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What Obama’s Many Messes Really Mean

Dems blame . . . big government?

bureaucracy_big governmentby S.E. Cupp

Another week, another scandal.

From Fast and Furious at the ATF to the Pigford fraud at the Department of Agriculture, the IRS’ political targeting to the State Department’s Benghazi mess, the healthcare.gov debacle at HHS to spying at the NSA and the DOJ, President Obama is running out of agencies and departments to defend in his two years left in office.

This White House has either had the worst luck in recent memory or it is responsible for breaches of public trust so vast, it’s no wonder public faith in our government is at a record low.

And now, we must add the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs — one so singularly sad, offensive and disappointing it almost feels wrong to put the callous deaths of at least 40 veterans who served our country in the same category as political tax targeting. Still, in some ways it is more of the pitiful same. [Read more...]

There Is No Better Predictor of Obamacare Than the Veteran Affairs System

ObamaCare IRS Cost Compassion

 The VA offers precisely what Obamacare offers: not a guarantee of treatment in time of need, but a guarantee of a place in line for treatment at a time of the bureaucracy’s choosing.

by Kevin O’Brien

The White House says Americans can’t draw any conclusions yet about just how screwed up is the Department of Veterans Affairs medical care system.

Well, yes, Americans can. And if they have any sense — always a debatable proposition — Americans will.

One conclusion we can draw is an old, familiar one: No matter what the issue or activity, bureaucracy’s first and strongest instinct is to protect itself in the face of a perceived threat. [Read more...]

IRS: The Internal Repression Service

Eye of Sauron IRSThe revenue agency has become a tool for suppressing speech.

by Andrew C. McCarthy

Through months of Obama administration stonewalling, the redoubtable Judicial Watch perseveres in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, finally uncovering bombshell documents that have eluded several congressional investigations. For the second time in a matter of days, we find that standing oversight committees with competing subject-matter jurisdictions and limited attention spans are incapable of the grand-jury-style probe needed to get to the bottom of administration lawlessness. For that, in the absence of a scrupulous special prosecutor reasonably independent from the Obama Justice Department (not gonna happen), it becomes clear that a select committee will be necessary. [Read more...]

Benghazi Isn’t Iran-Contra

The comparison reflects poorly on the Obama Administration and the facts show an important difference – which reflects poorly on Obama himself. 

The Benghazi investigation should go forward but with knowledge that it will face heavy partisan and media pushback.

Democrats will argue—they already are—that with the country in crisis the attention of Congress should be turned to addressing the issue that weighs most on the public mind: a bad economy with the very top flourishing while the middle is stuck, stressed and sinking. [Read more...]

White House Benghazi Explanations Are Beginning To Unravel In A Very Public Way

Benghazi Coverup2CATHERINE HERRIDGE: Nearly 20 months after the attack, the administration’s explanations about who knew what and when are beginning to unravel in a very public way.

The testimony laid bare uncomfortable facts.

BRIG. GEN. ROBERT LOVELL (RET.): This was a hostile action. This was no demonstration gone terribly awry.

HERRIDGE: Retired Brigadier General Robert Lovell, a deputy intelligence director for the Africa Command testified that seven hours into the Benghazi assault, at their command post in Germany, they knew there was no connection to a protest or an Internet video. [Read more...]

House select committee must peel back Benghazi coverup

Stays in BenghaziSince the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack that killed four Americans — including Ambassador Chris Stevens — at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Obama administration has covered up the essential facts about what happened before, during and after that terrible night. House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to go forward with a select committee to investigate Benghazi is both welcome and long overdue.

Some of the relevant facts were established by the Jan. 15 report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. From that report, for example, a partial timeline was constructed concerning the roles of the intelligence community and the military prior to and during the attack. It was clear that Stevens repeatedly asked for additional security forces in Benghazi, but not only were his requests denied, the mission’s defenses were reduced. In addition, it was learned that no military forces were on standby to aid the facility before it was attacked, and no request for such aid came from the State Department during the assault. [Read more...]

Is Menendez Knuckling Under Foreign Policy Hardball?

Obama IranThe Foreign Relations Committee chairman has been strangely quiescent – is it because of his scandals?

by Peter Roff

We’re not seeing a lot of leadership from the U.S. Senate these days on issues in the foreign relations arena. Perhaps that’s because the chairman of the relevant committee, New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez, believes his current ethical troubles make him politically vulnerable, making it best to keep a low profile.

This creates a dangerous situation for the country given the Senate’s special role in foreign affairs. The continuing scandal surrounding Menendez means he may no longer be able to lead on issues where his views diverge from those held by the president, Secretary of State John F. Kerry or other senior administration officials for fear that some damaging piece of information about him may be leaked to the major news media like the New York Times – which called in February of 2013 for him to step away from the chairmanship. [Read more...]

White House withholds thousands of documents from Senate CIA probe, despite vows of help

whitehouse Presidentby Jonathan S. Landay, Ali Watkins and Marisa Taylor

The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.

In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee’s work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.

The significance of the materials couldn’t be learned. But the administration’s refusal to turn them over or to agree to any compromise raises questions about what they would reveal about the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists in secret overseas prisons. [Read more...]

The Benghazi Cover-up

benghazi media scandalHow the CIA’s No. 2 misled Congress

by Stephen F. Hayes

Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, then acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, gave an account of his role on Benghazi that was often misleading and sometimes deliberately false.

“I went back and reviewed some of his testimony the other day and he’s gotten himself in a real box,” says Senator Saxby Chambliss, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee. “It’s really strange. I’ve always thought Mike was a straight-up guy, gave us good briefings—factual, straightforward. I mean, this has really been strange the last few weeks—all this now being uncovered.” [Read more...]

Freed Guantánamo Detainee Involved in Benghazi Attack

Benghazi Attackby Frances Martel

U.S. officials told the Washington Post that Abu Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantánamo Bay detainee and leader of a paramilitary group with al-Qaeda ties, had a role in the Benghazi embassy attacks on September 11, 2012.

Qumu, currently a leader of a wing of the Libyan paramilitary group Ansar al-Sharia, is being linked, along with his militiamen, to the attack on the Benghazi consulate. The Post notes that many eyewitnesses noted the group’s presence in Benghazi days before the attack–despite being natives to the city of Darnah–and Qumu’s presence specifically. Reuters reports that the group’s presence in Benghazi after being kicked out in the post-September 11, 2012 days was noted as recently as last February, with many anti-Gaddafi Libyans arguing that Ansar al-Sharia’s role in toppling the dictator grants them a certain license to roam freely despite their overt violence and Islamic fundamentalism. The State Department is set to designate Ansar al-Sharia a terrorist group in the coming days and link its activities to the broader, less structured, post-bin Laden al-Qaeda. [Read more...]

Benghazi attack ‘Al Qaeda-led event’

benghazi media scandalThe 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya was an “Al Qaeda-led event” according to multiple on-the-record interviews with the head of the House Intelligence Committee who receives regular classified briefings and has access to the raw intelligence to make independent assessments.

“I will tell you this, by witness testimony and a year and a half of interviewing everyone that was in the ground by the way, either by an FBI investigator or the committee: It was very clear to the individuals on the ground that this was an Al Qaeda-led event. And they had pretty fairly descriptive events early on that lead those folks on the ground, doing the fighting, to the conclusion that this was a pre-planned, organized terrorist event,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told Fox News in a November interview. [Read more...]

Lie of the Year: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Period. End of Discussion.”

Lie Fire Meterawarded Obama with the “Lie of the Year.” The law was designed from the ground up prevent Americans from choosing to keep health care plans they liked. The president’s statements were simply made because he had to to sell the law to an unsuspecting public. It was obviously and predictably false when uttered. 

A statement by President Barack Obama has been given the dubious honor of “Lie of the Year” with a rating of “Pants on Fire” by the Tampa Bay Times’ Politifact.

“If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the president said, over and over again, while trying to sell Americans on the Affordable Care Act before it was enacted. It was a comforting promise to those concerned that the government would force unwanted changes on their health insurance plans.

“But the promise was impossible to keep,” Politifact said in its announcement. [Read more...]

Obamacare Architect: If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Pay More

Zeke Emanuelby Daniel Halper

If you want to keep your doctor, you might have to pay more for it, Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel (and brother of former White House Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel) said today on Fox News Sunday.

The host, Chris Wallace, said: “President Obama famously promised, if you like your doctor, you can keep our doctor. Doesn’t that turn out to be just as false, just as misleading, as his promise about if you like your plan, you can keep your plan? Isn’t it a fact, sir, that a number, most, in fact, of the Obamacare health plans that are being offered on the exchanges exclude a number of doctors and hospitals to lower costs?” [Read more...]

5 Things The Obama Administration Had No Idea The Obama Administration Was Doing

Obama IRS Scandal Didn't Know“I wouldn’t be surprised if President Obama learned Osama bin Laden had been killed when he saw himself announce it on television.” — Jon Stewart

by John Hawkins

What’s the point of having a President who learns about everything his administration is doing from the newspapers, just like everyone else? When do you start to ask, “Is this guy stupid or just dishonest?” Given that Barack Obama seems to know so little about what’s going on in his administration that it’s starting to resemble a “Hogan’s Heroes” rerun with Obama playing the role of Colonel Klink, maybe the answer is “both.”

1) Obama didn’t know we were spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel for five years.

The White House cut off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one tracking Ms. Merkel and some other world leaders, a senior U.S. official said. Other programs have been slated for termination but haven’t been phased out completely yet, officials said.

The account suggests President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eavesdropping operations under way that it wouldn’t have been practical to brief him on all of them. [Read more...]

Five Falsehoods Obama Told To Sell Obamacare

obama_frownby John Hawkins

When the Democrats were trying to sell Obamacare to the public, they told us that because of Barack Obama’s magical health care elixir, Americans are going to live forever, in perfect health for free while unicorns will tote them back and forth to magical fairy doctors who will cure all their ills with pixie dust. Obamacare is going to be superior to the current health care system in every way and anything people heard to the contrary was obviously a lie cooked up by Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party to hurt poor people.

It sounded great.

Of course, it also sounds great when a Nigerian prince offers to give you millions of dollars to help him get money into the United States. Unfortunately, those Nigerian princes with the funny names won’t make you any richer, just as Presidents with funny names won’t improve your health care. They’ll just tell you lies like these.

1) Obamacare will cut the cost of your health care. If only. When Obamacare goes into effect next year, many Americans can expect steep increases in the cost of health care.

President Obama (promised)…that the cost of insurance would go down “by $2,500 per family per year.” …In fact, the average 25 and 40-year-old will pay double under Obamacare what they would need to pay today, based on rates posted at eHealthInsurance.com (NASDAQ:EHTH). More specifically, for the typical 25-year-old male non-smoker, the average Obamacare “bronze” exchange plan in California will cost between 64 and 117 percent more than the cheapest five plans on eHealth. For 40-year-old male non-smokers, it’s between 73 and 146 percent more. [Read more...]