Rep. Gowdy Questions AG Holder About Duty to Faithfully Execute the Law: ‘Why Would You Trump Congress With A Memo?’ (Video)

Attorney General Eric Holder was up on Capital Hill today to answer questions before the house Judiciary Committee.

Last month, Congressman Trey Gowdy  introduced the Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law (ENFORCE the Law) Act (H.R. 4138) to rein in the growing problem of executive overreach and restore balance to the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution. One area of concern has been Holder’s executive action concerning mandatory minimum sentences. He asked Holder about that at the hearing, today.

More from today’s hearing…

Chaffetz Questions AG Holder on Petraeus Investigation:

Chaffetz was being far too gentle and accommodating, here in reaction to Holder’s stonewall:

And More:

HOLDER EXPLODES AT LOUIE GOHMERT: ‘YOU DON’T WANT TO GO THERE, BUDDY’

During a House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder became visibly upset when Rep. Louis Gohmert suggested that being in contempt of Congress didn’t appear to matter to the Attorney General.

After Holder dismissed Gohmert’s requests for documents relating to congressional investigations, Gohmert said, “I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our Attorney General, but it is important that we have proper oversight.”

“You don’t want to go there buddy!” Holder responded. “You don’t want to go there, OK?”

“You should not assume that uh that is not a big deal to me,” Holder continued. “I think it was inappropriate, I think it was unjust, but never think that it was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that.”

Gohmert insisted that Republicans were focused on getting to the bottom of the Fast and Furious gun running scandal.

“I don’t need lectures from you about contempt,” Gohmert fired back.

“And I don’t need lectures from you either,” Holder responded.

Eric Holder Feb 2013: ‘Contempt Vote Didn’t Have Huge Impact On Me’

Republicans have every reason to believe that being held in contempt is not “a big deal” to Eric Holder based on Eric Holder’s own words. In an exclusive interview with ABC News’  Pierre Thomas on February 27, 2013, Holder was asked about how he reacted when House Republicans voted with 17 Democrats to hold him in contempt of Congress over the ATF’s “Fast and Furious” gun running scandal.

“It’s something that I think was unfortunate,” Holder said. “I think it’s a result of this kind of partisan sport that I think we engage in here in Washington far too often.”

Holder said the votes it didn’t bother him, considering who cast them.

“But I have to tell you that for me to really be affected by what happened,I’d have to have respect for the people who voted in that way,”Holder told ABC News. “And I didn’t, so it didn’t have that huge an impact on me.”

 

Rand Paul: 80% of the New ObamaCare Enrollees Are Free or Subsidized (Video)

Senator Rand Paul says 80% of the 7.1 million new ObamaCare enrollees are being subsidized by those who are working. (See Obamacare enrollment in three charts for confirmation of this. Also, numbers from a RAND Corporation study suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans – nowhere near 7.1 million – have actually paid for new policies.)

The Kentucky Senator said in his home state, “everyone is getting healthcare but it’s all free or subsidized.”

Appearing on the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Friday night, Paul said, “the bill is going to come due at some time, and one of the ways the bill becomes due is through rising premiums – I think people are going to pay more for their insurance.” Van Susteren noted that Blue Cross/Blue Shield is already warning that sticker shocks are coming.

Paul said that this is of course why Obama has moved back the next enrollment period to  after the election.

Greta noted that at least in Kentucky, the sticker shock shouldn’t matter since most people are getting it free or subsidized.

Paul told her, “it’s even worse than that. 80% are getting Medicaid – completely free – the other 20% are getting subsidized. Almost no one in my state signed up to pay for insurance. Almost everyone signed up for free or subsidized insurance.”

He continued, “he governor of Kentucky is a big ally of Obama. He goes around saying it’s a $15,000 billion dollar stimulus for Kentucky….the money’s got to come from somewhere!”

Greta asked, “where is it coming from?”

“It’s coming from the taxpayer,” Paul answered. He  later explained that it will probably not be through raised taxes but “we will either borrow or print the money.”  He explained, “the repercussions are the same. Let’s say your goal is to to help poor people – you give them free health care. Sounds noble. But then, by printing up money to pay for it, you raise their prices at the pump, you raise the prices for their food, so as the currency loses its value they think, ‘oh I got something for free’, but then it turns out all their other stuff costs more, and in the end they say, ‘gosh, I’m still poor’ because big government doesn’t really help poor people.”

SEE ALSO:

Washington Times:  Paging Dr. Carson! GOP makes House call for surgeon to replace Obamacare:

With a major Obamacare sign-up deadline past, Republicans are turning their attention to the “replace” half of their repeal and replace strategy, hoping to make up ground lost over the past four years as they seek to show voters that they have an alternative to the president’s health care overhaul.

Retired surgeon Ben Carson sat down with the House Republican health care caucus Thursday to hash out ideas. The doctor urged lawmakers to set some deadlines of their own for writing a plan.

“It doesn’t do any good to have a lot of good ideas but not to get behind one and really push it,” said Mr. Carson, who has been mentioned as a potential Republican presidential contender.

The first enrollment period for Obamacare has ended, and President Obama has claimed success with the sign-ups of 7.1 million Americans in the federal and state health insurance exchanges set up under the law.

Democrats say the final tally means millions now have coverage thanks to provisions that prohibit caps on spending and prevent companies from denying insurance for pre-existing health conditions. They argue that a repeal by Republicans would leave all of those Americans worse off.

Republicans were already under pressure to elucidate how their vision contrasts with that of the Democrats they hope to unseat in November’s midterm elections, and to offer a realistic alternative to Obamacare.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said this week that the party is seeking consensus around an alternative plan.

 

Video: The Koch Brothers Strike Back With Blistering Ad

In a new ad released Monday, The fabulous Koch brothers hit back at Dingy Harry and one of his crony billionaire backers, the anti-Keystone Pipeline Greenie Tom Steyer.  The ad, paid for by American Commitment, a 501(c)(4) group that is part of the Koch non-profit network, is running online only, and is being pushed in Louisiana, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Michigan.

Via NRO:

The ad, “Steyer Infection,” juxtaposes Harry Reid’s denunciation of the Koch brothers with a narrative about Reid’s relationship with billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and his brother Jim, who runs a ratings service for children’s products.

“This is about two very wealthy brothers who intend to buy their own Congress,” it shows Reid saying in a speech earlier this month on the Senate floor. “You see when you make billions of dollars a year, you can be I guess as immoral and dishonest as your money will allow you to be.”​

SEE ALSO:

Eliana Johnson, NRO: Inside the Koch-Funded Ads Giving Dems Fits:

In one of the ads Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has put on the air this year, a thirtysomething actress stands against a white backdrop and looks into the camera. “People don’t like political ads,” she says plaintively. “I don’t like them either. But health care isn’t about politics, it’s about people, and millions of people have lost their health insurance, millions of people can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less.” At the close, a narrator urges viewers to “tell Mary Landrieu to stop thinking about politics and start thinking about people.” Such ads have also run against Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mark Udall in Colorado, and incumbent Democratic House members in Arizona, Florida, and New Hampshire.

Ads like the “white ad,” as it has become known, are not new to 2014. They are part of a sustained assault against Obamacare mounted with the help of the donor network organized by Charles and David Koch and the array of social-welfare groups it funds.

Keep reading at the link.

Powerline: DID THE WASHINGTON POST COLLABORATE WITH CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS TO SMEAR THE KOCH BROTHERS? THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES:

So far, I have heard nothing in response to my email to Washington Post reporters Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson about their possible coordination with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Henry Waxman or other Democrats in writing the article about the Keystone pipeline that I critiqued here and here. I will follow up with them in due course. In the meantime, I have written the following letter to Whitehouse and Waxman:

#CPAC2014 Ted Cruz Bloggers Briefing (Video)

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Conservative favorite, Senator Ted Cruz held a bloggers briefing just for conservative bloggers, Thursday afternoon at CPAC. With only fifteen minutes to spend with us because of an upcoming Senate vote, he gave a brief statement and took questions from the pool of about forty bloggers.

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The first question about Common Core gave Cruz an opportunity to launch into a dissertation on one of his pet issues – school choice.

Later on Cruz talked for a bit on Obama’s abuse of power and his entirely politicized and corrupt DOJ and weaponized IRS – all made possible by a palace guard that lets him get away with things they would never let a Republican get away with. Cruz stressed the importance of the new media to go over the heads of the dinosaur media and get the truth out.

UPDATE:

In part three, Cruz talks about how the Republican party can win younger voters.

CPAC 2014 Kicks Off on Thursday

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The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) takes place Thursday, March 6 through Saturday, March 8 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in beautiful National Harbor just outside of Washington, D.C.

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CPAC is expected to draw at least 10, 000 conservatives from across the country. For conservative voters and activists, CPAC is an opportunity to hear and meet conservative politicians, leaders and intellectuals, all of whom share basic values of limited government, lower taxes, less regulations, free markets, individual liberty and family, among others. For politicians, on the other hand, CPAC is a unique opportunity to speak and connect with grassroots activists.

The event will feature a slate of potential 2016 presidential candidates, including Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio and Governors Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor was denied a speaking slot last year following his “bromance” with President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

CPAC 2014 Schedule

Tomorrow promises to be an action packed day. Ted Cruz will get things rolling with his speech at 9:00. He will have a bloggers briefing in the afternoon. After that, I will be taking part in a conference call with Reps Chairman Issa and and Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Obama’s imperial presidency and executive overreach.

If you have any suggestions for me on what I might ask Chairman Issa on that conference call, let me know in the comments.

House Committee Hearing: Is the Obama Administration Conducting a Serious Investigation of IRS Targeting?

Today, a subcommittee of Oversight and Reform, the Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs Committee, held a  hearing examining the DOJ’s sham investigation of the IRS scandal  - Is the Obama Administration Conducting a Serious Investigation of IRS Targeting?
Panelists at the hearing: 
the Honorable George J. Terwilliger III, Partner Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
The Honorable Eileen J. O’Connor, Former Assistant Attorney General (2001-2007) Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice
 The Honorable Hans von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Mr. Glenn F. Ivey, Partner Leftwich and Ludaway LLC
Mr. Richard Painter S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law, University of Minnesota Law School, Hearing Documents

IRS Targeting Hearing Part One:

2-26-2014 IRS Targeting Hearing Part Two:

2-26-2014 IRS Targeting Hearing Part Three:

Fun fireworks in this one between the crazy lib from Virginia, Rep Connolly and Hans von Spakovsky.

Enjoy:

Law Prof To Congress: “If You Want to Stay Relevant, Don’t Stand Idly By And Let The President Take Your Power Away.”

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing, this morning to address Obama’s escalating abuses of power.

Entitled, ENFORCING THE PRESIDENT’S CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY TO FAITHFULLY EXECUTE THE LAWS the hearing’s witness panel included, Mr. Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School, Ms. Elizabeth Price Foley of Florida International University College of Law, and Mr. Christopher Schroeder of Duke University Law School.

Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asked the panel what to most would appear a rhetorical question, “Is unilateral decision making good for our Republican system of government?

Turley, who has been one of the most outspoken critics of Obama’s executive overreach, said, “the greatest danger that we have, really cannot be overstated, when he have the concentration of power in one branch. That is precisely the sort of power the framers were seeking  to avoid.”

“What people often miss, he continued  “is that the separation of powers was not about protecting Congress – -separation of powers was designed for the protection of liberty. It was to prevent the concentration of power in any of the branches that would threaten the individual citizen.”

Goodlatte asked Professor Foley what she thought the longterm institutional consequences would be if the current practice of “benevolent suspensions of the law” isn’t stopped.

She answered that people are going to continue to be cynical about government and the Constitution, and ultimately eroding respect for the rule of law.

She also brought up the point that it makes it less likely for Congress to tackle big issues like immigration reform,  “why would you go through the trouble of reaching a very delicate political compromise on an issue like that if you think that the president is going to just benevolently suspend those portions of the law he doesn’t like after you reach that compromise.” She concluded, “if you want to stay relevant as an institution, I would suggest that you not stand idly by and let the president take your power away.”

Goodlatte then asked about the principle of prosecutorial discretion which Obama’s “deferred actions” are based on. “Does prosecutorial discretion have such elasticity that a whole class of people could be recipients of deferred actions based simply on them being in the category…?

Foley said, “yeah, this is sort of a dangerous and scary moment – uh, that’s not discretion – that’s raw, lawmaking power.”

 

Video: Marco Rubio’s Passionate Floor Speech Ripping Cuba, Venezuela and Useful Idiot Tom Harkin

In case you haven’t seen this yet, it’s a reminder of why conservatives fell in love with this guy prior to his involvement with the gang of eight’s amnesty push and it’s why he still has a bright future ahead of him in the Republican party.

Via John Sexton at the Conversation:

Rubio’s 14 minute speech was apparently prompted by comments Sen. Tom Harkin made after a visit to Cuba last month. One of the points Harkin raised was Cuba’s low infant mortality rate. Rubio questioned the reliability of Cuba’s official infant mortality statistics, noting that “totalitarian communist regimes don’t have the best history of accurately reporting things.”

Rubio also noted with regard to Cuba’s high literacy rate that “They can only read censored stuff.” He added “I wish that someone on that trip would have asked the average Cuban: With your wonderful literacy skills, are you allowed to read the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal or any blog for that matter? Because the answer is no.”

Five minutes into the speech Rubio pivoted by noting that Cuba had “exported” their system of repression to Venezuela. He showed a series of large posters, talking about each one in turn. The first was of Leopoldo Lopez, the Venezuelan opposition leader, who was arrested last week.

The second was the famous photo of Genesis Carmona being rushed to the hospital after being shot in the head. “She’s on that motorcycle because the government in Venezuela and the thugs, these so called civilian groups that they’ve armed–another export from Cuba, a model the Cubans follow–they shot her in the head!” Rubio said, pointing at the photo.

Bobby Jindal on a Tear

Governor Bobby Jindal caused great confusion and consternation and mayhaps a bit of pearl clutching amongst Washington wags, Monday morning, when he boisterously strode to the microphone after the National Governors’ Association meeting, and proceeded to let the president have it.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal launched into a repeated assault on President Barack Obama’s leadership in the shadow of the West Wing, in defiance of established bipartisan protocol. Speaking after a meeting of the NGA at the White House, Jindal, the vice chair of the Republican Governors Association, said Obama is “waving a white flag” by focusing on executive actions with three years left in his term. “The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy,” Jindal added.

The trembling Democrat who followed Jindal was Dan Malloy, the governor of Connecticut. When he was through repudiating Jindal, Jindal returned to the mike and blasted the president some more..

“The National Governors Association is supposed to bring Democrats and Republicans together to discuss policy and share ideas for mutual success”, whimpered Zeke Miller of Time’s Swampland. “But after a meeting at the White House Monday, all pretense at bipartisan comity was shattered as a press conference with lawmakers descended into a partisan fracas.”

How dare he!!!

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“Shattered”

The Governor of Louisiana was DEFIANT of established bipartisan protocol. Goodness gracious… No Democrat has ever ever ever been defiant of established bipartisan protocols like this  before. What a ruckus Bobby Jindal caused in Washington DC today with his shocking, rough defiance of established protocols.

Monday evening, Jindal went on Fox News’ Special Report with Brett Baier  and doubled down on the “white flag of surrender” talk that had so upset Malloy.

Can we see a little more “defiance of established protocols” from republicans please? The president hasn’t been shy about showing his defiance of the Constitution, the rule of law, or the TRUTH for the past five years, for crying out loud. it’s the very least they can do.

See Also: The Hayride:  JINDAL: 10 Ways Obama’s Phone And Pen Could Jumpstart The Economy

Pat Caddell: ‘Establishment Republicans Want the IRS to Go After the Tea Party’ (Video)

Last night, Fox News’ Political Insiders discussed the IRS scandal, and the fact that so far, the Obama Regime been allowed to get away with criminal acts that would have been the downfall of any other president. As a way of explaining the GOP’s lack of action on the scandal, Pat Caddell explained, “the reason is, the establishment Republicans want the IRS to go after the Tea Parties. Got it? They want to go after the Tea Parties because the Tea Parties are an outside threat to their power hold, and I’m telling you, the lobbying, consulting class of the Republican Party and Republican leadership who have been attacking the Tea Parties and alienating them, they want the IRS to do this.”

That, of course, is just Caddell’s opinion. He doesn’t necessarily have information  (other than Republican fecklessness) to reach that conclusion.

And it’s not entirely true that the Republican leadership has done nothing. As CBS News reports, congressional Republicans are pulling out all the stops to oppose the IRS rule changes that would affect 501 (C) (4) non profit groups.

Republicans are keeping a wary eye on the agency’s moves. This week, the GOP stepped up its protests against the proposed changes to IRS rules that would significantly limit the way certain nonprofit groups can engage in political activity. After sending a series of letters calling for the rule change to be abandoned, Republicans have started pursuing legislation that would halt the rule changes, arguing that the so-called reforms would actually exacerbate the problem – essentially codifying such behavior.

“Instead of putting safeguards in place to protect our civil liberties, the Obama administration is now dragging the IRS back in the opposite direction,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It’s now pushing a regulation that would actually entrench and encourage the harassment of groups that dare to speak up and engage in the conversation.”

Senator McConnell; Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; and other Republican leaders from both chambers a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen last week asking him to abandon the rule changes. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio,  also sent a letter making the same request.

In other news, Robert Costa is reporting that Congressional Republicans are now focusing on calming their divided ranks. 

After a tumultuous week of party infighting and leadership stumbles, congressional Republicans are focused on calming their divided ranks in the months ahead, mostly by touting proposals that have wide backing within the GOP and shelving any big-ticket legislation for the rest of the year.

Comprehensive immigration reform, tax reform, tweaks to the federal health-care law — bipartisan deals on each are probably dead in the water for the rest of this Congress.

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Republican leaders are also quite aware of voters’ skepticism about the GOP’s policies, and most believe that a softer sell, rather than an assertive attempt to pass major bills, is a smart play. A Washington Post-ABC News poll in January found that just 19 percent of Americans have confidence in congressional Republicans to make the right decisions for the country, while 80 percent do not.

That means a huge chunk of Republicans don’t trust them, either.

On health care, Republicans will offer their own wholesale substitute for the Affordable Care Act in the spring or summer, making full repeal of the law a keystone of their election-year message.

Republican operatives said the GOP’s slowing pace is unsurprising, given the party’s internal squabbles and the usual pattern ahead of midterm elections, a period that has rarely provided moments for ambitious bipartisan legislating.

If the Republican leadership were really interested in calming the ranks, they would give the go ahead on that select committee on Benghazi, and ratchet up the investigation into the ongoing IRS scandal.

 

Groundhog Day: Debt Limit (Video)

The Heritage released a video at the Foundry, this morning, expressing that feeling of “deja-vu” we all feel when it’s time for Washington to have their multi-annual debt ceiling debate.

As far as Washington is concerned, it’s like the movie Ground Hog Day where the Bill Murray’s character wakes up again and again on the same morning – and keeps making the same mistakes.

Depending on which party’s in power, the ones arguing for or against raising the debt ceiling will change—which makes for fun historical quotations like Obama vs. Obama on the debt limit. In our new video, you can see politicians from both sides arguing the debt limit—and vowing that they will not, absolutely not, have this same argument again next year.

FYI, since last Fall,  Congress hasn’t been limiting the debt at all.

The government has actually been operating since October with no debt limit in place. Congress “suspended” it twice last year, and they’re considering doing it again—for an entire year.

Just since the limit was suspended in the fall, Washington has borrowed nearly $600 billion. So what happens if lawmakers throw up their hands and abandon the debt limit for a year? Romina Boccia, Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Fellow, warns:

The debt limit serves as an important congressional check on federal spending and borrowing. Without a debt limit, all control over borrowing decisions shifts to the Treasury secretary, who is appointed by the president. Effectively, this concentrates borrowing authority in the executive branch, and hands the president a blank check to borrow against the U.S. taxpayer.

President Obama is already threatening to disregard Congress and use executive actions to make laws. Will he have all the borrowing power, too? Does Congress do anything anymore?

Members will take another vote at the end of February to determine what to do about the debt ceiling. In the meantime, the U.S. national debt reached nearly $17.3 trillion at midnight on February 7. As Boccia says, “The approach of that deadline should have sparked serious Congressional deliberations of how to reduce the growing debt burden on taxpayers.”

Republicans had been planning to tie the debt ceiling deal to the Keystone Pipeline, but now it looks like they’re taking Charles Krauthammer’s advice and are hoping to repeal the “risk corridors”  in ObamaCare that allow for a taxpayer bailout for insurance companies.

That wish list, described to TIME by a House GOP leadership aide, represents a marker being laid down as the Obama Administration says the debt ceiling must be raised by the end of February, and as Democrats warn Republicans not to play a game of chicken with the nation’s credit rating again. The path toward approval of the controversial pipeline was cleared a bit last week by a State Department report that found minimal environmental impact in building the pipeline. So Republicans are leaning toward seeking a repeal of so-called risk corridors in the health-reform law instead. The risk corridors reimburse insurers buffeted by fewer healthy people signing up than they had originally expected, acting as a cost buffer during the experimental early years of health care reform.

The leadership aide described repealing the risk corridors as Republicans’ more likely target. Many Republicans are calling the program a government bailout of insurance companies, including Representative Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana, who chairs a coalition of House conservatives. “I think it would be a real tough position to sell to say that when we’re running out of money, when we’re maxing out our credit card, we should also be borrowing money from China to bail out insurance companies,” Scalise told TIME last month.

VIDEO: Keystone Pipeline: “It’s Time”

“After five years, five studies, and countless public comments, it’s time,” says Speaker Boehner.  “It’s time to act #4jobs. It’s time to #UseThePen.  It’s #TimetoBuild the Keystone pipeline.”

Scott McKay of Louisiana’s premiere political blog, the Hayride, is of the opinion that Obama, who’s looking ahead to funding his presidential library, is too beholden to deep pocketed left wing environmental groups to approve the pipeline.

…And then there’s the Keystone XL pipeline project that not only could lower oil prices nationally, but also create jobs in state, and for which Landrieu has stumped as has Cassidy. Because of a Senate resignation, very soon Landrieu could take over in the final months of her term the chairwomanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which could be a selling point for her in two ways: a vote for her not only puts her in position to continue in this influential post, but also it could well keep Democrats in control of the Senate, which is necessary for her to keep it, and hers is a seat almost certainly they must win in order to do that.

Problem is, for years now on the pipeline issue Obama has done his best Andrei Gromyko imitation and it continues to go nowhere as he uses every means possible to frustrate not just Landrieu and Cassidy, but congressional majorities and his neighbors of the Great White North as well. Despite yet another study coming back discounting any undue environmental risk from it, he may continue to stall on it to placate environmentalists until after the election. This exactly the testament that Landrieu does not want – she’s supposedly one of the most influential senators on this issue, yet she can’t even persuade a president of her own party to back her. If she can’t get anything done for Louisiana with all of that going for her, somebody new can only go up from there.

I say there’s about a 50% chance that he will approve the pipeline, and if he does,  he’ll wait until the summer to make the announcement in Senator Landrieu’s backyard, with her at his side.

Issa and Jordan To IRS Commissioner: Withdraw IRS Political Speech Rule

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Tuesday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan today requested that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen withdraw the controversial proposed IRS regulation that would limit political speech by nonprofit organizations. Issa argues that his Committee’s investigation into the IRS’s targeting scandal “has raised serious flaws and concerns about the process and substance of the proposed rule.”

“The proposed regulation is intended to clarify the tax-exemption determinations process and resolve problems identified in a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audit report. It does not,” wrote Chairman Issa and Chairman Jordan. “As written, the Administration’s proposed rule will stifle the speech of social welfare organizations and will codify and systemize targeting of organizations whose views are at odds with those of the Administration.  In addition to these substantive concerns, we also have serious concerns about the process by which the Administration promulgated this rule.”

Concerns include the following, detailed in the letter:

·         The proposed rule codifies the Obama Administration’s earlier attempts to stifle political speech.

·         The proposed rule improperly applies Federal Election Commission standards to tax-exempt organizations.

·         The IRS’s efforts to develop new restrictions on political speech for non-profit groups, led by Lois Lerner and the IRS chief counsel’s office, began long before the TIGTA audit was released.

·         The proposed regulation will needlessly harm social welfare organizations.

Read today’s letter here.

Jordan Sekulow of the ACLJ appeared on the Blaze, yesterday to talk about the IRS rule change.

Meanwhile,  it is now being reported that Obama didn’t consult Justice before saying there was not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS.

President Obama didn’t check with the Justice Department before saying there was no corruption at the IRS, the department’s deputy told Congress on Tuesday, ahead of several potential showdowns on Capitol Hill this week.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is scheduled to appear before the tax-writing committee Wednesday, where he will likely have to defend new rules clamping down on non-profit groups. And Republicans have invited a Justice Department lawyer involved in investigating the IRS to testify Thursday — though Deputy Attorney General James Cole has said he won’t allow her to appear.

 

Wednesday Thursday morning’s Oversight  hearing, The IRS Targeting Investigation: What is the Administration Doing? starts at  9:30 a.m.

Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!

Video: Reactions To Obama’s SOTU Speech

There were a lot of Republicans jockying for the camera after the president’s State of the Union speech last night,  moderate Democrats, on the other hand, were clearing out quickly. 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers of Washington gave the official Republican response:

Read the comments at YouTube if you need a reminder of how much trouble this nation is in.

SEE ALSO: 

Truth Revolt: Feminist Comedian: ‘I Want to Rip Out the Uterus’ of ‘C***’ McMorris Rodgers and ‘Eat It’ 

What was it that Mike Huckabee said that was so outrageous and offensive, again? Oh yeah. He said; “if the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”

Hm…Anybody else ever notice that the bar that measures what constitutes “vile” behavior is set much lower for Democrats than it is for Republicans?

Senator Mike Lee (UT) gave the Tea Party response:

See also: DAILY CALLER: Six reasons why Mike Lee’s tea party response to the State of the Union was AMAZING.

Senator Ted Cruz shared his thoughts with Megyn Kelly, after the speech last night on Fox:

Rand Paul gave his own response – just because:

Paul cited former President Ronald Reagan when he made the argument that “government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.”

“If we don’t understand the cause of joblessness, we’ll have trouble fixing it,” Paul said. “As we entered into the Great Recession, Republicans and Democrats misdiagnosed the problem as too little government. So they gave us more government in the form of bank bailouts and a government stimulus plan.”

The fact of the matter is, he explained, the government doesn’t create jobs very well, he said.

Cato Institute Video:

Cato Institute scholars Alex Nowrasteh, Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, Benjamin H. Friedman, Simon Lester, Neal McCluskey, Mark Calabria, Dan Mitchell, Justin Logan, Patrick J. Michaels, Walter Olson and Jim Harper respond to President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address.

Politico: Reaction For Obama’s SOTU Was Tepid And Subdued In Chamber (Video):

So, @MarkUdall! You going to have @barackobama campaign with you in Colorado?

Dem Sen. Mark Begich On Obama: “I Don’t Need Him Campaigning For Me”…

What?  Harry Reid said vulnerable Democrats were looking forward to campaigning with Obama.

But I don’t know – on CNN last night they were saying that Demcrats were running away.

Moderate Democrats’ SOTU Reaction: Run!

The applause in the chamber for Obama was tepid. Republicans mostly sat on their hands. But one group – moderate Democrats up for reelection this year – had a less casual reaction.

See also:

Hot Air for a Fact-Check Round-up: Snow jobs and minimum honesty:

Usually after the State of the Union, we’d feature a media fact check to see where spin crossed the line in the presidential address into “You lie!” territory. Perhaps because Barack Obama managed to “win” Politifact’s Lie of the Year in 2013, we have a few media outlets on the case today — the Associated Press, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post, and Politicoall got rapid research completed overnight. What nuggets did they find?

Ted Cruz: President Obama Dodged Our Questions!

HE REFUSED TO PROVIDE ANSWERS ABOUT IRS SCANDAL, BENGHAZI ATTACKS, PROTECTING OUR PRIVACY, OBAMACARE, AND THE ECONOMY

SOTU2

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today highlighted the questions that President Obama failed to answer last night in his State of the Union address.

“Last night President Obama had the opportunity to answer critical questions that millions of Americans are asking all around the country, but he didn’t, which is precisely why so many Americans have lost trust in this President,” Sen. Cruz said. “If President Obama truly wanted to restore credibility to his government, he would have announced meaningful action on a series of urgent matters that are of great importance to our safety and freedoms. He would have addressed the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservatives, announced action to bring terrorists to justice for the attacks on our embassy in Benghazi, taken steps to protect Americans from unjustifiable privacy violations by the federal government, provided Americans relief from Obamacare’s hurtful effects, and committed to pro-growth policies to get more Americans working. Instead, he showed that he refuses to hold himself or members of his Administration accountable to the American people. Rather, he intends to pursue more executive actions, in defiance of the separation of powers, the will of the American people, and their elected representatives.”

Ace’s assessment - (speaking for o-so many of us):

I can’t weigh in on whether it was a “good speech.” I strongly doubt that. But I didn’t watch. At 1:30 am or so I went to bed and turned on the TV and the speech was replaying on Fox. I heard Obama say something — I forget what, but he used his Stage Whisper fake drama voice — and I cursed “F*** you” at the TV.

I brushed my teeth and didn’t hear much more than I had the first time. When I came back out, he said something else clingy, desperate, and false, and again I said “F*** you,” then I turned him off my TV and watched something else for twenty minutes.

So that’s what I got out of it.

Video: Mitch McConnell Torches Obama In New Campaign Ad

Senator McConnell really brought down the thunder in this campaign ad criticizing Obama – the Divider in Chief. The noted First Amendment hawk released the video ahead of the SOTU to slam the president for being a divider not a uniter. It was  produced by filmmaker Lucas Baiano, and criticizes Obama on unemployment, health care, the IRS scandal and coal.

I like it even more than the also excellent “Abuse of Power”  video the Cruz campaign put out Tuesday. Maybe because the Minority Leader hit on a theme that really strikes a chord with me. As I’ve said on a number of occasions – We’ve never had a such a divisive president before, nor one so obviously full of contempt for half of America – the portion that doesn’t vote for big government. It’s horrifying, really.

Via The Daily Caller:

“The president’s job is to unite the country, not divide,” McConnell says in the video. “His job is to bridge differences, not not aggravate them. To encourage success, not condemn it.”

“The president seems to have forgotten that he was elected to lead all Americans,” McConnell says.

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