A look ahead to the Republican majority

Republicans are just days away from halting candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 plan to fundamentally transform the United States of America.

Republicans now hold the majority in the Senate 54-44-2 and have increased its hold in the House to 246-188.

Even though the president continues to arrogantly flaunt the possession of the veto pen, the euphoria over the GOP’s decisive mid-term win is still high.

Yes, there are those who are concerned with the split within the party between the more conservative Tea Party and traditionalists.  More importantly, however, is the concern many of us have over the ease in which Republicans compromised in the passage of the so-called “Cromnibus” spending bill.

boehner (aattp.org)

Despite the rhetoric of Speaker John Boehner that he would vigorously oppose the president’s executive actions, the big spending bill sailed through the House and Senate, frustrating conservatives looking to the GOP majority in 2015. (aattp.org)

“We are going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path,” said Speaker John Boehner, referring to illegal amnesty, “this is the wrong way to govern.  This is exactly what the American people said on Election Day they didn’t want”

We also heard Boehner talk about how the Democrats crafted ObamaCare behind closed doors, his references to the “broken institution,” and “what our constituents want.”

“If, in fact, the president’s actions on immigration are against the Constitution and the rule-of-law,” asked the Washington Times’ Joseph Curl, “then why would the GOP cave in on the budget negotiations and actually allow them to be funded?”

Although the funding only continues through February 2015, support for the bill, in my view, validates the president’s executive action. Continue reading

McSally’s win followed by warning

During Martha McSally’s campaign for Congress in Arizona’s Second District, the left-leaning Arizona Republic reported that, if she were to win, she would have to shed any conservative views she might have if she wanted to serve more than one term.

McSally was finally named the victor this week in a recount over Democrat incumbent Ron Barber, who narrowly beat her in 2012.  Barber won the seat formerly held by Rep. Gabby Giffords, who survived wounds inflicted by a crazed gunman in 2011, and resigned from Congress.

Martha McSally (en.wikepedia.org)

Arizona’s Second Congressional District will be represented by Martha McSally, a former combat pilot. She was proclaimed the winner this week after a vote recount. (en.wikipedia.org)

In a Dec. 18, editorial, McSally wins; now, the tightrope, the Arizona Republic again found it necessary to caution her that she “will need to plot a moderate course to earn reelection …” and referenced the left’s portrayal of her as a tea-party extremist.  “The GOP’s tea-party wing is not shy about threatening primary challenges to lawmakers it deems politically impure,” the Republic seemed to warn.

During her campaign, McSally faced a nasty assault by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the super PAC and nonprofit arm, which has ties to Giffords.  See my  Sept. 9, 2014 post, GOP addresses women’s issues …”

“It’s time to come together and heal our community,” said McSally. “… my focus will be on what unites us, not what divides us, such as providing better economic opportunity for our families and ensuring our country and community are kept safe.”

A retired Air Force colonel, McSally was the first American woman to fly in combat since the 1991 lifting of the prohibition of women in combat, and flew the A-10 over Iraq and Kuwait.  She was also the first woman to command a USAF fighter squadron. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, she earned a Master’s degree from Harvard’s JFK School of Government.

I’m betting McSally will acquit herself just fine when she takes her seat in Congress next month.  The Arizona Republic should turn its attention from the tea party to the far left Elizabeth Warren extremists, who now threaten Hillary Clinton.

 

Surprise! Senate subcommittee whitewashes IRS scandal; claims “no political bias”

McCain and Levin (Salon.com)

Care to read the mind of ranking Republican Sen. John McCain as he listens to ranking Democrat Sen. Carl Levin? Senator Levin reported no bias toward conservative groups by the IRS. (Salon.com photo)

“The majority report (Democrat) asserts that there was no political bias in the way the IRS selected groups for additional scrutiny and that conservative groups and liberal (progressive) groups were treated equally,” was the finding of the Senate subcommittee led by Michigan’s outgoing Sen. Carl Levin.  As usual, the report was released late Friday to avoid major news coverage.

“The minority report (Republican) sharply disagrees with the conclusion reached by the majority staff report,” wrote ranking senior member Sen. John McCain (RAZ)  representing the Republican side.  Of the groups singled out for extra scrutiny, he said 83 per cent, or 248 of the 298 groups, were “right-leaning.”

Further, he referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means published study detailing questions asked of conservative groups and progressive groups.  The IRS asked conservative groups 1,552 questions, an average of 14.9 per group, while just seven progressive groups were asked a mere 33 questions or 4.7 per group.

For those unfamiliar with details of the IRS scandal, it was Senator Levin, who along with Senator’s Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Sen.Richard Durbin (D-IL) and others, wrote intimidating letters to the IRS following the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United.  See my post, Understanding the IRS scandal, Part 1, March 10, 2014

Ramirez Cartoon

IBD Michael Ramirez editorial cartoon

In the conclusion of the 288-page report, this laughable sentence appears, “(The subcommittee) continued its tradition of in-depth fact finding and frequent consultation that are the hallmark of the Senate’s work and lead to a deepened understanding of the issues.”   This is a good spot to tell you that the subcommittee didn’t interview one victim group, conservative or progressive.  It reminds me of the Benghazi ARB that didn’t interview Hillary Clinton.  And Congress wonders why they rank so low as a group.  According to Real Clear Politics, 77.4 per cent currently disapprove of Congress, while just 14 per cent approve.

To see an interesting interview by the WSJ’s Dan Henninger with Cleta Mitchell, one of the attorneys representing conservative groups, click here.

You can find the full report here.

Pay no attention to the Senate report.  This issue is not dead by any means.  “Lost” Lois Lerner e-mails will surface.  Mark my word.

President ignores Court, Congress and us

immigration (APJacquelyn Martin photo)

Speaking in the Rose Garden on Monday, President Obama threatened to go around Congress on immigration reform. He brought Vice President Biden along for moral support. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin photo)

President Obama went back before the microphones in the Rose Garden today to berate Republicans over their lack of support for a comprehensive immigration bill, and threatened again to use his executive power to move the ball.

He singled out House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the Tea Party for holding up immigration reform.  Boehner had reiterated that “the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him (Obama) to enforce the law as written.”

Ironically, the president’s threat came on the day after the Supreme Court unanimously decided he had exceeded his authority when he made appointments while the Senate was in session.  And it came just three days after a Gallup poll revealed that fewer than one in four Americans favor increased immigration levels.

The survey showed that more Americans think immigration should be decreased than increased, by a nearly two-to-one margin, 41 percent vs 22 percent.  A third in the U.S. is satisfied with the level as it is.

Our imperial, out-of-touch president never seems to remember the promises he makes.  Here are a few immigration promises for the record:

“(We need) to put an end to the petty partisanship that passes for politics in Washington and enact comprehensive immigration reform once and for all.  That’s the commitment I’m making to you.  And, I will make it a top priority in my first year as President …”  – Candidate Barack Obama, July 8, 2008, LULAC

Two months later, speaking to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, he said. “I think it’s time for a president who won’t walk away from comprehensive immigration reform when it becomes politically unpopular.”

Shortly after his inauguration in January 2009, White House staffer Cecilia Munoz told the New York Times that the president “intends to start the debate this year,” while other staffers indicated “it would not take precedence over health care and energy priorities.”

Fourteen months into his presidency, the president said “immigration reform will have to wait … immigration will be addressed, but not just yet.  Am I going to be able to snap my finger and get this done? No.”

Pledging to push immigration while wooing the Hispanic vote in 2012, he said, “This (immigration reform) is something I care deeply about.”  Though that was hardly a commitment, Hispanics again helped him win reelection.

He can no longer blame Bush, so he attacks Boehner and the Tea Party for his inability to bring the country together on this issue.

Every day that goes by our inexperienced president must see the handwriting on the wall for the remaining years of his administration.  Other countries see him as weak and the majority of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction.

 Quote of the day

Taking questions from the White House press corps regarding the Supreme Court decision favoring Hobby Lobby, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “We disagree and the constitutional lawyer in the Oval Office disagrees with the conclusion from the Supreme Court …”

“Phony scandals, Mr. President? Really?

Over the years since Barrack Obama was elected president and the press almost totally signed on to his agenda, I have been writing about news that isn’t getting reported by the so-called mainstream media.

If it wasn’t for Fox News, conservative publications, blogs and radio talk shows, most of us wouldn’t know about the culture of corruption in the Obama administration.

Obama in Minneapolis (dailycaller.com)

President Obama tells liberal supporters in Minneapolis’ Minihaha Park that dealing with those “phony scandals” is frustrating. (dailycaller.com)

In the liberal haven of Minneapolis this week, the president continued to refer to stories about Benghazi, the IRS and VA as “phony scandals,” but a few reporters are beginning to recall the old saying “fish smell from the head down.”  ABC’s Jonathan Karl recently tangled with former White House press secretary Jay Carney over White House transparency.

Years ago, Sean Hannity signaled the end of true journalism in this country, and a number of people have asked where Woodward and Bernstein are these days.

Sharyl Attkisson, an award-winning investigative reporter at CBS, resigned in March after citing her inability to get her stories on line.  She’s currently writing a book due out later this year, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.  The title says it all.

Attkisson (breitbart.com)

Sharyl Attkisson, who resigned as an award-winning investigative reporter at CBS, is writing a book about dealing with the stonewalling Obama administration. (Breitbrt.com)

Appearing on C-SPAN Q&A last week, Attkisson said the Obama administration has created “the worst atmosphere” journalists have ever faced and called the Freedom of Information Act “a joke.”  She’s been waiting since 2012 for a response to her FOIA on Benghazi.

The recent announcement that Diane Sawyer will be leaving ABC came just days after her testy interview with Hillary Clinton.  It surfaced rumors that network management was unhappy with her questioning.  (See my June 27, 2014 post, So she wants to be president, Part 2.)

Now that the terrorist tied to the Benghazi attack has arrived in the U.S., you can look for the administration spinmeisters to tell us “case closed.” Meanwhile, the misdeeds at the VA and the drip, drip, drip of corruption at the IRS continues.

So, Mr. President, you can continue to talk about “phony scandals,” but we remember the old Mark Twain saying, “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

In pursuit of the “there there”

It’s getting tiresome watching Democrats stand before phalanx of microphones spouting the party line about the thousands of pages of IRS documents supplied to a half dozen or so  House and Senate committees and, enough already, there’s no “there there.”

No “there there” means, you’re not going to tie the scandal to anyone in the White House, especially the president.  They usually follow with a reference to a Republican “witch hunt” or a “fishing expedition.”  This is serious.  We cannot give up.

As I pointed out in Part 1 of my blog series, Understanding the IRS scandal, March 10, 2014, the president used his bully pulpit during the State of the Union Address on January 2010 to publically chastise members of the Supreme Court for their decision on Citizens United.  A host of Democrat senators, led by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), got the message and sent letters to the IRS to tighten the rules.

It’s the way President Obama works.  He tells us what he’s going to do, as when he told us he had a pen and a phone, and if Congress stood in his way, he’d find a way to get something done. Continue reading

Will GOP learn from Brat win?

First, let’s get it straight.  It wasn’t Tea Party financial support that enabled Dave Brat to beat GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Virginia primary last night as the media has been saying.

Dave Brat (National Review .c om)

Dave Brat surprised everyone with his primary victory over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last night in Virginia. (NationalReview.com photo)

Putting it simply, Brat did campaign on principles Tea Partiers and true Republicans stand for – primarily adherence to the Constitution –   not moves to be Democrat-lite, to appear more moderate.

Cantor and some other Republicans still seem to think they can win the Latino vote by supporting comprehensive immigration reform.  It’s not going to happen.  We need to support and adhere to the immigration laws now on the books.

Conservatives are also tired of the lack of leadership in the House that has not used its powers to stop the president from subverting the rule of law and going weak-kneed on the repeal of ObamaCare.  They’re also frustrated by the foot-dragging on the Fast and Furious, IRS, Benghazi and VA scandals.  And, just because the Democrats control the Senate, it doesn’t mean Republican members can’t be more vocal on the issues, ala Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.

Brat spent less than $200,000 on his campaign versus Cantor’s $6 billion.  He had the support of conservative talk radio, where I heard Mark Levin muse Monday night (I paraphrase)  wouldn’t it be interesting if the Republicans took back the Senate in the mid-terms while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went down in defeat.

Even though Brat is merely a Republican who wants his party to stand for its principles and ideas to turn the country around, watch for the Democrats to label Brat as an “extreme right-winger” with ties to the Tea Party.

If ever there was a wake-up call for Republicans who talk of reaching across the aisle, the Brat victory last night was it.

The House would be wise to replace Cantor as majority leader with someone outside the current leadership line.  Instead of Rep. Kevin McCarthy or Rep. Jeb Hensarling, why not Rep. Jason Chaffetz or Rep. Devin Nunes, two excellent spokesmen on Republican principles.

Poll shows 45 percent ‘unfavorable’ for Franken

In my March 27, 2014 blog post, It’s no joke, Senator Franken, I wrote of his effort to intimidate IRS employees; a plan to closely scrutinize tax exempt status applications submitted by Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations.

Franken (news busters)

Sen. Al Franken dealing with ‘unfavorable’ rating in home state. (newsbusters photo)

Led by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Franken and several other senators pressured the IRS to delay Tea Party application approvals; a scheme to prevent groups from furthering their push for less government, lower taxes, less spending and adherence to the Constitution.

While Franken serves the predominantly liberal state of Minnesota, a poll recently conducted by Magellan Strategies for American Encore.org, revealed a 45 percent unfavorable and 41 per cent favorable ranking for the Democrat senator.  While he has only a 44 percent job approval ranking, 40 percent of poll respondents feel he deserves reelection.  Go figure.

It’s no joke, Senator Franken

In my four-part series on the IRS scandal,  I wrote of U. S. senators who intimidated the agency in an effort to stymie Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations from gaining tax exempt status for political education.

franken(politico.com)

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) (politico.com photo)

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), the former Saturday Night Live funnyman, who won his 2008 race against Norm Coleman by just 312 votes after an eight-month recount process, was one of those senators.  While he may be in a safe seat in liberal Minnesota, American Encore has put $250,000 behind an ad on rule changes that would enable the IRS to crack down on conservative political groups, and Franken takes a hit.  You can see that ad here.