White House

Boehner announces vote to establish select committee on Benghazi

Following disclosures of previously unreleased emails between White House and Obama administration officials, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced early this afternoon that he will establish a select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.

The Weekly Standard reported this morning that Boehner was “seriously considering” a select committee due to a previously unreleased email showing that a White House official urged then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice “[t]o underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy” when she appeared on Sunday talk shows following the attack.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the email hadn’t not been released prior to this week because it was “not about Benghazi.” Promos from those Sunday talk shows show that Rice’s appearances on revolved around the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in the Libyan city.

“Americans learned this week that the Obama Administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the People’s House,” Boehner said in a statement. “These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen.

State Department email blamed Islamic militants for Benghazi hours after attack

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) dropped a bombshell during yesterday’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing by entering another new post-Benghazi email into the record.

The email, references discussions between the State Department and Libyan ambassador to the United States. The email was previously referenced by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), but Chaffetz read it for the committee and subsequently entered it into the record.

“The subject line is ‘Libya update’ from Beth Jones. The date is September 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm. There’s a paragraph in here that I think is pertinent to our discussions today,” said Chaffetz. “It’s referencing the Libyan ambassador: ‘When he said his government suspected that former Qaddafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told [the Libyan ambassador] that the group that conducted the attacks — Ansar al-Sharia — is affiliated with Islamic extremists.’”

Today in Liberty: Obamacare’s missing Millennials, data review urges privacy law reform

“The strongest continuous thread in America’s political tradition is skepticism about government.” — George Will

— Just 28 percent of Obamacare enrollees are Millennials: The Obama administration finished first Obamacare open enrollment period far short of its target for 18 to 34-year-olds. The administration estimated that it needed between 38 to 40 percent of enrollments to be from Millennials for the risk pools to be sustainable. It got 28 percent. “The administration is still touting 8 million sign-ups—technically 8.019 million—when the official open enrollment period of October 2013 through March 2014 is combined with stragglers who came in during the special enrollment period through April 19,” Peter Suderman explains, based on the latest figures. “It’s still the case that just 28 percent of those sign-ups were between the ages of 18 and 34, far short of the administration’s target of 39 percent. State-by-state variation remains significant, with some states seeing robust sign-up activity and others posting relatively weak numbers.”

Jay Carney: Benghazi talking points “not about Benghazi”

Jay Carney

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the reason the Obama administration didn’t turnover a September 2012 email with talking points for then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is because the “document was not about Benghazi.”

“Why were you holding back this information? Why was this email not turned over to the Congress? Why was it not released when you released all the other emails?” ABC News correspondent Jon Karl asked Carney. “This is directly relevant. Why did you hold this back?”

“Jon, I can say it again and again, and I know you can keep asking again and again,” Carney replied. “This document was not about Benghazi.”

“It was her prep for the, for the Sunday shows,” Karl noted, to which Carney replied, “It wasn’t her only prep, Jon. She relied on her — for her answers on Benghazi, on the document prepared by the CIA, as did members of Congress.”

Ron Fournier: White House Put Politics Before Transparency On Benghazi

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National Journal’s Ron Fournier says that the Obama administration put politics first when it came to the narrative shaping that went on after the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks.

“If there’s a smoking gun here, it’s the email that shows Rhodes, working for the President, said that our goal here, our number one goal here, is showing on the Sunday talk shows through Susan Rice that the President is strong on foreign policy,” said Fournier this morning on CNN. “That was the goal.”

Fournier is referring to obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog organization, which included an email from then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes to other prominent White House officials listing goals for then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to communicate on Sunday talk shows.

Among the goals listed in the email from Rhodes was “[t]o underscore that these protests are rooted in and Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

“The goal wasn’t to find out the truth and find out what happened and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said Fournier. “They put politics first,” he added, noting that Benghazi began the undermining of President Obama’s credibility, followed by the IRS scandal and the now-infamous lie that Americans could keep their health plans under Obamacare.

Today in Liberty: Attacks on Koch brothers aren’t working, Millennials trust in gov’t falls to new low

“One of the reasons you’re seeing so many people interested in libertarian ideas is the failure of the Republicans, the failure of the Democrats, but also the ability to go get the information for yourself: You’re not waiting for the [parties] to tell you what you think anymore.” — Matt Kibbe

— White House opposes even the smallest Obamacare changes: On Tuesday, the House passed the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act, a bipartisan measure introduced by Rep. John Carney (D-DE) that loosens health insurance rules on expatriates and Americans who travel frequently outside the country. The bill appears to be tailored for Cigna, a Delaware-based insurer. But the White House is having none of it. In a statement issued yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget stated that “[t]he administration does not support House passage of H.R. 4414 in its current form because it would reduce consumer protections and create even more loopholes in the tax code.” We’re not saying that this is necessarily a worthy bill, but the White House’s opposition to any changes to the law is just ridiculous.

White House spin can’t change reality of Obamacare spending

The Obama administration’s PR machine continues to use any kind of number to state that the Affordable Care Act is a success.

The president’s latest effort to lead the public to believe the healthcare law was a success consisted of his insistent remarks regarding the number of Americans who picked plans through the Exchange website. He called them “enrollees,” but the actual number of sign-ups that paid for their plans was never reported.

The latest statement coming from the Obama administration that touts ObamaCare as a success is associated with the latest Congressional Budget Office report. According to Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary, the new report “demonstrates the Affordable Care Act is working”:


The ACA is still going to cost taxpayers, a lotAccording to Billy House of the National Journal, “the nation is doomed to return to trillion-dollar shortfalls by 2024 if lawmakers don’t alter existing tax and spending policies…the rising debt [will] have serious consequences.” How has President Obama addressed the nation’s bleak financial future? By creating an unsustainable healthcare program and no original framework to help alleviate the nation’s financial woes as evidenced by the 442 tax hikes Obama has proposed since taking office.

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.

White House helped pro-Obamacare group raise funds

White House

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report yesterday that offered some light on the Obama administration’s efforts to raise money for an outside group, Enroll America, to promote Obamacare.

Outgoing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was an already known figure in the push for funding for Enroll America. But the GAO report reveals that the efforts go all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

The White House allegedly was involved in seeking financial support for a pro-ObamaCare group, according to a new report issued in response to Republican concerns about the administration’s fundraising efforts.

Until now, outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was the only official known to have solicited financial support for Enroll America, a nonprofit that promoted enrollment for the Affordable Care Act. But a Government Accountability Office report released Monday detailed not only the secretary’s involvement but that of a White House adviser.

According to the report, though HHS officials said they were “not aware” of any federal government officials outside the agency soliciting funds for Enroll America, a representative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation told GAO “about a discussion” in 2012 between one of their staffers and the “Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy.”

Though not named in the report, this would have been Jeanne Lambrew. The GAO said they were told the official nudged the foundation to give a “significant” contribution.

63% of Millennials believe Obama often lies to the country

A Fox News poll released this week found that 61 percent of Americans believe President Barack Obama lies to the country about important matters, while just 15 percent believe that he always tells the truth.

As one might imagine, Republicans and Democrats have differing views on the question. For example, 85 percent of Republicans believe President Obama lies most or some of the time on important matters, while 59 percent of Democrats believe he lies only now and then or never. Independents, however, are more likely to side with Republicans.

The more interesting figure is the percentage of Millennials who believe President Obama has a lying problem. The poll found that 63 percent of registered voters under the age of 35 believe he lies to them most or some of the time.

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