Sen. Sessions, we are standing by

This morning Bill Kristol explained in a powerful note to the House GOP why it should kill the bill pending before the House to address our current border crisis. Now comes word that House leadership has pulled the bill rather than see it defeated as a result of the conservative revolt against it.

Where do we go from here? I hope we will hear from our man on the bridge, Senator Jeff Sessions.

UPDATE: Breitbart News reports that there may be additional votes after a 3pm conference meeting. Developing…

And Mickey Kaus has also captured some of the dynamics underlying resistance to the bill in “‘No’ on Boehner supertrap bill.”

Marco Rubio on Obama’s Foreign Policy Failures

I hosted the Laura Ingraham show today, and Marco Rubio was a guest. We talked about the comprehensive failure of the Obama administration’s foreign policies, as manifested in deteriorating conditions (from the standpoint of American interests) around the world. It is a good, sharp discussion and is only around seven minutes long. The audio is a good reminder, I think, of how strong Rubio is on these issues.

I will be getting the audios of other interviews I did yesterday (including Jeff Sessions) and today (including John Thune), and will put those up as I am able over the next few days.

Poll: Harry Reid trails Gov. Sandoval in hypothetical senate race

I doubt that Harry Reid is doing this year’s Democratic Senatorial candidates any favors with his deranged attacks on the Koch Brothers, his changes to longstanding filibuster rules as a means of confirming left-wing judicial nominees, and his over-the-top partisan bluster. A new poll suggests that he isn’t doing himself any favors either.

The survey, conducted this week by Harper Polling, shows Reid trailing Nevada’s popular governor Brian Sandoval by 10 points, 53-43. The pollsters are Republicans, but according to Nevada political pundit Jon Ralston, the poll seems credible.

Reid isn’t up for reelection until 2016. Sandoval is running for reelection this year. The Harper poll finds him leading in that race by 22 points.

According to the survey, Reid is plagued by a 55 percent unfavorable rating. But Ralston points out that Reid had a similar rating in 2010, yet defeated Sharron Angle by nearly 6 points.

That’s where Sandoval fits into the equation. If he remains a popular governor, it’s easy to believe that he could run more than 6 points stronger than Angle did, assuming he opts to challenge Reid.

Via Andrew Johnson at NRO.

#GruberGate

The D.C. Circuit’s decision in the Halbig case applies the language of Obamacare against the extension of tax subsidies within the federal Obamacare exchange established by the federal government in 36 states that declined to set up their own. Liberal hacks of all stripes now cry “foul,” foremost among them Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber.

Let us first go to the video below starring Gruber, smartly produced by American Commitment, with the accompanying hashtag #GruberGate.

American Commitment explains: “On at least seven occasions, Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber indicated states had to set up exchanges or subsidies would stop flowing. That way lay madness.

This is a position he now ridicules, of course, insisting nobody ever believed it. Gruber claims the statutory language he previously explicated was “a typo.”

But in two different speeches in January 2012, Gruber repeatedly acknowledged that subsidy eligibility required residing in a state that established an exchange.

Gruber in 2012: “If you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”

Gruber in 2012: “If your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens. So that’s the other threat, is will states do what they need to set it up.”

Gruber in 2012: “I guess I’m enough of a believer in democracy, to think that when the voters and states see that by not setting up an exchange the politicians in the state are costing state residents hundreds of millions and billions of dollars that they’ll eventually throw the guys out. But, I don’t know that for sure, and that is really the ultimate threat.”

These remarks were consistent five other comments from Gruber (March 2010, May 2011, November 2011, September 2012, and November 2012) included in the video showing that believed all 50 states had to establish exchanges for Obamacare to succeed, and states failing to do so constituted “a threat to its effective existence.”

When confronted with Gruber’s previous remarks, the White House could only characterize them as a “mistake.”

Shouldn’t that hashtag be #ShamelessLiar? I guess it would cut too big a swath through the Democratic Party.

Civil War on the Left, Part 9

Further to our occasional series about the civil war on the left (part 8 here), it is worth taking note of a new article by Paul Waldman in The American Prospect (one of the more smartly written lefty journals) entitled “Can Liberalism Survive Obama? Yes, It Can.”  I’ll skip over the obvious ironic mocking of the title, and proceed to some relevant excerpts:

It isn’t hard to find discontent with Barack Obama on the left, so long as you know where to look. . .

Adolph Reed Jr. wrote a cover story for Harper’s earlier this year excoriating the president and the milquetoasts who still support him, arguing that Obama’s election was “fundamentally an expression of the limits of the left in the United States—its decline, demoralization, and collapse.”

Given the political roller coaster of the last decade and a half, liberals would be forgiven for feeling worn-out, even cynical. . .  This period in the history of American liberalism—covering the Bush and Obama presidencies—looks like one of extended misery, followed by an explosion of hope, followed by disappointment and dismay. . . “There’s a realization,” says Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an organization that works to promote and assist progressive candidates, “that this is not a bold, progressive president. He’s ultimately not going to be a game-changer when it comes to taking on the powers that be.”

“Some traditional Democrats, low-information people, are willing to give him a pass and say, ‘Oh, the Tea Party got in the way,’” he says. “But those who are more of the progressive movement and look at this through a more sophisticated lens see that there was a fundamental lack of willingness to fight in the beginning of his presidency that had ripple effects throughout.” The White House has from time to time made it clear that it dislikes liberal activists as much as the activists dislike it. As former press secretary Robert Gibbs put it, the “professional left … wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”

There’s more—lot’s more—in the piece; more than anyone (even a liberal) needs to read to get the point.  I’ve got news for Waldman: Obama’s a far-left liberal, and this is as good as it gets.  Trust me on this—years from now, you and other lefties will look back on the Obama Administration as the golden age of progressive liberalism, as it slowly crumbles under the deadweight of its own bad ideas.

Waldman ends thus:

Liberal intellectuals, for whom slights are long remembered and compromises loom large, will continue to debate the ideological character of Barack Obama’s presidency for years to come. That debate is worth having for any number of reasons.

Oh please, please do have this debate.  It will provide endless entertainment for the rest of us.

Mid-Week in Pictures: Milton Friedman’s Birthday

It’s Milton Friedman’s 102nd birthday today, and as such a good excuse for some reminders of his greatness, and a few pics that illustrate the economic divide of our time.  This is perhaps my favorite Milton Friedman quote, just as true now as when he first wrote it: “The society that puts [economic] equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.”

Meanwhile, enjoy:

Freidman Day copy

Keynes explained copy

Krugman Explained copy

Keynsian Multiplier copy Keynesian Economics copy Economic Justice copy

Krugman Quote copy

Keynesians at Work copy

 

The politics of crying “impeachment” [UPDATED]

The Democrats have been fundraising like crazy based on claims that President Obama is in danger of being impeached by House Republicans. Last night, John wondered whether it’s good idea to tell your party’s members repeatedly that the leader of their party is in danger of being impeached.

The answer, I think, is that it is a good idea to the extent the message is heard only by party members. Few Democrats will be able to conceive of a rationale for impeaching their leader and nearly all will view the alleged threat of impeachment as confirmation that House Republicans are evil.

And the money will pour in.

But money isn’t the key to saving endangered Democrat-held Senate seats and making inroads into the House Republicans majority. Only the votes of independents and true moderates can accomplish these goals.

The Democrats can’t keep the “news” of possible impeachment to themselves. The question thus becomes whether it is a good idea for Democrats to cause independents and moderates to believe that President Obama is in danger of being impeached.

I don’t think so. Unlike Democrats, many independents and moderates understand the Republicans’ deep discontent and frustration with Obama. Polls show that these sentiments are no longer confined to Republicans.

Few independents and moderates favor impeaching Obama, and if the House were to move in that direction, these voters would sympathize with the president and blame Republicans. But unless and until impeachment proceedings commence, they will blame Obama for having put himself in a position where impeachment is being discussed by anyone.

If a child tells his parent that his school may suspend him, a normal parent will conclude that the child has put himself in jeopardy by misbehaving. So too, I suspect, with the Democrats’ cries of “impeachment.”

If independents and moderates credit the Democrats’ claims that Republicans might impeach Obama, they will also blame Republicans for going overboard in their opposition to Obama, just as the parent in the above example will probably worry that the school is overreacting. But there’s little reason to believe that many non-Democrats will credit claims that impeachment is in the cards, now that Speaker Boehner has said that it isn’t.

Thus, as months pass and no impeachment materializes, no blame will attach to Republicans. The remaining impression will be that of a problematic president whose party cried “wolf.”

There’s another dimension to the politics of “impeachment.” By some accounts, Obama is poised to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. There is speculation that the cries of “impeachment” are related to this impending development.

If House Republicans become so outraged by the amnesty that they talk seriously of impeachment, Democrats can say “I told you so” and Boehner may look like a liar. If House Republicans don’t talk seriously about impeachment, Obama will have lessened the firestorm and elements of the Republican base may become disillusioned.

But this strategy — if that’s what it is — seems too clever by a half. The lawlessness of a unilateral grant of amnesty by Obama will likely upset not just Republicans and conservatives but many independents and moderates. They still won’t favor impeachment, but they will understand more clearly why a case for impeachment can be made.

They will probably blame Obama even more for being a president whose name can appear in the same sentence as “impeachment” (is this what “hope and change” has come to?) And some may even credit House Republicans for their forbearance in not impeaching him.

UPDATE: A new AP/GfK poll finds that 68 percent of Americans now disapprove of Obama’s handling of immigration. Lawless action by Obama on an issue that Americans already think he’s mishandling will likely strengthen the sense that Obama has brought impeachment talk on himself.