The news we have for those that believe Hillary’s press conference was a “trainwreck” is “you’ve just been fu*ked and you don’t even know it.”
Why do we say this? Because we have seen it before. Remember Hillary’s billing records? That was the “scandal” that would destroy her. Add your favorite anti-Hillary moment here. Remember Hillary was destroyed never to be seen again in 2008? What happened?
At today’s press conference Hillary fu*ked then disemboweled her inquisitors. Remember all those questions about Hillary’s server being insecure and the pearl clutching over that? Hillary said it was built around hubby Bill’s electronic communications system safeguarded by Secret Service or what4ever. Result: security issue gone. Why was the system set up? “Convenience” she said, and it was permissible from the State Department viewpoint. “Personal emails?” Everyone understands the privacy issue and it resonates more emotionally with the American public than the evidence gathering rationales of investigators than Hillary/Bill detractors understand. Bill and Hillary know how to communicate and where the priority is when making an argument against an attack. [Hint: the political will always trump the legal.]
For every question Hillary had an answer. The search is now on to disprove everything she said. Bill only emailed twice in his life, she really had multiple devices, etc. etc. It won’t matter. The battle is over. At some point Hillary will permit some sort of inspection of the server when no one cares anymore and after her negotiation starting point expressed today of no inspection is long past useful.
Today Hillary anally abused her interrogators. Hillary also reset the landscape and put herself in the role of victim fighting off an irrational clown posse that wants to go through her daughter’s panty drawer and peek into her yoga emails, mother’s funeral emails, little girl’s wedding emails. Strategically, Hillary has them right where she wants them and the funny part is, once again they think they won.
It’s easy for dullards to see Hillary, Bill, and Barack as one corrupt whole. But that is shadowbox analysis and you do not win boxing shadows. For Republicans to win, or Obama opponents to win it is imperative to see beyond the shadows and tackle the shadow making machinery and players.
What do we mean by all this? We mean that most Republicans, conservatives, and otherwise sane Obama opponents assume Hillary Clinton will be the next nominee of the Obama Dimocrat party and that Barack Obama will do everything to get Hillary the nomination because (a) he owes his reelection to Bill Clinton’s oratorical skills and Hillary Clinton’s silence; (b) some sort of deal was worked out with Bill to secure Hillary the nomination and the presidency. This is all wrong.
Barack Obama and his minions will do everything in their power to destroy Hillary Clinton and make sure she does not get the nomination in 2016 let alone the presidency.
There is no way that the crazed Obama left is going to go back to the hated paradigm of clinton-bush-clinton-bush interrupted by Obama for clinton-bush years. The crazed left minions might think they love Hillary Clinton now, but wait until their overlords decide they will oppose Hillary and the minions will fall back into the Hillary hate line.
Ol’ “Serpenthead” Carville has woken up to what we wrote so long ago. Carville now accepts that the Left will attack Hillary and not have her pillows fluffed:
This is very good. Hillary better wake up. Big Media is not about to help Hillary in any way let alone in the overwhelming way Big Media helped Obama – by ignoring scandals and attacking anyone that noted the scandals. The Big Media that never looked for and has forgotten all those missing Obama records is not going to help Hillary.
Anyone remember those Obama legislative records that would speak to Obama’s relationship with Antoin “Tony” Rezko? Did state legislator Obama get calls from freezing tenants trapped in Rezko’s tenements that Obama helped Rezko purchase? We never found out because Big Media ignored the Obama scandals and anyone who raised questions was a “racist”.
We’re all for openness and think present day public officials need to be forced to comply with the law. That applies to Hillary. That applies to Menendez. But the law, openness and forced transparency should apply to all fairly.
The timing of the Menendez charges is also politically suspicious. The Senate Democrat is a leading critic of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy on Russia, Cuba and Iran. Mr. Obama recently accused critics of his Iran diplomacy of bowing to their political donors—that is, to Jewish Americans. According to the New York Times, Mr. Menendez rose at a private meeting of Democratic Senators to tell the President he was personally offended by those remarks. The negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program are coming to a head this month, and it doesn’t hurt the President if a prominent critic is operating under an ethical cloud.
All of which is to say that it’s important to look closely at the evidence and charges in this case and test them before a jury. This Justice Department deserves to be treated with as much doubt as any New Jersey politician.
Is Menendez a crook? As with any politician our immediate response is “Yup! Hang the bastard from the lampposts to teach the whole lot of them that here the people rule and their days of being the ruling class lording it over all of us, exempt to the laws they write for us to obey, apply to them too.” But then we look at the timing of this indictment and we fully understand that Menendez is a crook about to be punished by bigger and more lethal crooks. So we pause. Put down the rope. Wave it at the prosecutors instead.
“This is an Obama scandal,” Levin said of the firestorm over Clinton’s use of a private e-mail. Levin cited former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s use of an email under the the pseudonym “Richard Windsor” and former Deputy EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe’s use of private email during his time at the EPA, and Justice Department stonewalling of public records requests.
Levin continued, “This is an Obama scandal, Hillary, yes, no question. But it is an Obama administration scandal, it is happening in department after department and agency after agency, and the entire purpose is to prevent us, the American people, from finding out what’s going on in our own government.
Levin’s flashlight is lighting up the wrong dark corners. There is a real email scandal that is being lost to the detriment of the nation.
Several years ago we wrote that it was impossible to deny that, like a thieving clerk whose “mistakes” fall in the same direction – which is to short change customers, Barack Obama always makes decisions that benefit Muslim terrorists over American security and power. Victor Hanson makes the same observation today. For us this is the real email scandal the nation confronts:
How America Was Misled on al Qaeda’s Demise
The White House portrait of a crumbling terror group is contradicted by documents seized in the bin Laden raid.
In the early-morning hours of May 2, 2011, a small team of American military and intelligence professionals landed inside the high white walls of a mysterious compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The team’s mission, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, had two primary objectives: capture or kill Osama bin Laden and gather as much intelligence as possible about the al Qaeda leader and his network. A bullet to bin Laden’s head accomplished the first; the quick work of the Sensitive Site Exploitation team accomplished the second.
It was quite a haul: 10 hard drives, nearly 100 thumb drives and a dozen cellphones. There were DVDs, audio and video tapes, data cards, reams of handwritten materials, newspapers and magazines. At a Pentagon briefing days after the raid, a senior military intelligence official described it as “the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever.”
The United States had gotten its hands on al Qaeda’s playbook—its recent history, its current operations, its future plans. An interagency team led by the Central Intelligence Agency got the first look at the cache. They performed a hasty scrub—a “triage”—on a small sliver of the document collection, looking for actionable intelligence. According to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the team produced more than 400 separate reports based on information in the documents.
But it is what happened next that is truly stunning: nothing. The analysis of the materials—the “document exploitation,” in the parlance of intelligence professionals—came to an abrupt stop. According to five senior U.S. intelligence officials, the documents sat largely untouched for months—perhaps as long as a year.
The White House provided 17 handpicked documents to the Combatting Terror Center at the West Point military academy, where a team of analysts reached the conclusion the Obama administration wanted. Bin Laden, they found, had been isolated and relatively powerless, a sad and lonely man sitting atop a crumbling terror network.
It was 2012. Six months before the election. Treasure trove be damned. Obama withheld valuable national security emails, documents, analysis, in order to be reelected. A Muslim mole agent could not have done more harm to American security than Obama wreaked:
It was a reassuring portrayal. It was also wrong. And those responsible for winning the war—as opposed to an election—couldn’t afford to engage in such dangerous self-delusion.
“The leadership down at Central Command wanted to know what were we learning from these documents,” says Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to the transcript of an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier for a coming Fox News Reporting special. “We were still facing a growing al Qaeda threat. And it was not just Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq. But we saw it growing in Yemen. We clearly saw it growing still in East Africa.” The threat “wasn’t going away,” he adds, “and we wanted to know: What can we learn from these documents?”
After a pitched bureaucratic battle, a small team of analysts from the Defense Intelligence Agency and Centcom was given time-limited, read-only access to the documents. The DIA team began producing analyses reflecting what they were seeing in the documents.
At precisely the time Mr. Obama was campaigning on the imminent death of al Qaeda, those with access to the bin Laden documents were seeing, in bin Laden’s own words, that the opposite was true. Says Lt. Gen. Flynn: “By that time, they probably had grown by about—I’d say close to doubling by that time. And we knew that.”
This wasn’t what the Obama White House wanted to hear. So the administration cut off DIA access to the documents and instructed DIA officials to stop producing analyses based on them.
Like the Rezko documents, like his entire history, Obama disappeared these national security documents. National security was sacrificed to reelect Obama. The real email scandal:
Even this limited glimpse into the broader set of documents revealed the problems with the administration’s claims about al Qaeda. Bin Laden had clear control of al Qaeda and was intimately involved in day-to-day management. More important, given the dramatic growth of the terror threat in the years since, the documents showed that bin Laden had expansion plans. Lt. Gen. Flynn says bin Laden was giving direction to “members of the wider al Qaeda leadership team, if you will, that went all the way to places like West Africa where we see a problem today with Boko Haram and [al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb], all the way back into the things that were going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Bin Laden advised them on everything from specific operations in Europe to the types of crops his minions should plant in East Africa.
To date, the public has seen only two dozen of the 1.5 million documents captured in Abbottabad. “It’s a thimble-full,” says Derek Harvey, a senior intelligence official who helped lead the DIA analysis of the bin Laden collection.
You want a national security scandal? You want documents? You want to know how to stop this?:
There is a real email scandal. It’s the hidden Osama bin Laden emails. Barack Obama hid and hides bin Laden’s communications and we still have not heard Big Media demand Obama explain why the emails and documents have been hidden.
Bob Menendez, after years of questions, find himself about to be indicted. He spoke out against Iran in the same way Hillary did when she threatened to “obliterate” Iran. Menendez will be lynched, not for his corruptions, but to save Iran. Hillary will be obliterated to save Iran.
In the bin Laden email/documents treasure trove the link between Iran and Al Quaeda and ISIS is exposed. The documents will remain hidden from the American public. Iranian Valerie Jarrett and Barack Obama smile – their email scanal is safe.
Lee Smith wonders: Who ordered the Code Red on Hillary, and why? Why, when we’ve known for two years that she used private e-mail thanks to the “Guccifer” hacking, was this the week that all of this suddenly blew up?
Or to put the question another way, why did Hillary Clinton become the Obama administration’s bête noire this very week, the same one during which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled all of the world’s focus onto the issue of the administration’s negotiations with Iran?
The answer is because the two are related: This week’s tarring of Hillary Clinton is part of the White House’s political campaign to shut off debate about its hoped-for deal. It’s not hard to see why they’re anxious. With Netanyahu’s speech forcing lawmakers and editorial writers to face up to the proposed agreement’s manifest problems, the administration fears the prospect of Democrats jumping ship and signing on to Kirk-Menendez sanctions legislation that also would give Congress oversight on the deal. So far, the White House has managed to keep Democratic lawmakers in line, no matter how much they seem to question the wisdom of the proposed deal. Hillary Clinton, gearing up for a 2016 run in which she is likely to put some distance between herself and Obama’s dubious Middle East policies, is the one major national Democratic figure who can give Democrats in Congress cover.
In other words, it was a nightmare week for Barack Obama. The only respite for Obama was a squirrel that captured the national attention.
Now maybe in this squirrelly matter we are influenced by the two Cate Blanchett period movies about Elizabeth I and the Golden Age. In the past few weeks we have watched these two movies repeatedly (aired by the Ovation channel). In one of the moves, after an assassination attempt on the queen her shrewd counselor Walsingham is asked “who did it?” Walsingham notes that for various reasons it could not have been France (Elizabeth was at the time pretending to consider a marriage proposal from the transvestite Duc D’Anjou) nor Spain (the ambassador was present at the assassination attempt). Walsingham’s suspicions are immediately drawn to the treacherous Duke of Norfolk. As to Hillary’s emails we will answer “who did it?” much like Walsingham.
Fact: Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail account when she was secretary of State was lawful. The law restricting such private accounts by public officials was changed in 2014.
Fact: The 2009 Archives Preservation Law was not violated. [snip]
Fact: Thousands of State Department officials and others received e-mails from Secretary Clinton during her tenure, and all knew that she was using a private e-mail address. This flat out contradicts all the baseless innuendo that she was attempting to hide her use of a private e-mail address.
Back to Walsingham. So who then “dunnit?” It wasn’t the Benghazi Select Committee. Who? Try the treacherous boob who stabs everyone in the back (Mary, Spain, Elizabeth, his wife) the Duke of Norfolk a.k.a. Barack Obama.
For weeks Barack Obama plotted ways to disrupt Netanyahu’s speech on March 3. Charles Krauthammer joins us today it calling Netanyahu’s speech “Churchillian”. But Krauthammer is no Walsingham:
Netanyahu’s Churchillian warning
Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress was notable in two respects. Queen Esther got her first standing O in 2,500 years. And President Obama came up empty in his campaign to preemptively undermine Netanyahu before the Israeli prime minister could present his case on the Iran negotiations.
On the contrary. The steady stream of slights and insults turned an irritant into an international event and vastly increased the speech’s audience and reach. Instead of dramatically unveiling an Iranian nuclear deal as a fait accompli, Obama must now first defend his Iranian diplomacy.
We agree with Krauthammer that the attacks on Netanyahu drew more attention to Netanyahu’s speech on March 3. Krauthammer misses with his assertion that “Obama came up empty in his campaign to preemptively undermine Netanyahu”.
Contra Krauthammer, as March 3 dawned, a squirrel captured the national attention. The New York Times on March 3 published a report on Hillary’s emails. Hillary bypassed government email systems and established her own server and email system at her home in Chappaqua, reported the Hillary hating left wing Times.
Netanyahu’s speech and ObamaCare should have dominated the national headlines without respite this past week. Instead Republicans/conservatives and Obama Dimocrats/leftists fixated on the squirrel to the detriment of what should have been to undisturbed topics of conversation – Netanyahu and ObamaCare.
Think we’re nuts talking about squirrels? Consider, the Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi knew about Hillary’s email system since August 2014. August 2014! But someone released that squirrel on March 3 which disrupted news coverage of the Netanyahu speech and lessened coverage of the ObamaCare fiasco the very next day (not to mention the relevance of Israel v. Iran Purim on March 5, 2015). As soon as Netanyahu’s speech was over it was Hillary email squirrels on the headlines. As soon as the Supreme Court ObamaCare arguments were over it was back to Hillary email squirrels.
Representative Mike Pompeo evades Greta Van Susteren’s repeated questions about why the Benghazi committee knew since August 2014 about Hillary’s email system but never issued a subpoena. We’re not attacking the Benghazi Select Committee, we’ve supported the creation and the work of the Benghazi Select Committee. Our point Walshingham-like is the Benghazi Select Committee knew since August 2014 about the Hillary emails – so the Committee is not a likely suspect in the release of the Hillary email squirrel on March 3, 2015 which has removed Netanyahu and ObamaCare from the headlines.
Mark Levin believes that the recent leaks about Hillary’s private emails and email server are an inside job by the Democrats who either want to take her down a notch or want to take her out completely:
Bingo! “This is an inside job.”
Levin is misinformed when he says that Republicans did not know about Hillary’s emails and private server. Republicans knew but they did not have the MOTIVE.
For Republicans the smart move was to confront Hillary with their “bombshell” at a public hearing of the Benghazi Select Committee. Better timing for Republicans would be to drop this story the minute Hillary announces (if ever).
So who has the motive?
Sean Hannity, always ready to blame Bill or Hillary Clinton says this entire email release is a ploy by Bill and Hillary to get the bad news out early to bleed it dry of news value before Hillary announces. Sean is sure Hillary will run for president.
Hannity’s theory has some merit to it. In fact, it has a great deal of merit to it. If Hannity’s theory is correct then Hannity and Republicans and Conservatives and Hillary haters are dancing to Hillary’s tune and helping Hillary Clinton 2016. Indeed, if Hannity’s theory is correct Hillary should send free ReadyForHillary merchandise to every Republican, Conservative, and Hillary hater so fixated and focused and in love with the Hillary email story. It’s as if Hillary’s server is serving up the heads of her Mary Queen of Scots style detractors. Hannity’s theory is most definitely tasty.
But Hannity’s tasty theory is not very nutritious. For one thing, if true, Hillary could have waited until she had a full complement of campaign workers hired and ready for her announcement – prepared to fight back against the email story she according to Hannity released herself
Also, if Hannity is correct Hillary undertook a risk that without a response team ready the story might then acquire “legs” and keep going for months and months. Bottom line is that Hannity’s theory does not hold up. So Walsingham goes back the Mark Levin theory.
Going into the campaign season, President Johnson was the heavy favorite (as Clinton is now) but many on the left were urging Robert Kennedy to run (as they are now urging Warren to do).
Kennedy lacked the guts to challenge LBJ, but Eugene McCarthy was up for the fight. Though McCarthy didn’t defeat Johnson in the New Hampshire primary, he did well enough to cause Kennedy to enter the race. Soon thereafter, Johnson announced that he would neither seek nor accept his party’s nomination.
I would expect Warren to follow Kenney’s example and enter the race if Clinton were to withdraw or falter in 2016. Warren’s challenge will resemble Kennedy’s in terms of ideology, though she will be nothing like the campaign trail dynamo Kennedy was in 1968.
With Johnson out of the race and with two left-wing antiwar candidates fighting for the nomination, Vice President Hubert Humphrey announced his candidacy and attempted to rally the party establishment around him. Would Joe Biden do the same in 2016? I believe he would.
Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! All that is needed now is a willing dupe to set the stage like Eugene McCarthy for the Massachusetts Mohican, the Bay State Squaw – Speaking Bull. How?
With all the coverage of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, another bit of political news has been largely overlooked. At a press conference in Baltimore on Tuesday, Martin O’Malley, the former Democratic governor of Maryland, said that he won’t seek the U.S. Senate seat that Barbara Mikulski, Maryland’s five-term Democratic senator, has announced she will vacate in 2016. Rather than entering a Senate race in which he would immediately be the favorite, O’Malley appears set to go all-in and challenge Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Officially, O’Malley is still merely considering a bid. But his travel schedule suggests otherwise. Last weekend, he was in South Carolina; this weekend he’s headed to New Hampshire. He has also scheduled trips to Iowa this month and next.
In 2013, The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza posed a question: “If not Hillary Clinton in 2016, then who?”
For the once great Democratic Party that has been taken over by Obama (we now refer to it as the Obama Dimocrat Cult) there really is only one candidate. Only one candidate that can win. Blue collar, well known, not afraid to tell the truth to a nation hungry for truth, if not Hillary then there is only one candidate that can run and win. Warren can’t win. O’Malley can’t win. Webb can’t win, Schweitzer can’t win, Cuomo (baring prosecution in the Silver scandal so he can even run for president) can’t win, Gilibrand can’t win, the Castro brothers (not Raul and Fidel) can’t win, Michelle can’t win. If Hillary doesn’t run and says “screw you” to Obama Dimocrats, there is only one candidate that can get the nomination and win the general election.
So where does this all leave us? Let’s summarize:
(1) We think as is typical for Republicans when it comes to Hillary and Bill, they are overplaying their hand. An email “scandal” is not going to hurt Hillary in any meaningful way (meaningful meaning keep her from the Oval Office as President).
(2) We do think it is smart for Republicans/conservatives to continue to dig for information against Hillary especially through the Benghazi Select Committee. But let the facts speak for themselves without spin or hyperbole because history should inform everyone that when Republicans go up against the Clintons, Republicans lose and Clintons win.
(3) Elements in the left who want Elizabeth Warren to run but who know she won’t run as long as she is sure Hillary will win intend to pave the path for her. The left wants a stalking horse to weaken Hillary (think Johnson in 1968 or stalking horse for Bill Clinton Tom Harkin in 1992). The left wants Warren.
(4) The left sprung the leak. Someone got spooked when it was announced that Hillary would announce in April. They needed to move fast.
(5) Barack Obama hates Hillary and wants Warren. Obama unleashed Axelrod but Axelrod alone or with other Obama goons won’t get the job done. Obama pulled the trigger on Hillary this week to big foot Netanyahu.
(6) Everyone politically inclined who is not Hillary loves this “scandal”. We like it because we think it will teach a lesson we’ve been trying to teach Hillary. The left loves this “scandal” because the left wants to destroy Hillary (they would rather rule in Hell with Warren than serve in Heaven with Hillary). The right loves this “scandal” because they think it will either destroy Hillary or weaken her. Big Media loves this “scandal” because they hate Hillary and Bill and because it provides something to get attention and readers/viewers. The public that is not politically inclined, does not care.
(7) Why did Hillary set up a private server and private email service for herself? It wasn’t to keep documents from the government. Hillary knew eventually she would have to produce all her emails. Hillary set up her private system to keep Obama’s nose out of her business.
(8) This is a great “scandal”. This might be what Hillary needs to wake up. Hillary has to realize that her enemies are in the left.
(9) How should Hillary respond to the attacks on her?
Update IV: Tomorrow is a big day at the Supreme Court for ObamaCare. The Justices will sit down for private deliberations on the latest ObamaCare case. It was no surprise therefore, that advocates on both sides of the issue took their arguments pro and con public today for one last thrust at the nine Justices. Most of the propaganda/discussion is about Justice Kennedy and his words/intentions (we speculated about that in an update below).
Yesterday, ObamaCare defenders tried to convince themselves that Justice Kennedy was on their side. Ruth Marcus today tries to keep the drum rolling but is forced to admit that maybe (as we argued) things are not as clear as ObamaCare shills HOPE:
Kennedy’s concern involved whether prohibiting subsidies on federal exchanges would be unfair — not to citizens denied subsidies, mind you, but to states themselves. States, Kennedy noted, would be put to the coercive choice of either setting up their own exchanges or being stuck with the ensuing disaster.
“From the standpoint of the dynamics of Federalism, it does seem to me that there is something very powerful to the point that if your argument is accepted, the States are being told either create your own Exchange, or we’ll send your insurance market into a death spiral,” Kennedy told Michael Carvin, the lawyer representing four individuals challenging the federal subsidies. “It seems to me that under your argument, perhaps you will prevail in the plain words of the statute, there’s a serious constitutional problem if we accept your argument.”
Kennedy’s point has contradictory implications, one tilting in favor of those challenging the subsidies, one in the government’s direction. On the pro-challenger side, he could find that (a) the law clearly does not provide for federal subsidies and (b) is unconstitutional because it effectively forces states to establish their own exchanges.
That’s what we wrote in our of our updates. Justice Kennedy is actually making another argument for why ObamaCare is UNCONSTITUTIONAL not merely statutorily defective. Kennedy thought the law was UNCONSTITUTIONAL in ObamaCare case #1 and to us it appears clear he still thinks it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
Alito added that, if Congress didn’t want to limit the subsidies to the residents of states that had set up their own exchanges, it could have used more precise language to do so – as it did, for example, in making clear that the District of Columbia (which is not a state) nonetheless qualifies as a “state” for purposes of the ACA.
Justice Kennedy’s concerns about states’ rights resurfaced again during Verrilli’s argument, but this time pointing in the other direction. Responding to Verrilli’s contention that it would not have made any sense for the ACA to include a provision for the federal government to set up exchanges if Congress envisioned that the states would all do so, Kennedy suggested that the fall-back option might have been added so that the states could “show that they had concerns about the wisdom and workability of the [ACA] in the form that it was passed.” Later on, Kennedy also challenged other aspects of the government’s reading of the statute – for example, he cited the Court’s earlier cases to make the point that, if the IRS is going to allow “billions of dollars” of tax deductions for the subsidies, “it has to be very, very clear.”
The problem, at least for the five conservative justices, is that the next case before it really might be the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act, and if they find for the government here, that next case will be evaluated in the shadow of a decision holding that “oil” can mean “butter,” and that “whipped with a blender” can mean “whipped by hand” (notwithstanding a statutory definition in the latter instance). They are just going to be incredibly reluctant to do so, as that would undermine an awful lot of precedent on statutory interpretation that conservatives have worked hard to erect.
The third option open to Kennedy is the trickiest. What if he decides that “established by a State” isn’t unclear, that the plaintiffs are obviously right that “State” means the states only, not the federal government — but that, per the federalism/coercion reasoning of those 1990s cases, that means the statute is … unconstitutional? What happens to the statute then? Is the entire subsidies scheme, not just for federal customers but for state customers, now illegal? That would be an even bigger disaster for the White House than they’re expecting.
Update II: More information is in and it appears that our view in our first update is gaining support from the new reports of what happened/is happening today at the Supreme Court:
Chief Justice John Roberts said almost nothing in nearly 90 minutes of back-and-forth, and Justice Anthony Kennedy’s questions did not make clear how he will come out. Roberts was the decisive vote to uphold the law in 2012. [snip]
“It may not be the statute Congress intended, but it may be the statute Congress wrote,” Scalia said of the provision in question. [snip]
Kennedy voted to strike down the health law in 2012, but on Wednesday he asked questions of both sides that made it hard to tell where he might come out this time.
He suggested that challenger Carvin’s argument raised a “serious” constitutional problem affecting the relationship between states and the federal government.
On the other hand, he seemed less than convinced by Verrilli’s reading of the law to allow the subsidies nationwide.
Justice Kennedy knows ObamaCare sucks and is unconstitutional. Any Obama and/or ObamaCare supporter who takes any solace in what Kennedy asked (see our first update) should also consider the consequences of his state/federal arguments and what that could mean when the immigration case from Texas crawls up the ladder.
Update: The tea-leaf reading has already begun and most of it is uninformed. First, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg tried to demolish the case with a fierce attack on the standing of the plaintiffs. She failed.
But the most controversy, or rather pearl clutching, thus far regards a question and argument Justice Kennedy advanced. Ann Althouse is clutching pearls and declaring all is lost and that Kennedy will vote with the government. Wisely, she advises herself to read the entire transcript once it is released before jumping to pearl clutching. The smart Powerline is discouraged too. All of this pearl clutching jumps to conclusion are based on an early mid-argument report from an ObamaCare supporter at the usually good SCOTUSblog. This is the much too early assessment, via Powerline:
Eric Citron at Scotusblog provides a mid-argument report on King v. Burwell, the vital Obamacare case being heard by the Supreme Court today. According to Citron, the petitioners, who argue that subsidies are not available on the federal exchange faced a troubling question from Justice Kennedy, on whose vote the case may very well turn.
Kennedy, says Citron, “expressed deep concern with a system where the statute would potentially destroy the insurance system in states that chose not to establish their own exchanges – likening this to an unconstitutional form of federal coercion.” Recall that part of the argument in favor of the view that subsidies aren’t available on the federal exchange is the idea that Congress set up Obamacare this way to induce states to establish their own exchanges. This is what Jonathan Gruber famously said.
If I understand the import of Kennedy’s questioning, he’s concerned that such a scheme might be unconstitutional. If so, then he might strain to construe the statute as not “coercing” the states to establish exchanges, and therefore not withholding subsidies to residents of states that opt not to have exchanges.
Let’s see, though, how the questioning of the government’s lawyer goes.
UPDATE: The argument that petitioners lack standing to challenge the statute has not gone well. Of note, Justice Sotomayor seemed to reject. This might mean she wants to the Court to rule on the merits because she’s confident now the government will win.
This is all very pearl clutching worthy. Except that Justice Ginsberg fought tooth and nail to get to the “standing” question. More importantly however, this Kennedy argument can be turned upside down and inside out. What does it mean? The conclusion jumping is based on ObamaCare supporter Eric Citron’s initial report. But Citron has another update to his reports which appear to advise pearl clutchers to put down the pearls:
Until we hear how Justice Kennedy questioned the government, the most important news from the morning’s argument is clearly his focus on the potential consequences for states that choose not to establish their own exchanges under the petitioners’ reading of the statute – that is, that citizens of those states would receive no subsidy and no resulting mandate tax penalty. Trained constitutional lawyers will find it noteworthy that his focus here is on the consequence for states as such, and not for their citizens; Kennedy’s concern is about the federal/state balance and his distrust of a reading that puts a gun to the head of states that fail to set up their own exchanges – threatening them with the almost certain destruction of their statewide insurance systems if they do not comply. That concern might be interpreted (as a matter of legal theory) in a few different ways:
That last sentence is the key. This can be interpreted (until we hear how the rest of the argument goes or we read the transcripts or hear the audio to be released on Friday) in several ways:
Justice Kennedy might believe that Congress would not have intended to set up such a dubious system; he might believe that this reading is required but actually unconstitutional (so that he would strike down the statute’s condition that subsidies apply only to exchanges established by the state); or – perhaps most likely – he might believe that the statute should be interpreted so as to avoid the “serious constitutional problem” he identified. [snip]
He seemed to realize that state legislators would be in an impossible position under that reading – more or less forced to “adopt” or “endorse” the ACA system in order to avoid unmanageable consequences in their states. His plausible conclusion was that Congress either did not intend to put them to that choice, or that the statute shouldn’t be read to have done so, because that’s not typically how our constitutional system works. Instead, the federal government makes and administers federal laws without forcing the states to do some of the work for them. Kennedy seemed to be thinking that this provision should be read more like the typical case, and rather unlike the kind of unusual provision the petitioners suggested.
We have an alternate view which fits all the facts: Justice Kennedy thinks the whole ObamaCare systems sucks. The attempt by the government to force states to establish ObamaCare exchanges sucks (and is unconstitutional as he voted in the first ObamaCare case). Justice Kennedy appears to think that whether Congress intended or did not intend to screw the states the bottom line is the ObamaCare law screws the states and the law sucks.
Bottom line: Justice Kennedy wants to take the gun out of the hands of the federal government. How he will come up with a plan to do so might be the same way he decided in the first ObamaCare case: Dump ObamaCare root, trunk, and branch.
As with the first legal challenge to ObamaCare this second attack was initially mocked by Obama and ObamaCare supporters. No longer. The main line of defense for ObamaCare defenders in this case is designed around the reality that this case, like the first case, could thoroughly gut ObamaCare (and Obama) like a sharp knife slicing rotted fish bloated in the sun.
If the challengers win and ObamaCare is implemented as written then the overwhelming majority of ObamaCare registrants would no longer get subsidies for their coverage and they would have to pay the huge bills and the ObamaCare contraption would fall apart. It would be like prisoners in an expensive jail who have to pay for their own long-term incarceration. At some point the prisoners just want to be set free. And some prisoners already want to be set free:
Dear @CoveredCA – you’ve turned a staunch supporter of #Obamacare into an opponent. Id rather die broke than have to go thru your exchange. [snip]
[A]s of today I’ve stopped making excuses for you and this system. It’s time to get your shit together. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have foregone insurance and taken the tax penalty. In fact, I’d rather be dead and broke than have to participate in Covered California’s health care exchange. [snip]
It saddens me to say this, but I no longer believe that the government should mandate health care. It’s not because I’ve abandoned the basic principles behind health care reform. Quite the contrary. But a great idea, is just an idea, if you can’t execute. And the government has proven time and time again, it can’t execute.
The problems that dupe encountered are in a sense the genesis of the ObamaCare case in the Supreme Court today. It’s not so much that the Obama government was totally incompetent (which it was extraordinarily so). The real problem is that the law as written and as intended to be written was and is a complete and total mess that can never work.
That the ObamaCare law is a total mess that can never work is what is at play here. Let’s repeat that: THE OBAMACARE LAW IS A TOTAL MESS THAT CAN NEVER WORK is what is at play here.
The ObamaCare law as intended and as written was a total mess. What happened then is that Obama elves tried to make the mess work. The contortions Obama elves put themselves through to get the ObamaCare mess to work got many of them in trouble.
The big contortion of the elves was to essentially try to rewrite the law at the morgue of compassion and logic – the IRS. The elves discovered the ObamaCare screws were not an incline plane wrapped helically around an axis but rather large square “screws” attempting to fit tiny triangular “nuts”. The contraption was designed so badly that it would not work no matter what they did so they continued to change and rebuild until little recognizable was left of the original design.
What did these elves do? They decided to ignore the law’s restriction that subsidies only be provided to those in states that established an ObamaCare exchange, and instead, of their own accord, give subsidies regardless of whether or not, as required by the law, the individual states had established an ObamaCare exchange.
The reason the law was written with such a foolish restriction was that without such a foolish restriction (1) there would not have been enough votes to pass ObamaCare in the Senate; and (2) the “penalty” of not having subsides would force the individual states to establish ObamaCare exchanges. Here’s one of the ObamaCare elves explaining further:
Most observers of the legal battle over Obamacare’s subsidies are now familiar with the two clips (one video and one audio) in which economist Jonathan Gruber takes the plaintiff’s side, saying only states which set up an exchange will receive subsidies. But a third example of Gruber saying much the same thing has, so far, received very little attention. [snip]
Here is what Gruber said in a March 2013 interview with Employee Benefit Adviser magazine:
I think the piece that isn’t going so well is the next step with states. A number of states have done a great job and are getting ready to go for 2014. But a lot of states are uncertain and there are other states that are, unfortunately, playing a terrible political game at the cost of their state residents in not developing exchanges.
Through a political compromise, the decision was made that states should play a critical role in running these health insurance exchanges. And the health insurance exchanges are the centerpiece of this reform, because they are the place that individuals can go to shop for their new, securely priced health insurance. But if they’re not set up in a way which is transparent, and which is convenient for shoppers, and which allows people to take their tax credits, and use them to effectively buy health insurance, it will undercut the whole purpose of the bill. Now a number of states have expressed no instance in doing so. [snip]
It’s been a leader in setting up its exchange. It’s a great example. But California is rare. Only about 10 states have moved forward aggressively in setting up their exchanges. A number of states have even turned down millions of dollars in federal government grants as a statement of some sort, that they don’t support health reform.
I guess I’m enough of a believer in democracy to think that—when the voters in states see that by not setting up an exchange, the politicians of the state are costing state residents hundreds and millions and billions of dollars—that they’ll eventually throw the guys out, but I don’t know that for sure. And that is really the ultimate threat is will people understand that, gee, if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens. So that’s the other threat is will states do what they need to to set it up.
That “enough of a believer in democracy” thought he could impose his will on the citizenry by diktat. Obama’s Elf Gruber thought that California was “a leader” in the ObamaCare dream but that woman we quoted from earlier appears to disagree. It was a bad law badly written and now the diseased chickens are coming home to roost.
ObamaCare elves of course deride and attack those that are so brutal “they don’t support health reform”. But what is “health reform” to some is the disease to others. That’s another big part of the defense at the Supreme Court today:
Even if the text of the law is not perfectly crystal clear, the Obama administration plans to argue, the federal agencies should receive deference to sort out details and ambiguities. [snip]
However, opponents of the law say it would be a mistake to let an agency decide to offer tax credits, which affect tax refunds and equate to direct payments out of the U.S. Treasury.
“Decisions of a certain magnitude are not the sort of thing that Congress would delegate to an agency,” Adler said. “It would really be quite something to conclude that Congress had delegated the decision whether to offer tax credits to the IRS.”
It’s not just “tax credits” though. If the ObamaCare subsidies are permitted everywhere regardless of what the law as written says then everyone in every state must comply with the dictates of the law even if effects them adversely. This means that, as the challengers claim, because of the perversity of the IRS interpretation of the law they too will be forced to participate in ObamaCare.
But Congress does not have the power to make the states set up exchanges, so the ACA also instructs the federal government to step in and set one up if a state declines to do so – as thirty-four states eventually did. The exchanges are where the subsidies come in: the ACA provides that you only get the subsidies if you buy your health insurance through an exchange. The federal government reads the ACA to allow subsidies whenever someone buys health insurance on any exchange, whether it’s set up by the federal government or a state.
The challengers in King disagree. They point to the fact that in announcing the formula used to calculate the amount of the subsidies, the Act refers to “an Exchange established by the State.” So, they contend, the subsidies are not available to people who purchase their health insurance through an exchange operated by the federal government.
In 2014, over five million people bought health insurance on exchanges created by the federal government. One of those people was David King, a sixty-four-year-old Vietnam veteran who lives in Virginia and works as a limo driver. Based on his annual income of $39,000, King can purchase a health insurance plan with a monthly premium of $648 for just $275; the other $373 is covered by a subsidy. But King doesn’t want that subsidy. In fact, he doesn’t want to have to buy health insurance at all. And without the subsidy, he wouldn’t have to, because the health insurance would cost him enough that he would qualify for an exemption from the individual mandate.
King and three other Virginia residents filed a lawsuit challenging the government’s interpretation of the ACA as allowing subsidies for anyone who purchases health insurance on an exchange. The lower federal courts rejected their argument, but in November the Justices agreed to weigh in.
In their briefs at the Supreme Court, the challengers say that their argument is so simple that anyone who speaks English can understand it. The text of the ACA directs states to create an exchange. If they don’t, the federal government steps in and creates one itself. But Congress made clear that subsidies are only available for coverage that is “enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State” – and the federal government is not a state. If Congress had wanted subsidies to be available no matter who sets up the exchange, it could have said so, and it certainly wouldn’t have specifically indicated that subsidies would be available only for coverage obtained through exchanges “established by the State.” And reading the ACA to make subsidies available only for insurance purchased through state exchanges, they add, is consistent with what Congress intended because it gives states a strong incentive to create the exchanges in the first place.
When Missouri citizens “specifically voted not to set up a state exchange” there was “public awareness” that therefore the citizens of Missouri would not receive subsidies. The initiative still passed. Somehow ObamaCare defenders today at the Supreme Court will try to argue otherwise.
The arguments at the Supreme Court will conclude this afternoon and we will have updates as to what happened.
The Netanyahu speech at 10:45 a.m. ET (it will probably start closer to 11:00) can be viewed here:
Jeffrey Goldberg has attacked the Netanyahu speech too and is not happy it is being delivered at all. Still Goldberg has some comments to be taken seriously:
I’m fairly sure Netanyahu will deliver a powerful speech, in part because he is eloquent in English and forceful in presentation. But there is another reason this speech may be strong: Netanyahu has a credible case to make. Any nuclear agreement that allows Iran to maintain a native uranium-enrichment capability is a dicey proposition; in fact, any agreement at all with an empire-building, Assad-sponsoring, Yemen-conquering, Israel-loathing, theocratic terror regime is a dicey proposition.
The deal that seems to be taking shape right now does not fill me—or many others who support a diplomatic solution to this crisis—with confidence. Reports suggest that the prospective agreement will legitimate Iran’s right to enrich uranium (a “right” that doesn’t actually exist in international law); it will allow Iran to maintain many thousands of operating centrifuges; and it will lapse after 10 or 15 years, at which point Iran would theoretically be free to go nuclear. (The matter of the sunset clause worries me, but I’m more worried that the Iranians will find a way to cheat their way out of the agreement even before the sun is scheduled to set.)
This is a very dangerous moment for Obama and for the world. He has made many promises, and if he fails to keep them—if he inadvertently (or, God forbid, advertently) sets Iran on the path to the nuclear threshold, he will be forever remembered as the president who sparked a nuclear-arms race in the world’s most volatile region, and for breaking a decades-old promise to Israel that the United States would defend its existence and viability as the nation-state of the Jewish people. [snip]
On Israel, here’s the promise Obama made that stays with me the most: “I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” he said. “I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli government recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.” He went on to say four words that have since become famous: “We’ve got Israel’s back.”
Netanyahu obviously believes that Obama doesn’t have his, or Israel’s, back. There will be no convincing Netanyahu that Obama is anything but a dangerous adversary. But if a consensus forms in high-level Israeli security circles (where there is a minimum of Obama-related hysterics) that the president has agreed to a weak deal, one that provides a glide path for Iran toward the nuclear threshold, then we will be able to say, fairly, that Obama’s promises to Israel were not kept. One of Netanyahu’s most strident critics, Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency, said recently, “A nuclear Iran is a reality that Israel won’t be able to come to terms with.”
He went on to say, “Two issues in particular concern me with respect to the talks between the world powers and Iran: What happens if and when the Iranians violate the agreement, and what happens when the period of the agreement comes to an end and they decide to pursue nuclear weapons?”
History questions: How could this have happened? How could they have been so stupid? How could they have been so blind? How could they not see what was so very obvious? How could they have stood by and not taken action?
When we look to the past we have many questions such as those above. Sometimes we can understand the confusion of policy makers at the time or we realize that the issues were complicated and the best answers not easy to arrive at. But sometimes the truth is obvious and the answer so glaringly there to see that our questions amount to “How could they not have seen? How could they not done what was necessary?”
As an example, Adolf Hitler broke the Versailles Treaty on purpose when he ordered the occupation of the Rhineland. Hitler knew his was a monumental gamble and that if so much as a handgun was raised in opposition to his provocation his reign was over. “If France had then marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs” he wrote after the episode he further described as “the most nerve-racking 48 hours of his life.” Hitler won his gamble.
What happened? Britain and France were war weary after the lost lives and calamities of the Great War we now know as World War I. The ongoing world-wide Great Depression further sapped the strength and will of these nations. Both countries were lost in a dream of peace and appeasement, and a politics of denial and pacifism. One voice did not engage in denial of reality:
Among the public men of influence, only Churchill recognized the profound peril to the world that the Nazis and Fascists represented. He spoke out in Parliament, on the radio, in his newspaper columns, anywhere and everywhere, demanding the government wake up and prepare. [snip]
The men who were, the prime ministers and party leaders, not only disagreed with Churchill but considered him a loose cannon and an annoyance. [snip]
In 1934, in scenes reminiscent of the best spy dramas, Churchill held clandestine meetings at Chartwell, where he was briefed on the actual situation in Germany by the government and military men in his network, men in positions low enough to be without policy-making influence but high enough to know the true facts and statistics being developed (and be in despair at the lack of response from the government). With this information, Churchill shocked Parliament by revealing the true figures of German military production, figures many colleagues refused to believe. [snip]
On March 7, 1936, Hitler invaded the demilitarized Rhineland, which action conflicted with and basically tore up the Versailles Treaty that ended World War I. Hitler chose that date knowing that Ministers of Parliament would be unavailable on that day; the British ruling class was accustomed “to take its weekends in the country,” criticized Churchill, while “Hitler takes his countries in the weekends.” Churchill understood the meaning of this invasion, saying “An enormous triumph has been gained by the Nazi regime,” and stating “The German Army is a dagger pointed at the heart of France.” But many in Britain saw this as Hitler simply getting his own.
Like Obama at the golf course as Americans are beheaded British leadership at the time did not want to listen to the voices which counseled urgent action. To Obama events in the Middle East and attacks against Israel are Arabs/Muslims ‘getting their own.” That is why to Obama who once aspired to be the “Arab’s lawyer” against Israel – it is Netanyahu who is the warmonger. In the 1930s Neville Chamberlain claimed “The real danger to this country is Winston. He is the warmonger, not Hitler.”
Winston Churchill in the political wilderness was not deceived nor beaten down by reality. Churchill said what needed to be said as the darkness gathered:
“All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness…We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude which has befallen Great Britain and France. Do not let us blind ourselves to that…I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost…the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war…And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” [snip]
“Chamberlain had the choice between war and shame. Now he has chosen shame – he’ll get war later.”
Like Churchill, the Prime Minister of Israel has some harsh realities to convey to the American Congress. In this Netanyahu is aided by the vivid brutalities of those that want to destroy Israel.
Isis militants have reportedly ransacked Mosul library, burning over a hundred thousand rare manuscripts and documents spanning centuries of human learning.
Initial reports said approximately 8,000 books were destroyed by the extremist group.
However, AL RAI’s chief international correspondent Elijah J. Magnier told The Independent that a Mosul library official believes as many as 112,709 manuscripts and books, some of which were registered on a UNESCO rarities list, are among those lost.
Mosul Public Library’s director Ghanim al-Ta’an said Isis militants then demolished the building using explosive devices.
The militants shoved [ancient Assyrian] stone statues off their plinths, shattering them on the floor, and one man applied an electric drill to a large winged bull. The video showed a large exhibition room strewn with dismembered statues, and Islamic songs played in the background.
Lamia al-Gailani, an Iraqi archaeologist and associate fellow at the London-based Institute of Archaeology, said the militants had wreaked untold damage. “It’s not only Iraq’s heritage: it’s the whole world’s,” she said.
“They are priceless, unique. It’s unbelievable. I don’t want to be Iraqi any more,” she said, comparing the episode to the dynamiting of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Afghan Taliban in 2001.
These are monsters that hate Israel and want to destroy the heritage and the institutions of the West.
A British man who went to fight with the Kurds against Islamic State has claimed the terror group fed a desperate mother a meal of meat and rice before revealing she had eaten her own son. Yasir Abdulla, 36, from Yorkshire said that the woman had appealed to IS to release her son when they tricked her.
Adbulla told The Sun the woman was offered a seat at IS headquarters, then given a drink along with cooked meat and rice. At first she thought they were being generous, but when she finished the meal they revealed the cooked meat was the flesh of her son, whom they had murdered earlier.
These animals seek to destroy Israel and all Western civilization. They will then rule.
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said on Saturday that “scaremongering” by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t stop the Islamic Republic and world powers from reaching a final nuclear deal.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the world should not allow the hard-line Israeli leader to undermine peace. He was referring to Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next week on the emerging nuclear deal that he considers dangerous.
“Through scaremongering, falsification, propaganda and creating a false atmosphere even inside other countries, [Israel] is attempting to prevent peace,” Zarif told reporters during a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart, Paolo Gentiloni. “I believe that these attempts are in vain and should not impede reaching a [nuclear] agreement.”
Barack Obama would veto a bill recently introduced in the US Senate allowing Congress to weigh in on any deal the US and other negotiating countries reach with Iran on its nuclear capabilities, the White House said on Saturday.
“The president has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran. If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council.
President Barack Obama’s relations with the Israeli government have hit a new low, but the tensions on display this week between him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be reviving another presidential project: Obama’s quest to improve America’s image in the Arab and Muslim world. [snip]
Now, Obama’s return to the question of Israel’s continuing construction in East Jerusalem has signaled an acceptance of some Arab criticism of Israel. At the same time, Obama’s willingness to cross swords with the Israelis comes at a domestic political cost: The pro-Israel group AIPAC released a letter Friday with the signatures of three-quarters of the members of the House, pressing the administration to retreat from public confrontation. [snip]
Obama’s new focus, and the intense pressure his administration has placed on Netanyahu, have stirred deep concern among Israel’s allies on Capitol Hill, they say, because it represents an acceptance of the Arab narrative that Israeli intransigence lies at the heart of the Middle East conflict. And some observers see it in the context of a subtle, but major, shift in American strategy toward resolving it. [snip]
The new model drawing attention from Democratic foreign policy hands, he said, is to build support among Arab leaders for a U.S. plan and then present that to Israel — to serve as the Arabs’ lawyer, rather than as Israel’s, in one formulation used to describe the effort in the region.
That is what Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is up against. Obama sees his role as one that is “to serve as the Arabs’ lawyer” and prosecute Israel.
Showing a graphic he said depicted Iran’s training, arming and dispatching of terrorists on five continents, Netanyahu said Iranians’ “tentacles of terror” reached across the world.
“This is what Iran is doing now – without nuclear weapons. Imagine what Iran would do with nuclear weapons. And this same Iran vows to annihilate Israel. If it develops nuclear weapons, it would have the means to achieve that goal,” he said. “And as prime minister of Israel, I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them.”
When Netanyahu walks to the podium of the House of Representatives on March 3, he’ll undoubtedly have in mind an earlier speech given by a foreign leader to a joint meeting of Congress. On December 26, 1941, Winston Churchill addressed Congress, though in the smaller Senate Chamber rather than in the House, as so many members were out of town for Christmas break.
Churchill enjoyed the great advantage in December 1941 of having an American president who, after Pearl Harbor, was a clear and unambiguous ally in the war for the West. Netanyahu has no such advantage. So it might be hard for him to say, as Churchill did, that here in Washington he had “found an Olympian fortitude which, far from being based upon complacency, is only the mask of an inflexible purpose and the proof of a sure, well-grounded confidence in the final outcome.”
But Netanyahu won’t be speaking only to the Obama administration, which has, after all, made clear its lack of interest in listening to Netanyahu and whose allies won’t be there to listen. He’ll be speaking to the American people.
Netanyahu’s speech to the American Congress will will be the same speech Winston Churchill repeatedly gave to Great Britain in those years before the Second World War. Netanyahu will quote Churchill and say “There is a great danger in refusing to believe things you do not like.”
On Tuesday, March 3, at 10:45 a.m. Netanyahu will tell the American Congress and the American People many things we will not like. What Netanyahu will say is things we need to hear.
What is needed is a coalition of the congress and the courts to block the executive (which appears to be in the formative stage if not more advanced). Right now the courts are hearing cases at least and even daring to block some of the most egregious Obama diktats. But for a coalition to work the congress cannot abandon the courts in the fight.
At some point Republicans in congress and especially the leaders in congress and the party have to fight. There is no running away. For instance, suppose the Supreme Court really does block the ObamaCare illegal subsidies? Will Republicans cave in and legislate subsidies if Obama Dimocrats play the same game they have played on immigration and DHS funding? Will Obama Dimocrats blame Republicans for the ObamaCare subsidy disaster and demand Republicans restore the subsides or else Obama and Obama Dimocrats/Big Media will blame Republicans for the ObamaCare disaster?
On every issue Obama Dimocrats can play the same game with the very same template: refuse every offer except total capitulation. If Republicans cave in on immigration they will have to cave in on everything. At some point they have to fight.
The joke is Boehner might not even have to votes to pass this punt.
If they had a brain the Republicans in Congress would state clearly: “We will not fund with taxpayer dollars what the courts have ruled to be illegal.” Got that? What should be John Boehner’s exit strategy? “We will not fund with taxpayer dollars what the courts have ruled to be illegal.”
A federal district court judge has ruled it illegal. Barack Obama more than 20 times declared he could not legally do illegal, illegal immigration diktats. Got that? Congress should simply say “we will not fund what is illegal“. “It is illegal so we will not fund it.”
Why Mitch McConnell and John Boehner cannot make such a simply declaration is due either to: (1) they are not very bright; (2) they don’t want to block Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktats.
For now we are left with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds expiring Friday at midnight. The Senate wants to fund Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktat. The majority of House Republicans want to fight. There is some hope our strategy of “no funds for what the courts have already deemed illegal” will come into play and it comes from the CPAC convention which begins today, as explained by an Obama bootlicker:
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference has always been a haven for would-be presidential candidates seeking the sanction of some of the Republican Party’s most powerful populists. But it’s also been a forum for the right to vent their anger at the Republican leadership in the House and Senate. The 2015 CPAC begins Thursday, two days before funding for the Department of Homeland Security is set to expire.
It’s still unclear whether Congress can reach a deal in time to avoid at least a temporary shut-down. Even though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner have chosen to skip CPAC, they will hear very loudly the complaints of activists who believe that both men have shown their yellow belly to the purple and blue forces in Congress.
Boehner is on point. If he sends the signal, the House will vote on a Senate measure to fund the DHS fully, along with a separate symbolic vote to show disapproval with President Obama’s immigration executive action, which the GOP calls “amnesty.” As of this writing, the speaker has not indicated that he will give in to the pressure, instead preferring to gut it out for a few days, at least, letting House conservatives relish the win of a short-duration shut-down. Tactically, Boehner would allow pent-up frustration to ventilate, and then, when conservatives quieted down, reverse course and essentially hand Obama a delayed victory — for now.
Obama’s executive action, which would affect nearly five million undocumented immigrants, is held up in court. If DHS gets its funding, Obama wouldn’t be able to act until the courts decide what to do.
CPAC’s timing couldn’t be better in this sense. There’s no way Boehner will stand up to House conservatives during CPAC, especially when many of their leading and loudest voices have a platform at the convention.
If there is a functioning brain at CPAC 2015 they will follow our lead and shout to McConnell and Boehner: “DO NOT FUND WHAT IS ILLEGAL!”
At the very least McConnell and Boehner should call attention to Judge Hanen’s Preliminary Injunction against Barack Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktat. It is almost as if there is a news blackout on this court decision as Republicans/conservatives either do not believe the court’s decision will be upheld at the Supreme Court or like Quislings they want to enable Obama so as to remove the issue from 2016.
As to Obama Dimocrats/Big Media they don’t want the public to know about this decision either – because it hurts their tin pot dictator Obama.
So what is happening in the lawsuit filed by 26 states against Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktat? Thus far it is all following the script we wrote.
Then on Monday February 23, after a full week had passed with threats from Obama and promises that there would be a filing against the Preliminary Injunction on the day of the ruling itself had failed to come to pass - Obama lawyers filed a most ridiculous motion before the court.
In the Stay motion Obama lawyers tried a jiujitsu stunt and claimed that indeed they would be the ones to be “irreparably harmed” if the preliminary injunction was to stay in place. It was the plaintiff 26 states that had won the argument that they would be “irreparably harmed” if Obama was allowed to proceed with his illegal illegal immigration diktat. That simple fact somehow did not deter the Obama lawyers from their stunt.
Then the funniest part of the Stay motion. The Obama lawyers stomped their feet and declared that the judge had better rule by Wednesday or else they would go to the Fifth Circuit and ask the Fifth Circuit to stomp on the Preliminary Injunction. Mind, they filed the Stay motion on Monday and demanded the judge rule by Wednesday. They forgot that a federal district judge is not to be pushed around.
On the same day as the Stay motion was filed, the 26 plaintiff states filed a response. It was a beaut. It was short. It was sweet. Here it is:
The Plaintiff States write to oppose Defendants’ request for expedited consideration of their motion filed today to stay the Court’s preliminary injunction pending appeal. See Dkt. No. 150 at 7. As this Court found, defendants have no emergency need to take applications for benefits under the new program. Mem. Op. & Order (Dkt. No. 145) at 118-21. Defendants have implicitly recognized as much, by waiting a full week from the preliminary injunction to file this stay motion. Indeed, if Defendants had any compelling claim of a looming, irreversible harm from temporary injunctive relief, they would have featured it previously. They had ample time to do so: Plaintiffs requested a preliminary injunction on December 4, some six weeks before this Court’s January 15 motion hearing….
At the very least, Plaintiffs should be allowed to respond within the same seven days that Defendants enjoyed to prepare their motion after the preliminary injunction issued. It is unreasonable to demand that Plaintiffs respond, and the Court rule on the motion, in under three days.
The plaintiffs blasted the Obama lawyers. If it is such an “emergency” why did they wait a full week to file? Don’t they have enough lawyers with the capacity to read?
The plaintiffs blasted the fact that Obama’s lawyers had never before claimed they would suffer “irreversible harm” if a Preliminary Injunction issued from the court. Then came the coup de grace .
The plaintiffs noted that Obama lawyers had waited a week to file their “emergency”. They asked for the same amount of time.
What was going to happen? Would the judge ignore the ruling until he was good and ready thereby daring Obama lawyers to try to jump over him to the Fifth Circuit? Would the judge rule against himself? Would the judge order an emergency hearing on the motion for Tuesday or Wednesday or maybe even later? The suspense made us chew the pink off our fingernails.
“Before this Court is Defendants’ Emergency Expedited Motion to Stay the Court’s February 16, 2015 Order Pending Appeal and Supporting Memorandum [Doc. No. 150]. The Court orders that any response by Plaintiffs shall be filed by the close of business on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.
The federal judge in Texas who blocked President Barack Obama’s latest executive actions on immigration signaled Tuesday that he isn’t inclined to rush a decision on the Obama administration’s request to lift the injunction he imposed last week.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen’s order saying he’ll give the states suing the federal government another week to respond means the issue of a possible stay in the case will likely be taken up by a federal appeals court before he rules one way or another.
The Justice Department warned in its stay application Monday that if Hanen did not act on the stay by the end of business on Wednesday, the feds would move to a higher court.
Obama tried to thug Judge Hanen. For Obama “thug” is the default play. Judge Hanen knows how to deal with thugs. Contra the claims by Politico, the judge in his order blocked the appeal to the Fifth Circuit.
If Obama lawyers try to ignore the judge’s order and go the the Fifth Circuit. It is our belief that the Fifth Circuit will tell them to wait until Judge Hanen does what he will do. The Fifth Circuit can easily note that the Obama lawyers waited a full week to file their “emergency” so it can’t be such an “emergency”. The Fifth Circuit can note that it is fair to the plaintiffs to give them the same time as Obama lawyers. So wait until Judge Hanen is good and ready.
Judge Hanen? We won’t be surprised if Judge Hanen schedules a hearing in days or weeks to come after Plaintiffs file their motion next Tuesday. Judge Hanen can wait and we believe the Fifth Circuit will wait too. We’ll find out next Tuesday.
Born into slavery as one of the youngest of thirteen children of James and Elizabeth in Ulster County, New York, in 1797, Sojourner Truth’s given name was Isabella Baumfree. As almost all of her brothers and sisters had been sold to other slave owners, some of her earliest memories were of her parents’ stories of the cruel loss of their other children. [snip]
In 1843, she changed her name to Sojourner Truth – her name for a traveling preacher, one who speaks the truth – and left New York. She traveled throughout New England, where she met and worked with abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, and Frederick Douglass. Her life story, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave, written with the help of friend Olive Gilbert, was published in 1850.
While traveling and speaking in states across the country, Sojourner Truth met many women abolitionists and noticed that although women could be part of the leadership in the abolitionist movement, they could neither vote nor hold public office. It was this realization that led Sojourner to become an outspoken supporter of women’s rights.
In 1851, she addressed the Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, delivering her famous speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” The applause she received that day has been described as “deafening.” From that time on, she became known as a leading advocate for the rights of women. She became one of the nineteenth century’s most eloquent voices for the cause of anti-slavery and women’s rights.
NoLimits.org will "keep you up to date with news about issues on which Hillary took a lead and we know you care so much about," group President Ann Lewis said in an e-mail to as many as 2 million people culled from the Clinton campaign database.
Because No Limits is a registered nonprofit, "it cannot do anything political. It has to be nonpartisan," said Lewis, a longtime senior adviser to Clinton.
In Clinton's job as secretary of state for President Obama, her political dealings are highly restricted.
For example, she shut down her political action committee.
Some, like Democratic consultant and former Bill Clinton aide Chris Lehane, dismiss talk that the group could be a springboard for Clinton to try again for the White House in, say, 2016.
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," Lehane said. "I think this is just [a] group of folks who developed relationships in an intense [electoral] environment and want to stay together."
But the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato countered: "Whenever a group like this says it's not a political organization, you just know it is."
"Maybe [this] is Hillary's answer to Obama's new 'change' group that controls his golden mailing list. Maybe it's a way for Secretary of State Clinton to mobilize backing for her objectives at the State Department," he said. "And maybe [it's] a standby committee of supporters in case Hillary decides to get back into elective politics."
Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf said NoLimits.org is "one way to make sure that she - and/or the former President - still have political leverage."
Hillary World-Wide January 26, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton Meets Afghan Women Lawyers. Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton met today at the State Department with fourteen prominent Afghan women judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. These jurists were in Washington to participate in a training program arranged by the Department’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan. Secretary Clinton told them: "Your American friends greatly admire your bravery and courage. It is your work in the tough environment of Afghanistan for women lawyers that will bring real reform and the rule of law to the Afghan people. As President Obama made clear yesterday in his first foreign policy announcement, we are committed to supporting your efforts to bring security and stability to your country."