Face the Nation

White House Advisor Schooled on Response to Scandals

Dan Pfeiffer

What happens when a senior White House official goes on a Sunday morning talk show and dimisses the scandals that have plauged the Obama Administration for the past week? He gets absolutely humiliated by the host.

During an appearance on Face the Nation, Dan Pfeiffer, a White House advisor, tried to play down the IRS and Benghazi scandals, telling host Bob Schieffer that the focus on the bad news is the “Republican playbook.”

“The point that our Chief of Staff is making is that this is the Republican playbook here, which is try, when they don’t have a positive agenda, try to drag Washington into a swamp of partisan fishing expeditions, trumped up hearings and false allegations,” Pfeiffer told Schieffer. “We’re not going to let that distract us and the President from actually doing the people’s work and fighting for the middle class.”

While he was quick to note that he doesn’t believe the IRS scandal doesn’t have the scope of Watergate, Schieffer noted that the White House’s response to the IRS scandal is very much in vain of Nixon. “You’re taking exactly the same line they did,” Schieffer recalled.

Pelosi begins the push for even more tax hikes

Nancy Pelosi

Last week, Politico ran a story noting that Democrats may finally be “done hiking tax rates” after scoring a victory through raising taxes on higher-income earners in the “fiscal cliff” deal. The story quoted a couple of House Democrats, including House Ways and Means Chair Sander Levin, who said that the issue seemed to be settled for now.

But according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the push for higher taxes isn’t over. During an interview with Bob Schieffer yesterday on Face the Nation, Pelosi said that more revenues are needed, presumably as part of any debt ceiling deal that Republicans hope to make:

Pushing back against the Republicans’ deficit-reduction strategy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this weekend that more tax revenues – not just spending cuts – must be a part of Congress’s effort to rein in deficits.

Pelosi said the tax hikes in the recent “fiscal-cliff” deal are a start, but don’t go far enough to generate the revenues the government needs to run the country effectively.

“In this legislation we had $620 billion, very significant … changing the high-end tax rate to 39.6 percent. But that is not enough on the revenue side,” Pelosi told CBS’s Bob Schieffer in an interview taped Friday.

Without offering many specifics, the California Democrat said she wants to scour the tax code for unnecessary loopholes and “unfair” benefits that help those – either companies or individuals – who don’t need it.

Mitt Romney: I don’t need congressional approval to bomb Iran

Last year, many libertarians and conservatives criticized President Barack Obama for involving the United States in air campaigns in Libya to oust Moammar Gadhafi, the country’s dictator, without congressional approval. The Obama Administration claimed the authority to bomb Libya through an alarming interpretation of executive power that they said derived the War Powers Resolution and, thus, did not need approval from Congress. Interestingly enough, two of Obama’s top advisers warned that involving the United States in Libya would require congressional approval. Their advice was ignored.

It appears now that Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has taken a page out of Obama’s book by claiming in an interview on Face the Nation that he could go to war with Iran, a frequent target of neo-conservatives, without congressional approval. Here is the revelant quote (emphasis mine):

Lindsey Graham and the First Amendment

In response to the actions of Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who last week burned a copy of the Koran that has caused an uproar in the Muslim world, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) revealed that he isn’t a fan of the First Amendment, saying on Face the Nation, “I wish we could find some way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war. During World War II, you had limits on what you could do if it inspired the enemy. Burning a Koran is a terrible thing, but it doesn’t justify killing someone.”

Terry Jones is an intolerant idiot. There is a little question about that. However, his actions are protected speech, whether Sen. Graham and his colleagues like it or not. There is no clause in the Constitution or Bill of Rights that suspends liberties when we are at war.

I don’t agree with what this guy did, but I find it equally problematic that there is talk of punishing people for excerising their rights.


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