Jonathan Gruber grilled by Congress over Obamacare

During his testimony today at a House hearing, Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber essentially admitted that not calling the individual mandate penalties a tax was a trick by the Obama administration and the Democrats in order to get the law passed.

Below the fold I also include a video excerpt of Congressman Trey Gowdy’s questioning of Gruber today. It is high entertainment as Gowdy easily highlights the dishonesty of Gruber and the Obama administration in its writing and passing of Obamacare. However, it is important to stay with the clip to the very end, when Chairman Darrell Issa proves with one simple question how Gruber was not alone in his contempt for the American voter, and that this contempt was held by everyone at every intellectual conference Gruber attended and spoke at.

It is very important for the American public to be aware of this intellectual contempt, for it will tell them to stop listening to this intellectual elite. They are not trustworthy, and are willing to screw the general public in order to impose their will on everyone.
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White House defies House subpoena

Claiming that White House officials have absolute immunity from testifying to Congress, the administration today ignored a subpoena issued by a House committee investigating violations of the Hatch act.

The White House warned Issa late Tuesday that David Simas, director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, would not be appearing. White House Counsel Neil Eggleston wrote that Simas is “immune” from any effort by Congress to compel him to testify. “[T]he committee’s effort to compel Mr. Simas’s testimony threatens longstanding interests of the Executive Branch in preserving the president’s independence and autonomy, as well as his ability to obtain candid advice and counsel to aid him in the discharge of his constitutional duties,” Eggleston wrote. “In light of those principles… Mr. Simas is immune from congressional compulsion to testify on matters relating to his official duties and will not appear at the July 16, 2014 hearing.”

Issa said late Tuesday that he would hold the hearing in the hopes that Simas would appear, and when the hearing started Wednesday morning, Simas was not there. Issa started the hearing by saying he received Eggleston’s “deeply disturbing” letter late Tuesday night, and argued that this decision goes against court rulings that say White House officials are not immune from having to appear before Congress. “A federal judge wrote that senior advisers to the president of the United States are ‘not absolutely immune from congressional process,’ ” Issa said.

Why am I so strongly reminded of Richard Nixon and his claim of executive privilege to prevent his subordinates from being questioned by Congress? As Issa notes correctly, the courts ruled against Nixon, and we eventually found out that executive privilege was merely Nixon’s way of stonewalling the investigation. I suspect this is Obama’s sole reason now for stonewalling.

“The implication that Mr. Cunningham may have engaged in criminal conduct with respect to Fast and Furious is a major escalation of the Department’s culpability.”

“The implication that Mr. Cunningham may have engaged in criminal conduct with respect to Fast and Furious is a major escalation of the Department’s culpability.”

Mr. Cunningham is a Department of Justice lawyer. The “Department” is the Department of Justice itself. And “Fast and Furious” was the Obama administration’s project to allow about 2000 guns to be smuggled illegally into Mexico, for reasons that remain inexplicable.

Though Cunningham has the right to take the fifth, it should immediately disqualify him from his job, and the Obama administration should fire him. That they don’t tells us a lot about their own culpability in the Fast and Furious gun smuggling scandal. As Issa wrote in his letter to Eric Holder on Tuesday,

Mr. Cunningham’s broad assertion of his Fifth Amendment privilege raises the specter that the Department has allowed him to continue in his position as Chief of the Criminal Division knowing that he might have criminal culpability himself.

You can read Darrell Issa’s (R-California) full letter to Eric Holder here. [pdf]