Video: IRS Commish Skewered By Jordan And Gowdy At Oversight Hearing

Wednesday, at a House Oversight subcommittee hearing he chaired, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) tried to elicit from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen the answer to why it took him until June 13, 2014 to reveal to Congress that the IRS had lost a two years worth of Lois Lerner’s emails.

Via The Blaze:

Jordan recounted that in April, Judicial Watch learned that the IRS and the Justice Department were meeting to discuss the idea of bringing action against various Tea Party groups for undertaking political activities that aren’t allowed by tax exempt groups.

That prompted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to ask the Justice Department about it. In May, a Justice Department official told the committee that the two agencies were meeting as far back as 2010.

“So we said, you know what, we better subpoena documents from the Justice Department,” Jordan said. “And we said to the Justice Department, we want any communications with Lois Lerner that you’ve had.”

Jordan said that in response, Justice gave the committee an email between Lerner and the Justice Department that the committee didn’t have. That prompted the committee to ask the IRS why it had not received the email as part of its prior request to the IRS.

“And then, suddenly, four days later, you tell the Finance Committee, the Congress, more importantly the American people, you know what, we lost Lois Lerner emails,” Jordan said to Koskinen.

“My theory is this, Mr. Koskinen, you guys weren’t ever gonna tell us until we caught you,” Jordan concluded. “And we caught you because Judicial Watch did a FOIA request.”

Congressman Trey Gowdy’s grilling of Koskinen was so brutal it was hard not to feel sorry for the 74  year old Commish when it was over.

At issue was Koskinen’s testimony before the committee in June in which he said he had “confirmed” that backup tapes of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s email had been recycled, making it impossible to recover emails the committee is seeking.

Lerner’s missing emails are a key part of the committee investigation that the IRS had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny.

On Monday, the panel released testimony from another IRS employee who indicated it is possible some information from Lerner’s computer might be retrievable from backup tapes after all.

The discrepancy enraged Gowdy.

Gowdy toyed with Koskinen in almost sadistically …

Gowdy:  “What does the word  ‘confirmed’ mean to you?”

Koskinen:  “It means that somebody went back and looked, and that all backup tapes had been recycled.”

Gowdy:  “Are you still ‘confirmed’ that no backup tapes exist?”

Koskinen:  “At this point I have no basis for not being ‘confirmed’. I do understand that the IG [Inspector General] were looking at tapes…”

UPDATE:

In case you’re wondering what prompted Gowdy to snap, “I really could not believe the colloquy that you had with one of our colleagues about the morale at the IRS. It takes a lot to stun me, but that stunned me.”

T. Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner explains:

Koskinen’s remarks were prompted by Chicago machine politician Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., who asked during a House subcommittee hearing on Wednesday whether IRS workers have been able to deal with the supposed strain being put on them by investigators.

“When they … are subject to depositions and recorded interviews, it sends — these are all career people — it has a deleterious effect on morale because they thought they were actually doing what they were asked to do,” Koskinen said.

The IRS commissioner lamented the fact that agency officials have had to take time out of their terribly busy days to comply with numerous requests for emails and other recorded correspondences. In fact, some agents are even worried that — wait for this — they may be asked to testify.

“So for everybody else who’s working on this project, they’re now looking over their shoulder worrying about, ‘Am I going to get called up next?’ ” he said.

Unfortunately for the commissioner, there was at least one lawmaker present at the hearing who wasn’t swayed by news that the investigation into the targeting scandal has inconvenienced some IRS workers.

“Here’s a piece of advice I would give. If the folks like Lois Lerner and others would have spent more time working on … their caseload and less time targeting groups and less time trying to overturn Supreme Court decisions they didn’t agree with, maybe morale would be better and maybe their backlogs would be less,” Gowdy added scathingly.

You can watch the entire hearing in two parts, here.

Cruz: “Did President Obama Just Launch an Economic Boycott of Israel?” – Updated

images

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today, called out the Obama Regime for its decision to ban flights to Israel while, at the same time, announcing continuing aid to Gaza that will be funneled to the terrorist organization, Hamas.

Where is the rest of the Republican party on this? Congress holds the purse strings. Why on earth would they allow this travesty to happen?

“Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally,” said Sen. Cruz.

He added, “The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands.”

Sen. Cruz is asking the Obama Administration to answer five specific questions regarding the FAA’s decision to suspend flights to Israel.

Sen. Cruz’s full statement is below.

“Today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it was extending its ban on flights by U.S. carriers into Israel. The rationale was that because one Hamas-launch rocket had landed in a field one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport, the ‘potentially hazardous security situation created by the armed conflict between Israel and Gaza’ necessitated this extreme action that has so far cancelled some 160 flights and left tens of thousands stranded.

“Obviously, no one wants to place civilian travelers in harm’s way, and the recent downing of Malaysian Airways flight 17 by pro-Russian militants in Ukraine is a stark reminder of the dangers posed by regional unrest. But security concerns in Israel are hardly breaking news, and given the exceptional challenge Israel faces, Ben Gurion has rightly earned the reputation as one of the safest airports in the world due to the aggressive security measures implemented by the Israeli government.

“Given that some 2,000 rockets have been fired into Israel over the last six weeks, many of them at Tel Aviv, it seems curious to choose yesterday at noon to announce a flight ban, especially as the Obama Administration had to be aware of the punitive nature of this action.

“Tourism is an $11 billion industry for Israel, which is in the middle of a summer high season already seriously diminished by the conflict initiated by Hamas. Group tours have been cancelling at a 30% rate. This FAA flight ban may well represent a crippling blow to a key economic sector through both security concerns and worries that additional bans will down more flights and strand more passengers. It hardly matters if or when the ban is lifted. At this point, the damage may already be done.

“Even given the remarkable resilience and prosperity of its economy, Israel has always been vulnerable to economic blackmail. In the 1970s, we saw the Arab League boycott, which tried to punish any financial institution that did business with Israel.

“Today we have similar noxious efforts by the Boycott, Divest, Sanction or ‘BDS’ movement, which seeks to punish Israel for the fact that the militant terrorist elements embraced by the Palestinian Authority make any peace deal an intolerable security risk to Israel at this time. But the Obama Administration has refused to robustly denounce this effort to undermine our ally.

“Instead, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a veiled threat last February when he encouraged boycotts of Israel and said that absent serious Israeli concessions at the negotiating table, Israel’s economic prosperity was ‘not sustainable’ and ‘illusory.’ Secretary Kerry unfortunately reprised this theme just this April, when he threatened that Israel risked becoming an ‘apartheid state’ if Israel did not submit to his chosen solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis.

BtPfYI1CEAESDWa-550x366Kerry meeting with Netanyahu Wednesday, image via AP

“Taken in the context of Secretary Kerry’s comments, yesterday’s action by the FAA raises some serious questions:

· Was this decision a political decision driven by the White House?

· If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when flights are still permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?

· What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?

· What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House? And the State Department? Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?

· Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

“When Secretary Kerry arrived in Cairo this week his first act was to announce $47 million in additional aid to Gaza, which is in effect $47 million for Hamas. In short order, this travel ban was announced by the FAA. Aiding Hamas while simultaneously isolating Israel does two things. One, it helps our enemy. Two, it hurts our ally.

“Until these serious questions are answered, the facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands.

“If so, Congress should demand answers.”

The State Department responded to Sen. Cruz’s questions, calling them “ridiculous” and “offensive.”
Hamas, however fully endorses the Obama administration’s decision to suspend U.S. flights to Israel. A spokesman for Hamas said: “The success of Hamas in closing Israeli airspace is a great victory for the resistance, and is the crown of Israel’s failure.”
Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said, “to suggest the administration’s move does not directly empower Hamas is misguided and short-sighted.” In response to The State Department’s reaction to Cruz’s questions, she added, “we find the Obama Administration’s foreign policy to be ridiculous and offensive. The American people deserve answers to these questions and Sen. Cruz will continue to press for them.”
These days, I’m constantly reminded of the warning signs so many of us saw back in 2008 regarding  candidate Obama and his affinity for the terrorist group Hamas. Would that more Americans had seen it.
UPDATE:
Cruz Vows To Hold All State Department Nominees Until Questions Are Answered About Israeli Flight Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced that he will hold all State Department nominees until the Obama Administration answers questions about its unprecedented decision to cancel flights to Israel, while at the same time announcing continuing aid that will be funneled to the terrorist organization, Hamas.

Earlier today, Sen. Cruz questioned whether the FAA’s decision to ban all U.S. flights to Israel amounted to an economic boycott of the nation and asked that five questions about the ban be answered.  When asked about his remarks, a State Department spokesperson said the questions were “offensive and ridiculous.”

“Serious questions were asked about the nature of a decision that handed Hamas a public relations victory and will cost Israel billions of dollars,” said Sen. Cruz. “The only thing ‘offensive’ about this situation is how the Obama Administration is spurning our allies to embolden our enemies; the only thing ‘ridiculous’ is the administration’s response to basic questions. Until the State Department answers my questions, I will hold all State Department nominees.”

The five questions Sen. Cruz is asking are below:

  • Was this a political decision driven by the White House? For instance, who was this decision made by – a career official, a political appointee, or someone else (at the FAA, State Department or White House)?
  • If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out when flights would be permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?
  • What was the FAA’s ‘safety’ analysis that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine—where a commercial airline flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?
  • What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House?  And the State Department?  Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?
  • Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity?

UPDATE II:

WaPo: FAA announces that U.S. flights to and from Tel Aviv can resume:

The Federal Aviation Administration announced late Wednesday night that U.S. carriers were allowed to resume flights to and from Tel Aviv.

This came nearly 36 hours after the agency had first banned U.S. airlines from traveling to and from Ben Gurion International Airport, halting service after a rocket landed about a mile away from Israel’s largest airport. The rule change allowing flights to resume went into effect as of 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,” the agency said in a statement.

The FAA said that it “will continue to closely monitor the very fluid situation around Ben Gurion Airport.”

No other countries had cancelled flights. Just ours.

Obama was applying his tried and true “the never let a crisis go to waste” method of radical governance – but the Regime was called out, and had to back down.

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Standing With Israel Edition

bho-stands-with-israel-leans-to-pa-toonWelcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

* Bookworm over at Bookworm Room scored with this wonderful poster featured at American Thinker.

192770_5_

This week, The MidKnight Review, Seraphic Secret, The Pirate’s Cove and Blazing Cat Fur earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor  by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

State Dept. Rejected Benghazi Compound Security Requests To Avoid Alarming The Terrorists Next Door

I can picture Benghazi Special Committee Chair,  Trey Gowdy looking at this latest information and just shaking his head. Multiple sources that were on the ground in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 have revealed to Fox News more facts about what happened in Benghazi on that fateful night.

According to these sources, the Consulate notified the State Department that the Islamic militia Ansar al Sharia had moved next door to the Benghazi compound less than a year before the attack, and the State Department’s response was something akin to, “and your point is?”

And when the Ambassador responded with, “um okay, can we at least have some uh – sandbags and um -  weapons so we can protect ourselves?” the response was, “no, that might upset the neighbors” (aka TERRORISTS.) Wish I were kidding.  So do the loved ones of the four dead Americans who were on the ground, there.

This is more of that amazing “smart diplomacy” we were promised in 2008. Oh yeah – the Obama brain trust were totally going to show up the Bushies with their “smart power.”.

A couple thoughts:

1. If you’re thinking no, no, no….NO administration – not even a Democrat one -  can be this weak and pathetic – congratulations, you are correct.

2. I know I’ve said this before, but does Hillary really think she’s running for president with this clusterfark under her belt? No, she’s done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruz: Halbig Decision Is A ‘Repudiation Of Obamacare And All The Lawlessness That Comes With It’

Senator Ted Cruz Speaks At The Heritage Action Defund Obamacare Town Hall
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the federal subsidies for health insurance were not properly designed.

Nobody tried harder than U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas to stop Obamacare from being implemented.

Cruz released the following statement in reaction the Halbig v. Burwell decision.

 “The D.C. Circuit’s decision today in Halbig v. Burwell is a repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that has come with it,” said Sen. Cruz. “The Obama Administration, through the Internal Revenue Service, has attempted to dispense revenues to the states without proper congressional authorization, robbing Congress of its constitutionally-provided power of the purse. This decision restores power to Congress and to the people and if properly enforced, should shield citizens from Obamacare’s insidious penalties, mandates, and subsidies. This is a significant victory for the American people and the rule of law, but we must not rest. Americans will continue to lose jobs, pay higher premiums, and receive fewer healthcare choices because of this disastrous law. Every last word of Obamacare must be repealed to restore jobs, growth, and opportunity in our country.”

UPDATE:

Krauthammer’s take: ACA Language is not ambiguous:

SEE ALSO:

The American Thinker: Circuit Court invalidates Obamacare subsidies (updated)

The Conversation: Halbig Ruling Could Free More Than 57 Million Americans From ObamaCare Mandates

The Conversation: The Obama Regime Responds to Halbig Ruling: ‘The Subsidies Will Keep Flowing’

Twitchy:‘In light of Halbig, thank you,’ Nancy! Pelosi’s refusal to read the bill may have helped screw Obamacare

 

Issa: The IRS Probably Has Some Of Lerner’s Back-ups – But They’re ‘Not Sure What To Tell Us’ (Video)

In closed testimony before the House Oversight Committee, last week, Thomas Kane, the IRS’s deputy associate chief counsel, said the IRS may not have lost the backups of former agency administrator Lois Lerner’s emails after all.

In testimony released Monday, Kane told House Oversight investigators  that “the agency was examining whether all the back-up tapes which held the emails have been recycled.”

Via the Hill:

The IRS told lawmakers in June that the tapes had been recycled, one of the reasons that an untold number of Lerner’s emails were missing. Since then, the IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, has repeatedly stood by those statements in congressional testimony.

But Kane, the top IRS official in charge of producing documents for Congress, said on Thursday that: “I don’t know if there is a backup tape with information on it or there isn’t. I know that there’s an issue out there about it.”

“It’s an issue that’s being looked at,” Kane also said.

The reason why the IRS lawyer is hedging is because the agency is required by law to back up its emails.
Rep. Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the Oversight Committee told Greta Van Susteren, Monday evening, “they didn’t take our order to preserve documents ….they obviously didn’t gather the documents, they didn’t take care, and they’re not sure if they’ve got tapes hanging around that contain these back ups. As a matter of fact, their change – if you will – in this transcribed interview – really tells us there probably have some (documents) and they’re not sure what to tell us they have, because they’re not sure what they have yet, and that’s why this is taking so long, why the Commissioner is back and why Elijah Cummings continues to say there’s nothing there, when in fact they haven’t been able to tell us yet what really is there.”
Greta asked about the other crashed hard drives that have been reported.
“There are more crashed hard drives, Issa answered, “there’s more questions about people that  regularly corresponded with Lois Lerner, who regularly were part of this targeting of conservatives for their views who now seem to have problems with their computers and as a result – again – an absence of accountability.”
At Hot Air, Allahpundit says “we’ve reached a sufficiently high level of implausibility now” in regards to the serial computer crashes.

Assuming the data isn’t recovered and no one is punished, as seems likely, this is a get-out-of-jail-free card for the next president’s administration, no? If some Democratic Senate oversight committee demands to see e-mails from President Christie’s underlings and the reply comes back that the hard drives were all corrupted, what’s the grounds for complaint?IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.

The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens.

 

Greta closed the segment by mentioning the two “no nonsense” judges who are now on the case – prompting a huge grin from Issa.

Governor Perry Press Conference: Deploying the National Guard (Video)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced plans, today, to activate and deploy up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to increase the presence of border security.

Here is the entire presser, but the audio is pretty messed up. In case you can’t get through it, shorter but cleaner videos follow.

The National Guard should stay plenty busy dealing with problems like this:

 

The Border Patrol found itself under fire on Friday night from what they think were.50-caliber weapons, not exactly light arms. The fire appears to have been an attempt to suppress border security actions while smugglers brought their human cargo to the north side of the Rio Grande, according to Fox (via Katie Pavlich):

U.S. Border Patrol agents on the American side of the Rio Grande were forced to take cover Friday night when high-caliber weaponry was fired at them from the Mexican side of the river, sources told FoxNews.com.

The weapons were fired at the U.S. side of the riverbank in the area of the Rincon Peninsula across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, Mexico, at about 8:30 p.m., sources said. Bullets ricocheted into an area where Border Patrol agents were positioned, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told FoxNews.com.

Border Patrol sources confirmed Gohmert’s account, and said the shots may have been fired by .50-caliber weapons.

“We don’t have any armor that can stop a .50-caliber round, so our Border Patrol agents had to take cover when the rounds were richocheting around them,” said Gohmert, who has been in the area for the last week to get a first-hand look at the border situation.

“When the shooting stopped, about 40 to 50 people came out on the U.S. side and turned themselves in. So clearly the rounds were being fired to suppress every effort to stop anybody intervening with anyone or anything coming across,” Gohmert added. “We have no idea what or how many or whom came across with the other illegal immigrants.”

Sources said they believe the gunfire came from members of Mexican drug cartels, which include former military members trained in shooting that type of weaponry.

That would be a problem that the National Guard could address, certainly, if this incident has been verified — if the federal government won’t react to it.

I can’t help but wonder if any of these high caliber weapons will be traced back to any of the ATF’s gun-walking operations…

What Crisis? Obama’s ‘Gonna Stick to the Schedule – a Cheeseburger, Fries and Two Fundraisers’ (Video)

Jonathan Karl of ABC News asked the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest if he still thought it was appropriate for the president to go out for a burger and fries while in the midst of two major world events, last week – the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane over the Ukraine, and the escalating hostilities between Israel and Gaza.

“What the president is focused on is the ability to do his job,” Earnest said in response. The president has all the tools at his disposal to fulfill his responsibilities as Commander in Chief.”

He went on to say that he “would anticipate” that Obama would continue to fulfill his responsibilities as Commander in Chief on the road over the course of this week – since he’s heading to California tomorrow to do more Democrat fundraisers with the few remaining Dems still willing to be seen with him.

Mr. Obama is scheduled to leave Washington Tuesday and headline a party event in Seattle later that night. He will then attend Democratic fundraisers in California before returning to Washington on Thursday.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Monday that Mr. Obama effectively can do his job while on the road, and that he will be capable of monitoring the conflict between the Israeli military and Hamas, the investigation into the downed plane and any other foreign crises that may arise.

I really wish Karl had asked the obvious follow-up question – “If the president is focused on his job, why is he constantly on the road, fundraising and doing all these ridiculous photo-ops at burger joints? Is the president’s main job to increase his approval numbers by pretending he’s a regular guy hanging out with “ordinary Americans?”

Cahn’t wait for the next round of “bear is loose” photo-ops at California’s hottest eateries.

El Rushbo’s take on all this, today, in case you missed it:

“‘It is rarely a good idea to return to the White House just for show, when the situation can be handled responsibly from the road,’ said Jennifer Palmieri, the White House communications director. ‘Abrupt changes to his schedule can have the unintended consequence of unduly alarming the American people or creating a false sense of crisis.’”

Yeah, who would want to do that?  So we’re gonna stick to the schedule — a cheeseburger, fries and two fundraisers after the Israelis invade the Gaza Strip and the smoke still billows from the downed wreckage of the Malaysian jet — because to go back to the White House would scare the American people.  (Gasp!)  To go back to the White House and deal with it would frighten the American people.

It might create “a false sense of crisis,” and there’s clearly no crisis. 

Do you see a crisis?  Obama is having a cheeseburger and fries!  Crisis?  What crisis?  He doesn’t see a crisis.  Two fundraisers?  Crisis, what crisis?  So why do we want to create the idea that there’s a crisis here?  There’s nothing out of the norm.  Now, if it were Bush who had the nerve to go to his ranch after Katrina, which probably remains the biggest crime of the Twenty-First Century so far, then of course the New York Times’ coverage would be different.

Palmieri sort of let the cat out of the bag when she said the White House doesn’t want to create a “false sense of crisis.” What she really means is they don’t want the public to have a completely understandable, and appropriate sense of crisis. They don’t want the public to notice that the world is falling into chaos due to the lack of American leadership. They don’t want the public to notice the fundamental transformation that is now being completed under their noses as scores of illegals are allowed to cross the border and avail themselves of our ever expanding welfare state. The White House relies on the American people’s  natural “normalcy bias ” to allow him to continue his destruction of their way of life with minimal pushback.

Anyone who has been to the border, lately, knows the situation there  is truly alarming. The unraveling of the Middle East and the ascendance of America’s emboldened enemies is also truly alarming. People want their president to be engaged in DC meeting with his National Security team, and working with Congress to secure the border – not out on the permanent campaign trail, eating cheeseburgers and yukking it up with “he folks”- and sending his communications director out there to play the part of Kevin Bacon in Animal House.

“Remain calm – All is well.”

All is well – nothing to worry about here:Obama Regime To Give Iran Another $2.8 Billion…

Or here: Obama Admin Sending $47 Million To Hamas-Run Gaza Strip…

 

 

Hat tip: Brian B.

Straw Poll Winner Dr. Ben Carson Prescribes Remedies For Critical Patient (Video)

Via Freedom’s Lighthouse, I bring you the complete video of Dr. Ben Carson’s speech at the Western Conservative Summit, where he articulated his remedies for a very sick patient – the United States of America.

Carson’s diagnosis for America as it stands, now? It is in “critical condition at this stage,” the good doctor said, “and if we don’t do something about it in the relatively near future, it will be over.”

Carson echoed the late great Andrew Breitbart at his last CPAC in 2012 when he said, “Republicans, Conservatives, People of Faith” and other people of “common sense”  must come together and support the winner in order to defeat the radical Progressive Left in 2016. “After the primaries are over, don’t take your marbles and go home if your candidate didn’t win,” Carson said.

He shared his views on a host of issues, and did a great job of sharing how we can deal with our massive National Debt, and how we can replace ObamaCare with a private, market-based approach to Health Care. Carson was optimistic throughout that the nation can be saved, and in fact, declared “We will return to power” – meaning people of common sense – because God is not finished with America.

Carson won the presidential straw poll at the conference, garnering 22% of the vote.

He was followed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz with 13 percent and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 12 percent.

Others who finished in the top 10 were Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, former Florida Rep. Allen West and Wisconsin Sen. Paul Ryan.

The three-day summit included dozens of speakers affiliated with the tea party, such as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin and former Florida Rep. Allen West.

 

Cruz: A False Promise of Amnesty is the Opposite of Compassionate

On Fox News Sunday, this morning, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas discussed the ongoing immigration crisis and the bill he recently introduced to address it. With the Ukraine back on the front pages, he also discussed his ideas to stop President Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.

Cruz visited a crucial border juncture in McAllen, Texas, Saturday, and then appeared at an event with Glenn Beck, who is visiting the border this weekend  to give aid to the unaccompanied minors. He sat down with Chris Wallace for the interview prior to his visit to the border.

Regarding immigration:

“The cause of this crisis is the promise of amnesty, Cruz explained. If you look at the history of this issue, in 2011, there were roughly 6,000 children apprehended coming in illegally. Then in 2012, President Obama unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who were here illegally, who entered as children.

“The direct foreseeable consequence of that was the number of unaccompanied children skyrocketed so that this year the Obama Administration’s estimating 90,000 kids will come next year; 145,000. That’s up from just 6,000 three years ago.”

….

“What I want to do is have action that fixes the problem. If we pass a bill – let’s take President Obama’s proposed bill, $3.7 billion – it does nothing to solve the problem.”

“No, what I’m interested in is fixing the problem. And it’s only Washington – all of the proposals being floated are missing the cause of the problem.”

….

“It is the opposite of compassionate to continue this crisis. I don’t want to see tens of thousands of little boys and little girls being physically assaulted, being sexually assaulted by drug dealers. The way to fix it, the bill I’ve introduced is a very simple bill.

“It is a page and a half. And it simply says the President cannot grant amnesty going forward. It prohibits the President from granting amnesty.”

….

“The objective here should be to help the kids and the way you help the kids is you eliminate the magnet which is President Obama’s amnesty.”

….

“I’ll tell you who’s holding these kids ransom is Harry Reid and the President, because their view is don’t do anything to fix the problem. He mentions comprehensive immigration reform. The Gang of Eight bill is one of the causes of this problem because what the kids are saying is they’re coming because they believe they’ll get amnesty; part of the Gang of Eight bill was promising them amnesty.”

Regarding stopping Putin’s aggression in Ukraine:

“We should do a number of things. One, we need vigorous sanctions. We need sanctions that target the Russian energy sector, the Russian financial sector, that put serious consequences for what Putin is doing.

“Two, we should immediately reinstate the anti-ballistic missile batteries in Eastern Europe that President Obama canceled in 2009 in an effort to appease Russia.

“And three, we need to open the export of liquid natural gas, which will help liberate Ukraine and Eastern Europe and will also impose real financial penalties on Russia and will create jobs and economic growth back here.

“That’s what leadership would look like, standing up to Putin instead of demonstrating weakness because when Putin sees weakness, he demonstrates over and over again aggression and willingness to go after others.”

Your Sunday Hymn: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

A combined performance of “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” by the Sanctuary Choir, the Cathedral Choir of Young Men and Boys, the Cecilian Carolers, organ and orchestra  at the First Presbyterian Church, Davenport, Iowa.

Gorgeous:

Lyrics:

Read the rest of this entry »

Jeanine Pirro: ‘Mr. President – You Need To Get Your Act Together’ (Video)

Another Saturday night, another tongue-lashing administered to Obama by the inimitable Judge Jeanine.

“Americans don’t want a spectator,” Pirro noted before listing off a number of global crises that demand the president’s attention. She rattled off five of the world’s biggest crises, at play in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Israel and Hamas, and the US Southern border.

“Actually we’re in quite a hell of a mess,” she declared. “And Mr. President – you need to get your act together. Put on your big boy pants and get in the game with a coherent foreign policy.”

Ronald Coburn,  former Border Patrol Deputy Chief, was Pirro’s guest to discuss the crisis on the border.

Coburn claimed that in his capacity as a border security expert, he’s been watching the social, electronic networks and is seeing the cartels boasting about their gains and laughing at the way the US government is handling the situation.

“Tatooed up killers are coming across the border not to contribute to society but to prey on society”, he said.

 

Saturday Movie Matinee: “The Most Narcissistic, Self-Absorbed President We’ve Ever Had”

Sean Hannity had Lt. Col. Ralph Peters on to talk about Obama’s weird detachment in the face of  alarming world events  - something even people left-of-center have been noticing,  and commenting on.

“Sean, as you know – I share your anger, but we all should be feeling a great deal of sorrow because of the missed opportunity,”  Peters began. “One of the many tragedies here is, had our first mixed race president been merely competent – been less arrogant, a bit more capable – if  he had just been an average president – a Taft or Coolidge – it would have been so great for this country. He could have brought people together – it would have been great for our image in the world.”

That is the most tragic thing about Obama, I’ve always thought. The first black president purposefully divided a country that so wanted to like him. But he never wanted to be the president of the whole United States.  He only wanted to be the president of  the left-wing of his party. He is fundamentally transforming the country not because he loves it but because he thinks it’s inadequate and unfair and he’s the man to improve it. People who love their country and don’t want it changed, he has no use for and he’s made that abundantly clear time and time again.

Peters continued with this devastating indictment: “he doesn’t really connect with people. He doesn’t care about other human beings. I think he’s the most narcissistic, self-absorbed president we’ve ever had.”

He added, “Sean, I don’t think we could have picked a worse man in these times to be our…president – I can’t say leader because he’s not a leader – but to be our president.”

“He just doesn’t like America very much. He’s not grateful to it. He doesn’t like our system of government – the separation of powers – clearly he doesn’t like that. He’d much rather have the Hugo Chavez or Juan Peron model. He’s a man who doesn’t like our military, who believes America is the problem – as we heard as far back as the Cairo speech – I mean, we have a man – he’s  not a cipher exactly in the oval office, but he’s a man who’s been elected president of a country he doesn’t really like, and whose population he distrusts and whose military he despises.”

Mediaite: Bill O’Reilly Mock MSNBC Krystal Ball Over Malaysia Airline MH17 Prank Call:

Bill O’Reilly and Bernard Goldberg could barely contain how unbelievably ridiculous they found it that MSNBC embarrassed itself today with an “exclusive” interview on MH17 that turned out to be a prank call. Both men mocked Krystal Ball in particular, calling her “inexperienced,” and Goldberg saying she’s a “moron” that makes Ron Burgundy look good.

O’Reilly surmised that Ball must not have heard the comment about Howard Stern’s ass, because “nobody in their right mind would continue a phone call with somebody who uttered that crudity… even somebody as inexperienced as that woman.”

Krauthammer On Obama, Israel, Civilians And Moral Clarity:

Truth Revolt: BILL WHITTLE: IT TAKES A SUPERHERO:

PJTV: Afterburner w/Bill Whittle– Apogee: America Needs Another Great Challenge:

Its been 45 years since man walked on the moon for the first time. Have we been challenged since? Or are we a windless sail, full of potentital without a direct challenge? We tamed a continent, we conquered the skies, and we did fly to the moon–don’t let us, as a people, only have political discussion as our challenge.

Bill Whittle delivers a masterful mix of intellect and passion in every episode of “Afterburner.” Now you can enjoy all of his videos — from 2008 to now.

Sheriff Paul Babeu addresses protesters:

Is this Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu behind immigration protests? – Lonewolf Sager:

PJTV – The Last American Generation: How Did Millennials Get So Mixed Up?

Socially left but fiscally right, have Millennials achieved the harmonic convergence? Or have Democrats won the hearts and minds of 18-to-29 year olds for good?

PJTV – The Crux of the ISIS Crisis: Radical Islamists Crucifying Infidels:

President Obama Improves German Relations, Thor Is Now a Woman — Monologue:

There’s No Place Like Utopia:

The Council Has Spoken!! This Weeks’ Watcher’s Council Results

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

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This week’s winning entry, Joshuapundit’s Israel’s New Challenge: Defeating The Third Intifada is a slightly different take on the current war between Israel and Hamas, and especially that it is no accident. Here’s a slice:

An Israeli soldier stands atop a mobile artillery unit stationed near the border with the Gaza Strip

Israel once again finds itself fighting in Gaza.

The reason’s fairly simple. The lust for Jewish blood among a substantial number of the Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians is simply their strongest impulse, their raison d’être. There is no peace, because one side simply wants the other dead.

There is not a single Israeli civilian or soldier in Gaza today, not since Israel removed the 8,000 Jewish residents who had lived there over 30 years from their homes and gave it to the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians as a sacrifice ‘for peace.’

The Palestinians could have built whatever kind of society they wanted in Gaza. But even before Hamas took over, Gaza’s main export to Israel was terrorism. Israel, with Egypt’s assistance, maintained a blockade on Gaza to curtail the import of heavy weapons, usually emanating from Iran that saved Israeli lives, but cost Israel deeply when it came to the ‘international community’, who always seem to have special rules when it comes to Israel defending itself. The carnage emanating from Gaza has slowed at times, but literally thousands of rockets, mortar shells and terrorist strikes have emanated from Gaza, and they’ve never ended. Israelis became used to running for shelter, especially in the south:

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This latest onslaught saw over 100 rockets in 24 hours rained down on Israel, and with Hamas rejecting offers from Israel of ‘quiet for quiet’, that’s where we stand now. The Israelis have carried out a number of decisive strikes and have called up 42,000 reserves, while Hamas has launched missiles at central Israel, at Jerusalem, and at Tel Aviv, a step they had to know was going to provoke an Israeli ground response.

So what’s the story behind the story? Why is Hamas going for broke now, and what does it mean? Whether Israel realizes it or not, they are facing the Third Intifada, although how it unfolds is still developing. Of course, it doesn’t look like previous intifadas because circumstances and tactics have changed. But the end goal is the same. And the chief strategist isn’t Hamas, but Mahmoud Abbas.

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Hamas has been isolated by Israel and the new Egyptian government of al-Sisi, who has declared Hamas’ parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood an illegal terrorist organization. Weapons coming in from Iran have slowed considerably, and money is tight. A sign of this was the attempt by Hamas ally Robert Serry, the supposedly neutral UN Mideast envoy to illegally funnel $20 million to Hamas in Gaza from Qatar.

The current Hamas and Fatah unity government agreement came about, mostly on Abbas’ terms, because of Hamas’ sharply reduced fortunes, while Abbas has the UN, the Obama Administration and the EU funding and backing him, even with Hamas now on his team. According to my sources, part of the negotiations also involved joint efforts towards the goal both Hamas and Fatah agree on, the destruction of Israel.

Abbas_framedmap

The Israelis, already outraged at the unity agreement and the West’s apparent willingness to fund a murderous terrorist group like Hamas were further energized by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas operatives, whose mutilated bodies were found shoved into a hole near Hebron. In response, the Israelis began to obliterate the Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

But then, the subsequent murder of Arab teen Mohammed Abu Kheidr by what appear to be a trio of Jewish football hooligans suddenly presented Hamas and Fatah with a golden opportunity. It was used as a signal to launch what had already been planned. Vast riots, violence and destruction took place throughout Israel egged on by Fatah while Hamas stepped up its rocket and mortar attacks.

Hamas also had plans to join Fatah in the ground attack on Israel itself. They had a huge tunnel dug from Rafah under Israel’s border fence for a massive planned assault on Israeli communities in the south, and tried an amphibious attack on Israel’s coast. Both attacks were repulsed with heavy losses. Meanwhile, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and the IDF’s air strikes on Hamas’ infrastructure were even more effective than Hamas had planned on and that Israel had hoped.

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Israel’s ‘peace partner’ Mahmoud Abbas has also been doing his part. Fatah has several hundred militiamen in Gaza, including members of the Palestinian Authority security forces who have their salaries paid by Western governments. They have eagerly joined in firing rockets at Israel’s civilians. Abbas has done nothing to stop them.

Abbas has several huge assets his old boss Yasser Arafat could only have dreamed about, and they’re key to understanding what’s being planned. First and foremost, in Barack Hussein Obama, Abbas has a president in the White House who loathes Israel and who sees himself as Palestine’s community organizer.

More at the link about Abbas’ strategy and how Israel can defeat it.

In our non-Council category, the winner was long tome Council favorite Daniel Greenfield, AKA Sultan Knish with A Game Changer In Gaza submitted by The Independent Sentinel. Knish writes with his usual clarity and common sense about the choices Israel faces in dealing with Palestinian terrorism.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

 

Krauthammer: America’s Decline Is A Choice (Video)

America is in decline -but not as a result of  events, Charles Krauthammer explained on the O’Reilly Factor, Thursday night. “What we have with Obama is a president choosing decline.”

“We are in a position to dominate again, he continued, “but we have a president who doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, American greatness and he has chosen for American to retreat from the Middle East, to not lift a finger in the Ukraine – basically to make us one nation among others and that is a choice. It can be reversed, but that’s the challenge America faces.”

Without mentioning any names, O’Reilly brought up certain conservative radio personalities who were saying what Krauthammer said right from the beginning.

“They said, ‘this guy…he wants America to decline in power, he is not going to promote our best interests. This was on right-wing talk radio, and many people – including me – were skeptical of that approach. (We know, Bill.)

Of course, O’Reilly is referring to people like Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh, who famously declared, “I hope he fails.”

Krauthammer said, “this is a man who believes America ought to retreat as a matter of ideology and in part because he wants to see all of our efforts on domestic affairs to become the Social Democracy like Europe.”

“It is very clear that he believes that America in some way perhaps doesn’t have a moral right to be the leader of the world. And I think that he feels that the sins we have created in the past the injuries we’ve inflicted on others – the Iraqis I think he would list, among others –  does not entitle us to a hegemonic position dominant position we had after the cold war,” Krauthammer concluded.

Here’s Rush’s “I hope he fails” monologue from January 16, 2009 while the the mortifying cult of Obama was in full swing. You may remember the intense indignation, anger and hysteria this incited on the left culminating in another effort on the part of Democrats to “hush Rush.”

RUSH: I got a request here from a major American print publication. “Dear Rush: For the Obama [Immaculate] Inauguration we are asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency. We would love to include you. If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal.”

Now, we’re caught in this trap again. The premise is, what is your “hope.” My hope, and please understand me when I say this. I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, “Well, I hope he succeeds. We’ve got to give him a chance.” Why? They didn’t give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated the search-and-destroy mission had begun. I’m not talking about search-and-destroy, but I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don’t want them to succeed.

If I wanted Obama to succeed, I’d be happy the Republicans have laid down. And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. Look, what he’s talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don’t want this to work. So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.” (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, “Oh, you can’t do that.” Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it.

Were the liberals out there hoping Bush succeeded or were they out there trying to destroy him before he was even inaugurated? Why do we have to play the game by their rules? Why do we have to accept the premise here that because of the historical nature of his presidency, that we want him to succeed? This is affirmative action, if we do that. We want to promote failure, we want to promote incompetence, we want to stand by and not object to what he’s doing simply because of the color of his skin? Sorry. I got past the historical nature of this months ago. He is the president of the United States, he’s my president, he’s a human being, and his ideas and policies are what count for me, not his skin color, not his past, not whatever ties he doesn’t have to being down with the struggle, all of that’s irrelevant to me. We’re talking about my country, the United States of America, my nieces, my nephews, your kids, your grandkids. Why in the world do we want to saddle them with more liberalism and socialism? Why would I want to do that? So I can answer it, four words, “I hope he fails.” And that would be the most outrageous thing anybody in this climate could say. Shows you just how far gone we are. Well, I know, I know. I am the last man standing.

I’m happy to be the last man standing. I’m honored to be the last man standing. Yeah, I’m the true maverick. I can do more than four words. I could say I hope he fails and I could do a brief explanation of why. You know, I want to win. If my party doesn’t, I do. If my party has sacrificed the whole concept of victory, sorry, I’m now the Republican in name only, and they are the sellouts. I’m serious about this. Why in the world, it’s what Ann Coulter was talking about, the tyranny of the majority, all these victims here, we gotta make sure the victims are finally assuaged. Well, the dirty little secret is this isn’t going to assuage anybody’s victim status, and the race industry isn’t going to go away, and the fact that America’s original sin of slavery is going to be absolved, it’s not going to happen. Just isn’t, folks. It’s too big a business for the left to keep all those things alive that divide the people of this country into groups that are against each other. Yes, I’m fired up about this.

 

 

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