Obama Vows Retaliation Over Bibi’s Campaign Rhetoric + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 03/19/2015 by

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TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

Obama Vows Retaliation Over Bibi’s Campaign Rhetoric

There will be consequences for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heightened national security platform days before the Israeli elections – the Obama administration will make sure of that. Before the Israeli election Tuesday, Netanyahu said he opposed a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine – even though the United States has made that its foreign policy goal for years. Granted, the deterioration in the Middle East has influenced Netanyahu’s campaign platform. For example, there’s the campaign ad featuring ISIL fighters, making the case that only Bibi could prevent the terrorist group from marching upon Jerusalem. But the Obama administration is none too pleased with Netanyahu’s focus on security or his re-election win. Unprompted, Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, “We’ve talked a lot about how our shared values are an important part of what binds our two countries together, and rhetoric that seeks to marginalize one segment of their population is deeply concerning and it is divisive. And I can tell you that these are views that the administration intends to communicate directly to the Israelis.” Not only that, but Barack Obama could very well take his power to the United Nations and lift America’s longtime protection of Israel, in essence injecting more chaos into the pursuit of peace. More…

Left Floats New Idea: Mandatory Voting

Barack Obama told a civic group in Cleveland, Ohio, that it would be “fun” for the United States to amend the Constitution to force everyone in America to vote in elections. Hey, it would solve all the ills the Left touts come election time about dark campaign money, the lack of civic interest, etc. “It would be transformative if everybody voted,” Obama said. “That would counteract [campaign] money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.” Obama’s comments come at a time when there is historically low civic knowledge and engagement, and citizens are abandoning their trust in the federal government. But mandatory voting would not help boost meaningful civic engagement. Elections would – even more than they already do – boil down to a popularity contest for who gives the most goodies. More…

Barbara Bush Now Touting Jeb for President

“We’ve had enough Bushes,” said no less than Barbara Bush, the family matriarch, when asked in 2013 if son Jeb should run for president. She was right then, but she’s recently changed her tune. “When the idea of Jeb running for President first came up, I was hesitant,” Mrs. Bush wrote in a letter to supporters. “You may have heard about that. When you see the pounding candidates, their spouses, and even their children take, what mother wouldn’t be? But our problems are so profound that America needs a leader who can renew the promise of this great nation.” Indeed, but there are more than 300 million Americans without the surname “Bush,” and several qualified Republicans are ready to join the presidential field. But never mind that, she says: “Jeb is our best chance of taking back the White House in 2016, and I hope that you will join me in pushing him to run.” It certainly does appear he’s running, but, again, “We’ve had enough Bushes.”

How Is Boehner’s Medicare Plan Reform?

Considering how House Speaker John Boehner negotiates with Democrats, it’s a wonder he attained his position as leader over a Republican House. Congress needs to fix Medicare by March 31 because that’s the deadline to prevent doctors from receiving a 21% cut in Medicare reimbursements. Boehner’s plan is to increase Medicare spending by $200 billion – y’know, in an effort to reform entitlement spending. But not to worry, he says, because that will lead to savings, oh, in about 10 years. In Boehner’s “negotiations,” Democrats are getting nearly all their demands, and the Republican caucus is advancing by baby steps. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said, “I find it very disagreeable that somehow a fix means we just add it to the debt. That’s the fix? That’s not a fix. That’s the same old Washington way of doing things that’s been going on under both parties for decades now. I don’t think that it works with any conservative principles that I hold.” Such a plan shows there’s a disconnect between Boehner’s Potomac-steeped leadership and the fresh conservative lawmakers willing to actually uphold conservative values. More…

Administration Sets New Record Censoring FOIAs

Earlier this week, the White House made it official U.S. policy to exempt the Office of Administration from FOIA requests. During Tuesday’s press briefing, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest rejected critics by insisting the decision doesn’t tarnish the administration’s claim of representing the most open governing body ever known to mankind. The procedural change, he explained, “has no bearing on the Office of Administration and the role that they do play in ensuring that the administration is the Most Transparent Administration in History™.” Then how do they explain this? The AP reports, “The Obama administration set a new record again for more often than ever censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press. The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law – but only when it was challenged.” Substitute “transparent” for “opaque” and Earnest would be right. And just imagine what a Hillary Clinton presidency would look like. More…

For more, visit Right Hooks.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read BO: I Love Me, I Love Me Not…, on what the GOP must understand about Obama’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

Scott Walker and the Children of the Corn

Only two days ago, the Scott Walker campaign – which is now just a political action committee called Our American Revival – announced it had hired Liz Mair as communications consultant. And then Walker encountered a strange beast known as the “Iowa Republican.”

On paper, hiring Mair looked like a killer choice. She’s a seasoned Republican operative who has campaign experience with the likes of Sen. Rand Paul and Gov. Rick Perry.

But Mair’s tenure on the Walker campaign lasted mere hours before the Democrat political machine exploited a weakness in the presidential primary process and doomed Mair’s collaboration with Walker. It dug up tweets Mair posted back in January and showed them to The Des Moines Register.

“In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning. Thanks, guys,” Mair tweeted Jan. 24. A minute later, she followed up with, “The sooner we remove Iowa’s frontrunning [sic] status, the better off American politics and policy will be.”

Oh boy, when those comments hit the Iowa newsstands, the corn started popping.

Jeff Kaufmann, the GOP chair for Iowa, called Mair’s comments “juvenile” and “ignorant.”

At least Mair wasn’t caught operating a home-cooked email server.

It could have been a tit-for-tat moment, a mere speed bump for the Walker campaign thrown down by Democrat opposition researchers. But next year’s Iowa caucus is a corn-fattened, political sacred cow. And Mair went cow tipping.

For politicians on both sides of the aisle, the path to the presidency begins in the Hawkeye State – not because of any state or federal law, and not because it’s inherently strategically advantageous. A few decades ago, both political parties decided they would kick off their presidential primary races in Iowa. It’s been done that way every presidential election since, and, thus, the political parties birthed a state among states.

Political analyst Jonah Goldberg wrote in 2012, “The real problem with the Iowa caucuses is simply that they confer too much entrenched arbitrary power on one state in perpetuity. For instance, without the Iowa caucuses we would never have wasted billions of dollars on environmentally damaging and economically wasteful ethanol subsidies.”

Naturally, the Iowa political machine likes how candidates make pilgrimages to Iowa to give offerings on the altar of ethanol. It gives candidates a reason for stopping in flyover country.

This is the exact kind of setup the Founders tried to avoid when they instituted the bicameral system in the legislature: states were given both proportional and equal representation. Because Iowa is now always the first state to decide on candidates, Iowa wields outsized influence in presidential contests.

And influence Walker’s campaign it did. Upon hearing the news that Walker’s newest hire once dissed the state, Iowa Republican leaders acted like Mair called their wives fat.

So Walker fired Mair. Well, news reports say she resigned, but Red State’s Erick Erickson (who is a friend of Mair) wrote, “Given Liz’s work history, I will put it to you this way – Team Walker has botched this. There’s just no way Liz Mair resigned with it being her idea.”

In response to the kerfuffle, Mair took to Twitter. Wednesday morning she wrote, “I may not like the result, but as someone who deals with a lot of opposition research, kudos for being quick on the fly…”

Later in the day she wrote about the mail she was getting from Iowan politicos. “It’s a sad commentary that self-described Iowa R[epublican]s are emailing me calling me things like ‘pig,’ ‘bitch,’ and ‘dyke.’” She continued in the next tweet, “I know I offended some folks with my tweets, but I never used that kind of insult. Nor would I. These Iowans are embarrassing the state.”

Welcome to the 2016 political primary: Where the final inning isn’t for a year, but the mud slingers are already at work; where in 49 other states, conservative hopefuls tout lean budgets and decry pork spending, yet they support ethanol just for Iowa; where a man like Walker, who stood firm before teachers unions and a corrupt prosecution, bows before state cronies over comments that expended fewer words than the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

Meanwhile, if another presidential hopeful is looking for a communications consultant…

Obama’s End Run Around Congress

Kerry has the ball

A nuclear deal with Iran is just around the corner, and it won’t be good for U.S. national security. The biggest clue is that Barack Obama wants an end run around Congress, likely opting instead for UN approval. To reach such a significant arms-control deal without congressional approval would be unprecedented.

The Obama administration expressed phony outrage over the “traitorous” open letter 47 Senate Republicans wrote to Iran, but these senators were merely stating the obvious: A deal struck without Congress isn’t legally binding beyond the current administration. Even the administration admits the deal is “nonbinding.” The only problem with the letter was that it should have been addressed to Obama, who is plotting to avoid the Senate entirely. Instead, Obama may seek approval from the UN Security Council, which would almost certainly prompt Russia, China and Europe to end their sanctions against Iran. That would leave any residual U.S. sanctions essentially toothless.

As early as March 25, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) plans to push legislation asserting Congress’ role in approving any nuclear agreement, as well as a voice on continuing or ending sanctions. March 24 is the administration’s rough deadline for outlining a deal, which it’s being careful not to call a “treaty” so as to better circumvent Congress. Corker’s bill wouldn’t press the “treaty” angle; it would just ensure Congress has a say.

Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman advocated Corker’s approach in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, writing, “The essence of any deal would relieve the Iranians from such sanctions in exchange for certain restrictions on their nuclear activities. The sanctions under negotiation, however, are overwhelmingly the creation of Congress – put in law through bills passed by large bipartisan majorities. Given that Congress built the sanctions against Iran, it is unreasonable to bar it from any review or oversight in how that architecture is disassembled.”

Yet Obama has been directly pressuring Democrat senators against supporting Corker’s legislation, as well as promising a veto. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough wrote a letter to Congress last weekend warning that legislation would “likely have a profoundly negative impact on the ongoing negotiations – emboldening Iranian hard-liners, inviting a counter-productive response from the Iranian majiles; differentiating the U.S. position from our allies in negotiations; and once again calling into question our ability to negotiate this deal.”

We absolutely call into question Obama’s ability to negotiate this flawed deal. It’s why Republicans wrote their letter. It’s why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his speech to Congress. And it’s why Netanyahu handily won re-election Tuesday.

Over the years, Obama repeatedly expressed how important it is to “prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” But his crack negotiation team, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, isn’t exactly moving toward that goal. Perhaps that’s why by the end of February Obama was talking about merely trying to “*reduce the possibility* of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon [emphasis added].”

On top of that softened rhetoric, Obama’s intelligence community’s 2015 Worldwide Threat Assessment removes both Iran and its terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, from the subsection on terrorism. Coincidence? Hardly. Yet this happened while Iran is gaining increasing hegemony in the region via its fight against ISIL – to the point that Saudi Arabia is considering its own nuclear arrangement as a counterbalance. So much for non-proliferation.

Obama wants Congress to wait at least until summer to weigh in. McDonough pleaded, “Let us complete the negotiations before the Congress acts on legislation. If we successfully negotiate a framework by the end of this month, and a final deal by the end of June, we expect a robust debate in Congress.” That is, unless Obama’s planned end run around Congress succeeds.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965): “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

Columnist Ann Coulter: “Frustrated at their inability to locate evidence of the endemic racism in America we keep hearing so much about, liberals have turned with a vengeance on the kids. Instead of armed policemen gunning down blacks, we got a secretly recorded video of few drunk 19- and 20-year-olds at the University of Oklahoma singing the n-word. (Everyone assumes the students were racists, but my theory is they were trying to record their own rap video.) … Today’s adults are held responsible for nothing. The president and attorney general aren’t held accountable for ginning up frenzied mobs based on a lie, leading to two cops being assassinated in New York City and two cops being shot in Ferguson, in addition to the $250 million in property damage. Hillary Clinton isn’t responsible for Americans being murdered at our embassy in Benghazi as a result of her incompetence. Democratic senators aren’t accountable for passing Obamacare without reading it, and Republican senators aren’t accountable for promising voters they’d stop Obama’s amnesty and then voting to fully fund it. … Instead of judging society by the inebriated songs of 19- and 20-year olds, perhaps we should judge it by how cultural and political elites treat their young people.”

Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint: “Since reimbursement from government programs already favors hospital-based services, more physicians will leave private practice to become employees of large hospital systems. Private physician practices will become increasingly hard to find. If federal and state governments do not change this destructive cycle, America’s health system will increasingly become a two-tier system in which people of means pay for their health care directly while everyone else waits in line for whatever they can get. All the same people who ruined America’s health care system through government intervention will fight to make sure everyone is forced into a government plan. … There are too many short-term thinkers in the health care debate. It’s time for proponents of Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid to understand that they are anything but compassionate. They are dooming many Americans to second-rate health care.”

Twitter satirist @hale_razor: “Same folks who hate Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby because of the owners’ beliefs are totally cool with Starbucks pouring politics with our coffee.”

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