Thursday, June 25, 2015
Good morning! In the news today: Obama’s hostage policy is going to create new hostages; Trump second in national poll; Jindal gets in; up to 24K Lerner emails missing; ex-Obama advisors advise against Iran deal; and Farrakhan wants the stars and stripes taken down too.
Have a great day.
Obama’s contradictory, appalling new hostage policy . . . President Obama Wednesday announced a new policy regarding U.S. hostages that is designed, albeit not purposely, to get more Americans kidnapped and killed. The policy, in short, is that while the government still may not ransom hostages, private citizens can – even though it’s against the law – and will be aided by the government in their “communications” with the terrorists. White House Dossier
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Trump takes second in national poll . . . Trump garnered 11 percent support — nearly triple his total from Fox’s previous poll, when he came in at 4 percent. The poll shows former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush maintaining first place with 15 percent support, up from 12 percent three weeks ago. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson got 10 percent, with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 9 percent each. The Hill
Romney seeks role as kingmaker . . . Mitt Romney is asserting himself as a leader of the Republican Party at a time when the GOP lacks a true standard-bearer. As the huge field of Republican contenders begins the long slog to the party’s 2016 nomination, Romney is working to connect select candidates with his vast political network, urging the party to learn from his past mistakes, attacking Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and taking forceful stances on controversial issues. The Hill
Is he hoping to become the nominee if the GOP is divided at the convention? Or maybe even the VP choice of an inexperienced nominee? Who knows?
Jindal announces, hits Jeb hard . . . The Louisiana governor, the 13th Republican to enter the race, goes on the attack in a bid to break through. Politico
Rand Paul sues over treaties . . . The Kentucky senator will take legal action against the U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service for what he says is the denial of his constitutional right to vote on more than 100 tax-information treaties that the Obama administration unilaterally negotiated with foreign governments. Washington Times
Webb: Flag part of “complicated history” . . . Former Democratic Virginia senator Jim Webb, who’s mulling a presidential bid, says the Confederate flag has been wrongly used as a racist symbol — but stopped short of calling for its removal from public places as other White House contenders have done. Newsmax
Ten times Blumenthal got it wrong . . . Blumenthal’s predictions about how coalition countries would react, who would play leading roles in the transitional government and even the location of embattled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi turned out to be incorrect. Washington Examiner
GOP questions CBO Obamacare repeal score . . . Republican lawmakers are raising questions about a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that says repealing ObamaCare would increase the deficit. The report says repeal would add $137 billion to the deficit over 10 years. The Hill
GOP takes aim at welfare discouraging work . . . A House Ways and Means subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana, is set to hold a hearing Thursday morning with the Agriculture subcommittee responsible for food stamps on aspects of welfare programs that can discourage work. It will be one of a half-dozen such hearings on the welfare system so far this year. Washington Examiner
Dems fold on trade . . . Even the most ardent trade critics are reversing course and backing a bill designed to help workers. Politico
Obama heckled at White House LGBT event . . . Obama was speaking during a White House LGBT event when someone from the LGBTQ group Get Equal named Jennicet Gutierrez began interrupting him. Q, um, is for “questioning.” She is described by ABC News as “transgender and undocumented” – uh oh, lots of possible angles here – and “shouting claims about bad detention conditions for LGBTQ immigrants in the United States.”White House Dossier
So sorry – up to 24,000 missing Lerner emails . . . The IRS watchdog investigating the disappearance of Lois Lerner’s emails has concluded that there could be as many as 24,000 missing emails. Their investigation was able to recover more than 1,000 emails the IRS did not turn over to Congress, according to the written testimony. CNN
Giuliani: Obama “setting put business” for hostage takers . . . “President Reagan did this, not just President Obama. But in those days you could do it with plausible deniability,” Giuliani said. “You didn’t have to have it as a rule. The minute you announce it as a rule, people start thinking, I have a business here, I can make a lot of money this way. You know where that money’s going. It’s a terror organization.” Newsmax
Death no barrier to getting Social Security payments . . . The Social Security Administration paid individuals acting as representatives for disabled beneficiaries nearly $50 million even though they were dead. An audit from the Office of Inspector General is just the latest example of the SSA’s inability to figure out who on their rolls is still alive. Washington Free Beacon
Not sure if you really need the cash in the next world, but perhaps.
Bland Michelle lunches inspire black market for salt . . . School lunches are so bland that kids are selling salt and pepper to spice them up, a school official told lawmakers Wednesday. Washington Examiner
Up to 32 million compromised in OPM breach . . . As many as 32 million Americans might have had their most sensitive data stolen in a breach of the federal government’s human resources agency computers, lawmakers speculated Wednesday as pressure grew on President Obama to oust the woman who heads the agency that botched its cybersecurity. Washington Times
OPM lied about it . . . The Obama administration reportedly concealed the true amount of information compromised by a cyberattack on the federal Office of Personnel Management for several days after the initial disclosure of the hack, according to a published report. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the day after the White House admitted that hackers had breached personnel files, OPM publicly denied that the security clearance forms had been compromised despite receiving information to the contrary from the FBI. Fox News
Former Obama advisors say tougher Iran deal needed . . . A group of prominent American security advisers, including five with ties to President Barrack Obama’s first term, warned on Wednesday that a deal on curbing Iran’s nuclear program was at risk of failing to provide adequate safeguards. The release of the letter, which was signed by Dennis Ross, an adviser on Iran and the Middle East in Obama’s first term. In addition to Ross, the letter was signed by David Petraeus, former CIA director and U.S. commander in Iraq, Robert Einhorn, a former member of the U.S. negotiating team with Iran, retired U.S. General James Cartwright and Gary Samore, an Obama adviser on nuclear policy turned president of the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran. Reuters
Everyone knows this is a joke. Including the Iranians.
Obama’s Iran appeasements . . . Over nearly two years of negotiations, the P5+1 — the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — have crossed previous barriers by allowing Iran to have a uranium enrichment program, continue research and development on advanced centrifuges and avoid dismantling the highly-fortified Fordow facility, which could be used to securely build nuclear weapons. Amir Basiri in the Washington Examiner
Voters lack confidence in Obama on Iran . . . Nearly three-quarters of voters are concerned about Iran getting nukes (74 percent), including 31 percent who say they are “extremely” concerned. At the same time, many lack confidence in the Obama administration’s ability to negotiate with Iran on its nuclear program: 48 percent are confident, while 50 percent aren’t. Fox News
Even Dems give pause by concessions . . . Democrats in Congress are widely expected to protect President Obama from the humiliation of having his signature achievement — a nuclear deal with Iran — rejected by lawmakers. But recent reports of concessions by international negotiators and a hardening of Tehran’s stances on key points have caused at least some to consider the circumstances under which they would vote against implementing any deal if one is signed. Washington Examiner
Ebola making a comeback . . . Despite hopes that the deadly Ebola outbreak could soon be contained in West Africa, it shows no signs of abating in Guinea and may be flaring up once more in Sierra Leone as people are flouting rules limiting travel meant to stop it. Associated Press
Farrakhan takes aim at the stars and stripes . . . In a vitriolic speech at the Metropolitan AME church in Washington D.C., Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan called white people “sinful by nature” and said that the cops who arrested the man who killed nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C. last week were happy he did so. “I don’t know what the hell the fight is about over the Confederate flag,” the 82-year-old minister said. “We need to put the American flag down because we’ve got as much hell under that as the Confederate flag.” Daily Caller
PBS show suspended over Affleck deception . . . Affleck was “embarassed” by his slave-owning ancestor, he wrote on Facebook. “The very thought left a bad taste in my mouth.” So he asked the show’s producers to leave Cole out of the final cut of the program, and they — after some debate — agreed. Washington Post
White House Dossier
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