Friday, May 31, 2013

Axelrod: Hey, Holder was just “carrying out his responsibilities” in naming Rosen as potential spy

Just wow...

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Former IRS Commissioner: I Only Went to White House Once

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"Former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman’s 157 White House visits is an “unusual fact pattern,” according to another former commissioner of the agency.

“I only went over there, to my recollection, once on a policy matter,” Mark Everson, who served from 2003 to 2007, told Bill O’Reilly last night. (He explained that it was an interagency policy meeting on immigration reform.)

Although Everson said Shulman probably would have had more reasons to go to the White House because of the IRS’s role in implementing the Affordable Care Act, he still found the frequency of Shulman’s visits, from 2008 to 2012, surprising, especially given that it was even higher than the secretaries of state and defense. “That’s an unusual fact pattern,” Everson chuckled."

88 IRS employees Identified in the scandal ... So Far

A few bad apples...

"The Internal Revenue Service has told House GOP investigators they have identified 88 IRS employees who may have documents relevant to the congressional investigation into targeting of conservative groups, according to a congressional source familiar with the investigation.

The IRS asked these employees to preserve all the "responsive documents" on their computers, and it has been in the process of collecting it all to comply with congressional requests for information. The IRS missed its May 21st deadline to turn over documents to the House Ways and Means Committee."

Game of Thrones' Economics: Auburn University's Matthew McCaffrey says it's not all Fantasy

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Bloomy May Destroy Business for Selling Gun-Shaped Lighters

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

House Judiciary Committee opens formal perjury investigation into Holder testimony

"Eric Holder may face an uphill battle in his charm offensive with the media. He’s already failing miserably on Capitol Hill. Today the House Judiciary Committee opened a formal investigation into Holder’s testimony last week to determine if the Attorney General committed perjury:

The top two Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday formally initiated an investigation into whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his May 15 testimony on the Justice Department’s (DOJ) surveillance of reporters.

Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the chairman of the subcommittee on investigations, sent a letter to Holder detailing specific aspects of his testimony that they say conflicts with subsequent media reports.
The letter demands specific answers to questions raised by later revelations that, despite his protests to the contrary, Holder not only knew about Department of Justice efforts to accuse reporters of crimes under the Espionage Act of 1917, he personally approved the warrant that made the claim:

“How can you claim to have never been involved in the potential prosecution of a member of the media but you were admittedly involved in discussions regarding Mr. Rosen’s email?,” the letter asks. “How can you claim to have never even heard of the potential prosecution of the press but were, at a minimum, involved in discussions regarding Mr. Rosen?”
Good questions, and the Judiciary Committee could go even farther. Holder’s signature appears on the Rosen warrant, which documents his involvement in the case despite his denial of knowledge of these efforts."

Juan Williams defends Eric Holder on behalf of ‘real journalists’

One of a select few still backing Holder. The logic of the defense is not quite there, but in all fairness there is not much of a case to defend him.

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IRS higher-ups requested info on conservative groups, letters show

A few people in Cincinnati, sure...

"Additional scrutiny of conservative organizations’ activities by the IRS did not solely originate in the agency’s Cincinnati office, with requests for information coming from other offices and often bearing the signatures of higher-ups at the agency, according to attorneys representing some of the targeted groups. At least one letter requesting information about one of the groups bears the signature of Lois Lerner, the suspended director of the IRS Exempt Organizations department in Washington.

Jay Sekulow, an attorney representing 27 conservative political advocacy organizations that applied to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status, provided some of the letters to NBC News. He said the groups’ contacts with the IRS prove that the practices went beyond a few “front line” employees in the Cincinnati office, as the IRS has maintained.

“We've dealt with 15 agents, including tax law specialists -- that's lawyers -- from four different offices, including (the) Treasury (Department) in Washington, D.C.,” Sekulow said. “So the idea that this is a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati is not correct.”

Among the letters were several that bore return IRS addresses other than Cincinnati, including "Department of the Treasury / Internal Revenue Service / Washington, D.C.," and the signatures of IRS officials higher up the chain. Two letters with "Department of the Treasury / Internal Revenue Service / Washington, D.C." letterhead were signed by "Tax Law Specialist(s)" from Exempt Organizations Technical Group 1 and Technical Group 2. Lerner’s signature, which appeared to be a stamp rather than an actual signature, appeared on a letter requesting additional information from the Ohio Liberty Council Corp."

People Sign "Thank You" Card to IRS for Targeting Conservatives

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Carney: W.H. Satisfied With IRS Response to Scandal Questions

That makes one of us...

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Who Decides How You Die? Inside Montana's Assisted Suicide Fight

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Nixon and Obama: Like brothers from another mother

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DHS Accosts @Project_Veritas after exposing CA Assemblyman 'Homeless Bill of Rights' Hypocrisy

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

This year I want to end Memorial Day with the simple thought that you do not have to wait for Memorial Day to take a second to think about all of the people who made the ultimate sacrifices so you can write what you want to and read what you want to; so you can live your life in the way you see fit and not at the whims of some foreign despot.

Durbin (D) wonders: Does First Amendment apply to bloggers, Twitter?

Yes ... Obviously.

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"Here’s what the First Amendment actually says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Press at the time would certainly have meant newspapers, which were the high-tech information revolution of the day. It would also have included pamphleteers, perhaps even more than newspapers, as pamphleteers helped drive revolutionary sentiment. Their modern-day analogs would arguable be bloggers and Twitter users, those who reported news and proclaimed opinions outside of the establishment press.

However, Durbin’s asking the wrong question. The question isn’t who gets protected, but what. Journalism is not an identity or a guild, but an action and a process — and anyone engaged in that activity must be treated equally before the law. A shield law based on membership via employment in privileged workplaces or certified by guilds doesn’t protect journalism, it becomes rent-seeking behavior that ensures that only the large players get protected, as I wrote ten days ago.

Durbin’s question isn’t even the biggest non-sequitur in this argument. The biggest non-sequitur is the shield law itself, which wouldn’t have even addressed the Rosen or AP situation. And considering that the Obama administration ignored existing statutes in both cases, why should we believe they would obey a shield law when it got in their way?"

News Corp. Says It Was Not Told of Subpoena for Reporter’s Phone Records

Nice try...

"News Corporation said on Sunday that it had no record of being notified by the Justice Department nearly three years ago of a subpoena for the telephone records of a reporter at its Fox News cable channel.

The company’s chief legal counsel at the time also said that he had never seen material from the government related to the subpoena.

The Justice Department has signaled that it notified News Corporation on Aug. 27, 2010, that it had seized the phone records of a Fox News reporter — who turned out to be the Washington correspondent James Rosen — after one of his articles had included details of a secret United States report on North Korea."

Sex in Arab World, Drug Courts, Real Jackie Robinson

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Ted Cruz (R) at Hillsdale: “Economic freedom and the prosperity it generates reduces poverty like nothing else”

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Hume (Fox News) - 'Holder Investigation: 'Howling Conflict of Interest''

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

How Property Rights Can Solve the ''Oil Curse''

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French Soldier Stabbed Outside of Paris

A copy cat of the London attack?

"A French soldier patrolling a business neighborhood west of Paris was stabbed in the neck and injured on Saturday by a man who fled the scene and is being sought by police, President Francois Hollande said.

The 23-year-old was patrolling in uniform with two other soldiers as part of France's Vigipirate anti-terror surveillance plan when he was approached from behind around 6 p.m. and attacked with a knife or a box-cutter.

A police union spokesman said surveillance footage of the attacker showed him as tall and bearded, aged about 35, possibly of North African origin and wearing a white Arab-style tunic."

Reason-Rupe Poll: Congress Should Cut Spending, Forget Gun Control; 20% Are Libertarian in Outlook.

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Jesus vs. Muhammad!! (Qur'an Challenge II)

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Julian Sanchez discusses the AP scandal on C-SPAN's Washington Journal

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Eric Holder caught lie in Congressional testimony under oath?

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"As it turns out, Holder not only heard of it, he personally approved it. The warrant in the Rosen case specified that he was considered a potential suspect in the leak of classified material, the reason that the DoJ didn’t bother to follow the existing Watergate-era statute in coordinating the records request with Fox News. And note that Holder’s testimony in this case wasn’t produced by some sophisticated perjury trap sprung by a Republican, but as a freely-offered representation to no particular question during the question period of a Democrat.

There is no other way to view this except as a lie. Even if Holder wasn’t under oath, that would constitute a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. It certainly should produce at least a resignation, and almost assuredly would require the appointment of a special prosecutor, especially since the next person down in the organization, James Cole, is suspected of doing the same thing with reporters."

Lois Lerner Directly Involved in IRS Targeting, Letters Show

So that is what they meant by low level employees...

"A series of letters suggests that senior IRS official Lois Lerner was directly involved in the agency’s targeting of conservative groups as recently as April 2012, more than nine months after she first learned of the activity.

Lerner, the director of the IRS exempt organizations office in Washington, D.C., signed cover letters to 15 conservative organizations currently represented by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) between in March and April of 2012. The letters, such as this one sent to the Ohio Liberty Council on March 16, 2012, informed the groups applying for tax-exempt status that the IRS was “unable to make a final determination on your exempt status without additional information,” and included a list of detailed questions of the kind that a Treasury inspector general’s audit found to be inappropriate. Some of the groups to which Lerner sent letters are still awaiting approval.

Lerner has denied involvement in the targeting, which she has blamed on a few “front-line people” in the agency’s Cincinnati field office. “I have not done anything wrong,” she told members of the House oversight committee on Wednesday. However, she then refused to answer any questions, citing protection under the Fifth Amendment. She has since been placed on (paid) administrative leave, and the committee may call her to testify again.

“One thing is clear: this correspondence shows [Lerner’s] direct involvement in the scheme,” wrote Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the ACLJ. “Further, sending a letter from the top person in the IRS Exempt Organization division to a small Tea Party group also underscores the intimidation used in this targeting ploy.”"

MSNBC consensus: Obama’s speech was historic, amazing, “one of the best of his presidency”

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Real People

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Forget Angelina Jolie: How Obamacare Endangers Your Breasts

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Obama Admin. Does 'Reich' Thing by Deporting Religious Refugees

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Federal Reserve, the Centennial Monetary Commission, and the Sound Dollar Act (Rep. Kevin Brady)

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WikiLeaks, Assange & the End of Secrecy: Alex Gibney on "We Steal Secrets"

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Insurers feel pressure from health group with ties to White House

A major scandal that is just getting crowded out by bigger scandals.

"The links between a nonprofit promoting President Obama’s healthcare law and the White House have created an “air of expectation” that insurers will contribute to the group, according to an insurance industry official.

Current and former administration officials have taken on leadership and fundraising roles for Enroll America, a nonprofit aiming to make sure people sign up for new coverage options. As the ties grow deeper, the organization has come to feel like “just an arm of the administration,” said one official who works closely with insurers.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has already come under fire from congressional Republicans because she has raised money for the organization.

They say it puts inappropriate pressure on insurers, who will need the department’s approval to sell their products through a federally run insurance exchange in more than half the country.
In addition to Sebelius’s involvement, Obama himself made a vague but personal appeal for a close partnership with insurers, which some in the industry saw as a precursor to direct fundraising pitches.

Several industry sources also believe the White House orchestrated a recent leadership change in which a former administration official took the reins of Enroll America. The group’s chairman disputed that account.

At the beginning of this year, Anne Filipic left the White House Office of Public Engagement to become president of Enroll America.
Officials in the insurance industry believe the White House pushed for the change, fearing that the group’s origins in political advocacy were not ideally suited to the massive and focused enrollment campaign."

Boehner (R): “Inconceivable” that Obama didn’t know about IRS abuse

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Lois Lerner(IRS director of tax exempt organizations) placed on administrative leave

Administrative leave, or paid vacation without using her vacation days...

"Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service’s director of exempt organizations, has been placed on administrative leave, according to a source in the agency’s Cincinnati office.

Lerner on Thursday afternoon sent an e-mail to employees in the exempt-organizations division she oversees stating, “Due to the events of recent days, I am on administrative leave starting today. An announcement will be made shortly informing you who will be acting while I am on administrative leave. I know all of you will continue to support EO’s mission during these difficult times.” She concluded, “I thank you for all your hard work and dedication,” adding, “The work you do is important.”"

Holder OK'd search warrant for Fox News reporter's private emails

This goes to the top...

"Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday.

The disclosure of the attorney general’s role came as President Barack Obama, in a major speech on his counterterrorism policy, said Holder had agreed to review Justice Department guidelines governing investigations that involve journalists.

"I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable," Obama said. "Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs."

Rosen, who has not been charged in the case, was nonetheless the target of a search warrant that enabled Justice Department investigators to secretly seize his private emails after an FBI agent said he had "asked, solicited and encouraged … (a source) to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information." "

Schumer (D) and Franken (D) scurry from questions about IRS scandal

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3 More Reasons to Fear the IRS

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Terrorists Behead British Soldier in London, In Broad Daylight

Just incredible...

"Clutching a bloodied meat cleaver after executing a soldier on a crowded street, he delivers a chilling message of hate.

‘You people will never be safe,’ he declares in a clear south London accent. ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’

In broad daylight, he and an accomplice had just repeatedly stabbed and tried to behead an off-duty soldier in front of dozens of passers-by.

Throughout the frenzied attack they shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ – Arabic for ‘God is great’ – then demanded horrified witnesses film them as they ranted over the crumpled body.

The two black men in their 20s, waited calmly for armed police to arrive before charging at officers brandishing a rusty revolver, knives and meat cleavers.

IRS IG report was originally supposed to be released last September?

They could not have this kind of information being released before the election...

"Issa himself said a few days ago that he knew last year “approximately” what would be in the report, but it’s one thing to think you know based on a leak and another for the IG to confirm it with an update. Here’s the real question: Why was George, the IG, reluctant to release “incremental information” when the IRS itself had concluded in May 2012 that its anti-conservative criteria for tax-exempt orgs were FUBAR? Didn’t his office specifically say they’d keep the committee updated? (“We would be happy to provide a status update to the Subcommittee staff and provide a copy of our interim and final reports on the matter when they are issued.”) More from Issa:

‘Just yesterday the committee interviewed Holly Paz, the director of exempt organizations, rulings and agreements, division of the IRS,’ Issa said. ‘While a tremendous amount of attention is centered about the Inspector General’s report, or investigation, the committee has learned from Ms. Paz that she in fact participated in an IRS internal investigation that concluded in May of 2012 – May 3 of 2012 – and found essentially the same thing that Mr. George found more than a year later.’

‘Think about it,’ he continued: ‘For more than a year, the IRS knew that it had inappropriately targeted groups of Americans based on their political beliefs, and without mentioning it, and in fact without honestly answering questions that were the result of this internal investigation.’
We already knew that, more or less, from the results of the IG report itself. Check the timeline on page 13. The media starts picking up reports of tea-party complaints in February 2012, and soon thereafter the director of the exempt organizations puts a halt to IRS demands for more intrusive info from conservative groups. Three months later, in May, they hold a “workshop” providing guidance on tax-exempt groups to its analysts and approv more neutral criteria for scrutinizing applications. That’s probably why Issa’s committee had an inkling at the time — because the IRS itself already knew it had done wrong and was moving to undo it to some extent. And yet no one, including the IG, felt moved to confirm for the committee until this month that yes, “mistakes were made” and it was now safe to tell the public that.

Chuck Todd (MSNBC) Rips Admin’s ‘Broad, Harassing’ Crackdown On Leaks: ‘They Want To Criminalize Journalism’

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Reality Check Exclusive: Cincinnati agent giving orders in IRS scandal?

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IRS official Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment, After on The Record Opening Statement (which may have waved her Fifth Amendment Right)

Alternative headline, IRS official says she did nothing wrong before invoking her right not to be forced to admit her wrongdoing.

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Dem Congressman compares IRS practices to Communist China, threatens ‘There will be hell to pay’

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Former IRS Commissioner Refuses To Say Whether Targeting Conservatives Is Against Democratic Values

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FBI agent shoots, kills Orlando man questioned in Boston bombing probe

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FOX 35 News Orlando

DOJ Grabbed James Rosen's (Fox News) Phone Records

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ObamaCare Will Disrupt Your Health Care and Your Life

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Oklahoma Tornado: A Sobering Moment for the Nation

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IRS, AP, Fox & Benghazi Scandals Prove the Extreme Corruption of the Obama Administration

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Tea Party Flash Mob!

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tea Party Protests IRS Offices Across the Country

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Brit Hume (Fox News) - 'Obama, Holder contradict themselves on press freedom with Rosen investigation'

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Rand Paul (R) - Why is Apple being hauled before Congress to explain its perfectly legal tax minimization scheme?'

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The Implications of the Expanding U.S. Drone Program (Spencer Ackerman)

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Carney - 'Asking about Sebelius fundraising for ObamaCare a lot like being a birther, or something'

This is a real scandel, one that is not getting a lot of play because of everything else going on, but if he wants to talk about it he is going to lose that debate.

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Sharyl Attkisson's (CBS) Computers Compromised

She does not say it, but brushes right up against it with a timeline that fits. The scandel grows...

"Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation.

"I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I'm not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I've been patient and methodical about this matter," Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. "I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public."

In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrustion, "there could be some relationship between these things and what's happened to James [Rosen]," the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009.

DOJ Tapped at Least Five Fox News Phone Numbers

Did Holder recuse himself on this as well. That is, recuse himself without remembering where, when or how (but not in writing)...

"The Obama Justice Department has seized the phone records of numbers that are associated with White House staffers and, apparently, with Fox News reporters, according to a document filed in the case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, on October 13, 2011. Kim is a former State Department contractor accused of violating the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking classified information to James Rosen, a Fox News reporter. Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who is prosecuting the case, has seized records associated with two phone numbers at the White House, at least five numbers associated with Fox News, and one that has the same area code and exchange as Rosen’s personal-cell-phone number (the last four numbers are redacted).

In all, Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, has seized records associated with over thirty different phone numbers. In the filing that included the new information, the last four digits of each telephone line targeted by the Obama Administration are redacted. Two of the numbers begin with area code 202 and the exchange 456, which, according to current and former Administration officials, are used exclusively by the White House. (The phone number for the White House switchboard is (202) 456-1414.)

At least five other numbers targeted by the government include the area code 202 and the exchange 824. The phone number for the Fox News Washington bureau, which is publicly available, is (202) 824-0001. Rosen’s work phone number at Fox News begins with the same area code and exchange.

William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney, told The New Yorker this afternoon, “Because that information is sealed, I can’t confirm the owner or subscriber for any of those records.” Asked if the phone numbers of any reporters had been targeted in the Kim investigation, Miller said he could not comment.

Head of IRS Tax-Exempt Division to Plead the Fifth?

In a court of law, you are not allowed to use the fact that someone is pleading the fifth; that is refusing to incriminate themselves, as evidence in and of itself that they are guilty of a crime. In the real world, there seems an implicit admission of wrongding, likley criminal wrong doing, in pleading the fifth.

"The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday afternoon that Lois Lerner, who heads up the Internal Revenue Service's tax-exempt division, plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in a hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs.

The Fifth Amendment provides that U.S. citizens may not be compelled to offer testimony if telling the truth would incriminate them.

Lerner's defense lawyer, William W. Taylor III, wrote to the committee on Tuesday that his client would refuse to answer questions related to what she knew about the extra levels of scrutiny applied to conservative nonprofit organizations that applied for tax-exempt status beginning in 2010.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nonprofit tea-party chief - I’ve been hassled not just by the IRS but by the FBI, ATF, and OSHA'

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Fox News on Rosen (Fox News) Targeting

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Obama - 'I Fantasize About Dropping the Act and Just Telling Everyone My Truth'

With so many scandles, it was easy to miss this slip of the mask.

"Does this mean he's not quite on the level when he constantly claims he's just all about the middle class?
Buried in the 17th paragraph of one of those mewling New York Times pieces on the woes of Obama — can we start calling him Woe-bama yet? — appeared these two words: “going Bulworth.”

Obama himself, the Times explained, has been “longingly” telling his inner circle that what he’d really like to do is what Sen. Jay Bulworth, played by Warren Beatty in his 1998 movie “Bulworth,” did: to go public as an unabashed, angry and admitted socialist.

It’s as if Ronald Reagan had been caught saying he wanted to “Go Strangelove.”

In confessing his dreams of “going Bulworth,” Obama confirmed that what he thinks and what he says out loud are two different things. He let slip the mask of a center-left moderate — a “pragmatist” who only cares about “what works.” The press and even right-of-center columnists like Ross Douthat and David Brooks have always insisted that this completely unconvincing masquerade is genuine.

No follow-up from the New York Times, of course. It's natural to ask What would the Truth sound like, should you utter it? At least it would be natural if you were interested in gathering and then reporting new information.

But the Times isn't interested in that. They realize Obama is best served by signaling the left while continuing to proclaim his same rehearsed horseshit for the rest of the country, so they do not inquire any deeper.

Brit Hume (Fox News) - ‘Chilling’ Search Of Fox Reporter Shows DOJ Treats ‘Ordinary News Gathering As Crime’

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White House senior aides knew details of IRS probe

But did not tell Obama? That does not pass the smell test. Unless of course that was part of the design. That is to say make sure Obama did not 'offically' no anything to give him plausable deniability. That might even be worse.

"Senior White House officials, including Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, learned last month about a review by the Treasury Department’s inspector general into whether the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, but they did not inform President Obama, the White House said Monday.

The acknowledgement is the White House’s latest disclosure in a piecemeal, sometimes confusing release of details concerning the extent to which White House officials knew of the IG’s findings that IRS officials engaged in the “inappropriate” targeting of conservative non-profits for heightened scrutiny. Previously, the White House said counsel Kathryn Ruemmler did not learn about the final results of the investigation until the week of April 22nd, and had not disclosed that McDonough and other aides had also been told about the investigation. On Monday, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said a member of Ruemmler’s staff learned of the probe the week of April 16; Ruemmler learned of the investigation on April 24th; and after that point she informed the chief of staff and other aides about the probe’s findings.

The White House has said President Obama did not learn of the IRS’s actions until he saw news reports on the matter earlier this month.

Justice Department targeted TWO Fox News Channel reporters and a producer for talking with government sources

Alternative headline, Justice Department targets Fox News employeses for doing their job.

No words; strike that, people need to go to jail. Not just lose their jobs, go to jail...

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Michele Bachmann & Congressional Republicans Call for IRS Investigation

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Parking Regulations Driving Away Business!

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Ohio Liberty Coalition versus the I.R.S. (Tom Zawistowski)

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Former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld discusses Benghazi on the Andrea Tantaros Show

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

The I.R.S. Abusing Americans Is Nothing New

Which of course does not make this any better.

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Scarborough Says IRS Scandal Makes Gun Background Checks A Little Less Appealing

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IRS hid existence of Tea Party targeting documents?

Part of the growing scandel, or a seperate but related scandel...

"The Internal Revenue Service denied the existence of any documents related to its policy of targeting Tea Party organizations in response to a 2010 Freedom of Information Act request, even though such documents were later discovered by the IRS inspector general.

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, a conservative nonprofit group, filed a FOIA request in 2010 through investigative journalist Lynn K. Walsh seeking all IRS documents related to the agencies tax-exempt division specifically mentioning the Tea Party.

IRS headquarters responded in 2011 that it “found no documents specifically responsive to your request.”

However, the May 14 inspector general report found that the “first Sensitive Case Report [identifying Tea Party groups] was prepared by the Technical Unit” in April of 2010.

The report’s timeline chronicles the existence of numerous 2010 emails, memoranda, and policies related to the targeting of conservative organizations.

According to the IG timeline, an email was sent on July 27, 2010 “updating the description of applications involving potential political campaign intervention and providing a coordinator contact for the cases.”

“The description was changed to read, ‘These cases involve various local organizations in the Tea Party movement [that] are applying for exemption under 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4).’”

The IRS determinations unit developed a “be on the lookout” listing on Aug. 12, 2010, “in order to replace the existing practice of sending separate e-mails to all Determinations Unit employees as to cases to watch for, potentially abusive cases, cases requiring processing by the team of specialists, and emerging issues.”

The language of the listing was identical to the July 27, 2010 email.

“Either IRS Headquarters was entirely incompetent in maintaining awareness of prominent policies and documents within the IRS, or it deliberately covered up the existence of anti-conservative IRS policies. Either is terrifying,” Maurice Thompson, Executive Director of the 1851 Center, said in a statement. “Legal action is necessary to ensure that the IRS does not lie to taxpayers in this manner in the future.”

Crowd applauds as GOP rep Mike Kelly lays into former IRS chief at hearing

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Piers Morgan (CNN): ‘This Is Vaguely Tyrannical Behavior by the American Government’

Wow, even Peirs Morgan is coming around.

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IRS Commissioner Targeting Conservatives 'Absolutely Not Illegal'


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IRS Hid Scandal Unil After The Election

I am sure it was not political though...

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IRS asked pro-life group about 'the content of their prayers'

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West Wing Weak: Your Guide to Obama's Scandal-Filled Week

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Obama Holds a Press Conference

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Second IRS Offical on The Chopping Block Was Also Set to Resign Next Month? Promoted only 8 Days Ago?

More 'low level staffers' of couse...

" I take it we’ll find out tomorrow that this guy has been planning to retire for six months.

An internal IRS memo says Joseph Grant, commissioner of the agency’s tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. Grant joins Steven Miller, who was forced to resign as acting IRS commissioner on Wednesday.

As part of his duties, Grant oversaw the IRS division that targeted tea party groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.
Grant wasn’t the commissioner of the tax-exempt division, he was the acting commissioner, just as Miller was the acting commissioner of the entire agency. Does that mean he’s term-limited too and was on his way out anyway?

Update: You can’t be serious.

Lauren French @laurennfrench

Joseph Grant, retiring IRS official, was promoted to commissioner of the tax-exempt division just 8 days ago
5:37 PM - 16 May 2013

Was he promoted from acting commissioner to commissioner, or from some lower rank to acting commissioner? I can’t find any personnel announcement online. The distinction is important, as one suggests this is a legit scalp-taking and the other suggests it’s a farce. If he was installed as permanent commissioner only to “retire” now, then obviously he was pushed out against his wishes. If he was merely promoted to acting commissioner, then it looks like he was elevated for the purpose of taking the fall.

Benghazi Emails Directly Contradict White House Claims

What is still hiding in the rest of those emails.

"The White House on Wednesday released 94 pages of emails between top administration and intelligence officials who helped shape the talking points about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that the CIA would provide to policymakers in both the legislative and executive branches.

The documents, first reported by THE WEEKLY STANDARD in articles here and here, directly contradict claims by White House press secretary Jay Carney and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the revisions of those talking points were driven by the intelligence community and show heavy input from top Obama administration officials, particularly those at the State Department.

The emails provide further detail about the rewriting of the talking points during a 24-hour period from midday September 14 to midday September 15. As THE WEEKLY STANDARD previously reported, a briefing from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence shows that the big changes came in three waves – internally at the CIA, after email feedback from top administration officials, and during or after a meeting of high-ranking intelligence and national security officials the following morning.

The initial CIA changes softened some of the language about the participants in the Benghazi assault – from “Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda” to “Islamic extremists.” But CIA officials also added bullet points about the possible participation of Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group, and previous warnings about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi. Those additions came out after the talking points were sent to “the interagency,” where the CIA’s final draft was further stripped down to little more than boilerplate. The half dozen references to terrorists – both in Benghazi and more generally – all but disappeared. Gone were references to al Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia, jihadists, Islamic extremists, etc. The only remaining mention was a note that “extremists” had participated in the attack.

As striking as what appears in the email traffic is what does not. There is no mention of the YouTube video that would become a central part of the administration’s explanation of the attacks to the American people until a brief mention in the subject line of emails coming out of an important meeting where further revisions were made.

Carney, in particular, is likely to face tough questioning about the contents of the emails because he made claims to reporters that were untrue. “The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two – of these two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility,’ because the word ‘consulate’ was inaccurate,” he told reporters on November 28, 2012.

That’s not true. An email sent at 9:15 PM on September 14, from an official in the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs to others at the agency, described the process this way. “The State Department had major reservations with much or most of the document. We revised the document with their concerns in mind.”

IRS Building Largest Government Database

I sure this will end well...

"To monitor compliance with these rules, the IRS and HHS are now building the largest personal information database the government has ever attempted. Known as the Federal Data Services Hub, the project is taking the IRS's own records (for income and employment status) and centralizing them with information from Social Security (identity), Homeland Security (citizenship), Justice (criminal history), HHS (enrollment in entitlement programs and certain medical claims data) and state governments (residency).

The data hub will be used as the verification system for ObamaCare's complex subsidy formula. All insurers, self-insured businesses and government health programs must submit reports to the IRS about the individuals they cover, which the IRS will cross-check against tax returns.

Good luck in advance to anyone who gets caught in this system's gears, assuming it even works. Centralizing so much personal information in one place is another invitation for the IRS wigglers in some regional office—or maybe higher up—to make political decisions about enforcement.

Parents, Pot, and Prohibition: Daisy Bram's Story

Video embedded below.

IRS to pro-life group: Send letter pledging not to protest Planned Parenthood to get your tax exemption

The IRS scandle grows...

"The Inspector General of the Treasury reported this week that the IRS began applying extra scrutiny and conducting harassment of Obama administration opponents as early as March 2010. However, for at least two pro-life groups, that scrutiny appears to have started a year earlier. Joel Gehrke reports that one group was told its tax-exempt application depended not on promising to stay out of electoral politics, but on pledging not to protest Planned Parenthood — a prominent supporter of Barack Obama:

IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.

“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
Most have assumed that the obstructionism on the application from conservative groups came because the IRS assumed that they would get involved in politics, but the laws on 501(c)4s don’t prohibit that, as Mary Katharine explained yesterday. Their purpose and work has to be primarily for “social welfare,” but that can take on any number of forms.

In this case, though, there wasn’t even a pretense of suspicion about electioneering. If this is true, then the IRS was actively attempting to intimidate a pro-life group into curtailing its perfectly legal activism. In fact, protests against Planned Parenthood by this group would be exactly the kind of “social welfare” protected by an exemption. This not only infringed on the group’s free-speech rights, but also its religious liberty, at least indirectly.

Obama Calls-In The Marines...To Shield Him From Rain

The optics of this are horrible. Who thought this would be a good idea, a good back up incase it rained?

Video embedded below.

Elon Musk's SpaceX Continues to Grow Despite the Slow Economy

Video embedded below.

IRS Official in Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs IRS Office Responsible For ObamaCare

I am sure she will not abuse this position though...

"The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.

Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.

Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.

Grant announced today that he would retire June 3, despite being appointed as commissioner of the tax-exempt office May 8, a week ago.
As the House voted to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, House Speaker John Boehner expressed “serious concerns” that the IRS is empowered as the law’s chief enforcer.

Feds Push Insane New Speech Codes!

Video embedded below.

Obama IRS Scandal Uncovers the Ugly Side of Income Taxes

Video embedded below.

Colonizing Mars: The Future Belongs to SpaceX and Elon Musk

Video embedded below.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Obama's Statement on The IRS Scandal

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Every Donation From IRS Cincinnati Office in 2012 Election Cycle Went to Democrats

Anyone still want to argue this was not political?

"Tim Carney looks at the donations records for IRS employees in Cincinnati and finds a lesson about big government. Whether or not the White House was handing down directives, when federal power is as broad as it is now, partisan abuse by cogs in the state’s machinery is inevitable. Smoking gun?

In the past three election cycles, the Center for Responsive Politics’ database shows about $474,000 in political donations by individuals listing “IRS” or “Internal Revenue Service” as their employer.

This money heavily favors Democrats: $247,000 to $145,000, with the rest going to political action committees. (Oddly, half of those GOP donations come from only two IRS employees, one in Houston and one in Annandale, Va.)

IRS employees also gave $67,000 to the PAC of the National Treasury Employees Union, which in turn gave more than 96 percent of its contributions to Democrats. Add the PAC cash to the individual donations and IRS employees favor Democrats 2-to-1.

The Cincinnati office where the political targeting took place is much more partisan, judging by FEC filings. More than 75 percent of the campaign contributions from that office in the past three elections went to Democrats. In 2012, every donation traceable to employees at that office went to either President Obama or liberal Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
As someone noted on Twitter in response to Carney’s post, if you’ve made your career working in government — especially at the IRS — you have a heavy political interest in protecting the party of big government.

Obama Accepts Resignation of Acting IRS Commissioner Who's Assignment Ended Next Month Anyways

He will not, or at least should not, be the last head to roll.

"President Barack Obama has thrown his acting IRS commissioner overboard, making Steven Miller the highest-ranking political casualty thus far in a series of scandals that have swept his administration in recent weeks.

In a hastily called press conference in the East Room of the White House, Obama told reporters that he had asked Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to find out who was responsible for a program that targeted tea party groups and other conservative organizations for a special level of intrusive questioning after they applied for tax-exempt charitable statuses.

'Lew took the first step by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting director of the IRS,' Obama said.
'It’s important,' he added, 'to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.'

But in an email to IRS employees, Miller claimed he would only be leaving next month because his assignment would be over.

'It is with regret that I will be departing from the IRS as my acting assignment ends in early June,' Miller wrote. 'This has been an incredibly difficult time for the IRS given the events of the past few days, and there is a strong and immediate need to restore public trust in the nation’s tax agency.',

IRS Scandal Involved Officials at The Highest Levels

So that is what they meant with 'a few low level employees'...

"The director of the Internal Revenue Service division under fire for singling out conservative groups sent a 2012 letter under her name to one such group, POLITICO has learned.

The March 2012 letter was sent to the Ohio-based American Patriots Against Government Excess (American PAGE) under the name of Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Division.

Lerner, who is based in Washington, on Friday apologized for the agency singling out groups based on search terms such as “tea party” and “patriot.” Internal documents from the Treasury Department inspector general shows that Lerner and other top officials at the agency were aware of the targeting of conservative groups in 2011.

This appears to be the first public documentation that Lerner’s name is on a letter seeking information from a conservative group. Other letters to groups reviewed by POLITICO have come from IRS offices in California, Ohio and Washington, D.C.

IRS Fast-Tracked Obama And Liberal Groups?

Certainly looks that way.

"With Obama’s IRS scandal mushrooming by the day, we’ve been learning that some applications for 501(c)(4) status have languished for years and while some targeted groups have simply given up since delays were so long. Yet curiously, some groups favorable to Obama or actually run by an Obama have been mysteriously sped up through the process.
Well, isn’t that nice. Guess it pays to have the name Obama attached to an application. Who cares if you’re breaking the law? Further, we need to ask the question nobody in the media seems to be asking: How is it Organizing for Action, formerly Obama’s Organizing for America, fly so quickly through the process when other have waited for years? Not only them, but this rather dubious Enroll America, an Obama-connected group working with groups to enforce ObamaCare, which ironically will have the weight of the IRS behind it.
So hundreds of conservative groups are targeted by the Obama IRS, yet somehow both Obama’s own group and his half-brother’s group sail through the process with nobody lifting a finger to investigate them. Heck, his brother even received preferential treatment and special tax breaks illegally. Plus, Obama’s HHS Secretary is now facing investigation for her shady tax-exempt group that has the full weight of the IRS behind it. It’s also noteworthy that at the same time conservative groups faced unusual scrutiny, hordes of liberal groups coasted through the process. Meanwhile, OFA is supposed to be an independent group that doesn’t have to disclose its donors. If they’re so independent, why does their website contain the name Obama in it? According to one report, the average time for the application process is 121 days, but the group targeted waited 547 days. Further, Obama’s group has an obvious political agenda and even fundraises off it. It also has connections to George Soros.

Axelrod (D) - 'Government So Vast Obama Can't Know About Wrongdoing'

The desperation in that statement is palpable. Also, that is the whole point Conservatives are always trying to make. Big governmental is bad government.

Holder (D) - 'I can’t remember when I recused myself from the AP investigation, and I know I didn’t do it in writing'

He should have been gone a long time ago, but Holder really has to go now.

"Sounds legit.

Kelly O'Donnell @KellyO
AG Holder says he did not inform WH he recused himself in @AP case, did not do so in writing and cannot say when he did so.
2:31 PM - 15 May 2013

Twitter is blowing up over this right now. Stand by for updates.

Update: Gabe Malor asks an excellent question:

Gabriel Malor @gabrielmalor
If there's no written record of recusal, who told DAG Cole that he was running the AP investigation?
2:29 PM - 15 May 2013

Did Holder just sort of … “drift away” from this whole mess after his recusal? Remember, this was no ordinary investigation. Yesterday Holder himself called the leak in the AP case one of the most serious, if not the most serious, he’d ever seen. He must have recognized instantly that there was a chance that reporters’ phone records would be subpoenaed to get to the bottom of it, which would be politically explosive for the White House. And yet he never formally notified anyone that he was backing away, huh? At this point, Obama should fire him even if he’s telling the truth."

Obama Administration Got Phone Records of The House Of Representatives?

Just wow ... the scandals keep coming.

"That’s the revelation made by California Congressman Devin Nunes, who sits on the House Ways And Means Committee on Hugh Hewitt’s Show Wednesday night. Here’s the key part of that transcript:

HH: The idea that this might be a Geithner-Axelrod plan, and by that, the sort of intimation, Henry II style, will no one rid me of this turbulent priest, will no one rid me of these turbulent Tea Parties, that might have just been a hint, a shift of an eyebrow, a change in the tone of voice. That’s going to take a long time to get to. I don’t trust the Department of Justice on this. Do you, Congressman Nunes?

DN: No, I absolutely do not, especially after this wiretapping incident, essentially, of the House of Representative. I don’t think people are focusing on the right thing when they talk about going after the AP reporters. The big problem that I see is that they actually tapped right where I’m sitting right now, the Cloak Room.

HH: Wait a minute, this is news to me.

DN: The Cloak Room in the House of Representatives.

HH: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

DN: So when they went after the AP reporters, right? Went after all of their phone records, they went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery, right up from where I’m sitting right now. So you have a real separation of powers issue that did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress, because as you know…

HH: Wow.

DN: …members of Congress talk to the press all the time.

HH: I did not know that, and that is a stunner.

DN: Now that is a separation of powers issue here, Hugh.

HH: Sure.

DN: And it’s a freedom of press issue. And now you’ve got the IRS going after people. So these things are starting to cascade one upon the other, and you have the White House pretending like they’re in the clouds like it’s not their issue somehow.
Exit question: I’m sure mainstream media, and the other two branches of government, see no problem whatsoever in secret records searches between the two branches, right?

The I.R.S. Takes Aim at the Tea Party (David Keating)

Video embedded below.

Rep. Mike Kelly (R): IRS Scandal 'Very Chilling'

Video embedded below.

The Benghazi Scandal and Cover-Up: Is the Mainstream Media Finally Taking Notice?

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

EPA waives fee requests for friendly groups, denies conservative groups

I am sure this is just a coincidence; 90+% of requests from liberal groups were granted while 90+% of requests from conservative groups were rejected.

"Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

CEI reviewed Freedom of Information Act requests sent between January 2012 and this spring from several environmental groups friendly to the EPA’s mission, and several conservative groups, to see how equally the agency applies its fee waiver policy for media and watchdog groups. Government agencies are supposed to waive fees for groups disseminating information for public benefit.

“This is as clear an example of disparate treatment as the IRS’ hurdles selectively imposed upon groups with names ominously reflecting an interest in, say, a less intrusive or biased federal government,” said CEI fellow Chris Horner.

For 92 percent of requests from green groups, the EPA cooperated by waiving fees for the information. Those requests came from the Natural Resources Defense Council, EarthJustice, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, The Waterkeeper Alliance, Greenpeace, Southern Environmental Law Center and the Center for Biological Diversity.

Of the requests that were denied, the EPA said the group either didn’t respond to requests for justification of a waiver, or didn’t express intent to disseminate the information to the general public, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner. CEI, on the other hand, had its requests denied 93 percent of the time.

House committee to probe Sebelius (Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services) soliciting money for ObamaCare signups

What could possibly be wrong with a government regulator, someone who has broad control over companies, to ask them donate to the regulators preferred cause. It is not like there is any undo pressure there. And I am sure that companies who comply will not be treated preferentially while those that don't get punished. Nah, especially not someone for this administration. Why, that would be like someone from the IRS targeting conservative groups for additional scrutiny and leaking their privet information to their political opponents...

"House Republicans are starting a probe into Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius soliciting donations from companies her agency might regulate, to help sign up uninsured Americans for ObamaCare.
Sebelius in recent weeks has asked various charitable foundations, businesses executives, churches and doctors to donate money to nonprofit organizations, such as Enroll America, that are helping to implement President Obama's health care overhaul.
The agency said Friday there is a special section within the Public Health Services Act that allows the secretary to solicit financial support for nonprofit organizations conducting public health work.
However, the solicitations, through speeches and phone calls, have raised questions about whether a federal official can ask for money from groups he or she oversees.
The Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee began a probe by sending a letter Monday to Sebelius and groups that she might have contacted.
The letter to Sebelius asks her to provide several pieces of information by May 27 related to the solicitations, including names of those contacted “in this unusual fundraising pitch” as well as phone logs and whether other agency officials were involved.
Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said: “Despite HHS’ insistence that the secretary did not directly ask for funds, one source said, ‘There was a clear insinuation by the administration that the insurers should give financially to the nonprofits.’ ”

Iran to Preside Over The United Nations Arms Control Forum

This is why the UN is a punchline...

"Iran will preside over the United Nations arms control forum this month, despite the fact that it is under U.N. sanctions for illicit nuclear activities and routinely supplies arms to the terrorist organization Hezbollah in violation of international law.

The U.N.’s annual Conference on Disarmament, which Iran is slated to lead from May 27 to June 23, is the organization’s primary multilateral forum for negotiating arms control agreements.

The forum has given way to major international treaties on nuclear non-proliferation, prohibitions on chemical weapons, and bans on nuclear tests.

UN Watch, a Geneva-based watchdog group, blasted the decision to allow Iran to chair the conference.

“This is like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer in a statement. “Iran is an international outlaw state that illegally supplies rockets to Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas, aiding and abetting mass murder and terrorism. To make this rogue regime head of world arms control is simply an outrage. Abusers of international norms should not be the public face of the U.N.”

IRS Targeted More Conservative Groups Than Thought

Plus don't miss this little nugget, 'nobody has been disciplined'...

"Lois Lerner’s now infamous conference-call remark about not being good at math came in the course of an exchange where she claimed that 300 or so groups had been singled out by the IRS for special scrutiny, a quarter of which had “tea party” or “patriot” in their name and the rest of which were guilty of sins like criticizing the government.

The actual number may be …. higher.

The IRS targeting of conservative groups is far broader than first reported, with nearly 500 organizations singled out for additional scrutiny, according to two lawmakers briefed by the agency.

IRS officials claimed on Friday that roughly 300 groups received additional scrutiny. Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Tuesday that the number has actually risen to 471. Further, they said it is “unclear” whether Tea Party and other conservative groups are being targeted to this day…

Given the advance knowledge of the program, Issa and Jordan voiced serious concerns about the honesty of top IRS officials and the lack of disciplinary action. The lawmakers said they’ve learned nobody has been disciplined and that one employee at the Cincinnati office where this program was supposedly started “received a promotion or ‘career enhancement.’”…

They said “at no point” did Lerner or anyone else inform Congress of the findings. And they claimed it appeared Lerner “provided false or misleading information on four separate occasions” in 2012 on the program.
The inspector general’s report has finally been released as I’m writing this

Israel-Related Groups Also Get IRS Scrutiny

Somehow, it always circles back to the Jews...

The same Internal Revenue Service office that singled out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny also challenged Israel-related organizations, at least one of which filed suit over the agency’s handling of its application for tax-exempt status.
The trouble for the Israel-focused groups seems to have had different origins than that experienced by conservative groups, but at times the effort seems to have been equally ham-handed.
A leader of one of the organizations involved, Lori Lowenthal Marcus of Z Street, said Monday that she was convinced the added attention her group got was no accident.
“I can’t believe it was just about Z Street, because it’s a tiny organization,” Lowenthal Marcus said of the group, which has been critical of President Barack Obama for being too cozy with left-leaning Jewish groups like J Street and with pro-Palestinian entities.
(Also on POLITICO: 5 key players in IRS mess)
Z Street filed a lawsuit against the IRS in 2010 alleging that one of its attorneys were told its application for tax exemption was delayed and sent to a “special unit…to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.”
The suit was filed in federal court in Pennsylvania and later transferred to DC. A judge in Washington has set a hearing on the case for July 2.

IRS Leaked Confidential Information on Conservative Groups to Liberal Groups

The scandal keeps growing.

"The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.
ProPublica says the documents the IRS gave them were “not supposed to be made public”:
The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year... In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)
The group says that "no unapproved applications from liberal groups were sent to ProPublica.”
According to Media Research Center Vice President for Business and Culture Dan Gainor, ProPublica’s financial backers include top progressive donors:

Rep. Frank Wolf: (R) Paranoia Has Set In With the Obama Administration

Video embedded below.

3D Printing, Guns, & Sex Toys: Q&A with 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental

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Entitlements (Virtual Town Hall meeting - Ramona, CA)

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Targeting Tea: Obama's IRS Singles Out Conservative Groups

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Obama Holds a Press Conference

It is amazing how he knows nothing about anything...

Video embedded below.

Government Secretly Taps AP's Phones For Months

It is amazing the information coming out now that Obama has been safely reelected.

"The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.
In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.

Senior IRS officials knew of targeting conservative groups in 2011; Update: IRS chief counsel knew in 2011

Not to worry, I am sure they will run ObamaCare much more even handed...

This changes the dynamic in two ways:

A federal watchdog’s upcoming report says senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups in 2011.

The disclosure contradicts public statements by former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who repeatedly assured Congress that conservative groups were not targeted. ….

That report says the head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups learned that groups were being targeted in June 2011. It does not say whether Shulman was notified.
Yesterday, the IRS claimed that this only happened in one office in just 2012, and that only lower-level officials were involved. This report from the Associated Press refutes both of those claims — and adds yet another damning example to a growing list of misleading and false statements from the Obama administration.

Let’s go back to yesterday’s admission:

Lois G. Lerner, the IRS official who oversees tax-exempt groups, said the “absolutely inappropriate” actions by “front-line people” were not driven by partisan motives.

Rather, Lerner said, they were a misguided effort to come up with an efficient means of dealing with a flood of applications from organizations seeking ­tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012.
Lerner’s statement gave the clear impression that the IRS only just learned about this, and that the actions were by rogue agents without enough supervisory control. The AP’s report on the upcoming Treasury IG’s report is that it will demonstrate that “senior officials” knew about this more than a year earlier — while Shulman was telling Congress that nothing of the sort was going on.

Surveillance After The Boston Attack: Do More Cameras Fight Terrorism or Violate Our Privacy Rights?

Video embedded below.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

State Department Demands Takedown Of 3D-Printable Gun

As if taking it down from the original site will somehow magically erase it from the internet...

On Thursday, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson received a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance demanding that he take down the online blueprints for the 3D-printable “Liberator” handgun that his group released Monday, along with nine other 3D-printable firearms components hosted on the group’s website The government says it wants to review the files for compliance with arms export control laws known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR. By uploading the weapons files to the Internet and allowing them to be downloaded abroad, the letter implies Wilson’s high-tech gun group may have violated those export controls.

“Until the Department provides Defense Distributed with final [commodity jurisdiction] determinations, Defense Distributed should treat the above technical data as ITAR-controlled,” reads the letter, referring to a list of ten CAD files hosted on Defcad that include the 3D-printable gun, silencers, sights and other pieces. “This means that all data should be removed from public acces immediately. Defense Distributed should review the remainder of the data made public on its website to determine whether any other data may be similarly controlled and proceed according to ITAR requirements.”

Wilson, a law student at the University of Texas in Austin, says that Defense Distributed will in fact take down its files until the State Department has completed its review. “We have to comply,” he says. “All such data should be removed from public access, the letter says. That might be an impossible standard. But we’ll do our part to remove it from our servers.”

As Wilson hints, that doesn’t mean the government has successfully censored the 3D-printable gun. While Defense Distributed says it will take down the gun’s printable file from, its downloads–100,000 in just the first two days the file was online–were actually being served by Mega, the New Zealand-based storage service created by ex-hacker entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, an outspoken U.S. government critic. It’s not clear whether the file will be taken off Mega’s servers, where it may remain available for download. The blueprint for the gun and other Defense Distributed firearm components have also been uploaded several times to the Pirate Bay, the censorship-resistant filesharing site.

First Music Video From Space? Astronaut Chris Hadfield Sings ‘Space Oddity

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The GOP Civil War Over Libertarianism: Matt Welch at Reason Weekend 2013

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Marijuana, Hemp and Federalism (U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN))

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Singularity University's Salim Ismail on the Age of Technological Disruption

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

"How Safe Are We? Balancing Risks, Benefits, and Costs" featuring John Mueller

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The Duplicitous Hypocrisy: Don't Fight the Left with Fairness

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Benghazi Scandal! (Featuring Andrew Klavan)

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New Coke

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Benghazi: If Only Charles Ramsey Were Secretary of State, Not Hillary Clinton

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IRS Apologizes for Illegally targeting Tea Party Groups

Puts those jokes Obama made about targeting people with the IRS in a whole new light. Heads should roll...

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3 Reasons Benghazi Still Matters

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Liberator - Dawn of the Wiki Weapons

The age of the 3D printed gun is here.

Video embedded below.

If you have a 3D printer and want to make your own, the file is available at the source.

You can expect the government to try to ban it, but it will be about as effective as trying to ban people from printing pictures of guns. The best they can hope for is to increase the punishment on law breakers who use it.

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