The right and left are moving towards each other, in a sort of pincers movement designed to destroy the army of free traders pressing Congress to give President Obama what is known as fast-track authority. That would permit him to put any trade deals he negotiates with eleven Pacific Rim countries (the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP) and the EU (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP) to Congress on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.Read more
Forget Bill Clinton. And Richard Nixon. And, for that matter, George W. Bush. The president who has faced the greatest "level of obstruction" is, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the current president of the United States -- Barack Obama.
The Democratic group made the sweeping pronouncement in a fundraising email to supporters over the weekend.
"No President in U.S. history has faced the level of obstruction that Barack Obama has," the email reads. In parentheses, the group adds: "(It’s not even close at this point)."Read more
The boss was on the set of MSNBC's Morning Joe Friday to discuss Iraq, the Tea Party, and the midterm elections. Watch the videos below:Read more
On balance the Republican “establishment” has done fairly well this primary season. Its favored candidate in the Nebraska Senate race lost, and of course Eric Cantor went down to defeat, but Thad Cochran, Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell all hung on. So, all is right in the world, right?Read more
In advance of tomorrow’s Nebraska Republican Senate primary — one of the most hotly contested in the nation — Ben Sasse’s final two television ads note his opposition to Obamacare. The first begins, “Conservatives are rallying in Nebraska against Obamacare and for Ben Sasse,” and it features Sarah Palin speaking in support of Sasse, as well as footage of Ted Cruz, another prominent Obamacare opponent and Sasse supporter. (Paul Ryan, Mike Lee, Rick Santorum, and Tom Coburn have also endorsed Sasse.)
Here’s the ad:Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on the republicans' efforts to win big in 2014, and whether the Tea Party will play the role of spoiler as republicans hope to take back the Senate.Read more
Representative Kerry Bentivolio once said, “I have a problem figuring out which one I really am, Santa Claus or Kerry Bentivolio. All my life I have been told I’m Kerry Bentivolio, and now I am a Santa Claus, so now I prefer to be Santa Claus.” Bentivolio, a 62-year-old freshman Republican from Detroit, plays Santa in parades and shows for his business, Old Fashioned Santa and Company, back in Michigan.Read more
Two hundred and forty years ago this month, a gang of Bostonians dressed as Indians boarded the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver and dumped 90,000 pounds of tea into Boston Harbor. That fateful action on December 16, 1773, and Parliament’s inflammatory response—closing the Port of Boston, altering the colony’s charter, radically limiting popular government in Massachusetts, allowing the quartering of troops in private houses, among other arbitrary measures—precipitated the American Revolution.Read more
The Scrapbook was understandably intrigued when Cass Sunstein, a former Obama White House official and former Harvard law professor, published a Bloomberg.com column headlined “How the Alger Hiss Case Explains the Tea Party.” If you know anything about the famous perjury trial of the high-ranking State Department official and Soviet spy, the headline might seem to suggest that Sunstein is admitting the Tea Party has correctly identified insidious political threats.Read more
Living in rural New England with four dogs teaches important political lessons—to the dogs.
Paraphrasing a thought from Michael Oakeshott (to the extent one ever could tell what Oakeshott was thinking), politics is “the activity of attending to the general arrangements of what-the-heck.” That is, everything’s a political system. Politics exists even in lonely fields and forests where the nearest neighbor is an exercise-of-a-Second-Amendment-right away.Read more
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on today's investigative hearings on the IRS scandal.Read more
Career IRS employees have testified on Capitol Hill that the federal agency's chief counsel played a part in the scandal of targeting conseratives, the House Ways and Means Committee announced today in a press release. As a result, House Ways and Means Committee chair Dave Camp, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chair Darrell Issa, Ways and Means Subcommittee chair Charles Boustany Jr, and Oversight Subcommittee chair Jim Jordan have sent a letter to the IRS requesting "new documents related to IRS employee discussions about the 2010 election, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and the tax-exempt status of Tea Party groups," a press release announces.Read more
With three different scandals threatening to consume the White House last week—the Benghazi cover-up, the Justice Department’s seizure of the phone records of dozens of Associated Press reporters, and the revelation of an anti-Tea Party inquisition by the Internal Revenue Service—CNBC’s John Harwood offered his journalistic peers some advice on Twitter: “Those of us in political-media world should just shut up about ‘narratives’ and focus on what’s true.” CBS anchor Scott Pelley joined in: “We are getting big stories wrong, over and over again.”Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on the growing IRS scandal.Read more
After the IRS revealed it had wrongly targeted hundreds of conservative and Tea Party groups, the agency claimed that the misconduct was limited to "low-level employees" in its Cincinnati office. Yesterday, the attorney for Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS’s tax-exempt organizations division, told the House Oversight Committee she would invoke her Fifth Amendment rights, making that explanation much less credible.Read more
Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer was asked on TV this morning whether he thinks the IRS actions violated the law:
"Look, I can't speak to the law here," he said. "The law is irrelevant. The activity was outrageous and inexcusable."Read more
Treasury secretary Jack Lew asked Steven Miller, the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, to resign his post in response to the reports that the IRS had unfairly singled out conservative non-profit groups for close scrutiny. Miller has resigned, President Barack Obama said in a speech Wednesday night. The New York Times has more:Read more
Washington is buzzing about the expose this morning by ABC News' Jonathan Karl showing that the White House's Benghazi talking points underwent 12 different revisions and were scrubbed of references to terrorism. The report builds on and confirms the reporting by The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes.Read more
When Republican senator Tim Scott addresses an audience, he paces back and forth on the stage. He doesn’t use notes or look at a teleprompter. He punctuates with his hands, pointing his index finger outward or turning his palms upward. He looks and sounds like a revivalist preacher or a motivational speaker. When he asks his audience a question, he expects to hear an answer.
“You want to listen to a quick story?” he asked the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month. They did, so he told one.Read more
There wasn’t much in the way of substance to distinguish Marco Rubio’s official Republican response to the State of the Union Address from the Tea Party response by Rubio’s Senate colleague, Rand Paul. Both were delivered by potential 2016 presidential nominees who entered the Senate on a wave of grassroots support in 2010. Both senators offered conservative rebuttals to President Obama’s stridently pro-government address.Read more
On Fox News last night, the boss defended the Tea Party against the GOP establishment:
President Barack Obama's closest political adviser, David Axelrod, is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser later today for a Democratic candidate for Congress who linked the Tea Party with the shooting in Tucson that injured former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The Democrat that will be joined by Axelrod is former congressman Bill Foster who is running for a House seat in the Illinois.Read more
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