Obama campaigns for Democrats while Libya burns: U.S. military evacuates embassy in Tripoli amid escalating violence

Three years after military intervention in Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the State Department evacuated the U.S. embassy in Tripoli with the assistance of U.S. Marines amid the escalating violence in the North African country:

A Pentagon spokesman said in a statement that military planes and spy vehicles assisted in the operation to protect American officials from a possible attack.

All embassy personnel were relocated, including the Marine security guards who were providing security at the embassy and during the movement. The embassy staff was driven in vehicles to Tunisia,” Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

“The mission was conducted without incident, and the entire operation lasted approximately five hours.”
[…]
“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. “Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions.”

One has to wonder if this is another one of those instances in which the White House will try to “underscore” that problems in Libya are “not a broader failure of policy.” Of course, there’s not a video to blame this time around.

Obama must take a tougher stand against Russia, and he can do that by ending Ex-Im’s deals with Vladimir Putin’s cronies

With tensions boiling over in Ukraine as Vladimir Putin’s regime sends more weapons to separatists, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) is calling on President Barack Obama to stop the Export-Import Bank from doing deals with Russian businesses.

Hensarling says that Russia “bears responsibility” for the conflict in Ukraine as well as the “atrocity of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17,” in which 298 people lost their lives. The Texas Republican noted that Putin’s regime “is supplying the separatists with advanced weapons and encouraging their attacks on aircraft and on the people of Ukraine.”

“Russia’s actions are in direct conflict with our national interests,” Hensarling wrote in a letter to President Obama. “Yet, still, the Export-Import Bank remains open for business in Russia. In fact, total authorizations for deals between Ex-Im and Russia have increased nine-fold since you took office.”

The House Financial Services Committee recently noted that Ex-Im increased funding for Russian projects by 177 percent in FY 2013, translating to a $580 million commitment, a record level. These loans and subsidies are backed by American taxpayers.

End Ex-Im: Newt Gingrich says the crony Bank favors “giant companies,” and he’s absolutely right

During a brief chat with the Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said that Congress shouldn’t reauthorize the crony Export-Import Bank in its “current form.”

“I think [Congress] should look very critically at it. Personally, I think the way its currently structured, it favors giant companies and doesn’t help small business at all,” said Gingrich. “So, in its current form, I think it should not be reauthorized.”

When asked whether Republicans should compromise with Democrats to reform Ex-Im if they don’t get enough votes to end it, Gingrich explained that Congress is under no obligation to reauthorize the Bank.

Here’s the Republican presidential contender who could be a complete nightmare for Democrats

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) outreach efforts to millennials and minorities as well as his focus on issues that aren’t typical of Republican politicians have not gone unnoticed by one of President Barack Obama’s closest political strategists.

White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer says that Paul, who is actively building up a campaign-like structure in early primary states, may be the biggest threat to Democrats’ hopes to keep the presidency in 2016:

Speaking to reporters, counselor to the president Dan Pfeiffer said the Kentucky Republican is “one of the most intriguing candidates” in the field because of his appeal to younger voters of both parties.

“He’s the only Republican I think who has articulated a message that is potentially appealing to younger Americans,” Pfeiffer said at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor. “Every other Republican running is basically just Romney-lite when it comes to younger Americans.” Rand has made reaching out to non-traditional voters a signature component of his political agenda, most recently delivering a speech Friday to the National Urban League.

Pfeiffer also noted that Paul faces a tough Republican primary, a preview of which has been offered by way of attacks from his likely opponents, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who are trying weaken him before the 2016 horserace begins.

This is going to drive the gun control crowd crazy: NRA launches “Trigger the Vote,” a nationwide GOTV drive

NRA's Trigger the Vote

The National Rifle Association, the nation’s oldest civil liberties organization, has launched a nationwide get-out-the-vote campaign to encourage gun owners to make sure their voices are heard this fall.

Though “Trigger the Vote” is a nonpartisan voter registration drive, the NRA Freedom Action Foundation is hoping that the push will lead to defeats at the ballot box for gun control activists’ favorite candidates.

“Registering to vote is critical to preserving our Second Amendment rights. Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun allies are committed to taking away our freedoms,” Chris Cox, president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation, wrote in an email blast to supporters. ”You can protect your rights by registering to vote and making sure that your freedom loving family and friends are registered to vote.”

The NRA Freedom Action Foundation also rolled out a new 30-second ad featuring a father and a son to promote the “Trigger the Vote” campaign.

Hey, Barack Obama, businesses are moving overseas because of a terrible tax climate made worse by you

There’s been a lot of talk lately from President Barack Obama and administration officials about “economic patriotism.” They say that corporations shouldn’t be allowed to move overseas to escape paying the corporate income tax.

“Even as corporate profits are higher than ever, there’s a small but growing group of big corporations that are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes,” President Obama said at a stop in Los Angeles on Thursday. “They’re keeping, usually, their headquarters here in the U.S. They don’t want to give up the best universities and the best military and all the advantages of operating in the United States. They just don’t want to pay for it. So they’re technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship.”

Earlier this month, President Obama suggested that Congress (read: Republicans) lack “economic patriotism” to work with his administration on issues the country faces. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew dropped the same term in a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) as he urged Congress to pass legislation to end corporate inversions.

“What we need as a nation is a new sense of economic patriotism, where we all rise or fall together. We know that the American economy grows best when the middle class participates fully and when the economy grows from the middle out,” Lew wrote in the letter to Wyden. “We should not be providing support for corporations that seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”

The RNC is actually trying to shame you into giving them money, proving yet again that it’s a worthless organization

The Republican National Committee sent out an email blast this morning, a screenshot of which can be found at the end of this post, in which they basically tried to shame supporters into giving them more money.

Yeah, this is an election year and both parties — and, yes, we subscribe to emails from Republicans and Democrats — are doing just about everything they can to squeeze out every penny out of donors, both large and small.

“Did you abandon the Republican Party?” writes RNC Treasurer Tony Parker. “Chairman Priebus has written to you already this year asking you to contribute to the RNC and renew your membership. But we haven’t received your financial support yet this year.” (Emphasis in the original.)

“Right now you are handing the advantage over to Democrats. That’s exactly what President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want you to do. With committed Republicans like you sitting out in 2014, the Democrats are able to continue their liberal rampage on conservative principles,” Parker added.

UNSUBSCRIBE.

Seriously, that email is the worst. The RNC demeaned its hard-working volunteers, basically telling them that what they’re doing isn’t enough. Well done, guys. Well done.

But, to answer the question in the subject line of the email, I don’t give money to the RNC for a number of reasons. Here are some of them:

Create opportunity, not welfare: Paul Ryan’s new poverty reform plan is a great place to begin a long overdue conversation

After his humbling defeat as the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee in the 2012 election, Paul Ryan decided to refocus his efforts. He remained the Budget Committee chairman in the House, still producing the annual Path to Prosperity budget request.

But Ryan also dove head first into a project he had wanted to do during the campaign but was denied: visiting inner city neighborhoods to get a first hand account of poverty in America, with the goal of changing how the federal government approaches the problem.

The fruits of that nearly two-year long effort were unveiled in the form of a draft document from his committee called Expanding Opportunity in America, a sweeping anti-poverty reform agenda covering everything from tax credits, criminal sentencing, and occupational licensing.

Ryan unveiled the plan at an event at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday morning. It’s not perfect, but it is an important first step both in actually tackling the frustratingly stagnant poverty levels around the country and in dismantling the narrative that Republicans don’t care about poor people.

While it is still an outline for federal legislation, in its introduction Ryan makes clear that government alone is not the solution to tackling poverty.

Obamacare’s architect agrees: Healthcare law subsidies were supposed to apply only to state-run Exchanges

The Obama administration’s claim that Congress never intended for Obamacare subsidies to apply only to states that implemented their own Exchanges looks much, much weaker this morning. Reason’s Peter Suderman has passed along some video gold, in which the architect of the law says it was worded to place political pressure on states.

Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who worked on Romneycare in Massachusetts, helped the administration craft Obamacare and, in January 2012, stated pretty clearly that consumers in states that opted out of the law would be denied subsidies.

“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” Gruber told an audience. “So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.”

“I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together,” he said, “and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges.”

Here’s the clip (the original is almost an hour long) via Phil Kerpen:

Obama is pointing his finger in the wrong direction: He’s now blaming Americans’ rejection of his awful agenda on Democrats

Filed under “this is so sad, it’s funny,” it seems Barack Obama has finally lost his golden touch when it comes to campaigning. Sure, he’s still feeding the liberals pablum, and getting dollars.

However, when it gets down to the point where he’s starting to insult the intelligences of the people that supposedly support him, it’s only a matter of time before the donation well will run dry. He’ll always be able to get money from the masochistic liberals that will take anything, including abuse, as long as they’re getting attention from Obama. As for everyone else? This isn’t a good position to be in heading into a mid-term.

It will be very bad for Democrats in November if enough Republicans manage to first pay attention to this nonsensical line Obama is delivering, and second, bother to use it as a roadmap on the campaign trail. T. Beckett Adams did a very good job of reporting precisely what Obama has been saying to the people that were foolish enough to spend thousands of dollars to hear him insult them.

Yes, it was a lot more of the blame game, but now instead of just blaming Bush and Republicans, Obama has taken to blaming Democrats.

“And so the midterms come around, and lo and behold we’re surprised when John Boehner is the Speaker of the House. Say, well, how did that happen?” the president said. “What happened to [Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.]? What happened was you all didn’t work. That’s what happened.”

 


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