Politics

Scott Walker Forms Up a Committee for 2016

By on 1.27.15 | 3:37PM

Coming off a very big opener this weekend, Scott Walker is forming up the requisite "exploratory" committee for a 2016 Presidential run. The "Our American Revival" organization submitted its paperwork yesterday and the website is scheduled to go live sometime today. 

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose speech to activists in Iowa last weekend drew strong reviews, has taken the first formal step toward a presidential candidacy in 2016, establishing a committee that will help spread his message and underwrite his activities as he seeks to build his political and fundraising networks in the months ahead...

“Our American Revival encompasses the shared values that make our country great; limiting the powers of the federal government to those defined in the Constitution while creating a leaner, more efficient, more effective and more accountable government to the American people,” Walker said in a statement in the release announcing the committee.

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Is Team Obama Working Against Netanyahu?

By on 1.26.15 | 3:49PM

It's clear how the White House feels about Benjamin Netanyahu on their home turf - the feather ruffling can be heard across the Mississippi - but it seems that some people very close to the Obama White House are making their feelings about Bibi known on Bibi's home turf as well.

According to IMRA, a news source whose veracity I am, admittedly, unfamiliar with (via PJM, whose veracity is stellar), Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign's former national field director (and the one who sent about 50% of the endless campaign emails) is in Tel Aviv working for the "V-2015" campaign, which aims to elect anyone but Bibi in the Israel's next national election.

Haaretz reporter Roi Arad revealed in an article in the Hebrew edition today [January 26] that the foreign funded organization, “One Voice”, is bankrolling the V-2015 campaign to defeat Binyamin Netanyahu’s national camp in the March 2015 Knesset Elections.

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Obama Takes On Oil Drilling From Giant Jet

By on 1.26.15 | 12:33PM

I don't remember the last time I heard the term "ANWR" - the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge - before this weekend. I think I recall some controversy over it during the Bush Administration, around the same time Jennifer Lopez divorced her second husband, and then there was the time Sarah Palin declared that the caribou would be just as happy toddling around oil rigs as they are currently. But before Barack Obama declared that America's highest priority this week is to preseve the pristine Alaskan wildnerness from the mere prospect of economic stimulation, the issue had lain dormant for approximately my entire adult life.

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Lost a Drone? The Secret Service Might Have It

By on 1.26.15 | 11:38AM

If you were the lucky amateur pilot who landed a "Quadcopter" drone on the White House lawn late last night, the Secret Service has your unmanned robot aircraft and would probably like a word with you.

Apparently, a small, commercially-available drone flew over the White House fence on onto the hallowed grounds around 3:08 am, and like most commercially-available drones operated by people whose entire history of flight experience involves an XBox or a copy of SkyMall (RIP), immediately crashed. White House security responded somewhat immediately, cleared the object, and are now waiting for a hapless tourist or area resident who wanted an arial view of the landmark to please come collect both their toy and their criminal charges.

The Secret Service has identified the device that was found overnight on the White House grounds as a "quad copter."

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Healthcare.gov Sells Your Personal Data To Basically Everyone

By on 1.22.15 | 11:33AM

I was most of the way through my bottle of wine by 9pm CST on Tuesday, but I'm fairly sure that a major part of Obama's State of the Union proposals, made with regard to technology, centered around protecing Americans from cunning and dastardly commercial data companies who harvest your Internet preferences without your consent and sell them in bulk to major retailers who then use them to determine which products they can successfully market to you through social media. It's how one click over to Neiman Marcus's website to check on how much Michelle Obama's Michael Kors suit cost has managed to fill my Facebook news feed with ads begging me to drop $3K on something that looks like a Chanel knock-off Hazmat suit.

Anyway, the White House, which has often used micro-targeting data in its own campaigns wants to require companies to inform consumers that their data is being collected, and subsequently, allow those same consumers to opt out.

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Political Hay

President No Comes Into His Own

By 1.22.15

Call him President No. He doesn’t want to cut taxes. He will veto any attempt to overturn the mess of Obamacare. He is adamant about opposing anyone who wants to undoing his executive order on amnesty, or his sudden turnabout of U.S. policy on Cuba. He won’t say yes to the Keystone XL pipeline. And hell will freeze over before he utters the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Now the White House is furious that Speaker John Boehner has issued a February 11th invitation for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, this just hours after the president made it clear that he would say no to any new sanctions on Iran. “But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails  —  alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again,” Obama said. “It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress.”

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Carly Fiorina Wastes Valerie Jarrett on “Equal Pay”

By on 1.21.15 | 3:46PM

Last night, the White House laid off the general #WaronWomen rhetoric, since they no longer need single women under the age of 35 to vote for them in droves in order to "save their birth control," as though anyone was physically stopping them from filling a prescription at Wal-Mart. The President did, however, touch on the subject of "pay equity," playing on the tried-and-true assumption that women in the workforce make less than men do, which persists despite all evidence to the contrary.

In a "won't you think about the ladies?" moment, the President urged Congress to pass a bill that would demand pay equity, even though there are already laws against discrimination on the books, and overall merit pay discrepancies between the genders is due largely to union and government influence. Unfortunately, even if you were screaming this impotently at the television screen, you could hardly make a dent in the administration's self-satisfaction. Which is why watching Carly Fiorina lay waste to White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett on this exact subject, using these exact talking points, live on MSNBC's Morning Joe is totally worth it. 

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Ten Things You Missed (Or Wish You’d Missed) From #SOTU2015

By on 1.21.15 | 12:30PM

To be honest, I was approximately as jazzed to spend an hour listening to the President yammer on about his policy agenda as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and given her noted history of pre-gaming the event, probably just as drunk. But regardless, in selfless stewardship to the public interest, I watched the whole thing, paid attention through most of it, and only flipped the channel once to check out whether the Travel Channel had a show on that would send my OCD into overdrive. I flipped back because it was something about RVs and camping isn't exactly my forte. Even in an RV.

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You’re Still Paying for Past SOTUs

By on 1.20.15 | 3:27PM

The State of the Union is an annual celebration of what the government can do for you, regardless (mostly) of party, designed to capture the imagination of a public that is primarily agitated that they can't find their regularly scheduled reality television on the major cable networks, if anyone still watches any of that. It's usually a laundry list of government programs or government ideals that end up costing more than they're worth or never pass in the first place.

Barack Obama has been slightly more effective at making his SOTU wishes come true, and according to the National Taxpayers Union, we've paid handsomely for it. Well, except for 2012 when he was in the midst of a campaign. Then, we got a $28B reprieve while he geared up to sock us again in 2013.  

President Obama has proposed an average $41.7 billion in new government spending in each of his State of the Union addresses, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

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State of the Union Live Drink…Errr…Tweeting!

By on 1.20.15 | 12:27PM

As per tradition, at 9pm EST/8pm CST, we'll be breaking into the liquor cabinet in order to enjoy the State of the Union as it was meant to be enjoyed: by getting increasingly drunk as the speech progresses, theoretically according to the official rules set forth by Cloture Club, but more likely on an ad hoc basis relating specifically to our individual policy interests and tolerance for Obama's key phrases.

By "we," I mean myself and my #Chatterbox co-host (and American Spectator's resident domestic goddess) Amelia Hamilton. And also you, too! Thanks to the advent of social media, you can follow our #SOTU updates in real time on Twitter, by following us individually (I'm @emzanotti, she's @ameliahammy), or by following along with the hashtag, #Chatterbox. We guarantee a good time. And possibly an informative time. 

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