The House passed a “clean” debt ceiling increase Tuesday granting President Obama power to borrow as much as the government needs for the next 13 months, after House Republican leaders surrendered on their long-standing demand that debt hikes be matched with spending cuts.
Unable to muster his own troops, Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republicans, had to turn to Democrats to provide the necessary votes. The bill, which cleared on a 221-201 vote, now goes to the Senate.
SEE ALSO: HURT: Obama reveals his obliviousness at Monticello
The legislation must be approved by the end of the month, when the Treasury Department says it will run out of borrowing room.
Even as he advanced the bill and voted for it, Mr. Boehner washed his hands of the blame.
“It’s the president driving up the debt and the president wanting to do nothing about the debt that’s occurring,” the speaker said. “So let his party give him the debt-ceiling increase that he wants.”
Democrats hailed the vote as a victory and heaped praise on Mr. Boehner, who they said he put the country ahead of the tea party wing of the GOP by holding the vote.
Just 28 Republicans joined 193 Democrats in voting for the increase. Two Democrats and 199 Republicans voted against it.
“Once again, the Republican Party and their caucus has shown they’re not responsible enough to be ruling and governing here,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley, New York Democrat.
SEE ALSO: Conservative group calls for Boehner’s head
Business groups, worried about the effects of bumping up against the limit, urged Congress to act.
But conservative and tea party groups warned of dire political consequences for Republicans who voted for the increase.
For the past century, Congress has imposed a borrowing limit on the federal government. As the government has run up record deficits under President George W. Bush and Mr. Obama, lawmakers have repeatedly raised the limit – though it’s often been a major battle.
As of Monday, the gross debt stood at $17.259 trillion. It was $10.629 trillion when Mr. Obama was inaugurated in 2009.
Under the new debt policy, the government’s borrowing limit would be suspended until March 15, 2015, meaning whatever debts are incurred until then would be tacked onto the legal limit.
It’s impossible to predict how much debt would accumulate, but the government has added more than $800 billion in gross debt in the past 13 months.
For Republicans, the vote was a major retreat. When he became speaker in 2011, Mr. Boehner vowed to use debt increases as leverage to extract spending cuts. He set a goal of matching debt increases “dollar for dollar” with cuts.
In 2011, during the first debt fight of his tenure, he won a deal that has cut overall spending for two consecutive years – the first time that has been achieved since 1950.
Since that peak, though, Republicans have struggled to win concessions on three successive debt votes and has reversed its push against spending. Indeed, December’s budget deal offset some of the cuts Republicans won in the 2011 budget agreement.
On Tuesday, Republicans said they were left with little choice.
With so many Republicans opposed to any debt increase, leaders were unable to come up with the votes to pass a plan that would halt parts of Obamacare or build the Keystone XL pipeline in exchange for a debt increase.
Most of the 28 Republicans who voted in favor of the clean debt increase were leaders, chairmen of committees or members of the Appropriations Committee.
Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican who voted against the debt increase, said Mr. Boehner had no options, but he added that the result of agreeing to a third straight increase with no major cuts attached is that Republicans lose leverage in any future debt negotiations.
“I understood the previous times, but I think we’re slipping into a bad habit,” he said. “I’m not here condemning people for what they did – they’ve done it to try and deal with the immediate situation, but I think long term, we need to rethink how we do it and a lot of Democrats would like to get rid of the whole debt ceiling idea altogether. I think that’s a mistake, personally.”
Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats remained united throughout the battle for a clean debt increase. That left Mr. Boehner with no negotiating partner and no offer of his own.
“We don’t have 218 votes. And when you don’t have 218 votes, you have nothing,” the speaker told reporters ahead of the vote, explaining his lack of leverage.
Just a single Republican – Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan — spoke during the floor debate.
Most Republican lawmakers seemed eager to move on and saw the vote as a way to “clear the decks” of a thorny political problem and resume attacks on Obamacare and Mr. Obama’s other policies.
Democratic leaders were eager to debate the bill. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said it proved that Democrats were the ones interested in upholding the Constitution’s directive that the validity of the debt never be questioned.
“The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not in doubt,” Mrs. Pelosi said.
In an abrupt switch from his months of work to bring immigration reform back from life support, Speaker John Boehner told reporters today that the issue cannot move forward until President Obama proves he can be a trustworthy partner to implement the law as written.
“There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes,” Boehner said.
The change in tack comes after rank-and-file members pushed hard against action on the issue this year when immigration “principles” were unveiled at a retreat last week and top immigration hawks had begun to discuss how they could thwart Boehner in his march to bring the issue to the floor.
In the hours before Boehner made his surprise announcement, lawmakers and aides had told Breitbart News that early discussions had begun about whether to force a special leadership election in the event Boehner moved forward with immigration legislation.
“It’s going to require blood if this happens,” one GOP member said.
At the press conference where he made his surprise announcement, Boehner said Obama has exacerbated the distrust on the issue with his recent vows to act with or without Congress.
“The American people, including many of my members, do not believe that the reform that we’re talking about will be implemented as it was intended to be. The President seems to change the health care law on a whim, whenever he likes. Now he’s running around the country telling everyone that he’s going to keep acting on his own. He keeps talking about his phone and his pen. And he’s feeding more distrust about whether he’s committed to the rule of law,” Boehner said.
The Ohio Republican didn’t fully close the door, saying Obama could work with Republicans to help enact some of their priority bills to rebuild trust and that he would continue to discuss the matter with his conference.
“I’m going to continue to talk to my members about how to move forward, but the president is going to have to do his part as well,” Boehner said.
And anti-amnesty activists were not letting down their guard. “Unfortunately since we know that since the Republican leadership wants to push amnesty… we can’t trust these declarations,” said Rosemary Jenks, the director of government relations for NumbersUSA.
Prior to putting the brakes on immigration reform, Boehner had become increasingly isolated in his strong push for action.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday that it’s unlikely any legislation could be enacted this year, a major blow, and GOP and conservative pundits had repeatedly questioned whether moving forward made any political sense.
GOP lawmakers, meanwhile, loudly complained that Obama was not a trustworthy partner when Boehner unveiled his immigration “principles” at a retreat in Cambridge, Maryland last week.
In the days after the retreat, Boehner continued to move forward, issuing promotional materials about the principles. Rep. Jeff Denham of California, a top proponent for moving on immigration, told Breitbart News that leadership wanted to bring legislation to the floor as soon as possible.
With Boehner continuing to march forward, top immigration hawks had begun to organize much more dramatic responses to try to head him off.
“There has been talk among House Members about forcing new leadership elections in the House to include a new Speaker if they try to bring an immigration bill to the floor this year,” a senior GOP aide said Wednesday. The GOP member and two other aides said such discussions had occurred among House Republicans.
“I think it should cost him his speakership,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) told Roll Call about if Boehner brought immigration to the floor in 2014.
Boehner survived a mutiny in early 2013 after the fiscal cliff showdown. But it is unclear how widespread the discussions about challenging Boehner over immigration were – several lawmakers who were part of the earlier coup attempt said they hadn’t heard anything about any such effort relating to immigration.
After wasting nearly $325 million during the 2012 election cycle with nothing to show for it and then declaring war on the Tea Party, donations to Karl Rove’s three Crossroads groups decreased by 98% last year. The groups reportedly raised a paltry $6.1 million combined in 2013.
Rove runs Crossroads GPS, American Crossroads, and the Conservative Victory Project Super PAC, which was formed this year to wage war against conservatives. Rove’s two groups raised $325 million in 2012 and about $70 million in 2010. As Politico notes, though, “Rove added a third group to the network in 2013, forming the Conservative Victory Project to counterbalance the influence of Tea Party and conservative grassroots forces in GOP primaries.”
Since then, as Breitbart News reported, “Rove’s organization has been so tarnished among the conservative base that candidates fear donors will not contribute to any group associated with him.” Aware of this, Rove’s Crossroads network has reloaded with groups that share donors but are technically not affiliated on paper with them.
All three of the groups “are permitted to accept unlimited corporate and individual contributions,” and donations to Crossroads GPS, a nonprofit, are even tax deductible.
The Obama family’s legacy – although most today would not even consider saying it – will one day be etched in history books under the heading, “How a family of terrorists fooled America”. They have promoted Wahhabist interests in Saudi Arabia and were the greatest supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
And now more damning evidence reveals the Hamas financing connections of President Obama’s brother, Malik Obama, adding further to what we previously disclosed. The Islamic Dawa Organization (IDO) Malik Obama helps lead as Executive Director, is a member organization of “The Union of Good” (UG), which the U.S. Treasury designated as “Terrorist”.
The official website for UG still shows the IDO of Malik and his boss Suar al-Dhahab as being an official member organization in the coalition. UG is an umbrella organization that represents over 50 Islamic fundraising groups worldwide and was designated by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224:
NAME OF ENTITY ADDED ON 11-12-08 UNION OF GOOD (a.k.a. 101 DAYS CAMPAIGN; a.k.a. CHARITY COALITION; a.k.a. COALITION OF GOOD; a.k.a. ETELAF AL-KHAIR; a.k.a. ETILAFU EL-KHAIR; a.k.a. I’TILAF AL-KHAIR; a.k.a. I’TILAF AL-KHAYR), P.O. Box 136301, Jeddah 21313, Saudi Arabia
This authorizes the U.S. government to block the assets of organizations and individuals that provide financial support to terrorist organizations. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, Hamas leadership founded the UG in 2000 shortly after the inception of the second Intifada with the purpose of facilitating the transfer of funds to Hamas.
But how could this happen if his brother is U.S. President?
Now for the damning evidence. According to the UG website’s home page, the two main photos of its two greatest leaders are #1 president of its organization Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the unwavering supporter for Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and the #2 man is none other than Suar al-Dhahab, Malik Obama’s direct boss.
“AKAs: Charity Coalition, Coalition of Good I’tilaf Al-Khair I’tilaf Al-Khayr 101 Days Campaign, Etelaf Al-Khair” (see Dept of Treasury)
On the Trustees list, Yusuf al-Qaradawi is also listed as #1 President and Suar al-Dhahab is #2 as vice-president (if you use Google translate here, you’re likely to see al-Dahab’s name translated into English as ‘gold bracelet’ due to Arabic names having specific meanings).
On UG’s Contributing Institutions page, one of the partners listed is Malik Obama’s IDO:
Islamic Dawa Organization (aka Islamic Dawa Association)*
*Note: The U.S., Wikileaks and Israel err by calling it “Association” when it should be “organization” (Munazamat). The Arabic is correct (Munazzamatal-Da’waal-Islamiia) from the U.S. but the Arabic is incorrect from Israel (Munazzamat Al-Dawa Al Islamic). It should read “Munazamat Al-Dawa Al Islamia”.
The website even provides the method to donate that includes all the affiliated organizations, even Malik’s IDO, with contact information to send the contributions for Hamas:
While IDO funded Hamas throughout the years, it still does and is still part of the coalition of the UG (Union of Good). Again, the U.S. Treasury Department has designated the Union of Good – a worldwide collection of charities headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi – as a terrorist entity as a result of its fund-raising activities on behalf of Hamas. This designation is also in Israel. (see #19 and also here)
The IRS granted a terror funding outfit the ability to operate under a 501(c)(3) and the worst part is we’re talking about the brother of the U.S. President. Everything we reported adds up; the Obama family, to include Grandmother Mama Sarah, Uncle Sayid Obama, Cousin Musa Ismail Obama and now Malik Obama, is part of a clandestine team that funds terrorism. Some questioned the links we provided, complaining that we only provided limited websites of Malik’s IDO. The fact is, there is a plethora of forums and religious websites (some very prominent). There are also universities and even sports clubs raising funds for Hamas and asking donors to send the money to the Sudan’s IDO. To show the volume of websites, we included but a few below.
I rest my case regarding this wretched family.
IDO donations linked to Hamas:
Star Times: http://www.startimes.com/f.aspx?t=13819399
Islamweb, perhaps the most prominent: http://www.islamweb.net/ramadan/index.php?page=article&lang=A&id=126792
Muslim.org is a major Muslim website: http://www.muslm.org/vb/showthread.php?159804-%5F%5F%5F%5F%5F-%5F%5F%5F%5F%5F%5F%5F%5F-%5F%5F%5F
Koora (Forum): http://forum.kooora.com/?t=14018915
Almuslim (Forum): http://almuslem.com/vb/archive/index.php/t-7669.html (this one says, “donate for Palestine” on 12/9/09)
http://www.jazan4u.com/vb/archive/index.php/t-41559.html (called by Yusuf al-Qaradawi in 2006)
http://www.cksu.com/vb/archive/index.php/t-25567.html (King Saud University)
Be my guest and use Google Translate.
Here are a few more links for those who need more information:
In the mind of those who are obsessed with killing, it’s never too earlier to start your children down that path.
This is the four-year-old son of one of the al-Qaeda “freedom fighters” allied with Barack Obama and John McCain. He’s already learning how to shoot the enemy and the infidels before he can even read. There might be a shortage of books in his village, but thanks to America’s arming of our enemies, there’s plenty of bullets to go around.
These are the moderates that John McCain was so insistent on us helping with arms and “humanitarian aid” so they could overthrow the Syrian government. Is this really the kind of people we want to help run a government?
McCain has assured us these are moderates. Perhaps the radical elements start their children out at age three.
Remember this is the kind of people the GOP leadership is upset with. They have it backwards, we need MORE Mike Lee!
When asked whether he read the 1,528-page, $1.1 trillion government spending bill before he voted for it yesterday, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said, “Nobody did!”
On Capitol Hill on Thursday, CNSNews.com asked Blumenauer: “The omnibus bill yesterday, it was 1,582 pages, did you have a chance to read all the pages before voting on it?”
Blumenauer laughed and said: “Nobody did!”
“Nobody did?” said the CNSNews.com reporter.
“Nope,” said Blumenauer.
In an e-mail to CNSNews.com, Blumenauer’s communications director, Patrick Malone, said: “A reminder that the Republicans complained and complained about not having time to read bills when the Dems were in charge and then keep dropping bombs like this on us.”
The $1.1 trillion bill will fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2014, which ends on Sept. 30, 2014.
Sixty-four Republicans and three Democrats voted against the legislation. The final vote was 359-67. The legislation was opposed by conservative groups and conservative members of Congress.
The bill increases federal spending by $44.8 billion this year over the spending level previously set by Congress.
In less than 24 hours, the three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they’ve allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor’s lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.
In contrast, journalists such as Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos pounced on the developing Christie story. The GMA host opened the program on Thursday by announcing, “Chris Christie in crisis. Calls at this hour for the feds to step in, investigate the explosive e-mails.” [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
Stephanopoulos later wondered, “One of the big questions right now, how much has it hampered his White House prospects?” Guest Matt Dowd insisted that, on a scale from one to ten, the controversy was already at a “four or five.”
On the CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley sounded a similar alarm: “Tonight, a potential presidential candidate caught up in scandal. E-mails show massive New Jersey traffic jams were engineered by aides to Governor Chris Christie as political payback.”
NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams immediately spun the story as a political pitfall for the possible presidential contender: “In a jam. A big problem for a man with big ambitions. Tonight, how a traffic nightmare on the world’s busiest bridge has spilled into a full blown scandal with the power to damage Chris Christie’s political future.”
Since Wednesday night, NBC included six reports over 14 minutes and 14 seconds. CBS devoted five reports over 12 minutes and 27 seconds. ABC managed 4 stories over seven minutes and 47 seconds.
As a comparison over the last six months, NBC featured a scant five seconds on updating the IRS story. CBS responded with a minute and 41 seconds. ABC produced a meager 22 seconds.
Although the media downplayed the IRS controversy from July through December (it first broke in May), it’s not as though there wasn’t much happening. As the Media Research Center documented, many potential story leads developed.
In December, House investigator Darrell Issa announced that the FBI and IRS chief counsel is stonewalling the investigation. In October, newly obtained e-mails showed that the scandal-plagued Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the controversy, illegally gave Tea Party tax info to the FEC. That same month, it came out that an IRS official may have given confidential information to the White House.
These stories were buried by ABC, CBS and NBC, the same networks that have immediately deluged Republican Chris Christie, a 2016 contender, with coverage for his scandal.
Nope! That honor goes to Rep, Peter King (A) Asshole
Rep. Peter King took swings at fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Monday, saying he does not deserve to be in Congress and that he is stoking “paranoia” among Americans.
The New York Republican pointed to the debate over the National Security Agency’s surveillance, which King supports but Paul criticizes, as an example of why he believes the senator doesn’t belong in Congress.
“We can have honest differences about what [NSA’s] policies are, but what Rand Paul is creating is hysteria,” King said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday. “When Rand Paul is comparing [NSA Director] Gen. [James] Clapper to [leaker Edward] Snowden, saying Clapper belongs in jail with Snowden, talking about how all phone calls are being listened to, trying to create this paranoia among Americans that the NSA is spying on everyone, the fact is he has not been able to cite one abuse by the NSA.”
King said the Kentucky Republican “creates this illusion” of spying in an attempt to play off Americans’ fear in an “offensive” way.
“The same reason he was saying he was worried about the CIA using drones to kill Americans in Starbucks. He is playing on some sort of … fear mongering, isolationism,” King said. “Rather than using intelligent arguments, as people could well do, he is resorting to fear, he’s appealing to the lowest common denominator. And I find that very offensive.”
King seems to be attacking Paul, and Ted Cruz, and every other Conservative in the GOP. I would remind Rep. King that he has no friends at MSNBS, and his political grandstanding is pretty damned offensive to many Conservatives. And, I might also remind King that Sen.Paul deserves to be in Congress because the people of Kentucky elected him. And, I would add that I am not so eager to trust the government NOT to take liberties with out liberties.
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released its 2013 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:
* Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)
* CIA Director John Brennanx
* Senator Saxby Chamblissx
* Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
* Attorney General Eric Holder
* Former IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller / Former IRS Official Lois Lerner
* Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano
* President Barack Obama
* Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)
* Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Dishonorable Mentions for 2013 include:
* Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
* Outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) / Incoming Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D)
* Former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)
* National Security Adviser Susan Rice
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH):
House Speaker John Boehner has apparently become a master at what Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer calls the “Tollbooth Strategy.” As Schweizer explains in his new book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets: “You pay money at a tollbooth in order to use a road or bridge. The methodology in Washington is similar: if someone wants a bill passed, charge them money to allow the bill to move down the legislative highway.” According to Schweizer, Boehner apparently used the Tollbooth Strategy to collect more than $200,000 in political donations from executives just days before holding votes on bills critically important to their industries.
The first bill was the Wireless Tax Fairness Act. Strongly supported by big phone companies like AT&T and Verizon, it sailed through the House Judiciary Committee, and was expected to immediately come to the floor for a full House vote. Instead of scheduling the bill for a vote, however, Boehner allowed it to languish on the calendar for the next three months. What finally prompted Boehner to bring the bill to a vote? As Schweizer explains it: “The day before the vote, Boehner’s campaign collected the toll: thirty-three checks from wireless industry executives, totaling almost $40,000.”
According to Schweizer, two more bills on which Boehner employed the Tollbooth Strategy were the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act and the Small Company Capital Formation Act. Brokers and venture capitalists and investment firms strongly supported the proposed law. Explains Schweizer in Extortion: “The Speaker of the House took in $91,000 in the forty-eight hours of October 30 and 31 from investment banks and private equity firms, two days before the vote. During the same time period, he took in $46,500 from self-described ‘investors’ and another $32,450 from bank holding companies. With the tolls paid, the votes took place on the full House floor. Both passed easily.”
CIA Director John Brennan:
In mid-December 2013, Judicial Watch obtained and released the full transcript of a May 7, 2012, teleconference between then-White House top counterterror adviser (now CIA Director) John Brennan and various TV terrorism consultants in which Brennen revealed that the U.S. and its allies had “inside control over any plot” in its efforts to thwart a May 2012 terrorism bomb plot, thus blowing the cover on undercover agents within al Qaeda.
The Brennan revelation of “inside control” – an intelligence community euphemism for spies within an enemy operation – reportedly helped lead to the disclosure of a previously well-kept secret at the heart of a joint U.S.-British-Saudi undercover terrorism operation inside Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). According to a Reuters May 18, 2012, report:
The next day’s headlines were filled with news of a U.S. spy planted inside Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who had acquired the latest, non-metallic model of the underwear bomb and handed it over to U.S. authorities.
At stake was an operation that could not have been more sensitive – the successful penetration by Western spies of AQAP, al Qaeda’s most creative and lethal affiliate. As a result of leaks, the undercover operation had to be shut down.
In the transcript obtained by Judicial Watch, Brennan led the teleconference where he addressed the top terror consultants for ABC, NBC, CNN, and CBS including Caitlin Hayden, Frances Townsend, Richard Clarke, Roger Cressey, and Juan Zarate. In an apparent attempt to soft-peddle the thwarted terrorist attack, Brennan twice exposed the covert operation; first at the outset of the call, then as the conference drew to a close:
BRENNAN: The device itself, as I think the FBI statement said quite clearly, never posed a threat to the American public or the public… Well, as we, well know, Al Qaeda has tried to carry out simultaneous types of attacks, and so we were confident that we had inside control over the – any plot that might have been associated with this device.
CLARKE: If it gets asked. There was no active threat because we had insider control…
BRENNAN: I would not disagree with the way you put that, at all.
It should also be noted that records obtained by Judicial Watch in May 2012, through a Freedom of Information lawsuit, indicate that Brennan helped orchestrate the administration’s attempt to influence the storyline of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty.” A transcript of a July 14, 2011, meeting between Defense Department officials, including Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers, and filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reveals that Boal met directly with White House officials on at least two occasions regarding the film: “I took your guidance and spoke to the WH and had a good meeting with Brennan and McDonough and I plan to follow up with them; and they were forward leaning and interested in sharing their point of view; command and control; so that was great, thank you,” Boal said according to the transcript. During Brennan’s February 2013 CIA confirmation hearings, he confirmed he had met with Boal “on how White House officials viewed the opportunities and risks associated with a film about the raid that killed bin Laden.”
Brennan, of course, was not the only Obama administration official who attempted to curry favor with “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmakers. In early December Judicial Watch released more than 200 pages of documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including a previously unreleased CIA internal report, confirming that former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed classified information at a June 24, 2011, bin Laden assault awards ceremony attended by filmmaker Mark Boal. Significantly, the entire transcript of the Panetta speech provided to Judicial Watch by the CIA was classified “Top Secret.” More than 90 lines are redacted for security reasons, further confirming that significant portions of the speech should not have been made in front of the filmmaker who lacked top security clearance.
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA):
Sen. Saxby Chambliss makes the “Ten Worst” list for what he actually did in 2012, but which was finally exposed in 2013. Just as with House Speaker Boehner, Chambliss’s misdeeds were revealed in Peter Schweizer’s book Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. In fact, Chambliss is highlighted as one of the key abusers who used leadership PAC loopholes to convert campaign cash into lavish lifestyle upgrades for themselves and their family members.
As the New York Times reported:
The book details the extravagant expenses of Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, for instance, whose leadership PAC spent $10,000 on golf at Pebble Beach, nearly $27,000 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and $107,752 at the exclusive Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla. The amount Mr. Chambliss spent at the Breakers in the 2012 election cycle, the book reports, is three times what the senator gave to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the same period.
When Chambliss’s campaign was asked about the flagrantly lavish spending, they responded that all spending was reported according to the law. Though it may be legal, it is a clear abuse. And one has to wonder if the hardworking Georgians who sacrificed their scarce funds to support Chambliss’ re-election would be comfortable knowing their campaign contributions were used to support the “lifestyles of the rich and famous.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
On January 23, 2013, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified to congressional committees regarding the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which led to the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American citizens. At times evasive, at other times defensive and aggressive, Clinton delivered her version of events in the days before and after the murders in Benghazi. And, in the end, the Secretary of State pretended to take “responsibility,” but gave a predictable response regarding who is to blame: “…the level of responsibility for the failures… was set at the Assistant Secretary of State level and below,” Clinton said, referring to an investigation of the incident. In other words, this was not my fault.
At one point in her testimony, in what is, perhaps, the epitome of Obama-era contempt for accountability, Clinton yelled “What difference does it make?” in response to a reasonable question about why the attack transpired and why the administration told an obvious lie about an obscure Internet video as the cause of the attack.
If the mere mention of the contrived video scenario triggered Clinton’s emotional outburst, it is certainly understandable. Remember, it was Clinton herself who was instrumental in advancing the false narrative that the video sparked the attacks. For example, at a September 14, 2012, event honoring the victims, Clinton said, “We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen the rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful video that we had nothing to do with.” To this day, she has not set the record straight.
In addition to Hillary Clinton’s apparent cover-up of the role she played in the Benghazi tragedy and its aftermath, she left office in another ethical cloud about conflicts of interest in the activities of her longtime top aide Huma Abedin. Abedin left the State Department in February 2013, and in May 2013, Politico broke the story that, since June 2012, she had been working as a “special government employee” (SGE), a consultant position allowing her to represent outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. While working as an SGE, Abedin’s outside clients included Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant to Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 SGE compensation.
And compounding the corruption scenario were the potential for conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State and Bill Clinton’s international ventures, which grew increasingly controversial in late 2008 when the former president released a list of donors to his library and foundation in what he termed “a deal between” Obama “and Hillary.” According to an Associated Press wire story, “Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the foundation. Other government donors include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman…”
Attorney General Eric Holder:
Attorney General Holder has become a regular on the Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians list.
In May 2013, Holder may well have committed perjury when he was involved in a back-and-forth with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) about whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) could prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act for publishing classified material. In response to Johnson’s interrogatories Holder made the following statement: “In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material – this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”
Since Holder made that statement, NBC news reported that the attorney general had approved a search warrant for the email account and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen. As Hotair.com said at the time: “There is no other way to view this except as a lie. Even if Holder wasn’t under oath, that would constitute a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. It certainly should produce at least a resignation, and almost assuredly would require the appointment of a special prosecutor…”
Time and again in recent years, Judicial Watch has had to take legal action to prevent Holder’s DOJ from bludgeoning states over taking steps to prevent voter fraud. After a June Supreme Court ruling striking down a Voting Rights Act requirement requiring certain states and local jurisdictions to get permission from the DOJ or a federal judge before enacting voting law changes, Holder announced his intention to skirt the law. In a speech in September at a convention of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Holder vowed that the DOJ would find ways to try to accomplish the goals of the section of the law that was struck down.
As a result, Judicial Watch went to court in North Carolina in early December to defend the State of North Carolina against a DOJ lawsuit to prevent enforcement of the state’s recently passed law HB 589, which simply requires that voters present a photo ID before casting their ballots. As PJ Media explains it:
Judicial Watch uncovered collusion between radical leftist groups and the administration to attack voter integrity laws around the nation. Indeed, the [Judicial Watch] brief notes:
On July 29, 2013, a group of political activists attended a meeting at the White House with Attorney General Holder, Labor Secretary (and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights) Tom Perez, and President Obama. Those attending included representatives from the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Mr. Sharpton told an interviewer for MSNBC that, based on what he heard at that meeting, he expected action regarding North Carolina ‘when this governor signs the bill.’
The DOJ is similarly assaulting Texas in federal court as part of this ideological effort to suppress efforts to protect election integrity.
More than a dozen states – including Kansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin – have similar laws that require voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls, and Obama’s attorney general has launched a campaign to challenge them all.
The Holder DOJ is clearly hostile to the idea of one person, one vote, one time.
Yet, even with all of that, Holder’s malfeasance doesn’t stop there. In August Judicial Watch released DOJ documents highlighting over $4.2 million in accrued travel expenses by Mr. Holder from March 2008 until August 2012; of which $697,525.20 were personal travel expenses. All, of course, at taxpayer expense. Add to this Holder’s continued stonewalling on the “Fast & Furious” gun-running scandal and it is all too obvious that Eric Holder’s corruption knows no limits.
Former IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller / Former IRS Official Lois Lerner:
Steve Miller, then head of the IRS, resigned in May 2013, after admitting to the targeting of anti-Obama Tea Party groups during the 2012 presidential election, which he offhandedly tossed off as “horrible customer service.” Under Miller, the IRS purposely stonewalled the approval of nonprofit applications from “Tea Party” and other conservative groups that were seeking tax exempt status. According to a report by the agency’s inspector general released in May 2013, for more than 18 months beginning in early 2010: “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.”
As reported by CNN:
Among the criteria used by IRS officials to flag applications was a “Be On the Look Out” list, or a BOLO, which was discontinued in 2012 according to the report. The criteria on the BOLO included:
* Whether “Tea Party,” “Patriots” or “9/12 Project” was referenced in the case file.
* Whether the issues outlined in the application included government spending, government debt or taxes.
* Whether there was advocating or lobbying to “make America a better place to live.”
* Whether a statement in the case file criticized how the country is being run.
* Whether it advocated education about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Miller was eagerly aided in his suppression of conservative groups by former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner. Subpoenaed to testify before Congress in May 2013, Lerner disdainfully refused to answer inquiries, demanding full immunity concerning her role in the targeting scandal. Eventually, the IRS acknowledged that while she was in charge, IRS agents improperly targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status from 2010-2012. Lerner retired from the IRS on September 23 with full benefits, even after an internal investigation found she was guilty of “neglect of duties” and was going to call for her firing, according to news reports.
Subsequent to Lerner’s lavish retirement, Judicial Watch, in October 2013, obtained email exchanges between her and enforcement attorneys at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicating that under Lerner’s direction, the IRS provided detailed, confidential information concerning the tax exempt application status and returns of conservative groups to the FEC – in violation of federal law.
Not only did Miller and Lerner deliberately target conservative organizations for IRS harassment, they both lied about it in separate appearances before Congress. In July 2012, Miller was asked at a congressional hearing, “What kind of… action is taking place at this time that you are aware of” to address complaints that groups seeking nonprofit status were being harassed. Claiming that an overload of applications had caused the problem, Miller covered up the fact that he had learned two months earlier that conservative groups were being inappropriately singled out for extra scrutiny. In May 2013, Lerner told a congressional committee that she found out about the harassment when she read about it “in the press” in early 2012. But, according to the http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201310053fr.html#timelinex, she was informed in June 2011 about the IRS’s BOLO criteria that included words such as “Tea Party” or “patriots.”
The true damage wrought by the Miller/Lerner witch-hunt may never be fully known. One can certainly speculate as to impact the Tea Party movement could have made had Miller and Lerner not cowed much of it into silence with their ruthless, reckless assault on Barack Obama’s political opponents. In short, the Obama IRS duo may have perfected the formula for stealing an election in plain sight.
Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano:
In August 2013 Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stepped down from her post expressing both “pride and regret” – the regret stemming from her failure to help push through the so-called Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The truth is, however, that Napolitano actually played a major role in doing an end run around existing immigration law by helping President Obama implement his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive in lieu of DREAM Act passage.
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch in June 2013 revealed that Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) abandoned required background checks in 2012, adopting, instead, costly “lean and lite” procedures in effort to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications resulting from the DACA directive.
The documents also revealed that, contrary to Napolitano’s claim that DACA applied only to minors who came to this country illegally “http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/women-in-washington-janet-napolitano-on-cyberthreats-immigration-and-baseball-20120706x,” the directive actually created a new avenue of chain migration, whereby immediate relatives of DACA requesters could be approved for amnesty. As a result, according to an agency memo from District 15 Director David Douglas, “some of the districts closer to the U.S./Mexico border have been inundated.”
The Obama/Napolitano stealth amnesty policy received a setback in July 2013 when the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas left DACA hanging by a string as he dismissed a challenge strictly due to jurisdictional issues. While the court determined that it did not have authority to hear the case, Judge Reed O’Connor agreed that program is likely unconstitutional, saying, “[T]he Court finds that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim challenging the Directive and Morton Memorandum as contrary to the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
In an earlier ruling handed down in April, Judge O’Connor stated clearly that, “DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings when the requirements of Section 1225(b)(2)(A) are satisfied.” That section requires the agents to place aliens who are not “clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted” to the United States into removal proceedings.
DHS malfeasance did not stop there. And, in fact, according to a court order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on December 13, DHS has actually enabled cartel trafficking of minors, delivering those minors to illegals living inside the United States and completing criminal transactions for illegal immigrants. The court document details a guilty plea from Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez for being paid to smuggle a 10-year-old El Salvadoran female into the United States. Nava-Martinez was hired by Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos, the mother of the 10-year-old, who was living illegally in Virginia after being denied legal entry into the U.S. in 2001. According to U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen who wrote the court order: “The DHS officials were notified that Salmeron-Santos instigated this illegal conduct. Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron-Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivers the child to her – thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her. This DHS policy is a dangerous course of action.”
Napolitano’s legacy is one that has gutted, for political reasons, the very immigration laws she swore to uphold.
President Barack Obama:
President Barack Obama actually tops this “Top Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list for 2013 as the driving force behind so many of the misdeeds. This is Obama’s seventh straight year on the list, dating back all the way to 2007 (in 2006, he earned a “Dishonorable Mention”). He is a master at catch-me-if-you-can, corrupt politics. This year, he has again acted as a one-man Congress, rewriting entire sections of federal law on his own. Not only is his administration secretive and dishonest; its callous disregard for the rule of law undermines our constitutional republic. Examples include:
* Perhaps Obama’s most outrageous actions over the past year were his continual lies about the ability of Americans to keep their own health insurance under Obamacare. According the Free Beacon, Obama misled the American people a total of 36 times between 2008 and 2013 with his promise, “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” And according to NBC News, Obama knew, even as he repeated his lie, that “more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them:”
None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date – the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example – the policy would not be grandfathered.
Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”
That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.
* Throughout 2013, the Obama family continued to use the White House as its own personal travel bureau and the taxpayers as their personal expense account.
* Though Obama quickly disavowed any knowledge of the IRS assault on Tea Party and other conservative groups leading up to the 2012 presidential election, the fact is that it was the president himself who fingered the groups for what might be called “special handling.” Consider Obama’s own hostile and aggressive statements, made just as his IRS officials were gearing up their assault:
August 9, 2010: During his weekly radio address, Obama warned of “attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names.” The President said: We don’t know who’s behind these ads and we don’t know who’s paying for them… you don’t know if it’s a foreign controlled corporation… The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”
September 20, 2010: Speaking in Philadelphia, Obama once again warned that “nobody knows” the identities of the individuals who support conservative groups.
September 22, 2010: Speaking in New York, Obama warned against groups opposing his policies “[posing] as non-for-profit social and welfare trade groups” and he claimed such groups were “guided by seasoned Republican political operatives” and potentially supported by some unidentified “foreign controlled entity.”
October 14, 2010: Obama attacked organizations with “benign sounding” names as “a problem for democracy.”
Little wonder that after their boss sounded the call to attack, Obama’s IRS appointees obeyed the command. And even less wonder that, caught red-handed, Obama first claimed total ignorance and, when the ploy failed, simply labeled it all a “phony scandal.”
* According to the Galen Institute, Obama has now unilaterally rewritten the Obamacare law as passed by Congress 14 times by executive fiat, with the majority of those changes coming in 2013. Those changes include such major overhauls as the congressional opt-out, eviscerating the individual mandate, and delaying the employer mandate. The latest Obama fix came on December 20, when he suddenly moved to allow hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bone “catastrophic” plans. As National Review observed, “Of course, like every other exemption from Obamacare the latest fix is supposed to last only a year, raising the prospect that people will be kicked off their catastrophic coverage as soon as the 2014 election is safely in the political rear-view mirror.”
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV):
Last year, Harry Reid made the Judicial Watch Ten Worst list for his influence-peddling scandal involving ENN Energy Group, a Chinese “green energy” company for which Reid “applied his political muscle” – and which just happened to be a major client of the Nevada law firm in which Reid’s son, Rory, is a principal.
This year Reid makes the Ten Worst list again. His “friends” list is examined by Frontpage.com:
On Monday, Harry Reid’s close friend and donor, Harvey Whittemore was sentenced to two years in prison for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election committee in 2007…
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Reid and Whittemore go way back; four of Reid’s sons were hired by the law firm in which Harvey Whittemore was a senior partner. Sen. Reid and Whittemore were involved in very big land deals, including federal legislation to help the development of Coyote Springs.
None of which is surprising, since Reid has long-since made funneling money to his family’s enterprises his stock-in-trade. According to Peter Schweizer, writing for Fox News, “Sen. Reid has sponsored at least $47 million in earmarks that directly benefitted organizations that one of his sons, Key Reid, [RW1] either lobbies for or is affiliated with.”
While not teaming up with family members to fleece taxpayers, Reid was teaming up with President Obama to use executive authority to skirt the law. Obama and Reid have long opposed a proposed nuclear waste dump in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has already cost U.S. taxpayers an astounding $15 billion, according to various federal audits. So, Obama simply instructed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to decline to conduct the statutorily mandated Yucca Mountain licensing process, essentially destroying the project.
In mid-August, a federal appellate court ruled that Obama “is simply flouting the law.” According to the court, “It is no overstatement to say that our constitutional system of separation of powers would be significantly altered if we were to allow executive and independent agencies to disregard federal law in the manner asserted in this case by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”
Topping off the year, on November 21, 2013, – a day which should live in congressional infamy – Reid gutted the long-standing filibuster rules of the U.S. Senate in order to grease the path for Barack Obama’s court appointees. The new Reid rule prevents the minority party from filibustering any nominations other than nods to the Supreme Court. And to effect the change, Reid first triggered the “nuclear option,” which allows a change to Senate rules by majority vote (and which he had adamantly opposed in 2005, calling it “illegal” and “unAmerican”). Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Reid of attempting “break the rules of the Senate… in order to change the rules of the Senate.” Not surprisingly, as the http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303936904579179791038352758x editorialized, an ancillary benefit of the rule change is that it will get judges on the DC Court of Appeals who are more friendly to Reid’s agenda.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:
It’s a wonder Secretary Sebelius was still around to do damage in 2013 after last year’s fiasco for which she appeared on the Ten Most Wanted list. The Obama administration’s own lawyers determined Sebelius could be fired for violating federal law when reports surfaced that she had campaigned for Obama while acting in her official capacity as an executive branch official during the last presidential campaign. This made Kathleen Sebelius the first member ever of a president’s cabinet to be found guilty of violating the Hatch Act.
In 2013, rather than solicit votes, Sebelius solicited financial support for President Obama’s huge health care disaster. In May, Secretary Sebelius was caught hitting health care companies up for cash to fund Obamacare after Congress rejected all of the administration’s requests.
But, that was just for openers – because in October Sebelius redefined the term “incompetence” when she oversaw the disastrous launch of the Obamacare website. As Mercedes Schlapp wrote in US News:
She refused to listen to the IT experts who expressed serious concerns about the launch as early as March of 2013. Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer said in a meeting that he was “pretty nervous” about the exchanges being ready for October 1. Prior to the launch, one insurance executive also stated, “the extent of the problems was pretty enormous.”
Yet the American people are forced to settle for mediocrity from their leaders who play political games rather than deliver effective products.
Pressed by Congress to explain the disastrous, costly website rollout, Sebelius rolled her eyes, shrugged her shoulders and caustically replied, “Whatever” blithely dismissing the lies and the fraud that have become part and parcel of Obamacare. The fact is, were Sebelius in the private sector, she would probably be prosecuted for fraud.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
In late December, documents obtained by Judicial Watch revealed that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently used his top mayoral staff to work on Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) – of which Bloomberg is a co-founder – at taxpayer expense. Included in the documents were emails revealing that Bloomberg aid John Feinblatt worked closely with MAIG executive Mark Glaze on the following:
* On December 14, 2013, Glaze and Feinblatt discussed MAIG lobbying efforts in the state of Colorado.
* On the day following the Sandy Hook tragedy, Glaze and Feinblatt conferred on how they could “keep the mayor ahead of congress, the white house, the press.”
* On December 17 and 18 and email exchange makes it clear that Feinblatt was involved in the day-to-day operations of MAIG, including media buys by the organization.
* On December 19, an email from Glaze to Feinblatt indicates that Feinblatt was directly involved in MAIG finances.
Outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) / Incoming Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D):
The citizens of Virginia got a dubious “twofer” in 2013, as both their outgoing and incoming governors were revealed as having been embroiled in apparently shady dealings, to put it mildly.
In April 2013, outgoing Governor McDonnell became the subject of an FBI probe because of his possible quid-pro-quo dealings with Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the chief executive of Star Scientific, a company that makes a tobacco-derived dietary supplement. Williams allegedly paid $15,000 to cover catering expenses at the June 2011 wedding of McDonnell’s daughter at the time the McDonnell family was actively promoting the supplement. And that’s just the beginning. According to The Washington Post report on the relationship, “Williams’s company donated $28,500 worth of flights to McDonnell’s successful 2009 campaign for governor and $80,000 worth of air travel to his political action committee after the election, the Post reported. Williams also allowed the governor’s family to borrow a Ferrari and stay at a western Virginia vacation home he owns in July 2011.”
In mid-December, federal prosecutors told McDonnell that he and his wife would be charged in connection with the scandal. Senior Justice Department officials delayed the decision, however, reportedly to wait until after McDonnell leaves office.
For his part, incoming Governor Terry McAuliffe is preparing for his inauguration with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation hanging over his head. Perhaps Mother Jones magazine best explains the latest McAuliffe scandal:
When McAuliffe in 2009 created GreenTech, a now-troubled electric-car company, he turned to an old pal for assistance in courting foreign investors: Tony Rodham, who is best known as one of Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing brothers. A former repo man, prison guard, and private eye, Rodham by then had a long history of trying to cash in on his famous sister’s connections and generally causing problems for her…
But McAuliffe somehow thought Rodham was just the guy to help him with his electric-car venture. Rodham owns a company that solicits foreign investors for American projects (deals that allow these foreign investors secure US visas). GreenTech relied heavily on foreign investors.
According to The Washington Post: “In May, the SEC subpoenaed documents from GreenTech Automotive and bank records from a sister company, Gulf Coast Funds Management of McLean. The investigation is focused, at least in part, on alleged claims that the company ‘guarantees returns’ to the investors, according to government documents.”
Former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ):
Former three-term Republican Congressman Rick Renzi first made the Judicial Watch Ten Worst list back in 2008, when was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, extortion, money laundering and wire fraud. At the time, we said, “He allegedly used his influence on a House Natural Resources Committee to orchestrate a land swap with the federal government that financially benefited himself and his associates. The 49-year-old lawmaker, who owns an insurance business, is also charged with embezzling more than $400,000 from insurance clients to fund his congressional campaign.” Well, now we can drop the “allegedly” – because in June, 2013, Renzi was convicted on 17 counts of extortion, racketeering and other federal charges. And in October, he was sentenced to three years in prison.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice:
Last year, Susan Rice shared Ten Worst dishonors with Hillary Clinton for their dual roles in the high-profile campaign to portray the deadly attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as solely related to a privately produced YouTube video that was offensive to Muslims. On the Sunday following the attack, Rice repeatedly stated on five different network TV news programs that the Benghazi assault had been a spontaneous reaction to an obscure online video mocking Mohammed, rather than a planned terrorist attack.
This year, Rice makes the Ten Worst list all on her own by joining with Barack Obama to add insult to injury by pulling an end-run around the United States Congress. Realizing that after her campaign of deception involving Benghazi, she could not be approved by the Senate for the job of Secretary of State she so clearly coveted, Rice accepted the position of National Security Advisor, which requires no Senate approval. Thus, her duplicity could be rewarded – without the American people having any say whatsoever in the matter.
John Boehner is the visible leader of the Republican Party. As Speaker of the House, the only Republican-led institution in Washington DC right now, it is his duty to press a Republican agenda.
His office should be, at all times, rallying the base of the party in order to create a groundswell of support for future electoral gains. Instead, he is personally, actively working to diminish, purge, and destroy those who do not fall in lock-step behind him.
Because of his growing and now public defiance of those wishing to adhere to the Constitution and the basic conservative principles that the Republican Party platform espouses, he has created a leadership vacuum that is being filled by Senate Conservatives.
While categorizing several conservative groups and think-tanks as misleading and interested only in profiteering from opposing viewpoints, Boehner has misjudged the purpose and focus of conservative groups who in general, are amenable to Republican ideals, and in doing so, truly damaged the effectiveness of a unified party.
Last year, after the election was over, Boehner said that he basically had no interest in fighting with President Obama on a host of issues, noting that, “The American people have spoken.” It was then that many conservatives began to have serious issues with a Speaker of the opposing party, unwilling to oppose. But this latest very public chastisement and outright mocking is a bit over the top, and one wonders if it is partnered with the focus on 2016. With the rise of the loud and brash New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie as the darling of the beltway establishment, perhaps Boehner is trying out a Christie-like YouTube sensation, attacking conservatives instead of teachers or boardwalk passersby.
The foolishness of attacking the conservative grassroots of the party is plain to see. Unfortunately for Boehner and those opposed to the grassroots of their own party, they are, through public admonishment, causing a strengthening rebellion that will topple them, if the rebels remain focused on taking control of the party.
The various Tea-Party-like groups that Boehner attacked will become more effective and get more followers because the momentum is on the side of those who are truly concerned about the future of the country. Those following Boehner are going to see lackluster support from the grassroots.
In the end, Boehner’s rant against conservative groups will weaken support for the Republican Party. Conservative Democrats, Independents and Conservative Republicans comprised the coalition that Reagan was able to inspire and mobilize with a campaign based upon core principles and bold conservative positions, and won the hearts and minds of the nation in two landslides. They now are coalescing around conservative principles and values and are creating a strong resurgence to fight for and maintain the freedoms that make America unique. These real people mean business, and the business is saving the nation from ruin. Those deemed unwilling to fight that fight will not be fought for, even if the stakes are two years of dictatorial control.
The Tea Party and all of its allies are not going away – they are getting stronger, and more effective.
Bold leadership displayed by the likes of Ted Cruz and other Senate Conservatives are winning the trust of the average, patriotic American, and Boehner has just made sure that the people he openly mocks receive the adrenaline that only enthusiastic support can give.
In short, if Boehner’s goal was to diminish the Tea Party, he has erred catastrophically.
If things are going badly, we’re told the GOP should compromise on what it believes in to start winning elections again. If things are going well, we’re told we must turn a blind eye to the GOP abandoning its beliefs so as not to ruin the great year we’re going to have. The establishment Republicans who are always arguing in favor of trading off dearly held principles in return for magic beans always claim they’re doing it to win elections, but it’s hard to miss the fact that they don’t actually seem to be any better at winning elections than the grassroots conservatives they seem to write off as amateurs. Setting that aside, winning elections isn’t an end unto itself. You win elections in order to implement your agenda, which win or lose, the GOP never seems to be all that interested in. If you disagree with that, point out all the great domestic victories we achieved when the GOP controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. When Democrats pulled that same trick off, they attempted to fundamentally transform America while Republicans passed tax cuts and then moved on to big government wish list items like Medicare Part D, raising spending on the Arts and the now universally hated No Child Left Behind.
The sad fact of the matter is that while liberals have a very good idea of where their representatives stand on almost everything, there’s NOT A SINGLE ISSUE where conservatives can just trust Republicans to live up to their campaign promises. If the Republicans could simply be counted on to do what they said they were going to do and showed a modicum of respect for the people who put them in office, there would be very little intraparty fighting. Instead, politicians in D.C. incessantly do things to aggravate their own supporters and then ask the people who put them in office to set aside their disappointment in the name of party loyalty. That seems a little backwards given that the politicians and the Party don’t elect the base; the base elects the Republican Party. The politicians who make promises to get elected are the ones who owe people, not the grassroots conservatives who put them in office and are now dismayed at their behavior.
If the Republican Party wants to end all these primary challenges, stop the intraparty fighting and get everyone to sing Kumbayah, it’s really not that hard to do. Do what you say you’re going to do, treat the opinions of your base with respect, and stop picking fights with the people who put you in power by saying things like…
1) “Read my lips: no new taxes.” – George H. W. Bush’s famous pledge not to raise taxes, which he broke.
2) “The Budget Control Act (Sequestration) represents a victory for those committed to controlling government spending and growing our economy. I applaud Speaker Boehner’s leadership in stopping tax increases on job creators, rejecting President Obama’s demands for a blank check to keep borrowing, and advancing real spending cuts and controls. The agreement – while far from perfect – underscores the extent to which the new House majority has successfully changed Washington’s culture of spending. No longer can Washington endlessly spend money it does not have.” – Paul Ryan, who just worked with Democrat to gut the sequester cuts he called a “victory” and “real spending cuts and controls.”
3) “I am strongly against amnesty. The most important thing we need to do is enforce our existing laws. We have existing immigration laws that are not being adequately enforced. Nothing will make it harder to enforce the existing laws, if you reward people who broke them. It demoralizes people who are going through the legal process, it’s a very clear signal of why go through the legal process, if you can accomplish the same thing if you go through the illegal process. And number two, it demoralizes the people enforcing the laws. I am not, and I will never support any effort to grant blanket legalization/amnesty to folks who have entered, stayed in this country illegally.” – Marco Rubio, who led the charge for a path to citizenship in 2013.
4) “They were elected, nobody believes that there was a corrupt election, anything else,” McCain said. “But I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone.” Asked to clarify, McCain said he was referencing ”Rand Paul, Cruz, Amash, whoever.” – Former GOP Presidential nominee John McCain on the most popular conservative politicians with the conservative grassroots.
5) “Frankly, I just think (conservative groups have) lost all credibility.” – House Minority Leader, John Boehner on conservative groups who, unlike him, actually believe in all the things he campaigns on when he runs for election.
6) “And then, he says, the next president, whoever he is, ‘would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,’ until the economic issues are resolved.” – Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels suggested we blow off tens of millions of social conservatives who make up part of the core of the GOP base.
7) “I’ll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I’m getting damn tired of hearing from them. They have been nothing but trouble ever since Katrina.” – Former Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott complains about the Porkbusters group that demanded he cut spending and kill earmarks.
8) “With his record of reform in Florida, I know that Governor Crist will bring a fresh perspective to Washington in our efforts to fight for lower taxes, less government, and new job creation for all Americans.” – Senator John Cornyn, the Senate’s Minority Whip, endorsing Charlie Crist, who ended up switching parties and speaking at the Democrat Convention.
9) “The problem with the Tea Party, I think it’s just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out.” – Lindsey Graham
10) “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” – George W. Bush explaining his support for the corporate bailouts in TARP.
Incidentally, the solution to all of this is not to leave the Republican Party. To the contrary, it’s to treat the Republican Party like a puppy that’s having difficulty with house training. When Republicans do the right thing, praise them, support them and do what you can to help them out. When they do the wrong thing, rub their noses in it. Attack Republicans who betray their principles relentlessly, primary them at every opportunity and take over the Republican Party so we can shove the politicians who won’t listen to us to the side. While we will never be able to build an entire party full of men like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, we can make it miserable enough for bad actors that the go-along-to-get-along Republicans will conclude it’s better to work with us than face primaries and incessant attacks from their own side in the new media. Most people don’t realize it, but we have already started moving the Republican Party to the Right and the time will come when Republicans are just as afraid of their base as Democrats are of Planned Parenthood and the unions. It’s not going to happen overnight, but if we keep going after Republicans who sell us out, even the ones that are as hostile as John McCain, Peter King and Lindsey Graham will eventually have to get on board if they want to keep their jobs.
House Speaker John A. Boehner announced Tuesday that he has hired a longtime advocate of legalizing illegal immigrants to be an adviser, signaling that the Republican is still intent on trying to pass an immigration bill during this congressional session.
Immigrant rights advocates cheered the move as a sign of Mr. Boehner’s dedication to action. Those who want a crackdown on illegal immigration said the top Republican in the House has moved closer to embracing amnesty by hiring Rebecca Tallent, a former staffer for Sen. John McCain and fellow Arizona Republican Jim Kolbe.
“Tallent’s hiring suggests he really does still want to push an amnesty through the House, which to me suggests that the immigration hawks still have their work cut out for them,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “She is a professional amnesty advocate.”
Ms. Tallent is leaving a job as immigration policy director for the Bipartisan Policy Center and will join Mr. Boehner’s staff Wednesday, putting her in the center of one of the thorniest issues in Congress.
Mr. Boehner has become a key figure in the immigration debate. He faces immense pressure from immigrant rights activists who want legalization and from House Republicans who are warning him not to pursue legalization until the border is more secure.
Mr. Boehner has faced prayer vigils and protests from immigration rights activists at his home. In Congress, some Republicans have suggested that his speakership could be in jeopardy if he tries to pass legislation granting illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.
The Ohio Republican has said he is committed to acting on the issue but has rejected Senate Democrats’ approach of a broad bill combining security, legalization and a rewrite of the immigration system.
“The speaker remains hopeful that we can enact step-by-step, common-sense immigration reforms – the kind of reforms the American people understand and support,” spokesman Michael Steel said. “Becky Tallent, a well-known expert in this field of public policy, is a great addition to our team and that effort.”
But in a city where personnel moves are watched as key policy signals, both sides saw Ms. Tallent’s hiring as an indication of where Mr. Boehner wants the immigration debate to go.
She has been involved in writing a number of broad legalization bills, including one for Mr. Kolbe and two for Mr. McCain in the past decade. She was also a senior policy adviser during Mr. McCain’s failed 2008 presidential campaign, which included traveling as a domestic policy adviser for vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Mr. Boehner appeared to have nailed the door shut on immigration last month when he said he wouldn’t enter into negotiations on the Senate bill.
But Democratic leaders and President Obama appeared to move in Mr. Boehner’s direction, saying they would be open to the speaker’s approach of dividing immigration reform into separate bills. It’s still unclear whether all of the bills would have to pass at about the same time or whether Republicans would win border security legislation first.
Mr. Krikorian said he still thinks the chances of a final bill reaching Mr. Obama’s desk next year are slim but that Mr. Boehner’s hiring decision is worrisome.
“Basically what that means is that the person who ran John McCain’s amnesty push last time is now running amnesty for Speaker Boehner,” he said.
Immigration rights activists warn Republicans that they must take action or face a political backlash, particularly in the 2016 presidential election.
“If Republicans want to broaden their appeal to diverse voters — really, any American who expects leaders to lead and solve problems — they need to talk less and do more,” said Lynn Tramonte, deputy director of America’s Voice.
House Democrats say passing immigration reform could rescue a year devoid of other major accomplishments.
Ms. Tallent didn’t return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
Ana Navarro, who worked with Ms. Tallent on the 2008 McCain presidential campaign and who has pushed Republicans to tackle immigration reform, said hiring Ms. Tallent was a smart move for Mr. Boehner.
“It tells me that he’s looking to find solutions to some of the complex issues,” she said. “You don’t hire Becky Tallent if you don’t want to get something done. If all you want to do is kick the can down the road and just talk about the issue, you don’t hire Becky Tallent. If you want to solve the issue, you hire Becky Tallent to work with you.”
Ms. Tallent is a native of Tucson, Ariz., and Ms. Navaro said her knowledge of border issues will help House Republicans as they try to craft legislation.
“She brings a particular sensitivity to the border issues, to the immigration issues. She’s pragmatic,” Ms. Navaro said.
Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet said Ms. Tallent’s experience will help her sift through the issues and find something that will work.
“The House is going to continue to chart its own course on immigration reform. Becky understands the issues — both those that should be on the table and those that have derailed past reform efforts,” Mr. Grumet said in a statement.
It’s been debated for five years, and the conventional wisdom has generally concluded that Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, hurt Sen. John McCain’s chances to beat then-Sen. Barack Obama for the presidency with her outsized and controversial personality.
But now a comprehensive new analysis of the so-called “Palin Effect” finds that in the final analysis, the former Alaska governor helped McCain by attracting more voters to the ticket, crushing a mainstream media view.
What’s more, while she attracted wider press attention than most prior veep candidates, her actual impact for a No. 2 was about average.
“Palin had a positive effect on McCain,” according to the new Palin analysis in the authoritative Political Research Quarterly.
Digesting mountains of data, two political science professors from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., said their findings showed that the conventional wisdom that independent voters ran from the McCain-Palin ticket was wrong. They found that independent voters had the same reaction to Palin as Republicans, who largely liked her.
Both findings could provide a basis for a 2016 run for the presidency by the Tea Party favorite.
“Palin did not have a negative effect on McCain’s voter share overall, nor did she result in eroded support for McCain among critical swing voters such as independents and moderates,” the duo wrote.
Their analysis picked apart a recent report that Palin drove off voters and was uniquely divisive, claiming it was flawed.
Instead, it found that Palin “did not have a unique or unprecedented influence on the race; at best, she had precisely the same small effect on vote choice in 2008 that we would expect of any running mate.”
GREAT Tweet from RS McCain today
Democrat 2014 campaign slogan: “Now That We Totally Fucked Up Your Health Insurance, Give Us a Chance to Fuck Up Everything Else, Too.
Go read the post that goes along with that Tweet, it is pure gold
If you want to see a microcosm of the problems looming for Democrats in their 2014 mid-term campaign to recapture the House, look no further than New York’s 23rd Congressional District:
Martha Robertson is the Democratic candidate challenging Republican incumbent Tom Reed in NY-23, my home district.
We have highlighted Robertson many times before regarding her unsubstantiated fundraising claim that “GOP ops” tried to take down her website. Robertson’s campaign never has provided proof of that claim, leading to a fair amount of negative local television coverage and even national press attention.
The fundraising scandal, which I doubt is over, likely will be overshadowed by a much bigger problem: Robertson is a long-time and vocal supporter of mandates with the ultimate goal of single-payer.
In light of the Obamacare debacle, and the inability of the federal government even to set up a website portal, a complete federal government takeover of the health care system is a hard sell.
Basically, the Democrats own the train wreck that is Obamacare. The GOP has a GREAT opportunity here. Can they take advantage? They damn well better. Here is a bit of helpful advice from me to the GOP establishment. If a long-time Republican gets a primary challenger from the Tea Party, do not whine. If the incumbent is a Conservative they ought to welcome debate, and their challenger as well. And, if the incumbent loses the primary, then the establishment ought to welcome and support the Republican voters choice! Respect your base, without them, the GOP is done. In other words care more about America, than about your power.
To the Tea Party. Feel free to primary a less than stellar Conservative, I think it is great for our party. Challenge them, and debate them, but if you lose to them, support them anyway. Remember, the less Democrats in Congress the better. Basically, we need to have open challenges among ourselves, and then we need to support the winner. Again, recall that not one Republican voted for Obamacare in 2010, NOT ONE! A less than stellar Republican is better than a Democrat!
Bernard Goldberg joined Bill O’Reilly Monday night to address what he believes is a “potentially fatal split” in the Republican party’s immediate future. He said that if the tea party keeps rejecting anyone who isn’t basically Ted Cruz for the 2016 presidential nomination, the party’s going to be in some big trouble and invite in a strong Democratic victory.
O’Reilly framed the fight as a “classic moderate Republican versus hard-right Republican” feud, and Goldberg rejected the “ideological rigidity” of people who will sit on their hands and refuse to vote for a Republican presidential nominee if they aren’t sufficiently conservative enough. And this is what led Goldberg to accuse these tea partiers of being the real RINOs in the GOP.
“As far as the tea partiers are concerned, anybody to the left of Ted Cruz is a RINO… but you know what? The real RINOs are the real people in the tea party and on the hard right, because they have made it clear over and over again that their allegiance is not to the Republican party, but to their particular brand of conservatism, so they’re the RINOs.”
O’Reilly suggested Cruz, if he ran, could rally the nation behind him if Obamacare continues to be a disaster, but Goldberg said anything short of “horrendously bad” will not be enough to help them. He also warned that if someone like Cruz gets the nomination, “every registered Democrat will vote, and that’s a recipe for a Democratic victory?”
Watch the video below, via Fox News:
Reagan conservative Ken Cuccinelli lost his bid for the Virginia governorship because the patrician, turf-protecting Republican Party establishment in his state wanted him to lose.
It’s really that simple.
Cuccinelli campaign strategist Chris La Civita suggested on election night Tuesday that the federal government’s partial shutdown last month may have hurt his candidate in parts of Virginia where many federal employees and contractors live.
He also suggested that Cuccinelli could have won if he had received more money from national GOP sources, which he said dried up as of Oct. 1.
“There are a lot of questions people are going to be asking and that is, was leaving Cuccinelli alone in the first week of October, a smart move?” La Civita said. “We were on our own. Just look at the volume [of ads].”
Cuccinelli lost by a mere 2.5 percentage points in a state that until somewhat recently had been solidly Republican. Even with Cuccinelli’s various tactical mistakes (and there were many), it is still very difficult to believe that the GOP machine couldn’t have gotten another fifty-odd thousand voters to the polls to support him if it really wanted to.
Predictably, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who won re-election comfortably on Tuesday, refused to lift a finger to help his vulnerable fellow Republican in Virginia. Even with mountains of cash, Christie had no electoral coattails, which is not exactly a resume-builder for a presidential candidate.
This is, of course, the same politician who betrayed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on at least two occasions. Christie spent his high-profile speech at the Republican National Convention last year talking about himself instead of Romney. He also won President Obama lots of votes by cozying up to him during the Tropical Storm Sandy saga. But his personal popularity didn’t do a thing for the rest of the New Jersey GOP slate this week.
What happened to Cuccinelli wasn’t some back-room conspiracy shrouded in smoke and euphemisms; it was a conscious, overt effort to do serious damage to a Tea Party standard-bearer.
Virginia Republicans tend to value hierarchy and tradition. Cuccinelli the upstart was punished for his impertinence. Instead of waiting his turn, as the aristocratic gatekeepers of the Virginia GOP demand, Cuccinelli asked his party elders to value merit and good policy proposals over seniority and rank. The powers that be within the Virginia Republican establishment responded by smearing the archetypal conservative as an extremist and trying to squash him.
Remember that the establishment came out hard four years ago for the now-tainted RINOish governor Bob McDonnell, but this year largely left the cash-strapped Cuccinelli to his own devices against the fabulously wealthy Terry McAuliffe, the Democrats’ Daddy Warbucks.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, key GOP fundraising organs lavished funds in the 2009 election cycle on the ethically slippery McDonnell. The Republican Party of Virginia and the Republican National Committee gave McDonnell $2,704,348 and $2,253,500, respectively.
In the 2013 election cycle, the two big political committees were stingy, according to available data. As of Oct. 23, the Republican Party of Virginia had given Cuccinelli $843,085, and the RNC had coughed up a paltry $85,098 for the gubernatorial candidate. (The Republican Governors’ Association was not stingy. RGA gave $1,994,312 to McDonnell, who leaves office in disgrace in January, and a healthy $8,066,772 to Cuccinelli.)
But the Republican National Committee is putting the word out that it did everything it could to help Cuccinelli.
The RNC claims that it spent $3 million on the so-called ground game to help Cuccinelli and the rest of the Republican ticket “while building the party’s presence in Virginia.” The non-Cuccinelli-specific effort included testing a “new precinct-based voter contact model.” The RNC gushed that its “Virginia-based staff included four dedicated to Asian-Pacific American engagement, two for African American engagement, and one for Hispanic engagement.”
Radio talk show host Mark Levin says the RNC is trying to “punk” conservatives by trying to “to persuade you that the RNC has been vigorously fighting for Cuccinelli’s campaign in Virginia. They think you’re so stupid that you’ll buy this self-serving BS.”
Even if we generously give the RNC the benefit of the doubt and assume it did everything it could to boost Cuccinelli’s chances, there is no question that there was heavy institutional resistance among GOP apparatchiks to the mainstream conservative contender’s bid.
Cuccinelli’s worst enemies were just as likely to be found among Republicans as Democrats. There was no shortage of prominent, important Republicans crossing the aisle to endorse Democrat McAuliffe.
Boyd Marcus, former chief of staff for House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), joined the McAuliffe campaign after the gubernatorial candidacy of his pick, sore loser Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, flamed out. Bolling himself petulantly refused to endorse Cuccinelli and worked hard against him, demoralizing the grassroots and depressing turnout by badmouthing the nominee on conservative talk radio every chance he got.
Other Republicans who endorsed McAuliffe include Dwight Schar, former RNC finance chairman; Judy Ford Wason, a GOP strategist who worked for McDonnell; former state senate president pro tempore John Chichester; state senator Russ Potts; and former House of Delegates members Vince Callahan, Katherine Waddell, and Jim Dillard.
Karl Rove, the corporatist Wile E. Coyote of the political consulting world who nearly lost George W. Bush the presidency not once, but twice, did nothing to help Cuccinelli. That’s because the generally useless strategerist and other establishment figures have declared war on the Tea Party.
And virtually no one defended GOP lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson when his Democratic opponent, Ralph Northam, viciously slimed him for his mainstream Christian beliefs. It is a core tenet of Christianity that original sin is responsible for a host of maladies in the world and, unsurprisingly, Jackson, head pastor of a Christian church in Chesapeake, believes in that doctrine.
But Northam ran a disgusting TV ad that amounted to an attack on the very precepts of Christianity itself. Building on Jackson’s otherwise unremarkable belief in original sin, Sarelle Holiday, mother of a disabled child, absurdly accused Jackson of considering her son “a punishment.” Northam, who is white, is such a class act that he even refused to shake the hand of Jackson, who is black, during a joint public appearance in Hampton Roads.
Even before the polls had closed Tuesday, GOP operatives were already armed with excuses to explain away Cuccinelli’s approaching loss. The D.C. echo chamber reverberated with accusations that Cuccinelli was a woman-hating religious kook and an irresponsible loudmouth.
One said a “fire-breathing conservative turned populist unable to defend his positions on birth control” and women’s issues was doomed to lose. The RNC, in his view, was right to save its money for “races they can actually win.” Of course, a race decided by a mere 2.5 percentage points is pretty well winnable by definition.
With Cuccinelli’s totally avoidable loss, Terry McAuliffe, whose lifelong profession is Clinton operative, will be in position to secure Virginia for his puppet-mistress, Alinskyite neo-Marxist Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election.
McAuliffe is now a safe bet to take over the Democratic Governors Association and the National Governors Association. Both perches will give him even more access to high-dollar donors than he has now.
Cuccinelli’s humiliation at the polls gives plenty of ammo to left-wingers. The media is already saying Tuesday’s election results show that voters have repudiated the Tea Party.
This is abject nonsense. Cuccinelli was able to almost close a huge gap in the polls with McAuliffe only by campaigning hard in the final days on the monstrosity that is ObamaCare and linking the hated wealth- and health-redistribution program to his opponent.
Also on Tuesday in Mobile, Alabama, a relative nobody, a Tea Party guy named Dean Young, with no money and no big fancy political machine behind him, scored an impressive 47 percent of the vote in a GOP primary runoff against Bradley Byrne, the well-funded choice of big business, who will almost certainly win the general election in the ultra-safe Republican congressional seat.
Of course, the fact that a Tea Party activist came out of nowhere to almost score an upset against a pillar of the Republican Party establishment is nowhere to be found in the New York Times article about the election.
The narrative is always more important than the truth.
Twenty-seven Republican senators voted for Wednesday’s bill passed by the upper chamber to fund the U.S. government in a continuing resolution and extend the nation’s debt limit. Eighteen voted against the measure, and one was not present.
Lamar Alexander (TN)
Kelly Ayotte (NH)
John Barrasso (WY)
Roy Blunt (MO)
John Boozman (AR)
Richard Burr (NC)
Saxby Chambliss (GA)
Jeff Chiesa (NJ)
Dan Coats (IN)
Thad Cochran (MS)
Susan Collins (ME)
Bob Corker (TN)
Deb Fischer (NE)
Jeff Flake (AZ)
Lindsey Graham (SC)
Orrin Hatch (UT)
John Hoeven (ND)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
Mike Johanns (NE)
Mark Kirk (IL)
John McCain (AZ)
Mitch McConnell (KY)
Jerry Moran (KS)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Rob Portman (OH)
John Thune (SD)
Roger Wicker (MS)
Tom Coburn (OK)
John Cornyn (TX)
Mike Crapo (ID)
Ted Cruz (TX)
Mike Enzi (WY)
Chuck Grassley (IA)
Dean Heller (NV)
Ron Johnson (WI)
Mike Lee (UT)
Rand Paul (KY)
James Risch (ID)
Pat Roberts (KS)
Marco Rubio (FL)
Tim Scott (SC)
Jeff Sessions (AL)
Richard Shelby (AL)
Pat Toomey (PA)
David Vitter (LA)
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who is recovering in Oklahoma from quadruple bypass heart surgery, did not vote.
HOUSE ROLL CALL
Eighty-seven Republican Congressmen voted for the bill, and 144 voted against.
He sold us out for a friggen dam.
A proposal to end the government shutdown and avoid default orchestrated by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Harry Reid includes a nearly $3 billion earmark for a Kentucky project.
Language in a draft of the McConnell-Reid deal (see page 13, section 123) provided to WFPL News shows a provision that increases funding for the massive Olmsted Dam Lock in Paducah, Ky., from $775 million to nearly $2.9 billion.
The dam is considered an important project for the state and region in regards to water traffic along the Ohio River.
As The Courier-Journal’s James Bruggers reported in 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they needed about $2.1 billion for the locks due to “stop and go funding.”
Time for the inevitable cave in.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will soon announce an agreement to reopen the government and avert default on U.S. debt, according to several sources familiar with the talks.
The House plans to move on the Senate’s bill first, sources say, a move that would clear a path to end the first government shutdown in 17 years and avoid the first potential economy-shaking default on U.S. debt. It remains unclear when a final vote would occur in the Senate.
If the House passes the bill first and sends it to the upper chamber, it would eliminate some burdensome procedural hurdles in the Senate and require just one procedural roll call with a 60-vote threshold needed to advance the bill toward final passage in the Senate.
Update: Boehner sealing his fate as House speaker?
(Hot Air) – The endgame will arrive a little sooner than expected, thanks to a deal cut with John Boehner to take the first plunge on a bipartisan plan to end the budget standoff before the theoretical debt-ceiling limit gets breached. Instead of the Senate taking up the proposal from Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell first, Boehner will allow a vote – without amendments – and have it pass with Democrats making up the difference from expected opposition from conservatives
The problem with the GOP establishment Republicans is that they begin every fight believing that nothing is ever worth fighting for and then they immediately surrender the first time the fight gets tough to prove it. The problem with that kind of thinking is that if you’re not willing to fight for anything in politics, you never accomplish much of anything either.
Tim Huelskamp gets that. Do the GOP’s leaders in Congress get it, too?
Representative Tim Huelskamp (KS-1) issued the following statement, warning the GOP establishment that caving (on the shut down) would be a huge mistake:
“If true, such an abandonment of conservative principles would dispirit, dismay, and anger the entire conservative base of the Republican party – and for any of my colleagues pushing such a deal, it would seriously jeopardize their future chances of becoming elected leadership in the House. Now is the time to stand firm – not capitulate to the Left.
“It is my hope that Republican leadership will not abandon our principled opposition to ObamaCare. Claiming to oppose ObamaCare while simultaneously allowing 98% of it to move forward would be in direct contradiction to the Pledge to America and nearly every other campaign promise made by Republicans in the last three years.”
I can’t speak for anyone else, but my position is that if the GOP doesn’t have the courage and the skill to win a political shutdown battle when Obama is publicly saying he won’t compromise while he picks on kids with cancer and veterans while he kicks old people out of their homes, then they’re just not up to the job and it’s time to step aside. McConnell’s willingness to deliberately undercut the House in an effort to give in as fast as possible shows he’s not fit to lead, but Boehner for all his flaws, is still in the game. Conservatives are watching and his speakership is on the line. Whether he knuckles under or at least fights to get some concessions will prove whether he’s worthy to continue to lead.
In South Dakota, the federal government blockaded portions of a state highway during a devastating early season blizzard near Mt. Rushmore to prevent sightseers from snapping a picture of the storm-obscured landmark.
Priests have been threatened with arrest for, well, doing what priests do for parishioners on military bases.
Private businesses have been ordered closed down.
“Gestapo-like” rangers ordered tourists in Yellowstone, who had paid their admission, to get back on their bus and go to their hotel, where armed officers guarded the doors.
There even was an attempt to close an ocean.
This all would be preparation for a massive terror threat endangering millions?
Or maybe for a natural disaster?
All because the White House disagreed with Republicans over funding for a portion of the federal government.
The egregious federal government actions during the partial government shutdown, triggered when President Obama refused to even talk with Republicans about their compromise budget offers, have left Americans shaking their heads, from veterans at a World War II memorial in Washington that is open to the air but “barrycaded” by the Obama administration, to those wondering how a government could close an ocean.
One National Park Service worker quoted by the Washington Times said the orders from the Obama administration were to punish Americans.
“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting,” he said.
WND columnist Gina Loudon already has listed the “top 10 most insane moments” of the Obama-Reid shutdown.
1) “Not only did Obama include the National Institute of Health’s experimental treatments for children with terminal cancer in the shutdown, he has threatened to veto funding that Republicans have offered to reinstate. And all along we thought it was Republicans who wanted children to die.”
2) “Military suicides are at an all-time high. Obama’s answer to that? Remove their chaplains! The chaplains know the importance of their work for our service members during this tumultuous time in the throes of the Navy Yard shootings, Benghazi and the rest of it, so they offered their services for free. Obama’s response? He said chaplains can be arrested if they voluntarily serve our military.”
3) “The Library of Congress website was shut down until Oct. 4. Loc.gov was redirected to a notice that it was no longer available due to the shutdown. On Friday, one of the essential bureaucrats in Washington discovered that leaving the website up actually costs nothing. At last glance, the LOC website is back up and running. In related news, the FCC social media team announced they will not be tweeting due to the shutdown. What will we do without tweets from the FCC?”
4) “National Park Service employees descended onto the home of George Washington at Mt. Vernon to erect barricades after the government was shut down. But, just as Washington ran the British out of Boston after they barricaded the city, the staff at the estate turned the government employees away and removed the barricades. Mt. Vernon has been privately funded for 150 years, and the government had absolutely no authority to shut it down.”
5) “Although no funding exists to keep the World War II memorial open, somehow, funding was found to erect a barricade. Each day, as veterans in their eighties and nineties break through the barricades at the memorial like they did at Omaha Beach, federal employees are paid to come reconstruct them.”
6) “Just as Hitler posted troops at Normandy to keep the allied forces out, President Obama is now turning away those who wish to pay their respects at the Normandy American Cemetery. More than 9,000 patriots who gave their lives were laid to rest at the D-Day Memorial, and respecting their service and sacrifice is not allowed during the shutdown, thanks to the Barack Obama and Harry Reid.”
7) “The Armed Forces Network will not be broadcasting sports programming to our troops overseas. While our troops on the front line in the war on terror will have their MLB and NFL games blacked out, you can bet that President Obama will still be watching Sports Center in the White House every night as he is known to do.”
8) “Although an automated camera has been posting pictures of Old Faithful’s eruptions on the web around the clock for years, it has been shut off. Teams of rangers have been busy erecting and maintaining barricades around Yellowstone National Park and running off anyone trying to enjoy the natural beauty of the park, but they took a break from all of that work to pull the plug on the geyser’s webcams.”
9) “We know the president’s priorities, and golf is at the top of that list. Golf courses at military installations remain open and funded while grocery stores at those sites are shut down.”
10) “WJLA is reporting that scenic overlooks next to roadways have been barricaded and signs have been erected telling passersby that they are closed due to the shutdown. These areas where tourists may stop to enjoy a scenic view of the nation’s capital cost nothing to keep open, but the Obama administration is trying to create a scenic view of its own – a city that he has shut down and seeks to blame Republicans.”
But there are so many other examples.
Katie Pavlich at Townhall reported the National Park Service blocked the road leading to “the sacred ground near Shanksville, Pa., where 9/11 Flight 93 crashed 12 years ago.
“The petty and ghoulish Spite House strikes again,” she wrote. “Barrycades blocking WWII vets from their memorial, denying death benefits to military families and now this. The Flight 93 National Memorial is an open field for crying out loud.”
Loudon noted that Jeff Reed of American Family Radio put it like this: ‘The sad reality is … Obama sent more guards to keep WWII vets from entering their memorial than he sent to Benghazi.”
Here’s a representative list of the management of the federal government:
* The general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA said that contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases are not permitted even to volunteer. “They risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”
* Officials barricaded the open-air points from which to view the Lincoln Memorial and watched as a defiant visitor or two simply walked on up. Said John Ervin of Hermann, Mo.: “We should be allowed to see all these things… our national treasures, our national monuments.”
* About that ocean: It was the National Park Service that told charter boat captains in Florida that Florida Bay was now closed down. The Obama administration actually prohibited fishing boats from taking anglers into 1,100 square miles of open ocean.
* Two senior citizens who live in their private home on Lake Mead were ordered out. A park ranger told Joyce and Ralph Spencer, 77 and 80, they had 24 hours to vacate. Their home is privately owned but is inside federal land.
* Federal officials ordered the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a private business enterprise, to close down. The owner make headlines by defying the orders. “I’m questioning their authority to shut me,” said Bruce O’Connell.
* But a variety of other private marinas, restaurants and inns linked to federal attractions all were ordered closed, throwing thousands out of work.
* About Mt. Rushmore, Jim Hagen, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, said: “They won’t even let you pull off on the side of the road. I just don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish.”
* Authorities used “Gestapo tactics” on senior citizens visiting Yellowstone National Park, locking them inside their hotel under “armed guard” during the Obama administration’s government shutdown, according to a guide. Officials even refused to allow the tourists to stop for bathroom breaks during the two-and-a-half hour drive out of the park, he said. Guide Gordon Hodgson said a ranger approached him while he was providing a tour to visitors and allowed them to stop and take photographs. “She told me you need to return to your hotel and stay there. This is just Gestapo tactics. We paid a lot to get in. All these people wanted to do was take some pictures.”
* CBS in Philadelphia reported a marathoner, John Bell, 56, was ticketed for running in Valley Forge National Historical Park.
* A dog therapy program, which arranges for dogs to visit patients in hospitals, including children with cancer, was suspended by the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health.
* NBC reported the federal government is withholding a $100,000 payment to the families of five soldiers killed over the weekend in fighting in Afghanistan.
There were some things considered essential, however:
* The exclusive gyms available only to members of Congress were staying open.
With 74 percent of White House staff furloughed, decisions had to be made about where to save money.
Apparently, the only part of whitehouse.gov that needed to be cut was the “We the People” petition page, which allowed Americans to create petitions and voice their opinions to the White House.
The feature’s landing page reads “due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, ‘We the People’ has been temporarily disabled.”
This means that Americans have not been able to create or sign petitions for “We the People” throughout the entire government shutdown debate.
The promise when the feature was unveiled was that if a petition received 100,000 signatures or more, it would garner a response from the Obama administration.
So much for that, though, curiously, every other part of whitehouse.gov works and has been updated as recently as Tuesday: Blog posts are still being written, photos are still uploaded, press secretary Jay Carney’s press briefings are still live-streamed, statements are still posted and all the information pages are still up and running.
Everything is accessible except for the one part of the website that allowed average citizens to connect with their president.