Statements released by two top Democrats on Capitol Hill yesterday wrongly stated that 5 Americans were killed in the terror attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11. In fact, 4 Americans were killed in that attack: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen A. Doherty, and Tyrone S. Woods.
John Kerry, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the error in a written statement in defense U.N. ambassador Susan Rice.
“Everyone who cares about the five fallen Americans in Benghazi would do well to take a deep breath about what happened and allow Secretary Clinton’s proactive, independent investigation to proceed,” Kerry's statement read. ”Our committee in the Senate has unanimously asked that some highly detailed, highly specific questions be answered as part of the current investigation. Congress will have plenty of time to examine those answers, and to discern what happened in Benghazi once the investigation is fully underway and the facts become clear.”
Kerry has recently been in the news for defending President Obama's foreign policy record, as he tries publicly to position himself for the secretary of state slot in Obama's second term. At the Democratic convention earlier this month, Kerry made the case that Obama had helped decimate the terror group al Qaeda. "Ask Osama Bin Laden if he's better off now than he was four years ago," Kerry said then. But while Osama bin Laden is dead, al Qaeda is alive, as the terror group proved less than a week later when it successfully carried out the terror attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi.
Likewise, Steny Hoyer, a top Democrat in the House of Representatives, also made the same mistake as Kerry in a written statement.
"The loss of five Americans in Libya, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, is a horrible tragedy and we should be focused on bringing the perpetrators to justice, not playing politics. My understanding is that the information Ambassador Rice expressed reflected the intelligence community's most current assessment at that time," said Hoyer in a written statement.
According to Hoyer's website, "Congressman Hoyer is a respected voice on defense and foreign policy. He has worked diligently to ensure passage of the annual homeland security, intelligence, and defense authorization bills that are critical to our national security.
These are the voices defending the Obama administration's stance on Libya.
House minority whip Steny Hoyer, speaking with reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, said Democrats in Congress "didn't have the votes" in 2009 or 2010 to raise taxes, even though the party had a majority in both the Senate and the House and Barack Obama was president.
Earlier this evening, the House of Representatives voted against a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government past September 30. Forty-eight Republicans broke with their party's leadership and joined 182 Democrats in opposition of the bill. Reuters reports:
The Emergency Committee for Israel is running the following ad in a significant cable news buy, thanking “Israel’s true friends, Democrats and Republicans alike,” for supporting Israel when “President Obama sided with the Palestinians.”
I can't help but feel there may be hope for the nation yet when progressives start getting nervous about what Democrats are saying on entitlements.
Fred Barnes highlighted Obama's entitlement opportunity in a Wall Street Journal column yesterday, pointing out that Deficit Commission Chairs Democrat Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson have both been entitlement reformers in the past:
I just got back from a Tea Party protest and an anti-war protest (And, they think the righties are the unreasonable ones???), so I'm catching up on healthcare news.
The latest is that the House will push ahead with two real votes— one on reconciliation and one on the Senate bill. They're likely to vote on the reconciliation bill first, and there is reportedly a letter from more than 50 senators promising to vote for the House reconciliation bill. Steny Hoyer said the Senate bill, once voted on by the House will go directly to the president for his signature.
House majority leader Steny Hoyer has informed his colleagues of the CBO health bill score. Politico reports:
The bill would cost $940 billion, and reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the second 10 years. The deficit numbers Democrats have been most worried about, and will be key to convincing moderates to coming on board with the bill.
Keep in mind that the second decade estimate is incredibly speculative. Overall, though, this score may move some undecided congressmen into the Yes column. Whether those congressmen will be members who voted No last year is another question entirely, however. Perhaps they will have seen this video:
More CBO details, and the final reconciliation language, are expected later today. A Sunday morning vote is now likely. Gentlemen: Start your engines! The countdown has begun.
Democratic leaders in the House are apparently moving towards the "Slaughter Solution" of avoiding a direct vote on the health care legislation and instead passing the Senate health care bill by voting to "deem" it passed. As they do so, they keep reassuring the media--and each other--that the American people don't care.
Let's say you're a Democratic congressman from a swing district. Your constituency actually went for McCain in 2008 while sending you back to Washington on a split ticket. You had some rowdy town hall meetings during the 2009 August recess and decided to vote No on the House health care bill last November. Now the White House is saying that if you don't vote for the Senate bill in the coming weeks, the president won't appear in your district this fall or raise money for you on the road. And the DNC chairman is saying a Yes vote will be rewarded with support from Obama, Organizing for America, and the national party.
Here's the thing: What good would any of this do? To preserve your seat in an anti-incumbent, anti-Washington, anti-big government year, you have to distance yourself from Obama and the national Democrats anyway -- which is why you want to vote No in the first place!
Carrots and sticks don't matter. What matters is how your district will react to a Yes vote. And fear of reprisal -- not from Obama, not from Tim Kaine, but from the people -- is why Pelosi is still coming up short.