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The revelations about the corruption and abuses of power within in the Obama administration has shown one thing very clearly…Obama has not taken care that the laws of the United States be faithfully executed.
There will be calls from the right for impeachment proceedings but we all know that is not and should not be on the table. Simple math shows that the President will not be impeached and convicted. In fact trying to do so is folly. He will become a martyr to the left and his ultimate acquittal will only vindicate his history of abuse.
What can be done however is a full stop, nothing passes, nothing moves from the House of Representatives until substantive progress is made on rooting out the malefactors who have turned the executive branch into a hyper-partisan, unaccountable, enforcement arm of the Democratic Party. Yes, elections have consequences and Democrats have every right to guide policies to their liking, they have no right to use the power of government to impede the legal political activities of opponents or do enforce laws in ways that give their political allies an advantage.
We’ve rightly heard over the last 3 plus years that the House alone is insufficient to move forward any entitlement reforms that could possibly pass. It is insufficient to repeal of ObamaCare. The House alone cannot do any of the things conservatives would like to see happen while the Democrats control the Senate and the White House.
What we’ve also been told however is that the House can stop new bad things from happen. Now is the time to exercise that power.
This is a partial list of what I think must be cleared up before the GOP passes any more legislation:
• Understand why an IRS official who her superiors knew was targeting conservative political groups received six-figure bonuses for her work and is now charged with heading the IRS implementation of ObamaCare.
• Ensure that the people who targeted the President’s opponents have been removed from the government?
• Protections must be put in place and demonstrated to be effective to ensure that the IRS is no longer engaged in partisan warfare against citizens who may not share this President’s poitical views.
• HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebeilius must be full investigated for her extra-legal fundraising activities from organizations and companies she is empowered to regulate under the Affordable Care Act.
• There must also be a full accounting of Sebelius’ prior violation of the Hatch Act, which appears to have gone unpunished.
• There must be a full investigation of the AP subpoena issue, including the actions of the Attorney General and the handing of his alleged recusal.
As I said, this is just a partial list of issues that must be addressed and corrective action taken before the House of Representatives does a damn thing.
Debt ceiling hike? No. Maybe in exchange for something concrete like Sebelius’ resignation or a delay in the implementation of ObamaCare until these investigations are complete and corrective actions are made.
Budget? Sure, as long as it doesn’t include any funding for ObamaCare and the IRS’ role in implementing it.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform? Hell no. At this point does anyone trust the IRS or Department of Homeland Security under this President to actual enforce any provisions other than giving the maximum number of illegal immigrants legal status as quickly as possible? Do you really think the IRS is going to disqualify illegals from legal status over unpaid back taxes?
Nothing moves Mr. Speaker. Nothing.
This will not be a political popular stand, at least at first. People will think it’s simply partisan gamesmanship. It will be up to Republicans to explain the stakes here and make the case for your actions.
In the past I’ve opposed government shutdowns because there has been no identifiable path to winning and because yes, when you know you can’t win, you have to live to fight another day. But if stopping this country from sliding into a 3rd world banana republic where the politically powerful can crush their opposition by using the power of government isn’t a hill worth fighting on what is? If the GOP won’t make this stand, what exactly is their purpose?
Shut it down Mr. Speaker. Shut it down.
Last night Allahpundit wondered why the State Department’s spokesperson, Victoria Neuland, was involved in editing the now infamous Benghazi Talking Points.
Fast forward to today and Yahoo! is in the process of digitizing the emails and organizing them as if they were in your inbox. It’s a brilliant idea and makes them very relevant to a big story. They are about 25% of the way through the emails but we get our first hint of how State got involved.
An email from Tommy Vietor (Then a member of Obama’s NSC staff) seems to be the first inclusion of State into the conversation (email on 9/14 at 6:21pm):
I know you’re trying to move these fast so here’s an initial round of edits. One small tweak in sentence 3 of bullet 1 for added clarity. Denis would also like to make sure the highlighted portions are full coordinated with the State Department in the event that they get inquiries.
It’s possible that “Denis” is White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, though that’s just a guess. It maybe someone else on the White House NSC staff.
Neuland’s first contribution to the list is to question why the CIA is pointing to Ansar al Sharia as being involved (9/14, Neuland email 7″39 pm).
I just had a convo with [CIA OPA] and I now understand that these are being prepared to give to Members of Congress to use with the media.
On that basis, I have serious concerns about ail the parts highlighted below, and arming members of Congress to start making assertions to the media that we ourselves are not making because we don’t want to prejudice the investigation.
In same vein, why do we want Hill to be fingering Ansar al Sharia, when we aren’t doing that ourselves until we have investigation results… and the penultimate point could be abused by Members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings so why do we want to feed that either? Concerned…
Depending on the rest of the emails, as Robert notes, State does have intelligence resources but they do not appear to be the basis of State’s “contributions” to the process. State is simply making a political case to narrowing the talking points to provide some political shaping of the points.
The introduction of this political element was at the direction of the White House.
Stu Stevens is giving a talk somewhere about the campaign and NRO’s Katrina Trinko is live tweeting it.
asked why Romney didn’t fight back summer Bain stuff, Stu Stevens says they were trying to put Obama team on offense on welfare, china
Hispanics Are “Natural Conservatives”, It’s Just That As A Group They Are More Liberal Than The Rest Of The US Population
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) May 14, 2013
Among Hispanics, there is somewhat less support for an activist government among the second generation than Hispanic immigrants, although a clear majority of both generations prefers a larger government with more services to a smaller one providing fewer services. But more of the second-generation Hispanics identify themselves as liberal on political issues than do first-generation Hispanics. Generational differences are pronounced on attitudes about social issues. Second-generation Hispanics and Asian Americans are more liberal than the first generation on attitudes about homosexuality and abortion. Compared with the general public, second-generation Asian Americans are more liberal on both issues. Second-generation Hispanics tend to be more accepting of homosexuality than the general public; their views on abortion are similar to those of the general public.
This is the point in the program where Team Amnesty tells you the GOP kick-ass messaging team will kick in and with a little outreach, someday we’ll turn all those liberals into card carrying conservatives. Yeah, about that. Seems the RNC’s director of Hispanic Outreach for Florida*, Pablo Pantoja, just became a Democrat. He was upset over the news of Jason Richwine’s Harvard Ph.D dissertation. No word yet on whether Pantoja was so shocked at the despicable comments of former NAACP Chairman and Obama supporter Julian Bond he immediately abandoned the racist Democrats.
And a friendly reminder for all.
— DrewM (@DrewMTips) May 14, 2013
*Thanks to Andy for pointing out Pantoja was the RNC’s Hispanic point person for Florida.
First, let us take a moment to reflect on the greatness of my predictions from Round 1. Well, of my Eastern Conference predictions anyway.
Penguins in six.- Check
Senators in five.-Check
Bruins in seven-Check
Rangers in six- Che….stupid Rangers. My own damn team screws me from running the board.
As for my Western Conference picks from Round 1, well, let’s just move on to Round 2
The Senators did exactly what I thought they would against the Canadiens…beat the living crap out of them. The Senators are a big, nasty and abrasive team. The Penguins have more skilled players than anyone else in the league but they are also North-South players who come fast and hard.
In other words, this is going to be a mean, hard fought series that comes down to a battle of attrition.
I give the Penguins a big edge up front and a slight edge on defense (Bruce Orpik is back and still a mean son of a bitch). The Senators have a slight edge in goal as long as the Penguins play Vokun and a huge one if the Penguins decide to go the circus route and play Fleury.
Prediction: I want to say Senators but I have to look at the talent and go Penguins in 7.
I didn’t have either team making it this far, in fact, pre-season I didn’t have the Sharks making the playoffs.
The Sharks are an enigma to me and I don’t think I’m alone, so I’ll focus on the Kings. After losing the first two games to the Blues, the Kings took 4 straight to advance. It’s all very reminiscent of last year’s run by the Kings. I think they found their grove and will make relatively short work of the Sharks.
Prediction: I want to say Kings in 4 but that seems rude so I’ll go Kings in 5.
Original Six match-up? Yep
Two of the greatest logos in sports? Oh yeah
Last time they will meet in the playoff unless it’s for the Cup because of realignment? Sure, let’s throw that cherry on top of this
So clearly this is going to be a great series, right? Um, probably not.
The Blackhawks are the class of the Western Conference and the Wings are in a strange spot of rebuilding on the fly. They needed a big push to even make the playoffs and did an amazing job to get by a much better Ducks team in the first round.
It’s hard to think of the Wings as a Cinderella team but they kind of are. Alas, the clock is about to strike midnight and the Blackhawks aren’t Prince Charming.
The Hawks just have way too much of everything (except goaltending but it’s not like the Red Wings have a lot more). The thing is they don’t need Crawford or Emery to be Henrik Lundqvist, they just can’t suddenly turn into Marc-Andre Fleury.
Prediction: Like Fox Mulder I Want to Believe! I just don’t think the Wings have any more magic left in them. I’ll be generous and say Hawks in 6.
And last but certainly not least…..
I correctly predicted the Bruins over the Leafs in 7 but I said if it went that long it meant that Boston wasn’t quite right. This is a team that should be better than it is. Granted, in the playoffs it’s not about style but results. Still, if you nee 7 games, 2 last minute goals and an OT winner to move on, you’re not exactly dominating.
The Rangers on the other hand went 7 games against the Capitals but they lost games 2 and 5 in Overtime before shutting out the Capitals in Games 6 and 7. Clearly the Rangers are a team that is finding it’s game while the Bruins are still looking for it.
The Rangers got their swagger back with the trade deadline pick-up of Ryan Clowe. He’s been in and out of the lineup and if he can’t go, he’ll be missed against the big, aggressive Bruins. Still, the team has gotten its “jam” as Torts calls it back. Early in the Caps series they were losing the battles along the boards but they cleaned that up in their back to back shutouts. I worry about the streaky nature of the Rangers on faceoffs but they’got better as the series went on in that area too.
But as everyone predicted, the Rangers big trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets really paid big dividends…Derek Brassard had NINE points (2 goals/7 assists) in games 3 through 7 against the Caps (after being held pointless in the first two games of the series), Derek Dorsett has been a big part of that jam the Blue Shirts were lacking (and he’s chipped in offensively), plus John Miller has been a more than serviceable number 5 defenseman.
Oh, perhaps you were thinking of that other trade between the Rangers and Blue Jackets? About that….
I can’t imagine that both Brad Richards AND Rick Nash will remain invisible for another whole series, so the Rangers offense should be…better (as low a hurdle as that is). Defensively, the Rangers are far superior to the Bruins as a whole unit. And in goal, the Rangers have the hottest player (in more ways than one, amiright ladies?) in the league.
Prediction: Close games but I’ve got the Rangers taking it 5. Yeah, that scares me but there it is.
Barack Obama suddenly finds himself up to his ears in scandals. Several of these scandals involve abuse of power by his administration and demonstrate the danger of an ever growing federal government. The timing for this tidal wave of scandals is especially enjoyable considering Obama had just given a speech in which he mocked the notion that people should be afraid of…government overstepping its bounds and abusing its power.
Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.
“We” can be trusted but a government run by a leftist like Obama clearly can’t be.
If that simple message is part of the environment leading up to the 2016 GOP primary and general election, one potential candidate is clearly poised to capitalize on it like almost no other possible contender.
Second look at Stand with Rand?
Peter Wehner has a post at Commentary that is the cause of much discussion on the right, thanks in part to Jim Geraghty highlighting it in his Morning Jolt newsletter today.
It strikes me that this ancient insight–of how we do not live in isolation, that we are part of a continuum–has been a bit neglected by American conservatives in recent years. The emphasis one hears these days has to do almost solely with liberty, which of course is vital. But there is also the trap of hyper-individualism. What’s missing, I think, is an appropriate appreciation–or at least a public appreciation–for community, social solidarity, and the common good; for the obligations and attachments we have to each other and the role institutions play in forming those attachments.
It’s not exactly clear to me why conservatives have neglected these matters. It may be the result of a counter-reaction to President Obama’s expansion of the size, scope, and reach of the federal government, combined with a growing libertarian impulse within conservatism. Whatever the explanation, conservatives are making an error–a political error, a philosophical error, a human error–in ignoring (at least in our public language) this understanding of the richness and fullness of life.
Conservatism has never been simply about being left alone. It is not exclusively about self-reliance, individual drive and “rugged individualism,” as important as these things are. We need to be careful about portraying life in a constricted way, since our characters and personalities and sensibilities are shaped by so many other factors and forces and people all along the way.
Oh, poor strawmen! Cut down and burned in your prime!
At no point does Wehner ever point to any conservative who claims to “live in isolation”. He never mentions anyone who denies the Burkian idea of “a continuum” (an idea much in the news with conservatives defending that very concept against Keynes’s famous, some might say infamous, quote that “in the long run we are all dead”.)
Wehner never points to any examples of conservatives retreating from the community. Does he think conservatives are eschewing participation in churches or other religious communities? Have they stopped participating in their children’s schools, Little Leagues, or Scouting programs? Have conservatives abandoned volunteer groups or charities? Are there no conservatives who serve as volunteer firefighters? Or on the local school board?
We are never told by Wehner how conservatives actually have demonstrated a lack of “an appropriate appreciation” for the “common good”. It is simply asserted.
There is one hint as to what Wehner maybe referring to. He speaks of, “the role institutions play in forming those attachments”. Whener never identifies what “institutions” he is taking about but having already identified a number of communal “institutions” I think conservatives are very much attached to, I’d say it’s fair to infer the institution that dare not speak its name is “government”.
If Wehner thinks conservatives are insufficiently appreciative and supportive of government he should be willing to say that. It’s a debate worth having, and in other articles he has made an explicit call for a bolder, more pro-government form of conservatism. But he should be willing to lay his cards out on the table to support that argument and not cast vague assertions that conservatives as a whole have removed themselves from society and attempts to improve the common good.
Conservatives are very much involved in Burke’s “little platoons”. On the whole however we are not interested in signing up for a crusading army of government mandated and funded “obligations and attachments”. To conflate the two is the kind of cheap rhetoric one would expect from the statists.
(Thanks to Nathan Wurtzel for pointing out I spelled Wehner incorrectly throughout the post. I apologize for the mistake.)
I’m not big on most of the theories I’ve seen on how the US military could have intervened in Benghazi but testimony by Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks that a 4 man SOF was told to stand-down and not go to Benghazi is an issue worth exploring.
Here’s what the Defense Department said about Hicks’ charge.
The Pentagon, which has not previously acknowledged the debate over where the four-man team would be most valuable, defended on Wednesday the decision to keep them in the capital.
“We continue to believe there was nothing this team could have done to assist during the second attack in Benghazi,” Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters. Little noted there were also concerns about the security of American officials in the Libyan capital.
According to Hicks the team was set to leave on the second Libyan government C-130 to bolster the defense forces at the airport (the folks in Benghazi had been in combat on and off for hours by that point) and to render medical aid (one of the SOF operators was the team’s medic).
Now, let’s not pretend this was a massive reaction force. It was four guys, one of whom had a broken foot. But they were fresh guns for a potential new fight and would have been able to take some of the pressure off the people who had been running ragged all night.
But that’s not what Little claims. He says they couldn’t have helped in the second attack at the CIA annex in Benghazi where two men were killed in a mortar attack. No one is claiming that they could have helped since we know that second C-130 landed after the mortar attack at the annex.
Why weren’t they allowed to go and help with security for the evacuation or in case a third attack occurred?
The idea they were told to say behind in Tripoli to defend against possible attacks there may turn out to make sense. Yes, the officer in charge of that detachment was upset about not being able to go to the sound of the guns but sometimes other people have a bigger picture and can make a different call.
Today’s hearing is raising as many questions at it is answering. We need to know who gave that order and why. That will certainly be something for the House Armed Services Committee to look into with then AfricaCom commander Ham and the head of the detail, Lt Col Gibson.
While we wait for these and other answers, let’s not overstate what those 4 soldiers could have done.
There’s a lot of back and forth over Mark Sanford’s comeback in South Carolina politics. Liberals are laughing at conservatives over their situation outrage over marital infidelity, while conservatives are pushing back by saying for better or worse this is the culture we have (one I would add liberals usually embrace).
All very interesting but irrelevant.
The fact is Mark Sanford was found to have misused public money for private purposes and paid the largest fine in state history as a result of his corruption. He was also censured by the Republican controlled South Carolina legislature for “dereliction of duty” for disappearing for days while he visited his girlfriend and having his publicly paid for staff lie to the public about it.
Talk all you want about Sanford’s personal failings but the problem is far too many Republicans are celebrating the return to public office of a disgraced man who has no business ever again holding a position of public trust.
A free bit of advice to my conservative friends who are ok with Sanford’s return to the House….you should probably lay off complaining about Democrats who abuse their office (like Charlie Rangel or Barack Obama) for awhile.
This article takes a novel approach to identifying necessary civil liberties protections by analyzing U.S. cyberoperations under the Third Amendment. Three types of cyberoperations implicate Third Amendment interests: malware designed to disrupt industrial control systems, cyberespionage tools, and active defense (or “hack-back”) systems. All of these may affect innocent civilian systems, and the Third Amendment prohibits military intrusion into civilian spaces absent consent or legal authorization by Congress
I couldn’t read the full article because I don’t have access to the database the paper is stored on but his summary alone is eye-roll worthy.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
A militarized computer virus isn’t a “soldier” and that’s all the 3rd Amendment gets to. Now there very well maybe some 4th and or 5th Amendment implications depending on what the virus does but the idea that a computer program landing on your computer is a “soldier” is the product of a lawyer’s over active imagination.
Yes, this is kind of funny because the 3rd Amendment hasn’t been an issue in this country since, oh, the American Revolution but today’s crackpot legal theories have a nasty habit of becoming tomorrow’s Supreme Court decision. Best to kill them early.
Thankfully despite this guy’s best efforts, the 3rd remains the Constitution’s redheaded stepchild.
Just chalk this up to another victory for America’s most successful civil rights group in history.