Menendez alleges Justice Department lied to grand jury in his case

Featured image Sen. Robert Menendez’s defense team has leveled what look like substantial allegations of misconduct against the Justice Department, which is prosecuting him for alleged corruption. According to the Washington Post, Menendez claims, based on internal FBI documents, that the lead DOJ prosecutor in his case allowed an FBI agent falsely to testify to the grand jury that it was “perfectly clear” that in meetings with top DHS officials, Menendez sought »

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz move to the left of Lindsey Graham on terrorist rights

Featured image Earlier this week, the Senate passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that limits the entire U.S. government to only the interrogation and detention techniques outlined in the Army Field Manual. The vote was 78-21. The Army Field Manual does not permit physical contact with detainees, not even a slap. The harshest method it permits the “Fear-Up (Harsh).” In this approach, “the interrogator behaves in an overpowering »

In which we hope it’s not worse than nothing

Featured image Omri Ceren writes to update us on today’s Senate vote passing the Corker-Menendez bill. The vote was 98-1 in favor, but the 1 was Senator Cotton, which raises the question whether the bill is worse than nothing. Omri writes: Cloture was 93-6 with only Sen. Boxer not voting. The final vote was 98-1. Sen. Cotton was the only no. The White House and its allies have mostly given up trying »

In which Rand Paul gives a snow job

Featured image This is what regular people hate about Washington: “How five Republicans let Congress keep its fraudulent Obamacare subsidies.” It’s an old story, updated most recently by Mark Leibovich in This Town. This particular case study comes to us via National Review’s Brendan Bordelon. Reading it all the way through, we achieves a highly unpleasant clarity. Bordelon reports: The rumors began trickling in about a week before the scheduled vote on »

Is Corker-Menendez worse than nothing?

Featured image National Journal reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved yesterday to end debate on the Corker-Menendez bill, shortening what he had hoped would be an open amendment process out of concern that some “poison pill” amendment votes could potentially sink it. “We’re going to move quickly,” Senator McConnell explained. National Review’s Joel Gehrke explored the procedural maneuvering: After Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) »

At the NRI Ideas Summit

Featured image Senator Tom Cotton was interviewed by John O’Sullivan at the National Review Institute 2015 Ideas Summit this past Saturday morning. NR has posted the video here. I have embedded the video below. “You seem to me to be the exact opposite of a professional politician,” O’Sullivan says by way of introduction. The interview opens with the question of Iran and the Cotton letter. To quote Bob Dylan, “the wheel’s still »

Lynch confirmed: DOJ lawlessness to continue

Featured image Yesterday, as John noted here, the Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Ten Republicans voted to confirm: Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson, Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, and Orrin Hatch. Ayotte, Johnson, Kirk, and Portman face difficult reelection campaigns in their Democrat-leaning or “50-50″ states. Note, though, that Pat Toomey, who likely faces an extremely tough race, cast a principled vote »

The Iran deal — treaty or not?

Featured image I have criticized the positive reaction to Corker-Menendez bill, arguing that the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority to have a deal like this approved, whereas under Corker-Menendez it takes effect unless there is a two-thirds majority against. However, the estimable Jack Goldsmith argues that the Constitution does not require President Obama to muster a two-thirds majority to approve an “international agreement,” which is how he characterizes Obama’s pending deal with »

Obama is right, the Republican Senate is embarrassing

Featured image On Friday, President Obama lashed out at the Republican Senate for not confirming Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. “There are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far,” Obama scolded. “This is an example of it.” Doing his best impression of Harrison Ford in “Witness,” Obama huffed: Enough, enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote, get her confirmed, let her do her job. This is embarrassing. You »

Cotton on Corker-Menendez

Featured image The Corker-Melendez bill is obviously an imperfect vehicle for introducing congressional oversight to President Obama’s catastrophic arrangement in process with Iran. Is it better than nothing, as the Wall Street Journal argues, is it much ado about nothing, as Paul argues, or is it worse than nothing, as Matt Continetti argues? I wanted to know what Senator Tom Cotton thinks and therefore reached out to his office for help in »

Obama caves on Corker-Menendez

Featured image We’ve been following the political action following the arrangement in process with Iran mostly via the email reports of Omri Ceren. Today he mailed two reports on the Corker-Menendez bill, which passed unanimously out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this afternoon. In the second of the two messages below, Omri reports that the White House has backed off its veto threat in light of its impending loss on this »

Crisis of the detergent pod

Featured image Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has a certain genius for avoiding outspoken stands on important issues and leading the way on trivial matters calculated to garner broad public support. If she secures a favorable headline or two in the process, it’s no coincidence. It is the true object of her efforts. Senator Klobuchar is a reliable vote for the Democratic Party line, but she is quiet about it. She doesn’t want »

Harry Reid to step down, says not due to “exercise accident”

Featured image Until today, New York Times reporter Carl Hulse reminds us, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has insisted he’s running for reelection. In the video below, however, Reid announces that he will not face the voters again next year. He will step down from his Senate seat. Reid still insists (and Hulse dutifully states it as a fact) that Reid’s serious facial and eye injuries resulted from a New Year’s day »

Beyond the phony war on amnesty

Featured image if the Republican Senators want to put up a fight on Obama’s lawless executie amnesty — a big if — Curt Levey proposes a realistic and obvious plan in today’s Wall Street Journal: “Immigration push back: Don’t confirm his judges” (accessible via Google here). Levey writes; Congress’s approval of unconditional funding for the Department of Homeland Security was an embarrassing setback in Republicans’ struggle to respond to President Obama’s unilateral »

Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, compare and contrast

Featured image Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton are similar in several respects. Both attended top Ivy League colleges and graduated from Harvard Law School. Both are extremely intelligent. Both were elected to the U.S. Senate as darlings of many conservatives. Neither was shy upon arrival. Both made their initial splash in committee hearings — Cruz when he took on Dianne Feinstein; Cotton when he said the Gitmo detainees can rot in hell. »

Michael Gerson’s misguided attack on the Cotton letter

Featured image Michael Gerson, writing in the Washington Post, joins the chorus of critics of the letter to Iran drafted by Sen. Tom Cotton and signed by 46 of his Republican colleagues. According to Gerson, the worst aspect of the letter — the thing he considers “the real scandal” — is the procedure surrounding it. Gerson notes that the drafter, Cotton, has only two months experience in the Senate. But the letter »

Corker’s Folly

Featured image Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was one of a handful of Republican Senators who didn’t sign the open letter advising Iran that a nuclear agreement wouldn’t bind the next president unless the Senate ratified it. Reportedly, Corker thought the letter would hurt his efforts to gain support from Senate Democrats of his Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which requires the president to submit »