Archive for Congress

We Get Results

Just the other day I asked where was Medea Benjamin and Code Pink now that we’re going to wa—, no, wait a minute…time-limited, scope-limited…no, that’s not it.

“A very significant counterterrorism operation”:

Before Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel could finish the first sentence of his opening statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee, protesters from anti-war NGO Code Pink infiltrated the room and shouted down the Defense Secretary and committee chairman Carl Levin (D., Mich.).

“No more war!” the protester shouted. “The American public does not want war! We do not want war! No military solution to this! No more war! No more war! No military solution!”

“You’re acting very warlike yourself,” Levin said.

After Hagel’s opening statement, two more protesters from Code Pink stood up in an attempt to interrupt the hearing and were promptly removed from the chamber, but not before shouting, “No more war! No military solution!” several more times.

That’s not all that happened:

Untitled

[T]hings took a turn for the creepy when another protester, another young woman took the floor, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) quipped, “I always enjoy attention from this group,” prompting another senator to shoot back, “I don’t think she’s old enough for you.”

What good is being an old man if you can’t be a dirty old man? Good for Code Pink—I’d rather see this hottie than Medea Benjamin or Cindy Sheehan, God forbid.

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Can Hamass Have Our Cake and Eat it Too?

The answer is getting closer to no:

The US Congress is targeting the Palestine Authority (PA) with a cutoff of funds unless US President Barack Obama can justify how continued support to Ramallah advances national security needs.

Moves by both houses of Congress to terminate two decades of economic and security assistance come in response to the June 2 establishment of a new Fatah-led consensus government backed by Hamas, a US-declared terrorist organization.

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a 2015 foreign operations bill that bars aid to the PA from some $440 million in proposed funding.

The Senate’s version of its 2015 foreign operations bill, which includes similar language barring funding to the PA, was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 19.

Unlike previous years, when the House banned funding for a government over which Hamas “exercises undue influence,” this year’s language targets any type of power-sharing government “that results from an agreement with Hamas.”

Both Houses saw fit to include language that limits Obama’s ability to ignore the law, as is his wont.

Alas, they missed this chance:

A much more restrictive bill, introduced in April by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., failed to attract sufficient support by Senate colleagues.

Labeled the “Stand With Israel Act,” the bill aimed to rescind the president’s right to waive funding for any type of Palestinian unity government.

The text:

“Prohibition on Foreign Assistance.

(a) In General. Except as provided under subsection (b) and notwithstanding any other provision of law, no amounts may be obligated or expended to provide any direct United States assistance, loan guarantee, or debt relief to the Palestinian Authority, or any affiliated governing entity or leadership organization.

(b) Exception. The prohibition under subsection (a) shall have no effect for a fiscal year if the President certifies to Congress during that fiscal year that the Palestinian Authority has —

(1) Formally recognized the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state;
(2) Publicly recognized the state of Israel;
(3) Renounced terrorism;
(4) Purged all individuals with terrorist ties from security services;
(4) Terminated funding of anti-American and anti-Israel incitement;
(5) Publicly pledged to not engage in war with Israel; and
(6) Honored previous diplomatic agreements.”

Israel-boosters look upon Rand Paul with some suspicion, given the foreign policy of his father. But given the length he has gone to in order to keep President Barack Hussein Obama from funding Arab terrorists, it would appear we’re focusing on the wrong politician.

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Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

After 22 terms in Congress, he was just getting the hang of it!

Over his 40-year career, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, “the congressman from Harlem,” became one of best-known political figures in American politics and a defining voice in the nation’s black politics.

The longest-serving member of the influential New York delegation, Rangel was one of the founders of the Congressional Black Caucus and over time came to represent one of the standards of Democratic liberalism.

But the campaign for the Democratic nomination, to be decided in a primary Tuesday, has turned into a debate about whether Rangel has stayed too long in office and whether he still best represents the interests of the district.

Through immigration and redistricting, what is now New York’s 13th Congressional District — a seat held by Rangel since 1971 and seen as the center of New York’s modern black political power structure — has seen a seismic demographic shift from majority black to majority Hispanic.

Hoping to seize on those demographics as well as the perception of Rangel’s waning political power in the years since he was formally censured by Congress in 2010 for ethics violations, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat is mounting a spirited challenge to the 22-term incumbent — a rematch of the 2012 race in which Rangel topped Espaillat by just 1,000 votes.

Don’t the Dominicans know how much Charlie Rangel loves their Republic?

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was until his recent troubles one of the House’s most powerful members, was found guilty Tuesday of breaking 11 separate congressional rules related to his personal finances and his fundraising efforts for a New York college.

Those charges pointed to a collection of infractions related to four central elements of the case: that Rangel improperly used his congressional staff and official letterhead to raise seven-figure donations from corporate charities and chief executives for a college wing named in his honor; violated New York City rules by housing his political committees in his rent-controlled apartments in Harlem; did not pay taxes on a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic; and did not properly disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal financial assets.

We all gotta go sometime, Charlie, even corrupt Democrats. What a world, what a world.

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Cantor Autopsy

Lots of stories about Eric Cantor, almost all of which I haven’t bothered to read. But some of which seem to be further off the mark than others.

Should Democrats be “giddy” over victories by a movement they declared dead and buried? The Tea Party is misnamed: it is a movement of similar-minded people that espouses a few common core beliefs (small government, low taxes, etc.), but nowhere near as many beliefs ascribed to them (racism, militantism, etc.). There are some Tea Party aligned organizations, but nothing as centrally organized as a party.

Whatever RINO horns the Tea Party may claim in no way redounds to the benefit of Democrats. The Virginia 7th will still have a Republican representative, likely one more hostile to compromise with Democrats than Cantor. I hesitate to draw too many conclusions from Cantor’s loss, but the little I’ve gleaned is that it was just as much Brat’s win. It took some nerve to run to the right of a seven-term congressman in a leadership position in a party primary, but to do so with no money, no national support, against prevailing polls—and win, convincingly—says something about the candidate. A caller to Rush today from that district cemented the point. She had been a long-time supporter of Cantor, but found his attitude to a qualified challenger off-putting. She recruited as many friends as she could to consider going for Brat over Cantor. In a congressional district, that sort of word of mouth can have an effect, especially if the incumbent and his supporters are taking the race for granted. As Cantor surely was.

I said before that Cantor was defeated over local issues, like potholes and bus schedules. But that’s not exactly right. Certainly, Cantor had “gone Hollywood” (Beltway, in his case): he acted as a party leader, not as a direct representative of the people who had to get his contract renewed every two years. But the concerns of his constituents were just as serious the rest of ours: immigration, federal lawlessness, etc. I also noted before that his share of the vote drifted ever lower in reelection after reelection. He doubtless would have beaten a Democrat opponent in the general election in a heavily Republican district, but he was vulnerable in the primary. Obviously.

My prediction of a repeat of 2010 in 2014 predates Cantor’s loss, and it’s only been bolstered by it. There may be a case where a Tea Party-esque candidate will prove too far to the right to win in the general election. But I think the opposite will be the rule. The Tea Party will bring out the voters.

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eraCamabO

The inverse of ObamaCare:

[G]iven its unpopularity, the question should be: How can Obamacare not be repealed?

What’s more, Republicans, as the party of limited government, not only have an obligation to repeal Obamacare but would benefit politically from doing so. More specifically, they would benefit politically from putting forward the alternative to Obamacare that is the key to achieving its full repeal.

Americans are eagerly awaiting such a conservative alternative. A recent poll by McLaughlin & Associates asked, “If the Republicans were to propose a new plan of their own to improve health care by repealing and replacing Obamacare would you be more or less likely to vote for a Republican for Congress?” By a margin of 31 percentage points (48 to 17 percent), likely voters said they’d be more, not less, inclined to back a Republican in that event. Moreover, that margin was at least 25 points among independents, Hispanics, those under 40, those who make less than $60,000, and women—groups the GOP is supposedly courting.

On the generic congressional ballot, the McLaughlin poll showed Republicans trailing Democrats by 2 points among likely voters—43 to 41 percent. But the poll also asked whether likely voters would be more apt to support for Congress a “Republican who wants to repeal and replace Obamacare” or a “Democrat who wants to keep and fix Obamacare.” By a tally of 47 to 43 percent, respondents picked the Republican—a 6-point swing in the GOP’s favor (from 2 points down to 4 points up). That swing from the generic congressional ballot was even greater among independents (13 points in the GOP’s favor), Hispanics (7 points), those who make under $60,000 (7 points), and women (8 points).

To repeat the question, how can ObamaCare not be repealed?

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The Koch Amendment

You can call it the Steyer Amendment if you prefer

But if you want to know Harry Reid’s target, Koch is it:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday said the Senate would vote in the coming weeks on legislation for a constitutional amendment to give Congress the power to regulate spending levels in federal campaigns.

Reid said Democrats are pushing for the vote to combat what he said is an effort by billionaires Charles and David Koch to “buy” the U.S. Senate this year. He said that effort is allowed in light of Supreme Court decision that prevents limitations on political spending, and said Congress must act to save democracy from the rich.

“It’s unacceptable that the recent Supreme Court decisions have taken power away from the American voter, instead giving it to a select few of mega-billionaires,” Reid said on the Senate floor.

Reid said the vote would be held shortly on a proposed constitutional amendment from Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), S.J.Res. 19.

I was curious to know: what does the Amendment say?

‘‘ARTICLE
‘‘SECTION 1. Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—

‘‘(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and

‘‘(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

‘‘SECTION 2. A State shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in kind equivalents with respect to State elections, including through setting limits on—

‘‘(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, State office; and

‘‘(2) the amount of expenditures that may be made by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.

‘‘SECTION 3. Congress shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.’’.

Odd that the legislation is dated November 1, 2011—two and a half years ago—and Reid is only now getting around to it. You wouldn’t suspect politics, would you? It sounds innocuous enough, until you think about it. Congress is partisan by nature—yet Congress will seek to regulate free speech. It’s a direct contradiction of the First Amendment.

What’s going on inside their heads? And what will they say if this thing becomes law (it won’t), and Tom Steyer and the Teamsters are told to put their checkbooks away? Our home state of Massachusetts offers a clue: when the Democrat legislature feared that a Republican governor might make an interim appointment, they changed the law. When the law later threatened to work agains them, they changed it back.

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Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

When more than 70% of your submitted signatures are ruled invalid, where do you go to get your reputation back?

At 4:55 p.m. Friday, just minutes before our airtime at 5 p.m., Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett’s office handed out a 2-inch thick report regarding the extensive investigation it performed on John Conyers’ campaign nominating petitions.

While running out of Detroit’s City-County building on a dead sprint I read the summary: “STAFF RECOMMENDATION: determine petition insufficient.”

Here is the final count of his signatures: Total number of signatures filed: 2,000. Signatures discounted under face review: 764. Signatures discounted under challenge: 644. Total valid signatures: 592.

The legal threshold he needed to meet was 1,000. He is now 408 signatures shy of making the Aug. 5 primary ballot. The Elections Division of the Office of the Wayne County Clerk ended up with three different tallies for Conyers’ valid signatures over the past couple of weeks.

The first look showed the congressman had 1,193. Then a second review turned up 43 more good signatures. This latest count, though, shows for all of the legal bills already racked up in this case, for all of the depositions the Conyers campaign has had its lawyers’ take, for all of the energy that has gone into trying to “rehabilitate” signatures, getting on the ballot is likely to be exceptionally difficult and a write-in candidacy is probably in the offing along with a pitched legal battle.

To be fair to Conyers, this is only the 25th (or is it 26th?) time he’s run for Congress.

Oh yes, about that “reputation”:

Ethics controversy
In letters sent separately to the House Ethics Committee, the FBI, and the US Attorney’s office by two former aides of Conyers, they alleged that Conyers used his staff to work on several local and state campaigns, and forced them to baby-sit and chauffeur his children.[22] In late December 2006, Conyers “accepted responsibility” for possibly violating House rules.

In deciding to drop the matter, Hastings and Berman stated:

After reviewing the information gathered during the inquiry, and in light of Representative Conyers’ cooperation with the inquiry, we have concluded that this matter should be resolved through the issuance of this public statement and the agreement by Representative Conyers to take a number of additional, significant steps to ensure that his office complies with all rules and standards regarding campaign and personal work by congressional staff.[23]

Also, in 1992, he was implicated in the House banking scandal.

Copyright controversy
Conyers has come under fire from scientific and taxpayers’ advocacy groups[24] for repeatedly introducing a bill that would overturn NIH Public Access Policy, and forbid the government from mandating that federally funded research be made freely available to the public.[25] Critics assert that Conyers has been influenced by publishing houses who have contributed significant money to Conyers.[26]

Bill reading controversy
In late July 2009, Conyers, commenting on the healthcare debate in the House, stated that “I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill’… What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?” His remark brought criticism from government transparency advocates such as the Sunlight Foundation, which referred to readthebill.org in response.[29] In the House, 93 representatives signed a pledge, started by Mike Pence of Indiana, to read a health care bill before voting on it.[30]

Bribery conviction of wife, Monica Conyers
Conyers’ wife, Monica, a former President pro tempore of the Detroit City Council, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bribery in June 2009.[31] This is punishable by up to five years in prison; in March 2010 she was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment, followed by two years supervised probation.[32]

On June 16, 2009, the United States Attorney’s Office said that two Synagro Technologies representatives had named Monica Conyers as the recipient of bribes from the company totaling more than $60,000, paid to influence passage of a contract with the City of Detroit.[33][34] The information was gathered during an FBI investigation into political corruption in the city.[35] She was given a pre-indictment letter, and offered a plea bargain deal in the case.[33] On June 26, 2009, she was charged with conspiring to commit bribery. She pleaded guilty.[36] On March 10, 2010, she was sentenced to 37 months in prison, and also received two years of supervised probation. She is appealing the sentence.[32] She began serving her term on September 10, 2010, at a minimum-security camp in Alderson, West Virginia.[37]

Conyers served his country honorably in Korea. In Congress, not so much. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win a write-in vote, but I can hope that Detroit (and the country) has suffered enough from his particular brand of public service.

PS: Conyers was among the “22 Worst” offenders in the House Banking Scandal, albeit among the best of the worst:

Here is a list of the 22 worst offenders in the House bank case as identified by the committee April 1. It includes present and former members. Those who made this list had negative balances that exceeded their next paychecks for at least eight of the 39 months reviewed. This, according to the ethics panel, made them worse offenders even though other members wrote more bad checks. * Bill Alexander (D-Ark.): 487 * Tommy Robinson (D-Ark.**): 996 * Jim Bates (D-San Diego): 89 * Doug Bosco (D-Sebastopol): 124 * Tony Coelho (D-Merced) : 316 Charles Hatcher (D-Ga.): 819 Charles A. Hayes (D-Ill.): 716 Carl C. Perkins (D-Ky.): 514 Joseph D. Early (D-Mass.): 140 Robert W. Davis (R-Mich.): 878 John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.): 273 William L. Clay (D-Mo.): 328 Robert J. Mrazek (D-N.Y.): 920 Edolphus (Ed) Towns (D-N.Y.): 408 Stephen J. Solarz (D-N.Y.): 743 Edward F. Feighan (D-Ohio): 397 Mary Rose Oakar (D-Ohio): 213 Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.): 386 Bill Goodling (R-Pa.): 430 * Doug Walgren (D-Pa.): 858 Harold E. Ford (D-Tenn.): 388 Ronald D. Coleman (D-Tex.): 673

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Emails? We Thought You Said Shemales!

Jail and a loaded pistol tend to focus a mind:

The IRS has finally agreed to hand over all of ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails to the House Committee on Ways and Means, The Daily Caller has learned.

New IRS commissioner John Koskninen previously said that it could take years to provide all of Lerner’s emails to congressional investigators. But Ways and Means’ referral of criminal charges against Lerner to the Department of Justice, coupled with the House of Representatives’ holding Lerner in contempt of Congress Wednesday, has changed the tenor of the investigation into the IRS conservative targeting scandal.

You know how you “provide” emails? Use the Forward button, works every time. This is the stuff of cheap comedy, but that’s we’ve come to expect from Benny Hill Obama. Low humor.

“It is almost a year to the day since Lois Lerner ‘apologized’ for the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, and we need to get to the bottom of this,” Camp said. “These documents are critical to an investigation that is holding the IRS accountable and ensuring the constitutional rights of these groups are never trampled on again. The Committee will thoroughly review the Lerner documents and follow them wherever they may lead.”

You say “apologized”, I say “took the 5th”. Whatever. All I know is that a bipartisan majority of Congressmen voted to hold her in contempt, and a pack of Democrats only tried to bury the story. May they choke on it.

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Obama’s Original Lie*

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

In the words of Joe Wilson, “You lie!”

The legal left and media are always last to know, but there are the makings of a correction in how the courts police conflicts between the political branches. President Obama’s serial executive power abuses—on health care, immigration, marijuana and much else—may be inspiring a heathy rejoinder.

Under the Constitution, Congress is supposed to create and amend laws and the President to faithfully execute them, but Mr. Obama has grabbed inherent Article I powers by suspending or rewriting statutes he opposes. The President has usurped Congress with impunity because he assumes no one has the legal standing to challenge him.

But all that is about to change:

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is suing the White House over the ObamaCare regulatory carve-out that conjured up special subsidies for Members and staffers who were supposed to give up federal employee health benefits to join the insurance exchanges.

Mr. Johnson argues that because Members must designate which staffers do and don’t participate, the rule imposes a nontrivial administrative burden—i.e., he has standing to sue because the rule harms his office, not because he is a U.S. Senator. More to the point, Mr. Johnson claims that the rule forces him to become personally complicit in law breaking and thus damages his political reputation.

That’s a rather fine point.

George Will sees bigger legal problems for ObamaCare:

“All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.”

The ACA passed the Senate on a party-line vote, and without a Democratic vote to spare, after a series of unsavory transactions that purchased the assent of several shrewdly extortionate Democrats. What will be argued on Thursday is that what was voted on — the ACA — was indisputably a revenue measure and unquestionably did not originate in the House, which later passed the ACA on another party-line vote.

In June 2012, a Supreme Court majority accepted a, shall we say, creative reading of the ACA by Chief Justice John Roberts. The court held that the penalty, which the ACA repeatedly calls a penalty, is really just a tax on the activity — actually, the nonactivity — of not purchasing insurance. The individual mandate is not, the court held, a command but merely the definition of a condition that can be taxed. The tax is mild enough to be semi-voluntary; individuals are free to choose whether or not to commit the inactivity that triggers the tax.

The “exaction” — Roberts’s word — “looks,” he laconically said, “like a tax in many respects.” It is collected by the IRS, and the proceeds go to the Treasury for the general operations of the federal government, not to fund a particular program. This surely makes the ACA a revenue measure.

Did it, however, originate in the House? Of course not.

If Obama can ignore his sworn promise to “faithfully execute” his office, or “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution, why should he give a flying fish about the Origination Clause? He doesn’t. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi don’t. But courts do, or ought to—even courts packed with Democrat appointees.

As Will makes clear, this is not a small point. This law (of the land) was passed in a manner that would have made Hugo Chavez blush with shame. It’s anything but Constitutional (bitches).

* Technically, not his original lie. Certainly, Dreams of My Father predates it.

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Green Hams and Yeggs

I’m repeating this story—but it bears repeating:

Senate Democrats’ 14-hour global warming “talkathon” produced enough hot air to make up for the “15-year pause” in worldwide temperature increases. But for all the senators’ dire warnings, the gabfest ended with little to show.

After talking from 6:30 p.m. Monday through 9 a.m. Tuesday, Democratic senators ended up with no plans for legislative action.

Many red-state Democrats up for reelection this fall — Arkansas’s Mark Pryor, Alaska’s Mark Begich, Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, and North Carolina’s Kay Hagan — skipped out on the night of long speeches. But the 28 other senators who showed up provided more than their share of head-scratching and odd moments on the floor.

More than half the Democrats in the Senate came to this oratorical orgy—yet not among their number was any Democrat Senator with anything on the line. That is so telling. This was a Roman bacchanalia blowhard lifers.

And what did we hear from these self-pleasuring poltroons?

The Senate majority leader warned, “Climate-change deniers still exist — there’s lots of them. They exist in this country. They exist, I’m sorry to say, in this Congress.”

?2. Massachusetts’ Ed Markey was one of the stars of the show on the Senate floor. At one point, he invoked Paul Revere’s warnings of “an invasion coming from the sea,” and cautioned, “With climate change, Boston and the Bay State could now face an invasion of the sea itself.”

?3. Markey later took a page out of Texas Republican Ted Cruz’ playbook by reading his own Dr. Seuss story. Rather than revisit Green Eggs and Ham, Markey read from Seuss’ environmentalist favorite The Lorax.

4. Markey also tried to illustrate the increase of carbon emissions over time through the increase in higher homerun totals during the steroid era of the 1990s.

5. Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse also used sports to warn of the impact of climate change. Unless the issue is addressed, children will no longer be able to learn hockey on frozen ponds. Additionally, many of the former sites of the Winter Olympics may no longer be “climatically suitable” to host future games.

6. One of the newest members of the Senate shared a harrowing story of crossing the United States in some kind of futuristic amphibious vehicle.

“Right after I turned 17 and got my New Jersey driver’s license, one of the earliest places I drove was a trip — the only trip I’ve ever taken — was to Hawaii,” the Garden State senator Cory Booker said.

“You didn’t drive to Hawaii,” New Mexico’s Martin Heinrich corrected him. Booker thanked his colleague for fixing the congressional record.

The Senate prides itself on being “the world’s greatest deliberative body”. Me, I’d rather deliberate on Scarlett Johansson’s body—but if Ed Markey is the “star” of your show, you’ve got an all-time flop on your hands. The Lorax was undoubtedly the only memorable thing spoken that night, though they would have done even better with Dr. Seuss’ great and underrated Sleep Book.

PS: Note how these imbeciles didn’t even resort to the last refuge of scaremongers, “climate change”. It was all about global warming, a phenomenon strangely absent from the world for a decade and a half.

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I Know What You Did Last Night

Pleasuring yourselves for the sake of it.

Have you no shame?

[T]his may be the first time in history that a group of senators filibustered themselves.

About 30 Democratic senators — calling themselves the Senate Climate Action Task Force — resolved to keep the Senate open overnight Monday into Tuesday morning. “We’re not going to rest until Congress wakes up and acts on the most pressing issue of our time,” declared Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii), the organizer of the sleepless senators.

[T]hese guys are trying to persuade the majority — themselves — to pass something.

Joining the late-night guerilla action was Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who as the Senate majority leader is usually a target of filibusters, not a sponsor. If he and his colleagues really want action, they don’t have to lose sleep. All they have to do is bring a climate-change bill to the floor.

The problem is that Reid doesn’t have the votes in his caucus to pass such a measure.

Reid, who kicked off the 13-hour talkathon at 6:30 Monday evening, didn’t mention the problems among his fellow Democrats. He praised his colleagues for “standing up to the deniers” and “the oil-baron Koch brothers and their allies in Congress.”

Apparently, those allies were not intimidated by the Democrats’ late-night show. The office of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.),
e-mailed “Climate Tax Bingo” cards to reporters.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) crashed the Democrats’ party, needling his colleagues for more than half an hour. “All night long? That’s going to be fun,” said Inhofe, who calls global warming a “hoax” and frequently sights cold snaps as confirmation. “They’ll have an audience of themselves and I hope that they enjoy it.”

As Woody Allen observed, masturbation is sex with someone you love.

Or were they trying to impress someone?

[T]hey figured their antics in the wee hours would display their dedication for all Americans to see — or at least insomniacs who watch C-SPAN2. It also might impress Democratic donors. As The Post’s Ed O’Keefe reported, Democratic senators discussed plans for the filibuster last month at a fundraiser held by liberal billionaire Thomas Steyer.

As if it wasn’t worthless already, Congress has been rendered obsolete by Obama, who legislates from on high. What else are they supposed to do?

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Lois, You Got Some ‘Splainin’ to Do

Now, where were we?

House Republicans announced Tuesday that they are recalling Lois G. Lerner, the former IRS employee at the center of the tea party targeting scandal, to testify to Congress next week, saying she has critical information.

Ms. Lerner asserted her right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination at a hearing last year, but at the time she also proclaimed her innocence. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, said she effectively waived her Fifth Amendment rights with that claim and made her open to being compelled to testify.

“Ms. Lerner’s testimony remains critical to the committee’s investigation,” Mr. Issa said in a letter to her attorney, William W. Taylor III. “Documents and testimony obtained by the committee show that she played a significant role in scrutinizing applications for tax exempt status from conservative organizations.”

In a dramatic hearing in May, just weeks after the targeting was revealed, Ms. Lerner appeared before the oversight committee and refused to testify.

Republicans initially seemed prepared to excuse her, but Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and a former prosecutor, raised an objection saying her statement of innocence amounted to waiving her right to remain silent.

Technically, Gowdy had a point. If you assert your 5th Amendment right to remain silent, you remain silent. You don’t get to apply it selectively. Politically, however, it would appear as bullying if mean old Republicans compelled this damsel in distress to answer their questions.

But aren’t we past that now? It’s now clear not only what happened, but why. The Tea Party (more a movement than a party) rose up to swing the 2010 elections to Republicans; that was not going to happen in 2012 if Obama and his shock troops had anything to do with it. And they did. And it didn’t.

Obama feigned outrage, once, when the story broke, but he got over it. Now it’s a “phony” scandal. What’s he going to do, investigate himself? His myriad agencies and departments are too busy mobilizing against any dissent or opposition to look into malfeasance from the Oval Office. Heck, we just learned the that Treasury Secretary himself placed a scathing call to S&P for lowering the nation’s credit-rating directly AFTER meeting with Obama. He learned that one from his hermano de una otra madre, Hugo Chavez (may he burn in hell).

Eric Holder has already announced his intention to enforce only those laws that meet his fancy; he recently encouraged state AGs to follow suit. Along with the IRS and FEC disenfranchisement of conservative Americans, the FCC floated the idea of “monitoring” media newsrooms. Even signature pieces of legislation (constitutional legislation, bitches) are applied only according to taste.

This is statism out of control. Obama is more than just the evil twin of Chavez. No wonder he made a bee-line to his true idol—or as close as he could get:


Do please tell Fidel that I send my best—and that I bowed.

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