A group of bipartisan senators held a “bizarre” secret meeting with White House officials, and nobody will say what was discussed.
Here’s what we know: The meeting was held Tuesday night between White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Republican Senators Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Susan Collins (Maine); and Democrat Senators Bob Menendez (N.J.), Carl Levin (Mich.) and Montana’s two senators, John Walsh and Jon Tester. Unconfirmed reports indicate there were a total of 11 Democrats and three Republicans at the meeting.
Corker mentioned the meeting Wednesday at a panel hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on terrorism. Referring to Menendez, Corker said: “I know we both attended sort of a discussion last night that I found to be one of the most bizarre I’ve attended on Foreign Relations on foreign policy in our country.” At another point, he said: “I know several of us were involved in a very bizarre discussion last night. This continues a very bizarre discussion.”
Bizarre enough, we guess that other than that, nobody is saying anything really. The White House confirmed the meeting, calling it “an informal discussion on national security issues,” and that “this session was part of our ongoing efforts to consult with the Congress on issues important to the President.”
None of the other senators would even discuss the meeting. We don’t even know where it was held.
Some clues: Exactly one year ago today, President Obama gave a speech saying it was time to overhaul the Authorization for the Use of Military Force and “determine how we can continue to fight terrorism without keeping American on a perpetual war footing.”
But Obama has offered no changes to the authorization.
“Has the administration proposed any refinement or any redefinition of the AUMF? I mean, have they provided us language in terms of what they think they need to handle the current situation?” Senator Ron Johnson (R.-Wisconsin) asked the State Department’s principal deputy legal adviser, Mary McLeod.
“No, senator, we have not, “ she replied.
A chilling message from the cartels
Billboards with hanging mannequins warning cops to choose ‘silver over lead’ appear in Texas
by MEGHAN KENEALLY | UK DAILY MAIL | MAY 24, 2014
Two frightening incidents of vandalism in El Paso near the Mexican border in Texas have been interpreted as warnings from drug cartels.
In both instances, a mannequin wearing a suit and tie was tied to a billboard with a noose and messages were scrawled over the placards.
Local station KHOU reports that one of the signs reads ‘Plata o Plombo’ which translates to ‘silver or lead’, a threat used commonly against police officers effectively warning that if they do not accept the cartel’s bribes then they will be shot.
President Obama is taking a swipe at the Founding Fathers, blaming his inability to move his agenda on the “disadvantage” of having each state represented equally in the Senate.
At a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night, Mr. Obama told a small group of wealthy supporters that there are several hurdles to keeping Democrats in control of the Senate and recapturing the House. One of those problems, he said, is the apportionment of two Senate seats to each state regardless of population.
“Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage,” Mr. Obama said.
The Founding Fathers decided in the “Great Compromise” in 1787 to apportion House seats based on population and give each state two seats in the Senate regardless of population. The solution was a compromise between large states and small states in a dispute that nearly dissolved the Constitutional Convention.
The president also blamed “demographics” for the inability of the Democratic Party to gain more power in Congress, saying Democrats “tend to congregate a little more densely” in cities such as New York and Chicago. He said it gives Republicans disproportional clout in Congress.
“So there are some structural reasons why, despite the fact that Republican ideas are largely rejected by the public, it’s still hard for us to break through,” Mr. Obama said.
He also said Democrats suffer from the “congenital disease” of not voting in midterm elections.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/23/obama-blames-structural-design-congress-gridlock/#ixzz32frt24ZZ
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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) hit back at Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s (D-WV) statement that Obamacare opponents don’t want the program to work because the President is the “wrong color,” and hit back hard. Things got heated at the Commerce Committee hearing, at which Johnson was the lone Republican.
“That you would say that opposition to Obamacare necessarily must stream from some inherent racism? Very offensive. Listen, my opposition to health care has nothing to do with the race of President Obama. It is the greatest assault on our freedom in my lifetime.”
Rockefeller denied calling Johnson a racist, despite existing video of his statements, and responded, “That is very silly on your part.” When Johnson suggested they play back the tape, Rockefeller said, “We can do that, but we’re not going to.”
The pair exchanged “God help you”s near the end of the clip, and let’s just say they weren’t friendly words.
Rarely do tempers get so heated on Capitol Hill, but when one accuses their opponents of racism, you better believe those are fighting words!
Congratulations to the Class of 2014—after all of your hard work in college, you will leave your campuses the most indebted class of graduates ever. The average grad will carry $33,000 worth of student loans off the stage with her diploma, nearly double the amount students took on 20 years ago (even when factoring inflation).
But what’s even worse: your share of the national debt. That comes to $39,500.
Each American will see his share of the national debt increase from $39,500 today to $142,000 in 2038, or more than triple the average starting salary for 2013 graduates.
As The Wall Street Journal notes, the class of 2013 graduated with the then-record amount of debt last year, and as the student loan burden continues to rise faster than inflation, the class of 2015will likely claim the title next year. In addition, a greater share of college students took loans out in 2014, leaving 70 percent of all graduates in debt. Compare that to the Class of 1994, when only half of graduates left school with loan payments to make.
The explosion of debt that graduates face today mirrors that of the nation. Despite the temporary dip in budget deficits, each year’s cash shortfall adds to the mountainous national debt, which now stands at a record high of $17.5 trillion.
And the debt will only continue to grow more quickly. Similar to how a greater proportion of college students is taking out loans, a greater share of the U.S. population will begin to consume more government services as the baby boomer generation retires and becomes eligible for Social Security and Medicare. This will cause the government to take on more and more debt to pay for these services as the growth of retirees outpaces the growth of the workforce.
Indeed, the Social Security Trust Fund ran a $74.6 billion deficit in 2013, a number that will jump to $322 billion in less than 20 years. Furthermore, a report from the Institute of Economic affairs indicates that the national debt held by the public is really $95 trillion—more than seven times the published figure—once government pension and health care commitments missing from official budget calculations are accounted for.
The burden of student and national debt should be a major concern for recent graduates. In addition to having to pay off more student loan debt than ever, graduates face a weak job market still struggling in the Obama recovery. And as the national debt increases more quickly, younger generations could face a larger future tax burden and lower investment in the private economy, possibly hampering economic growth.
So what can recent grads do? Take steps to start saving today, as young Americans should not count on Social Security to provide them with the same benefits today’s retirees receive. Also, grads should make their voices heard and urge Washington to make necessary budget and entitlement reforms that would reduce the debt and ensure economic prosperity for all. Young Americans have faced challenges before and have overcome them—there is no reason that this generation should be different.
Former Pentagon spokesman J.D. Gordon says that Obama’s priorities are mixed up, saying that he’s taking better care of al Qaeda terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay at GITMO, than our own American veterans who risked their lives fighting for our country (watch video below).
Gordon has visited the site where terrorists are held more than 30 times, and told FOX News’ Eric Bolling on Thursday that there are currently approximately 250 detainees being held at the GITMO facility. At the same time, Gordon says there are “about 100 doctors, nurses and healthcare support staff.”
Gordon says that the ratio of healthcare workers to detainees at GITMO is by far favorable compared to the our veterans receiving care at the VA:
Now, that was the same when I was a Pentagon spokesman between 2005 and 2009; I went [to GITMO] over 30 times. The medical unit really hasn’t changed in size. It’s a little over a hundred. The detainee population has come down, so the ratio used to be about five-to-one [healthcare workers to detainees], then four-to-one. Now it’s 1.5-to one is the ratio.
But if you look at the veterans in this country, there are 21 million veterans, and of those 21 million veterans in the United States, 9 million are receiving VA [Veterans' Affairs] care.
But if you look at the VA employees, it’s 267,000. That’s a 35-1 ratio!
So I think that President Obama has a flawed sense of priorities. He’s taking better care of al Qaeda detainees at Guantanamo, than our own veterans. We had forty veterans alone at the Phoenix facility alone who died waiting for medical appointments. And, Eric, I’ve got to tell you, this is outrageous!
Gordon said that the terrorists at GITMO have no waiting list, get into see their doctors the same day and receive A+ healthcare.