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Tweets Of The Day-#SequesterMovieLines Edition

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Twitter is erupting with conservatives celebrating the arrival of Sequester Doomsday with a variety of hashtags tonight. This one was rather amusing.

I must now go fire some teachers…

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Sign Of Sequester Doom: I Agree With A Political Post At The Atlantic

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

The headline (nothing to do with sequestration, by the way):

5 False Assumptions Political Pundits Make All the Time

This is a very good piece and I agree with four of the five. The only one I don’t is Number 3-I think “independent” voters are partisan and I’m basing that on many years of political involvement. There has been a distinct preference for one party over the other shown in the voting habits of virtually every “independent” I’ve encountered.

Number 1 was what kept me reading:

1) The electorate is not “polarizing.” It’s “sorting.”

An electorate is “polarized” if voters are increasingly drawn to extremes — the right getting more conservative, the left getting more liberal, and moderates dwindling. An electorate is “sorted” if voters are increasingly settled into ideological camps, that is, conservatives are almost all Republicans, liberals almost all Democrats.

Pundits talk all the time about “polarization,” but it’s not happening. As Fiorina points out, the percentage of Americans who call themselves “moderate” is the same as it was in the 1970s (the American National Election Studies survey has put it at between 20 and 30 percent since 1972). Nor are we more divided when it comes to issues. In the words of a 2012 Pew study, “The way that the public thinks about poverty, opportunity, business, unions, religion, civic duty, foreign affairs, and many other subjects is, to a large extent, the same today as in 1987. The values that unified Americans 25 years ago remain areas of consensus today, while the values that evenly divide the nation remain split.” The commonplace idea that Americans today are irrevocably divided into politically extreme camps just isn’t the case.

What has happened to the American electorate in recent decades is sorting. A few decades ago, there were thriving factions of conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans, among both voters and their elected representatives; that is to say, the parties themselves were internally diverse. Nowadays, however, ideological consistency is the rule. This is the real reason behind many phenomena commonly, and incorrectly, attributed to “polarization,” Fiorina points out, such as the massive decline in ticket-splitting. Today, voters are likely to find that all the candidates who agree with their views belong to the same party, whereas in the 1970s, many House and Senate candidates didn’t have much in common with their party’s presidential nominee. Sorting also accounts for voters’ increased party loyalty. They haven’t necessarily become more rigid — they’re just more likely to find all the candidates they support concentrated on one side of the aisle.

Of course, “sorting” doesn’t make for good cable news shouting matches, which in turn don’t make for very good political information.

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Big Sis Napolitano Regrets Timing Of Illegal Immigrant Release Announcement

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Really, that’s all?

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed Thursday that she had no part in her department’s decision to release low-risk illegal immigrant detainees as a way to deal with looming cuts to the department’s budget.

In an interview with ABC News, Napolitano claimed even she was surprised to learn about the release of the prisoners, which drew criticism from many Republican lawmakers.

“Detainee populations and how that is managed back and forth is really handled by career officials in the field,” she said.

Napolitano also conceded that the decision was poorly timed, saying she wishes people, herself included, weren’t caught by surprise by the announcement.

It should be more disturbing than it is to the American public that “I’m completely ignorant” has become an accepted and frequent excuse for the people running the country.

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Sad Greenies: Fewer Buying The Climate Commie Hysteria

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Al Gore weeps.

Public concern about environmental issues including climate change has slumped to a 20-year low since the financial crisis, a global study reveals.

Fewer people now consider issues such as CO2 emissions, air and water pollution, animal species loss, and water shortages to be “very serious” than at any time in the last two decades, according to the poll of 22,812 people in 22 countries including Britain and the US.

Despite years of studies showing the impact of global warming on the planet, only 49 per cent of people now consider climate change a very serious issue – far fewer than at the beginning of the worldwide financial crisis in 2009.

Perhaps it’s because so many of the people behind the studies have been exposed to be hype-masters in recent years. Or maybe because the six zillion devastating hurricanes that we were told would ABSOLUTELY HAPPEN every year after Katrina never did. What they’re really upset about is that the very people they’ve been preying upon for so many years have noticed a complete absence of polar bears floating by their front doors and aren’t throwing themselves into fits of hysteria on command anymore. Unlike the snake-oil salesman of old, they can’t just pick up and move to a new town to find a new collection of rubes.

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Maxine Waters Predicts Sequestration Will Cost Us More Jobs Than We Actually Have

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Here comes the hysterical moonbat brigade to provide some comic relief.

Yesterday we did have Mr. Bernanke in our committee and he came to tell us what he’s doing with quantitative easing and that is trying to stimulate the economy with the bond purchases that he’s been doing because he’s trying to keep the interest rates low and jobs – and he said that if sequestration takes place, that’s going to be a great setback. We don’t need to be having something like sequestration that’s going to cause these jobs losses, over 170 million jobs that could be lost – and so he made it very clear he’s not opposed to cuts but cuts must be done over a long period of time and in a very planned way rather than this blunt cutting that will be done by sequestration.

And so forth.

Waters predicted a possible 170 million jobs would be lost. There are currently about 143 million Americans in the workforce.

Waters eventually corrected herself, saying that 750,000 jobs could be lost. Where she got either number remains a mystery, since the sequester only cuts $22 billion from the rate of growth of government spending this year.

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Holder has No Respect for House Members Who Found Him in Contempt

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Attorney General Eric Holder’s dismissive reaction to last year’s congressional contempt citation over Operation Fast and Furious is a textbook example of why Washington is so dysfunctional.

“It’s something that I think was unfortunate. I think it’s a result of this kind of partisan sport that I think we engage in here in Washington far too often,” Holder told ABC News of the House vote, in which 17 Democrats joined Republicans to hold the AG in contempt.

“But I have to tell you that for me to really be affected by what happened, I’d have to have respect for the people who voted in that way,” Holder said. “And I didn’t, so it didn’t have that huge an impact on me.”

Holder was accused of obscuring facts in the gunwalking scandal and withholding requested documents from Issa’s committee.

“Attorney General Holder’s admission that he does not respect the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who voted to hold him in contempt offers a window into why Washington is so dysfunctional,” said Issa. “President Obama once campaigned as someone who wanted to bring America together but instead appointed divisive and highly partisan figures like Attorney General Holder who are arrogantly dismissive of those who question them and demand transparency.”

“Finding out why the Justice Department made false denials about Operation Fast and Furious, and only corrected the record after ten months of public pressure, is a legitimate exercise of congressional authority.The Attorney General clearly believes he is above the law and is not accountable to the duly elected representatives of the American people or the institutions of our democracy.”

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Why Bob Woodward Must Now Be Destroyed

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Ace sums up the three reasons that the medialeft, and in particular the BuzzFeed, Talking Points Memo and Media Matters JournoList mafia, are now doing everything they can to tear down Bob Woodward.

There are several lies Woodward has exposed:

1. Obama, despite the media blitz to blame the GOP, actually conceived of and proposed the sequester.

2. Obama, despite now claiming that tax increases must be part of the deal to avoid the sequester, agreed last year that only spending cuts would constitute the plan to avoid the sequester. Thus, he’s “moved goalposts” yet again.

3. Obama does not in fact have to release illegal aliens or cancel ship deployments due to the sequester — he’s doing these things by choice, for political purposes.

In sum, President Obama’s administration is going out of its way to hurt the American people, so that he can achieve his goal of destroying the Republican Party en route to obtaining total power in the mid-terms next year. That’s his goal, the sequester was part of his plan, and Bob Woodward had to go and report the facts. Can’t have that.

Those who are trying to kill off Woodward are doing this in part to protect a president they support to the point of living by the unstated creed Obama uber alles, and they’re doing this in part as a warning to other reporters. You’ve seen what we do to Fox. You’ve seen what we’re doing to Woodward. You don’t want to be next.

It’s instructive to watch who is stepping forward to identify with Woodward, and who is doing everything they can to destroy him, to distract from what’s going on, or otherwise run interference on this story. The former are all liberals like Lanny Davis, and they appear to have a conscience and don’t like what they’re seeing out of the administration. The latter have shown themselves to be shills, and they are never to be trusted again.

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Obama Meets with GOP Leaders for Seven Minutes

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

In America, this isn’t what we usually mean by “Minute Man.”

Never let it be said that President Obama has failed to spend time with Republican leaders in seeking an alternative to automatic budget cuts that are due to hit most federal departments Friday. On Wednesday, for example, the president gave GOP lawmakers as much as seven minutes, a rare face-to-face encounter that the White House described as a “meeting.”

The White House’s characterization of this momentary huddle at the Capitol as a meeting illuminates Mr. Obama’s strategy in dealing with Republicans on the budget cuts and other fiscal deadlines.

John Boehner reportedly feels “unsatisfied.”

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NBC’s Chuck Todd: Woodward is Now the ‘Spokesman for the Republicans’

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

The leftwing media’s knives are for Bob Woodward, and by leftwing, I mean the Media Matters-NBC nexus. Today, Chuck Todd went as far as to dub Bob Woodward the “spokesman for the Republicans” because he reported that Obama’s White House had suggested the sequester.

CHUCK TODD: Speaking of the blame game, another example of how the sequester fight has been reduced to rhetoric and posturing. The central argument over the weekend was over what a political reporter, The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, wrote on Friday night. Woodward, who wrote a book about the 2011 debt ceiling standoff, argued in an op-ed that the sequester was the White House’s idea…

So if you’re in charge of Speaker Boehner’s or Senator McConnell’s press shop, Woodward is a storyline you couldn’t of crafted better yourself right now. Republicans this weekend were almost giddy over the giant gift they were handed in Woodward…

Woodward became the spokesperson for the Republicans over the weekend. (Daily Rundown, February 25, 2013)

Amazing. I suppose the White House can’t be accused of “bullying” media figures who apparently enjoy getting roughed up a bit.

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‘A Nasty, Brutish, Imperial Presidency’

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s always refreshing to read the take of foreign journalists, who aren’t collared and leashed by this White House. Writes Neil Gardiner:

The threats being dished out to Woodward, Davis and others are extremely disturbing in a free society, and are a reflection of an imperial presidency that acts with impunity and is highly intolerant of dissent. The heavy-arm tactics that Obama’s team have deployed for years against conservatives are now being increasingly implemented as well against liberals questioning the president’s record.

Leading US political analyst Michael Barone predicted all this in a piece for National Review Online back in October 2008, when he wrote about “The Coming Obama Thugocracy.” It is an article that is strikingly accurate in its predictions.

President Obama is driven by the fear of being exposed for the petulant, small man that he really is. He strikes me as the kind of guy who spends hours a day poring over any and all hype about him to make a list of who is and isn’t staying in line. If he were a community theater actor, he’d be the dude who wrote letters (Google it) to every neighborhood weekly that gave him a bad review.

And in a sane world, he would be getting nothing but bad reviews.

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[VIDEO] WH Spox Jay Carney Scolds Press to do Some ‘Old Fashioned Reporting’

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

A good press secretary never does what Jay Carney did today. Facing questions about the Obama White House’s attempt to threaten reporters including Bob Woodward, Carney defended the White House’s point of view to the hilt. Later in the presser, Carney chided reporters on their ability to do their jobs. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said yesterday that the sequester cuts would force schools to lay teachers off. That claim turned out to be completely false. Reporters today asked Carney about Duncan’s claim, and he told them to go call local school districts and do some “old fashioned” reporting.

Reporting like Bob Woodward has been doing…

Carney also came under fire from Fox’s Ed Henry. Carney claimed that the Obama White House has always been “respectful” of reporters, but last night, Obama ally David Plouffe launched an ageist attack on the 69-year-old Woodward. Other reporters have since come forward to say that the Obama White House has threatened them.

So far, no one at the Obama White House has been fired or even disciplined for their behavior.

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Here’s to Austerity: Last Day Until Sequestration

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Matt Vespa

Well, here’s to “austerity.”  Although, I wish the cuts to government spending were significant. The CBO reported that the actual sequestration cuts amount to about $44 billion dollars, which is 1-2% of total federal spending.  It’s a drop in the bucket.  However, according to President Obama, these cuts will layoff teachers, cause planes to fall from the sky, and “set back medical science for a generation.”  So, what equates to a rounding error in budgeting analysis spells certain doom for America’s economic health?

Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute wrote on February 25 that these cuts are good.

The Cato Institute describes why most of these cuts are a good thing on their own merits as well (and not just for the macroeconomic reasons we gave). For example:

Cato’s Neal McCluskey explains why Obama’s State of the Union proposal to expand taxpayer-funded pre-Kindergarten programs makes no sense, because neither Head Start nor Early Head Start works. (Some liberals say Head Start doesn’t work because it doesn’t start early enough, but Early Head Start, which starts earlier, doesn’t work either.)  Head Start has already wasted $180 billion, and Obama has increased spending on it, but it has no effect on students’ long-term achievement at all. So any cuts in Head Start due to the sequestration are long overdue.

Earlier spending cuts helped the economy. The U.S. experienced an “economic boom” after government spending was slashed in 1946, and Canada’s economy grew after it slashed government spending in the 1990s. Congress needs to cut skyrocketing welfare spending,eliminateagriculturalsubsidiesandreducewastefuleducation spending. It also can cut military spending significantlywithout harming national security.

Bader added that “It is proliferating regulations, not budget cuts, that threaten our economy…the Dodd-Frank Act has also wiped out jobs and driven other jobs overseas. Costly, harmful new employment rules have been imposed on American manufacturers. Democratic businessman Steve Wynn called Obama ’the greatest wet blanket to business and progress and job creation in my lifetime.”

Nick Gillespie also noted for Reason.TV that some of the cuts highlighted are for nonexistent programs, like the National Drug Intelligence Center, which – hypothetically – was set to see $2 million cut from of its $20 million dollar budget.  The problem is that the Center was closed in June of 2012.

As George Will aptly mentioned, amongst other things, on ABC’s This Week last Sunday, the spending cuts in sequestration represent half of what was spent to bailout AIG, and to say that this is a “meat cleaver approach” to the economy is laughable.

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MSM Gathers the Wagons ‘Round the White House

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

In what is a truly bit of inspired public service, Breitbart’s John Nolte is keeping a (growing and updating) list of journalists busy covering for the White House, and against Bob Woodward.

You might be surprised at some of the names, including…

…oh, who am I kidding? You could probably pick out half of them without even looking.

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Even Dumb Americans are Smart Enough to Distrust the News

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Roughly speaking, about two-fifths of American voters consider themselves to be conservative or libertarian. Another two-fifths or so describe themselves as moderate. The remaining fifth tell pollsters they’re liberal, progressive, or “immune to facts, reasoning, or experience.”

OK, I’m kidding about that last part. Especially after reading the latest from Rasmussen:

Fifty-six percent (56%) of all voters regard the news reported by the media as at least somewhat trustworthy, but that includes just six percent who think it is Very Trustworthy. Forty-two percent (42%) don’t trust the news media, with 12% who believe the news it reports is Not At All Trustworthy.

So even with an in-the-tank Mainstream Media hootin’ and a-hollerin’ for the progressive cause, no more than six percent — six percent! — of Americans think the media is “very trustworthy.”

We have a problem here. Congress and the MSM are two of the institutions Americans should rely on most. The former, to represent our interests in Washington. The latter, to make damn sure the former is honest about it. And yet Americans trust them both less than they trust dark alleys, gremlins fed after midnight, or Morning Zoo disc jockeys.

The bad news is, we have terrible institutions. The good news is, Americans — even a majority of vile progs — seem to recognize the fact. The undetermined news is, So what are we going to do about it?

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‘David Plouffe is an Ass’: American Seniors Advocates Slam WH Ageism

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by David Steinberg

(Also see: WH Attacks Bob Woodward with … Ageism. Are These Dems Too Old for Obama, Too?)

Moments ago, American Seniors Advocates President Randy Lewis responded to PJ Media via phone regarding the White House’s not-so-subtle attack on Bob Woodward’s age:

David Plouffe is an ass. No one is ever too old to contribute to the national dialogue. And Bob Woodward and his distinguished career deserves more respect from someone with so little professional achievement.

If unfamiliar with ASA, they are allied with the American Seniors Association. From their website:

Welcome to the new choice and the new voice for America’s seniors. American Seniors Association is the fastest growing seniors’ advocacy in the nation and an emerging conservative voice on the national issues that impact seniors.

At American Seniors, we believe that America’s seniors deserve respect, admiration and support for the contributions they made throughout their lives building families and the enhancing the quality of American life.

We believe that you deserve choices when selecting who best represents your interests in Washington, D.C.; and we believe you deserve choices when selecting benefits that help you live a healthier and wealthier life.

We also believe that our members are individuals. That is why our benefits are structured to allow you to make choices based on your individual needs.

If you believe in individual liberty and the importance of having choices in your life, then you are an “American Senior.”

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America Votes Confesses to Drafting Evisceration Memo Linked To Blueprint NC

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Matt Vespa

As North Carolina Republicans called for an investigation of Blueprint NC for violating its 501 (c)(3) status with a memo calling to cripple the conservative leadership in the state, the progressive America Votes organization has confessed to drafting it.  Mark Binker of WRAL.com wrote yesterday that:

…Jessica Laurenz, state director for America Votes, said she drafted the memo.

“I wrote the draft memo in my capacity as the coordinator of progressive 501c4 organizations,” Laurenz said via email. “No legal violations have occurred, and Republican strategists are correct when they say there is nothing surprising in the document. Many people strongly disagree with Governor McCrory’s vision for the state of North Carolina and will aggressively fight it. That is hardly breaking news.”

Laurenz’s statement is unlikely to change Republican minds about the memo. Republican operatives are reveling in the negative attention focused on a liberal-leaning nonprofit network, saying that conservative groups linked to the JW Pope Foundation have been unfairly targeted for years.

“Blueprint NC continues to be the victim of a disinformation campaign by political operatives seeking to silence our free-speech rights around important issues facing North Carolina,” Blueprint Executive Director Sean Kosofsky said this weekend. Earlier this week, Americans for Prosperity, a conservative nonprofit, called for all groups associated with Blueprint NC to be cut off from state funding.

“It’s not who authored it,” said Dallas Woodhouse, state director for AFP. “What Blueprint is trying to do is have plausible deniability.” Even if Blueprint didn’t author the memo, he said, it still created the forum for it to be distributed. And groups that are among Blueprint’s partners, he said, receive taxpayer money.

 

Laurenz is a veteran operative in the ranks of the far left.

Prior to joining America Votes, Jessica was the Director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems, where she ran political, policy and field programs in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.  For most of her career, she has concentrated on advancing women’s rights in southern states, having alsoworked for the Feminist Majority Foundation as the Southeastern Campus Organizer and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia as the Deputy Director.

According to America Vote’s mission statement:

America Votes has built a permanent advocacy and campaign infrastructure that provides coordination, data and targeting services to progressive organizations; pursues electoral reforms that expand voting rights across the country; advances progressive policies through state and local ballot initiatives; and works to ensure fair state redistricting processes that advance progressive policies and protect voting rights.

America Votes’ strong progressive infrastructure will support our coalition partners’ advocacy efforts and facilitate the coordination of voter outreach.

Their list of partners include the AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Progressive Majority, Human Rights Campaign, and the SEIU.  So, given that Blueprints list of clients – and their mission statement– these groups are a match made in heaven, as my mother would say.  No wonder why Blueprint took a copy of the memo.

NewsObserver.com, which is based in Raleigh, added that:

In an interview, Laurenz defended the memo saying “America Votes has not done anything wrong or out of the ordinary” and didn’t regret “strongly urging my colleagues to fight for what we believe in.”

[...]

Laurenz emphasized that America Votes and Blueprint are separate groups. But she said that they work together at times to help coordinate efforts among like-minded groups, such as environmental, civil rights, womens and labor union organizations.

“It is grossly unfair to say the memo is reflective of the good work that the other groups do,” she said. “That would be a shame.”

In a statement, Blueprint’s Executive Director Sean Kosofsky confirmed that the document was authored by America Votes. Kosofsky has denied for days any connection to the plan, previously saying the group is “the victim of a deliberate disinformation campaign by political operatives.”

The memo originated from a meeting America Votes and Blueprint held in December in which interest groups aligned with Democratic politics brainstormed a strategy to counter the Republican control of the lawmaking process.

Kosofsky said he attended the December meeting but “only 501(c)3 compliant activities were discussed.”

The strategies outlined in the America Votes memo included efforts to “eviscerate the leadership,” pressure the governor at public events and hire private investigators to uncover negative information about the GOP leaders, including House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger.

Laurenz said she distributed the memo at the gathering but the organizations present did not endorse it.

“It was put out there as a jumping off point for discussion,” she said. “We had a lot of conversations on how to proceed in this new environment but I wouldn’t say we came out of the meeting with a plan.” Laurenz said her group had no intention of hiring private investigators.

Well, it’s the only rational course of action when your secret memo gets leaked.  Also, Gov. Pat McCrory has been in office for only six weeks, and this attempt to smear him early in his first term only shows how high the stakes are in this war with the progressive left.
Lastly, while Binker has been reporting on this development, it should always be mentioned, as the conservative Civitas Institute noted, that the Goodmon family, which owns WRAL, has connections to Blueprint.

WRAL left out important information about its long-running connection to Blueprint and to many of the organizations which comprise the Blueprint NC network. In a quick blog post last week I explained there was a deep and long connection between the Goodmon family-controlled Capitol Broadcasting and Blueprint NC and other activist liberal groups. WRAL is only one part of a media conglomerate. Capitol owns TV stations, radio stations and new media companies across North Carolina, plus other properties.

Also, the Goodmon family has four family members on the nine-member board of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. According to the group’s web site, this includes Barbara Goodmon, the President; Jim Goodmon, the Chairman of the Board; and two Goodmon sons. The Executive Director of the Fletcher Foundation was formerly the head of the NC Center for Voter Education, which was an original Blueprint NC member. While the exact amount is hard to determine, the Fletcher Foundation has directly funded Blueprint NC and has given at least $1.7 million to Blueprint and other affiliated groups.

 

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The Dam Breaks: National Journal’s Ron Fournier Says the Obama White House Threatened Him Too

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Democrat defenses against accusations that the Obama White House has threatened Bob Woodward have come in a few forms. One, Woodward is old, doesn’t know what he’s talking about and should retire. Or two, it’s just Obama’s staff making the threats, not the president himself.

The first defense is childish and ageist. The second is laughable.

The staff who are accused of threatening Woodward and now Lanny Davis and others work for the president. These staff have evidently been threatening and cowing journalists for years. They operate as they do because they have reason to believe that their actions fall in line with the president’s wishes. If the president did not sanction such behavior, his staff would not engage in it. If he fires no one after these revelations, he implies approval in front of the whole nation.

Another reporter has come forward today, claiming that he too has received “you’ll regret this” threats similar to the one Gene Sperling issued to Woodward. Ron Fournier of the National Journal says it happened to him, too.

I had angered the White House, particularly a senior White House official who I am unable to identify because I promised the person anonymity. Going back to my first political beat, covering Bill Clinton’s administration in Arkansas and later in Washington, I’ve had a practice that is fairly common in journalism: A handful of sources I deal with regularly are granted blanket anonymity. Any time we communicate, they know I am prepared to report the information at will (matters of fact, not spin or opinion) and that I will not attribute it to them.

This is an important way to build a transparent and productive relationship between reporters and the people they cover. Nothing chills a conversation faster than saying, “I’m quoting you on this.”

The official angered by my Woodward tweet sent me an indignant e-mail. “What’s next, a Nazi analogy?” the official wrote, chastising me for spreading “bull**** like that” I was not offended by the note, mild in comparison to past exchanges with this official. But it was the last straw in a relationship that had deteriorated.

As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Woodward called a veiled threat. “You will regret staking out that claim,” The Washington Post reporter was told.

Once I moved back to daily reporting this year, the badgering intensified. I wrote Saturday night, asking the official to stop e-mailing me. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. “Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron,” the official wrote.

I wrote back:

“I asked you to stop e-mailing me. All future e-mails from you will be on the record — publishable at my discretion and directly attributed to you. My cell-phone number is … . If you should decide you have anything constructive to share, you can try to reach me by phone. All of our conversations will also be on the record, publishable at my discretion and directly attributed to you.”

I haven’t heard back from the official. It was a step not taken lightly because the note essentially ended our working relationship.

Bob Woodward, Lanny Davis, USA Today, National Journal. We have a trend here, both in the threats and now the threatened coming forward.

 

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Brussels Bricks Bankers’ Bonkers Bonuses

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Stephen Green

Or something like that:

Bankers in Europe face a cap on bonuses as early as next year, following agreement in Brussels on Thursday to introduce what would be the world’s strictest pay curbs, in a move politicians hope will address public anger at financial-sector greed.

It might be — just might be — the public hates banks and bankers because we all know they’re all Too Big To Fail. The bonuses are bad enough, but the real problem is it will be pretty much the same wired-in bankers controlling the same wired-in banks, while giving and getting mutual back-scratches from the same wired-in politicians.

If the bankers have to have their bonuses capped? That’s a small price to pay for being the “private”-sector half of the soft fascism ruling Europe these days.

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[AUDIO] Lanny Davis Says the Obama White House Threatened His Newspaper

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

The Washington Times runs former Bill Clinton aide Lanny Davis’ column. On WMAL radio this morning, Davis accused the Obama White House of making phone calls to the Times, threatening to withhold access over Davis’ columns. Davis, an Obama supporter, says he found the White House’s behavior disturbing. He also says that the treatment he received is similar to that the White House is meting out to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward over his reporting on the sequestration.

Here is the full raw audio of Davis’ interview on WMAL.

YouTube Preview Image

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New Photo Caption Contest – White House Threatens Woodward: ‘You Will Regret Doing This’

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Myra Adams

The subjects of our latest Photo Caption Contest appear today on the Drudge Report with this caption/headline:

 WHITE HOUSE THREATENS WOODWARD: ‘YOU WILL REGRET DOING THIS’…

Once again, I am counting on Tatler fans to write alternative caption/headlines capturing the essence of the Bob Woodward/Obama Administration dust-up that currently has the chattering class all atwitter.

However, the irony is just too priceless to go unnoticed. Back in 1972, young Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein rose to fame helping to bring down a “corrupt” president by the name of Nixon, whose administration was known for intimidating journalists.  This famous quote by then Attorney General John Mitchell to Carl Bernstein about his Post publisher Katharine Graham nicely sums up the tension:

All that crap, you’re putting it in the paper? It’s all been denied. Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published.

Now fast forward to 2013.

Here we have Bob Woodward, a famous author and still a Washington Post Associate Editor of a newspaper that outright admitted in its pages on November 7, 2008, the Sunday after the November election that its coverage “tilted toward” electing then Senator Obama (and again more subtly in 2012) now complaining to the media about being intimated by the Obama Administration for disagreeing with them about the origination of the sequester concept.

But, as Christian Adams write today in his PJM piece entitled All the President’s Thugs:

Richard Nixon seems like a fluffy kitten compared to this crowd.

Which brings us back to you, Mr. Woodward. What’s happened when you, of all people, are the bad guy?

OK, enough history and editorializing, let’s get back to the contest at hand.

You know the rules, be nice and stay classy because the media is watching and here are the winners from the last contest who did that so well.

Have fun, but don’t be too snarky or you’ll land on Obama’s enemies list.

 

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From the ‘Most Transparent Administration in History’ to Threatening and Attacking Bob Woodward

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

In 2008, Barack Obama promised to have the most transparent government in U.S. history. In 2010, he claimed to have made good on that promise.

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In the 2012 presidential debates, Obama claimed that the sequester, which will kick in March 1 if no deal between the White House and Congress can be reached today, was not something that he proposed.

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Veteran reporter Bob Woodward exposed Obama’s tall tale about the sequester. It was something that his White House had proposed, and the president himself had signed off on.

Now Woodward finds himself under attack from the “most transparent administration in history.” Woodward has been a Washington reporter for more than 40 years. He knows a story when he sees one, and he knows a threat when he hears one. When Obama aide Gene Sperling first yelled at Woodward over his sequestration reporting, and then sent him an email saying Woodward would “regret” challenging the White House’s point of view, Woodward understood its implications. Because he knew the facts were on his side. The only way he would “regret” reporting the facts would be if the White House took action to make him regret it, by discrediting him.

The attacks on Woodward quickly became personal. Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert fired the first flare, suggesting on Twitter that Woodward should retire. Others on the left piled on, and the attack reached a crescendo last night when David Plouffe, Obama’s former senior adviser and still a strong ally of the president, tweeted this.

 

Plouffe’s ageist attack on Woodward, who at 69 is still one of the most dominant reporters in Washington, shocked some Beltway veterans.

 

The Obama White House denies that any of this — Sperling’s yelling and his email, Plouffe’s swipe at Woodward’s age — constitutes a threat. The Obama White House has reduced itself to arguing over the meaning of the word “regret.”

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Ana Marie Cox Thinks Breitbart And His ‘Minions’ Are Bad Bad People

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Matt Vespa

Ana Marie Cox of the Guardian isn’t on our team. That’s fine.  However, to label us the “jackass” wing of journalism only demonstrates the left’s inability to hold their own side accountable. She seems to feel that all of the criticism she outlines in her piece about conservative media are absent on the left.  This Friday will mark the one year anniversary of Andrew Breitbart’s passing, and it seems Cox is frustrated, angry, and perhaps threatened by the legacy he left behind.

Let’s just get this out of the way right up front: Ana Marie Cox built her career on blogging jokes about anal sex at the reprehensible guttersnipe site Wonkette. She presented herself as a rambunctious youngster, but it turned out she was already pushing 30 and just naturally behaves like a annoying, hyperactive juvenile. Both Time and later the Guardian hired her in full knowledge of this colorful journalistic career.

Now that we’ve established Cox’s bona fides as a scribe and scholar…

First, there is no such thing as being “mean” in media. As Breitbart famously said, “truth isn’t mean. It’s the truth,” and sadly that characteristic fails miserably with left-wing journalists.  It’s not mean to point out that Ana Marie Cox built her career on blogging anal sex jokes. It’s just the truth. It’s not mean to point out that Rachel Maddow seems content with airing edited video in order to smear Sen. John McCain’s remarks about gun control.   Good Morning America edited First Lady Michelle Obama’s inaccurate statement about the tragic death of Hadiya Pendleton in Chicago because of time constraints.  It was censorship.

Mrs. Obama claimed, “And she was caught in the line of fire because some kids had some automatic weapons they didn’t need.” This quote appeared online, but not on the February 26 interview with Robin Roberts.

[...]

However, when the interview aired on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, viewers heard the first lady said this:

“She was absolutely right. She did everything she was supposed to do. She was standing in a park, with her friends, in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids grew up, where our house is. And she was caught in the line of fire. I just don’t want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first.”

ABC edited the response visually by using a cutaway in the middle of the answer of Ms. Roberts listening.

Cox wrote that the right-leaning media outlets have an MO that seeks to

 be outrageous, scurrilous and completely unfair. And then, when you get a rise, just shrug and say: “What’s your problem: can’t take a joke?”

But for something to be humor, it has to be funny. And as comedy goes, the Free Beacon’s jokes have all the subtlety of Jackass. The only difference is that instead of creating dubious hilarity at the spectacle of their self-inflicted pain, they’re using equally ridiculous stunts to laugh at yours. Clinically speaking, we call people with that attitude “sociopaths”, but in the political realm, [Michael] Goldfarb’s [founder of the Washington Free Beacon] punchlines – emphasis on punch! – are just the latest iteration of a burgeoning style of discourse whose practitioners have become influential enough to deserve their own designation.

So, editing video to smear – or convey a false narrative – is fair and accurate, Ms. Cox?  To smear James O’Keefe as a racist, who you also criticize in your column, without proof isn’t scurrilous? By the way, Salon.com, who published the piece from left-wing journalist Max Blumenthal, printed a correction stating:

The Feb. 3 “James O’Keefe’s Race Problem” reported that O’Keefe, the conservative activist arrested on charges he plotted to tamper with Sen. Mary Landrieu’s phone lines, helped plan a conference on “Race and Conservatism” that featured white nationalist Jared Taylor. The freelance photographer who attended the event, and snapped O’Keefe’s photo there, now says the right-wing provocateur helped out at the conference, but cannot confirm that he helped plan it. The story has been corrected.

The article also said that O’Keefe was terminated by the right-wing Leadership Institute in 2008, after videos were released of O’Keefe calling Planned Parenthood and offering to donate money to abort black babies. He was let go in 2007. Leadership Institute co-founder Morton Blackwell told the New York Times O’Keefe “wanted to do sting operations that would affect legislation; he made some calls which have been covered in the news media to Planned Parenthood. That was beyond the scope of what we had hired him to do. We are an educational organization. We are not an activist organization.” Blackwell says he told O’Keefe to choose between his job and his activism, “and he said he was committed to the activism,” according to the Times. The date of O’Keefe’s termination has been corrected, and Blackwell’s explanation has been added to the story.

Cox also slams O’Keefe for using “highly selective cuts,” which is the seat of irony.  Besides the examples I listed above, MSNBC was caught editing the recorded testimony of Neil Heslin, whose son was a victim of the Sandy Hook tragedy, on Capitol Hill.  Contrary to what the media reported, he wasn’t heckled during his testimony.

MSNBC has a history of editing video to slam conservatives. In 2009, MSNBC edited out a black man carrying an AR-15 rifle in order to engage in racial commentary about the Tea Party. In 2012, they edited out Mitt Romney’s comments about the perils of too much regulation in business, and cut to him discussing the checkout process at the WaWa Deli in order to portray him as out of touch. Lastly, let’s not forget how NBC edited George Zimmerman’s 911 call to make him sound racist.

However, Cox’s conclusion to her piece that left me aghast.

…the perversity of this post-Ann Coulter generation is that they believe the world is run by nerdy liberal elitists , that their antics are a righteous rebellion instead of an attempt to assert the law of jungle. Perhaps it is true that liberal nerds have made great strides in governing – certainly, our president is one – but the reactionary insurgents’ anti-establishment pose, which goes along with shoving a camera in someone’s face, breaks down when you consider the actual policies advocated by the guy behind the viewfinder. Policies that, say, continue to suppress voting rights of minorities won’t make them punk rock heroes.

The only thing remotely disruptive about the material generated by the Bratbarts is its incivility. In itself, that is simply a style, not an argument or a critique. Incivility can be OK: I am a big believer in disrespecting those in power, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with being flippant – there are times when it is the only proper response to authority. As journalist and defender of the lowbrow Gilbert Seldes put it:

“Comedy is last refuge of the nonconformist mind.”

But confusing satire and hazing? Mixing up muckraking with misinformation? Revelation with subterfuge? Laughter with cruelty? Those are the tactics of would-be authoritarians, not outlaw liberators.

Of course, Cox had to boot-lick Obama towards the end.  It’s a sign of respect for the great one, which ironically comes before she professes her advocacy in disrespecting elected officials.  I’m sure she will be equally harsh on the Obama administration, which has “made great strides” in collecting names for kill lists, convincing the New York Times to withhold information about drone bases, and blowing away Americans abroad with drone strikes. The legality of which is still in dispute.

Lastly, when the liberal media went “birther” on Sen. Ted Cruz (R- Texas), isn’t that a form of hazing?  Isn’t insinuating his Canadian roots a cruel exercise in “revelation with subterfuge?”  Isn’t that “mixing up muckraking and misinformation?  Cruz happens to be a conservative sticking to his principles, and his Canadian roots are an extraneous detail since he was born to an American mother, making him eligible to run for president.  Yes, in 2016, we could possibly see a Cruz candidacy.

So, Cox thinks that we on the right sit at the “mean” table in media.  Then again, if the liberal media didn’t act like “jackasses” themselves – we wouldn’t be so angry.

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Turkish PM Calls Zionism ‘Crime Against Humanity’

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference begins Sunday in Washington, with Vice President Joe Biden speaking Monday and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking via satellite.

While the key topics among attendees are expected to be Iran’s nuclear program and opinion over the appointment of Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary, Turkey’s prime minister just earned his Islamist government in the secular republic a spot in the talking points.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was speaking at the Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum, a UN event in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace, on the rising trend of fascism across the Europe, according to Anatolia News Agency.

“Aside from countries indifferent to Muslim countries, disrespectful attitudes toward Muslims living in certain countries continue to hurt consciences,” said Erdoğan.

“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,” he said.

Erdoğan slammed “certain politicians’ defamation of a religion or a sect by mass communication tools” for deepening gaps between cultures.

The prime minister also defended the Islamist rebels who have terrorized residents of Mali by forcibly trying to impose Sharia law on towns like Timbuktu, which suffered under occupation for 10 months before liberation by French forces.

“If we evaluate the current developments in Mali as if they were based on religion, it would be a historic mistake,” Erdoğan said. “Members of different religions in Mali are not fighting against each other. There could be acts of terrorism in Mali but to define such violence as part of a religion would not be correct since no monotheistic religion encourages terrorism. Islam means ‘peace.’ We can never accept arguments that a religion of peace, Islam, encourages or approves terrorism.”

Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chairman of the Republican People’s party, warned earlier this month that Erdoğan is determined to upend the country and plunge the republic into constitutional crisis because of his lust for power.

“The prime minister is more and more authoritarian, unfortunately,” Kilicdaroglu said. “The sovereignty of fear is ubiquitous. No one can talk with ease on the telephone. Civil society is under pressure. The universities cannot express their view. The labour unions are completely silent. The media are fearful.

“There is not one single dissenting voice within his own party. The attempt to create an executive presidency is all about the concentration of power in a single hand. It will be a disaster for Turkey. It will cancel all the democratic gains Turkey has made.”

The Turkish Republicans are the next largest party in the Grand National Assembly after the Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party). Erdogan is running for president in 2014, but so far has 41 percent support in the polls with no confirmed challenger.

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No Obama Sequestration Meetings Today; Tomorrow, Another Backroom Deal-Making Session

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

Today, as the clock ticks down on sequestration, President Obama lunches with Vice President Joe Biden — with no other events on his schedule as of this posting save for the swearing-in of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Tomorrow, when sequestration has already taken effect, he’ll bring congressional leaders of both parties to the White House for a sequestration-aversion session behind closed doors.

“We look forward to meeting with President Obama to develop a balanced, bipartisan solution to avoid the unemployment and economic uncertainty caused by the indiscriminate cuts set to take effect,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“In the meantime, House Democrats will continue to seek a vote on our proposal to avert this crisis with a fair solution, similar to the Senate Democratic proposal, that cuts spending responsibly, increases revenue, and creates growth with jobs,” she added.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) expressed exasperation that the latest round of talks will be yet more deal-making lacking transparency.

“Following the New Year’s Eve ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations, Americans demanded that Washington get serious about spending. Instead, the White House is calling for yet another eleventh hour, closed door meeting just like the ones that got us into this mess. Americans are tired of backroom deals that don’t address the true problem – spending – and they are ready for tough decisions,” Moran said.

“What will it take for Congress and the President to put an end to this crisis-to-crisis mode of governing? We must work in an open, honest, and urgent fashion to reduce federal spending before our irresponsible policies bankrupt the Treasury.”

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Austin, TX Set to Move on Gun Control

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

According to an email from a local Second Amendment rights group, the Austin city council will vote tonight on sweeping gun control measures similar to those the Obama administration is pushing nationally.

The Austin City Council will support a “comprehensive approach’ to gun ownership.

Sound ominous? It should.

Tomorrow (February 28) Austin City Council will vote on a resolution to support President Obama’s “comprehensive approach” to gun control, which includes mandating magazine size limits, increasing the burden of background checks, restricts ownership of “military-style” guns and creates a thorough database for background checks.

There is also a suggestion that gun shows start requiring background checks.

UP AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD

The City Council Meeting begins at 10 a.m. at Austin City Hall

Gun control is Item 35 on today’s meeting agenda. The council is also considering a proposal to adopt the Obama administration’s version of “comprehensive” immigration reform, despite last week’s massive drug bust. Of the 19 arrested, 15 turned out to be in Texas illegally.

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Lew Gets More GOP Votes Than Geithner in Treasury Confirmation

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

Jack Lew was confirmed by the Senate yesterday to be the next Treasury secretary by a wider margin of victory than Tim Geithner in 2009.

That vote was 60-34. Lew, President Obama’s trusted former chief of staff, slipped by on a 71-26 vote.

Leading Obama, naturally, to praise the bipartisan nature of his pick.

“At this critical time for our economy and our country, there is no one more qualified for this position than Jack.  As my Chief of Staff, Jack was by my side as we confronted our nation’s toughest challenges,” Obama said in a statement. “His reputation as a master of fiscal issues who can work with leaders on both sides of the aisle has already helped him succeed in some of the toughest jobs in Washington.”

Twenty Republicans voted for Lew and 25 opposed the nomination.

“I’m voting against Mr. Lew solely because of his indifference and that of the Obama administration to our nation’s biggest challenge: out-of-control automatic spending increases that continue to create a massive federal debt,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

Fifty Democrats and Independent Angus King (Maine) voted for Lew. Two didn’t vote, Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was the lone “no” vote against Lew in the Democratic caucus.

“We need a secretary of the Treasury who does not come from Wall Street but is prepared to stand up to the enormous power of Wall Street. We need a Treasury secretary who will end the current Wall Street business model of operating the largest gambling casino the world has ever seen and demand that Wall Street start investing in the job-creating productive economy. Do I believe that Jack Lew is that person? No, I do not,” Sanders said.

Sanders said he is “extremely concerned that virtually all of his [Obama’s] key economic advisers have come from Wall Street.”

“Do I believe that Mr. Lew will aggressively crack down on offshore tax havens as Treasury secretary and help us bring in the substantial revenue that we need to reduce the deficit and create jobs? No, I do not,” the senator continued.

“In my view, we need a Treasury secretary who will stand up to Republicans and some Democrats in Washington and tell them we will not cut Social Security or Medicare benefits. In fact, we need a Treasury secretary who has the courage to say that to the president as well. Do I believe that Mr. Lew is that person? No, I do not.”

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Obama Administration Sends 1,400 Jobs Overseas

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

Late Wednesday, the Obama administration awarded an aviation contract to Brazil-based Embraer. The contract is for a fleet of Light Air Support (LAS) aircraft that will be used by the nascent Afghan air force in its fight against the Taliban.

Two firms vied for the contract, Embraer and Hawker Beechcraft, which is based in Wichita, KS. The contracting process was plagued with bias against Hawker, which has yet to be accounted for or explained.

The Obama administration’s decision sends most of the 1,400 jobs the contract will create out of the United States to Brazil, and to a company that is essentially state-run and has ties to Iran.

Reaction to the administration’s decision to send $427.4 million taxpayer dollars and 1,400 jobs overseas has been swift.

David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, says “After a long-drawn-out contracting process that has been marred in controversy and questionable conduct by government officials, the Pentagon and the Obama Administration have again decided to put taxpayers at risk and ship jobs overseas by allowing a foreign company to produce important components of our national security.

“On Thursday February 27th, Department of Defense (DOD) officials awarded the Light Air Support (LAS) contract to the Brazilian aircraft maker, Embraer.  Interestingly and without explanation, the cost of the contract to taxpayers somehow ballooned from $355 million to $427.5 million, a 20 percent increase.  With sequestration and billions of dollars in defense cuts set to take place, taxpayers should be outraged at this cost increase.

“By awarding the contract to the Brazilians, the Administration has once again failed to give Beechcraft, the American-made aircraft manufacturer vying for the contract, the full and fair consideration that was required during the procurement process

“…Now, the Administration is doubling-down on their prior mistakes by putting a critical defense project in the hands of a foreign sovereign. The extent of the carnage this decision causes is not just limited to the millions that will be sent overseas for these 20 LAS aircraft in the near-term. There are broader implications and untold billions of taxpayer dollars at stake by the Pentagon’s decision to grant the U.S. Air Force’s seal of approval to a foreign entity – backed financially and politically by Brazil.  The Brazilian government has a “golden share” in Embraer, which essentially translates into operational control of the company.  Not only does this put tax dollars at risk with the Brazilian company, but also could threaten US national security. The Administration’s unjustifiable endorsement of this Brazilian company could be exploited by them to gain unfair and unwarranted advantages in the U.S. and around the world. Meanwhile, domestic manufacturers are forced to cut jobs and highly skilled workers remain unemployed here at home.

“Therefore, we call on the Administration and DOD officials to halt this procurement process immediately and provide taxpayers a reasonable explanation as why they are prioritizing the interests of a foreign sovereign company ahead of the American worker and risking billions of taxpayer dollars.”

 

 

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McKeon: Obama Offers Choice of ‘Break the Military’ or ‘Break the Military and New Taxes’

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 - by Bridget Johnson

The House Armed Services Committee chairman warned in a Los Angeles Times op-ed today that President Obama is conducting a dangerous experiment with the armed forces that shows a disconnect with the chiefs of staff and the threats in the world.

“Sequester hurts national security, not just because 50% of the cuts fall on the military’s 18% share of the overall budget but because the Pentagon has been the only place the president is willing to cut,” Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) wrote.

“For four years he has mismanaged our nation’s most vital resource, our uniformed military, fomenting the sequester-inspired readiness crisis it faces today. His actions, his under-resourced strategies, accelerated withdrawal plans and lead-from-behind policies have left the Pentagon far less able to shoulder the burden of another 10% cut.”

Acknowledging that waste needed to be trimmed at the Pentagon, the congressman warned “we have cut down so rapidly and so blindly that we’re in danger of breaking the back of the force.”

“If there were a proposal on the table that spared the troops and heeded Dempsey’s warning of not a dollar more from the armed forces, I would ask House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to consider it. But after cutting defense three times, the president’s solution to replacing sequester means another $250 billion out of the armed forces and more taxes. The choice the American people are being given is ‘break the military’ or ‘break the military and new taxes.’” McKeon wrote.

“Let’s be clear: Even if the president were given every dollar in new taxes he has requested, it wouldn’t make a difference in our national debt. Entitlement programs will continue to grow out of control, and the amount we spend on interest to service the debt soon will start to outpace even what we spend on the military. The cuts he continues to insist on, while below the level of sequestration, are still severe enough to hollow out our force. This approach forces me to conclude that the president, for all his stump speeches and props, wants the sequester to happen,” he continued.

“The president is forcing America to indulge him in this dangerous experiment with national security. It is unworthy of the sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands in uniform whom he has directed into harm’s way over the last four years. It is a reckless experiment when one takes stock of the growing threats and commitments that occupy our forces around the world.”

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Tweets Of The Day-’Does This Sequester Make My Lies Look Big?’ Edition

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

I know most of you have seen it but I have to repost the Donna Brazile tweet, for which she was roundly mocked. It was the first thing I saw when I went online today and I just knew it was going to be a good day.

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Sequester Scare Theater-Even Some In The Press Aren’t Buying It Anymore

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

The crumbling narrative

His strategy instead is to provoke citizens into demanding that tax hikes on the wealthy replace the scheduled spending cuts. His speeches give the impression of a man exaggerating his arguments for exaggerated effect: Removing a comparatively small $85 billion from the final seven months of a $3.6 trillion budget just isn’t the biggest danger our republic will confront in this or any decade. Managed well, any family, business or government should be able to cut its budget by 2.4 percent in difficult times.

Unless, that is, the head of the family, business or government wants to make that reduction look suicidal. It’s telling that, as congressional Republicans prepare to give the president flexibility to pick and choose which spending to cut, the White House wants no such authority. Having it would undermine the message that the sequester is a GOP-inspired assault on Americans, and would expose Obama to criticism if his agency heads make unpopular choices. As The New York Times reported Tuesday: “White House budget officials are leery. If Congress grants the White House the authority to protect air traffic controllers, Border Patrol agents and national parks, the administration’s carefully devised high-pressure campaign that has been mounted for weeks could deflate.”

Yes, the MSM is in love with Obama, but they’re more in love with themselves and will ultimately opt for self-preservation. Should the GOP surprise virtually everyone and not blink, they’ll have to spin for themselves for a while to make it seem as if they weren’t complicit in the president’s doomsday mongering.

And that will be kind of fun to watch.

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CNN Chilé Reporting Hugo Chavez Dead

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 - by Charlie Martin

Here’s the story.  With all due warnings about the state of my Spanish, here’s the basics: Guillermo Cochez, a Panamanian politician and once Ambassador to the Organization of American States, is saying that Hugo Chavez was declared brain-dead on 30 December, and died four days ago when his daughters took him off life support.  Cochez challenges the government of Venezuela to prove him wrong and bring Chavez out in public.

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Not Tilting At Windmills: Natural Gas Has A Sunny Future

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

Solyndra this.

U.S. natural-gas production will accelerate over the next three decades, new research indicates, providing the strongest evidence yet that the energy boom remaking America will last for a generation.

The most exhaustive study to date of a key natural-gas field in Texas, combined with related research under way elsewhere, shows that U.S. shale-rock formations will provide a growing source of moderately priced natural gas through 2040, and decline only slowly after that. A report on the Texas field, to be released Thursday, was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The research provides substantial evidence that there are large quantities of gas available that can be drilled profitably at a market price of $4 per million British thermal units, a relatively small increase from the current price of about $3.43.

Of course, this is a proven energy source that is already successful in the marketplace, so look for Team Lightbringer to spend its lame duck years battling it and throwing your money at solar companies and wind farms.

Four more years.

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E.J. Dionne Is Experiencing Dementia From Acute Obama Kool-Aid Cirhossis

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

He better hope this is covered under Obamacare.

Ever since they took control of the House of Representatives in 2011, Republicans have made journeys to the fiscal brink as commonplace as summertime visits to the beach or the ballpark. The country has been put through a series of destructive showdowns over budget issues we once resolved through the normal give-and-take of negotiations.

The old formula held that when government was divided between the parties, the contending sides should try to “meet in the middle.” But the current Republican leadership doesn’t know the meaning of the word “middle,” so intimidated has it become by the tea party.

It takes an extraordinary break from reality to continue claiming that the side that has done nothing but capitulate is being intransigent.

At least those of us involved in the Tea Party movement can get a chuckle out of the fact that his poor dear believes that Boehner, et al are under our spell.

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Lapdog Media Wag Tails In Overdrive To Defend Team Lightbringer Against Woodward

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 - by Stephen Kruiser

But there were marching orders, Bob.”

Speaking of kinds of madness, Woodward’s actual position here is insane. As Dave Weigel points out, “some budget document” is a law, passed by Congress and signed by the president. Woodward is saying, why won’t the president just ignore the law, because he is the commander in chief, and laws should not apply to him. That is a really interesting perspective, from a man who is famous for his reporting on the extralegal activities of a guy who is considered a very bad president!

It’s too rich that anyone in the leftmedia would be aghast at the notion of this president being involved in any sort of Executive overreach.

Woodward is being excoriated for not drooling in awe of President Obama’s Sequester Scare Theater performance. He’s also a real journalist, which makes the Obama whelps a bit incontinent. When Woodward mentioned that a high level administration official said he would “regret” not falling in line, the White House dispatched pack dog Ben Smith from BuzzFeed to “report” who it was and that it wasn’t really a threat.

Talking Points Memo immediately leg-humped the BuzzFeed story, dismissing Woodward as misinterpreting what was implied. Their evidence, an unnamed “White House official”.

And those who question anyone in this White House don’t get treats.

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CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson May Get A Personal Threat from the Obama White House After This

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 - by Bryan Preston

CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson delivered her promised update on Benghazi tonight, via Twitter.

Attkisson says that CBS these questions to the White House back in October. She tweeted them a month ago, promising an update. Tonight’s update deals both with the questions that have been answered and those that have not.

So what was the president doing all that time?

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