GOP Leaders Not on Same Page

So far, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have come out in support of the President’s proposed Syria missile strike, but Senate  Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, dealing with a Tea Party challenge in his re-election campaign, has not.

McConnell is obviously afraid of straying from Rand Paul.  I think we know who is really the senior senator from Kentucky!

House Republicans Are Revolting

Yes, aren’t they?

GOP House members are furious that the Senate deal has tax increases, but no spending cuts.

According to the NYT*, Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he won’t vote for the deal.  It’s bad for Boehner if his #2 guy won’t support it.

Spencer Bachus of Alabama expects the bill to be amended and go back to the Senate, which would effectively kill it for this Congress, which ends Thursday at noon.

So will they stand and fight now or live to fight another day over the debt ceiling and the postponed sequester?

*  “G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage,” Jennifer Steinhauer, and Jonathan Weisman

Quote of the Day

“I feel almost sorry for John Boehner.  There is incredible pressure on him from a base of his party that is unreasonable about this. And he’s got to decide, is his speakership more important, or is the country more important.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

I don’t feel the least bit sorry for the Orange One.  He’s coddled and encouraged his crazies.   And it doesn’t matter what he decides because he still needs to get the votes to pass something in the House.  Partisan politics aside, he’s really been a weak and ineffective Speaker, the wrong guy for the job.  I know Eric Cantor agrees with me, but I don’t agree with Cantor that he should have the job.

Whistle-Blower Revealed

We know now that the FBI whistle-blower in the Petraeus case is a friend of Jill Kelley, whom she contacted about the disturbing emails she received from Paula Broadwell.

He became “obsessed” with the case and was barred from any involvement with it, although he was not directly involved in the investigation, which had been turned over to cyber crimes.  Worried that nothing would come of the investigation, he went to GOP Congressman David Reichert, who went to Eric Cantor.
The whistle-blower himself has been investigated for sending shirtless pictures of himself to Jill Kelley at some point before the Petraeus investigation.





Did Mitt Know But Not Obama?

It seems as if but for the FBI whistle-blower who went to GOP Congressman Dave Reichert, who in turn went to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, David Petraeus might still be Director of the CIA.

The story raises questions not just of who knew what when, but who didnt know and who should have known, of why choices were made to tell certain people, but not others.

Why did Reichert go to Cantor and not Speaker of the House John Boehner?  Why didn’t Cantor go to his boss Boehner and/or the intelligence committee?

Cantor says that he didn’t tell anyone other than FBI Director Mueller.  Of course, Mueller already knew, but now he had to deal with the fact that the super-ambitious Cantor — who wishes neither Boehner nor Obama well — also knew and could speak publicly at any time.

But did Cantor tell anyone at Mitt’s campaign?  Could it be that Mitt knew before Obama did?  And given that Eric Holder knew last summer, is it possible that no one at the White House knew?  Did the knowledge go up from Mueller to Holder and stop there?

GOP officials and conservative media have been questioning the timing of the release right after the election and right before Petraeus was to testify to Congress about Benghazi.

Release before the election wouldn’t have helped Mitt, it would have just taken more attention away from Mitt’s campaign.  Petraeus was popular among Republicans, so a scandal involving him wouldn’t have tainted Obama, the way a scandal involving a more equivocal figure, say Eric Holder, would have.

As for Benghazi, there’s no reason Petraeus can’t still testify, and I expect he will, just not this week.

The story also raises questions of when a whistle-blower is truly a whistle-blower and when he or she is just being insubordinate and “going rogue” by refusing to accept a superior’s reasonable judgment.   I’m not sure that this person uncovered any corruption or criminal activity that justified going outside normal channels to Cantor.

I think the FBI had concluded that Petraeus hadn’t breached national security and hadn’t committed any crime, so they were going to leave him alone.  Enter the whistle-blower and Eric Cantor.