Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Obama Promotes Rice & Power 

News broke this morning that National Security Advisor Tom Donilon will resign next month. President Obama will be promoting U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace him. 

You remember Susan Rice, right? She was picked by the White House to go on five national Sunday talk shows and mislead the American people about the Benghazi attacks. "What sparked the violence was a very hateful video on the Internet," Rice said. "It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States."

Many believe Rice was simply reciting heavily-edited talking points, and was probably the one senior-level person who didn't know better. Nevertheless, her promotion says a lot about the Obama mindset.

James Carville said, "…this is kind of an in your face appointment." Obama initially tried to promote Rice to Secretary of State when Hillary announced she was leaving. But outrage on Capitol Hill was overwhelming and Rice withdrew. There is nothing anyone can do about this appointment. The National Security Advisor does not require Senate confirmation. 

In addition, Obama announced today that he was naming Samantha Power to replace Rice as U.N. Ambassador. Like Rice, Power is an Obama loyalist. In fact, she was forced to leave the 2008 Obama campaign after referring to Hillary Clinton as a "monster" during the primary. Her controversial views on Israel provide an insight into the direction Obama is likely to pursue on the Middle East.

No doubt Eric Holder is breathing a sigh of relief. These promotions are a clear signal that loyalty to Obama will be rewarded. By the way, Rice and Power are not the only ones getting promotions. 

Last month, the White House announced it was promoting the State Department spokeswoman who had a major role in editing the CIA's Benghazi talking points. And one of the "rogue IRS agents" who wrote threatening letters to various Tea Party groups was also recently promoted. 

No wonder it has been so difficult to get IRS agents to talk about exactly who ordered the harassment of conservative organizations and Christian ministries!

Put yourself in the position of the wounded survivors of the Benghazi attacks, who recovered at Walter Reed Hospital but were kept away from members of Congress. They woke up this morning and saw that Susan Rice was being rewarded for being "a good soldier" who did what she was told. 

So far the lesson for federal employees is to stick with Obama and you'll be taken care of. Cross Obama -- like Joe the Plumber or the Tea Party or James Rosen or Franklin Graham -- and you'll be in trouble. 

Now here's the lesson for members of Congress investigating various scandals: Do not let up! Abuse and corruption in this administration, or any administration, absolutely cannot be tolerated. 

The American people care about these scandals. (See next item.) Obamacare is going to dramatically expand the power of the IRS. This is a good time to talk about government reform. Connect the dots between good government, which we all want, and smaller government, which we desperately need. 

Scandals Hurting White House 

The IRS, Benghazi and media scandals have begun to erode the public's trust in the Obama White House. Here's how the numbers breakdown in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll:

  • 58% of adults said that the administration's handling of the Benghazi attacks has raised doubts about the White House's honesty and integrity.
  • 58% also said that the Justice Department's seizure of phone records from various media outlets made them question the White House's honesty and integrity. 
  • 55% said the same about the IRS's targeting of conservative groups.

Clearly Americans are concerned about the integrity of their government. Not surprisingly, a recent Rasmussen poll found that 56% of voters feel the government is a threat to individual rights. This is the time to make government reform a major issue. 

Confirmation Hypocrisy 

Yesterday President Obama nominated three left-wing judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. During his Rose Garden statement, Obama demanded their quick confirmation. 

On cue, Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid once again threatened to eliminate the filibuster unless Senate conservatives acquiesced to Obama's demand. This is yet another example of the "culture of intimidation" that some have complained about lately. 

Today's Wall Street Journal editorial reminds us that liberal senators routinely filibustered George W. Bush's judicial nominees, including women and minorities such as Miguel Estrada, Pricilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. And then-Senator Obama was instrumental in the unprecedented filibuster attempt against Justice Samuel Alito. 

But here's the key point: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is an incredibly powerful and important court, second only to the Supreme Court. Currently it is equally divided between Democrat and Republican appointees and it is has been a thorn in the administration's side. It was this court that declared unconstitutional Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. Now Obama wants to "stack the deck."

Senators who care about the traditions of the institution should be firm. Here's a suggestion: They should refuse to move any judicial nominees until Obama nominates responsible appointees to fill all theinspectors general vacancies. 

Kathleen Sebelius: Obamacare's Death Panel 

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was on the Hill to answer questions about her efforts to pressure companies to donate money to a non-profit group supporting Obamacare. Of course, she insisted she did nothing wrong and strictly followed every regulation. 

During the hearing there was an emotional exchange literally about life and death and the strict adherence to regulations. Several House Republicans begged Sebelius to intervene in the case of Sarah Murnaghan, a 10 year-old Pennsylvania girl who will die within weeks without a lung transplant. 

Unfortunately, pediatric lungs are not available. But even though her doctors believe adult lungs could save her life, regulations do not permit the transplant of adult lungs to anyone under the age of 12.

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) said to Secretary Sebelius, "I'm begging you. Sarah has three to five weeks to live. Time is running out." Sebelius responded by saying that she had ordered a review of the policy. 

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), a doctor by profession, told Sebelius, "It simply takes your signature. A study will take over a year. This young lady will be dead."

But Sebelius stood her ground, saying that Sarah Murnaghan's case was a tragic situation in which "someone lives and someone dies." It seems Secretary Sebelius is a "death panel" of one. 

Doesn't that just make you feel warm and fuzzy? Just imagine the same agents at the IRS now harassing conservatives and Christians getting ready to implement Obamacare!