Continuing in the predictably dishonest fashion of Obama press secretaries before him, Josh Earnest went on CNN’s Reliable Sources yesterday and said he “absolutely” stood by the White House’s continued claims of being “the most transparent administration in history”:
The White House on Sunday stood by President Obama’s position that he continues to be the most transparent president in U.S. history, despite widespread complaints from journalists and other Americans about a lack of information or apparent misinformation.
“I have a responsibility in this job to try to help the president live up to his commitment to be the most transparent president in history,” new White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
Earnest said he “absolutely, absolutely” sticks by Obama’s line about having the most transparent administration, after continued criticism about apparent attempts to not make full disclosures.
Among the criticisms are that the president and his administration misled Americans by telling them they could keep their existing health insurance plans under ObamaCare, intentionally tried to conceal what sparked the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans were killed and prosecuted federal employees who should have been protected under the whistleblower protection act.
Last week, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Poynter Institute and others sent a letter to Obama complaining about the lack of access to information from federal agencies, citing several recent examples.
Hmm. Well, I would agree this has been the “most transparent administration in history”, except it’s a sure bet that Earnest and the rest of ObamaCo have a vastly different definition of “transparent” than mine. You see, “transparent” in this particular situation to me equates to “seeing right through your misrepresentations and lies to your true intentions.” Earnest’s, I suspect, is something else entirely ….
**Posted by Phineas
Man, this guy makes me ill:
Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday he and President Obama have been targets of “a racial animus” by some of the administration’s political opponents.
“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder told ABC. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.”
Holder said the nation is in “a fundamentally better place than we were 50 years ago.”
“We’ve made lots of progress,” he said. “I sit here as the first African-American attorney general, serving the first African-American president of the United States. And that has to show that we have made a great deal of progress.
“But there’s still more we have to travel along this road so we get to the place that is consistent with our founding ideals,” he said.
Eric Holder wouldn’t recognize our “founding ideals” even if they walked up to him and gave him a big wet kiss.
It’s gracious of him to admit we’ve made a lot of progress since the days of slavery and Jim Crow, both of which his party once fought to defend, but it would be nice if he would allow that administration opponents could themselves have good motives. And I’m not letting get away with that weaselly qualification “some,” as if he really believes that “just a few” are racist toward he and the president.
No, to a racialist ideologue like Eric Holder, that we may strongly disapprove of Obama’s policies and actions can’t be due to his and his administration’s leftist philosophy, redistributionist politics, rampant corruption, lack of respect for the American settlement, and overall incompetence. No, it has to be due to the fact that we don’t like a Black man in the White House.
I guess all those years in the late 90s when I backed Colin Powell for president was just a clever disguise on my part.
This, sadly, is what we can expect from the Left, who assume they have the course of History figured out and are therefore both smarter and morally superior to the rest of us. It’s an assumption of self-righteousness, a certainty that, since “we” know the right answers, strong opposition or serious difference of opinion is illegitimate. No principle, no reason, no empirical evidence could be behind it: it has to be racism.
Well, screw you, Mr. Attorney General. Take your racialist condescension and shove it.
PS: I really like being lectured by a guy whose underlings ran guns to violent drug cartels in Mexico, who ignores obvious voter intimidation when the victims are White, who refuses to enforce laws he dislikes and encourages state attorney generals to do the same, but does decide to investigate a satirical parade float, free speech be damned.
PPS: If you want to know more about the worst Attorney General since John Mitchell or even A. Mitchell Palmer, let me recommend two books: J. Christian Adams’ “Injustice,” and “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric holder’s Justice Department,“ by John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky. If these don’t leave steam coming out your ears, there’s something wrong.
via Rick Moran
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Posted by Phineas
So, I’m enjoying a quiet morning and reading an article on the reactions of the various candidates for the US Senate from Alaska to the Hobby Lobby decision, when I come across this howler from the incumbent, Mark Begich:
“I believe people, not corporations, have a right to practice their constitutional right to freedom of religion, but not at the expense of others,” said Begich.
It’s tough to decide whether Senator Begich, whose seat is not secure, is just ignorant of what the Supreme Court decided, the Constitution, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or if he’s a desperate hack just reciting DNC talking points. Of course, both could be true. But the key to that quote above is the senator’s odd belief that, upon forming a corporation, individuals somehow give up their natural rights.
Senator Begich, meet the First Amendment. First Amendment, meet Senator Begich:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The right to peaceably assemble has been held to include the right to freely associate. See, for example, NAACP v. Alabama (1958), which held, in effect, that individuals do not give up their rights when they form an association (1). And a corporation is an association of individuals with rights and inherits those rights:
Corporations have rights because natural persons have rights. It is sometimes said that corporations are “creations of the state,” but that’s not really true. Corporations are created by people — they are merely recognized by the state.
To deny the rights of a “legal person,” such as a corporation, is no different than denying those rights to the individuals who own that corporation. Perhaps the newspaper editors of Senator Begich’s home state would like to ask him if their papers, in his view, lack the rights of free speech and freedom of the press, also recognized by the First Amendment, simply because they’re incorporated businesses. The answer should be interesting.
(1) In short, the state of Alabama demanded the NAACP surrender its membership lists. The NAACP argued –correctly, given the times– that this loss of their members’ privacy would have a chilling affect on their members rights of free speech and free association.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
Muffie has her yearly veterinarian appointment this morning (fun fun!), and I have some other errands to run after that. Hope everyone has a gorgeous Saturday!
The room definitely just got hotter for Democrats hoping this scandal will just go away. Via Fox News:
A federal judge has ordered the IRS to explain “under oath” how the agency lost a trove of emails from the official at the heart of the Tea Party targeting scandal.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan gave the tax agency 30 days to file a declaration by an “appropriate official” to address the computer issues with ex-official Lois Lerner.
The decision came Thursday as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which along with GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill has questioned how the IRS lost the emails and, in some cases, had no apparent way to retrieve them.
The IRS first acknowledged it lost the emails in a letter to senators last month.
“In our view, there has been a cover-up that has been going on,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The Department of Justice, the IRS, had an obligation, an absolute obligation … to alert the court and alert Judicial Watch as soon as they knew when these records were supposedly lost.”
The IRS says it lost the emails in 2011 when Lerner’s computer crashed. At the time, Lerner headed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. She has since retired.
During the court hearing, Sullivan indicated he wanted the portion of the declaration on the computer issues to be wide-ranging, saying “that’s about as broad as I can make it.”
It also emerged at the status hearing that a Treasury Department inspector general probe into the matter is underway.
In related news, Hot Air’s Noah Rothman filed this report on new claims being made by Lerner’s attorney:
On Wednesday, former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner’s attorney changed his tune on just how lost those two years’ worth of emails actually were. Lerner’s lawyer, William Taylor II, said that Lerner had printed out some emails in order to comply with records-keeping laws. He had previously said that Lerner did not print and file her email communications because she was unaware that she was required to do so.
“During her tenure as Director of Exempt Organizations, she did print out some emails, although not every one of the thousands she sent and received,” Taylor said in a statement.
In an exchange with Politico, Taylor quibbled over whether or not he had misled that news organization when he told them that Lerner did not print out any emails.
“Your question was whether she printed out ‘official records’ and filed them. I am not saying she did that,” Taylor wrote to Politico reporters. That presumes a level of scrutiny and process over every email that did not occur.”
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before Congress that it was his understanding that Lerner had printed out her emails as required by the Federal Records Act. Later, however, Koskinen testified that Lerner may not have printed out her emails because she “did not think it was required.”
Sigh. So many conflicting stores from the mouths of the accused. I wonder if we’ll ever get to the truth?
(Hat tip: Memeorandum)
DENVER — In what may come as a surprise to residents of Colorado Springs and Pueblo, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t think those cities have roads.
Bloomberg told Rolling Stone that he was “sorry” about the recalls of two state senators last year over the Democratic state legislature’s gun-control laws, but added that their districts were so “rural” that, “I don’t think there’s roads.”
“In Colorado, we got a law passed. The NRA went after two or three state senators in a part of Colorado where I don’t think there’s roads,” said Bloomberg in the interview published online Wednesday.
“It’s as far rural as you can get,” said Bloomberg. “And, yes, they lost recall elections. I’m sorry for that. We tried to help ‘em. But the bottom line is, the law is on the books, and being enforced. You can get depressed about the progress, but on the other hand, you’re saving a lot of lives.”
That interview is no longer available on the Rolling Stone website, but the Colorado Republican Party discovered the quote about Colorado before it was taken down. [Note from ST: Wonder why it was taken down? Hmm.]
Colorado Republicans were floored by the comments.
“Michael Bloomberg is absolutely out of touch with the values of Pueblo,” said state Sen. George Rivera (R-Pueblo). “In Pueblo, we value our Second Amendment rights and we don’t appreciate East Coast elites stereotyping us as some area so remote that we don’t even have roads.”
Rivera was elected to the state Senate in the Sept. 10 recall election that resulted in the ouster of state Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo).
“Pueblo is a proud city composed of proud people from all different walks of life, and, while it might be hard for a New York billionaire to comprehend, we do in fact have roads and running water,” said Rivera in a statement. “I promise the people of Pueblo I will never sit idly by as outsiders insult our outstanding community.”
Denver’s KDVR has more:
The successful recalls last September occurred in Colorado Springs, the state’s second largest city, and Pueblo, its seventh largest.
The gun laws did trigger a secession movement by 11 rural northeastern Colorado counties as well, something Bloomberg may have conflated with the recall efforts.
But for Colorado Republicans eager for any chance to remind voters of Bloomberg’s influence on their Democratic governor , the comments are an election year gift.
“Just for the record, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Jefferson County all have roads. I just traveled them,” said Bob Beauprez, Hickenlooper’s GOP challenger. “Michael Bloomberg’s infuriatingly ignorant remarks show how far removed he is from Colorado, and how wrong John Hickenlooper was to let Bloomberg force his radical agenda on Colorado.
“It’s pathetic a New York City Mayor had more influence in our governor’s office than our state’s sheriffs.”
Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call added: “This is what one of Sen. Udall and Gov. Hickenlooper’s top supporters thinks of Colorado.
“It’s astonishing that Gov. Hickenlooper would discuss important legislation with Mayor Bloomberg, who obviously doesn’t respect or understand the people of our great state, but refused to speak to Colorado sheriffs. No wonder the governor lied to our state’s sheriffs, instead of admitting that he spoke to Mayor Bloomberg on multiple occasions.”
Ouch! Sounds like the former NYC mayor and leader of the nanny state movement has gotten on the bad side of Colorado Republicans, to say the least. Talk about am election-year gift!
Sidenote: Let’s just imagine for five seconds the nationwide purple-faced outrage that would have ensued from this had it been, say, Mitt Romney who made the condescending comments. As usual with Democrats, the double standard is alive and well …
**Posted by Phineas
Photo credit: PressTV
For the last three days, Israel has been launching air raids against Hamas targets in Gaza in retaliation for the murder of three Israeli teens (one an American citizen) and the hundreds of rockets fired at Israelis towns and cities — and at a nuclear plant. (1)
But Hamas isn’t the sole target of these attacks. Writing at National Review, analyst Tom Rogan points out that Iran and its increasingly likely acquisition of nuclear weapons, and the destabilizing consequences of that for the region, are very much on Jerusalem’s mind, even as they battle Hamas. And so the heavy air assaults on Gaza are also a message to Tehran:
Meeting Hamas and [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] rocket teams with decisive force, Netanyahu hopes to signal Israel’s unwillingness to cede its traditional security supremacy. This intent is encapsulated in Israel’s mobilization of ground-force deployments: Netanyahu seems determined to take major risks in pursuit of grand strategic objectives (in this case, the military dismemberment of Hamas). Nevertheless, Israeli operations in Gaza aren’t solely about damaging Hamas. They’re also about broadcasting specific capabilities. In this regard, the scale of Israel Defense Forces air sorties in Gaza has been notable. Advertising its conducting of hundreds of missions each night, the IDF is demonstrating its capability for large-scale operations: the kind of air campaign necessary to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Here, Netanyahu wants Iran to understand his willingness to gamble — even at potentially high cost. By extension, Netanyahu is also warning U.S., European, and Russian diplomats that he won’t accept any deal with Iran that he regards as weak.
It would be much better for the region and the world if this message were sent in conjunction with American and European efforts to encourage and support the opposition to the mullahcracy, a brittle, vulnerable regime that fears its own people. What worked against the Soviet empire –a clear willingness to defend oneself coupled with measures to support dissidents– would surely work here.
But, as our foreign policy under Obama is a feckless wreck that sees a diminution of American power as something desirable, while administration officials simultaneously urge restraint on Israel and praise allies of Hamas, Prime Minister Netanyahu is left on his own to make sure Ayatollah Khamenei gets the message loud and clear:
“Don’t push us.”
PS: Yes, a Palestinian teen was murdered, probably in retaliation for the killing of the three Jewish teens. But note the difference: the evening of the day the boy’s body was found, Netanyahu was publicly denouncing the killing and calling for a swift investigation. Six Jewish Israelis have been arrested as suspects, and the nation is horrified. What was the reaction in Hamas-controlled Gaza to the kidnapping of the three Jewish teens? People handed out candy in celebration. You tell me who the real savages are.
(1) Unbelievably idiotic. Last I checked, radioactive fallout didn’t discriminate between Muslim and Jew.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)