House Republicans were scheduled to meet behind closed doors [Thursday] to choose their nominee to replace John Boehner as speaker of the House. Daniel Webster of Florida and Jason Chaffetz of Utah had declared, as had House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
[Wednesday], former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Speaker Newt Gingrich endorsed McCarthy, who was widely expected to emerge as the caucus nominee.
But just before [Thursday’s] meeting began, McCarthy suddenly dropped out of the race. As a result, the GOP caucus vote was called off.
A week ago, I called on McCarthy to drop out after his incredibly careless remarks about the Benghazi committee. His comments clearly damaged the committee’s reputation, and caused Rep. Jason Chaffetz to jump into the speaker’s race. But why did McCarthy wait until the 11th hour to get out?
Whatever the explanation, McCarthy made the right call [Thursday]. Now it remains to be seen if the GOP will select a speaker who will seriously challenge the status quo in Washington.
House To Probe Planned Parenthood
The House voted [Wednesday] to establish a select committee charged with investigating Planned Parenthood. The vote comes in response to the national outrage over the series of undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s barbaric trafficking in baby body parts.
Many conservatives were disappointed by a recent oversight hearing that focused almost exclusively on Planned Parenthood’s finances. The select committee’s work should be very different. It is specifically charged with investigating:
- The procedures and business practices used in fetal tissue procurement;
- Taxpayer funding of abortion providers;
- Late-term abortion procedures that may result in a child being born alive; and
- What, if anything, abortion clinics would do in such circumstances.
We will keep you posted on the important work of this new committee.
Investigating The Intel
House and Senate Intelligence Committees have launched investigations into what the Obama administration knew about Russia’s aggressive buildup in Syria.
Reuters reports that senior members of Congress are stunned that administration officials and those in the intelligence bureaucracy “were slow to grasp the scope and intention of Russia’s dramatic military offensive."
This is relevant for two reasons.
Last month I told you that dozens of intelligence analysts were accusing the administration of manipulating intelligence data on ISIS in order to "adhere to the administration’s public line that the U.S. is winning the battle against ISIS” and Al Qaeda.
But, more importantly, consider the ramifications of monitoring Iran’s compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal. We know the regime routinely cheats on existing sanctions agreements.
In many cases, Obama turned a blind eye to Iran’s violations, and his only response to concerns about future Iranian cheating is “trust me.”
What Are The Odds?
* It was very frustrating watching the left spin its own narrative after last week’s shooting at an Oregon community college. The left-wing media tried to downplay the fact that the shooter targeted Christians.
Only a few outlets reported that one of the shooter’s social media friends was a radical Islamist. Even fewer noted that one of the students at the college was Alek Skarlatos, one of three American heroes who prevented a jihadist from massacring scores of people on a Paris train.
Now comes the bizarre news that Spencer Stone, another of the three Paris train heroes, was stabbed repeatedly in Sacramento [Wednesday] night. Stone is in critical condition, and expected to survive.
Authorities say the attack was “happenstance.” But given the world in which we live, this odd coincidence certainly raises questions.