The bureaucrats at the Internal Revenue Service did exactly what the president said was the right and honorable thing to do.
Was the White House involved in the IRS’s targeting of conservatives? No investigation needed to answer that one. Of course it was.
President Obama and Co. are in full deniability mode, noting that the IRS is an “independent” agency and that they knew nothing about its abuse. The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies.
But that’s not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.
Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. “He put a target on our backs, and he’s now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?” asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot.
At the White House, President Obama addresses the IRS scandal, May 15.
Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Other donors were described as having been “on the wrong side of the law.”
This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.
Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.
The Florida GOP is kicking off a fundrasing campaign to protect incumbent Republican U.S. House members and Republican challengers, with the first fundraising pitches hitting mailboxes this week. The message is clear from the name of the campaign: the “Prevent Pelosi Project.”
“Using Nancy Pelosi as the focal point for what’s wrong in Washington D.C. helped Mark Sanford overcome a lot of setbacks to win his race in South Carolina,” said Florida Republican party chairman Lenny Curry. “Down here in Florida, the chance to prevent Nancy Pelosi from returning to power will be just as successful in most of our 29 congressional districts.”
Curry has tapped Jacksonville businessman and former Ambassador John Rood, chairman of Mitt Romney’s Florida Finance Team in 2012, as the finance chairman of the Prevent Pelosi Project.
I hate to play gotcha. But it’s been a very bad week for the GOP online – as bad as last week was good when the NRCC sponsored the Blogger Bash at CPAC (Kudos, NRCC!).
Today’s Grim Observations
The RNC is still rude and insincere with its mass email (no replies allowed)…
The RNC is still using Targeted Victory for its mass email…
(read: old, busted, crony consultants who ‘helped’ Romney for $17 million)
Thanks to Targeted Victory sloppiness (or boldness) the RNC still has Romney ‘legacy code’ in its mass emails…
The RNCC clicks you thru to hacker warnings…
Read the rest here
Should the federal government even TRY to balance its budget? It’s a very simple idea, one that most Americans happen to share. Democrats? Nyet.
Last night the Senate voted on a simple amendment to try to balance the Murray budget in 10 years. There were no caveats on how to do it, meaning Senators voted to accept or reject the simple concept of balancing the federal budget within 10 years. One Democrat supported it. One. That’s all they got?
Politico reported earlier this week that a recent poll “showed that 45 percent of Democratic voters think ‘balancing … the federal budget would significantly increase economic growth and create millions of American jobs.’ A sky-high 61 percent of independents and 76 percent of Republicans agree.” Amazingly, 1% of the Senate Democrat caucus supports balancing the budget. Talk about outside the mainstream. Included in the 99% who refuse to even TRY to balance the budget? Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, Max Baucus, and Tim Johnson.
Over the next 24 hours, the Vote-o-Rama and final passage will weigh on 2014 Democrats. As David Hawkings writes in Roll Call, “…the pressure will be especially intense on the staffers advising the senators whose one false step could hobble their chances for re-election next year. Five are Democrats who have committed to running again in states that voted for Mitt Romney: Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.”
Hawkings concludes, “The political class will spend much of the next two weeks’ recess poring over results from Friday’s vote-a-rama…plumbing for the best examples of senators stepping unwittingly into the frame of a future attack ad.” Whistle… Whistle.
From Brad Dayspring Communications Director of the NRSC
GOP Chairman Reince Priebus hopes to reshape the party’s stance on social issues and outreach efforts to minority voters.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, former GOP Presidential Candidate and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney addressed CPAC 2013 — the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
Governor Mitt Romney’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below [Full remarks also available via YouTube further below]:
“What an honor to be introduced by Governor Nikki Haley, a woman of uncommon courage and conviction; whose principles have guided her governance. We need more governors like her!
I’ve also had the honor of your support from the very beginning. You gave my campaign an early boost. You worked on the front lines—promoting my campaign, turning out voters. Thank you.
With help from so many of you, I had the honor of becoming my party’s nominee for president. I was given the privilege of experiencing America in ways Ann and I had never imagined. Across this great country, our fellow citizens opened up their homes and hearts to us.
Of course, I left the race disappointed that we didn’t win. But I also left honored and humbled to have represented values we believe in and to speak for so many good and decent people. We’ve lost races before, and in the past, those setbacks prepared us for larger victories. It is up to us to make sure that we learn from my mistakes, and from our mistakes, so that we can win the victories those people and this nation depend upon.
It’s fashionable in some circles to be pessimistic about America, about conservative solutions, about the Republican Party. I utterly reject that pessimism. We may not have carried the day last November 6th, but we haven’t lost the country we love, and we haven’t lost our way. Our nation is still full of aspirations and hungry for new solutions. We’re a nation of invention and of reinventing. My optimism about America wasn’t diminished by my campaign; no, it grew—It grew as I came to know more of our fellow Americans.
I have seen American determination in people like Debbi Sommers. She runs a furniture rental business for conventions in Las Vegas. When 9/11 hit and again when the recession tanked the conventions business, she didn’t give up, close down, or lay off her people. She taught them not just to rent furniture, but also to manufacture it.
I’ve seen perseverance. Harold Hamm drove a truck for ten years so that he could afford to go to college. He majored in Geology. Studying geological surveys, he concluded that there should be oil in North Dakota. He went there and drilled a well. It was dry. I’m told that it costs about $2 million to drill a dry hole. But he kept on drilling. 16 dry holes later, they called it Harold’s folly. That changed with the 17th. The Bakken range he discovered is estimated by some to hold as much as 500 billion barrels of oil.
I’ve seen risk taking. The flagging lumber business and mounting losses convinced International Paper Corporation that they needed to shut down their lumber mill in Ossipee, New Hampshire. Into the breech stepped Jim Smith and Kim Moore, the plant manager and sales manager. They borrowed and invested everything they could, to buy the broken business. They saved their jobs and 30 other peoples’ jobs, growing sales from $5 million a year to $50 million.
I’ve met people of great faith. I sat in the home of Billy Graham and in the residence of Cardinal Dolan and prayed with these men of God.
I met heroes in our armed forces: men and women who re-signed with the National Guard after multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan, knowing that in all probability, they would be going back again.
I met heroes in the homes of the nation: single moms who are working two jobs so that their kids will have clothes like those that the other kids wear, dads who almost forget what a weekend is, because of all the jobs they’ve taken on to keep the house.
We are a patriotic people. The heart of America is good. Our land is blessed by the hand of God; may we as a people always be worthy of His grace, and His protection.
Like you, I believe a Conservative vision can attract a majority of Americans and form a governing coalition of renewal and reform. As someone who just lost the last election, I’m probably not the best person to chart the course for the next election. That said, I do have advice. Perhaps because I am a former governor, I would urge you to learn the lessons that come from some of our greatest success stories: the 30 Republican governors.
Yes, they are winning elections, but more importantly, they are solving problems. Big problems. Important problems. Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia secured a constitutional amendment to expand charter schools. Governor Rick Snyder signed Right to Work legislation—in Michigan! Several secured tort reform. Many turned huge deficits into surpluses. Republican governors reached across the aisle, offered innovative solutions and have been willing to take the heat to make tough decisions.
We need the ideas and leadership of each of these governors. We particularly need to hear from the Governors of the blue and purple states, like Bob McDonnell, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Susanna Martinez, Chris Christie, and Brian Sandoval because their states are among those we must win to take the Senate and the White House.
We can also learn from the examples of principle, passion and leadership that we have seen during these last several weeks from fellow conservatives here in Washington. I may be a little biased, but I applaud the clear and convincing voice of my friend, Paul Ryan.
If I were to offer advice to any president of the United States, it would be this: do whatever you can do to keep America the most prosperous and free and powerful nation on earth.
It is no secret that the last century was an American century. And it is no secret that over the span of the 21st century, America’s pre-eminent position is far from guaranteed. The consequence if America were to be surpassed would be devastating. Why? Because among the primary rivals for world leadership—China, Russia, and the Jihadists—not one believes in the freedoms we take for granted. Freedom depends on American leadership.
American leadership depends on a military so strong, so superior, that no one would think to engage it. Our military strength depends on an economy so strong that it can support such a military. And our economy depends on a people so strong, so educated, so resolute, so hard working, so inventive, and so devoted to their children’s future, that other nations look at us with respect and admiration.
That is the America we grew up in, and it is the America our children deserve.
What other nation would have enjoyed hegemonic military power for a quarter of a century, and never have used it to seek revenge against its former foes or to seize precious natural resources from the weak?
What nation is the most philanthropic in the world, the first to bind up the wounds of the injured from hurricanes, tsunamis, and war?
What nation is the largest contributor to the fight against AIDS in Africa?
Who came to the rescue of Europe when it faced its darkest hour and came to the rescue of others under the threat of tyranny, in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq? Whatever you think of these interventions, the impulse behind them was liberation, not conquest. In all of human history, there has never been a great power that has so often used its power to liberate others from subjugation, to set the captives free. This we must teach our children, and never ourselves forget.
I’m inspired by a people who believe in and live for something greater than themselves—whether their faith, their country, their family, their school.
I marvel at the prescience, the brilliance and the sacrifices made by the nation’s Founders.
I’m proud of our immigrant heritage, proud that so many of us and of our ancestors came here because they wanted to be here, to build a better future for their children here, to worship their God here.
At a campaign stop in Texas, I met a Cambodian-American named Sichan Siv. Sichan came here in 1976, escaping the killing fields of Cambodia. His first job was picking fruit, then he drove a cab in New York City. He later volunteered on the campaign of George H.W. Bush. Thirteen years after coming to America he went to work in the White House. And then, he was appointed as a United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He said that whenever he stood to speak in behalf of America, his emotions choked, and he asked himself in what other nation could an impoverished Cambodian refugee have become its Ambassador.
America began with an idea, a noble one. That idea was that every person is endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. Freedom flows in American veins. It invigorates our many enterprises, it inspires us to live beyond ourselves, it calls us to care for the suffering and downtrodden. It has made us a great nation.
Today, history and duty summon us again. The country is imperiled by mounting debt, by failing institutions, by families stressed beyond their limits, by schools that fail to make the grade, and by public servants who are more intent on scoring political points than on national renewal.
Each of us in our own way will have to step up and meet our responsibility. I am sorry that I will not be your president – but I will be your co-worker and I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you. In the end, we will win just as we have won before, and for the same reason: because our cause is right…and just.
Thank you again for your help and support along our journey. Ann and I will treasure these memories all the days of our lives. God bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.” [end of remarks]
Mitt Romney’s remarks (Intro by Gov. Nikki Haley):
The convention marked Romney’s first speech since the November. He was joined on stage by other politicians and the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre.
Bozell: “The only thing the Ryan budget makes clear is that Paul Ryan spent too much time campaigning with Mitt Romney”
“Mr. Ryan and the Republicans are presenting themselves as ‘Democrat Lite.’”
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – ForAmerica Chairman L. Brent Bozell III today released a statement in response to Paul Ryan’s budget.
“The only thing the Ryan budget makes clear is that Paul Ryan spent too much time campaigning with Mitt Romney. Mr. Ryan and the House GOP’s budget spends almost as much as the President and Senate Democrats’ does, over $40 trillion in the next decade. This is not fiscal conservatism.While I applaud Mr. Ryan for repealing ObamaCare in his bill, he and the GOP missed their opportunity to take meaningful action against the bill by defunding it in the Continuing Resolution last week. Passing this bill does nothing to stop Obamacare. Rather than present a contrasting vision of an America that is built on freedom, prosperity and virtue, once again Mr. Ryan and the Republicans are presenting themselves as ‘Democrat Lite.’ Only a conservative vision for the country, that stands in stark contrast to President Obama’s liberal policies, and that reduces the size of this oppressive federal leviathan will fire up the grassroots and change the country’s trajectory.”
by Lisa Stickan, Chairman, Young Republican National Federation
I remain optimistic that the GOP can make inroads with these voters for elections to come. Many young people still struggle to find work in this Obama economy and look to government to adopt policies to grow jobs. While organizations like Young Republicans and College Republicans aggressively message to these prospective voters, we cannot do it alone. The GOP as a whole needs to be more proactive and engage these voters. The two important strides for the GOP to make in this demographic include better candidate messaging and recognition that our younger generations involve a changing demographic.
Messaging is #1. Younger voters are more apt to vote for a person, not necessarily a party—so a candidate must connect! I firmly believe that candidates (and in the bigger picture, the political party) need to ask for someone’s vote to actually earn it. To do so, we must first own our message and not let Democrats and the media define us to large and unfamiliar segments of voters. I cannot tell you how many young women I had to reassure that Mitt Romney would not make birth control pills illegal.
Candidates must also do a better job of conveying that message to these voters. Young voters are vibrant, active, online, and “plugged in.” They live in the new media and communicate differently than their parents’ generation. The GOP’s message of economic independence and fiscal responsibility will relate to voters who are struggling to launch their post-college careers. But that message does us no good if those voters never hear it. I encountered many voters who were convinced Obama deserved a second term because “four years just isn’t enough time to make any improvements.” While we shake our head at the absurdity of these sentiments, one thing is clear—Obama was messaging to these young voters, with not only the mainstream media, but also social media and well-organized Democrat operatives, and persuaded them to stay the course.
Second to messaging, the GOP needs to recognize new diverse groups of voters, including Hispanics and Asian-Americans, now approaching voting age in great number. Romney made strides with some young voters; he captured 51% of young white voters. Despite his connection with that group, it was clearly not enough. The GOP must as a whole connect with these emerging groups of diverse voters, especially the youngest voters of these groups. This not only brings new faces into the party, but also bridges the gap in the generational divide. Many in these groups share our conservative values and even our views on social issues. This should be explored by party leaders.
Finally, as YRNF Chairman, it is obvious I would think the “youth vote” matters. But as outlined above, any group that comprises 1/5 of the vote has to matter.
The safe campaign strategy of focusing on only “older voters” is not going to bring the win home. In my own experience visiting with Young Republicans (YRs) around the country, I see a growing number of our party’s youngest members heading up campaigns within their communities, and a striking number running for local, state and national offices. I see Young Republicans doing a lot of the “political heavy lifting,” making calls at the phone banks and knocking on doors for candidates. These young activists are some of the strongest members of our party. And these YR leaders, through peer-to-peer messaging, are able to reach a larger audience to express the benefits of voting Republican. Grassroots organizations, like Young Republicans, can lead the way to open new avenues and reinvent the election playbook. Owning, bringing and delivering our message to these voters is our first step… let’s get started.
Stickan has been National Chairman of the Young Republicans since 2010.
The Young Republicans (YRs) are the oldest political youth organization in the United States. Important to the growth of the Republican Party, the YRs reach out to registered Republicans, 18 to 40 years of age, and provide them with better political knowledge and understanding of the issues of the day. Visit cyrfgop.com for more.
To this point the attention of folks who pay attention to things like the financial health of the nation – specifically cities and states – has been focused on California. That changes starting today.
If you’ve not been following the soap opera that IS Detroit politics, I’ll give you a quick thumbnail sketch.
- In the middle part of the last century Detroit was the third largest city in the US.
- It was also the richest per-capita city in the nation.
- In 1961, Republican mayor Louis Miraini was defeated by Jerome Cavanaugh who pulled of a huge upset thanks to the black vote (and likely the dead vote).
- Miriani was Detroit’s last Republican mayor.
- Coleman Young was sworn in as Detroit’s first affirmative action mayor on January 1, 1974. He mismanaged the city for 20 years.
- Young was followed by a string of losers highlighted by Kwame Kilpatrick who left office in 2008 to take up residence in Federal Prison. Kwame was a favorite of Barack Obama who praised him on numerous occasions.
- Today’s mayor, Dave Bing, is the first mayor since the 50s who actually had some demonstrated competence. He was a successful businessman in Detroit after being a hall of fame player with the Pistons.
- The city has been on a death watch for years, but seriously so for the last five years and the city council – as it has for decades – refuses to do anything to mitigate the enormous financial problems in the city.
The city that just a few decades ago was the bright and shining star in the mid-west is today a mismanaged wreck that has lost one-third of it’s population (the third that paid the bills), where only half of the current property owners pay their real estate taxes, where about one-third of the city is uninhabited and uninhabitable, a city where even the police won’t go into parts of what’s left of Detroit.
Which brings us to today, as detailed by CNNMoney via KCCI8 website.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced Friday that the state will take over the operations of Detroit’s city government due to its long-standing financial problems.
The takeover is short of a formal bankruptcy, but it will include appointing an emergency manager who would have many of the same powers as a bankruptcy judge. It could mean throwing out contracts with public employee unions and vendors that the city can’t afford, and could lead to further cutbacks in already depleted city services.
Detroit has 10 days to appeal Snyder’s decision that there is a financial emergency in the city. Snyder said he has a “top candidate” for the manager post, but that he won’t announce it until after the appeals period has passed.
Snyder is every bit as popular in Detroit as George W. Bush was. In minority, Democrat and union circles Rick Snyder is the anti-Christ. He signed a Right-to-Work law that will gut the ability of unions to continue to fill the coffers of Democratic politicians. He’s going to be under all sorts of pressure to appoint a color-matching city manager who speaks the proper form of Ebonics so he can communicate effectively with the city council.
I find the best part of this whole story to be this article in Hotair. They’re proposing that Snyder’s unknown candidate for city manager is none other than one Mitt Romney.
Visions of schadenfreude bouncing in my head! It would be an early Christmas present for yours truly.