Perhaps Obama does realize that executive amnesty is an unpopular idea. In order to help out the Democrats any way he can, he hinted Thursday that he’ll likely delay ramming through amnesty until after the November midterms:
“Our immigration system is broken and need to be fixed, and my preference continues to be that Congress act,” he said, echoing a familiar claim by advocates of greater immigration.
But he next suggested that Congress might act after the November mid-term elections. “Hope springs eternal that after the midterm elections, they may act,” he said.
And then he suggested he would wait until after the elections before deciding the scope of his planned unilateral amnesty.
“In the meantime [before the election], what I’ve asked [homeland security secretary] Jeh Johnson to do, is to look at what kind of executive authorities we have in order to make the system work better,” he stated.
Obama’s use of the phrase “in the meantime,” suggests that he won’t announce his amnesty until after the election.
Obama’s amnesty plans reportedly include granting work permits to some 5 million illegals, and allowing companies to import guest-workers for jobs sought by Americans. No wonder he’s waiting until after the elections.
Does Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) actually live in Louisiana? According to one of her alleged neighbors, she may not — and that spells big trouble for the vulnerable Democrat going into the midterm elections. From the Washington Post (via Breitbart):
Here in Louisiana, however, the Democrat does not have a home of her own. She is registered to vote at a large bungalow in New Orleans that her parents have lived in for many decades, according to a Washington Post review of Landrieu’s federal financial disclosures and local property and voting records.
On a statement of candidacy Landrieu filed with the Federal Election Commission in January, she listed her Capitol Hill home as her address. But when qualifying for the ballot in Louisiana last week, she listed the family’s raised-basement home here on South Prieur Street.
The New Orleans house, which Landrieu claims as her primary residence, is a new flash point in one of the most closely contested Senate races in the country. Republicans are considering taking legal action to question Landrieu’s residency in the state, arguing that since winning her seat in 1996 she has become a creature of Washington.
This is a serious issue that Democrats will not be able to overlook without coming across as hypocrites (but they’re used to that, right?) If Landrieu loses her re-election bid, she might end up living in her parents’ bungalow after all.
Just when we thought Barack Obama couldn’t possibly humiliate himself or his administration any further, he goes and proves us all so, so wrong. Obama admitted in a press conference Thursday that “we don’t have a strategy yet” for further confrontation with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — and the gaffe was practically gift-wrapped for the GOP:
Rather than the average inartful comment that disappears after a few news cycles, the no-strategy line could help cement charges that Obama lacks the competency to handle multiple crises at once.
A central component of the GOP’s strategy for the midterms is to paint Obama as either overwhelmed by the challenges of his office or simply too detached to care — and make Democrats defend an unpopular second-term president.
“It doesn’t get any better than that,” a senior House GOP leadership aide said gleefully of Obama’s mistake. “He basically just articulated the very thing we’ve been saying for a long time now. Thank you, Mr. President.”
The White House almost immediately jumped into damage-control mode:
First, White House press secretary Josh Earnest took to Twitter to try to undo the damage.
“In his remarks today, POTUS was explicit — as he has been in the past — about the comprehensive strategy we’ll use to confront [ISIS] threat,” Earnest wrote.
That didn’t work. Then Obama’s top spokesman tried again on television, using the s-word as frequently as possible.
“I just want to be clear about what our strategy is,” Earnest said on CNN. “This strategy is one that’s not going to solve this problem overnight. But he’s also clear about the fact that our strategy can’t only be the American military. We have a comprehensive strategy for dealing with [ISIS].”
Oh, dear. Clearly, this gaffe will haunt Obama into the midterms and beyond — and Republicans will make sure of it:
“You better believe it,” said the GOP aide when asked if Republicans would force Obama to relive that moment. “He gave it to us on a silver platter.”
Liberals are so often so delightfully hypocritical. Wednesday, Brad Woodhouse, leader of George Soros-backed Super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, defended accepting Soros-written checks while simultaneously condemning conservatives for benefiting from the donations of the Koch Brothers. Of course, this all went down on Twitter:
Everything started Wednesday when Woodhouse blasted a news story to reporters titled, “GOP Senate Candidates Bow at Koch Throne.” The story, written by the Huffington Post, was about Republican Senate candidates praising the Koch Brothers donor network for its support.
Andrew Kaczynski, a reporter at BuzzFeed, responded to that email on Twitter by stating: “It’s almost pathetic how weak the Democrats ‘run against the Koch brothers’ strategy is.”
Woodhouse, clearly rattled by the criticism, responded to Kaczynski on Twitter that “it’s a shame you have no idea what you are talking about” before taking a cheap shot at BuzzFeed’s content: “Stick to cats.”
Kaczynski replied: “Since you’re outraged by billionaires influencing politics @woodhouseb will American Bridge be refunding largest-donor George Soros?”
“That’s a stupid question,” Woodhouse responded, taking issue with Kaczynski’s assertion that the group’s anti-Koch strategy isn’t working.
Kaczynski then asked: “So that’s a no?”
“Since you don’t understand the difference I don’t think there is any reason to continue this discussion,” Woodhouse said.
“I guess @woodhouseb your billionaires are better than their billionaires,” Kaczynski shot back.
Woodhouse then responded, “well, they’re not looking to screw the middle class to enrich themselves – so yeah – maybe you do get it.”
Kaczynski: “So you dislike big money @woodhouseb only when it isn’t your ideology. I understand now.”
Woodhouse’s final say: “I dislike people who want to stack the deck against the middle class and am irritated by people who don’t get the difference.”
Well then — Woodhouse must be extremely irritated by Obama.
According to recent polls, Americans are in quite the conundrum over how to approach U.S. involvement in the Middle East. While only 36% of voters approve of Barack Obama’s isolationist foreign policies, the vast majority don’t want to jump back into war in the region, either. So what are we — and, more importantly, the lawmakers — supposed to do?
Well, there is a third option to consider; an option which entails the United States only becoming involved if the country’s interests are directly at stake. It is the option that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) advocates for:
Paul describes himself as “a foreign policy realist like the first George Bush, like Reagan, like Eisenhower.” He elaborates:
“They did intervene on occasion. It was not their first choice—but they did intervene when there were American interests involved, and I think really it’s not one extreme or the other. I often tell people in speeches one extreme goes nowhere all the time and that’s isolationism. The other extreme goes everywhere all the time. Many of the foreign policy sort of establishment in Washington, they’re so used to being everywhere all of the time, that anyone who backs away from everywhere all of the time is considered to be an isolationist.”Paul said that in many cases, “there is no good alternative”—and that much of the time, each foreign policy choice by a president has negative consequences and positive ones. But the best decision, he said, is the one that acts in the best interest of America and her allies like Israel—even if that means a bad dictator remains in power.
“I think one of the biggest threats to our country is radical Islam and these radical Islamist groups—they are a threat,” Paul said.
As for ISIS, the largest threat currently in Iraq, Paul would not act on his own as Obama has done:
Regarding ISIS, the Islamic State terrorist organization that has grown a foothold in Syria and Iraq, Paul said he supports airstrikes. But if he were the president in this situation, unlike Obama, he would have called Congress back from recess to sell both chambers on action—and seek authorization before using America’s armed forces there. Paul said of ISIS:
“We need to do what it takes to make sure they’re not strong enough to attack us. That means sometimes perhaps continuing the alliance with the new Iraqi government. Perhaps it means armaments, or perhaps it means air support, but frankly if I were in President Obama’s shoes at this time, I would have called Congress back, I would have had a joint session of Congress, and I would have said ‘this is why ISIS is a threat to the United States, to the stability of the region, to our embassy, to our diplomats, and this is why I’m asking you today to authorize air attacks.’ I’m betting if he would have done that to a joint session of Congress, he would have gotten approval. When you don’t do it through Congress, and you do it yourself, then you really have not galvanized the will of the nation. As a true leader, what I think we need to do is galvanize the nation when we go to war.”
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Subpoenas are being issued in a federal investigation into Maryland’s troubled Obamacare exchange, and Rep. Andy Harris — Maryland’s only Republican in Congress — believes there is evidence of fraud in the failed system that cost taxpayers millions:
Maryland’s health exchange—the connection to Obamacare here—never worked as easily as the ads promised at launch. It crashed and was filled with technical problems.
The exchange is now being revamped but Harris says there’s a growing federal investigation into the millions of taxpayer dollars already spent on the website.
He says the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General is issuing subpoenas for fraud.
“There were invoices literally for hundreds of dollars an hour in charges with no reason for the invoices, no specific work done and these were approved by the executive director,” Harris said.
A representative of the Inspector’s office said he can’t confirm any such investigation, however, and a spokesman for the Maryland Health Exchange denied Harris’s claim that subpoenas had been issued. It’s also unclear who is being targeted by the alleged subpoenas — government workers or contractors.
The health exchange and its numerous fixes are expected to cost Maryland taxpayers more than $260 million.
It looks like the Obama administration has yet another lawsuit on its hands. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) is suing the administration over the unpopular Common Core education standards:
In his suit, Jindal says the new program violates the 10th Amendment by subverting state sovereignty as the administration pressured states to adopt the standards. Jindal initially supported Common Core but reversed course.
“The proponents of Common Core will tell you that it’s simply about one test and about standards, but that’s a ruse. Common Core is about controlling curriculum. Educators know that what’s tested is what’s taught,” Jindal said. “Make no mistake — Common Core tests will drive curriculum. Common Core supporters should own up to this fact and finally admit they want to control curriculum. These are big government elitists that believe they know better than parents and local school boards.”
Jindal argues that the Obama administration “hijacked” the program and transformed it from its original intent.
“What started out as an innovative idea to create a set of baseline standards that could be ‘voluntarily’ used by the states has turned into a scheme by the federal government to nationalize curriculum,” he said.
Nationalizing education standards and nationalizing curriculum are two very different concepts indeed. Common Core is just another subverted attempt by the Obama administration to take complete control of the country.
Election models from the Washington Post and the New York Times agree: It’s likely that Republicans will win a Senate majority in November:
First, the Post’s Election Lab, run by George Washington University professor John Sides, gives Republicans a 58 percent chance of winning the six seats they need to be in the majority come 2015. Writes Sides: “The Republicans are very likely to control at least 48 seats after the elections, including Georgia. With just three seats out of the [six] discussed above, they would take control of the Senate. That’s why we still see them as having a better than 50:50 chance to do it.”
Leo, the New York Times’ Senate model, shows Republicans with a 67 percent chance of taking the majority. Writes the Upshot’s Josh Katz:
It’s analogous to a football game in which one team is up by 3 points with the ball at its 40-yard line. Given this situation at the start of the second half, we can forecast, based on historical outcomes, that the leading team has a 67 percent chance of victory. But that 67 percent morphs into an almost certain victory with only one minute left on the clock.
As noted, the GOP needs to win six seats in order to gain the Senate majority. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza compared the WaPo and NYT models’ predicted outcomes for the nine most competitive races in the country — Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan and North Carolina – and in six of those nine races they agree that the GOP will take four seats:
1. Alaska: WaPo 66 percent chance D victory/NYT 52 percent D victory (The Post model is more bullish on Sen. Mark Begich’s chances but not by a ton.)
2. Arkansas: WaPo 77 percent GOP win/NYT 78 percent GOP win
3. Colorado: WaPo 64 percent D win/NYT 57 percent D win
4. Georgia: WaPo 84 percent GOP win/NYT 82 percent GOP win
5. Kentucky: WaPo 94 percent GOP win/NYT 86 percent GOP win
6. Louisiana: WaPo 57 percent GOP win/NYT 60 percent GOP win
As for the remaining three races in Iowa, Michigan, and North Carolina, the two models have some disagreement. While both believe Michigan will go to the Dems, WaPo has the GOP taking Iowa by 72 percent, while NYT has the Dems winning with 55 percent; and in North Carolina, WaPo predicts a 92 percent Democratic win, while WaPo believe it will go to the GOP with 51 percent of the vote.
However, even if Iowa and North Carolina are taken out of the equation, Republicans’ chances look pretty good. Both election models assume that the GOP will win Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia, which would leave only three more pickups — pickups which they’re likely to get from Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia, and Kentucky.
Bring on the midterms; it’s gonna be a happy November.
Surprise of surprises! The Obama administration denied Wednesday that it intends to bypass Congress in order to go straight to the United Nations in forming a global agreement to reduce climate change:
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said “it is entirely premature to say whether it will or won’t require Senate approval” since the officials haven’t even begun to write a United Nations climate change agreement to reduce international greenhouse gas emissions.
Psaki’s comments followed a report in The New York Times that said President Obama is working on a voluntary international agreement on climate that would not technically be a treaty, and not require two-thirds of the Senate to ratify.
The report said the agreement would include binding commitments from a previous treaty with new voluntary commitments, which would allow it to skip ratification by the Senate.
Psaki said that the administration is committed to tackling climate change, but suggested a new deal could go to the Senate.
“Our goal is to negotiate a successful and effective global climate agreement that can help address this pressing challenge,” Psaki said in a statement. “Anything that is eventually negotiated and that should go to the Senate will go to the Senate.”
She promised that the Obama administration would consult with Congress on the issue.
How many other times has the Obama administration promised it would consult with Congress? And how many other times has it actually done so? Hm.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) predicted Tuesday that, if Republicans gain a Senate majority in November and keep a majority in the House, they will introduce a bill to secure the border:
“We have to honestly be able to say that illegal immigration is under control,” the freshman senator and potential 2016 contender told The New York Times.
He said if Republicans win a majority in both congressional houses they would take up a measure to increase border security early next year, around the time the Cuban-American senator has said he would decide between running for reelection or running for president.
Also Tuesday, Rubio sent a letter to Barack Obama cautioning against his perceived plan to take broad executive action on illegal immigration:
“If indeed you move forward on such a decision, I believe it will close the door to any chance of making progress on immigration reform for the foreseeable future,” Rubio wrote.
Obama’s “pursuit of unilateral action in the midst of an election year” has “played a significant role in the humanitarian and security crisis that has been occurring on our border with Mexico,” Rubio added.
While the reality of a Republican-controlled Senate is becoming more and more likely, it’s rather sad that that’s what it would take to get Congress to pass legislation securing the border. It’s also a very telling sign as to where the Democrats’ priorities lie — and it’s not with American citizens.