Believe it or not the Republican National Committee (RNC) is already accepting bids to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. As it happens, eight U.S. cities are seriously interested, three of which are in Ohio. They are as follows: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.
So, my friends, are you looking to attend this event, perhaps in a city near you? Well, here’s your chance.
Since one of these lucky eight will definitely host the 2016 Republican National Committee, the RNC is looking for grassroots activists, like you, to weigh in and help them decide where. By clicking here, you can participate in the RNC’s newly released city selection survey. Choose one city -- according to the RNC’s Communications Director, Sean Spicer -- and the top three cities polled will be shared with the committee; remember, these are the same committee members who will ultimately determine where the convention will be held. Thus, every vote counts.
Then, sometime later this month, after reviewing each respective city’s pitch -- and the results from this grassroots survey -- the committee members will select finalist cities, and visit them on-site. The winner will be chosen, and voted on by the full committee, sometime this summer, or perhaps early next fall.
Tens of thousands of Republicans are expected to attend this event, and millions more will watch it on television. Vote here to make your voice heard.
Maureen Faulkner, widow of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, is begging senators to vote against the nomination of Debo Adegbile to head to Civil Rights Division inside the Department of Justice. Adegbile is a supporter and advocate for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, who brutally murdered Daniel Faulkner in 1981 during an early morning traffic stop. Under Adegbile's leadership at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, attorneys expressed what an "honor" it was to represent Abu-Jamal in court and that the case was taken up based on race.
Adegbile has already been streamlined to a vote on the Senate floor after approval earlier this year by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Debate on Adegbile's nomination is expected to start today with a full vote coming Tuesday afternoon or sometime Wednesday.
Last night, Maureen Faulkner made an appearance on the Kelly File where she pleaded for senators to block his nomination. She said she asked Majority Leader Harry Reid to postpone the vote on Adegbile until she could make it to Washington D.C. to speak about the issue in person. Her phone calls have been ignored.
Back in 2008 Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin said during a speech, "After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next." Predictably, she was mocked and ridiculed by the media, including Foreign Policy Magazine, for making the suggestion.
Here we are in 2014 and Russian President Vladimir Putin has not only invaded Ukraine, but has said he is justified in using force against the country if necessary.
Last night Palin made an appearance on Fox News' Hannity to discuss her prediction and the current situation in Ukraine.
"Anyone who carries the common sense gene would know that Putin doesn't change his stripes. He harkens back to the era of the czars and he wants that Russian empire to grow again, he wants to exert huge power and dominance," Palin said. "People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates. We are not exercising that peace through strength that only can be brought to you courtesy of the the red, white and blue."
Palin is slated to be in Washington D.C. later this week. She is the keynote speaker for the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference.
America is far more tolerant today than it ever has been. This is a disaster for the progressive movement, New York Times bestselling author David Freddoso explains in the March issue of Townhall Magazine, which is forcing wannabe heroes to create their own alternative reality.
In December, a legion of liberals in the San Francisco Bay area staged a series of protests against the tech companies that provide California’s lifeblood. They staged blockades of the private buses that companies like Google and Apple use to shuttle employees to work in Silicon Valley each morning. In one Oakland confrontation, they even shattered a bus window. Their message: Tech workers are moving in and driving up the price of housing.
Whatever the merits of their secessionist movement, the protests produced one of the great viral events of 2013. On December 9, as protestors blockaded a Google bus on Valencia Street in San Francisco, a man with the convincing appearance of a Google employee approached the protestors and began berating them for their lowly social status:
Google Employee: If you guys would just move out of the way...
Protestor: How long have you lived in the city?
Google Employee: Look, I’ve been here for six months, OK. Look, I live around the corner. I don’t owe you anything.
Protestor: How much is your rent?
Google Employee: Look, I can pay my rent. Can you pay your rent? Can you pay your rent?
Protestor: I can’t pay my rent.
Google Employee: Well, you know what, why don’t you go to a city where you can afford it? You know, this is a city for the right people who can afford it. If you can’t afford it, it’s time for you to leave...I’m sorry, I’m sorry, it’s time for you to leave. Look, if you can’t pay your rent, I’m sorry. Get a better job....
A rather outrageous thing for a Google employee to say in front of reporters, with cameras rolling. But of course, it wasn’t a real Google employee at all. It was a union organizer named Max Alper, who was involved in the protests and staged the entire confrontation for their benefit. And for the benefit of the cameras, of course.
Naturally, the media lapped it up. The story spread instantly all over the Internet. The video had already become a sensation by the time another union organizer, perhaps concerned about the potential for such a hoax to backfire, tipped off the San Francisco Bay Guardian that the incident had been fake.
ALL THE HATE THAT’S FIT TO FAKE
Oberlin College in Ohio probably seems an unlikely haven for Nazis and racists, but last February, someone was terrorizing the campus with racist graffiti, flyers, and emails sent from a fake address using the name of the school’s president. Someone even placed a flag with a swastika in a campus building.
The incidents received national news coverage, but their resolution did not... at least not until The Daily
Caller News Foundation obtained the alleged perpetrators’ names through a state open records request. The college’s administrators had discovered within a week that it was a hoax, put on by an overzealous and outspokenly liberal President Obama campaigner and his friend. The supposed mastermind, Dylan Bleier, was a member of a left-wing group called White Allies Against Structural Racism. After quietly expelling and removing the perpetrators from campus, administrators concealed their knowledge that it had all been fake, leaving other students to live for months in needless fear of their surroundings.
Such incidents occur surprisingly often in today’s America. The Google and Oberlin hoaxes of 2013 were simple, blunt attempts by agitators to create false fears among their peers. One could say the same of feminist blogger Meg Lanker-Simons, who plead no contest in October after reporting rape threats against her. She had in fact posted them to herself on Facebook using a dummy account.
Some people aspire to create problems that make the world seem awful, and then promote their own politics as the solution. Other hate-crime hoaxes are not so straightforward in their motivations, but they are nonetheless received in the same way. For example, Joseph Baken of Montana claimed in 2012 that he’d been beaten up because he was gay, but it turned out he was just too embarrassed to admit he’d messed up his own face with an attempted backflip while drunk. Alicia Hardin, a student at Trinity International University in Illinois, faked a series of threatening, racist notes to fellow black students in 2005, apparently in an attempt to frighten her parents into letting her transfer to another college.
Whatever their origin, these supposed hate incidents provide instant fodder for the overly imaginative and routinely get hoaxers all kinds of favorable attention. The stories prove so dangerously attractive, especially to liberal journalists and academics, that they are simply too good to check before publicizing, no matter how implausible they seem on their face.
THE GRIEVANCE DEFICIT
Real hate crimes occur in America every year. Some of them are even violent. The fact that many of the most ostentatious ones turn out to be fake does not make the real ones any less serious.
But the endurance of the hoax hate crime as a genre says quite a bit about the times we live in, and how much less threatening they are than ages past. America has become a better place over time, where people are less petty and ignore differences of race and class. But this very improvement has created a “grievance deficit” that produces perverse results in our culture and politics.
Over the last seven decades, the United States has made huge progress in fighting both institutional and personal bigotry. For nearly everyone under age 60, and for many older than that, it’s hard even to imagine how bad things once were. This is especially true with respect to racial hatred. Racism has obviously not disappeared, but consider that your grandparents, when still young, looked on as it was enforced through heavy- handed state compulsion, lynchings, disenfranchisement, and socially accepted terrorism.
Thankfully, such horrors are a distant memory. Today’s America has twice elected a black man as its president, and black men and women alike have risen to top positions of authority in all three branches of the federal government and both major political parties. Gallup polling shows that Americans of all political persuasions are increasingly satisfied with the state of race relations. Satisfaction is substantially higher (up 11 points to 55 percent), and dissatisfaction substantially lower (down 13 points to 35 percent) than when the question was first asked in 2001.
And perhaps most importantly, today’s young would literally rather be called anything other than racists. Though once codified in our laws and backed up by a wink, a nod, and a truncheon, the old hatreds have been rightly shamed into the shadows, whence they dare not show their faces for fear of the righteous anger they arouse.
This is an undeniably positive development for the nation. But for the would-be liberal hero, it is a catastrophe, a full blown identity crisis. And that’s why we see hoaxes work, time and again.
LIBERAL HERO WANNABES
Like Don Quixote, the would-be hero finds himself living in the wrong era, a world in which the true heroism of storybooks no longer seems possible. He has read of MLK and the Freedom Riders and Bloody Sunday in Selma. Next to them, the causes for which he would fight today (abortion on demand, greater government control of the economy, higher taxes) are so much less noble than the old ones, whose hardest parts were won by better men.
Had he lived back in the day, perhaps our hero would have bravely faced the firehoses, bombings, and beatings. Or perhaps not. Either way, he can only relive those days now in his imagination, by inflating the threats that he thinks surround him. He cannot accept that Americans, though imperfect, are good and decent people, or that America is a good and decent nation. He is short of real grievances, and eager to re-enact (with much lower stakes, of course) the far more glorious battles of ages past.
This is where hoaxers and hysterical liberal pundits come in. They facilitate the creativity of minds thus afflicted with this “grievance deficit disorder.” In cases like Oberlin and the Google shuttle, their behavior is a function of supply rising to meet demand. It was easy for Andrea Brazier of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, to land an appearance on Piers Morgan’s CNN show because hers was the kind of story Piers Morgan likes. She seemed to be a hate-crime victim. She is now suspected of spray-painting her own home with racist messages and then accusing high school football players who had supposedly hazed her son. She was discovered only after the team canceled the last two games of its season.
Dayna Morales, the waitress in New Jersey who famously faked an unkind note from a customer about her own sexuality, quickly landed several news interviews and received thousands of dollars in cash from well-wishers, before she was discovered to have made everything up.
FAKE BUT ACCURATE
Supply and demand. These deceptions exist because delusion and paranoia allow them to flourish. After the Google hoax, The Atlantic’s Sarah Goodyear wrote a piece titled, “Why I’m Not Embarrassed to Have Been Fooled by the Google Bus Protest Hoax.” The point of this follow-up was that San Francisco is so rife with hatred of the working classes (the very phrase seems both foreign and old-fashioned) that one can hardly be blamed for taking the hoax at face value.
“What Alper said was off the charts, insensitivity-wise, and in retrospect it’s easy to say that more people should have called B.S. on it sooner,” Goodyear wrote. “But it seemed enough like something someone might actually say...that it fooled a lot of people, at least briefly (I will confess to being one of them).”
To put it another way, hate-hoaxes are fake but accurate. With the omnipresence of hate taken as a given, deceptions that increase awareness of hate are ipso facto credible. Perhaps even justifiable.
Such hoaxes are the clearest illustration of what the relative dearth of haters is doing to a few creative souls on the Left. But they are by no means the only illustration. Unfortunately, the problem of grievance deficit disorder goes much deeper into our public conversation than the occasional high-profile hoax.
IF THEY COULD TURN BACK TIME
For those itching to see the hand of evil everywhere, it is especially easy to transfer it to one’s own political opposition. How else does one explain MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ comments earlier this year. That if Republicans take full control of Congress in the 2014 midterm election, it will pave the way to a return to Jim Crow?
“It will be a double-downing [sic] of efforts to suppress the votes of those who voted for him in historic numbers, the return to something like Jim Crow days, relevant of all the old anti-black gimmickry of that time... literacy tests and poll taxes and all the rest. The goal will be to erase not just Obama from the history books, but any evidence that someone of his background should ever think of being president. It will mean victory for the haters.”
Matthews seemed to be referring here to requirements that voters present identification, something with broad popular support, used in nearly every nation except our own, and which no study has ever shown to discriminate against or suppress votes among any particular racial group.
But Matthews doesn’t need much of an excuse to do this. In fact, there may not be anything Matthews disagrees with that cannot somehow be linked to Jim Crow. In April 2013, he compared senators who opposed gun control to Jim Crow. In July 2011, he linked abortion restrictions in Kansas to Jim Crow. One can only wonder what people who actually experienced the Jim Crow South would say about the flippant nature of his frequent comparisons.
Matthews is by no means alone among America’s high- profile liberal pundit class in trying to outlaw dissent from his own opinions as a form of hatred. Salon columnist Joan Walsh wrote that the October government shutdown was the result of “50 years of GOP race-baiting,” and also asserted that even mere references to limited government are just manifestations of veiled racism.
SHUTTING DOWN DEBATE
The Daily Beast’s Michael Thomasky argued that even Republican criticisms of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts were a form of racism, an insinuation that Obama was taking away from a program white people use to fund a program black people would use. For liberal columnist David Sirota, the most important question after the Boston Marathon bombing last April was that the bombers be of a particular race, white preferably. Because then white people may be forced to come to grips with ideas of collective guilt...or something. Because in the end, if the perpetrator had been of any other race, we could all be counted on immediately to assume that everyone in that group is somehow responsible.
These three writers I’ve cited as examples all support Obama uncritically. But assuming they believe at least some of their own claptrap, they must have a very odd conception of what it means that we’ve twice elected a black president. People criticize and oppose him, sometimes even unfairly, something that has surely never happened to any white president. For these liberal pundits, Obama’s election, far from demonstrating that Americans can overlook racial differences, has instead turned racism into a novel and convenient explanation for every setback and all opposition their own worldview faces. And this has the side benefit of making their struggle seem noble and their adversaries evil.
The lusty embrace of this crutch to explain away and shout down all other opinions has perhaps turned liberalism into the greatest casualty of grievance deficit disorder. To operate under the assumption that half of Americans are natural haters is to close one’s mind to reality and reason. And it shows.
Older Americans have overcome a great deal in their lifetimes, and younger Americans are forward-thinking people who now stand on their shoulders. As time goes on, the scarcity of genuine grievances will intensify. Our nation’s future won’t give the time of day to pettiness or waste energy on irrational hatreds.
And yes, the hoaxes and hysteria may continue. But Americans can at least be grateful for the progress we’ve made in making hate a four-letter word. As long as hoaxers and self-interested wolf-criers in our pundit class don’t succeed in dulling our senses completely to true manifestations of hate, America will only become an even better place. •
David Freddoso, a New York Times bestselling author, is editor of the Conservative Intelligence Briefing and a columnist for the Washington Examiner.
"Obama believes the cold war is over...but Putin doesn't believe it's over!"
So much for "settled law": the Obama administration has announced that some people who purchased plans outside of the exchange will in fact be eligible for subsidies previously limited to those who had purchased health insurance plans in Obamacare exchanges.
Customers who attempted to purchase a plan on the exchange but were unable to do so due to technical failure will be eligible for some sort of retroactive subsidy.
This policy change came after John Kitzhaber, the Governor of Oregon, requested that an exception be made to assist people with the purchase of private plans after the Oregon exchange turned out to be a spectacular, utter, failure.
However, there could be another reason for the switch: damage control amidst the incredibly botched rollout of Obamacare, and mounting public disapproval about the law.
The New York Times agrees with the "damage control" theory:
The Obama administration said Friday that it would allow some people to receive federal subsidies for health insurance purchased in the private market outside of health insurance exchanges. The sudden shift was the latest in a series of policy changes, extensions and clarifications by federal officials trying to help beneficiaries and minimize political damage to Democrats in this election year.
Pathetic. Just scrap the whole thing.
A stinging rebuke from a prominent editorial board that twice endorsed Barack Obama for president (and, I'd wager, would do so again):
For five years, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.” That’s a nice thought, and we all know what he means...Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not received the memo on 21st-century behavior. Neither has China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is engaging in gunboat diplomacy against Japan and the weaker nations of Southeast Asia. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is waging a very 20th-century war against his own people, sending helicopters to drop exploding barrels full of screws, nails and other shrapnel onto apartment buildings where families cower in basements. These men will not be deterred by the disapproval of their peers, the weight of world opinion or even disinvestment by Silicon Valley companies. They are concerned primarily with maintaining their holds on power.
Especially interesting is the Post's passing reference to President Obama's recently-announced plans to dramatically -- "radically," in these editors' judgment -- decrease the size and capability of the United States military. Those proposals were unveiled exactly one week ago, five days before Putin's forces invaded Ukraine. The merits and specifics of downsizing and reshaping America's armed forces should be examined and debated, but the timing of this controversy fuels a calcifying narrative: America has embarked upon a self-guided path to decline, and the world is taking notice. The core "fantasy" of Obama's international posture is that moral preening, a softer touch, and obsequious deference to the oft-touted "international community" would telegraph a "we're not Bush" message to the world -- and that the world would embrace them for it. We'd be loved again, thanks to the goodness in our hearts and the power of Obama's rhetoric. Such is the thrust behind "smart power," the centerpiece of which, alas, was the spectacularly failed Russian reset. Thus, what is evidently enough to earn a Nobel Peace Prize from star-struck Europeans does little to soften malevolent global actors. In some cases, it does the opposite. The Post's editors continue:
Since the Syrian dictator crossed Mr. Obama’s red line with a chemical weapons attack that killed 1,400 civilians, the dictator’s military and diplomatic position has steadily strengthened. The urge to pull back — to concentrate on what Mr. Obama calls “nation-building at home” — is nothing new, as former ambassador Stephen Sestanovich recounts in his illuminating history of U.S. foreign policy, “Maximalist.” There were similar retrenchments after the Korea and Vietnam wars and when the Soviet Union crumbled. But the United States discovered each time that the world became a more dangerous place without its leadership and that disorder in the world could threaten U.S. prosperity. Each period of retrenchment was followed by more active (though not always wiser) policy. Today Mr. Obama has plenty of company in his impulse, within both parties and as reflected by public opinion. But he’s also in part responsible for the national mood: If a president doesn’t make the case for global engagement, no one else effectively can.
The Syria misadventure is acutely relevant today. Vladimir Putin essentially ran that show, siding with Assad, conveniently pretending to respect the United Nations and international consensus as sacrosanct, and baiting the US into embracing an accidental "solution" that ultimately strengthened the regime in Damascus. The Syrians, meanwhile, have failed to live up to their end of the disarmament bargain, and Moscow continues to run interference on Assad's behalf. President Obama drew a line in the sand, vacillated once that line was breached, and ended up doing virtually nothing at all. Putin witnessed America and Western Europe's fecklessness and indecision firsthand, and concluded that the coast was clear to start flexing Russia's muscles, in violation of international law. Putin reasoned that if the West wouldn't follow through on its tough words against a rogue regime using chemical and conventional weapons to slaughter its own people by the tens of thousands, the free world's bluster would be equally empty if the Russian military invaded a neighboring country for the second time since 2008. While the Obama administration appears to be preparing to take (non-trivial) action to isolate Putin and pressure his government, some Ukrainians may be wondering what happened to the Budapest Memorandum. That's the 1994 agreement (signed by the US, UK, Russia and Ukraine) stipulating that in exchange for handing over its Soviet-era nukes, Ukraine received security guarantees from the other signatories.
As I mentioned earlier, the Obama administration reaffirmed America's commitment to defending Ukrainian sovereignty under the treaty as recently as 2010, stating: "The U.S. recognized Ukraine’s unique contribution to nuclear disarmament and reconfirmed that the security assurances, recorded in the Budapest Memorandum with Ukraine of December 5, 1994, remain in effect." Virtually nobody in American politics has any appetite for a military intervention in Crimea. Nevertheless, concerns are mounting that the currency of America's word is being badly eroded. This administration canceled long-planned weapons systems in Poland and the Czech Republic as part of its elaborate and failed effort to favorably "reset" relations with the Kremlin. It effectively erased a presidential "red line" over the barbarity of a Middle Eastern thug. And the extent to which it will uphold the Budapest Memorandum in any meaningful way remains to be seen. Our friends and adversaries are watching. Diplomacy often entails the hard work of heading off armed conflict, and in order for it to succeed, its practitioners must command trust and credibility. The Budapest Memorandum was hailed as a triumph of diplomacy because it furthered the goal of nuclear disarmament. Ukraine was willing to forfeit a powerful deterrent because it believed that the other parties would take their resulting obligations seriously. If foreign nations and leaders reach the determination that the United States talks a good game but won't follow through when push comes to shove, that perception severely undermines the efficacy of future diplomatic efforts, and may well make war more likely. Pointing out these difficult realities isn't a war cry; it is, however, a reminder that "weakness is provocative" is more than a cliche. It's a truism.
UPDATE - Serious talk of sanctions and harsh denunciations:
Those are welcome developments, but will words move Putin? Let's see what action is taken. Also, a writer at the liberal New Republic magazine is acknowledging that Mitt Romney was right about Russia. And the Democrat/media machine that laughed at him were dangerously wrong.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been praised for her record on human rights, but some are criticizing her for not doing enough.
Sure, she helped negotiate U.S. asylum for Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and even received the Lantos Foundation Human Rights award for “her tireless efforts to promote human rights for women around the world and her groundbreaking work on promoting human rights through Internet freedom.” But on other pressing human rights issues, activists say she was silent.
[A]ctivists at the Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy, hosted last week by United Nations watchdog group UN Watch, gave a very different assessment of the former secretary of state, telling the Washington Free Beacon that she was silent and passive on some of the most pressing human rights issues during her tenure at the State Department.
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of an American Christian pastor who has been imprisoned in Iran since the summer of 2012, said the State Department under Clinton all but ignored her husband’s case, and did not take an active role until Secretary of State John Kerry took over last year.
“For Hillary Clinton to have been completely silent, and not have done anything when my husband was taken, and knowing … it was strictly on a human rights issue, really bothered me because I expected otherwise from my government,” Abedini said. [...]
“It was just very cold,” Abedini said about her initial call to the State Department. “[One official] said ‘We’re not Hollywood—we can’t just fly in there and save people.’”
And then there’s North Korea and Syria.
Ahn Myong-Chol, a North Korean (DPRK) dissident whose descriptions of the country’s prison camps played a major role in this month’s harrowing UN report on the regime’s human rights abuses, said he “really preferred John Kerry compared to Hillary Clinton” at the State Department.
While Ahn said he believed Clinton would get “a lot of people’s votes [if she runs for president in 2016] because she could be the very first female president of the United States,” he added that he disliked “Hillary Clinton’s passive actions when it comes to the DPRK.”
Clinton’s early efforts at outreach with North Korea were rebuffed by the authoritarian regime and the State Department made no progress on dismantling the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program under Clinton’s leadership.
Moayad Iskafe, a Syrian journalist and opposition activist who helped smuggle reporters into the country after civil war broke out in 2011, said he was initially optimistic about Clinton’s position on Syria.
“She said Bashar Assad [should] go,” Iskafe said. “But after that I did not hear [her] voice. After that, she said we can’t do anything for Syria … she said we will not take our army to Syria … we will do nothing.”
“For the Bush administration, they used to send strong messages with strong gestures,” Ahn said, reports The Washington Free Beacon. “The Obama administration only puts verbal pressure.”
Yesterday on Fox News Sunday House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa announced Lois Lerner, former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS, would be back in front of Congress this week to testify about the inappropriate targeting of conservative, tea party and patriot groups. Issa cited Lerner's attorney, William Taylor, as the source of confirmation of her agreement to testify on Wednesday, March 5.
Shortly after that appearance, Taylor told POLITICO an agreement Lerner would testify was not made, that he didn't know where Issa was coming from and that Lerner would continue to plead the Fifth.
“As of now, she intends to continue to assert her Fifth Amendment rights,” Taylor said. “I do not know why Issa said what he said.”
Emails show otherwise and indicate a willingness by Lerner to wave her Fifth Amendment rights. In an email dated Saturday March 1 at 3:10 p.m., less than 24 hours before Issa's announcement on Fox News, Taylor confirmed Lerner would be willing to testify, but wanted a one week delay. The emails also show an agreement to testify came without a guarantee of immunity. What isn't clear in the email exchange is whether Taylor agreed Lerner would testify in front of a public hearing or to the Committee behind closed doors as part of a deposition.
"As a general practice, the Oversight Committee does not disclose discussions with representatives of private citizens about possible public testimony," Oversight Committee spokeswoman Becca Watkins tells Townhall. "In the case of Ms. Lerner, correspondence is being made available to set the record straight on offers made by her attorney about her willingness to testify and answer questions without any grant of immunity."
Lerner was subpoenaed last year after admitting the IRS targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny. She has a legal obligation to show up to the public hearing on Wednesday, but it is unclear if she is legally obligated to answer questions.
This post has been updated.
President Obama will be making a trip up to New England this week to appear with four Democratic governors pressing Congress to make moves.
The President will be in Connecticut on Wednesday to make this appearance to stump for an increase in the minimum wage. This will come one day after he releases his 2015 budget proposal, which will call for increased spending on manufacturing and early childhood education, while also calling for a minimum wage hike.
The governors that President Obama will be appearing with represent both parties, and they are all concerned with Congress’ ability to act. Three of the four governors have said they have worked hard to get close to the President’s wishes of increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017.
President Obama’s initiative to raise the minimum wage is likely to fail in the House, where Speaker Boehner has promised to oppose minimum wage hikes.
The Speaker’s opinion makes sense here as the non-partisan CBO found that raising the minimum wage would cost a half a million jobs. It will be interesting to see how President Obama tries to justify his plans this week.
What will the governors have to say about how this new law would affect their states?