Resignations over scandals often raise more questions than they answer, and that’s true of Gen. David Petraeus’s abrupt exit from the Central Intelligence Agency. Some have already been put to rest: Paula Broadwell, the author of “All In: The Education of David Petraeus,” has been identified as the woman at the center of the FBI email probe that ultimately toppled him. But many questions remain. Here are POLITICO’s six most important: 1. Why resign now? The Obama administration’s first sex scandal exploded just three days after the president was reelected at the end of a hard-fought campaign and just days before Petraeus was scheduled
While not all FBI agents are members of Mensa, they´re all smart enough to realize that any evidence, suggesting the head of our CIA and some bimbo are getting it on, is not only a hot potato, it´s a very hot political potato. The simple law of CYA dictates that such information gets sent up the chain of command a little faster than lightning and, in this particular chain, the FBI reports to DOJ and DOJ reports to the White House. For anyone at Politico who believes that the president was unaware of Petraeus´s situation within hours of its being discovered, I´ve got a bridge I´d like to sell you.
Fact: The IRS targeted conservative and tea party groups requesting tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election. That’s a fact. Congress held hearings — embarrassing hearings. Three top Internal Revenue Service officials resigned. No heads rolled, but for the Obama administration, and the lawless Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., that amounted to a major scandal. Even White House spokesman Jay “Circus” Carney called the IRS’ actions “inappropriate.” Fact. But President Obama, in an interview last week with sycophant Chris Matthews, now says the entire scandal was made up by the media. “When we do things right, they don’t get
Bob Dole once made a droll crack to the New York Times about Newt Gingrich, then the speaker of the House. “Gingrich’s staff has these five file cabinets, four big ones and this little tiny one,” Dole said. “Number one is ‘Newt’s ideas.’ Number two, ‘Newt’s ideas.’ Number three, number four, ‘Newt’s ideas.’ The little one is ‘Newt’s Good Ideas.’” Here’s one from Gingrich’s little file: he has been pushing back against some of the more thoughtless conservative reactions to the death of Nelson Mandela. The backlash has ranged from the merely tone-deaf—think of Rick Santorum drawing comparisons between Obamacare and
More than any other subject, apolitical sorts will ask me about Fox News. “Is it really crazy?” my British friends inquire, flashing the sort of smile that a botanist might exhibit while examining a newly discovered species of moss. “Is it, like, really right wing?” The question has always slightly irritated me, showing as it does that the considerable success that the Left has had in demonizing its opposition extends even across the Atlantic. Certainly, both Fox’s commentary and its ostensibly straight reporting are marked by the right-leaning proclivities of its owners. But the notion that the network is unique in
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that roughly 1.6 million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare so far. The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt both federal and state governments. Medicaid is already America’s third-largest government program, trailing only Social Security and Medicare, as a proportion of the federal budget. Almost 8 cents out of every dollar that the federal government spends goes to Medicaid. That’s more than $265 billion per year. Indeed, already Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for 48% of federal spending.
On Wednesday afternoon, a bunch of twentysomethings were summoned to the White House to hear an infomercial from Barack Obama himself. He was pitching health insurance. “The product is good. It’s affordable,” the President told them. “… We’re going to keep working through any glitches, problems that may come up.” He urged them to spread the word. “So if you’re a student body president, set up a conference on campus … If you’re a bartender, have a happy hour … Post something on your Facebook or Instagram.”Mr. Obama desperately needs healthy young people to sign on to Obamacare in order
Hillary Clinton may be the overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, but she’s going to have to deal with some knotty problems sooner or later. She can’t ignore forever either her party or the media’s entreaties to talk on important subjects. The first problem surely is health care. President Obama won’t allow it to be repealed, so the Affordable Care Act will be hanging there, damaged and disliked for Clinton to address. Will she throw it and her former boss overboard, call for a single-payer plan as a sop to the left and risk scaring off the
What will history make so far of our five-year voyage with Barack Obama? What will it make of hope and change — other than a sort of hysteria of 2008 that was a political version of the Pet Rock or the Cabbage Patch Doll derangement? Did we really experience faux-Greek columns and Latin mottoes (vero possumus) as Obama props to usher in the new order of the ages? What exactly made David Brooks focus on trouser creases, or Chris Matthews on involuntary leg tickles? How could any serious person believe a candidate who promised to change the very terrain of the
The question all week long was this: Who are you going to believe, an illegal alien or the president of the United States of America? Obviously, if it’s a president who once went by an alias, Barry Soetoro, you go with Uncle Omar, 100 percent, no questions asked. And so it was that the White House finally admitted to another, uh, misstatement — despite previous denials, Barack/Barry did sleep on his beloved Uncle Omar’s couch in Cambridge when he first moved here to attend Harvard Law School (speaking of which, we’re still waiting to see the president’s grades and his LSAT scores). But the
More young men in California rise in pitch at the end of their sentences when talking, new research shows. This process is known as "uptalk" or "valleygirl speak" and has in the past been associated with young females, typically from California or Australia.But now a team says that this way of speaking is becoming more frequent among men.The findings were presented at the Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in California. "We found use of uptalk in all of our speakers, despite their diverse backgrounds in socioeconomic status, ethnicity, bilingualism and gender," said Amanda Ritchart, a linguist at the University of
How do you get your arms around the catastrophe known as Obamacare? Is it even possible? At this point, I’m not sure it is. The list of individual disasters which threaten to ruin one-sixth of the U.S. economy and what has been, up until now, the best healthcare system in the world is exhaustive, and exhausting. The examples I will identify here barely scratch the surface. First but by no means foremost, we have the supposedly new and improved HealthCare.gov. Except it’s not, even the visible part. Stories still abound of people still failing to get in or to get through the enrollment
DAVID CORN: I saw a president who remains frustrated with the political-media culture that he has to work within, and that he´s looking to rally people, students here, and supporters, and people within the media. CHRIS MATTHEWS: But David Corn, you skeptic. He came to us today. He came amongst us. CORN: He´s trying to rally people behind this vision that he´s been promoting for a couple years. FINEMAN: By the way, he did it the end here, today, Chris, not by defending specifics, but by explaining why he´s in the game to begin with. And I don´t know about you, he´s
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a new five-year strategic plan to improve safety for elderly drivers and passengers. Although they are statistically among the safest on the road, the number of older drivers is increasing dramatically — and with it, that group´s numbers of injuries and deaths. Since 2003, the population of older adults, defined as age 65 and older, has increased by 20% and the number of licensed older drivers increased by 21% to 35 million in 2012, according to NHTSA. Last year, NHTSA reported that 5,560 people older than 65 died and 214,000 were injured
The most curious thing of all about the November jobs report released on Friday was the huge drop in the unemployment rate — and the fact that the Labor Department chose not to disclose that the data going into that figure are under investigation for falsification. On Nov. 19, I broke the news in my column that the Census Bureau, which collects data that goes into the jobless rate on behalf of Labor, had caught one of its enumerators fabricating interviews in 2010. The culprit said back then (and to me during an interview) that he was told to do so by
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack,