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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Morning Examiner: Obama taps admitted perjurer to lead 'expert' domestic spying review

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Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,National Security,Edward Snowden,Surveillance,Analysis

Whenever conservatives hear any politician, but especially the most liberal president in a generation, say they are going to solve an issue by appointing a panel of experts, they laugh. Nothing better demonstrates the folly of progressive governance than the blind faith liberals have in “outside experts” to solve America’s problems.

That is why it is so fitting that, after President Obama promised to form “a high-level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies” in the wake of hacker Edward Snowden’s NSA domestic spying leaks, Obama named Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to head the expert panel Monday.

The least credible expert available
Not only is Clapper in no way “outside” of the Obama administration or Washington’s intelligence community (before joining the Obama administration in 2010, he served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency as far back as 1992), he has also recently admitted that he intentionally gave false and “clearly erroneous” testimony to Congress.

On March 12, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, asked Clapper, “So what I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question, does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

Clapper responded definitively, “No, sir.”

When Snowden’s leaks later exposed Clapper’s testimony to be false, Clapper first told NBC News, “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner.” Clapper also later wrote a letter to the committee admitting that his testimony that day was “clearly erroneous.”

Just another lawless day at the White House 
It takes a certain amount of confidence, or arrogance, to announce that you are appointing a panel of “outside experts” to hold your administration accountable on domestic spying, and then turn right around and appoint an admitted liar from your administration’s own ranks to head that panel. But Congress has shown no willingness to stand up to any of Obama’s abuses of executive power recently.

Obama unilaterally rewrites immigration law to give amnesty to select illegal immigrants? Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Senate Democrats reward him with a full amnesty bill. Obama unilaterally scraps the employer mandate? Republican leadership has no stomach to fight Obama through the CR on anything related to Obamacare. Attorney General Eric Holder announces he will unilaterally rewrite the nation’s drug laws? Bipartisan applause.

Either conservatives, and the rest of Congress, take the Constitution and the Separation of Powers principle at its heart seriously or they don’t. Over the past year, Congress has proven itself all but irrelevant. Which makes Obama decision to tap Clapper Monday not all that surprising after all.

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Obamacare ‘navigators’ program invites massive fraud
Richard Pollock: Obama’s small business advocate has big credibility problems
Joel Gehrke: Mike Lee’s push to defund Obamacare puts red-state Democrats in crosshairs
Ashe Schow: Monday meme
Tim Carney: Housing groups push to keep feds in the mortgage business
Conn Carroll: The Republican establishment’s incoherence on government shutdowns, Obamacare, and the debt limit
Byron York: House at risk in 2014 unless GOP offers agenda
Brian Hughes: Eric Holder trumpets new limits for drug sentences
Steve Contorno: Congress eager to move forward with sentencing reform
Rebecca Berg: NRSC political director touts new Arkansas Senate poll
Joseph Lawler: Senate liberals lay out criteria for Federal Reserve nominee

In Other News
The New York TimesA Limit on Consumer Costs Is Delayed in Health Care Law: In another setback for President Obama’s health care initiative, the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care.
ReutersMitch McConnell Seeks Delay For Obamacare Insurance Exchanges: Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Monday called on the Obama administration to delay the Oct. 1 opening of exchanges where uninsured Americans will be able to buy health insurance until the U.S. government can guarantee the protection of people’s personal data.
Associated PressGOP Moderates Push Back on Tea Party Spending Cuts: Midway between the 2012 and 2014 election campaigns, moderate Republican conservatives are beginning to foment a revolt of their own — a backlash to anti-spending tea party shrillness as budget cuts begin to significantly shrink defense and domestic programs.
CNNHillary Clinton jumps back into political fray with speech on voting rights: Hillary Clinton’s self-imposed absence from the country’s political discourse ended Monday when the former secretary of state issued biting criticism of Republican-backed voter ID laws during a speech to a group of lawyers.
The HillObama’s intellectual property chief steps down: The White House’s intellectual property chief, Victoria Espinel, has stepped down from her role in the administration and is rumored to be one of the top candidates to lead BSA | The Software Alliance, according to industry sources.
The Wall Street JournalU.S. Expats Balk at Tax Law: The U.S.’s crackdown on global tax evaders is prompting some Americans in Asia to rethink their citizenship, attorneys there say, in part amid an increasing burden of paperwork required by U.S. tax law.

Lefty Playbook
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., on The GOP’s Politics of Subtraction.
Elon Musk calls California’s high-speed rail plan one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world.
Brian Beutler says Republicans will shutdown the government over spending, not Obamacare.
Talking Points Memo reports that Hillary Clinton’s speech on voting rights Monday was just the first of many policy speeches planned by the presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

Righty Playbook
Glenn Reynolds reviews Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic.
Robert Costa on House Republican Leadership efforts to avoid a shutdown at all costs.
Marc Thiessen‘s war on “squishy hawks”

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