What Everybody Ought to Know About Obamacare

From the Foundry:

Obamacare: It’s unfair, unaffordable, and unworkable.

So it’s no surprise that Organizing for Action, President Obama’s campaign group, isaggressively posting on all of its media outlets to try to hide the truth about Obamacare.

Just last week, the group blasted out emails and tweets to activists encouraging them to “see how Obamacare is already working.”

But Organizing for Action is wrong. Obamacare isn’t working, and it won’t ever work.That’s why we’re challenging every claim Obamacare supporters make—and you should, too. Congress should refuse to spend a single dime implementing this massive train wreck.

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10 questions for Obama’s presser

From the Hill:

President Obama will hold his first solo press conference in more than three months on Friday before he departs for a weeklong vacation at Martha’s Vineyard.

The summer has been unkind to Obama, with controversies at home and abroad wearing down his approval rating. His poll numbers have dipped 5 points since he last spoke to the media in April, according to a Fox News survey released Thursday, and his overall approval rating is at 42 percent, just 2 percent points above the low point in his presidency.

With his personal popularity flagging, the president will try to use the bully pulpit to recapture momentum and position himself for a bruising fiscal fight with Congress this fall.
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Photo courtesy Joe Crimmings Photography, flickr

Photo courtesy Joe Crimmings Photography, flickr

Unlocking the power of Keystone

From the Washington Times:

Next month will mark five years since TransCanada first applied to the U.S. State Department to build the Keystone XL pipeline. In those five  years, we have endured a financial collapse and a Great Recession, and we  continue to struggle with stubbornly high unemployment.

It should be an easy decision  for the Obama administration to embrace the  project’s thousands of jobs and $7 billion infusion into the American economy,  yet the president has resisted. Although the president famously vowed to “do  whatever it takes” to create jobs, he seems to be doing all he can to avoid  approving Keystone’s presidential permit. With the stroke of a pen, he could  support the creation of thousands of private-sector jobs as well as advance our  energy security by allowing nearly 1 million additional barrels of North  American oil to flow to U.S. refineries each day

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Harkin: In closed-door meeting, Southern senator called Obama ‘exotic’

From the Daily Caller:

A Southern senator described President Obama as “exotic” in a closed-door  meeting last month, according to Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

During a meeting with the Des Moines Register  editorial board Wednesday, Harkin offered his explanation for the reason  Republicans are so opposed to the president by pointing to a comment an unnamed  Southern senator made during a staff-less, press-less meeting concerning filibuster rules on July  15.

According to Harkin, the unnamed senator said that his constituents could not  identify with the president.

“It was very interesting. No press there, and no staff and so senators just got  to speak,” Harkin said, according to a Des Moines Register’s report. “And, not naming any names, but one  senator got up from a Southern state and said, ‘You’ve got to understand that to  my people down here, Obama seems like he’s exotic.’”

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Barack Obama Oath of Office Michelle Obama

Q&A on Benghazi Criminal Charges

From the Foundry:

Q. Who are the criminal charges filed against?

A. We don’t know all the suspects’ names, but the one confirmed is Ahmed Abu Khattalah, founder of a Libyan Islamist militia, Ansar al Sharia. Officials believe Khattalah was involved in the attack on the Benghazi consulate in Libya on September 11, 2012, that killed four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Khattalah has yet to be detained by U.S. authorities, but he admitted to reporters in October of last year that he was present at the scene of the attack. He has denied involvement in the attack.

Q. Why did it take so long to file criminal charges?

A. Little has been released by the Department of Justice on the charges because the case is still under seal. The charges come nearly 10 months after the deadly attack in Benghazi and only after increasing pressure from Republican lawmakers on incoming FBI Director James Comey to speed up the pace of the investigation.

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Obama’s canceling of Putin meeting draws bipartisan praise

From the Hill:

Lawmakers rallied around President Obama after he canceled a bilateral summit  with Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday as U.S.-Russian relations  appeared headed toward a deep chill. [WATCH  VIDEO]
Both Republicans and Democrats praised Obama for snubbing  Putin and opting not to travel to Moscow for the bilateral summit ahead of the  September G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, which he will still  attend.

Obama  has been facing pressure from Congress to respond to Putin after Moscow granted  NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum last week. Some pressed him to go  even further, such as the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer  (D-N.Y.), who urged Obama to try to move the G-20 out of Russia.
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Michelle Obama

Senators build ‘grassroots army’ to pressure McConnell on ObamaCare

From the Hill:

Senate conservatives are increasing pressure on Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to use the threat of a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are spearheading the effort to build a “grassroots army” to influence GOP leadership after entreaties to their colleagues fell short.

So far, only 13 Senate Republicans have signed onto a plan to block any stopgap spending measure funding the government beyond Sept. 30 unless it cuts funding for the healthcare law.

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Mitch McConnell

War of Tweets: The State Department Takes on Islamists

From the Foundry:

Twitter and other social media are the new battle ground in the war of ideas between Islamist radicals and the U.S. State Department. Since July 17, Islamist tweeters and the State Department’s Digital Outreach Team (DOT) have been dueling on Twitter.

The DOT is part of the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communication. The center is only a few years old, but it has greatly improved the U.S. government’s ideological toolkit under the leadership of Ambassador Alberto Fernandez and counterterrorism experts such as Daniel Kimmage.

The center, which also coordinates counterterrorism activities among government agencies, employs a staff of Arab speakers, who spend their days trying to outwit the terrorists on the Internet. Its efforts have been noted—and resented—by Islamists propagandists.

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US department of states seal

Tax gavel is Ryan’s — if he wants it

From the Hill:

If Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wants to take the gavel of the House Ways and Means Committee come 2015, he’ll have to leapfrog a more senior colleague who is said to have his eyes on the chairmanship, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

Officials on and off Capitol Hill say that Ryan, who as a former GOP vice presidential nominee could have his sights on even grander ambitions, will likely be able to grab the top spot on the powerful panel if he wants it.

But Brady, who currently holds the No. 3 GOP spot on the panel, has also positioned himself to move up, and the affable conservative is popular with fellow Republicans and seen as a good soldier for the party.

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Paul Ryan

Wendy Davis for Texas governor in 2014?

From the Daily Caller:

WASHINGTON — Texas Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis might just make a bid  for governor in 2014.

“A lot of people are asking me that question lately as you can imagine,”  Davis said in response to an audience question regarding her gubernatorial  ambitions at a National Press Club  luncheon Monday.

“I am working very hard to decide what my next steps will be. I do think that  in Texas people feel like we need a change from the very fractured very partisan  leadership that we are  seeing in our state government right now,” the so-called Democratic rising star  said.

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Wendy Davis