Category Archives: Politics

Why Bibi’s Speech Matters

FreeBeacon

The emerging nuclear deal with Iran is indefensible. The White House knows it. That is why President Obama does not want to subject an agreement to congressional approval, why critics of the deal are dismissed as warmongers, and why the president, his secretary of state, and his national security adviser have spent several weeks demonizing the prime minister of Israel for having the temerity to accept an invitation by the U.S. Congress to deliver a speech on a subject of existential import for his small country. These tactics distract public attention. They turn a subject of enormous significance to American foreign policy into a petty personal drama. They prevent us from discussing what America is about to give away.

And America is about to give away a lot. This week the AP reported on what an agreement with Iran might look like: sanctions relief in exchange for promises to slow down Iranian centrifuges for 10 years. At which point the Iranians could manufacture a bomb—assuming they hadn’t produced one in secret. Iran would get international legitimacy, assurance that military intervention was not an option, and no limitations on its ICBM programs, its support for international terrorism, its enrichment of plutonium, its widespread human rights violations, and its campaign to subvert or co-opt Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Syria. Then it can announce itself as the first Shiite nuclear power.

And America? Liberals would flatter themselves for avoiding a war. Obama wouldn’t have to worry about the Iranians testing a nuke for the duration of his presidency. And a deal would be a step toward the rapprochement with Iran that he has sought throughout his years in office. The EU representative to the talks, for example, says a nuclear agreement “could open the way for a normal diplomatic relation” between Iran and the West, and could present “the opportunity for shaping a different regional framework in the Middle East.” A regional framework, let it be said, that would leave American interests at risk, Israel one bomb away from a second Holocaust, nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East, and Islamic theocrats in charge of a large part of a strategic and volatile region.

I feel safer already.

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Voters: Ignore Obama vetoes, keep passing bills he doesn’t like

WashingtonExaminer

A strong majority of U.S. voters want Congress to continue to pass legislation the president opposes, like for construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a clear sign that they now see Washington’s power shifting to the GOP-controlled Capitol Hill.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll issued Friday found that 59 percent of voters “think Congress should continue to pass legislation that most members of Congress support even if the president is opposed.”

Just 25 percent want Congress to cave into the White House and 16 percent are unsure.

Despite bipartisan support, Obama vetoed the Keystone bill this week, and is promising to use the veto pen much more in his last two years in office.

The poll of 800 likely voters taken this week could also strengthen the backbone of Republicans eager to use the Department of Homeland Security spending bill to punish Obama’s decision last year to grant worker amnesty to some 5 million illegal immigrants.

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The powers behind the FCC’s muscling of the Internet

Comrades for Net Neutrality

Today’s vote by a bitterly divided Federal Communications Commission that the Internet should be regulated as a public utility is the culmination of a decade-long battle by the Left. Using money from George Soros and liberal foundations that totaled at least $196 million, radical activists finally succeeded in ramming through “net neutrality,” or the idea that all data should be transmitted equally over the Internet. The final push involved unprecedented political pressure exerted by the Obama White House on FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, head of an ostensibly independent regulatory body.
“Net neutrality’s goal is to empower the federal government to ration and apportion Internet bandwidth as it sees fit, and to thereby control the Internet’s content,” says Phil Kerpen, an anti-net-neutrality activist from the group American Commitment. The courts have previously ruled the FCC’s efforts to impose “net neutrality” out of bounds, so the battle isn’t over. But for now, the FCC has granted itself enormous power to micromanage the largely unrestrained Internet.
But for now, the “media reform” movement led by McChesney and his allies can claim bragging rights for their Saul Alinsky–style outflanking maneuver on Internet regulation. They financed the research behind the idea, installed their political allies in power, got the government to consider them experts on the issues they cared deeply about, and finally ran roughshod over both Congress and an initially reluctant FCC chairman. Conservatives should study how the Left won on this issue even as they acknowledge and fight the illegitimacy of many of the results.

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I believe the answer is yes…

Are Washington Republicans Incompetent?

It is almost unbelievable how badly Congressional Republicans have botched their opposition to President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty and the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. The House, under John Boehner’s direction, did the right thing: it passed a bill that fully funded DHS, but barred spending to implement the amnesty that has now been declared illegal by a federal court. The action then moved to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried repeatedly to bring the House measure to the floor for a vote. Four times, the Democrats filibustered the DHS funding bill.

As a result of the Democrats’ filibuster, DHS was in danger of running out of money. That put Republicans in a strong position. All they had to do was…nothing. If they didn’t blink, pressure on the Democrats to fund DHS would prove irresistible. It’s not for nothing the voters gave the GOP a majority, right?

Instead, Mitch McConnell backed off. He gave in to Harry Reid’s demands, even though Reid was surely bluffing, and the Senate passed a “clean” DHS funding bill that did nothing to block the illegal amnesty. That put the House in an untenable position. With the clock ticking down to the last hours before DHS ran out of money, it was now Republicans–not Democrats–who were standing in the way of funding the Department.

Having been sold out by the Senate, House Republicans bowed to the inevitable. John Boehner tried to pass a three-week funding extension, but didn’t have the votes. At the last possible moment, the House fell back to a seven-day extension, with Democrats providing the needed margin of support. The seven-day extension can have no possible purpose other than to give Republicans an opportunity to beat an orderly retreat.

If the Republicans wanted to arm their enemies, they couldn’t have done a better job.

Politics is like anything else: if you want to succeed, you have to be good at it. As best I can tell, Washington Republicans aren’t. We need new leadership, and we need it now.

They are still acting as though remain in the minority, retaining that cowardly mindset…

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Boehner joins McConnell in fetal position

RedState

After having his leadership repudiated by his own caucus yesterday, last night Speaker Boehner  turned to his best friend in the House, minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)11%, for a life line. Using a procedural motion to suspend the rules, which required two-thirds vote, Boehner passed the Orwellian named Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act by a vote of 357-60. He did it with Democrat votes. Where he lost 51 GOP members on the earlier vote he lost 55 GOP members the second time around.

The mind boggles.

What is going to happen in one week that fixes this problem?

More to the point, what is going to happen in a week with funding that wouldn’t happen faster in a week without funding?

Right now both Boehner and McConnell are negotiating with themselves over the terms of their own surrender. This did not have to be.

Funding DHS is completely irrelevant to DHS continuing operations to national security is not jeopardized in any way, shape, or form. If you want to have your crotch groped by some mouth-breather at the airport, you secret fetish is not endangered.  In a sane world, Boehner and McConnell would see that they can walk away from this farce and let Reid and Obama decide when they want DHS to resume full operations.

While the fallout and downside are minuscule, the stakes are huge. Will Congress acquiesce in letting Obama set his own immigration policy, a policy that runs counter to the law? The only tool Congress has in this battle is the appropriations authority. If it won’t refuse to appropriate money to fund non-essential functions of DHS, it has become irrelevant and we are a dictatorship, not a constitutional republic.

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Obama Believes He Alone Is The Law In America

IBD

Rule Of Law: First, the president issues unlawful executive orders giving illegal immigrants amnesty. Then, he dares an equal branch of government to vote on his orders’ legality so he can veto it. Is he establishing a monarchy?

While speaking at a town hall meeting Wednesday night at Florida International University, President Obama clearly indicated that he believes he is the final authority on law in this country. He will not tolerate dissent.

“If Mr. McConnell, the leader of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, want to have a vote on whether what I’m doing is legal or not, they can have that vote. I will veto that vote, because I’m absolutely confident that what we’re doing is the right thing to do,” he told a group organized by Democratic Rep. Jose Diaz-Balart.

In November, Obama announced a set of unilateral actions to change the immigration system. Government agencies were ordered not to enforce the law against up to 5 million illegal immigrants in the country. He also declared that they would not be subject to deportation and were to be handed green cards.

There was no vote in Congress. No consultation with the House and Senate. No law cited that gave him the authority. Just his word.

A month ago, we wondered if Obama was “so hellbent on amnesty for illegals he’ll resort to nullifying and even breaking the law.” Today, we know that he is.

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Time for Congress to Gut the FCC

Under an Obama-appointed chairman it is no longer independent but a travesty.

For political reasons. You see, all the FCC has to do is redefine broadband at a higher speed, and now they can argue that America’s broadband networks are insufficient and thus require greater FCC intervention.

And it’s part of a pattern. This is not the first time that the Obama-era FCC has radically departed from previous established FCC policy. Previously the FCC found that the wireless market is highly competitive. But as soon as an Obama-appointed FCC Chairman took office, the FCC decided that the wireless market was in fact not competitive, and previous FCCs all just got it wrong somehow.

The sad fact is that the FCC, purported to be an expert technical agency, has been thoroughly politicized—it’s now simply a political extension of the Obama administration and thus has been indentured into the administration’s regulatory power grab over the Internet.

Detailed reporting by the Wall Street Journal has revealed that the entire time the FCC was working to craft a more reasonable net neutrality compromise, the White House was engaged in a “secret,” parallel, closed process to craft a different policy that “stunned officials at the FCC.” The White House process was closed to some stakeholders and influenced by conversations with President Obama at a fundraiser. Those meeting with the White House were not required to register as lobbyists and were told to “not discuss the process openly.”

The White House effort “essentially killed the compromise proposed by Mr. Wheeler” and “swept aside more than a decade of light touch regulation of the Internet and months of work by Mr. Wheeler toward a compromise.”

So much for an “independent agency.”

In our constitutional republic, the proper place for public policy to be made is by the elected representatives of the people, through legislation. Congress has stepped up and Senator Thune has introduced legislation that would settle the net neutrality debate once and for all. Congress should be given time to act, but the President and Senate Democrats have made it clear that the Thune legislation is not acceptable: What they wanted all along was heavy federal regulation, not net neutrality. The gig is up.

Because the FCC has forsaken its mandate to be both expert and independent, Congress now has every reason to gut the FCC and radically downsize its regulatory scope and authority.

The FCC could be completely eliminated, and its few key functions distributed among other relevant agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Frankly, many of the FCC’s functions already overlap with the FTC, NTIA, and the Justice Department. In light of the FCC’s grotesque abrogation of its mandate to be expert and independent, a creative Congress could easily eliminate or dramatically scale back the FCC’s power.

Such a reform of the FCC is in fact long overdue, and Chairman Wheeler has set in motion the mechanism of its execution. By sacrificing his agency to President Obama’s radical progressive agenda to put the federal government in regulatory control of communications media, Chairman Wheeler should in fact be the last Chairman of the FCC as we know it.

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It’s a trap!

And we’ve been royally played…

“Net neutrality” has nothing to do with neutrality: It has to do with who is going to prevent Comcast from doing bad things. (By the way, when I say “Comcast,” I mean Time-Warner and all the other pestiferous cable companies, too.) This is the “shiny object” they want to mesmerize you with—this fury at the cable companies—so you won’t dig too deeply into what they’re trying to do.

Make no mistake: the benign term “net neutrality” is camouflage for a far less innocent meaning: Government regulation of the Internet. (No, you don’t need to know the intricacies of Title II and all that, you just need to know that government will be assuming the power to run things.) You might think that’s a good thing, or you might think it’s a bad thing, or you might even think the government won’t screw around even when it has the power to do so, but before we can move on we need to be honest in calling it what it is: Essentially a governmental putsch of the Internet.

Once we know what it is, you can decide whether you like it or not.

Comcast will be answerable to somebody: They would prefer it to be the government. That’s because dealing with the government is a lot easier than dealing with the marketplace—at least if you have the kind of machine in place that Comcast does. Also, the government can ensure your survival even if you treat your customers like vermin, while, if left to the devices of the marketplace, your survival might be in question.

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My heart bleeds for them…

Nancy Pelosi: Congress Is Living Paycheck To Paycheck

So you think you’ve got it bad? Try being in Congress. Those poor bastards are practically homeless.

You may not know, or care, that the deadline for continued funding of the Department of Homeland Security is tomorrow. But if something isn’t done immediately, if those miserable Republicans don’t stop being evil, small children and wheelchair-bound grandmothers at airports will be forced to humiliate themselves.

Hell, Pelosi is so down on her luck these days, she had to burn the Constitution just to keep warm. Also, because she hates it.

Wait… Didn’t Obama just get done saying we shouldn’t enforce our borders? America is all about immigration, after all, whether it’s legal or not. He’s telling ICE not to do their jobs, and Pelosi is trying to shame us into paying them anyway.

Guess that’s because they’re so much smarter than us! Never mind.

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Will someone do something NOW? The IRS Scandal, Day 658

IRS watchdog reveals Lois Lerner missing emails now subject of criminal probe

The IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.

Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said.

He said they have also discovered the hard drives from the IRS’s email servers, but said because the drives are out of synch it’s not clear whether they will be able to recover anything from them.

“To date we have found 32,744 unique emails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s email box. We are in the process of comparing these emails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails,” Mr. Camus said.

Democrats questioned the independence of Inspector General J. Russell George, who is overseeing the investigation, saying he’s injected politics into his work. (Pay back hurts, doesn’t it? Ed)

In one of the new emails, Lerner apparently wrote, “No one will ever believe that both your hard drive and mine crashed within a week of each other.”

irsUn-freakin’-believable…

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