May 31, 2016

Battle Over DC Budget Escalating As Obama Threatens Veto

Officials in Washington, D.C., are planning to defy Congress as an escalating legal battle brews over Republican legislation banning the District from spending money without congressional approval.

“The current D.C. government needs to be reined in,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement Wednesday. “We will not allow Congress and the Constitution to be undermined.”

Republicans in the House of Representatives are sparring with officials in the District over the legality of the D.C. Council’s plan to spend money from its 2016 budget before the House gives it approval. Ryan is blasting the efforts as unconstitutional, while local leaders charge House Republicans are playing politics with D.C.’s finances to impede laws they disagree with.

“For weeks, House Republicans have been disguising their opposition to D.C. budget autonomy with legalistic arguments, despite a court decision upholding the referendum,” Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s non-voting member in Congress, said Thursday in a press release. “However, Speaker Ryan candidly admitted that Republicans want to keep their authoritarian grip over D.C.’s locally-raised funds in order to block policies they oppose.”

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May 30, 2016

Kristol: Independent candidate will challenge Trump and Clinton

A serious independent candidate will step up to challenge presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and likely Democratic standard-bearer Hillary Clinton, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol suggested on Sunday.

"Just a heads up over this holiday weekend: There will be an independent candidate — an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance," Kristol said in a message on Twitter.

Kristol has been leading an effort to recruit an independent candidate to take on Clinton and Trump, who each have unusually high negative favorability ratings.

Later Sunday, Trump on Twitter tried to knock down the possibility of an independent challenger:

"Bill Kristol has been wrong for 2yrs-an embarrassed loser, but if the GOP can't control their own, then they are not a party. Be tough, R's!"

"The Republican Party has to be smart & strong if it wants to win in November. Can't allow lightweights to set up a spoiler Indie candidate!"

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May 27, 2016

Hillary Clinton Supporters Can Be Violent, Too

It’s usually Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders supporters who have a reputation of using violence at campaign events during this election cycle, but it was a Hillary Clinton backer here on Thursday who accosted a protester and grabbed this reporter’s cell phone as he was being recorded.

Clinton was giving her usual stump speech when a lone man in his early 20s — an apparent Bernie backer — began attempting to disrupt the event. Clinton loyalists in the man’s vicinity circled around the man in an effort to quiet him. When that didn’t work they adopted a strategy of chanting “Hillary!” whenever he would start to yell in the candidate’s direction.

The Daily Caller was near the kerfuffle and fired up a cell phone video camera to document the incident. One Clinton supporter — a short, stalky bald man named Alan — was not pleased.

After one outburst from the protester, Alan was seen yanking the protester by the shoulders and then pushing him away from the stage.

While filming the minor assault, this reporter asked Alan to explain what he was doing. He grabbed the cell phone and attempted to pull it from this reporter’s firm grip.

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May 26, 2016

Terry McAuliffe Lied About Meeting Chinese Donor

Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe lied about meeting Wang Wenliang, the Chinese donor to his 2013 gubernatorial campaign whose contributions are now the subject of an FBI investigation.

McAuliffe told CNN after the story broke that he thinks he has never met Mr. Wenliang.

But McAuliffe actually went to the same dinner as Wenliang in 2012 before Wenliang made his potentially illegal donation to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign. According to The New York Times:

“Mr. Wang also met with Mr. McAuliffe before he ran for governor, at a 2012 dinner hosted by Mr. Hodges. Mr. McAuliffe was an American businessman investing in China; Mr. Wang was a Chinese executive whose firms did business in Virginia. The next year, when Mr. McAuliffe ran for governor, one of Mr. Wang’s companies, West Legend, contributed to his campaign. (Corporate contributions are permitted in Virginia.)”

McAuliffe is a member of Hillary Clinton’s campaign Leadership Council in Virginia.

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May 25, 2016

House Conservatives Begin Trek To Impeach IRS Commissioner Koskinen

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform leaders made their case Tuesday to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen rolled out their case for impeaching Koskinen for ignoring subpoenas and lying to Congress under oath on the IRS targeting of conservative groups during the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns.

Koskinen, who has told Congress he never sought the job, said he was too busy to accept his invitation to attend the hearing of the House Committee on the Judiciary. 

“Surely, this House should find it intolerable,” DeSantis testified. “As of today, not a single individual has been held accountable in any real way for what happened with the IRS. If Commissioner Koskinen can get away with his conduct, then other executive branch agencies will have a blueprint for how to stymie the Congress when it conducts legitimate oversight. This will further erode the power of the Congress, which is arguably at its historical nadir.”

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May 24, 2016

Judicial Watch Begins Discovery in Hillary Clinton Email Matter

Judicial Watch’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email system entered a significant new phase last week.

We announced a schedule of depositions of Hillary Clinton’s top aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, as well as top State Department official Patrick Kennedy and former State IT employee Bryan Pagliano.

Their testimony is about the creation and operation of Clinton’s non-government email system. The first witness, Lewis A. Lukens, a deputy assistant secretary, was deposed on May 18. I can’t say much about the testimony at this point, other than to tell you that it was not helpful to either Mrs. Clinton or the Obama State Department.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan set this historic evidence gathering in motion. Judge Sullivan granted us “discovery” into Clinton’s email system, noting that “based on information learned during discovery, the deposition of Mrs. Clinton may be necessary.”

The depositions are part of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton. The lawsuit, which seeks records regarding the authorization for Abedin to engage in outside employment (the Clinton Foundation and other Clinton, Inc. entities) while employed by the Department of State, was reopened because of revelations about the system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).

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May 23, 2016

EPA Conducts Two Secret Meetings A Year To Decide How To Dole Out BILLIONS In Slush Fund Money

Two internal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) committees secretly control how billions of dollars are spent, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has found.

Congress appropriates about $1 billion annually for EPA’s Superfund program, and the agency has accumulated nearly $6.8 billion in more than 1,300 slush fund-like accounts since 1990.

Two committees consisting entirely of EPA officials meet behind closed doors twice annually to decide how the agency spends those funds on highly polluted – and often dangerous – Superfund sites. All reports to and from the groups, as well as the minutes of their meetings and all other details, are kept behind closed doors.

“The National Risk-Based Priority Panel and the Superfund Special Accounts Senior Management Committee engage in pre-decisional deliberations which are internal to the agency and not open to the public,” an EPA spokeswoman who requested anonymity told The DCNF.

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May 20, 2016

Who’s the Conservative Heretic?

In his coquettish refusal to accept the Donald, Paul Ryan says he cannot betray the conservative “principles” of the party of Abraham Lincoln, high among which is a devotion to free trade.

But when did free trade become dogma in the Party of Lincoln?

As early as 1832, young Abe declared, “My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank … and a high protective tariff. These are my sentiments and political principles.”

Campaigning in 1844, Lincoln declared, “Give us a protective tariff and we will have the greatest nation on earth.”

Abe’s openness to a protective tariff in 1860 enabled him to carry Pennsylvania and the nation. As I wrote in “The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy” in 1998:

“The Great Emancipator was the Great Protectionist.”

During his presidency, Congress passed and Abe signed 10 tariff bills. Lincoln inaugurated the Republican Party tradition of economic nationalism.

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May 19, 2016

Cucked By Zuck: Establishment Conservatives Rock Up For Pointless Meeting With Facebook

A delegation of Establishment conservative types descended on Silicon Valley today to make Facebook look good.

I have some thoughts about it. This is going to be a long column, so strap yourselves in.

I’m sure it wasn’t these conservative figures’ intent merely to assist in Facebook’s marketing efforts, but at this point, if maliciousness is ruled out as a motivation, extreme stupidity is the only possible remaining explanation.

That, and perhaps a touch of pathetic egotism. I think many of those invited are a little starstruck by Zuck. After all, he’s the millennial billionaire CEO of the largest social network on the planet, and has spent the last decade making old media irrelevant, a point made plain by the amount of “I’m on my way!!!!!!” Facebook posts posted by attendees today.

It’s hard to imagine Truman posting selfies on the way to Potsdam, or really any serious person about to engage in an endeavour that might affect the course of the national election. But hey, it’s current year, and all bets are off.

Eric Bolling let this attitude slip on Monday’s broadcast of The Five, where he congratulated Fox pundit Dana Perino on the “fantastic honor” of being invited to the meeting.

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May 18, 2016

Revolving Door Swings As Feds Take Posh Jobs At Big Banks

Three of the top four officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have jumped from CFPB to lucrative posts representing financial services industry firms their former agency regulates, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

The latest of the departures is Quyen Truong, formerly deputy general counsel, who accepted a position this month with the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

Truong’s new law firm represents banks such as Citigroup, Bank of America Merill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse and Deutsch Bank. The company also assists high-flying hedge funds including Carlyle Group, JP Morgan Asset Management and Goldman Sachs, according to its website.

Truong was preceded out the door by her former boss at CFPB, General Counsel Meredith Fuchs, who left in February to join Capital One.

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May 17, 2016

Pro-Turkey Lobbyist Sought Secret Favors From Hillary And Huma

Newly released emails show that a former Democratic National Committee official and lobbyist for the Turkish government directly contacted two of Hillary Clinton’s top aides to ask for a favor ahead of the then-secretary of state’s March 2009 visit to Turkey.

The correspondence raises numerous questions because the lobbyist, David Mercer, was paid $25,000 a month by the Turkish government to convince lawmakers and government officials to oppose a bill designating the Ottoman Empire’s murder of an estimated 1.5 million Armenian Orthodox Christians from 1915 to 1917 a genocide.

Clinton once touted her support for the resolution but flip-flopped dramatically after she joined the Obama administration.

Mercer, who once served as deputy national finance director for the DNC, also failed to disclose the contact with the two Clinton aides — her deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and Caprcia Penavic Marshall, then an operative for one of Clinton’s campaign committees — under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

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May 16, 2016

Susan Rice Denies Deceiving The Public On The Iran Deal, Evidence Says Otherwise

National Security Adviser Susan Rice denied the White House deceived the public on the Iran nuclear deal in an interview Sunday, just over a week after a profile on Deputy National Security Adviser for Communication Ben Rhodes claimed otherwise.

The New York Times Magazine profile, released May 5, quoted Rhodes admitting to manipulating friendly sources and journalists by spinning a false narrative around the deal and the Iranian government in order to sell the deal to the public. The bold admission to such deceptive practices sparked widespread controversy from both proponents and critics of the deal, including the journalists named in the piece. Rice denied any wrongdoing during an appearance with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

“There was nothing hidden. There was no effort to or reality of misleading,” said Rice. “There is nothing that Ben or the president or I or anybody who was involved in explaining the Iran deal to the American public said that wasn’t factually correct. The notion that there was any ball to hide or spin to put on it, I think, is really misguided.”

Despite Rice’s denial, the profile’s author David Samuels stated in the article “the way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented … was largely manufactured for the purpose of selling the deal.”

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May 13, 2016

House Republicans Prevail In Obamacare Subsidy Lawsuit

House Republicans prevailed in their lawsuit against the Obama administration for funding an Obamacare subsidy program without the proper congressional authorization Thursday, dealing a major blow against the Affordable Care Act.

A federal judge ruled the administration had violated the Constitution by paying insurers’ subsides toward the cost of low-income Obamacare enrollees’ co-pays and deductibles.

If the ruling sticks, it could be financially crippling to a major part of the president’s landmark health-care legislation. The administration has spent more than $175 million in unauthorized funds on the cost-sharing program.

“Today’s ruling by the DC federal court is an important step toward restoring the separation of powers and stopping President Obama’s power grab,” House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement. “The Constitution is very clear: it is Congress’ job to write our laws and it is the president’s duty to enforce them. The Constitution is also clear that Congress has the power of the purse—the president cannot spend Americans’ money on his own terms.

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May 12, 2016

Blumenthal Evades Questions On Why Hillary Used Private Email Server

Hillary Clinton’s backdoor intelligence provider Sidney Blumenthal dodged answering questions about why Clinton set up a private server to conduct her email correspondence while secretary of state.

Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday, Blumenthal attempted to downplay his involvement in the Clinton email scandal with a joke, “I write Lincoln, and I write Hillary, and one of them has replied.”

Host Alisyn Camerota asked Blumenthal, “Why did she set up a personal server? That’s beyond just using one device for personal and professional emails. Why did she need the personal server?”

“Well, that’s a question I don’t know the answer to,” Blumenthal replied. “And it’s a question that she’s explained and so you’d have to, you know, go to her explanation about that.”

“I mean, I ask you, because the emails that have been released show that you were in regular contact with her. You’re one of — you were giving her advice on all sorts of policy things and political things,” Camerota said. “Did you talk to her about setting up a personal server?”

“Oh, no. I had nothing to do with that,” Blumenthal claimed.

During Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, Blumenthal and Clinton corresponded on email hundreds of times and at least 23 of their emails contained classified information.

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May 11, 2016

Five Reasons Ted Cruz Fans Should Support Donald Trump

1) You had me at “Hillary.”
2) If Trump wins, the Establishment loses.
3) A Trump Presidency would be the Best Antidote for Political Correctness.
4) Trump takes the border and the Jihadi threat seriously.
5) Trump gives us at least a chance of preserving the Supreme Court and thereby the Constitution.

In short, a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean the end of the Constitution has you understand it. There’s at least a shot that a Trump presidency would protect the Court majority – especially if you support him and end up helping make the choice.

Granted, Trump poses the danger that he doesn’t mean what he says on issues where you agree, or that he does agree with his less savory supporters on issues on which we passionately disagree. But if good conservatives – especially principled Cruz supporters – like you don’t support him, only they will. He loses, the Establishment and Hillary win. He wins, and those supporters will help shape his presidency.

Those who choose to sit this election out or support a third-party candidate will have my respect for their decision. But don’t choose either path without considering the consequences in the context of the struggle for America in which the nation is currently engaged.

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May 10, 2016

Sid Blumenthal Continues To Assist Clinton: Won’t Say If FBI Has Interviewed Him

Hillary Clinton’s longtime friend and off-the-books intel provider Sidney Blumenthal claimed in an interview on Monday that he is all in favor of transparency, but refused to say if he has been interviewed by the FBI as part of its ongoing investigation into the former secretary of state’s private email server.

“Have you been interviewed by the FBI yet on this matter?” MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews asked Blumenthal, who sent and received hundreds of the emails contained in the State Department’s release of Clinton emails.

“Well, I’m — you know, I really don’t want to talk about an ongoing inquiry right now,” stammered Blumenthal, who worked at the Clinton Foundation and several other Clinton-linked organizations while Hillary Clinton was in office.

“You can’t say whether you’ve been interviewed or not?” Matthews pressed.

“Well, my feeling about it is, that let’s wait and see at the end, and see what happens to everybody involved in it, and see what the resolution is, and then I would like to see the Department of Justice issue a very transparent report,” said Blumenthal, who also claimed that he has “been urging transparency.”

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May 9, 2016

EPA Head Says Obama May Want To Create New Carbon Tax, But Her Regs Do Just Fine

The head administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Friday it was her job to create overarching regulations as an alternative to the carbon tax legislation the Obama administration was unable to pass last year.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told activists and diplomats at a gathering in Washington that the agency was tasked with forming a seemingly never-ending amount of environmental regulations because President Barack Obama failed to pass the kind of “elegant” legislation needed to comply with last year’s climate change deal in Paris.

She noted that while the agency does not have the ability to enact a carbon tax, it can create an approximate facsimile through its regulatory efforts.

“There are many ways you can place a price on carbon, I think regulation is one of them,” McCarthy said, after being asked about the possibility of creating a nationwide tax on carbon emissions.

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