Barack Obama

Harry Reid told us that “shadowy billionaires” are trying to buy America…

And he was right! Well, sort of. It’s not Charles and David Koch, the libertarian brothers who’ve been the target of vicious attacks by Harry Reid (D-NV). But rather, it’s Tom Steyer, a billionaire and radical environmentalist.

Steyer, who has met with Reid and other Democrats, has pledged $100 million to make climate change a big issue in the 2014 mid-term election. At the heart of the environmentalist’s personal campaign is his rabid opposition to the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

When the State Department announced last week that it would delay a decision on the oil pipeline, the latest example of this administration putting party over policy, Steyer came out as a big winner.

The State Department recently concluded that Keystone XL would have little impact on the environment, also noting that alternatives would result in higher carbon emissions, making Steyer’s objection to the pipeline look petty and paranoid.

It also makes President Obama and Democrats look exceedingly hypocritical because, after all their attacks on the Koch brothers, Steyer has successfully managed to buy a presidency, but it’s a Democrat. That’s a fact that National Review’s Tom Rogan pointed out yesterday on Fox and Friends.

MSNBC host to 5 million Americans: You can’t keep your crappy health plans

Melissa Harris-Perry

Are you among the 5 to 6 million Americans who lost the health insurance coverage that you had and liked? Well, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry has a message for you, and it’s one that she wants Democrats to run on in 2014: “Yeah, you can’t keep your crappy plans. Just deal with that!”

Harris-Perry, one of the network’s more annoying leftists, made the comments on Sunday, during which she compared the dramatic and consequential changes taking place in the health insurance market to “flipping a house.”

“But try thinking of it this way. It’s kind of like flipping a house. No, I really mean a real house. You do a whole lot of little things. You replace the counter tops, you add crown molding, you refinish the floors,” said Harris-Perry, according to the Media Research Center. “It all adds up to something entirely different than where you started.”

Harris-Perry ripped Republicans, whom she said “will go into a fallen down blighted house, slap on some granite counter tops, while ignoring real problems, and declare their work is the best thing ever.” She praised Democrats and Obamacare’s “more substantial, structural changes,” but criticized the party’s elected officials for not adequately selling the law, which, again, she compared to a flipped house.

Delaying Keystone XL decision should hurt Democrats

When in doubt, punt. At least that’s been the basic strategy of the Obama Administration lately. Better to put off unpopular decisions until after the mid-term elections, to hopefully reduce the number of losses to Republicans, right?

In the case of Keystone XL, kicking the can down the road might not have the desired result. No matter how much DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz might want to wish it otherwise, the fact is that suggesting Obama’s non-decision on the pipeline isn’t a political is laughable. The only people that are buying that line are already buying every other line out of this administration. It’s not reaching the people that are starting to question the competence of Democrats in office.

So, what does that mean when it comes to the mid-terms? The only people that should be remotely pleased with the decision to not decide are the environmentalists. Democrats in peril should be swearing at Obama. They’re smart enough to realize that they are in for a very rough ride in November - you know you are in trouble when even the unions are against you.

Poll: Independents, Millennials prefer anti-Obamacare candidates

While President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats say the debate over Obamacare is over and that the country should move on, one of the nation’s largest voting blocs strongly disagrees.

At a press conference last week, President Obama declared that Democrats running in the 2014 mid-term election “should forcefully defend and be proud” of Obamacare,” adding, “ I don’t think we should apologize for it, and I don’t think we should be defensive about it.”

But a recent Fox News poll found that 53 percent of registered voters prefer a candidate who “promises to fight against Obamacare.” A deeper look at the poll reveals that 54 percent of independents and 53 percent of Millennials, those under the age of 35, share that sentiment, an ominous sign for Democrats who take President Obama’s advice.

Overall, 56 percent of voters oppose Obamacare, including 63 percent of independents and 52 percent of Millennials. The poll also found that 73 percent of voters say that a candidates position on Obamacare will be either the “single most important factor” or “one of several important factors” in how they vote this fall. That includes 72 percent of independents and 66 percent of Millennials.

Obama may give clemency to hundreds of nonviolent drug offenders

Call it an election year move to rally his base or call it a move that’s long overdue, or maybe even a little of both. Whatever the case may be, President Barack Obama and the Justice Department are considering granting clemency to hundreds of nonviolent drug offenders:

A Department of Justice review of the nation’s clemency system that could free thousands of prisoners was motivated by President Obama’s desire “to make sure that everyone has a fair shot,” the White House said Monday.

“He has asked the Department of Justice to set up a process aimed at ensuring that anyone who has a good case for commutation has their application seen and evaluated thoroughly,” press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.
[…]
That review is expected to place a special emphasis on non-violent drug offenders, and especially those given longer sentences for crack cocaine. In recent years, federal lawmakers have moved to reduce additional penalties for those in possession of crack, rather than powder, cocaine, in a bid to both reduce prison populations and the unequal prosecution of minorities.

There has been a bipartisan push in the Senate to reform the United States’ drug laws. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced a measure to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders.

Separately, though similarly, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) teamed up to address sentencing reforms for nonviolent crack cocaine offenders.

Keystone XL delay puts Democratic Party ahead of national interest

Barack Obama

The State Department announced on Friday afternoon that it will extend the review period on the proposed northern route of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, citing “on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state.”

“The agency consultation process is not starting over. The process is ongoing, and the Department and relevant agencies are actively continuing their work in assessing the Permit application,” the State Department stated in the release, adding that it “will give the agencies sufficient time to submit their views.”

The State Department and other federal agencies are determining whether the TransCananda-backed Keystone XL pipeline is in the United States’ “national interest.” The new northern route, proposed after President Barack Obama rejected the original track, was submitted in September 2012.

The State Department didn’t give any indication of how long agencies need to assess Keystone XL, which has already been extensively studied. State recently concluded that pipeline would have little impact on the environment, also noting that alternatives would result in higher carbon emissions.

Some observers have already surmised that a decision on the pipeline may not come until after the 2014 mid-term election.

Today in Liberty: Greenwald teases more NSA revelations, just half of Georgia’s Obamacare signups have paid

“[I]f you want to be adversarial to those who wield power, you have to expect that those who wield power aren’t going to like what you’re doing very much.”Glenn Greenwald

— Expect more NSA revelations: In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Glenn Greenwald said that we can expect more disclosures about the NSA in a new book due out next month. “There are stories that I felt from the beginning really needed the length of a book to be able to report and to do justice to,” Greenwald said, “so there’s new documents, there’s new revelations in the book that I think will help inform the debate even further.” The book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, is slated for a May 14 release.

Will Obama mandate biometrics for new guns?

Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent testimony touting biometric technology, like bracelets and fingerprint identification systems, as “common sense” gun control measures has some Republicans concerned about the prospect of yet another executive order from President Obama:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is warning the Obama administration to not issue an executive order requiring that all new guns be made with biometric technology, such as finger-print recognition or bracelets.
[…]
“Your testimony has raised serious concerns for my constituents given President Obama’s track-record of acting beyond the scope of his legal authority and your hostility to the individual right to self-defense under the Second Amendment,” Cornyn wrote. “Is the Obama administration currently exploring the possibility of an executive order requiring all firearms to possess the technology capabilities you referenced in your testimony?”

Cornyn also asked Holder if the administration has any legal standing to make such a requirement on gun features, and expressed concern about how biometric guns could make it easier for the federal government to create a national gun owner database — something Cornyn said would violate privacy rights

Will you assure my constituents and me that, under your supervision, the Department of Justice will not issue regulations requiring law-abiding citizens to equip their firearms with fingerprint-reading technology, or to link them to biometric bracelets?” Cornyn wrote.

CBO sees a bigger river of red ink under Obama’s budget

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that budget deficits will be nearly $1.7 trillion greater under President Barack Obama’s budget than the estimates released last month by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The two agencies frequently conflict on budget projections. The OMB sort of takes a guess on what economic growth will look like over a 10-year period and scores a president’s tax and spending agenda based on those estimates. The CBO, however, is more restrained in its approach.

The discrepancy between the two reports is due to the CBO’s assumption that current law remains largely unchanged. The nonpartisan fiscal research agency also believes that tax revenues will be $1.8 trillion lower than the OMB, which is due to less rosy economic projections over the next 10 years (2015-2024).

President Obama’s budget estimates that budget deficits over the next decade will come in at approximately $4.93 trillion (Table S-1 of the OMB report). But the CBO estimates that deficits will be significantly higher, at $6.56 trillion (Table 1 of the CBO report), or $1.64 trillion greater than the administration’s estimate.

Here’s a look at the year-by-year differences:

Two-thirds of voters want Congress to continue IRS investigation

Americans aren’t satisfied with overtures from President Barack Obama that there isn’t a “smidgen” of corruption at the Internal Revenue Service. A Fox News poll released yesterday found that two-thirds of voters want Congress to keep digging until there is accountability for the targeting of conservative groups:

The latest Fox News poll also finds 69 percent don’t feel President Obama has followed through on his vow to “find out exactly what happened on this.”

By a 49-41 percent margin, voters believe the Obama administration “intentionally had the IRS target conservative political groups.” That includes 26 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of independents and 71 percent of Republicans.

Meanwhile, 67 percent of voters want Congress to keep investigating the IRS until “someone is held accountable.” An all-time high of 78 percent thought lawmakers should investigate the IRS in early June.

The poll shows agreement across party lines: Majorities of Republicans (77 percent), independents (67 percent) and Democrats (57 percent) favor Congress continuing to investigate until “someone is held accountable.”

Good luck with that. President Obama and congressional Democrats have no desire to cooperate with inquiries into the IRS’s actions, despite the fact that conservative groups were explicitly singled out for scrutiny.

Lois Lerner, the disgraced ex-IRS official at the center of congressional inquiries, is the obvious person who could be held accountable, but she’s refused to testify at committee hearings.

 


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