Holder in hot water yet again thanks to #Petraeus affair scandal

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Via Fox News:

Attorney General Eric Holder was notified in late summer that then-CIA Director David Petraeus’ name had surfaced in the FBI probe that ultimately uncovered Petraeus’ affair, raising questions about whether Holder would have — or should have — informed President Obama.

According to the administration’s version of events, the president did not find out about the situation until last Thursday. At the time that Holder was notified, months earlier, many details were still unknown. Petraeus himself was not interviewed until the fall. And according to one source, it is long-standing FBI policy for the FBI not to brief Congress or the White House in the middle of a criminal probe that does not involve a security threat.

However, several lawmakers and other officials say the mere fact that Petraeus was flagged in an investigation should have been reason enough to kick the issue up from the Justice Department to the White House.

“He was the director of the CIA, not Fish & Wildlife. The implications are massive,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told FoxNews.com in an email. Chaffetz said the heads of the House and Senate intelligence committees should have been looped in. “Notification should have also gone to the president — immediately,” Chaffetz said.

Top congressional lawmakers, including the leaders of key committees, have raised concerns that they weren’t notified earlier.

But John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under the George W. Bush administration, said the bigger question surrounds whether the White House was notified.

“The idea that the White House didn’t learn of this potential problem until Election Day, I just find incomprehensible. Did the attorney general sit on this information for two months?” he asked. Bolton said it raises the question “of whether the information was suppressed.”

The Justice Department declined to comment for this story.

And rest assured that they’ll continue to “decline comment” and stonewall on this as it relates to Congressional inquiries long as they can,  just like they have on the Benghazi murders.  Of course, the issues of the Broadwell/Petraeus affair and Benghazi intersect, and many of the questions Congress should have about both are similar in nature. Who knew what and when, and why was it kept from the public?

It’s interesting that in 2008, then-Senator Obama campaigned heavily on how he would preside over the most “open and accountable” administration in US history.  Notice how we didn’t hear much on that at all this campaign season.  No oft-repeated promises of  “transparency and responsibility” to the American people he has now been elected twice to lead.

And we know why most of the movers and shakers in this administration have not been very forthcoming with on-the-record answers, don’t we?  They weren’t BEFORE the election for obvious reasons.  But in the coming months, with the stress of an election year  and having to “stand by their guy”, perhaps a few brave souls will have the guts to speak out and the truth will once and for all be told.

I wouldn’t hold my breath on it, though.

Demand accountability now.  Contact your House rep and Senate reps and let them know how you feel.

Understanding #ObamaCare realities, and how states can push back

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When Speaker Boehner last week said in the aftermath of the election that ObamaCare was “the law of the land”, it made a lot of conservatives who have fought against the law since then-candidate Obama first proposed it when running for President very angry. And understandably so. Coming off a surprisingly lopsided defeat and still licking their wounds and wondering what the hell went wrong, acknowledging the reality that Congress can do very little about ObamaCare at this point outside of attempting to pick it apart here and there during budgeting negotiations was a bitter pill for many to swallow.

But while it does seem hopeless at this point that anything meaningful can be done against ObamaCare for the foreseeable future in Congress, what’s should be cause for optimism is the power of states to push back on it and push back hard, which would essentially force Congress to address the issue again – perhaps with the power of many of the nation’s Governors … and fed up citizens … supporting them. Cato’s director of health policy studies Michael F. Cannon explains:

President Obama has won reelection, and his administration has asked state officials to decide by Friday, November 16, whether their state will create one of Obamacare’s health-insurance “exchanges.” States also have to decide whether to implement the law’s massive expansion of Medicaid. The correct answer to both questions remains a resounding no.

State-created exchanges mean higher taxes, fewer jobs, and less protection of religious freedom. States are better off defaulting to a federal exchange. The Medicaid expansion is likewise too costly and risky a proposition. Republican Governors Association chairman Bob McDonnell (R.,Va.) agrees, and has announced that Virginia will implement neither provision.

There are many arguments against creating exchanges.

First, states are under no obligation to create one.

Second, operating an Obamacare exchange would be illegal in 14 states. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia have enacted either statutes or constitutional amendments (or both) forbidding state employees to participate in an essential exchange function: implementing Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates.

Third, each exchange would cost its state an estimated $10 million to $100 million per year, necessitating tax increases.

Fourth, the November 16 deadline is no more real than the “deadlines” for implementing REAL ID, which have been pushed back repeatedly since 2008.

Fifth, states can always create an exchange later if they choose.

[…]

Finally, rejecting an exchange reduces the federal deficit. Obamacare offers its deficit-financed subsidies to private health insurers only through state-created exchanges. If all states declined, federal deficits would fall by roughly $700 billion over ten years.

For similar reasons, states should decline to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. The Supreme Court gave states that option. All states should exercise it.

[…]

Now is not the time to go wobbly. Obamacare is still harmful and still unpopular. The presidential election was hardly a referendum, as it pitted the first person to enact Obamacare against the second person to enact it. Since the election, many state officials are reaffirming their opposition to both implementing exchanges and expanding Medicaid.

If enough states do so, Congress will have no choice but to reopen Obamacare. With a GOP-controlled House, opponents will be in a much stronger position than they were when this harmful law was enacted.

Make sure to read the whole thing. And keep your chins up. It ain’t over. Not by a long shot.