The Power Line Show: Episode 2, With Tom Cotton and Bill Voegeli

Last night we got the whole PL crew together for Episode 2 of the Power Line Show. We were joined by Senator-elect Tom Cotton and Bill Voegeli, author of The Pity Party. The president’s amnesty order and multiple email mysteries were the main topics of the day.

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The Week in Pictures: Gobbling Gruber Edition

Some time next week President Obama will perform the annual ritual of pardoning a giant Thanksgiving turkey, which will then be sent to live out its days on a farm somewhere.  My guess is next week he’ll want to pardon the biggest gobbler of all, Jonathan Gruber.  More to the point: someone on Capitol Hill ought revive and reinvent Sen. Proxmire’s famous “Golden Fleece” award for ridiculous spending, but this time make it for a self-serving idea-monger.  We could call it the “Golden Gruber,” or the “Gobbling Gruber.”  Both convey how much they rip off taxpayers.

Stupid Voters copy Obama Flim Flam copy Obama Runs Over copy Obama Outreach copy Obama Flops copy Obama Amnesty copy Con Opinions copy Green Dems copy Keystone Rxtremis, copy Landreiu Dumped copy

Cable Guy copy

Dumb and Dumber copy Border Crossers copy Elections Have Consequences copy

Govt Poverty programs copy

1790s copy

Breadlines copy

Condemn Speech copy

Feminist copy

Settled Science copy

Cold Outside copy Buffalo Ice Bucket copy

This is definitely the right way for Buffalo to cope.

This is definitely the right way for Buffalo to cope.

Pumpkin Van copy

Asteroids copy Hot Sauce copy

Turkey Chill copy

Guys Guns 7 copy

And finally. . .

Hot 204 copy

The Krone connection

Jason Horowits writes political features and profiles for the New York Times. Yesterday the Times published Horowitz’s feature/profile on Harry Reid chief of staff David Krone. I don’t think Horowitz’s report rises to the level of what Steve Hayward has been following as “civil war on the left,” but it is hard not to enjoy the discord Horowitz traces among these unsavory players. Here is the opening of his article:

WASHINGTON — President Obama called Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, to broach a particularly delicate subject. It was during last year’s government shutdown and standoff with Republicans, but Mr. Obama’s frustration focused on one of their own. The president said he suspected David Krone, Mr. Reid’s intensely loyal and influential top aide, of leaking to the news media, and requested that he stay away from future meetings.

It did not take much time for the president’s comments to reach Mr. Reid’s right-hand man. To Mr. Obama’s surprise, Mr. Krone was listening in on the call. Suddenly, the aide piped up and made it clear to the president that he did not appreciate the accusation.

Quotable quote: “Mr. Reid fought back tears as he recalled the time he visited his wife, who had been injured in a car accident, and saw Mr. Krone at her hospital bedside. ‘David is someone I can say, and it doesn’t affect my manhood at all,’ Mr. Reid said, ‘I love David Krone.’”

What a crew!

Whole thing here.

UPDATE: Before she shares her usual stream of consciousness, Peggy Noonan explicates the text here.

When you’re strange

I cannot find the text of the memos/orders signed yesterday by President Obama to implement the actions announced in his immigration speech this past Thursday evening. (I have looked under Presidential Actions at the White House website.) I have therefore been unable to check the details of Obama’s action against the comments below, which are offered by an immigration attorney who works with existing law:

The proposed executive action on immigration (or whatever name you want to give it) will allow [illegal aliens] who have US citizen or green-card children and who have been here for five years to apply for some kind of quasi-status and open market work authorization. That would allow them to work for a period of time at any employer, the authorization presumably renewable until they decide to leave or have an option for US permanent resident status (green card status). This, the administration tells us, is fair and just and Biblical – yada/yada.

But this option is explicitly NOT available to those in the US in a valid legal status. There are millions of people in the US who have temporary status – as students or temporary workers or researchers or as investors (lots of Koreans own businesses with E-2 investor visas, for example). These people – many of them have US citizen children and have been here five years. These people who have been here legally and not violated their immigration status – these people are explicitly NOT eligible for open market work authorization, renewable indefinitely.

You must be in violation of the law to benefit from this provision.

If Republicans want to begin to push back on this issue, to turn the tables, I believe this is the question that needs to be raised again and again – why is the administration offering something to lawbreakers that is specifically prohibited for those who comply with the law?

There is no answer – I guarantee it. And when this point is circulated broadly, including broadly among immigrant and naturalized citizens, there will be resentment.

I realize there are a lot of angles to this issue but I haven’t seen anyone cover the above and I think it is one of the strongest points. Obama can fool people on the legal analysis and role of the executive but people know on a basic fundamental level that you should not be offering something to lawbreakers that is not available to the law-abiding.

We will revisit this issue when we have found the relevant White House action.

UPDATE: DHS has posted links to the executive actions here.

A Jim Webb presidential run? Spare us

Steve has commented on Jim Webb’s decision to launch an “exploratory committee” for a possible presidential campaign. But what is the case for a Webb presidency?

According to the Washington Post, Webb is pitching himself as someone who can shake up Washington’s partisan gridlock. Webb argues that, through him, America can “return to a leadership environment where people from both political parties and from all philosophical points of view would feel compelled to work the common good.” In this scenario people would “sort out their disagreements in a way that moves our country forward rather than tearing the fabric of the nation apart.”

Unfortunately, Jim Webb is as unlikely as almost any public figure in America to build consensus among those with differing points of views. Stated differently, he is a nasty piece of work.

In November 2006, the Washington Post reported:

At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia’s newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn’t long before Bush found him.

“How’s your boy?” Bush asked, referring to Webb’s son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

“I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,” Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

“That’s not what I asked you,” Bush said. “How’s your boy?”

“That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President,” Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

Henry Clay strongly opposed going to war with Mexico. James Polk defeated him for president in 1844 and the U.S. went to war. Clay became a leading anti-war critic. His favorite son was killed in action.

Yet Clay maintained good personal relations with Polk. In fact, their relations are said to have been warm during the latter days of Polk’s presidency.

Clay, a gentleman, rarely put a wrong foot forward in public. The the notable exception was a tirade in a bar when he learned that the Whigs had rejected him in favor of William Henry Harrison at their 1840 convention (in those days presidential aspirants didn’t attend their party’s convention).

Webb cannot be held to Clay’s standard. But one should expect minimal civility from someone seeking the presidency on the theory that he can break gridlock by getting people to “sort out their disagreements in a way” that doesn’t strain “the fabric of the nation.” That’s not a job for a jerk like Webb.

Nor is there any other rationale, beyond personal ambition, that militates in favor of a presidential run by the former Senator, who is now on his third marriage. Webb is hardly a political dynamo. His only electoral victory was against George Allen in 2006. It came in a state that has trended Democratic, and in the context of a pro-Democrat wave election.

Even so, Webb’s margin of victory was extremely small. And but for Allen’s use of the word “macaca,” Webb certainly would have lost.

Webb served six years in the Senate without distinction. His biggest contribution was his vote for Obamacare, without which the legislation would not have passed.

Webb declined to stand for reelection in 2012. Perhaps he doubted he would win. Perhaps he was bored with public policy.

Neither explanation commends him for the presidency. As former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder told the Post, “A lot of people will be asking, ‘Is this the reason you didn’t run for reelection, because you were still so concerned with the direction of the country?’”

Webb fancies himself a populist and at times has talked a pretty good game. This distinguishes him from Hillary Clinton, but not from a host of possible entrants with more credibility with the left. Bernie Sanders, Jerry Brown, and Elizabeth Warren come to mind.

Moreover, Webb can’t have it both ways. He can’t appeal as a populist to the rabid Democratic left while claiming that he will heal the partisan divide. After all, Webb is no Barack Obama. Even President Obama is no Barack Obama.

That’s why Steve is probably right in saying that Webb, although ideologically at home with the Democrats, better fits the independent/third part mold when it comes to presidential politics.

What Is DOJ Hiding About Its Targeting of Sharyl Attkisson?

I wrote last night about Judicial Watch’s bombshell revelation that Eric Holder’s office collaborated with the White House to try to force Sharyl Attkisson off the Fast and Furious investigation. (If you haven’t read that post, you should start there.) We know this because of this email thread, which was among the documents that DOJ produced to Judicial Watch. The thread is a conversation between Tracy Schmaler, Eric Holder’s press person, and Eric Schultz, a White House staffer. (Schultz, by the way, is the White House aide who screamed and swore at Attkisson over the telephone.) The bottom email, which refers to “Sharryl,” is first in time:

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 6.43.59 PM

The funny thing is that the reference to “Sharryl” in the first email comes from out of the blue. It is obvious that Schmaler and Schultz had been talking about Attkisson and that the first email we see is the middle of a conversation, not the beginning. Yet, a search of the 40,000 pages produced by DOJ does not include a single additional reference to Attkisson. With the exception of the email above, her name appears only when she is referred to in a news story that is reproduced in an email. Strange.

A reader writes with a theory:

The reason that this reference to Sharyl Attkisson made it into this document dump is that her name was mis-spelled (Sharryl rather than Sharyl). There are assuredly more emails about this that were searched for and deliberately withheld. They apparently did not search for this particular mis-spelling of her name.

Bingo. I think he is right. Someone at DOJ systematically searched for references to Sharyl Attkisson and pulled out all emails where DOJ and White House personnel were talking about her and, as we now know, how to block her Fast and Furious investigation. A single email, which gave away the game, slipped through because her name was mis-spelled.

It is harder than many people realize to cheat on a document production. Judicial Watch and others should now start hounding Eric Holder to release the rest of the story–the other emails where Holder’s DOJ and Barack Obama’s White House plotted to kill the Fast and Furious investigation by, among other things, influencing senior managers at CBS News.

When Even the Climatistas Know You Are a Fool . . .

I thought by now it would be ungentlemanly to keep piling on Naomi Klein’s ridiculous climate-change-means-we-have-to-smash-capitalism book, This Changes Everything. But then I ran across Elizabeth Kolbert’s review of Klein in the latest edition of the New York Review of Books, and I can’t resist. Kolbert is one of the most distraught of the climatistas, and writes the doomiest of the gloom-and-doom climate articles in The New Yorker and elsewhere. And even she can’t stand Klein’s book, if you read between the lines carefully toward the end:

Klein goes so far as to argue that the environmental movement has itself become little more than an arm (or perhaps one should say a column) of the fossil fuel industry. . .

The need to reduce carbon emissions is, ostensibly, what This Changes Everything is all about. Yet apart from applauding the solar installations of the Northern Cheyenne, Klein avoids looking at all closely at what this would entail. She vaguely tells us that we’ll have to consume less, but not how much less, or what we’ll have to give up. At various points, she calls for a carbon tax. This is certainly a good idea, and one that’s advocated by many economists, but it hardly seems to challenge the basic logic of capitalism. Near the start of the book, Klein floats the “managed degrowth” concept, which might also be called economic contraction, but once again, how this might play out she leaves unexplored. Even more confoundingly, by end of the book she seems to have rejected the idea. “Shrinking humanity’s impact or ‘footprint,’” she writes, is “simply not an option today.”

In place of “degrowth” she offers “regeneration,” a concept so cheerfully fuzzy I won’t even attempt to explain it. Regeneration, Klein writes, “is active: we become full participants in the process of maximizing life’s creativity.”

Kolbert concludes by saying that everyone in the climatista kamp is lying about there being solutions to climate change, including Klein. So Kolbert’s real complaint in the end is that Klein gets further to the left on the matter, but is still pollyannish about the realities of the world. But isn’t that what being an anti-capitalist utopian is all about?