You can’t make this stuff up

Newly found e-mails reveal Lois Lerner’s hostility toward conservatives

“So we don’t need to worry about alien terrorists.  It’s our own crazies (Republicans) that will take us down, “wrote Lois Lerner to a friend on Nov. 9, 2012.

“And I’m talking about the hosts of these shows.  The callers are rabid,” her friend responded.

Lois Lerner

Newly found e-mails reveal Lois Lerner’s hostility toward conservatives.

“Great.  Maybe we are through if there are that many (A) holes,” wrote Lerner.

“Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP.  The US is through; too many foreigners suck the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food for the end.  The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to,”  her friend continued.

Though seemingly trivial in nature, this e-mail exchange released Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee clearly reveals Lerner’s feelings toward conservative groups and singling them out for extra scrutiny.

“Lois Lerner’s exposed emails show the world she was and is a political hack driven by her own partisan agenda rather than a neutral public servant,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

“This email shows that Ms Lerner’s mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives,” wrote Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder as additional input for a criminal referral.

And let’s not forget this infamous quote on the IRS scandal:

“Not even a smidgeon of corruption,” President Obama, Feb. 2, 2014 Continue reading

Voter ID should be slam dunk

Voter ID.  What makes this common sense requirement so controversial?

I’ve written a number of pieces on this subject over the past few years, but a copy of an article of unknown origin, Ever wonder why Republicans want voter ID?, sent to me by a reader spurred me to again address the subject.

The article cites voting irregularities in Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio that any reasonable person should question.  Is it possible that not one person in Wood County, Ohio’s 21 districts voted for Mitt Romney?  And, how is that 106, 258 votes were cast in that county where there were only 98,213 eligible voters?  There were other examples cited as well.

While the Republicans want to attack the fraud in voting, Democrats call it voter suppression. Continue reading

Who is Alyssa Mastromonaco?

In my last post, Those amateurs in Washington, I briefly mentioned the name Alyssa Mastromonaco, whose piece in the Washington Post generated the interest of State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki to the extent that she tweeted a friend about it in the middle of the downed airliner crisis.

Mastomonaco (Marie Claire photo)

Alyssa Mastromonaco is the subject of this exploratory piece on how campaign staffers get positions in the administration. (Marie Claire photo)

“Great piece by former colleague Alyssa Mastromonaco who defines smart, savvy and fashionable,” Psaki tweeted, according to blogger Pat Dollard.

Frankly, my curiosity got the best of me.  Over the years I have come to recognize the names of a number of Obama administration staffers, but I had not heard of Mastromonaco.

So, exactly who is Alyssa Mastromonaco, and how did she wind up at a desk just outside the Oval Office? Continue reading

It’s amateur time in Washington

If you are as frustrated, or should I say as outraged, as I am with our president’s inability to face up to foreign crises and deal with them swiftly and confidently, you need only look at the amateurs advising him.

Just as the lack of business experience among his advisors on economic policy resulted in one of the slowest recoveries in history, the president has surrounded himself with amateurs as he dithers on foreign policy issues.

Rhodes (Saul LoebAgenceFrancePress-Getty Images)

Speechwriter Ben Rhodes is a close advisor to President Obama on foreign policy. (Saul Loeb/Agence France Presse-Getty Images)

President Obama, the ultimate campaigner, consults with former and current speech writers and political strategists to determine political consequences of decisions.  They are foreign policy neophytes and are responsible for his “leading from behind” positions on issues. Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel recently referred to them as “political hacks.” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, is one. “Ben Rhodes is the voice – and a lot of the brains – of President Obama’s foreign policy,” according to the New Republic.  While credited with writing most of Obama’s key foreign policy speeches, including his Cairo address, the New Republic appropriately questioned, “What is a speechwriter doing making global strategy … and crafting policy?”

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Mary Harf is one of the amateurs at the State Department.

Behind the scenes, President Obama not only depends on former media people for political advice, but counts on them to develop the spin.   The Atlantic claims as many as 24 former media representatives have joined the Obama administration.

At the State Department, two more political hacks, Jen Psaki and her assistant, Mary Harf, brief the media on international issues.  Psaki worked on the re-election campaigns of Sen. Tom Harkin and Tom Vilsack before joining John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.  She later served as President Obama’s 2008 campaign traveling press secretary.  During the president’s 2012 campaign, Harf  helped craft his national security strategy.

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State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki couldn’t give AP reporter Matt Lee an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton. (CNN photo)

Psaki, who in April could not identify a single achievement of Hillary Clinton’s State Department for AP reporter Matt Lee, opened Thursday’s State Department press conference with routine announcements, including an audit of the Afghan election, rather than the downing of the Malaysian airliner.

While Fox’s Shepard Smith called this “highly inappropriate,” Gen. Barry McCaffery, appearing on NBC, expressed astonishment with “the inability of the State Department to say anything sensible about the situation.”

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Jen Psaki was more interested in tweeting a note to a friend about a White House colleague the night of the airliner downing, according to blogger Pat Dollard.

During the evening the day the airliner was shot down, as the State Department was supposedly involved in determining if any Americans were aboard, Pat Dollard blogged that Psaki was tweeting a friend about a piece written in the Washington Post by former Obama deputy chief of staff for operations, “Great piece by former colleague Alyssa Mastromonaco who defines smart, savvy and fashionable.”

But even our Secretary of State John Kerry can always be counted on to say something untoward.  “I always get a little uptight when I hear politicians say how exceptional we are,” said Kerry during an appearance in Vienna, Austria.  And we know the president agrees with him.

Is it any wonder that 80 percent of voters think the U.S. is losing some of its standing in the world?  It’s amateur time in Washington.

So you want to be president, Part 4.

The puffiest of puff pieces on Hillary Clinton

As a news wonk, I often come across articles on people and issues not everyone will see, generally because of the source.  I often weave quotes from these sources in posts I am developing for my blog.  This was too good not to share.

Andrew Stiles, who writes a blog for The Washington Free Beacon, yesterday made note of what he called, the puffiest Hillary Clinton puff piece of all time. It appeared in a British publication, Stylist, July 16, 2014.

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The July 16, 2014 edition of the British consumer publication, Stylist, published what has been called the “puffiest of puff pieces on Hillary Clinton. (Stylist via Twitter and The Washington Free Beacon photo)

Stiles teased his article with this quote from the unbylined article, Hillary Clinton on criticism, taking breaks and why the White House needs a woman:

“Throughout my interview with Hillary, she is fiercely engaged; her eyes – sparkly, wide, alert – remain firmly focused on me.  She is warm, considered, talks slowly and thoughtfully and uses – consciously or not – tactics that put me at ease.  She frequently answers my queries with the response: ‘Now that’s a great question.’ She litters her answers with colloquialisms that put us on a level and, listening back, I am struck by the amount of times she says, ‘You know.’  And of course there’s that charming laugh.  I can see that these natural skills make her the perfect diplomat, the ultimate leader.”

It was easy to understand why Stiles said, “Hillary might as well have written the (unbylined) piece herself, as it reads like one of her excessively padded resumes.”

The Stylist author talked about her preparation for the interview, reading Clinton’s book and listening to parts of it in audio and was impressed that Clinton “was responsible for the most difficult of decisions: those that deal with life and death.”  No mention of her failure at Benghazi.

Seemingly awestruck, the author began, “As I walk into her suite on the fifth floor of Claridge’s*, she heads straight towards me, beaming, hand-outstretched in greeting, before introducing me to her team – press secretary Nick Merrill and Huma Abedin, long standing chief of staff who sit on her interviews.”  (Abedin, you may recall, is married to the former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) , who resigned from office after posting nude selfies of himself.)

“I love the colour of your dress,” the author starts, “What would you call that? Lemon?  Neon Lemon? It’s certainly not subtle is it? “ Drawing a chuckle from Clinton, to which the author noted that Clinton’s “laugh is a signature move: warm, relaxed and utterly disarming.”

“Even sitting in front of her, it’s hard to image what life has been like for Hillary Rodham Clinton,” she wrote as she briefly reviewed her 38 years in the public eye.  Gushing, “Did she ever imagine she would be the world’s most powerful woman? The ultimate role model?”  To that, Clinton responded, “I always wanted to help people, but I didn’t imagine anything beyond that.”

The author recalled reading in Clinton’s book, Hard Choices, of her desire to break the glass ceiling to become the first female president of the United States, and was reminded that was meaningless to Margaret Thatcher some 35 years ago. Thatcher once stated, ”I owe nothing to women’s lib.”  Colleagues claimed feminism “left her cold.”  Clinton believes that if little girls cannot see someone in that position they simply cannot see themselves with a comparable opportunity.

Unbelievably, Clinton continues to believe there are still obstacles to a woman in the public arena.  How she can still believe this with so many women in politics, including governorships, as Fortune 500 CEOs, in key media positions and university presidencies, appears to me she is out of touch.

“I make my way out of Claridge’s so deep in reflection (after) scrutinizing her life and attempting to understand her, but all I can say in conclusion is that Hillary was warm, engaging, charismatic, ambitious, smart, determined and busier than any other woman I am probably ever likely to meet,” the Stylist author concluded.

Hillary’s team got the puff piece they wanted from Stylist, the only UK consumer magazine chosen to interview their client.

 

*Claridge’s is a five-star luxury hotel in London’s Mayfair District.

So you want to be president Part 1 (6/19/14), Part 2 (6/27/14, and Part 3 (6/29/14).

 

 

Suing the president has merit

“Their big idea has been to sue me,” mocked President Obama during a recent McLean, VA appearance, “That’s what they’re spending time on – a political stunt that wastes America’s time and taxpayer dollars.”

As expected, most of the media have been pooh poohing House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit.  Many of them are the same insiders who ridiculed the case brought against the president over the recess appointments, which to their surprise, was unanimously upheld by the Supreme Court.

Again we hear, What chance does it have?  It could backfire.  It will take too long.

Personally, I think it is Boehner’s responsibility to stand up and protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives from a president who continues to bypass this body of Republicans and Democrats.

In my Feb. 16, 2014 blog, Obama’s disregard for the law, I quoted George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley’s Dec. 3, 2013 House testimony on the president’s unconstitutional actions. Turley was back in the news this week.

JonathanTurley (c-spanclassroom photo)

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a Democrat who voted for President Obama, has been a strong force against the imperial presidency. (c-span classroom photo)

“A new model of government is emerging.  Now, that model is the very model that the framers told us to reject,” Turley said on Fox’s The Kelly File on Wednesday.  “When you look at the actions he’s (Obama) taken they have gotten to a very dangerous point.  He is arguing that even after asking for things and Congress refusing, he could do those very same acts, he can order those very same changes on his sole authority.”

A Democrat who has voted for Obama, Turley also refuted the statement that President Obama has signed fewer executive orders; calling it silly.  “You could have a single executive order that guts the government, or you could have a thousand that do nothing.  You can’t look at the number of executive orders.”

Even if this lawsuit takes time beyond President Obama’s term in office, it is important for historical purposes, but more important to protect us against a future president who presumes he, too, can circumvent Congress.

Talk about “Joshing”

What a difference a few days make.

EArnest (veooz.com)

CNN’s Brian Shelter, left, expressed surprise that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest continued to say the Obama administration was the most transparent.(veooz.com)

“Well, I am definitely committed and I have a responsibility in this job to try to help the president live up to his commitment, to be the most transparent president in history,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest during his Sunday appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources.

“I’m surprised you still say that line – the most transparent president in history,” responded CNN’s Brian Shelter.  “Absolutely,” Earnest fired back.

Three days later, when questioned by Fox’s Ed Henry regarding an American’s right to know where the undocumented children are being located, Earnest cited “privacy reasons” of the children as the reason governors have not been warned about the bus/plane loads of kids coming to their states.  Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said federal officials refused to respond to questions regarding some 200 illegal children sent to this state.  Privacy reasons!

And when Henry asked if the border was secure, as Sen. Harry Reid had stated, Earnest evaded the question … three times.

The most transparent presidency?  Well maybe it was on Sunday.

Our inept, disgraceful president

The purpose of this commentary is not to review the polls pointing to the fact that Americans believe our country is headed in the wrong direction and that the president gets poor grades for his handling of key issues.  And it isn’t necessary to remind you that his honesty and trustworthiness have been questioned or that he was recently ranked the worst president since World War II.

The Comedian in the White House

I’m asking you to look back over most of the men who have held the high office.  Like me, I think you would find it difficult to visualize them doing what we see the man-child currently in office doing.

We’ve seen him making jokes on The View, the Daily Show or one of the late-night talk shows, and when we are in the middle of a crisis, he flies off to play golf with a campaign fund bundler or attend a fundraiser or two.

Obama

In a speech designed for the “takers,” President Obama delivers a kind of comedian’s monologue, filled with lines to generate applause and laughter lines from UT students in Austin.

But it’s more than that.  During his recent non-photo-op at the Paramount Theater in Austin, TX before adoring students, our president exhibited a shameful arrogance while delivering his speech more  like a comedian’s monologue.  Click here if you would like to see a brief example.  You can see the entire speech here.

Just as in his recent Minneapolis appearance, his speech focused on topics in his so-called opportunity agenda – equal pay, workplace flexibility, overtime pay and other issues of interest to the “takers.”  All designed to generate applause and/or laughter from the low-information crowd.

Word is that President Obama intends to stay in Washington DC at the conclusion of his term in office.  Perhaps MSNBC will give him his own comedy show.

 

 

 

 

IRS scandal still alive

Last month the IRS informed the House Ways and Means Committee that the files of Lois Lerner dated January 2009 to April 2011 were considered lost due to a supposed computer crash, casting doubt on the investigation’s success.

Then, just when we thought the case against Lerner would be stalled, a series of seemingly innocuous e-mails from her turned up in a recent weekend data dump.

lerner(worldmag.com photo)

In a recently released e-mail chain, Lois Lerner revealed her concern over e-mails that Congress might find in the case against her. (worldmag.com photo)

”I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails – so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails,” wrote Lerner in an April 9, 2013 e-mail to Maria Hooke.  “Someone asked if OCS* conversations were also searchable – I don’t know, but told them I would get back to them.  Do you know?”

“OCS messages are not set to automatically save as the standard,” Hooke responded, “To date OCS conversations are not specifically identified as part of the Electronic Data Request for information …” Hooke then offered Lerner her general recommendation “to treat the conversation as if it could/is being saved somewhere, as it is possible for either party of the conversation to retain the information and have it turn up as part of an electronic search.  Make sense?”

To which, Lerner simply responded, “Perfect.” Continue reading

Posted in IRS

Pelosi’s statement backfires

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement, “Really, we should be afraid of this court … the five guys who start determining what contraceptives are legal,” was ruled “false” by PolitiFacts. (Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)

Regular readers of this blog and my op-eds will recall that I have often written about the bogus war on women Democrats claim Republican are waging.

A host of liberal women took to the microphones to assault the Supreme Court Justices who decided in favor of Hobby Lobby in its recent ruling.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, was so incensed she called a press conference, only to have it backfire.

If you didn’t see Megyn Kelly’s powerful response to Pelosi on the July 10, 2014 Kelly File, I invite you to click here.  Again, Pelosi is caught commenting on something without any knowledge of the facts and with no compunction to lie.

“She misspoke,” Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill acknowledged to PolitiFacts, “Obviously the impact of the court’s decision is not to make these four contraceptive methods illegal –i.e. no longer allowed to be sold,” he confessed.

PolitiFacts called Pelosi’s sweeping claim “false.”  Isn’t it convenient how someone can go before the press and make a blatant untruthful statement only to have someone else say, ‘Oops, she misspoke.’ And, of course, the correction is rarely covered by the press. Continue reading