The U. K. Daily Mail reports:
I am purposely not including a link to the U. K. Daily Mail article because of the graphic nature of the article. This blog is rated G. A bystander with a gun might have been able to save the life of the victim, but Britain does not allow civilians to own guns.
People with little regard for the lives of others come in all sizes, shapes, and religious beliefs, but the fact that they were shouting “Allah Akbar” gives us a clue as to their motive. There is, unfortunately, a percentage of the Muslim population that takes the Koran seriously when it says “kill the infidel wherever you may find him.” Until Muslims who do not believe that are willing to denounce those who do, we can expect to see more of what happened in London today.
On Sunday Kimberly Strassel posted an article at the Wall Street Journal detailing some aspects of the current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal. Ms. Strassel reminds us that leadership comes from the top. President Obama didn’t have to be directly involved in the increased IRS scrutiny of conservative groups–he simply had to set the tone.
The article states:
Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.
One of the Democrat talking point on this scandal is that it is the result of the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court in 2010. What that decision did was to allow corporations, associations, and political groups the same privileges in election campaigns that unions had enjoyed for years. The decision essentially leveled the playing field. Unions had been legally pouring money into campaigns for years whether their members supported the candidates they were supporting or not. The Citizens United decision meant that corporations would also have that right. It is interesting to note that corporations generally have a Board of Directors they have to answer to–unions are answerable only to their own leadership–the ones making the donations.
Ms. Strassel reminds us how the Obama campaign treated Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot:
Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Other donors were described as having been “on the wrong side of the law.”
This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.
Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.
This leads me back to the title of this article and to Ms. Stassel’s conclusion:
The IRS is easy to demonize, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It got its heading from a president, and his party, who did in fact send it orders—openly, for the world to see. In his Tuesday press grilling, no question agitated White House Press Secretary Jay Carney more than the one that got to the heart of the matter: Given the president’s “animosity” toward Citizens United, might he have “appreciated or wanted the IRS to be looking and scrutinizing those . . .” Mr. Carney cut off the reporter with “That’s a preposterous assertion.”
Preposterous because, according to Mr. Obama, he is “outraged” and “angry” that the IRS looked into the very groups and individuals that he spent years claiming were shady, undemocratic, even lawbreaking. After all, he expects the IRS to “operate with absolute integrity.” Even when he does not.
I need to go on the record again as saying that I do not believe President Obama should be impeached. I believe that he has encouraged overreach by government agencies and misdeeds by supporters, but I don’t believe he should be impeached. President Obama has had enough Chicago experience to know how to avoid leaving his fingerprints on any questionable activity–an impeachment would simply divide the country and accomplish nothing.
So what do we need to do? If the mounting scandals bother you, get involved–in either party. There are good men in both parties–find one you can support and get to work. Every candidate needs people to mail things, hold signs, make phone calls, or simply show up at rallies. If you want to see integrity brought to Washington, become part of the process.
In the current world of the Internet, it would behoove politicians to look into past statements regarding a tragedy before making total fools of themselves.
Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted a story about comments made by Rhode Island’s Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse after the tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. Senator Whitehouse spent 15 minutes chastising GOP senators for denying the theory of anthropogenic global warming. The implication being, of course, that the tornadoes were the result of global warming and that if the Republicans would just acknowledge global warming, the tornadoes wouldn’t have happened. Right. He somehow forgot to mention that tornadoes in the middle of the country in the spring are more common that hurricanes on the east coast in the summer. But it gets better.
This is the link to the entire article.
The Senator does not need to play politics with this tragedy. What he does need to do is to figure out a way to get aid to the people affected by creating a bill that will help them that does not include tons of pork-barrel spending. I strongly suggest that he devote his time to crafting that bill rather than citing science that has already been proven to be faulty.
I will admit that I have only followed current events for the last twenty years or so, but I can’t remember ever hearing anything like the story I am about to report.
Yesterday Breitbart.com reported that two ABC News reporters who entered the Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati were escorted through the building by an armed uniformed police officer with the Federal Protective Service. The Peck Building is a public building, it is also the home of the Internal Revenue Service office in Cincinnati.
The article at Breitbart reports:
At the [Cincinnati] IRS office on the fourth floor, a woman who answered the buzzer referred reporters to officials in Washington, though they were not returning very many calls. That staffer also said she was not allowed to speak to anyone – a line that was repeated by agency personnel during the week.
IRS headquarters in Washington denied that a no-talk rule was official policy because, after all, agency staffers still have a constitutional right to talk to whomever they want. …
Not so, said IRS folks in Ohio.
One of them, who asked not be named, told ABC News that security guards did remind employees of the official policy not to talk with the press – a warning cemented by the punch line “or risk losing our jobs.”
All we need is one honest, brave employee to come forward and explain exactly what happened. Unfortunately, that would be the Obama Administration’s worst nightmare and they will do everything they can to keep that from happening.
Kirsten Powers posted an article at the Daily Beast today entitled, “How Hope and Change Gave Way To Spying on the Press.” She does a very good job of explaining how we got from hope and change to threatening James Rosen with criminal prosecution for investigative reporting. Brit Hume pointed out on Special Report last night that in the past when the government pursued a leak, they prosecuted the leaker–not the reporter. It is very unusual to threaten to prosecute the reporter. I also should mention that the government’s invasion of Mr. Rosen’s privacy during this investigation is stunning.
So how did we get here?
Kirsten Powers explains:
It was 2009, and the new administration decided it was appropriate to use the prestige of the White House to viciously attack a news organization – Fox News – and the journalists who work there. Remember, they had barely been in office and had enjoyed the most laudatory press of any new president in modern history. Yet, even one outlet that allowed dissent or criticism of President Obama was one too many. This should have been a red flag to everyone, regardless of what they thought of Fox News. The math was simple: if they would abuse their power to try and intimidate one media outlet, what made anyone think they weren’t next?
The article relates the various comments by administration spokesmen that Fox News was not a valid news outlet. It also points out that only one journalist questioned what was going on:
Yet only one mainstream media reporter – Jake Tapper, then of ABC News – ever raised a serious objection to the White House’s egregious and chilling behavior. Tapper asked future MSNBC commentator and then White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “[W]hy is [it] appropriate for the White House to say” that “thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a ‘news organization’?” The spokesman for the president of the United States was unrepentant, saying: “That’s our opinion.”
Obviously, they are entitled to their opinion. What they are not entitled to is to use the power of the government against a news organization that does not agree with everything they are doing.
The article goes on to cite the latest example of the White House targeting those news reporters that do not agree with their politics. Media Matters, a Democratic advocacy group, has launched a smear campaign against Jonathan Karl after his recent reporting on Benghazi. A group called Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has referred to Jonathan Karl as “a right wing mole at ABC News.” If you don’t tow the line, you must be a right wing mole. Right.
Kirsten Power rightfully concludes:
What all of us in the media need to remember – whatever our politics – is that we need to hold government actions to the same standard, whether they’re aimed at friends or foes. If not, there’s no one but ourselves to blame when the administration takes aim at us.
Before we allow Sharia Law to creep into our courts, we need to understand how it works:
Sharia Law is not a just legal system when dealing with women. I think the above videos prove that.
One of the things we need to remember when viewing events in the Middle East is that regardless of what is going on with any nation’s military at any given time, there is always a propaganda war.
In 2000, the world was shown pictures of 12-year-old Muhammad al-Dura, who was supposedly killed by Israeli troops. Well, that’s not the end of the story–even for Muhammad al-Dura. Yesterday, Scott Johnson at Power Line posted a very interesting update. Muhammad al-Dura was not only not killed by Israeli forces–he was not killed!
The article at Power Line links to a story in the Times of Israel also posted on Sunday.
The article in the Times of Israel states:
Muhammad al-Dura, the Palestinian child who appeared to have been gruesomely killed at his father’s feet in Gaza on September 30, 2000 — as filmed in iconic footage that helped fuel the Second Intifada — was not harmed by Israeli forces and did not die in the exchange of fire, according to an Israeli government report released Sunday, three days before a French court rules on a related matter.
“Contrary to the report’s claim that the boy was killed, the committee’s review of the raw footage showed that in the final scenes, which were not broadcast by France 2, the boy is seen to be alive,” the Ministry of International Affairs and Strategy report stated regarding the television report.
The Israel Times further reports:
The 55 seconds of edited footage, filmed two days after Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, contributed to the October 2000 protest in which 13 Arab citizens of Israel were killed and quickly became the defining image of the second Palestinian intifada uprising and terror war against Israel.
…Sunday’s report embraces what is known as the maximalist approach, asserting that not only was al-Dura not killed by IDF bullets but that, at the end of the raw footage, he was categorically alive. “Contrary to (France 2 reporter Charles) Enderlin’s claim, the raw footage shows clearly that in the final scenes, the boy is not dead. In the final seconds of the footage, the boy raises his arm and turns his head in the direction of (cameraman Talal) Abu-Rahma in what are clearly intentional and controlled movements. This should have been readily-apparent to Enderlin. Yet rather than reconsidering the claim before producing the report, or providing viewers with the full picture so that they could fairly judge the credibility of his declaration that ‘Muhammad is dead’, Enderlin edited out these last scenes from the report, thereby creating the false impression that the footage substantiated his claims.”
Israel soldiers are traditionally very careful to avoid civilian casualties–they understand the bias in the worldwide media against Israel, and they choose not to provide any ammunition for that media. It has taken thirteen years for the truth to come out about the non-murder of this child, and it will be interesting to see any of the major media bothers to report it. Meanwhile enemies of Israel lob rockets at the civilian population daily, and the media somehow does not report that.
Yesterday Hot Air posted a story about the Democrat‘s claim that the e-mails regarding Benghazi had been doctored by the Republicans. That claim was made by Dan Pfeiffer on his Sunday round of talk show appearances. So what is the story behind the claim?
The article reports:
Nothing was “doctored.” Following the House report, Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard revealed a significant amount of new detail, followed by Jon Karl at ABC News. Both Hayes and Karl refer to summaries of the emails, meaning they presumably relied a great deal on the notes of those at the March 19 White House briefing. Karl inaccurately quotes from one email, which may have been based on faulty note-taking or some other error. While this is significant, the email in question exists and has the same core content as the email quoted by Karl — there was no wholesale fabrication.
The article explains why some of the initial reports were not totally accurate:
The incorrect versions – and they were inaccurate quotes – were not generated by GOP operatives. They were extracted by ABC’s Jon Karl from notes taken by attendees at the original meeting when the White House refused to initially allow anyone to have copies which could have been used for full referencing. ABC went with the notes, being the closest thing anyone had to an official record, and the GOP worked off those notes.
As the scandal continues, pay attention to who says what and question everything you read or hear. That is the only way we will ever get to the truth.
The article reports:
Rosen (James Rosen of Fox News) wrote on his blog that U.S. intelligence officials felt that North Korea would respond to United Nations sanctions with more nuclear tests. That information was apparently given him by Kim (Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a State Department arms expert).
Even though it has not been proven to this day that it’s illegal for a reporter to solicit information, because of the First Amendment’s protection of the press, the Obama Administration went to work. The Justice Department not only grabbed Rosen’s telephone records, they used security badge access records to track the Rosen’s visits to the State Department, traced the timing of his calls with Kim, and obtained a search warrant for Rosen’s e-mails.
First of all, James Rosen is a good reporter–he has been doing this for a while. The statement that North Korea would respond to sanctions with more nuclear tests was not earthshaking. Second of all, the Justice Department’s investigation is clearly overreach.
The article concludes:
First Amendment lawyer Charles Tobin said, “Search warrants like these have a severe chilling effect on the free flow of important information to the public. That’s a very dangerous road to go down.” Attorney Abbe Lowell, who is defending Kim, asserted, “The latest events show an expansion of this law enforcement technique. Individual reporters or small time periods have turned into 20 [telephone] lines and months of records with no obvious attempt to be targeted or narrow.”
FBI agent Reginald Reyes wrote in an affidavit that Rosen had broken the law “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.” But that statement may well conflict with First Amendment rights.
I understand that most of the mainstream media is philosophically aligned with President Obama, but keeping that is mind, there are two aspects of this story that I find interesting. First of all, do members of the press care when one of their own is subject to extreme scrutiny by the Justice Department? Second, is it easier to go along with the Obama Administration’s taking points than to take a chance on being investigated for reporting the truth?
The story of the investigation of James Rosen along with the excessive investigation of Associated Press reporters should give all Americans reason to question everything they read from the mainstream media. We are reaching a point where reporters will be afraid to report the truth for fear of retribution.
Today I had the privilege of attending a United Jerusalem Day Celebration at the Victory Assembly of God in Sharon, Massachusetts. The event was sponsored by Rabbis and Ministers for Israel; Pastor Joe Green; Victory Assembly of God; Pastor Dick Ingram; Christians and Jews United for Israel; Rev. Fumio Taku; Friends of the IDF; Lior Zommer; Russian Jewish Community Foundation; Alex Koifman; The Irwin M. and H. Ethel Hausman Memorial Speakers Series; Rabbi Jonathan H. Hausman.
The featured speakers were Shai Bazak, Consul General of Israel to New England, Cathy Lanyard, Executive Director, American Friends of ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem, Col. Amnon Meir, I.D.F. Liaison Offer to TRADOC, and Dr. Pat Robertson of CBN.
The day was a celebration of Israel and its eternal capital, Jerusalem. Rabbi Hausman spoke of the need for Christians and Jews who support Israel to travel to Israel to see the country for themselves. He pointed out that less than one quarter of American Jews have ever visited Israel. The Rabbi reminded us that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians live freely.
Cathy Lanyard spoke of the work being done at ALYN Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel’s pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation facility. ALYN treats children with a wide range of congenital and acquired conditions including cerebral palsy, neuromuscular diseases, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, burns, terror and motor vehicle accident victims. The goal of the hospital is the equip children to go home and lie with their families. Ms. Lanyard spoke about a Guardian Angel program to help Americans support this hospital and the work that they do.
Shai Bazak, the Consul General of Israel to New England, spoke of growing up in Israel and learning the history of the country and of the Jewish people. His father fought in the 1948 war for the liberation of Israel. In listening to him speak, I began to understand the role of the Western Wall in the life of an Israeli Jew. He described the Wall as a place for prayer and thanksgiving.
Pat Robertson spoke of God’s blessing on the Jewish people and the need for Christians to support Israel. Dr. Robertson spoke of the recent terrorist bombing in Boston. He reminded us that Islam divides the world into two categories–dar al-Harb, the house of war, and dar al-Islam, the house of Islam. There is no in-between. He pointed out that Islam is a political system with a goal of world domination. Dr. Robertson pointed out that in World War II we knew our enemy–we knew it was the Nazis–not all of the Germans–and we fought that enemy and won. He stated that we have to do that with Islam. He reminded us that David purchased Mount Moriah in order to make a sacrifice to God after he disobeyed God by taking a census. Solomon built his temple in Jerusalem. As both Christians and Jews, we need to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The final speaker was Col. Amnon Meir, I.D.F. Liaison Officer to TRADOC. He stated that he was born in Israel and that his parents were born in Israel. He spoke of a visit to the concentration camps of the Holocaust. In speaking with a survivor of a camp in Austria, he said that the man said that the three most important moments of his life were–the day the U.S. army freed his concentration camp, the day the state of Israel was established, and the day that Jerusalem was unified. He reminded us that Israel is a peaceful nation that desires peace, but Israel lives in a rough neighborhood and needs to hold a big stick (a strong army).
It was an amazing day. Listening to the speakers who were raised in Israel talk about the Western Wall and what it was like to grow up in the midst of such incredible history was awesome. It was a celebration of Israel and Jerusalem. It was also a celebration of the unity that can exist between Jews who love Israel and Christians who love Israel.
Yesterday the U.K. Telegraph posted a story about an interesting development in the Syrian civil war. Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda off-shoot has become the strongest faction of the rebels around the city of Raqqa and in the desert region to its east. The group is violently anti-Western.
The article reports that the group:
…has been steadily extending its control in the region, is selling the crude oil to local entrepreneurs, who use home-made refineries to produce low-grade petrol and other fuels for Syrians facing acute shortages.
The article explains:
In the battle for the future of the rebel cause, the oil-fields may begin to play an increasingly strategic role. All are in the three provinces closest to Iraq – Hasakeh, Deir al-Zour, and Raqqa, while the Iraqi border regions are the homeland of the Islamic State of Iraq, as al-Qaeda’s branch in the country calls itself.
We may have freed Iraq from the horrors of Saddam Hussein, but because we did not stay to finish the job, Iraq is not a free country–it is a satellite of Iran.
The article reports:
General Selim Idriss, the head of the western-backed opposition Military Council, has appealed for Western help specifically to seize the fields from Jabhat, but the forces required – he put it at 30,000 men – make that a pipe dream. Even pro-Western rebel militias in the area admit that the level of support received from the council is at present minimal.
They have promised to take on Jabhat al-Nusra once the fighting is over, but they are split and fighting among themselves, with their lack of money forcing some to turn to looting and extortion to fund themselves, further alienating the local population.
Arming the rebels in Syria right now would be a mistake–it would be arming al-Qaeda at the risk of having the weapons given used against us in the Middle East or in terrorist attacks elsewhere. The rebels that we would be arming are not in control, and arming them would be somewhat futile. So what is our option? We need to do everything we can to get innocent civilians out of the country and to provide them with food and shelter. We can let the anti-Western Islamists fight among themselves–there are no good guys with any power in this war. If we were actually dumb enough to enter this war, the rebels and the government forces would probably unite against us–after all, we are the infidels.
The economy is recovering at the speed of snails. The last raise my husband received paid more to the government than it did to him–and he is one of the lucky ones who has a steady job. So who is prospering in the current economy?
While Loudoun (VA) ranks at the top, it’s far from alone on the list of wealthiest counties that surround Washington. In fact, it’s just the beginning. The neighboring counties of Falls Church City, Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William in Virginia and Howard County in Maryland all make the cut, giving the D.C. area six of the nation’s ten wealthiest counties. All boast median household incomes between $93,000 and $117,000 annually.
This is one of many reasons why the Tea Party exists. This is also one of many reasons why the Tea Party is such a threat to the government establishment (both Democrats and Republicans). But it gets even more interesting…
Clarice Feldman posted an article at American Thinker today about how the current scandals are impacting the pocketbooks of Washington lawyers. The article is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but makes some really good points. The scene is a Washington bistro frequented by lawyers, politicians, and upper-level civil servants. The restaurant is packed with lawyers celebrating the coming uptick of business in Washington.
This is just a sample of the article–please follow the link above to read the entire article:
“What are the colored badges for?” I asked.
“They signify which scandal defendants they are representing so they can exchange useful procedural and related information without disclosing who they are representing or breaching client confidentiality. The orange tag means the attorney is representing someone in the Benghazi scandal.”
“I see seven — probably Petraeus, Clinton, Rice, Donilon, Brennan, Nuland, Rhodes. And the blue badge?” I asked, sipping the drink.
“IRS scandal,” George whispered, wiping the counter to appear more inconspicuous.
“Hmm,” I thought, “Shulman, Ingram, Miller, Lerner, and some others to be named at a later date. And the red badge?”
“Small table — must be Justice officials on the Associated Press scandal.”
“Yeah, so far Holder and his deputy Cole. Will Cole cover for Holder who preposterously testified he recused himself because he speaks to the press, that he can’t remember when he recused himself, and that he didn’t follow the statutory mandate for recusal procedure?”
“You did notice,” Joe laughed, “that the ‘security breach’ which Holder claims occasioned the wiretapping of reporters turns out to be AP waiting to publish until they got the CIA’s approval but before the White House crowd could publicly pat themselves on the back for getting the underwear bomber?”
“Wasn’t that something? The whole story is too flimsy to hold a drop of water and even the press can grasp this one.”
At least someone is actually prospering in the Obama economy.
On Thursday, the U. K. Daily Mail posted a story about an armed house invasion in Texas that did not go the way the robbers had planned. Three armed men broke into a home and attacked the man who lived there, pushing him into a closet. What they didn’t know is that they pushed him into the closet where he stores his gun. The man they locked in the closet shares the home with his parents. After waiting a while, he took his gun and went downstairs, assuming the robbers had gone. Unfortunately (for the robber), one of the criminals was still in the house. The robber was shot in the shoulder and the leg. There have been other recent robberies in the neighborhood. This incident might cause the robbers to think twice.
The article reports:
Craig Gaddis, who told the paper that he owns several handguns, said he and his neighbors are certain that the home invasions are related.
‘What happened today is exactly what guns are supposed to do – to protect your home and defend your life and your family,’ Gaddis said.
Police say the homeowner who shot the burglary suspect will not be face charges.
Texas has a self-defense law based on the ‘castle doctrine.’ The legislation has a ‘stand your ground’ clause, meaning the person using physical or deadly force against an attacker does not have a duty to retreat.
This story illustrates one of many reasons law-abiding citizens should be able to own guns.
The lawsuit charges that the IRS violated the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The article explains:
…(IRS) agents executed a search warrant for financial data on one employee – and that led to the seizure of information on 10 million, including state judges.
The search warrant did not specify that the IRS could take medical information, UPI said. And information technology officials warned the IRS about the potential to violate medical privacy laws before agents executed the warrant, the complaint said, as reported by UPI.
“Despite knowing that these medical records were not within the scope of the warrant, defendants threatened to ‘rip’ the servers containing the medical data out of the building if IT personnel would not voluntarily hand them over,” the complaint states, UPI reported.
The article reports that the records taken could impact up to one in 25 Americans.
Meanwhile, Forbes Magazine posted an article on Friday noting:
…Obamacare dramatically expands the authority and the scope of the Internal Revenue Service. Two provisions in particular will require thousands of new IRS agents, and billions in funding, to enforce: the law’s individual mandate, forcing most Americans to buy government-approved health insurance; and its employer mandate, forcing most employers to take money out of workers’ paychecks to purchase costly health insurance on their behalf.
The IRS will be enforcing the individual mandate. We knew that. What you may not be aware of is that there are a number of exceptions to the individual mandate, and the IRS has to have a good deal of information about you to see if you are eligible for one of those exceptions–they are only collecting all of this personal information for your own good!
The law is also written in a way that forces employers with 50 or more “full-time employees” offer “minimum essential coverage” in an “affordable” manner. There are all sorts of rules and regulations surrounding this that also require the IRS to collect more information on all of us.
The article in Forbes suggests a solution:
Others are suggesting that the duty to enforce the individual and employer mandates be taken out of IRS’ hands and moved into another agency. But, to me, this doesn’t make much sense. Do we really want another government agency to have sensitive information about our incomes and our insurance policies?
The only viable solution to this problem is to repeal the employer mandate altogether, and to replace the individual mandate with something else, like a limited open enrollment period, that does not require expanding the power and the authority of the IRS.
ObamaCare will not be repealed unless it becomes an obstacle for Democrats running for office. Until the American people make it clear that they will not vote for anyone who does not support the repeal of ObamaCare, we will be stuck with it. Even then, it may take a little time for politicians to get the message. The thing to remember is that there will be a point of no return–a place where ObamaCare has so totally impacted health care in America that it cannot be repealed. Hopefully we get repeal it before we reach that point.
Andrew C. McCarthy posted a very interesting article at National Review today about the investigations into the attack in Benghazi. Mr. McCarthy is the former federal prosecutor who prosecuted the Blind Sheik after the World Trade Center bombing. He is one of the most authoritative writers anywhere on the dangers of Jihad. During the time he was building the case against the Blind Sheik, he did extensive research on the teachings on Islam and is a very reliable source on terrorism.
Mr. McCarthy has a rather unique take on the investigation surrounding Benghazi:
All of that being the case, I am puzzled why so little attention has been paid to the Obama-Clinton phone call at 10 p.m. on the night of September 11.
Mr. McCarthy reports:
We have heard almost nothing about what Obama was doing that night. Back in February, though, CNS News did manage to pry one grudging disclosure out of White House mendacity mogul Jay Carney: “At about 10 p.m., the president called Secretary Clinton to get an update on the situation.”
Obviously, it is not a detail Carney was anxious to share. Indeed, it contradicted an earlier White House account that claimed the president had not spoken with Clinton or other top administration officials that night.
The article reminds us of the timing of that call and the subsequent statements regarding the source and cause of the attack:
We do not have a recording of this call, and neither Clinton nor the White House has described it beyond noting that it happened. But we do know that, just a few minutes after Obama called Clinton, the Washington press began reporting that the State Department had issued a statement by Clinton regarding the Benghazi attack. In it, she asserted:
Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.
Gee, what do you suppose Obama and Clinton talked about in that 10 p.m. call?
Mr. McCarthy notes that CNS News asked Jay Carney if Mrs. Clinton’s statement was discussed during the call, and Jay Carney declined to answer.
It seems as if the 10 pm phone call would be the ‘smoking gun’ everyone seems to have successfully avoided finding.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported yesterday that the U. S. Marshall Service has lost track of two terrorists that had entered the Witness Security Program. The latest search for these two men indicates that one man is definitely living outside the United States and the other man is probably living outside the country.
Let’s look at some of the facts surrounding this–both men were involved or accused of being involved in terrorism. They have now left America. They took with them a personal knowledge of how the American Witness Security Program works.
So what happened? The article states:
I am reminded of an old episode of the television series WINGS in which Lowell Mather finds himself in the witness protection program. As he is leaving the airport on Nantucket, he shouts to his friends, “Aloha.” Needless to say, he is very quickly given a new destination. Anyone can make a mistake, but that mistake may cost American lives either in America or overseas. Who in the world is running our government?
Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted a story that asked the following question:
…could someone at the IRS have leaked Romney’s tax information to Reid? At the time, Reid claimed he learned of Romney’s tax background from someone who had once been an investor in Romney’s firm, though he wouldn’t say who.
The question arises because it has come to light that for the last two years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been targeting conservative groups and leaking confidential information to liberal groups.
Harry Reid used his position as Senate Majority Leader to level charges at Mitt Romney that would have been impossible to disprove without totally compromising any bit of privacy Governor Romney might have had. In essence, he demanded that Mitt Romney prove a negative. The narrative went something like this:
“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” Reid told the liberal news outlet. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”
Romney’s campaign denied Reid’s accusations, eventually releasing a summary of the former Massachusetts governor’s taxes that — according to Romney staffers — showed he paid taxes over the last 20 years.
But Reid continued to argue that Romney’s tax returns included something that the Republican didn’t want everyone to see.
“He’s hiding something,” Reid said on a conference call. “He’s hiding something! It is so evident he’s hiding something!”
First of all, I seriously doubt the charges were true. However, since when did investors get to see the tax returns of board members of the companies in which they were investing? If in fact Harry Reid actually knew anything about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, where did he get that information?
Just a note–last year was the first year my husband and I have ever been audited. I am on the membership list of a number of conservative groups that probably have applied for tax exempt status. Hopefully, that is just a coincidence.
Like it or not, political success in America has a lot to do with money. One way to stifle your political opposition is to dry up their money supply. One way to dry up their money supply is to refuse tax exempt status to their organizations that would buy advertising time in the major media. When you do that, their donations are no longer tax deductible and they receive less money. When you leave their tax-exempt status in limbo, they receive less in donations and thus have a smaller voice in the political process. That is the reason the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal is important.
Today’s Weekly Standard reports:
NBC’s Lisa Myers reported this morning that the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election. The IRS commissioner “has known for at least a year that this was going on,” said Myers, “and that this had happened. And did he share any of that information with the White House? But even more importantly, Congress is going to ask him, why did you mislead us for an entire year? Members of Congress were saying conservatives are being targeted. What’s going on here? The IRS denied it.
I don’t know if this would have made a difference. I am not sure how many people were or actually are paying attention to what is going on. Remember the stories we heard that said that the Tea Party was losing its impact? Well, due to the actions of the IRS, it was losing its funding.
I am not sure what the proper response to this mess is. I watched some of the hearings this morning and was disgusted. The Democrats are still denying and defending, and I am not sure if anyone is noticing what is going on. We are in danger of losing our system of government–we are on the edge of having our government tell us what we can think and how we can vote. We just watched the government defund the people who disagreed with them. My heart hurts for America right now. Unless more Americans wake up to what is happening, we have a government that controls us–not a government that represents us.
The Obama Administration has promised to get to the bottom of the Internal Revenue Service‘s (IRS) scandal involving the targeting of conservative groups. They have promised that the person responsible will be held accountable. Because of the time frame, they can’t blame it on George Bush, but that doesn’t mean that the concept of accountability isn’t flexible.
ABC News reported today that the person who was in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time the Tea Party was targeted is now head of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office. Oddly enough, she was not the one asked to resign.
The article reports:
Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.
Grant announced today that he would retire June 3, despite being appointed as commissioner of the tax-exempt office May 8, a week ago.
As the House voted to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, House Speaker John Boehner expressed “serious concerns” that the IRS is empowered as the law’s chief enforcer.
The IRS scandal has some rather subtle consequences. It vindicates those conservative organizations that were complaining about being targeting in 2010. It shows that Congress and the Inspector General were slow to respond to those complaints. But there is another aspect of this story that is interesting. The House of Representatives voted today to repeal ObamaCare. That is nothing new–they have been doing that pretty much on a regular basis. It won’t be repealed under this Congress–it would never pass the Senate, and even it it did, the Senate would not be able to override a Presidential veto. But there is a twist to this story. The IRS scandal is one that every American can relate to. As the scandal unfolds, the Republicans (assuming they have given up being the stupid party) will remind people that the IRS will be administering ObamaCare. After this scandal, that will be a scary prospect to many people. ObamaCare is not popular to begin with, it was passed with only Democrat votes–no Republicans voted for it, and the mid-term elections are a year and a half away. There will be more votes on the repeal of ObamaCare, and it will be interesting to see if any Democrats running for re-election change their votes.
Carol Platt Liebau posted an article at Townhall.com yesterday about the Inspector General‘s report on the Internal Revenue‘s dealing with people and groups associated with conservatism. Ms. Liebau has one of those analytical minds that can sort through the fluff and get to the heart of the issue. Her article is amazing in the way it asks the questions no one investigating seemed to be interested in asking.
The article reports:
There’s nothing in there about the targeting of individuals, as I noted last night.
There’s nothing in there about who leaked documents to the media (which I wrote about here).
There’s nothing in there about how an Obama relection campaign chairman came to possess confidential information he used to attack Mitt Romney.
What the report reveals — more than anything else — is that it’s a starting point for some sharp inquiry by Congress, raising more questions than it answers.
These are two of the questions Ms. Liebau wants answered:
2. On page 3, the report notes that “During the 2012 election cycle, some members of Congress raised concerns about selective enforcement.” What were these members told? What investigation had been done internally — and by whom — before members like Orrin Hatch were assured that their concerns were baseless? This goes to whether members of Congress were deliberately lied to — and by whom — and whether their concerns were even taken seriously in the first place.
3. Also on page 3, the report states that some members of Congress asked the IRS to investigate whether existing 501(c)(4)’s were engaged in improper campaign activity. In other words, some members were urging greater scrutiny of 501(c)(4)’s. What members were these? Whom did they contact at the IRS? What were they told, and by whom? It would be interesting to know whether any former staffers of these members participated in the wrongdoing. What’s more, if top officials were responsive to these requests, it might suggest where direction for the targeting came from.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is amazing how much paper you can use to say nothing and how many questions you can ask that do not lead in the direction of finding out the truth.
I am reaching a point where I think 99% of the people now in power in Washington should be voted out of office.
One of my favorite radio shows is the Hugh Hewitt Show. I can’t listen to him locally, but I can listen to him on Townhall.com. Mr. Hewitt is a California attorney, law professor, and served in the Reagan Administration. His show is always informative, and he posts many of the interviews at HughHewitt.com.
DN: So when they went after the AP reporters, right? Went after all of their phone records, they went after the phone records, including right up here in the House Gallery, right up from where I’m sitting right now. So you have a real separation of powers issue that did this really rise to the level that you would have to get phone records that would, that would most likely include members of Congress, because as you know…
DN: …members of Congress talk to the press all the time.
HH: I did not know that, and that is a stunner.
DN: Now that is a separation of powers issue here, Hugh.
DN: And it’s a freedom of press issue. And now you’ve got the IRS going after people. So these things are starting to cascade one upon the other, and you have the White House pretending like they’re in the clouds like it’s not their issue somehow.
This whole discussion of abuse of power just got very interesting.
I will admit to being more than slightly paranoid. I live near Boston, and what happened at the Boston Marathon was a serious wake-up call. With this is mind, I am not happy about the way a recent event was handled.
The article reports:
State Police say there were no warrants or advisories on any of the individuals and “there was no evidence that the seven were committing any crime beyond the trespassing.”
All seven were allowed to leave and will be summonsed to court for trespassing. The FBI is investigating and routine checks of public water supplies have been increased following the incident.
I hope that this is not the whole story. Pakistan is a country heavily infiltrated by Al Qaeda–it is known for fomenting terrorism. A Pakistani scientist is probably the person most responsible for Iran’s progress toward a nuclear bomb. To allow these people to leave and assume that they will show up in court later seems very naive. I would be willing to let them leave if we tapped their phones and cell phones and put ankle bracelets on them. Otherwise, they may somehow disappear between now and the time of their court appearance.
CNS News reported today that the U. S. Treasury has released data stating that the outstanding balance for all of the direct student loans the federal government has issued topped $600 billion in April.
The article reports:
The $480.654 billion increase since January 2009 in what is owed to the Treasury in direct student loans represents a climb of about 250 percent in just over four years.
The article explains:
Before Obama’s first term, federally guaranteed student loans were made both by the government directly and by private lenders using their own capital through what was called the Federal Family Education Loan program. Language inserted into the the Obamacare law signed in March 2010, however, abolished the latter type of federally guaranteed student loan, giving the U.S. Treasury a monopoly over those loans.
As the Congressional Research Service has described it, this Obamacare provision made the U.S. Treasury the exclusive “banker” for federally guaranteed student loans. Thus, U.S. taxpayers essentially own these loans.
This is the housing bubble played out in student loans. The American taxpayer is the lender in these loans.
The article reminds us:
If the students who have borrowed the current outstanding balance of $600 billion in federal direct student loans default on those loans–or if Congress forgives them their debts–the burden of that $600 billion loss will fall on U.S. taxpayers.
This is not pocket change. This could well be our next financial crisis.
As I view what is happening in Washington, the skeptic in me keeps remembering the scene in the Bill Murray movie “Meatballs” where the character Bill Murray plays leads the campers in a chant of “It just doesn’t matter.” I wish it did matter, but I just don’t think it does.
I have lost track of the scandals–I babysat grandchildren today and could not get my usual news fix. I know that there was a document dump of Benghazi-related documents today (hotair.com). I know that the acting IRS commissioner is leaving (the Daily Mail)–President Obama says that Steve Miller has been asked to resign–Steve Miller says that his assignment ends in early June. The Associated Press and had their phones bugged. At the same time conservative groups were being harassed by the IRS, President Obama’s half brother received tax-exempt status for the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed that operated illegally for years (the Daily Caller).
So where do we go from here? Impeachment is a really bad idea. It will not solve the problem and will probably create more problems. The press is quite capable of bringing down the presidency of any president they do not like–we are all human and make mistakes; and even if we don’t, mistakes can be manufactured. For example–the evidence President Bush cited to justify the war in Iraq was seen and evaluated by the Democrat leadership in Congress. When the Democrats voted for the war in Iraq, they knew everything President Bush knew–there was no way he could have lied to them. But that didn’t prevent cries of “Bush lied, people died.” When the media couldn’t get to Dick Cheney, they went after Scooter Libby. If President Obama were impeached, in the future the press would work very hard to bring down any administration they didn’t like. The will of the voters’ would be routinely undermined. Also, impeachment would further divide the country and create partisanship. Then again, there is the prospect of President Biden.
Impeachment is not the answer, so what is the answer? The answer lies with the voters. Voters need to become aware of what is going on and vote against anyone who is part of it or seems to be supporting it. The members of Congress that are blocking investigations should be voted out of office. Those members of Congress who are defending the President and calling to end investigations need to be voted out of office–the investigations should end after they are finished and not before.