The testimony now proves that the administration knew in advance that this was not the case. Susan Rice made this statement on Sept 16, 2012.
When U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice later publicly attributed the attack to a demonstration-gone-bad, Hicks said, he was “stunned.”
“My jaw dropped, and I was embarrassed,” Hicks said, noting that, even as the top-ranked diplomat in charge once Stevens was killed, he never spoke to Rice about what had transpired before she initially attributed the attack to a demonstration in multiple television appearances.
“The You Tube video was a non-event in Libya,” Hicks said, denying there was ever a connection to unrest in Egypt. “Our assessment in the embassy was that video was not an instigator of anything.”
I think it’s fair to say that conservatives still care more than liberals about maintaining the old standards. And that creates a real dilemma. In an era of moral lassitude, how much do you insist on moral propriety in politics? Since sin and temptation are bipartisan phenomena, should conservatives be at a constant disadvantage? I don’t think there are easy answers there, or at least I can’t think of what they might be. Asking Republicans to vote for Colbert Busch in order to punish Mark Sanford strikes me as a hard sell. Why support the party you disagree with politically just to punish a man you agree with politically? Colbert Busch — whose political hero, of course, was John F. Kennedy – wouldn’t even answer directly whether she would vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker. On matters of political integrity, it seems to me, Sanford was hardly the clear worse choice.
But one thing I really resent is the tendency of liberals to demand that conservatives stick to standards that liberals reject entirely. If you have no brief against the Clintons, the Weiners, the Spitzers, or the Kennedys please don’t pretend you’re offended by the Sanfords. Indeed, when Democratic politicians get caught in scandals, the response from liberals is invariably, Why can’t you conservatives lighten up? Who are you to judge? Etc. It is only when conservatives are caught in such messes, that liberals walk over to the conservative side, pick up our standards, and beat us up with them. Any talk of lightening up or forgiveness is immediately denounced.
It’s absolutely true that conservatives need to wrestle with the question of what we should expect from our politicians. But I’m not sure liberals have anything worth listening to on the subject.
The US Senate passed an online sales tax in a vote this afternoon after a heated final round of debate. A small group of anti-tax Republicans, as well as Democratic Senators from states without sales tax like Montana and Oregon, argued vociferously against the bill—but to no avail.
The final vote was 69-27, not much different from the 74-20 procedural vote that took place two weeks ago. The proposal has hardly changed at all in two weeks. The Marketplace Fairness Act, S.743, would allow states and localities to make Internet retailers collect sales tax from their customers if they do more than $1 million per year in out-of-state online sales.
“Today the senate is voting to take a few more inches off the little guy,” said Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who has fought the bill hard. “You saw ads taken out by some of the biggest businesses in the country. It’s easy to see why, Mr. President. With this vote, what you have is big businesses being given the ability to force new regulations onto the start-ups, onto the small businesses.”
The law is nothing short of taxation without representation in that it dictates a state can reach beyond its borders into a different state and compel a business in that other state to collect and remit taxes. This vote overturns a founding American principal. Are you surprised that the opposition was made up of Conservative Republicans while only Liberal Republicans supported it and only 5 Democrats in swing states voted against it?
Thank goodness there is at least a Conservative Republican controlled House to make a final effort:
With today’s vote, the bill will move on to the House of Representatives, where it’s expected to face more opposition from conservative Republicans. House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) told the AP the bill “still has a long way to go,” but has said he’ll give it a hearing.
“This is really states’ rights legislation,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). “It allows state legislatures to require out-of-state sellers to do what they already require of in-state sellers.”
The bill was supported by the National Retail Federation, which includes Wal-Mart and other large brick-and-mortar retailers. Amazon switched sides on the issue after losing political and legal battles over taxation in key states like California and New York. eBay is leading the opposition among online retailers. “The contentious debate in the Senate shows that a lot more work needs to be done to get the Internet sales tax issue right,” said eBay in a statement released after the vote.
Still, today’s vote was strong enough and bipartisan enough that it’s easy to believe the long tax holiday of Internet shopping is coming to a close.
Five US states currently have no sales tax: Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware, Oregon, and Alaska. Of those states, all but the two senators from Delaware opposed the bill.
President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” has long been credited with rescuing the nation from the Great Depression of the 1930′s. Lee Ohanian, Professor of Economics at UCLA, challenges this conventional wisdom in a provocative examination of FDR’s economic policies.
“I say good,” Carolla declared. “That’s all we have. That’s all we have ever had, is as a society. I mean, there are not enough counselors or dietitians or cops. We have to shame. I would like to expand the shaming to welfare moms and deadbeat dads and people who think it’s a good idea to fly in flip flops. I want shaming. It keeps society in order.”
Host Bill O’Reilly asked Carolla if there should be exceptions for health problems that lead to obesity, but the “Not Taco Bell Material” author said any exceptions would ultimately be pointless.
“Well, listen, I think they are going to get beat up by society no matter what,” Carolla replied. “I mean, prom season is not great when you’re fat. And dating is tough. And even job interviews. I mean, society gets its pound of flesh out of these people. … But, eventually when there is more of them than there are of us, they will literally crush us. This way, if you think about it … they’re going to take over the world with their enormity.”
Far from opposing stigmas, liberals are the main propagators of them — against cigarettes, guns, plastic bags, obesity, not recycling, Fox News, racist “code words,” not liking “Lincoln” and junk food.
The stigma against smoking has gone so swimmingly that you can’t enjoy a little tobacco pleasure 50 yards from another human being without some bossy woman marching over and accusing you of poisoning her.
California is currently running a series of “Reefer Madness”-style anti-smoking ads, including one that shows cigarette smoke going from a woman outside on her porch, up a story, through the door of another apartment, across the living room, down the hallway and into a room where a baby is sleeping. That would be the equivalent of the Bloomberg ads claiming teen pregnancy causes genocide.
And what exactly was the purpose of the Journal-News publishing the names and addresses of every legal gun owner in various counties in New York state a few months ago? To congratulate them? To start a hunting club?
No, I believe it was to stigmatize legal gun owners. The fact that we didn’t already know who they were proved that the problem isn’t legal gun ownership. All those legal guns — and no rash of drive-by shootings!
Los Angeles has banned plastic bags at supermarkets, even though reusable canvas bags are portable bacterial colonies. But a little ad campaign describing the downsides of teenage pregnancy — which is still subsidized — and liberals howl in protest.
One begins to suspect that liberals aren’t as interested in stopping teenagers from having illegitimate kids as they claim. Do they believe a teenager who gets pregnant out of wedlock is harming herself and her child as much a teenager who smokes? How about an unwed teen who smokes at a landfill?
It’s only a “shame-and-blame game” when liberals secretly approve of the behavior they pretend to oppose.
When asked about Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) tax proposals, Dr. Ben Carson said, “We have to be cognizant of whether we in fact want to be a nation where we rule our own lives, or whether we have the government invading every aspect of our life. This is a very, very serious issue and I think a lot of people are asleep at the wheel and we have to keep sounding the alarm until people recognize that we’re giving away the freedoms of our nation.”
“You know, those Capitol janitors will not get as much overtime. I’m sure they think less pay, that they’re taking home, does hurt.”
— Gene Sperling, director of the White House economic council, on ABC News’ “This Week,” March 3, 2013
“On the issue of the janitors, if you work for an hourly wage and you earn overtime, and you depend on that overtime to make ends meet, it is simply a fact that a reduction in overtime is a reduction in your pay.”
Sounds alarming. Good thing its just another Obama administration fearmongering lie that has earned 4 Pinocchio’s by the Washington Post.
At a news conference last Friday, President Obama claimed that, “starting tomorrow,” the “folks cleaning the floors at the Capitol” had “just got a pay cut” because of the automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester.
The president very quickly earned Four Pinocchios for that statement, especially after senior officials at the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), the federal agency that employ janitors on the House side, and the office of the Sergeant at Arms (SAA), which employs janitors on the Senate side, issued statements saying the president’s comments were not true.
Still, the White House has kept up its spin offensive, claiming that a cut in “overtime” was a de facto pay cut and thus the president was right — or at least not wrong.
For the past few days the White House, with a big assist from sympathetic media, has done all within its considerable powers to make it seem like sequestration means the end of the world. If all you’ve heard is their side, you might be forgiven for thinking that the Mayans were right after all—just off by a couple of months on their prediction of the apocalypse.
This political panic needs a little common sense. In the last decade, federal spending has exploded from a $2 trillion budget in 2002 to a $3.5 trillion budget in 2012—a 75 percent increase. Over the next 10 years, the budget is projected to grow another 69 percent to $6 trillion. The sequester barely taps the brakes on this runaway spending, still allowing a 67 percent increase over the next 10 years. Too much to ask of Washington?
“Sequester” is an awkward word for automatic spending reductions that were decided during negotiations for the 2011 debt ceiling deal, and it is problematic. The reductions leave the largest part of federal spending—entitlements—virtually untouched while deeply cutting into defense priorities. This compromises national security by undermining military readiness and capabilities, while doing nothing to make defense more efficient and effective. This is a poor substitute for real budgeting. The President and Congress have had a year and a half to come up with a smarter way to reduce spending, and they have failed.
But you must remember that we live in a world where Harry Reid’s Senate has not passed a budget in 1,402 days. The sequester is a symptom of Washington’s fiscal cluelessness.
Yet, recall why we are having this conversation in the first place. We’re facing a serious debt crisis that has already led to America’s credit rating being downgraded. It is driven by these massive spending increases—resulting in even more debt—which, if left unresolved, will cripple our children’s future with higher interest rates, inflation, and even fewer jobs. It’s time to put our nation on the path to a balanced budget within the next 10 years.
So why is President Obama leading a scare campaign filled with untruths about how sequestration will necessitate firing firefighters, cops, and teachers?
I’ll tell you why. Because liberals know the Obama tax hikes forced through in January will really hurt the economy. It’s preemptive damage control. The President is trying to blame the sequester for the economic problems his tax hikes will spawn.
No doubt there will be those who find such fear-mongering persuasive. But for the rest of us, it suggests a rather pressing and relevant question: Just what, precisely, did we get from doubling the cost of the federal government between 2000 and 2010?
If the bureaucrats can’t produce an explanation for the price increase of government, then they should not expect their budgets to be rubber-stamped by an already suffering public.
So the squawking you hear is from a government money-machine having difficulty adapting to a political universe that no longer accepts automatic annual increases. And we’ll keep hearing it until the moment politicians have the courage to align government expenditures within miles of revenue.
The Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan, who died in January, warned us three decades ago about the “permanent disconnect” between revenue and spending, brought about by politicians scared of charging taxpayers full freight for government goodies.
Another liability is President Barack Obama himself. He is not a good partner for constructive governance, even in areas where there might be agreement. The current battle over sequestration is a perfect illustration of the challenge Republicans face in dealing with Obama. The impasse boils down to the president’s demand for higher taxes to deal with the $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction that sequestration requires. However, when the deal was inked back in the summer of 2011, the two sides were both looking for $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts. In other words, President Obama changed his bargaining demands.
This has become a pattern with the president. During the debt ceiling battle in 2011, he came back to Boehner at the 11th hour with a request (or demand) for 50 percent more in new tax revenue. He vacillated on whether he wanted Republican input on the 2009 stimulus, at first encouraging the GOP to come to him with ideas, then icily shutting them down when they did so. He flip-flopped after Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate seat, temporarily scuttling Obamacare. At first, he appeared solicitous of Republican suggestions, going so far as to hold a bipartisan summit at Blair House. Then he changed his mind, forcing the massive new health care entitlement through the Congress on a party-line vote. It is very difficult to negotiate with somebody who plays these games. How can he be trusted? At any moment, he could scuttle a deal, then hold a press conference to blame Republicans.