11:08 AM, Jun 3, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
At the White House press briefing Monday, Jay Carney was not asked directly about his statement from June 2013 that "we would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law," as we reported yesterday. However, the Washington Post reports that Carney rejected criticism about the lack of notice to Congress:
White House press secretary Jay Carney on Mondaydismissed criticism from lawmakers over the administration's Taliban prisoner swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying the deal "should not have come as a surprise to members of Congress" because the basic outlines had been discussed for years.
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough echoed Carney's assertion:
At a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Monday, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough also defended the move, saying: "We've been consulting with members of Congress about this effort, including the potential transfer of five Gitmo detainees, for years."
However, in the same June 2013 press briefing where Carney made his statement that the White House would consult with Congress before making any detainee transfer decisions, he made clear that the White House considered the return of Sgt. Bergdahl and the release of any detainees to be two separate issues [emphasis added]:
Q So you haven’t ruled it out [the Taliban has offered to release Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five members of the Taliban who are currently being held at Guantanamo Bay]?
MR. CARNEY: I’m simply saying that -- first of all, you have to separate the two issues. We are focused on the return -- the safe and immediate return of Sergeant Bergdahl, and we continue to use the tools at our disposal to help bring that about.
We also expect the Taliban to raise the issue of their detainees in discussions that we have with them if those discussions take place. And at this time we’ve made no decisions about the transfer of detainees. And in accordance with law, we would be consulting with Congress should we make any decisions about that. So we remain committed to the closure of Guantanamo Bay, as you know. But separate from that on these specific issues about individual detainees, that would be a process that is done in accordance with law.
The Obama administration is also claiming that secrecy and lack of time were other considerations in the lack of congressional consultation or even notification. House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers is now saying Congress was last consulted about a possible Bergdahl-detainee swap in 2011, the Hill reports.
11:25 AM, May 19, 2014 • By SETH CROPSEY
Responding to mild U.S. sanctions on Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced on May 13 that U.S. astronauts would no longer be welcome to ride to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Russian rockets. “After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest the U.S. delivers its astronauts to the ISS with a trampoline,” said Rogozin.
Why won’t more political leaders speak out on marijuana? May 5, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 32 • By CHRISTOPHER BEACH and WILLIAM BENNETT
The legalization of marijuana has acquired an aura of inevitability. But is there really no choice? Must Americans resign ourselves to the social acceptability, legal entrenchment, and widespread availability (including to our kids) of marijuana?
We are convinced this headlong rush into disaster can be stopped—if, that is, political leaders can be found who have the nerve to take on the conventional wisdom.
12:03 PM, Mar 27, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A new report from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee finds that "Economic Growth In 2013 Just Half Of What The President Said His Policies Would Deliver." Here's a chart, showing the committee's findings:
12:00 AM, Feb 15, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Janet Yellen made her first appearance before Congress since assuming the chair of the Federal Reserve Board and produced the yawns she was seeking, even thanking several of her interlocutors for calling her “unexciting.” Knowing that some Fed critics are seeking to rein in the bank’s independence (several of these critics would like to eliminate the Fed entirely), Yellen offered to stay for as long as necessary—six hours, as it turned out—in the hope that demonstrating such heightened transparency will head off legislation to politicize the central bank. The examples of Japan and Britain, where the central bankers have become aligned with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, respectively, apparently do not appeal to her.
1:16 AM, Jan 29, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union Address on Tuesday that was important less for what he said than for what it says about him.
9:01 AM, Dec 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The press covering Joe Biden's trip Asia caught an unusually frank comment from the vice president. Biden, speaking about himself, reportedly said that his "profound insights on policy are vastly exaggerated, but we do have profound respect for the people of South Korea."
9:30 AM, Nov 30, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Our economy is increasingly policy-driven, at least in the near- and medium-terms. What Congress and the president do or don’t do, what incoming Federal Reserve Board chairman Janet Yellen does or doesn’t do, will be important determinants of our growth, inflation, and job creation rates. So here is an attempt to see through the mist of obfuscation that is a feature of political and policy-making discourse, and spy the contours of future policy.
Don’t ask the Davos forum.Dec 2, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 12 • By DAVID ADESNIK
For just a moment, let’s pretend the GOP really were waging a “war on women.” Where would you go to find less inequality and chauvinism? According to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, three of the best options for women seeking greater equality are Cuba, Nicaragua, and Burundi.
12:00 AM, Oct 26, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
“The thrill is gone,” famously warbled B.B. King among others. And so it is for watchers of the U.S. economic scene. The eighteenth partial government shutdown is over, World War II veterans can legally visit the monument to their bravery, hikers can trek through national parks, and the National Institute of Health can resume its cancer research—all impossible to do when the Obama administration prevented amelioration of the hurt inflicted by the shutdown in order to maximize voter anger at the Republican party.
5:32 PM, Oct 17, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Louisana governor Bobby Jindal, the two-term Republican and potential presidential candidate, has announced the formation of a new group called America Next. The organization bills itself as a "conservative policy group" that aims to "focus on winning a war of ideas." Here's an excerpt from a mission statement by Jindal on the new group's website:
12:00 AM, Sep 28, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
If not Janet Yellen, who? Larry Summers wanted the job, but couldn’t win the support of leftish Democrats and feminists. Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who can have Ben Bernanke’s job as chairman of the Federal Reserve board for the asking, is said to have told the White House that he doesn’t want the post.