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Does Hillary email flap mean trouble ahead for White House?

by Byron York     •     The Washington Examiner

Hillary ClintonTwo statements out of the White House in recent days have added to our knowledge of the Hillary Clinton email affair. First, President Obama told CBS that he learned about Clinton’s secret email account “the same time everybody else learned it, through news reports.” Second, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters a few days ago, “I know that the secretary of state did trade emails with some White House officials.”

So: Obama didn’t know, even though White House officials exchanged emails with Clinton. Is that possible?

The answer is maybe. The first question to ask is whether the president — an active emailer — never exchanged an email message with his secretary of state. Even though email has been around since the early 1990s, neither Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush used it during their years in office. Obama changed that practice, but his email use is still reportedly limited by security concerns and a desire to keep presidential communications out of the hands of investigators. In his admiring account of Obama’s start in office, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, journalist Jonathan Alter reported how Obama became the first president to use email regularly: [Read more...]

Why Is ICANN Hiding The Solution To Its Accountability Problem?

By Peter Roff     •     The Daily Caller

icannThe Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – once an obscure nonprofit that was ostensibly important just to a handful of tech heads – is now mired in controversy as a result of the Obama administration’s announced intention to put an end to the last vestiges of America’s supervision of the Internet.

This formerly innocuous California corporation, created in the late 1990s by the Clinton administration as part of its efforts to transition the Internet toward commercialization, could suddenly become the only body with the authority to prevent countries like China and Russia from gaining control of the Internet. Given the past inconsistencies of its CEO Fadi Chehade, that’s a risky bet at best. [Read more...]

10 Questions for Loretta Lynch

Members of the Judiciary Committee need to get answers from Obama’s nominee for attorney general.

By Peter Roff     •     U.S.News

Lynch 2This week, Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley will call to order a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee for the purpose of considering President Barack Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general of the United States.

In the main, the nomination is not controversial – though it should be. As my Frontiers of Freedom colleague George Landrith has written in The Washington Times questions, serious questions, have been raised about the conduct of prosecutors working under Lynch in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. They should be enough to slow the nomination’s progress until she can explain how and why the rights of crime victims and their ability to apply for restitution as specified in existing federal law were ignored and what steps she has taken to correct these wrongs. [Read more...]

Questions for Loretta Lynch on Secret Dockets

By Frederick M. Oberlander and Richard E. Lerner     •     The Hill

United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch speaks during an announcement of the arrest of Abraxas J. (When confirmation hearings begin today for Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, conservatives will seek her views on President Obama’s executive order on immigration and liberals will seek her views on the prison at Guantanamo. We hope at least one member of the Senate Judiciary Committee will seek her views on the parallel, covert judicial system her office runs.

As U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, Lynch perpetuated the concealment of criminal cases to protect fraudsters who promised cooperation against other criminals. For example, in the Felix Sater case, her office not only hid his victims’ legal rights to seek mandatory restitution, it continues to let him live the high life on his share of the $40 million stolen from the life-savings of his victims. Even more astonishing, this fraudster was allowed to bilk a new generation of victims by falsely presenting himself as a businessman with a clean record, all because his record was kept hidden. [Read more...]

Uncomfortable Questions for Loretta Lynch

Senators should probe her disregard for the rights of crime victims

By George Landrith     •     The Washington Times

United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch speaks during an announcement of the arrest of Abraxas J. ("A.J.") Discala, CEO of OmniView Capital, and six co-conspirators for fraudulent market manipulation at the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, New YorkThe president’s nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general caught many by surprise. Given his penchant for perpetual campaigning and divisiveness, most analysts expected him to choose a known partisan rather than a relatively unknown prosecutor. Nonetheless, as her record receives more scrutiny, some troubling details are coming to light — something few anticipated when she was first nominated.

The New York and Washington press have both reported that Ms. Lynch, while serving in her current post as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, oversaw an environment in which prosecutorial misconduct, trampling on the rights of victims, and violations of the law by prosecutors working for her were more routine than anyone should be comfortable with. [Read more...]

Executive Dysfunction

President Obama has done next to nothing to build confidence in government.

by James Bennet     •     The Atlantic

Obama defeatedIt’s happened by this point in every modern two-term presidency: If we weren’t sick of the guy to start with, we certainly are by now. What once seemed like roguish charm, or bracing surety, or nuanced intelligence, has curdled into self-indulgence, or arrogance, or passivity. Voters punish the president in the midterms; congressmen investigate him; political journalists, eager to cultivate sources in the coming campaigns, save all their nice adjectives for the presidents-in-waiting, and their aides. [Read more...]

Obama’s Executive Memoranda Highlights Constitutional Crisis

by Jonathan S. Tobin     •     Commentary

obama-legislation executive orderWhen conservatives protested President Obama’s attempt to go around the Constitution and rule by executive orders rather than with the consent of Congress, his defenders had a ready answer. While they insisted that Obama’s fiat granting amnesty to five million illegal immigrants did not exceed his authority, they also countered by saying that the president had actually issued far fewer such executive orders than that of President Bush. But, as USA Today noted last week, focusing only on executive orders while ignoring the far more numerous executive memoranda issued by this administration that have the same effect as law, the press and the public have vastly underestimated the extent of how far he has stretched the boundaries of executive power. If anything, this president’s effort to create a one-man government may have gone farther than we thought. [Read more...]

Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy Blasts Federal Prosecutor For Lying in Court

Judge deploys unusually vivid language: ‘you’re branded as a liar and you’ll remain a liar for the rest of your life’

by Sidney Powell     •     New York Observer

Justice Rule of LawAdd another Article III federal judge to the lengthening list of those fed up with the lying and abuses by our “now ironically named Department of Justice.” Senior US District Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy in New York just lambasted Assistant US Attorney Stanley J. Okula from Preet Bharara’s office for lying to the court and advised that he bring a supervisor with him to court from now on.

The judge was livid, and he began the December 5th hearing with great clarity:

“Mr. Okula, I think I should start with something. On the front hall of the Department of Justice is engraved the whole section of United States against Berger about how the job of the Justice Department is to see that justice is done. Justice is founded in truth. [Read more...]

The Hypocrisy of Liberal Campaign Finance

Shadowy donor club to shield donor names, internal deliberations from public view

by Lachlan Markay     •     Washington Free Beacon

Campaign DonationsA shadowy club of ultra-rich liberal donors assured contributors at a recent closed-door meeting that it will not disclose their involvement if they wish it to remain secret.

The Democracy Alliance says opacity in political funding and the influence of “big money” is corrosive to the democratic process, but the group currently discloses nothing about the hundreds of millions of dollars it steers to leading liberal and Democratic organizations. [Read more...]

ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Have Been Bogus

Editorial Board    •    Investors Business Daily  

ObamaCare Costs Pork

ObamaCare Costs Pork

The lies continue to continue … 

Lying With Statistics:  In April, we doubted that the surprisingly high ObamaCare enrollment numbers could be trusted. Turns out, we were right to be skeptical. The White House had been vastly inflating the figures all along.

This week, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell admitted that her agency had accidentally counted those who’d signed up for stand-alone dental benefits in its health insurance numbers, padding its latest enrollment data by nearly 400,000 — or 6%.

“This mistake was unacceptable,” Burwell said. But don’t worry: The fact that they “quickly corrected the number should give people confidence.”

Never mind that she admitted the “mistake” only after the House Oversight Committee exposed the book-cooking scheme. [Read more...]

Grubbing the American Public on Obamacare

A liberal elitist reveals the deception behind Obama’s health plan

by Jack Kelly    •    Pittsburgh Post Gazette ObamaCare Gruber Lies

Only 36 percent of Americans expressed approval of Democrats in a Gallup poll Nov. 12, the lowest in the 22 years Gallup has been asking that question. Republicans were approved of by 42 percent. In Gallup’s poll 13 months ago, 43 percent had approved of Democrats, just 28 percent of the GOP.

To understand how Democrats could fall so far so fast, consider MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, to whom the Obama administration paid $400,000 to help design Obamacare.

Prof. Gruber thinks he’s very smart, and you aren’t.

“[Obamacare] was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies,” he said during a health care conference at the University of Pennsylvania in October of last year.

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Mr. Gruber said. “Call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass.” [Read more...]

Voter Fraud in 2014?

Progressives and the Justice Department are doing all they can to stop improvements in election integrity.

by Hans Von Spakovsky    •    Wall Street Journal 

Voter Fraud Dead VoteIn the past few months, a former police chief in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to voter fraud in a town-council election. That fraud had flipped the outcome of a primary election. Former Connecticut legislator Christina Ayala has been indicted on 19 charges of voter fraud, including voting in districts where she didn’t reside. (She hasn’t entered a plea.) A Mississippi grand jury indicted seven individuals for voter fraud in the 2013 Hattiesburg mayoral contest, which featured voting by ineligible felons and impersonation fraud. A woman in Polk County, Tenn., was indicted on a charge of vote-buying—a practice that the local district attorney said had too long “been accepted as part of life” there.

Now come the midterm elections on Nov. 4. What is the likelihood that your vote won’t count? That your vote will, in effect, be canceled or stolen as a consequence of mistakes by election officials or fraudulent votes cast by campaign workers or ineligible voters like felons and noncitizens? [Read more...]

Making Harding Look Good

The Obama administration has tarnished nearly every major federal agency. 

by Victor Davis Hanson    •    National Review

Scandal NewsMany have described the Obama departure from the 70-year-old bipartisan postwar foreign policy of the United States as reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s failed 1977–81 tenure. There is certainly the same messianic sense of self, the same naïveté, and the same boasts of changing the nature of America, as each of these presidents was defining himself as against supposedly unpopular predecessors. But the proper Obama comparison is not Carter, but rather Warren G. Harding. By that I mean not that Obama’s scandals have matched Harding’s, but rather that by any fair standard they have now far exceeded them and done far more lasting damage — and without Obama’s offering achievements commensurate with those that occasionally characterized Harding’s brief, failed presidency.

The lasting legacy of Obama will be that he has largely discredited the idea of big government, of which he was so passionate an advocate. Almost every major agency of the federal government, many of them with a hallowed tradition of bipartisan competence, have now been rendered either dysfunctional or politicized — or both — largely because of politically driven appointments of unqualified people, or ideological agendas that were incompatible with the agency’s mission.

The list of scandals is quite staggering. In aggregate, it makes Harding’s Teapot Dome mess seem minor in comparison. [Read more...]

Passing the Buck on ISIS Failures Fits a Clear and Unmistakable Pattern

isis-militants-iraq terroristby Orange County Register

What’s the saddest statistic of the political season? Here’s one contender: a Google search for the phrase “Obama ISIS buck pass” yields about 478,000 results.

That’s what happens when a president makes comments like the ones Barack Obama made during an interview on “60 Minutes.” There, he haplessly explained that Jim Clapper, director of national intelligence, acknowledged he’d underestimated how quickly ISIS could rise to threaten the Mideast.

True enough – but also misleading, and another unforced error for our clearly beleaguered president. Mr. Obama should have recognized that he had opened himself up to legitimate charges of buck passing.

But instead of facing the music – as John F. Kennedy did in the wake of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 – Mr. Obama all but hid behind his new press secretary, Josh Earnest. [Read more...]

Holder’s Legacy as Presidential Protector

The attorney general is stepping down and leaving a trail of troubling questions behind.

by Peter Roff   •   U.S. News & World ReportHolder Head

Controversial figure U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will be stepping down from his post, it was learned recently, leaving the Obama administration as soon as his replacement can be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Those who cannot see past race – and thus tend toward wanting to inflate Holder’s grade – are praising his tenure in office, lauding the attention he gave issues like civil rights and the manner in which, as NBC’s Chuck Todd suggested shortly after the news broke, managed to stay above politics.

In fact, almost every high-profile issue Holder took on had a political taint, especially his intervention in the civil rights arena where he and his department worked to thwart anti-election fraud reforms and to block reasonable photo ID requirements for voters. [Read more...]