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President Impervious

by Stephen F Hayes     •     The Weekly Standard

Obama SmirkAt the end of his opening statement at the traditional postelection presidential press conference, Barack Obama offered this assurance: “I continue to believe we are simply more than just a collection of red and blue states,” he said. “We are the United States.”

Those words were a deliberate echo of the memorable keynote address he delivered a decade ago at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. They were powerful then because his passionate delivery suggested he deeply believed them, and because many Americans wanted to believe them, too. [Read more...]

Conservatives Right About Obamacare Lies

RealClearPolitics

BILL O’REILLY: Obamacare. Now you heard the MIT guy [Jonathan] Gruber saying, you know what? We conned everybody. They weren’t paying attention. They don’t really care. And it’s not what it was sold as. And you say?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This is exactly what conservatives have been saying for four years, what we’re hearing now is the true voice of liberal arrogance. They believe this. They believe that the voters are stupid, as he said. And they believe that they know the right way, they have to lead the masses to the promised land and they can only do it by deception. And that’s what he said openly. We wanted to get the bill. We didn’t care about how we did it so we lied about everything. We lied about if you can keep the plan knowing that you can’t keep your plan. We lied about the fact that this would be a transfer of wealth, a massive transfer of wealth because, as Gruber said, had they known that, it would never have passed. They lied about every aspect of this. And I think that is what has been charged all along and it is a scandal of the media that this has to be discovered in the sixth year of the presidency rather than talked about at the time when it was obvious they were lying about all this. The idea of it being a transfer of wealth was known from the beginning, but they got away with it.

O’REILLY: But really they didn’t get away with it because the new Congress is going to gut the bill, and if there’s a new president who is a Republican — and I even think if Hillary Clinton is elected president, they’ll have to redo Obamacare because they’re going to tie it around her neck, particularly in a debate situation, around Mrs. Clinton’s neck. Are you supporting this? Would you change it? Tell us how. So I don’t thing Obamacare is going to last a long time in this country, Charles.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I don’t either. I do think probably the fatal blow will come from the Supreme Court. That’s the key thing. In June we will get a ruling on whether the government is allowed to offer subsidies from the federal Obamacare exchange. Without that, it collapses.

A Rejection of Liberal Democratic Governance

by Fred Barnes     •     Weekly Standard

government incompetenceRepublicans won 7 Democratic seats (so far!), lost none, and took control of the Senate. Harry Reid is history. Democrats thought for sure they’d add some governorships. Nope. They won one but lost 4, including the governor’s race in the bluest of blue states, Maryland. In the House, they lost at least 8 seats, probably more when the final results are in. Now there are more House Republicans on Capitol Hill than we’ve seen in many decades.

For Democrats in the midterm election, it came down to this: they defeated Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. That was it. Nothing more. The next most embattled GOP governor, Sam Brownback in Kansas, was reelected. [Read more...]

Voters’ Verdict Explodes Liberal Myths

by Byron York     •     The Washington Examiner

us-midterm-election-results-2014As Democratic losses mounted in Senate races across the country on election night, some liberal commentators clung to the idea that dissatisfied voters were sending a generally anti-incumbent message, and not specifically repudiating Democratic officeholders. But the facts of the election just don’t support that story.

Voters replaced Democratic senators with Republicans in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia and likely in Alaska, and appear on track to do so in a runoff next month in Louisiana. At the same time, voters kept Republicans in GOP seats in heavily contested races in Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky. That is at least 10, and as many as a dozen, tough races, without a single Republican seat changing hands. Tuesday’s voting was a wave alright — a very anti-Democratic wave. [Read more...]

A Harsh Referendum for Obama

by Carol E Lee     •     The Wall Street Journal

obama_31President Barack Obama hoped the midterm elections would help break the capital’s gridlock. Instead, they became a referendum on his presidency.

Voters went to the polls Tuesday deeply frustrated with the political system and handed Republicans a decisive victory. Mr. Obama was a central figure in key races where Republicans criticized his leadership.

Most Democratic Senate candidates refused to appear with Mr. Obama on the campaign trail, trying to distance themselves from an unpopular president. Democrats tried to keep the focus on policies of particular importance in their states. [Read more...]

The bewildered bystander in chief

by Charles Krauthammer   •   Washington Post 

obama_frownThe president is upset. Very upset. Frustrated and angry. Seething about the government’s handling of Ebola, said the front-page headline in the New York Times last Saturday.

There’s only one problem with this pose, so obligingly transcribed for him by the Times. It’s his government. He’s president. Has been for six years. Yet Barack Obama reflexively insists on playing the shocked outsider when something goes wrong within his own administration.

The IRS? “It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,” he thundered in May 2013 when the story broke of the agency targeting conservative groups. “I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS.”

Except that within nine months, Obama had grown far more tolerant, retroactively declaring this to be a phony scandal without “a smidgen of corruption.”

Obamacare rollout? “Nobody is more frustrated by that than I am,” said an aggrieved Obama about the botching of the central element of his signature legislative achievement. “Nobody is madder than me.” [Read more...]

Ebola Isn’t a Matter of Politics

It’s time the Obama administration handled the crisis without petty finger-pointing.

by Peter Roff   •   US News & World Report

Ebola Disease VirusMixing the possibility of a deadly pandemic together with the incompetence of the Washington bureaucracy produces a cocktail that is poisonous to public confidence. No one gets high marks for the way the Obama administration has handled the arrival of Ebola on American soil – especially the president.

It’s times such as these, when little is known and even the slightest misstatement could cause a general panic that the American people look to the president for leadership. Instead, what they are getting is more of the arrogant, self-confident, “smartest guy in the room” pronouncements and hectoring for which President Barack Obama is now famous.

Instead Obama has failed time and again to demonstrate he has a firm grasp on the situation. He’s not taking concrete steps – using his phone and his pen – to prevent the disease from spreading. Instead he’s letting his subordinates – no doubt thoroughly schooled in the Saul Alinsky arts of manufacturing or at least using a crisis to force the political system to give in to your demands – make outrageous statements intended to turn a potential public health catastrophe into a weapon of political leverage in the closing days of the current campaign season.

The worst thing yet said is perhaps the contemptible charge leveled by National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins that if it weren’t for budget cuts insisted upon by congressional Republicans, the agencies under his direction might already have come up with a cure for Ebola.

The data contradicts his statement (the National Institutes of Health have had plenty of money since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich decided to plus up its budget back in the 1990s), but was an otherwise effective misdirection. [Read more...]

The Pass-the-Buck Presidency

The president has a pattern of deflecting blame and denying responsibility. With military action against ISIS underway, that’s a dangerous habit.

by Josh Kraushaar     •     National Journal

Obama Failed PolicyThe time-tested strategy for Obama: Blame, deny, and wait-it-out When national security is at stake, politics should stop at the White House’s edge ‘The president is the captain of the ship and should assume accountability.’

September 29, 2014 In attempting to downplay the political damage from a slew of second-term controversies, President Obama has counted on the American people having a very short memory span and a healthy suspension of disbelief. The time-tested strategy for Obama: Claim he’s in the dark about his own administration’s activities, blame the mess on subordinates, and hope that with the passage of time, all will be forgotten. Harry Truman, the president isn’t. He’s more likely to pass the buck. [Read more...]

Obama Has Missed Over Half His Second-Term Daily Intel Briefings

by Wynton Hall     •     Breitbart News Network

Smug-ObamaA new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.

The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.

The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. [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...]

The Divine Right of Barack Obama

The president who began as a champion of the legislature’s prerogative to declare war has morphed into Napoleon.

by Charles C. W. Cooke     •     National Review

Obama SmirkAsked earlier today how long he expected the bombing of Syria to last, Lieutenant General William C. Mayville Jr. advised reporters to think “in terms of years.” “Last night’s strikes,” Mayville confirmed, “were only the beginning.” A mile or so away, on the White House lawn, Barack Obama struck a similarly defiant note. “We’re going to do what is necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group,” the president explained, before assuring those present that the United States was but one part of a global alliance that stood “shoulder to shoulder . . . on behalf of our common security.” “The strength of this coalition,” Obama added, “makes clear to the world that this is not just America’s fight alone.” This much, at least, was true. Among the nations that have signed on to the attacks are Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates — all vital accomplices in the winning of hearts and minds. And yet, for all the cosmopolitanism, one crucial ally was conspicuously missing from the roster of the willing: the Congress of the United States. [Read more...]

The Collapse of Obama’s Foreign Policy

by Rich Lowry     •     Politico Magazine

Obama Hand on Head 2President Barack Obama’s stated goal in the fight against the Islamic State, aka ISIL, is to reduce it to a “manageable problem.”

What this means, he hasn’t spelled out in great specificity. Presumably fewer beheadings. A slower pace of Western recruiting. Fewer genocidal threats against embattled minorities. A downgrading of the caliphate to a mini-state, or merely a large swath of territory in Syria and Iraq.

The evil of ISIL has stirred nearly everyone around President Obama to ringing statements of resolve. Vice President Joe Biden says, “We will follow them to the gates of hell.” Secretary of State John Kerry tweets, “ISIL must be destroyed/will be crushed.” [Read more...]

The President Who Is Uninterested in Other People

by Michael Barone     •     RealClearPolitics

Obama SmirkSome time ago I contrasted the reaction a conservative would get if he were in the same room with the two most consequential politicians of the 1990s, Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

If you were in a room with Bill Clinton, he would discover the one issue out of 100 on which you agreed; he would probe you with questions, comments, suggestions; and he would tell you that you enabled him to understand it far better than he ever had before.

If you were in a room with Rudy Giuliani, he would discover the one issue out of 100 on which you disagreed; he would ask pointed questions and pepper you with objections; he would tell you that you are wrong on the facts and wrong on the law, and that you needed to admit you were utterly mistaken. [Read more...]

Constitutional chutzpah

by Seth Lipsky     •     New York Post

barack_obamaThere are three ways something can become what the US Constitution calls the “supreme law of the land.” It can be made part of the Constitution by amendment, it can be passed by Congress as a law or it can be ratified by the Senate as a treaty.

President Obama can’t get his climate-change agreement made supreme law of the land by any of those constitutional routes. Not even close. The Republican House doesn’t want it. The Democratic Senate won’t act.

That’s because the people don’t want it. They’re no dummies. Even in drought-stricken California, the Hill newspaper reports, Democratic candidates for Congress avoid the climate-change issue.

This is driving Obama crazy. [Read more...]

The Jayvee Team: ISIL or the White House?

isis-militants-iraq terroristby David Rutz     •     Free Beacon

It was a quote striking for its flippant tone even in January, as President Obama compared the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to a wannabe junior varsity basketball team.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told The New Yorker. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”

ISIL, now in control of large portions of Iraq and Syria, has the full attention of the U.S. now. [Read more...]