Hypocritical White House criticizes journos for use of anonymous sources


The two-faced nature of this administration continues.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest angered a lot of journalists at today’s press briefing over his comments regarding the anonymous sources of a story he was questioned on.  Via The Hill:

Complaints from White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Monday about anonymous news sources prompted a testy exchange with reporters who noted that administration officials regularly demand anonymity.

Earnest was asked about a Washington Post report charging that the administration ignored predictions last year from the Department of Homeland Security about the surge of unaccompanied minors who have flooded across the border in recent months.

ut the spokesman looked to challenge the report by arguing it was “based entirely on anonymous sources.” Earnest also offered a broader critique on the use of anonymous sourcing in a bid to challenge the credibility of the story.

“In the course of reporting, I think it’s important, based on my own personal view, for those kinds of quotes and those kinds of stories to be given greater weight than just anonymous sources,” Earnest said. “So, what that means is, if you have anonymous sources at the White House who are telling you something, and you’re gonna say to them — that anonymous source — ‘Look, I’m willing to give your side of the story a little less weight right now, because you’re telling me this anonymously.’ “

That prompted complaints from reporters who noted that the White House routinely insists on anonymity when unveiling new efforts.

“Would you guys commit then, when you have situations like today’s call, which is people specifically picked by the White House to roll out a policy of the White House, would you commit to have those people speak on the record?” asked Associated Press White House correspondent Julie Pace. “Because there doesn’t seem to be a reason to put them on background.”


“What I will commit to is a case-by-case evaluation of the background or the ground rules of each of these kinds of calls and a commitment to an open dialogue with you about the ground rules that will serve your interests and the White House interests the best,” Earnest said.

Make sure to click on the link above from The Hill to read how some Washington Post journos responded on Twitter to a particularly ridiculous criticism Earnest leveled at them about not sending anyone to the briefing to “defend themselves” on their border story published today.  It goes without saying that the write-up wasn’t exactly flattering to the administration, and for that – of course – journalists must be punished.  It’s the Chicago-on-the-Potomac way.

As always with this White House, it’s do as I say – not as I do.  “Transparency” you can believe in, and all that … 8-|

Why Obama will do nothing about the border crisis


**Posted by Phineas

"Y'all come!"

“Y’all come!”

Per Bryon York:

First, because Republicans want him to do something:

Who is pushing Obama to get tough? Mostly, it’s the Republicans whose wishes Obama has ignored for years. And now, since his well-publicized decision to abandon hopes of making a deal with GOP lawmakers on immigration, Obama needs them even less. It’s to his political benefit to oppose them, not to do their bidding.

Second, because Democrats back him:

…the Democrats, who don’t strongly oppose action on the border but want the president to go forward only if Republicans will agree to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Without a grand bargain, these Democrats are not terribly bothered by Obama’s handling of the crisis. While a few border state Democrats like Reps. Henry Cuellar and Ron Barber express reservations about Obama’s performance, most won’t give the president any trouble.

Third, because the progressive media is cheering him on:

Next is the liberal commentariat, which supports Obama so strongly in this matter that it is actually pushing back against the idea that the border crisis is a crisis at all. “The besieged border is a myth,” the New York Times editorial page declared on Sunday. “Republicans are … stoking panic about a border under assault.”

And, finally, because Obama himself is simpatico with immigration “activists:”

Finally, there are the immigration activists who don’t want Obama to do anything that involves returning the immigrants to their home countries. “We’re in the midst of a humanitarian crisis affecting kids fleeing gang violence, extortion and rape,” Frank Sharry, of the immigration group America’s Voice, said recently. It is Obama’s responsibility, Sherry added, to find a way to settle “thousands of child refugees.”

Obama recently met with a group of those advocates. One of them later told the Washington Post that the president said to them, “In another life, I’d be on the other side of the table.” By that Obama meant that in his old days as a community organizer, pressing for the “refugee” rights would be just the sort of thing he would do.

In other words, all the incentives encourage him to ignore national interests and instead be true to his nature. He doesn’t have to worry ever again about reelection, and, if the Democrats are going to take a drubbing in the midterms, anyway, why not make his Leftist base happy?

There are those who argue that Obama’s actions have to be the result of incompetence, that no one would willingly do something so obviously self-destructive to their political fortunes. See, for example, Andrew Klavan’s essay at PJM, “Is Obama just a hapless putz?”, in which he argues that Cloward-Piven is an “idiot’s strategy.”

Perhaps, but one can still be idiotic enough to try it, with all the harmful effects that would follow.

Having read extensively on Obama’s political background, especially Kurtz’s crucial work, “Radical in Chief,” I’m not at all convinced that he cares about the fortunes of the Democratic Party (let alone the nation, or, frankly, those kids on the border), that he isn’t indeed willing to take a political hit in order to achieve what he and his leftist allies hope will be irreversible change. As with Obamacare, so with immigration. Whether Obama and his administration intended for this crisis on the border to occur, they’re quite happy to take advantage of it.

From his point of view, all the incentives work that way.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Caption This: Hillary Clinton & Rahm Emanuel embrace in Chicago

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rahm Emanuel

Former Sec. of State Hillary Rodham Clinton embraces Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during an appearance to promote her new book, Weds., June 11, 2014, in Chicago.(AP Photo/Stacy Thacker)

The story – via the Politico:

Two decades ago, Rahm Emanuel was an accomplished and ambitious Clinton White House aide, whose cocksure style outpaced his judgment and maturity. Hillary Clinton, leery of that persona, tried to have him fired early on.

But on Wednesday, the two took the stage together for an interview, led by Emanuel, as Clinton embarks on the second leg of her promotional tour for her new book, “Hard Choices,” which is widely seen as a kickoff to another presidential campaign.

Emanuel, now Chicago’s mayor, gave Clinton a big hug at the outset. Despite reports that he had mused to some Washington Democrats last year about running for president in 2016 if Clinton took a pass, he’s endorsed her potential candidacy through the super PAC “Ready for Hillary.”

Before they settled into their seats, Clinton told the crowd that she goes “back a long way with the mayor,” and nodded to his reputation as an aggressive, energetic operator: “If ever there’s a blackout in Chicago, have Rahm hold some kind of cable and it would start to electrify again.”


Yet any tensions between the two are clearly in the past; there were genuine signs of warmth between them on Wednesday. Emanuel noted they were sitting on the stage of a ballet company, but said that it had never been “graced” so well as it was with Clinton.

Sounds like the sugar was so sweet on this leg of her book promo tour that you couldn’t even cut it with a knife. And speaking of knives, anyone doubt Rahmbo is angling for another turn as a “senior” adviser to another Clinton in the White House?  My stomach suddenly feels queasy …

Foreign Service officers revolt against lousy Obama appointees


**Posted by Phineas



In the Catholic Church, the sin was called “simony,” the buying and selling of sacred offices, such as bishoprics. The practice was one of the abuses that lead to the Reformation. Now Foreign Service officers are rising against a secular simony, the Obama administration’s appointment of unqualified ambassadors who also happen to be big campaign donors:

After a string of rocky confirmation hearings for President Obama’s diplomatic nominees, the group representing America’s Foreign Service professionals signaled Friday that it’s had enough.

The organization, in a major rebuke, is now urging that the White House set minimum qualification standards for its ambassadorial nominees.

“The topic of the qualifications of ambassadorial nominees is of great interest to AFSA’s membership,” The American Foreign Service Association said in a statement. “All Americans have a vested interest in ensuring that we have the most effective leaders and managers of U.S. embassies and missions advancing U.S. interests around the globe.”

The American Foreign Service Association has long argued that ambassadorial nominees should, for the most part, come from the ranks of career professionals — as opposed to the ranks of top-dollar political donors. But the organization is taking its concerns to a new level, announcing Friday that it will propose new guidelines for “the necessary qualifications and qualities” for diplomatic candidates.

The statement said the group has been “closely monitoring” recent confirmation hearings.

AFSA has good reason to be upset. Administrations have typically operated under a 70-30 rule, under which political appointees (as opposed to professionals) were kept to around thirty percent of the available posts. Some went a little higher, others a little lower. The Obama administration, on the other hand, has broken all records: per AFSA, fully 53% of all appointees have been political, the trend rocketing during the second term.

If they were qualified, the practice would contemptible and venal, but tolerable. But many of these appointees are spectacularly unqualified:

  • Senator Max Baucus, appointed to represent us in China, admitted he was “no real expert” on China. This is the same China that holds most of our debt and is a growing military rival in the Pacific. The only reason Team Smart Power yanked him out of the Senate (from which he was retiring) was to try to save the seat for the Democrats in the coming midterms.
  • Hotelier and mega-bundler George Tsunis was so ignorant of of Norway, to which he had been appointed, that he managed to offend the Norwegian government at his confirmation hearing.
  • Noah Mamet, another bundler, admitted under questioning that he’s never been to Argentina, one of the most important countries in South America and which appears to be heading into a crisis. Maybe they should have asked if he could find it on a map.
  • And Colleen Bell, an Obama bundler and soap opera producer appointed to be our ambassador to Hungary, a nation whose democratic institutions are under attack by rising fascism, couldn’t describe our strategic interests in this NATO ally. Senator McCain utterly humiliated her in her hearing.

AFSA, which is not a union per se and has traditionally kept a low profile, is making the unprecedented demand that ambassadorial appointments meet some minimum qualifications. One would think this would already be true, but not apparently in Chicago-on-the-Potomac.

What’s next? Appointing Obama’s favorite horse?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Oh, gee. Another illegal #Obamacare delay by King Barack I


**Posted by Phineas

"My will is enough!"

“We have a pen and a phone!”

Legal dictionaries define the word “usurpation” thus:

The illegal encroachment or assumption of the use of authority, power, or property properly belonging to another; the interruption or disturbance of an individual in his or her right or possession.

The term usurpation is also used in reference to the unlawful assumption or seizure of sovereign power, in derogation of the constitution and rights of the proper ruler.

–West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

In which case, what are we to make of this news:

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it was again extending the ObamaCare enrollment deadline for people with pre-existing conditions.

The administration said it would extend the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP), slated to end Jan. 31, until March 15.

“As part of our continuing effort to help smooth consumers’ transition into Marketplace coverage, we are allowing those covered by PCIP additional time to shop for new coverage while they receive the ongoing care and treatment they need,” Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in a statement.

The deadline was originally at the end of December, but last month, the administration pushed it back through January because of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov.

The new extension is just the latest in a string of unilateral delays the administration has implemented to buy time after the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.

By “unilateral,” the author means “done without any statutory authority from Congress, the body charged under the constitution with writing and rewriting our laws.”

Or, in a word, “usurpation.”

But that’s not the only one (hat tip ST):

Republicans renewed their calls to delay or repeal ObamaCare Monday after the Obama administration announced another delay in the requirement for businesses to provide health coverage to workers, giving some employers a reprieve next year while phasing in the mandate for others.

The administration had already delayed the implementation of the so-called employer mandate by a year, initially pushing the requirements off until 2015 — past the midterm elections. In a concession to business, though, Treasury Department officials announced Monday that the administration would not enforce the rules across the board next year.


As a result of the delay, the administration will let employers with 50 to 99 employees off the hook in 2015. They’ll be required to report on how many workers are covered but will have until 2016 before being required to cover full-time staff or pay a penalty. Americans would still be required to obtain health insurance through what’s known as the individual mandate.

In other words, they’re giving a break to some employers, but not others, with, again, no legal authority to do so. This isn’t “prosecutorial discretion,” as the administration has tried sometimes to claim, but the seizure of legislative authority by the Executive to effectively rewrite an inconvenient law.


And, in the same article, Gabriel Malor found this gem:


To answer Gabe’s question, I’m willing to bet one could look high and low in the ACA and never find the authority.

But think about that highlighted portion and what follows: the Treasury, an executive department under the presidency, is unilaterally creating a criminal offense, a felony. Legislature? They don’t need no steenkin’ legislature! They’ll just rewrite the law as they see fit and then declare it a crime not to obey. (1)

To usurpation, then, let’s add “tyranny:”

a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler; especially :  one characteristic of an ancient Greek city-state.

“Tyranny” and “usurpation” have a much more meaningful ring to them than “overreach,” don’t you think? Why, I can hear Jefferson sharpening his pen, even now.

Under our Madisonian system, institutional jealousy is supposed to keep the various branches from encroaching on each other’s constitutional prerogatives, but, for various reasons, those barriers eroded over the last century, especially since the New Deal.

The remedies Congress has for these usurpations are few and clumsy, the two most relevant being the refusal to allocate funds, and impeachment. So why not impeach President Obama?

Like Andrew McCarthy, while I’m convinced impeachment is well-warranted, I don’t believe the necessary political will among the public yet exists to carry it out. (2) In fact, I contend that the resulting political crisis, given that the Senate would never convict absent direct evidence that Obama ax-murdered someone in the Oval Office, wouldn’t be worth the destruction of Republicans’ electoral prospects in the coming midterm elections, which, thanks to Obamacare, are looking better and better. With control of both chambers starting in 2015 (3), Republicans and conservatives will be in a much better position to geld the White House and send Obama even more often to the links.

And that’s the real solution to Obama’s usurpations and petty tyrannies: a good, old-fashioned election. As Clint Eastwood said, “We own this country.” It’s time for the owners to take charge.

PS: Some relevant humor from Slublog.


RELATED: Obamacare and the corruption of the rule of law. Yuval Levin on the “Adhocracy.”

(1) God, but I’d love to see this tested in federal court and watch a judge shove this back in the administration’s face like a grapefruit wielded by Jimmy Cagney.
(2) This was the big mistake of the Clinton impeachment, which was also merited: Clinton was well-liked by the public, and so the public consensus did not exist that would otherwise have pressured senators into convicting him. A drastic move like this in a republic requires public support a priori to be successful.
(3) I hope.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

It is good to be King, isn’t it, @BarackObama?


**Posted by Phineas

"My will is enough!"

“Divine right”

Especially when you can use public money to give your (estranged?) (1) Queen her birthday gift:

Via Twitchy.

Some background from Bridget Johnson:

President Obama flew back from his holiday Hawaii break yesterday with daughters Sasha and Malia in tow, but without the first lady.

Michelle Obama stayed behind in Hawaii. According to the White House, “As part of her birthday gift from the President, the First Lady will remain in Hawaii to spend time with friends ahead of her upcoming 50th birthday.”


According to the White House pool reports filed over the holiday break, President Obama would meet up with his wife for dinner but spent much of the vacation alone at the gym or with friends for many, many marathon hours of golf.

Trouble in the Royal Chamber? Anyone know what Vera Baker is doing these days?

PS: Sure, their private life is their business, and I’d be happy to keep it that way if their side didn’t feel so free to break that rule when the subject is on the Right. Besides, divorce rumors have swirled around those two, before. In the end, though, what burns me is the arrogant use of public money to buy a gift for Michelle. I can understand the need for security, hence no traveling on public airlines, but you can at least reimburse the country the cost of the fuel, Mr. President. (2)

(1) Yeah, it’s the Enquirer. But they have a better track record than their common reputation would suggest. As Bridget points out, they nailed John Edwards and Jesse Jackson’s affairs.
(2) That’s “Mr. President,” not “Your Majesty.” I do think he has trouble remembering the difference.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Sure it’s a coincidence: two critics of #Obamacare audited by IRS


**Posted by Phineas

"Your MEA shop steward"

“Your Obamacare attitude adjuster”

Hey, remember when President Obama told his followers to punch back against their enemies “twice as hard?” Or when he joked about setting the IRS on his critics?

Maybe it’s not such a joke. Via Mark Steyn:

A couple of weeks back, cancer patient Bill Elliot, in a defiant appearance on Fox News, discussed the cancelation of his insurance and what he intended to do about it. He’s now being audited.

Insurance agent C Steven Tucker, who quaintly insists that the whimsies of the hyper-regulatory bureaucracy do not trump your legal rights, saw the interview and reached out to Mr Elliot to help him. And he’s now being audited.

You’d think, after the public uproar over the revelations about the IRS harassing Americans for their political beliefs, that the agency and the administration would be wary of anything that resembled using the tax service as political weapon.

But that isn’t the Chicago Way.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Obamacare fraud: enrollee count as legitimate as Chicago voter rolls


**Posted by Phineas

tarot magician card fraud trickster


Seriously, if Amazon had done something like this, the Department of Justice and the SEC would be on their backs faster than you could say “indictment:”

The fight over how to define the new health law’s success is coming down to one question: Who counts as an Obamacare enrollee?

Health insurance plans only count subscribers as enrolled in a health plan once they’ve submited a payment. That is when the carrier sends out a member card and begins paying doctor bills.

When the Obama administration releases health law enrollment figures later this week, though, it will use a more expansive definition. It will count people who have purchased a plan as well as those who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid.

“In the data that will be released this week, ‘enrollment’ will measure people who have filled out an application and selected a qualified health plan in the marketplace,” said an administration official, who requested anonymity to frankly describe the methodology.

The disparity in the numbers is likely to further inflame the political fight over the Affordable Care Act. Each side could choose a number to make the case that the health law is making progress or failing miserably.

What Ezra Klein, the article’s author and an administration apologist, Sarah Kliff, the Post article’s author, isn’t saying is that the administration’s “methodology” is nothing more than obfuscation, a con meant to create a “he said, she said” game that distracts from Obamacare’s indisputably miserable enrollment numbers.

This is as if Amazon had counted every item placed in a wish list or shopping cart as an “item sold,” even if the purchase were never completed. Investors seeing the government’s explanation buried in the footnotes of a quarterly report would rightly scream for the directors’ heads. It is rank fraud meant to make a failure look less bad (there’s no way they can make it look good), though it isn’t surprising coming from the White House that brought us “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

The willingness of the Obama administration to deceive the American people is just breathtaking. It really is “Chicago on the Potomac.”

UPDATE: For some reason, I had it stuck in my mind that Ezra Klein wrote the article. Now corrected.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Democrat city council of Annapolis plots coup d’etat against Republican mayor. Updated


**Posted by Phineas

"The people have voted! So what?"

“The people have voted! So what?”

Democrats love democracy, except when the people vote for a Republican:

Days after a Republican was elected mayor of Annapolis, City Council members say they will revisit legislation that would strip the mayor’s office of much of its power.

Democratic Alderman Ross Arnett of Ward 8 tells The Capital he will introduce a charter amendment to move Annapolis to a council-manager style of government. The city manager would report directly to the City Council, not the mayor.

A Republican hadn’t been elected mayor since 1997; apparently, the prospect of Mike Pantelides (R) finally winning against the incumbent (D) was just too much for the poor dears on the council, so they’re going to save the people from themselves.

Now, I don’t know Annapolis politics, so maybe –just maybe– the council has a good reason for making this extraordinary move against the popular will. Perhaps Pantelides is corrupt? Maybe he’s another Bob Filner? What could be so horrible that the good Democrats on the council must take such stern measures?

Doing a little research, I went to Pantelides’ campaign site to see what I could learn. And the truth, my friends, was terrifying. From his “issues” page, the monster Pantelides advocates:

The Pantelides Plan:

No new taxes
Immediate Freeze on hiring
Meet with Department Heads and require them to justify each line, item by item in their budget
Streamline city government through consolidation of departments
Explore merging services such as transportation and waste removal with Anne Arundel County
Removing wasteful spending from budget that is not specifically spent to better our city and people

The horror. Hide your children’s eyes!

I can see what likely truly upset the Democrats: Pantelides would cut into their patronage jobs and crony contracts, all the name of saving the taxpayers of Annapolis some money and giving them a more efficient city administration.

How dare he??

But, don’t worry. The Democratic city council is there to save the day, ready to strip the mayor of his powers and render his office meaningless.

Just like the people’s votes.

PS: It just occurred to me that Annapolis is home to our Naval Academy, where future officers sworn to defend freedom of the seas and our liberty are educated. The irony is palpable.

PPS: Of course, the council is showing restraint. They, at least, are going to hold a vote, unlike the Democrats of Wilmington, NC, who launched the only violent coup in US history in 1898 against a Republican-Populist city administration that dared include Black officials. Stealing power seems rather to be a tradition with them, it seems.

via reader Lance

UPDATE: Frontline State, a conservative blog and news site in Maryland, cautions that this may not be as naked a political move as it seems at first glance. The question, as editor Jim Jamitis points out, will be to see who jumps on the bandwagon.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Obamacare web site contract a “crony contract?”


**Posted by Phineas

satire friends cronies

“Friends helping friends?”

File this under “Things that make you say ‘Hmmm…'”

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.

Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

There is another strange item: at the company’s insistence, the Caller included the fact that a CGI executive testified before Congress that four unnamed companies had submitted bids. But, since CGI Federal’s was the only bid considered, this at first glance seems even more… “odd.” Why would they want to draw attention to evidence of special treatment?

The Daily Caller article provides no more evidence of any particular friendship or close connection between Michelle Obama and Toni Townes, but, given what we all know about the administration’s history of cronyism and Michelle Obama’s own involvement in patient-dumping scheme, this is worthy of note and further investigation.

Like I said, “hmmm…”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)