President Barack Obama

DON’T BLAME ME

The Huffington Post

Cruz: It’s Not Me Who’s Holding Migrant Kids Ransom

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had two people to blame on Sunday for the surge of child migrants detained by U.S. border security this year: President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“Ill tell you who is holding these kids ransom — [it] is Harry Reid and the president because their view is, ‘Don’t do anything to fix the problem,’” Cruz said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Cruz was responding to Reid’s earlier claim that “Republicans would rather hold these kids ransom” than consider bipartisan immigration reform legislation.

“He mentions comprehensive immigration reform,” Cruz said. “The Gang of Eight billis one of the causes of this problem. What the kids are saying is they are coming because they believe they will get amnesty. Part of the Gang of Eight bill promising amnesty.”

Cruz chiefly blamed Obama’s 2012 executive action, which deferred deportation for some undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, for enticing migrants with a promise of amnesty.

The Texas Republican is pushing legislation that would undo the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

Interviewer Chris Wallace asked Cruz whether his opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, which pairs increased border security with a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, would ultimately prevent Republicans from getting the increased border security they want.

“What I’m interested in is fixing the problem,” Cruz said. “It’s only Washington. All of the proposals being floated are missing the cause of the problem.”

Wallace pressed Cruz on how stopping Obama’s deferred action would help the kids who are already here, having fled violence in central America.

“Continuing this regime where tens of thousands of kids are being brutalized by drug dealers is not humane, is not compassionate,” Cruz said, not directly answering the question. “That’s what Democrats and Harry Reid want to do.”

Fox Host Yells At Michele Bachmann For Trying To Sue Obama: ‘You’re Being Silly’

Cavut and Bachmann

Think Progress

Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto blasted Republicans on Wednesday for preparing to file a federal lawsuit challenging the executive actions of President Barack Obama. During an interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Cavuto belittled the effort as “an enormous waste of effort” and “a political football,” suggesting that President George W. Bush used similar executive authority.

The segment devolved into a shouting match, with Cavuto laughing off Bachmann’s indignation about Obama’s use of executive powers.

“You just said it, congresswoman, we might not get anywhere,” Cavuto exclaimed in frustration. “Maybe Republicans are within their rights, maybe the president is within his rights.” As Bachmann sought to defend the suit, Cavuto accused her of “conflating issues and being silly.” “Where was your rage when Democrats were going after President Bush on the same use of executive orders, because I think you knew then that that was a waste of time then and I think you know in your heart of hearts this is a waste of time now,” he exploded. Watch it:

Cavuto’s real rage came out in response to Bachmann’s suggestion that Republicans in Congress should simply defund the executive branch. “Think about what you’re saying,” he screamed. “Defund the executive branch? Congresswoman! If Democrats had said to you, ‘we’re going to defund President Bush,’ you would have laughed at them and so you should have been.”

As of February, Obama had issued fewer executive orders than all but one of the other presidents since World War II. Republicans, meanwhile routinely embraced the power of Republican president George W. Bush to take action, even at times when he would circumvent Congress by doing so.

Jindal: People Are Ready For ‘A Hostile Takeover’ Of Washington

BOBBY JINDAL

US Republican Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal | NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

By “hostile takeover” does Jindal mean like the several failed Tea Party marches by Truckers and “Armed Militia”?

The Huffington Post

Bobby Jindal Says Rebellion Brewing Against Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) —Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Saturday night accused President Barack Obama and other Democrats of waging wars against religious liberty and education and said that a rebellion is brewing in the U.S. with people ready for “a hostile takeover” of the nation’s capital.

Jindal spoke at the annual conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group led by longtime Christian activist Ralph Reed. Organizers said more than 1,000 evangelical leaders attended the three-day gathering. Republican officials across the political spectrum concede that evangelical voters continue to play a critical role in GOP politics.

“I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States,” Jindal said, “where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.”

The governor said there was a “silent war” on religious liberty being fought in the U.S. — a country that he said was built on that liberty.

“I am tired of the left. They say they’re for tolerance, they say they respect diversity. The reality is this: They respect everybody unless you happen to disagree with them,” he said. “The left is trying to silence us and I’m tired of it, I won’t take it anymore.”

Earlier this week, Jindal signed an executive order to block the use of tests tied to Common Core education standards in his state, a position favored by tea party supporters and conservatives. He said he would continue to fight against the administration’s attempts to implement Common Core.

“The federal government has no role, no right and no place dictating standards in our local schools across these 50 states of the United States of America,” Jindal said.

Jindal used humor in criticizing the Obama administration on several fronts, referencing the Bergdahl prisoner exchange and the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

“Are we witnessing right now the most radically, extremely liberal, ideological president of our entire lifetime right here in the United States of America, or are we witnessing the most incompetent president of the United States of America in the history of our lifetimes? You know, it is a difficult question,” he said. “I’ve thought long and hard about it. Here’s the only answer I’ve come up with, and I’m going to quote Secretary Clinton: ‘What difference does it make?’”

The conference featured most of the well-known Republicans considering a 2016 presidential run, including Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Jindal is expected to announce after the November midterm elections whether or not he will launch a presidential bid.

Carney destroys Cheney and Bushies: “Which president was he talking about?”

Outgoing Press Secretary Jay Carney | Pool via Getty Images

Daily Kos

Writing from an alternate reality in the Wall Street Journal, liar, war criminal, and all around not-nice-person Dick Cheney had this to say about President Barack Obama’s strategy in Iraq, apparently without a hint of irony or self-awareness:

Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.

Ah, yes.  The Bush Administration’s rank incompetence and the consequencesthereof are rare indeed, but that’s not what Cheney was talking about.This fact was not lost on White House press secretary Jay Carney, who, at his last press briefing before stepping down, answered a question from ABC’s resident rightwing troll, Jonathan Karl.

Video is here, credit Tommy Christopher.  (Not sure how to embed DailyMotion videos, but I will if someone tells me how.)

KARL:  I wonder if you’ve had the chance to see this op-ed piece that former vice president Dick Cheney has written in the Wall Street Journal that has a rather critical tone to it toward the White House.  He says, “rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at theexpense of so many,” talking about the situation in Iraq and in the Middle East generally.CARNEY:  Which president was he talking about?

[laughter]

That’ll leave a mark.How nice of Carney to shove that quote back in Dick’s face during his last day as press secretary.  Oh, and rightwing troll and Benghazi fraudster Jonathan Karl as well.  They both got what they deserved.

Now if Cheney would just crawl back into his undisclosed location and shut up, we’d all be better off.

Obama Critics Invent Absurd New Explanation For Iraq War

The Huffington Post

The argument for going to war in Iraq was clearly made. Over and over again, Saddam Hussein was said to be a turn-of-the-millennium Hitler, a madman bent on destroying America with his stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

Of course, that turned out to be false, but at the time, the justification was no mystery. The word “weapons” shows up 1,107 times in the Congressional Record during the period when the House and Senate were voting to grant President George W. Bush the authority to use force against Iraq. The more specific “weapons of mass [destruction or murder]” comes up 368 times.

Now, with Iraq on the verge of unraveling after the departure of U.S. forces, conservative pundits and some politicians who were wrong about Iraq then are declaiming a new reason for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, saying it was to liberate the Iraqis. The United States sacrificed 4,500 Americans in the name of freedom for the Iraqis, and President Barack Obama is blowing it, they say.

For instance, here’s Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas):

The word “freedom” shows up 118 times in the Congressional Record during the authorization votes, but it’s generally in reference to securing freedom for America, and only occasionally for Iraqis. The word “liberate” shows up 12 times. And that’s mostly in reference to Kuwait.

Watch the above video to see exactly how absurd the new argument is.

Bret Baier Refuses to Criticize Obama Golfing, No Matter How Much Fox & Friends Wants Him to…

 

Mediaite

Perhaps the prime benefit of the talking point is its complete imperviousness to any countervailing force: a talking point true two minutes ago remains true now, regardless of anything that may have occurred in between.

See you now Fox News host Bret Baier, who appeared as usual on Fox & Friends Monday morning to discuss the insurgent crisis in Iraq, but declined to take the hosts’ setup and criticize President Barack Obama’s weekend round of golf, instead reminding the hosts that there were no easy answers in Iraq.

“There has been a lot of criticism of the president taking this four day holiday for Father’s Day golfing and then doing fundraising, and he’s been criticized for his inaction, that he’s just considering all these military options,” guest host Anna Kooiman said. “What do you say?”

“There are a lot of lawmakers who are bringing that up,” Baier said, but then added:

“The bottom line is that what to do about Iraq is pretty complicated, because once the U.S. gets involved in some way shape or form militarily — and the president has drawn the line that no boots on the ground will be there — you have a different animal. The other thing is that Iran is now actively inside Baghdad. And essentially their special operations forces, the head of that is now working with the iraqis. So it is a very three-dimensional chess complicated deal…I think there is the frustration is that there aren’t a lot of options, that the Iranians have a lot of influence inside Iraq. That is a scary prospect for people who are worried always about Iran wanting a neighbor they could control. You essentially have Iraq breaking up in to three parts. of Sunni part, Kurdish part, and Shia part. Vice President Biden talked about this years ago, but it may be turning out to be what it is.”

To which Steve Doocy replied: “And this as the president golfs.” It’s as if Baier was never there.

Watch the clip via Fox News here

10 things you need to know today: June 14, 2014

President Obama did not rule out possible air strikes in Iraq.

President Obama did not rule out possible air strikes in Iraq. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Week

Obama rules out ground forces in Iraq, GM makes another round of recalls, and more

1. Obama rules out ground forces in Iraq conflict
President Barack Obama addressed the recent chaos in Iraq on Friday, saying that despite an advancement toward Baghdad by Sunni-extremist insurgents, the United States will not use ground forces to assist the Iraqi government. However, Obama did say that a national security team is currently preparing options, including possible air strikes. “People should not anticipate this is something that is going to happen overnight,” he said. “We want to make sure that we have good eyes on the situation there.” [The New York Times]

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2. General Motors makes new round of ignition-switch related recalls
Another 511,528 General Motors vehicles were recalled on Friday, a relative blip on the automaker’s 16.5-million total recalled cars in 38 separate actions this year alone. The most recent round is cited as stemming from an ignition switch problem (separate from the ignition switch problem linked to at least 13 deaths only made public earlier this year), in which drivers of the Chevrolet Camaro could bump the current-model key fob and cause the engine to abruptly shut off. While the company said no fatalities have been reported as a result of this problem, there have been several minor accidents. [Reuters]

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3. Raúl Labrador announces he will run for Majority Leader
Tea Party favorite Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) said on Friday that he will run for the Majority Leader position being vacated by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Also vying for the position is current House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is considered a favorite to win the June 19 election. Labrador, a sophomore lawmaker from Eagle, said he is “in it to win it. I didn’t get into (the Majority Leader race) to send a message.” [The Spokesman Review]

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4. Los Angeles Kings win the Stanley Cup
The Los Angeles Kings netted their second Stanley Cup in three seasons on Friday night, defeating the New York Rangers in double overtime, 3-2. Alec Martinez fired Game 5′s winning shot at 14:43 in double OT, finding a crack in Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s solid defense (Lundqvist had 48 saves on the night). [SI.com]

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5. Scientists discover massive water reservoir beneath Earth’s surface
Researchers announced evidence of enough water to fill the world’s oceans buried deep beneath the Earth’s surface this week. While the water is not in liquid form (rather, it’s embedded in magma pockets about 400 miles beneath Earth’s surface), the discovery bolsters an idea held by some geologists that instead of arriving via comets striking the planet, water gradually oozed from the early Earth’s interior. [USA TodayNew Scientist]

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6. FCC announces investigation into Netflix’s dispute with ISPs
Following traffic disputes between Netflix and Internet Service Providers such as Verizon and Comcast, the Federal Communications Commission announced on Friday that it will investigate the issue. Netflix claims that streaming speeds are being slowed by ISPs, in order to force the service to pay more for its videos to reach subscribers. “We don’t know the answers and we are not suggesting that any company is at fault,” Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman, said. “What we are doing right now is collecting information, not regulating.” The FCC is also in the midst of drafting new net neutrality rules. [Time]

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7. Priceline buys OpenTable for $2.6 billion
Online travel website Priceline announced on Friday that it is purchasing restaurant-reservation site OpenTable for $2.6 billion. The move marks Priceline’s first foray past acquisitions of car, hotel and air flight reservation websites. OpenTable reportedly serves nearly 15 million people each month, booking reservations at more than 30,000 restaurants. [Fortune]

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8. CDC releases report on teenagers, says they are ‘choosing health’
A wide-ranging report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday concludes that teenagers are “choosing health,” Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said. A survey of 13,000 high schoolers showed that teens are smoking less (36.4 percent in 1997 compared to 15.7 percent in 2013), getting into fewer physical fights, and having less sex. However, of teenagers who are sexually active, one statistic was troubling, as 59 percent reported using condoms, down by four percent since 2003. [USA TodayNBC News]

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9. U.S. says Russia has sent tanks, weapons to Ukraine separatists
The State Department reported on Friday that Russia sent tanks, rocket launchers and other military vehicles across the border, to be used by separatists in Ukraine. The move comes after Western nations have repeatedly warned Russia to de-escalate the pro-Russian separatists’ maneuvers. The State Department called the situation “unacceptable,” and warned that Russia will face “additional costs” if it continues the operations. [The New York Times]

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10. Chuck Noll, former Steelers coach, dies at 82
Chuck Noll, the legendary coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers who won a record four Super Bowl titles with the team, died Friday night. He was 82 years old. The Hall-of-Fame coach took over a rag-tag team in 1969 that had never reached postseason play and turned the Steelers into a winning machine throughout the 1970s (the team won its Super Bowl titles in 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979). While he coached plenty of future Hall-of-Famers, one of Noll’s most iconic players was Terry Bradshaw, drafted No. 1 in 1970, who would throw the “Immaculate Reception” two years later. [The Associated Press]

 

Obama Just Said What We Were All Thinking About Mass Shootings

obama, just, said, what, we, were, all, thinking, about, mass, shootings,

Obama Just Said What We Were All Thinking About Mass Shootings | AP Photo 

I saw when he said this and was pleasantly surprised to see that he took that political stance.  Yes, they will call him dictator and other derogatory names but whatever he can do by executive order, he should…

PolicyMic

The quote: “The country has to do some soul searching about this,” President Barack Obama said. “This is becoming the norm and we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me.”

Obama has long made his stance on gun control clear — but this is arguably the angriest and most frustrated he’s been about it in public.

Hours after another deadly school shooting Monday in Oregon, Obama spoke about the need for gun reform during a Q&A with Tumblr founder David Karp. Blasting Congress for being unable to pass even a watered-down gun control law, the president did not mince words as he claimed that Washington should be “ashamed” for its inaction.

Obama specifically pointed out that Congress was unable to capitalize the national momentum after the Newtown, Conn., shooting in 2012, which he called “the worst day” of his presidency.

“I will tell you, I have been in Washington for a while now. Most things don’t surprise me. The fact that 20 6-year-olds were gunned down in the most violent fashion possible and this town couldn’t do anything about it was stunning to me,” he said.

Watch the president’s response below:

The national crisis: Obama is not being hyperbolic when he talks about the wide prevalence of gun violence across America, especially in schools. According to the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been 74 school shootings across the country since the Newtown tragedy — that’s one school shooting every seven days.

Image Credit: Twitter/Mark Gongloff

 

And while a variety of factors — mental health, for one — contribute to gun violence, Obama argued that shooters wouldn’t be able to cause so much damage if they had restricted access to guns.

“The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people. It’s not the only country that has psychosis,” he said. “And yet we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than anyone else. Well, what’s the difference? The difference is that these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses, and that’s sort of par for the course.”

The political quagmire: The defeat of last year’s bipartisan measure for mandated background checks on gun sales has been a colossal failure for the Obama administration. And while Obama announced executive actions to strengthen federal background checks for gun purchases, he admitted that they were not enough to truly reform gun laws. In order to do that, the public needs to pressure lawmakers to do something.

“The only thing that is going to change is public opinion. If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change,” Obama said.

Even now, public opinion is still a problem. According to an Associated Press-GfK poll in December, barely half of Americans thought that U.S. gun laws ought to be stricter and 15% said they should be less strict. That’s far from the overwhelming majority that Obama needs to overwhelm the gun lobby’s influence, making it unlikely for lawmakers — in an election year, no less — to do anything substantive about gun reform in the immediate future.

Only President Obama Can Help Undocumented Immigrants Now, Advocates Say

AP Photo|

Buzz Feed

Obama “should go big.”

Stunned by the loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, advocates for immigration reform said Tuesday night that the only remaining hope for bringing legal status to undocumented people in America lies through executive action by President Barack Obama.

“Everyone was betting on the primaries for the tea party to die out, with this win, a majority leader hadn’t lost since 1899, this is big going to rile up the Steve Kings, the Mel Brooks of Alabama, going to scare a lot of members,” said Cesar Vargas, an activist who is himself a “DREAMer,” having come to the United States without papers as a child. “Before we heard the votes are not there yet, now they’re gone.”

“Absolutely [Cantor’s defeat] means the president should go big on administrative action,” Vargas said.

The calls for executive action are not new. Major moves on immigration already seemed increasingly dead in the House this session. But now, they appear dead for longer than that — through the 2016 Republican presidential primary, and perhaps as long as Republicans control one house of Congress.

Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, also said executive action by Obama will be the next step.

“If Boehner decides not to act and the window closes on immigration reform, the president has no option but to go bold,” she said. “He’s doing it on student debt, he’s doing it on minimum wage, if Congress won’t act, he will, he should do everything at his disposal.”

The loosely united group of activists pressing for executive action have often disagreed on what exactly the president should do concerning, most urgently, record numbers of deportations. But most agree with some version of a proposal from New York Senator Chuck Schumer: that some sort of relief should be extended to the undocumented immigrants who would be protected by a bill that won bipartisan support last year in the Senate. It’s a move that would provide some sort of legal status — if not citizenship — to several million immigrants.

“Even if the president can not statutorily do the entire road to citizenship, he certainly has the legal authority to do for millions more what he has already done for young people,” said Chris Newman, legal director for the National Day Laborers Organizing Network.

“Once the smoke clears, there will be galvanized momentum for the president to act using existing authority,” Newman said.

Advocates also found themselves Tuesday night making the difficult case that backing reform isn’t actually bad politics for Republicans. Hincapié, for one, disputed the notion that Cantor had lost over his position on immigration. Cantor’s loss was “a vote about not having a backbone,” she said. Another immigration reform group, America’s Voice, blasted Cantor as “no friend of immigration reform” and in fact “the main person in the House blocking a vote on citizenship.”

Rand Paul: Trade Hillary Clinton To The Taliban, Not Guantanamo Detainees

Sen. Rand Paul (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Whatever happened to political correctness and decor?  The Tea Party, in my opinion has destroyed any semblance of comity(courtesy and considerate behavior toward others)  in politics.  The GOP as a whole has sanctioned this sort of thing and can’t speak out due to censure and blacklisting.   Not to mention the rich donors who would cut them off in a heartbeat.

It’s a strange world we live in…

The Huffington post

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered some red meat to the Texas GOP convention on Friday, suggesting that, instead of Guantanamo Bay detainees, President Barack Obama should use Democrats such as Hillary Clinton as a bargaining chip in any future dealings with the Taliban.

“Mr. President, you love to trade people,” he told a supportive crowd in Fort Worth, according to Politico.

“Why don’t we set up a trade? But this time, instead of five Taliban, how about five Democrats?” he joked. “I’m thinking John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi …”

The Kentucky Republican, who is making moves toward a presidential run in 2016, also criticized the administration for failing to properly notify Congress before the trade for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on Saturday.

“I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been a little bit annoyed with the president,” he added. “Releasing five Taliban senior officials is not only against the law, it’s illegal and wrong and he should never have done it.”

Paul skipped a classified briefing held by administration officials this week detailing the exchange and the reasons for the secrecy.

H/t: Ted