Happy Canada Day!
Today is the 145th birthday of Canada, and this is the bicentennial year of Canada defeating an invasion by the United States (the War of 1812 for those not up on history...)
From the National Post - a Canada Day poll highlighting 15 things one should know about Canadian identity today...
BREAKING NEWS REGARDING THE SCOTUS and CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS
CBS News Legal and Political Correspondent Jan Crawford broke a huge story on CBS News 'Face the Nation' this morning saying that her sources have confirmed that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts changed his vote in the court's ruling on Obamacare.
The Hill reports:
CBS News says it has confirmed that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts changed his vote in the court’s landmark healthcare case.
Legal circles have been buzzing since Thursday with speculation that Roberts might have initially sided with the court’s conservatives in a decision to strike down part of President Obama’s healthcare law, but then changed his mind at the last minute.
…According to Crawford’s reporting, Roberts was against the individual mandate when the justices took their initial votes following oral arguments in March. He, along with the other four Republican appointees, believed it was an inappropriate use of Congress’s power to regulate commerce.
But the justices did not reach an agreement on how much of the law to strike down. Over the course of that debate, as the conservative bloc pushed hard to throw out the entire statute, Roberts changed his mind and voted to uphold the law, Crawford reported.
She said Roberts lobbied Justice Anthony Kennedy to join him, and then the court’s conservatives engaged in a “desperate” lobbying campaign to bring Roberts back to their side.
Crawford’s reporting shoots down a big piece of the previous speculation about Roberts’s vote.
This will renew speculation as to the rationale behind the switch by the Chief Justice - with many believing that the motivation was the negative pressure being brought towards the Court and its reputation by the left if indeed it did reject the Individual Mandate as unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, unconstitutional under the 'Necessary and Proper' Clause, and subsequently found the entire statute unconstitutional because the mandate was unseverable as the 'now' dissent found.
Here is candidate Barack Obama in 2008 extolling that 'Healthcare should never be purchased with tax increases on middle class families.'
Appearing this morning on Fox News Sunday news with Chris Wallace, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew struggled in his efforts to explain that Obamacare is not a tax on the middle class...as he tries to keep track of the spinning and lies that have been perpetrated on the American people - he finds himself caught in a lie.
When Healthcare reform was argued for by candidate Obama - it shouldn't be done as a tax increase on the middle class.
When Democrats in Congress argued for Obamacare, they said it wasn't a tax.
When the Administration argued to defend Obamacare before the Supreme Court, they said it was a tax.
When the Supreme Court says that it is a tax on Americans, they now try to deny that it is a tax.
Mr. Lew also did not have a stellar day during his appearance on CNN's State of the Union, as he was forced to attempt major gymnastics to spin away the Administration's declaration of executive privilege in an effort to provide cover to Attorney General Eric Holder and other senior DoJ officials regarding their role in the Fast and Furious operation and subsequent cover-up. Once again, Lew resorts to deliberate lies...
Rather than answering the question directly, Lew said, "Let's go back to the facts," and immediatly got his "facts" wrong. Lew claimed Fast and Furious started during the Bush administration. That assertion is false. Operation Fast and Furious started in September 2009, President Obama took office in January 2009. Lew also went on to defend Attorney General Eric Holder by saying this was a "regional program." If that was the case, then why is executive privilege necessary or valid in this case? Either the documents requested show some kind of White House communication or President Obama improperly asserted the privilege to buy Holder more time. Lew also said "every document related to the decisions up to that point has been shared," which is also false. There are 240,000 Fast and Furious documents available. The Justice Department has turned over 7,000. Of those 7,000 the majority are sheets of black ink due to extreme redaction. In relation to specific communications, just before the Oversight Committee contempt vote two weeks ago to hold the Attorney General in contempt, Chairman Darrell Issa narrowed his focus from 70,000 documents to 1300, yet Holder still failed to deliver anything substantial. Not to mention, 21 Democrats voted for civil contempt against Holder last week, which destroys Lew's "political" argument.
And finally: Lew said the Obama administration has been the most transparent administration ever.
Most transparent administration? Most transparent lying administration ever. I've seen 4 year olds lie better than this.
Hot Air reports on emails and evidence that the DoJ is actively working towards identifying and retaliating against the whistleblowers in the ATF following the exposure of the Fast and Furious program as part of the massive cover-up underway...
These days, in the Obama era, Democrats and the media seem a lot less admiring of whistleblowers, oddly enough. Imagine for a moment that Rowley had been assigned a new boss at the FBI after her whistleblowing, one that had told others that the agency needed to “get whatever dirt we can” on her to “take her down,” and especially if that boss had previously said in the presence of at least one witness that the FBI needed to “f**k” said whistleblower. Can you imagine the media meltdown that would have occurred? Well, you’re going to have to be satisfied with imagining it, but Senator Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa want answers as to why two Operation Fast and Furious whistleblowers got assigned to work for a man who said exactly that about them:
In a Friday letter to the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Grassley and Issa said they’re now concerned retaliation is much more likely following Thursday’s votes to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal and civil contempt of Congress.
“We just learned that ATF senior management placed two of the main whistleblowers who have testified before Congress about Fast and Furious under the supervision of someone who vowed to retaliate against them,” they wrote before describing how senior political figures have made dangerous threats before.
All of this is combining to increase pressure on President Obama's reelection campaign. Flying on Air Force One to visit the scene of the Colorado wildfires, the President spent 18 minutes pleading with campaign donors for more campaign cash...
President Obama sounded weary and maybe a tad worried late Friday during a rambling conference call with campaign donors whom he repeatedly begged to send money—and send it now.
“The majority on this call maxed out to my campaign last time. I really need you to do the same this time,” the president said in a highly unusual (and presumably legal) fundraising pitch from Air Force One on his way back to Washington from Colorado Springs, where he’d been assessing the terrible damage caused by uncontained wildfires. A special phone on the government aircraft is dedicated to political calls that are paid for by the campaign.
“I’m asking you to meet or exceed what you did in 2008,” the presidential pitchman continued, speaking to donors who were invited to dial in based on their contributions during the last election. “Because we’re going to have to deal with these super PACs in a serious way. And if we don’t, frankly I think the political [scene] is going to be changed permanently. Because the special interests that are financing my opponent’s campaign are just going to consolidate themselves. They’re gonna run Congress and the White House.”
The president’s 18-minute pleading—a recording of which was provided to The Daily Beast by an Obama contributor—hardly sounded like a man doing a victory lap after Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare, as the Affordable Care Act has come to be known.
The Washington Post seems to be circling the bowl as their progressive bias is becoming more pronounced - part in conjunction with their own fiscal struggles and part in conjunction with their angst over the continued problems with the American people accepting the progressive agenda. Their latest bias comes with this example of the 'Begging the Question' fallacy with their headline begging the question if 'manmade climate warming' is responsible for the heat and destructive storms that hit the DC area Friday evening.
The Washington Times, however, provide some straight reporting of the devastating storms across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia that has hundreds of thousands of customers without power amid sweltering temperatures and high humidity. Many of these out of power may have to wait as long as a week before power may be restored. Over a dozen of people have also lost their lives in these violent storms which are suspected of exceeding hurricane force winds (sustained winds greater than 75 mph).
The tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut also received damage from heavy storms with power and telephone / cell tower outages. In the NYC area, the primary union representing workers of Consolidated Edison, the local power company, had workers walk out on strike in the midst of the the wave of extremely hot and unstable weather...
Consolidated Edison closed walk-in centers, suspended meter readings and limited work on major construction projects in New York on Sunday after contract talks between the utility and its unionized workers broke down in the middle of a wave of extremely hot weather.
Negotiations stopped just before 2 a.m. Sunday, a couple of hours after the existing contract expired. The impasse came as New York braced for more high temperatures that will increase demand for air conditioning among the utility's 3.2 million customers.
On Sunday morning, police set up barricades in front of Con Ed's headquarters near Manhattan's Union Square.
"This is crazy! There's a heat wave," said David Palomino, a facility mechanic who rushed to headquarters after finishing his early shift to find out what was coming next.
Secretary of Energy, Stephen Chu, is once again demonstrating his tendency to promote the nanny state - demanding now that the United States must make electric cars more affordable - using government power to do so.
The DOE would like for batteries to improve their efficiency threefold, in less than ten years — well, why not sixfold, in four years? Heck, why not demand batteries that run on happy thoughts and fairy dust, right now?
Like Secretary Chu, I most definitely believe that non-conventional vehicles are a real possibility, but you can’t force them to become a reality on an arbitrary timeline just because you wish it.
The American people aren’t sticking with ‘gas-guzzling’ conventional vehicles just to be stubborn and spiteful — it’s just that right now, there are no good substitutes available. If a company could come up with an alternative vehicle that really was more practical, efficient, and affordable, people would buy it. Nobody likes dropping money on a tank of gas — if people felt the benefits of a new type of car were worth the costs, they’d go for it. The incentive for the market to create viable substitutes for conventional vehicles is already there, but the juice has to worth the squeeze. Putting some made-up government timeline on it is only going to encourage rent-seeking and waste everybody’s time, resources, and tax dollars.
Far too many progressive academics think only in theory - and have little real concept of how the real world operates. This is why their theories do not work in the real world.
Israeli leaders have reached out to Egypt's new President, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, asking for the new President to continue to honor and uphold the 1978 peace agreement between the two nations...
Israel's president and prime minister have sent separate letters to Egypt's new Islamist president, congratulating him on his election victory and calling for continued peace between the neighboring countries, Israeli officials said Sunday.
Morsi is on record in speeches to Egyptian supporters that he will revoke the peace treaty. If he does, does that mean Egypt will return control of the Sinai to Israel?
Today in History
1596 – An English Fleet attacked and sacked the major Spanish port of Cadiz.
1863 – The first day of fighting takes place at the Battle of Gettysburg as Confederate troops begin to engage Federal cavalry outside of Gettysburg. After both sides gain reinforcements, the Confederates slowly drive the Federals out of Gettysburg and into defensive positions along Cemetery Ridge.
1867 - The autonomous Dominion of Canada, a confederation of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the future provinces of Ontario and Quebec, is officially recognized by Great Britain with the passage of the British North America Act.
1898 – The Battle of San Juan Hill - Included among the U.S. ground troops were the Theodore Roosevelt-led "Rough Riders," a collection of Western cowboys and Eastern blue bloods officially known as the First U.S. Voluntary Cavalry. The Rough Riders and the black soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry took the critical heights of Kettle Hill, leading to the collapse of the defense of San Juan Hill shortly afterwards. From the crest, the Americans found themselves overlooking Santiago, Cuba.
1916 – The Battle of the Somme - At 7:30 a.m., the British launch a massive offensive against German forces in the Somme River region of France. During the preceding week, 250,000 Allied shells had pounded German positions near the Somme, and 100,000 British soldiers poured out of their trenches and into no-man's-land on July 1, expecting to find the way cleared for them. However, scores of heavy German machine guns had survived the artillery onslaught, and the infantry were massacred. By the end of the day, 20,000 British soldiers were dead and 40,000 wounded. It was the single heaviest day of casualties in British military history.
1942- Field Marshall Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps is brought to a standstill in his effort to seize Cairo and the Suez Canal at El Alamein. Reinforced by American supplies, and reorganized and reinvigorated by British General Claude Auchinleck, British, Indian, South African, and New Zealand troops battled Rommel, and his by now exhausted men, to a standstill in Egypt. Auchinleck denied the Axis Egypt. Rommel was back on the defensive—a definite turning point in the war in North Africa.
1963 - The U.S. Postmaster General introduced the five-digit Zip code.
1991 - The Warsaw Pact, the Soviet dominated alliance of its Eastern European puppets intended to be the opposite number of NATO, was dissolved.
1997 - After 156 years of being a colony of Great Britain, control of Hong Kong was transferred back to the People's Republic of China.