Greetings from Maryland where I’m attending the Conservative Political Action Conference so that you don't have to. While we are only in the early hours of the conference, I have already seen more articles of clothing fashioned from the American flag than I thought were humanly possible. There is a man here with a pair of MC Hammer-style pants, decorated with the Stars and Stripes, that would strike fear into the heart of any of America’s enemies. Beyond red, white and blue attire, the most prominent trends at this year’s essential gathering of conservatives are Duck Dynasty beards that could comfortably house a squirrel family of four and really, really inappropriate shoes.
The Spectacle Blog
I guess senior members of the Obama Administration are taking turns bashing Benjamin Netanyahu.
Last night, it was Susan Rice who said Netanyahu's speech would be "destructive" to U.S.-Israeli relations.
Now it's Secretary of State John Kerry's turn. Testifying before a House Committee, Kerry questioned Bibi's judgment and evoked his support for the War in Iraq. Kerry stated that Netanyahu "was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush. And we all know what happened with that decision."
This would be the same John Kerry who was for the Iraq War before he was against it. What chutzpah.
If he isn't too busy fondling the Defense Secretary's wife or a Senator's daughter, I suppose tomorrow will be Joe Biden's turn to bash Bibi.
He might have the unenviable task of providing the backbone to Republicans, after Mitch McConnell all but gave away the farm in the Senate, but John Boehner has more important things on his mind today than whether the TSA will have the money necessary to keep them in blue surgical gloves for the forseeable future.
John Boehner wants you - yes, you, newly elected member of Congress - to start looking like you belong here. He's not naming names, but you know who you are, sweatpants afficionados.
During the final vote series of the day, Boehner reiterated the rules for proper behavior on the House floor. Boehner, who is known for ribbing lawmakers and reporters for their attire, has made reminding members of House rules a regular practice.
Many lawmakers frequently wear jeans or casual shoes to the House floor, particularly during the first vote series of the week that are usually close to dinnertime.
Obviously, Tuesday’s Chicago mayoral election pitted Democrats on the left against Democrats on the further left against Democrats who might as well have come out of a Karl Marx treatise, but that’s no reason to play off Tuesday’s election results. After all, while I might care about it because I live here, Rahm Emanuel’s failure to clinch re-election speaks volumes about how the progressive left, which once saw the Obama team as saviors bearing manna from heaven, have now abandoned their fearless leaders because their election failed to produce real progressive results.
Instead of hitting the 51 percent needed to take the title, Emanuel halted at 45 percent and will now face a runoff against Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, making his path to Chicago’s traditional “Mayor for Life” role much more difficult than originally anticipated.
Guys, the Transportation Safety Administration is very sad. Really sad. Like, they might not even feel like rifling through your unmentionables tonight they're so dejected and depressed.
Everything about their job has simply lost its charm. Life as they know it may come to an abrupt end this week, though they will not actually be getting an unpaid vacation from work, thanks to regulations that mandate they work without pay until the "shutdown" subsides, and they would like you to know that despite what you've heard, witnessed and know to be true based on a boundless volume of evidence, the TSA is a very vital part of our Homeland Security program, and if you don't fund them, America, there will be a price to pay. And that price is probably a cavity search.
It seems that whatever Lois Lerner was doing, she was doing something right by her bosses.
Turns out, while was worming her way into the hearts and minds of every Republican in America, over her alleged use of IRS resources to investigate conservative 501(c)(4)s, trying to root out their dastardly ring of influence, she was also worming her way into the hearts and minds of IRS higher ups, who rewarded her excellent work with more than a hundred thousand in bonuses.
Former IRS official Lois Lerner received $129,300 in bonuses between 2010 and 2013, records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show.
Over a three-year period, Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt division at the heart of the IRS targeting scandal, received a 25 percent retention bonus—averaging $43,000 a year—on top of her regular salary...
Former acting IRS commissioner Steven T. Miller recommended Lerner for a $42,000 retention bonus in December 2009, when she first became eligible for retirement.
In an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS, National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress would be "destructive" to U.S.-Israeli relations:
What has happened over the last several weeks, by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the Speaker and the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu two weeks in advance of his election, is that on both sides, there has now been injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it's destructive of the fabric of the relationship.
What a load of excrement!!!
With President Obama issuing a veto on the Keystone Pipeline XL where does it go from here?
I doubt Congress will be able to override Obama's veto. When the Senate approved the pipeline, it was by a vote of 62-36. That's five votes short required to override a presidential veto.
The State Department has actually not made a formal recommendation on the project and I don't think they are in any hurry to do so. Even if they did recommend the project, I doubt Obama would reverse his position.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald has issued an apology for claiming he served in the U.S. Army Special Forces.
Last month, during a segment on CBS News, McDonald was in a conversation with a homeless veteran and told the man he had served in the special forces. McDonald is a graduate of West Point and did serve in the 82nd Airborne Division for five years before joining Proctor & Gamble in 1980, eventually becoming its CEO.
McDonald has only been on the job since last July after the VA Hospital scandal forced President Obama to fire his predecessor General Eric Shinseki. Earlier this month, McDonald got into a row with Colorado Republican Congressman Mike Coffman at a congressional hearing over constructions delays at Denver's VA hospital. Under tough questioning, McDonald snapped at Coffman, "I've run a large company, sir. What have you done?"
Coffman served in both Iraq wars.
There is some speculation that the Obama Administration and Iran are nearing a nuclear agreement.
If an agreement is indeed close at hand then I wonder if it will be completed prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress which is to take place one week from today in an effort to undercut Bibi.
Yet presumably any such agreement would need to be ratified by the Senate. That is, unless, Obama sees fit work around Senate approval and one cannot put such a thing past him. But if Obama does seek congressional approval then it gives Bibi an opportunity not only to make the case against Iran's nuclear ambitions and intentions, but to also make the case against any deal reached between Iran and the Obama Administration. In which case, Netanyahu's speech could be that much more compelling and convincing.