Saturday, January 17, 2015
Richard Blum, husband of California senator Dianne Feinstein pockets $1 billion in USPS real estate deal.
Ever wonder how lowly paid lawmakers leave office filthy rich?
Sen. Dianne Feinstein is showing how it’s done.
The US Postal Service plans to sell 56 buildings — so it can lease space more expensively — and the real estate company of the California senator’s husband, Richard Blum, is set to pocket about $1 billion in commissions.
Blum’s company, CBRE, was selected in March 2011 as the sole real estate agent on sales expected to fetch $19 billion. Most voters didn’t notice that Blum is a member of CBRE’s board and served as chairman from 2001 to 2014.
This feat of federal spousal support was ignored by the media after Feinstein’s office said the senator, whose wealth is pegged at $70 million, had nothing to do with the USPS decisions.
Rather than spend time wondering who might be running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, here’s a look at what potential candidates might campaign on as they look to persuade conservative primary voters. In alphabetical order, here are likely policy focuses for 16 possible GOP candidates.
Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz. Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker◼ Republicans Like Their 2016 Options, Assuming They Avoid Chaos - NYT
(The) era of Republican coronations appears to be over.
If it was not apparent by the sheer number of prospective Republican candidates — currently enough to field a football team, on both sides of the ball — it was underlined by Mitt Romney’s sudden declaration of interest in another campaign and the subsequent reaction: Get in line.
As the Republican National Committee gathered in this seaside enclave for its winter meeting, party officials attempted to strike a balance between accommodating their vocal conservative wing, which is in no mood for a coronation, and pragmatic Republicans consumed chiefly with finding the most viable candidate for a general election.
So the leaders happily extolled the Noah’s Ark quality of their presidential options, comparing their sprawling field favorably with the Democrats’ flavor of one, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
At the same time, they agreed to limit the number of primary debates to nine sanctioned forums and moved forward with calendar rules aimed at terminating the contest by the end of March — steps designed to ensure a short, orderly process.
“On one hand it’s exciting, and on the other hand it brings great risk,” Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, said of the approaching campaign’s uncertain nature. “It means that there’s even a greater responsibility on the national party to contain a process that could get out of control.”
Happy New Year to all of you and welcome to 2015! Besides enjoying the holiday season with family and friends, I hope you all took some time to recharge your batteries. The new year brings new challenges and new opportunities, so we need to start the new year running!
The 2016 election will be here before we know it. We need to build on our 2014 successes, stay on message, stay positive and keep our enthusiasm going! We need to increase our Republican voter registration numbers in 2015 so we can be prepared for the 2016 election, and voter registration is one of the things we do best! We have to continue to educate our members so they can get out into the communities and help educate the voters. Most of the media is not Republican friendly so it is up to us to get our Republican message out. We also need to build relationships with the voters. Don’t forget the importance of community involvement/Caring for America! Voters are more willing to listen to someone they know or have worked with than a complete stranger knocking on their door.
We can also play a big roll in helping to build a Republican farm team in California. We have so many outstanding members and we need to not just encourage more of our members to run, but also help train more of our members to run for local office. We have been losing members over the past few years so our #1 priority for 2015 is growing our clubs and we can do that by engaging Republican women from different backgrounds, ages, ethnicity. Women that we come in contact with every day. Women will not come to us; it takes hard work to build and keep CFRW a strong organization, but it is worth taking the time. Just imagine, What if there wasn’t a Federation? Who would help our candidates win and who would get our Republican message out to our communities? We want to be sure NFRW will continue for at least another 77 years.
We are beginning the new year with an exciting CFRW Winter Board of Directors Meeting & Conference, Taking Back America , January 30 & 31 in Modesto. This is the perfect opportunity to get informed, empowered and emboldened for the work that lies ahead for 2015. We will be hearing from the candidates who are running for CRP office and our Board of Directors will vote on who they would like CFRW to endorse. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to have a say in who will lead the CRP in 2015/2016.
We are excited to announce some additions for our Winter Conference. We are thrilled that Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association will be speaking to us on Saturday afternoon, January 31st. He will talk to us about new taxes for California and what we need to be aware of... the good, the bad, and the ugly of tax policy. Also,our CFRW Advocate, Allison Olson will be updating us on what to expect from the Capitol in 2015 and how new laws that came into effect affect you! Remember to John Sullivan, one of the producers of Dinesh D’Souza’s America, will be bringing DVD’s of America to sell and sign!
Please be sure to send in your registrations ASAP and make your hotel reservation today. CLICK HERE for all the forms you need to join us! You don’t want to miss our exciting Winter CFRW Board of Directors Meeting/Conference to get prepared for 2015 and have a say in who will lead the CRP for the next 2 years. You have the opportunity to have our voices heard!
We are so inspired by all the support we have received from our clubs and members for our CFRW All Terrain Track Chair Project. We have the funds we need for our first track chair and we are also have two thirds of the amount needed for a second Chair. We thank you so much for your continued support for our veterans.
See you all in Modesto as we start to Take Back America!
God Bless America!
Thank you for all you do,
Working together To Make A Difference
New Year, New Laws
As per usual with the new year, new laws come into effect. Here are a handful of new laws and how they affect you.
- Illegal Immigrant Driver's Licenses: Although this bill was signed in 2013, it went into effect the first Friday of this year. 970 illegal immigrants were issued driver's licenses on the first day of enforcement. But there are already problems with this new law. The passage rate for illegal immigrants taking the written exam of the driver's test is about 30-35%, even when taken in Spanish. Be on the lookout for additional bills this session that will surely address the "discrimination" or "disenfranchisement" of the new law.
- Higher Egg Prices: Thanks to a 2008 proposition and 2010 assembly bill, egg purchased and sold in California must have been laid from chickens with enough room to stand, move, and "spread their wings." This new law has national implications, since farmers out of state must comply in order to sell eggs in California. Higher egg prices are already hitting the shelves.
- High School Football Practice: What should come as no surprise in this increasing "nanny state," the state is now mandating that high schools limit full contact football practice to only twice a week. Although this law might not directly affect you, the larger implications of the state issuing mandates to high school football practices should scare you. What's next?
- Initiative Changes: Senator Darrell Steinberg's parting legacy was to drastically change the citizen's ballot initiative process. Now, the process includes "extending the window to collect signatures, allows initiative proponents to withdraw measures, mandates a public review during which proponents can submit amendments, and requires the Legislature to hold hearings on ballot measures." This makes it more difficult for citizens to get a measure on the ballot, but the process by which the legislature or the Governor can place an initiative on the ballot remains the same... simple.
Per Diem Day
With the first three day weekend of the year, lawmakers will be in session this morning to collect their per Diem. According to our state Constitution, our legislators receive a daily, tax-free per Diem on top of their salaries as long as their are not out of session for more than three days in a row. Usually session runs from Monday-Thursday, but on three day weekends, legislators gather Friday mornings for a "check in" session to call roll, dismiss, and collect their per Diem of $168 a day. As always, our lawmakers have the best interest of all Californians at heart.
Governor Brown has unveiled his budget proposal for 2015-2016 with little surprise or fanfare. But don't worry, there will be much ping-ponging of budget plans between now and the budget deadline, June 1st. Brown's $164.7 billion budget includes paying down long term debt, increasing budget reserves, and was hailed as "prudent" by the non-partisan Legislative Analyst's Office. But be sure that Democrats will be asking Brown for more spending on social programs and higher education. Asking Brown to get more specific on unfunded pension liabilities has yielded little results. All the Governor has promised is "bargaining with employee groups," but not much else. Thanks to Prop 2, hopefully a robust Rainy Day Fund will arise from potential budget reserves, but again, be vigilant of greedy Democrat spending! More on Governor Brown's budget as the legislature tackles it. Stay tuned!
As many of you know, the California Federation of Republican Women are on Facebook and Twitter! We want you to "Like" and "Follow" us, and invite your friends! Facebook and Twitter are easy ways to stay connected and informed about what is going on in Sacramento and D.C.! You can find us at ◼ >www.facebook.com/theCFRW and ◼ www.twitter.com/CFRWadvocate!
◼ (Charlie) Rose to Rubio on PBS: 'What's the Best Thing You Can Say' About ObamaCare?
Rose tried to push supportive spin on the unpopular policy: "In terms of accessibility, in terms of – it has not been as – I mean, the projected costs have not been as bad as they assumed." Rubio countered: "They've not been as good as they proclaimed either."
Rose pressed: "Yeah, but have been less than was assumed." Rubio explained:
But the costs really are bearing out on the consumer side as well. Because for example, people thought, "Okay, now I'm going to have this free health insurance, and by the way, I'm going to get a subsidy for it." And then they realized that before they can even begin to use that insurance, they've got to come with $4,000 as part of their deductible. So they're really not insured.
Friday, January 16, 2015
Of note: The NBC debate will be co-sponsored by Telemundo and will be held in Florida in February 2016, shortly before the primary. If Jeb Bush is still in the race by then, that’s his time to shine. Lotttt of pressure on McConnell and Boehner, meanwhile, to do something on immigration reform by then so that the remaining GOP candidates have something to tout to Latino voters tuning in.
If this seems like conspicuously fewer debates than we’re used to after the last two presidential cycles, that’s because it is. And there’s a reason for it.
1. Fox News, August 2015, OhioThere were 20(!) primary debates in 2012 and 23(!!) in 2008. Why nine this time? Well, the number could rise to 12: Per WaPo, the RNC’s already considering three more, one on Fox News in March 2016, another on CNN the same month, and a “conservative media debate” at some point. They’re hoping the race will be over by the time of those first two debates but the third seems likely, if only to appease the party’s base. There are also bound to be some debates held that aren’t sanctioned by the RNC, like, say, a “tea party debate.” The RNC considered passing a rule last year that would disqualify a candidate from all RNC-sanctioned debates if he agreed to participate in an unsanctioned one, but I haven’t heard anything about that rule today. And no wonder: Imagine the venom aimed at the party’s establishment if Ted Cruz or Rand Paul took part in a “tea party debate” and then got kicked offstage at the big RNC debate right before Iowa. The Committee may hate its base but it can’t be too obvious in showing it.
2. CNN, September 2015, California
3. CNBC, October 2015, Colorado
4. Fox Business, November 2015, Wisconsin
5. CNN, December 2015, Nevada
6. Fox News, January 2016, Iowa
7. ABC News, February 2016, New Hampshire
8. CBS News, February 2016, South Carolina
9. NBC/Telemundo, February 2016, Florida
Her selection continues the Republican trend of looking to spotlight a younger minority or female official in its response to Obama. Ernst becomes the fourth woman or minority lawmaker to deliver the response -- following Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) in 2009, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in 2013 and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) in 2014 -- in the seven nationally televised SOTU addresses Obama will have delivered as of next Tuesday.
◼ Rethinking the big speech that isn't so big anymore - AP Downplays.
What began in 2013 as an investigation into a mid-level drug dealer led to the arrest this week of at least 20 people along with the seizure of $35,000 and more than 12 lbs of methamphetamine. Authorities also found marijuana and illegal prescription drugs during their round-up.
While the seizure is far from the largest in U.S. history, both local law enforcement and the DEA hailed the effort as a major blow to the drug trafficking organization that operated throughout the Midwest and was responsible for crimes ranging from burglaries to murders.
"We totally dismantled the organization from the higher-ups in California to the criminal users in Omaha," Mike Sanders, the assistant special agent in charge at the DEA’s Omaha office told Fox News Latino. "Not only did it take out the major players but also the low level criminals committing crimes in the community."
Using a number of tactics – such as undercover officers, wire intercepts and controlled buys – law enforcement agents were able to build up a case against the traffickers and track the methamphetamine back to Sinaloa cartel associates operating in California. In September of 2014 investigators seized 5 lbs of methamphetamine transported from California to Omaha.
On Sunday, at the great Paris rally, the whole world was Charlie. By Tuesday, the veneer of solidarity was exposed as tissue thin. It began dissolving as soon as the real, remaining Charlie Hebdo put out its post-massacre issue featuring a Muhammad cover that, as the New York Times put it, “reignited the debate pitting free speech against religious sensitivities.”
Again? Already? Had not 4 million marchers and 44 foreign leaders just turned out on the streets of France to declare “No” to intimidation, and pledging solidarity, indeed identification (“Je suis Charlie”) with a satirical weekly specializing in the most outrageous and often tasteless portrayals of Muhammad? And yet, within 48 hours, the new Charlie Hebdo issue featuring the image of Muhammad — albeit a sorrowful, indeed sympathetic Muhammad — sparked new protests, denunciations and threats of violence, which in turn evinced another round of doubt and self-flagellation in the West about the propriety and limits of free expression. Hopeless.....
As for President Obama, he never was Charlie, not even for those 48 hours. From the day of the massacre, he has been practically invisible. At the interstices of various political rallies, he issued bits of muted, mealy-mouthed boilerplate....
◼ Obama's Islam Psychosis - Jan LaRue/American Thinker
◼ Of Course It Is Islam - Rich Lowry/Politico
...The Obama administration’s mind-bogglingly determined refusal to say that we are at war with “radical Islam,” together with the left’s evasions about Islamic terrorism, means that there has been a haze of euphemism and cowardice around what should be a galvanizing event in the West’s fight against terror....
That’s the word in an alarming email obtained by ABC News and sent to IRS employees today by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The only possible silver lining (especially for tax cheats): fewer audits. To be specific: 46,000 fewer audits this year and 1,800 fewer IRS enforcement officers.
◼ Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi says imams have duty to stop violence justified by sermons, writings - Washington Times
The ruler of Egypt is alone among major world leaders in his willingness to go before an audience of senior Muslim clerics and tell them that parts of Islamic ideology are indeed driving terrorists to kill worldwide.
Just days before al Qaeda-linked terrorists unleashed a wave of murder in Paris, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi gave a blunt talk that some observers hope will be the beginning of a campaign within Islam to reform its preachings and exile its extremists....
Analysts cannot recall any other world leader taking such a bold public step since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by al Qaeda, which, like other organizations that want to unleash violence around the world, bases its doctrine on Sunni Muslim ideology.... KEEP READING
◼ GOP now controls 30 state legislatures - Allen West
...The midterm election cycles are where those who understand legislative process and policy rise to the top — and why in the last midterm cycle of 2014 the Democrats pulled out all the stops to monger fear, coerce, and intimidate their way into a victory. They failed, but the question is just how bad have the Democrats failed under President Obama in the crucial midterm elections in a comparative analysis?
As reported by the Washington Post, “Everyone knows by now that 2010 and 2014 were very good to the Republican Party. What they don’t understand (or understand well enough) is just how good. Yes, Republicans now control the Senate and have their largest majority in the House since World War II.”
“But it’s downballot (way downballot) where the depth of the Republican victories over the past three elections truly reveal themselves — and where the impact will be felt over the long term. In the past three elections, Republicans have gained 913 state legislative seats, according to calculations made by Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia. Here are Sabato’s figures in chart form — and with historical comparisons — via GOP lobbyist Bruce Mehlman.”
...Regardless of what happens in Washington DC, we the people still have power at the state level, which is why these midterm election results are so important.
◼ The demographic shriveling of the Democratic party continues. - Red State
◼ ABC is considering abandoning “The View” - QPolitical
If you happened to stop watching The View (we don’t blame you) and aren’t really aware of the foolishness that’s going on… here’s a clip on why the show could get shut down.
◼ Reuters reports that police killed two Islamists in the raids and arrested a third, adding that the probe into the terror cell had been underway before last week’s massacre in France. - Twitchy
Belgium suspects said to be planning attack on police station, 'another Paris avoided' via @destandaard— Gert Van Langendonck (@gert_lang_) January 15, 2015
Fox News and DISH have signed a deal!— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) January 15, 2015
“White working class voters will be key: Whether 2016 can be turned into a big enough year to take back a lot of territory in the Congress and states and whether the presidential candidate can build a formidable wall depends on Democrats and Hillary Clinton doing better with white working class voters, both men and women,” the pollsters say in their summary of key findings....
The challenge, the pollsters found, is for Democrats to tap into persuasive economic messaging for blue-collar voters and for unmarried women, who tend to vote on policies that are appealing to families. For instance, Clinton gets just 32 percent of white non-college educated voters against Romney.
“Both unmarried women and blue collar whites see the path to the middle class as increasingly precarious and feel that they are not doing as well as they should be—Jobs do not pay enough to live on, and while the middle class pays a lot in taxes they do not feel the country works for them,” the pollsters wrote in their findings.
Still, those groups are likelier to be persuaded by a reform message about fixing a broken system and “gridlocked government” than what Republicans are offering, the pollsters say. And, in what could be critical for Clinton as she begins to formulate her messaging, discussing pay equity doesn’t appear to have a negative impact with male voters.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
There’s a solitary man at the financial center of the Ferguson protest movement. No, it’s not victim Michael Brown or Officer Darren Wilson. It’s not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, despite his ubiquitous campaign on TV and the streets.
Rather, it’s liberal billionaire George Soros, who has built a business empire that dominates across the ocean in Europe while forging a political machine powered by nonprofit foundations that impacts American politics and policy, not unlike what he did with MoveOn.org....
In all, Mr. Soros gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson, according to the most recent tax filings of his nonprofit Open Society Foundations.
The financial tether from Mr. Soros to the activist groups gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day national cause celebre.
Due to Obama’s total inaction, the U.S. is great risk of a crippling cyber doomsday, a day when there is no Internet. The president gets tough on nuclear enabled North Korea for hacking a worthless Hollywood film, while he does nothing to prevent such attacks on the national security of our nation and military, diplomatic and industrial assets abroad.
Our country is leaderless on security. Voters realized this in November and voted for change in Congress. Voters want Congress to reverse the leaderless Obama administration with strategies to prevent the continued decline of the United States that Obama is helpless to address.
Both Obama and Kerry refused to participate in the Paris rally for liberty in the wake of radical Islamic terror attacks on press freedom. What are their priorities? They won’t participate with the civilized world by declaring war on radical Islam. What are their values? They are inviting more vicious killings of journalists and freedom loving people around the world by doing nothing.
Americans, including this writer, symbolically voted for an African American president in hopes he could lead our country nationally and internationally and that he could put to rest lingering racial issues. Racial tensions are greater today than in the 1960’s. The world is on the brink of disaster.
The Obama administration is asleep. The president doesn’t want to wake up until his term is over so he can proclaim his great single accomplishment: Being the nation’s first African American president. His record is void of any substantive accomplishments....
Congress must realize Obama is no longer relevant. He has wasted his opportunity to lead. He has lost the confidence of the American people and world leaders. It is Congress that must lead.... KEEP READING
Kevin Lunny, owner of the Drakes Bay Oyster Co., was ordered by the federal government to shut down his business at the end of 2014 after a two-year legal battle to keep it open that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hundreds of supporters of Lunny's operation met to honor the oyster farm's decade of business with a Cajun potluck at Point Reyes Station's Green Barn at 540 Mesa Road.
...The Drakes Bay closure order came on Nov. 29, 2012, when then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced he would allow a 40-year lease -- originally negotiated with the Johnson Oyster Co. in 1972 and taken on by Drakes Bay -- to expire. In 1972, the federal government bought the land from Johnson for $79,200 and provided the lease to operate within the Point Reyes National Seashore.
◼ Trey Gowdy Blasts Obama's Executive Actions On House Floor - Laura Ingraham
◼ Lawmakers Erupt in Applause After This One Line in Trey Gowdy’s Excoriating House Floor Speech - The Blaze
“Madam speaker, President Obama announced one of the largest, extra-constitutional power grabs ever by a chief executive. He declared, unilaterally, that almost five million undocumented aliens will receive deferred action under some newfangled definition of prosecutorial discretion,” Gowdy said. “Not only escaping consequences, he has decided to bestow benefits, such as work authorization and immigration benefits.”
He continued: “This, Madam Speaker, despite the fact that the very same president, over twenty different times, said he lacked the power to do what he just did. And he repeatedly said he is not a king. Now, Madam Speaker, his position may have changed — after the election I hasten to add — but the Constitution has not.”
...Gowdy proclaimed that the U.S. Constitution demands that Congress pass the laws and the chief executive is tasked with making sure those laws are enforced.
He went on to warn that Obama’s executive overreach will encourage future presidents to test the limits of their authority.
“This is not a fight between Republicans and Democrats. It’s not even a fight over immigration reform. This is a fight over whether this branch of government will ever find the courage to stand up for itself,” he added, a line that sparked applause from lawmakers.
◼ link - Newscasters
REP. SEAN DUFFY, (R), MEMBER, HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE: Carol, remember during the shutdown a year and a half ago, you talked about the power of the purse. Don't use funding of the government – you said use the power of the purse in these fights. And per your own prior questions to me, we're using the power of the purse to say, let's defend the homeland – but to think that you're going to come to Congress and say, I didn't include you in this executive amnesty, but I want you to fund it? The President is out to lunch thinking that we're going to do that, and if he wants to hold the security of the U.S. hostage for executive amnesty – which, I would argue, is unconstitutional...he's not on the side of the American people. Your own poll at CNN says that the American people agree with us – that the President should go through the Congress, the duly elected representatives of our states and our districts to get this done the right way.
Let me be blunt about this. I want America’s allies to trust us and respect us, and I want our enemies to fear us. Every day our enemies spend their time trying to avoid our justice is a day they are not plotting against us. And I fear that in recent years this has not been the case.
The events of the past several years clearly suggest that America’s allies are often less than certain that they can count on us, and our enemies too often do not fear us. Of course, as Americans we want all people to live in harmony, and we do not desire to have any enemies. But the simple truth is that we do, but that is not of our doing.
There are people in the world who mean us harm, who desire our downfall, and who simply detest us because we stand for freedom. I have no interest in coddling them, or pretending that bad is good. Sugar coating the reality of the situation serves no purpose, we must not be afraid to speak the truth.... KEEP READING
Why do I say that? Because America doesn’t have a real president at the moment and we are at war with radical Islam. ( I should add a “duh” in there.) The reactionary creep in the White House won’t even name it, let alone fight it. And we don’t have time to wait until 2017 to turn this around, as Jay Sekulow pointed out on Hannity. In a couple of months things could be spinning out of control, so many jihadists popping up in Europe, here, Australia, and everywhere else, we won’t know how to count them. And that’s not even including all the cyber war that’s going to be waged against us and already is.
Romney should put all the traditional election nonsense on the back burner, forget the fundraising and the tedious position papers on the various issues. That stuff can wait, if it’s even important. He should take the bully pulpit for himself now and tell America and the world what we should do about radical Islam. Nobody else is doing it and we’ve been fighting this undeclared war for 14 years. And the bad guys are ahead and growing It’s not just the major issue. It’s the only issue, if we don’t win. Who cares if we do or don’t have Obamacare, if we’re living under Shari’ah law?
Not since the multiplication of the loaves and fishes near the Sea of Galilee has there been creativity as miraculous as that of the Keystone XL pipeline.
...It has not yet been built but already is perhaps the most constructive infrastructure project since the Interstate Highway System. It has accomplished an astonishing trifecta: It has made mincemeat of Barack Obama’s pose of thoughtfulness. It has demonstrated that he lacks even a rudimentary understanding of the most basic economic realities. It has dramatized environmentalism’s descent into infantilism.
◼ An Unlikely hero. - Herman Cain
I love this story. Absolutely love it. It doesn't mean Jamal Rutledge won't have to pay a price for what he did. The burglary was a probation violation among other things, and he's had multiple arrests. So he has some serious issues to work out in his life. But what it shows is that people who find themselves averse to each other for whatever reason can still appreciate each other's humanity and value it.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
iling a federal tax return is about to get more complicated for millions of families because of President Barack Obama's health law. But they shouldn't expect much help from the Internal Revenue Service....
The IRS will no longer help low-income taxpayers fill out their returns, and tax refunds could be delayed for people who file paper returns.
◼ IRS Watchdog: Elderly and Disabled Taxpayers Not Allowed to Leave Messages - Americans for Tax Reform
"The IRS does not answer the phone at local offices and has even removed the option it once provided for taxpayers, including the elderly and disabled, to leave a message.”But this leaves many taxpayers in the dark. As the report states:
“If you are disabled or elderly and require special accommodations for service, please email us at…"
"Demographic research data show only 57 percent of adults over age 65 use the Internet compared with 87 percent of all adults. According to 2010 Census data, only 41 percent of those with a non-severe disability use the Internet and only 22 percent of those with a severe disability age 65 and older use the Internet. For those without Internet access, the only viable ways to reach the IRS are by phone, or in person."On its helplines, the IRS is required to provide taxpayers the option to speak with a live person. But as the report states, the IRS won’t even answer questions about what lines are considered helplines:
◼ New #IRSscandal e-mails reveal a very paranoid Lois Lerner - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion"Please don't ask them about closures, pipelines, wait time for full development cases, or the c4 application letter … can we put this off please?" - Lerner Email to IRS Deputy Director Joseph Grant, April 2012Judicial Watch released new Lois Lerner emails on Wednesday which reveal that Ms Learner was concerned about the questions from Congress and tried to prevent a visit by her Divisional Director "to the IRS Cincinnati office “smack dab in the middle” of Congressional inquiries into the IRS targeting of conservative groups."
Today’s document release by Judicial Watch includes evidence that then-IRS official Lois Lerner strongly objected to and attempted to prevent a visit by Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Division Deputy Director Joseph H. Grant to the embattled Cincinnati office, which spent time “smack dab in the middle” of Congressional investigations into the IRS targeting of conservatives.◼ New Documents: Lerner Objected to IRS Deputy Director Visit to Cincinnati Office During Congressional Inquiries into Tea Party Targeting - Judicial Watch
◼ SPEAKER BOEHNER QUOTES ALL 22 TIMES OBAMA HAS SAID HE COULD NOT DO EXEC. AMNESTY - Caroline May/Breitbart
...In a pointed speech directed squarely at the president’s actions, Boehner quoted each of the 22 times Obama has said he did not have the authority to do what he eventually did: unilaterally change the nation’s immigration laws.
“We are dealing with a president who has ignored the people, has ignored the Constitution, and even his own past statements,” Boehner said. “In fact, on at least 22 occasions he said didn’t have the authority to do exactly what he did.”
Boehner says the midterm elections were a signal from the American people that they want Congress to stand up to Obama and hold him accountable for his actions....
◼ BOEHNER SLAMS OBAMA IN BRUTAL FLOOR SPEECH - Daily Mail via Drudge
NO COMPROMISE: Boehner didn't buy what the president was selling on Tuesday during a high-stakes White House meeting with all of Congress's top leaders
◼ Cites 22 times president said he couldn't create own law - speaker.gov/press-release
◼ House defunds executive action shielding illegals from deportations - National Journal
◼ Obama printing work permits for brand new migrants - Breitbart
◼ The House of Representatives voted to overturn President Obama’s executive actions on immigration by a margin of 236-191 on Wednesday. - IJ Review
The vote also overturns a a directive from 2012 that safeguarded immigrants who illegally came to the United States as children.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) spoke on the House floor to praise the legislation, which had a surprisingly large amount of support from moderate Republicans.
Gowdy: ‘It’s about damn time’ GOP took action to defund Obama’s immigration action http://t.co/msjTRzBiRg— Red Alert Politics (@RedAlert) January 14, 2015
Voted today to overturn Obama’s unconstitutional power grab on immigration. President said himself he couldn't implement his own exec action— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) January 14, 2015
Sen. Rand Paul, a prospective candidate for president, on Tuesday told a group of conservatives that Congress should play a much larger role in dictating how the federal government spends taxpayer money.
The Kentucky Republican called for “thousands of instructions” to be attached to every spending bill and for Congress to approve most regulations that come with a price tag.
“That would go a long way toward reasserting our authority and restoring the balance of power,” Paul said at the Conservative Policy Summit, an event sponsored by Heritage Action for America.... KEEP READING
Politicians and pundits have spent a great deal of time trying to find the precise meaning of the results of the 2014 election. No one disputes that it was a great day for Republicans, but there are still many valid and varying interpretations.
But whether the election was a true mandate for the GOP or simply a repudiation of President Obama, voters most certainly did not hand Republicans the U.S. Senate and elect them to a historic House majority so that they could raise federal gasoline taxes.
This should really go without saying...
This is an edited version of the video posted on Vocativ. They removed the actual shooting, but you get the idea:
◼ A new video released by the terror group ISIS purports to show a young boy coldly executing two men who the terror group claims were Russian spies. - Dan Calabrese/Herman Cain
Meanwhile at the White House, Josh Earnest is lecturing the news media not to specifically mention radical Islam when talking about terrorism, suggesting that it would just be better to talk in terms of violent extremism in general. Because what reason could we possibly have to think that radical Islam is a particular problem? Lots of other "violent extremist" groups are beheading people and having small children shoot hostages too, right?
Oh. They're not? Someone had better tell Josh Earnest.
And his boss.
◼ ISIS boy appears to execute Russian "spies" - CBS
◼ ISIS Video Claims to Show Child Executioner - ABC
The video, apparently produced by an ISIS media outlet and shared on Twitter, is seven minutes long and features “confessions” by the two men. In a heavily-edited section, the young boy, called a “lion’s cub,” is shown firing a pistol at the heads of the men, who each fall, apparently lifeless.
◼ Dish Network Head Has Strong Ties to Democrats - MRC TV
Dish Network dropped Fox News and its sister network Fox Business Channel at the end of last year and the network still remains blacked out for Dish’s 14 million subscribers.
Dish Network claims that they dropped the nation’s number one cable news network because of a contract dispute. Fox News disagrees, claiming that the move is an effort by Dish Network to censor their content.
While it’s not entirely clear who’s in the right in this matter, digging into the background of Dish Network’s founder and chairman Charles Ergen may help to illuminate why animosity between Dish and FNC has reached such epic proportions.
As it turns out, Charles Ergen is a big-time donor to the Democratic Party....
Of course, Mr. Ergen’s generosity to the Democratic Party in the last cycle does not necessarily mean that he is targeting Fox News due to a disagreement with the network’s content.
But, Ergen may have a history of abusing his position of power to promote his political preferences.
In 2012, a federal complaint was filed against Ergen in which several company executives alleged that he had intimidated them into making contributions to specific candidates, the majority of which were Democrats.
The claim was filed by an unnamed company insider who accused Ergen of "forcing" Dish Network’s Chief Operating Officer Bernard Han to donate to a Democratic Party candidate in the 2009/2010 election cycle.
The complaint also claimed that Han was “encouraged" to attend Democratic functions and fundraisers and that other Dish employees were strong-armed by Ergen in a similar way....
◼ Dish Loses 90,000 Subscribers After Removing Fox News, Fox Business
Less than one month after Dish Network pulled the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network from its platform, over 90,000 of its customers have cancelled their subscriptions in favor of other television providers, according to a Fox News executive.
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/dish-loses-90000-subscribers-removing-fox-news-fox-business/#ZeqHfp4ui8Xs4jfw.99
Following the horrific attacks at the Charlie Hebdo offices, in which Islamic terrorists executed journalists who published satirical cartoons critical of Islam, the West reacted with a widespread show of solidarity.
A Twitter hashtag, #JeSuisCharlie now is the most tweeted of all time and signified that, no matter how one feels about radical Islam, all can agree that speech should be supported and protected. Sunday’s “unity rally” in Paris, with a record-setting 3.7 million people in attendance, and dozens of world leaders marching together, overflowed with messages in support of free speech.
But the uncomfortable sleeper issue few wish to discuss is that, for all the images of photogenic Europeans on street corners holding “Je Suis Charlie” signs, or of Angela Merkel and David Cameron huddled together, Europe long ago abandoned any pretense as being a bastion of free speech.
The birthplace of the Enlightenment began to allow leftist notions of what is acceptable speech to dictate what is permissible speech....
And, only days later, liberals in the United States already are beginning to backpedal, noting civilized speech has “limits” and must be used “responsibly,” failing to realize that placing restrictions on free speech is, well, no free speech at all.
Reflecting on the tragedy, David Cameron reassured that Britain will “never give up” on freedom of speech — a curious remark, considering the United Kingdom boasts, for instance, the Public Order Act, a dangerous law banning “abusive” speech, which critics say has strangled free speech...
The West must make up its mind. Either it upholds free speech across the board or it abandons our most fundamental value and capitulates to a pattern of brutal censorship and inconsistent, irrational application.
We either practice #JeSuisCharlie or we do not.
Is the West, is America, is France itself, the land of Voltaire and he who is (although apocryphally) credited as proclaiming: “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it” truly willing to stand by this noble ideal?
Scaling back, and standing athwart, the left’s assaults on speech would be a good place to start. KEEP READING
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
◼ President Barack Obama has a moral responsibility to push back on the nation’s journalism community when it is planning to publish anti-jihadi articles that might cause a jihadi attack against the nation’s defenses forces, the White House’s press secretary said Jan. 12. - Daily Caller
◼ White House Rejects 'Radical Islam' Label for Terrorists - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
◼ CHARLIE HEBDO sells out before daybreak - New York Times
◼ Print run raised to 5 million - The Guardian
◼ Turkish court bans websites from publishing = AP
◼ IMAM: New Cartoon 'Act of War' - Breitbart
◼ New Charlie Hebdo reaches global audience, dismays Muslims - AP
A week ago, Charlie Hebdo was a niche publication little known outside France, with a circulation of 60,000. On Wednesday the satirical newspaper's first issue since last week's deadly attack on its staff went on sale with an initial print run of 3 million copies and front-page coverage around the world.
Readers in France mobbed newsstands to buy a copy and European newspapers reprinted Charlie Hebdo's cartoons as a gesture of solidarity. But the decision to depict the Prophet Muhammad on the cover, holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie), angered many Muslims, who called it a renewed insult to their religion.
Many Muslims believe their faith forbids depictions of the prophet, and reacted with dismay — and occasionally anger — to the latest cover image. Some felt their expressions of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo after last week's attack had been rebuffed, while others feared the cartoon would trigger yet more violence.
"You're putting the lives of others at risk when you're taunting bloodthirsty and mad terrorists," said Hamad Alfarhan, a 29-year old Kuwaiti doctor....
Volcanoes ARE cooling Earth: Aerosols from small eruptions have reduced global temperatures and tropical rainfall
◼ Al Gore, wrong again – Polar ice continues to thrive - Watts Up With That?
◼ Charlie Hebdo, Climate Skepticism & Free Speech - Watts Up With That?
Both President Obama and Vice President Biden’s official White House schedules were empty on Sunday and the weather here in DC was pretty lousy so it was unlikely that Obama hit the golf course.
◼ Secret Service was never asked to prepare for an Obama trip to Paris - HotAir
“The White House cited security concerns and the fact that the rally came together quickly, in about 36 hours. Earnest said presidential or vice presidential security for events such as the march are ‘onerous’ and have a ‘significant impact’ on those who attend,” The Washington Post reported. “A Secret Service official said the agency was not asked or notified about a potential trip to Paris.”
...“No White House likes to admit being wrong,” Politico reported on Monday. “This White House especially has a tendency to respond to political and media criticism by digging in.”
◼ On Monday: Obama Decides Not to 'Sit His Star'—Attends Spurs Event Instead of Biden - Weekly Standard
President Obama honored the NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs, at the White House Monday, but joked that he almost sent in the second team, Vice President Biden, to host the event to keep himself "fresh for the State of the Union."
◼ On the same night Lena Dunham was complaining on TV about “deranged neocons” trashing her on Twitter, Dunham was putting an anal-oral sex scene on HBO – starring the naked rear end of Alison Williams, the daughter of NBC anchorman Brian Williams. - Newscasters
How embarrassing was this for Williams? In an interview with New York magazine, he fell back on joking about animals being harmed: “She’s always been an actress. For us, watching her is the family occupation and everybody has to remember it’s acting, no animals were harmed during the filming, and ideally nobody gets hurt.”
For her part, Dunham proclaimed proudly that Miss Williams was a "good sport," and added, “Let me tell you this, when someone puts their face in your butt, whether there’s a barrier or not, their face is still in your butt. And she handled that with aplomb.”
◼ Backlash: Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’ Premiere Plummets 40% - JOHN NOLTE/BREITBART
Despite the kind of publicity and hysteria usually reserved for big-budget summer films, Lena Dunham’s HBO dramedy “Girls” earned its worst premiere ratings to date with a paltry (even for “Girls”) 680,000 viewers. By comparison, season 3 debuted to 1.1 million viewers. That’s nearly a 40% drop this year. In the all-important 18-49 age demo, “Girls” pulled only 390,000 viewers, a dip of 35%. Things are moving in the wrong direction
◼ The administration no-shows were not a failure of optics, or a diplomatic misstep, but were instead the logical result of the president's years-long effort to downgrade the threat of terrorism and move on to other things. - Byron York/Washington Examiner @ByronYork
◼ WH: No Idea What Obama Was Doing Sunday During Paris March - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
◼ Fox’s Ed Henry Gets in Tense Exchange With Josh Earnest Over Obama No-Show in Paris - The Blaze
Earnest acknowledged Monday that the White House should have sent a higher-level official to represent the United States at the rally, but that security considerations for Obama coupled with the last-minute nature of the march prevented either him or Vice President Joe Biden from attending.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Since Boxer announced last Thursday that her current, fourth six-year term will be her last, the question plaguing politicians and pundits has been, "who will run for what?" At play is not only this seat, but the governor's office in 2018 when Gov. Jerry Brown will be term-limited out, and also California's other U.S. Senate seat, as many believe Sen. Dianne Feinstein will retire after her current term expires.
Harris, 50, who splits her time between San Francisco and Los Angeles and was just sworn into her second term as California's "top cop," isn't just announcing interest in the 2016 Senate race, a top political aide said late Monday: "She's in, she's declaring candidacy." Her announcement is expected Tuesday.
Hours earlier, Newsom, 47, of Ross, had posted an announcement to Facebook saying he's out and implying he's more interested in succeeding Brown as governor.
◼ Villaraigosa ‘seriously’ considering Senate run; Steyer to decide soon - Sacramento Bee
Villaraigosa, who left office in 2013, is one of several high-profile Democrats who may have their eye on Boxer’s seat in 2016. Others include Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Kamala Harris, environmental activist Tom Steyer and U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier, Loretta Sanchez and John Garamendi. Among the Republicans, former state GOP chairmen Tom Del Beccaro and Duf Sundheim are plotting runs.
◼ avin Newsom won’t run for California Senate seat; all eyes on Kamala Harris - Politico
Americans for Prosperity California - GAVIN NEWSOM OUT of Senate race to replace Boxer. Possible contenders... State Attorney General Kamala Harris (California's version of Elizabeth Warren), Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (California's version of Bill Clinton), Rep. Jackie Speier (California's version of an empty suit), and Tom Steyer (California's version of Al Gore).
Forget 'Je Suis Charlie:' Largest Islamic Body in the World Calls for More Anti-Free Speech Laws in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack
Last week’s terror attack targeting French magazine Charlie Hebdo‘s office in Paris has sparked a global conversation about the nature of free speech, with the “Je Suis Charlie” hashtag in support of the murdered Charlie Hebdo staff going viral and becoming the most used hashtag in the history of Twitter.
But this afternoon, the UN representative for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ufuk Gokcen, was expressing another view with respect to free speech.
The OIC is comprised of the 57 Muslim-majority nations and the Palestinian Authority. They are the largest bloc at the UN, and when they meet on the head-of-state level, they literally speak for the Muslim world.
It’s high time the news media paid more attention to Valerie Jarrett. An old Chicago friend of both Barack and Michelle Obama’s, she exercises unusual influence in the White House as a “senior adviser.” Many in Washington believe that she is at the heart of the disappointment the Obama administration has become. They are unwilling to say so in public. But the evidence keeps piling up.
...More and more people in Washington do have advice for Obama — on the conduct of his administration. No one I spoke to believes he will follow it, but they all agree that the organizational lines of authority at the White House need to be better observed, that there should be better communication with both parties on Capitol Hill, and that the decision-making process should involve more people and be less directed toward short-term political fixes (most of which haven’t worked). So far the Obama administration’s management style has guaranteed only one thing: The only long-term fixed presence in the Obama White House is Valerie Jarrett, the person who mentored the careers of both Barack and Michelle Obama a quarter of a century ago and who remains glued to their sides to this day. ...KEEP READING
◼ In a statement, Del Beccaro said Boxer’s upcoming retirement provides the state with “the opportunity for new leadership.” - Daniel Nussbaum/Breitbart
“Our state needs a hopeful voice that will bring balance to our representation in Washington and favor economic prosperity for all Californians over economic directives from government,” Del Beccaro said. “California has the richest natural and human resources in the world. We shouldn’t be number one in poverty. We should be number one in prosperity. We can regain that prosperity by empowering individuals and fostering an environment for achievement.”
...“Let’s talk to more Californians than ever before,” he continued. “It’s time for the Republicans to truly go outside their comfort zone and bring their message to as many Californians as possible. By coming together for a common goal – prosperity – we can heal the growing divide in California between those struggling to make a living and those prospering.”
...In addition to his former post as head of the California Republican Party, Del Baccaro is an attorney and an author. He is the publisher of Political Vanguard and is a regular contributor to Forbes.
Del Beccaro joins a long list of potential successors to Sen. Boxer, who announced this week that she will not seek another term when her current term expires in 2016.
Every election is another opportunity for the city to commit suicide. After decades in which the voters elected candidates who wouldn’t completely destroy their city and then salt the earth with their tears, a small decisive percentage of New Yorkers put a gun to the head of their city and fired a bullet named Bill de Blasio into its brain.
Like most brutal incidents in the Big Apple, Bill de Blasio won’t kill New York City. His term in office will be another painful learning experience. Every few decades New Yorkers lose their street sense and let a progressive take over. And then when his term is up, the city is out of money, everyone has been mugged at least once and nothing works, they kick him out again.
It’s a generational ritual that lets seasoned New Yorkers look back in horror at the days of Lindsay or Dinkins and now De Blasio. While the New York Times gushes adoringly over his every insane new policy, without noticing that they were all badly translated from the original Russian, his true function is to become a cautionary tale about the dangers of voting your politics instead of your pocketbook....
◼ U.S. military social media accounts apparently hacked by Islamic State sympathizers - Washington Post
◼ PRO-ISIS HACKERS STRIKE US CENTCOM TWITTER: ‘WE ARE IN EACH MILITARY BASE’ - Breitbart
Central Command TWITTER, YOUTUBE Sites Compromised...
Hackers post names, addresses of U.S. generals...
'AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK'...
Breach Comes as Obama Talks Cybersecurity...
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is the current darling of progressives in politics and those in the media pretending to be objective journalists. Warren has this passionate yet soft-spoken tone that sounds like a concerned grandmother comforting a bullied child and reassuring them everything will be all right. This sympathy charade of Warren’s has lulled the nation’s liberal media establishment into an even deeper hypnosis.
The same “journalists” who would hike to the top of Mount Everest, twice, to catch a prominent Republican make an unscripted comment they could take completely out of context can’t seem to produce painfully substance-devoid fluff pieces about Warren fast enough. This has lead to pieces like “Elizabeth Warren was told to stay quiet, but she didn’t – and it’s paying off,” from the Washington Post. That article, written by the prominent newspaper’s “Policy Editor” Zachary Goldfarb, is all politics and lacks any hard policy. This trend is undoubtedly good news for Warren, but bad news for the rest of the country.
◼ PART II - Patrick Hedger/Human Event
Part I of this series discussed Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s fundamental misunderstanding of basic economics in relation to wages and compensation, specifically in relation to the minimum wage debate. Here, in Part II, the economics behind another of Senator Warren’s favorite boogeymen will be discussed: the gender pay gap.
The White House released a statement describing the summit agenda, which failed to mention Islam, radical Islam, or anything related to the actual ideology motivating the Paris attacks....
President Barack Obama did not attend the Paris rally, nor did Vice President Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry. Attorney General Eric Holder, notorious for refusing to identify radical Islam as the source of terrorist attacks against the U.S., was sent instead.
Quoting from Muslim scholars, Sheikh Munajjid argued that to build a snowman was to create an image of a human being, an action considered sinful under the kingdom's strict interpretation of Sunni Islam....
Sheikh Munajjid had some supporters, however. "It (building snowmen) is imitating the infidels, it promotes lustiness and eroticism," one wrote.
"May God preserve the scholars, for they enjoy sharp vision and recognize matters that even Satan does not think about."
President Obama’s new deportation amnesty will impose “billions of dollars in costs” on states, they told a federal court this week — including more than $130 for each Texas driver’s license issued to illegal immigrants under the policy.◼ EXCLUSIVE: CATCH AND RELEASE 2.0 — LEAKS HIGHLIGHT TEARDOWN OF IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT...Agents trained as 'social workers, not law enforcement'... - Breitbart
More than 1,100 pages of documents submitted by Texas and two dozen other states suing to stop the amnesty detail the costs in depth, and include sworn affidavits from state officials, federal immigration officers and others arguing that the amnesty will increase illegal immigration, leaving the states with even bigger burdens....
Leaked internal training documents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveal Border Patrol agents are now receiving guidelines instructing them that the vast majority of illegal immigrants in the U.S. are off limits to federal agents and are substantially immune to detention and deportation. A trusted federal agent in the CBP provided exclusive copies of the documents to Breitbart Texas and also agreed to an interview on the condition of anonymity.
According to the source, these training documents were required training for U.S. Border Patrol agents and each agent was required to sign their name to confirm receiving the training.
The image in the Tweet below was censored
◼ Nigeria´s Horror in Paris´s Shadow - Matt Schiavenza/Atlantic
Why a 10-year-old suicide bomber isn't front-page news◼ Running the background of unity rally like a porno
film, this fresh horror. - Join the Discussion at Lucianne
From the comments: kahunavol: The real #blacklivesmatter.
UN condemns Boko Haram's 'depraved act' as child suicide bombers attack northern Nigeria market: http://t.co/I3YDjZ4Asq— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) January 12, 2015
Not everyone agrees:
66k US soldiers in Europe. 6,600 US soldiers killed in Iraq/Afghan. Billions of $ ... We let nobody down. pic.twitter.com/U5QDMOD4c9— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) January 12, 2015
@NYDailyNews Any excuse in the world to bash Obama and the Democrats. You people are pathetic. Wish my mom didn't make me buy your rag.— Wayne A Schneider (@WayneASchneider) January 12, 2015
◼ President No-Show Snubs French Unity March – Is Blasted By Libs, NY Daily News - Nice Deb
◼ Liberal Reporters BLAST Obama For Snubbing French at Their #JeSuisCharlie Freedom March - Gateway Pundit
Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic: “It would have been nice to see the country whose birth was midwifed by France send its leader to stand with France today.”◼ The media excoriates Obama for skipping pro-free speech Paris march - HotAir
Fareed Zakaria, CNN: “Why no U.S. leader at Paris rally? Isn’t this why God invented vice presidents?”
Greta Van Susteren, Fox News: “@ron_fournier @AmPowerBlog you and I usually agree but not on this:I wanted my Pres there representing me”
And: “the next time we want French help,they will remember if we mourned with them, stood with them @ron_fournier”
Jack Moore, International Business Times, UK: “French President Jacque Chirac was one of first foreign leaders to visit White House after 9/11. Why was Barack Obama absent at #ParisMarch?”
Simon Schama, BBC Presenter: “Actually, on US (non)representation in Paris: insulting abysmal complacent indifference to meaning of the day. Should be huge row.”
“Sadly, I can’t help but view this as a painful point of national embarrassment and a failure to play our part on the world stage—and I say that as one who has never before accused President Obama of embarrassing the nation he leads,” wrote outspoken liberal columnist Rick Ungar in Forbes.
“I say this as an American — not as a journalist, not as a representative of CNN — but as an American: I was ashamed,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper wrote. He noted that it was an oversight of the first order that no prominent 2016 prospect, Republican or Democratic, chose to join the Parisian marchers either.
Obama's absence from Paris signals both weakness and arrogance: http://t.co/QZE2ylAS5k Debunking the most popular excuses.— John Hayward (@Doc_0) January 12, 2015
◼ Greta Van Susteran's Apology To The People Of France For Obama's Behavior Has Gone Viral - MRC TV
Obama cannot discount the shrinking centrist group because they can cross the aisle and hand the new GOP's new Senate majority victories on everything from the Keystone XL oil pipeline and banking reforms, to dismantling Obamacare.
Will Marshall, a founder of the New Democrat centrist movement and president of the Progressive Policy Institute, said he viewed Obama’s veto threat as a first positioning shot.
Republicans, he said, are “obsessed” with Keystone, which would boost Canadian energy companies more than American ones because the pipeline would simply carry oil from Alberta to the gulf for export.
Still, he urged Obama to get into “good, old-fashioned horse-trading” and use Keystone to bargain for something else, such as building the oil and gas production infrastructure, or possibly for GOP agreement to pass a gas tax.
He warned Obama and Democratic leaders not to keep alienating centrists or face the consequences in the 2016 presidential election.
Republicans, Marshall said, are showing signs that they are “sobering up politically” and positioning themselves to appeal to a larger swath of voters than they did in the 2012 presidential contest.
“It would be foolish to disrespect the moderates who embrace a more growth oriented agenda because that’s what this party needs if Democrats are going to expand their appeal to moderate voters … voters who are going to be essential in putting together a winning coalition in 2016.
“They are going to have to be more credible and present themselves as a party of growth and shared prosperity not simply class warfare and redistribution,” he said.