Thursday, July 31, 2014

Impeachment Distraction?

To view this email as a web page, go here.

Impeachment Distraction?
We've got a real constitutional crisis on our hands, but checking the authority of the president has become a laughing matter for Obama while also becoming a campaign tool for Democrats.

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley says that we are at a constitutional tipping point, with more powers being concentrated in the Executive Branch than ever before. As president, Barack Obama has taken to unilaterally changing laws and simply failing to enforce laws he doesn't like. That's not how this is supposed to work, according to our framers who created a system of co-equal branches of government and separation of powers.

We have a problem. This is a potentially dangerous problem for all Americans because of the precedent being set by Obama. He is not a king and we should fear a system that enables that sort of behavior.

But we have another problem. Mechanisms for checking executive authority are built into our Constitution. One of those mechanisms is impeachment. But in today's society, impeachment has become incredibly politically charged. Instead of being viewed as a legitimate tool to check the power and authority of a potentially abusive branch of government, it has been degraded into a partisan political more
Outrageous: Lois Lerner
What does Lois Lerner think about us conservatives? New outrageous emails have revealed her true feelings about the type of Americans her agency targeted.

House Republicans released emails from Lois Lerner, former director of the Office of Exempt Organizations at the IRS. Lerner has pled the Fifth when called before Congress to testify on her agency's orchestrated effort to target conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. If you will recall, not long ago the IRS revealed that it has lost all of Lerner's emails after a computer crash and the hard drives had allegedly been recycled. Since that time, apparently some of the emails have been found. Now that we are coming to learn the true nature of those emails, it's no wonder why the IRS may not have wanted Congress and the American people to see their content.

In a 2012 email discussion with an unnamed source about conservative talk radio show hosts, Lerner says, "Maybe we are through if there are that many a-holes." The other individual responds by describing talk radio callers as "rabid," to which Lerner responds, "So we don't need to worry about alien terrorists. It's our own crazies that will take us down."

It's clear that Lerner holds a personal animus against conservatives and then took the next step in using the jackboot of government to punish these people she so deeply more
Unsubscribe  |  Edit Subscription  |  Sign Up  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy
PO BOX 7298, Van Nuys, CA 91409-7298 US

Yes, Even More New Lows for President Obama’s Polling Numbers

Today on NRO

KEVIN D. WILLIAMSON: Israel's critics hold it responsible for the fate of those whom Hamas is using as human shields. How Many Children Will Die in Gaza?

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: By continually taking the path of least short-term trouble, the U.S. ensures long-term hardship. The Cost of American Indifference.

NAT BROWN: Russian media work overtime to attack Ukraine and the U.S. in the aftermath of the Malaysian-airliner crash. From Russia with Lies.

CAROLINE CRADDOCK: Tax debtors with security clearances are a needless liability. Sloppy Security at DOD.

SLIDESHOW: Sharknado Returns!

Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty

July 31, 2014

Yes, Even More New Lows for President Obama's Polling Numbers

Good morning, Mr. President! Let's see what Quinnipiac has to say about Ohio . . .

Ohio voters give President Barack Obama a negative 36 – 59 percent job approval rating today, close to his all-time low score in any of the nine states surveyed by Quinnipiac University


A Pentagon insider's new book explains why we're on the cusp of a major crisis that could wipe out the savings of millions. We bought over 1,000 books and want to send you a free hardback copy. Get it here.

Elsewhere . . . are we sure President Obama wants to implement a unilateral de facto amnesty by executive order?

Immigration has emerged as perhaps President Obama's worst issue – definitely for today, and maybe of his entire presidency – when it comes to public perception.

A new poll from AP-GfK shows more than two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) disapprove of Obama's handling of the immigration issue in general. Just 31 percent approve – down from 38 percent two months ago.

When you separate those most passionate about the issue, the difference is even more stark, with 57 percent opposed and just 18 percent in favor. That's more than three-to-one.

The Suit May Be Well-Tailored, But Does It Fit the Fashion of the Times?

The House voted to sue President Obama.

You hear the lefties complaining that this is crazy talk. They also think impeachment is crazy talk. So what do they think is a legitimate way for Congress to respond when a president exceeds his constitutional authority? For most of them, they can't quite understand the question; if Obama does it, it must be constitutional. Thus . . .

Having said that, it's hard to not have nagging doubts about this suit. It's anybody's guess as to whether the courts will conclude the House has standing to bring the suit. If the House wins, they look like geniuses. If they lose, Democrats will argue that this was all a waste of time -- and a healthy chunk of the public is likely to agree.

Todd Gaziano is the executive director of Pacific Legal Foundation's Washington, D.C., center, and he writes:

The federal courts have enforced various subpoenas by a house of Congress against the executive branch, especially when it is clear that the suit is authorized by the entire branch. The famous ruling against President Nixon for the production of his Oval Office tapes was initiated by a grand jury, but the court stated that Congress might also compel a president to produce records in certain circumstances, even if the president has invoked executive privilege. The courts should not get involved in the substance of a policy dispute, but "saying what the law is" sometimes includes enforcing the separation of powers by drawing lines between the branches and declaring that, yes, the president does have the authority to do X or he does not. The interesting question is what kinds of cases the courts will and will not hear, not whether they will hear any at all . . .

. . . Legislators should care about their institutional powers at least as much as their political position. Any successful lawsuit will set a precedent, and it should. That is exactly how James Madison explained the separation of powers would promote the liberty of the people: "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place [his branch of government]." And the liberty of the people is advanced when a Congress controlled by either party reasonably uses any option to cabin an abuse of presidential power, no matter what the president's party.

Ah, but we live in an era where members of Congress draft potential executive orders for the president. For a significant chunk of the Democratic party, the Constitution is irrelevant, and it's far from clear that our judiciary wants to step in and tell them that they have to live within its bounds, even when it's inconvenient to their political goals.

What to Do When Your Favorite Blogger Offends You

CatholicLisa and I went back and forth quite a bit yesterday morning, debating the appropriateness of this post and in particular the photo and its caption, "Funny, she always looked like an expert on military and national-security issues."

Here's her assessment:

That's quite a lovely Kentucky Derby outfit. Grimes does Kentucky proud in wearing it, despite her inability to represent Kentucky on national security matters. The suggestion that our Kentucky culture, somehow makes us backward and ignorant about the rest of the world is, as noted, just as ignorant as Grimes' remark on the Iron Dome. In other words, Pot, meet Kettle.

Kentucky Derby pageantry is a sign of refinement and civilization, not backwardness and ignorance. Grimes is exhibiting something in the photo that expresses a "goodness" about Kentucky. To mock this is not in any way helpful to Mitch McConnell's campaign, and I would very much like for Senator McConnell to win. His defenders need to take note that if they want to defend him, they need to show a little more respect for things that Kentuckians care about.

I know that Senator McConnell would not approve of the photo above being mocked, particularly in this manner. That's one of the things that I like about Mitch McConnell. He, like Alison Grimes, is a genuine Kentuckian who would not approve of this mockery of Kentucky pageantry.

I love Kentucky culture and I will not see it mocked, no matter who the intended target is. Hats off to Alison Grimes for sporting a Kentucky Derby outfit that any Kentucky woman would be honored to wear as a testimony to our beautiful culture.

Let's unpack this.

From the Iron Dome statement, some may conclude that Alison Lundergan Grimes is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But there's another equally probable possibility – she's a Democrat running in a state that is fairly conservative and thus she needs to hide what she really thinks, like every other Red State Democrat this cycle. Her campaign strategy is to avoid saying much beyond platitudes. When asked about a controversial topic like Israel and Hamas fighting in the Gaza Strip, she just strings together the topics she's heard about -- Iron Dome! Tunnels! – and hopes that the word salad that comes out sounds good enough to get her through the news cycle. Or maybe she's both hiding her true views and is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Either way, as another reader who objected to the caption assessed, a statement like Grimes's reaffirms the suspicion she's a policy lightweight. The post aims to reinforce that sense that Grimes would bring nothing of use to discussions of life-and-death issues of national security, defense, and terrorism. To further reinforce that point, the post needed a photo where she looks least like a thoughtful policy analyst. Thus, the photo where it looks like she's using the Joker's tablecloth for a hat.

By the way . . . we do live in a world where Russian separatists shoot down airliners, Russia's firing rockets into Ukraine, ISIS is on the march and enacting "religious cleansing" in its territory, Hamas hides its rockets in schools, Boko Haram still has the school girls, and Europe's exploding with anti-Semitism. So if that caption outrages you . . . I hope it's not the preeminent outrage in your life right now. It's a snarky caption, not the secret ingredient of Soylent Green.

If someone says, "I'm voting for Grimes over McConnell in November because of a snarky caption that Jim wrote in July," well then, I'm sorry my caption cost Republicans control of the Senate. I have my doubts that those voters exist. If they do, they utilize a logic and decision-making so alien to me that I doubt I could write or say anything that would persuade them to change their thinking. I'd have a better chance of sharing a special moment of connection with Kim Jong Un.

I'm not going to run every post through a filter to determine if it helps reelect Mitch McConnell. I (relatively) like McConnell. I'd rather see him win than Grimes. But I'm not editing my site to ensure it never contradicts the preferred messaging to ensure a GOP candidate's victory.

Our founder is famous for telling an angry reader, "Cancel your own goddam subscription." While that may seem harsh, I find it harder and harder to resist responding to those who inform me how offended they are that nobody cares how offended they are.

If somebody getting offended was all that was needed for me to feel pressured to remove an item, the Campaign Spot (and Morning Jolt and NRO as a whole) would be blank every day. It feels a bit like we on the right are internalizing the rules of political correctness – "That offended me, thus it must go away." Life is going to be full of things that offend you.

If somebody wants to write, "Jim's a dummy" (or worse) in response to the caption, they're free to write it. And Lisa did! Better that my critics and I go back and forth on something than for public discourse be stifled by the fear that somebody might get offended. Most of us see things that offend us all the time, and somehow we manage to find the strength to carry on.

Having said all that . . . if I had to do it again, I might have left the caption off – not because it's offensive, but as another reader pointed out, it's too obvious. The caption takes what should be implied and makes it explicit. Yes, Grimes doesn't look particularly serious or reassuring in her Derby attire – but no one looks like a serious policy thinker on Derby Day.

ADDENDA: Last night, the cable channel Syfy offered it sequel to Sharknado, last year's so-bad-it's-funny schlocky disaster movie. By far, the best moment is the characters realizing that they have no ability to get guns to protect themselves from the . . . er, impending storm of flying sharks . . . because they're in New York City. What's more, a later scene suggests Russian mobsters do have big guns to protect themselves.

As Robert Caruso put it, "If you're not watching Sharknado 2 right now, it's a documentary about New York City under DeBlasio."

From Our Sponsor:

Get the latest news at

Manage your National Review subscriptions. We respect your right to privacy. View our policy.

This email was sent by:

National Review, Inc.
215 Lexington Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10016


In IRS Emails, Lois Lerner Calls Conservatives 'Crazies' and…Worse

The Daily Signal
July 31, 2014

Morning Bell

In IRS Emails, Lois Lerner Calls Conservatives 'Crazies' and…Worse

The House Ways and Means Committee released emails from Lois Lerner, former head of the Internal Revenue Service's tax-exempt organizations division.

Read More

Marriage Won't End Poverty. But It Will Help (A Lot).

Daily Policy Focus: Marriage isn't the answer to poverty. That's the argument made in article last week in The New Republic by Carter Price, who asserts that conservatives are too preoccupied with marriage in anti-poverty efforts.

Read More

Cartoon: Democrats on Impeachment Talk

Is Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., really that outraged about the supposed impeachment chatter?

Read More

Quick Hits:

Heritage Logo

Facebook Link Twitter Link Google Plus Link LinkedIn YouTube

214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
(800) 546-2843

Donate to The Heritage Foundation

Add to your address book to ensure that you receive emails from us.

You are subscribed to this newsletter as If you want to change your e-mail preferences, please click here to update your subscription.