MIT professor Jonathan Gruber—who sparked outrage with his comments questioning the administration’s transparency and voters’ intelligence on the passage of Obamacare—is scheduled to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on December 9. Politico,
Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) sent a letter last week to both Gruber and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner calling upon them to testify at the hearing, which will focus on “repeated transparency failures and outright deceptions surrounding ObamaCare,” according to a release.
Gruber, an architect on Obamacare, was seen on a number of recently-surfaced videos making disparaging remarks about voters.
“Call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass,” Gruber said at the time.
Sen. Chuck Schumer recently admitted that pushing Obamacare through Congress in 2010 was a mistake. The National Journal,
While Schumer emphasized during a speech at the National Press Club that he supports the law and that its policies “are and will continue to be positive changes,” he argued that the Democrats acted wrongly in using their new mandate after the 2008 election to focus on the issue rather than the economy at the height of a terrible recession.
“After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle-class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus, but unfortunately Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them,” Schumer said. “We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem—health care reform.”
The third-ranking Senate Democrat noted that just about 5 percent of registered voters in the United States lacked health insurance before the implementation of the law, arguing that to focus on a problem affecting such “a small percentage of the electoral made no political sense.”
President Obama was recently asked who he preferred to become Democrat’s nominee in 2016, he said “he’ll probably stay on the sidelines and not campaign much… because the American people want, ‘you know, that new car smell.’” MSNBC,
“They want to drive something off the lot that doesn’t have as much mileage as me,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
Analytically speaking, Obama was almost certainly right. Voters hardly ever elect a president of the same party of a president who just served two terms. And the last time that happened, in 1988, voters threw out President George H.W. Bush after only one term.
But while accurate, Obama’s self-deprecating (if even passive-aggressive) joke about how Democrats are running away from him has the unfortunate consequence of highlighting perhaps the biggest weakness of his most likely Democratic successor, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton has one of the longest resumes of any presidential contender in memory, which is both a strength, and a liability. As Obama himself knows from using this playbook to beat Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary, she’s vulnerable to charges that she’s been around Washington too long and should be sidelined by a fresher face. In other words, that she doesn’t have “the new car smell” that, say, a young upstart Illinois senator had.
The Internal Revenue Service’s inspector general has managed to find up to 30,000 of Lois Lerner’s emails, five months after the agency swore they were lost forever. The Washington Examiner,
Committees in the House and Senate are seeking the emails, which they believe could show Lerner was working in concert with Obama administration officials to target conservative and Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status before the 2012 presidential election.
The missing emails extend from 2009 to 2011, a period when Lerner headed the IRS’s exempt-organizations division. The emails were lost when Lerner’s computer crashed, IRS officials said earlier this year.
In June Koskinen told Congress the emails were probably lost for good because the disaster recovery tape holds onto the data for only six months. He said even if the IRS had sought the emails within the six-month period, it would have been a complicated and difficult process to produce them from the tapes…
In all, investigators from the inspector general’s office combed through 744 disaster recovery tapes. They are not finished looking.
There are 250 million emails on the tapes that will be reviewed. Officials said it is likely they will find missing emails from other IRS officials who worked under Lerner and who said they suffered computer crashes.