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Conservative Political Views

SENATOR TED CRUZ’S COMPILATION OF: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ATTEMPTS TO EXPAND FEDERAL POWER


OFFICE OF SENATOR TED CRUZ

185 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.  20510

(202) 224-5922

http://www.cruz.senate.gov

THE LEGAL LIMIT: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ATTEMPTS TO EXPAND FEDERAL POWER

Report No. 4:
The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power
By U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Ranking Member
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights

Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.

The President’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.

Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. No one—and especially not the president—is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.

For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.

That would be wrong—and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. As Montesquieu knew, an imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.

PAGE 1

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Governing by Executive Fiat

1.  Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).1

2.  Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action.2

3.  Ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only “insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists.3

4.  Allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status.

5.  Extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

6.  Recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah and Utah said it would not recognize same- sex marriages performed before the stay.

7.  Refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums.

8.  Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes.

9.  Illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste repository.

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1 Caroline May, Obama administration ‘guts’ welfare reform with new HHS rule, Daily Caller, Jul. 13, 2012.

2 Mark Krikorian, Today is A-Day, National Review Online, Aug. 15, 2012.
3 Reid J. Epstein, Obama administration ends some terror asylum restrictions, Politico, Feb. 5, 2014.
4 Julia Preston, Immigrants Closely Tied to Military Get Reprieve, N.Y. Times, Nov. 15, 2013.

5 Matt Apuzzo, More Federal Privileges to Extend to Same-Sex Couples, N.Y. Times, Feb. 8, 2014.

6 Charlie Savagejan, U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriage Despite State Stance, N.Y. Times, Jan. 10, 2014.
7 Pete Williams & Michael O’Brien, Holder: ‘New Approach’ to reduce mandatory drug sentences, NBC News, Aug. 12, 2013.
8 Charlie Savage, Obama Takes New Route to Opposing Parts of Laws, N.Y. Times, Jan. 8, 2010.
9 Joel B. Pollak, Nuclear fallout: Yucca decision would affect immigration, obamacare, Breitbart, Aug. 14, 2013.

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 National Security

  1. Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti- Muslim YouTube video,10 and then lied about the White House’s involvement.11

  2. Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation.12

  3. Failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S.13

  4. Killed four Americans overseas in counterterrorism operations without judicial process.14

  5. Continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup.15

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10 Bill Flax, Benghazi: Four Americans Died, Obama Lied, and the Press Complied, Forbes, Oct. 18, 2012.

11 Michael D. Shear, Email Suggests White House Strategy on Benghazi, N.Y. Times, Apr. 30, 2014.
12 Mike Levine, President Obama’s Surprise Revelation of Sealed Benghazi Indictment, ABC News, Aug. 9, 2013.

13 Obama’s Magnitsky Walkback, Wall St. J., Jan. 5, 2014.
14 Karen DeYoung & Peter Finn, U.S. acknowledges killing of four U.S. citizens in counterterrorism operations, Wash. Post, May 22, 2013.
15 White House says U.S. has not cut off aid to Egypt, Reuters, Aug. 20, 2013.

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 Obamacare

  1. Granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t Obamacare compliant.16

  2. Delayed the individual mandate for two years.17

  3. Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare.18 Extended this delay until 2016—past the mid-term elections.19

  4. Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare.20

  5. Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate.21 Twice.22

  6. Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs.23

  7. Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments.24

  8. Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies.25

  9. Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.26

  10. As of May 2011, over 50% of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12% of the American work force).27

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16 Margaret Talev & Alex Wayne, Obama Lifts Health Mandate for Those With Canceled Plans, Bloomberg.com, Dec. 20, 2013.

17 ObamaCare’s Secret Mandate Exemption, Wall St. J., Mar. 11, 2014.

18 Stephanie Condon, Obama letting people keep canceled health plans for another year, CBSNews.com, Nov. 14, 2013.

19 Louise Radnofsky, Obama Gives Health Plans Added Two-Year Reprieve, Wall St. J., Mar. 5, 2014.

20 David Martosko, Busted! After promising ‘no delay’ in final Obamacare sign-up deadline, Obama administration unveils new ‘honor system’ extension through mid-April, Daily Mail, March 25, 2014.

21 Sarah Kliff, White House delays employer mandate requirement until 2015, Wash. Post, July 2, 2013.

22 Juliet Eilperin & Amy Goldstein, White House delays health insurance mandate for medium-seized employers until 2016, Wash. Post, Feb. 10, 2014.

23 Ezra Klein, In 2014, Congress gets Obamacare. Here’s how they’ll pay for it., Wash. Post, Aug. 1, 2013.

24 Avik Roy, Yet Another White House Obamacare Delay: Out-Of-Pocket Caps Waived Until 2015, Forbes, Aug. 13, 2013.

25 Avik Roy, Not Qualified for Obamacare’s Subsidies? Just lie – Govt. To Use ‘Honor System’ Without Verifying Your Eligibility, Forbes, July 6, 2013.

26 Joel Gehrke, Little Sisters of the Poor sue over Obamacare fines, contraception requirement, Wash. Examiner, Sept. 24, 2013.

27 Milton Wolf, Obamacare waiver corruption must stop, Wash. Times, May 20, 2011.

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Economy

  1. Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.28

  2. Implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts repeatedly invalidated the moratorium.29

  3. Treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy.30

  4. Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.31

  5. Had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws—but no charges were filed.32

  6. Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like—such as “ammunition sales.”33

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28 Steven Greenhouse, Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law, N.Y. Times, Apr. 20, 2011.
29 Frederic Frommer, Government takes third attempt at drilling moratorium, Associated Press, Jul. 13, 2010.

30 An offer you can’t refuse, The Economist, May 7, 2009.
31 Emails: Geithner, Treasury drove cutoff of nonunion Delphi workers’ pensions, Daily Caller, Aug. 7, 2012; Report: Obama administration played key role in GM Bankruptcy as pensions cut for salaried workers, not unionized ones, Associated Press, Aug 16, 2013.
32 Deborah Zabarenko, Gibson Guitar CEO slams U.S. raids as “overreach”, Reuters, Oct. 12, 2011.
33 Frank Keating, Justice Puts Banks in a Choke Hold, Wall St. J., Apr. 24, 2014.

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Executive Nominees and Personnel

  1. Appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd35 and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.36
  2. As of January 2012, 36 of the President’s executive office staff owed $833,970 in back taxes.37
  3. Made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess.34 Ignored the rulings of three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional.
  4. As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes.38
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34 Timothy Noah, Cordray’s Recess Appointment Sure Doesn’t Look Constitutional to Me, New Republic, Jan. 4, 2012.
35 John Bresnahan, Byrd: Obama in power grab, Politico, Feb. 25, 2009.
36 Jordan Fabian, Feingold questions Obama ‘czars’, The Hill, Sept. 16, 2009.37 Andrew Malcolm, 36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes, Investors Business Daily, Jan. 26, 2012.38 Richard Rubin, Number of Tax-Delinquent Government Workers Up 11.5%, Bloomberg, Mar. 8, 2013.

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Free Speech and Privacy

  1. Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities”—and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all.40
  2. Got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search American’s communications in its databases.41
  3. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80% of U.S. credit card transactions.42
  4. Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co- conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak.43
  5. Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.39
  6. Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.44
  7. Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements.45

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39 Greg Sargent, Conservatives have themselves a real scandal on their hands, Wash. Post, May 10, 2013.
40 Mark Tapscott, ‘Most transparent’ White House ever rewrote the FOIA to suppress politically sensitive docs, Wash. Examiner, Mar. 18, 2014.
41 Ellen Nakashima, Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011, Wash. Post, Sept. 7, 2013.

42 Richard Pollock, CFPB’s data-mining on consumer credit cards challenged in heated House hearing, Sept. 13, 2013.
43 Another Chilling Leak Investigation, N.Y. Times, May 21, 2013.
44 Mark Sherman, Gov’t obtains wide AP phone records in probe, Yahoo News, May 13, 2013.
45 Eric Lichtblau, Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists, N.Y. Times, June 24, 2010.

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Other Lawless Acts

  1. Aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws—as found by a federal judge. Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.”46

  2. Illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious,47 and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation.48

  3. Dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election.49

  4. Argued for expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously 9 times since January 2012.50

  5. Sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools.51

  6. Threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown.52

  7. Muzzled the speech of military chaplains.53

  8. Sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory.54

  9. Gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, GA.55

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46 Stephen Dinan, Border Patrol helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the United States, Wash. Times, Dec. 19, 2013.
47 DOJ Inspector General, A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, Sept. 2012.
48 Jerry Seper & Stephen Dinan, GOP sues to force Obama, Holder compliance on Fast and Furious, Wash. Times, Aug. 13, 2012.

49 Kevin Bohn, Justice Department drops charges in voter intimidation case, CNN.com, May 28, 2009.
50 Senator Ted Cruz, The Legal Limit: The Obama Administration’s Attempts to Expand Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz, Addendum – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz, Addendum 2 – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power.
51 Obama, Holder Stand in Louisiana Schoolhouse Door, Investors Business Daily, Aug. 30, 2013.
52 Alex Pappas, Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown, Daily Caller, Oct. 4, 2013.
53 George Neumayr, Muzzling Military Chaplains, The American Spectator, Jan. 9, 2013.
54 Editorial: Firehouse flunkies, Wash. Times, Mar. 7, 2011.

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Other Abuses of Power

  1. Released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee,56 who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s.57

  2. Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.58

  3. President Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.”59

  4. Claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.60

  5. Signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives,61 and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses.62

  6. Gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign.63

  7. Reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office.64

  8. Increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms.65

  9. Extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble.66

  10. Proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work.67

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55 Terence Jeffrey, IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address, CNSNews.com, June 21, 2013.
56 U.S. judge orders release of mentally ill Guantanamo prisoner, Yahoo News, Oct. 4, 2013.
57 The Guantanamo Docket: Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris, N.Y. Times.

58 Jason Allardyce & Tony Allen-Mills, White House backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, The Australian, July 26, 2010.
59 Alex Pepper, White House, NASA, Defend Comments About NASA Outreach to Muslim World Criticized by Conservatives, ABCNews.com, July 6, 2010.

60 Aaron Goldstein, Obama Still Doesn’t Get 9/11, American Spectator, Sept. 11, 2012.
61 Dana Bash & Ted Barrett, Bonuses allowed by stimulus bill, CNN.com, Mar. 18, 2009.
62 Helene Cooper, Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses, N.Y Times, Mar. 16, 2009.
63 Bankrupt solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin, Daily Caller, Sept. 1, 2011.
64 Josh Gerstein, 5 unmet promises of President Obama, Politico, Oct. 16, 2012.
65 Mark Knoller, National Debt has increased more under Obama than under Bush, CBSNews.com, Mar. 19, 2012.

66 Prashant Gopal, Boom-Era Property Speculators to Get Foreclosure Aid: Mortgages, Bloomberg, Mar. 5, 2012.

67 Washington Elitists Want to Take Over the Family Farm, Investors Business Daily, Apr. 26, 2012; Dave Jamieson, Child Labor Farm Rules Scrapped by White House Under Political Pressure, Huffington Post, Apr. 27, 2012.

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MORE

  1. Former “safe schools czar” has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools.68

  2. Nominated Timothy Geithner—who had significant tax issues69—to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws.

  3. Reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN.70

  4. Reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office).71

  5. Unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10, via executive order.72

  6. Cancelled all White House tours after sequestration—purportedly saving $18,000 per week—even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before.73

  7. Adopted pro-union “ambush election” rules.74

  8. Pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad.75

  9. Actively, aided in George Zimmerman protests.76

  10. Tried to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel.77

  11. Shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up Let’s Move website, during the partial government shutdown.78

  12. Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI.79

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68 Maxim Lott, Critics Assail Obama’s ‘Safe Schools’ Czar, Say He’s Wrong Man For the Job, FoxNews.com, Sept. 23, 2009.
69 Jonathan Weisman, Geithner’s Tax History Muddles Confirmation, Wall St. J., Jan. 14, 2009.
70 Chip Reid, Obama Reneges on Health Care Transparency, CBSNews.com, Jan. 7, 2010.

71 Jim Harper, The Promise That Keeps on Breaking, The Cato Institute, Apr. 13, 2009.
72 Ed Henry, Obama to sign executive order raising minimum wage for federal contractors, FoxNews.com, Jan. 28, 2014.
73 Tom Blumer, Our Petty, Country-Be-Damned President, PJ Media, Mar. 8, 2013.
74 Senator John Thune, NLRB’s ambush elections would hurt local businesses, The Hill, Apr. 19, 2012.
75 Daniel Howes, WH Pressures Ford to Pull Bailout Ad, FoxNews.com, Sept. 27, 2011.
76 Documents Obtained by Judicial Watch Detail Role of Justice Department in Organizing Trayvon Martin Protests, Judicial Watch, July 10, 2013.
77 George Will, When the looter is the government, Wash. Post, May 18, 2012.
78 Update: Let’s Move Website Works Fine – Obama plays Politics with Lost Children, shuts down Amber Alert website, The Right Scoop, Oct. 6, 2013.

PAGE 11
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MORE

  1. Shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines.80

  2. Spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet.81

  3. Spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.82

  4. Fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of Sacramento).83

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79 JW Forces Release of DHS Report on Illegal Alien Charged with Killing Virginia Nun in August 2010 Drunk Driving Incident, Judicial Watch, Mar. 4, 2011.
80 Stephen Dinan, Feds shut down Amish farm for selling fresh milk, Wash. Times, Feb. 13, 2012.
81 Nick Schulz, How Effective Was The 2009 Stimulus Program?, Forbes, July 5, 2011.

82 Thomas Cloud, Shovel Ready in San Fran: $205,075 to ‘Translocate’ One Shrub from Path of Stimulus Project, CNSNews.com, Apr. 12, 2012.
83 Susan Crabtree, Allies of official fired by Obama mount defense, The Hill, June 24, 2009.

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OFFICE OF SENATOR TED CRUZ

185 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.  20510

(202) 224-5922

http://www.cruz.senate.gov

September 5, 2014 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BLAZE by JASON HOWERTON


‘Outrageous’: IRS Agent Stuns Members of Congress With Claim About Targeting Scandal

IRS Agents Stunning Admission: Tea Party Groups Are STILL Being Targeted

(FILE)

An unidentified IRS agent told members Congress that the embattled tax agency is still targeting conservative groups three months after the scandal came to light, according to testimony released Thursday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.).

During closed-door testimony, the agent reportedly told members of the committee that requests for tax-exempt status by Tea Party groups are still being subjected to “secondary screening,” at least in his office.

When asked what he would do with an application from a Tea Party group even if there was no evidence of political activity, the IRS agent replied: “At this point I would send it to secondary screening, political advocacy.”

“So you would treat a Tea Party group as a political advocacy case even if there was no evidence of political activity on the application. Is that right?” a committee investigator asked.

“Based on my current manager’s direction, uh-huh,” the agent repeated.

The IRS official said the so-called “be on the lookout” or BOLO list has been suspended, but no further direction on how to process applications from conservative groups has been provided.

“If a political advocacy case came in today, I would give it — or talk about it to my manager because right now we really don’t have any direction or we haven’t had any for the last month and a half,” he said, according to the testimony.

Camp called the allegations of continued political targeting by the IRS “outrageous.”

The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard provides the transcript of the IRS agent’s testimony:

Wednesday, August 1, 2013

Committee: Today, currently, how do you analyze advocacy cases. If, for example, Tea Party of Arkansas came in today, how would you handle it?

IRS agent: Well, the BOLO list doesn’t exist anymore.

Committee: Sure.

IRS: If a political advocacy case came in today, I would give it — or talk about it to my manager because right now we really don’t have any direction or we haven’t had any for the last month and a half.

——

Committee: If you saw — I am asking this currently, if today if a Tea Party case, a group — a case from a Tea Party group came in to your desk, you reviewed the file and there was no evidence of political activity, would you potentially approve that case? Is that something you would do?

IRS agent: At this point I would send it to secondary screening, political advocacy.

Committee: So you would treat a Tea Party group as a political advocacy case even if there was no evidence of political activity on the application. Is that right?

IRS agent: Based on my current manager’s direction, uh-huh.

August 9, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WASHINGTON TIMES by DAVID SHERFINSKI & STEPHEN DINAN


IRS auditor reaffirms that conservatives, not liberals, were targeted

June 28, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE by JOHN FUND


Immigration-Reform Scare Tactics

The GOP will wither and die, supporters threaten, if it fails to pass reform measures.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.)
John Fund

The scare tactics on the immigration bill moved into a higher gear on Sunday. Senator Chuck Schumer, a member of the Gang of Eight who designed the comprehensive bill now before the Senate, says that Republicans will face massive demonstrations and be politically punished if they fail to pass something similar in the House.

Schumer told Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union that “this has the potential of becoming the next civil-rights movement.” He went on to warn that if Speaker John Boehner tries to bottle up the bill or eliminates a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, “I could see a million people on the mall in Washington — on the platform would not be the usual suspects but the leaders of business, the leaders of the Evangelical movement, the leaders of high tech as well as most Americans pressuring the House to act. I think they’re going to have to act whether they have a majority of Republicans [in the House] or not.”

Speaker Boehner announced last week that he would not support any immigration bill that didn’t accord with the “Hastert Rule,” which holds that a majority of the majority party must support a measure for it to be brought to the House floor.

The very real prospect that House Republicans won’t pass the Senate bill without making major changes of their own has many in the news media warning that failure could mean the very death of the GOP. Sunday, on CBS’s Face the Nation, the first question that host Bob Schieffer asked Alabama senator Jim Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee and a critic of the Gang of Eight bill, was a blatantly political one:

Do you think Republicans get it on immigration? Because people like Lindsey Graham are saying if you don’t do something, reaching out to Hispanics, you — it might not — you might not need to run anybody for president next time, because with the demographics changing in this country, it’s going to be impossible to elect a Republican president if you don’t get substantial Hispanic support.

Senator Sessions gamely pointed out that a new Congressional Budget Office study has found that the Gang of Eight bill would probably reduce illegal immigration by only 25 percent. “And CBO concludes that the legal immigration will be dramatically increased and we’ll have — in addition to that, we’re going to have lower wages and higher unemployment according to the CBO analysis of this bill,” Sessions said. “Why would any member of Congress want to vote for a bill at a time of high unemployment, falling wages, to bring in a huge surge of new labor that can only hurt the poorest among us the most?”

Polling numbers on immigration vary enough that one can find support for nearly every position on the issue. But what is clear is that the country isn’t waiting with bated breath for a comprehensive immigration bill. In a January 2013 Pew Research survey of voter priorities, immigration came in 17 out of 21 issues, falling below “moral decline” and the “influence of lobbyists.” Only 44 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of Democrats thought it a top priority. In 2007, the last time Congress debated illegal immigration, a full 69 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats thought it a top priority.

What killed immigration reform then was Ted Kennedy’s insistence on keeping union priorities in the bill, as well the secrecy surrounding the legislation. The bill was written behind closed doors, bypassed the Judiciary Committee, and was rushed to the floor for a vote. Then-senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico, an early backer of the bill, told the New York Times that the secrecy of the process left people confused and “caused it to flop.”

This time around, the bill did go through Judiciary Committee hearings, but the bill that passed that committee has now been superseded by 1,200 pages of amendments offered up by Republican senators Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota. Senators will barely have time to read much of the bill before the floor vote that Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled for June 24.

And it’s not even clear that Hispanics who want immigration reform believe that a path to citizenship is the most important part of any reform package. Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas), the son of a Cuban immigrant, says it’s a myth that Hispanics insist on including amnesty (or something resembling it) in any bill. He told me last week that his own polls showed that 68 percent of Hispanics in Texas supported more border security; when they were asked if they supported a pathway to citizenship or work permits without citizenship, a plurality of 46 percent of Texas Hispanics supported the permit system and only 35 percent favored a pathway to citizenship. “It’s a fraud being perpetrated on Republicans — that citizenship is the linchpin of immigration reform,” he says. “In reality, it’s the linchpin of Democratic efforts to expand their voter base.”

Comprehensive immigration reform is always the path Democrats insist we follow as the price for their backing any reform effort. But there are other ways to approach reform.

Indeed, the cause of reform could be fatally undermined if a comprehensive bill passes the Senate on short notice without adequate debate and little time to explain it. House members will be understandably miffed that they are expected merely to vote on what the Senate dumps into their lap.

It’s telling that the scare tactics deployed by the proponents of comprehensive immigration reform all revolve around politics: massive rallies on the Washington Mall and an angry Hispanic electorate. In reality, it might be the folks using the scare tactics who are the ones running scared. Maybe they’re afraid that the longer their bill is debated and the more sunshine it’s exposed to, the less likely the American people are to support it.

— John Fund is national-affairs columnist for NRO.

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BLAZE by BILLY HALLOWELL


Media

Fox News Panel Clashes After Alan Colmes Says IRS Went After ‘Only a Handful’ of Tea Party Groups

Alan Colmes, Jim Pinkerton Clash During Fox News Discussion Over IRS Scandal, Medias Relationship With Obama Admin

Photo Credit: Fox News

In an appearance on Fox News today, conservative writer Jim Pinkerton and liberal radio host Alan Colmes clashed over the media’s perceived ideological attachment to the Obama administration and coverage of the ongoing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal.

The center of their discussion? Whether the media are being complicit in covering up potential political motivation for the government’s targeting of the Tea Party and conservative groups.

Pinkerton argued that the media are more in bed with the Obama administration than any other preceding Democratic presidency. Colmes, naturally, disagreed.

“To say that never before has the media been so in line with the party in power is to me just patently absurd,” Colmes said, highlighting his view that the media seemingly pressed for and supported the War in Iraq under President George W. Bush.

“I don’t see the marriage between the media and what the administration is doing on the left as much as Jim does,” he added.

While the liberal commentator attempted to downplay the number of conservative organizations being targeted by the IRS (he said it was “only a handful”), Pinkerton shot back, noting that nearly one quarter of the groups were ideologically right-of-center. The conservative writer and pundit also charged that groups funded by billionaire George Soros seemed to be defending the IRS’s actions.

Here’s how Mediaite frames the rest of the discussion:

Colmes noted that editorial writers and columnists with the New York Times and The Washington Post have criticized the IRS unequivocally. “This isn’t a liberal consortium supporting what’s going on,” Colmes said.

Pinkerton noted that it is not all left-leaning media outlets, but there has been a nearly uniform defense of the IRS by organizations funded by Soros. Colmes and Pinkerton battled over the connection that was being drawn between Soros and liberal outlets defending the IRS. […]

Pinkerton and Colmes then exploded over the assertion that the IRS evenly targeted liberal and conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

“Every show on MSNBC, except for Morning Joe, is saying that the IRS did the right thing,” Pinkerton asserted. “That’s where the bias comes in.”

Watch the clip, below:

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(H/T: Mediaite)

May 27, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BLAZE by BECKET ADAMS


Business

Emails Released: Congress Was Asking for Updates on IG’s IRS Audit Before 2012 Election

Members of the House Oversight committee were promised in 2012 that they’d be provided with updates on the inspector general’s audit of the Internal Revenue Service, a promise that was apparently broken.

The following letter — which came out this weekend — shows that J. Russell George, the inspector general who uncovered the scandal, most definitely agreed to provide committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Cali.) with details of the IRS audit:

Obviously, this didn’t happen. Congress only became aware of the details of the the IG’s report after the presidential election.

And it’s not as if the Oversight committee didn’t try to learn more about the IG audit.

The following emails — released late Wednesday — show that the Oversight committee in 2012 repeatedly asked for updates on the audit, but didn’t receive them:

Rep. Issa on Wednesday brought up these emails and questioned George about why he didn’t keep Congress informed of the audit’s findings. The IG excused his keeping Congress in the dark, but he did not dispute the congressman’s timeline:

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/clip/4452964

Was the report withheld because it wasn’t ready? Was it withheld so that it wouldn’t sway the presidential election?

We can speculate all day long as to why the IG didn’t release the audit on schedule. But what is beyond speculation, according to committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), is that the IG should have kept Oversight members updated about the report’s findings. From POLITICO:

Issa is referring to part of the Inspector General Act that requires watchdogs to report serious problems to Congress through the head of an agency within seven days. It’s known as the “seven-day rule” — but it’s often used sparingly.

The Oversight Committee asked the inspector general about conservative group targeting a number of times, and Issa read some of the emails in the hearing Wednesday.

George also raised concerns that incremental information provided to lawmakers would ultimately leak to the public.

“That is not fair to the people we are investigating,” George said.

Issa responded that the White House is the source of plenty of leaks as well.

True, Rep. Issa said last year that he knew the basics of the report. But as Hot Air notes, “it’s one thing to think you know based on a leak and another for the IG to confirm it with an update.”

Furthermore, it’s important to note that the IG kept details of its delayed report a secret even after the IRS had conducted its own internal investigation and found that its targeting of conservative groups was “inappropriate” (that report was also hidden from Congress).

“Just yesterday the committee interviewed Holly Paz, the director of exempt organizations, rulings and agreements, division of the IRS,” Congressman Issa said Wednesday.

“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,” he added:

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/clip/4452808

“Think about it,” the congressman 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.”

So why didn’t the IG keep Congress informed? As of this writing, it’s not entirely clear. Here, this excerpt from Hot Air sums up where things stand right now:

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.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image courtesy AFP.

May 23, 2013 Posted by | Home, Videos | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BLAZE by BECKET ADAMS (MY TWO SENSE: Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina is my hero–do you hear me NBA’s gay spokesperson, Collins? Standing up against anyone in bed with this administration, takes guts. I hope he keeps it up. And Trey, if you have any secrets in your background which you would find embarrassing if made public, you had better come out with it before this administration does. They will stop at nothing to bring you down. Unfortunate, I know, that whistle blowers are now intimidated into silence, but I certainly hope that the latest show of arrogance, from Lerner, will enrage one of them and force a public confrontation! JM)


Business

Trey Gowdy at It Again — This Time with a Jack Bauer Reference!

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy Discusses Lois Lerner Pleading the Fifth Amendment

Jack Bauer from the hit Fox show “24.” (Source: whatculture.com)

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) became a viral sensation on Wednesday with his tough questioning of former IRS head Doug Shulman during a House hearing on the IRS targeting of conservatives.

And if you liked him then, you may love him today after he delivered an interview where he was able to sneak in a Jack Bauer reference.

Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the increasingly serious IRS scandal, caused a stir on Wednesday after she declared her innocence before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and then invoked her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

She steadily refused to answer the committee’s questions and was later excused from the hearing by Congressman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

However, Lerner’s decision to claim innocence in her opening remarks has raised some people questioning whether she accidentally waived her Fifth Amendment right.

“You don’t get to say, ‘I didn’t rob the bank but I’m not going to answer the prosecutor’s questions,’” Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, explained in an interview Thursday morning. “That would never happen.”

Rep. Gowdy continued, explaining Rep. Issa’s options.

“Let’s play this out. Let’s assume he brings her back. I promise she’s not going to make the same mistake today that she made yesterday,” he said. “She’s going to invoke — you can’t make someone talk unless you’re name is Jack Bauer.”

“You can’t force some to talk,” Gowdy continued. “You can’t make people talk unless you’re will(sic) to do what Jack Bauer does.”

Jack Bauer is the main character in the hit Fox TV series “24,” an action-drama about counterterrorism in the US. Played by Kiefer Sutherland, Bauer is an agent with the fictional Counter Terrorist Unit who “plays by his own rules,” “is a one-man wrecking crew,” etc.

“So are we going to hold her in contempt? Are we going to put her in jail? Are we going to offer her immunity, which I would not be a fan of, or are we going to try to build a case without using her testimony?” the congressman asked.

Gowdy continued, adding that these questions will be reviewed and answered at the chairman speaker level:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hsk2_NusUMo

The South Carolina congressman isn’t alone in thinking Lerner may have accidentally waived her Fifth Amendment right. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said Wednesday that she could be held in contempt of court and jailed for refusing to testify before Congress.

“She’s in trouble. She can be held in contempt,” Dershowitz told the “Steve Malzberg Show.” “Congress . . . can actually hold you in contempt and put you in the Congressional jail.”

“You can’t simply make statements about a subject and then plead the Fifth in response to questions about the very same subject,” he added. “Once you open the door to an area of inquiry, you have waived your Fifth Amendment right . . . you’ve waived your self-incrimination right on that subject matter.”

“The law is as clear as could be, that once you open up an area of inquiry, you can’t shut off the spigot – that’s the metaphor that the Supreme Court has used,” he said.

However, a few pundits think there may be a problem with this argument.

“While you may not selectively invoke the 5th in a criminal trial, you probably can at a Congressional hearing, so she won’t be held in contempt,” the Ace of Spades HQ blog notes.

“She will, however, be made to look awful, which sounds about right,” it adds.

Then there’s this from New York magazine:

First, unlike in a trial, where she could choose to take the stand or not, Lerner had no choice but to appear before the committee. Second, in a trial there would be a justifiable concern about compromising a judge or jury by providing them with “selective, partial presentation of the facts.” But Congress is merely pursuing information as part of an investigation, not making a definitive ruling on Lerner’s guilt or innocence.

“When somebody is in this situation,” says Duane, a Harvard Law graduate whose 2008 lecture on invoking the Fifth Amendment with police has been viewed on YouTube nearly 2.5 million times, “when they are involuntarily summoned before grand jury or before legislative body, it is well settled that they have a right to make a ‘selective invocation,’ as it’s called, with respect to questions that they think might raise a meaningful risk of incriminating themselves.”

In fact, Duane says, “even if Ms. Lerner had given answers to a few questions — five, ten, twenty questions — before she decided, ‘That’s where I draw the line, I’m not answering any more questions,’ she would be able to do that as well.” Such uses of selective invocation “happen all the time.”

And this excerpt from Hot Air is worth considering:

What happens when Issa brings her back and the questions begin? Could be that she’ll cave and start answering, but I assume her lawyer will tell her to take the Fifth again, in which case it’s Issa’s move. He could try to hold her in contempt, which would probably ignite a court battle and would certainly ignite lots of media concern-trolling about the GOP crushing Lerner’s rights as a way to change the subject from the underlying scandal. The court battle would slow down the investigation and might spark a bit of public sympathy for Lerner and the IRS…

Politically, it might even be worth losing the court battle: Litigation will only call more attention to the fact that Lerner doesn’t want to talk for mysterious reasons, which makes the IRS’s actions look that much shadier.

… why not bring her back and make her sit through an hour or so of serially re-asserting her privilege to dozens of questions? Worst-case scenario, the dodginess of the spectacle puts even more pressure on the IRS. Best-case scenario, she’ll decide to answer questions selectively, which will add a bit more information to what the committee knows.

May 23, 2013 Posted by | Home, Videos | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WND by JEROME CORSI


WND EXCLUSIVE

Anti-Obama filmmaker charges harassment by IRS

Suspects feds gave bank information to ‘leftist journalist’

Published: 17 hours ago

author-image Jerome R. Corsi About:  

Jerome R. Corsi, a Harvard Ph.D., is a WND senior staff reporter. He has authored many books, including No. 1 N.Y. Times best-sellers “The Obama Nation” and “Unfit for Command.” Corsi’s latest book is “Where’s the REAL Birth Certificate?”

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NEW YORK – Amid disclosures of IRS harassment of conservatives, the maker of the controversial film “Dreams from My Real Father” now suspects he was the victim of tag-team harassment by the IRS and a leftist journalist apparently working in concert to intimidate him and his investors.

WND previously reported director Joel Gilbert was concerned a journalist investigating his documentary used information that could only have been obtained by hacking into his company’s bank account.

Gilbert now believes the confidential information supplied to the journalist could have come from a continuing IRS audit initiated in early 2012, possibly in retaliation for Gilbert’s documentary arguing Frank Marshall Davis is the president’s biological father, not the Kenyan Barack Obama.

Gilbert says the IRS in Los Angeles may have provided confidential information on his corporate financing to Seth Rosenfeld, a San Francisco-based reporter affiliated with the Soros-funded Center for Investigative Reporting. Rosenfeld, in turn, used the guise of writing a story as an excuse to telephone and confront Gilbert’s financial backers with details of their financial transactions recorded in Gilbert’s corporate bank accounts.

In an email to WND, Rosenfeld denied the IRS was the source of his information identifying Gilbert’s customers and investors and providing specification of their financial transactions as recorded in Gilbert’s corporate bank account.

In responding to questions posed by WND, Rosenfeld declined to disclose how he came to possess the detailed financial information he exhibited when telephoning Gilbert and various Gilbert customers and investors claiming he was researching a story.

Gilbert told WND he is meeting with legal counsel Monday to determine if he has a cause of civil or criminal legal action against the IRS and/or Rosenfeld.

IRS audit

In early 2012, the IRS reopened Gilbert’s 2009 tax return and denied all of his business expenses, even though they were well documented.

To resolve the issue, Gilbert’s accountant met the IRS auditor in Los Angeles.

“To our shock, the IRS agent who met with my accountant had a printout of the home page of the “Dreams from My Real Father” official film website on her desk,” Gilbert told WND.

Despite Gilbert resubmitting the 2009 expenses, the IRS has still not closed the case, with the next meeting between Gilbert’s account and the IRS set for next week.

The IRS spokesman in Los Angeles did not respond to a WND request for comment.

How did journalist know?

Gilbert began to suspect the IRS had distributed his information to left-leaning journalists when Rosenfeld telephoned him Oct. 26, 2012, near the end of the presidential campaign, and began citing specific deposits from Gilbert’s corporate bank account, asking Gilbert to explain the purpose of the deposits.

Rosenfeld is listed on the Center for Investigative Reporting website as a “correspondent,” suggesting he does not have a staff position with the organization.

The Center for Investigative Reporting did not respond to a WND request for comment.

“I was so shocked that Rosenfeld had my confidential bank information that I asked him to send me an email detailing his questions and hung up,” Gilbert said. “Not surprisingly, Rosenfeld never sent me the email I asked for.”

Next, Gilbert told WND, Rosenfeld called one of Gilbert’s corporation’s limited partners on his private telephone number, fraudulently introduced himself as being with the Romney campaign and asked for a campaign donation.

“When my business partner said he wasn’t interested, Rosenfeld admitted to being a reporter and began citing my partner’s confidential bank wiring history sending funds to my corporate account,” Gilbert explained. “My partner hung up on him.”

Next, Rosenfeld called the elderly mother of a Gilbert customer who had purchased a large number of “Dreams from My Real Father” DVDs and paid for them by check.

“Rosenfeld tricked the woman into giving out her son’s home phone number by pretending to be an old friend,” Gilbert continued. “When Rosenfeld called the customer, he cited the amount of the check and asked the customer about his political opinions. Not being satisfied at this, Rosenfeld asked if my customer could identify by name any others he knew had made similar large purchases of my DVD.”

Gilbert told WND he has documented that Rosenfeld contacted several of his customers on their private unlisted phone numbers, citing for them various payments or wire transfers to Gilbert’s corporate account. Rosenfeld asked the customers for their political opinions and whether or not the customers had made any campaign contributions to Republicans, including to presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Joel Gilbert

Gilbert told WND he now believes an IRS leak was the likely source of Rosenfeld’s information.

He also believes Rosenfeld’s phone calls, armed with specific records regarding customer transactions in Gilbert’s corporate banking account, has damaged his business.

“My private banking information was used to intimidate investors and purchasers of ‘Dreams from My Real Father,’ Gilbert told WND. “I could no longer in good conscience seek out new investors knowing that their transactions could not be kept private. I will be meeting with my attorneys this week in Los Angeles to discuss legal options and recourse.”

Reporter responds

“It is true that as a freelance journalist I was researching a story about people who anonymously funded the distribution of the Joel Gilbert film that attacks President Obama, claims his election is a part of a vast communist conspiracy and displays pornographic photos of his mother,” Rosenfeld emailed WND in response to a request for comment.

Rosenfeld denied that he misrepresented himself or engaged in any improper or illegal conduct.

“I spoke with Gilbert twice on the phone and at his request sent him an email seeking his reply to my inquiry,” Rosenfeld continued. “He declined to comment in our phone conversations, did not call me back and did not respond to my email.”

Rosenfeld said he again sought comment from Gilbert by phone and email and never got a response.

Rosenfeld denied that he received any information concerning Gilbert’s corporate accounts from the IRS.

He also denied representing himself as being associated with the Romney campaign, and he denied asking any of Gilbert’s contacts for contributions to the Romney campaign.

Gilbert rejoined Rosenfeld’s charges, arguing that Rosenfeld’s negative characterization of “Dreams from My Real Father” raised the question of whether Rosenfeld had actually viewed the DVD.

“The response further reinforces my concern that Rosenfeld was recruited to do the dirty work, to intimidate me from continuing to market the firm, for political purposes on behalf of higher powers,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert told WND that he and the customers and investors Rosenfeld contacted have documented all phone calls and conversations for presentation in any legal proceedings that may occur.

“Rosenfeld and those who provided him with my private bank information should come clean now, because the story will only get bigger if they do not,” Gilbert threatened.

‘Political harassment’

Gilbert believes the IRS and Rosenfeld targeted him for political reasons.

“Why didn’t Rosenfeld publish anything from his investigations into my film and my investors?” Gilbert asked.

“I believe I was targeted because ‘Dreams from My Real Father’ exposes Obama as a pathological liar,” he said. “Obama intentionally obscured a deeply disturbing family background in order to hide a Marxist agenda, completely incompatible with American values. It was an unacceptable manipulation of the electorate and unquestionably the biggest scandal in American history.”

He also believes the IRS and Rosenfeld may have been working together to intimidate investors and discredit his film by identifying him as a Republican Party operative.

“The fact that the IRS targeted me and Rosenfeld subsequently made his phone calls suggests to me they were working in concert, both equally afraid of the information in my film becoming public knowledge,” Gilbert charged.

“President Obama is not the son of a Kenyan goat herder who stands above politics. I demonstrated in my documentary that Obama is the child of Communist Party USA member and Soviet Agent Frank Marshall Davis. I also presented compelling evidence that Davis indoctrinated Obama into his Marxist ideology during his formative years.”

Gilbert believes Rosenfeld was not being sincere in his representation that he was writing an article but that his true intent was intimidation.

“The use of the Internal Revenue Service to intimidate Americans is criminal,” Gilbert asserted. “A conspiracy to deny the First Amendment rights of free speech to Americans is criminal.”

Gilbert’s documentary “Dreams from My Real Father” has been available at the WND Superstore since it was produced and also on Amazon.com and Netflix.

During the presidential campaign, WND reported Gilbert mailed more than 3 million free copies of the documentary to voters in swing states.

Fox News reported in May 2012 that the Center for Investigative Journalism has received close to $1 million from the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundation.

Gilbert is also producer of the 2012 award winning documentary “Atomic Jihad: Ahmadinejad’s Coming War and Obama’s Politics of Defeat.”

Rosenfeld is the author of the 2012 book “Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power.” In the book, he objects to what he characterizes as Ronald Reagan’s involvement for political purposes in a covert war the FBI waged in the 1960s against anti-war student radicals.

 

May 17, 2013 Posted by | Home, Videos | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WASHINGTON POST by ED OKEEFE and JOSH HICKS


Hearing on IRS scandal: Live updates

The first high-profile hearing on the IRS scandal is being held today before the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees the IRS. Lawmakers in both chambers are seeking answers about why they weren’t told that the IRS had singled out conservative groups for scrutiny despite multiple inquiries in recent years.The hearing is the first of several sessions in coming weeks in which lawmakers will grill current and former officials about the IRS’s screening practices.

9:43 amJosh Hicks

IRS provided ‘counseling’ to person believed to be responsible

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) asked Miller what corrective actions the IRS had taken to ensure improper targeting of tax-exempt applicants does not happen again.

Miller responded that the agency provided verbal counseling for “the person we thought, at the time, to be responsible for the listing.” Earlier, he told committee chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) that he did not know who was responsible for establishing the inappropriate search criteria.

Addressing discrepancies in his statements and a look of disbelief from Camp, Miller explained that IRS officials eventually determined that the person in question might not be the one responsible for the targeting, and that the agency eventually held a meeting with all managers in the determinations division to walk them through the appropriate processes for reviewing tax-exemption applications.

9:42 am Ed O’Keefe

Panel recesses for House votes

After almost two hours, the House Ways and Means Committee will recess briefly while members go vote on legislation under consideration by the full House.

Members have occupied their seats along the dais for most of the morning, suggesting that virtually everyone intends to spend at least a few moments probing Steven Miller and J. Russell George.

Our updates will resume when the panel returns.

9:24 amJosh Hicks

McDermott: IG found no political motive

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said there’s a difference between “stupid mistakes” and “malicious mistakes.” He said IRS examiners took a shortcut that “they deeply regret” by singling out groups for their policy positions instead of their activities.

McDermott noted that the Inspector General’s report found no political motivation behind the establishment of search criteria that targeted “tea party” and other conservative groups. He asked the IG, J. Russell George, to confirm.

9:19 amEd O’Keefe

Miller: ‘I should be held accountable’

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) pushed Steven Miller to explain why he resigned as acting head of the IRS if, as he’s said repeatedly during the hearing, he didn’t know details of the scandal enveloping his former employer, or didn’t do anything wrong.

“I never said I didn’t do anything wrong, Mr. Nunes,” Miller replied.

“I resigned, because … what happens at the IRS, whether it was involved or not, stops at my desk. I should be held accountable,” he said.

8:56 amEd O’Keefe

Miller: Targeting a ‘pejorative’ term

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) attempted to get former IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller to admit that his former boss, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, knowingly lied to Congress.

Boustany played video of Shulman telling lawmakers that the IRS hadn’t targeted conservative-leaning groups.

Under questioning, Miller said that Shulman’s statement was “incorrect, but not untruthful.”

“When you talk about targeting, it’s a pejorative term,” Miller told the committee. He noted that during the time in question, the Supreme Court had just considered the Citizens United case that granted more freedoms to political groups and that there was general concern that some groups might be seeking social welfare tax-exempt status despite conducting political activities.

But Boustany seized on what Miller said about Shulman being “incorrect, but not untruthful.”

“To my knowledge, I don’t believe he knew at the time,” about targeting, Miller said of Shulman.

Shulman was appointed to lead the IRS in March 2008 by George W. Bush and stepped down in November.

8:54 amJosh Hicks

Miller: Reviews extended beyond Cincinnati

Miller said the reviews of tax-exemption applicants were mainly handled by staff at the “determinations” unit in Cincinnati, but also by “a hundred or so people who report into Cincinnati” as well.

A previous Washington Post article showed that the reviews extended beyond Cincinnati, to offices in D.C. and California. Miller’s comment confirms what Juliet Eilperin reported.

8:41 amEd O’Keefe

Who is the new IRS boss?

President Obama moved Thursday to install new leadership atop the Internal Revenue Service, tapping Danny Werfel to lead the scandal-plagued agency.

So who is Werfel? Where did he work before? Make sure to read our profile of him published in Friday’s Washington Post:

Werfel, 42, rose through the ranks at the Office of Management and Budget and the Justice Department as a budget analyst and lawyer before Obama tapped him to serve as OMB controller in 2009. As controller he was responsible for the government’s financial management, contracting, information technology and personnel policy.

Now he has the unenviable task of overhauling the IRS, which is reeling after admitting that employees aggressively targeted certain groups applying for tax-exempt status. Werfel will serve as acting director through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, the White House said.

Werfel may be well liked by colleagues at the OMB and the White House, but some lawmakers seemed skeptical or said they didn’t know much about him.

Read our full profile here.

8:31 amJosh Hicks

Treasury IG: IRS improperly asked for donor information

The Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George tells the committee the IRS asked for donor information from the groups it targeted for extra scrutiny.

He said the IRS reported to his office that it had destroyed the donor information after realizing it wasn’t supposed to collect such information from tax-exemption applicants.

8:26 amEd O’Keefe

Steve Miller apologizes for IRS targeting of conservative groups

Former IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller apologized to lawmakers Friday for the scandal that led to his ouster.

“First and foremost, as acting commissioner, I want to apologize on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service,” he told the panel.

“The affected organizations and the American public deserve better,” Miller said later, adding that “Partisanship has no place at the IRS.”

“I do not believe that partisanship motivated the people that engaged in the practices described in the inspector general’s report,” he said.

So then why did they do it?

“Foolish mistakes were made by people who were trying to be more efficient in their work,” he concluded.

8:22 amEd O’Keefe

Watchdog: Top IRS officials knew of scandal in June 2011

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Top IRS officials in Washington first learned of the tax-exempt office’s targeting of conservative-leaning groups in June 2011, while others didn’t learn about it until April or May of last year, according to a federal watchdog.

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George verbally laid out for the committee his office’s findings, saying that IRS officials used “inappropriate criteria” to probe these groups.

“The criteria included the words ‘tea party,’ ‘Patriot,” or ’9/12 Project,’” George said. “Another listed criterion was that the group’s issues included government spending, government debt or taxes. Yet another listed criterion appeared as education of the public by advocacy or lobbying to, quote, ‘Make America a better place to live.’ Finally, the criterion consisted of any statements in the case file criticizing how the country is being run,” George said.

“The reason that these criteria were inappropriate is that they did not focus on tax-exempt laws and Treasury Regulations,” he added. “For example, 501(C)(3) organizations may not engage in political campaign intervention. 501(C)(4) organizations can, but it must not be their primary activity. Political campaign intervention is action taken on behalf of, or against, a particular candidate running for office.”

“According to our findings, the first time that executives from Washington, D.C. became aware of the use of these criteria was June 2011, with some executives not becoming aware of the criteria until April or May 2012,” he said later.

Read George’s full oral statement below, as provided by TIGTA:   http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/05/17/hearing-on-irs-scandal-live-updates/#liveblog-entry-41777

May 17, 2013 Posted by | Home, Videos | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PRO PUBLICA by KIM BARKER & JUSTIN ELLIOTT


IRS Office That Targeted Tea Party Also Disclosed Confidential Docs From Conservative Groups

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President Barack Obama at a news conference Monday during which he addressed the IRS. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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.

The IRS did not respond to requests Monday following up about that release, and whether it had determined how the applications were sent to ProPublica.

On Friday, Lois Lerner, the head of the division on tax-exempt organizations, apologized to Tea Party and other conservative groups because the IRS’ Cincinnati office had unfairly targeted them. Tea Party groups had complained in early 2012 that they were being sent overly intrusive questionnaires in response to their applications.

That scrutiny appears to have gone beyond Tea Party groups to applicants saying they wanted to educate the public to “make America a better place to live” or that criticized how the country was being run, according to a draft audit cited by many outlets. The full audit, by the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, will reportedly be released this week. (ProPublica was not contacted by the inspector general’s office.) (UPDATE May 14: The audit has been released.)

Before the 2012 election, ProPublica devoted months to showing how dozens of social-welfare nonprofits had misled the IRS about their political activity on their applications and tax returns. Social-welfare nonprofits are allowed to spend money to influence elections, as long as their primary purpose is improving social welfare. Unlike super PACs and regular political action committees, they do not have to identify their donors.

In 2012, nonprofits that didn’t have to report their donors poured an unprecedented $322 million into the election. Much of that money — 84 percent — came from conservative groups.

As part of its reporting, ProPublica regularly requested applications from the IRS’s Cincinnati office, which is responsible for reviewing applications from nonprofits.

Social welfare nonprofits are not required to apply to the IRS to operate. Many politically active new conservative groups apply anyway. Getting IRS approval can help with donations and help insulate groups from further scrutiny. Many politically active new liberal nonprofits have not applied.

Applications become public only after the IRS approves a group’s tax-exempt status.

On Nov. 15, 2012, ProPublica requested the applications of 67 nonprofits, all of which had spent money on the 2012 elections. (Because no social welfare groups with Tea Party in their names spent money on the election, ProPublica did not at that point request their applications. We had requested the Tea Party applications earlier, after the groups first complained about being singled out by the IRS. In response, the IRS said it could find no record of the tax-exempt status of those groups — typically how it responds to requests for unapproved applications.)

MORE:  http://www.propublica.org/article/irs-office-that-targeted-tea-party-also-disclosed-confidential-docs

May 16, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HOT AIR by ED MORRISSEY


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

posted at 10:41 am on May 16, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

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.  (MTS:  Anyone remember ACORN?  JM)

MORE:  http://hotair.com/archives/2013/05/16/irs-to-pro-life-group-send-letter-pledging-not-to-protest-planned-parenthood-to-get-your-tax-exemption/

May 16, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WND by BOB UNRUH (MY TWO SENSE: The IRS is not only intruding into the lives and actions of Conservative groups and individuals, it is dictating, and punishing the course of their thinking, their beliefs, and their ability to reach others in an unprecedented way! Not only is this unprecedented, it is the most oppressive Communistic governmental force EVER seen in America, including the British monarchy era. The Revolutionary War was fought to disengage from that oppression. The White House is not the only area of concern relating to these criminal behaviors. The Democrat Senate also requested the IRS to target the groups and individuals. This is not the first time the IRS has been used to intimidate, harass, and detain citizens who disagree with this administration, however, this time it is much worse. And that’s how it happens. A horrible crime is committed—next someone in the near, or distant future, commits the same crime, but it is more horrendous than the one before. That’s human nature, and man will invariably sink to the very bottom of debauchery and corruption without fail when society reaches a point at which bad isn’t perceived as all that bad—corrupt isn’t all that corrupt—and evil is all that evil . JUST ME)


WND EXCLUSIVE

James Dobson confirms slam campaign against his group

Family Talk founder says IRS targeted ‘tea party,’ ‘Constitution’ and ‘Christian’

Published: 13 hours ago

Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.
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The Internal Revenue Service campaign that put a bull’s-eye on “tea party” groups and those with “Constitution” or “patriot” in their name also took a swipe at Christians.

That was confirmed today when Dr. James Dobson, whose has served as an adviser to presidents and now runs Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, said his organization’s status was threatened because it didn’t present “all views.”

Dobson has been an outspoken lightning rod standing up for Christian values for decades as an author, broadcaster, speaker and adviser. He has written more than 30 books including, “The New Dare to Discipline,” “Love for a Lifetime,” “Life on the Edge,” “Love Must Be Tough,” “The New Strong-Willed Child,” Bringing Up Boys,” “Bringing Up Girls” and “Head Over Heels.”

He was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years.

He has advised three U.S. presidents on family matters, and holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees. In 2008 he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and recently he received the “Great American Award” from The Awakening.

In a statement released through his FamilyTalk Action headquarters in Colorado Springs, it was confirmed the organization was set up two years ago “for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family.”

The group’s Form 1024 was filed with the IRS requesting 501(c)4 status, which is a nonprofit status but with permission to comment on political issues. Its contributions and donations are not tax deductible to donors. It is not the same status as the ministry itself, where donations are tax deductible, and the arrangement represents a common setup for ministries that want to engage in limited political activity on issues such as marriage, family, abortion, same-sex “marriage,” civil rights and freedom.

FamilyTalk Action said, “The attorney completing this form had submitted scores of similar applications over his 26-year career with none being rejected. In January and February 2013, Family Talk Action’s counsel called the IRS reviewing agent, R. Medley (ID no. 52402), to inquire regarding when there would be a determination of the application. Her voice mail box was full on each of these calls so no message could be left. On March 6, he called Ms. Medley again and got routed to her voice mail again. This time, he was able to leave a voice mail message and requested a return call.

“Ms. Medley did not call back until March 19. Family Talk Action’s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I don’t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is ‘not educational’ because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a ‘partisan right-wing group’ because, according to Ms. Medley, it only presents conservative viewpoints. She then added, ‘you’re political’ because you ‘criticized President Obama, who was a candidate.’”

The organization said it had submitted sample radio programs after the IRS had demanded them, although none was aired during an election year.

“It was the opinion of Family Talk Action’s legal counsel that these samples were not only 501(c)(4) qualified but 501(c)(3) qualified,” the statement said.

“Family Talk Action’s legal counsel had never heard an IRS agent express biased statements like those he heard during the March 19 call. He also felt that the this agent did not understand the difference between 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) entities,” the report said.

“The American people deserve better treatment from its government than this. Christian ministries and others supporting the family must not be silenced or intimidated by the IRS or other branches of the government,” Dobson said.

President Obama fired the acting commissioner of the IRS today over the war against conservatives and Christians, members of Congress demanded that all those responsible lose their jobs and it has been revealed that nearly 500 groups were targeted in the “don’t-disagree-with-Obama” effort.

Documentation suggests the attacks started as early as 2010, shortly after Obamacare, which now is mandating that Christians in business violate their faith and pay for abortifacients, was adopted.

May 16, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GODFATHER POLITICS by GARY DEMAR


What to Do Now If You’re a Conservative and Get Audited by the IRS

If you are a conservative who is a regular reader of the articles on this site, then you are a target. If you donate to conservative causes, you are an enemy of the “Progressive” agenda. If you oppose government unions and their sweetheart collective “bargaining” deals with the Democrats, you are, in the words of union boss Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., a “son of a bitch.”

As a result, you may get audited for no other reason than to intimidate you and the people you know. If you do get a letter from the IRS requesting an audit, be professional and non-threatening in your response, but ask for factual data that gives evidence of probable cause and cite the current criminal activity of the inner workings of the IRS as a reason for your skepticism of the agency’s objectivity.

The actions by the IRS concerning conservative groups are criminal. The head of the agency has resigned or was forced to resign. What’s becoming clear is the IRS has been using its draconian powers to curb political dissent. Every tyrannical government has used bureaucracies to further its agenda. No one man — not even the god-like Barack Obama — can control everything.

Ludwig von Mises captures for us the insidious nature of the bureaucratic State:

“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!”

The goal is the perpetuation of the bureaucratic State. Administrations come and go, but bureaucrats go on forever.

Patriot movements and the Tea Party are a threat to the System. They had to be stopped. Talk about cutting spending and regulations would mean a smaller government work force which would have resulted in lower vote totals for the “Progressive” agenda which, of course, is to maintain the statist status quo and keep the bureaucracy in power.

C. S. Lewis wrote that there is no point in telling State officials to mind their own business since in their mind, “Our whole lives are their business.”

In 1926, H. L. Mencken wrote that the State

“has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.”

It’s time for some political push back, and if the present crop of Republicans aren’t willing to do it, then out with the old and in with the new.


May 16, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BLAZE by ERICA RITZ


Government

‘No Trust’: How Does the IRS ‘Inquisition’ Impact ObamaCare?

Stuart Varney on the IRS Now Being Part of Health Care, ObamaCare

Two girls pose for a picture with a cardboard cut-out of US President Barack Obama in a tent defending ‘Obamacare’ at a street fair in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2012. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

As the “IRS Inquisition” scandal unfolds, some are pointing out that the government agency is on the verge of not only having purview over your finances, but your health care as well.

Rush Limbaugh has theorized that this is one of the the reasons the administration and traditionally left-leaning members of the media have denounced the scandal so strongly.  The IRS must be seen to have made a mistake and been set right, so it can proceed at full strength for the implementation of “Obamacare.”

Stuart Varney appeared on Fox News this morning to discuss just how much the IRS will have control over with the complete implementation of the president’s health care overhaul.

“The IRS will be the policing agent for Obamacare,” Varney said.  “You’re going to have to, on your next tax return, you’re going to have to report to the IRS personal health care information…Do you trust the IRS with your personal health care information?”

Host Martha MacCullum continued: “It’s such a dangerous and slippery slope when [their] credibility is brought into question, because they of course know what you make…And now they are supposed to marry that information…with whether you are eligible for a healthcare subsidy.  And that raises questions, too, because you’ve got to keep them posted on every change that may lap in our employment picture.”

Varney interjected to say that’s not even the full picture.

“Your doctor is going to put on file electronically your entire medical history,” he said.  “At the same time, on a parallel path, the IRS wants to know about your health insurance.  There is no wall between those two areas of information.  And bearing in mind what they have done politically there is no trust that they won’t jump that wall and go into your personal medical history….And that’s where the lack of trust comes in.”

MacCallum noted that, when the bill was being passed, we were repeatedly assured that privacy and having your records online wouldn’t be an issue.

“But people have been scanning documents for catch words, you wonder what they’re going to scan in terms of health care and health records. It’s a legitimate question given all of this,” she concluded.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LE5Rtt4-OVg

Varney concluded his remarks by saying the way things are heading now, the scandal may delay the implementation of Obamacare.

ThinkProgress reacted to the segment barely an hour it was posted, frantic that the reputation of the IRS may be tarnished.

“In reality, there is no evidence that the impropriety in the IRS office responsible for granting tax-exempt status to social welfare groups has bled over into other parts of the agency,” they wrote both reassuringly and inaccurately.

May 15, 2013 Posted by | Home, Videos | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE BLAZE by BUCK SEXTON


Politics

Obama Administration Under Siege From 3 Huge Scandals: Here’s Why It Could All Come Crashing Down

 

 

 

Before joining the Blaze, Buck served as an officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, assigned to the Counterterrorism Center and Office of Iraq Analysis. He  […]

 

In just one week, President Barack Obama’s political machine has switched from endless campaign to survival mode. And for the first time in Obama’s presidency, the damage to his regime may be permanent.

 

Three revelations have come together like an avalanche. First, there was a Benghazi hearing that proved beyond any reasonable doubt that this administration is feckless, dishonest, and cravenly politicized. But in its aftermath on Friday, an executive branch information dump dropped another bombshell: the IRS does indeed target and intimidate conservative groups.

 

This appalling admission from a senior IRS official was obviously meant to slide into the news cycle and dissipate over the weekend. This unseemly public relations gambit has become a hallmark of the Obama approach to all issues, regardless of their importance to the nation. Deny or delay, spin and win.

 

And, to the discredit of our electorate, it has worked—until perhaps now.

 

As the country was still reeling from the gut-wrenching testimony of three Benghazi whistleblowers and the IRS mea culpa, yet another log was thrown onto the bonfire of the Obama administration’s credibility. Yesterday the Associated Press broke a news story that Obama’s Justice Department collected phone data on dozens of AP reporters as part of a national security leak investigation.

 

Such sweeping intrusion upon a news organization’s privacy—exposing all its sources and chilling all speech in the process—makes a mockery of the Constitution’s guarantee of not “abridging the freedom of speech.” We can now add the First Amendment to the butcher’s bill of Obama administration overreach and nascent autocracy.

 

These three scandals have encircled the Obama administration. They threaten to turn the President’s second term into an ongoing partisan dogfight as the GOP pushes for answers that could trigger investigations, resignations—yes, possibly even impeachment, depending on what is found.

 

Here’s a brief rundown of the current debacles facing Obama:

 

1) IRS as a Political Weapon

 

The IRS singled out and harassed conservative political groups, including during the election year of 2012. The mere mention of the IRS understandably sends a jolt of anxiety through most Americans, so the implications of this conduct for Tea Party and other conservative groups are obvious. This was the worst kind of dirty politics, and an affront to even the most basic trust in government.

 

While the IRS admitted this egregious conduct, already there have been lies peddled about the depth and scope of this malfeasance. At first we were told that the breaches were limited to low-level civil servants in a few field offices. But that was also false, as we now know Washington DC-based IRS officials were involved too.

 

The familiar script from Obama and his phalanx of public relations protectors in the White House—that the IRS abuses are not political, and only those who want answers have any political motivations—sounds increasingly obtuse, and pathetic. All the obfuscation on these issues come from the same direction, and benefit the same side of the political aisle.

 

And ultimately, incompetence and ignorance are poor excuses for a chief executive. The president can only claim he didn’t know what his agencies were up to so many times before someone asks the President that all important question– what would you say, you do here?

 

2) Frontal Assault on the First Amendment

 

If a free press is the foundation upon which representative government is built, the Obama administration has allowed the Department of Justice to take a sledgehammer to it. The wholesale investigation of a major news outlet like the Associated Press undermines the intent and spirit of laws meant to promote the discourse necessary for democracy.

 

And this sets a very dangerous precedent. Unknown to much of the public, there is no special exception for the media to publish classified government information, nor are there hard-and-fast statutory constraints on calling members of the press to divulge their sources under pressure of subpoena. If Obama’s DOJ can do this once, there is no reason they can’t make it standard operating procedure. That would mean bye-bye, fourth estate.

 

Until now, the federal government has been generally aware of the tension that exists between national security and the First Amendment. Not this administration. Leakers, at least the ones not authorized from the White House itself, are punished severely.

 

At this early stage, it seems likely the Obama administration recognized that, despite its loud proclamations of outrage, no arrests have been made over the string of national security leaks over the past two years. In order to make it look like they take all leaks seriously, and to send a message to any prospective whistleblowers, Obama officials probably decided to go all in after one unauthorized leaker without the benefit of White House connections. That frenzied effort may have led to the unprecedented, secret seizure of Associated Press records.

 

3) Benghazi Lies Laid Bare

 

While the audacity of hyper-partisanship from Obama is jarring, it’s not shocking. So much about this administration, and for so long, has been venal, petty, and undignified. The most recent iteration of the Benghazi hearings solidified those feelings and left even the most ardent administration supporter defending the indefensible. But many questions remain:

 

Who made up the story about the YouTube video? Was Hillary Clinton incapable of calling her own employees to find out what happened? Where was President Obama during the 8-hour attack? What is being done to bring the attackers to justice? These are just some of the unknowns that require continued investigation despite the administration’s efforts at stonewalling.

 

It’s impossible to tell at this point what the consequences of these scandals will be for the Obama administration. To be sure, more information on the IRS targeting, DOJ snooping on journalists, and Benghazi is certain to come out. And while it will be damning overall, we can’t yet tell whether the sum total will be an ironclad implication of President Obama or his cabinet.

 

But if this administration can get away with using federal agencies to stifle political dissent, harassing and spying on journalists, and lying about the origins, actions, and aftermath of a terrorist attack, America is no longer worthy of the Constitution left to us by the Founders.

 

It’s time for answers and accountability. The dignity and future of the Republic hangs in the balance.

 

May 15, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ASSOCIATED PRESS by STEPHEN OHLEMACHER


AP Exclusive: IRS knew tea party targeted in 2011

Story user rating:

STEPHEN OHLEMACHER

Published: Yesterday


FILE – In this Aug. 2, 2012 file photo, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Douglas Shulman testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Oversight Committee. The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general’s report obtained by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.

The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog’s report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with “Tea Party,” ”Patriot” or “9/12 Project” in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says.

The 9/12 Project is a group started by conservative TV personality Glenn Beck. In a statement to the AP, Beck suggested that the revelations were hardly news to him and other conservatives.

“In February 2012, TheBlaze first reported what the IRS now admits to – that they unfairly targeted conservative groups including the 9/12 project,” Beck said, citing his website and TV network. “It is nice to see everyone else playing catch-up and finally asking the same questions that TheBlaze started raising over a year ago.”

Lerner instructed agents to change the criteria for flagging groups “immediately,” the report says.

The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week. The AP obtained part of the draft report, which has been shared with congressional aides.

Among the other revelations, on Aug. 4, 2011, staffers in the IRS’ Rulings and Agreements office “held a meeting with chief counsel so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.”

On Jan, 25, 2012, the criteria for flagging suspect groups was changed to, “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement,” the report says.

While this was happening, several committees in Congress were writing numerous letters IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman to express concern because tea party groups were complaining of IRS harassment.

In Shulman’s responses, he did not acknowledge targeting of tea party groups. At a congressional hearing March 22, 2012, Shulman was adamant in his denials.

“There’s absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people” who apply for tax-exempt status, Shulman said at the House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing.

The portion of the draft report reviewed by the AP does not say whether Shulman or anyone else in the Obama administration outside the IRS was informed of the targeting. It is standard procedure for agency heads to consult with staff before responding to congressional inquiries, but it is unclear how much information Shulman sought.

The IRS has not said when Shulman found out that Tea Party groups were targeted.

Shulman was appointed by President George W. Bush, a Republican. His 6-year term ended in November. President Barack Obama has yet to nominate a successor. The agency is now run by an acting commissioner, Steven Miller.

The IRS said in a statement Saturday that the agency believes the timeline in the IG’s report is correct, and supports what officials said Friday.

“IRS senior leadership was not aware of this level of specific details at the time of the March 2012 hearing,” the statement said. “The timeline does not contradict the commissioner’s testimony. While exempt organizations officials knew of the situation earlier, the timeline reflects that IRS senior leadership did not have this level of detail.”

Lerner’s position is three levels below the commissioner.

“The timeline supports what the IRS acknowledged on Friday that mistakes were made,” the statement continued. “There were not partisan reasons behind this.”

Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s oversight subcommittee, said the report “raises serious questions as to who at IRS, Treasury and in the administration knew about this, why this practice was allowed to continue for as long as it did, and how widespread it was.”

“This timeline reveals at least two extremely unethical actions by the IRS. One, as early as 2010, they targeted groups for political purposes. Two, they willfully and knowingly lied to Congress for years despite being aware that Congress was investigating this practice,” Boustany said.

“This is an outrageous abuse of power. Going after organizations for referencing the Bill of Rights or expressing the intent to make this country a better place is repugnant,” Boustany added. “There is no excuse for this behavior.”

Several congressional committees have promised investigations, including the Ways and Means Committee, which plans to hold a hearing.

“The admission by the agency that it targeted American taxpayers based on politics is both shocking and disappointing,” said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. “We will hold the IRS accountable for its actions.”

The group Tea Party Patriots said the revelation was proof that the IRS had lied to Congress and the public when Schulman said there had been no targeting of tea party groups.

“We must know how many more lies they have been telling and how high up the chain the cover-up goes,” Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for the group Tea Party Patriots, said in a statement Saturday.

“It appears the IRS committed crimes and violated our ability to exercise our First Amendment right to free speech. A simple apology is not sufficient reparation for violating the constitutional rights of United States citizens. Therefore, Tea Party Patriots rejects the apology from the Internal Revenue Service,” Martin said. “We are, however, encouraged to hear that Congress plans to investigate. Those responsible must be held accountable and resign or be terminated for their actions.”

On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration expected the inspector general to conduct a thorough investigation, but he brushed aside calls for the White House itself to investigate.

Many conservative groups complained during the 2012 election that they were being harassed by the IRS. They accused the agency of frustrating their attempts to become tax exempt by sending them lengthy, intrusive questionnaires.

The forms, which the groups have made available, sought information about group members’ political activities, including details of their postings on social networking websites and about family members.

In some cases, the IRS acknowledged, agents inappropriately asked for lists of donors.

There has been a surge of politically active groups claiming tax-exempt status in recent elections – conservative and liberal. Among the highest profile are Republican Karl Rove’s group Crossroads GPS and the liberal Moveon.org.

These groups claim tax-exempt status under section 501 (c) (4) of the federal tax code, which is for social welfare groups. Unlike other charitable groups, these organizations are allowed to participate in political activities, but their primary activity must be social welfare.

That determination is up to the IRS.

The number of groups filing for this tax-exempt status more than doubled from 2010 to 2012, to more than 3,400. To handle the influx, the IRS centralized its review of these applications in an office in Cincinnati.

Lerner said on Friday this was done to develop expertise among staffers and consistency in their reviews. As part of the review, staffers look for signs that groups are participating in political activity. If so, IRS agents take a closer look to make sure that politics isn’t the group’s primary activity.

As part of this process, agents in Cincinnati came up with a list of things to look for in an application. As part of the list, they included the words “tea party” and “patriot,” Lerner said.

“It’s the line people that did it without talking to managers,” Lerner told the AP on Friday. “They’re IRS workers, they’re revenue agents.”

In all, about 300 groups were singled out for additional review, Lerner said. Of those, about a quarter were singled out because they had “tea party” or “patriot” somewhere in their applications.

Lerner said 150 of the cases have been closed and no group had its tax-exempt status revoked, though some withdrew their applications.

___

Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephenatap

© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

May 13, 2013 Posted by | Home | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CONSERVATIVE BYTE from NYTIMES.COM, WASHINGRONEXAMINER.COM, THEHILL.COM, & VIDEO.FOXNEWS.COM


Internet Hit by ‘Biggest Attack Ever’

Posted on March 27, 2013

images

You can be sure that upcoming wars will be fought in cyberspace. And of course Obama will want to take it over to help protect everyone….
Check it out:  A squabble between a group fighting spam and a Dutch company that hosts Web sites said to be sending spam has escalated into one of the largest computer attacks on the Internet, causing widespread congestion and jamming crucial infrastructure around the world.

Millions of ordinary Internet users have experienced delays in services like Netflix or could not reach a particular Web site for a short time.

However, for the Internet engineers who run the global network the problem is more worrisome. The attacks are becoming increasingly powerful, and computer security experts worry that if they continue to escalate people may not be able to reach basic Internet services, like e-mail and online banking.

Continue Reading on www.nytimes.com

McCain: I Won’t Stop Saying ‘Illegal’ Immigrant

Posted on March 27, 2013

3093cropped

Wow. McCain got one right. I guess he’s about 50-50. Does this mean that Obama will start calling illegal drug dealers by the name of “Undocumented Pharmacists”
Check it out:  Sen. John McCain R-Ariz., said Monday he won’t stop using the term “illegal immigrant,” when asked at a Phoenix town hall to stop using “the ‘I’ word.”

A 25-year old “dreamer” asked McCain to instead use a phrase like “undocumented immigrant,” the Arizona Republic reported today.

“Someone who crosses our borders illegally is here illegally,” McCain said. “You can call it whatever you want to, but it’s illegal. I think there’s a big difference between someone who does something that’s illegal and someone who’s undocumented. I’ll continue to call it illegal.”

The White House, on the other hand, has adopted the term “undocumented” in its push for immigration reform.

Continue Reading on washingtonexaminer.com

Shatner ‘appalled’ by IRS ‘Trek’ spoof

Posted on March 27, 2013

103112-kirk-2

The real question should be who thought this was a good idea.
Check it out:  William Shatner said he is “appalled” by the Internal Revenue Services’s spoof of “Star Trek” — the television show that made him famous for his portrayal of Captain James Kirk.

Last week, the IRS apologized for spending $60,000 on the parody, which was intended to be used as a training video. Lawmakers — and now the show’s star actor — have blasted it as a senseless use of taxpayer money.

“So I watched that IRS video. I am appalled at the utter waste of U.S. tax dollars,” Shatner tweeted Tuesday Morning.

The six-minute “Star Trek” video made in Maryland was shown to agency employees at a conference in 2010. In the video, IRS workers are meticulously dressed as characters from the popular TV show and are flying a staged space craft towards the planet “Notax.”

Continue Reading on thehill.com

 

Bob Beckel Goes Off on CBS For Communist Propaganda During Show

Posted on March 21, 2013

Screen-Shot-2013-03-20-at-4.34.25-PM-300x196-290x196

Did ‘Amazing Race’ disrespect Vietnam vets?

Contestants chant communist propaganda in Hanoi

Continue Reading on video.foxnews.com

 

March 27, 2013 Posted by | Home, Videos | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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