennedy, and State Department chief of staff Jon Finer. He also indicated his frustration at the lack of information former State Department policy planning director Jake Sullivan has produced.
Sullivan now serves as a top foreign policy adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Abedin is a top aide and confidant of Clinton, and Kennedy and Finer remain at the State Department.
Gowdy said he wants all of the documents relating to these individuals before interviewing them, but continues to face an uphill battle. Read the rest of this entry »
Carroll Doherty, Director of Political Research at the Pew Research Center, and Ed Goeas, President and CEO of the Tarrance Group, discuss the American electorate and the Presidential election next year at a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society on June 2, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Klayman said a major reason for his lawsuit involves the fact that Cheryl Mills, then-chief of staff to Hillary Clinton, and the secretary of state herself ‘lied to the lower court’ in by claiming there were no documents related to a pair of Freedom of Information Act requests he filed in 2012 while knowing those records actually did exist on the private server.
The lawsuit, filed by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, includes a legal request to have the Florida judge seize the private server on which Hillary Clinton and her aides hosted their emails while she served as secretary of state.
Klayman has filed dozens of lawsuits against the Clintons and other prominent politicians.
The racketeering, influenced and corrupt organizations, or RICO, case alleges the former first couple and their family philanthropy traded political favors for donations or generous speaking fees for Bill Clinton while his wife was the nation’s chief diplomat.
“Hillary Clinton deleted 32,000 email messages from her email server that included her communications arranging, negotiating, and agreeing upon speaking engagements by Bill Clinton in return for large speaking fees and donations to The Clinton Foundation.”
“Negotiations by email about influencing U.S. foreign policy or U.S. Government actions to benefit donors to … The Clinton Foundation or sponsors of speaking engagements would not be captured on a U.S. Government email account because her emails would not be with a U.S. Government official,” Klayman said in court documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.
“Hillary Clinton deleted 32,000 email messages from her email server that included her communications arranging, negotiating, and agreeing upon speaking engagements by Bill Clinton in return for large speaking fees and donations to The Clinton Foundation,” the documents, dated May 20, said.
“It’s a perfect RICO case, it fits completely. Our Congress doesn’t even have the guts to subpoena her documents. They’d rather get on Fox News. So we felt had to bring that case. Somebody’s got to do it.”
— Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch
Klayman pushed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order a “neutral forensic expert … to take custody and control of the private email server and reconstruct and preserve the official U.S. Government records relating to the conduct of U.S. foreign policy during Defendant Secretary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State.” Read the rest of this entry »
Paul Bedard reports: Claiming that thousands of public comments condemning “dark money” in politics can’t be ignored, the Democrat-chaired Federal Election Commission on Wednesday appeared ready to open the door to new regulations on donors, bloggers and others who use the Internet to influence policy and campaigns.
During a broad FEC hearing to discuss a recent Supreme Court decision that eliminated some donor limits, proponents encouraged the agency to draw up new funding disclosure rules and require even third-party internet-based groups to reveal donors, a move that would extinguish a 2006 decision to keep the agency’s hands off the Internet.
Noting the 32,000 public comments that came into the FEC in advance of the hearing, Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, “75 percent thought that we need to do more about money in politics, particularly in the area of disclosure. And I think that’s something that we can’t ignore.”
But a former Republican FEC chairman said in his testimony that if the agency moves to regulate the Internet, including news voices like the Drudge Report as GOP commissioners have warned, many thousands more comments will flood in in opposition of regulation. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the latest black eye for the Peacock Network, which has been in panic mode since its star anchor, Brian Williams, backtracked on his story that he had been shot at during his 2003 trip to Iraq
NBC is once again under fire from Iraq War veterans — this time for a correspondent’s claims that sniper Chris Kyle was “racist.”
“Mohyeldin’s statements were an inexcusable slap in the face to the widow of Chris Kyle and to all those in the armed forces who continue to serve our country in harm’s way.”
More than 20 retired generals and admirals penned a letter to Comcast, which owns NBC, following a Jan. 29 interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with Middle East reporter Ayman Mohyeldin, according to a report in the Washington Examiner.
“Some of what people have described as his racist tendencies towards Iraqis and Muslims when he was going on some of these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment,” Mohyeldin said of Kyle, whose career was recently the subject of the blockbuster movie “American Sniper.”
Becket Adams reports: New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet explained Thursday that the Grey Lady won’t republish provocative Muhammad cartoons from a French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo because the images are simply too obscene.
“…they don’t meet our standards. They are provocative on purpose. They show religious figures in sexual positions. We do not show those.”
— New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet
“Was it hard to deny our readers these images? Absolutely. But we still have standards, and they involve not running offensive material,” Baquet told the Washington Examiner. “That includes the videos of beheadings, by the way.”
Likely Islamic terrorists attacked Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices on Wednesday, murdering 10 journalists and two police officers. It’s believed that the magazine’s many cartoons mocking the prophet of Islam prompted the attack.
As such, the cartoons are now at the center of the story, their images reportedly the entire reason for the Paris massacre.
“I agree that the cartoons are central to the story. And it was hard as hell not to publish them. But to understand the real sensitivity of this issues you would have to publish the most sensitive images,” Baquet said. Read the rest of this entry »
John Hayward reports: Hey, remember how a watchdog group called Cause of Action filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents pertaining to the investigation of taxpayer information handed over to the White House by the IRS, and the request went nowhere, so they sued, and a judge told the Treasury Department they had to cough up the documents, and then the Treasury Inspector General was all like, “Oh, wow, we’ve got 2,500 pages of documents on this deal, so we need a little more time to finish going through them before we hand them over?”
If it wasn’t so bad – if there wasn’t a ‘smidgen of corruption’ – why try so hard to keep these records silent?”
Never mind about seeing those documents, peons. The Administration has decided not to hand them over after all, citing a statute that basically says the privacy of the people whose privacy the White House violated would be violated by revealing details of the White House violation to the public. It all sounds pretty fishy to Cause of Action, as quoted in the Washington Examiner:
Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, said Treasury was using “sophisticated” lawyering to weasel out of providing the documents. And he noted that their letter said that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is now looking into “potential liability” that his tax aides broke laws in sharing taxpayer information with the White House. Read the rest of this entry »
In a surprise move late Friday, a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet-based campaigning, prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.
Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC’s rules. “A reexamination of the commission’s approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due,” she said.
“Regrettably, the 3-to-3 vote in this matter suggests a desire to retreat from these important protections for online political speech — a shift in course that could threaten the continued development of the Internet’s virtual free marketplace of political ideas and democratic debate.”
The power play followed a deadlocked 3-3 vote on whether an Ohio anti-President Obama Internet campaign featuring two videos violated FEC rules when it did not report its finances or offer a disclosure on the ads. The ads were placed for free on YouTube and were not paid advertising.
Under a 2006 FEC rule, free political videos and advocacy sites have been free of regulation in a bid to boost voter participation in politics. Only Internet videos that are placed for a fee on websites, such as the Washington Examiner, are regulated just like normal TV ads. Read the rest of this entry »
“We can either choose to keep our head down, and not rock the boat, to not stand for anything, or we can stand for principle.”
Sen. Ted Cruz has released a dynamic new video featuring highlights of the senator’s biggest moments…