In January 2012, I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Environmental Protection Agency asking for copies of correspondence between the EPA and various green groups active in the Marcellus Shale region. The request was filed on behalf of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, the parent company of Watchdog.org. The FOIA asked the agency to provide us with “any discussion and correspondence with outside groups that concerns potential regulatory action that would impact the fracking process.”
A new series of emails was released today by the House Ways and Means Committee in the investigation into the improper targeting of conservatives by IRS official Lois Lerner. The emails, viewable here, show her disdain for conservatives:
Great maybe we are through if there are that many a#@holes.
This was in a response to co-worker making fun of “preppers,” people concerned about the shocking growth in the size of the welfare state and immigration.
Further in the exchange, Lerner says:
So we need to worry about alien teRrorists. It’s our own crazies who will take us down.
Amusing, especially with that capital "R" as if this is some high school prank gone awry.
In an open letter to disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder, Committee Chairman David Camp states:
Over at NRO this morning is a lengthy, clear-as-a-bell article by Andrew McCarthy on impeachment. A few weeks back in this space I reviewed Andy’s superb book Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.
Amidst a flurry of controversy, with Democrats talking up the “I-word” as successful fundraising bait and Governor Palin recommending it, Andy has become a go-to source on the issue.
Which is exactly why his piece this morning at NRO takes on some real—and calming—importance.
The title of Andy’s article is "Against Premature Impeachment: The point is to revive it as a credible threat — and restrain presidential lawlessness."
That speaks volumes. Writes Andy:
Never figured I’d say this, but congratulations are due to ThinkProgress, the lefty news site that usually reads like a less drunk version of the stuff you find on Media Matters’s page, as well as to the Daily Kos, which is the more drunk version.
On Monday, those two sites broke the Left’s blackout on the story of Shaneen Allen, a mother of two boys and a licensed handgun owner with no criminal record who is facing three to ten years in a New Jersey prison for crossing state lines with her otherwise legal handgun.
Last October, Allen was pulled over in Atlantic County, New Jersey, by police for one of those violations indistinguishable from a pretext: the ol’ unsafe lane change. Allen told the officer that she had a concealed carry license from Pennsylvania, and that she had her handgun — a .380 Bersa Thunder — in the car.
Sandra Fluke rose to fame after advocating for Obamacare before members of Congress on the grounds that she couldn't afford her own birth control. But just a few years later, she can afford a generous donation to her California State Senate campaign. That's the scoop from a great piece written by Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner. Per Schow, Fluke donated $12,000 to her campaign and made $4,826.27 in non-monetary contributions. In addition, Fluke loaned her campaign $100,000.
Looking at the raw numbers, Fluke has outraised her opponent, Ben Allen. However, Fluke's own contributions, along with donations from her wealthy in-laws, total 33 percent of her fundraising. Allen's family and personal contributions, on the other hand, only make up 15 percent of his total donations. Schow breaks it down: "[i]f you remove family donations and loans, Allen has raised $330,141. Removing the same from Fluke and she’s only raised $278,859.01."
President Obama affirmed his belief, in a press conference this afternoon, that Russia holds the keys to future peace in Eastern Ukraine. He announced plans to follow through on promises of further sanctions against Russia, saying that he and the EU were coordinating an attack on key sectors of the Russian economy, particularly in energy and investing.
“We are united in our view that the situation in Ukraine ought to be resolved diplomatically,” he said. “We’ve also made it clear…that if Russia continues on its path the cost on Russia will continue to grow.” He went on to describe this latest move as, “The most significant and wide-ranging sanctions to date.”
The president described the attack on Flight MH17 as senseless, and promised that America would ensure that justice was done, explicitly assigning responsibility to pro-Russian separatists. He was, however, quick to show that he had the support and agreement of many of the world’s leaders. Throughout his speech, he walked a balance between speaking in terms of strong American leadership and international consonance.
As the executive branch continues to grow and issue orders that sound more like edicts, bypassing Congress in the process, many on the right are growing frustrated. Some have compared President Obama to a dictator. As the frustration increased, so did rumors of the threat of impeachment, stirred by emails from the DCCC and the White House to potential donors. Today Speaker John Boehner quashed that talk.
According to the Washington Times:
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,” Mr. Boehner said. “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
These are the same Democrats who pushed the “birther” conspiracies, which some on the right still ridiculously hang onto. The Democrats have been using their own talk of impeachment to further their fundraising goals:
The Republican National Committee will take up the explosive subject of the race-card playing radio ads in the Mississippi Senate GOP run-off election between Senator Thad Cochran and Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel. The RNC is scheduled to hold its summer meeting in Chicago August 6-9 at the Westin Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
The discussion, according to an RNC source, will occur on the morning of August 7 — behind closed doors — at the “Members Only” breakfast that runs between 8:00-9:30. There is no word whether RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, under pressure to investigate the ads, will then comment publicly on the discussion.
Last week, amid alarm bells going off in Gaza, Ukraine, and on the Texas border, and while he golfed and attended campaign fundraisers, President Barack Obama saw his approval rating as measured by Gallup drop to 39 percent. Some 54 percent of the venerable polling firm’s respondents registered active disapproval of the president’s job performance, an indication that America is coming to a consensus around the idea that Obama is a failure in office.
This comes with a flurry of mainstream media reports speculating that Obama has checked out of his job, and a growing acceptance of the narrative that the president simply doesn’t care anymore.
It all comes down to four crucial words. In 2009, as the Affordable Care Act was being rammed through the Senate, those words made their way into the statutory behemoth. The law says that the federal government has the power to dole out premium-lowering subsidies through those insurance exchanges “established by the State.” Now that thirty-six states have declined to set up exchanges, the implication is that those who purchase insurance from the federal HealthCare.gov website are, under the text of the law, ineligible for the tax credits. Their premiums would be much higher.