UPDATE: UKIP's Nigel Farage said that Obama getting involved in the Brexit referendum gave the "Leave" camp a big boost (via The Hill):
“Threatening people too much insults their intelligence,” the United Kingdom Independence Party head said.
“A lot of people in Britain said, ‘How dare the American president come here and tell us what to do?’ ” Farage continued on Sirius XM’s “Breitbart News Daily,” citing Obama’s U.K. trip in April.
“It backfired. We got an Obama-Brexit bounce, because people do not want foreign leaders telling them how to think and vote.”
Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch cited President Obama sticking his beak in a British issue over the then-looming vote over whether the nation would remain in the European Union. Yesterday Britain made their choice known: they want out. And Mensch noted that once Obama decided to overreach and tell British voters that they should remain in the EU, support for the Leave camp increased. In the end, it seems to have been a contributing factor in the UK’s decision to say goodbye to the massive political project, long criticized, among other things, for usurping sovereignty among its member nations.
That point was referenced during the coverage of the vote last night by Fox Business’ Stuart Varney, who said that President Obama planned on calling Prime Minister David Cameron at some point today over the results, quipping that he’s probably going to apologize for “ruining the vote.”
In short, one could argue that Obama stepped in it—and it’s not the first time the president’s mouth has cost him or his allies politically. This is one of many failures brought on by Obama’s arrogance that his learned diction can sway minds. It certainly hasn’t worked on the Russians, who view him (rightly) as a lightweight. That’s how they’re able to buzz our warships with fighter jets and annex Crimea from Ukraine. It’s how Syria is still a mess. It’s how the security concerns over absorbing 10,000 Syrian refugees, some of which could be infiltrated by ISIS, haven’t subsided.
As I mentioned in a previous post on Obama and Brexit, the most thorough takedown of Obama’s false power of speech came from conservative commentator George Will, who said in 2011:
“He [Obama] went to Massachusetts to campaign against Scott Brown; Brown is now a senator. He went to New Jersey to campaign against Chris Christie, who is now governor. He went to Virginia to campaign against Bob McDonnell, who is now governor. He campaigned for the health care plan extensively; it became less popular. He campaigned in 2010 for the Democrats; they were shellacked. He began, in a sense, his presidency flying to Copenhagen to get Chicago the Olympics, Chicago is the first city eliminated. There is no evidence that the man has rhetorical powers that he’s relying on.”
Now, we can add Brexit to the list, and it’s a mighty consequential failure; one that is going to impact a whole generation of British citizens. For Obama, it’s just another failure. For Cameron, it could be the end of his political career.
In 1985 the European Union ratified the Schengen Agreement, allowing citizens of most countries within the EU to travel across borders without a passport check. This is commonly referred to as "free movement." Some background:
The Schengen Agreement abolished many of the EU's internal borders, enabling passport-free movement across most of the bloc.
Schengen is often criticised by nationalists and Eurosceptics who say it is an open door for migrants and criminals.
The 13 November Paris attacks, which killed 130 people, prompted an urgent rethink of the Schengen agreement.
There was alarm that killers had so easily slipped into Paris from Belgium, and that some had entered the EU with crowds of migrants via Greece.
In 2015, the influx of more than a million migrants - many of them Syrian refugees - also greatly increased the pressure on politicians, and one after another, EU states re-imposed temporary border controls.
But like most open border policies, the Schengen Agreement has been a disaster for Europe and controlling illegal immigration from North Africa and the Middle East, overwhelming the continent. Recently, the unprecedented refugee crisis from Iraq and Syria has put European leaders welcoming them under heavy pressure and scrutiny. As Germany and Sweden continue to rack up rape statistics, citizens are becoming rightly intolerant of open border, zero-questions asked immigration policies.
If any one person drove the United Kingdom out of the European Union, it was Angela Merkel, and her impulsive solo decision in the summer of 2015 to throw open Germany—and then all Europe—to 1.1 million Middle Eastern and North African migrants, with uncountable millions more to come. Merkel’s catastrophically negative example is one that perhaps should be avoided by U.S. politicians who seek to avert Trump-style populism in the United States. Instead, the politician who most directly opposes Donald Trump—presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton—is doubling down on Merkelism.
Borders and sovereignty matter. As other countries consider leaving the EU now that Britain has led the way, they'll also consider taking their borders, sovereignty and safety back from the bureaucrats in Brussels.
The House GOP has been busy in the past six months. Not only did they reveal their long-awaited Obamacare alternative on Thursday, but on Friday morning conservative lawmakers unveiled their plan for tax reform.
“I am sick of seeing businesses leave America," said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Capitol Hill. “All Obama does is criticize businesses as they go out the door.”
The GOP’s new tax plan, Scalise continued, reorganizes the tax code and makes it easier for families to save for the future.
Most importantly, it will “rein in the IRS and put power back in hands of families.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who used to chair the House Ways and Means Committee, said he was “so proud” of his colleagues' hard work over the past half year. He offered a few more specifics about the GOP agenda.
Their plan will bring tax brackets down from seven to three, lower rates, bring the top rate down to 33 percent, close special interest loopholes, etc.
It will be so simple that “the average American can do their taxes on a postcard,” he pledged.
“We want a tax code that works for taxpayers, not tax collectors."
Moreover, their plan cuts taxes for businesses and lowers the top tax rate to 25 percent.
In other words, less punishment, more reward for American entrepreneurs.
The IRS was a particular target of their tax plan, particularly after the agency intentionally made life extremely difficult for hundreds of conservative groups trying to get tax-exempt status. The rampant bias within the agency prompted Congress to call for the impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
“The IRS needs to get its act together,” Ryan said.
They are going to overhaul the agency, install a new commissioner, clear out the bureaucracy and "give taxpayers the privacy they deserve," he insisted.
In the early hours of Friday morning, just hours after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, Donald Trump gave a press conference from his private golf course in Scotland praising the decision.
"People are angry all over the world. They're angry over borders, they're angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are."
"They're angry about many, many things in the U.K., the U.S. and many other places. This will not be the last," he said while taking questions.
In a written statement, Trump reminded the international world the importance of sovereignty.
The people of the United Kingdom have exercised the sacred right of all free peoples. They have declared their independence from the European Union, and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy...
Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence...
The Republican nominee also posted a number of tweets expressing similarities between his campaign and Great Britain's decisions.
Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2016
Self-determination is the sacred right of all free people's, and the people of the UK have exercised that right for all the world to see.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2016
America is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder w/a free & ind UK. We stand together as friends, as allies, & as a people w/a shared history.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2016
It's been an exceptionally busy news week, but this story warrants significant coverage, as it brings to light yet another national security-endangering consequence of Hillary Clinton's improper email scheme. As you already know, Sec. Clinton was personally and specifically warned in 2009 and 2011 about the serious IT security risks her unsecure set-up posed. She acknowledged these concerns, then did nothing. Now the Associated Press reports that technical difficulties plaguing her server in 2010 resulted in the State Department temporarily reducing and disabling its official system's anti-hacking protective measures as a work-around. Extraordinary:
State Department staffers wrestled for weeks in December 2010 over a serious technical problem that affected emails from then-Secretary Hillary Clinton's home email server, causing them to temporarily disable security features on the government's own systems, according to emails released Wednesday. The emails were released under court order Wednesday to the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch, which has sued the State Department over access to public records related to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's service as the nation's top diplomat between 2009 and 2013. The emails, reviewed by The Associated Press, show that State Department technical staff disabled software on their systems intended to block phishing emails that could deliver dangerous viruses. They were trying urgently to resolve delivery problems with emails sent from Clinton's private server.
"This should trump all other activities," a senior technical official, Ken LaVolpe, told IT employees in a Dec. 17, 2010, email. Another senior State Department official, Thomas W. Lawrence, wrote days later in an email that deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin personally was asking for an update about the repairs. Abedin and Clinton, who both used Clinton's private server, had complained that emails each sent to State Department employees were not being reliably received...After technical staffers turned off some security features, Lawrence cautioned in an email, "We view this as a Band-Aid and fear it's not 100 percent fully effective."
In other words, in order to accommodate her not-allowed, malfunctioning arrangement, State deliberately placed its secure system at risk. It's indefensible. And it also exposes another major lie from Clinton, who's sworn under oath that she turned over all work-related emails as required. This was already a known lie, but this week's additional revelation helps illustrate how deep that lie was:
Former Secretary Hillary Clinton failed to turn over a copy of a key message involving problems caused by her use of a private homebrew email server, the State Department confirmed Thursday. The disclosure makes it unclear what other work-related emails may have been deleted by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. The email was not among the tens of thousands of emails Clinton turned over to the agency in response to public records lawsuits seeking copies of her official correspondence. Abedin provided a copy from her own inbox after the State Department asked her to return any work-related emails. That copy of the email was publicly cited last month in a blistering audit by the State Department's inspector general that concluded Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup violated federal standards and could have left sensitive material vulnerable to hackers.
The Clinton campaign declined to comment, but the AP mentions her team's repeated assertions that the server was never breached. First of all, multiple credible, serious former and current Obama administration officials strongly disagree -- and it stands to reason: If sophisticated Russian hackers are breaking into the DNC, and the Chinese penetrated our OPM records, any intelligence service in the world should have been able to access Hillary's woefully-unprotected (and for a time, totally unencrypted) email server. Which, I'll add, contained thousands of classified emails, including top secret-and-above material. Second, not a single email scandal claim made by Clintonworld should be taken seriously. Not one. Meanwhile, the administrator of her bootleg server pleaded the fifth 125 times at a deposition this week. A taste of how totally uncooperative and non-compliant he was during questioning:
This is deposition is surreal. pic.twitter.com/blAireM4yO— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) June 23, 2016
Pags again takes the fifth on whether he has seen the document sitting right in front of him. pic.twitter.com/ESk17TM3WM— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) June 23, 2016
The fifth amendment -- coincidentally under assault this week from posturing, hysterical Democrats -- ensures the right of an accused to party to not make self-incriminating statements. In this case, such statements apparently include such damning admissions as "yes, I have seen Cheryl Mills." Perhaps Magliano's lawyers advised him to stonewall every single question from the Judicial Watch attorney because any other strategy might risk compromising a plea deal reached with federal investigators? I'll add this: Donald Trump's penchant toward conspiracy-mongering is very troubling, but one of his least preposterous theories is that Bernie Sanders may be hanging around without conceding just in case this stream of dropping shoes eventually leads to a criminal prosecution. "It doesn't appear that I'm going to be the nominee," he said on Wednesday, yet he remains in the race. And why not hedge your bets, even if you publicly profess to be uninterested in the "damn emails"? I'll leave you with this reiteration of a crucial point above:
Hillary swore under oath that she turned over all work-related emails to State Dep't. A lie:https://t.co/j79qHU22Pi— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) June 23, 2016
President Obama, who was recently in the UK lecturing the people to stay in the European Union, has released a statement after the Brexit victory.
"The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy. So too is our relationship with the European Union, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond," Obama said. "The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world."
UPDATE: Joe Biden says they would have "preferred a different outcome."
"We preferred a different outcome. And I imagine many of you here felt the same way. But as the United States, having a long-standing friendship with the United Kingdom, one of the world’s great democracies, we fully respect the decision they have made," Biden said during a speech at Dublin's Trinity College Friday. "America’s special bond with the United Kingdom runs deep and it will endure."
UPDATE: Via the UK’s Express, Denmark and Italy have joined a chorus of nations pondering their own referendums. In Italy, Luigi Di Maio, vice president of the Chamber of Deputies, wants a vote on whether Italy should remain using the Euro. In Denmark, the leader of the Danish People’s Party said that his country should follow Britain with a Brexit-like referendum. The publication added that Sweden’s state secretary, Irene Wennemo, said that should Denmark move forward with a referendum on the EU, than “anti-EU sentiment could spread through Scandinavia and raise the possibility of a vote in Sweden.”
As Cortney wrote last night, the United Kingdom has filed for divorce from the European Union. Some are calling this the end of the massive decades-long political project that has bedeviled UK conservatives. These Eurosceptic tendencies within the Conservative Party was explicitly shown under the government of then-Prime Minister John Major when the Treaty of Maastricht, which established the European Union proper, was debated in the early 1990s. The division partially led to the destruction of Major’s government, paving way for Tony Blair to score a landslide victory in 1997.
Yet, before we hold a funeral for the European Union, other states have to follow. There are reports that politicians in the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Germany have made their voices know about leaving the European Union. On the UK’s domestic front, Ireland’s Sinn Fein demanded a vote on Irish reunification, saying that UK’s exit from the EU has erased the nation’s mandate on guiding the socioeconomic destiny of Northern Ireland, according to ITV News.
BREAKING: Dutch Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders calls for Dutch EU referendum after Brexit— BNO News (@BNONews) June 24, 2016
ITV now reporting that Sinn Fein calling for new vote on united Ireland. Brexiters were adamant that this wouldn't happen.— Simon Nixon (@Simon_Nixon) June 24, 2016
#Brexit isn’t the end, it’s the beginning.— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) June 24, 2016
Look for similar uprisings from the people of Germany, France, and Italy.
Several politicians in Germany, France, Spain & Netherlands have been more vocal than Britain's in wanting to leave the EU. #brexit— Anirvan Ghosh (@anirvanghosh) June 24, 2016
Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders already calling for referenda in France and the Netherlands respectively. Future of the EU is at stake.— Chris Morris (@BBCChrisMorris) June 24, 2016
In France, National Front Leader Marine Le Pen said that the UK’s referendum showed that the EU was in a state of “decay,” and that she would push to hold a referendum vote for France. In the meantime, her niece tweeted congratulations to their neighbor across the channel.
It could be that the UK is clearing the way for the end of the EU. Let’s see what happens.
They may be in disagreement over a number of issues, but at the end of the day, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday morning that he will cast his vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November.
“Yes,” he said when asked on MSNBC whether he’d vote for the former secretary of state. “Yeah, I think the issue right here is, I’m going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump."
“I think Trump, in so many ways, will be a disaster for this country if he were to be elected president,” he added.
Sanders said he didn’t want to “parse words right now” when asked whether his vote would be for Clinton or against Trump.
“What I am trying to do right now is to make sure that the Democratic Party becomes a party that represents working people, not Wall Street, that is prepared to have an agenda that speaks to the need of creating millions of jobs, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, dealing with climate change, dealing with pay equity,” he said.
Sanders said he’s “pretty good in arithmetic” and knows Clinton has more delegates. But he noted he's he’s bringing 1,900 delegates into the Democratic National Convention. He said his goal is to reinvigorate the party, bring in "new blood" and have a party that represents working people.
He also explained why he’s not dropping out if he’s saying he’ll vote for Clinton.
“Why would I want to do that when I want to fight to make sure that we have the best platform that we possibly can, that we win the most delegates that we can and that we transform — the goal of our campaign was to transform this nation,” he said.
Many feared if the UK voted to leave the European Union it would signal the end of the EU as we know it. Now that the votes have been cast in favor of leaving, it looks like that may be the case, as leaders in other European nations are now calling for referendums of their own.
France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen said the French must now also have the right to choose.
Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders said the Netherlands deserved a "Nexit" vote while Italy's Northern League said: "Now it's our turn". […]
The European parliament has called a special session for next Tuesday.
Analysts say EU politicians will fear a domino effect from Brexit that could threaten the whole organisation. […]
The EU worries Brexit could reverse 70 years of European integration.
In all my years watching European politics, I have never seen such a widespread sense of Euroscepticism.
Plenty of Europeans looked on with envy as Britain cast its In/Out vote. Many of the complaints about the EU raised by the Leave campaign resonated with voters across the continent.
Across Europe leading Eurosceptic politicians queued up this morning to crow about the UK referendum result.
But the mood in Brussels is deeply gloomy. The Brexit vote sends screaming alarm bells, warning that the EU in its current form isn't working.
"Victory for freedom,” Le Pen tweeted after the results came out. “As I've been saying for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and other EU countries."
Last week she said the EU was to blame for high unemployment and failing to stop the influx of “smugglers, terrorists, and economic migrants.”
Wilders was in agreement.
"We want to be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders, and our own immigration policy,” he said in a statement. "As quickly as possible the Dutch need to get the opportunity to have their say about Dutch membership of the European Union."
Political leaders of opposition parties in Italy, Sweden, Germany, and other European countries are saying much the same.
Based on an IPSOS poll from May, it looks like a handful of EU countries may actually be ready to hold a similar referendum.
ICYMI: A Federal Judge Reeled In The Obama White House, Striking Down Regulations On Fracking | Matt Vespa