Report: ATF Officials Involved with Fast and Furious Fired or Demoted – Some Criminal Charges Reportedly Pending

newellperjury

Via Sipsey Street Irregulars, 8/05/11: “Bloody Bill Newell”: “We do not walk guns. We do, however, commit perjury whenever we can get away with it.”

Earlier this week, David Codrea of Gun Rights Examiner reported that the the public interest law firm, ACLJ had filed a brief on the Holder case as GOP and Justice “negotiated”.

An amicus brief, submitted last week and filed yesterday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit by the American Center for Law and Justice, argues “that the court has proper jurisdiction” in a lawsuit filed by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to compel Attorney General Eric Holder to turn over subpoenaed documents, and that a move by the Justice Department to dismiss the case on those grounds should not keep it from moving forward.

The brief, submitted last Wednesday by Jay Sekulow, ACLJ’s chief counsel, states “At stake here is Congress’s constitutional authority to investigate an egregious federal program in which the Department of Justice intentionally permitted guns to be illegally obtained and sold to Mexican drug cartels (Operation Fast and Furious), and then obstructed Congress’s efforts to obtain key information about the Operation.

According to reports,  Republicans and Justice have been in negotiations to settle the suit.

“While far from certain, a settlement would bring a quiet end to a political furor that stirred the passions of gun owners, ended some Justice Department careers and led Republicans to find U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt,” Reuters reported today.

Today, in a post election, Friday night news leak, Katie Pavlich, author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up, reported at Townhall that according to sources, security clearances have been revoked, and criminal charges are pending for several key ATF Fast and Furious officials.

Washington D.C. – According to credible ATF sources, officials heavily involved in Operation Fast and Furious and named as partially responsible for the program’s failure by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the House Oversight Committee have been stripped of their government security clearances while some have been fired, demoted, and transferred. Criminal charges are also reportedly pending.

Former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division Bill Newell, former ATF Special Agent in Charge of Operations in the West Bill McMahon and former Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division George Gillett have been fired while former Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jim Needles and Field Supervisor David Voth have been demoted. Hope McAllister, the lead case agent for Fast and Furious, has been put on leave and transferred out of Phoenix according to reports. McMahon and ATF came under heavy fire just a few months ago after it was revealed McMahon had been receiving ATF paid leave while pulling a six figure salary from J.P. Morgan, the same bank that owns the bureau’s credit cards.

Was this part of a deal that was brokered between Holder and House Republicans? Does this mean the subpoenaed documents will remain under lock and key, and Holder skates?

Not good enough.

Point/Counterpoint: Does Obama want to Go Over the Fiscal Cliff?

White House Dossiers’ Keith Koffler doesn’t think the President wants to ruin his legacy by going off the fiscal cliff and presiding over two terms of a bad economy. He says, like Charles Krauthammer and others have also said, the Republicans Have a Lot of Leverage.

I don’t think President Obama wants to go down as the worst president in history, do you?

Well, that’s what going over the fiscal cliff will make him. And that’s why the Republicans have a lot a leverage.

The massive spending cuts and tax increases set to kick in January 2 will cause a second recession, from which we may not emerge for many months. The economy may not really get going for years. Obama will have presided over two terms of economic disaster. It will ruin his legacy, and sow the seeds for a major Republican revival.

Republican revival? But the Republicans are going to get blamed, you say.

They will, in the short run. But in the end, it will be the president who failed to somehow make a deal. Presidents are ultimately responsible for their presidencies. The good ones tame their enemies, pick off some of them and make them allies, and get a good result. The bad ones go over fiscal cliffs.The history books will say that Obama had to deal with a recalcitrant Congress. That will be the second thing school kids learn. But the first thing they will learn is that Obama sucked.

I still believe, despite the results of the 2012 election, that voters in the end blame those in power for wielding power ineffectively. Get out the vote operations and a charismatic candidate can only buy you so much time against reality.

The massive spending cuts will also eviscerate the U.S. military, resulting in bolder actions by our enemies that will make Obama seem weak and pitiful. Not only will the president’s economic record implode, but his foreign policy will be hamstrung. After all, we get stuff done in the world, ultimately, because people are afraid of us. Or they respect us, which is the same thing.

On the other hand,Rush Limbaugh has been arguing that Obama has no problem at all going over the fiscal cliff. He made the point that Beltway politicians and pundits are looking at this like Obama is a conventional politician, but he isn’t. He’s a deeply ideological Marxist who is looking to fundamentally transform the nation into a Socialist Utopia.

See, I talked to Senator McConnell today about this whole legacy business about the inside the Beltway groupthink that Obama cares about a legacy in the same way that inside the Beltway people think that all presidents care about a legacy.  I don’t think he does, but they all do.  They think that, “Oh, yeah, he doesn’t want a recession in a second term. He doesn’t want massive new unemployment in a second term.”  Really?  Well, you look at this abomination that he proposed, he wants to go over the cliff.  He wants to go over the cliff.  He desperately wants a second term legacy, but I don’t think people inside the Beltway have the guts to face what kind he really wants.  I don’t think they’re facing up to it yet.

He runs here on a so-called balanced approach. His so-called spending cuts are one-fourth the size of his tax increases, $400 billion, but the spending cuts — and this is par for the course — don’t come until ten or 20 years down the road, which means they don’t come.  Even those future cuts are now off the table.  Geithner did not mention any cuts yesterday.  This is strictly $1.6 trillion in new taxes, no debt limit ever. Well, we set it whenever we want it, and whatever we want to raise it, we do it.  He does not have the votes for it.  He’s out campaigning for it even as we speak.  Now, as I say, if we ever needed any proof what I’ve been saying for the last couple days is true, we got it yesterday with this ridiculous opening bid.  Santa Claus wants to take his sleigh over the fiscal cliff. There’s no question about it now.  None.  Whatsoever.

(playing of song)

RUSH: And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, jolly old St. Obama in his sleigh taking us over the cliff, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, whatever you have it.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Obama’s at a Tinkertoy factory, The Rodon Group, in Hatfield. And we’ve got a little excerpt. Now, you know, he sent Geithner up yesterday to present the deal, $1.6 trillion in new taxes on everybody. By the way, “Liberal Democrats…” This is TheHill.com: “Liberal Democrats: Higher Rates for the Wealthy ‘Just the Beginning.'” They want to raise taxes on everybody. So Obama sends Geithner up to demand a massive debt limit increase (it’s up to them how big and when), no spending cuts, and yet in spite of that he’s out campaigning for tax increases. Listen to this. It’s what he told the people at the Tinkertoy factory just moments ago…

OBAMA: The story of generations starting businesses — hiring folks; making sure that if you work hard, you can get ahead — that’s what America’s all about. And that’s at the heart of the plan that I’ve been talking about all year. I wanna reward manufacturers like this one and small businesses that create jobs here in the United States, not overseas.

FOLLOWERS: (applause)

RUSH: Folks, that’s just flat-out BS. I mean, there’s not one aspect of this cliff deal that he’s proposed — there’s not one aspect of any deal that he’s proposed — that is going to reward hard work. He’s gonna punish it with high taxes. He’s not doing anything to create jobs. This is all just amazing. It’s just totally untrue.

Yep, lest we forget – in front of another campaign audience, he said, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.”

For the record, I’m with Rush on this. I  think he, and fellow Democratic Socialists (can we please call them what they are?!) want to go over the cliff.

Some of them are even honest enough to say so.

MORE:

Washington Examiner: Obama: GOP holding middle class ‘hostage’:

President Obama took to the road Friday to sell his plan to avoid a looming series of tax increases and spending cuts, using a campaign-style event to accuse Republicans of holding the middle class “hostage” during deadlocked negotiations.

“It’s unacceptable for a handful of Republicans in Congress to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage,” Obama said at a toy manufacturing plant in a suburb of Philadelphia. “Let’s give families all across American the sense of security they deserve this holiday season.”

Obama’s running around telling people that Republicans (hello? the party of low taxes) want to raise taxes on the middle class, while he’s the one who just offered Republicans a ludicrous deal he knows they can’t accept. He and his morally bankrupt fellow travelers actually want to go off the fiscal cliff and are setting the narrative up so Republicans get blamed for it.

What assholes.

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Friday Free-For All: The Ticking Time Bomb (Video)

The Foundry: Morning Bell: 6 Fixes to America’s Fiscal Crisis:

In a new paper, Heritage’s J. D. Foster, Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy and Alison Acosta Fraser, director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, point out that

Obama’s tax hikes would reduce the rise in federal debt over the next 10 years by 15 percent. The President is silent about the other 85 percent. The numbers confirm that President Obama’s tax hike demands are at best tangential to attaining a balanced budget.

The real issue is federal spending, and Foster and Fraser describe the bottom line this way:

When this year’s kindergarteners enter college, just 13 years away, spending on these two programs [Social Security and Medicare] plus Medicaid and interest on the debt will devour all tax revenue.

To make meaningful changes to the nation’s unsustainable budget policies, Foster and Fraser lay out four “simple, commonsense, and thoroughly vetted solutions” that already enjoy broad support across the political spectrum:

1. Raise the Social Security eligibility age to match increases in longevity. People are living longer, and entitlement programs need to be updated to reflect that fact.According to the Social Security actuaries, continuing to increase the eligibility age to 69 by the year 2034 and allowing it to rise more slowly thereafter to reflect gains in longevity could go a long way toward reducing Social Security’s funding shortfall. While this would not reduce today’s budget deficit, it would strengthen Social Security’s finances and put it on a path toward sticking around in the future.

2. Correct the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in Social Security. The annual COLA benefit adjustment is determined today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, the CPI, an antiquated measure, generally overstates inflation, meaning that benefits are increased a bit too much each year to offset inflation. Again, according to the Social Security actuaries, using a more modern inflation measure would substantially reduce Social Security’s shortfall over time.

Keep reading…

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Weasel Zippers: Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell: Geithner “Ought To Be Embarrassed” For Presenting Obama’s Joke Of A Fiscal Cliff Plan…

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell elaborated, calling Geithner’s water-carrying “a serious blow to his credibility.” He said the treasury secretary “ought to be embarrassed.”

Keep reading…

ramirez-cliff

Hot Air: Ramirez on compromise

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WFB: Boehner Responds to WH’s Fiscal Cliff Proposal:

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Obama  waxing creepy at a never-ending campaign stop in Hatfield, PA, via Weasel Zippers: Obama: I’m Keeping A “Naughty And Nice List” In Congress…

We knew he was keeping an enemies list – glad he now admits it so openly. Reward your friends and punish your enemies. – That’s the Chicago way.

***

Speaking of Chicago….

Andrew Malcolm of IBD: A sordid tale of Chicago politics that reveals how Obama got his start:

Yesterday Mel Reynolds announced his candidacy for the House seat representing Illinois’ 2d Congressional District, which includes the city’s South Side and — oh, look! — Obama’s Hyde Park house. So, he’ll be eligible to vote in the February Democrat primary and the meaningless April special election.

That special election became necessary after the sudden resignation last week of the district’s easy Nov. 6 election winner, eight-term member Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jackson Jr. has been absent from his House duties most of this year during treatment for depression and bipolar disorder. His situation was complicated by revelations that federal authorities are probing allegations of his misuse of campaign funds, not a rare occurrence in Chicago politics.

That resignation and special election is an interesting coincidence because Jackson Jr. was also initially elected in a special election, in December 1995. That followed the sudden resignation of the district’s House incumbent after his conviction on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.

That new convicted felon was Mel Reynolds.

Reynolds had been elected to the House in 1992 succeeding Democrat Gus Savage, who’d been condemned by the House Ethics Committees over allegations of sexual misconduct with a Peace Corps volunteer during an official visit to Zaire.

During the 1994 House campaign, Reynolds was indicted for sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse. The married congressman had developed an attraction to a 16-year-old female constituent, who became a campaign volunteer and candidate mistress. At one point the teenager confided her underage relationship with Reynolds to a neighbor. The neighbor was a police officer.

CNS News: Gun Store Owner Who Banned Obama Supporters Says ‘Business Is Booming':

Last week, the owner of an Arizona gun shop made national headlines after it was reported that he had posted a sign and taken out a full page ad in a local newspaper that banned Obama supporters from entering his store.

not welcome

One week later, Cope Reynolds is cashing in on the attention.

Mr. Reynolds, owner of Southwest Shooting Authority says “business is booming” after his sign and newspaper ad caught the attention of various media outlets.  The sign read: “If you voted for Barack Obama, your business is not welcome at Southwest Shooting Authority. You have proven you’re not responsible enough to own a firearm.”

Reynolds says he has been inundated with hundreds of calls and emails from media types and supporters.  When asked about business, he replied, “I’ve been busier than a cat covering up poop on a marble floor.”

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David Catron, The American Spectator: Could Obamacare Go the Way of McCain-Feingold?

…the opponents of McCain-Feingold launched a series of legal attacks that met with little success until 2007, when the Court ruled in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life. In that decision, the justices ruled unconstitutional the law’s proscription against campaign ads mentioning candidates by name within a certain period prior to an election. Then, in 2008, the Court voided another crucial provision in Davis v. FEC. Finally, in early 2010, the Court delivered the coup de gras with its landmark ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.

Are the legal foes of Obamacare as numerous and determined as those of McCain-Feingold? The answer to that question is an unequivocal YES. Their numbers are greater, they are far better financed and they are demonstrably more dedicated to the cause. In fact, the dragon’s teeth sown by the Court’s misguided June ruling produced a spate of fresh troops to reinforce those already on the legal battlefield. There are now at least forty legal challenges to the law pending in federal courts involving its various provisions as well as its implementation.

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Jack Cashill: My post-election anti-punditry:

There is every reason to be concerned, but it is no time to be stupid. Allow me to offer some anti-punditry of my own and puncture some of the post-election pufferies that have been floated by our betters.

This was an easy election to win. We blew it. Fifty-three percent of the people who voted approved of Obama’s job performance. They approved because of a major media that have grown hopelessly complicit and corrupt. A Republican with Obama’s record would not have been re-nominated.

But the major media are dying. They are dying slowly, but the online news services – Google, Yahoo, AOL – are even more corrupt and less accountable than the major media, and their headlines are seen, at least, by the young and ignorant.

It is time for Republicans to rethink their policies. Why Republicans? Despite a sycophantic media, Obama improved on his 2008 percentage of the vote in only one state – Alaska – and that’s because Sarah Palin was not on the ticket. Some 7 million fewer people voted for Obama in 2012 than 2008. This is highly unusual. Two-term presidents from FDR to the present have improved their vote totals in a second campaign.

But what about the other elections? If you look at a county-by-county map, the country looks awfully red. Republicans held the House and hold 30 governorships. More to the point, the red states are performing much better than the blue ones. This will become too obvious to ignore in the next few years, especially as California collapses in a sea of red ink.

Keep reading, here.

***

Michelle Malkin: Junk science job-killer Salazar strikes again, shuts down oyster company:

The Interior Department is on a roll — a steamroll over American jobs at the expense of common sense, sound science, and integrity in government. Earlier this week, I called attention to the 9.6 million acre land grab masquerading as a northern spotted owl rescue that will cost thousands of timber-related jobs, while subsidizing the shooting of a different species of owl to save the other.

Yesterday, loathsome cowboy/Interior Secretary Ken Salazar administered another blow to the economy. He announced he would not renew the lease of a popular family oyster farm at Point Reyes National Seashore in California that has been in business for four generations. The move ushers in the end of more than a century of shellfish production.

***

WFB: Susan Rice’s Enrichment Program:

U.N. ambassador has investments in companies doing business with Iran, disclosure forms show

The portfolio of embattled United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice includes investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in several energy companies known for doing business with Iran, according to financial disclosure forms.

Rice, a possible nominee to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she steps down, has come under criticism for promulgating erroneous information about the September 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

Rice has the highest net worth of executive branch members, with a fortune estimated between $24 to $44 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. A Free Beacon analysis of Rice’s portfolio shows thousands of dollars invested in at least three separate companies cited by lawmakers on Capitol Hill for doing business in Iran’s oil and gas sector.

***
Speaking of Suzy Q Rice, did you know that she considers herself an active member of Obama’s “decision making team?” Oh yes….

Via The Daily Caller: In interview, Susan Rice explains role in WH decision-making; ‘People know not to mess with me’

In the 2012 book interview, Rice described her role as an active member of the president’s decision-making team.

“One of the most important ways I make a difference is being part of making the decisions that determine how we approach key issues or challenges in the world, getting to execute them, and doing it in a way that tries to build consensus rather than creating confrontation,” Rice told fellow Rhodes Scholar and long-time friend Bonnie St. John in “How Great Women Lead: A Mother-Daughter Adventure Into the Lives of Women Shaping the World.”

“Here at the UN I have some freedom to figure out how I’m going to do things, not just take orders. I participate in the decisions about what we’re going to do. That’s one of the really gratifying things about this job.”

…Unless she’s participating in a cover-up for the Regime. Then she just blindly follows orders.
Jack Cashill, The American Thinker: Benghazi ‘Narrative’ Reads Like TWA 800’s

Although the word was not used back then, the Clinton White House, with the help of a complicit media, rewrote the event’s “narrative” to assure re-election.  Again, as with Benghazi, that narrative was clumsily improvised almost on a daily basis.  Knowing the media had his back, Clinton responded much as Obama did: deny, obfuscate, and kick the investigatory can down the road until after the election.

One central figure appeared in each drama: Hillary Clinton.  She stood by Obama’s side in the Rose Garden on September 12 as he spun reality into confection.  She, Bill, and Sandy Berger holed themselves up in the White House family quarters, assessing their narrative options throughout that long night of July 17, 1996.

On that fateful night, FAA air traffic controllers saw an unknown object “merge” with the doomed 747 seconds before it exploded, and they rushed the tape to the White House.  Hundreds of people saw what the controllers did from the ground.  FBI witness No. 73, an aviation buff, watched a “red streak” with a “light gray smoke trail” move up toward the airliner and then go “past the right side and above the aircraft before arcking [sic] back down toward the aircrafts [sic] right wing.”  She even reported the actual breakup sequence before the authorities figured it out on their own.

High-school principal Joseph Delgado told the FBI that he had seen an object like “a firework” ascend “fairly quick,” then “slow” and “wiggle,” then “speed up” and get “lost.”  Then he saw a second object that “glimmered” in the sky, higher than the first, then a red dot move up to that object, then a puff of smoke, then another puff, then a “firebox.”  He drew a precise image of the same for the FBI.

Krauthammer to Republicans: “Walk Away” From Obama’s Fiscal Cliff Deal (Video)

Walking away seems like the only reasonable response to Obama’s Fiscal Cliff  proposal, other than to “laugh out loud”, as Mitch McConnell did.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, says he “burst into laughter” Thursday when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner outlined the administration proposal for averting the fiscal cliff. He wasn’t trying to embarrass Geithner, McConnell says, only responding candidly to his one-sided plan, explicit on tax increases, vague on spending cuts…

Geithner suggested $1.6 trillion in tax increases, McConnell says, but showed “minimal or no interest” in spending cuts. When congressional leaders went to the White House three days after the election, Obama talked of possible curbs on the explosive growth of food stamps and Social Security disability payments. But since Geithner didn’t mention them, those reductions appear to be off the table now, McConnell says.

Charles Krauthammer, on Fox’s Special Report, tonight, called the offer “an insult.”

Democrats, he says, are asking Republicans for “unconditional surrender,” because there are no cuts – and spending increases – in the current deal. Republicans, says Krauthammer, “ought to simply walk away.”

Linked by Legal Insurrection, thanks!

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As Republican leaders Fume About Leaked WH Phone Call, Maybe We Should Move Secret Fiscal Negotiations ‘Out Of The Shadows’ (Video)

Via The Other McCain, Roll Call reported:

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Republican leaders are fuming after a late night phone call with President Barack Obama was leaked to the press, despite an agreement that it would not be, according to several GOP aides.

Republicans believe the administration leaked details of the 30-minute Wednesday night phone call to Politico, which is causing them to question whether they can trust the White House to keep details private, a sentiment that has caused progress in the negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” to stall.

White House aides, however, denied that the leak came from the administration.

Right…. It was one of the snoopy WH maids who was listening in on the phone call who done leaked it. Or maybe it was one of the Secret Service guys. Or maybe it was Bo the Dog.

Or…. maybe we should apply the by now fairly standard Regime Leak Rule.

As has oft been noted –  the Obama administration has a habit of leaking information that should be kept secret, and keeping secret information that should be made public. Secret phone calls to Republican leaders are no exception to the rule.

Senator Jeff Sessions has an idea whose time has come, I think: Sessions Calls For Moving Secret Fiscal Negotiations ‘Out Of The Shadows’:

“Over the last two years, Congress and the President have held an endless series of secret negotiations. There have been gangs of six and eight, a supercommittee of 12, talks at the Blair House and the White House. But the only thing these secret talks have produced is a government that skips from one crisis to the next…

 That’s why the process needs to be taken out of the shadows… We ought to be engaged. The engagement of the Senate would allow the American people to know what’s happening. They are entitled to that. I believe we can do better. We must do better.”

Linked by Michelle Malkin, thanks!

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Conservative Pundits tell Republicans: “Use Your Leverage Over Obama – Don’t Cave on Entitlements” (Video)

Republicans are pulling their hair out over what they see as a “lose-lose” situation on the “fiscal cliff” deliberations. Realizing that with the media so in the tank for Obama, Republicans will get the blame no matter what happens, some are suggesting that lawmakers rubberstamp everything the Regime wants to do so finally, they get the blame for the economic wreckage that ensues. Right now, as we speak, Pharaoh Obama is dealing with the fiscal cliff in the only way he knows how: Campaign Rallies –  he’s holding a series of events to whip up his minions, exhorting them to call congressional Republicans to pressure them into making a deal with Obamacrats.

Charles Krauthammer offered his advice to Republicans last night on Fox News’ Special Report.

Via The Blaze:

“Look, Obama has never offered anything in public about entitlements. He always says he wants a discussion. And now he says after the Republicans give up their one issue on taxes, I’ll discuss a bargain next year. Of course he wants that, because that’ll be the time when the Republicans are defrocked, disrobed, and disarmed, and will have nothing to bargain with,” Krauthammer said. ”Republicans started out…by offering a peace pipe, by saying ‘we’ll raise the revenues,’ and they just had a punch in the nose this afternoon. Any Republican who buys this is a fool.”

And what of the argument that Republicans have no leverage?

“They [Democrats] imagine that Republicans have no bargaining power today,” Krauthammer said. “I say it’s true that if Republicans resist, they’ll take the blame, and that will help Democrats in the Congress, but Obama’s never running again. He doesn’t care who gets the blame. He’s gonna be the President. He’s a lame duck. He wants a successful second term. If it starts by going over the cliff, it starts with a second recession, two million unemployed, and a wrecked second term. That’s the leverage that Republicans have over Obama.”

Jim Geraghty of National Review’s Campaign Spot adds:

Obama doesn’t seem to realize that the time he had leverage with the House Republicans was before these elections, when they might have felt some pressure to “get something done” and demonstrate that they can tackle tough problems like debt and entitlements. President Obama now has much, much less leverage than he did before the elections, and all of the rallies in the world aren’t going to change that.

What is Obama going to do, denounce Republicans for not acquiescing to his agenda? He’s been doing that for four years. What, is he going to put the GOP brand in the toilet? It’s already there!

If you’re a House Republican, what incentive do you have to give ground on tax increases that you think will be damaging to the country? The only significant one is the conclusion that going over the fiscal cliff will inflict worse damage on the economy. And that’s a pretty big one, but it may or may not be worth violating the Grover Norquist pledge, infuriating the base, and giving a diehard, no-holds-barred opponent in the White House exactly what he wants.

***

Here’s Keith Hennessey, arguing that economic reality will force Obama to accept a deal much less to his liking than he’s letting on:

If there is no bill, the U.S. economy will probably dip into recession for much/most/all of 2013, and it’s impossible to predict whether such a recession would be short-lived.

A 2013 recession would be terrible for the country and terrible for the Obama Presidency. It would limit the President’s options across his entire policy agenda, economic and non-economic.  And it could define and dominate his entire second term.

President Obama believes #1 and #2, and therefore avoiding the risk of triggering a recession with his veto is an even higher policy priority than his fiscal policy goal.

The President wants to get things done. He cares more about his own chances for policy success (across the entire breadth of his agenda, whenever he figures out what it is) than he cares about relative political blame.  A scenario in which Republicans get most of the blame for a veto-triggered recession is still a loser for him if it means he can’t accomplish his second term goals.

Marc Thiessen of The Washington Post offers another point of view: Don’t cave, don’t give an inch and if that means we go off the cliff,  fine – let’s jump of the damn cliff:

If GOP leaders hold the line on taxes this fall, and the Bush tax cuts expire despite their best efforts, it would not harm their reputation as the party of low taxes. But if Republicans vote proactively to raise taxes as part of a “grand bargain,” the GOP brand would be irreparably damaged. Raising taxes and losing a fight to stop automatic tax increases are two different things.

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Right now, Democrats believe they have the upper hand in the fiscal standoff. Patty Murray (Wash.) — the fourth-ranking Senate Democrat and the leading champion on Capitol Hill for going over the fiscal cliff — says that Republicans are “in a real box” because “if they do nothing, those increased taxes [they oppose] will take place.” If Republicans dig in, says Murray, all Democrats need to do is “go past the December 31st deadline” and let the tax increases happen automatically.

There’s one problem with her scenario: While the Bush tax cuts expire on Dec. 31, so do a lot of tax policies the Democrats support.

***

Thiessen argues that letting the Bush tax cuts expire, puts Republicans in a better negotiating position in the future, “with a bipartisan agreement within reach that reforms and simplifies the tax code.”

Right now, Democrats are demanding that Republicans raise taxes while Republicans are demanding that Democrats agree to cut Social Security and Medicare spending. A grand bargain this fall, then, would mean that Republicans get to raise revenue from their own supporters (small-business job creators) in exchange for cutting spending for their own supporters (seniors). Genius! Much better to wipe the slate clean, and start over with more leverage for fundamental tax reform and structural entitlement reform.

What if we go off the fiscal cliff and Democrats still won’t negotiate? Then Republicans should make clear that they are willing to live with the higher, Clinton-era rates. It will be hard for the Democrats to paint such a scenario as an economic disaster, because letting the Bush tax cuts expire simply restores the status quo during the Clinton administration. During the campaign, President Obama repeatedly told us how he wants to “go back to the income tax rates we were paying under Bill Clinton — back when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and plenty of millionaires to boot.” Well if the Clinton tax rates were so great, let’s go back to all of the Clinton rates and relive the booming ’90s.

At least going back to the Clinton rates would put more people on the tax rolls, and give more Americans a stake in constraining government spending. It would also force all Americans — including the middle class — to pay for growing government services, instead of borrowing the money from China and passing the costs on to the next generation.

Americans had a choice this November, and they voted for bigger government. Rather shielding voters from the consequences of their decisions, let them pay for it.

Of course – that is the outcome Democrats always wanted, but shielded from voters. See Trevor Loudon: Socialists Outline Democrat’s Agenda for Next Two Years:

Diverting money from the military to social spending will be a huge part of the agenda. After all, a strong US military is the major block to world revolution.

The push will be towards universal socialist healthcare and an economy wrecking Financial Transactions Tax.

Ending poverty through massive re-distribution will be a big focus… capitalizing on the 50th anniversary of DSA founder Michael Harrington‘s famous book “The Other America,” which helped to launch Lyndon Johnson’s catastrophic and completely counter productive  “War on Poverty” in the mid-1960s.

Students will be manipulated with promises of loan forgiveness. There will be a huge push for immigration reform. DSA leader Eliseo Medina, a leader of the movement, has openly boasted that this will mean eight million more Democrat Party votes.

Via The Daily Caller, Newt Gingrich said House Republicans should stop negotiating with Obama, altogether:

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that House Republicans should stop negotiating with President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats on the fiscal cliff, saying that by doing so, they give Obama all of the leverage in the talks.

“One of the things I would say to House Republicans is to get a grip,” Gingrich said in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

“They are the majority. They’re not the minority,” he said, enunciating the words as if explaining the concept to someone who did not understand it. “They don’t need to cave in to Obama; they don’t need to form a ‘Surrender Caucus.’”

It’s true – Republicans always legislate like they’re in the minority.

Joel Pollack of Big Government:

The fiscal cliff debate is a reprise of the TARP debate of late 2008, with the Republicans under pressure to do “something” to stave off economic collapse. This time, the threat is about a crisis that may be about to happen, rather than one that has just happened. But the game is the same. Just as Republicans were once asked to drop their principles to bail out Wall Street, now they are being asked to do the same to bail out government.

Republicans should learn from the mistake they made in TARP. Instead of giving in to short-term hysteria about saving the economy, they should ask what kind of economy they are being asked to save–a state-centered economy that cannot grow fast enough to create jobs and prosperity, or a market-centered economy that creates the most opportunities for all.

It is worth short-term shock to the former to preserve the latter.

Meanwhile, Kieth Koffler of White House Dossier shares this Report: Obama in Hawaii as Nation Goes Over the Cliff:

President Obama is reportedly scheduled to be vacationing in Hawaii on January 2, the date billions in spending cuts – and untold consequences for the economy – will kick in if a deal is not reached on the “fiscal cliff.”

According to the Hawaii Reporter, residents who live in the area of Oahu where Obama and his family vacation have been told that the usual restrictions on their movements during an Obama stay will be in place for 21 days, from December 17 through January 6.

The White House has not officially announced the vacation, and it is unclear if the travel plans are finalized or if the Obamas will be in Hawaii for the entire three-week window covered by the restrictions.

An upcoming vacation could provide subtle pressure for Obama to reach a deal, since not getting one might force him to cancel his coveted time in Hawaii. Even though the election is behind him, Obama’s advisers would probably think it too much of a public relations nightmare to have the president luxuriating in paradise while the country embarks on a season of massive pain.

UPDATE:

AoSHQ: Boehner’s Press Conference

He just left his meeting with Turbo Tim Geitner. He seems to be throwing cold water on the talks and saying the White House isn’t taking this seriously.

Video at link…

Nice Boehner slam of Obama’s campaign events: “The country doesn’t need a victory lap – it needs leadership.”

UPDATE II:

Gateway Pundit: Mitch McConnell Slams Door on Tax Hikes, Bashes Democrats: Raising Taxes Is the “Holy Grail of Liberalism”(Video):

Mitch McConnell slammed the door on tax hikes today saying raising taxes in this economy is the last thing the government should do in America. He also slammed Democrats today on the Senate Floor.

“The only reason Democrats are insisting on raising rates is because raising rates on the so-called rich is the Holy Grail of liberalism, the Holy Grail of liberalism. Their aim isn’t job creation. They’re interested in wealth destruction.”

Damn. Sounds like Mitch gets it. Video at link.

UPDATE III:

 Hot Air: Report: Obama’s “fiscal cliff” offer to Republicans calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes and end of debt ceiling in exchange for … nothing, basically; Update: McConnell laughed out loud

See Also:

Gateway Pundit: Rush Limbaugh: Republicans Need to Just Walk Away (Video)

Linked by Michelle Malkin, thanks!

Posted in Stuff. 5 Comments »

Jay Carney: Obama “Not Particularly Concerned” Whether or not He or Susan Rice Misled The American People…(Video)

Fascinating.

As Republicans try to get to the bottom of who provided the bogus talking points to UN Ambassador Susan Rice, the White House continues to dissimulate.

In a his snippy response to a question from Major Garrett on whether the Obama administration’s mishandling of Benghazi raises “core questions of basic competency,” press secretary Jay Carney claimed that Barack Obama “is not particularly concerned” about whether he or Susan Rice called the terrorists (whom he called “extremists”) “al Qaeda” or not, as if that was an answer to what the question was.

Via The Weekly Standard:

Hey Carney. Who told you and Rice to go out and tell the American people that the “best intelligence” showed that the attack was the result of a spontaneous protest over a YouTube video?

Why did you and Rice persist in disseminating the misleading information to the American people for many days after the truth was known?

Why didn’t Susan Rice come forward sooner to admit she was wrong?

Why was the real cause of the attack (al Qaeda tied terrorism) omitted from the talking points?

What was His Highness doing on the night of the attack? Did he watch any of it as it was being streamed live in the Situation Room, or would that have interfered too much with his beauty sleep?

Who told the hapless Rice that al Qaeda had been decimated?

As the President is considering her for his next Secretary of State, that last question should especially concern him — because she sounded pretty stupid out there when she said it.

One more question for reporters: Why do you guys allow Carney to brush you off like that? Why don’t you follow up by demanding the truth instead of feebly accepting the Regime’s standard B.S. day after day?

Yesterday, Carney tried to discourage BenghaziGate questions by telling reporters, “There Are No Unanswered Questions” about Rice’s Appearances on Sunday Shows.

UPDATE:

Carney Slams GOP “Obsession” With Rice’s Sunday Show Comments On Benghazi…

JAY CARNEY (11/27/2012): As the president made clear, Ambassador Rice has no responsibility for collecting, analyzing and providing intelligence, nor does she have responsibility as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations for diplomatic security around the globe.

Then why was she chosen to be the face of the administration on the issue, that Sunday, when clearly, there were other officials in the Regime who could have provided more accurate information (if given leave to).

And do you know why Republicans are so “obsessed” with Rice’s comments? Because it was obvious  from day one that the ludicrous narrative she was peddling was meant to be a political cover story for the Regime. The question is, what were/are they covering up?

MORE:

Obama Says He “Couldn’t Be Prouder” Of Susan Rice, Calls Her “Extraordinary”…

Of course he does.

Sen. Collins ‘troubled’ by Rice comments on Benghazi attack

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

Linked by Michelle Malkin, thanks!

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