Archive for DC

Elijah Cummings admits he doesn’t know fellow committee member’s name

cummings

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. Be sure to also check out a post on Maryland Governor (and 2016 presidential hopeful) Martin O’Malley falling asleep during a meeting.

The Daily Caller:

The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee doesn’t know all of his own committee members’ names.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings admitted in Wednesday’s oversight hearing on the IRS missing emails scandal that he hasn’t bothered to reach across the aisle to learn his fellow committee members’ names.

“Mr. Chairman, you, uh-,” Cummings said. “This has been very interesting because one member on your side, the gentleman, I don’t know his name, said that the man was under investigation…”

I guess Cummings was too busy exchanging emails with Lois Lerner about the conservative groups being targeted by the IRS to actually learn his colleague’s name.

The Quinton Report featured as a NewsBusters Editors’ Pick again

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 Newsbusters featured a post from The Quinton Report in their Editors’ Picks yesterday. They referred to my post as, “Beretta moving all manufacturing out of Md. for gun-friendly Tennessee.” My original title was, “Beretta moving all of its manufacturing out of Maryland due to anti-gun laws.”

Here’s where they mentioned it:
newsbusters-beretta

Twitchy also mentioned The Quinton Report on this subject.

Is Jody Hice the GOP’s Todd Akin of 2014?

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Could Jody Hice, a congressional candidate in Georgia, hurt Republicans this fall?

Michael Graham thinks so:

Rev. Jody Hice, a radio talk show host (!) just won the runoff in the Republican primary for Georgia’s 10th Congressional district.

The vast majority of Republicans outside the Peach State have never heard of him. Then again, until the summer of 2012, nobody had heard of Missouri’s Todd Akin, either.

Then Akin started talking about “legitimate rape” and “women’s bodies just shut down,” and suddenly every Republican in a swing district or purple state was being asked about their fellow Republican.

Cue Rev. Hice!

Hice’s comments on women running for elected office got him noticed during the primary campaign:

”If the woman’s within the authority of her husband, I don’t see a problem,” Dr. Jody Hice of the Bethlehem First Baptist church in Barrow County said of women in positions of political power.

Graham also points to Hice’s comments about Islam:

Radio talk show host Jody Hice told members of the Coweta Tea Party that Islam, in its most complete form, isn’t deserving of First Amendment protections because it is not just a religion.

“When you talk about Islam, you are talking about totalitarian way of life. You are not talking simply about a religion,” Hice said.

Instead, it is “a totalitarian geopolitical system that has everything within it. It has its own financial system, it has its own military, it has its own government, and — yes — it also has its own religious component,” Hice said at Tuesday’s tea party meeting.

“The whole picture of Islam is not just a religion. It is an entire massive geopolitical system,” Hice said, and “its intent is to take over the world, to dominate the world.”

Graham also points to other controversial comments made by Hice.

Graham’s closing:

The Hobby Lobby story has made it obvious Democrats plan to make 2014 about the “War on Women” as much as they possibly can. They’re going to target suburban women who can’t imagine being told they must live “within the authority of their husbands.” (Neither can their husbands, by the way). Democrats are thrilled that Rev. Hice will be running in November. They’re cheering him on!

What makes this even more aggravating for Republicans trying to repair the party’s brand is that Hice’s runoff opponent, Mike Collins, is a conservative Republican. When it comes to actually casting votes, he’d have voted the same way as Hice at least 95% of the time.

But without the off-putting rhetoric and over-the-top statements.

Why did prominent GA Republicans who should know better back this guy? What were they thinking?

When September rolls around and Hice’s comments are all over the media, I hope somebody remembers to ask them.

Besides outgoing Rep. Paul Broun (who lost in the U.S. Senate primary), Erick Erickson of RedState endorsed Hice:

I spoke this past weekend at a fundraiser for Jody Hice. I am supporting Jody and, luckily, the largest part of population in his district lies within my listening audience’s reach in Atlanta. I am happy to encourage people to support him.

[...]

 I am proud to support him.

I generally have had the attitude in the case of candidates like Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell, and Richard Mourdock that their primary opposition must have run pretty shoddy campaigns to get beat by them. That makes me wonder what they would have done in November in general elections had they defeat candidates who were considered “nutty.”

With that being said, national Democrats will try to make Hice the poster child for their continuing “War on Women” theme against Republicans. Whether Hice wins his general election or not, his name will be invoked in NARAL, Planned Parenthood, DCCC, DNC , and other groups’ fundraising emails across the country. Also look for Michelle Nunn to try to tie Hice to David Perdue in the U.S. Senate race in Georgia.

Todd Akin has recently re-inserted himself into the news cycle pushing his new books and doubling down on his remarks from before, so he will still occupy some of the attention by the Democrats this year for a bit. However, Hice will still be around to talk about into the fall elections.

It doesn’t matter what you think of Hice or what I think of Hice (if you have to pigeonhole me, I’m a social conservative.) These tactics will almost certainly be used, depending on how desperate Democrats get. I respect the Republican voters of the district’s choice for their nominee, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be used as whipping boy by national Democrats in the fall campaign. It will remain to be seen if those tactics work or if people are tired of them. They may be effective in limited situations if not nationally.  I’m just pointing out what to me, and some others, is pretty obvious.

Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments. I welcome your input.

Watch this awful Elizabeth Warren campaign video

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The below video, “Run Liz Run”, was posted to YouTube by Ready for Warren.

From the description:

Our campaign to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for President in 2016 is gaining huge momentum. Warren came to Netroots Nation in Detroit and #ReadyForWarren was there to greet her in style alongside thousands of grassroots progressives.

Americans of all stripes are calling for a leader who will fight for an America that works for all of us, not only the wealthy and the well-connected. Join us. http://ready4warren.com.

Filmed at Netroots Nation 2014 in Detroit, MI. Song written and performed by Jessie Murphy & friends. Video produced, directed, and edited by The Self Agency.

Anti-Israel protest organized by Marxists

ceci

WBAL’s George Lettis reported last night on pro-Israel and “pro-Palestinian” events in the Baltimore area yesterday. The pro-Israel event was in Owings Mills and included a crowd of hundreds and a speaker from the Israeli Embassy. He also reported on a “pro-Palestinian” event in downtown Baltimore that appeared to include no more than a handful of people.

Here’s the excerpt of the WBAL story that refers to the “pro-Palestinian” protesters:

Meanwhile, a modest group of pro-Palestinian protesters at the Inner Harbor had a much different view of the conflict and berated America’s support of Israel.

“Israel has bombs and nuclear weapons furnished to them by the United States, and my tax dollars were paying for that while children in this country are going hungry and don’t have any place to live. They’re going to give money to Israel to bomb women and children,” said pro-Palestinian protester Lee Patterson.

“I’m making the analogy of kids throwing rocks against somebody using a gun. I mean, yes, Hamas is shooting rockets over as more of an act of defiance, and if you’re an occupied people, you have a right to resist,” said pro-Palestinian protester Steven Ceci.

You can note in the picture above that Ceci’s sign also mentions the border crisis and one of the protesters seen in the video is holding a Jobs Not Jail sign. Another sign appears not to be related to the issue at hand either, but this is typical of progressive protests.

One thing Lettis didn’t note in his report is the event was sponsored by the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly (PPA) (they had an event page for “Stop the War on Children! From Gaza to the U.S./Mexico Border to Baltimore!”) I noted before that Ian Duncan of The Baltimore Sun also neglected some of the Marxist ties involved in a story   on the PPA”s planned George Zimmerman protest until after I detailed them.

Ceci is with the Baltimore PPA and he even included a comment on my original post confirming that he is a “communist” and the PPA is affiliated with the Workers World Party (WWP.) I noted the connections between the Baltimore PPA and the Baltimore WWP at the time as well. Other organizations that are connected to the PPA and its Solidarity Center have included Occupy Baltimore, the SCLC, UPP, the Green Party.

Here’s what I wrote about these connections previously:

Additionally, the only “Like” that the Baltimore People’s Assembly makes on their page is the Facebook page of the Baltimore Worker’s World Party. The Baltimore WWP lists it’s physical address as the same location as the People’s Assembly Solidarity Center. They also have their website listed as the site of The Daily Worker.

The [Baltimore] WWP has traditional socialist and communist imagery on their Facebook page including a cover photo of mass murderer Che Guevara.

The Workers World Party split from the Socialist Workers Party in 1959. The split was partly because of the SWP’s support of Henry Wallace in the 1948 election and because the SWP was supporting Mao Zedong in China. Since then the WWP has supported Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, and Kim Jong-Il. They also supported the Chinese crackdown on democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in China in 1989. Additionally, WWP supported the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground.

One of the other groups affiliated with the People’s Power Assembly in Baltimore is Occupy Baltimore. Occupy Baltimore made the news for many things – including discouraging police reports of sexual assault.

This post was written to provide background that George Lettis of WBAL didn’t provide on these protests.

Court rules most Obamacare subsidies are illegal

obamacare

CNBC reports on a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit:

In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a top federal appeals court Tuesday said that billions of dollars worth of government subsidies that helped nearly 5 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are illegal.

A judicial panel in a 2-1 ruling said such subsidies can be granted only to those people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov.

“Section 36B plainly makes subsidies available in the Exchanges established by states,” wrote Senior Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph in his majority opinion, where he was joined by Judge Thomas Griffith “We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up their own Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly.”

36 states did not set up their own exchange. 86% of people (4.7 million people in all) who signed up through Healthcare.gov received subsidies

Does the IRS still have backups of Lois Lerner’s emails?

irs

The House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform holds that out as a possibility in their post, “New Testimony: IRS May Still Have Missing Lois Lerner E-mails Backed Up.”

The committee blog notes that an IRS official’s new testimony that the backups may exist is in contradiction to a previous report that they didn’t exist:

During a transcribed interview with congressional investigators on Thursday, July 17, IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane, who supervises the IRS’s targeting scandal document production to Congress, testified that new developments now make him uncertain whether e-mail back-up tapes containing lost e-mails from key IRS targeting official Lois Lerner exist or not. The new testimony is at odds with the June 13, 2014, memo sent to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) by the IRS which reported that the IRS, “Confirmed that back-up tapes from 2011 no longer exist because they have been recycled.” Kane had reviewed the June 13 memo but noted his current uncertainty with investigators.

Here’s what Jeffrey Meyer of Newsbusters focuses on:

On Monday, IRS deputy associate chief council Thomas Kane told the House Oversight Committee that he is unsure whether or not backup tapes of the lost Lois Lerner emails exist.

Despite the potential bombshell surrounding the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, all three network evening news shows, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and the NBC Nightly News, ignored the revelations on Monday, July 21.

Politico reports:

“I don’t know if there is a backup tape with information on it or there isn’t,” he told investigators Thursday, according to a partial transcript released by Oversight Republicans on Monday. The IRS official suggested new information has come to light since the IRS revealed in a June 13 letter to Congress that two year’s worth of Lerner’s emails were lost in a 2011 computer crash.

Lerner was the head of the tax exempt division that singled out conservative groups for additional scrutiny and has since become a lightning rod for Republicans probing the matter.

The IRS had said no copies of Lerner’s correspondence were available because the IRS at the time only backed up emails for six months on tapes — then recycled the tapes for reuse. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen also testified to the matter before lawmakers. Kane suggested that might not be the case.

Here’s what committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa had to say in response:

“I’m struck by the fact that the IRS attempted to keep a key witness like Mr. Kane away from investigators and only agreed to his appearance after I issued a subpoena for his testimony. Finding out that IRS Commissioner Koskinen jumped the gun in reporting to Congress that the IRS ‘confirmed’ all back-up tapes had been destroyed makes me even more suspicious of why he waited months to inform Congress about lost Lois Lerner e-mails. Commissioner Koskinen has repeatedly blamed the reporting delay on an effort to be sure what he said was correct, we now know that wasn’t the case.”

It would appear from all of the above that the focus of the new information should be on the fact that the IRS has previously misled Congress by saying all the emails had been destroyed in the supposed hard drive crash. The new information from Kane would hold out the possibility that backups might still exist. I don’t hold up much hope for that, but this whole chapter in the saga seems to prove the old adage that the cover-up is always worse than the actual scandal.

PA children’s home approved to house immigrant children

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PennLive.com reports:

A local home for children has been asked by the federal government to prepare itself to take in unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America who continue to cross over into the United States.

The United Methodist Home for Children in Mechanicsburg has not taken in any children from Central America yet, and it continues to assist children sent to it from the local county courts systems, the group’s Board of Trustees Chairwoman Karen Best said Monday. But the agency has been contacted to prepare itself to provide shelter and care for unaccompanied minors, she said.

The home has been approved to receive an Urgent and Compelling Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide temporary shelter services to unaccompanied children beginning in August, according to the home’s President and CEO David Reed.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is meeting with religious leaders to discuss housing some of the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children in Maryland (via WBAL Radio):

Among those expected at the meeting, officials from Catholic Charities who are asking the federal government for a grant to use St. Vincent’s Villa in Timonium to house 50 children.

The children and teens come from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Baltimore County Delegate Wade Kach, who is running for the Baltimore County Council seat that includes Timonium, has written a letter to Archbishop Lori opposing the plan.

Last week, I wrote about the plan by Catholic Charities to house the immigrant children at St. Vincent’s Villa in Timonium, Maryland. I also previously wrote about CASA de Maryland wanting to house the unaccompanied minor immigrants in Maryland.

50 immigrant children could be housed by Catholic Charities in Baltimore

catholic-charities

Catholic Charities of Baltimore has applied to house 50 unaccompanied minors who have illegally entered the United States across the Mexican border. In January, the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops estimated that 60,000 unaccompanied minors would cross the border in 2014.

From Catholic Review:

“The federal government has requested proposals from providers who could assist with providing shelter care and support to these youth, many of whom have experienced significant trauma along the way,” Catholic Charities Executive Director William J. McCarthy Jr. wrote in a July 16 letter to the organization’s employees. “With our expertise in providing services as well as residential and other programming for children and youth at St. Vincent’s Villa, we believe that we are well equipped to provide services for this critical need.”

Located in Timonium, St. Vincent’s Villa serves children and youths with emotional and behavioral challenges. McCarthy also pointed to the organization’s 50-year-old Esperanza Center in Fells Point – which provides services to immigrants, many of whom are Latino – as an example of Catholic Charities’ longstanding commitment to the immigrant community.

Esperanza serves more than 5,500 immigrants annually, and has provided assistance to more than 50 unaccompanied minors each month for the past several months, McCarthy said

.The reason given for the application:

In a conversation with the Catholic Review, McCarthy said that housing children in need is something the church has always done, comparing Catholic Charities’ current efforts to the orphanages Catholic organizations ran in the 19th and early 20th centuries for immigrant children, some of whom lost parents during their travel to the United States. 

More information:

CASA de Maryland wants illegal immigrant children housed in MD

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WBFF reports:

Casa de Maryland, an advocacy group for immigrants, hopes Maryland can reach an agreement with the federal government to find another location to house immigrant children.

At least two other sites have already been rejected including the former Army Reserve center in Carroll County but officials have been quietly negotiating to find other locations to house some of the thousands of immigrant children coming over the border.

Liz Alex with Casa de Maryland says children are fleeing Central America to find their parents who are already in the United States. “We should make sure that these children are housed in humane conditions, that they have access to education and access to legal counsel so that they’re able to pursue their cases,” said Alex.

Democrats criticized initial plans to house children in a facility in Baltimore City and plans to house them in a closed Army Reserve facility in Westminster were halted. In the aftermath of that decision, Gov. Martin O’Malley said the children might be in danger due to some of the conservatives in Maryland. He was later exposed by officials in the administration of Barack Obama as trying to stop that move himself while being critical of the Obama administration’s handling of the situation.