Category Archives: Political Archive

Limbaugh to House GOP on Benghazi: ‘Waiting for CNN to do this isn’t going to cut it’ [AUDIO]

On his Friday radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh dissected Thursday’s revelations about last September’s Benghazi scandal aired on Jake Tapper’s CNN program, saying that Republicans “Waiting for CNN to do this isn’t going to cut it.” According to the report, there were dozens of CIA operatives on the ground at the time terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.


Limbaugh said there was something more here: that the Obama administration was going around the law, and House Republicans, particularly House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, should be doing more to draw attention to the Benghazi details.“This to me ought to be readily apparent to anybody, particularly members of Congress,” Limbaugh said. “And I like Darrell Issa, don’t misunderstand anything here. I join a lot of you in getting a little frustrated when I hear members of Congress say, ‘Well, that’s not consistent with the law.’ … Of course it’s not consistent.  That’s the problem.  The law does not constrain Barack Obama.  The law is something to be avoided, overrun, gotten around.  And it has happened.”


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Obama is Actually Doing Smart Things on Judicial Appointments

Presidential administrations tend to attract attention for what commentators think they should have done better rather than for they think they have done well. That is unfortunate, and we should not hesitate to compliment presidents for their achievements as well as their oversights. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to send Patricia Millett, one of President Barack Obama’s recent nominees to the United States Court of Appeals to the District of Columbia Circuit, to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. This vote is just the latest success for Obama’s approach to judicial nominations since his re-election in November.


There were many suggestions about what Obama should have done differently as regards judicial nominations in his first term, but so far there are at least four things he has done for which he should receive credit. First, he has signaled to the larger public and, most importantly, to Congress that he cares about judicial nominations. When he announced the nominations of three candidates to the D.C. Circuit in June, he appeared with them in the Rose Garden, a setting usually reserved for only the most important presidential nominations.


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Obama visits top aides, Republican senators on budget shutdown

President Barack Obama dropped by a meeting Thursday between his top aides and Republican senators on the looming budget showdown – a sign of the White House’s growing concern about an impasse over government spending. The visit, which was not on the official schedule, did not produce a breakthrough of any kind, according to a source in the room. But all sides agreed to continue to discuss their disagreements, which are significant, the source said.


The small group of Republicans, which included Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, was at the White House to meet with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell. McDonough had met earlier Thursday on Capitol Hill with Democratic senators who have discussing fiscal issues with the White House and Republicans. The meeting followed the collapse of a bipartisan transportation and housing bill in the Senate after the Republican leadership pressured GOP senators who had previously backed the bill to withhold support. And a day earlier, the House GOP pulled its own version of the bill after failing to muster together enough votes.


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Democrats seize super PAC crown

Democrats have become the kings of super PACs. With Congress fighting over gun legislation and immigration, and 2014 midterm races already simmering, many left-leaning donors are eagerly bankrolling these free-spending groups that the party faithful have often criticized for unleashing unlimited money into political races. Liberal-aligned super PACs combined to raise more than $40 million during the first half of 2013, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission.


Their conservative counterparts, meanwhile, collectively raised about $20 million. That’s a stark contrast with 2011 and 2012, when Republicans rapidly deployed the nascent organizations following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling that led to their creation. During the first six months of 2011, for example, conservative super PACs outraised their liberal rivals more than 4-to-1, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of FEC data. And during the same period last year, when Republicans, unlike Democrats, engaged in a heated presidential primary battle, GOP-aligned super PACs outraised liberal ones nearly 7-to-1.


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New Data That Shows Why the Next Republican Nominee is Screwed

Immigration reform isn’t quite dead yet, but the political fall-out of immigration reform’s demise is pretty clear: the GOP rebrand is going to be pretty tough. Despite relatively favorable circumstances, immigration reform advocates weren’t able to drag the party toward the center. And if congressional Republicans can’t advance the rebrand by allowing losing issues—like a pathway to citizenship or background checks on gun purchases—to advance through Congress and depart from consideration in 2016, then the next Republican nominee will be left with the difficult task of broadening the appeal of the GOP.


Today, a new Pew Research survey suggests that Republican presidential candidates won’t find it easy to move toward the center. The poll shows that Republicans recognize the need for change—with 59 percent even suggesting they need to change on the issues. But when it comes to the specifics, most Republicans support maintaining the party’s current positions or even moving further to the right. When asked about the party’s current stance on gay marriage, immigration, government spending, abortion, and guns, at least 60 percent of Republicans said they thought the party was about right or too moderate.


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What If Obama Can't Lead?

Two New York Times reporters recently posited for President Obama this grim scenario: Low growth, high unemployment, and growing income inequality become “the new normal” in the nation he leads. “Do you worry,” the journalists asked him, “that that could end up being your legacy simply because of the obstruction … and the gridlock that doesn’t seem to end?” Obama’s reply was telling. “I think if I’m arguing for entirely different policies and Congress ends up pursuing policies that I think don’t make sense and we get a bad result,” he said, “it’s hard to argue that’d be my legacy.”


Actually, it’s hard to argue that it wouldn’t be his legacy. History judges U.S. presidents based upon what they did and did not accomplish. The obstinacy of their rivals and the severity of their circumstances is little mitigation. Great presidents overcome great hurdles. In Obama’s case, the modern GOP is an obstructionist, rudderless party often held hostage by extremists. So … get over it. His response to The New York Times is another illustration that Obama and his liberal allies have a limited—and limiting—definition of presidential leadership. I call it the White Flag Syndrome. Their argument is best expressed by Ezra Klein of The Washington Post, who posted a thoughtful rebuttal in May to journalists like me who demand more leadership from the White House.


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Trains, not pipelines, channel new U.S. oil boom

Who needs a pipeline when you have a railroad? While Republicans in Congress accuse President Barack Obama of killing American jobs by delaying a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, the Delaware City refinery, 100 miles northeast of Washington, never needed it. No pipeline runs from the booming Bakken oil-producing region of North Dakota to Delaware City. No pipeline stretches to the Tesoro refinery at Anacortes, Wash.


Rather, existing oil pipelines generally run north-south, not east-west. But railroads lead to Delaware City and Anacortes, and practically everywhere else in the country. Until last month’s deadly derailment of a crude-oil train in Quebec, pipelines dominated the debate about moving oil. But rail shipments of North American crude oil already have matched what Keystone XL was proposed to carry, and more is on the way. What started as a stopgap has become the go-to for transporting crude. “A big part of the popularity of rail is that the president can’t veto it,” said Eric Smith, associate director of the Tulane University Energy Institute.


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In post-Obama America, small inroads with blacks would be big for GOP

Down in Monroe, La., hard by Black Bayou Lake, U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander wonders why Republican leaders in Washington haven’t sought his advice on their initiative to improve the party’s anemic standing among African-American voters.Compared with his Republican peers in the House of Representatives, Alexander is unusually adept at drawing black votes.


“It’s something they should have been doing to begin with,” Alexander said of his party’s new outreach to black voters.Alexander’s congressional district is one-third black, the largest share among the 234 House districts held by Republicans — none of whom is African-American.Nationwide, nine in 10 black voters chose Democrats over Republicans in congressional races in November, and 93 percent of African-Americans supported President Barack Obama over GOP nominee Mitt Romney, exit polls showed.


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Feminist group: ‘S**t shaming’ by Weiner campaign ‘the final line’

A feminist group is taking a stand following mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s spokeswoman’s angry tirade against a former intern. “The circus that is the Weiner campaign has crossed the final line: Sexist name-calling and s**t shaming is outrageous, unacceptable, and has no place in any campaign,” UltraViolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary said in a statement Wednesday.


Tuesday, Weiner spokeswoman Barbara Morgan offered a profanity-laced interview with Talking Points Memo about Olivia Nuzzi, a former campaign intern who wrote an unflattering article about the Weiner campaign for the New York Daily News, in which she claimed people only joined the campaign to curry favor with his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton.


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Colbert Goes After FreedomWorks for Call to Burn 'Obamacare Cards'

From this Monday’s The Colbert Report, Stephen took the so-called “tea party” group, FreedomWorks to task for their latest campaign to try to get young people to burn their “Obamacare cards.” Just one problem though. There is no such thing as an “Obamacare card. Stephen Colbert mocks FreedomWorks’ lame attempt to derail Obamacare:


Nation, I hope you’re ready, because you have to lock your lungs and batten down your colon, because Obamacare is coming. The individual mandate takes effect on New Year’s Day, which means when the Times Square ball drops, it will immediately be checked for lumps. Worse, folks, worse, this bloated bureaucratic program that will never work has started working. […] And Obamacare is being implemented despite the best efforts of House Republicans, who have voted to symbolically repeal it 39 times. I don’t know why it’s not working. Maybe they need to load more emptiness into their gestures. Now the key to implementing Obamacare is the so-called individual mandate, because to keep premium costs down, officials say “they must register 2.7 million healthy people between the ages of 18 and 35 in order to counteract the costs of ensuring seniors and people with health problems.”


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