A law enforcement official has told NBC News that Attorney General Eric Holder is the one who signed the search warrant for the private emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen. The warrant was signed under the guise that Rosen might be a “possible co-consiprator” in violation of the Espionage Act.
Problem is, Holder denied all knowledge – much less involvement – of the DOJ targeting of reporters during sworn testimony before congress.
Last week, and while under oath, Attorney General Eric Holder testified before a House committee that when it comes to “try[ing] to prosecute the press for the publication of material” he has “never been involved in, heard of” such a thing.
Thursday, however, we learned that it was Holder who signed off on the application for a warrant to gain access to the private emails and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen. In doing so, Holder labeled Rosen a co-conspirator to obtain classified material under the Espionage Act of 1917.
Congress gave the Attorney General a deadline to clear up the “inconsistencies” in his testimony, but (surprise!), Holder missed it. He’s practically daring congress to subpoena him, but so far they don’t have the spine:
Republican lawmakers want to haul Attorney General Eric Holder back to the Hill to explain questionable testimony he gave on reporter surveillance — though they are stopping short of issuing a subpoena.
In a letter sent Thursday to the attorney general, Republican leaders of the House Judiciary Committee urged Holder to testify on June 18, or some other date before the end of the month. They say his department’s prior response to date “still fails to fully and adequately answer our questions.”
If the goal is to save lives, liability insurance isn’t going to do it. But of course, this isn’t really about saving lives. It’s about control. It’s about putting up as many hurdles as they can think of between the average, law-abiding American and their right to self-defense.
The tyrants at the UN won’t be satisfied until every citizen capable of resisting them world-wide is disarmed into sitting ducks. If just 2/3 of the Senate votes to ratify this treaty, our gun rights will be in serious jeopardy.
The fact that Democrats are willing to take the side of other nations against their own fellow citizens’ constitutional right to self-defense reveals how traitorous they truly are.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there was not enough support to give Sen. Dianne Feinstein the stand-alone vote she demands on the “assault weapon” ban, but the upper chamber may soon be the deciding factor in whether the United States ratifies an international treaty that could strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
On Monday, the United States joined in the nine day conference in New York to finalize negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty is intended to regulate the global trade of conventional weapons, but depending how the final document is worded, it could put at risk Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
The countries were negotiating the draft last July, but stopped when the U.S. asked for a delay. Many believe Mr. Obama pushed the issue past Election Day in order not to further alienate gun owners. Now that he has more “flexibility” in his second term, the U.S. is back at the table.
Secretary of State John Kerry has encouraged reaching consensus by March 28. “The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability,” he wrote in a statement Friday.
[…] Mr. Obama will likely go ahead and sign the treaty as it is. Then the only thing standing in the way of the U.N. stripping Americans of their Second Amendment rights is if he can get two-thirds of the Senate to ratify.
Certainly the ATT is controversial. Touted as a means of getting a handle on an international arms trade valued at $60 billion a year, its stated purpose is to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime at an international level.
Its vague and suspicious wording led some 150 members of Congress last June to send a letter to President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning that the treaty is “likely to pose significant threats to our national security, foreign policy and economic interests as well as our constitutional rights.”
We have noted that a paper by the U.N.’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) says that arms have been “misused by lawful owners” and that the “arms trade therefore be regulated in ways that would . .. minimize the misuse of legally owned weapons.”
Would defending your home against intruders, or U.S. laws permitting concealed carry, be considered a “misuse?”
[…] Last Thursday, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., introduced a bipartisan resolution opposing the treaty. The resolution states the U.N. proposal “places free democracies and totalitarian regimes on a basis of equality” and represents a threat to U.S. national security.
Our Constitution is unambiguous in its protection of gun rights. The ATT is not.
Interestingly, just as the world’s worst human rights violators have sat on and often chaired the U.N. Human Rights Council, Iran, arms supplier extraordinaire to America’s enemies, was elected to a top position at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty held in New York last July.
The U.S. is one of few countries that has anything like a Second Amendment, our Founding Fathers enshrining the right to bear arms in our founding principles in recognition of it being the ultimate bulwark against tyrannical government.
The fact that an organization full of tyrants, dictators, thugs and gross human rights violators wants to control small arms worldwide is hardly a surprise.
Somehow, administration assurances that the treaty won’t infringe on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms doesn’t reassure us.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
“The Life at Conception Act legislatively declares what most Americans believe and what science has long known — that human life begins at the moment of conception, and therefore is entitled to legal protection,” Sen. Paul said in a statement.
Senator Patty Murray, the Democratic chair of the Senate Budget Committee, finally released a budget today. Year over year, in this proposed budget, spending jumps dramatically.
For instance, from this year’s budget to next year’s proposed budget, spending would increase by $162 billion. This year, the federal government will spend $3.599 trillion; under Murray’s budget, the federal government would be on track to spend even more.
Over the next decade, spending under Murray’s budget would increase by 62 percent.
The 10-year budget plan drafted by Senate Democrats includes a $1.5 trillion tax-hike, according to GOP staffers who combed through the long document as soon as it was released.
The “budget would raise taxes on Americans by $1.5 trillion to pay for increased spending … on top of the $1.7 trillion in tax increases already signed into law during the Obama administration,” said a statement from Sen. John Thune, the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
“The policies of big spending and big government have led to a dismal average economic growth rate of just 0.8 percent over the past four years. It’s time to grow the economy, not the government,” he added.
President Barack Obama quickly endorsed the plan, which will help him continue an aggressive public-relations campaign against GOP budget maven, Rep. Paul Ryan, and his budget plan, in the long run-up to the 2014 mid-term election.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 267-151 on Wednesday to approve a $982-billion continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through the rest of fiscal 2013 that fully funds the implementation of Obamacare during that period.
The House Republican leaders turned aside requests from groups of conservative members to include language in the bill that would have withheld funding for implementation of all of Obamacare, or, alternatively, that would have withheld funding for the Obamacare regulation that requires health-plans to provide cost-free coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.
Watching the filibuster, the thought occurred to me that this is exactly what should have been done with Obamacare in 2009/2010. Why didn’t Mitch McConnell use every parliamentary procedure to block Obamacare? More relevant to today, these same senators should engage in the same educational filibuster against funding Obamacare next week when the Senate considers the CR. If nothing else, we’re long overdue for a national discussion over Obamacare, personal liberty, and free markets. We need to take this #StandWithRand show and run with it.
With budget sequestration looming and no deal to avert it in sight, Senate Republicans, eager to avoid blame for any cuts, have devised a strategy that is as unconstitutional as it is ill-advised: Let the president decide what to cut.
According to Politico, Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), with “the tacit support of Senate GOP leaders,” have been circulating a draft bill that would suspend the $85 billion in spending cuts required by the sequester. Instead, it would give President Barack Obama until March 8 to come up with an alternative that achieves the same level of savings in the same proportions: Fifty percent from domestic discretionary spending and 50 percent from defense spending. Once Obama laid out his plan, Congress could either allow the plan to become law or pass a resolution of disapproval, by simple majority vote of both houses, by March 22.
Congressional disapproval would not, however, be the end of the story. The president could sign the resolution, thereby deep-sixing his own plan in favor of the sequestration. On the other hand, he could veto the resolution, and then the usual two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress would be required to override his veto, restoring the sequestration.
The plan, which Politico aptly describes as an “elaborate, almost Rube Goldberg construct,” is supported by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said, “The goal isn’t to hand over congressional authority. It’s to make sure these cuts actually happen.”
Of course, if McConnell really wants to ensure that the cuts take place, there is a much simpler way of going about it. All Republicans have to do is not offer a plan of their own and then filibuster any bills the Democrats advance. Voila! The sequester takes effect.
Clearly, then, there is more to this move than simply ensuring that budget cuts occur. If Congress does nothing, or if it puts forth its own plan to avoid sequestration, Congress will get the blame for whatever cuts take place. But if the president is given carte blanche to decide what will be cut, he will become the scapegoat.
“It’s a game,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told MSNBC’s Jansing & Co. “The president himself becomes the bad guy; he owns the sequestration. He’s the guy who’s blamed for cutting defense or Head Start.”
The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage and turn a skeptical eye on similar prohibitions across the country.
The administration says unequivocally in a legal brief filed late Thursday that gay marriage should be allowed to resume in California, where it has been barred since the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008.
The Executive branch has no business telling the states and the Judicial branch how to do their jobs, not that he has much of a track record of respecting the separation of powers. Now the Legislative branch is following suit:
More than 100 prominent Republicans have signed an amicus brief supporting Gay Marriage, which will be submitted to the Supreme Court this week.
[…] The Supreme Court will hear back-to-back arguments in two pivotal gay-rights suits next month, which center on California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage and the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.
[…] While amicus briefs often do not have a significant impact on the Supreme Court, legal analysts say the sheer number of prominent conservatives backing gay marriage in this case may present an exception. Tom Goldstein, publisher of Scotusblog, a Web site that analyzes Supreme Court cases, said the amicus brief “has the potential to break through and make a real difference.”
When they can’t do it by vote, they seek to impose it by force through the judicial system. This may be the Roe v. Wade of our generation, and again, it will be innocent children who pay the price for it.
Some former officials in the Republican Party are urging the Supreme Court to redefine marriage for the nation. But support for marriage as the union of a man and a woman is essential to American—and conservative—principles. Indeed, nothing could be less conservative than urging an activist court to redefine an essential institution of civil society.
As my co-authors and I argue in our new book, What Is Marriage?, and in the amicus brief we filed with the Supreme Court, marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and on the social reality that children need a mother and a father. Marriage has public purposes that transcend its private purposes.
[…] Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children. It would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad. We know that children tend to do best when raised by a mother and a father. The confusion resulting from further delinking childbearing from marriage would force the state to intervene more often in family life and cause welfare programs to grow even more.
In recent years marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs. Redefining marriage represents the culmination of this revisionism: Emotional intensity would be the only thing left to set marriage apart from other kinds of relationships. Redefining marriage would put a new principle into the law—that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is.
Redefining marriage to abandon the norm of male-female sexual complementarity would also make other essential characteristics—such as monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency—optional. But marriage can’t do the work that society needs it to do if these norms are further weakened. All Americans, especially conservatives who care about thriving civil society capable of limiting the state, should be alarmed.
With five days left before $85 billion is slashed from U.S. government budgets, the White House issued more dire warnings about the harm the cuts will do to Americans, breaking down the loss of jobs and services to each of the states.
The estimates show how many teachers could lose their jobs in each state, how many toddlers could be kicked out of subsidized preschool programs, and how many children could lose funding for vaccines for measles and mumps.
But Republicans, who advocate budget cuts, said the warning was overplayed, and called on President Barack Obama to apply what is known as the “sequester” in a more careful way, rather than slashing budgets across the board.
“They’ve rolled out this great political theater about how cutting less than 3 percent of the federal budget is going to cause all these awful consequences,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“Here’s his chance to say, ‘Here’s how we can do it better,’” Jindal said, suggesting Congress and the White House give departments the ability to cut spending on less essential services.
If national security is threatened, it’s because irresponsible politicians in Washington have decided to blow trillions on everything BUT the 17 legitimate, constitutional responsibilities of the federal government, of which national defense is supposed to be top priority.
Here’s what these supposedly “disastrous” cuts look like:
As the graph clearly shows, nothing is really being CUT. The sequestration simply decreases the size of the INCREASE that all these government departments were expecting to be able to spend. A “cut” would be if that slope was facing downward from what we’re currently spending. This doesn’t even scratch the surface of what is needed to make our nation financially viable.
He’d rather try and blame the Tea Party, which RINO’s in the House are more than happy to help him do:
The White House is trying to assign blame to Republicans in Congress for the impending “draconian cuts” to the federal budget known as the “Sequester.” Speaker of the House John Boehner, who never seems to miss the opportunity to screw up a message, took to standing in front of a “doomsday” style clock in an effort to “blame” the White House for the cuts.
The problem with the Boehner optics: It buys into the Obama narrative that the sequester is Armageddon.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post today lets Boehner off the hook by throwing the blame over to the Beltway’s favorite scape goat, the Tea Party. But, the twist in this story is conservatives who were swept into Congress in 2010 during the grassroots Tea Party election seem just fine with this narrative… in fact, they want credit, not blame for the cuts.
“This will be the first significant Tea Party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas. Meanwhile, Speaker Boehner is still standing in front of the doomsday clock and giving President Obama the photo-op of a lifetime.
One of the most remarkable and frightening aspects of President Barack Obama’s inaugural address was his dismissal of his opposition – presumably the House Republican caucus – as “absolutists” who are without “principle.”
They are mucking up Obama’s agenda, and he won’t have it.
[…] Absolutism, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a form of despotism – “government by an absolute ruler or authority.” That the president of the United States is accusing his democratically-elected opponents of acting in a tyrannical fashion is a remarkable development with potentially profound implications.
Once the president’s opponents have been defined in the American mind as despotically inclined, unsusceptible to reason, and unwilling to play by the normal rules of politics, it is only natural that extreme measures are permitted in response.
This White House has already shown a propensity toward ruling by executive fiat – whether by executive action that effectively enacts rejected legislation, by refusing to enforce existing law, or by crafting rules for legislation to grant vast new powers to bureaucrats.
Once it has de-legitimized the opposition, the White House can claim it is left with no choice but to accelerate and expand its use of executive power. What else can they do, the president and his operatives will argue, when faced with the insanity of the Republicans?
The press, which avidly buys into the notion that much of the House Republican caucus is beyond reason, will lend a sympathetic ear to Obama as he struggles with the forces of darkness.
Starring in the role of John McCain this time around? Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio. Standing in for George W. Bush? Barack H. Obama. The usual liberal Democrat and bend-over Republican suspects serving as the supporting cast? Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, illegal alien intern employer Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and freshman Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.
Here’s the gist of the new Gang-rene of Eight’s plan:
According to a five-page document provided to POLITICO, the sweeping proposal — agreed to in principle by eight senators — would seek to overhaul the legal immigration system as well as create a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s roughly 11 million illegal immigrants. But establishing that pathway would depend on whether the U.S. first implements stricter border enforcement measures and new rules ensuring immigrants have left the country in compliance with their visas. Young people brought to the country as children illegally and seasonal agriculture industry workers would be given a faster path to citizenship.
[…] Question: If GOP senators were serious about cracking down on the systemic, dangerous, ongoing, persistent problem of illegal alien visa overstayers and the failure to enact an effective visa tracking system since before and well after 9/11 (read THIS), why haven’t they pushed for fixing it SEPARATE AND APART from amnesty measures?
Answer: Because these cynical panderers are not serious about ending the backlog of more than 750,000 unvetted visa overstay records.
And another government “commission” to “ensure the new enforcement mechanisms take effect?” Spare us another phony, dog-and-pony Blue Ribbon Panel to Nowhere. Please.
Rubio is winning praise from some of my conservative friends for noting that we’ve been living under de facto amnesty.
Oh, yeah? How, pray tell, do these capitulationist Republicans propose to ensure that shamnesty beneficiares don’t get access to federal benefits later when they can’t do anything to prevent the Obama administration from sabotaging existing federal prohibitions on welfare for immigrants now?
Obama offered his own principles on immigration in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He pushed for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants that is faster than the one the Senate group proposed.
Rather than emphasize border security first as the senators want, he would let undocumented immigrants go ahead and get on a path to citizenship, if they first undergo national security and criminal background checks, pay penalties, learn English and get behind those foreigners seeking to immigrate legally.
Even more arrogantly, he is proposing his own legislation, even though the president’s job is to ENFORCE the law (which he refuses to do), not WRITE the law:
“I’m hopeful that this can get done, and I don’t think that it should take many, many months. I think this is something we should be able to get done certainly this year and I’d like to see if we could get it done sooner, in the first half of the year if possible,” Obama told Telemundo.
If Congress delays, he said, “I’ve got a bill drafted, we’ve got language” ready to offer Capitol Hill.
In a recent Sean Hannity program entitled, Boomtown, his 2 guests used the entire hour to show how corrupt Washington DC politics has become. “While one out of every 6 Americans wonder where their next meal is coming from, Washington DC has the highest rate of fine wine consumption in the United States,” said author Peter Schweizer of the Government Accountability Institute. Mr. Schweizer also pointed out that one out of four Americans has a mortgage that is underwater, while 7 out of 10 of the wealthiest counties in the nation are in the DC area. Furthermore, DC now has the highest per capita income in the US, recently passing Silicon Valley. How was this wealth created in a geographical area that doesn’t produce a product or create anything the public wants to purchase? Other boomtowns in our history became prosperous because they offered something to build upon. DC, however, offers nothing but connections to power and patronage. The result is a permanent political class invested in the growth of government as they grow their personal portfolios.
Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, said the best and the brightest now come to Washington because they see Washington as a Tammany Hall that will allow them to get rich off of influence peddling. He noted that Washington D.C. runs the equivalent of a $4 trillion private equity fund every year and essentially doles out 25% of the country’s wealth to those who are connected.
“Nobody has ever turned a camera on them,” Bannon said, indicating he intends to change that in the future. “This is a permanent political class that has now formed an aristocracy. That’s why nothing has changed in Washington.”
Bannon explained people arrive in Washington as country lawyers and then decide to “turn the business of government into a family business” by having their wives and kids work in lobbying.
“And this is how they become a permanent political class,” he concluded.
Hannity mentioned that Washington politicians “kick money back to family, friends, or people that hire them when they retire.”
And Schweizer concurred. He claimed the permanent political class is bipartisan and those who are a part of this permanent aristocracy either marry or are born into it.
What are they THINKING? NO politician, NO party is above the law! ANY public servant that violates the Constitution – the ultimate law of the land – needs to be tossed out on their rear ends, regardless of party!
In legislation filed yesterday, the House GOP Leadership made an important twist in their plan to pass a short-term increase in the debt ceiling. Rather than increase the debt ceiling by a few hundred billion dollars, buying them time for further talks on the budget, they have opted to “suspend” the debt ceiling. Its a blatant abdication of their constitutional authority. It’s an ominous sign of the talks to come.
Article 1 of the US Constitution gives Congress the exclusive authority to borrow money to fund the government. Up until World War I, Congress would approve every bond issuance. The borrowing demands of the war made this impractical, so Congress authorized a “debt ceiling,” where the government could freely borrow up to a statutory limit and then go back to Congress to approve additional borrowing. Think of it as giving your teenager a pre-paid debit card.
With this measure, the government had more flexibility to manage its affairs while preserving the Constitutional principle that Congress controlled the purse strings.
“Suspending” the debt ceiling until May upends this principle. Upon enactment, the government’s borrowing authority would be unlimited until May. Presumably, the government could borrow trillions in this window, providing either the markets or the Fed would meet the new supply of debt.
Worse, however, is that the GOP move establishes a very slippery precedent. The left has been agitating to simply eliminate the idea of a debt ceiling entirely. For all its flaws, the ceiling at least guarantees we will have some debate about government spending. The left finds this annoying. Unfortunately, the GOP plan to “suspend” the ceiling provides at least partial support to this argument. If we can “suspend” it for three months, why not a year? Once you’ve surrendered the constitutional principle behind the ceiling where and how can you draw a line?
Last week, FreedomWorks launched the website, www.DCDoYourJob.com, to combat the pressure for a clean debt ceiling raise and to give grassroots America a platform to take back its voice in the secretive, closed-door budgeting process. The message from taxpayers is clear: There should be no debt ceiling increases until Washington returns to regular order and passes a budget.
FreedomWorks is urging all members to demand that Congress resist raising the debt ceiling clean, and instead return to regular order, do their jobs, and pass a budget as required by law.
It’s almost like they’re holding the budget hostage for more ransom money from the “evil rich.”
The Constitution REQUIRES congress to pass a budget – no conditions, no excuses. Of course, they’ve been flaunting the law of the land for years, and Republicans won’t hold them accountable, so what do they care?
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the U.S. Senate will only fulfill it’s legal obligation to pass a budget if the budget, which has not been passed since 2009, includes new tax increases.
“We need a budget,” Schumer conceded on Meet the Press. “It’s a great opportunity to get us some more revenues to help in part deal with sequestration and deal with the debt issue . . . We’re going to do a budget this year and it’s going to have revenues in it and our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact.”
Senate Democrats have refused to pass a budget since Obamacare was passed, prompting Republicans to accuse their counterparts of hiding the amount of spending they desire to avoid electoral rebuke.
Even some Democrats are willing to say that. “I think there would be just too much risk for the next election,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., suggested last year when asked why his party leadership wouldn’t pass the budget. “They don’t want to risk the next election.”
Strategically speaking, this is obviously another attempt to shift the public’s ire from Republicans to Senate Democrats on the ongoing cliff battles. I’m not sure it’s exactly a bad idea, but more than likely it is an ineffective one. The problem with this stuff is that it’s small ball and transparently political. It sounds like a stunt. (UPDATE: Not to mention, probably unconstitutional.)
In a statement released from Republican retreat in Virginia, Eric Cantor said: “The first step to fixing this problem is to pass a budget that reduces spending. The House has done so, and will again. The Democratic Senate has not passed a budget in almost four years, which is unfair to hardworking taxpayers who expect more from their representatives. That ends this year.”
Well, the last time the Senate passed a budget was April of 2009. And the habit is probably not going end this year.
Cantor might be right in substance, but everyone understands: 1 – Republicans were going to vote to raise the debt ceiling. All kinds of Republicans have openly said they’d do it. Whether you agree with taking a stand on the debt ceiling or not, to extract concessions from a president who offers so little, you have to be prepared to take the dive. 2 – Republicans aren’t making compelling big-picture arguments so there’s no way to win the small ones. Even if you believe, like I do, that conservatives are right on these budgetary issues, they’re not very convincing.