Bloomberg's Mark Halperin reported this morning on MSNBC that the White House is buzzing about the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton. Halperin also said that the FBI will likely interview Clinton.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough reported, "[T]he Hillary Clinton investigation of the FBI is far more progressed and Mika and I have been hearing it from the top officials in the Obama administration for actually several months now and we can't go to a meeting in Washington where we don't hear that. I'm sure you're hearing the same thing. What is -- what are your -- all of our sources high up are ... telling us the same thing: that this investigation is far more advanced than we the public knows.Read more
One thought on last night's Democratic debate. It seems clear Hillary Clinton has decided to wrap herself in the mantle of President Obama, and in effect run for Obama's third term.
In a way, that makes sense: Obama remains very popular among Democrats. For example, in the most recent CBS/New York Times poll, where Obama's overall approval is 46 percent to 47 percent disapprove, his numbers among Democrats are 81 to 13. On the other hand, that same poll shows a plurality of Democrats (47 percent to 45 percent) think the country is on the wrong track (the overall number is 65-27).
If Clinton can make the Democratic primary a referendum on Obama, she'll win. If Sanders can make it a referendum on the state of the nation, heRead more
Hillary Clinton is talking tough on Iran. In a statement released to the press, the leading Democratic candidate took a tougher stance than President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry.
"I am greatly relieved by the safe return of American prisoners from Iran. Their families and our country have waited and prayed for this day to come," Clinton's statement reads.
"I also welcome the full implementation of the nuclear agreement, an important achievement of diplomacy backed by pressure. Implementation marks an important step forward in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Iran has dismantled centrifuges, disabled a reactor, and shipped out almost all of its enriched uranium.Read more
The first lady of the United States will be sitting with a Syrian refugee at this week's State of the Union Address. The refugee's name is Refaai Hamo.
"Growing up in Syria, Refaai Hamo lived what seemed to be the kind of life associated with the American Dream – the son of a farmer and housewife, he worked construction at night to pay his way through college on his way to a PhD, married his college sweetheart and built a family together. This life and happiness changed forever when a Syrian government anti-personnel missile tore through the complex Refaai designed and where his family lived; in total seven of his family members died, including his wife and one daughter," the White House explains in an announcement.Read more
After nearly a year of buildup, the Republican nomination process is finally set to begin. What do we know about how things will unfold?
Precious little, as it happens. This is the most open Republican nomination battle in a generation, if not more. The large number of candidates, the unpredictable behavior of Donald Trump, and the lack of a clear frontrunner all conspire to make this race as hard to predict as defeating Garry Kasparov in a game of three-dimensional chess. Time and again, predictions about the state of the race have been quickly exposed as erroneous.
These forecasting errors could persist. In fact, there are four very good reasons why we might not have our first clue about the real shape of the race untilRead more
Earlier this week, it made news that "Bringing Peace, Security to Syria" was listed as one of the top achievements in 2015 by the Obama State Department. If this is what peace and security in Syria look like, I’d hate to see the hellish charnel house the region would have to become for the State Department to admit it's chaos.
This bizarre messaging reminded me of another bit of news that came out of the White House recently: Obama gave the Medal of Freedom to Barbra Streisand. While ISIS and The Prince of Tides both fall under the heading of "things I dislike intensely," I will try and explain more precisely why these two things are related.
Streisand hasn't exactly been a pop culture fixture over the lastRead more
On the last weekend of January, priests in Catholic churches across America read extraordinary letters to their congregations. The missives informed the laity that President Obama and his administration had launched an assault on the church. In Virginia, Catholics heard from Bishop Paul Loverde, who wrote, “I am absolutely convinced that an unprecedented and very dangerous line has been crossed.” In Phoenix, Bishop Thomas Olmsted wrote, “We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law.” In Pittsburgh, Bishop David Zubik wrote that President Obama had told Catholics, “To Hell with your religious beliefs.Read more
Barack Obama is preparing for his final State of the Union Address, which he'll deliver January 12. And the president is not looking to slow down as the end of his presidency nears.
"I've got 12 months left to squeeze every ounce of change I can while I'm still in office. And that's what I intend to do," Obama writes in an email to supporters.
We've done a lot of remarkable things together this year, and it's because of committed citizens like you that this country keeps moving forward. You keep proving the cynics wrong.
On January 12, I'll be giving my last State of the Union address. I want you to watch, and say you're ready to keep up the fight in 2016 -- because your voice matters just as
President Obama went golfing in Hawaii yesterday and called the press over when he reached the 18th hole. The commander in chief then made what ABC News describes as a 40-foot chip shot:
WATCH: @POTUS sinks 40-foot chip on the 18th hole during Hawaii vacation: https://t.co/0rTiM4OPec https://t.co/7fDeoSHZko— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 22, 2015
The press rewarded Obama with cheers.Read more
President Obama acknowledged that he lacks "a little credibility" that his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had to fight America's enemies. Obama made the remarks in an interview with National Public Radio.
Here's the question from NPR's Steve Inskeep: "I have been reading a history of part of the Cold War. Dwight Eisenhower was president, he's meeting his cabinet sometimes in this room where we're sitting. The Soviet Union has emerged as a major nuclear threat. The country is very worried at this point in the 1950s. But Eisenhower is convinced that they are not that strong, that the United States is stronger, that the U.S. will win if we just avoid a huge war.Read more
The Obama administration is set to release another 17 detainees from Guantánamo Bay. The New York Times reports that the defense secretary has notified Congress of the iminent transfers:
The Obama administration appears to be on the cusp of the largest round of transfers of Guantánamo Bay detainees in a single month since 2007, a move that could reduce the detainee population there to as low as 90 by mid- to late January, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations.
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has notified Congress in recent days that he has approved 17 proposed transfers of lower-level detainees, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to
Fred Barnes, writing for the Wall Street Journal:
In 1997 President Bill Clinton signed the Taxpayer Relief Act, cutting the tax rate on capital gains to 20% from 28%. Senate Democrats voted 37-8 in favor of the bill. House Democrats backed it 164-41. In 2015 Mr. Clinton's wife, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, wants to raise the current 23.4% rate on capital gains, nearly doubling it for wealthy investors.
In 1982 Sen. Bill Bradley and House member Dick Gephardt, both Democrats, unveiled an ambitious tax-reform plan that would spur economic growth by eliminating loopholes, broadening the tax base and reducing the top rate on individual income to 30% from 50%. What Mr. Bradley
President Barack Obama says his administration will continue releasing terrorists from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, so long as those released are less dangerous than the jihadists currently fighting against the U.S. and its interests.
The bizarre argument comes in a new interview with Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News and is one of several comments in their discussion that reinforces the president's stubborn nonchalance on issues related to jihad. Obama also shrugs off concerns about recidivism of former Guantanamo detainees, suggesting that only a "handful" of former detainees have returned to the fight and claiming that only "low-level" terrorists have been released from the detention facility. Both claimsRead more
Donald Trump seems to have dominated this year's White House Hanukkah Party.
"Just as earlier in the day at the event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment ending slavery, Obama's remarks seemed to offer a subtle rebuke to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.," reports the White House print pool reporter.
The blessing over the menorah was led by Rabbi Sid Schwarz who was even more explicit in his criticism of Trump's calls to ban Muslim immigrants. Schwarz said both of his parents fled Europe ahead of the Nazis. His father fled at 16 and then returned to Europe five years later to fight the Nazis, he said.Read more
To understand Donald Trump's surprising ability to remain at the top of the polls, it is necessary to understand why the attacks of his critics misfire. The best place to start is with the continually uncomprehending New York Times. A story on page 1 et seq. levels what its authors must consider devastating criticism of Trump's "95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Trump's Tongue." Trump, says the NYT, has a "particular habit" of using ominous words that include the "divisive … harsh … violent … 'you' and 'we' as he inveighs against a dangerous 'them.Read more
Ben Sasse, a Republican U.S. senator from Nebraska, went to San Bernardino last night to deliver a rebuttal to President Obama's speech to the nation on terrorism.
Sasse argues that the U.S. was attacked "Because we're an open society, we're a free society, and our enemies hate freedom." And that we are at war.
"We are most certainly though at war with militant Islam. We are at war with the violent Islam. We are at war with jihadi Islam. We are not at war with all Muslims. We're not at war with Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan who want the American dream for their kids. But we are at war with those who believe that they will kill in the name of religion."
But, Sasse explains, "We are not at war with terrorism,Read more
It's inspiring when a leader meets a moment and takes charge. President Obama didn't come close to doing that Sunday night in his Oval Office speech.
If it wasn't a letdown to most Americans, that's only because their expectations were so low. Obama's streak of failing to come to grips with the terrorist threat, both substantively and rhetorically, remains intact.
He retreated to a euphemism to assess the menace of ISIS. He said it's "evolving." Please, Mr. President, it's growing in front of your eyes – in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and, most alarmingly of all, here at home.
We've now had two bloody attacks – in Paris and last week's slaying of 14 Americans in San Bernardino, California.Read more
Talk about unbelievable. There is a surge of stupid statements from the left along with incredible (as in "beyond credulity") claims coming from those quarters that are so nonsensical that it's clear they place their ideology above all else.
When President Obama and his White House deny that the San Bernardino massacre was an act of terror—literally one hour before his own FBI declares it so—am I supposed to believe that Barack H.Read more
President Obama used his address to the nation on ISIS and terrorism to push for gun control. "This is a matter of national security," Obama said from the Oval Office.
"There are several steps that Congress should take right away. To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terror suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon? This is a matter of national security," said the president.
"We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons, like the ones that were used in San Bernardino.Read more
President Obama used the terror attack in California this week to push gun control. In his weekly address, Obama called the massacre an "act of terror" but then pivoted to talking about American gun laws.
"We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons—weapons of war—to kill as many people as they could. It's another tragic reminder that here in America it's way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun," Obama said in his weekly address.
"For example, right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I'm calling onRead more
In an article for Mosaic, Michael Doran writes:
The jihadists struck Paris on November 13. On that Friday the 13th, the band on stage in the Bataclan theater, where 89 people were murdered, was Eagles of Death Metal. The song it was playing was "Kiss of the Devil." The details sound like something out of Hollywood, but the horror was deadly real. In total, the terrorists would murder 130 people, the vast majority in the prime of their lives.
The multiple massacre left France reeling, vulnerable, and also deeply confused—but not about the nature of the operation. Islamic State (IS) took responsibility for the attacks, which were clearly another spillover from the Syrian civil war.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that President Obama thinks that gun control would help deter terrorists. Earnest made the comments today at the White House's daily press briefing.
Peter Doocy: "President Obama yesterday jumped to say that this mass shooting means it's time for commonsense gun laws. Does the President really think that common sense gun laws would deter terrorists now that he has admitted that these two may have been terrorists?"
White House press secretary Josh Earnest: "Yes. The president believes that passing common sense gun laws that makes it harder for people with bad intentions to get guns, makes the country safer.Read more
In an email released by the State Department, John Podesta blasts David Axelrod for totally caving "in to right wing economics." Podesta, who is currently chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, was speaking ill of Obama's top political adviser in private emails with Clinton aides.
"At least David has his principles in tact like he won't be for small things like school uniforms--only big things like totally caving in to right wing economics," Podesta wrote. "Unbelievable."
The message was sent to longtime adviser Neera Tanden, chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and Doug Band, President Bill Clinton's longtime body man.Read more
President Obama is in Paris for a conference on climate change. Today he met with the leader of China, President Xi Jinping, and discussed the importance of the U.S.-China relationship in regards to fighting climate change.
"As the two largest economies in the world and the two largest carbon-emitters, we have both determined that it is our responsibility to take action. And since our historic joint announcement of our post-2020 climate targets in Beijing last year, more than 180 countries have followed in announcing their own targets. And so our leadership on this issue has been absolutely vital, and I appreciate President Xi's consistent cooperation on this issue," Obama said in brief remarks with Xi by his side.Read more
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