October 8, 2015

Right flexes muscle ahead of Speaker vote

The conservative House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday endorsed little-known Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) for Speaker  — a bold move that raises serious doubts about whether Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy can cobble together the 218 votes on the House floor he needs to be promoted.
McCarthy, a five-term California Republican, is expected to easily win the nomination when House Republicans huddle at noon Thursday to pick a successor to outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
But the true test will come Oct. 29, when the House holds a public roll call vote to formally elect the next Speaker.
The Freedom Caucus, led by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), holds enough votes to essentially veto a McCarthy Speakership, though it’s unclear whether all members would cast their ballots the same way.
No one can be elected Speaker unless they win 218 votes. 
“I think he’s over the 200 hump, but that’s not the hump,” said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), a McCarthy backer who acknowledged the leader still has a steep climb.

October 7, 2015

Candidates For House Speaker Make Pitches To Conservative Lawmakers

The three Republicans running to replace John Boehner as speaker of the House met behind closed doors Tuesday evening with conservative members to make their pitches.
The candidates — Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Florida Rep. Daniel Webster — separately addressed the group of about 50 to 60 conservative lawmakers at the Capitol Hill Club near the House office buildings.
“We’re still an underdog,” Chaffetz told reporters as he made his way into the meeting with his wife at his side. “I get that. But we’re going to give it a go.”
“There are a lot of members who feel disaffected, and I think they need to see some serious process reform,” he added. “If we can get the process better, than I think we can get more buy in to the end product.”
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October 6, 2015

White House Says Obama Is Considering Executive Action On Guns

The White House is considering whether President Obama can take executive action to enforce stronger gun control measures, White House spokesman Joshua Earnest said on Monday.
“The president has frequently pushed his team to consider a range of executive actions that could more effectively keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others who shouldn’t have access to them,” Earnest said Monday. “That’s something that is ongoing here.” 

Earnest was responding to questions from reporters following Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she would consider executive action to expand background checks on gun buyers by closing the so-called gun show loophole.
Clinton’s move marks the second time she has said she will consider going farther than the Obama administration by taking unilateral action on hot-button issues. She has already said that she would expand on Obama’s unilteral actions granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens if Congress fails to pass immigration reform.
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October 5, 2015

Supreme Court season of turmoil

Just three months ago, the Supreme Court ended its annual term with three of the most explosive cases in recent memory. It almost always ends its year with a bang, having saved its most controversial, deeply divided cases for last.
But this year, the cases decided in late June were even more contentious and politically heated than usual.
First, a six-justice majority, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, affirmed the Obama administration's interpretation of the Affordable Care Act. Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting from the decision, accused the majority of "rewrit[ing]" the act. He added, "[W]e should start calling this law SCOTUScare."
The next day, a five-justice majority, led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, announced a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Roberts, this time in dissent, disagreed with the majority's expansive notion of constitutional liberty. "If you are among the many Americans, of whatever sexual orientation, who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today's decision. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."

October 2, 2015

Republicans Criticize McCarthy Over Benghazi Remarks

Top House Republicans criticized Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s remarks about how the Benghazi Committee’s investigations have helped drive down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers Tuesday night.
Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie told reporters Wednesday he believes most of the credit for the Benghazi investigation should be given to Tom Fitton at Judicial Watch and that the comment “diminishes chairman Gowdy’s work.”
“Everything that I have seen has come from Freedom of Information Act requests that [Fitton] submitted,” Massie said. “Moving beyond that, I think Leader McCarthy needs to re-read the job description of speaker of the House, if he thinks it’s to bring hearings to denigrate Democrats that are running for president.”
McCarthy is the current favorite to replace outgoing House Speaker John Boehner. Massie has previously warned against replacing Boehner with his “right-hand man” McCarthy.
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October 1, 2015

Watchdog confirms Secret Service leaked private info on Chaffetz

The Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General released a report Wednesday confirming that the Secret Service improperly handled the personal information of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.
Chaffetz is now the chair of the House Oversight Committee, which is investigating the conduct of the Secret Service for unrelated scandals. But in 2003, he applied for a job at the Secret Service, and the IG confirmed that this information was examined by dozens of current Secret Service employees.
The IG said the leak was large, and that 45 employees accessed the application, when at most, that number should have been four.
"At least one senior Secret Service executive, who knew about the fact of the Chaffetz application, suggested that it be leaked," the report said. The action of this senior Secret Secret executive, Edward Lowery III, appears to violate the federal Privacy Act.

September 30, 2015

Conservatives to flex muscles in House leadership races

The most conservative faction of House Republicans plans to unify behind a single candidate for House speaker, a move they say will increase their leverage in the election to succeed John Boehner when he resigns next month.
"Clearly, conservatives are in the driver's seat," Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., told the Washington Examiner. "We are working together. I presume we'll be voting together."
Huelskamp, along with a few dozen other GOP lawmakers, belong to the newly formed House Freedom Caucus, which espouses the conservative political philosophy of the Tea Party movement that got many of them elected to Congress.
Members of that group admit they do not wield enough influence for one of their own members to win the speaker's gavel, which will require 218 GOP votes. But their bloc is large enough to potentially stop House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the frontrunner to succeed Boehner.

September 29, 2015

Pope’s World and the Real World

Pope Francis’s four-day visit to the United States was by any measure a personal and political triumph.

The crowds were immense, and coverage of the Holy Father on television and in the print press swamped the state visit of Xi Jinping, the leader of the world’s second-greatest power.

But how enduring, and how relevant, was the pope’s celebration of diversity, multiculturalism, inclusiveness, open borders, and a world of forgiveness, peace, harmony and love is another question.

The day the pope departed Philadelphia, 48 percent of Catalonia, in a record turnout of 78 percent, voted to deliver a parliamentary majority to two parties that advocate seceding from Spain.

Like the Scots in Britain, the Walloons in Belgium and the Italians of Veneto, they want to live apart, not together.

While the pope called on America and Europe to welcome the migrant millions of the Third World, Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, whose diocese stretches across the southern reaches of Catholic Hungary, says of those pouring into Europe: “They’re not refugees. This is an invasion. They come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They want to take over.”

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September 28, 2015

Whistleblower Fired And Barred From VA Facility Which Allegedly Torches Bagfuls Of Loose Drugs

A pharmacist who was fired from a VA medical facility earlier this year for exposing horrendous patient safety problems has now been barred from entering the premises altogether.
Andrew Carmichael was publicly escorted out of the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center by three police officers Feb. 3, despite receiving a performance review of “excellent” two months earlier.
Carmichael, who talked exclusively with The Daily Caller News Foundation, is a whistleblower and wasn’t given any advance warning of his termination. He claims management fabricated conduct issues based only on hearsay and drove him out for reporting problems first to hospital leadership, and then to federal agencies, when his initial efforts were either rebuked or completely ignored.
Carmichael raised several issues starting with poor IV management.
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September 25, 2015

Senate Votes Against Continuing Resolution That Freezes Planned Parenthood Funding

In a 47 to 53 vote, the Senate failed to pass a continuing resolution Thursday that would have temporarily funded the government while freezing Planned Parenthood funding for a year.
House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chose to bring the legislation to the floor in an attempt to prevent a government shutdown while placating conservatives who won’t vote for a bill that provides the women’s health organization with federal dollars.
Shortly before the vote, the White House threatened to veto the measure, which would have kept the government running until Dec. 11.
McConnell is expected to introduce a “clean” version of the bill which will likely to come to a vote Monday.
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September 24, 2015

Top Hillary Clinton Adviser Did Private Clinton Business On State Department Email

Hillary Clinton’s right-hand aide Huma Abedin did private business for a Clinton-linked company on her State Department email account, Breitbart News has learned.

Abedin was helping to recruit executives for the private corporate advisory firm Teneo Holdings, founded by former Bill Clinton right-hand man Doug Band, while she was on an official State Department trip with Hillary Clinton by her side.

Ken Miller, former vice chairman of Merrill Lynch and Viacom board member, is now a senior advisor at Teneo Holdings. When Miller was considering taking the Teneo job, he reached out to Huma Abedin. Why would Abedin, a staffer for Hillary Clinton at the State Department, need to be consulted on new Teneo hires?

The conflict of interest, according to emails obtained by Breitbart News, is staggering.

Miller’s executive assistant Shannon Nacey emailed Huma Abedin directly on July 2, 2012 with the subject line “Ken Miller call re: Teneo.”

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September 23, 2015

Hillary Clinton Email Company Was Hacked By Foreign Attackers

The company that Hillary Clinton paid to manage her private email network was the victim of a massive international hack during the period in which Clinton was employing it, Breitbart News has learned.

Hillary Clinton used the company Internap as the internet service provider for her private email account during her tenure as Secretary of State. Internap, based in Atlanta, has a facility in Manhattan, near the the physical location of the IP address for clintonemail.com.

In March 2011, the security company RSA was hacked. The hackers got into the company’s system through a malware-infested email sent to an employee, then installed a “backdoor” and stole data. RSA called it “an extremely sophisticated cyber attack.”

RSA was not the only victim of the attack. A victim list showed that more than 760 other organizations were also “compromised.” Internap appeared five times on the full victim list.

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September 22, 2015

House GOP has seen enough: 'Abandon the modern filibuster'

Several House Republicans have seen enough of Democratic filibusters in the Senate, and have introduced a resolution calling on Senate Republicans to do away with it so the chamber can take up legislation supported by the majority.
Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., and seven other House members say the GOP needs to "abandon the modern filibuster rule and return to the historical filibuster rule."
That call came just hours after the Senate tried and failed for the third time to advance a resolution disapproving of the Iran nuclear agreement. Sixty votes were needed to move the resolution to a final vote, but 42 Democrats voted against it and blocked it.
"[T]he Founding Fathers never intended for a significant portion of the Senate's business to be able to be blocked by a minority," the resolution reads.

September 21, 2015

Federal Investigative Agency: VA Has Ignored Whistleblowers And Failed To Protect Them

The Department of Veterans Affairs is entirely lackluster in listening to whistleblowers and protecting their rights, a new letter from the Office of Special Counsel sent Thursday said.
Long-due, the letter from the independent federal investigative agency supported allegations made by whistleblowers back in 2014 about problems at certain VA facilities, most notably the Carl T. Hayden Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz., CNN reports.
Rather than taking steps to address the issues, the letter noted that VA officials often targeted whistleblowers with harassment and intimidation in locations like Maryland, Alabama and West Virginia, among others. In the vast majority of these cases, VA officials took no steps to punish wrongdoers or protect whistleblowers who put themselves on the line when coming forward.
In one case highlighted by the OSC, the VA refused to take any action whatsoever on disclosures from Dr. Katherine Mitchell, who reported delays in health care stemming from a dangerously low number of triage nurses in the Phoenix VA emergency room. This dragged on for five years and created at minimum 110 cases of hazardous delays.

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September 18, 2015

Valerie Jarrett, White House Meet With ‘Black Lives’ Activists During GOP Debate

White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and other Obama administration officials spent Wednesday evening meeting with several #BlackLivesMatter activists, including Brittney Packnett and DeRay McKesson.
According to Buzzfeed, the discussion centered on “law enforcement and community policing with an emphasis on how to increase public safety,” with Jarrett emphasizing, “the implementation of its recommendations from the 21st Century Task Force on Policing as a priority for reducing violence.”
This was Packnett’s seventh visit to the White House, Breitbart claims. She was among the group of Ferguson protestors invited to meet with President Obama back in December 2014, and has previously referred to herself as the “bridge” between activists and the White House.
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