Back in 2008, Gene Healy, a vice president at the Cato Institute, wrote a great book, The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power, about the way the nation’s chief executive has been transformed over the last several decades. This book, written at the tail of of George W. Bush’s presidency, during which Americans saw a tremendous expansion of executive power, notes the foundation that was laid before Barack Obama ever stepped foot in the White House.
But now that Obama’s first term is nearly completely, Healy is back with another in-depth look at how Obama has continued to transform the presidency. In False Idol: Barack Obama and the Continuing Cult of the President, a new e-book, Healy goes through extraordinary actions taken by Obama over the last four years, including unprecendented power of the nation’s healthcare system, the targeted killing of Americans overseas, and going to launching military action without congressional approval.
Click on the link above to buy purchase the e-book and check out the Cato Daily Podcast below, hosted by my friend, Caleb Brown, to hear more about it:
As Jason discussed this morning, Barack Obama has been less than honest about his previous, false statements about the attacks in Libya. Today, American Crossroads launched a timely ad which vividly makes this point:
In this case the video and the facts are so definately against the President, that the main stream media’s ability to obfuscate this issue in the minds of voters while spending TWO DAYS on “women full of binders” is damning proof that most media outlets support Obama.
On Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a surprising move by accepting responsibility for lack of security at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and by extension the deaths of four Americans who killed in the terrorist attack last month. As explained yesterday, Clinton has essentially fallen on her sword for President Barack Obama by doing so.
But based on other comments she has made, Clinton isn’t accepting responsibility for the reason for the attack, which was the video, “Innocence of Muslims,” pushed by some White House and Obama Administration officials in its aftermath:
In an interview with Margaret Brennan on CBS, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to say where U.N. ambassador Susan Rice got her talking points in response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya.
“Who briefed Ambassador Rice that day? Did you sign off on that briefing and those speaking points?” asked Brennan.
“You would have to ask her,” Clinton replied, admitting that she did not speak to Rice before her media appearances.
“Everybody had the same information,” Clinton insisted. “I mean, I’m – I have to say I know there’s been a lot of attention paid to who said what when, but I think what happened is more important. We were attacked, and four brave Americans were killed.”
“I think it’s part of what the fog of war causes,” Clinton added.
Last night, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney went toe-to-toe over issues concerning undecided voters at the second presidential debate at Hofstra University. After a dismal performance in the first debate nearly two weeks ago, Obama needed to get his campaign back on track by shifting the momentum gained by Romney.
While he may not have had a blowout last night, Obama did score a win on style. He was better prepared and clearly more comfortable in this setting than in the previous debate. Romney started strong, hitting points on Obama’s failed economic record and turning a question about energy and gas prices into a contentious back and forth that probably scored him some points. Romney was convincing and passionate when it came to the economy, and polls reflected that he won on that issue.
That’s not to say that he didn’t overstep on some of his rhetoric; particularly when it came to China and saying Obama doubled the national debt (he’s certainly increased it rapidly and significantly, but not doubled it).
Obama repeated frequently used familiar class warfare themes frequently during the debate, once again saying that a so-called “balanced approach” was needed to deal with the debt. However, Obama’s balanced approach isn’t so balanced when one looks at the math. Obama also quipped that “Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.” That sort of rhetoric may play well at times, even though it’s annoyingly wrong, but it didn’t seem to work all that well last night.
As the debate continues on over the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, which took the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted responsibility last night in an interview with CNN for the security failures that led up to the incident:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the bucks stops with her when it comes to who is blame for a deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
“I take responsibility” for what happened on September 11, Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Elise Labott soon after arriving in Lima, Peru for a visit. The interview, one of a series given to U.S. television networks Monday night, were the first she has given about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Clinton insisted President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are not involved in security decisions, Clinton said.
“I want to avoid some kind of political gotcha,” she added, noting that it is close to the election.
Clinton also sought to downplay the criticism that administration officials continued to say the attack was a spontaneous product of a protest over an anti-Muslim film, a theory that has since been discarded.
In the wake of an attack, there is always “confusion,” Clinton said. But the information has since changed, Clinton said in the interview.
This one had to hurt. The tension that developed between Clinton and Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary was, well, evident. It was obvious that Obama offered her a role in his administration to keep her close, rather than to appease her.
The fallout from the Benghazi terrorist attack has reached new heights as President Barack Obama’s surrogates are now trying to shift blame to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the security failures of that tragic evening and to Mitt Romney for playing politics with the issue:
President Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod on Sunday defended the administration’s handling of the consulate attack in Libya, accusing Mitt Romney of trying to “exploit” the issue.
Axelrod echoed White House claims that Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were unaware of requests for more security in Libya, where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed last month at the consulate in Benghazi.
Biden said at last week’s debate that the White House wasn’t told the diplomats needed more security.
“There is no doubt that some of these matters went into … the security agency at the State Department, but it didn’t come to the White House and that is what the vice president was responding to,” Axelrod said on Fox News Sunday.
Axelrod accused Romney of trying to make political hay out of the Libya issue.
“There is no doubt that he is working hard to exploit this issue,” Axelrod said. “From the beginning of this issue, before any facts were known, he was cravenly trying to exploit it.”
Just when you think the Benghazi scandal couldn’t get any worse for President Barack Obama, his chief spokesperson, Stephanie Cutter, opens her mouth. During an interview yesterday on CNN, Cutter said that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the reason that the issue has come to the forefront of the news:
So let me get this straight — for days, President Obama and other in the administration blamed a YouTube video, claiming it was a peaceful protest turned violent. President Obama, in a statement released after the attack, specifically mentioned religious tolerance — an indication that he was blaming the video.
As Jason and Doug noted, the White House has been heavily focused on Big Bird while avoiding serious problems our country faces abroad. This time line video, put out this week by the Heritage Foundation, is damning evidence of an administration which tried to lie and misdirect the American people about the savage attacks on our Libyan embassy.
It is incredible how far away from the news cycle this is.
That’s right, folks. Forget about the “fiscal cliff,” budget deficits and the national debt. The terrorist attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, is also nothing about which to be concerned. According to President Obama’s campaign, the biggest, most pressing issue facing the United States is Big Bird.
As Ron noted yesterday, during last week’s debate, Mitt Romney said that he was going to stop subsidizing PBS, which airs the childrens show, Sesame Street. President Obama’s campaign, needing a distraction from a bad debate performance and foreign policy failures, poked fun at Romney’s in a snarky ad, which has received close to 1.5 million views in a day:
Some of my friends who know I heavily follow politics ask me about the presidential race, saying that I “must love this stuff.” Actually, no, and the reason why are memes like this. It’s annoying and a distraction. That’s not to say that it’s not a smart move from President Obama’s campaign when it all comes down to it, but the ad just contributes to the continuing absurdity of American politics, which is coming from both the Left and the Right. We’re all dumber because of it.