Posts Tagged ‘Rahm Emanuel’
December 17th, 2012 at 11:19 am
Obama’s Obnoxious Obstructionism

President Obama bargains in bad faith. Or, rather, he doesn’t bargain at all, but pretends to do so — so, technically, I guess his pretensions to bargaining are the proof of bad faith.

I cannot name a single important instance in which President Obama actually gave any substantive ground to Republicans, on anything. There wasn’t a single concession to anybody right of center in ObamaCare. There was no concession in the “debt limit” negotiations, but instead merely a postponement of the situation until he hoped political circumstances would be more favorable. And now, in these “Fiscal Cliff” talks occurring now, every time John Boehner makes an offer, Obama actually moves in the other direction.

Back in the last talks 18 months ago, Obama reportedly originally asked for $800 billion in new revenues. Then he demanded $1.2 trillion, but said it could all be accomplished without higher rates. Now he demands $1.6 trillion, and says he won’t even come to the table unless rates are raised (not just loopholes and deductions limited) on exactly those he always has targeted, those couples making over $200 annually. Plus, rather than limiting spending, he is demanding more “stimulus” largesse and an unlimited, automatic extension of the debt limit.

So, even with Boeher now offering higher rates for those actually making $1 million or more a year — a HUGE concession for Republicans — Obama has rejected that out of hand, and did so within an hour or so.

This man has no interest in keeping the government solvent. Just the opposite: He obviously wants it to spend, spend, spend, and grow, grow, grow, no matter what. He’s playing a long-term game, for total federal-government control, no matter what the short-term damage he does.

One can easily be forgiven, based on this record, for thinking he really is trying to enact the Cloward-Piven strategy of causing economic collapse so bad that the only institution left with any power is the central government, which then can reformulate the entire system under its own, all-powerful auspices. Hence, also, Obama’s assault on the intermediary institutions of society, including faith-affiliated social services.

Whatever his real goals — whether Cloward-Piven, or something else — there is not a single shred of evidence to suggest he has any intention at all of getting the problems of deficit and debt under control. And there is no evidence that he is even searching for common ground. Obama’s behavior certainly approaches the sinister; it is like nothing this country has ever seen before. “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” said his fish-mailing thug aide Rahm Emanuel — and, by extension, never fail to try to foment a crisis, as long as you think you can blame the other side for it.

September 20th, 2012 at 12:46 pm
The Party of the Teachers Unions
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Now that the Chicago teachers’ strike has come to an end (a mostly unsatisfactory one, as chronicled by my colleague at the Manhattan Institute’s Public Sector Inc., Paul Kersey), the issue will likely fall out of national consciousness by week’s end. But there is one fact from this struggle that will remain with me for the foreseeable future. It was buried deep in the recesses of the Wall Street Journal‘s interview from last weekend with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and it’s an extremely telling statistic about the party that considers itself the vanguard of civil rights:

We’re seven weeks from a presidential election in which Barack Obama needs all the cash and foot soldiers that organized labor can provide. His Super PAC’s chief fundraiser is none other than Rahm Emanuel. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party’s chief funders remain teachers unions, groups that also accounted for an estimated 20% of delegates at the recent Democratic National Convention. So you can imagine why Chicago’s unionized teachers struck now, gambling that Mr. Emanuel’s killer instinct may be stayed at least for the season.

One out of every five representatives of the Democratic Party on the floor (or at least at the hosted bar) in Charlotte represented institutions whose lust for self-preservation has the practical effect of killing minority achievement and ambition  in school districts throughout America. Their parents, who are overwhelmingly expected to vote for Barack Obama, ought to pause on that fact. The sacrifice of generations of schoolchildren is too high a price to pay for identity politics.

May 12th, 2011 at 1:12 pm
Education Reform: First Mitch Daniels, Now Rahm Emanuel?

Maybe there’s a Midwestern Miracle in education reform unfolding.  Outgoing Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) was hailed last week for getting an expansive school vouchers program passed.  The Detroit public school system is seriously considering allowing 41 of its schools to become charter schools.  Now, Illinois is within a majority vote of its state House of Representatives of curbing the power of teachers’ unions.  The chief beneficiary of this latest reform: newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Right now, Emanuel’s people aren’t talking, preferring to let state lawmakers take heat for giving the new Hizzoner the right to extend the school day and weaken the teacher tenure system.  Though I think Emanuel is far from the best potential education reformer, I won’t be surprised if he extracts some serious concessions from teachers unions.  If the bill weakening Illinois’ educators’ “rights” to disrupt the education of the children they serve passes, the moment may be ripe for Illinois – through Emanuel – to return a shard of the public school spotlight where it belongs: on the pupils.

February 19th, 2011 at 8:05 pm
Rahm Emanuel Takes Google Analytics to Municipal Campaigning

In a good overview of Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago mayoral campaign this nugget stands out:

Behind the scenes, meanwhile, Emanuel employs the most cutting-edge techniques. A focus on social networking and demographically targeted e-mails is part of “using the Internet in ways not previously used in a municipal campaign,” says Chicago-based Democratic consultant Eric Adelstein. Emanuel is harnessing Google Analytics to micro-target voters based on their Web surfing. “So you look for ‘Chicago Bears’ and there may be an Emanuel message that might interest you, a sports fan between the ages of 40 and 60,” Adelstein says.

H/T: Time

January 28th, 2011 at 12:06 pm
Rahm 1, Rule of Law, 0

And so it is that Rahm Emanuel is back on the ballot for Chicago mayor.  In a not unsurprising ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned an appellate court’s decision to remove Emanuel’s name since he didn’t physically reside in the city for the year prior to next month’s election.  You (and everyone else reading this blog) may remember Emanuel was President Barack Obama’s White House Chief of Staff during that time.

No matter.  Saying that the appellate court’s commonsensical application of law to facts had “no basis in Illinois law” the state supremes ruled 7-0 in favor of judicial activism.  Nowhere in the relevant statute does it mention an “intent to return” exception to the residency requirement.

Never mind, though.  The “people” of Chicago support Emanuel’s candidacy by over 50%, meaning he’s likely to avoid a run-off and win outright next month.  In the event Emanuel does become the Second City’s next mayor, don’t be surprised if his conception of the rule of the law involves whatever interpretation serves him at the moment.  After all the “people” will have gotten the leadership they deserve.

January 25th, 2011 at 1:10 am
Rahm Emanuel’s Mayoral Race & the Rule of Law

Three cheers for textualism rang out when an Illinois state appellate court ruled former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel ineligible to run for mayor of Chicago.  CFIF previously highlighted Emanuel’s dubious residency claims.  Then, it was obvious Emanuel did not meet the 1 year Chicago residency requirement because he had been living in Washington, D.C.

Tellingly, no one disputes this now.  Instead, Emanuel’s defenders (including the Chicago Board of Elections) support the theory that a candidate’s intent to return should be read-in (i.e. judicially legislated) as an exception to the residency requirement.  The state appeals court had none of it.  In a straightforward opinion, a 2-1 majority ruled for textual integrity and struck Emanuel’s name from the ballot.  Of course, he’s appealing it to the state supreme court, but that shouldn’t deter that body from applying the same plain meaning of the statute to his situation.

No one is saying that Rahm Emanuel can never run for mayor of Chicago, just that he must comply with the legal standards for assuming the office.  If that’s too much to ask of Rahm, then maybe it would be too much to expect a faithful application of other laws once he’s in office.

December 16th, 2010 at 11:52 pm
Rahm Emanuel’s Residency Problem Poses a Serious Question About the Rule of Law

It’s one of the ironies of modern judicial interpretation that textbooks and master theses masquerading as court opinions go to great lengths to unearth vague notions of ‘legislative intent’ in arcane statutes, but brush aside the plain meaning of rules like residency requirements to run for public office.  Which poses the question: do all the laws matter except those that apply to candidates  running for office?

For example, there is precious little required to run for Mayor of Chicago.  A candidate must be:

  • 18 years old
  • A registered voter
  • A resident of the city of Chicago
  • Without any debt, unpaid tax, lien or other obligation to the city of Chicago
  • Without a felony conviction or conviction for any infamous crime, bribery or perjury

Candidates must also produce a minimum of 12,500 signatures and file at the Board of Election Commissioners between November 15 and November 22, 2010.

Note that a candidate doesn’t have to be married, literate, employed, able to speak English, or competent to read a budget.  One presumes that the reasons for the requirements that are listed is to ensure that a person running to become the most powerful local official: 1) has reached the legal age to contract, 2) demonstrates a current political stake in the community, 3) isn’t running to dodge a public debt, and 4) hasn’t been convicted of criminal dishonesty.

If a candidate for mayor cannot meet these slight – but important – criteria, he doesn’t deserve to run.  Everyone knows that Rahm Emanuel has not been a resident of the city of Chicago for the last year because he was living in Washington, D.C. with his family while working at the White House.  If the requirement is to have any validity, Emanuel shouldn’t be allowed to run for mayor until he reestablishes his residency.  The rule of law and common sense demand it.

October 4th, 2010 at 5:40 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: Rahm Emanuel Gets Dead Fish At White House Send Off
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

September 30th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: Not to Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste, Rahm Bails Out
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

June 21st, 2010 at 6:24 pm
This Was Obama Being Pragmatic?
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The press is abuzz today with rumors that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will be leaving his West Wing post in the near future, likely after the midterm elections. While the White House denies the allegations, the UK Telegraph lays out the following rationale:

It is well known in Washington that arguments have developed between pragmatic Mr Emanuel, a veteran in Congress where he was known for driving through compromises, and the idealistic inner circle who followed Mr Obama to the White House.

And it’s equally well known that Rahmbo has consistently lost. As Jonathan Alter relates in his new book “The Promise” (which, in its lust for Obama, would be better titled “The Gospel According to Jon”), Emanuel vigorously fought the Administration’s plan for a comprehensive transformation of health care in favor of smaller, more incremental victories. For all of his bravado, Emanuel — who, along with Chuck Schumer, engineered his party’s takeover of Congress by embracing moderate and conservative Democrats — is indeed a pragmatist, not a liberal True Believer unable to brook compromise.

This staff shakeup, should it happen, will put the White House on a dangerous trajectory. Emanuel’s incrementalist views have been steamrolled during most of his tenure in the administration. If, even in that position of weakened power, he can’t be accomodated in the halls of the West Wing, then we can expect the “idealists” to be running the show in the second half of Obama’s term. That means that in the aftermath of what will likely be at least a partial Republican takeover of Congress, Obama will be moving further and further towards liberal purity.

If you think the administration is out of touch now, wait until they banish even internal dissent.

April 22nd, 2010 at 12:23 pm
White House Confused Over Whether Obama Likes VAT?

Maybe White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel isn’t the only senior administration official who’s on uncertain terms with President Obama.  In the span of a few minutes, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reminded reporters that imposing a national value added tax (VAT) “wasn’t something that the president had under consideration,” and a deputy of his reiterated that point after Obama appeared on CNBC.

The problem is the president himself told CNBC that the VAT is still on the table.  What to make of the press office’s bookend statements denying the substance of the chief’s own words?  Exactly what it is: denying the truth that one of the most destructive taxes available is being considered to pay for the explosion in government spending.  We were warned – sort of.

March 9th, 2010 at 6:50 pm
Former Rep. Massa Disappoints Glenn Beck

And he didn’t do much better with viewers either.  After building up the drama for former Congressman Eric Massa’s (D-NY) appearance on his television show, Glenn Beck ended his program with an apology to those who watched ‘til the bitter end.  “This (information shared by Massa) didn’t affect you (the American people).”

Blame Massa for blowing a golden opportunity to give dates, times, and names of specific instances where politicos crossed the line into illegal or unethical behavior.  Instead, he gave bland jeremiads about the corrupting influence of money in politics, and flipped the narrative on who’s responsible for him stepping down.  Initially, it was the White House and Democratic House Leadership who “forced” his resignation.  Now, he “owns his mistakes” and accepts full responsibility for his resignation.  Huh?  The only reason this is a story is because people were led to believe a member of Congress was ousted to ease passage of health care “reform.”  Now, it is just a story of a seemingly decent guy unable to cope with the insane demands of national politics.

But blame Beck too for not getting at least one specific instance of a date, time, and name before going on the air to ensure the hour wasn’t a waste.  He won’t forget that lesson next time.  For now, it looks like the Obama Administration – and Rahm Emanuel in particular – dodged a potentially catastrophic revelation about the practice of Big Boy politics.  Like the Rod Blagojevich smoking gun that never fired, Eric Massa had his chance to establish his credibility with specifics.  His failure to do so means that his critics will be the ones taking up the lion’s share of his fifteen minutes in the spotlight.  Too bad.

February 3rd, 2010 at 12:51 pm
White House Mea Culpas, Part II

Who knew White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has a foul mouth and a penchant for insulting people?  Apparently, after hearing that liberal activists were planning to shame moderate Democrats critical of ObamaCare with television ads, “Rahm-bo” told them they were “f—ing retarded.”  This all came to light because thereafter he called to apologize.  To the activists?  No; the head of the Special Olympics.

The reasoning makes a lot of sense if you subscribe to this tenet of political correctness: If an insult is uttered yet the group most likely to be offended isn’t around to hear it, an apology is warranted because eventually they will.  Unfortunately for Emanuel, the Special Olympics is on a campaign to end the practice of using the word “retarded” as an insult.  Thus, the need to apologize to an organization that he was not even thinking about when he said the word.  Curiously, it’s unclear if the Special Olympics is equally as interested in promoting more civil discourse by ending all insults, whether or not the offending words specifically relate to the group’s core constituency.

All of this A insults B, so A apologizes to C silliness makes one wonder what public figures would do if they had no readily identifiable group to turn to and say I’m sorry.  Perhaps then they’d be forced to mend fences with the people they actually offended, instead of getting a get-out-of-jail free card from a group claiming to represent the emotions of all those conceivably covered by its mission statement.

November 13th, 2009 at 10:36 am
Must Read: Rahm Emanuel vs. ObamaCare
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This one is from James Capretta over at The New Atlantis, a technology and science journal, is a must read.

Capretta highlights why the federal government will never be able to truly “bend the cost curve” on health care.

Here is the link and a few highlights:

Obamacare is predicated on the assumption that the federal government has the knowledge, capacity, and will to drive greater efficiency in American health care. Inadvertently, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has become an articulate spokesman for why that assumption is dead wrong.


Emanuel blames the limits of politics. “Let’s be honest,” Emanuel apparently stated in a recent interview. “The goal isn’t to see whether I can pass this through the executive board of the Brookings Institution. I’m passing it through the United State Congress with people who represent constituents.” That’s exactly right of course. But it’s also an indictment of the entire Obamacare enterprise. The health-care bills under consideration would hand over to the federal government nearly all power for organizing American health care. And yet there is not a shred of evidence that Congress or the administration can handle these tasks well.


The only way to slow the pace of rising costs without sacrificing quality is by building a functioning marketplace, with cost-conscious consumers driving the allocation of resources. The government must play an important oversight role in such a marketplace. But if we rely on politicians, or even commissions that answer to them, for cost control, what we will get is lower quality, not more efficiency.

HT: Greg Mankiw

October 26th, 2009 at 3:59 pm
Closed-Door Talks Produce Health Care Bill … Sort Of
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In the past two weeks, Senators Harry Reid and Max Baucus, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and other higher-ups in the administration have been behind closed doors crafting a government takeover of health care.

Senator Reid has been the chief architect of a plan to “meld” bills from the Health Education and Labor Committee and the Finance Committee.  Today, Reid emerged from his smoke-filled room with legislation that includes a so-called public option and a health care co-op.

This compromise between liberal Democrats and uber-liberal Democrats now heads to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which will attempt to put a price tag on the rag-tag, budget-busting piece of … legislation. The White House hopes this version of ObamaCare will be enough to garner at least 60 votes in the Senate.

Call Congress at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote “No” on Senator Reid’s health care “compromise.” Click here for more details on the legislation.  Click here for CFIF’s coverage of the health care debate.

October 25th, 2009 at 7:04 pm
The Audacity of Amnesia
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As President Obama mulls over General McChrystal’s request for more troops in Afghanistan — and former Vice President Cheney hits the current administration hard for what he calls “dithering” — the White House has hit back with some heavy accusations.

Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, has claimed that the Bush Administration ignored the strategic planning process for the war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs alleges that the Bush White House let a request for more troops in Afghanistan fall stillborn for nearly a year.

You can debate the merits of various approaches and the trade-offs that are always necessary in national security policy. But as someone who was in the Bush White House during the time in question, I can testify to the fact that Afghan planning was very high on the agenda in the waning days of the administration. Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard has done the legwork to bear this out and his new piece pushes back against the Obama Administration’s claims with great clarity. Among the best passages:

One Bush veteran asks, “If it’s true that the Bush administration sat on these troop requests for eight months, is the White House suggesting that the Pentagon was incompetent or negligent or both? That would be a good question to put to the defense secretary–and President Obama is in a position to make him talk.”

I couldn’t reach Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, but I did talk to a senior defense official who serves with him. This person stressed that Gates has gone to great lengths to avoid being dragged into political fights between administrations. Nonetheless, he offered a strong rebuke to the present White House political team.

“There was no request on anyone’s desk for eight months,” said the defense official. “There was not a request that went to the White House because we didn’t have forces to commit. So on the facts, they’re wrong.”

In reality, the Bush Administration stayed quiet on the options going forward into Afghanistan so that Obama wouldn’t have his choices muddied by having them labeled as recycled goods from the previous president.  That they are now using that fact as a cudgel speaks very poorly of the current denizens of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Read Hayes’ entire piece here.

September 24th, 2009 at 3:45 pm
Rahmbo: Public Option Can’t Pass Senate
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For those wondering whether the public option will ever get through the Senate, the White House chief of staff just answered the question.

Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff, gave an interview with Charlie Rose last night and stated that a public option could not pass the Senate.  I wonder if that includes the “co-op” that the Senate Finance Committee is currently considering.

Here is the link to the interview.

For those unsure about the “Rahmbo” reference, click here.