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|Obama Is Particularly Vulnerable to These Scandals|
Scandal is the worst thing that can befall a president. Yet as debilitating as scandals always are, the ones Obama now faces are particularly so. They intimately and simultaneously strike at his public persona, which has been his strongest asset, while seemingly verifying his critics' worst accusations.Scandals leave a president weaker for four reasons. First, they are decidedly negative issues. No president, or politician for that matter, seeks out negative issues. All go after the overwhelmingly popular, which is why politicians so quickly and frequently embrace symbolic ones.When...
After Terrorism, Fools Rush In
The pattern is sickeningly familiar: After every atrocity committed in the name of Islam, left-wing intellectuals and celebrities, scarcely bothering to conceal their schadenfreude, start lecturing us on the West’s moral failings.So it was this week, when a young British soldier was butchered in broad daylight in the streets of London by men of Nigerian descent claiming to avenge Western violence against Muslims. Before a decent interval could pass, the moral equivocators rushed in to validate the attackers’ claim and say, in effect, it’s all our fault.Most...
The Mystery Night
On Fox News Sunday recently, White House aide Dan Pfeiffer was asked about President Barack Obama’s whereabouts the night of the September 11 attack in Benghazi.This was the night when we lost our first ambassador in 30 years, and when three other Americans were killed in an attack lasting for hours at multiple locations. Since the president is commander-in-chief, one would think that where he was and what he did during such an event would be of obvious public concern.Not according to Pfeiffer. He deemed the president’s location, and specifically whether he was in the...
Obama\'s Discomfort as a War President
President Barack Obama intended his speech on counterterrorism last week to offer a thoughtful exposition of where the country stands since 9/11 and where we go from here. And for the most part, he did.It’s clear, however, that Obama has some moral reservations about where we are and where we should go that the country doesn’t share.According to Obama, the effort to get those who committed the 9/11 attacks is basically completed. That doesn’t mean that the terrorist threat is gone. But it is different, in Obama’s view. And he wants a new legal...
The Political Ground Is Shifting Under the President
Despite a tough couple of weeks, President Obama's job approval ratings are holding up fairly well. As I write this, 47 percent of voters nationwide offer their approval. That's little changed from attitudes of late and essentially the same as the president enjoyed during most of his first term in office.But if you dig just a bit beneath the surface, it becomes clear that the controversies dogging the White House have had an impact. So far, there are three major issues -- the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservatives, the Justice Department's secret media...
The Case for Drones
1. When Obama Embraced Drone WarfareHow, exactly, did drone warfare and targeted killing become key elements in America’s counterterrorism strategy? And why should we care about them as essential national-security tools for the future?Barack Obama campaigned for his first presidential term on the platform of ending America’s wars. Obama voters and much of the rest of the world figured this promise referred not only to the conventional conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also to what liberals considered the long and unnecessary national nightmare of the war on...
Accounting for the Industrial Revolution
This is the most important question in economics: Why did the Industrial Revolution happen when and where it did–and not before or elsewhere? Fail to understand that and you may enact policies that will kill the unprecedented human progress it launched: a multiplication in the average worldwide per-capita income of between 16 and 100 times in the span of just 200 years. Compare that to the preceding thousands of years over which worldwide per-capita income was largely unchanged.In her brilliant 2011 book Bourgeois Dignity, economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey shot...
What is Hezbollah?
The controversy begins with the name Hezb Allah, Arabic for the Party of God. And the controversy is further deepened by what is implied by the name: the others, the ones who don’t belong to the movement of fire and brimstone, are Hezb al-Shaytan, the Party of Satan.In the theology and practice of Hezbollah, there can be no mercy shown for other Muslims, let alone infidels beyond the boundaries of Islam. In a country like Lebanon, with eighteen religious communities, the theology of Hezbollah must be terribly problematic. The theology must twist and bend. There is a large Shia...
Reining in Bank Payday Lending
Two federal bank regulators, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, recently requested comments on their “Proposed Guidance on Deposit Advance Products.” Read the full comment letter to the FDIC here and to the OCC here.The Center for American Progress applauds the FDIC and OCC’s efforts to examine deposit-advance products. A deposit-advance loan is a short-term loan for bank customers who use direct deposit to automatically add income to their accounts. The loan...
U.S. Effort to Jumpstart Israeli-Palestinian Talks
As Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Jerusalem, he will continue his efforts to establish a framework for negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, having repeatedly made clear his view that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is a key interest of the United States. “So much of what we aspire to achieve and what we need to do globally, what we need to do in the Maghreb and South Asia, South Central Asia, throughout the Gulf, all of this is tied to what can or doesn’t happen with respect to Israel-Palestine,” Secretary...
France Must See the Job Through in Mali
Last week, a donor conference comprised principally of the U.S. and European nations pledged $4.22 billion for reconstruction efforts in war-torn Mali, most of which is contingent upon Mali holding elections on July 28. The size of the pledge indicates the myriad problems facing the African nation, problems that a United Nations Peacekeeping force will not be able to tackle alone, especially once French forces are gone.Rather, the assistance is likely to be used by France as political cover to significantly reduce its armed forces in Mali at a critical...
The Electoral Consequences of Amnesty
The Senate’s Gang of 8 Comprehensive Immigration Reform provides a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States. While there are many policy considerations being explored, the fate of this proposed legislation, or any compromise with the House of Representatives, may hinge on purely political grounds. Critics, particularly Republicans, worry about what these undocumented-immigrants-turned-new-voters could mean come Election Day.Surprisingly, there has been limited examination of how the Gang of...
The Containment Fallacy: China and the TPP
In recent commentary for the Financial Times, David Pilling argues that the central objective of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations is the exclusion of China. In his view, the desire to build an “anyone but China” club is due both to the perception that China got an easy pass when it joined the WTO and has continued to flaunt international trade and investment rules; and to the articulation of a larger political strategy to marginalize this emerging superpower. Pilling goes on to predict that the TPP will fail to deliver major liberalization...
Obama Speech Nails It On Drone Strikes
President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism speech Thursday did not deliver any radical policy changes or huge revelations, but it was well done nonetheless. It explained his reasoning behind the use of certain techniques of warfare including drone strikes and Guantanamo detentions, even as he also promised to minimize the use of these methods in the future and try to move towards a world in which the 2001 authorization for war against al Qaeda and affiliates would no longer be needed. It was an intelligent blend of the tone of his more idealistic speeches, such as the Cairo address...
The Fog of ObamaCare
You’ve heard of the “fog of war.” Well, now we’ve got the fog of Obamacare. The controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA) has so many moving parts that it’s hard to know how its implementation is proceeding. In 2014, many uninsured are supposed to get coverage either through insurance exchanges, where they can buy subsidized policies if their incomes are less than four times the federal poverty line, or through an expanded Medicaid. The trouble is that 20 or more states may reject the Medicaid expansion, and theexchanges...
A Mission on Climate Change
WASHINGTON -- President Obama should spend his remaining years in office making the United States part of the solution to climate change, not part of the problem. If Congress sticks to its policy of obstruction and willful ignorance, Obama should use his executive powers to the fullest extent. We are out of time.With each breath, every person alive today experiences something unique in human history: an atmosphere containing more than 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. This makes us special, I suppose, but not in a good way.The truth is that 400 is just one of those round-number...
Obama\'s Bloody Recipe for More Benghazis
Gird your loins, America. President Obama intends to empty out Guantanamo Bay and send scores of suspected Muslim terror operatives back to their jihadist-coddling native countries. Goaded by anti-war activists and soft-on-terror attorneys (including those from Attorney General Eric Holder's former private law firm), Obama announced Thursday that he'll lift a ban on sending up to 90 Yemeni detainees home and will initiate other stalled transfers out of the compound.This radical appeasement of Obama's left flank is a surefire recipe for more Benghazis, more U.S.S. Coles and...
Analysis: Jon Huntsman\'s Real Challenge
To hear Jon Huntsman tell it, his hopes of succeeding in a potential second presidential bid depend largely on one thing: whether enough voters come around to his views on the major issues of the day.“If [the issues] hit a wall, then you don’t have a future. If they resonate with people, then naturally, you’ll be talked about,” Huntsman told Politico after announcing his formation of a PAC to boost potential allies -- and help pave the way for a 2016 campaign of his own. “If you are to rise politically, it’s based upon real ideas,...
Obama and the Law
If you Google "George W. Bush shredding the constitution," you will get many millions of hits. The New York Times railed, "Ever since 9/11, we have watched Republican lawmakers help Mr. Bush shred the Constitution in the name of fighting terrorism."President Bush attempted to listen in on the international calls of suspected terrorists, he used waterboarding on exactly three terrorists, and he put detainees in Guantanamo.Mr. Obama -- greeted rapturously in 2008 as the "constitutional law professor" who would restore respect for our founding document -- has...
The Other IRS Scandal
WASHINGTON -- Let us stipulate that now might not be the best time -- with IRS officials exposed for abusing power, caught in self-serving deceptions, invoking their constitutional right against self-incrimination -- to dramatically expand the authority and size of their agency. But this is what Obamacare requires. Thousands of new IRS agents will implement 40-odd provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- the exact number a matter of dispute since the law itself is so confusing. The largest tax law and social policy change in a generation will be imposed on a skeptical...
Obama Refines War-on-Terror Rules
President Obama used a big-sky speech Thursday to try to nudge America beyond a post-9/11 “war on terror” and toward containing and dismantling terrorist organizations and extremists that pose threats to the United States.“This war, like all wars, must end,” Obama said during an hour-long address that was interrupted by rebukes shouted by Code Pink protester Medea Benjamin. “That's what history advises. It's what our democracy demands,” he said.In the first counterterrorism address since his re-election, Obama said the...
Will the West Wake Up?
After a British soldier wearing a Help for Heroes charity T-shirt was run over, stabbed and slashed with machetes and a meat cleaver, and beheaded, the Tory government advised its soldiers that it is probably best not to appear in uniform on the streets of their capital.Both murderers were wounded by police. One was photographed and recorded. His message:"There are many, many (verses) throughout the Quran that says we must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I apologize that women had to witness this today, but in our land women have to see the same....
Tesla & Solar: A Glimpse of the New Energy Economy
If you want a glimpse of what the nascent new energy economy looks like, pull off Interstate 5 in Southern California just before the steep climb through the Tejon Pass. There amid a cluster of fast-food joints you’ll find three Tesla Motors Superchargers sitting under a canopy of solar panels.The 480-volt Superchargers, which resemble white mini versions of the monolith in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” add 150 miles of range to the Tesla’s Model S luxury electric sports sedan in 30 minutes. With six Supercharger stations in operation in California, Model S...
Who Has the Edge in the Va. Governor\'s Race?
With the New Jersey governor's race looking like a cakewalk for Chris Christie (at least for now), and with New York's crime problem under control (removing much of the impetus for a Republican mayor), all eyes are on the Virginia gubernatorial race as the premier political contest in 2013. Republicans selected their political slate over the weekend at a convention, settling upon Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as their gubernatorial candidate, E.W. Jackson as their pick for lieutenant governor, and state Sen. Mark Obenshain as their choice for attorney general. Democrats will...
At Energy Forum, "All of the Above" Input
At a Tuesday luncheon two blocks from the Capitol, a dozen energy sector officials, experts, and thought leaders offered a path forward for meeting America’s energy needs. If a single word described the two-hour session, it would be “diversity.”Titled “Fueling America’s Future” and hosted by RealClearPolitics (which has spotlighted the topic this week), the event evoked a unified vision among those in the business of powering the nation’s cars, homes, buildings, and commercial enterprises -- and the consensus is that...
Low-Skilled Workers Get Raw Deal Under Obamacare
Would you like to have a "skinny" health insurance policy? Probably not. But if you're employed by a large company, you may get one, thanks to Obamacare.That's the conclusion of Wall Street Journal reporters Christopher Weaver and Anna Wilde Mathews. They report that insurance brokers are pitching and selling "low-benefit" policies across the country.You might be wondering what a "skinny" or "low-benefit" insurance plan is. The terms may vary, but the basic idea is that policies would cover preventive care, a limited number of doctor visits...
Why Liberalism Is in Trouble
For all the complaining the left has done about those shadowy outside political groups subverting the democratic process, we recently learned that no one has the means to undercut freedom of expression quite like an enthusiastic government agency.Appropriately, nearly everyone in Washington is professing and/or pretending to be outraged that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups. Yet if we're to believe recent polls, an uninformed President Barack Obama (similarly outraged as he watches events unfold on the news) hasn't shouldered much of the blame for...
Under Fire Again, Will Iowa Caucuses Remain First?
In 1976, a little-known former governor of Georgia rode all the way to the presidency on the momentum generated by his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses.The state had largely been ignored when it staged the nation’s first voting contest four years earlier, but ever since Jimmy Carter’s triumph, the quirky caucuses have been an entrenched component of U.S. presidential politics.But just as Iowa reliably becomes the center of the political universe every four years, it also becomes, in each election’s aftermath, a dartboard for complaints about what’s...
Oklahoma Needs Help, Not Ideology
WASHINGTON -- While listening to an NPR report out of Moore, Okla., this week, I was genuinely shocked. Not by the scale of the devastation or the tenacity of people who have grown stoically accustomed to the damage tornados can do, but by a political sentiment that, in almost any other era, would not have been surprising at all.Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican who lives in the very neighborhood that was overwhelmed, was talking about a call he received from President Obama. Hearing Cole, I realized how strange it is these days for politicians to speak in human terms about someone in the other...
Obama\'s Scandals -- and His Media Co-Conspirators
How does President Barack Obama, a man of such keen intelligence, with such promise to "change" America, find himself in so much serious trouble?From the IRS targeting conservatives to the continued confusion over what happened at Benghazi to provoking a battle with The Associated Press by subpoenaing phone records that could involve as many as 100 reporters, what went wrong?The answer is simple: arrogance, aided and abetted by a compliant, adoring "news" media.CNN's Roland Martin urged the president to "go gangsta" on conservatives who wouldn't...
Paranoid or Prescient?
Government is now so huge, powerful and callous that citizens risk becoming proverbial serfs without the freedoms guaranteed by the Founders. Is that perennial fear an exaggeration? Survey the current news. We have just learned that the Internal Revenue Service before the 2012 election predicated its tax-exempt policies on politics. It inordinately denied tax exemption to groups considered either conservative or possibly antagonistic to the president’s agenda.If the supposedly nonpartisan IRS is perceived as scoring our taxes based on our politics, then the...
A Sober Approach to Drunk Driving
In its new report on how to reduce drunk-driving deaths, the National Transportation Safety Board states its goal in the title: "Reaching Zero." The agency thinks it is irreproachable to try to ensure that no one ever dies in an alcohol-related accident. In fact, it's a utopian goal requiring excessive compulsion in the pursuit of unattainable perfection.The NTSB is dissatisfied by the rate of progress against drunk-driving deaths. It makes much of the fact that the percentage of traffic deaths involving intoxicated motorists has been stuck at between 30 and 32 since 1995. But...
The world looked upon the tornado-flattened landscape of Moore, Okla., with awe. The destruction was shocking, as were the personal losses. Many Americans in the audience also felt -- and this must be said -- some comfort. Here was a country of strong people rolling with some very serious punches. It still exists.On CNN, BBC or wherever, one heard plainspoken voices describing their ordeal with natural stoicism. These were victims (a word they might not apply to themselves) standing in front of the trash piles that were their houses. Some were bearing the death of loved ones, including nine...
Newsom Turns a New Leaf on Marijuana
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom likes to be out front on issues. As San Francisco mayor, he approved same-sex marriages in City Hall even though they weren't legal. He pushed for a first-of-its-kind ban on city pharmacies selling cigarettes. Likewise, he signed the Special City's first-in-the-nation ban on groceries giving away plastic bags.Newsom has hailed California's role as the first state to legalize medical marijuana. So imagine how it must have broken his heart when Colorado and Washington voters approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana in November. Now...
Issa\'s Restraint at IRS Hearing Could Benefit GOP
Republicans have cautioned party lawmakers investigating the politically charged IRS controversy against overplaying their hand. If Wednesday’s House Oversight Committee hearing is any indication, Chairman Darrell Issa is paying heed -- at least for now.The California lawmaker, who recently held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress and has led controversial hearings on the administration’s handling of the Benghazi terrorist attacks, dismissed key IRS official Lois Lerner from testifying after she invoked her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.But...
Benghazi Interview: Pickering Dissects Congressional Follies, Media Coverage and \'Cover-Up\' Charges
No doubt the degraded quality of congressional oversight astonishes Thomas Pickering, the distinguished American diplomat who oversaw the State Department's Benghazi review board -- although he tries not to say so too directly. For his demanding and difficult effort -- only the most recent in a long history of public service under both Republican and Democratic administrations -- Pickering has found himself under sustained attack by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the excitable partisan who chairs the House Government Reform Committee.Last Friday, Issa subpoenaed Pickering...
Obama as the Green Lantern
There’s been a lot of speculation lately as to why President Obama hasn’t had more success rallying the American people and Congress around his agenda, accompanied by criticism of him for failing to do so. Most of this has come from those who either have or have had a favorable impression of the president. Some of these protestations have been direct and from more liberal quarters, such as Maureen Dowd's recent assertion that it was Obama’s job to get Republicans “to behave,” or the Washington Post editorial board’s complaint in...
The Obama Crony in Charge of Your Medical Records
Who is Judy Faulkner? Chances are, you don't know her -- but her politically connected, taxpayer-subsidized electronic medical records company may very well know you. Top Obama donor and billionaire Faulkner is founder and CEO of Epic Systems, which will soon store almost half of all Americans' health information.If the crony odor and the potential for abuse that this "epic" arrangement poses don't chill your bones, you ain't paying attention.As I first noted last year before the IRS witch hunts and DOJ journalist snooping scandals broke out, Obama's...
\'Impeachment\' Is Not a Four-Letter Word
You may be appalled about IRS inquisitions for Tea Party groups and dragnet subpoenas for investigative reporters, but what’s really outrageous, according to some commentators, is that a couple of Republicans recently dared to use the “I-word” — “impeachment.” I’m not convinced that any of President Obama’s recent scandal eruptions constitute an “impeachable moment.” But surely something’s gone wrong with our constitutional culture when opinion leaders treat the very...
Austerity and Stimulus - Two Misfires
Why is it that in the United States the "stimulus" solution to the economy's ills has performed badly while in Europe the opposite approach, "austerity," has performed even worse?The answer is that austerity (defined as substantial reductions in debt-financed government spending) or stimulus (defined as high-levels of debt-financed government spending) will promote growth only in some countries and in some circumstances.Whether either policy will work depends critically on the responses of the private sector. What is missing from consideration today is whether the...
Real Clear Politics
|America\'s Suicide Epidemic|
Tony Dokoupil, Newsweek
The Deep Historical Roots of IRS Corruption
Jay Cost, Weekly Standard
GOP: Party of Crybabies
Jonathan Bernstein, Salon
How ObamaCare Endangers Your Breasts
The Closing of the Conservative Mind
Paul Krugman, New York Times
Who Are the Real Climate Deniers?
David Solway, PJ Media
Wait Two Months, Then Check Obama\'s Approval
Michael Catalini, NJ
The Stealth Threat to China\'s Regime
Patrick Meier, iRevolution
Reading Hayek in Beijing
Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal
Teens Tire of Facebook--But Not Enough to Log Off
Victor Luckerson, Time
When We Held Kings
Eric Raskin, Grantland
Rise of the 4th Branch of Government
Jonathan Turley, Washington PostThere were times this past week when it seemed like the 19th-century Know-Nothing Party had returned to Washington. President Obama insisted he knew nothing about major decisions in the State Department, or the Justice Department, or the Internal Revenue Service. The heads of those agencies, in turn, insisted they knew nothing about major decisions by their subordinates. It was as if the government functioned by some hidden hand. Clearly, there was a degree of willful blindness in these claims. However, the suggestion that someone, even the president, is in control of today's government...
This Is Not 2009
Charles Blow, New York TimesWhile it is impossible to predict what might drive voter attitudes in an election 18 months away, there are quite a few signs that 2014 will be nothing like 2010, which produced tremendous success for Republicans. First, the electorate is less conservative. In May 2009, the Tea Party had just begun to flex its muscle and feel its power on a national level. Now, the movement has lost momentum. An April 2012 Associated Press report included a finding from Theda Skocpol, a Harvard professor, that the number of Tea Party groups had fallen from about 1,000 to about 600. And a Washington Post/ABC...
Why Liberalism Is in Trouble
David Harsanyi, Washington ExaminerAnd so what? Though the president's fate seems to be the paramount concern of the leftist punditry (a group that now argues that any "real" scandal is only one in which the president had personal knowledge of misconduct in real time -- meaning, one supposes, that Abu Ghraib should be retroactively reclassified as a non-scandal for George W. Bush), it matters not. Even with an adoring public, the chances of Obama's pushing through any substantive legislation before 2014 -- or even 2016 -- were slim at best. Those poll-ignoring obstructionists in the House will see to it....
White House Press Must Get Back to Basics
Martin Schram, Boston HeraldOn days when the president is coming, the White House press room, the East Room and even occasionally the Rose Garden are ornamented with dozens of objects that perform the decorative and utilitarian purpose of potted plants. They are members of the prestigious White House press corps (a gaggle in which I also plied my craft for many years). These elite journalists are there ostensibly as key participants in a venerated institutional event: a presidential news conference. Much has changed over the years, as the White House sought to end the news-conference clamor of journalists vying to be...
The IRS Had the Right Idea
Ken Stern, The Daily BeastA little context is warranted. There are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in this country, a number that reliably grows by more than 50,000 each year. It’s an incredibly important sector of our economy—not just because it represents more than $1.5 trillion in annual revenues and close to 15 percent of the American workforce, but also because nonprofits dominate critical fields such as education, health care, social services, arts, and, yes, politics. Yet, despite the critical nature of these organizations and their services, the Exempt Organizations Division,...
Obama Is Particularly Vulnerable to These Scandals
J.T. Young, RCPWhen pressed, a president takes on "tough" substantive issues, which are "tough" precisely because they alienate large numbers of voters. Balancing the budget is not hard in itself - it is hard because doing so requires cutting spending or raising taxes. However, even with tough substantive issues, roughly half the electorate often supports a president. Not so with scandals. Scandals alienate all but your most fervent supporters, and in some cases, even them. They are political no-win situations. Second, presidential scandals are concentrated. Because Congress is diffused...
How DOJ Fought to Keep Rosen\'s Warrant Secret
Ryan Lizza, New YorkerThe Obama Administration fought to keep a search warrant for James Rosen's private e-mail account secret, arguing to a federal judge that the government might need to monitor the account for a lengthy period of time. The new details are revealed in a court filing detailing a back and forth between the Justice Department and the federal judges who oversaw the request to search a Gmail account belonging to Rosen, a reporter for Fox News. A 2009 article Rosen had written about North Korea sparked an investigation; Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting Stephen Jin-Woo...
Did Eric Holder Lie in Congressional Testimony?
Ed Morrissey, Hot AirThat’s the question asked by Katie Pavlich and Jim Hoft after the revelation that Attorney General Eric Holder personally approved the application for a warrant on Fox News’ James Rosen as a potential co-conspirator in espionage. Last week, under relatively friendly questioning from Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) about the Department of Justice seizure of Associated Press phone records, Johnson asked about the potential to prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917. ”You’ve got a long way to go to try to prosecute the press for publication of...
After Terrorism, Fools Rush In
Will Marshall, RealClearPoliticsThe pattern is sickeningly familiar: After every atrocity committed in the name of Islam, left-wing intellectuals and celebrities, scarcely bothering to conceal their schadenfreude, start lecturing us on the West’s moral failings.So it was this week, when a young British soldier was butchered in broad daylight in the streets of London by men of Nigerian descent claiming to avenge Western violence against Muslims. Before a decent interval could pass, the moral equivocators rushed in to validate the attackers’ claim and say, in effect, it’s all our fault.
LBJ\'s Gettysburg Address
David Shribman, New York TimesIn American history, 1963 was a year rich in speeches. But of all the signature speeches that year, it's the one that has been all but forgotten that might have transformed the country the most. Fifty years ago, on Memorial Day in 1963, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson gave a speech in Gettysburg, Pa., that foreshadowed profound changes that would be achieved in only 13 months and that mark us still.
Rand Paul\'s Hipster Outreach Mofo Party Plan
Nick Gillespie, ReasonWhile I've been critical of some of Paul's recent comments to an audience of Christian conservatives in Iowa, there's little question in my mind that he is potentially the most transformative national politician on the scene. Between his glorious filibuster, his foreign policy speech at Heritage, his dialogue with students at historically black colleges such as Howard in D.C. and Simmons in Louisville, and his great "free minds and free markets" speech at CPAC, no figure in either party is laying down a generally consistent and principled case for libertarian policies...
Stop Wrecking Lives Over Weed
Paul Zukerberg, Washington PostIn a little office on the third floor of Metropolitan Police Headquarters on Indiana Avenue NW is a small window to the future — open to some, closed to many. This is where you get your D.C. “police clearance.” If you have never been there, that’s because you have never applied for a job flipping burgers, mowing lawns or cleaning restrooms in the District. Room 3033 is the human resources department for the poor, the young and the disenfranchised. The piece of paper you get there — if you have no criminal record — is what you need to...
A Farmers\' Rebellion Lifts California Republicans
Allysia Finley, WSJDemocrats were writing obituaries for California's GOP after winning a supermajority in the state legislature last November, thus gaining veto-proof power to raise taxes. But their legislative lock may have slipped after this week's special election in which Republican farmer Andy Vidak appears to have defeated a Democrat—in a heavily Democratic senate district—who had championed high-speed rail and a higher minimum wage. If Mr. Vidak wins an outright majority—late Friday, he led with 49.8% of the vote and provisional ballots were still being...
Jerry Brown\'s Political Reboot
James Fallows, The AtlanticOne Friday morning this spring, I drove to Washington’s Dulles airport at dawn, to catch the first nonstop flight to San Francisco. When I got off the plane six hours later, the morning sun still slanting through the terminal windows, my cellphone began ringing practically as soon as I turned it on. “Okay, you’re here!” the man on the other end of the call said, cheerily. I’d been trying to arrange a visit to his office for quite a while, and just the previous evening he’d let me know that if I got there in a hurry, he’d...
The Corruption of Traffic Light Cameras
Seth Mandel, CommentaryThe ongoing IRS scandal has struck such a nerve with the public because it is a clear example of a prying, ever-present government abusing its revenue-raising power and succumbing to the temptation of easy corruption. There are few things more outrageous with regard to the government’s ability to fund its own corrupt practices–but the latest scandal out of Florida may be one of those cases.Media Trackers points to this investigation by Florida’s WTSP-St. Petersburg 10 News, which notes that the Florida Department of Transportation instituted a particularly...
20 Things I Wish I\'d Known When I Was 30
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, EsquireWhen I was thirty, I was living my dream. I’d already accomplished most of what I’d set out to achieve professionally: leading scorer in the NBA, leading rebounder, leading blocker, Most Valuable Player, All-Star. But success can be as blinding as Bill Walton’s finger in the eye when battling for a rebound. I made mistakes. Plenty of them. In fact, sometimes I wish I could climb into a time machine and go back to shake some sense into that thirty-year-old me. If I could, here’s the advice I would give him: 1. Be more outgoing. My shyness and...
There Really Aren\'t Many Atheists in Foxholes
Science 2.0Ernie Pyle, the iconic embedded World War II embedded journalist killed by Japanese machine gun fire in 1945, made famous the adage, "There are no atheists in foxholes." He was making a point that it's better to be safe than sorry when your life is on the line - not letting the Devil get you cornered, he wrote, was the justification for a soldier who dug round foxholes. Atheists are a tiny minority anyway and there are even fewer in a war zone, Pyle felt. And he knew more soldiers than perhaps any journalist ever will. But does war really transform people, or does it simply...
The Freedom to Investigate
Special Prosecutor for IRS?
Amid Scandals, Obama Looks to Change the Subject
How to Save Obama\'s Second Term
|The McLaughlin Group 5/24/2013|
Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift, Mort Zuckerman and Susan Ferrechio discuss tornadoes, the IRS, the Federal Reserve and more.
Rand Paul: "Old MacDonald\'s Farm of Scandals" Plagues White House
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): "We have sort of an Old MacDonald's farm of scandals - here a scandal, there a scandal, everywhere a scandal. So, we're not sure which scandal to even talk about."
Sen. Inhofe Delivers Weekly GOP Address On Tornado Damage In Oklahoma
In the Weekly Republican Address, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) talks about the devastating tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma earlier this week. Inhofe also addresses how the "Oklahoma standard" is contributing to the cleanup.
Obama Weekly Address: Giving Thanks To Our Fallen Heroes This Memorial Day
White House: In this week's address, President Obama commemorates Memorial Day by paying tribute to the men and women in uniform who have given their lives in service to our country.
Allen West: Will "Look Into Getting Back Into The Political Framework In 2016"
TAMMY BRUCE, RADIO HOST: Do you find for your Guardian Fund, that it's necessary because the Republican Party kind of pushes out the people you're describing, the military heroes, the minorities who are running, do you think that they're finding, that they're getting better on those issues at all? Like your loss by 200 votes, Mia Love's loss, and she is again running again. I take it that you're supporting her as well, obviously. WEST: Absolutely BRUCE: You mentioned that -- you referred briefly to the election being stolen. We now know that so many people have been arrested or indicted on voter fraud in this last election. Many of us do believe you won that election, Allen. Does that bother you at all, would you ever re-run again? What are your thoughts on that? FMR. REP. ALLEN WEST (R-FL): Well, we'll get back into the political scene, but there are so many things I can do right now that can really help us going forward to the midterm elections. It's not about me; it's about the team, it's about our country and that's what I'm focused on primarily. So after the midterm election cycle we'll look into getting back into the political framework in 2016. There's no doubt about it. BRUCE: So you're saying right now here to the Tammy audience that you are still open to moving back in the political arena directly? ALLEN WEST: Oh absolutely, there's no doubt about that. I mean, I'm not packing up and taking my toys and going away. But it's once again something that you have to pray about and make sure God blesses it and you have to talk to the family, but right now they will be very supportive of doing something in that out-year cycle of 2016. (The Tammy Bruce Show, May 24, 2013)
Obama Heckler vs. CNN Anchor: "I Want To Take Objection With The Term Heckler"
MADEA BENJAMIN: First I want to take objection with the term "heckler." Because I actually had an invitation to get in and I felt compelled to speak out. I waited until the end of the speech. I didn't hear what many of us thought we were going to hear, which significant policies -- CAROL COSTELLO: You clearly interrupted the president, though, that would be heckling. BENJAMIN: Well, I don't call it heckling. I call it speaking out because the president is not implementing policies that we need to see changed. I've written books on these issues, including one called "Drone Warfare." I go around talking to people around the country, around the world. I went to Pakistan -- COSTELLO: But it seems the president was changing his tone on Gitmo and on drones, so you were kind of getting what you wanted anyway. So why go into this speech and heckle him when he's kind of talking in a way that you should welcome? BENJAMIN: Well, we didn't hear the policy changes that had been predicted, for example, that he would take the drones out of the hands of the CIA, a non-military organization that has been killing so many innocent people that he would stop the authorization of signature strikes, which means kill people on the basis only of suspicious behavior that's led to the killing of many innocent people. He did not say that he was going to begin the release immediately of the 86 people who have been cleared for release by the Department of Defense, Justice, FBI, CIA, homeland security. He -- COSTELLO: They don't have simple solutions. The president just can't act on his own. BENJAMIN: Of course, he can. They do have simple solutions. If 86 people have been cleared, he could say tomorrow I am beginning the release of these people. There is a waiver system that Congress put in place that the president has failed to use. He could immediately release those 86 people and he needs to do that. He could immediately save the CIA has been misusing the drones and I am now making sure that it will only be the military that uses them. He can say, we are going to account for all the -- COSTELLO: Again, he was going down that -- OK. Let me ask you this again, it sounded to me like the president was going down that road, anyway. He was giving this important policy speech that, frankly, Americans needed to hear. So again, you know, I ask, I posed the question on my Facebook page and asked them what I wanted to ask you. A lot said you were hurting your own cause because one, you appeared rude to the president of the United States, and two, you just seemed a little crazy. BENJAMIN: Well, I've gotten a fabulous response. I think killing innocent people with drones is rude. I think keeping innocent people in detention for 11 years is rude. I think not respecting the lives of Muslim people who are killed is rude. There are a lot of rude things about our policies, speaking out is actually not rude, but it's the basis of a democratic society where people use their voices to try to make our country better and our policies more in lean with the rule of law.
Bill Kristol: Gang Of Eight\'s Immigration Plan Is "Like Obamacare"
BILL KRISTOL: I was never enamored, but I was friendlier to sort of liberal immigration policy back in 2006, 2007. I've looked at this bill with kind of an open mind, honestly, and rather thought I might end up being well disposed to it. I just think if you look at it as a piece of legislation, it's bad legislation. Whatever your ultimate views on citizenship vs. legalization without citizenship, and I think I'm now more for legalization and not for a path for citizenship, it complicates things. The actual bureaucracy this sets up, the hurdles, the triggers, you know, standards, it is in that respect like Obamacare. It's a big government piece of legislation. And I think there are much simpler ways to address the problems in our current immigration system than this 850-page piece of legislation. And I think that House Republicans can do much better than this 'Gang of 8' in the Senate. (Chris Stirewalt's Power Play, May 23, 2013) (via MFP)
Obama: "It Only Takes The Misconduct Of A Few To Further Erode The People\'s Trust In Their Government"
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It's no secret that in recent decades many Americans have lost confidence in many of the institutions that helped shape our society and our democracy. But I suggest to you today that institutions do not fail in a vacuum. Institutions are made up of people, individuals. And we've seen how the actions of a few can undermine the integrity of those institutions. ### All too often we've seen a politics where compromise is rejected as a dirty word and policies are driven by special interests rather than the national interest. And that breeds a cynicism that threatens our democracy. Every day our civil servants do their jobs with professionalism, protecting our national security and delivering the services that so many Americans expect but as we've seen again in recent days, it only takes the misconduct of a few to further erode the people's trust in their government. That is unacceptable to me and I know it's unacceptable to you. (U.S. Naval Academy Commencement, May 24, 2013)
Jon Stewart Rips Obama For Prosecuting Whistleblowers And Not Bankers
Daily Show: The Obama administration believes in freedom of the press -- just not freedom of speech for people who might talk to the press.
Chris Hayes: Obama Acknowledges Protester "Is Worth Paying Attention To"
Chris Hayes highlights the president's big policy speech on drone strikes, closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and ending the war on terror. He's joined by Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota. (Other)
Scarborough: Lerner Is Either Incompetent... Or A Liar
MSNBC: IRS official Lois Lerner has been placed on administrative leave following reports she refused to resign as director of Exempt Organizations. The Morning Joe panel -- including NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell, the Council on Foreign Relations' Richard Haass, Time's Mark Halperin and fmr. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs -- discusses more reports of what and when Lerner knew the IRS was scrutinizing Tea Party groups.
Maddow: Obama Declares The Beginning Of The End Of The War On Terror
Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, talks with Rachel Maddow about President Obama's announcement of a sea change in U.S. counterterrorism strategy and the suggestion that we are at the beginning of the end of the war on terror. (msnbc.com)
"Special Report" Panel: Which Scandal Is Most Dangerous?
Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes, and Charles Lane compare the myriad scandals facing the Obama Administration.Â
O\'Reilly: Obama Tries To Reassert His Authority
O'Reilly: Obama is trying to get his game back.
Mark Levin: "RINO" Issa Didn\'t Investigate IRS Before Because He "Despises The Tea Party"
MARK LEVIN: So why didn't Chairman Issa hold an investigative hearing a year ago? Why didn't Chairman Camp, all Republicans, hold an investigative hearing a year ago, and all the other tripping over themselves right now? I'll tell you why. Because the establishment Republicans, the RINO Republicans, despise the Tea Party. They despise the conservative movement. We exist to be managed, to be shuttled to the polling place, to vote for their candidates. The Karl Roves of the world, and all the rest of them. They fight us in the primaries, they fight us at the grassroots. We're a bunch of kooks, don't you know. We're right-wing nuts, don't you know. They're not going to hold an investigative hearing before an election and screw up Mitt Romney's chances to become POTUS, because a handful of Tea Party activists, you know a couple hundred, claiming that the IRS was targeting them. Oh, what a bunch of nuts. We'll fire off a few letter, we'll ask a question here and there, we might follow up here and there. We're not going to have a spectacle and actually conduct a hearing. We're not going to actually exercise our authority under Article One of the Constitution for these Tea Party types of crying out loud, the unwashed. That's why they didn't hold a hearing last year! And they're holding hearings today, not because they give a damn about the Tea Party, or conservatives for that matter, who they are raising money to defeat in the next bunch of primaries, its because they think they can get a political advantage out of this. (Mark Levin Show, May 23, 2013) via Daily Rushbo
Mark Levin Scorches "Snaggletooth" Michael Savage
On his Thursday program, Mark Levin ripped his longtime foe and competitor on conservative talk radio Michael Savage. MARK LEVIN: "Let me tell you something, you little troll, you little nobody. I kicked your butt in the ratings, head-to-head, one end of the nation to the other. That's why you're late night. Got it? I like you to come at 6pm, against me. Eastern, of course. So I can do it again, snaggletooth."
Doctor Who Did 1,200 Abortions Tells Congress To Ban Them
Life News reports: Dr. Anthony Levatino is a pro-life physician from New Mexico but, before having a change of heart on the issue of abortion he was an OBGYN who also performed abortions. Levatino did as many as 1,200 abortions "” some of them after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Then, after his daughter died in a tragic automobile accident, he re-evaluated his position on abortion and stopped doing abortions. On Thursday, he addressed Congress. (via Life News) DR. ANTHONY LEVATINO: Chairman Franks and distinguished members of the subcommittee, my name is Anthony Levatino. I am a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist. I received my medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, NY in 1976 and completed my OB-GYN residency training at Albany Medical Center in 1980. In my 33-year career, I have been privileged to practice obstetrics and gynecology in both private and university settings. From June 1993 until September 2000, I was associate professor of OB-GYN at the Albany Medical College serving at different times as both medical student director and residency program director. I have also dedicated many years to private practice and currently operate a solo gynecology practice in Las Cruces, NM. I appreciate your kind invitation to address issues related to the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R.1797). During my residency training and during my first five years of private practice, I performed both first and second trimester abortions. Duringmy residency in the late 1970s,second trimester abortions were typically performed using saline infusion or, occasionally, prostaglandin instillation techniques. These procedures were difficult, expensive and necessitated that patients go through labor to abort their pre-born children. By 1980, at the time I entered private practice first in Florida and then in upstate New York, those of us in the abortion industry were looking for a more efficient method of second trimester abortion. The Suction D&E procedure offered clear advantages over older installation methods. The procedure was much quicker and never ran the risk of a live birth. Understand that my partner and I were not running an abortion clinic. We practiced general obstetrics and gynecology but abortion was definitely part of that practice. Relatively few gynecologists in upstate NY would perform such a procedure and we saw an opportunity to expand our abortion practice. I performed first trimester suction D&C abortions in my office up to 10 weeks from last menstrual period and later procedures in an outpatient hospital setting. From 1981 through February 1985, I performed approximately 1200 abortions. Over 100 of them were second trimester Suction D&E procedures up to 24 weeks gestation. Imagine if you can that you are a pro-choice obstetrician/gynecologist like I once was. Your patient today is 24 weeks pregnant. At twenty-four weeks from last menstrual period, her uterus is two finger-breadths above the umbilicus. If you could see her baby, which is quite easy on an ultrasound, she would be as long as your hand plus a half from the top of her head to the bottom of her rump not counting the legs. Your patient has been feeling her baby kick for the last 2 months or more but now she is asleep on an operating room table and you are there to help her with her problem pregnancy. The first task is remove the laminaria that had earlier been placed in the cervix to dilate it sufficiently to allow the procedure you are about to perform. With that accomplished, direct your attention to the surgical instruments arranged on a small table to your right. The first instrument you reach for is a 14-French suction catheter. It is clear plastic and about nine inches long. It has a bore through the center approximately Â¾ of an inch in diameter.Picture yourself introducing this catheter through the cervix and instructing the circulating nurse to turn on the suction machine which is connected through clear plastic tubing to the catheter. What you will see is a pale yellow fluid that looks a lot like urine coming through the catheter into a glass bottle on the suction machine. This is the amniotic fluid that surrounded the baby to protect her. With suction complete, look for your Sopher clamp. This instrument is about thirteen inches long and made of stainless steel. At the end are located jaws about 2 Â½ inches long and about Â¾ of an inch wide with rows of sharp ridges or teeth. This instrument is for grasping and crushing tissue. When it gets hold of something, it does not let go. A second trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. The baby can be in any orientation or position inside the uterus. Picture yourself reaching in with the Sopher clamp and grasping anything you can. At twenty-four weeks gestation, the uterus is thin and soft so be careful not to perforate or puncture the walls. Once you have grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard"“really hard. You feel something let go and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again and grasp whatever you can. Set the jaw and pull really hard once again and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart and lungs. The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby's head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush d own on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby's brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you. Congratulations! You have just successfully performed a second trimester Suction D&E abortion. You just affirmed her right to choose. If you refuse to believe that this procedure inflicts severe pain on that unborn child, please think again. Before I close, I want to make a comment on the necessity and usefulness of utilizing second and third trimester abortion to save women's lives. I often hear the argument that we must keep abortion legal in order to save women's lives in cases of life threatening conditions that can and do arise in pregnancy. Albany Medical Center where I worked for over seven years is a tertiary referral center that accepts patients with life threatening conditions related to or caused by pregnancy. I personally treated hundreds of women with such conditions in my tenure there. There are several conditions that can arise or worsen typically during the late second or third trimester of pregnancy that require immediate care. In many of those cases, ending or "terminating" the pregnancy, if you prefer, can be life saving. But is abortion a viable treatment option in this setting? I maintain that it usually, if not always, is not. Before a Suction D&E procedure can be performed, the cervix must first be sufficiently dilated. In my practice, this was accomplished with serial placement of laminaria. Laminaria is a type of sterilized seaweed that absorbs water over several hours and swells to several times its original diameter. Multiple placements of several laminaria at a time are absolutely required prior to attempting a suction D&E. In the mid second trimester, this requires approximately 36 hours to accomplish. When utilizing the D&X abortion procedure, popularly known as Partial-Birth Abortion, this process requires three days as explained by Dr. Martin Haskell in his 1992 paper that first described this type of abortion. In cases where a mother's life is seriously threatened by her pregnancy, a doctor more often than not doesn't have 36 hours, much less 72 hours, to resolve the problem. Let me illustrate with a real -life case that I managed while at the Albany Medical Center. A patient arrived one night at 28 weeks gestation with severe pre-eclampsia or toxemia. Her blood pressure on admission was 220/160. As you are probably aware, a normal blood pressure is approximately 120/80. This patient's pregnancy was a threat to her life and the life of her unborn child. She could very well be minutes or hours away from a major stroke. This case was managed successfully by rapidly stabilizing the patient's blood pressure and "terminating" her pregnancy by Cesarean section. She and her baby did well. This is a typical case in the world of high-risk obstetrics. In most such cases, any attempt to perform an abortion "to save the mother's life" would entail undue and dangerous delay in providing appropriate, truly life-saving care. During my time at Albany Medical Center I managed hundreds of such cases by "terminating"pregnancies to save mother's lives. In all those hundreds of cases, the number of unborn children that I had to deliberately kill was zero.
Schahill: "Effectively, Obama Has Declared The World A Battlefield"
JEREMY SCAHILL: I thought it was interesting that the president said that he would have detained and prosecuted Anwar al-Awlaki. If that's the case, why did he never seek an indictment against Awlaki? I mean, al-Awlaki may have been guilty of all sorts of heinous activities but no public evidence was ever presented against him, just pronouncements usually in the form of leaks from the White House. So, if you're going to say that you intended to prosecute a person, you probably should seek an indictment against them. And, you know, my reaction to the president's speech is that it really is a sort of just a rebranding of the Bush era policies with some legalese that is very articulately delivered from our constitutional law professor, Nobel Peace Prize-winning president. But effectively, Obama has declared the world a battlefield and reserves the right to drone bomb countries in pursuit of people against whom we may not even have direct evidence or that we're not seeking any indictment against. (The Lead with Jake Tapper, May 23, 2013)
Krauthammer: Obama\'s View Of War "Is A Naive And Utopian Idea"
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Look, I give the president credit for moral seriousness. But there is a flaw at the center of it which has to do with the strategic idea that he has. He central idea here is that it explains why he wants to restrict the drone war, he explains why he wants to shut Guantanamo, he explains why he wants to change and ultimately repeal the law that authorizes the War on Terror. He wants all of that. But it derives from this notion which is every war has to come to an end. Every war in the past has and he said this war like all wars must end. That is a naive and utopian idea. It is true that all other wars have ended. But to end a war you need two sides. You will either have the surrender like the Germans and Japanese. Even Kim Il-sung agreed to an armistice, it was not unilateral. You don't declare the war's over if there is no response, assume with your head in the sand it's over. And the Cold War there never was a surrender, but the Soviet Union disappeared. That was after half a century. Here we are 12 years in, it's as if Obama stood up in 1958 and said the Cold War has to end and I'm going to end it. The problem is it doesn't end until either al Qaeda disappears or it renounces the declaration of war it made in 1996. And that's why all the proposals he wants are completely impractical and ultimately harmful. (Special Report, May 23, 2013)
Adam Carolla On Bette Midler Thanking IRS For Targeting Conservatives
"The hypocrisy bothers me because obviously if it was a Republican administration going after Planned Parenthood she would eat her own fish tail," Adam Carolla said about Bette Midler praising the IRS for targeting conservatives.
Dr. Ben Carson On Obamacare, IRS: "Nobody Knows What\'s Going On"
DR. BEN CARSON: "It's clear the government is too large ... nobody knows what's going on... and you're going to take all these people who don't know what's going on and put them in charge of the largest expansion of government in history? It's hard to imagine what's going to happen, but it's probably not going to be good."
Chris Hayes: London Muslim Butchers "Are Just Murderers" And Not Terrorists
CHRIS HAYES: "I thought that was such an important point. He says at one point, we cannot allow any group of thugs that calls itself al Qaeda to bait us into an endless war. The point is, the Tsarnaev brothers, who the vice president called knockoff jihadis, these two suspects, I mean, hard to say suspects when you see them killing someone on camera, in London, they may say that they're some affiliate of something. These are just murderers. These are murderers."
Cruz To McCain: "There May Be More Whacko Birds In The Senate Than Is Suspected"
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): "The senior Senator from Arizona has impugned the Republicans by claiming repeatedly that it is only a minority of Republicans who are opposed to raising the debt ceiling on just 50 votes"¦It has [also] been suggested that those of us who are fighting to defend liberty, fighting to turn around the out-of-control spending and out-of-control debt in this country, fighting to defend the Constitution, it has been suggested that we are whacko birds. Well, if that is the case, there may be more whacko birds in the Senate than is suspected."
Conan O\'Brien: ConservoTax, The New Tax Software For Republicans
Conan O'Brien: The next time you feel the socialist eyes of the IRS boring into the back of your skull, relax, you've got ConservoTax.
Pelosi Blames "Bush Appointee" For "Politicized" IRS Scandal
REPORTER: Since the IRS happened on President Obama's watch, how much of a hit -- or do you think at all Democrats will take a hit on the IRS in the 2014 midterms? REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: Well, you said it happened under his watch. It happened under the appointment of the head of the IRS, who was appointed by President Bush. His length of stay extended into President Obama's stay. I think that that points to the fact -- why is this a politicized issue? We all are concerned about how the IRS does what it's supposed to do but does not do it in a selective way. I said before what they did was wrong. The Inspector General has said over and over it is not illegal. The committee wants to challenge the Inspector General on his findings, so that will unfold. But again the IRS is an independent agency. So the inference to be drawn happened on his watch is that it happened on his watch the way some other cabinet agency of government would. No, this is an independent agency is headed up by a Bush appointee. What they did was wrong. We have to make sure it doesn't happen again. Selective review. We don't like it on our side or their side. It has no place. REPORTER: Doesn't the buck stop with him? Should he have known about these things but he said he didn't know about any of this? PELOSI: The president doesn't know about everything that is going in every agency in government. Should Mr. Boehner have known because this is the neighborhood in Cincinnati where the IRS office is. I don't think you can hold him accountable for what happened in that IRS office. I think that obviously the public will make its decision about it but that's it. It's a Bush appointee, under his leadership this happened. It was wrong. Let's make sure it doesn't happen again.
Obama Gets Heckled About Guantanamo Bay During Speech On Terrorism
President Obama is heckled by Code Pink protestor Medea Benjamin about Guantanamo Bay during his speech on terrorism at the National Defense University on Thursday. OBAMA: There is no justification beyond politics for congress to prevent us from closing a facility that never should have been opened. HECKLER: Excuse me, President Obama, you are commander-in-chief-- OBAMA: Today-- [crowd applauds] OBAMA: So, let me finish, ma'am. So, today once again, today-- I'm about to address it. You gotta let me address it. HECKLER: ...close Guantanamo Bay... OBAMA: Why don't you sit down and I'll tell you exactly what I'm going to do. Thank you. Ma'am, thank you. You should let me finish my sentence. Today, I once again call on congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from Gitmo.
Obama: "I Am Troubled By Possibility That Leak Investigations May Chill Investigative Journalism"
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Justice Department's investigation of national security leaks offers a recent example of the challenges involved in striking the right balance between our security and our open society. As Commander-in Chief, I believe we must keep information secret that protects our operations and our people in the field. To do so, we must enforce consequences for those who break the law and breach their commitment to protect classified information. But a free press is also essential for our democracy. I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable. Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. That is why I have called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government over-reach. I have raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th. (May 23, 2013)
McCain Rips Mike Lee: "Learn A Little Bit More" About How Congress Works
"Perhaps the senator from Utah doesn't know about that -- the fact that even if they did raise the debt limit, it could not become law because it doesn't go to the president of the United States," John McCain (R-AZ) said on the Senate Floor today. "So again, maybe the senator from Utah ought to learn a little bit more about how business has been done in the Congress of the United States." (via TPM)
Colin Quinn: Comedians Afraid To Joke About Obama Because Of Accusations Of Racism
"In this country, for last 5 years, nobody has made a joke about the President of the United States. Nobody. They make jokes around Obama, but they won't make jokes about him," veteran comedian Colin Quinn said on HuffPost Live on Wednesday. "The joke will be like, 'Hey, you hear about Obama? Joe Biden's an ass! Hahaha,'" Quinn said. "Sure, that's part of our culture, to not make fun of the president," Quinn sarcastically said. "You understand how absurd that is?" "And It's all political correctness," Quinn said. "People don't make jokes about Obama because they're like 'if you make a joke about President Obama, it's subconsciously racist.'" "I'll prove I'm not racist by treating him different than I would treat any white president," Quinn said ironically. "It's patronizing him." "The only person that's made jokes about President Obama in the last five years is him. He has to do it at the White House Correspondents Dinner. That's how bad it's gotten," Quinn said.
Dershowitz: IRS Chief Lerner "Can Be Held in Contempt"
"It should never have been allowed. She should have been told by her attorney that the law is clear, that once you open up an area of inquiry for interrogation, you have to respond." "Now she may have made a political decision that it's worth it to take the risk . . . That's just not the way the law works. It may be the way politics works . . . but she can't invoke the Fifth." Hat Tip: NewsmaxÂ
Bill O\'Reilly vs. Jon Stewart On "The Daily Show"
In this exclusive, unedited interview, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly discusses his new book, being easy on President Obama, shares his criteria for assessing Muslim extremism, and offers Daily Show programming advice. (06:29)
Fournier: Did The President Have Knowledge Of IRS Targeting During The Campaign?
RON FOURNIER: I'm really not as interested in what the president knew two weeks ago. I'm more interested in whether or not the president or anybody working on his behalf in the White House or at the campaign had knowledge of or directed the targeting during the campaign, months ago. I'm not going to assume and we shouldn't assume that the answer's yes, but we sure as hell shouldn't assume that the answer is no. We should be focusing on that, and, as you say Joe, the other thing is the credibility. JOE SCARBOROUGH: At the end of the day, Ron, the question is -- I want to pass this around the table -- isn't the question, whose idea was this? Where did the idea come from? Show us that email. Show us the day the policy was proposed and who proposed it. Isn't that the important key and who signed off on it? FOURNIER: That's definitely important. It goes to their credibility, but I think the most important thing is who was it that was behind the pernicious targeting of conservatives, and was it anybody in the White House or the campaign? And it's possible the answer's yes. We need to find out.
Boehner: "Inconceivable" Obama Didn\'t Know About IRS Scandal Sooner
JOHN BOEHNER: It's pretty inconceivable to me that the president wouldn't know. I'm just putting myself in his shoes. I deal with my senior staff every day. And if the White House had known about this, which now it appears they've known about it for about a year, it's hard to imagine it wouldn't have come up in some conversation.
Sen. Cruz: Leadership In Both Parties Has Gotten Us In This Mess
TED CRUZ: Let me be clear: I don't trust the Republicans. And I don't trust the Democrats. And I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don't trust the Republicans and the Democrats, because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.
"Special Report" Online: Reacting To DOJ Targeting Fox News
Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson, and Charles Krauthammer react to the revelation that the DOJ had targeted several Fox News reporters and producers.
O\'Reilly: IRS Scandal Gets Even More Intense
Bill O'Reilly reviews some of the most outragous and interesting moments from Wednesday's hearings on the IRS scandal.Â
Maddow: Drone-Killing Admission A Sign Of Inflection Point On Terror Policy
Jeh Johnson, former Pentagon general counsel, talks with Rachel Maddow about the complicated legal issues raised by U.S. drone killings, what a change in the approach to counterterrorism means for the use of drones, and necessary adjustments to the military justice system to deal with the rash of military sexual scandals. (msnbc.com)
Matthews: A Timeline Of Confusing IRS Statements
Instead of getting ahead of the IRS situation, the Obama administration has taken a bumbling approach in explaining what they knew and when they knew it. The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman and Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt join MSNBC's Chris Matthews to go over the timeline as well as the administration's duck and cover approach. (Hardball)
Judge Napolitano: Lerner "Got Bad Legal Advice" For Taking The Fifth
"She either got very bad legal advice... or she was more concerned with her image," Judge Napolitano said about Lois Lerner testifying then pleading the Fifth when Congressmembers wanted to question her at a hearing. "If witnesses were permitted to pick and choose which questions to answer, then they would control the forum rather than the questioner," Napolitano added.
Michelle Malkin: "British Progressives Brought Murder On Themselves"
MICHELLE MALKIN: British progressives "brought it on themselves in some ways because of lax deportation policies and an unwillingness to screen out and profile Islamic militants who are now doing this in a homegrown manner."